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: Prominent Sacramento Republican Says He'll Vote For Hillary

UPDATE 6:10 p.m.: A prominent Sacramento Republican addressed the Democratic National Convention tonight.

Political consultant Doug Elmets, who worked in Ronald Reagan's White House and led the effort to place a statue of Reagan in the California state Capitol, told the crowd he’ll vote for a Democrat for the first time in his life -- and that Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan.

"I’m here tonight to say: I knew Ronald Reagan; I worked for Ronald Reagan.  Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan," Elmets said.

This afternoon, he told Capital Public Radio that although he doesn’t share many of Hillary Clinton’s policy positions, her qualifications are indisputable.

Elmets said, “I just think that ‘Party First’ – even if it means handing the Oval Office over to a petulant, dangerously unbalanced reality star, is the wrong prescription for the future.”

A Trump supporter who’s a longtime friend of Elmets, former Sacramento-area Congressman Doug Ose, says the description Elmets gives of Trump more aptly describes Clinton.

Interview With Doug Elmets


UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: Following his speech at the Democratic National Convention, Governor Jerry Brown spoke with NPR's Audie Cornish. He discusses Hillary Clinton's experiences compared to Donald Trump's during the interview.

"It's a very competitive race," he says. "I think this campaign is a real boost and she definitely has to present herself in a way that touches those more skeptical voters."

You can read the story and listen to the full interview on NPR

UPDATE 3 p.m.: Protests by supporters of Bernie Sanders have died down somewhat over the course of the Democratic National Convention.

State government reporter Ben Bradford spoke to California Democratic Party Secretary and Sanders supporter, Daraka Larimore-Hall, about the protests, reasons and conspiracy theories.

Hall says it's been a difficult convention.

"I think the party is going through a transformation, sort of growing pains," says Larimore-Hall. "That's why the first couple of days there was this almost like Pavlovian response, where every time her name was mentioned there would be boos. 

Listen to the full interview below. 

Interview with Daraka Larimore-Hall


UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: The Democratic National Convention is focused around promoting the party's presidential candidate in the November election, but some California attendees could have their eyes on a 2018 race.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, state Treasurer John Chiang, former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire tech investor Tom Steyer are among announced or potential candidates for California governor.

Political consultant, and Hillary Clinton delegate, Karen Skelton says the convention offers a great opportunity for them to build support.

"In politics sometimes you talk about going fishing in the barrel and dropping your bait where the fish are, and this is what that opportunity gives these candidates," says Skelton.

Skelton says delegates who see the prospective candidates speak at state events could ultimately work for their campaigns.

And, if they speak on the convention floor, it could help attract national campaign donations. 

UPDATE 8 a.m.: CapRadio's Ben Bradford has a final update from Day 4 of the Democratic National Convention. 

Ben Bradford At The Democratic National Convention


Original Post: After his speech Wednesday ripping into Donald Trump, California Governor Jerry Brown has now spoken at two Democratic National Conventions a quarter century apart, where the candidate's name was Clinton. But this year, the context is quite different.

A couple things remained familiar all these years later. When Jerry Brown came to the stage in 1992 at the nomination of Bill Clinton and in 2016 for Hillary Clinton, the crowd used the same chant: "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry ..."

And in both speeches, he primarily attacked the Republican nominee — last night on climate change.

"Trump says global warming is a hoax," Brown told the crowd. "I say Trump is a fraud."

But in 1992, Brown had lost a bitter primary campaign to Clinton, refused to endorse him, and never mentioned him in his speech.

"I intend to fight for this party, its ideals, tonight, tomorrow, this year, and every year, until together we overcome," he said at the 1992 convention.

The governor endorsed Hillary Clinton before the California primary—days after a 90-minute meeting with Bill Clinton. This time, he was effusive for the nominee.

"Hillary does stuff, she fights for us on the big issues," he said.

As Brown touted his state's and Hillary Clinton's record fighting climate change, California delegates for Bernie Sanders began a chant protesting fracking, which Brown and Clinton support.

Democratic National Convention Fracking AP 20160727 PSigns are held as California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during the Democratic National Convention on July 27, 2016. During the speech, some California delegates were shouting, "Ban Fracking." Paul Sancya / AP

That's another change from 1992. Then, Brown was the progressive Democratic candidate who had lost the nomination. In fact, back then his campaign manager Jodie Evans introduced him with words that could have come from the 2016 campaign of Bernie Sanders.

"He is leading a revolution for the change this country needs," Evans said. "To break the stranglehold of the corporate interests, by starting a campaign that only accepted $100 and no PAC money."

The words and dynamics are similar, even as Brown's role within the party has shifted.

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