Capitol Alert

Tom Steyer, pushing Donald Trump's impeachment, to call out Democrats and Republicans

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer brings anti-Trump campaign to Modesto

Tom Steyer, a billionaire activist, philanthropist and environmentalist, is known for his attacks on TV of President Donald Trump. He didn’t let up on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, while visiting The Modesto Bee.
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Tom Steyer, a billionaire activist, philanthropist and environmentalist, is known for his attacks on TV of President Donald Trump. He didn’t let up on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, while visiting The Modesto Bee.

Tom Steyer is ratcheting up political pressure on Democrats and Republicans in Congress who have not publicly called for President Donald Trump's impeachment.

The California-based billionaire environmental activist, also a major Democratic donor, kicks off the newest stage of his "Need to Impeach" campaign this month. He has blanketed the airwaves with pro-impeachment ads, and now plans live events across the country, from the liberal Bay Area to purple districts in the Midwest.

"The next phase is focused on educating people across the country, on both sides of the aisle, to get them informed about the need to impeach," said Erik Olvera, a Steyer spokesman. "We need Republican support to move forward with impeachment."

Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman of San Rafael is the latest member of the House to join on as a cosponsor to articles of impeachment against Trump, introduced last November by Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee.

"I’m cosponsoring Rep. Cohen's articles of impeachment because they focus on the most serious and egregious examples of President Trump's impeachable actions – his obstruction of justice, his unprecedented conflicts of interest, his unwillingness or inability to credibly and forthrightly address Russia's interference in the 2016 election and his recklessness with matters of national security," Huffman said in a statement. "President Trump has shown contempt for the institutions and safeguards that are essential to the rule of law and the proper functioning of our democracy. That is precisely the situation that the rare remedy of impeachment was intended to address."

Steyer on Sunday released a new television ad calling for support for his cause and raising questions about Trump's response to special counsel Robert Mueller's indictments in the Russia probe.

"The Justice Department just indicted 13 Russians for sabotaging our elections – an electronic attack on America that the chief investigator called warfare. So what did this president do? Nothing," Steyer said in the ad. "And is he is doing anything to prevent a future attack? The head of the FBI says 'No.'"

Trump has insisted repeatedly that there was "no collusion" between his 2016 campaign and Russia, and on Twitter this week called investigations into possible Russian ties a "witch hunt."

Welcome to the AM Alert, your morning rundown on California policy and politics. To receive it regularly, please sign up here.

EMERALD TRIANGLE: North Coast lawmakers will convene a hearing in Ukiah this evening on California's legal cannabis industry, worth an estimated $7 billion annually. The hearing will focus on implementation challenges ahead for Proposition 64, which legalized recreational weed.

Industry experts from the marijuana companies CannaCraft and FlowKana will also discuss "the green gold rush" and whether it's panning out for businesses.

Panelists include Lori Ajax, chief of the state's Bureau of Cannabis Control, Richard Parrott, director of CalCannabis for the state Department of Food and Agriculture and Hezekiah Allen, president of the California Growers Association, among other state and local officials.

The hearing, also featuring state Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood, begins at 6 p.m. at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center. It is available for live streaming here.

WATERGATE: The Washington, D.C. complex gained notoriety during the political scandal that led to impeachment proceedings and later, President Richard Nixon's resignation, but the building has a deeper history.

Joe Rodota, a political strategist and CEO of Sacramento-based research firm Forward Observer, writes about it in a new book titled "The Watergate: Inside American's most infamous address." He writes in a news release that "For over 50 years, this legendary structure has been an integral part of the Beltway's daily business."

Rodota will launch his book at a Sacramento reading from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 1122 S St.

BROWN IN NEW YORK: Gov. Jerry Brown is scheduled to be inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame Friday afternoon at the Metropolitan Club of New York.

CELEBRATE: Happy birthday to Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, who turns 53 on Friday. Also wishing a happy birthday to Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, who turns 57 on Saturday, Rep. Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, who turns 75 also on Saturday, and to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, who turns 50 on Sunday.

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