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4 moments from the California U.S. Senate debate that will have people talking

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4 moments from the California U.S. Senate debate that will have people talking

The top four candidates hoping to succeed the late Dianne Feinstein and represent the Golden State in the United States Senate squared off Monday in a debate hosted and moderated by Inside California Politics.

Democrat Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee tried to stand out from one another and pitch themselves to voters as they hope to advance to the November runoff. Meanwhile, Republican Steve Garvey looked to make his case as the alternate choice for Californians who have grown tired of the Democratic status quo.

While Schiff, Porter and Lee seemed to operate with an unspoken truce, the Democrats took several swings at the Los Angeles Dodgers legend, hoping to knock him off balance and paint him as a MAGA Republican who aligns closely with Donald Trump.

Here are four moments that people will be talking about after the California U.S. Senate debate.

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TRUMP

The 45th President of the United States, and the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, was a major topic in Monday’s debate.

The three Democrats were united in their belief that Trump should not be allowed to be on the 2024 ballot, but said they would not hesitate to certify a Trump win if it were to happen.

“Donald Trump engaged in an insurrection and should not be on the ballot,” Porter said.

Schiff, a major thorn in the side of Trump during his single term as POTUS, called his former rival the “greatest threat to democracy.”

Garvey disagreed with Schiff’s proclamation, calling the “deconstruction of the constitution” as the greatest threat to democracy, specifically citing removing the filibuster from Senate procedure and “packing” the Supreme Court.

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The four candidates for California’s U.S. Senate seat sparred during a debate hosted by Nexstar and Inside California Politics on Feb. 12, 2024. (Nexstar)

Garvey’s non-denouncement of the former president came into focus again just as it did weeks earlier the first time the four candidates sparred on the debate stage.

For the second time, Garvey, who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020, refused to say whom he would be voting for in the 2024 Presidential election.

“I think it’s personal. I’ll make that decision when the time comes,” Garvey said. “And I hope this puts to an end the constant badgering and the use of the former president’s name as an attack against me.”

The baseball legend did say that he hadn’t talked to the former president since his campaign began and was mum about whether he would accept a Trump endorsement.

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CRIME

The topic of retail theft and smash-and-grab burglaries led to arguably the most contentious moment of an otherwise civil debate.

Schiff agreed that burglaries and crime were a problem, adding that he’s worked to build safe communities dating back to his time as a prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office, saying that he’s been prosecuting criminals since “back when Mr. Garvey was playing baseball.”

As a non-politician, Garvey took an even harder stance and blamed crime in California on the powers that be, specifically singling out his debate opponents.

“There’s never been more crime on the streets of California than today. And my opponents here, career politicians, it’s been on their watch. They are responsible,” Garvey said.

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MINIMUM WAGE

Rep. Lee made waves recently for saying she believed that the federal minimum wage should be raised, possibly as high as $50 per hour.

On Monday, she didn’t back down from that stance, citing a recent survey that found the cost of living in the Bay Area required an income in the six figures; a $50 minimum wage would land around $104,000.

While $50 per hour eclipses any of the other suggested raises from her Democrat colleagues, Lee said any raise to the federal minimum is desperately needed as long as affordability is taken into consideration.

“Just do the math. Of course we have national minimum wages that we need to raise to a living wage,” Lee said. “We’re talking about $20, $25, fine.”

Garvey dismissed the idea, saying that the federal minimum wage was “where it is and should be.”

“Instead of a Big Mac for $9, it’s going to be $15,” Garvey said.

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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

Perhaps no topic has a wider range of opinions than the ongoing crisis in Gaza and Israel’s war with Hamas.

Schiff has been outspoken in his support of Israel and its right to defend itself, saying of Hamas, “they wanted this kind of response.”

“Hamas is threatening to attack them over and over and over again, no nation could endure that,” Schiff said. “At the same time, the President is right to continue pressing Israel to try to avoid civilian casualties to try to minimize the loss of civilian life.”

Porter called on the United States and Israel to commit to rebuilding war-torn Gaza once the dust has settled and Hamas has been removed from power.

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“I think the people of Gaza absolutely need different leadership,” Porter said. “I think that any peace should come with the release of the hostages as well as a commitment by the United States and Israel to help rebuild Gaza and position it to flourish in the future.”

Schiff, Lee and Porter all advocated for the “two-state solution,” that would establish an independent state of Palestine alongside Israel.

Garvey called that idea “naïve.”

“Israel will determine … whether Hamas will survive,” he said. “And to think there could be a two state state solution is naïve because one of those states will always try to annihilate Israel.”

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FAVORITE MEDIA

Another topic that came up, although not one that will likely determine the future of our nation, the four candidates were asked two simple questions: what is your favorite film and the last book you read.

Garvey said his favorite film was, fittingly, the Robert Redford baseball flick, “The Natural.” The last book he read, Garvey said, was “The Case for Civility,” by Os Guinness.

