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Washington Report

CA Poll: Harris is Top Pick with Biden Slipping to Fourth

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Frontrunner no more: California poll puts Harris on top and Biden (way) down

Kamala Harris ranks first with 19% of likely Democratic voters in California. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders come second and third. And that leaves Biden, the presumed frontrunner, falling to fourth place and Buttigieg, the top fundraiser in the state last quarter, in fifth place in the new PPIC poll.

A new poll gives Sen. Kamala Harris a narrow lead among Democratic voters in her home state of California, but otherwise shows that the race is still up in the air.

That’s probably terrible news for Joe Biden.

And the poll is also bound to disappoint Pete Buttigieg. The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, raised more money in California in the past quarter than any other Democratic contender, yet he lagged in fifth place among the state’s likely Democratic voters.

The new survey from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found that 19% of Democrats and left-leaning independents who are likely to vote say they would cast their ballot for Harris if the presidential primary were held today.

There’s still seven months before they could actually cast those ballots, but the state’s March 3 primary is a few months earlier than it has been in years past. And that seems certain to give voters here an earlier, more consequential say about who will take on President Donald Trump in the general election.

Just behind Harris in the poll were Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 15% of respondents (and a top performance among college graduates), and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 12%.

Biden, the former vice president who has long been considered the candidate to beat in the race, came in fourth with 11%.

The poll has an error margin of plus or minus 4.4%.

“You can’t really say that the person who we thought was going to be the frontrunner—Biden—is. Because clearly, he is not in California,” said Mark Baldassare, president of the institute. “He’s not where people thought Biden would be. Maybe it’s less surprising that Harris would be off to a good start in a state where she’s run for office several times.”

Today’s poll is one of a series of lackluster indicators for Team Biden in California. A Quinnipiac University survey from earlier this month found that Biden had slipped from his first-place post in that poll among registered Democrats, losing ground to Harris.

The former vice president also struggled with individual donors in California. So far in 2019, he’s raised less with that group than Harris, Buttigieg and Trump.

Of all the candidates, Biden may be the most vulnerable to a bit of bad news. A number of surveys have found that his appeal among Democratic voters is based on the perception that he is the most “electable.” Today’s new poll putting him in fourth place puts a crack in that presumption of inevitability.

But even with California’s newly prominent place on the primary calendar, it’s not clear how much that will matter. A fresh Quinnipiac poll shows that he still leads among Democratic voters nationwide.

And with more than half a year to go before the first California votes are cast, there is still plenty of time for voters to make up their minds. According to the Public Policy Institute’s poll, a quarter of likely Democratic voters have yet to do so, including nearly a third of self-described moderates and conservatives.

This article is produced as part of WeHo Daily’s partnership with CalMatters, a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

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Washington Report

Back From Eye of Impeachment Storm, Schiff Rekindles Local Focus

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Back from eye of impeachment storm, Schiff rekindles local focus

BURBANK (Los Angeles Daily News) — After months in the eye of the Washington impeachment hurricane, House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff is a national hero for Democrats and sworn enemy for Republicans. It’s a status that no doubt complicated his recent attempt at a workout at the Burbank YMCA.

Among dozens of handshakes and selfies, a man at the gym unsheathed a Donald Trump flag from his backpack and a woman shared a heartfelt story of her closest friendship torn apart by impeachment. The celebrity politician, a former triathlete with a separated shoulder, was hoping to pump some iron in the weight room.

Since impeachment proceedings concluded with Trump’s acquittal in the Senate earlier this month, Schiff has paid close attention to Trump’s swift purge of non-loyalists from his administration and warnings from intelligence officials that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to try to get him re-elected or benefit Bernie Sanders.

Back home in his district ahead of what experts consider a non-competitive race for reelection in California’s 28th district, Schiff has raised more than $9 million — the most of […]

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California

California Sues Dept of Energy for Over Energy Efficient Lightbulbs

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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Letitia James today, leading a coalition of 16 attorneys general and the City of New York, filed a lawsuit against the Department of Energy (DOE) challenging its final rule rolling back energy efficiency standards for certain lightbulbs.

