It just keeps getting worse for California Republicans

Representative Kevin McCarthy speaks during a press conference at the US Capitol after the House passed a motion to remove him from his position as Speaker of the House on October 3, 2023.
Representative Kevin Mccarthy Speaks During A Press Conference At The Us Capitol After The House Passed A Motion To Remove Him From His Position As Speaker Of The House On October 3, 2023.

DRIVING THE DAY: The mourners will gather today in San Francisco to pay respect to the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein as she lies in state at City Hall.

This is a fitting place to remember Feinstein. A lifelong San Franciscan, he emerged as a national figure while serving as the city’s mayor before his three decades in the US Senate. He died last week at the age of 90.

Residents can say goodbye and sign a condolence book from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

THE BUZZ: A SPEAKER SIDELINED — Kevin McCarthy lost his job. California Republicans have lost a lifeline.

McCarthy’s defection to Washington has left California Republicans, whose seats he helped defend, preparing to spend the next 13 months without one of their greatest assets.

“He’s a phenomenal fundraiser and phenomenal recruiter,” Matt Shupe, a state Republican strategist, said of McCarthy. “Unless we get a Californian as Speaker, I think we all have something to worry about.”

They are Rep. Michelle Steel, Young Kim, Mike Garcia, David Valadao, and John Duarte were vulnerable before Tuesday’s dramatic removal, led by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and other hardline conservatives. With McCarthy now stripped of his power, the fight to keep their districts — and by extension, the GOP’s control of Congress — is even more daunting.

“Matt Gaetz and other useful idiots gave (Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem) Jeffries a huge gift,” said Rob Stutzman, a top Republican operative in California who has known McCarthy since his days. at the statehouse in Sacramento.

California Republicans tried to steady the ship on Tuesday (Valadao said he “feels good” about his campaign) but some couldn’t ignore the potential impact on the balance of power.

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McCarthy said he would not run for speakership again – not surprising since it took him 15 rounds of voting to win the first time. Garcia said he still expects the former speaker to play an important role in keeping the seats in California.

Democratic consultants are excited that McCarthy’s ouster will boost their candidates in a half-dozen or so swing districts in California.

Orrin Evans, a Democratic consultant who has worked on several swing races, said McCarthy hurt GOP candidates on his way out the door by forcing them to vote on a stopgap spending bill with cuts. to law enforcement and other essential services. The bill failed, and McCarthy relied on Democratic votes to temporarily avoid a government shutdown.

“The GOP is in full crisis mode. Every one of the Republican enablers needs to own a parting gift from Kevin McCarthy from now until November 2024,” Evans said.

GOOD MORNING. It’s Wednesday. Thanks for waking up Playbook.

PLAYBOOK TIP LINE – Are you aware of any seismic movements happening this week in California politics? Give us a ring or drop us a line.

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WHERE IS GAVIN? Nothing has been officially announced.

People Ride Their Bikes Past A Homeless Camp Set Up Along The Boardwalk In The Venice Neighborhood Of Los Angeles.
People ride their bicycles past a homeless camp set up along the boardwalk in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, June 29, 2021. | Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

HOMLESSNESS HOT POTATO – Homelessness continues to be a dominant and seemingly intractable issue throughout California. While Gov. Gavin Newsom, lawmakers, and mayors are struggling to make progress, much of the conflict has moved to the courts.

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On the one hand, Newsom and fellow Democratic executives bemoaned court decisions that made it difficult to clear the camps and expose them to the wrath of voters. In a surprising reversal, they criticized the notoriously liberal Ninth Circuit and sought help from a conservative US Supreme Court. Newsom still considers doxx a judge.

On the other hand, cities and counties are facing lawsuits that prompt them to move more people off the streets: Sacramento District Attorney Thien Ho is suing his own city, and the Los Angeles recently reached a settlement in a year-long legal battle that, at one point, saw a judge order every person on Skid Row to be housed. Here’s Jeremy B. White’s story of a high-stakes legal battle.

DOUBLING DOWN – Si Rep. Barbara Lee fully intends to stay in the controversial state Senate race if newly sworn-in Sen. Laphonza Butler decides to throw her hat in the ring for a full term, Lee adviser Anna Bahr told POLITICO.

Lee trailed congressional colleagues Katie Porter and Adam Schiff in polls and fundraising. A Butler run would throw a serious wrench in the race.

CRUISE ACCIDENT: A pedestrian in San Francisco was trapped under a Cruise vehicle after a hit-and-run crash with another vehicle threw him into the path of an autonomous taxi. The incident added to the intense debate about the safety of self-driving taxis that are now common on the city’s streets. It was not immediately clear whether autonomous vehicle technology played a role in the accident. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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GOOD CONCERN: Lawmakers passed a measure this year that would require fossil-fuel companies to set aside money to seal oil and gas wells when they’re done drilling. But Newsom’s Treasury Department warned that the bill could increase the number of abandoned, unplugged wells by making it too expensive for large operators to acquire small wells. Environmentalists are watching closely what the governor does next. (Los Angeles Times)

CHALLENGER ALERT: Derek Tran, a 42-year-old attorney specializing in personal injury and discrimination cases, made more than $250,000 in the 24 hours after he launched his campaign Monday to unseat Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.), according to the campaign. That’s more than any of the other four Democrats in the race raised last quarter. (POLITICS)

BIRTHDAYS — Matt Roberts … Annu Subramanian … William von Meister

CALIFORNIA POLICY IS ALWAYS CHANGING: Know your next step. From Sacramento to Silicon Valley, POLITICO California Pro gives policy professionals the in-depth reporting and tools they need to stay ahead of the policy trends and political developments shaping the Golden State. To learn more about the exclusive insight and analysis offered by the subscriber-only service, click here.

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