As oil money flies in primary campaigns, Kevin de León faces reality and blowback. We offer a compelling piece by the great Hedrick Smith. UCLA’s Jon Christensen looks at Proposition 84 and comes away with some advice on writing bond measures. And check out the heart-wrenching editorial by our cousins at The (San Luis Obispo) Tribune. Our other cousins in Fresno part ways with us on the U.S. Senate race, and the L.A. Times endorses in the congressional race to replace Janice Hahn.
Real politics trump principles almost every time. So it happened Thursday when Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, understanding that his first job is to protect his fellow Democratic senators, successfully pushed to repeal the fundraising blackout policy adopted two years ago when three sitting senators faced criminal charges, as detailed by The Bee’s man covering the Senate, Alexei Koseff.
De León’s hope is that he will be able to raise enough money to protect Sen. Jim Beall, a San Jose Democrat, from a tough primary challenge from another San Jose Democrat, Assemblywoman Nora Campos, who faced no fundraising restrictions.
Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Fallbrook, used the opportunity to needle de León in tweets, which prompted Democratic operative Steve Maviglio to needle Anderson for having run afoul of the Fair Political Practices Commission, which prompted Anderson to needle back.
Lost in it all, Beall has gained a reputation for working hard on tough issues, and Campos has become known for burning through staff, as detailed by The Mercury News of San Jose. Most recently, The Merc detailed a nasty incident supposedly involving below-the-belt kicks, slurs and a police report.
Take a number: $8.899 million
Led by Chevron, four oil giants have amassed at least $8.9 million since beginning of 2015 through now for campaigns for and against California legislators. In the same period in the last election cycle, January 2013 through mid-May 2014, the companies had amassed $6.8 million. Why the $2 million increase? They’re not saying. Our guess: It has to do with Senate Bill 350, the Kevin de León bill last year to cut petroleum use by half.
Endorsement: Proposition 50 is a small step toward accountability.
Foon Rhee: The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal faces choppy seas.
Hedrick Smith: Disenchanted voters are shaking the foundation of our political system.
Jon Christensen: A smarter way to pay for parks.
The (San Luis Obispo) Tribune writes that Jared Springer had been looking forward to attending his prom at Arroyo Grande High School, and then bureaucrats got wind of his plans.
The Fresno Bee endorses Rep. Loretta Sanchez and Duf Sundheim as the best choices for U.S. Senate. Clearly, not all Bees think alike.
The L.A. Times endorses Nanette Barragan over Sen. Isadore Hall to replace Janice Hahn in Congress, saying Barragan has shown “the integrity, courage and commitment to the environment that this industrial district needs.”
The Lexington Herald-Leader of Kentucky writes we’re awash in guns, and that fear, fueled by the NRA and politicians whose true fear is offending that bullying juggernaut, is making this country absurdly dangerous.
The Seattle Times writes that a way must be found to save the state’s agriculture and the salmon in its waters. Agriculture cannot be sacrificed for clean water.
Michael Gerson: Dehumanizing rhetoric leads to distrust of government and law enforcement.
Eugene Robinson: The GOP’s veil of unity.
Dana Milbank: Sarah Palin, Donald Trump’s political mother.
Gail Collins: Bring Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders together.
Nicholas Kristof: When the topic turns to Zika, Congress tells America to drop dead.
Joe Mathews, among our regular columnists: California needs to improve its golf game.
If you’re not doing anything on Monday, come by our hive, at 21st and Q, at 6 p.m. Monday, and hear Federal Election Commissioner Ann Ravel talk money in politics in 2016.