Dan Morain

Elon Musk’s play, Linda Katehi’s replacement, and Swing States

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.

Elon Musk takes his hot new lobby firms out for a test drive. We offer our view about what UC should consider as it searches for a replacement for Linda P.B. Katehi. We tour of some Swing State editorial pages to get their takes on the presidential race. And check out the editorial about University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto. What a guy.

Taking a ride

A Capitol version of Demolition Derby will play out in the final two weeks of the legislative session over a bill by Tesla Motors to require that 15 percent of new cars sold in California by 2025 be zero-emission vehicles, as detailed in my column.

Gov. Jerry Brown put his foot to the floor by embracing Assemblywoman Autumn Burke’s new bill, saying through his spokesman Gareth Lacy that he “has been strongly supportive of increasing the number of zero emission vehicles in California.”

“Assemblymember Burke’s bill will lead to more zero emission vehicles and more Californians able to purchase them – and that’s a smart investment in cleaner air,” Brown’s spokesman said in an email.

Global Automakers, which includes Toyota, Honda and Nissan, among others, responded: “Tesla’s proposal is nothing more than a self-interested attempt to eliminate competition and consumer choice in the green vehicle market.” The Auto Alliance, which includes GM, Ford and others, won’t be far behind.

They all say they want to produce zero-emission vehicles. But putting it into statute would be so rigid. Speaking of green, plenty will be spread in the days ahead.

Take a number: 50

California’s ranks No. 50 in the administration of elections, according the Pew Charitable Trusts’ comprehensive Elections Performance Index. We are, however, ahead of Alabama, Foon Rhee says in the Numbers Crunch.

Our take

Editorial: As the University of California gears up to replace Linda P.B. Katehi, it will be important to remember what the lessons of her resignation are not.

Editorial: In the name of transparency, release police videos.

Editorial: When a flawed remedy to drug prices looks better than none at all.

Joyce Terhaar: How journalists should cover this unreal presidential campaign.

Jack Ohman: A politician doesn’t get his name in the paper.

Dan Walters: California’s jobless rolls cut in half, but gains have been uneven.

Davis Mas Masumoto: An American story of a Gold Star family, played out in the Gila River Relocation Center in 1944.

John M. Hein: Public policy must address technology’s impact.

Jock O’Connell: Donald Trump’s trade policy is economic poison.

Severin Borenstein: An Rx for cap and trade.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia: Women won’t be heard if they’re not in the room.

Their take

L.A. Times: The DEA opted to keep its policies mired in the 1970s, which will only exacerbate the growing divide between the states and feds.

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Did Donald Trump impact a San Diego City Council race? The wave begins as a ripple.

San Jose Mercury News: Reject the Dean Cortopassi initiative, Proposition 53, requiring statewide revenue bond approval.

Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky: University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto sues The Kentucky Kernel, the student newspaper, to keep secret students’ allegations of sexual harassment against a professor. Seriously.

The Raleigh News & Observer, North Carolina: The game within the game plays out in North Carolina, where, despite a court ruling striking down gerrymandered districts, GOP lawmakers will benefit again from illegal voting maps.

Bangor Daily News, Maine: Susan Collins gave another reason to ditch Donald Trump.

Taking stock in swing states

The Miami Herald, Florida-29 electoral votes: As long as Donald Trump hogs the limelight with his scandalous language and actions, Hillary Clinton’s mistakes will seem trivial by comparison.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania-20: A more aggressive program to reduce America’s wealth gap could pay off with minority voters, even for Donald Trump.

The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio-18: Donald Trump’s “rigging” claim is reckless.

The Detroit News, Michigan-16: Hillary Clinton should at least be asked tough questions about the cozy relationship between her State Department and her family’s foundation.

The Charlotte Observer, North Carolina-15: The election isn’t rigged, but the presidential debates seem to be. Include Gary Johnson.

The Virginian-Pilot, Virginia-13: Donald Trump’s missteps are especially infuriating to GOP partisans because they have distracted from the drumbeat of revelations about Hillary Clinton.

The Denver Post, Colorado-9: Once again, Donald Trump has proven himself unfit for office.

The Des Moines Register, Iowa-6: America is still a democracy. It’s not a Third World country in which would-be presidents and political opportunists can sway an election by inciting violence and encouraging lawless behavior. Not yet, anyway.

Las Vegas Review Journal, Nevada-6: Hillary Clinton is a subtle yet habitual liar.

Manchester Union Leader, New Hampshire-4: Hillary Clinton’s employment agency.

Syndicates take

Paul Krugman: Paul D. Ryan, the speaker of the House, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader – are still supporting Donald Trump, despite the threats of violence and all. Why?

Kathleen Parker: Driven to distraction.

Michael Gerson: Donald Trump’s failed economic plan.

Eugene Robinson: Donald Trump tries to wreck the political system.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Racism pervades our institutions, yet all are innocent.

Ruben Navarrette: Pick your poison: untruthful or unstable.

Parting take

Kudos to the Legislature for weighing in on the debate over whether sexually active gay men should be able to donate blood.

At the behest of Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, and Assembly Leader Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, the Senate approved a resolution Thursday urging the Food and Drug Administration to adopt a donation policy based on risk, not an outdated, irrational fear of catching HIV.

Already, the FDA is reconsidering its policy, which has been in place since the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Much has changed since then, from our knowledge of the disease to the treatments for it, and so the Senate is right to push for a policy that’s not needlessly discriminatory. – Erika D. Smith, @Erika_D_Smith