Good morning, Bay Area. It’s Wednesday, Nov. 13, and California lawmakers will be front and center at televised impeachment hearings. Here’s what you need to know to start your day. Impeachment hearings begin Public impeachment hearings on President Trump’s alleged attempt to use a foreign government to investigate a political rival will begin this morning in Washington. “These hearings will address subjects of profound consequence for the nation and the functioning of our government under the Constitution,” said California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which leads the inquiry, in a memo to lawmakers. It’s a remarkable moment, even for a White House full of them, writes the Associated Press’ Lisa Mascaro. Knocking on doors in a swing state: Everyone thinks they know how this story will end, writes Joe Garofoli, but will the effort have an impact on the 2020 election? Previously: Bay Area … [Read more...] about Bay Briefing: The question of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ now on TV
Matt Morrison has spent a lot of time over the past two years talking to working-class voters in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and he’s got a message for those who don’t get out of the West Coast blue bubble much: President Trump could easily win re-election. “If nothing were to change from today, I would give him a better-than-likely probability of being re-elected and winning pretty clear majorities in places like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin,” said Morrison. He leads the labor-funded Working America, a group that advocates for and has done deep research on working-class voters, including interviewing 5,000 people in focus groups in those states and elsewhere. Morrison believes that despite Trump’s tough-talking rhetoric, he hasn’t been good for working-class voters. While the stock market gains have benefited wealthier Americans, wage growth for most workers hasn’t kept pace with the rise in the economy. Yet Trump remains popular … [Read more...] about View from outside California’s blue bubble: Trump could win re-election
When Pete Buttigieg’s Democratic presidential campaign passed through San Francisco in February, he was greeted by a throng that consisted of pretty much me. Plus a radio outfit, a handful of donors and some techies curious about what he would say at the headquarters of the on-demand delivery company, Postmates. The two most pressing questions then for the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., were: “Who is this guy?” And, “How do you pronounce Buttigieg?” (It’s BOOT-edge-edge.) But Thursday night, Buttigieg packed a 300-seat room at the Marines’ Memorial Club for an onstage interview. Somehow over the past month, Democrats have figured out who Buttigieg is. He’s “the hottest candidate in the Democratic presidential field,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza said the other day. “Don’t look now, but a (nother) skinny kid with a funny name is turning heads in the presidential race. In 2008, it was Barack Obama. In 2020, … [Read more...] about Pete Buttigieg, suddenly a hot Democratic ticket, draws a crowd in SF
Susan Campodonico hadn’t been out on the street protesting since the Vietnam War. But there she was, standing in front of the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland on a Tuesday afternoon, holding a neon green sign that read: “Honk for single payer NOW!” She credits her presence to “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.” Modeled on the success of the conservative Tea Party, the 24-page step-by-step activist playbook has exploded since it went online three months ago. It’s been downloaded almost 2 million times since then by people who want to interrogate Republicans like Rep. Tom McClintock at a town hall in Mariposa or goad Democrats like Sen. Dianne Feinstein into attending one in Oakland. What started out as some congressional staffers sharing organizing tips has mushroomed into an organization that has inspired small, autonomous groups across the nation. Not surprisingly, many of the 5,802 “Indivisible”-inspired groups … [Read more...] about Can Indivisible do for progressives what Tea Party did for GOP?
Four years ago, when President Barack Obama asked Ann Ravel to serve on the Federal Election Commission, she was seen as one of the last great hopes to save the agency that is supposed to root out the secretive “dark money” political contributions that can poison our politics. Instead, Ravel returned home to Los Gatos last week after quitting two months before her term was to end, exhausted by the worst of Washington’s partisanship, beaten by its gridlock. Despite her best efforts, the FEC has become, as Ravel once told “The Daily Show,” as irrelevant as male nipples. “That quote is going to be on my gravestone,” she said shortly after arriving home to California. Yet like the best public servants, she couldn’t keep taking a paycheck without being able to make a difference. “I’m a public servant. I’ve always been a public servant,” the former chair of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission said … [Read more...] about How gridlock beat the Californian who tried to fix Washington