Gunshot victims, weaponizing Twitter, internet privacy, and Kimberly Ellis

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.

Jack Ohman sees the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Wisconsin cheesy gerrymandering case as a Rorschach test. Read his inkblots here.

Our take


Trump took away your internet privacy. A California legislator wants to give it back: Congress and President Donald Trump took a slice of your privacy earlier this year. California Assemblyman Ed Chau seeks to restore it.


Erika D. Smith: Kimberly Ellis, the most powerful, unelected person in California Democratic politics. Eric Bauman is certain he won the race for chair of the California Democratic Party. That won’t stop a legal challenge.

Dan Walters, CalMatters: The recall campaign aimed at forcing Democrat Josh Newman out of the state Senate has become a hot mess that mirrors Washington’s toxic politics.


Michael Feinstein: The “top two” primary already makes it tough on minor party candidates in California. Assembly Bill 469 would make it even harder by raising signature requirements.

Eric Weaver: For decades, Community Financial Development Institutions such as Opportunity Fund have offered small loans to launch or grow businesses. A little-known state program called CalCAP, which is vital to making these loans, is running out of money.

Take a number: 1,297

With that many children killed by gunshot wounds a year on average between 2002 and 2014, that makes firearms the third leading cause of death for America’s children, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. Another 5,800 are injured in an average year. Boys, minorities and older children are disproportionately affected, the study found. While firearm homicides declined from 2007 to 2014, suicides increased. The study’s authors say that understanding is the first step toward prevention. But as The Bee’s editorial board has pointed out, the gun lobby and Congress have put limits on gun violence research. That makes little sense, and even less sense when children’s lives are at stake. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

Charlotte Observer: Colin Kaepernick deserves some new consideration right now in a highly polarized political environment that has already led to too much violence. His protest isn’t worth reconsidering because his views are popular, but because so many Americans are offended by them.

Raleigh News & Observer: Just days after his appearance on the front page of The New York Times as one of the country’s leading liberal religious leaders, the Rev. William Barber was back on other front pages, this time because of an outrageous and likely unconstitutional ban from the North Carolina Legislative Building.

East Bay Times: As members of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors begin their search for a new district attorney to replace felon Mark Peterson, they should first consider that real leadership begins with integrity. Unfortunately, when it came to Peterson, the supervisors completely flunked the leadership test.

Orange County Register: While Orange County’s top prosecutor gloats over last week’s grand jury report, which found there was no official snitch program in county jails, the report’s findings fall well short of exonerating the county’s top law enforcement officials.

San Diego Union Tribune: A $42 million project that doubled the capacity of an innovative groundwater desalination plant in Chula Vista is now complete, another big step for a region in dire need of diversification of its water supply.

Mercury News: San Jose’s wide-open Coyote Valley has been saved from imminent development so many times that if it were a person, it would have whiplash. This time could be the charm.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: What is the proper objective for Republicans and conservatives? It is the defeat of Trumpism, preferably without the destruction of the GOP itself.

Eugene Robinson: Bill Cosby’s greatness came in the way people could look at him and, in his reflection, see themselves and the nation in a better light. That power is forever gone.

Charles M. Blow: The president is certainly behaving like a man who is under scrutiny and like one who is determined to defend himself every step of the way.

Paul Krugman: Zombies are policy ideas that should have been abandoned long ago in the face of evidence and experience. The right’s zombie-in-chief is the insistence that low taxes on the rich are the key to prosperity.

Trudy Rubin: All who are distraught at the state of U.S. politics should pay attention to the rise of French President Emanuel Macron. It’s as if a younger, more charismatic Michael Bloomberg had taken on both Democrats and the GOP and been handed victory by voters fed up with ugly partisan warfare.


“Get the homeless campers out of our parkway now. ... Public health and safety demand it.” Lawrence Bernstein, Sacramento

Tweets of the times

Politico offers a fascinating look at the use of tweets in the Georgia congressional race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, writing that A surprising number of anti-Ossoff tweets trace back a single, identifiable source, Donald Trump supporter, Robert Shelton.

Among the more virulent ones: “Who would Alexandria shooter James Hodgkinson vote for in Georgia 6th District? #Ossoff of course! #GA06 do you really want to vote 4 more Democrat insanity?”

Former Federal Elections Commission member Ann Ravel was right when she called for some disclosure of Internet-related campaigning. The FEC could never bring itself to take that step.