You can't help but wonder whether Vice President Joe Biden's long and emotional speech on Saturday about politics, the Obama legacy, and Republicans wasn't one he wished he'd been delivering in South Carolina instead of in San Jose.
Biden spoke for almost an hour to a huge crowd of California Democrats, and took aim at the GOP presidential field while delicately avoiding any endorsement of either of his own party's contenders.
With the convention hall long emptied, we took stock of the state of the California Democratic Party.
The event seemed like a 50th college reunion for veteran politicians, and at the same time one of the biggest rounds of applause came at the mention of Bernie Sanders, the presidential candidate few of those politicians gathered in San Jose for the convention support.
In short, the numbers don't look great for Democrats in California.
It was a bit of a throwback weekend in San Jose, with labor legend Dolores Huerta flexing organizing muscle to gather the delegate support to boost her son Emilio Huerta's congressional bid.
After gathering hundreds of signatures and following a lively floor vote, Emilio Huerta succeeded in blocking Fowler City Councilman Daniel Parra from getting the party endorsement as he challenges Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) in the Central Valley race. Valadao is considered vulnerable given it is a presidential year with higher voter turnout.
The effort was a family affair: Dolores, Emilio and his daughter Ana Alicia Huerta worked the California Democratic Party convention all weekend to make it happen.
In the wake of high-profile slayings of black men and children in Ferguson, Mo., Cleveland, Baltimore and other cities, the California Democratic Party on Sunday amended its official platform to demand that police be held “accountable for misconduct.”
Party leaders and activists, meeting in San Jose for the party’s three-day convention, also called for independent investigations of deadly incidents involving police use of force. The platform, approved by a voice vote, supports requiring the use of police body cameras and the implementation of police policies favoring “de-escalation” over the use of force when responding to incidents.
The platform, a blueprint for the priorities of the state party, also supports: legalizing recreational use of marijuana, prioritizing the health and safety of Californians over revenue or profits; requiring California to produce 100% of its electricity from renewable and sustainable sources by 2030; raising the statewide minimum wage to at least $15 an hour; and a “common sense ban on deadly assault weapons.”
Less than 48 hours after the California Supreme Court gave him a temporary victory, Gov. Jerry Brown's political allies have begun gathering signatures for his ballot measure to overhaul prisoner parole and juvenile justice.
Campaign workers fanned out across the California Democratic Party convention, asking delegates and Democratic activists to sign the newly printed petitions.
The signature gathering is the ultimate in political insurance policies, after last week's ruling by a Sacramento judge that Brown shouldn't have been allowed to add his parole proposal to an existing initiative that was already in the review phase by state officials. The case is now sitting in front of the California Supreme Court, but the governor convinced the court on Friday night to allow him to begin gathering signatures while they weigh the case's merits.
The California Democratic Party on Sunday threw its support behind a slate of proposed state ballot measures, including initiatives to hike cigarette taxes, affirm a law banning plastic grocery bags and impose stricter gun control.
The vote by party delegates came on the final day of the party's three-day convention at the cavernous San Jose Convention Center.
Not all of the proposed ballot measures were taken up for a party vote. Among those that were noticeably absent were a batch of initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. However, the state party's proposed platform supports marijuana legalization.