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Bay Area Political Digest (Sanchez backs Apple)

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Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, is coming to the self-proclaimed capital of Silicon Valley today for the California Democratic Party Convention. With her rival for Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate, Kamala Harris, leading in polls, Sanchez wasted no time standing up for the region’s biggest company. According to the AP, Sanchez said she supports Apple’s decision to resist a court order to help the FBI break into the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Meanwhile, Harris, the state’s top law enforcement official, is staying out of the dispute.

President Barack Obama won’t be endorsing Rep. Mike Honda this year. Obama endorsed Honda over fellow Deomcrat Ro Khanna in 2014, but will be neutral this year. The White House wouldn’t say if Honda’s ethics probe has anything to do with it.

Marco Rubio was feisty at the Thursday’s Republican debate, but Trump still dominated airtime.

And a new poll shows nearly 60 percent of residents support legalizing the recreational use of cannabis.

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Obama staying neutral in Honda vs. Khanna rematch

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When Mike Honda and Ro Khanna squared off two years ago to represent Silicon Valley in Congress, Honda’s seemingly interminable list of big name Democratic Party backers included none other than Khanna’s former boss, President Barack Obama.

But not this time around. The president is not endorsing in this year’s rematch, the Democratic National Committee said Thursday, handing Honda another setback as he tries to defend his seat against a better-funded challenger while also confronting an ethics probe.

“I think it might be a telling sign as to where some national Democrats think the race is going,” said Kyle Kondik, a University of Virginia congressional elections expert. “As a Democratic incumbent you’d love to have the backing of the incumbent Democratic president. This is something that the Honda folks would have to explain to their donors.”

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Bay Area Political Digest (Leland Yee sentenced, Brown ballot initiative dealt blow)

FILE - In this July 31, 2014 file photo, California state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, leaves federal court in San Francisco. The former California state senator Yee is expected to be sentenced Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, after acknowledging in a plea deal that he accepted thousands of dollars in bribes and discussed helping an undercover FBI agent buy automatic weapons from the Philippines. Yee’s attorneys have called for no more than five years and three months behind bars, saying Yee has a history of public service and his wife is ill. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

(AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

Here are  a few of today’s big-time stories:

Former State Sen. Leland Yee was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday. Yee said his crimes will “haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Jerry Brown’s prison reform ballot measure is in limbo after a judge ruled Wednesday that that last minute changes to the plan violated protocols. If an appeal is denied, advocates for the measure might not have enough time to collect signatures and get it on the November ballot.

Donald Trump never enlisted, but he told Howard Stern once that he had his own personal Vietnam: Avoiding STDs. “I feel like a great and very brave soldier,” he told the shock jock, according to Buzzfeed.

Lastly, a new poll shows Republicans actually have a chance to make inroads with Latino voters this election, unless they nominate their very brave soldier. Eight out of 10 Latinos polled had negative views of Trump.

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Bay Area blacks trying to help Sanders in South Carolina

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When Bernie Sanders arrived in South Carolina this week trailing in one poll by 28 points, he had a couple of Bay Area-born black leaders by his side to help boost his standing in a community that is pro-Hillary.

On the stage with him during a big rally in Greenville were former NAACP leader Ben Jealous (Monterey) and actor/activist Danny Glover (San Francisco).

For a candidate who’s polling poorly among blacks nationwide, Sanders does seem to have support among some Bay Area black activists. He even got Oakland’s own Fantastic Negrito to perform for him in New Hampshire and Nevada.

Sanders doesn’t seem to be climbing in the polls down South, but at least his Bay Area backers didn’t get him in hot water like Atlanta Rapper Killer Mike. And now he’s bringing out his trump card, fellow Brookynite Spike Lee. Lee just taped a 60-second radio spot for “My Brother Bernie.”

 

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Political Wire

Real estate mogul Donald Trump announces his bid for the presidency in the 2016 presidential race during an event at the Trump Tower on the Fifth Avenue in New York City on June 16, 2015. Trump, one of America's most flamboyant and outspoken billionaires, threw his hat into the race Tuesday for the White House, promising to make America great again. The 69-year-old long-shot candidate ridiculed the country's current crop of politicians and vowed to take on the growing might of China in a speech launching his run for the presidency in 2016. "I am officially running for president of the United States and we are going to make our country great again," he said from a podium bedecked in US flags at Trump Tower on New York's Fifth Avenue. The tycoon strode onto the stage after sailing down an escalator to the strains of "Rockin' In The Free World" by Canadian singer Neil Young after being introduced by daughter Ivanka. His announcement follows years of speculation that the man known to millions as the bouffant-haired host of American reality TV game show "The Apprentice" would one day enter politics. Trump identifies himself as a Republican, and has supported Republican candidates in the past. But in his announcement speech he did not explicitly say if he was running for the party's nomination or as an independent.AFP PHOTO/ KENA BETANCURKENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

Getty Images

Here are some of today’s big-time stories:

Trump wins again. And he leads in just about every state except Texas, New Mexico and Utah. Exit polls, which struggle with this type of thing, even found that Trump won among Latinos.

The AP reported that two people showed up to a caucus wearing KKK style hoods and declared their support for Trump. Unclear if it was genuine or a from of protest.

Former State sen. Leland Yee is scheduled to be sentenced today, and new court filings show his would be arms supplier was a Colma tombstone carver straight out of the USSR.

Our Sacramento reporter Jessica Calefati writes that enough Republicans will support a replacement tax on managed health plans that will help avert the loss of $1 billion in federal funds for Medi-Cal. 

Politico got its hands on a poll showing that Bernie Sanders would fare better in California against a Republican challenger than Hillary Clinton. That jives with numerous polls in other states as well.

 

 

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Political Wire

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Here are some of today’s big-time political stories:

What is disappearing faster than the ground water in California? Republicans! Their ranks have diminished by 400,000 over the past four years, the Sacramento Bee reports. Democratic enrollment is flat, as more voters choose to be unaffiliated. Makes sense with open primaries.

Vice President Joe Biden might not get a big cheer at this weekend’s state Democratic Convention after video surfaced of him saying 24-years-ago that then-President George H.W. Bush shouldn’t nominate a justice in an election year.

Univision is entering the political fray. Angry over Donald Trump, the Spanish-language network is trying to register 3 million new voters this year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Our Patrick May has the latest in the Apple vs FBI stare down. Continue Reading