The coming California crack-up

California Democrats are united in their disdain for President Donald Trump. But that’s about all they can agree on.

Heading into the annual state Democratic Party convention in San Diego this weekend, the Democratic-controlled Legislature is mired in a contentious sexual harassment scandal. Cutthroat primaries have party officials on edge. And grass-roots activists are still seething, nearly two years after Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary.

Escalating the tension in the nation’s most populous state, the national party and a handful of other outside groups are beginning to muscle into crowded congressional races, hoping to head off a nightmare scenario in which the state’s unusual, top-two primary system results in no Democratic candidate at all appearing on November ballots in several key races.

“The gloves are coming off,” said Joshua Morrow, executive director of 314 Action, a political action committee that announced this week it will spend at least $1 million on television ads in the Los Angeles area ahead of the June primary, seeking to bolster three preferred Democrats running in crowded primaries.

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