U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein turned 84 on Thursday.
As the oldest serving senator in Congress notches another birthday, questions continue to swirl about her political future. Feinstein has not yet publicly announced if she will seek another six-year term next year. She was first elected in 1992.
At least among expected California voters, age may be a factor in a re-election bid. In a poll released in April, 52 percent of voters said she should stay out of the race. A mention of her age increased the naysayers to 62 percent. The poll was conducted months after Feinstein’s office disclosed that she had a pacemaker installed “out of an abundance of caution.” She’s also become a target of the more liberal branch of her own Democratic party.
Feinstein’s tough stance on obstruction of justice allegations against Donald Trump, however, may help her score points in the next poll.
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In recent weeks, California’s senior U.S. senator pushed the Senate Judiciary committee to further investigate obstruction of justice allegations related to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Feinstein, who sits on the committee, called for the chair to schedule hearings with Comey, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and other aides and officials in Washington who Comey talked to about his conversations with the president. She issued a warning last week that Trump may attempt to fire the special counsel investigating potential ties between Russia and his presidential campaign.
Earlier this week, she participated in a Democratic protest on the Senate floor over a secretive GOP process to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Democrats fear the bill may come up for a vote before the Fourth of July holiday and without a single public hearing.
The best evidence of her intentions? She has raised $655,822 in the first three months of the year.
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WORTH REPEATING: “We’re asking the governor to protect all the people in the state of California.”
- The Rev. Art Cribbs, executive director of The Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, urging Gov. Jerry Brown’s support for the sanctuary state bill, Senate Bill 54
JACKPOT: The cost of your Mega Millions tickets will double this fall. The California State Lottery Commission is voting Thursday to increase the price of Mega Millions tickets from $1 to $2. To continue offering the game in California – which brought in $356 million in fiscal year 2015-16 – the commission must adopt the new price and a series of other changes previously approved by a consortium of 12 states that oversee the Mega Millions lotto. Instead of allowing players to pick one number from 1 to 15 and five from 1 to 75, the new rules require one number from 1 to 25 and five numbers from 1 to 70. The starting jackpot was also upped to $40 million. While the payout may be higher, your chances of winning are worse. The odds of hitting a jackpot will drop from 1 in 258.9 million to 1 in 302.6 million. The commission meets at 10 a.m. at its headquarters on North 10th Street.
BEST OF SHOW: Officials with the California State Fair will honor the best wine, cheese and extra virgin olive oil made in the state on the north steps of the Capitol at 10:30 a.m.. The Best of Show winners include the “Pilsnerish” beer from Elk Grove’s Flatland Brewing, a semi-soft “Bay Blue” cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. and Bondolio olive oil, among others.
CELEBRATE: Happy birthday to Rep. Adam Schiff, who turns 57, and Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, who celebrates his 64th birthday today.