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The Riggs Report: Trump’s speaker smackdown

Republicans continue to differ on support for presumptive nominee

Congressman Doug LaMalfa, R-Butte County, who is a fourth-generation rice farmer and muscle car enthusiast, believes that after months of discord, it’s time for party unity.

So for him, it’s a head-scratcher—Donald Trump’s confrontational remarks challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision not to endorse him at this point.

“So (Trump) needs to just act like the winner, OK?” LaMalfa said. “Be a little magnanimous in this thing, say, ‘Speaker Ryan, we’re going to talk,’ not talk about removing him or whatever.”

LaMalfa, who is in his second…

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The Riggs Report: California’s return to irrelevance

High hopes for a pivotal GOP vote up in smoke

It was too much to hope for, really: the idea that California’s primary election would be the hinge upon which the Republican presidential nomination would turn.

As of last week, there was tremendous excitement at the prospect that the state’s June 7 vote would determine whether Donald Trump could claim his party’s nomination or would head into a bloody free-for-all and floor fight at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer.

There was every reason to believe that Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich would campaign…

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The Riggs Report: Cruz’s California gamble

His VP pick comes on the eve of state GOP convention

If Ted Cruz was looking to create some buzz heading into this weekend’s super-charged California Republican Party convention, he succeeded.

Picking Carly Fiorina as his running mate guarantees lots of attention at the gathering in Burlingame. The problem is, it’s likely to be the wrong kind of attention.

From a historical perspective, it’s a good headline. There hasn’t been a Californian elected vice president since Richard Nixon more than half a century ago.

As a woman, Fiorina would be able to aggressively go after Hillary…

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The Riggs Report: California’s election overload

Secretary of state predicts ‘major surge in voter turnout’

As Secretary of State Alex Padilla noted in a recent letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, all eyes will be on California on June 7 and Nov. 8.

With the state poised to play a pivotal role in this year’s presidential contest, the fast-approaching primary will be playing out on a global stage.

Padilla wants to ensure that county election officials aren’t swamped by a tsunami of voter interest and wants to avoid the embarrassing scenario that unfolded during Arizona’s presidential preference vote in March.

In…

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The Riggs Report: The California campaign begins

California GOP convention will feature all 3 presidential candidates

You can’t blame California voters for feeling overlooked or taken for granted. It’s been many years since the state’s primary election has figured prominently in the outcome of a presidential contest.

Our role typically has been as a rich source of campaign cash harvested in California, then spent in other states.

2016 is proving to be a very different story, with the level of campaigning about to gear up to levels that haven’t been seen in decades.

That’s because, on the Republican side at least,…

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The Riggs Report: California’s ‘Stop Trump’ campaign

With mail balloting near, CA becomes ‘center of the political universe’

If California had hurricanes, not earthquakes, we might be better prepared for the political storm that’s headed our way—an electoral weather front that may well determine whether or not Donald Trump heads to the Republican National Convention with the presidential nomination in hand.

The state’s primary is on June 7, but the voting begins long before that, and thus the brewing flurry of campaign activity.

“Throughout the month of May, the candidates are going to be here,” veteran GOP consultant Rob Stutzman said. “We will be…

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The Riggs Report: Conflict in Cleveland

Contested GOP convention looms

As if there hasn’t been nearly enough drama and conflict in this year’s race for the White House, the voting this week in Ohio means that we are likely headed to a contested Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer.

We haven’t witnessed that kind of political struggle since 1976, when former California Gov. Ronald Reagan challenged President Gerald Ford at the convention in Kansas City.

Ford entered the convention without the necessary number of delegates, but prevailed after a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle. He won the nomination, but lost the White…

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The Riggs Report: Ronald Reagan’s defender-in-chief

Nancy Reagan tribute planned for Monday at the state Capitol

Nancy Reagan, who will be laid to rest this week next to her husband at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, will be remembered as the commander-in-chief’s defender-in-chief.

That will be part of the discussion Monday, when members of the Reagan family visit the state Capitol for a special tribute in the Senate.

Nancy Reagan was devoted and vigilant—always on the lookout for issues that could cloud President Ronald Reagan’s record and legacy.

A good example of that involved Rancho del Cielo, the 688-acre ranch…

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The Riggs Report: CA’s end-of-life option law still in limbo

Law can’t take effect until special session gavels to a close

It’s been five months since Gov. Jerry Brown signed hotly debated legislation that would give dying Californians a series of medical options for ending their own lives.

In signing the End of Life Option Act, Brown indicated his own personal musings on the issue, saying, “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options considered by this bill.”

But that law,…

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The Riggs Report: Hillary’s disconnect

Why many women voters are looking elsewhere

Dee Dee Myers knows a few things about breaking barriers. She also knows a few things about the Clintons, which is why her assessment of Hillary Clinton’s flawed campaign style drew such attention this week in Sacramento.

At the age of 31, Myers became the first woman to serve as White House press secretary. That was during Bill Clinton’s first two years in office.

To be taken seriously by a cynical and tough White House press corps was an enormous challenge. As Myers wryly noted this week during a Sacramento…

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