Katie Porter’s star dims in failed US Senate bid, leaving the Californian facing an uncertain future

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. Rep. Katie Porter became a social media celebrity by brandishing a white board at congressional hearings to dissect CEOs and break down complex figures into assaults on corporate greed, a signature image that propelled the Democrat’s U.S. Senate candidacy in California.

This time, her numbers didn’t add up.

The progressive favorite known for spotlighting her soccer mom, minivan-driving home life was trounced in Tuesday’s primary election to fill the seat once held by the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, finishing far behind Republican Steve Garvey and fellow Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.

Another established Democrat, Rep. Barbara Lee, finished even farther behind and will abandon her House seat at the end of the term. But it’s Porter’s departure from an up-for-grabs swing district in Southern California that could cost the party dearly in the fierce fight for control of the U.S. House.

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Porter didn’t go down quietly. She immediately pointed a finger at “billionaires spending millions to rig this election.” That claim resulted in a brutal social media backlash from many who were happy to depict the congresswoman as a graceless loser.

“Can we stop trying to excuse every loss with the term ‘rig’ or ‘rigged’?” veteran Florida Democratic operative Steve Schale wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Some likened her bitter words to former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud in 2020 — not a kind comparison to make in Democratic circles.

The episode represented a messy coda to what once was seen as a top-shelf campaign likely headed for the November ballot. Instead, she is now dealing with stinging fallout from the loss and her reaction to it, and facing an uncertain future after her House term expires in early January.

Perhaps chastened by the criticism, Porter later clarified her initial statement to say she didn’t believe the California vote count or election process had been compromised, but she didn’t recant her earlier remarks. Rigged, she said in a follow-up, “means manipulated by dishonest means.”

Porter, known as a small-dollar fundraiser and a self-styled guardian of the middle class, was the first major candidate to enter the race in January 2023. At the time, she promised to be a “warrior” in Washington who would take on big banks, Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry.

As for her future, political watchers in California say Porter could end up somewhere in the Biden administration, on Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s staff or perhaps be a candidate for another statewide office in 2026 — the race for governor is wide open. She was a consumer protection attorney before her election to the House, and her knack for wringing common-sense answers from questions that become clouded by political haze remains a marketable skill.

In what might not be a coincidence, Porter’s campaign began raising money for President Joe Biden on Friday, urging her supporters in an email to “donate, knock (on) doors, make calls” to get the president reelected.

“I do think it will blow over,” said veteran Democratic consultant Roger Salazar. He called her rigged-election claims a “heat-of-the-moment” reaction to the millions of dollars spent against her by super political action committees.

That’s pretty much the line Porter has taken. She faults outside spending for costing her a chance at the seat, hinting that she became a target after taking on powerful forces.

“As we’ve seen in this campaign, they spend millions to defeat someone who will dilute their influence and disrupt the status quo,” she wrote on X.

But Democratic strategists believe she made strategic mistakes that contributed to her downfall.

Democratic consultant Andrew Acosta said Porter’s steady attacks on Schiff probably alienated Democratic base voters who admire the congressman, who had been a leading voice in two Trump impeachments.

“Being the angry outsider is the role Republicans usually play,” Acosta said. “It doesn’t play with Democratic base voters.”

Porter said Schiff’s ads spotlighting Garvey’s conservative credentials by directing criticism mainly at him — in a kind of a carom shot that boosted his visibility among Republican and right-leaning voters — were a “brazenly cynical” attempt to box out female candidates. In other words, her and Lee.

Paul Mitchell of Political Data Inc., a research firm that closely tracks voting trends and works with Democrats, independent candidates and academics, said Porter was simply outmaneuvered. With a large fundraising advantage, he said, Schiff was able to define the race as a contest between him and the Republican Garvey.

To the average voter “a two-person race makes a lot more sense,” Mitchell said. “It strengthened both of their brands.” A one-on-one contest is “the most easily digestible narrative in American politics.”

Click here to read the full article in AP News

Schiff, Garvey Surge Ahead In Latest 2024 California U.S. Senate Election Poll

Porter six points behind Garvey in third place, Lee remains a distant fourth

A new Inside California Politics/ Emerson College poll on the 2024 California U.S. Senate Election was released Tuesday, showing that both Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and former Major League baseball star Steve Garvey (R) have continued to grow their respective leads over other top candidates such as Congresswomen Katie Porter (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA).

