A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll has Gov. Jerry Brown (D) leading his two major rivals by a wide margin ahead of Tuesday’s primary, and shows former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari (R) pulling ahead of Tea Party Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (D) for the first time. Brown leads Kashkari 50-18%, followed by Donnelly at 13%. “The apparent movement suggested that Kashkari’s recent blitz of television ads and glossy mailers was paying dividends.” (Los Angeles Times)
REBUILDING THE GOP. Whoever wins the No. 2 spot to take on Brown will face tough odds in November, and Kaskari is adamant his goals extend beyond just winning. At a campaign stop in Silicon Valley over the weekend he said: “I’ve got two goals: I’m running for governor to beat Jerry Brown, to help fix the state. Number two is to help rebuild the Republican Party in California and around the state.” He “said his emphasis on diversity was driven by a desire to rebrand the Republican Party, following the setbacks of the 2012 presidential election.” (Los Angeles Times)
WINNING THE WEST. Donnelly isn’t the only GOP gubernatorial candidate out west that has his fellow Republicans worried. Former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) appears equally capable of capturing his party nomination on June 24 to take on Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) in November. “The fate of these bona fide tea-party candidates is about more than keeping score of establishment wins and losses. Democrats are hoping, and some Republicans are concerned, that having Donnelly and Tancredo atop their tickets would be a major drag on the entire California and Colorado GOP slates in November — or worse, could cause serious damage to the party’s long-term prospects.” (National Journal)
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Senator John McCain paid a secret visit to Northern Syria over the weekend during his trip abroad. McCain reportedly went "to speak with American officials and Kurdish fighters leading the charge to push ISIS militants out of Raqqa, the jihadist group’s stronghold." The trip was organized with the help of U.S. military.
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Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.