The lawsuit alleges that the rollback of the energy efficiency requirements for certain lightbulbs would unlawfully delay the adoption of energy efficiency goals, undermine state and local energy policy, and increase consumer and environmental costs.

“The Trump Administration needs to move on from old-fashioned technologies and yesterday’s way of doing business. It’s time to face the reality that American consumers deserve and demand more efficient and sustainable options,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Today we filed this lawsuit to block the Department of Energy from pushing a foolish agenda that prioritizes out-dated, polluting technology over the needs of the people and our environment. We can’t afford to turn our back on progress.”

On May 3, 2019, the attorneys general submitted official comments on the DOE rollback proposal. They asserted that DOE should maintain the stricter, environmentally sound definitions enacted by the Obama Administration in 2017, which expanded the definition of general service lamps (GSLs) to include seven previously unregulated types of light bulbs.

By including those types of bulbs as GSLs, the 2017 definitions subject them to the congressionally-imposed GSL minimum standard of 45 lumens per watt applicable on January 1, 2020. The rollback would remove those lightbulbs from the GSL efficiency, costing consumers $12 billion each year in lost electricity savings by 2025, or $100 per household per year.

By reversing the 2017 rules, the DOE is enacting a less stringent standard in violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. This action is arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Joining Attorneys General Becerra and James in filing the lawsuit are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Additionally, the coalition submitted comments opposing DOE’s related proposal to not amend (and strengthen) energy efficiency standards for common pear-shaped incandescent light bulbs. According to DOE’s own analysis, if DOE were to adopt strengthened energy efficiency standards for these bulbs, the net present value of the benefits to the nation would equal up to $4.171 billion.

A copy of the petition and the comment letter can be found attached to the press release here.

Attorney General Becerra has fought to preserve energy efficiency standards which save consumers and help protect the environment. In 2017, Attorney General Becerra sued to challenge DOE’s failure to publish finalized energy efficiency standards for portable air conditioners, generators, air compressors, boilers, and walk-in coolers and freezers.

A district court ruled in 2018 that DOE’s action was unlawful, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling in 2019. Also in 2017, as part of a multistate coalition, Attorney General Becerra filed a lawsuit in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals challenging DOE’s unlawful delay of enforcement of energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans. As a result of the lawsuit, DOE changed course and let the standards go into effect.

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Scandals

Rep. Katie Hill Resigns from Congress, Blames ‘Abusive’ Husband

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Rep. Katie Hill Resigns from Congress, Blames 'Abusive' Husband

WASHINGTON DC (TMZ) — Freshman Congresswoman Katie Hill just threw in the towel … announcing her resignation amid a scandal that she’s now blaming on her husband and dirty politics.

Rep. Hill — a Democrat — issued a letter Sunday, saying she was stepping down from her elected post in the House of Representatives after winning the seat in last year’s election. She repped California’s 25th congressional district, covering parts of Northern Los Angeles.

In the document, she makes some damning allegations against her estranged husband, Kenny Heslep … whom she’s in the middle of divorcing right now, and it just got nastier.

Hill writes, “This is what needs to happen so that the good people who supported me will no longer be subjected to the pain inflicted by my abusive husband and the brutality of hateful political operatives who seem happily provide a platform to a monster who is driving a smear campaign built around cyber exploitation.”

She goes on to say, “Having private photos of personal moments weaponized against me has been an appalling invasion of my privacy. It’s also illegal, and we are currently pursuing all of our available legal options.” The implication is that Heslep facilitated the leak.

If you hadn’t heard … nude photos of Hill surfaced last week, as did news of extramarital relationships she allegedly had with 2 different people — a congressional staffer of hers, and a former campaign aide. She admitted to the aide fling, but denied a staffer affair.

Hill finishes her letter by saying that she’s stepping down to avoid further pain and embarrassment being thrust onto her and others, while also apologizing for her mistakes.

She writes, “Thank you for allowing me to turn my focus on this particular battle right now, and know that I stand with you as we continue to fight for the many important issues that brought me to Congress in the first place.”

Hill ends on a positive note, writing … “I love this country, I love all of you, and I thank you for allowing me the great honor of serving you.”

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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