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The Year in Trump

I’m hoping that by posting this end-of-year retrospective before the actual end of the year, the universe will reward me with at least one more outrageous Donald Trump quote before 2016 ends.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” – at his candidacy announcement at Trump Tower in New York City, June 16

“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” – speaking of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a former prisoner of war, at a GOP presidential forum in Ames, Iowa, July 18

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her… wherever.”
— speaking of Fox News GOP debate moderator Megyn Kelly on CNN, Aug. 7

“I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” – speaking of two Boston men, one of whom had claimed they were inspired by Trump when they beat and urinated upon a homeless Latino immigrant, Aug. 19

“When these people walk in the room, they don’t say, ‘Oh, hello! How’s the weather? It’s so beautiful outside. Isn’t it lovely? How are the Yankees doing? Oh they’re doing wonderful. Great.’ [Asians] say, ‘We want deal!’” – at a campaign rally in Dubuque, Iowa, Aug. 25

“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” – speaking of Carly Fiorina in Rolling Stone, in September

“They’re going to build a plant and illegals are going drive those cars right over the border. And they’ll probably end up stealing the cars.” – speaking of Ford Motor Co.’s plan to build an manufacturing plant in Mexico in Burlington, Iowa, Oct. 22

“It’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper or temprament. That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that, that’s like, I could say, they say you don’t cure, as an example: child molesting. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.” – speaking of Ben Carson on CNN, Nov. 12

“Look, I’m a negotiator like you folks; we’re negotiators … This room negotiates perhaps more than any room I’ve spoken to, maybe more.” – addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C., Dec. 3

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” — at a rally in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Dec. 7

And a video bonus: Trump mocks a reporter with a physical disability at a rally in South Carolina, Nov. 24:

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Report: Kamala Harris living well on campaign trail

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris has a penchant for pricey luxury hotels, cars and airfare, according to a report published Sunday by the National Journal.

Kamala HarrisHarris, California’s attorney general, is seeking the seat that U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer will vacate at the end of next year. She’s competing with Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, and Republicans including Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, and former state GOP chairs Tom Del Beccaro of Lafayette and Duf Sundheim of Los Altos Hills.

Per Harris’ latest FEC filing, her campaign had burned through 44 percent of what it has raised. That still left her almost $3 million in the bank (after accounting for outstanding debts), which is far more than Sanchez ($1.25 million) or any of the Republicans have. (UPDATE: Sanchez’s campaign notes that about half the money Harris has banked can’t be used in the primary while all of Sanchez’ bankroll can be, so they’re not really so far apart.) She also has close ties to President Obama’s fundraising network, so it’s unlikely she’ll run out of money anytime soon – or ever.

And the spending – including $18,000 on luxury hotels, $20,000 on car services, and 13 instances of air travel costing more than $1,000 each – still isn’t much in the context of the campaign’s spending overall.

Still, some Democrats are taking Harris to task for what looks like unseemly spending – not a good narrative for a candidate who declared early and tried to clear the field in order to project an aura of inevitability.

And it might make donors wonder what their money really pays for. She’ll attend a fundraiser Wednesday, Dec. 9 in Atlanta, hosted by Mayor Kasim Reed, for which tickets cost $500 to $5,400 each. Then she’ll be back in the Bay Area for a fundraiser Sunday, Dec. 13 in Richmond, hosted by the local chapter of Black Women Organized for Political Action, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, and others; tickets for that one cost from $75 to $5,400.

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Sam Liccardo endorses Kamala Harris for Senate

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo endorsed California Attorney General Kamala Harris for 2016’s U.S. Senate race on Monday, the third of the Bay Area’s big-city mayors to do so.

Sam LiccardoLiccardo, a Democrat one year into his first mayoral term, said Harris “wins results for our families, even when powerful interests try to stand in her way.”

“As a former prosecutor, I watched with admiration as she took on the nation’s biggest banks during the mortgage crisis, winning $20 billion dollars to help families and homeowners in our state,” he said. “And I’ve seen her work hard to keep protect our kids – whether she’s taking down transnational criminal gangs or tackling elementary school truancy and working to ensure every child has a shot at success in school and in life. I’m proud to endorse Kamala in this race and am looking forward to her continuing her fight for us in the U.S. Senate.”

Harris said she’s “humbled” by Liccardo’s endorsement. “We are building a campaign that lifts up the voices of all Californians and gets results for our families. Our fight for California has just begun, and I’m glad to have the mayor on our team.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee endorsed Harris earlier, as did Bay Area House members Mark DeSaulnier, Barbara Lee, Eric Swalwell, Mike Honda and Jared Huffman.

Though Harris has a large lead in fundraising and endorsements, her Democratic rival in this Senate race – Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana – has been making inroads recently around the state. The Orange County Register’s Martin Wisckol noted Sunday that Sanchez has picked up some key endorsements and even here in the Bay Area, Harris’ home turf – including nods from Rep. Anna Eshoo and Rep. Sam Farr.

