By all measures, California is one of the most liberal states in the country. It was a state that Hillary Clinton won 62-32. (The 3-million vote advantage in the state was the same as Clinton’s national popular-vote victory margin.) Democrats hold every statewide elected position, plus supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature. This complete governmental dominance (and ballot initiatives) has delivered a steady stream of progressive legislation -- environmental protections, sanctuary state status, $15 minimum wage, legalized pot, increased gun restrictions -- while maintaining the state’s status as one of the world’s economic powerhouses. Indeed, if California were a country, it would be the sixth-largest economy in the world. Thus, the GOP fantasy that liberal governance is bad for business is, well, bunk. And as a minority-majority state, it’s showing that America’s demographic future is a strength, not something to be feared by the shrinking white majority.
Shepherding that progressive renaissance in the state legislature? Senate Majority Leader Kevin de León, who we are now endorsing in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate against incumbent Dianne Feinstein... Feinstein may have been a breath of fresh air when first elected in 1992... an era when California still elected ideologically odious Republican governors like Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson... Unfortunately, Feinstein has failed to evolve with her state, making her a relic of a bygone era. She should’ve retired to accolades; instead, she’s trying to hang on to a state she no longer reflects. California is the vanguard of the Resistance. Yet Feinstein continues to act as though her state is Indiana, or Nebraska....
According to FiveThirtyEight, Feinstein is the second most Trump-friendly Democrat when factoring the ideology of her state. In fact, she votes with Trump twice as much as her fellow California Democrat Kamala Harris... That shouldn’t come as a surprise, since she’s been urging that people be “patient” with Trump, since he could still turn out to be a “great president.” Note that California [--] liberal capital of America! [--] is still represented in the Senate by someone who voted to deregulate the banks in 1999 (leading to the financial crisis nearly a decade later). She voted for George W. Bush’s tax cuts, one of just 12 Democrats to do so (which benefited her greatly, with a net worth in the hundreds of millions). She voted for the Iraq War, co-sponsored the extension of the Patriot Act, is a big proponent of FISA secret courts, and wants the government to have access to your encrypted cell phone data. She sponsored a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag burning. [S]he has opposed single-payer healthcare, saying, “If single-payer healthcare is going to mean complete takeover by the government of all healthcare, I’m not there yet.” De León supports it, and Kamala Harris has actually co-sponsored Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-All bill. Weirdly, for someone who has had a strong record of gun control throughout her career, Feinstein recently said that no law could’ve stopped the Las Vegas gunman, feeding into the NRA’s narrative. Obviously, that’s utter bunk, as it would’ve been much harder to kill 58 people if the gunman didn’t have easy access to assault rifles, guns, and ammunition...
Support Kevin de León for Senate, and if you’re in California (and lots of you are!), please consider volunteering for his campaign. It’s an uphill climb, but if there’s anything we’ve learned this cycle, it’s that the impossible keeps happening over and over again.
And one last benefit to this primary challenge, even more so than her releasing the Fusion GPS documents (an uncharacteristically aggressive move by her, spurred no doubt by the primary challenge): California has a b.s. “jungle primary” system, in which all candidates run together in one ballot, irrespective of party affiliation. The top two advance to the general in the fall. Currently, it’s entirely possible that the governor’s race will feature two Democrats in the fall. A strong showing by de León would mean two Democrats in the Senate general election in November. That would mean ZERO Republicans anywhere near the top of the ballot. Why does this matter, since no Republican stands a chance in either of those two races in the fall? Because California Democrats could win up to 10 Republican-held House seats this year. Without any top-of-the-ballot representation, Republicans would have even less reason to turn out and vote, while Republican candidates in those competitive districts would have to shoulder their entire GOTV on their own, without any up-ballot support. (Meanwhile, FOUR Democrats would be doing GOTV to get out their own votes.)
This primary isn’t just important for ideological reasons, to fight for a party that better represents its base and is in line with the Resistance. It’s important for practical reasons as well! The stronger de León runs, the stronger the chance of that all-Democratic top-of-the-ballot lineup making the GOP’s grip on the U.S. House that much more tenuous.
So contribute today to Kevin de León! Where California goes, the country will eventually follow. And it’s looking pretty awesome in California these days, in huge part thanks to Kevin de León.