Opinion

EpiPens, test scores, San Diego Mayor Faulconer and crime

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

We get a visit from a rare California Republican on the rise, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and shake our heads in dismay at disappointing Common Core results and drugmakers, who seem to go out of their way to annoy the public. This time, Mylan Laboratories, maker of EpiPens, is jacking up prices, handing out campaign money, and trying to get its way in Sacramento. The Salt Lake City Tribune offers an intriguing take on Utah’s reliance on coal, which is relevant to California.

Take a stand

In May, freshly re-elected San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer disappointed Republicans when he said he intends to serve a full four years as mayor.

Now, he is leading the opposition to Proposition 57, Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative to overhaul the criminal justice sentencing system, saying it would allow for the release of violent criminals.

Faulconer gave the correct answer when I asked whether he was going to run for an office that would require him to spend more time in Sacramento: “I keep telling people I love being mayor of San Diego.” It is a lovely city.

He noted he has been coming to Sacramento since he was in high school, and that the weather Wednesday was quite pleasant. “I love the trees,” he said. They are lovely.

Should he change his mind and run for governor, Faulconer’s law-and-order stand would contrast nicely with Democratic front-runner Lt. Gavin Newsom. Being tough on crime served another San Diego mayor, Pete Wilson, well, in an earlier era.

Recently, Brown, who raised $8.4 million to qualify Proposition 57, received $788,000 from the California Democratic Party, and $100,000 from Nicholas Pritzker, a major funder of Newsom’s initiative to legalize marijuana, Proposition 64.

The No-on-57 campaign has raised little money.

“We will be greatly outspent,” Faulconer said – though he contends Proposition 57 would undercut Marsy’s Law, a victims rights measure named for Marsalee Nicholas, who was murdered in 1983. Marsy was the sister of Henry T. Nicholas III, who happens to be a billionaire and a campaign donor.

Take a number: $69,250

Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat, is the father of Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, makers of the ever more costly EpiPens, the focus of today’s editorial. Mylan employees were Manchin’s single largest source of campaign money, $69,250, when he last ran for U.S. Senate in 2012, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics reports. Manchin plans to run for re-election in 2018.

Our take

Editorial: In addition to jacking up the price of EpiPens, Mylan Laboratories, the manufacturer, is pushing legislation – including a bill before Gov. Brown – that could mean greater use of EpiPens and, of course, bigger profits. Here is The Miami Herald’s take.

Editorial: The first meaningful grades are in for California’s Common Core learning standards. As with so many report cards, the results show much room to improve.

Joe Mathews, among our regulars: Sen. Fran Pavley and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia formed an unlikely partnership that propels climate change policy in the Legislature.

Mike Connor’s Soapbox: At its centennial, the National Park Service is keeping up with America’s diversity.

Their take

Los Angeles Times: Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Vergara vs. California, the Legislature, always too obliging to the desires of the teachers’ unions, must gather its strength on behalf of the state’s children to reform bad laws.

Orange County Register: Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez’s Assembly Bill 1671 would make it a crime to secretly record communications with a “health care provider,” including abortion clinics. AB 1671 should be rejected by the Legislature or Gov. Brown.

Mercury News: Bills by Sens. Jerry Hill and Mark Leno and Assemblyman Mike Gatto would require greater transparency at the California Public Utilities Commission. The Legislature should support and send them to Brown.

Salt Lake City Tribune: The idea of a port in the San Francisco Bay where Utah coal could ship to Asia lives on, but mainly in the minds of the people who wanted it all along. For the rest of us, it’s time to figure out if stuff like this is where the state should place its bets.

Seattle Times: When parents are at risk of losing children because of abuse or neglect, they get a lawyer. The state, of course, has the attorney general to act as a prosecutor. But the lives they’re wrestling over – the children – often don’t have anyone speaking for them in court.

Syndicates take

Dana Milbank: Is Jill Stein the Ralph Nader spoiler candidate of 2016?

Leonard Pitts Jr.: How conservative pundits helped break reality.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: In search of humble prophets.

Debra J. Saunders, The Chronicle: Stanford University rethinks booze. California should, too.

Tweet of the day

“The ACLU is currently arguing against a bill that would require someone like Brock Turner to do jail time. They say it’s a racist bill. MM” – Melissa Melendez @asmMelendez

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