THE BUZZ: Underfinanced and trailing in the polls, state Sen. Kevin de León ratcheted up the pressure Monday on Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, demanding that she “come home to California” and participate in a debate for the first time in nearly two decades.
— “The voters of this great state may know Sen. Feinstein by name, but we don’t know where she stands on many issues,’’ said de León, repeatedly casting California’s “senior senator” as an elected official who has over the years lost touch with constituents — and with progressive and younger Democrats on issues of concern to them in her solidly blue state. The 51-year-old de León challenged Feinstein, 85, to three debates, saying: “The seat in the U.S. Senate is not entitled. … Here in California, we hold elections — not coronations.”
— De León added pointedly that ‘on Oct. 27, 2000, Feinstein stepped off the debate stage for the last time — and we haven’t seen her there since,’’ while the state has shifted markedly with regard to issues like jobs, economy, and climate change. Many voters who were only infants, or weren’t even born when the former San Francisco mayor first won her Senate seat, may be casting their ballots for the first time this year, he said, adding that they “need to know where she stands” on issues like “debt-free college and education.” Read the full story by POLITICO’s Carla Marinucci here.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “She has a private G5 Lear Jet. I have to get around the Central Valley in a car — and I’m powered by peanuts and water on Southwest Airlines.” – de León to POLITICO on why his campaign is more in touch with average state voters, and why Feinstein should accept his challenge for three debates.
TWEET OF THE DAY: Crack political reporter @MelMason on a different type of political wave after Gov Jerry Brown announced signing a new law: “Welp, the most important bill of the year has been signed. Surfing is officially California’s state sport. I think we can all go home now.”
BUENOS DÍAS, Good Tuesday morning. Legislative leaders criticized Betsy DeVos for the feds’ treatment of transgender students, environmental protesters continued to dog Gov. Jerry Brown by rallying outside his office and Silicon Valley players are pumping big bucks into politics.
— “Where’s Jerry?” Nothing official announced.