FROM Jack Pitney
Why liberal billionaire Tom Steyer thinks he can get Trump impeached “Wacky and totally unhinged” is how President Trump described California billionaire Tom Steyer on Twitter. It’s likely that Trump caught one of Steyer’s ads calling for the president’s impeachment. Steyer is one of the biggest donors to Democratic candidates in the country, and is rumored to be considering a Senate run against Dianne Feinstein. How much political power does he really have?
Californians consider its own Brexit Cal-Exit started before the presidential election, but it got a big support boost this week. Supporters say California has the world’s sixth biggest economy -- bigger than France -- and would be just fine going it alone.
What Does Donald Trump Mean for California Republicans? Unlike most election years, California is now relevant in the Republican race for president. One hundred and seventy-two delegates are up for grabs in the June 7th primary, and Donald Trump is likely to grab a bunch of them. Is that a good or a bad thing for the Republican party here? The GOP isn’t much of a presence in California. How could that change with Trump? Also, what would a Trump campaign in California mean for other GOP candidates running in this year’s election?
GOP Presidential Hopefuls and California Kentucky Senator Rand Paul formally announced today that he’s getting in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. He joins Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who announced last week. Florida senator Marco Rubio is expected to announce next week. And, of course, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker are all expected to run. As the GOP presidential field comes together, we take a look at how these campaigns and candidates might interact over the coming year with us here in California.
The Race for Boxer’s Seat Starts With a Small Pool It might end up being the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history — that is, if anybody actually decides to run. So far, only state Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat, has declared her candidacy to replace outgoing Senator Barbara Boxer, who announced this month that she won’t seek re-election. The state hasn’t had an open Senate seat in more than 20 years. What are Harris’ chances, and who’s likely to challenge her?
The Unlikely Underdog Makes a Bid for Office For Governor, for Attorney General and many other races for office there are candidates listed that few voters have ever heard of -- with no experience in public service and without enough financial resources to become competitive. In the 33rd Congressional District, being vacated by Democrat Henry Waxman, no less than 18 people are listed on the ballot. We won't name potential winners and losers for that or any other office, but it's worth asking why they run. Professor Jack Pitney teaches Political Science at Claremont McKenna College.
Props 30 and 38: A High-Stakes Election for Public Education Education is the subject of two propositions on next week's ballot. Proposition 30 is supported by Governor Brown. Yesterday, he delivered a campaign speech in support of his "temporary tax for education" at Town Hall Los Angeles in the Biltmore Hotel. "It's either money into the schools, or money out. And we're asking those who have been most blessed, who are most successful, to help us out in our time of need. That's really what it's about. It's almost third grade arithmetic." Proposition 38 focuses exclusively on K-12 education. It was put on the ballot by lawyer Molly Munger, co-founder of the Advancement Project, a prominent civil rights advocacy group in Los Angeles, who's put more than $30 million of her own money into Prop 38. Her father, Charles Munger, is Vice Chairman of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway. Her brother, Charles, Jr., has contributed to the "No on 30" campaign. Before the Governor's speech yesterday at Town Hall, KCRW's Avishay Artsy asked a random group of audience members about the two propositions. You can see all our election coverage at KCRW.com/californiaelections .
The Price of a Chairmanship Jerry Lewis , a 16-term veteran of Congress from Redlands, is in line to get back his job as chair of the Appropriations Committee . It presides over all federal spending, and the 76-year-old Republican has promised big cuts , even for California. But the last time Lewis chaired that committee, when Republicans were in charge a few years ago, he was investigated by the FBI, and the conservative watch-dog group Judicial Watch still calls him one of Washington's " 10 Most Wanted Politicians ."
Carly Runs For the Senate Carly Fiorina paid her way through college and went on to become the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but she didn’t vote much in public elections. The stock price went down, and she was fired by the Board of Directors at Hewlett-Packard. Since then, she’s been an advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign, and she’s now a Republican candidate for the US Senate seat of Democrat Barbara Boxer - with an endorsement from Sarah Palin.
Former Congressman Campbell Makes a Bid for the Senate Tom Campbell is one of three Republican hopefuls for the US Senate seat of Democrat Barbara Boxer . He served five terms in Congress from Silicon Valley. He's been a state senator, director of finance for Governor Schwarzenegger and dean of the business school at UC Berkeley. His opponents are former Hewlett CEO Carly Fiorina and conservative Assemblyman Chuck DeVore .
The Race for President and the Politics of Change With Mitt Romney out and a fresh round of primaries coming up this weekend, the race for the White House has narrowed to three people: Republican John McCain and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama . Will a new political dialogue emerge? Voters and candidates talk about change, but what kind of change is actually likely in the campaign ahead? Are voters inspired by messages of hope tired of the slash-and-burn style of campaigning that's marked recent elections? Will cynicism give way to civility in political discourse? How will shifting political alliances affect the way candidates shape their messages to voters?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.