California Counts

A collaboration between Capital Public Radio, KQED, KPCC and KPBS to cover the 2016 elections in California.

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Live Blog: California Delegation Casts Vote For Donald Trump As Republican Nominee


UPDATE 7:58 p.m.: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy roused the California delegation with his speech to the Republican National Convention Tuesday night.

"I'm proud to be a conservative from California," he says as the crowd erupted in cheers.

McCarthy is the second-ranking House Republican. But unlike House Speaker Paul Ryan, McCarthy has not wavered in his support for Donald Trump.

In his five-minute speech, he laid out the policy goals of House Republicans: fairer taxes, affordable health care and tougher foreign policy.

"But this Republican agenda can only be realized if we disrupt the status quo. And let's admit: Hillary Clinton is the definition of status quo," he says.

McCarthy represents Bakersfield in Congress. Before that, he served as minority leader in the California Assembly.

UPDATE 6:43 p.m.: California delegates voted Tuesday to officially name Donald Trump as the Republican party's presidential nominee. Californians also took to the main stage Tuesday night.

First up was Sacramento-area native Natalie Gulbis. She praised Donald Trump for encouraging her to "never fear challenging the status quo" in a brief speech at the Republican National Convention.

"He encouraged me to think of myself not as a female athlete, but as a business person," she told the delegates. "In everything you do, be fearless, he reminded me, be fearless."

Natalie Gulbis 071916PGranite Bay native Natalie Gulbis speaks at the Republican National Conventio. The pro golfer and former Apprentice star was the first Californian to speak at the convention. Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Gulbis, a pro golfer and former Apprentice contestant, grew up in Granite Bay, though she no longer lives in the capital region.

"Donald remains a consistent voice encouraging me to stand up to gender injustices and to lean in to any professional challenge that comes my way," says Gulbis.

She then pivoted to make the case for Trump's election.

"Ronald Reagan said status quo is Latin for the mess we're in," Gulbis says. "And while I believe that this is the greatest time to be a woman in the greatest country in the history of the world, I have no delusion that there isn't a mess to clean up — and we need someone to clean up that mess. That person is Donald Trump."

Gulbis is the first Californian to speak at this year's Republican National Convention.

Ben Adler Tuesday Check-In From The RNC

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: A norovirus outbreak has struck the California Republican Party delegation at the GOP Convention.

Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler is staying with the California delegation in Sandusky, an hour west of Cleveland. He says 14 state GOP staff members and volunteers have fallen ill with the virus, which the Centers for Disease Control describes as "very contagious."

"The state party staffers and volunteers who have contracted the Norovirus are (those) who came out to Sandusky several days early to prepare for the California delegation's arrival," says Adler. "And as of now, the virus has not spread beyond that group of people. It has not spread to any delegates, alternates, donors, sponsors, guests or media members who are here with the delegation."

Late Monday night, the state party notified the delegation that "at least" one staff member had contracted the virus. By Tuesday morning, that number had jumped to 14.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says norovirus can cause stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m.: CapRadio's Ben Adler gives a recap of Day 1 of the Republican National Convention. He also gives a preview of what to expect on Day 2 during Insight with Beth Ruyak. 

UPDATE 12 p.m.: CapRadio's Ben Adler gave a tour of the African Safari-themed resort where California delegates are staying during the Republican National Convention. 

The Kalahari Resort features a water park and a Safari Adventures Animal Park.


ORIGINAL POST: California's delegation is returning for the second day of the Republican National Convention Tuesday morning after an opening night of speakers that included a reality star, a soap opera star and an actor. It's the latest example of Donald Trump's influence on the convention lineup -- given Republicans have long mocked Democrats for being the party of celebrities.

But despite the aura of fame around some of the speakers, an informal survey of California delegation members on the convention floor ruled that Rudy Giuliani had the best speech of opening night.

GOP Convention Rudy Giuliani BA 20160718 P

Rudy Giuliani was the favorite opening-night speaker among members of California's delegation at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

One alternate delegate noted that while Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions had a lot of great policy points in his speech, his style did not draw the reactions the way Giuliani's did.

GOP Convention Jeff Sessions Ba 20160718 POne delegation member thought Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions had some great policy points, but he didn't get the crowd going the way Rudy Giuliani did. Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. also drew loud applause. His opening "Blue Lives Matter" line resonated in the convention hall.

None of the delegates mentioned Melania Trump's speech, or the brief appearance of Donald Trump himself.

Gop Convention Melania Trump Ba 20160718 PMelania Trump's speech was meant to humanize her husband, but none of those surveyed from California's delegation named her as a favorite speaker. Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

All that said, there have been no surprises so far. Surprisingly. Trump, one of the nation's most successful reality stars, could have been expected to have at least one or two tricks up his sleeve to spice things up. And he probably still does. (Sarah Palin, perhaps?) But opening night stuck to the advance script. Even the #NeverTrump contingent trying - and failing - to force a roll call Rules vote was not surprising in the least.

The convention security seemed rock solid Monday, and the protests appeared peaceful and respectful. 

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