California Primary Today: Voters to Decide Shape of 2018 Midterm Elections

VotedVoters will head to the polls Tuesday in the California primary, which will not only determine the final matchups in several key statewide races, including the race for governor, but will also set the framework for the overall battle for the U.S. House nationwide.

Democrats are targeting at least seven, and as many as ten, congressional districts in the Golden State, hoping that widespread opposition to the Trump administration will draw their voters to the polls. However, Republicans have seen a surge in voter enthusiasm lately, thanks to the conservative pushback against California’s “sanctuary state” laws. In addition, a glut of Democratic candidates in otherwise winnable districts has given Republicans new hope.

California’s primary is a “top two” or “jungle” primary, in which all of the voters may choose from all of the candidates, regardless of party. The top two finishers qualify for the general election ballot — again, regardless of party. In 2016, that meant an all-Democrat final for the U.S. Senate election between eventual winner Kamala Harris and then-Rep. Loretta Sanchez. But in 2018, it could mean that Democrats fail to qualify for the November ballot in some districts, simply because they are splitting their vote among too many independently viable choices.

Voters will also be determining the fate of State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), who voted to raise the gas tax last year by 12 cents per gallon and now faces a recall election. While many other legislators also voted for the gas tax hike, Newman is from a swing district where Republicans believe they can mount a successful challenge.

Typically, more than two-thirds of California voters submit their ballots by mail, but for the rest, polls will open at 7 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time and close at 8 p.m. Turnout is expected to be low, though that may not be the case in November.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Will Top-Two Primary Provide Typical Wacky Results?

VotingWith less than a week to go before voting closes in California’s June primary, political insiders’ attention is riveted on the endless range of possible outcomes that are a function of the three-dimensional political chess game we call the Open Primary.

Big Bang’s Sheldon Cooper, while likely considering all this child’s play, might be amused, if not fascinated, by developments in the closing days of the campaign that include, but are by no means limited to, the following.

In the race for governor, ads for the Democratic frontrunner are aimed at driving Republican voters into the arms of the Republican frontrunner, with the hope of avoiding a Democrat versus Democrat fall face off.  Ads for the Democratic runner up in current polling are aimed at driving Republican voters in the opposite direction, with the hope of achieving a Democrat versus Democrat general election match-up.

In the battle for control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Democrats assert that a few pick-ups in California are essential to regain a majority.  Toward that end they have unloaded on the order of four million dollars on Republican contenders in three Congressional districts that the Democrats have consistently tagged as toss ups, ignoring the vote history in both.  Having boasted that they could win these historically Republican seats, they will suffer an embarrassing setback if one or more of them wind up with Republicans taking the top two spots for the fall.

To the pols in Washington who have no real understanding of California, the tumult of our top two primary season has undoubtedly confirmed their view that this is a certifiably wacky place.  But, irrespective of how wacky the outcomes will be next Tuesday compared with what a traditional closed primary would have produced, good old Will Rogers must be laughing in his resting place.

More than a year ago, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced with some fanfare that it was deploying a platoon of at least eight staffers from Washington to Irvine to help capture the five southern California House seats where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump for President. This notwithstanding the fact that no Democrat other than Clinton has ever carried any of those districts.

That high profile effort clearly inflamed the passions of would-be Democratic Members of Congress and produced a bounty of candidates who, it became evident at some point, could wind up splitting the collective Democratic vote into so many pieces that the top two vote getters turn out to be Republicans.

Whether the Democrats’ effort also inflamed the passions of voters in those districts we will know next week. If it did, the Party’s strategy will be proved brilliant. If it didn’t, we come back to Will Rogers and his confession more than 80 years ago that “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

The California Target Book will host a comprehensive Post Primary Analysis and Look Ahead to November the afternoon of Monday, June 11 in Sacramento. For details and to register please visit CaliforniaTargetBook.com.

ublisher of the California Target Book and USC professor.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

Congressman introduces ‘Libby Schaaf Act’ to criminalize immigration raid warnings

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has a new bill in Congress named after her — but it’s not one she’s likely to support.

Rep. Steve King, a firebrand conservative Republican from Iowa, announced what he’s calling the “Mayor Libby Schaaf Act of 2018” on Monday, in an attempt to make it illegal for public officials to warn of upcoming immigration sweeps.

It’s the latest move by national Republicans — including President Donald Trump — to target the Oakland mayor for her decision in February to issue a public warning about immigration raids in the Bay Area. Under King’s bill, state and local government officials who purposefully “broadcast” information relating to “any imminent action by a federal law enforcement officer or agent” would be guilty of obstruction of justice and could face up to five years in prison, as well as a fine.

Schaaf said she received information about the upcoming raids through “credible sources” and felt an ethical obligation to share it with her constituents. Then-head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan claimed that Schaaf’s tip-off led to 800 undocumented immigrants with criminal records avoiding capture — although an ICE spokesman resigned over that claim, calling it “misleading.”

While King’s bill doesn’t specifically target immigration enforcement, the congressman said in a statement that he saw it as an effort to fight back against officials supporting sanctuary policies. ..

