Newsletter: Essential Politics: Where the candidates go from here


I’m Christina Bellantoni, and this is Essential Politics.

Going into the first Democratic debate, we knew Hillary Rodham Clinton needed to try and win over some of the supporters Sen. Bernie Sanders has ignited, especially in critical early nominating states.

By the end of the evening, Clinton had presented voters with a picture of herself as a mother who wants to make things fairer for everyone, and someone who stands firm in her convictions. Sanders did not cede an inch, but scored the line most likely to be repeated for the next news cycle: "[T]he American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails."

The former secretary of State won over several skeptical attendees at the Los Angeles Times debate watch party at the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles, at least, and scored several memorable lines of her own.

Take a look at our Trail Guide with everything we posted last night — from fact checks on the definition of socialism to an examination of family leave policy — or read our analysis here. (Or if you’ve only got two minutes, watch Mark Z. Barabak and Cathleen Decker distill the evening down to what you need to know most.)

Clinton, fresh off an evening of labeling herself a "progressive" who wants to get things done, will spend today courting voters in the West with two events in swing state Nevada, which holds early caucuses. On Thursday she will headline a "Latinos for Hillary" rally in San Antonio, Texas, where she is expected to earn an endorsement from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor. He would be the second Cabinet official to back Clinton’s candidacy, and he’s the guy everyone loves to speculate would be a great running mate. Clinton also is doing some fundraising in Nevada and Texas.

For his part, Sanders is holding a fundraiser Wednesday night right here in Los Angeles. It will be held at the Avalon Hollywood, and the senator will "discuss a wide range of issues including income and wealth inequality and the disappearing middle class, immigration reform, getting big money out of politics, criminal justice reform, and his college affordability plan." The solicitation for the event asks for either $50 or $100.

How do we know this? His campaign not only announced it, they invited the press. As Essential Politics readers know, that’s a rare circumstance, and we’ll be there covering it.


Seema Mehta reports that Jeb Bush is headed to the Bay Area to raise money next week. He’ll attend a fundraiser Tuesday at the San Francisco home of Trevor and Alexis Traina, which incidentally has been featured in both Elle Decor and Forbes. Trevor Traina has mostly given to Republicans, but also donated to the Obama/Biden ticket in 2008.

He’ll raise money later Tuesday at the Woodside home of Silvia and Paul Edwards.

A fundraising page for the Woodside event suggests that raising $27,000 as a co-chair entitles donors to "host photo reception" and an evening reception. An email invite obtained by the Los Angeles Times also suggests that amount would give donors a ticket to a future debate. The page for the San Francisco event says $27,000 comes with a photo reception and an afternoon reception and town hall discussion.

Other co-chairmen listed on the invitation include Kamilla and John Hurley, Helen and Chuck Schwab and Barbara and Tom Stephenson. Co-hosts include Katie Biber Chen, Bill Draper, William E. Grayson, Ed Hearst, Greg Johnson, Jay Kern, Josh Lipshutz and Carole McNeil.

As we’ve reported, the Bay Area has provided a surprisingly hefty portion of GOP campaign donations.

This event goes along with Bush — and his family — jetting on an intensive fundraising schedule this month. The candidate will also attend an Oct. 19 reception in Newport Beach, an Oct. 20 breakfast in Los Angeles. His son George P. Bush will attend a luncheon on Oct. 22 in Fresno.


Javier Panzar reports the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has released its first online attack ad in California, aimed at Rep. Stephen Knight (R-Palmdale).

The video highlights some of the freshman congressman’s flubs including his failure to file a financial disclosure form. The kicker, predictably, is news footage from an April confrontation in Simi Valley when Knight told a protester not to touch him, or else he would "drop your ass."

Knight is one of three Californians on the GOP's list of vulnerable members getting extra assistance.


-- Check out our comprehensive debate coverage.

-- Noam Levey evaluates Bush’s repeal and replace healthcare plan.

-- A top sheriff’s official announced his retirement Tuesday amid an internal investigation into his purchase of a stolen Audi sedan from a tow-yard owner with a department contract. The investigation began Oct. 1 after the Los Angeles Times inquired about the car.

-- Joy Resmovits on why K-12 education is getting scant attention on the campaign trail or in debates.

-- Clinton is coming back to Tinseltown next month. (The Hollywood Reporter has details on the big names hosting her fundraising visit.)


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