Jerry Brown contemplates redemption – so does Desiree Salazar

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

We consider redemption in different forms today. If you read nothing else today, please take the time to read Erika D. Smith’s column about a second chance for the homeless mother of Sivam Lekh. We hope you read more, such as why Jerry Brown should veto legislation backed by Planned Parenthood, Karin Klein’s column about Dr. Bob Sears, and, well, everything else in The Take today. But especially Erika’s column.

Taking a stand

Jerry Brown has lots to do in his dwindling time in office. Cement funding for high-speed rail, for one, and forge ahead with the California WaterFix, also known as the twin tunnels.

In this campaign, he is fixated on fixing what he sees as a mistake from his first go-round as governor: set sentences for crimes, rather than the old indeterminate sentencing system.

In Proposition 57, Brown seeks to roll back determinate sentencing, and return to some extent to a system in which inmates who try to better themselves have a shot at reducing their sentence. Prosecutors and police are not pleased.

In a visit to our editorial board, the governor said the issue is one of hope and redemption, and of science. Most inmates will get out. Better that they receive some training and education.

Unlike many issues, “nobody else was asking for this; nobody was knocking on my door.” He has spent $8.4 million from his campaign fund so far on the measure and has about $1 million in the bank.

The initiative would not have happened “if it wasn’t for that money and, if I may say, my Jesuit training, and being the son of my father,” Pat Brown’s son said. “This one is what I want to do and I think it’s very important, and I’m going to do everything I can do to pass it.”

We will be offering our take in the next few days.

Take a number: 4,500

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was waiting last week when Congress returned to Washington, D.C., with the bloody statistic that in the 50-plus days of Congress’ summer break, 4,500 Americans had been shot to death. As The Kansas City Star editorial board wrote, Congress must deal with U.S. gun violence. We don’t think it will do so anytime soon.

Our take

Erika D. Smith: Some might say Desiree Salazar isn’t worth saving. Or they assumed, as I did last December, that she’d probably never get this far. But Salazar is proof that, with the right help at the right time, even lost causes can be saved.

Editorial: Jerry Brown should veto Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez’s Planned Parenthood bill. Would the Democrats who dominate state lawmaking have been as open to creating a new crime had this bill arisen from, say, a video sting of a gun-manufacturing operation?

Editorial: Hillary Clinton’s overweening penchant for secrecy might not be a fatal flaw, but it’s a real liability in the internet era – and an affliction that she must remedy before it cripples her. Here’s what the Charlotte Observer says about Clinton’s malady.

Karin Klein: The California Medical Board might be concluding that Dr. Bob Sears can’t have it both ways on vaccines.

Mike Dunbar, Modesto Bee: The day of reckoning is coming for our rivers.

Shawn Steel’s Soapbox: President Barack Obama’s legacy includes Christian genocide, and Hillary Clinton shares some of the blame.

Their take

Mercury News: The Bay Area needs Ro Khanna in Congress. Khanna is challenging veteran Mike Honda in the 17th Congressional District, the heart of Silicon Valley. Khanna has matured as a candidate, while Honda remains mired in a congressional ethics investigation.

L.A. Times: Yes on Proposition 67, a vote to stop profiteering from polluting the Golden State. The plastic bag industry’s arguments against a statewide plastic ban are weak, starting with the incredible claim – based on a few out-of-context findings in a British study – that single-use bags are actually good for the environment. They are not.

Raleigh News & Observer: North Carolina should look hard at effects of insecticide on bees and the environment. We agree completely. They need support beyond the almond industry.

Seattle Times: In choosing to not restrict access to assault weapons, Washington lawmakers have made a conscious choice: The recreational pleasure of shooting such a powerful rifle is more important than the extraordinary damage and lasting pain and suffering it has wrought again and again.

Syndicates’ take

Paul Krugman: The significance of the cult of Vladimir Putin.

Michael Gerson: Conservatives’ “fashionable despair” plays with fire.

Nicholas Kristof: Even Donald Trump must acknowledge climate change is not a hoax.

Take a step back in time

While the nation watched 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton be helped into a car Sunday, and later discovered she had been diagnosed with pneumonia, students of presidential campaign history may recall that 1960 GOP nominee Richard Nixon was hospitalized with a staph infection in his knee.

For two weeks, Nixon was off the trail, in the hospital, in a bed, in his PJs, as this YouTube video shows. There was nary a peep about his health or fitness to be president.

The long hospital stay and infection most certainly didn’t help with his haggard appearance in the first televised presidential debate two weeks after his discharge, which was Sept. 26. After becoming wobbly on Sunday, Clinton was talking with Anderson Cooper on Monday.

Coincidentally, on Sept. 26, Clinton and Perfect Health Speciman and Dumpy Junk Food Aficionado Donald Trump will meet on stage for their first debate. Maybe Trump can share a taco bowl to help Clinton build up her stamina. It’d be a nice gesture. – Jack Ohman, @JACKOHMAN


“As usual, when Hillary Clinton tries to tell the truth, it’s after she’s been caught in deception.” – Tom Orsat, Folsom