Welcome to Take Two, our sampler of California opinion, drawn from The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s daily opinion-politics newsletter, The Take. Please go to sacbee.com/site-services/newsletters/ to sign up.
Another week, another horrifying gun rampage. As lawsuits mounted from the Oct. 1 Las Vegas shooting (60 dead, more than 500 injured), and funerals continued for the Nov. 5 Texas church massacre (26 dead, about 20 wounded), another unbalanced man with a gun opened fire Tuesday on Rancho Tehama Reserve. Kevin Janson Neal’s violent breakdown in Tehama County left nine people injured, seven of them children, and six dead, including himself and his wife.
It could have been even worse, our editorial observed: Had elementary school officials not hustled the school into lockdown, a slaughter on the scale of Sandy Hook might have happened. The Los Angeles Times saw fresh cause to reform California’s bail system, which let Neal’s relatives secure his release after an earlier arrest even though he was known to be mentally unstable and charged with a violent attack.
Roy Moore defiantly remained in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., was outed via a photo of him hamming it up as he groped a sleeping woman. California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León moved out of the Sacramento house he shared with Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, who is accused of urging young women to come to his room. De León also announced plans to outsource sexual harassment complaints to a law firm. For de León, who aspires to unseat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the question is: Is that enough?
How bad is the House Republican tax cut bill for California? Bad. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says Californians would pay $12 billion more to the feds by 2027, by far the nation’s highest tax hike. And it would be one of only four states – the others are Maryland, New Jersey and New York – where the total federal burden would increase for individuals because the bill ends deductions for state and local taxes.
All but three of California’s 14 House Republicans voted for it, the three being SoCal Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Darrell Issa, and Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove. Rohrabacher and Issa are targets of Democrats in 2018. McClintock sits in one of the most heavily Republican districts in the state. Perhaps McClintock feels the temperature is rising ever so slightly as organizing continues, including by Sierra Forward, a new Democratic club established to register voters in McClintock’s district, where he doesn’t live. He explained in last week’s Forum that he wanted to leave no taxpayer behind. Jessica Morse and Regina Bateson, Democratic challengers in the Rocklin-Tahoe-Yosemite-area district, were saying, not inaccurately, that a vote for the GOP plan was a vote for the Koches.
Senate’s bad idea
The Senate Republicans’ version is worse, largely because it would end the individual mandate under Obamacare. That would let healthier people opt out, raising risk for insurers and turn a modestly priced mandate into a big jump in premiums.