Good Sunday morning, and welcome to Take Two, our weekly sampler of California opinion, drawn from The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s daily opinion-politics newsletter, The Take. Please go to sacbee.com/site-services/newsletters/ to sign up.
Kobach’s data grab
What’s with Kris Kobach anyway? The Kansas secretary of state is running for governor of Kansas and, with Vice President Mike Pence, co-chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Mostly, he seems obsessed with President Donald Trump’s weird claim that millions of illegal voters cast ballots. And so he is demanding that states turn over not just lists of voters. That’s public information and he could buy the rolls from elections officials. He wants birth dates, voting history, felony records, partial Social Security numbers and more. Imagine the outcry if Barack Obama had sought such information. Talk about a big government overreach.
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California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is a California Democrat, so you’d expect him to tell Kobach, Pence and Trump to pound sand, which he did in so many words. But Kobach and the gang managed to annoy red state elections officials in Utah, Kobach’s own state of Kansas and Mississippi, among others. In Mississippi, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann offered an especially helpful suggestion: “They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from.” Seriously, if you’re a crook, would it be the highest and best use of your time to commit a felony by voting when you’re not eligible?
Erika D. Smith used her July 4 column to urge that Twitter exercise its prerogative by giving President Donald Trump a timeout, essentially suggesting that he be sent to his room without Twitter for a while. It certainly has an appeal. The president of these United States abuses his Twitter privilege in inflammatory, childish and embarrassing ways. The Take’s view is that he should keep tweeting. Better that than actually being president. Besides, we want to know what’s going through that mind. Does anyone think a doughy 71-year-old man could body slam much more than a taco bowl?
Ties that bind
Last week, Take Two detailed how the United Food & Commercial Workers and State Building and Construction Trades Council split from the California Nurses Association over the nurses’ attack on Speaker Anthony Rendon, who had killed their universal health care bill. We wondered whether the supposed bill’s authors, Sens. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would pay a price, too. “We doubt it,” we wrote. Sure enough, the pipes trade council, part of the building trades council, gave $7,500 to Atkins at the end of June, and $12,500 to Lara, and the building trades council sent $14,600 Lara’s way. Campaign finance reports don’t show anything from UFCW, but can it be far behind?
Jerk of the Week
Kris Kobach? Donald Trump? Nah, they’re too easy. Clay Higgins? Now, there’s a piece of work. Higgins is a member of Congress from Louisiana who thought it’d be a swell idea to visit Auschwitz as part of a junket. And there, in a ghostly place of horror and reflection, Higgins whipped out a camera and took a self-serving political propaganda video which he posted on conservative websites. When people rightly protested, it dawned on Higgins that he might have erred, and so he took the video down and apologized “for any unintended pain.” Heart-felt, no doubt. What a jerk.