Barbara Lee will help draft Democratic platform

Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee might find herself playing the role of peacemaker at July’s Democratic National Convention. Lee has been named to the 15-member committee that will draft the party’s platform.

To assuage Bernie Sanders, the party gave him five picks for the committee and Hillary Clinton six picks.  Lee, who hasn’t endorsed in the race, is one of four people selected by the Democratic National Committee to also sit on the committee.

Typically, the party chairperson makes all the selections, but that would not have gone down well with Sanders supporters who think establishment Democrats have rigged the nominating process in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

Among Sanders’ picks are James Zogby, a pollster and advocate for the rights of Palestinians, Rep. Keith Ellison, the lone Muslim-American in the House and Professor Cornel West.




No Clinton vs. Sanders debate in California

Fox News, San Francisco and Bernie Sanders — not exactly the best debate recipe for Hillary Clinton. And today she officially rejected Fox’s offer for one last Democratic debate in the progressive capital of the nation.

From Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri:

“We have declined Fox News’ invitation to participate in a debate in California. As we have said previously, we plan to compete hard in the remaining primary states, particularly California, while turning out attention to the threat a Donald Trump presidency poses.”

“We believe that Hillary Clinton’s time is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands.”

Sanders had been pushing for a debate, and his campaign has long said that he and Clinton had agreed to an expanded debate schedule including one in California. Here is what he said today:

“I am disappointed but not surprised by Secretary Clinton’s unwillingness to debate before the largest and most important primary in the presidential nominating process.

“The state of California and the United States face some enormous crises. Democracy, and respect for the voters of California, would suggest that there should be a vigorous debate in which the voters may determine whose ideas they support. I hope Secretary Clinton reconsiders her unfortunate decision to back away from her commitment to debate.

“I also would suggest that Secretary Clinton may want to be not quite so presumptuous about thinking that she is a certain winner. In the last several weeks, the people of Indiana, West Virginia and Oregon have suggested otherwise.”



John Chiang raising money for gubenatorial bid

John Chiang

Treasurer John Chiang has been upfront about his interest in running for governor in 2018, and Monday, he filed paperwork to start raising money to take on a potentially star-studded field.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is already a candidate. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire activist Tom Steyer are also rumored candidates.

See below for Chiang’s announcement:

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Bernie Sanders knows the way to San Jose

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is bringing his call for a political revolution to San Jose Wednesday with a 1 p.m. rally at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.
This will be the Vermont senator’s first major Bay Area rally leading up to his showdown with Hillary Clinton in California’s June 7 Democratic primary. He made a brief stop at his Oakland campaign headquarters last week after campaigning in the Central Valley.
The rally is part of Sanders’ two-day swing through California that will begin Tuesday evening in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, where he will address supporters at the StubHub Center as results trickle in from primaries held that day in Kentucky and Oregon. Continue Reading


Tom Steyer at center of union fight

A major union get-out-the-vote drive is in jeopardy as trade unions scoff at the inclusion of Tom Steyer, a Bay Area billionaire hedge fund manager and environmentalist.

Steyer had pledged $5 million toward the For Our Future SuperPAC in collaboration with the A.F.L-C.I.O. and individual unions aimed at creating a unified effort to help Democrats in key battleground states.

But Steyer’s involvement didn’t sit well with the trade unions who say that his environmental advocacy has cost them jobs. Steyer most recently opposed the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a letter obtained by the New York Times, the trade unions made clear to A.F.L-C.I.O. President Richard Trumka that they wouldn’t join forces with Steyer:

“It saddens us that the very labor movement we have fought for and supported for over a century seems to have lost sight of its core mission and has moved away from us and our membership in the interest of headline-grabbing political expediency,” wrote the union presidents. The letter was signed by leaders of the operating engineers, plumbers, elevator constructors, roofers, laborers, plasterers and heat and frost insulators. Many of them have members who would stand to gain if the sort of energy projects Mr. Steyer has opposed went forward.

In a separate and even more harshly worded letter to Mr. Trumka, the president of the 500,000-member laborers union, Terry O’Sullivan, called the partnership a “politically bankrupt betrayal” of union members. “We object to the political agenda of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. being sold to a job-killing hedge fund manager with a bag of cash,” he wrote.

Steyer’s political advocacy group NextGen Climate didn’t shoot back at his union critics:

“NextGen Climate is committed to preventing climate disaster and promoting prosperity for every American and that is precisely what our partnership with For Our Future aims to do. Our new unified effort will help elect progressive leaders who are committed to a just transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit working families across the nation.”