Dan Morain

Trump trumps up claims; Loretta Sanchez bobs, weaves on taxes

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

Foon Rhee gets worked up about Donald Trump’s trumped-up claims about rigged elections. Newspapers in other states get worked up about Trump. We get worked up about Loretta Sanchez playing games by selectively releasing her tax returns, and note Kamala Harris is playing it as any other serious candidate should.

Sanchez watch

In her run for the U.S. Senate, Attorney General Kamala Harris has done what any top-tier candidate for a statewide office should do when asked: She opened her tax returns to reporters trying to do their job.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, by contrast, is playing silly games, much as she did with the debate.

Christopher Cadelago, The Sacramento Bee’s bulldog reporter covering the Senate campaign, requested both candidates’ tax returns on Sept. 13. After being strung along by Sanchez’s flack, Luis Vizcaino, Cadelago set a deadline of Oct. 4 for a date certain to view the returns. Vizcaino answered that he was working on it. Separately, The Take asked Vizcaino in an Oct. 7 email whether Sanchez would release her returns, to which Vizcaino replied: “We are not saying, no. I’ll have news for you soon.”

On Monday, more than a month after the first request, and after Cadelago made a final request for an answer, Vizcaino sent an email saying Sanchez, an Orange County Democrat, would be giving access first to her to hometown paper, The Orange County Register. Cadelago then posted a story about Harris and her husband’s tax returns, showing their income, the hefty state and federal tax bills they pay, and the considerable amount they give to charity.

No candidate wants to release personal tax returns. But top-tier candidates with nothing to hide understand that releasing the returns is part of the cost of running for office. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer released their returns when they were first running. Sanchez has no excuse for not doing the same, unless, that is, she is not top-tier.

Take a number: 41 percent

The chances of a “rigged” election happening on Nov. 8 are about as high as SpaceX sending colonists to Mars by Thanksgiving, or maybe the 49ers winning the Super Bowl. But that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump from swearing it will happen. And people believe him. A Politico/Morning Consult poll shows 41 percent of voters say the election could be “stolen” from the Republican nominee. That includes 73 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Democrats. Proof that if you tell a big lie enough, people will buy it.

Our take

Foon Rhee: Shamefully, Donald Trump is riling up supporters in mostly white cities to watch out for voter fraud in “other” communities, an unmistakable reference to minority areas. Trump’s demand that supporters be on the lookout for a “rigged election” is recipe for mayhem at the polls.

Editorial: The Sacramento City Council has a big vote Tuesday on the Community Center Theater and Sacramento Convention Center. We say move forward with renovating the theater, do more study on expanding the center.

Richard Lewis, Randy Paragary and Nancy Garton make the case on the theater project. Scott VandenBerg of the hotel association does so for the convention center.

Endorsement: Our recommendations for the Rocklin City Council.

Daniel Weintraub: Even if Proposition 61 did work as intended, forcing down the prices paid by state government, that might prompt drug companies to increase prices for private patients to make up for lost revenue.

Their take

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat takes a dim view of both of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s initiatives on the Nov. 8 ballot. No on Proposition 63, the gun-bullet control measure, and No on Proposition 64, the marijuana legalization-commercialization measure. We disagree on guns, and agree on weed.

The Modesto Bee concludes that Democrat Michael Eggman is not a great candidate, but Rep. Jeff Denham’s support of Donald Trump is a disqualifier.

Fort Worth Star Telegram: Repeal the 19th Amendment? What year is this?

Charlotte Observer: News that North Carolina Republican headquarters had been torched was sickening and disheartening. The firebombing wasn’t an attack on Republicans only.

Kansas City Star: The substance of this election isn’t about unfavorables. It’s about qualifications. And one candidate stands out: Hillary Clinton.

In Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul’s home state of Kentucky, The Lexington Herald Leader concluded that Hillary Clinton is the clear choice for president. So did the other major paper, The Louisville Courier-Journal.

Syndicates take

Eugene Robinson: Can we please just fast-forward to Election Day?

Michael Gerson: Trump descends into ideological psychosis.

Trudy Rubin: Trump evokes classic anti-Semitic themes.

Paul Krugman: Republicans spin dark fantasies.

Charles M. Blow: Donald Trump, the worst of America.

Letters to the editor

He seems to have overlooked the Peace & Freedom Party candidate, Gloria La Riva. She is a more knowledgeable candidate than Gary Johnson or Donald Trump. – John C. Reige, Sacramento

And finally,

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, and Republican Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones will debate Tuesday night. It won’t be Clinton vs. Trump. But it ought to be revealing.

Mike Kozlowski and Sue Frost are trying to put distance between themselves in the home stretch of the competitive race for the District 4 seat on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. In a forum over the weekend, Kozlowski, backed by multiple chambers of commerce, focused on the need to make permitting easier and neighborhoods safer as a way to improve the economy.

Frost said finding money for the Capitol Connecter would be her priority, to relieve traffic congestion on an already dangerous Highway 99. There was also talk about improving mental health care and cracking down on “homeless criminals” in the outskirts of the county. The Bee will be endorsing in the race shortly. –Erika D. Smith, @Erika_D_Smith