Nancy Pelosi tries to diminish growing enthusiasm for Trump tax cuts

Nancy-Pelois-denied-CommunionThe tax cuts pushed by President Trump and the GOP Congress are “a black cloud hanging over the national budget,” Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference Wednesday in San Francisco.

Pelosi was in town to tour the Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, a complex opened in 2016 that includes 120 apartments for low-income seniors and a spacious community center for activities.

But she used the visit to attack the Trump tax plan and the president’s proposed budget, arguing that they both threaten the type of federal help that made the new senior center possible.

The center “is an example of how people with values working together with a plan can make a difference,” the San Francisco congresswoman said. But the tax cuts, and the budget that stems from them, “strike to the heart of our community.”

There was no mistaking the thrust of Pelosi’s message. From the sign on her lectern — “Say No to #GOPTAXSCAM” — to the parade of speakers who followed her at the hour-long event, it was a focused slam at Trump, the Republican leadership in Congress and the budget priorities they share. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle

GOP Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support

The tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law now has more supporters than opponents, buoying Republican hopes for this year’s congressional elections.

The growing public support for the law coincides with an eroding Democratic lead when voters are asked which party they would like to see control Congress. And it follows an aggressive effort by Republicans, backed by millions of dollars of advertising from conservative groups, to persuade voters of the law’s benefits.

That campaign has rallied support from Republicans, in particular. But in contrast with many other issues — including Mr. Trump’s job approval rating — it also appears to be winning over some Democrats. Support for the law remains low among Democrats, but it has doubled over the past two months and is twice as strong as their approval of Mr. Trump today.

Erin Parker, a high school history teacher in San Antonio, said she did not like many elements of the law, particularly its big reduction of the estate tax, and said she was skeptical that it would provide much of an economic lift. But Ms. Parker, who described herself as an independent who tends to support Democrats, said the bill would probably help the technology start-up where her husband works. …

Click here to read the full article from the New York Times 

California fights Trump’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census

California, home to 1 in 4 of the nation’s foreign-born population, is pushing back against the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

On Monday, just as President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the upcoming census, Thomas Brunell, reportedly withdrew himself from consideration for the post, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 18 other state attorneys general registered their opposition to the question.

The Justice Department has asked the Census Bureau to include a citizenship question on the upcoming report. Becerra believes the department is wrong when it argues that the addition would be “critical to the department’s enforcement of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

Becerra and his cohorts, in a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, add that such a question would violate the U.S. Census Bureau’s obligations under the Constitution because it requires “counting the whole number of persons in each State,” not just citizens. …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee

‘Trump bump’ rescues California’s unemployment fund

donald-trump-2America’s economic recovery has benefited California more than most states because the real estate crash hit the Golden State a lot harder. In other words, we’ve had to claw our way up from a deeper hole.

The good news is that the strength of the recovery is impressive. Hourly wages have jumped by four dollars since the start of the Great Recession. Unemployment has dropped to 4.3 percent, a record low since 1976 when California started keeping track of the data. The new $190 billion general and special fund budget that Gov. Brown proposed last month is an all-time record and $26 billion more than just two years ago. By any metric California’s economy, the 5th largest in the world, is strong.

While California’s progressive legislators seize any opportunity to trash President Trump, the undeniable truth is that most Californians will benefit from the federal tax-reform bill both from increases in their paychecks as well as largess from their employers handing out raises and bonuses.

There is also good news for the state’s businesses community, which will see lower payroll taxes. Back in 2001, the state Legislature — in a decidedly short-sighted move — increased unemployment insurance benefits to a maximum amount of $450 a week for 26 weeks. Increasing benefits by that amount without increasing payroll taxes was a recipe for disaster. That disaster struck with the onset of the recession in 2008. One year later, the state depleted its unemployment insurance fund reserve and went into insolvency, where the fund remains today. In order to continue paying out unemployment benefits, California borrowed $10.2 billion from the federal government between 2008 and 2012.

