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Primary preview – it’s all about the votes

Tuesday’s primary is a big predictor for November midterm showdown

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Out California Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman works the phones in get-out-the-vote effort. (Photo courtesy Eric Bauman/Facebook)

Tuesday is a big day for California. The primary on June 5 sees elections for governor, all 80 seats in the State Assembly, 20 of the 40 seats in the state Senate, and all 53 of California’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives on ballot—in addition to various local and state offices. Under California’s “jungle primary” system, all candidates will appear on all ballots tomorrow regardless of party affiliation, and the top two overall vote-getters will advance to the general election in November.

Voter turnout in these races, and who those voters are, will have a massive impact not only in the results of state races but also the critical races Democrats hope to win in order to take back the House.

Historically, voter turnout in California has been low in non-presidential election years. In 2014, turnout in the state was just 25%, and as noted in the Los Angeles Times, “the last time that a majority of California’s electorate showed up for a non-presidential primary was 1982.” Research by Political Data Inc. however, indicates that Republicans typically turn out for midterms in much higher numbers than Democrats and that the Democratic statewide advantage “could drop by as much as 3 percentage points in June.” With contested primaries fielding as many as fourteen candidates, 3 percentage points could make a massive difference.

As of Friday morning, Political Data, Inc.’s tracking of absentee voters found that about 1.84 million of the 11.59 ballots mailed to California voters had been returned—roughly 16 percent of the total number sent.

Despite the number of statewide offices with open seats, “we haven’t seen any of the candidates emerging as truly inspiring or wildly controversial,” Marcia Godwin, a professor of public administration at the University of La Verne, told The Press-Enterprise. “A lower turnout means that the gap between Democrats and Republicans narrows.”

Meanwhile, the California Secretary of State noted on May 21, that the Republican Party is now officially a third party in California: Democratic Party registration: 8,438,268 or 44.4 percent; Republican Party: 4,769,299 or 25.1 percen; No Party Preference: 4,852,817 or 25.5 percent. There are also 963,033 “Other” votes on the table.

Los Angeles County historically has had very low turnout in midterm elections. But this year, locally popular former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa is vying with Trump supporter, Republican businessman John Cox for the second spot in the top-two primary for California governor, with Cox getting a visibility boost from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom who is widely expected to be the top-vote getter on Tuesday. This may mean that LA has a potentially crucial role to play in both the governor’s race—and the possible flipping of the U.S. House of Representatives to a Democratic-majority chamber in November—if people turn out to vote.

Newsom and Villaraigosa both spent Sunday morning campaigning at church services and local news outlets, including the LA Times and KTLA, provided LA County voters with vital information on candidates and polling logistics. 

In Hollywood, RuPaul Charles used his platform with the LGBT community to endorse Newsom for governor. He also encouraged young viewers to vote, a critical sentiment considering that voters aged 18-24 are overwhelmingly Democratic but the least likely age demographic to actually vote. However, Newsom failed to win the official endorsement of his hometown LGBT political group, the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, perhaps because he didn’t submit a questionnaire or send a representative to respond to PAC questions. Neither Stonewall Democrats nor Stonewall Young Democrats—nor the California Democratic Party—have taken an endorsement position on Villaraigosa or Newsom, both of whom are strong LGBT allies.

Other endorsements appear more regional: Villaraigosa is endorsed by the LA Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Newsom is endorsed by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee (co-endorsement for John Chiang) and the Mercury News. It is unclear, however, what impact these endorsements may have.

Canvassing efforts have intensified by both Democratic and Republican groups in San Diego County over the past few days, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. In addition to campaigning for candidates for local office, volunteers have been advocating for congressional and gubernatorial candidates through phone banking, knocking on doors, barbeques and sign-waving. Two potential House swing districts (CA-49 and CA-50) lie partially or completely in San Diego County.

Meanwhile, the California Democratic Party is out in force, as evidenced by photos on its Facebook page, urging volunteers to knock on doors and canvass in three-hour shifts in two key congressional swing districts in Orange County (CA-48 and CA-49).

“It’s very important that we get everyone out to vote. The stakes are high. In education. In Congress. And so, we need to make sure that all Californians get out to vote; that we protect the things that we’ve built here…we’re going to fight hard for them, and make sure we turn out the vote during this election,” endorsed Democratic Party candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, says on the CDP’s FB page.

There is one huge concern about turnout. In psychology, there is something known as the “bystander effect” in which everyone in a crowd of witnesses to an emergency assumes that another person will get help, that they themselves don’t need to be that person. The fear—especially among LGBT politicos who know how critical the midterms are for LGBT rights—is that the “bystander effect” will emerge as the media touts how massive the “big blue wave” is supposed to be. But every vote really does matter in what could be closer elections than were first expected. 

