Capitol Alert

‘California Nation’ + Inside the PPIC poll + Leg Analyst search

California Nation — The Sacramento Bee’s new podcast

The Sacramento Bee brings you a new podcast, California Nation. First episode premieres on September 26, 2018. Find it on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music and SoundCloud.
Up Next
The Sacramento Bee brings you a new podcast, California Nation. First episode premieres on September 26, 2018. Find it on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music and SoundCloud.


We are very excited to unveil our first episode of “California Nation.” I’ll be hosting the twice-monthly podcast that will become your go-to source for understanding what’s driving the conversation in the world’s fifth-largest economy.

You’ll get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into our reporting and learn how what’s happening in California is shaping the national conversation. The first episode highlights issues of homelessness and internal rifts within the Democratic Party. We talk to Democratic gubernatorial and Senate candidates Gavin Newsom and Kevin de León. We also end the show with our favorite segment, “Buzz of the Week,” this week involving the ongoing Supreme Court nomination saga. Listeners also are invited to call into the show at 916-326-5538 to share something in the news they can’t get off their minds.

Our debut show is available now. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music and SoundCloud.


The Pubic Policy Institute of California has released its latest poll, finding Gavin Newsom and Dianne Feinstein with sizable leads over their opponents in their bids for governor and senator. Results also showed an uphill battle for proponents behind Proposition 6 (gas tax repeal) and Proposition 10 (rent control).

While these are the main takeaways, other interesting findings emerged as well. Here are a few worth highlighting:

  • Rent control, gas tax: It appears there is a sizable group of voters who support rent control and want to repeal gas tax increases. They just oppose the ballot measures. Fifty-two percent of likely voters believe it’s a good thing for local governments to limit annual rent increases. Additionally, 50 percent of voters support repealing the recently passed increase in the California gas tax. Still, support for Propositions 6 and 10 lags behind opponents by double-digit percentage points.
  • Cox opposition — Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox is very unpopular. When asked if they are satisfied with their choice of gubernatorial candidates, just 44 percent of Republicans said they were satisfied, compared with 72 percent of Democrats. Forty-one percent of Republicans said they were dissatisfied with the options, compared to just 23 percent of Democrats.
  • Campaign messaging While different districts have different electorates, the poll found that jobs/economy and immigration are the top issues voters care about in competitive House districts and Republican districts. Voters in Democratic districts care more about the economy and housing affordability, the poll found.
  • Enthusiasm gap — Democrats appear far more enthusiastic than Republicans going into the election, with 64 percent of Democratic likely voters saying that voting this year is more important to them than in past midterm elections, while 48 percent of Republicans say the same. Forty-eight percent of Republicans say voting this year carries the same level of importance as past midterm elections, while just 33 percent of Democrats share that belief.
  • All eyes on Kavanaugh — Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is set to testify today amid allegations of sexual assault. Three-fourths of likely voters from both major parties believe the choice of the next Supreme Court justice is very important to them personally. Another three-fourths, including 89 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of Republicans, don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade — the 1973 Supreme Court case establishing a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. It’s worth noting the poll was conducted as allegations against Kavanaugh emerged.

PPIC surveyed 964 California adult likely voters through live landline and cell phone interviews conducted from Sept. 9-18. The margin of error was 4.8 percentage points.


The search for Mac Taylor’s replacement to lead the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office is underway. A joint legislative subcommittee is holding a 1 p.m. meeting today as part of the selection process. These are a few names that have previously been floated for the position.


State Sen. Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) — “The GOP’s plan for California’s transportation future:-Eliminate $5.2B/year for roads & transit-Undermine mass transit by banning gas tax $ from funding it-Ban high speed railTRANSLATION: bad roads, bad transit, worsening congestion & pollution.”


Should California voters repeal the gas tax in November? Influencers have plenty to say.

“California needs to upgrade its crumbling infrastructure using general purpose funds rather than overtaxing citizens more with the most regressive possible tax, a gasoline tax that hurts the hardest-hit Californians. We should also immediately cease all efforts on the badly designed, outmoded, and over-budget “bullet train” fantasy of Governor Brown, and repurpose any existing budgeted funds to infrastructure repair and upgrades. California should emphasize market-based solutions to transportation challenges and must keep in mind that our punitive regulatory state makes housing near top employment centers unaffordable, such that commuting is increasingly important and critical to quality of life in California. This will continue to be the case until California encourages reasonable housing construction and provides incentives for investors to help participate in upgrading both our housing and our transportation bases in California.”

— Harmeet Dhillon, Republican National Committee member and partner, Dhillon Law Group

MUST-READ: How John Cox made the money he’s using to run for California governor


Karin Klein, a freelance journalist in Orange County who has covered education, science and food policy, believes big-money political forces are backing the candidates for California superintendent of public instruction, despite Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond having a lot in common.

Sacramento resident Victoria Hurd says relatives of crime victims are rallying at the state Capitol today to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to veto Senate Bill 1391.

LaDoris Cordell, a retired Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge, and Miriam Aroni Krinsky, executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution, think it’ll be up to judges to determine a fair replacement to California’s elimination of cash bail.


Jack Ohman goes to Animal Senate.