Capitol Alert

Morse denied ballot designation + John Cox vs. DMV + CA senators frustrated at Kavanaugh

Behind the scenes with the Jessica Morse campaign on Election Day

4th congressional district Democratic candidate Jessica Morse advanced to the general election on June 5, 2018 to face Republican incumbent Tom McClintock. Here's a look at the final day of her primary campaign in the sprawling district.
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4th congressional district Democratic candidate Jessica Morse advanced to the general election on June 5, 2018 to face Republican incumbent Tom McClintock. Here's a look at the final day of her primary campaign in the sprawling district.

From Washington, D.C., Emily Cadei writes…

ONCE AGAIN, MORSE DENIED ‘NATIONAL SECURITY’ BALLOT DESIGNATION

Democratic congressional candidate Jessica Morse will appear on the November ballot as a “Candidate for Congress,” which wasn’t her first, second or even third choice of ballot designation.

The former State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development budget analyst sought to be described as a “national security consultant” on the general election ballot, similar to the “national security strategist” label she proposed for the primary ballot.

The designation system is unique to California and often used for political wrangling, as candidates hope to sway voters who may know little else about them. For Morse, who is challenging Republican Rep. Tom McClintock in the 4th District , the main problem is that she hasn’t worked full-time in international affairs since 2015. When her proposed ballot designations in the primary were denied, she decided to appear on the ballot without a description.

Since the denial in March, Morse has signed on as a consultant with Servant, Leader, Citizen Consulting in Southern California. Her contract, which she submitted while applying for the “national security consultant” designation, was effective as of July 27 and expires at the end of the year. But the part-time gig focused on providing security and counterterrorism consulting for the nonprofit sector still wasn’t enough to convince state officials that “national security consultant” is an appropriate description of her primary profession.

They also denied her alternative designation proposals of “national security professional” and “businesswoman/security advisor,” according to a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office. Morse’s campaign did not respond to questions about the nature of Morse’s consulting job or her decision to take on the work in the midst of a congressional campaign.

CA SENATORS FUMING OVER KAVANAUGH HEARING

California’s two senators were full participants in the raucous hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, as the Senate held a hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris were vocally critical of the process, complaining Republicans weren’t given enough time to obtain and review relevant documents.

“I really regret this, but I think you have to understand the frustration on this side of the aisle,” Feinstein told Kavanaugh at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “Everyone on this side of the aisle wants to do a good job. They want time to be able to consider what the findings are.”

Harris unsuccessfully tried to halt the proceedings in the opening seconds of the hearing. “The committee received — less than 15 hours ago — 42,000 pages of documents that we have not had an opportunity to review or read or analyze. We cannot possibly move forward.”

COX TO DMV DIRECTOR: RESIGN NOW

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox has some beef with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Calling the department a “poster agency for incompetence and inefficiency,” he wants Director Jean Shiomoto to step down.

Since word got out about rising wait times of 46 percent statewide, Cox has made the DMV a central component of his campaign. He’s visited several offices and dispersed water bottles to customers experiencing long waits. After the audit request was denied, Cox amped up his attacks.

His calls for Shiomoto’s resignation comes as the department is working to turn things around. Average DMV wait times throughout Northern California have dropped by 50 minutes over the last month. The department previously said it expects wait times to drop starting in mid-September before returning to a more reasonable level by the end of the year. Though the DMV is seeing a decline in wait times earlier than it may have anticipated, concerns about the agency’s technological infrastructure remain.

TWEET OF THE DAY

Sen. Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) — “42,000 pages of additional Kavanaugh documents were given to the U.S. Senate last night. These documents likely further show his extreme positions on women’s rights, gun safety, and more. Chairman Grassley is pushing forward with the hearing anyway.”

INFLUENCER OF THE DAY

Is there middle ground on California health care? Influencers have plenty to say.

“California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom has called for a single-payer health system for our state. But, for Newsom, this pledge is not simply driven by what is right or wrong. As with any political candidate’s policy choices, it is part of a complex political calculation that takes place in two parts. First, Newsom has to weigh how his position can benefit his campaign. Promising a single-payer plan won him the support of many progressive groups. Second, if elected this November — an outcome that is all but guaranteed, given the political dominance of Democratic voters in our state — Newsom will have to weigh the political, legal and financial challenges of implementing such a bold and expensive plan. Newsom’s aggressive agenda includes several other big-ticket items, such as universal preschool, eliminating homelessness and building millions of new housing units throughout the state. Each of these initiatives will come with a big political fight. Whether Newsom will actually pursue single-payer remains to be seen. Recently, Newsom signaled that he may be backing away from his primary campaign promise on a single-payer plan, resetting expectations for after he is elected by noting that it could take “years” to implement. In California’s political playbook, what’s ‘right’ is often only a small part of the political maneuvering involved in the policy decisions of our state’s leaders.”

Mindy Romero, Founder and Director, USC California Civic Engagement Project

MUST-READ: Ban health insurance that doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions? Jerry Brown to decide

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