Opinion

In Fresno, Loretta Sanchez questions Endangered Species Act

Good morning, on behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, our opinion-politics newsletter.

We begin with Rep. Loretta Sanchez and her run for U.S. Senate and move to Councilwoman Angelique Ashby and her run for mayor, and billionaire Nicholas Pritzker and his latest bet. Also, we offer our recommendations in the race to succeed termed-out Sen. Lois Wolk, and much more.

The morning after five leading candidates to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer debated at the University of the Pacific, Sanchez visited The Fresno Bee’s editorial board for an endorsement interview by the California McClatchy papers. Topics covered: immigration, water, trade policy, judicial appointments, national security, workers’ rights and Indian casinos.

As The Sacramento Bee’s Christopher Cadelago reports, Sanchez made news by saying the Endangered Species Act ought to be up for discussion as policymakers sort out the future of water in California.

“Everything needs to be on the table,” she said. That ought to please farmers, and perhaps congressional Republicans, who have advocated that more water be pumped south, even if fish suffer. Environmentalists would beg to differ.

Take a number: $250,000

Billionaire Nicholas Pritzker, the Hyatt Hotel heir and San Francisco venture capitalist, dumped $250,000 into the Gavin Newsom-Sean Parker marijuana legalization initiative two weeks ago. Forbes lists Pritzker as No. 423 on the list of wealthiest Americans, and says he has stakes in Tesla, Solar City and Uber. We thought the Hyatt was smoke-free. But evidently, legalized marijuana is the next big Silicon Valley thing.

Our take

Editorial: Sen. Ricardo Lara’s bill to tinker with the UC regents is not welcome.

Editorial: Don’t jeopardize a legal tent city in Sacramento with an illegal one.

Endorsement: We recommend Assemblyman Bill Dodd, a moderate Democrat, or former Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, a liberal Democrat, to replace Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, in Senate District 3. But Dodd and Yamada have yet to prove they can swim in the deep end.

Their take

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Debra J. Saunders laments that in the U.S. Senate debate, none of the candidates – not Sanchez, or Ron Unz or Tom Del Beccaro or Duf Sundheim – took on Kamala Harris over her record. We lament that there was no discussion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, the Iran nuclear deal, or the confirmation of Merrick Garland, or lack thereof.

The Charlotte Observer, noting that poor people don’t vote, looks to Oregon and California as the lead on voter enfranchisement.

The Sun Herald of Biloxi observes that Donald Trump won big in Mississippi, but Sen. Ted Cruz seeks to wrest delegates away. “The bottom line is Trump won 25 delegates in Mississippi and Cruz won 15. We expect those delegates to vote likewise at the National Convention in July.”

The News & Observer of Raleigh warns that North Carolina’s adoption of the religious freedom bill, House Bill 2, will cost jobs, taxes and, most importantly, reputation, not to mention a possible loss of the NBA All-Star game.

David Brooks writes about Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba.

Michael Gerson offers a prescription for Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus in the age of Trump.

Side take

In the category of just in time or better late than never, Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby plans this week to release her detailed vision for what she’d do if she’s elected mayor. Her One Sacramento plan will include her proposals on public safety, homelessness, jobs, public transportation, infrastructure, the city budget and other important issues.

Her main opponent in the June 7 primary, former state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, posted his platform a couple weeks ago on his campaign website. We noted the absence of detailed proposals back in February. Ashby and Steinberg have one major debate left, on May 9 at Sacramento State, co-hosted by Capital Public Radio, Channel 10 and The Sacramento Bee.

Second take

Daniel Weintraub, one of our regular columnists, writes that life expectancy for low-income people is highest in Santa Barbara, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Rosa, and wonders what’s going on.

And finally ...

We’ll be meeting with Steinberg on Wednesday for an endorsement interview.

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