Photo: Denis Poroy, Associated Press
U.S. Senate Candidate and Senator from the State of California Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, Center, speaks with a supporter at the State Convention of the California Democrats 201
U.S. Senate Candidate and Senator from the State of California Kevin de Leon, …
SAN DIEGO – Senate Leader, Kevin de León, Hoping to Get Approval from the Democratic Party of California for his Campaign of the US Senate, stepped up its attacks on Senator Dianne Feinstein on Saturday, saying that "the days of the Democrats are waiting for our time, biting their tongue and triangulating at the margins are over."
Without directly naming Feinstein, a fellow Democrat who was elected to the Senate in 1992, de Leon told delegates at the state party convention that "some will make you believe that this Senate race is about Congressional seniority, not ideas or values; "
By the time the 3400 delegates' votes are counted early Sunday morning, lawmakers in Los Angeles will know if his candidacy will receive a much needed boost and if Feinstein's tired progressives will have a shot for the moment." ; oust. Should he win the party's approval – or even block Feinstein from getting the 60 percent support needed to secure him – "that would be huge," León said to The Chronicle's podcast "It's All Political"
. a title "California Democrats Reject Feinstein" would send a shudder through the nation's political establishment and breathe life into the León countryside.
But its long-term value could be limited. While the democratic sign would allow De León to tap into the State party's infrastructure and some of its cash, the fundamentals of the race would remain largely the same. Feinstein led León 46 percent to 17 percent in a January poll by California's non-partisan Public Policy Institute. Nearly two-thirds of Democratic voters prefer Feinstein. And with an estimated net worth of $ 53 million, she has access to as much money as she needs.
"Getting approval, or even holding Senator Feinstein to a draw by refusing his party's support, would be a coup d'etat for Kevin de León," said Thad Kousser, professor of Political Science at UC San Diego.
"It would be a surprising sign that California's democratic establishment does not rank behind one of its most experienced and popular officials" Kousser said: "But it will not be a death knell."
De León's campaign has struggled to take off.
Photo: Kent Nishimura, TNS
Senator Kevin De Leon speaks at the California Democratic Convention at the San Diego Convention Center.
State Senator Kevin De Leon expresses it during the …
For starters, almost all Californian voters know Feinstein, while nearly two-thirds of voters do not vote. do not know enough about Leon to form an opinion. Feinstein has $ 9.8 million and could draw in millions more as one of the wealthiest members of the Senate; Ms. de León has raised less money than Buffy Wicks, a Democratic candidate for the first time in Oakland, and has $ 359,261
Photo: Denis Poroy, Associated Press
Their race is a microcosm of two distinctly Californian stories at a time when the Democratic State Party is becoming more progressive and less white . Feinstein, 84, is the oldest child of a wealthy physician, raised in San Francisco's wealthier neighborhoods. De Leon, 51, the youngest son of the housekeeper, was raised in a district of San Diego a few kilometers from where he addressed delegates Saturday
. when she enraged the progressives saying that she hoped Trump had the ability to change "and if he does, he can be a good president."
Since then, she has tried to come back to this remark to the progressives, who have a size During this weekend, supporters of Feinstein distributed flyers that described her as "our progressive champion" and containing a quote Washington Post describing it as "one of the most popular". "Three times, he mentions how she opposes Trump." Feinstein voted to confirm 11 of the 22 appointments of Trump's cabinet or administration, in the lower third among Democratic senators.
But at the women's caucus more favorable to Feinstein on Saturday morning – where she received a standing ovation when she entered the room – They distributed similar leaflets, except that Feinstein was simply called "our champion." These leaflets do not mention Trump's
De Leon expressed his doubts about the fervor of Trump Feinstein's resistance during his speech on Saturday, and criticized him for his support for the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and the program. surveillance without warrant from the federal government
"We are telling the truth in power and we have never believed that Donald Trump could be a good president." León said. "California Democrats – We're fighting on the li We do not misunderstand the sidelines. "
Yet he acknowledged his plight: It is hard for him to cheat a pioneering politician who still enjoys largely respected in the party. 19659006] "I respect the service of my opponent," said de Leon. "This race is not personal, but the values for which we fight – California values, democratic values, fundamental values of human rights – are as personal as possible."
entirely on what she called her mission to eliminate assault weapons. Citing the recent shootout at the school in Parkland, Fla., Which killed 17 people, Feinstein said, "This is not what our schools should be … and I am determined to change that. …
But she has a long way to go with many party activists. She has rarely attended state party conventions in recent years. A Latin caucus moderator noted, "She has not been here in 25 years." Then the group endorsed León.
De Leon spent the last few months visiting democratic clubs throughout the state, trying to woo many of their delegates. He often began his remarks, as he did for the Labor Caucus, invoking his humble roots.
"Brothers and sisters, I am one of you," de Leon said. "Together, we fought for a minimum wage of $ 15" and other pro-labor laws
Feinstein, meanwhile, barely mentioned work caucus work Friday, speaking rather of "being a woman on a mission to ban assault weapons ". "Just as you care about wages, hours and working conditions, we all need to be concerned about the safety of our streets, our schools, our workplaces," Feinstein said, adding quickly that she believes she has always voted with work during her career in the Senate
. ready to give up Feinstein
"Do I agree with all that she says? No," said Melinda McGraw, a resident of Los Angeles. "But with all this experience that she has – especially now – it is essential that we keep it."
Joe Garofoli is the chief political writer of the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @joegarofoli
From León Speaks
Kevin de León talks to Joe Garofoli of The Chronicle about his campaign for the US Senate on the podcast "It & # 39 s All Political ": www.bit.ly/its-all-political