Steve Bannon, former Hollywood Producer, Out at White House

President Trump’s controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon is leaving the White House, in another major staff shakeup announced at the close of another tumultuous week in Washington.

The White House confirmed in a brief statement that Bannon, a hardcore populist who often sparred with his West Wing colleagues, would make Friday his last day — just over a year after he joined the Trump presidential campaign.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

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John Cox Did Not Run Against Barack Obama – Contrary to His Claims

John Cox, who is running for Governor of California as a Republican, has been claiming to reporters that he once “ran against Barack Obama for U.S. Senate” in Illinois, and reporters are buying the claim, here in the Los Angeles Times, and here on The Times reported, “Cox, a Republican, in 2003 ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in Illinois against Barack Obama,” and Politico reported “[i]n 2004, he was one of a half-dozen Republican candidates for the Illinois U.S. Senate, a race in which he appeared at a candidate forum alongside Barack Obama, then a state senator, who eventually won the Senate seat. (The two had a brief one-on-one exchange over the merits of the Iraq war.)”  Both statements are untrue, and the source of the misinformation to the reporters was likely Cox himself.

News reports have included a lot of half-baked material and misinformation about Cox.  The Los Angeles Times referred to him as an attorney here: but an “attorney search” of the California Bar website here does not yield a “John H. Cox” or any variation as an attorney licensed to practice in California.  (John Herman Cox is currently licensed to practice law in Illinois, at a registered address in Schaumburg, Illinois, but he is not licensed in California.  See:  Cox is also referred to as a “venture capitalist” in media reports but research indicates his most evident corporate activity was serving as a top financial officer for a potato chip company in Chicago, reported in this 1994 article:

Cox appears to be attempting to create a myth about himself that he took on Barack Obama in an election campaign.  But that did not happen.  Rather, Cox is conflating events to apparently gain sympathy with Republican voters who dislike Obama, in order to counter the fact that he has a very poor vote-getting history, running unsuccessfully for Cook County Recorder of Deeds, U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, and President.  In 2008, Cox gained less than one-tenth of one percent of the vote (0.01%) on the California ballot for president.

Here are the facts about Cox and Barack Obama:

Cox’s Wikipedia page states he ran for Senate in 2002, (not 2003 as misreported by the Times). See:   Wikipedia states Cox lost the Republican primary (which was a closed primary) to Jim Durkin receiving 23% of the vote.  But said another way, Cox actually finished last in that closed primary against the other two Republican candidates, (not a “half-dozen” as misreported by Politico) and in 2002 not 2004 (as misreported by Politico).   The results of the 2002 Republican primary for U.S. Senate are found here:,_2002.  The fact is, John Cox ran for U.S. Senate in 2002, and never ran against Barack Obama, who instead ran for U.S. Senate on 2004, in the next election, and one in which Cox did not run for Senate.  Rather, according to this Chicago based website, while Obama was running for U.S. Senate in 2004, Cox was running for Cook County Recorder of Deeds at the same time, a race he lost by a wide margin.

Cox roots his claims to having run against Obama in an alleged “candidate debate” he says he had with Obama in August 2003 at Chicago State University.  But there was no election going on at that time.  An internet records search of Chicago State University does not reveal any corroboration that such a “candidate debate” took place.  Rather, Cox was that summer in serious litigation over his 2002 Senate race the previous year, where the Federal Election Commission had assessed a $22,150 fine on him for failure to properly disclose personal funds he used in his race.  Cox lost his challenge to the fine, reported by the FEC here, and never filed any documents to run for Senate in the next election in 2004.  See for Cox’s claims about a “candidate debate” with Obama.   Cox still claims to reporters to have been a candidate for Senate at the time of this alleged debate, but he really was not, was not officially a candidate, had filed no paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, and he in fact did not run in 2004, which was the Obama election year.   If Cox was running for Senate in 2003, it was in his own mind, and not reflected in his deeds or supporting facts.  Even the article Cox himself wrote above says he “withdrew” as a candidate before the election – however, there was no election campaign for him to withdraw fromJohn Cox. Yet reporters unfortunately persist in accepting Cox’s highly exaggerated and false claim that he “ran for Senate against Barack Obama.”


Nutty John Cox for California Governor?

