FROM Ross Johnson
Party Time: Money and Politics in Sacramento In the latest survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, approval of the California state legislature dropped to a record low. Just 14% of registered voters thought the Assembly and Senate were doing a good job. But that hasn't prevented lobbyists from showing up at 250 fundraisers in this year alone. By one count, 19 are scheduled today in Sacramento and another 18 tomorrow. We hear more from Shane Goldmacher of the Los Angeles Times, Democratic State Senator Loni Hancock and former Republican State Senator Ross Johnson, chair of the Fair Political Practices Commission.
A Billion Dollar Problem with Campaign Fundraising California’s next election is exactly a month away, featuring six propositions on state finance. Interest groups on all sides will be doing a lot of spending. In 2000, voters passed Prop 34 to limit the influence of money, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Campaigns for candidates and ballot measures have raised more than one billion dollars in the past 8 years—344,000 dollars a day…14,000 dollars an hour…24/7…365 days a year. hat’s according to a report called “ The Billion-Dollar Money Train ,” issued by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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.