Only this Republican whisperer can save California from offshore drilling: The Trump administration should listen to them. Chances are, California will have to enlist some Republicans intermediaries to persuade Ryan Zinke. Smart California Republicans dating to the 1980s when Pete Wilson was a U.S. senator have opposed offshore drilling. Doug Ose, a Republican running for California governor and a Trump ally, ought to take a stand.
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Erika D. Smith: Landlords and developers shouldn’t get too excited about the untimely death of Assemblyman Richard Bloom’s rent control bill, AB 1506. While they may have won the battle at the Capitol, there’s a good chance they just lost the war to renters who remain furious over high housing costs.
Dan Morain: Democrats in California are euphoric about 2018 and energized. But to unseat congressional Republicans, they will have to defy the data. Everything is looking great for Democrats in 2018, except for history.
Foon Rhee: Gov. Jerry Brown and Secretary of State Alex Padilla are pushing some real fixes to safeguard California voters. New voting equipment and a new election system will help if Russia tries to interfere again.
Marcos Breton: Without naming their names, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said he is prepared to rescind his retirement announcement and run for a third term if a “high-profile outsider” steps into the race.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Neither party covers itself with glory where African Americans are concerned. To the contrary, African-American issues – police reform, job discrimination, mass incarceration – routinely go unaddressed by both.
Dan Walters, CALmatters: Notwithstanding the maxim about not speaking ill of the dead, sometimes it’s necessary, as historians often do, to complete the record and teach a lesson about human behavior. That brings us to two major figures in the California Legislature three decades ago, both since deceased, John Vasconcellos and Lou Papan.
Jack Ohman says farewell to Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget charts. Read some of them here.
Take a number: 13
The Raleigh News & Observer’s Ned Barnett offered a snapshot of the “blue wave” that could transform the makeup of North Carolina’s 13-seat congressional delegation, now controlled by Republicans, 10-3: Democratic pollster Fred Yang outlined what looks to him like a surge favoring Democrats. “Asked whether the lack of a prominent statewide race will dampen turnout in North Carolina,” Barnett writes, “Yang answered with a question: ‘Do you think Donald Trump will still be president in November?’ ”
San Diego Union-Tribune: San Diego County politics are in for an overhaul. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, isn’t running for a 10th term. Four Republican county supervisors are termed out after more than 20 years. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, faces a serious campaign finance scandal. And longtime county GOP chairman Tony Krvaric said he may also quit this year. This turnover presents a wave of new Republicans with a basic question.
L.A. Times: Gov. Jerry Brown called for fully funding the Local Control Funding Formula, his landmark 2013 overhaul of education financing that was designed to direct substantial amounts of extra money to schools with high numbers of low-income students. More money has been going to the formula each year, and it’s great that now — two years sooner than expected — the governor wants to add $3 billion to the amount. But the remaining challenge is to ensure that all that money goes to the students who need it most, and in ways that help narrow achievement gaps.
The Mercury News: In San Jose, crime was up last year — particularly juvenile crime, whose wild percentage increases might imply the city is overrun by rampaging teenage Huns.
John Diaz, San Francisco Chronicle: I appreciate many qualities in the four leading candidates for San Francisco mayor in the June 5 election to serve the remainder of the late Mayor Ed Lee’s term: London Breed, Mark Leno, Jane Kim and Angela Alioto. Having watched and interacted with these candidates over the years, I am confident that this will be a lively and substantive campaign.
Taylor Batten, Charlotte Observer: Legislative districts are being redrawn after a federal court found the districts to be unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. A “special master,” (Stanford’s Nathaniel Persily), has submitted a new map at the court’s request. The court is expected to announce any time now whether that map will be used or yet another one drawn by legislative Republicans.
Lexington Herald-Leader: In a better world, ethical business practices would have averted the flood of prescription painkillers that triggered mass addiction. In this world, choices made in company headquarters fueled the opioid crisis that is straining thousands of Kentuckians. Despite all that, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Republican lawmakers are trying to tie the hands of Attorney General Andy Beshear who, whether they like the Democrat or not, is the state’s chief legal officer and responsible for protecting consumers from deceptive marketing.
Kansas City Star: Is it possible to sidestep the ongoing drama over Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ extramarital affair and whether he can survive in office to talk about something at least as important? Dare we say it: We’re going to talk about issues. More specifically, we’re going to talk about all the issues that Greitens left unmentioned, or barely addressed, during his second State of the State address this week.
Salt Lake City Tribune: Bears Ears National Monument is the product of a unique alliance of five Indian nations that trace their ancestry to the sacred Bears Ears buttes and their surrounding lands. Those nations gave the governor and Utah’s congressional delegation every opportunity to embrace their desires and work through a legislative process, but Utah’s leaders flatly refused, thereby pushing the tribes toward President Obama and the Antiquities Act. And, despite a massive disinformation campaign to the contrary, Obama’s proclamation did nothing to increase federal land ownership or control.
Philip Bump, The Washington Post: During the past 12 months, we’ve learned a lot more about what North Korea can do, and we’ve heard experts describe Trump’s response as exacerbating, not lessening, the possibility of conflict. The result is that there was actually one message Trump sent to Hawaiians on Saturday: You’re on your own.
E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post: By persistently making himself, his personality, his needs, his prejudices and his stability the central topics of our political conversation, President Trump is blocking the public conversation we ought to be having about how to move forward.
Dana Milbank, The Washington Post: President Donald Trump has been leading the charge to portray Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, as a left-wing hit man for Hillary Clinton.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., The Washington Post: Oprah’s electricity is presidential. Getting elected president isn’t about résumés. It isn’t about experience or IQ tests or knowing the issues inside and out. It’s about excitement.
Signe Wilkinson, The Washington Post: Mr. President: please, no Norwegians!!! Letting in too many gorgeous people will damage our already-rocky self-esteem and we’ll have to listen to more Oprahs and Dr. Phils telling us how to deal with it.
Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times: In 1885, a poor, uneducated 16-year-old boy arrived in our country from Germany at a time when immigrants were often looked down on by affluent Americans. This boy was ambitious and entrepreneurial, and, despite language problems, he earned some money and then traveled up to the Klondike during the gold rush to operate a hotel that became notorious for prostitution.
Ross Douthat, The New York Times: Steve Bannon’s vision, and why liberalism failed: Fourteen months ago, in the first flush of power, Steve Bannon gave an interview to Michael Wolff – beginning a relationship that would prove his undoing – in which he boasted about his plan to realign our politics.
David Brooks, The New York Times: A new book argues that the people who designed our liberal democratic system made fundamental errors, which are now coming home to roost.
Paul Krugman, The New York Times: Over the past few years it has become increasingly clear that the suffering imposed by Republican opposition to safety-net programs isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Inflicting pain is the point.
Our beloved letter writers got all worked up over Donald Trump’s foul-mouthed reference to certain nations. We posted many of their lightly edited missives here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.