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According to the poll, Schiff has stayed in first place with 28% of those polled giving him their support. Garvey remained in second, receiving 22%, followed by Porter who was six points down at 16%. In a distant fourth was Lee with only 9% of the vote. Lawyer Eric Early (R), Businessman James Bradley (R), and TV Anchorwoman Christina Pascucci (D) each had 2% of the vote, rounding out the candidates who had more than 1%. Meanwhile, only 17% of voters remained undecided.

When broken down by demographics, both Schiff and Garvey enjoyed a high percentage of older voters in their favor, while Porter garnered more support from younger voters. Amongst independent voters in California, both Garvey and Schiff were split, with Garvey garnered 23% support from independents while Schiff had 22%.

“Candidate support varies by age group,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling. “Schiff’s support is highest among voters in their 60s, at 45%, and those over 70, with 39%, whereas Porter’s strength is among young voters, where she holds 23%. Notably, this group has the highest share of undecided voters at 28%. Garvey’s strength is also with older voters, with 33% support among voters over 70.”

When compared to the two previous polls in January, the previous Emerson poll and the USC Dornsife poll, Schiff has seen a trend of growing support. The January Emerson poll showed him at 25%, with the USC poll at 26%, and the February Emerson poll at 28%, marking a three point climb in only a month. Garvey, meanwhile went from an 18% January Emerson showing, to a 15% USC figure, then back up to a 22% with Emerson this month.

In Comparison, Porter had a 13%-15%-16% string of small gains, matching Schiff’s overall 3 point gain in a month, but coming short of Garvey’s 4 point gain. Lee meanwhile, made small gains, going from 8% to 7% to 9% on Tuesday. Bradley, Early, and Pascucci, meanwhile, all stagnated at around 2%.

Schiff, Garvey speed ahead of Porter, Lee

“This poll spells good news for Schiff, great news for Garvey, and just the worst possible news for Porter,” added Stephanie Lewis, a pollster in Southern California, to the Globe on Tuesday. “Schiff’s ads, first debate performance, and generally not rocking the boat in terms of negative headlines during the campaign have led him to maintain and slowly build. He’s getting many older Democrats to go away from Lee and Porter, and has pushed those on the fence to decide between him and Garvey. There’s people saying that some of his ads are charged and is trying to remove Porter because he would rather face Garvey in November, but he’s just been going after the independents and undecideds and wants to consolidate Democrats now.”

“If you’re a Garvey supporter, then this poll is great news. A six point lead over Porter with only 17% undecided, with Garvey grabbing the most independents. Plus he has outpaced support growth over all other candidates, as he went up 4 points since last month, and Schiff and Porter only went up 3. You can also track his debate performances from the polls. As he was doing decently before the first debate, dipped after his poor performance in the first, then won many people back in the second. It is helping that the Democrats are split, but it’s also helping the Porter just cannot break through.”

“Speaking of Porter, she is somewhat keeping pace, but she needed to have done more than that by now. Porter is good for the snappy headline and getting younger voters who see Lee as too old and too left, Schiff as too centrist, and Garvey as too conservative. But younger voters tend not to vote much as older voters, especially in primaries and especially in a primary election where Biden is the only real candidate for the Dems. And she is growing frustrated. She’s putting out a ton of ads, only for Schiff and Garvey to keep outpacing her. She gave up her House seat for this and was expecting to face Schiff in November. If she loses in the primary, well, that is hard to come back from.”

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

Garvey’s Kids Speak Their Mind

Steve Garvey touts ‘family values’ in his Senate bid. Some of his kids tell another story

The nickname “Mr. Clean” has lingered since the height of Steve Garvey’s fame as a sweet-swinging first baseman for the Dodgers and Padres, as much a reflection of his success on the field as the wholesome, All-American image that followed him off of it.

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Charming. Handsome. Unfailingly polite. Eager to sign autographs. Devoted to helping charities. A media darling. A successful businessman. All with a made-for-television grin.

Garvey is “a devoted family man,” read a biography once posted on his website. “As a father of seven children, Garvey understands that in the ever-changing world we live in there is a great necessity of being a man of honor, integrity and quality.”

