Dan Morain

Short takes from the campaign trail

Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby is running for mayor.
Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby is running for mayor. lsterling@sacbee.com

UC employees don’t feel The Bern, yet

In each presidential election, University of California employees are among the largest collective sources of campaign money, particularly for Democrats. This year is no exception, but preferences of West Coast academia might surprise you.

The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics shows Hillary Clinton has received $279,185 so far from UC employees who have given $200 or more. Sanders, the democratic socialist running as a Democrat, has received $81,407 in increments of $200 or more. He’s no doubt getting smaller donations, but campaigns aren’t required to identify donors who give less than $200. Republican candidates haven’t received UC donations in any appreciable amount.

UC President Janet Napolitano, the former Homeland Security secretary, knows a bit about presidential politics, and so we couldn’t help but try to elicit dish when she dropped by The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board last week.

Did she want to say what she’d do if Donald Trump became president? “No.”

What if Sen. Ted Cruz became president? “No, not yet. I may.”

She’s a Hillary Clinton person.

“I didn’t do a big public endorsement. That’s not appropriate in this role,” said Napolitano, the former Homeland Security secretary who served in the Obama White House with Clinton. “But yes, I’m supporting her. I still retain my First Amendment rights.”

Presumably, Napolitano would be on various short lists if Clinton were to become president.

“With all of its pains and strains, I really like this job,” she said, not saying never.

John Burton misses Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina, the former U.S. Senate candidate from California, now lives in suburban Washington, D.C. She was in Florida last week, where she endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz, saying, according to Politico: “Other people in our party are kind of horrified by Donald Trump.”

Count Fiorina among those other people, having put out one of the pithiest tweets of the campaign after Trump made one of his weirdly off-color remarks about Megyn Kelly and menstruation.

“Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse.”

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton remembers Fiorina’s run as boss at Hewlett Packard, saying in a statement: “With Fiorina’s record at Hewlett Packard of outsourcing jobs while importing foreign workers to undercut Americans’ wages and job protections, she can help Sen. Cruz produce an immigration plan that would make even Donald Trump blush.”

Mayoral race takes a Trumpish turn

The race for Sacramento mayor turned a little Trumpish last week, as readers who visited The Sacramento Bee’s Facebook page might have noticed.

Our reporter Ryan Lillis reported that Councilwoman Angelique Ashby relied on bad statistics to make claims that crime had been reduced during her tenure representing North Natomas.

Though pointed, the story made clear that City Manager John Shirey and Police Chief Sam Somers accepted blame for providing the bad stats. Not content to move on, Ashby’s husband, Zachary Rucker-Christropher, posted a response on The Bee’s page addressed to “Little Lillian.”

“Don’t spin the news to get your name on the front page. … If you ever see me in town don’t expect me to shake your hand.”

Rucker-Christopher told me he didn’t intend to write “Lillian”; chalk it up to cursed autocorrect. As for the “little” descriptor, he is sticking by that one.

“Why not?” he said. Other people, he explained, call his wife foul names.

And it’s only March.