This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators went to Concord Thursday to tout their transportation package, which they unveiled Wednesday at the state Capitol.
- Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León amended his "sanctuary state" bill Thursday morning to allow law enforcement to notify federal immigration officials about the release of violent felons.
- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones hosted a community forum on immigration Tuesday, where the guest speaker was the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Northern California Rep. Eric Swalwell really wants an independent investigation into President Donald Trump and his administration’s ties to Russia.
And he has some handy charts and graphics to prove his case.
Swalwell, a Democrat from Dublin, launched a new page on his official congressional website — which he titled “Protecting our Democracy” — detailing the alleged web of connections between Trump administration officials, and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian interests.
Swalwell is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is investigating Russia's alleged election meddling.
“President Trump has also surrounded himself with people who do business with and are sympathetic to Russia,” his site declares in boldface type.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last year that Putin had authorized an operation to try to damage Hillary Clinton's campaign and tilt the 2016 election in Trump's favor.
Trump has rejected calls for an independent investigation of his ties to Russia.