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Now, as the Republican front-runner in the race for a California U.S. Senate seat, Garvey has avoided detailed policy positions, instead relying on his name recognition and clean-cut image. His campaign website describes him as a “true role model,” he praised the party’s value of “personal responsibility” in a recent interview, and he called in an op-ed to “restore moral integrity in Congress.”

But the reality of Garvey’s life is more complex. The 75-year-old has struggled with debt, been repeatedly sued, faced a bitter divorce, and got two women pregnant before quickly marrying a third woman, his current wife, in a scandal that briefly made him a national punchline in 1989. He pledged in interviews at the time to take “moral and financial responsibility” for the children.

Speaking publicly for the first time, the two children involved in the paternity imbroglio, now adults, told The Times that their mothers repeatedly tried to arrange meetings and phone calls for the children with Garvey, but he declined to communicate.

Also speaking publicly for the first time, Garvey’s oldest child from his first marriage said he cut off almost all contact without explanation about 15 years ago in a move that she still finds painful.

Krisha Garvey, 49, said she is not active in politics but agreed to speak to The Times about what she characterized as “complete abandonment” of herself and her three children by her father because she felt it was important for voters to understand that her father’s public image hasn’t always reflected his personal life.

“There’s something lacking in him, something not authentic,” she said. “To be a man of the people, to truly have experience of being a totally complete, loving family man … I wouldn’t want the people of California to buy into that just because he hit a ball really well.”

Now both 34, the two children Steve Garvey had with the two different women in 1989 said in a joint statement that they have no partisan or ideological position on the Senate race. They have moved forward with their lives without the father they’ve never known.

“In our childhoods, multiple efforts were made through attorneys to arrange a meeting or even a phone call with Mr. Garvey, but he declined every opportunity,” Slade Mendenhall and Ashleigh Young wrote. “Thus, we have never known him, and our only relationships with him were through the family court system.”

Young told The Times the only time she has spoken with Garvey was a chance encounter in line at a Park City, Utah, ski lodge shop when she was in middle school that was “very brief and a bit awkward.” Mendenhall said he has never met or spoken with Garvey.

Garvey’s campaign did not respond to detailed questions from The Times about his children, his financial dealings and whether his public image has matched his private conduct, but instead released a statement.

“The challenges I faced after retiring from Major League Baseball four decades ago were pivotal in shaping the person I am today,” the statement said. “The lessons learned about personal accountability and integrity have made a profound, lasting impact on my life. I’m the luckiest man to be happily married to the love of my life, Candace, for the last 35 years, which I believe demonstrates my growth and commitment to family values. These experiences have equipped me to better understand the adversities others face in their lives, and to serve the public with empathy and integrity, something that has been lacking in Washington, D.C.”

After a quiet start in his first run for public office, Garvey, a Palm Desert resident, has hit the campaign trail. Stops in recent weeks included California’s border with Mexico, the Salton Sea, an almond company in Kern County, a Compton bakery, a tour of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, a homeless encampment in Sacramento, and meeting with Jewish community leaders in Pleasanton.

Garvey’s campaign did not respond to detailed questions from The Times about his children, his financial dealings and whether his public image has matched his private conduct, but instead released a statement.

“The challenges I faced after retiring from Major League Baseball four decades ago were pivotal in shaping the person I am today,” the statement said. “The lessons learned about personal accountability and integrity have made a profound, lasting impact on my life. I’m the luckiest man to be happily married to the love of my life, Candace, for the last 35 years, which I believe demonstrates my growth and commitment to family values. These experiences have equipped me to better understand the adversities others face in their lives, and to serve the public with empathy and integrity, something that has been lacking in Washington, D.C.”

After a quiet start in his first run for public office, Garvey, a Palm Desert resident, has hit the campaign trail. Stops in recent weeks included California’s border with Mexico, the Salton Sea, an almond company in Kern County, a Compton bakery, a tour of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, a homeless encampment in Sacramento, and meeting with Jewish community leaders in Pleasanton.

Garvey’s strength, the professor said, boils down to his name recognition with members of a “certain generation” who remember Garvey’s exploits with the Dodgers and Padres in the 1970s and 1980s.