Under law, California is prohibited from repaying the loan principal out of general or special funds, but can repay the interest due the federal government. The only way to repay the loan back is either by increasing payroll taxes or decreasing benefits. Because California politicians could not reach agreement on how to solve this problem, the federal government acted for them, automatically increasing payroll taxes to settle the debt.

The consequences of the insolvency of the Unemployment Insurance Fund have been dramatic for California businesses and taxpayers. According to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, California will end up paying nearly $1.5 billion in interest payments to the federal government out of the state’s general fund. And California employers are estimated to have paid over $2.5 billion in increased federal payroll taxes in 2017 alone, solely for the purpose of making the fund solvent. Increased wages and job growth from the “Trump bump” have helped to repay this loan quicker then might otherwise have been possible.

The unemployment insurance debacle is yet another example of the federal government riding to the rescue and bailing us out. The good news for California employers is that the federal loan will be paid off sometime this year, meaning more money can be invested in businesses and returned to workers.

However, the respite may be short-lived. As is inevitable in the cyclical nature of economies, what goes up must come back down. The nine-year expansion of California’s economy will not last forever and may already be starting to contract. In order to avoid yet another structural budget problem (see also: the general fund and unfunded pension liabilities) it is imperative the Legislature act now to restore sustainable benefit levels before the next recession. Otherwise, the Trump administration may once again have to bail out California.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

This article was originally published by the Orange County Register

Trump Reaches Out to California in State of the Union Address

Trump state of the unionPresident Donald Trump and the state of California are dramatically opposed, with the Democrat-dominated state leading the so-called “Resistance” and suing the administration over nearly every major policy.

But President Trump used his first official State of the Union address on Tuesday evening to reach out to the Golden State, setting the tone for a speech that was surprisingly conciliatory, and that emphasized themes of national unity.

In the introductory portion of his speech, Trump addressed the recent emergencies and naturaal disasters that had struck California and the rest of the nation, sounding a unifying theme right from the outset — instead of leaving such messages for the conclusion, as presidents often do.

Trump said:

Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success.  We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined.  We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship.  We endured floods and fires and storms.  But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.

Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.

We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg.  He is here with us too.  David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.

To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.

The unity of the moment was short-lived, as California’s own House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi refused to stand or applaud for the president’s call to come together: “But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy. Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.”

Still, Californians who have become accustomed to confrontation with the president — who has yet to visit the state in his presidency — could take comfort in a moment of outreach.

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, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This article was originally published by

President Trump Slaughters the NFL

Trump NFLIn youth sports there is something known as the “slaughter rule” which stops contests when one team is hopelessly behind the other – being slaughtered. In Little League baseball the rule is invoked when one team is ahead by 11 runs. In Pop Warner, middle school and some high school football the rule is activated when a team is ahead by 35 or more points.

If the showdown between President Trump and the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem were a sporting event, the slaughter rule would have been invoked long ago. NFL attendance is down, television ratings are down, and as a result income is down. The NFL is getting slaughtered and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

President Trump once again showed his ability to correctly judge public attitudes when he said that players who knelt during the anthem were “SOBs who should be fired.” Liberal heads exploded, of course, but as with so many topics the president may have been unartful in his words – but was spot-on in expressing what millions of Americans felt. Personally, I don’t think SOBs was strong enough language, and wish he had used his description of Haiti to describe the players’ brains. The NFL came to the defense of Colin Kaepernick and the other players who were symbolically burning the flag. They attacked the president in vile terms. The league has been getting slaughtered since and deservedly so.

Since the anti-police, anti-military, anti-anthem, unemployed but multi-millionaire quarterback Colin Kaepernick started his kneeling stunt, in-stadium attendance for regular season games is down over 14%. Sympathetic television networks, attempting to hide the huge swatches of empty seats, stopped taking “long shots” of stadiums. Shots from the Goodyear blimp became either close-ups of the field or such long shots that the viewer can’t discern the empty seats from the occupied ones.

