Yona Barash, a Republican surgeon seeking his first elected office, is getting his congressional campaign rolling with a conservative commentator who has stoked controversy in California.
Barash invited Ben Shapiro to his Tuesday evening fundraiser as he tries to build a war chest to unseat Sacramento-area Rep. Ami Bera, a Democrat from Elk Grove. General admission tickets are $150, while attending the VIP reception costs $1,000.
Shapiro runs a website called the Daily Wire and previously worked at Breitbart News, although he's since become an outspoken critic of Stephen K. Bannon and President Trump. He was a frequent target of anti-Semitic harassment during last year's campaign.
The fundraiser is not Shapiro's only event in Sacramento on Tuesday. He also was invited by state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) to a Capitol hearing on 1st Amendment issues titled "Combating Hate While Protecting the Constitution." Shapiro is expected to speak during the public comment period of the hearing.
He was incarcerated in a federal prison on Terminal Island until July 29 and then transferred to a halfway house, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Bera was released before the end of his sentence because he earned credit for good behavior.
President Trump believes people no longer should be allowed to deduct state and local taxes when calculating their federal income taxes. And they shouldn’t. He’s right.
That may sound nutty and even disloyal coming from a Californian. Millions of state residents, after all, would be hammered by elimination of the state and local tax deductions.
But let’s be intellectually honest. There’s no credible justification for the federal government subsidizing California’s highest-in-the-nation state income tax — or, for that matter, any local levy like the property tax.
The former member of the state Assembly cited being a single mother, as well as her work as a consultant and on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, for her decision to resign.
“Given the challenges before the Party, it is essential that we have officers who can fully commit to their volunteer positions. For both personal and professional reasons, I no longer have sufficient time to do so,” Olsen wrote in a letter to party delegates.
Few Californians are likely to spend any time thinking about how carefully they signed their voter registration card years ago. Nor is there much reason to assume that those who vote by mail think much about the neatness of their signature on the envelope containing that absentee ballot.
But those two signatures — and whether they’re deemed to match — actually are key to whether the ballot counts.