The one-time Dodgers batboy was selected for 10 All-Star games, won a Most Valuable Player award, set a National League record by playing in 1,207 consecutive games, earned four Gold Gloves for his defense and helped the Dodgers win the World Series in 1981. He was as dependable as bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 110 Freeway that runs near Dodger Stadium, collecting 200 or more hits in a season six times and ranking among the games-played leaders in 10 seasons. The faithful who packed stadiums to watch him play loved the clean-cut, aw-shucks, God-fearing superstar.

“He collects art, not phone numbers,” legendary Times columnist Jim Murray wrote in 1974. “He’s on the team bus more than the driver. His idea of a good movie is one where everyone keeps his clothes on and the good guys win. He visits crippled children’s hospitals, not discotheques. … Garvey is hopelessly addicted to malted milk and getting to bed early.”

He was as smooth in front of television cameras and microphones as he was scooping up ground balls to first base. He appeared on game shows, sitcoms, talk shows, even the cover of Sport magazine eating apple pie festooned with American flags. Companies flocked to use him as a pitchman for products like Vitalis Hair Tonic and Swanson Hungry-Man frozen dinners. A junior high school in Tulare County was named after him. Garvey and his then-wife Cynthia — he filed for divorce in 1983 — were called Ken and Barbie in newspaper stories that cast them as a Southern California ideal.

“He was the face of the franchise save for [Dodgers manager] Tommy Lasorda, as much as any player had been maybe since they came over from Brooklyn,” said Jason Turbow, whose book “They Bled Blue” chronicles the team’s path to the championship in 1981. “In many ways, he was the Dodgers.”

The adulation reached such heights that in an interview with Playboy magazine in 1981, Garvey said he had been “approached by very high-profile” Republicans and Democrats about running for office and “either I start at the U.S. Senate or nothing.” He hoped to “develop ideas and principles that will set examples for people.” If a political career materialized, Garvey told the interviewer, he would consider trying for president because “I know if I were elected to that position, it would be nothing short of my complete, total dedication.”

But the attention sometimes grated on other players.

“Some of his teammates thought the Garvey persona was too neat, his near-immaculate lifestyle too perfect, and that what they were witnessing in his daily embraces with the media, in his publicized visits to semi-invalids in hospitals and in his marathon autograph and photo sessions was nothing more than image making,” Sports Illustrated’s William Nack wrote in 1982. “What they believed they saw was a cynically calculated polishing of the … image for personal gain — a businessman, blasphemy of blasphemies, in [legendary Dodgers player] Gil Hodges’ uniform.”

In an autobiography released in 1986, Garvey insisted the virtuous image was the real thing: “All that autograph-signing and hand-shaking and cheek-kissing, that’s how I am and have always been. … Some guys can’t be bothered, but when I look into those little faces, I can’t say no. I remember when I was a kid and ballplayers had time for me — it made me happy.” He talked about the need for positive role models and that there should be “at least one straight arrow among the swingers.”

But in early 1989, less than two years after his final game with the Padres, Garvey was accused of getting two women pregnant — including one he was engaged to — before marrying a third woman, his current wife, after a brief courtship. He tried to explain what happened in a series of interviews. Both women, he said, led him to believe they were using birth control.

Bumper stickers proclaimed: “Steve Garvey is not my Padre.”

During a “Golden Girls” episode that spring, the character Sophia Petrillo quipped: “I just hope I’m not carrying Steve Garvey’s baby.”

The Times described the situation in a headline as an “accidental double play” and assured readers that Garvey’s long-discussed political prospects remained intact. He promised in the same story to “accept the moral and financial responsibility” for the children because “there is a right way and wrong way to deal with moral situations, and I believe this is the right thing to do.”

But in early 1989, less than two years after his final game with the Padres, Garvey was accused of getting two women pregnant — including one he was engaged to — before marrying a third woman, his current wife, after a brief courtship. He tried to explain what happened in a series of interviews. Both women, he said, led him to believe they were using birth control.

Bumper stickers proclaimed: “Steve Garvey is not my Padre.”

During a “Golden Girls” episode that spring, the character Sophia Petrillo quipped: “I just hope I’m not carrying Steve Garvey’s baby.”

The Times described the situation in a headline as an “accidental double play” and assured readers that Garvey’s long-discussed political prospects remained intact. He promised in the same story to “accept the moral and financial responsibility” for the children because “there is a right way and wrong way to deal with moral situations, and I believe this is the right thing to do.”

