Capitol Alert

Think you’re seeing a lot of campaign ads? + California’s next superintendent debated

Democrats face hurdles in quest to reclaim the House and Senate

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You’d think California would be a hotbed for political ads leading up to the Nov. 6 election. It is the most populous state in the country, and there are several competitive U.S. House races that could determine if Democrats regain control of the U.S. House.

But a new analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project shows the state airing fewer television ads by comparison.

Between Sept. 18 and Oct. 15, California residents saw 4,798 ad airings in the governor’s race — just the 18th highest in the country. Florida aired 33,761 ads, followed by 23,551 in Ohio, 18,571 in Wisconsin, 18,362 in Illinois and 15,355 in Michigan.

California has 11 competitive House races, but only two of them rank in the top 20 in the country in terms of ad airings. Residents in House Districts 21 and 10 have seen 7,388 and 7,066 ads — the eighth and ninth most, respectively. Democratic challengers TJ Cox (CA-21) and Josh Harder (CA-10) have the advantage in ad airings in both races.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC that seeks to elect Republicans in the House, have run ads in support of Reps. Jeff Denham (CA-10) and Steve Knight (CA-25) and GOP hopeful Young Kim (CA-39). The House Majority PAC, which supports Democratic House candidates, has run ads backing Harder, Gil Cisneros (CA-39) and Harley Rouda (CA-48).


Melissa Melendez (@asmMelendez) — “Please vote #YESon6 to repeal the gas tax. If you don’t, it’s like giving the pin nbr to your bank account to the state government. If the state wants more of your money, the state should put it before you for a vote. MM”


California Groundbreakers is hosting a panel discussion tonight on the state of the superintendent race between Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck. Representatives from the state’s Charter Schools Association and Federation of Teachers will discuss why they believe their preferred candidate would be the best fit for improving California schools. The hour-long event will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Ruhstaller Taproom, 726 K Street in Sacramento.


The Commonwealth Club is hosting a conversation tonight in San Francisco with U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, and Suzy Loftus, former president of the San Francisco Police Commission. They will discuss systemic causes of abuse and ways the women’s movement can help address the ongoing problem of domestic violence.


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

The high speed rail project has been in the works for more than 20 years, and I still cannot see it as anything more than a pet project. It costs too much money to build and I’m not sure if the amount of time and resources spent will be worth the return. What is the return on it anyway? We have other, more important projects, that should be top of mind for any “extra” money we have to spend out of our budget surplus: education, infrastructure, housing and even investments into our higher education system are more convincing priorities. The high speed rail will certainly give us bragging rights but with our global economy, world-renowned status as the tech capital, diversity, and massive state population, I think we can afford to let this one go… finally. At this point, how many people would even benefit from the project? Who would use it? And for what purpose? The questions outweigh the answers and our next governor should focus on the priorities that offer more tangible gains in the quality of life for everyday Californians. We can afford to bypass this project, but what we cannot afford is to keep our education system on life support or risk people’s lives with dilapidated roads and unsafe buildings. Scrap it. It’s time to move on.

— Corey Matthews, Vice President, LeadersUp

MUST-READ: Can Trump force California to drain its rivers? He’s about to try


The Bee’s Editorial Board thinks the jury is still out as to whether PG&E was right to leave thousands in the dark to prevent wildfires.

Editorial writer Foon Rhee says the battle over Measure U, the Sacramento sales tax hike, is coming down to a contest of numbers.

Bill Whalen, a Hoover Institution research fellow and former speechwriter for Gov. Pete Wilson, thinks Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox could use Gov. Jerry Brown as a wedge against Democrat Gavin Newsom.

Cesar Diaz, legislative and political director of the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, believes the Central Valley will fall further behind without high-speed rail.

Cassandra Pye, president of California Women Lead, thinks self-driving cars could make high-speed rail obsolete.


Jack Ohman on Mitch McConnell and tax cuts.