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CA17: Republican enters race to unseat Honda

A Republican candidate has entered the race to unseat Rep. Mike Honda in the 17th Congressional District – and that’s potentially bad news for Democratic challenger Ro Khanna.

Ron CohenRon Cohen, 56, of Fremont, filed papers with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month to form a campaign committee. In a brief interview Thursday, Cohen said he’s not yet ready to share his entire platform, but described himself as a fiscal and social conservative who wants to provide a counterpoint to Honda, D-San Jose, and Khanna.

Cohen said he has never sought public office before, as he was too busy building his CPA practice; he’s an international tax partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co. in Fremont. But having become a grandfather recently, he’s grown more concerned with the nation’s debt.

“I’m getting to the age now that if I’m going to do something, it’s time to do it,” he said. “I checked into it with the Republican party and nobody else seems to be running – it’s a tough district for Republicans, I realize.”

The 17th District – a central swath of Silicon Valley, and the first Asian-American majority district outside Hawaii – is 43 percent Democrat, 19 percent Republican and 33 percent nonpartisan. Republican Vanila Singh got only 17 percent of the vote in last June’s primary, failing to make the “top two” cut and leaving Khanna to challenge Honda in November. Honda defeated Khanna by 3.6 percentage points.

Still, Singh’s presence affected last year’s race. Khanna spent big before the primary, even airing several television ads, in trying to finish a strong second behind Honda and to ensure Singh didn’t peel away too many “anyone but Honda” votes. That left Khanna’s campaign practically broke in the general election campaign’s final weeks.

Once again this year, any Republican votes going to Cohen are more likely to come out of Khanna’s pocket than Honda’s. However, this being Khanna’s second run, he already has far better name recognition and funding than Cohen is likely to be able to muster.

UPDATE @ 3:49 P.M.: Click here for a more complete story, with comments from the Honda and Khanna campaigns.

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Bobby Jindal ends his presidential campaign

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal dropped out of the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Bobby Jindal“I cannot tell you what an honor it has been to run for President of the United States of America. My parents came to this country 45 years ago searching for freedom and a chance.

“When I was born, we lived in student housing at LSU, and never in their wildest dreams did they think their son would have the opportunity to serve as Governor of Louisiana or to run for President.

“They raised me to believe Americans can do anything, and they were right, we can. But this is not my time, so I am suspending my campaign for President.

“Going forward, I believe we have to be the party of growth and we can never stop being the party that believes in opportunity. We cannot settle for The Left’s view of envy and division. We have to be the party that says everyone in this country – no matter the circumstances of their birth or who their parents are – can succeed in America.

“One of the things I will do is go back to work at the think tank I started a few years ago – where I will be outlining a blueprint for making this the American century.

“We must show the way forward on growing our economy and winning the war against terror, and especially defeating radical Islam.

“I realize that our country is off on the wrong track right now. Everyone knows that, but don’t forget, this is still the greatest country in the history of the world – and every single one of us should start every day by thanking God that we are fortunate enough to be US citizens.

“Now is the time for all those Americans who still believe in freedom and American exceptionalism to stand up and defend it. The idea of America – the idea that my parents came here for almost a half a century ago – that idea is slipping away from us. Freedom is under assault from both outside our borders and from within. We must act now, we do not have a moment to spare.

Not many will shed a tear. Jindal had the support of 0.3 percent of Republican voters, according to an average of recent national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. And here in the Bay Area, only four people had contributed any money to his campaign by Sept. 30 – a total of $1,500. (See my earlier story on presidential fundraising for one opinion on why the Bay Area’s huge Indian-American population didn’t pony up for Jindal.)

So, “‘Bye, Felicia.

Nonetheless, several of his Republican presidential candidate peers issued laudatory statements.

From U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas:

“Bobby Jindal is a friend, a patriot, and an incredible governor who has consistently and passionately championed conservative values. He brought a unique talent and many strengths to the Republican primary competition.

“His focus on substantive policy matters advanced the debate that our party must have on the issues most important to American voters. And his vision for fundamental tax reform, as well as repealing and replacing Obamacare, helped set an important standard among the Republican field. He presented bold policy proposals that helped strengthen the ideas put forth in this primary to prepare our eventual nominee for the general election.

“Bobby will always be an important conservative leader in the Republican Party and serve to better the future of our country. Heidi and I wish Supriya, Bobby, and their family all the best.”

From U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.:

“Governor Jindal is a true conservative and a principled leader, whose story epitomizes the American Dream. Governor Jindal has served the people of Louisiana with distinction, and I have no doubt that he will play an important role in helping to elect the next President of the Unites States, and beyond. I wish him and his family all the best.”

From neurosurgeon Ben Carson:

From former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: