If Democrats are going to take back control of the House of Representatives next year, their path travels straight through California. Half of the 14 remaining members of the state’s Republican congressional delegation won last November in districts that went to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
So those GOP targets are getting a little extra help from the White House: Vice President Mike Pence is in California on a quick fundraising tour with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
The trip was originally slated for September, but was postponed because of ongoing hurricane recovery efforts. After arriving yesterday for an event in Beverly Hills, Pence is scheduled to make three more stops across the state today, starting this morning in Bakersfield, McCarthy’s hometown.
Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel will host a luncheon with Pence at Newport Beach’s Pelican Hill Golf Club, according to the Orange County Register. Four of the seven targeted members – Reps. Darrell Issa of Vista, Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa, Ed Royce of Fullerton and Mimi Walters of Laguna Niguel – represent portions of Orange County, which selected a Democrat for president for the first time in 80 years in 2016.
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Pence finishes the evening in Sacramento, according to details provided to The Bee. The event, at the Hyatt Regency on L Street, includes a VIP roundtable, a photo reception and a dinner starting at 8:30 p.m.
“Following the chaos, scandals and repeated failures of Donald Trump’s administration, it’s no surprise that Vice President Mike Pence is heading to California to court congressional Republicans and high-dollar donors in preparation for his 2020 bid for the White House,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Vedant Patel said in a statement.
In addition to raising campaign cash, California’s House Republicans may be looking at other ways to boost their electoral prospects next year. Most of the delegation announced its support this week for an initiative to repeal the state’s new gas tax and vehicle license fee increases, which could drive conservation turnout – and ignite a political war with some traditional backers of the California GOP.
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WORTH REPEATING: “I think it’s time to invade California and arrest Jerry Brown. How can he still be governor? He was governor when I was a kid, he’s governor now!” - Greg Gutfeld, co-host of Fox News’ “The Five”
ON THE RECORD: What happened? That question about Clinton’s shocking defeat last November so dominated the post-election conversation that she used it as the title of her latest book. Capitol denizens have an opportunity to hear Clinton’s answer when her nationwide tour, promoting the campaign postmortem, stops through Davis, 7:30 p.m. at the Mondavi Center. She last appeared in the Sacramento region in June 2016, during a rally at Sacramento City College.
PSA: A legislative resolution this session declared Oct. 13 as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. In recognition of the disease, which accounts for 40,000 deaths in the United States each year, Susan G. Komen’s Northern and Central California chapter will display a four-panel, bilingual photo exhibit all week long at the Capitol, next to the governor’s office.