California Democrats are daring Republicans to challenge them on issues from Wall Street regulations to health care reform.
At the state party's annual convention in Los Angeles, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told delegates "Democrats are for protecting the peoples' interest; Republicans are protecting the special interests."
With her re-election in doubt, Sen. Barbara Boxer urged Democrats to unite behind her candidacy with the excitement witnessed at tea party rallies.
And state Attorney General Jerry Brown called on his two major Republican contenders in the governor's race to join him in prime-time debates before the June primary. It's an idea Steve Poizner accepted, but Meg Whitman declined.
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who opened the convention, promised the party will go on the offense ahead of November elections, saying, "Democrats, it's game time."