Good morning, and welcome to Take Two, our weekly sampler of opinion, drawn from The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s opinion-politics newsletter, The Take. Please go to sacbee.com/site-services/newsletters/ to sign up.
You know it was a crazy week when we couldn’t find time to opine about Democratic legislators stumbling over their political correctness by sending a survey to The Third House in which they told lobby firms to display more diversity in hiring. Diversity is vital. All businesses ought to hire people who reflect our great and diverse state. But as detailed by The Bee’s Taryn Luna, lawmakers aren’t required to report such information about their own staff members. Many lobbyists privately bristled. The LGBT, black, Latino, Asian-Pacific Islander, Jewish and women’s caucus leaders who signed the letter didn’t mention hiring people with disabilities or veterans. Also, as lawmakers know, it’s against the law to ask applicants about sexual orientation or religion. And, lobbyists note knowingly, pols impose no quota on green. Donations from Chevron, AT&T, Comcast, PG&E and all others are welcome.
Labor split further from the California Nurses Association over its heavy-handed effort to build support for universal health care. Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Heathcare Workers, emailed nurses’ union leaders saying he’s considering breaking from the nurses and their Campaign for Healthy California. He cites the nurses’ “slash-and-burn tactics related to SB 562.” Read: ongoing attacks on Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon over his decision to spike the single payer concept legislation by Sens. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens. Nurses’ communications director Chuck Idelson said Rosselli is bowing to Rendon’s “enormous power” and is “parroting the line of Speaker Rendon.” If only Atkins and Lara had done the hard work of writing smart policy.
Really dumb Donald
As any good lawyer counsels, the e in email stands for evidence. If only Donald Trump Jr. heeded that advice. Offered dirt on Hillary Clinton last year from a Russian operative, Junior eagerly agreed: “I love it,” he evidence-mailed. Has anyone ever been charged with conspiring to violate the law against accepting campaign donations from foreign nationals? Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Berkeley’s School of Law, writes on these pages: “Never before has a foreign government so clearly tried to affect a presidential campaign.” If you don’t believe The Dean, try the dean of conservative columnists, Charles Krauthammer: “The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself.” We wait for California’s congressional Republicans to take a stand. And wait. And wait.
Speaking of health
The Senate Republicans’ ill-conceived health care overhaul will get more attention in the coming week. In their single-minded obsession with destroying everything Barack Obama accomplished, do Republican leaders think about their constituents? The Lexington Herald-Leader was particularly pointed last week, greeting Vice President Mike Pence as Pence arrived in Kentucky to stump for the bill. Our Kentucky cousins asked: “Did we mention that it would hurt Kentucky probably more than any other state?”
Erika D. Smith lit into the Board of Supes’ rogue decision to spend $5 million to roust homeless camps on the American River Parkway, when the county should be teaming with the city to get these people social services and mental health care. This came in a week when the homeless census revealed that homelessness is up, dramatically.
Gov. Jerry Brown was in rare form as he told legislators that cap and trade is existential, and the vote set for Monday would be “the most important vote of your life.” “This isn’t about some cockamamie legacy. This isn’t for me, I’m going to be dead. It’s for you and it’s damn real.” If it fails, he told an editorial board member earlier, “it will be a win for Trump.” That may be his strongest argument. The vote will be close. We hope it passes.