Among his other endeavors, Garvey offers to film personalized videos for fans on Cameo for $149.

“Once I started doing this, it’s been amazing, the amount of well wishes and satisfaction that I’ve had in doing something special for the fans,” Garvey said in a promotional video. “We’ve just had a great Mother’s Day run and the videos that came back of crying and laughing, it was so heartwarming.”

Amid pitches for Cameos and other products, Garvey’s Instagram feed portrays a family man. Garvey posing for a family photo on Christmas. His youngest daughter preparing to attend the Stagecoach Festival. On the Dodger Stadium field with her: “Special #Dad #Daughter night at the #2022 All-Star Game.” At the Kentucky Derby the same year with his wife. The caption read: “One more memorable event to our life experiences.”

(Garvey had two children with his first wife, two children with two different women in 1989, and three children with his current wife, in addition to two children she brought into their marriage.)

Garvey’s oldest daughter, Krisha, fondly recalls childhood memories of her father, including him still wearing his Dodgers uniform when he would jump in the pool at the family home in Calabasas with her and her younger sister, Whitney. (Whitney Garvey could not be reached for comment.) Krisha said she is athletic and competitive like her dad, an avid tennis player who remembers his coaching when she was young. His words echo in her mind every time she steps on the court: “Happy feet, happy feet.”

Steve Garvey dedicated his autobiography published in 1986 to Krisha and Whitney and, as part of the dedication for another book in 2008, mentioned “my children” and Krisha’s oldest son.

About 15 years ago, she said, her father stopped calling and taking her calls. It shocked her. She didn’t understand what had happened. One day, she said, she caught him on the phone. He told her “this is how it’s got to be, Krish” but otherwise did not explain the estrangement, she said. The little communication between them largely consisted of brief texts, emails, and phone calls she initiated, according to Krisha.

The hurt and confusion, she said, has left her crying “like a little girl” on almost every one of her birthdays in the past decade and a half.

She said it was “shameful” that her father hasn’t tried to have a relationship with her three sons — his grandsons. In an email sent to him in March 2011 and shared with The Times, she attached a photo of one of her sons playing tee-ball and wrote, “Dad, I still don’t know how you sleep at night. You’ve lost so much you won’t ever get back.”

His absence, she said, has motivated her to turn her “boys into men who are accountable.”

“He has not been accountable, not to his family,” she said.

Among the handful of interactions with her father since the severing of the relationship was a call from him in September to let her know about his Senate campaign. Krisha recalled that he asked how her life was going and said he would probably run, but would keep his family out of it. Those isolated conversations have felt “cold,” she said, like a “sensitivity chip” was missing and he was going through the motions with little or no feeling.

Krisha, an esthetician and artist who co-owns an apparel shop in West L.A., said she believes that a politician “needs to have dignity, to be grounded” and she wonders about his character.

“I think my dad is very simplistic. He can tell you a good stupid dad joke and keep it very superficial and very light,” she said. “He can talk around a thing really well, and he can sell a thing. What’s underneath all that though? It’s questionable.”

Told of the personalized video messages her father sells for $149, Krisha teared up.

“He doesn’t acknowledge his [eldest] daughter, her birth, that’s upside down wrong,” she said.

Mendenhall and Young, the two adult children who said they have never known Garvey, emphasized in their statement to The Times that their other relatives taught them the value of family and they “never wanted for love.” Their mothers introduced the half-siblings when they were 3 years old and they remain close. Mendenhall is a lawyer in Georgia; Young is a stay-at-home mother in Japan.

“Now,” they said in the statement, “as adults looking back as well as forward to the next generation of our family, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, we are ever more committed to being present for the ones we love, for every ballgame, every dance recital, every birthday, and every Christmas. We know that so much of life begins with simply showing up, and we would not miss a second of it — not for the world.”

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

Porter, Schiff lead in poll for SenatePorter, Schiff

They appear headed to a runoff if rivals for Feinstein’s seat don’t gain traction soon.

Reps. Adam B. Schiff and Katie Porter are in nearly a dead heat in California’s U.S. Senate race, well-positioned to move ahead to a runoff, a new poll shows.