The drop-off has been particularly noticeable during the playoffs since there are fewer games to monitor. For instance, the NFL had a disastrous first playoff weekend when it came to ratings. As Sports Illustrated (a Kaepernick apologist and supporter of anthem-kneeling) was forced to admit, “numbers have been down all season and it was more of the same for the wild-card games. Titans-Chiefs viewership was down 11%, Falcons-Rams was down 10%, Bills-Jaguars was down 10%, and Panthers-Saints was down 21%.”

Television networks sell ads far in advance based on guaranteed ratings. When those ratings fall short the networks have to refund advertiser dollars. So far this year the ratings drop has cost networks tens of millions of dollars in refunds.

The numbers didn’t get any better as the playoff’s progressed. “Outkick The Coverage,” a sports blog centering on football, found that the NFL had 23 million fewer viewers for this year’s playoff action. The blog took a look at the TV ratings and found that every game was down by millions of viewers and ratings fell to a 10-year low. Their bottom line conclusion was not a pretty one for the NFL: “Adding all these numbers up 120.8 million viewers watched the NFL divisional round playoffs in 2018 vs. 144.1 million who watched in 2017, a decline of 23.3 million total viewers.” As Mr. Ed used to say, that ain’t hay.

The upcoming Super Bowl will likely get its usual strong ratings. The New England Patriots long ago replaced the Dallas Cowboys as “America’s team.” Dare I suggest part of the reason also is that fans who tuned out the regular season and playoff games know that Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady are Trump supporters?

Charlotte, NC - September 18, 2016: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) walks off the field at Bank of America Stadium with his fist up in the air after their game against the Panthers.(Gerry Melendez for ESPN)

It is important not to let what started all this get lost in the mists of time. A 27-year-old multi-millionaire who has never really worked a day in his life decided that America was such a horrid country that, in his words, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color … . There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” His conscience and his pocketbook apparently are not in sync, as he doesn’t mind making millions of dollars in this rotten country that oppresses and murders people of color.

Kaepernick was referring to law enforcement officers in his “people getting away with murder” comment. He has socks that show pigs wearing police hats, and has said that the men and women in American law enforcement set out daily to murder black people. He’ll tell you that the American military is used to subjugate people of color around the globe. And in case you think he is just a run-of-the mill leftist instead of a true moron, he praised Fidel Castro as a “great leader” who has done many “humanitarian things” for the people of Cuba.

THIS is the man that our leftist media both inside and outside of sports has put on a pedestal. The flag is a symbol of oppression; police are pigs; some law enforcement officers start every day intending to kill black people; the military exists to oppress people of color and Fidel Castro was a humanitarian leader. If Kaepernick were really concerned about black people being killed he should go to Chicago where nearly 600 of them were killed by criminals last year. Or he should go to a Planned Parenthood office, the organization that kills 400,000 unborn black babies every year.

The NFL has been fully cowed and co-opted by Kaepernick, his small number of followers who play the game and his large number of sycophants in the media. Even in the face of surveys showing that nearly 75% of Americans disapprove of the protests, the league has pledged nearly $100 million toward “social justice” organizations. It’s their money, so they can throw it at far-left mirages if they wish.

It’s also the fans’ money – and viewership – and they have the right to do with those commodities as they wish. Those wishes now have precious little to do with supporting the NFL. The fans do not think police officers are pigs or that law enforcement personnel set out every day to murder black people. They respect America, its military and its flag. They respect a president willing to call out an un-patriotic, ignorant athlete deep in the fever swamps of ultra-leftism. As the NFL continues to get slaughtered, if you listen closely you might hear these fans celebrating the slaughter of the NFL: “Two, four, six, eight … who do we appreciate? Trump … Trump … Trump.”

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

Two DACA recipients arrested on suspicion of human smuggling

A man who was in the United States under the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program, and another man whose DACA protections had expired, were arrested on suspicion of human smuggling in two separate incidents last week, federal officials said Monday.

The DACA program gave unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children two-year renewable permits protecting them from deportation and allowing them to work.

In September, President Donald Trump announced the program would end in March 2018.

The first instance happened on Wednesday near Torrey Pines State Beach.

