CA-21: Former nominee Emilio Huerta (D) ended his campaign to oust Rep. David Valadao (R) from a Central Valley-based district that Hillary Clinton won by 15 points. “Huerta had just about $100,000 in the bank as of Dec. 31 and did scant campaigning. … Several Central Valley Democratic Party sources who requested anonymity … said they expect” engineer T.J. Cox (D) “to announce a run next week. Cox has been running in a crowded field in the nearby” CA-10 “but owns a home and business in Fresno.”
“Huerta’s exit has some Democrats who were concerned he was a weak candidate breathing a sigh of relief. Elected officials and Democratic party operatives” said “they felt the candidate’s mother pressured them to keep other candidates from entering the race.” (Los Angeles Times)
CA-49: Air Force veteran Christina Prejean (D) “announced Friday night that she is dropping out of the race to succeed” retiring Rep. Darrell Issa (R), “citing the large number of her fellow Democrats seeking the seat.” Prejean: “In the military, we say `One team, One fight,’ and our focus is always on the mission. As a proud Democrat and progressive, we are on the same team, and our mission is to flip the 49th. (CBS 8)
“All five Democrats” in the race for Issa’s seat “were expected to take part in the forum, but the candidates, one-by-one, began to back out just hours before the start time, leaving a single contender on the stage.” Environmental attorney Mike Levin (D) “was left uncontested with a packed house of voters, the sole benefactor of his opponents’ decision to ditch the event,” which was billed as a “candidate viability forum.” (Mother Jones)
CA-50: “The California Republican Party on Saturday put its endorsement behind” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) “his re-election to Congress, giving a boost to his embattled campaign. …While the county-level GOP had already endorsed Hunter, and it is common for the state GOP to follow those recommendations, controversy swirling around the Alpine congressman raised some question as to whether he would secure enough votes for the state backing.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)
What We're Following See More »
"The Supreme Court on Monday passed up its two opportunities this term to rule on when and whether states violate the Constitution by drawing electoral maps that sharply favor one political party." In a dispute over Maryland's congressional map, the Supreme Court "upheld a district court judge’s decision not to grant a preliminary injunction" blocking the map. In the Wisconsin case Gill v. Whitford, the justices ruled that Democratic voters lacked standing to challenge the redrawn electoral boundaries at the Supreme Court. Seven justices
"agreed to give the challengers another shot at making their case in the lower courts."
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross failed to keep his promise to divest from his company holdings upon entering government, a Forbes investigation has found. Ross reportedly kept his stakes in companies co-owned by the Chinese government, a firm linked to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, and a Cyprus bank caught up in the Robert Mueller investigation. Forbes reports that Ross’s family continued to have an interest in these holdings while he dealt with China and Russia in his official role, even while knowing that his family’s fortunes were linked to the countries. Although the arrangements appear to be legal, Forbes says Ross may have broken the law by submitting a sworn statement to officials in November saying he divested of everything he promised he would. His spokesperson said Ross did not lie and has filed amended paperwork.
"The Pentagon has quietly empowered the United States Cyber Command to take a far more aggressive approach to defending the nation against cyberattacks, a shift in strategy that could increase the risk of conflict with the foreign states that sponsor malicious hacking groups." The policy change empowers the command to conduct cyberattacks against adversaries, including "nearly daily raids" against enemy networks and "non-kinetic" attacks against military targets. The purpose of the change, according to policy documents, is to “contest dangerous adversary activity before it impairs our national power" and to impel adversaries to "shift resources to defense and reduce attacks.”
Manuel Padilla, the Border Patrol chief for the Rio Grande Valley, expressed his desire to CBS News for action to be taken to address family separation at the border. Separations have spiked under the Trump Administration's "zero-tolerance" policy. "We created this situation by not doing anything," Padilla said, arguing that previous immigration policy had created a "vacuum" for other families to attempt to cross the border.
"As Trump signed a joint statement with Kim Jong Un that offered few details on how the North Korean leader would make good on his vow to denuclearize, Republicans on Capitol Hill said Tuesday that they want and expect the White House to submit any final agreement for their approval." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for any agreement to be in the form of a treaty.