March 17, 2017

California politics updates: Gov. Brown takes his transportation plan on the road, ‘sanctuary state’ bill amended

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By: Javier Panzar

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) held an impromptu question and answer session Friday with a couple of dozen liberal activists outside a Hancock Park home where she was raising money for her 2018 reelection campaign.

Many in the crowd demanded Feinstein take a more outspoken stand against the Trump administration, including filibustering Judge Neil Gorsuch’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination.

Feinstein said “it makes no sense” for her to make up her mind before going through Gorsuch’s cases, adding she was “humiliated” that President Obama’s pick to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat, Merrick Garland, never got hearings.

“[Republicans] took it away from [Obama], don’t think we don’t know it. Don’t think we don’t remember it. And don’t think that that doesn’t stick deeply with us,” she said.

Feinstein was also asked by one protester about Trump’s business connections and how the president might be removed from office.

“We have a lot of people looking at this, technical people,” she said. “And I think he is going to get himself out.”

“I think sending sons to another country to make a financial deal for his company and then have that covered with government expenses — I think those government expenses should not be allowed,” Feinstein said, seemingly in reference to Eric Trump’s trip to Uruguay.

The event drew protesters from various Los Angeles County chapters of the group Indivisible, as well as activists from Our Revolution, a political group formed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

One protester pointedly asked Feinstein why she wasn’t committed to blocking Gorsuch, saying, “[Republicans] have not acted like reasonable people, so why are the Democrats acting like reasonable people?”

When another protester shouted at Feinstein to “take a stand,” the senator responded, “Young man, I’ve made more stands in my lifetime than you are old by far.”

Before wrapping up her time with the crowd, Feinstein said she was committed to having a town hall, a central demand of many of the activists who came out Friday.

Many in the crowd thanked her and gave her a round of applause.

“I am very happy people power worked,” said Tudor Popescu, a 37-year-old software engineer and organizer with the Indivisible chapter for California’s 43rd Congressional District in southern Los Angeles County. “It is a step in the right direction, but we have more work to do.”

Before Feinstein came out to speak, Kate Mines, a 35-year-old actress from North Hollywood, said she wanted Feinstein to hold a town hall to hear from constituents.

“Book the Forum, we will fill it up,” she said. “I think she is out of step with the times. She needs to listen to us and hear our concerns.”