Can you believe?

Can You Believe?

Hurricane Harvey dumped enough rain on Houston to fill a box of water with two-mile sides. Put another way, it was almost three times the volume of water in Utah’s Great Salt Lake. And then Hurricane Irma engulfed the entire state of Florida. The entire state. These are not the hurricanes that we all grew up hearing about. They are hurricanes on steroids – the steroids of climate change. And lost in all the hurricane news is the fact that fires have consumed hundreds of thousands of acres in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. About 25,000 firefighters have been on the job, in some cases for six months, fighting these blazes. And can you believe that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, and everyone else in the Trump administration, refuses to even speak of climate change, the clear and undisputed cause of these catastrophic events? They say such discussions are “misplaced” and “inappropriate.” Clearly when you are told “Don’t talk about that,” it is time to talk about it.

Hits and Misses – the week’s best and worst moves

Hit of the Week:  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra formally filed a legal challenge on behalf of DREAMers, saying that the Trump administration had “violated the due process protections of DACA applicants by putting their personal information at risk.”

Miss of the Week:  The diatribe issued by Alaska Republican Don Young against Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal during the House floor debate on wildlife management. Among other things, Young called the 51-year-old Jayapal “young lady,” and claimed that she “doesn’t know a damn thing what she’s talking about.” While he later apologized, Young needs some counseling on listening.

House Race of the Week

We typically cover a single hot House race here, a race where an incumbent member of the GOP is scrambling for reelection. But this week is different because members of the GOP are increasingly announcing that they will not run for reelection, not face the voters. So far, Dave Trott of Michigan, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Dave Reichert of Washington, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida have all announced they will not seek reelection. While some have made the too-often-heard “I want to spend more time with my family” statements, it is not news that this year will be tough for GOP incumbents, forced to campaign while dragging along the chaos of the Trump administration. More announcements are likely, and for each, the race tips just a bit towards a Democrat. This is a real news trend and it could be part of the trend to tip the House to blue.

Finally…

Many of you remember my Senate campaigns. Unlike lots of statewide races, we were never content to just raise a lot of money and spend it on TV ads. Instead, we did state tours, visiting every county. We engaged volunteers on lots of projects. We held voter rallies on college campuses, at senior centers, in parks, on the beach. And we are taking this same approach to my PAC for a Change projects. One of our projects will be to help grow the volunteer bases for independent organizations in target districts. You already know of my work to replace Darrell Issa. If you haven’t watched my ad at www.barbaraboxer.wpengine.com you should. An independent organization called Flip the 49th is active in Issa’s district, and we will be helping with precinct walks, phone banks, and other actions. Second, we are also organizing a series of workshops in LA to offer our supporters training and information to become more effective advocates. The planned workshops include developing skills for voter registration, phone banking, and policy issues such as our environment and immigration. Programs are being planned now and you can watch this space for more information in the very near future.

Lastly, if you have not had a chance to read the feature story about our efforts from the Washington Post, you can find it here.