John CoxJohn Cox was hardly a serious candidate for governor of California when the first UC Berkeley/IGS poll was announced earlier this year in March and gave him, the only Republican listed in the poll, 18 percent of the vote and the prized second spot against Gavin Newsom, suggesting to amateur political observers that he might have a chance to get into a November 2018 Republican vs. Democrat run-off with Newsom, offering the California GOP its first long-shot chance at statewide office in years. The ensuing press reports took Cox seriously. But none of the reporters did much homework on Cox, labeling him positively as a political newcomer or outsider. They all failed to mention he had been on the ballot before in California, with an awful showing. The reporters could have recalled for readers that Cox was surely not a fresh face to our statewide ballot, and that the last time he was on it, he ran for the Republican nomination for president in the February, 2008 primary, and proved a miserable votegetter, barely mustering 3,200 votes statewide, finishing with .01 percent, while both John McCain and Mitt Romney drew over a million votes each.

Cox, a native of Illinois, is a candidate for governor who must NOT be taken seriously. He is a serial candidate, and what older Republican operatives might label a “Harold Stassen.” Stassen once served as governor of Minnesota and was termed a “boy wonder,” but was bit so hard by the political bug that he ran for the GOP nomination for president, unsuccessfully, 9 times in a row, losing every time. Yet Cox differs from Stassen in that Cox has never won any elective office, and he has run plenty of times. He has actually hit a trifecta of losses having run for every federal office one can, losing each time. Cox has run for Cook County Clerk, Congress, and U.S. Senate, all in Illinois, losing all the races, all losses by wide margins.

But in 2008, despite all his previous electoral defeats, Cox decided to run for president as well. He says he contributed $1 million to his campaign, visited all 99 counties in Iowa, campaigned hard in New Hampshire with 14 visits, visited South Carolina 10 times to campaign, and appeared on the ballot in California. During his campaign, he got into an altercation with security at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley because his campaign performance had proven so insignificant that they would not let him in to the presidential debate. Even though he was excluded, he still tried to use a questionable media credential to enter the premises under the ruse he was a fake press operative. His vote-getting prowess was a disaster – he received not one delegate to the Republican National Convention. In major counties in California that will be very important to the governor’s race, like Fresno, for example, he got just 60 votes across the county’s three congressional districts, according to the California Secretary of State’s office.

By June 2017, Cox quickly fell in the gubernatorial race polls, losing 50 percent of his initial support, in the second UC Berkeley/IGS  poll when just one other Republican was added to the mix by the poll authors – this time former Assemblyman David Hadley, who was not an announced candidate for governor at the time he was added to the poll and who has since stated he is not running for the office. The significance of the second poll, with Cox running hard for several months yet dropping from 18 percent to 9 percent as an announced candidate, and Hadley at 7 percent as an unannounced candidate with no campaign, established that Republicans had hardly raised a groundswell of support for Cox in the first poll, rather, Cox made a showing in the first poll in March because he was the only candidate on the poll Republicans had to chose from. As soon as another Republican was put on the list to chose from in the second poll, even someone not running for the office at the time, Cox’s support quickly and very significantly tanked.

Cox’s lack of real support was evidenced again in a poll in Silicon Valley in May where, once again, when listed as the only Republican on the ballot he received 16 percent of the vote, however, when the poll considered “favorability,” Cox garnered a terrible 3 percent, the lowest favorability rate of all the candidates.

When asked, Cox would not tell the San Francisco Chronicle whether or not he voted for Donald Trump for president. While Cox’s strategy may be to separate himself from Trump, who surely is not as popular in California as Gavin Newsom, Cox will not be endearing himself with the thousands of members of Republican volunteer organizations in the state who care about their party’s candidates. Members of the California Republican Woman’s Federated Clubs, for example, who form many local clubs that are the backbone of the state GOP’s grass-roots operations, may or may not have supported Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, but they surely all overwhelmingly voted for him as the Republican Party’s candidate for president, even if some of them had to “hold their noses” out of party loyalty. These voters will not be impressed with Cox’s lack of candor about his own presidential vote, which will stink to them of party disloyalty.

The issues Californians and Republicans care about in opinion polls, like being taxed too much, do not appear on Cox’s radar screen. Cox’s central campaign theme is his “Neighborhood Legislature” idea, to expand the California Senate and Assembly to 12,000 members. It is truly a nutty idea that has no support in opinion polls. While the state Legislature truly is in need of reform, like making itself a part-time body, world history tells us increasing its size to that of a small coastal city is not going to improve policy. There were also thousands of members of the Soviet Union’s legislative body, far too many, intentionally, to actually make decisions, and the result was the concentration of power in a small committee known as the Politburo, which established a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” We are close enough as it is today with near dictatorship of Democratic control in Sacramento, to just add thousands more people to the legislative ranks.

