Capitol Alert

Listen to ‘California Nation’: Kevin de León can’t agree with Trump + Can Gavin Newsom fix homelessness?

This week on the debut episode of California Nation — The Sacramento Bee’s newly-launched podcast —Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom discusses his approach to the state’s homelessness crisis.

Then state Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, sits down for a one-on-one interview to evaluate the state of California Democrats and the state’s relationship with President Donald Trump.

The show ends with our favorite segment, Buzz of the Week, where host Bryan Anderson gives his top headline of the week and invites listeners to call 916-326-5538 to share the news story they can’t get off their mind. You can subscribe to California Nation on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music and SoundCloud.

Below, we highlight the major takeaways from our conversation with de León:


Kevin de León is making an aggressive push to unseat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the overwhelming favorite to win this November. The Los Angeles Democrat acknowledges he is running on a more liberal agenda than his opponent but insists the internal rift in the Democratic Party is “increasingly becoming a thing of the past.”

“I don’t think it’s about going more to the left or about going more to the right,” de León said. “It’s about going forward on policies that are common sense.”

What is common sense to de León is universal health care, a national $15 minimum wage and free tuition for students at public colleges and universities. He was short on specifics about how these ideas would be funded, but suggested cuts to military spending and re-prioritizing the federal budget.

“We have to export our values from California to Washington, and not the other way around,” he said. “It is about values, it is about priorities and making those decisions at a national level.”

While he said he can compromise with political opponents, as he said he did when he led the California Senate, he couldn’t identify a single area of agreement with President Donald Trump.

“This is not Jeb Bush at the helm of the federal government, or John Kasich, or even a blowhard from Jersey like Chris Christie, or a Marco Rubio from Florida,” de Leon said. “This is a man who will continue to move the goal post.

“My fear has always been from day one that you cannot negotiate with him. To date, the Democrats in Washington have been unable to be a check or negotiate a deal that’s honest and fair.”

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