Leaders of the California Democratic Party spent the weekend in San Diego strategizing how to deal with the political era of President-elect Donald Trump. The meeting ended up being part therapy session, part pep rally.
“Donald Trump’s election was a shocking mistake of historical proportions. His dangerous ideas and policies threaten the freedom, the safety and the prosperity of every American,” said environmental activist Tom Steyer, a San Francisco hedge fund billionaire who has been flirting with a 2018 run for governor. “This is our moment. We will rise to the occasion because there is no one else.”
Marcus Ruiz Evans, the vice president and co-founder of Yes California, said his group had been planning to wait for a later election, but the presidential election of Donald Trump sped up the timeline.
“We’re doing it now because of all of the overwhelming attention,” Evans said.
The California Democratic Party is considering a new policy that would require party leaders to fully disclose any compensation they receive to advocate for a statewide ballot initiative or candidate for state office.
The push for transparency comes after Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and a candidate for state party chairman, faced criticism after his political consulting firm was paid by opponents of Proposition 61, which voters rejected on Nov. 8.
The statewide ballot measure sought to lower prescription drug prices by requiring that state agencies pay no more for medicines than the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
The California Democratic Party will no longer accept political donations from oil companies or their representatives in Sacramento.
The decree was handed down by Chairman John Burton and announced at the party’s executive committee meeting in San Diego on Saturday.
“I felt that big oil was just swaggering around the Capitol,” said RL Miller, president of Climate Hawks Vote Political Action and chair of California Democratic Party’s Environmental Caucus. “They just have too much influence in Sacramento.”
The Senate race between Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) and Democrat Josh Newman has narrowed significantly, making the Democrats' chances of securing a supermajority in both houses of the Legislature suddenly much more likely.
As of Friday afternoon, as outstanding votes continued to be counted, Chang's lead over Newman had been cut to just 187 votes in the 29th Senate District, which includes parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
The day after the election, Chang enjoyed a nearly 3,900-vote advantage, but that lead shrank dramatically as mail and provisional ballots were tallied this week.
California’s newly elected U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris on Friday criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general, saying he holds views that are “incompatible with constitutional guarantees.” She pointedly referred to GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama by his given name: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.
Sessions is considered one of the most conservative members of the Senate, and in the 1980s his nomination to become a federal court judge was blocked over allegations he made several racially offensive remarks.
She has until Dec. 7 to submit at least 500 nominating signatures for her campaign. Lopez would be running to replace Monica Ratliff, who is raising money for a possible City Council run. Ratliff represents the LAUSD board's 6th District, which includes much of Lopez's current Assembly district.