Out of more than a dozen closely watched congressional seats that Democrats and Republicans are trying to flip in California, the one that belongs to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) has drawn some of the most robust fundraising.
Issa, a nine-term congressman who won by fewer than 1,700 votes last year, shows all the signs of being in a competitive race, raking in nearly half a million dollars in the second quarter of the year.
But one of his newest challengers, environmental attorney Mike Levin, is quickly trying to catch up. Levin, who announced his run March 8, has amassed more money than any other challenger running against an incumbent in California. That includes Doug Applegate, a fellow Democrat and retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel who came within striking distance of Issa last November and is running again in 2018.
How peculiar are the politics of climate change in California? Just look at this week’s vote on cap-and-trade, which saw a Republican former grape farmer from Modesto and a Democratic former math teacher from Bell Gardens aligned against a mild-mannered Santa Cruz liberal and a provocative anti-tax crusader from Huntington Beach.
It’s not often that a contentious vote yields a roll call as unusual as the one Monday, when lawmakers approved a measure to extend the life of the state’s cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to purchase permits to emit greenhouse gases.
But when aforementioned lawmakers Sen. Tom Berryhill and Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia find themselves in the “yes” column, while Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) and Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) notch “no” votes, it indicates just how much cap-and-trade has upended the political status quo.
House Republicans have stripped from a Defense Department spending bill Rep. Barbara Lee's amendment to reconsider the authority the president has to wage war.
Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee unexpectedly opened the door last month to ending the authorization approved by Congress in 2001 when Lee's amendment was added to a Defense Department measure after 16 years of attempts. Congress would have had 240 days to debate a new authorization. At the end of that time, the 2001 authorization would have been repealed.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) was uncomfortable with the amendment, with his spokeswoman AshLee Strong telling the Hill newspaper last week after Lee and Ryan met to discuss it that, "There is a way to discuss this debate, but this [amendment], which endangers our national security, is not it."
After pushing lawmakers to increase the gas tax and reauthorize the cap-and-trade climate change program, Gov. Jerry Brown has put the state's housing crisis next on his agenda.
But a deal to increase funding for low-income developments and ease home building regulations is far from assured. A key lawmaker is already saying the bills being considered for a housing package aren't promising enough to gain his support.
Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology's subcommittee on space. On Tuesday, he begged some extra time from the subcommittee's chairman to ask a panel of NASA scientists a question: Was there once a civilization on Mars?
Another Republican has stepped up to challenge Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), who is under investigation by the FBI over alleged misuse of campaign funds.
Daniel Casara, a 43-year-old retired Army sergeant and motivational speaker, announced Tuesday that he's running against Hunter, a six-term Republican who represents inland San Diego County and a sliver of Riverside County.
"Washington is failing us," Casara said in a statement announcing his run, adding that if elected, he would push for better services for veterans and pursue tax reform that "benefits every American."
Under investigation by the FBI for possibly misusing campaign funds, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) has spent $336,664 with seven law firms this year.
Hunter's most recent campaign finance report shows $152,859 in spending and $114,412 in debt to seven law firms in the San Diego and Washington areas in the months since the House Ethics Committeedisclosed the FBI's investigation in late March to explain why it was not pursuing its own probe of the San Diego-area congressman.
The fifth-term Republican raised just $155,625 in the same time frame, nearly the same amount he paid out in legal fees, according to his campaign finance report.
GOP Assemblyman Devon Mathis on cap and trade vote
California lawmakers voted Monday evening to extend the state’s premiere program on climate change, a victory for Gov. Jerry Brown that included unprecedented Republican support for fighting global warming.
In a break with party leaders and activists in California and Washington, eight Republicans joined with Democrats to continue the cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Some, including Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia), grew emotional as they spoke on the floor.
Fighting climate change was a lonely undertaking at times for Arnold Schwarzenegger while he was the last Republican governor in the liberal state of California. The landmark global warming law he championed more than a decade ago received only a single vote from a member of his party in the Legislature.
He relied on Democrats to seal the deal, providing the foundation for the state’s cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions. But the political landscape is different now, and Gov. Jerry Brown’s successful bid to extend the program received eight Republican votes on Monday.
We spoke to Schwarzenegger about it on Tuesday morning.
House Democrats are willing to come to the table on healthcare if Republicans abandon their attempt to do it alone, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (D-Wis.) on Tuesday.
"Democrats extend the hand of friendship if Republicans will set aside repeal, abandon cuts to Medicaid, and abandon huge tax breaks for the wealthy," Pelosi states.