What California needs is some political balance, and if the Republican Party can settle on a single, strong candidate to run for governor in a field of many Democrats, there is indeed a long-shot chance a united GOP could get their candidate into a run-off with a Democrat and then see what happens. The fact is Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois, all deeply “blue” Democratic states, currently have Republican governors, elected to balance Democratic control in the state. It would be a tough order for the GOP to fulfill, but not impossible, as long as Republicans end up with a candidate with a much better vote-getting history, and who runs on issues voters actually care about, than nutty John Cox.


Jim Lacy on Trump’s First Six Months as President – VIDEO

In this clip from ABC-TV’s “Weekend Breakfast” (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) airing July 23, California Political Review publisher Jim Lacy responds to reporter’s questions about the presidential pardon power, the Russia investigation, and explains President Trump’s most meaningful accomplishments in his first six months in office.

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“It Ain’t Beanbag” – Bill Saracino asks “What’s the Big Deal?” on Trump Jr. Meeting

There is one bottom line truth regarding the meeting that is causing Donald Trump Jr. such agita at the moment: not a political operative worth their salt in either party would have turned down the meeting. Opposition research, the long, detailed, mostly boring job of performing multiple colonoscopies on your political opponent’s background is standard operating procedure. It occasionally involves anonymous tips and “over the transom” document delivery. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of politics knows this. Add in the fact that nothing of note occurred in that 20 minute meeting and the wails and outrage coming from the “resistance” are as sincere as Captain Renault’s shock at the gambling in Rick’s Café.

But following the rule of “any port in a storm”, the “resistance” blob consisting of the Democrats, their lapdog media, George Soros funded astro-turf groups and a couple of NeverTrump GOP Senators not worth the powder to blow them up (yes, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, I’m talking about you) is furiously rousing the rabble. Unless there are any political virgins in the above group, and there are not, the outrage is total Kabuki theatre – insincere, hypocritical political posturing.

As a political consultant who knows that class of people all too well, I never thought I’d wish that more Americans thought like us. I do in this instance. Every consultant in America and likely the world is looking at the Trump meeting with the Ruskie Femme Fatale, scratching their heads and asking “what’s the big deal”. Everybody, quite literally everybody, engaged in a serious campaign does opposition research. If you don’t you will lose badly and deserve to do so. Of course the Democrat operatives can’t admit that, but it is absolutely true.

Inject truth serum into James Carville, Paul Begala, John Podesta, or to compare offspring to offspring, Chelsea Clinton. Ask them if they would have taken the meeting had the situation been reversed – had an offer of compromising information on Trump came to them from the very same source. The odds that the answer would be “of course we would, were not idiots” are not 99% or 99.99%. They are 100%.

We don’t have to speculate on this. It is undisputed that the Clinton campaign actively worked, dare I say colluded, with the Ukrainian government hoping to get…wait for it…damaging information on Donald Trump. You haven’t seen this in the fake-news outlets masquerading as newspapers and television networks? I join Captain Renault in being shocked.

Anyone who has actually run a campaign knows that turning down an offer of damaging information on your opponent – or turning down the chance to at least find out what the source has – is political malpractice. It is unilateral disarmament. It is stupid. And it is exceptionally unprofessional if your profession is to win campaigns.

Following up on such an offer is basic due diligence. A campaign operative who ignores such should be fired – with prejudice. Any staff working one of my campaigns who ignored such an offer would be gone in a heartbeat, as they’d either be an obvious mole from the opposition or too brain dead to work for me. And as to the source of the information, who the Hell cares? The information will either be believable and usable or not, but you’ll never know if you don’t follow up on the lead.

Finding the skeletons in your opponent’s closet is politics 101. It is not remotely unusual. Part of that includes receiving the occasional anonymous tip or request for a meeting from a source who claims to have the goods on your opponent. Just what is the responsible campaign worker supposed to do in such an instance? Get a credit check and Interpol background briefing on the source before even finding out what the supposed “gotcha” information is?

No, the universal – repeat universal – practice in politics in every country on the globe is to access the information in order to decide if it is credible and/or worthwhile.

Mr. Dooley, an Irish-American character created by writer Finley Peter Dunne in 1895 commented on politics from the warm embrace of a Chicago pup. Both Dooley and Dunne would likely be forgotten but for this quote from Mr. Dooley; “Sure, politics ain’t bean-bag. ‘Tis a man’s game, an’ women, childer, cripples an’ prohybitionists ‘d do well to keep out iv it.” With the exception of the reference to women (Donald Trump is not likely to be President today but for that wee Irish lass Kellyanne Conway), the quote is as true today as it was then.