The two well-funded House Democrats have been pacing the field since the beginning of the year. Other candidates, including fellow Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee and Republican former baseball star Steve Garvey, have so far not shown an ability to make the race more broadly competitive.

Porter, of Irvine, holds 17% support among voters likely to cast ballots in the March primary, and Schiff, of Burbank, is at 16%, in the latest UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, co-sponsored by The Times. Garvey comes in at 10% and Lee, of Oakland, has 9%, the poll found.

The poll standings represent a slight improvement for Lee and Garvey since the last Berkeley IGS poll, in August, while support for Schiff has declined slightly. But the shifts are all close to the poll’s margin of error, and none have changed the overall shape of the race. About 3 in 10 likely voters remain undecided.

Under California’s system, the top two finishers in March, regardless of party, will move forward to the general election runoff in November. The poll suggests that runoff will feature two Democrats, which was the case in the last election for this Senate seat, in 2018, when Sen. Dianne Feinsteindefeated fellow Democrat Kevin de León. The seat is currently held by Sen. Laphonza Butler, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom after Feinstein’s Sept. 29 death but is not running for election to a full term.

“I think Lee and Garvey are the ones to watch in the second tier. Are any of them going to be able to get a little higher breakthrough to be the third possible candidate?” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley poll and a longtime California pollster. “Lee’s problem is she’s just not very well-known outside the Bay Area,” he said, noting that she faces the challenge of “broadening her appeal” to a statewide constituency.

The coalitions supporting each candidate have stayed roughly constant in recent months: Porter garners more support from younger voters and those who identify as strongly liberal. Voters under 50 favor her over Schiff by more than a dozen percentage points, and she leads among people who identify as strongly liberal by 15 percentage points.

Schiff is ahead with voters 65 and older and those who identify as somewhat liberal. The two are essentially tied among voters who identify as Democrats.

Lee, one of three Black members of Congress from California, now leads among Black voters statewide, which was not the case earlier in the campaign.

Porter, Schiff and Lee have been crisscrossing the state, attending forums hosted by unions and advocacy groups, holding fundraisers and doing small town hall meetings with voters. But the near-even division between the two parties in the House has often kept all three in Washington so as not to miss votes. Consequently, most campaigning occurs when the chamber is in recess.

Geographically, Porter leads in Orange County, with 21% support from likely voters, while Garvey gets 15% support and Schiff 14%. Porter also leads Schiff by 6 points in voter-rich Los Angeles County (22% to 18%), and the two are essentially tied in the Central Valley and San Diego County.

Lee polls better among voters in the Bay Area than elsewhere. The three Democrats are closely bunched together there — Schiff with 19% support, Lee with 18% and Porter with 16%.

Garvey’s poor performance in the Bay Area is likely due to the region’s deeply liberal identity, but his 4% support there could also indicate that his main draw as a candidate — his years of playing for the Dodgers — doesn’t help him in Northern California, DiCamillo said.

Statewide, however, one possible hope for Garvey is that the undecided voters in the race tend to be more conservative and more likely to be Republicans than the overall electorate, suggesting that he may have some room to expand his support.

To get into the runoff, however, Garvey would have to consolidate most of the vote from the state’s Republican minority. That’s difficult with two other Republicans in the race — attorney Eric Early and businessman James Bradley.

Garvey, who twice voted for former President Trump, has told supporters he will focus his campaign on quality-of-life issues such as education, the cost of living, housing affordability, crime and homelessness. He leads the poll among voters who identify as conservative.

The poll shows that the Senate race is not yet top of mind for many voters. Nearly half of likely voters have no opinion of Porter, for example. Similarly, about half don’t know enough about Lee to render an opinion, and 58% said they don’t know enough about Garvey.

Likely owing to his prominent role in the Trump impeachments, Schiff is better-known, with just 31% of voters saying they don’t know enough about him to have an opinion. But Schiff is also more polarizing: 40% of likely voters said they had a favorable view of him, and 29% had an unfavorable view. In Porter’s case, 38% had a favorable view and 17% had an unfavorable view.

Democratic consultant Bill Carrick said that as primary grows closer, Schiff’s monumental fundraising advantage will likely begin to have an impact on polls.

