Trump’s attack on Judge Curiel is aimed at many of us

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up here.

Who cares that AP has declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee? California has a primary today. We recap major California newspaper endorsements in the presidential race, and let you know what we’ll be watching tonight. But first, we chat with Rep. Xavier Becerra, while Foon Rhee recalls his day with Muhammad Ali, and Erika D. Smith tells us what worries her.

Take that

Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, was in town visiting his elderly parents, who happen to be Mexican immigrants. He also was doing some politicking for Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, who faces a tough Republican, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.

Over coffee at Ambrosia, The Take asked Becerra what he thought of Donald Trump’s claim that U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel is unable to fairly decide the fraud case against Trump University because Curiel is “Mexican.”

“The bullet that was aimed at him by Trump could have easily been directed at me or anyone else like me,” said Becerra, who left McClatchy High School for Stanford University and Stanford Law School.

Perhaps, Becerra said, Trump could similarly conclude that Becerra, the fourth ranking House Democrat, was unfit to serve in the House or negotiate with a President Trump because he is Mexican American.

“It is racist,” Becerra said. And Republicans should say so, clearly and unequivocally. Looking at you, Sheriff Jones.

Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, grew up in Sacramento, the son of Mexican immigrants. He was in Sacramento visiting them in June 2016 and stopped by the Ambrosia coffee shop, where he discussed Donald Trump's attack on U.S. District Judge Gonz

Take a number: $157,036

American Action Network, one of the many conservative campaign organizations that doubles as a nonprofit, has spent $157,036 “attacking” Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, running to replace Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, the Center for Responsive Politics finds. American Action has sent mailers to millennial Democrats, telling them Schneider is one of “two liberal peas in a pod,” the other being Bernie Sanders.

The point: Tell liberal millennials that Schneider is their ideal candidate, not Santa Barbara County Supe Salud Carbajal, the Democratic candidate who presumably has the best chance of defeating the Republican in November. American Action has done similar mailers elsewhere.

“Smart politics,” Rep. Xavier Becerra, who is traveling the country to elect Democrats, told The Take.

Deceptive, too.

Our take

Endorsements: California has record high voter registration – now make it count.

Erika D. Smith: Why Donald Trump is tempting for berned Bernie Sanders supporters.

Foon Rhee: My bittersweet afternoon with Muhammad Ali.

Sarah Longwell: California should target hard-core drunken drivers.

Their take

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat: With increasing traffic and the prospect of climate change, Solano, Napa, and Sonoma and Marin counties must consider a Highway 37 toll road proposed by United Bridge Partners.

The San Francisco Chronicle: “I am the greatest,” seems like an understatement.

The Kansas City Star: Muhammad Ali’s lasting legacy.

The Miami Herald: Despite $33 million from the United States, Haiti’s election for president was rife with corruption and a new vote is required.

Presidential take

The Sacramento Bee: Hillary Clinton and John Kasich are deserving. Yes, we know Kasich dropped out.

The San Francisco Chronicle: Why it’s not endorsing.

The San Jose Mercury News: Clinton has the experience.

The L.A. Times: Clinton is the better candidate to take on Donald Trump.

The San Diego Union Tribune: Clinton deserves California Democrats’ votes.

Syndicates’ take

Ellen Goodman: As California’s aid-in-dying law kicks in, we need to assure everyone the dignity of a humane ending.

Eugene Robinson: Endorsing Donald Trump will leave a stain.

Trudy Rubin: Be very afraid of Trump’s foreign policy.

Michael Gerson: The tone of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter is not enough.

Paul Krugman: Why the economy is slowing.

What we’ll be watching,


Even though Clinton is the presumptive nominee, a loss to Sanders would be embarrassing. We’ll be surprised if Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez don’t claim the top-two slots for the U.S. Senate seat. But will Sanchez’s total, plus those of Republicans Duf Sundheim, Tom del Beccaro and Ron Unz suggest to money players that Harris is vulnerable in the fall?


Will voters conclude that $2.3 million in independent spending for Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry is overkill in her Assembly race? Will Republican Aissa Sanchez, who turns 25 later this week, sneak into the top-two runoff against Democratic Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown in San Bernardino? Will attorney Andy Pugno, a Proposition 8 architect, make it into the top-two in the race to replace termed-out Assemblywoman Beth Gaines?


Will Darrell Steinberg win the mayor’s race outright? If not, will he kick himself for his mishandling of the contract with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California? Can Region Business’ spending push Michael Kozlowski into a runoff to replace Supervisor Robert MacGlashan? Can a moderate Dem, Kerri Howell, prevail? Will the marijuana business determine how it will be taxed in the form of Jay Schenirer’s Measure Y?

It’s Christmas in June. We can’t wait.