Click here to read the full article from the San Jose Mercury News

Trump Rails Against California Sanctuary Policies

President Donald Trump on Wednesday hammered California for its so-called sanctuary immigration policies, in what appeared to be his latest push to embolden his base leading into the midterm elections.

As the debate over immigration heats up on Capitol Hill, Trump surrounded himself with mayors, sheriffs and other local leaders from California who oppose the state’s immigration policies and who applauded his administration’s hard-line efforts.

“This is your Republican resistance right here against what they’re doing in California,” said California Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, coopting a term used by Democrats opposed to Trump’s presidency. She, like others, said the president and his policies were far more popular in the state than people realize.

“It’s a crisis,” Melendez said of the situation.

They were responding to legislation signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last year that bars police from asking people about their immigration status or helping federal agents with immigration enforcement. Jail officials can transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities if they have been convicted of one of about 800 crimes, mostly felonies, but not for minor offenses. …

Click here to read the full article from NBC Los Angeles

I’m waiting for the apology

 

Donald TrumpI’m waiting for the apology.

I love it when liberals who are so damn sure President Trump is about to destroy the world, and it turns out they’re dead wrong. It’s even more fun when their heads explode because their handwringing proves to be nothing more than cynical tactics designed to scare people. In other words, their predictions are pure BS!

Unless you have had your head under a rock this week (or have been watching CNN) you know that the President of South Korea met with Rocket Man. OK, two dudes meeting; so what, no big deal. WRONG!

Not since the 1940s have the leaders of South Korea and North Korea actually met, shook hands and had a meaningful conversation which in this case has led to the official end of the Korean War.

Over the past year President Trump has taken an incredibly hard line with North Korea. He started by intensifying sanctions that were already pretty strict, and then double downed by placing sanctions on some Chinese players who were supporting North Korea. Instead of bowing to the threats of North Korea, he increased our military presence there so there was no doubt we were serious about stopping their nuclear ambitions.

And, all the while, left-wing activists, politicians and journalists here and around the world whined that Trump’s tough stance would lead to WWIII. The media in the U.S. even declared Trump unfit for office. Maxine Waters and some of her more mentally challenged buddies in Congress called openly for Trump’s impeachment — not because he had done anything illegal mind you, but only because he did his job.

It’s a bit of a first, at least in a great long while. Obama caved into North Korea, or just as bad, he refused to take any action at all for fear of upsetting North Korea’s maniacal president.

Not so President Trump. Early on he identified North Korea as one of the biggest threats to peace in the world. Like Obama, Hillary disagreed. And, like Obama, she claimed little or nothing could be done in any event to reign in North Korea’s crazy dictator.

President Obama had eight years to address the problem — to do something, anything. Hillary Clinton, his Secretary of State, could have advocated for action as well. But neither of them did a damn thing. Nothing. Nada. Zilch!

So for you on the left, we are anxiously awaiting your apology to President Trump.

Sure, North Korea is still a problem. No doubt it will be for a quite some time. But that’s all the more reason for clear, decisive action designed to contain the problem rather than allow it to grow. The fact remains that President Trump has done more in his first 16 months in office than any other administration since the Korean War.

Thank you Mr President!

John Philip Sousa, IV, is the Chairman of Stars & Stripes Forever PAC, starsandstripesforeverpac.org.

Five things to watch at the California Republican Party convention this weekend

With a month to go before the June primary, the California Republican Party gathers in San Diego today for its 2018 convention, to rally the faithful and endorse candidates. (California Democrats met in February at the same spot, where an ideological fracture was on display, despite — or perhaps because of — the party’s utter domination of state politics.) Here are some key issues to watch for at the GOP confab, which lasts until Sunday. The Capitol Alert Twitter account will have updates throughout the weekend.

  1. Gubernatorial endorsement: Thanks to a rule change, the California Republican Party could for the first time this year back a candidate in the governor’s race before the primary. Party officials were hoping to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing 2016 scenario when no GOP hopeful made the runoff for U.S. Senate; now, they are facing the prospect of a similar outcome, with even more dire consequences. The good news is that a recent poll showed the major Republican contenders, Assemblyman Travis Allen and businessman John Cox, surging into a tight battle for second place. That should only amp up the stakes as they battle for delegates’ support before the Sunday vote. Reaching the 60 percent threshold necessary for the endorsement will be tough, but it could provide a significant boost for either Allen, whose fundraising has been unable to keep pace with Cox’s deep pockets, or Cox, who has not been embraced by party activists with the same fervor as Allen.
  2. Rhetoric: With Democrats across the country fired up this year to take on President Donald Trump, California Republicans are looking to rile up their own voters and avoid a blue wave in the November midterm election. Efforts are underway to qualify an initiative that would overturn the gas tax increase passed last year by Sacramento Democrats, while city and county officials across the state have been fanning a growing backlash to the “sanctuary state” law that limits the ability of California law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. What issues offer the most red meat for the delegates? …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee

California sues to halt Trump’s plan to roll back vehicle emission standards

An angry Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday announced a lawsuit by California and 16 other states against the Trump administration to stop it from rolling back aggressive national fuel economy standards championed by the state.