Schiff has about $32 million in cash on hand, according to his latest financial disclosure report. That will translate into far more television and radio advertising than his rivals can afford. Porter reported the second-most cash on hand, with $12 million at the last fundraising deadline. The other candidates lag far behind in the money race.

California is famously difficult to campaign in, owing to the size of its media markets and the huge cost of buying airtime. Schiff launched a digital advertisement this week, but none of the candidates have advertised on television yet.

The Berkeley-Times poll surveyed likely voters about which outlets they rely on for news and how that may relate to their candidate preferences. Local television and radio news remains far and away the most common way voters learn about the candidates, with 85% reporting they use them. Among likely voters, 58% said they turn to CNN and MSNBC to get up to speed on the race. The majority of the voters who rely on those two outlets identify as Democrats.

The next three most popular sources were Google and other internet search engines, 43%; local or regional newspapers, online or in print, 38%; and government voter guides, 37%. The three sources were also favored more by Democrats than Republicans in the poll.

About a fifth of likely voters said they received information on the race from Fox News. The vast majority of them identified as Republicans.

Still, the primacy of television and radio made Carrick believe Schiff might have an advantage.

“I think the rubber meets the road when he starts buying broadcast and cable,” Carrick said, adding: “That may be an advantage that he has much earlier.”

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

Which Orange County Areas are Donating the Most Money to Rep. Katie Porter’s Senate Campaign?

Search by ZIP code to find out who your neighborhood is donating the most to so far this cycle

Rep. Katie Porter is leading in early funding in almost all of the cities in her home county of Orange heading into the 2024 U.S. Senate election, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

While Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, has posted the most substantial overall fundraising numbers so far this cycle, the Irvine Democrat is making a solid showing on her home turf of Orange County. So far, Porter has raised a little over $323,000 in itemized donations from Orange County, which makes up nearly 20% of itemized donations from California and over 11% of total itemized donations.

But how does she stack up against her fellow Senate contenders and congressional colleagues, Schiff and Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland in Orange County? To find out, the Southern California News Group compiled campaign finance data for itemized contributions — donations that exceed $200 or aggregate over $200 when added to other contributions received from the same person during the election cycle and are required to be reported — for the three candidates who have been in the race for both quarters of the year.

The largest share of Porter’s haul so far has come from Irvine, where she lives. She’s received $71,934 from more than 60 unique donors, the most coming from the 92617 ZIP code. Laguna Beach is a close second, with $31,914 coming from more than 20 people.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/lX4M3/2/

Porter represents the 47th congressional district, a coastal district anchored in Irvine that includes Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and part of Huntington Beach.

According to a July survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, she is leading the pack among likely voters: 19% of likely voters said they would vote for Porter while 16% said they would choose Schiff and 13% said Lee. 

Porter has received contributions from all but five Orange County cities: Cypress, La Habra, La Palma, Placentia and Stanton — cities in the northwestern corner of Orange County, most of which border neighboring Los Angeles County.

Schiff, who represents part of Los Angeles County, received $2,250 in donations from Cypress, La Habra and Placentia combined. He also outraised Porter in four additional cities: Costa Mesa, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach and Yorba Linda.

In Orange County overall, Schiff raised $165,968 in itemized donations.

Lee, D-Oakland, has raised $28,929 in Orange County, far behind Porter’s and Schiff’s hauls.

Still, it remains to be seen whether Lee’s fundraising efforts will catch up to those of her two Democratic rivals in Orange County. Last month, Lee stepped onto Porter’s turf when she spoke to a friendly crowd at the Laguna Woods Democratic Club’s July meeting. It won’t be her last visit to Orange County, she said.

“Orange County is part of California, why wouldn’t I be here? I need to be everywhere, especially in Orange County,” said Lee. “I want them to get to know me. I’m asking for their vote.”

Lee outraised both Porter and Schiff in two Orange County cities: Laguna Hills and Rancho Santa Margarita. In Laguna Hills, Lee hauled in $13,500 compared to Porter’s $5,560 and Schiff’s $5,550. And in Rancho Santa Margarita, she raised $250 while Porter brought in $190 and Schiff nothing.

Overall though, Schiff is outraising the other candidates. He brought in $8.3 million during the second quarter that ended June 30 and has well over $29 million left in his coffers.

