As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battle for the Golden State, we focus on our flexible legislative politics, wonder what’s going through the small minds of violent Donald Trump protestors, mull the meaning of Paul Ryan’s compromise, and bid farewell Muhammad Ali and two great Californians.
One rule in politics is that rules bend like Gumby, especially for California Democrats.
In 2012, then-Speaker John A. Pérez dispatched one of his top aides, Jim DeBoo, to tell several Democratic consultants they had crossed a line by daring to wage independent campaigns on behalf of Democrats Marc Levine and Richard Bloom, who unseated two incumbent Assembly Democrats, Michael Allen and Betsy Butler.
The California Labor Federation placed the consultants on a do-not-hire list. One of them, Steve Glazer, came back nicely, winning a state senate seat representing from Contra Costa and Alameda counties, but remains on labor’s blacklist.
In 2016, DeBoo is among the many, many, many consultants working for independent campaigns funded by oil, Realtors, tobacco and many more helping Democrat Raul Bocanegra unseat Democratic Assemblywoman Patty López, who unseated Bocanegra in 2014, with no help from Democratic insiders.
Democrats and labor would find a blacklist of anti-López consultants highly inconvenient. The California Democratic Party did, after all, endorse Bocanegra.
Take a number: $800
Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry took a break from the sweaty work of knocking on doors to talk with The Take about the $2.3 million in independent expenditures being spent to elect her to the state Assembly.
“I think they’re creepy,” the Democrat said of the IEs. Noting that she had never spent more than $800 on a campaign before deciding to run for the Assembly, she called the the incredible sums of IE money “really awkward.”
“It tells me who’s really running the show,” Aguiar-Curry said.
One of her biggest backers is EdVoice, the charter school advocates. “I don’t even know who EdVoice is.” She assumes she ran afoul of EdVoice nemesis the California Teachers Association by telling CTA interviewers that tenure rules ought to be adjusted.
Aguiar-Curry is not sure why tobacco, real estate or oil interests are spending huge sums to elect her. We’re guessing that she’ll find out soon enough, if she prevails.
Editorial: Seven messages California voters still have time to send.
Editorial: Proposition 47 gave an ironic break to gun thieves. Assembly Members Jim Cooper, Melissa Melendez and Adam Gray try to fix it. Looking at you, George Gascón.
Dan Morain: A wild system creates instant campaigns and candidates. Says Democratic consultant Andrew Acosta: “The IEs have become the campaigns.”
Dan Walters: Sens. Ben Allen, Mark Leno and other Democrats decry Citizens United. But there is a huge flaw in that posture – hypocrisy.
Shawn Hubler: Henry Li, meet Zev Yaroslavsky. Zev has ideas for how Sacramento can turn around its crummy transit system.
Foon Rhee: Hard-working managers should get overtime, too.
Joyce Terhaar: Tools to pick a candidate.
Markos Kounalakis: In foreign affairs, Barack Obama clears the decks, sets the stage for next president.
Ben Boychuk: Why Donald Trump will win the White House.
Here’s how to elect Donald Trump: Toss eggs at his supporters.
San Jose Mercury News: Donald Trump becomes a victim and his opponents are thugs.
San Francisco Chronicle: Donald Trump protesters played right into his hands.
San Diego Union Tribune: Anti-Donald Trump violence is indefensible.
Orange County Register: Proposition 50 would further clutter the California Constitution.
Charlotte News & Observer: Paul Ryan chooses Donald Trump over principles.
Kathleen Parker: Now that Paul Ryan has joined Donald Trump, what does the Republican Party stands for?
Dana Milbank: Donald Trump escalated his racist attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, as Paul Ryan promised Trump understands “the proper role” of the executive branch.
David Brooks: Where America is working.
Paul Krugman: The id that ate the planet.
Leonard Pitts Jr.: Memo to Snoop Dogg: History isn’t supposed to make us feel good.
Dan Walters helps us say good-bye to a gentleman, Kirk West.
And we say so long to Quin Denvir, who put into practice the concept that everyone deserves a lawyer. That includes people on death row, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, and, yes, crack addict Gary Ewing. Ewing served a life sentence for stealing a few gold clubs, and died blind, with AIDS, and in need of a wheelchair, guarded at the end in a hospital 24 hours a day by correctional officers.