When Rep. Henry Waxman announced his retirement last month, he insisted he was not leaving out of frustration with Congress. The Democrat who was rumored to be running for his empty seat in California, however, may be staying out of the race because of it.
“While I strongly considered offering my candidacy for Congress, I feel there is a better way for me to advance the causes that are important to our community,” Fluke told the Los Angeles Times late Tuesday night.
The lawyer and women’s-rights activist plans to run instead for the state Senate, where she believes she would be able to accomplish more than she would have in Congress. Fluke has a point: Aside from skirting congressional gridlock, staying in state government means Fluke will actually wind up with a larger constituency than she would have had in Congress, as California has more congressional districts than it does state Senate districts.
Fluke had moved from “strongly considering” a congressional run last week to seeking party support by filing with the California Democratic Party on Tuesday. The decision suggested to many that Fluke was already gearing up for a congressional campaign.
Fluke’s turnaround could be due to competition for Waxman’s seat. Democrat Ted Lieu already has a state senator’s gig under his belt, and former City Controller Wendy Greuel was expected to attract a similar set of voters as Fluke would have. Fluke worked with EMILY’s List, a political action committee that seeks to elect Democratic female candidates who support abortion rights, during the 2012 election, but the group backed Greuel in an unsuccessful Los Angeles mayoral race last year.
Fluke’s decision to run for state Senate mirrors a growing movement among state governments to push ahead on policy issues, such as raising the minimum wage and expanding prekindergarten education, that are stalled at the federal level. These days, a young, up-and-coming politician can more easily build a reputation in local government for getting things done than she could in Congress.
Fluke became a national political celebrity in 2012, when conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” after her congressional testimony in favor of requiring insurance companies to cover the cost of contraception.
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At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.
Donald Trump, when pressed by Lester Holt on why he finally admitted that President Obama was born in America, repeated his widely debunked claim that it was started by Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton went point by point on how race can so often determine the treatment that people receive, mentioning recent shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, calling for restored trust between communities and police, and demanding criminal justice reform. Trump responded by calling for law and order and touting his endorsements from police unions. He then said that “African Americans are living in hell,” saying they are just walking down the street and getting “shot ... being decimated by crime."
Just as Hillary Clinton was inviting debate viewers to visit her site for real-time fact checking, there appeared to be a problem with Donald Trump's own campaign website. For about a 15-minute period, a blank page or an error message appeared when we tried to load the Trump site.
Donald Trump has come out in the first segment of this debate raring to go. Trump has interrupted nearly every answer being given by Hillary Clinton, talking over her time and again. Clinton is sticking to her guns, smiling while Trump speaks and then calling on people to go to her website and see the fact checking being done.