Dreamers, cops, workers – in Trump-era California, all but hard criminals deserve a sanctuary state: As President Donald Trump plays politics with the children of immigrants who came here illegally, California lawmakers must approve Senate Bill 54, legislation that would protect immigrants from federal persecution and force the feds to do their own immigration enforcement. But they should tweak the bill so that hardened criminals don’t get sanctuary, too.
If California won’t stand up to drug companies, who will? Americans shelled out $450 billion on prescription drugs last year. Without help from the Legislature to pass Sen. Ed Hernandez’s Senate Bill 17, we’re sure to helplessly shell out billions more.
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Jack Ohman is watching the global weather forecast intently. See how an ill wind blows here.
Ben Boychuk: Antifa activists are anarchists, and they’re violent. Just because they claim to oppose fascism doesn’t make antifa activists liberals in black balaclavas. Legislators are right to consider classifying them as a gang.
Justin Malan: Without swift action, meal kits will be left unsafe. Legislators heeded the warnings of the California Association of Environmental Health Administrators – the 62 local officials responsible for keeping food safe – and supported Assembly Bill 1461. Now, Gov. Jerry Brown needs to sign it.
Gordon Garcia and David Modisette: Exposure to on-screen smoking will lead more than 6 million children to start smoking. A coalition of 17 health and medical groups signed a letter to film industry leaders last week demanding that they give an R-rating to all films that have depictions of smoking or tobacco.
On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter.
Rep. Ami Bera: Democrats and Republicans are working together to fix health care. No, really. It’s happening.
Dan Richard: The bullet train’s board is driven by tough business people, and the program is already impacting the Central Valley economy. Skeptics may lecture, but California high-speed rail is already proving them wrong.
Vern Pierson: Banning grand juries in officer-involved shootings violated the state constitution. The El Dorado County district attorney says AB 1024 turned a bad law inspired by Ferguson into a good compromise on police reform.
Frank Ruiz: With a critical deadline approaching and some 700,000 people at risk, California must clean up one of the worst environmental and public health messes in state history. The Salton Sea is a California crisis. It’s time for the state to show some urgency.
Take a number: 35.5 percent
Fresno County Republican Party Chair Fred Vanderhoof makes no bones about it: He’s honored that ex-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the recipient of Donald Trump’s first presidential pardon, will headline the Fresno County GOP’s fundraiser on Sept. 29. Tickets sales are strong to the “Second Amendment Barbecue,” though as The Fresno Bee’s Tim Sheehan reports, many local Republican politicos have scheduling conflicts, and one registered independent, Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson, pulled out.
Vanderhoof, a recently retired public school teacher, told The Take that Arpaio is the victim of a “left wing political hit job.” That was a reference to the Obama administration’s Justice Department decision to charge Arpaio with flouting orders by a federal judge appointed by President George W. Bush that Arpaio halt his signature immigration roundups, for which he was convicted. In Vanderhoof’s view, Arpaio “protected the people of Arizona,” and stood up against the “culture war.”
Politically, Fresno County will never be Berkeley. But Fresno County Republicans are losing market share. GOP registration has dipped to 35.5 percent, down almost 10 percentage points in the past decade. While the percentage of Fresno County Democrats has held steady, decline-to-state voters have shown the most growth, accounting for 20 percent, up from less than 12 percent in 2007. The Take’s guess: Arpaio’s visit will drive that decline-to-state percent higher.
Denver Post: Coloradans should begin looking now for a way to stop gerrymandering at all levels to create fair districts where constituents pick their representatives, not the other way around.
San Francisco Chronicle: President Trump and San Francisco Democrats are having a moment. Last week, Dianne Feinstein hoped he could become a good president. This week, Nancy Pelosi is carrying his legislative agenda and managing his social-media presence.
L.A. Times: There is no evidence that Leslie Van Houten would pose a danger to anyone. Isn’t it time that California released her? No.
Orange County Register: When the city of Upland had its day in front of the California Supreme Court, the clear winner was the Law of Unintended Consequences. The city’s dispute over when a marijuana initiative should appear on an election ballot wound up blowing a hole in Proposition 218, the measure that requires a two-thirds vote for passage of local special taxes. According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, such taxes proposed by citizen initiative – rather than by the local government – will now require just 50 percent plus one vote. That has the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and various Republican groups scrambling for an initiative fix to restore the two-thirds requirement.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Hurricane Harvey, the biggest storm to hit the mainland United States in a decade, finally died down. Now, with damage from Harvey still being tallied, an even bigger storm is barreling toward Florida. This one-two punch will test the limits of America’s emergency response and disaster relief programs – and amplify our growing vulnerability to hurricanes and other disasters. We’re referring, in part, to the undeniable progression of global climate change but also to the condition of the National Flood Insurance Program.
Gail Collins: Our back-to-school quiz. Lots of questions about what President Donald Trump has been doing.
Michael Gerson: President Trump has removed reasonable protections from a sympathetic group. The Dreamers should now be protected by law. This is an opportunity for Congress to reclaim its proper constitutional role.
Nicholas Kristof: Organizations funded by Google have for years been quietly helping Backpage.com, the odious website where most American victims of human trafficking are sold, to battle lawsuits. Now Google is using its enormous lobbying power in Washington to try to kill bipartisan legislation that would crack down on websites that promote sex trafficking.
Dana Milbank: Even President Trump’s close advisers seem to have little knowledge of, much less control over, what he says and does.
Ruben Navarrette: I have plenty of anger about the Dreamers debacle, but mostly I’m angry at President Trump. Whether he is calling Mexican immigrants criminals, or questioning whether a “Mexican” federal judge born in the United States can adjudicate fairly, or pardoning retired Sheriff Joe Arpaio, this president seems to enjoy inflicting pain and humiliation on America’s largest minority.
Eugene Robinson: Does it really surprise anyone that President Donald Trump betrayed the Republican leaders who have been trying their best to carry water for him on Capitol Hill? Democratic leaders need to know that political loyalty, for the president, is a one-way street.
Trudy Rubin: We’ve come to depend on President Trump’s generals to temper the erratic impulses of our civilian president – and to prevent the crisis over North Korean nukes from escalating into an unintended war.
“Feinstein shows her wisdom and maturity. It is not in this country’s interest for Democrats to behave like Republicans when a Democrat was in the White House and become obstructionists.” – David Lasic, Folsom