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.


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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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The Riggs Report: California’s election irrelevance

California’s primary held in June

It’s easy to understand why voters in New Hampshire love their presidential politics. Because of its first-in-the-nation status, the state’s primary gets candidate and media attention far out of proportion to its measly 23 Republican delegates and 24 Democratic delegates.

On the flip side, mega-state California gets little to no love from the presidential campaigns or the reporters who cover them, even though it has an enormous delegate prize-546 Democratic delegates, and 172 Republican delegates.

With California’s June primary coming so late in the season, the vote here just won’t matter, again,…

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The Riggs Report: New Hampshire’s muddle outcome

Granite State vote adds to election drama and uncertainty

There were clear winners in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump ran away with the vote in their respective parties. But if you were looking for New Hampshire’s results to give us a better direction on where this presidential sweepstakes is headed, you are bound to be disappointed.

It was significant that John Kasich scored a strong second place showing in the Republican vote. He’s been running as an establishment candidate, refusing to engage in Trump-style name-calling while saying he can unify the party. His showing…

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The Riggs Report: New Hampshire’s political obsession

Candidates go all-out for the first primary prize

Every four years, like some kind of awkward migration, California political junkies stock up on boots, gloves, and parkas and board flights to head across the country to New Hampshire.

This migratory wave ranges from fresh-faced college students to grizzled political operatives. Some are paid. Most are volunteers.

They come from all corners of California. What they all have in common, besides an abundance of goose down insulation and hand warmers, is a desire to play a role in a political pageant that is as far from the Golden…

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