Posts Tagged: house

Opinion

Capitol annex project: A textbook example of a boondoggle

A view of the east side of the state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: ZikG, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: As legislators reconvened this month, they returned to a relatively empty Capitol building. Why, then, are they pursuing a $1.3 billion Capitol Annex “renovation” project? Cognitive dissonance is the most charitable explanation I can conjure for this costly boondoggle proceeding amidst the COVID-induced economic disaster that’s destroying the lives of Californians and plunging countless in the state into poverty

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Lobbying bills on the floors of the Legislature

The chamber of the state Senate in Sacramento. (Photo: Felix Lipov, via Shutterstock)

In simplistic terms, lobbying the state Senate and Assembly floors is similar to lobbying legislative committees, except that the scale is much larger. For example, some committees have as few five members (elected officials), while others have over 20 members. As you would assume, most committees in the 40-member Senate have fewer members sitting on them than do their counterparts in the 80-member Assembly.

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Census facing uncertainty, hostile president

Ladera Ranch, census-designated community in southern Orange County. (Photo: bonandbon, via Shutterstock)

A lot is riding on this decennial tally: It affects the way federal funding is distributed and it can have a dramatic impact on the boundaries — and number — of political districts. This time around, California’s congressional seats are on shaky ground. But the uncertainty stems as much from President Trump’s actions as from the long-awaited 2020 census numbers, which have been delayed because of the pandemic.

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Adam Schiff: From obscurity to center stage

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, chair of the House Intelligence Committee. (Image: Screen capture, ABC This Week)

Throughout most of his political career, Adam Schiff has been low-key, laboring mostly in the background in the California Senate and then in Congress.  Now, at age 59, he finds himself in the national spotlight as a major target of Donald Trump amid the hot glare of presidential impeachment.

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CA120: The magic and mystery of ‘electability’

Kickoff campaign rally for presidential candidate Kamala Harris in Oakland in January. (Photo: Sheila Fitzgerald, via Shutterstock)

With the second release of the Capitol Weekly 2020 Tracking Poll we can dive into some details of the survey.  Each month we will strive to find something in the data that speaks to a major topic targeted by policy wonks, pundits and political strategists, and we’ll look at the data from California respondents.

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California, other states in border wall fight

The border barrier between the U.S. and Mexico in Nogales, Arizona. (Photo: Manuela Durson)

As the Congressional battle heats up over President Trump’s efforts to build a border wall, a number of states — including California — already have joined the fight in court. California and 15 other states have challenged the president’s emergency declaration to spend billions of dollars for the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border

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California’s hunt for political relevance

Political messaging in the city of Vista in the 49th Congressional District prior to election day. (Photo: Simone Hogan, via Shutterstock)

On election night, California’s closely watched congressional races, viewed as crucial to Democrats’ attempts to capture the House, were largely irrelevant, after all. Democrats needed to pick up 23 seats nationally to reach a House majority and they got 26 before Golden State voters even weighed in — far short of the number predicted by numerous campaign strategists but still enough to give Democrats control.

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Polling: Surprises lurk in those House seats

A view of the House of Representatives, with members and their visiting families. (Photo: Mark Reinstein)

A number of California’s Republican-held House seats face fierce challenges from Democrats, and the tally of votes in these tight races may not be completed for days, even weeks, following the election. That’s the message in Capitol Weekly’s survey of more than 20,000 mail-in voters across California who cast their ballots prior to election day.

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Before Kevin and Devin, there was Bill

Former Congressman Bill Thomas at a political event in Bakersfield. <(Photo: Screen capture, YouTube.)

Former Republican Congressman Bill Thomas, who capped a 28-year House career as chair of the Ways and Means Committee, has been out of Congress for more than a decade. His name is no longer familiar outside of his Bakersfield base. But two of his protégés are very well known – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who served as Thomas’ district director,  and Oversight Committee Chair Devin Nunes, who Thomas encouraged to run for Congress and who nurtured his career after he got there.

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Stem cell: On Capitol Hill, bipartisan accord on funding

U.S. Capitol at sunset. (Photo: Diego Grandi, via Shutterstock)

This past weekend brought news about a “rapturous agreement among Republicans and Democrats” to support development of new therapies by financing biomedical research with billions of dollars. The New York Times article indicated that the rapture could have something to do with the fact that many key political leaders on Capitol Hill are “aging in place.”

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