It’s Not Just a Primary Vote, It’s a Message to Trump

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6 mins read
Graphic from League of Women Voters of California (CC BY 2.0).

Hey, California, you may have heard about this election coming up on Tuesday, March 3.

Not sure who to vote for in the presidential primary? Not sure how to vote on down-ballot choices, like propositions and state superior judges? Too busy to get to your polling place? Too bad, vote anyway. President Trump loves nothing more than to attack our Golden State, and we need to show him the strength and might of a blue California.

In the 2016 presidential elections, Californians overwhelming voted for Hillary Clinton. California’s 61.7 percent of Hillary supporters translated into over 8 million votes, pushing Hillary to win the popular vote by close to 3 million people even while she lost in the electoral college. These numbers did not sit well with Trump. The president-elect immediately launched false allegations of mass voter fraud to explain his loss in California, which he continues to push to the present day. Trump then spent his first year in office laying the ground work to roll back California’s agenda to protect its people, environment, and moral code. 

Here’s a timeline of some of Trump’s most egregious incursions into California.

January 2017: Trump signs an executive order to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities, like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Oakland, which refuse to comply with federal immigration enforcement. That same year Governor Jerry Brown signs legislation declaring California a sanctuary state.

February 2017: Trump threatens to pull federal funding from the University of California at Berkeley after violent protests break out in response to an event featuring conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

December 2017: Trump signs his tax bill into law. Taxpayers no longer may deduct all their mortgage interest or state and local income taxes. This law deliberately penalizes states with high property taxes and state/local income taxes — blue states like California.

January 2018: The Trump administration announces a new policy allowing U.S. prosecutors to enforce federal laws prohibiting marijuana even in states that had legalized recreational marijuana use. In April Trump reneges on this policy at the behest of Sen. Cory Gardner, Republican from Colorado, after Gardner threatened to block judicial nominees.

March 2018: Trump’s Department of Justice sues California for laws recently passed that weakened the ability of federal immigration officials to find and punish undocumented immigrants. Several other states also have sanctuary laws, but the lawsuit against the state of California is the first of its kind.

November 2018: Trump blames forest management and a lack of “raking” the forest floors for California’s Camp Fire, which wiped out of the town of Paradise. He issues the first of many threats to cut off federal funds to the state to fight wildfires. 

February 2019: After California scales back the bullet train, originally intended to link San Francisco and Los Angeles, Trump demands that the state pay back any federal money for high-speed rail already received. In May, the Department of Transportation pulls more than $900 million in funding.

September 2019: The Trump administration revokes California’s long-held waiver to the Clear Air Act, which allowed the state to set tougher tailpipe emission and fuel efficiency standards than the federal government.

September 2019: After a fundraising visit, Trump threatens San Francisco with an EPA violation, claiming that the homeless population in the city poses an environmental hazard.

December 2019: The Trump administration opens California federal lands to oil drilling and fracking. This order ends a five-year moratorium on the practice in the state. 

February 2020: The Trump administration begins to deploy SWAT-style law enforcement officers to sanctuary cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, to aid ICE carry out operations and arrests.

February 2020: Trump overturns state water policy and signs an order to divert water to farmers and ranchers in the Central Valley, which threatens endangered fish populations.

February 2020: The Trump administration asserts that California is violating federal law by requiring health insurance companies to provide abortion coverage and threatens to withhold funding if the policy is not changed.

Trump also regularly attacks California governor Gavin Newsom, often on Twitter, criticizing and threatening him over the state’s positions on homelessness, wildfires, taxes, the death penalty, and more. 

So fill out that ballot or get a ride to the poll. Just make sure to vote. Every Democratic ballot sends another message to Donald Trump: You may be at war with California, but we’re not surrendering!


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