Capitol Alert

Will Kavanaugh make an appearance at Senate ‘conversation’? + McClintock’s mislabeled ad

Kevin de León takes on Dianne Feinstein for U.S. Senator

State Senator Kevin de León talks about why he is running for U.S. Senator.
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State Senator Kevin de León talks about why he is running for U.S. Senator.


Debate? Forum? Conversation? Whatever you want to call it, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her challenger, fellow Democrat Kevin de León, meet today in what is likely to be their only joint appearance ahead of the Nov. 6 election.

Democrats are upset with Republicans’ confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Will de León tap into that anger? Will he raise concerns about Feinstein’s handling of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her?

Jonathan Underland, a spokesman for de León has criticized the format of what the Public Policy Institute of California is calling “a conversation” with the two candidates. Feinstein’s team has labeled it a “debate.”

A recent PPIC poll shows the race tightening a bit, but Feinstein remains the overwhelming favorite. FiveThirtyEight’s Senate forecast gives de León a 1-in-80 shot at winning, which is up from 1-in-500 last month.

The conversation will be streamed live online at noon. It will not be broadcast on statewide television.


Congressman Tom McClintock, an Elk Grove Republican, is focusing a lot of his re-election campaign on attacking Democratic challenger Jessica Morse. His campaign released an ad Tuesday accusing Morse of inflating her military record.

While the ad criticizes Morse for improperly labeling herself, it’s worth pointing out that the ad itself mislabels a headline from a previous Sacramento Bee article about Morse’s unsuccessful efforts to receive “national security consultant” ballot designation.

The headline in the ad reads, “Jessica Morse is stretching the truth about her résumé, investigation finds.” But the actual headline omitted Morse’s name, instead saying, “This Tom McClintock rival is stretching the truth about her résumé, investigation finds.”

Is this fairly minor? Sure. But if you’re going to criticize someone for mislabeling something, you may want to make sure your own labels are in order.


Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, is joining Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, at the new California Republican Party Laguna Niguel headquarters. They are speaking at 8:30 a.m. today.


Bob Hertzberg (@hertzieLA) — “Check out our campaign’s latest ad! I’ll move mountains for the San Fernando Valley!”


Should California’s next governor scrap high-speed rail? Influencers have plenty to say.

“California needs to build the high-speed rail system, and it is stunning that a state that leads in so many areas has not been able to move this project ahead with more urgency. You’d think that a state that has gridlock on every one of its freeways would embrace high-speed rail. We can’t build enough freeways to solve our transportation problem. Unfortunately, high-speed rail has become a political football for those who believe that short-term political gain is more important than the future of the state’s transportation system. The cost of high-speed rail is substantially less than the taxpayer subsidies of air travel in the state. We need leaders who think boldly about a coordinated transportation system that includes high-speed rail.”

— Jim Boren, Executive Director, Fresno State’s Institute for Media and Public Trust

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The Bee’s Editorial Board endorses these three school board candidates in the Sacramento City Unified School District.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and professor of law at the UC Berkeley School of Law, believes California should be the next state to declare the death penalty unconstitutional.


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