Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 84, said Monday that she will run again in 2018, touching off the possibility of a fierce battle within California’s Democratic Party.
Though often denounced as a liberal by Republicans, Feinstein is regarded as being overly conservative and too pro-business by the more left-wing members of her party.
Feinstein, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1992 and is a former mayor of San Francisco, announced her re-election bid in a Facebook post. She said that while she’s “immensely proud of my service,” there is more she wants to do “from ending gun violence, to combating climate change, to ensuring proper and affordable access to healthcare, and to giving DREAMers the chance to stay in the United States.”
A recent example of Feinstein bucking left-wing Democrats was her opposition to California’s push for single-payer health care. Some environmentalists have characterized her as being too friendly to business interests, especially corporate agriculture.
NBC News reported Monday that Feinstein could be challenged by state Senate President Kevin de Leon, who has been openly considering a run for months, or progressive billionaire Tom Steyer.
Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the liberal Daily Kos blog said on Twitter that he wanted to work with de Leon to “beat the most pro-Trump Blue-state Dem in the country!”
Still, California’s “jungle primary” system, in which the top two candidates from any party advance to the general election, is designed to have a moderating influence that could help protect Feinstein.
And California’s junior senator, Kamala Harris, quickly backed her colleague in a bid to clear the field Monday.
“I strongly support Dianne’s reelection campaign,” Harris wrote on Facebook. “We are better off with her leadership and I look forward to continuing to fight together for California in the Senate.”
Here is a look at other stories capturing our eye:
Raging Wildfire Forces Thousands to Evacuate Homes in Napa
You can keep up to date by clicking on this Los Angeles Times link.
Here is what the Times is reporting at 11:09 a.m. PDT:
- At least 1,500 structures have been destroyed in more than 14 fires, covering a collective 57,000 acres.
- Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.
- The Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa has burned 35,000 acres and has residents running for their lives. Two Santa Rosa hospitals have been evacuated.
- No deaths have been reported, though people are being treated at local hospitals for injuries.
- There are three evacuation centers for Napa County residents: Calistoga Fairgrounds, Napa Valley College and Crosswalk Community Church, which authorities report is full.
Crucial Vote on Delta Tunnels Scheduled for Tuesday
The Sacramento Bee is reporting that the board of the powerful Metropolitan Water District in Southern California will decide whether to commit about one-quarter of the funding for Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17.1 billion Delta tunnels project Tuesday.
“If Metropolitan votes in favor of the tunnels, as expected, it would provide a desperately needed boost for a project that’s hanging by a thread … ,” The Bee reported.
A favorable, write The Bee’s Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, “would keep the process alive and give Brown’s administration some breathing room … . Conversely, a ‘no’ vote from Metropolitan would almost certainly doom the project.”
What Is a Bump Stock? Read This and You’ll Be an Expert
Congress is talking about banning the device, which allows a semi-automatic weapon to mimic fully automatic weapons.
Twelve of the rifles police found in Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel room were equipped with bump stocks. The increased rate of fire likely was a factor in the massacre, which left 58 dead and 489 wounded.
PolitiFact’s Joshua Gillin provides everything you need to know about bump stocks in this story, which includes photos and video.
In the meantime, Gillin writes, sales of bump stocks appear to have ticked up since the shooting.
Dozens Die When Rohingya Refugee Boat Capsizes
At least a dozen people are dead after an overcrowded boat carrying Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar capsized off the coast of Bangladesh late Sunday.
Michael Sullivan, reporting on NPR’s Morning Edition, says that the majority of the dead are children and at least 30 other people are still missing.
Fulton Street’s Restored Art is Stunning. Let’s Keep It That Way
“Seventeen years and $5 million later (about 25 percent of the Fulton Street project’s total budget) … Fresno can once again marvel at its sculptures and fountains, (and) view them with contentment and comfort,” writes Marek Warszawski of The Fresno Bee.