In stinging comments at the Capitol, Brown said actions of the Trump administration were “so outrageous,” adding “Trump is definitely running a one-man demolition derby on science, the Clean Air Act and a lot of things we are trying to do.”

Brown called Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt “Outlaw Pruitt,” and accused him of “breaking the law.”

“He’s flouting the Clean Air Act and the legitimate needs and well-being of the American people,” the governor said. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times

Trump girds for war with California over fuel economy

traffic-los-angelesThe Trump administration is speeding toward all-out war with California over fuel economy rules for cars and SUVs, proposing to revoke the state’s long-standing authority to enforce its own tough rules on tailpipe emissions.

The move forms a key part of a proposal by Trump’s environmental and transportation agencies to roll back the nation’s fuel economy standards. The agencies plan to submit the proposal to the White House for review within days.

The plan would freeze fuel economy targets at the levels required for vehicles sold in 2020, and leave those in place through 2026, according to federal officials who have reviewed it. That would mark a dramatic retreat from existing law, which aimed to get the nation’s fleet of cars and light trucks to an average fuel economy of 55 miles per gallon by 2025. Instead of average vehicle fuel economy ratcheting up to that level, it would stall out at 42 miles per gallon.

That would constitute the single biggest step the administration has taken to undermine efforts to combat climate change. …

Click here to read the full article from The Virginian Pilot

California Tax Collection Spikes as Rich Pre-Pay State Taxes

Money

California’s tax revenues are up sharply as the rich pre-pay 2017 income taxes before the Trump tax cut starts limiting the amount of state and local taxes the wealthy can deduct.

Breitbart News recently reported that California state tax collection for the first three months of 2018 was up by a surprising $3.3 billion over the Department of Finance forecast. Legislative Analyst’s Office economist Justin Garosi told the San Francisco Chronicle that the strong trend may have strengthened in the first 20 days of April, the biggest tax collection month each year, with personal and corporate income tax collection up $700 million over forecast and up about $1 billion over last year.

That is all great news for California, whose Standard & Poor’s credit rating was slashed to a near “junk bond” BBB at the height of the Great Recession in 2009. The combination of an economic recovery and a huge Sacramento across-the-board tax increase pushed California’s solvency rate back to AA by 2014. If the current tax boom continues, California could garner the prestigious AAA investment grade by 2020.

But Garosi warned the Chronicle that the euphoric tax spike has been driven by sharp-eyed accountants advising their highest income customers to game the transition period for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by pre-paying state income taxes before the new federal so-called state and local tax (SALT) deductions are limited to $10,000 in tax year 2018.

Breitbart News reported that the State Franchise Tax Board estimates that the approximately 61,000 California households that declare over $1 million of taxable income each year stand to pay another $9 billion in federal taxes beginning in 2018. Another about 150,000 state households mostly making over $200,000 will pay another $3 billion.

For the state’s fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, cash receipts are about $6 billion over the Department of Finance’s budget plan, which will not be updated until Governor Jerry Brown’s mid-June budget revision report.

Only 13.8 percent of California taxpayers elect to use itemized deductions that can be impacted by the SALT cap. But those higher income earners deduct an average of $18,438, which means about a $3,200 average federal tax increase. Moreover, some very high-income earners could pay millions of dollars more in federal taxes.

California progressives fear that those sharp-eyed accountants are now telling their richest clients that the best way to benefit from the Trump tax cut is to “vote with their feet” and move their official residences to states like Arizona, Nevada, and Texas, which have dramatically lower tax rate burdens and much more business-friendly regulatory structures.

That trend may already be happening. A CNBC analysis found that from 2016 to 2017, California saw a net 138,000 people leave the state, while Texas grew by 79,000 people, Arizona added 63,000 residents, and Nevada saw a 38,000 gain.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Judge orders Trump to resume DACA

People march through downtown Los Angeles supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants living in the United States Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006. The event, called "La Gran Marcha Laboral," was organized by the March 25 Coalition, which put on a massive protest in Los Angeles earlier this year. (AP Photo/Oscar Hidalgo)

A George W. Bush-appointed federal judge on Tuesday ruled that President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, “was unlawful and must be set aside.”

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington became the third judge to rule against the White House’s plans to end the program.

Judges William Alsup and Nicholas Garaufis, both Clinton appointees, had each issued injunctions earlier this year preventing the administration from terminating DACA based on its stated rationale that the Obama-era program was an illegal executive overreach.

Bates’ decision does not hold that the Trump administration lacks the authority to rescind DACA. Rather, it holds that the administration’s justification for ending the policy is insufficient under the Administrative Procedure Act, which states that courts “shall . . . hold unlawful and set aside agency action . . . found to be . . . arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.”

In his ruling, Bates noted a “non-trivial” possibility that the administration would be able to remedy his concerns by providing an alternative rationale. …

Click here to read the full article from Fox News