Donald Trump Jr., like his father, doesn’t play bean bag. Going to that meeting was well within the accepted bounds of political campaigning. He did nothing wrong. If he did, then the Clinton campaign beat him to it by many months while colluding with the Ukraine.

Those attempting to lynch Trump Jr. know this, but are showing the true depth of their derangement, dishonor and lack of ethics. They are the residents of the D.C. swamp. The ferocity and mendacity of their reactions show how desperately the country needs the President to succeed in draining the breeding grounds of these creatures. Drain away Mr. President. Drain away.

Bill Saracino is a long-time contributing editor of California Political Review, with deep experience in professional politics.  

Bill Saracino

Astonishing Waste on Homeless Programs by San Francisco

I had to read the story in the San Francisco Chronicle twice to let the facts sink in.  Over the last three years, The City has budgeted and spent $821 million in public funds on programs to address homelessness.  My thought, and also the question posed by the piece, was that the problem must have surely improved.  But the answer was no!  “(D)espite all the money and effort, reality on the streets hasn’t improved.   In many ways, homelessness in San Francisco is as bad as ever,” said the story.  My God!

So, I decided to look a little deeper and ask the question, just how many homeless people live in San Francisco anyway?  And the astonishing answer was also on the pages of the Chronicle, which has nobly established a “homeless” project to track, research and comment on programs serving the homeless and their degree of success.  According to the newspaper, there are 6,686 homeless on the streets in San Francisco pursuant to a point-in-time count conducted in January 2015.  The newspaper calls city efforts to address the problem “a disgrace.”

And that is an understatement!  $821 million divided by 6,686 equals $122,793 per homeless person.  If you divide that sum by 3 to account for three fiscal years of spending, the total is $40,931 per homeless  person.  In other words, just San Francisco (remember there are also federal and state programs that fund homelessness assistance) has been spending over $40,000 a year, for several years, on every homeless person in the city, and is not making any progress at all in helping to get this troubled community off the streets!

While San Francisco’s liberal politicians are squandering huge sums of money on ineffective homelessness programs, and continuing to raise taxes by claiming deficits and rising needs, one thing is for certain.  They are darn well NOT going to give in to that awful President Donald Trump and cooperate with federal authorities on enforcement of immigration laws against criminal illegal aliens like the one they released from jail, who famously murdered Kate Steinle with a stolen gun.  Oh, and they aren’t going to give up their lawsuit either to make sure they are paid the federal grants they say they are due for helping to enforce federal immigration laws, even though they won’t help enforce those laws.  Go figure.



Comey Testimony Debated – Jim Lacy on CNN International

In this segment on CNN International airing on the eve of former FBI Director James Comey’s appearance before Congress, Comey’s prepared statement and interactions with President Donald Trump are vigorously debated by California Political Review Publisher Jim Lacy and California Democrat activist Matt Littman.


Border Wall Politics & Gang Shootings in Santa Ana: Jim Lacy on Fox Business – VIDEO

In this segment from Fox Business News’ “Varney & Company” broadcast April 21, California Political Review publisher Jim Lacy engages Stuart Varney on gang violence in Santa Ana, and liberal lawmakers in Sacramento who want to punish businesses that help build the Trump Administration’s border wall in San Diego County.


Trump Supreme Court Appointee Gorsuch Confirmed By Senate!

President Trump’s nominee Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was confirmed Friday by the U.S. Senate for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, filling a 14-month vacancy after a dramatic Senate showdown that risked long-lasting repercussions to both institutions.

Read full story here:


Feinstein Opposed by 62% of Californians, Considered Too Old for Senate

In a new poll of Californians by U.C. Berkeley, an overwhelming majority of 62% oppose U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein running for re-election to the Senate next year, feeling it would be a bad thing for the state, when informed that she will be 84 years old next year.  If she is re-elected, by the end of her sixth term she would be 90 years old.

Democrat Feinstein is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Her colleague, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, also from San Francisco, turned 77 years of age last month.

If Feinstein does not run, the U.C. Berkeley poll showed that Governor Jerry Brown has the most support to succeed her in the Senate.  Brown turns 80 next year.

A link to the press release announcing the poll results, with polling details, is here:

Dianne Feinstein in Outer Space