Editorials

Two sides of labor, two paths for Republicans

In 2016, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was joined by Joe Arpaio, then sheriff of metro Phoenix, at a campaign event in Iowa.
In 2016, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was joined by Joe Arpaio, then sheriff of metro Phoenix, at a campaign event in Iowa. AP

Good Sunday morning, and welcome to Take Two, our sampler of California opinion, drawn from The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s opinion-politics newsletter, The Take. Please go to sacbee.com/site-services/newsletters/ to sign up.

Bills, bills, bills

Organized labor is pushing some of the session’s more important bills: Sen. Ed Hernandez’s SB 17, the drug pricing transparency bill, and Bob Hertzberg’s SB 306, to provide more whistleblower protection. Labor also is pushing some terrible ones: Assemblyman Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer’s AB 1250, to exclude nonprofits from getting county contracts, on behalf of public employee unions, Assemblyman Ash Kalra’s AB 1513, to force private workers to give their personal information to a union, and Assemblyman Tony Thurmond’s AB 1461, which is aimed at the meal kit company, Blue Apron, on behalf of a union. All of which is to ask: Which side is labor on?

Ann Ravel’s warning

Another week, more revelations about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Facebook told congressional investigators that it traced $100,000 in ad sales to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, The Washington Post reported. Former Federal Election Commission member Ann Ravel tweeted: “In ’14 I had concerns about the import of internet ads. For this, I got death threats courtesy of the Rs on FEC.” Back then, we detailed some of the threats: “Die, fascist, die!” a woman named Diana wrote. “Pravda would be proud of you, or Joseph Goebbels,” Dwayne and Vicki added. The column concluded: “Voters turning to the Net for information have a right to know who the sock puppets are, and who pays their way.” If only voters had known.

One GOP way

Fresno County Republican Party chairman Fred Vanderhoof is looking forward to Joe Arpaio’s visit to the “Second Amendment Barbecue” fundraiser later this month. Noting that ticket sales are strong, Vanderhoof called Arpaio the victim of a “left wing hit job,” a reference to the Obama administration’s Justice Department’s decision to charge the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., with flouting a federal judge’s order that he cease his immigration raids. President Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio. Here are two dots: 52 percent of Fresno County residents are Latinos, according to the U.S. Census, and Republican registration in Fresno County has fallen nearly 10 percent in the past decade to 35.5 percent, according to the California Secretary of State. The number of decline-to-state voters is about to gain again.

Another GOP way

In a Capitol dominated by Democrats, freshman Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, had a noteworthy victory the other day when Gov. Jerry Brown signed one of his bills, this after it was approved on a 77-0 vote in the Assembly and 38-0 in the Senate. Kiley’s AB 1024 is a compromise involving one of the most divisive issues of our day, police use of force. Basically, the new law compels courts to disclose all or a part of transcripts of proceedings when county grand juries decide not to return indictments in cases involving officer-involved shootings. That’s good for the public’s right to know and the administration of justice. El Dorado County DA Vern Pierson took time to pen a piece detailing the bill’s history. It’s worth a read. We’re not sure what Kiley’s future holds but he does reside in Rep. Tom McClintock’s district. Unlike McClintock.

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