Schiff picked “The Big Lebowski,” and said the last book he read was Ron Chernow’s “Grant,” a biography of the 18th President.

Lee’s favorite film was “The Color Purple,” and her most recently read book was “Beloved” by the late Toni Morrison.

The last book Porter read was “The Latecomers” by Helen Klein Ross and her favorite film was “Star Wars,” although she didn’t specify which one.

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Who do you think won Monday’s debate? Let us know here.

Los Angeles, Ca

Hundreds gather to honor murdered L.A. Auxillary Bishop David O'Connell

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Hundreds gather to honor murdered L.A. Auxillary Bishop David O'Connell

A little more than a year ago, mourners were shocked when Los Angeles Auxillary Bishop David O’Connell was found murdered in his Hacienda Heights home.

On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered for a memorial mass at the San Gabriel Mission Church. The Catholic Priest was beloved by the community as O’Connell served as the L.A. Archdioceses for 45 years.

Pope Francis named O’Connell as the Auxillary Bishop in L.A. in July of 2015. Brian Nunes was named as Auxillary Bishop following O’Connell’s death and has fond memories of his predecessor.

“He was a man of peace, he was down to earth, and just so willing to take time to listen to people,” Nunes said. “He was just very good about showing them that they were important, that he cared for them, that God loved them.”

  • Hundreds gathered for a memorial mass to honor Los Angeles Auxillary Bishop David O'Connell at the San Gabriel Mission Church on Feb. 24, 2024. (KTLA)
  • Authorities are investigating after Bishop David O'Connell was found shot and killed in Hacienda Heights on Feb. 18, 2023. (Victor Alemán/Angelus News)
  • Hundreds gathered for a memorial mass to honor Los Angeles Auxillary Bishop David O'Connell at the San Gabriel Mission Church on Feb. 24, 2024. (KTLA)
  • Hundreds gathered for a memorial mass to honor Los Angeles Auxillary Bishop David O'Connell at the San Gabriel Mission Church on Feb. 24, 2024. (KTLA)
  • Bishop David O'Connell
  • Hundreds gathered for a memorial mass to honor Los Angeles Auxillary Bishop David O'Connell at the San Gabriel Mission Church on Feb. 24, 2024. (KTLA)
  • Home of Carlos Medina
  • Home of Carlos Medina
  • Home of Carlos Medina
  • Bishop David O'Connell (center) and Archbishop José H. Gomez greet people during the annual Our Lady of Guadalupe procession in Los Angeles in 2019. (Victor Alemán/Angelus News)
  • Archbishop David O'Connell (Facebook)
  • Bishop David O'Connell, of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, attends a news conference at the Fall General Assembly meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on Nov. 17, 2021, in Baltimore. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

The 69-year-old was shot at his home in the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue on Feb. 18, 2023. Just two days later, a SWAT team arrested Carlos Medina, the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper, at their home in Torrance.

Detectives first linked Medina to the crime after finding surveillance video that showed his SUV in the driveway of O’Connell’s home at the time of the killing.

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Several people who knew Medina told investigators that he had been acting strange and irrationally in the days following the murder, adding that Medina was making comments about O’Connell “owing him money.”

Medina pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Light rain on tap for Southern California before storms return next weekend

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Light rain on tap for Southern California before storms return next weekend

Weak rain in parts of the Southland could serve as the opening act to the following weekend’s main event storm that’s expected to bring “cold and dynamic” weather, according to the National Weather Service.

As of Friday, the NWS forecast predicted less than two-tenths of an inch of rain on Monday in areas including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Clarita, Northridge and Westlake. Totals slightly above two-tenths of an inch were in the forecast in Pasadena, Ojai, Santa Barbara and Lompoc.

There is potential for light snow on the Grapevine on Monday, the NWS said.

The cooling trend on Monday will continue throughout the week but Southern California should remain dry from Tuesday to Thursday, weather officials predict.

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However, the brunt of the storm is expected to come on the weekend, according to early NWS projections.

“That next system looks as though it will be a cold and dynamic one,” a NWS bulletin posted Saturday reads. “At this point, its exact track is a bit uncertain.”

Although it wasn’t clear which parts of Southern California could be hit the hardest, potential for at least moderate rain and mountain snow exists on Friday and Saturday.

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Irvine police searching for missing teenage girl

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Irvine police searching for missing teenage girl

Irvine police are searching for a missing teenager, according to the department’s social media accounts.

Her name is Rachelle, 14, and she was described as being 5-foot-1 with a thin build. She has brown hair, brown eyes and a nose piercing, authorities said.

She was last seen in the Los Olivos area with a blue hoodie, black sweatpants and a necklace with a “R” on it.

Irvine police ask that anyone that knows where she is call at 949-724-7200.

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