Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter.
We begin with Rep. Ami Bera’s family tragedy, move to Darrell Steinberg’s run for mayor, make note of Florida’s surprising death penalty ruling, and drop by the wild HB 2 politics in North Carolina.
In a stunning turn of events, Ami Bera’s octogenerian father, Babulal Bera, pleaded guilty to laundering more than $260,000 in campaign donations for his son in 2010 and 2012. The U.S. attorney’s office filed papers saying Babulal reimbursed 90 people, presumably friends and family members, who couldn’t afford to give his son four-figure donations in 2010 and 2012.
Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert issued a statement saying there is no evidence that Rep. Bera was aware of the campaign money laundering. But Republicans were quick to attack Bera, seeing an opportunity to elect Republican Sheriff Scott Jones and take a seat in Nancy Pelosi’s home state. Look for much more between now and November.
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Take a number: $210,159
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones had $210,159 in the bank at last count at the end of March, for what promises to be one of the most costly congressional races in the nation. Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, had $1.496 million. Given Bera’s family issues, look for Jones to start closing the gap.
Endorsement: Darrell Steinberg is the clear choice for Sacramento mayor.
Editorial: Rep. Ami Bera’s family tragedy can’t excuse the illegality committed by his father.
Marcos Breton: Sacramento mayoral candidates Darrell Steinberg and Angelique Ashby aren’t talking enough about job creation.
The Los Angeles Daily News is disappointed that Facebook, which long professed its political neutrality, apparently manipulated computer-driven trending news for political reasons.
Debra J. Saunders of The San Francisco Chronicle writes about sanctuary cities and criminals.
The Miami Herald says Florida’s death penalty is still wrong, and lauds a ruling by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch.
The Charlotte Observer questions whether Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, should resign as he runs for governor against Republican incumbent Pat McCrory while the fight swirls over HB 2, aka the “bathroom bill.”
The Kansas City Star makes clear that we Californians are a long way from Kansas, as it assesses the end of Missouri’s legislative session. Think Shakespeare-quoting, gun-toting English literature professors, and fertilized eggs that have a natural right to life.
Daniel Weintraub, one of our regular columnists, writes that “bicycle friendly” plus Sacramento equals an oxymoron.
David Brooks: Putting grit in its place.
Dana Milbank: Republicans’ many ways to deal with Trump.
Having spent an evening in Sun City listening to eight Republican candidates seeking to replace Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, and after separately interviewing some of the candidates, we prepare to issue an endorsement.