Let the 2026 Campaign Cycle Begin

If you have yet to recover from the 2022 election cycle, you may be distressed to learn how much campaign activity is already underway for 2026.  You did not misread that, we said 2026 which is when the next round of elections for statewide office will be held.  Most of the current incumbents will be termed out, so a new crop will be running.  Some of those standing around the water cooler expected a showdown for the Governor’s mansion between former State Controller Betty Yee and current State Treasurer Fiona Ma.  But now it appears that Ma is running for Lieutenant Governor.  She opened a finance committee in January and has started fundraising.  Yee has had a finance committee open since 2019 to raise funds to run for State Treasurer.  The committee currently has over $450,000 cash on hand.  According to CalAccess, there are no active committees for Governor 2026.  Yet.


 L.A. City Corruption Should Not Be a Never Ending Story

Another month, another L.A. city leader in court denying corruption allegations.  This month, we hear from former Assemblymember, former State Senator, former L.A. County Supervisor, and current suspended L.A. City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas.  Ridley-Thomas faces a 19-count indictment in Federal Court; Calpeek has previously discussed the details.  This trial begins before the last of the corruption trials involving former L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar (who pleaded guilty to corruption) wraps up – L.A. Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan’s trial has been postponed for 3 weeks while his attorney recovers from surgery.


A Politician Not Giving a Speech

Normally, the Governor of California delivers a “State of the State” address.  This year, Governor Gavin Newsom has decided to skip the traditional speech, which recently has been given to an audience of state legislators.  Instead, he’s decided to make various speeches during a statewide tour.  Oh goodie – a whole lot of speeches by a politician instead of just one.  According to the Associated Press, “The California Constitution requires the governor report to the state Legislature every year ‘on the condition of the State.’” The Constitution does not specify where or how the “report” is to be provided.  The Sacramento Bee describes the tour as a “road show” saying it will last from March 16 through March 19.  A political speech may be coming to your neighborhood.  Details TBA.


Gavin Says: See Ya Walgreens

Governor Gavin Newsom, known for taking swings at high-profile Republican Governors, has taken a swing at Walgreens for its announcement that it would not dispense abortion medication in 21 Republican-dominated states, according to CNN.  Newsom made sure his stance was clear in his Tweet: “California won’t be doing business with @walgreens – or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk.” The Democratic governor ended his tweet with, “We’re done.”  Walgreens declined to comment on Newsom’s tweet.  This is just the latest round in the post-Roe v. Wade abortion battle.  As we get closer to the November 2024 Presidential election, there’s no question we’ll be hearing more as politicians use this as a presidential wedge issue. 


Is that COVID, Governor?

Governor Gavin Newsom has been diagnosed with COVID-19 according to reports.  However, being that California’s COVID state of emergency has been lifted, we have heard rumors that what the Governor actually has is a Republican virus known as “D-Santis”.  No vaccine has yet been found…and if it were, Walgreens would probably decline from administering it.


What’s a Tennessee Drag Queen To Do? 

Sorry Tootsie.  See ya Madea.  Sashay away RuPaul.  There’s no room for drag queens or Drag Race in good ole Tennessee according to the Drag Ban bill that was signed into law – along with another bill that bans transgender minors in Tennessee from receiving gender-affirming care like puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery.   If you’re caught violating the anti-drag law (Republican legislators excluded of course) you will face misdemeanor charges on your first “offense” with a possible fine of up to $2,500 or a year in jail.  If you choose to express your individuality a second time you could spend up to six years in jail.   Those of us standing around the watercooler are concerned for country icon Dolly Parton who calls Tennessee home and confesses “If I hadn’t been a woman, I’d be a drag queen for sure.”


On the “Heels” of Tennessee’s Drag Ban… 

On the “heels” of Tennessee banning drag, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally just couldn’t help himself from engaging with gay and trans individuals.  The Tennessee Holler broke the news on Wednesday that the Lieutenant.Governor has used his verified Instagram account to comment on a young gay Tennessee man’s posts.  As shared by VICE, “McNally responded to several posts from performer Franklyn McClur with heart, fire, and clap emojis, and left comments like ‘Super Look Finn’ and ‘You need to be on dancing with the stars.’”  When McClur’s camp was asked to comment, his spokesperson said that the Lieutenant Governor “takes great pains to view every post he can and frequently posts encouraging things to many of his followers.”   You really can’t make this up.  For more coverage of the Teneesee hypocrisy at its best, google “McNally Gay Boys”.


Where Are the Candidates?

Normally, when a Congressional seat becomes open there is a rush of politicians trying to declare their candidacies.  We know of lots of candidates who are running, or planning on running, for Congressmembers Katie Porter’s and Adam Schiff’s soon-to-be open seats.  Yet the crowd looking at the seat currently held by Congressmember Barbara Lee appears small.  The rumor mill believed Assemblymember Mia Bonta was interested in running until she received some very negative press coverage related to her appointment to an Assembly budget committee that would have given her significant influence over her husband’s, Attorney General Rob Bonta, office budget. (For those who missed the kerfuffle, Calpeek has details here.)  According to Capitol Weekly, one serious candidate for Lee’s seat has declared: Bay Area Rapid Transit Board Member Lateefah Simon.  If you know of other candidates, please contactus@calpeek.com.


No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Join Our Mailing List