To find out more information on how to vote in the June 5 California primary election, and to find your polling station, go to the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk or the Sec. of State’s office – Karen Ocamb contributed to this story

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Los Angeles County

Heat Advisory issued as temps expected to be in triple digits

LA County will see hot & breezy conditions Monday. High temperatures will reach 90 degrees. Temperatures at night will fall to 64 degrees

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory warning for most of Southern California on Monday. Temperatures while remaining lower in the 80s and 70s in the coastal areas are expected to exceed triple-digits for most of the inland areas in the region.

Los Angeles and Orange counties will see hot and breezy conditions Monday. High temperatures will reach 90 degrees. Temperatures at night will fall to 64 degrees.

The valleys and Inland Empire will be very hot and windy Monday as temperatures soar to 105 degrees. Evening temperatures will drop to 72 degrees.

Beaches will see temperatures rising to 78 degrees amid breezy conditions on Monday. Overnight lows will dip to 64 degrees.

Look for a 20% chance of thunderstorms in the mountain communities on Monday, with temperatures reaching a high of 89 degrees. Temperatures will fall to 55 degrees at night.

Desert conditions will be sunny and windy on Monday, with temperatures expected to rise to 104 degrees. Nighttime temperatures will drop to 69 degrees.

Detailed Forecast

Today

Sunny and hot, with a high near 106. East northeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming north northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Tonight

Clear, with a low around 69. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east northeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Tuesday

Sunny and hot, with a high near 104. Southeast wind around 10 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.

Tuesday Night

Clear, with a low around 68. West northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east southeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday

Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. East southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday Night

Clear, with a low around 62. Breezy.

Thursday

Sunny, with a high near 94.

Thursday Night

Clear, with a low around 58.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 92.

Friday Night

Clear, with a low around 57.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 90.

Saturday Night

Clear, with a low around 56.

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 89.

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Orange County

Right-wing news anchor delivers obscenity-laden homophobic rant

“Guess what I came home to be greeted with? This fucking bullshit. [points to Rainbow Pride flag] What the hell is that?”

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Alison Steinberg (Screenshot/Twitter-Ron Filipkowski)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Ca. – Alison Steinberg, an anchor and contributor for right-wing extremist media outlet One America News, launched into an obscenity-laden rant captured in a now viral video over an LGBTQ+ Pride flag flying in the beachfront business district of Huntington Beach commemorating Pride Month.

Steinberg had originally posted her video to her Instagram account but it was later removed.

In the rant Steinberg is heard saying: “And guess what I came home to be greeted with? This fucking bullshit. [points to Rainbow Pride flag] What the hell is that? Huntington Beach is the town of good old-fashioned hard-working American people, much less human. People who worked all through the COVID lockdown. Yes, that’s right. Huntington Beach never shut down through any of the COVID nonsense fuckery. And now we’re peddling this garbage?”

“What the hell is this? The only flag that should be up there is that American flag. This is a disgrace to our city and it should be taken down immediately. Whoever the hell is running this town needs to be fired. Make America great again. Make Huntington Beach great.”

Ron Filipkowski, a defense lawyer and former Assistant United States Attorney had captured the video and uploaded it to his Twitter account where many of his 402.9K followers retweeted it:

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Southern California

Triple A: Gas Prices Drop on Increased Production, Economic Worries

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.38, which is six cents lower than last week

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Screenshot/YouTube

LOS ANGELES – Gas prices dropped as local refineries reported their second-highest California-blend gasoline production levels of 2022 and economic concerns pushed down oil prices, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.38, which is six cents lower than last week.

The average national price is $4.94, which is seven cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $6.40 per gallon, which is six cents lower than last week, 30 cents higher than last month, and $2.14 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $6.32, which is five cents lower than last week, 30 cents higher than last month, and $2.09 higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $6.32, which is three cents lower than last week, 29 cents higher than last month and is $2.10 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $6.29, which is four cents lower than last week, 30 cents higher than last month and $2.11 higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $6.36 average price is the same as last Thursday, 36 cents higher than last month and $2.22 higher than a year ago today.

“The state’s refineries produced more California-blend gasoline last week than in any other week since January of this year, according to the California Energy Commission,” said Auto Club spokesman Doug Shupe. “At the same time, Oil Price Information Service says concerns about the U.S. economy are pushing down oil and wholesale gasoline prices.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers they can save money on gasoline by shopping around virtually using a tool like the AAA Mobile app, which shows users the cheapest gas prices near them. AAA members can also take advantage of discounted gas prices at participating Shell gas stations by joining the Shell Fuel Rewards® program.

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on June 23, averages are:

June 23
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