Border agents were sent to the area after a resident spotted what appeared to be a smuggling incident, federal officials said. Further investigation led agents to a vehicle suspected of being involved, which they pulled over on Interstate 5 near Dairy Mart Road about 12:10 p.m.

Three men were inside: the driver, a 20-year-old DACA recipient whose status had expired, and two Mexican nationals, ages 21 and 22, suspected of being in the country illegally. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Diego Union-Tribune

Public Radio Admits: Trump Tax Cut Good for Middle & Low Income in California

donald-trump-3A story by Southern California Public Radio station KPCC last week appeared to admit that President Donald Trump’s $1.5 billion tax reform is best for middle and lower income households.

During the months leading up to the tax cut, public radio and television railed away that Republican tax reform would be a massive giveaway to the wealthy, paid for by the middle and lower households. KPCC public radio reported polling that only one in three voters supported the bill.

Citing the supposedly non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), PBS News Hour gravely warned that all taxpayers with annual incomes under $75,000 would become tax losers over the decade long life of tax reform. Individuals with $1 million incomes were predicted to receive an immediate $59,615 a year tax cut windfall, while poor Americans making less than $20,000 per year would suffer losses that would grow from $48 in 2019 to $788 a year by 2027.

But CBO has had dismal track record estimating public spending and government deficits. CBO in 2010 infamously presented a 36-page financial justification to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi assuring that Obamacare would reduce federal deficits of $143 billion over the next decade. By 2012, the CBO was estimating that Obamacare’s spiking healthcare insurance premiums would increase the deficit by another $820 billion.

KPCC recently engaged Los Angeles-based H&R Block to break down what the Trump “tax changes have in store for a group of Southern Californians,” ranging from “low-income grad students to highly paid professionals.”

Based on 2016 tax returns, H&R Block found that the impact of tax reform resulted in:

  1. LOW INCOME = grad student Christine Vega, earning $23,446, would receive a refund increase of $400;
  2. MEDIAN INCOME = Megan and Marlee Malone-Franklin, who together made $69,192 by operating a small business called Hero Birth Services, received a tax cut of $1,497;
  3. UPPER INCOME = Rosa Castro earned $140,468 as a board administrator at the Metropolitan Water District and received a tax increase of $4,076; and
  4. TOP 1 PPERCENT EARNERS = Mary Ellen and Mark Glackins, making a mid-six figure income as corporate executives, received a tax cut of only $1,919.

The main reason that the upper and highest income households received very small tax cuts in comparison to the lower and median income households is the former’s legal gaming of the tax code by upper income earners, who could take huge amounts of deductions to lower the effective tax they paid drastically.

In 2016, Castro took $57,875 in itemized deductions, and the Glickins took $103,627 in itemized deductions. But deductions for state and local income, sales and property taxes is now capped at $10,000 under the new rules, plus deductions of unreimbursed job expenses were terminated. In 2018, Castro will lose about $22,584 of her federal deductions and the Glickins will lose $59,408 in deductions.

H&R Block’s Aaron Martinez said that although critics claimed that Trump’s tax reform would only benefit the rich: “The new rules don’t always give much back to highly paid workers in a state like California. They pay higher state income taxes than residents in other states, and now their ability to deduct those taxes will be capped.”

This article was originally published by

IRS could easily block Democratic scheme to increase CA tax deductions

Tax formDemocratic state lawmakers’ interest in pursuing an unprecedented plan to minimize the hit that California’s high-income residents face because of the federal tax overhaul’s $10,000 cap on deductibility of state and local taxes may be losing momentum – undermined by strong warnings from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who oversees the Internal Revenue Service, and by a new analysis that says the IRS could easily squelch the maneuver.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles introduced Senate Bill 227 early this month. It would allow the estimated 6 million Californians who itemize their federal income taxes to effectively continue to write off state and local tax deductions in excess of $10,000 by allowing them to pay their state taxes to a state charitable foundation, the California Excellence Fund.

Tax experts note that states have long allowed tax deductions for charitable donations and say de Leon’s ploy is protected by the fact that tax laws are traditionally subject to stricter interpretation than most federal laws because of concerns that a rogue IRS could target individuals or companies it didn’t like.

Democratic lawmakers embraced de Leon’s proposal, saying the move would allow the 6 million state taxpayers who itemize deductions to save an average of more than $8,000 a year.

Washington Post: California shows how to take on Trump

But after Washington Post coverage of the legislation asserted it could create a “national boilerplate for skirting Trump tax changes,” the Trump administration took notice of what California was up to.

Politico reported that Mnuchin called the proposal in California and similar proposals in other high-tax states “ridiculous.” Mnuchin emphasized that the IRS was allowed to decide what qualifies as an IRS-recognized charity.

“Let me just say again from a Treasury standpoint and IRS, I don’t want to speculate on what people will do, but I think it’s one of the more ridiculous comments to think you can take a real estate tax that you are required to make and dress that up as a charitable contribution,” Mnuchin told reporters at the White House. He described the ploy as an obvious attempt by states “to evade the law.”

Mnuchin’s comments were backed up in a report by the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation.

“This proposal, while interesting, is fairly obviously in violation of existing law and jurisprudence,” wrote veteran tax analyst Jared Walczak. “Just because the IRS has not consistently cracked down on some minor efforts here and there does not mean it would turn a blind eye to a concerted effort to contravene the tax code by providing a contribution in lieu of taxes program.”

Walczak warned state lawmakers that when it comes to de Leon’s Senate Bill 227, the IRS could readily thwart it under precedents that allow it to block deductions for charitable donations if the agency concluded there was no “charitable intent” to the donations.

Given that de Leon and other backers of the bill have openly described it as being designed to reduce Californians’ payments to the U.S. Treasury, lawyers defending the bill if it became law and was rejected by the IRS would face a difficult task: making a plausible case that a “charitable donation” that was undertaken with the goal of reducing an individual’s or family’s tax obligations meets the requirements set by the IRS for allowable charitable deductions.

The latest IRS overview of which deductions are allowed – Publication 526, released in 2016 under the Obama administration – doesn’t seem to allow such self-serving deductions.

It says that for a donation to qualify for a deduction, it must be “made without getting, or expecting to get, anything of equal value. … Qualified organizations include nonprofit groups that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific or literary in purpose, or that work to prevent cruelty to children or animals.”

This article was originally published by

Democrats sweat nightmare scenario in California

congressDemocrats who cheered the retirement announcements of Reps. Darrell Issa and Ed Royce last week are sobering up to a new fear: A potential nightmare scenario in which no Democratic candidate ends up on the November ballot in either seat, dealing a blow to the party’s efforts to retake the House.

The problem is California’s unusual, top-two primary system, where the top two vote-getters regardless of party affiliation advance to the November general election.

Prior to the retirement announcements, Democrats had been pounding for months on Royce and Issa, yoking the two vulnerable Republicans to a president loathed in this heavily Democratic state. But with no GOP incumbent in either race — and with Democratic candidates threatening to splinter their party’s share of the vote — Democrats now face the prospect of getting scrubbed entirely from the November ballot.

In recent days, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee acknowledged it could be forced to spend money in one or both primaries to ensure that two Republican candidates do not finish atop the field in June. And Democratic candidates, mindful of a potential culling effort, have sped up their voter outreach, polling and opposition research operations.

The party is seeking to avoid an embarrassing repeat of 2012, when two Republicans finished ahead of then-Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar in an Inland Empire congressional district in which Democrats held a voter registration edge.

The defeat was one of the party’s most stunning losses of the election cycle. And though Aguilar would go on to win a House seat two years later, his name has now taken on the quality of a verb.

Surveying the competitive House districts this year, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) said, “‘We don’t want to get Aguilar-ed.”

The fallout from California’s top-two primary could even go beyond districts where incumbents are retiring, in part due to the proliferation of Democratic candidates this year. On Tuesday, the number of Democratic candidates running in California’s 14 Republican-held districts reached 67, one more than in the past three election cycles combined, according to a count by Rob Pyers of the California Target Book, which handicaps races in the state.

He said Democrats appear most at risk of knocking themselves out in a nationally-targeted Orange County district held by Republican Rep. Mimi Walters, where a second Republican, Greg Raths, is considering challenging Walters.

“With something like 7 or 8 Democrats running,” Pyers said, “if [Raths] runs, then he stands a good chance of getting more of the vote than any of the Democrats,” advancing with Walters to an all-Republican contest she would likely be favored to win in November.

While Takano said finishing first and second in any competitive district it would be a “tricky thing to pull off” for Republicans, he acknowledged, “It is an outcome that is possible — we’ve seen it happen — where two members of the same party make it onto the ballot.”

The Royce and Issa contests are especially significant to national Democrats, who bolstered their operations in the area last year in an effort to take advantage of demographic changes working in the party’s favor in Southern California’s densely populated suburbs. The two seats, touching parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties, are among seven Republican-held districts in California that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.

Seven Democrats are already running in Royce’s district, including six candidates who have raised more than six figures. Four well-funded Democrats are campaigning in Issa’s district, including Doug Applegate, who nearly topped Issa in 2016.

“The political earthquake and phenomenon that is embodied by Donald Trump has created just so much vitriol and enthusiasm for Democrats that you’ve got multiple candidates, many of which are well-funded … and we haven’t seen that before,” said Dave Jacobson, a Democratic strategist advising businessman Andy Thorburn in the Royce district.

In such a large field, Jacobson said candidates are moving earlier to “break through all the clutter.”

Takano, Jacobson and other Democrats predict Republicans will have difficulty containing their own field of candidates, eliminating any mathematical advantage they might have by running only two candidates in each district.

“Frankly, I think you’re going to see a splintering of the GOP, in much the same way that you’re going to see a splintering of the Democratic field,” Jacobson said.

In the week since Royce and Issa announced their retirements, a rush of Republicans announced plans to seek those seats or said they are mulling entering the race. But Jim Brulte, chairman of the California Republican Party, said, “Just because people announce doesn’t mean they’re going to file.”

The Republican field has had little time to gel, and Brulte said, “At the end of the day, I don’t know that everybody’s going to run.”

Recalling Aguilar’s defeat, Brulte said of the possibility of a top-two repeat, “It’s already happened in a very competitive district.”

The Republican candidates bidding to succeed Royce and Issa include former lawmakers who have won previous elections in the area, in some cases with moderate profiles that Democrats fear could appeal to voters in swing districts.

Drew Godinich, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Democrats are mindful of the Aguilar example and “we are watching these races very closely to make sure that a Democrat gets through.” While the DCCC has not yet intervened in the primary, he said, “The DCCC reserves the right to get involved in these races if necessary.”

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said state Democrats “worry a lot about the math problem” in the top-two primary, but he said “we can’t do much” to control the field. California Democrats historically “don’t have the strong types of party control” as exists in other states.

And any effort to elevate one Democrat over other candidates is risky. The party is still suffering from animosity from progressive Democrats furious about the treatment of Bernie Sanders in the last presidential primary.

“It’s a delicate dance, because we respect the fact that everybody’s individual right to run for office, that should be respected,” said Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.). ““But at the same time, it’s just about having an honest dialogue and trying to see if people are being honest with themselves … If they’re honest with themselves, then they should stay in the race if they’ve got a real shot. And if they really don’t have a real shot, maybe it’s time to consolidate together.”

At a recent gathering of local Democrats in Royce’s district, activist Shana Charles said the possibility that two Republicans will advance in the primary is “certainly on the radar of many activists in Orange County.”

California’s top-two primary benefitted the Democratic Party in 2016, when two Democrats advanced in the U.S. Senate race. And it is possible two Democrats will face each other in the gubernatorial runoff this year, depriving Republicans of a stop on the top of the ticket.

But in some cases, Charles said, “it backfires.” The current election cycle, she said, has “made me rethink this top-two ballot.”

This article was originally published by Politico