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Are California Democrats battling Trump fatigue?




While politicos nationwide watch the historic House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, led by the focused and unflappable Democratic Chair Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrats back in the blue state are still squirming over which presidential candidate could best beat Trump in 2020 and how far to go to get there.

Fans of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren were disappointed when the two frontrunners decided to skip the California Democratic Convention Nov. 15-17 in Long Beach, with California Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks issuing a stern finger-wagging.

“Your decision is a blatant disregard and disrespect to California’s grassroots leaders who make the phone calls, knock the doors, and give the money… in swing districts and swing states alike… year after year after year,” Hicks posted Nov. 5 on his Facebook page. “It’s clear you don’t think you need us to win the Primary. But, you *just might* need us in the General. Just sayin.”

Well, maybe not in California. An Oct. 1 report released by California Sec. of State Alex Padilla indicates that Democrats have either increased their lead in voter registration or narrowed the gap with Republicans. The 154-Day Report of Registration before the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election indicates that registered Democratic voters increased from 43.1% to 44.1% while Republican Party voters decreased from 27.6% to 23.6%.

This is especially important in terms of holding the seven flipped House seats, which would keep Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and Democrats in the House majority to retain oversite of the Trump presidency, as much as possible.

Fortuitously, Reps. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) and Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano) have seen Republican control diminish. “None are more notable than Porter’s Orange County district, where Republicans had a 14.2-percentage point advantage in 2016 and now have seen that gap shrink to less than 4 percentage points,” writes LA Times political reporter John Myers.

Interestingly, even without evidence of Democratic improvement in their districts, Porter, Rouda and Levin bravely came out in favor of an impeachment inquiry when the Mueller Report was looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election to benefit Trump.

Additionally, Democrats dominant in the four other flipped districts held by Reps. Josh Harder (D-Turlock), T.J. Cox (D-Fresno) and Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda) — and the 25th Congressional District represented by Katie Hill until her difficult, abrupt recent resignation.

Myers thinks “so-called independent voters could be a key factor in the race to succeed Hill,” a proud bisexual whose defeat of longtime anti-LGBTQ Steve Knight was sweet political revenge for the agony Kight and his father Pete Knight put the LGBTQ community through for decades.  On Nov. 10, Knight announced he’s jumping in the race to regain his old seat. He joins a crowded Republican field that includes former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos.

That 25th CD includes Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Palmdale and a part of Lancaster – long considered one of the most conservative and blatantly anti-LGBTQ stretches of northern Los Angeles County. But locally, the district is represented by pro-equality Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who is miles more progressive than her former boss and predecessor, Mike Antonovich. Hill won the congressional seat by nine points over Knight, a sign of the changing demographics in the area.

Enter Katie Hill’s friend Christy Smith, who was elected to the California Assembly in November 2018 representing an area that overlaps the congressional district, including Simi Valley.

Democrats have cleared the field for Smith — Alex Padilla’s name had briefly been mentioned but was quickly squashed. “My goal as chairman of the party is to make sure that we don’t have a Dem-on-Dem fight where we split the vote and let Steve Knight take back his old seat,” out LA County Democratic Party Chair Mark Gonzalez told the LA Daily News.

However, Smith is largely unknown in the SoCal LGBTQ community. Jane Wishon, Chair at Westside Democratic Headquarters and Political Vice President at Stonewall Democratic Club, is trying to remedy that with a fundraiser and meet and greet for Smith on Monday, Nov. 18 (7-10PM) at Senator Jones, 2020 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica (See Wishon’s Facebook page.)

As the Los Angeles Blade goes to press, Gov. Gavin Newsom has not yet called for a special election to fill Hill’s vacant seat. But it will take a lot of money and boots on the ground to keep that seat out of hungry Republican hands.

Democrats also want to win the 50th congressional seat, long held by indicted Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter. Pundits have him up by five points over a crowded field that includes gay talk show host Carl DeMaio and former Rep. Darrell Issa, both of whom live outside the district. Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar is running again in the “top-two” primary, having lost by only 3.4% points in 2018 to Hunter in a district won by Trump by 15 points in 2016.

But there’s an odd miasma clouding the Democratic Party. Perhaps it’s weariness with all-things Trump or the ongoing whispered confusion over which presidential candidate Democrats should embrace. But for some reason, at least in Los Angeles, there is a dearth of authentic enthusiasm as the campaigns head into the holidays, even though early Feb. 3 voting by mail is just around the corner.

Democrats may have a voter registration advantage – but it won’t mean much if voters stay home and don’t actually vote in the March 3 Primary and Nov. 3 General Election next year.

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles Mayor: Supreme Court decision “fundamentally un-American”

Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to the Los Angeles Blade reflecting on Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade



Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Blade photo from video by Troy Masters)

LOS ANGELES – During the Los Angeles Mayor’s Pride Garden Party held at The Getty House, the official residence of the mayor Saturday afternoon, Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to the Los Angeles Blade reflecting on Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Garcetti noted that “here in LA we defend those rights” after taking aim at the actions of the high court Friday in the ruling on the Mississippi case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health clinic. “Make no mistake, we have to be active,” Garcetti added.


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Los Angeles

Reminder: 101 closed through DTLA until 10pm Sunday

The closure began at 10 p.m. Saturday and will be completed by 10 p.m. Sunday, the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering announced



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – (KTLA) Motorists are being reminded that the stretch of 101 through the downtown area of Los Angeles is shut down for road restoration and reconstruction work.

KTLA reported the closure began at 10 p.m. Saturday and will be completed by 10 p.m. Sunday, the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering announced.

The 24-hour closure between State Route 60 and the 10 Freeway interchange is needed for the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, which aims to replace the original, seismically-deficient structure built in 1932, authorities said.

During the closure, the California Department of Transportation will also be doing slab replacement work along the same stretch of the 101 Freeway.

The closure will center around the east side of the viaduct construction site in Boyle Heights. While the stretch is closed, drivers headed west on State Route 60 from the Pomona area will not be able to access the 101, officials said.

Off-ramps and on-ramps in the area will also be closed during as road work gets underway.

Drivers who reach the closure will see signs directing them to a detour.

(The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering)

The new $588 million viaduct is expected to be completed in Summer of 2022, stretching between Boyle Heights and the Arts District.

Officials say it is the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles.

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Los Angeles

LA-DWP & Mayor Garcetti announce new outdoor watering restrictions

Sprinkler watering will be allowed Monday & Friday at odd-numbered addresses in the city, and even-numbered addresses on Thursday & Sunday



City of Los Angeles (Blade file photo)

LOS ANGELES – In a press conference Tuesday Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and officials from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) announced that outdoor watering in the city will be restricted to two days a week starting June 1.

The announcement comes as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared an unprecedented water shortage emergency two weeks ago, imposing restrictions after MWD’s board voted to adopt the emergency measures to “reduce non-essential water use” in certain areas. Cities and smaller water suppliers that get water from MWD are required to start restricting outdoor watering to one day a week, or to find other ways to cut usage to a new monthly allocation limit.


In Tuesday’s press conference Mayor Garcetti said L.A.’s two-day limit was still more lenient than the one imposed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has ordered many of its member agencies to restrict outdoor watering to once a week.

Sprinkler watering will be allowed on Monday and Friday at odd-numbered addresses in the city, and even-numbered addresses on Thursday and Sunday.

For more information visit the LADWP webpage here.

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