Porter raised $3.2 million in the most recent quarter with $10.4 million cash on hand, and Lee raised just over $1 million with $1.4 million left to spend.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Former Los Angeles Dodger Steve Garvey Weighs U.S. Senate Bid

Former Los Angeles Dodgers icon Steve Garvey is considering running for the open U.S. Senate seat in California as a Republican, a move that would immediately upend the 2024 race, according to several GOP state party insiders and operatives who requested anonymity to discuss the former All-Star’s plans.

The 74-year-old has never held elected office but has been meeting with GOP donors and leaders around the state as he weighs a bid and is expected to make a decision within the next month or so.

Republican strategist Andy Gharakhani, who is advising Garvey, confirmed that the Palm Desert resident is weighing a campaign.

“He is being contacted by leaders up and down the state. They’re recruiting him to run from both sides, Republican and Democrat, and he’s seriously considering it,” said Gharakhani, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of New Majority, an influential business-minded donor group. “We should have a decision made here in the next few weeks.”

Garvey did not respond to requests for comment.

If Garvey runs, he will focus on quality-of-life issues such as the cost of living and public safety in California, Gharakhani said.

California has a rare open Senate seat because long-time Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 89, who is facing significant health issues, has announced that she will not seek another term in 2024. Twenty candidates had filed to run for her seat by the end of March, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The three most prominent Democrats, who have each raised at least seven figures, are Reps. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank, Katie Porter of Irvine and Barbara Lee of Oakland. Los Angeles attorney Eric Early, who ran unsuccessfully for California attorney general in 2022 and 2018, is the most prominent Republican who is officially running.

Given Democrats’ overwhelming voter-registration advantage in the state, any Republican running to succeed Feinstein faces an extremely tough challenge. No GOP candidate has won statewide office in California since 2006.

Garvey has reportedly told potential supporters that he is aware of his odds, but feels it is important for the party to have a prominent name at the top of the ballot, according to multiple people who have spoken with him.

Because of the state’s “jungle primary” system, Garvey’s entry into the race would be notable. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the March primary will advance to the general election in November 2024, regardless of party.

Normally, having multiple Republicans on the ballot would dilute the party’s chances of making the general-election ballot. But this calculus could be upended because of Garvey’s celebrity and name recognition in two of the state’s largest cities. The first baseman played for the Dodgers from 1969 to 1982 and for the San Diego Padres from 1983 to 1987. In addition to a 1981 World Series victory, Garvey was a 10-time National League All-Star and won four Gold Glove awards.

“Garvey was a sports legend a generation ago, but that’s who makes up the electorate,” said GOP strategist Rob Stutzman, a former advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who describes Garvey as “my childhood hero” but has no involvement in his effort. “And he was huge in two markets. He was a hero in Los Angeles as well as in San Diego for the Padres. He did a ton of advertising over the years. He’s a very well-known former athlete in California, and, assuming a strong and competent candidacy, I think he would absolutely have the opportunity to consolidate the Republican vote in the primary.”

A Garvey candidacy would excite long-suffering California Republicans, even though his odds of success would be low, Stutzman added.

“It’s very tough for any Republican to win statewide, and that’s probably more true in a U.S. Senate race,” Stutzman said. “However, he could possibly be a wild-card candidate that could really change the dynamic in a way we haven’t seen happen in well over a decade. It’s hard to predict victory, but it could certainly be a real boost for the party.”

Early, who lost to Schiff in a 2020 congressional contest, said he was not concerned.

“All I know about Steve Garvey is he was a ballplayer 40 years ago and he has more baggage than the Pacific Surf Liner,” Early said.

Among the controversies in Garvey’s past are fathering two children with different women shortly before he married a third.

Early also pointed to his strength in a recent poll by UC Berkeley co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. Among voters likely to take part in the primary, Early has support from 18%, nearly all Republicans. Porter is close behind with 17%, followed by Schiff with 14% and Lee at 9%.

“Our campaign is solely focused on beating the three extremists I’m running against,” he said, adding, “regardless of who gets in the race, we’re going to beat him and get in the top two.”

Garvey’s age could also be an issue — it’s unclear whether voters concerned about an octogenarian senator’s capabilities would want to replace her with a septuagenarian.

Garvey has flirted with running for office for decades. In 1981, he told Playboy magazine that he had been approached about running for the Senate because he could “make this society a better place to live in for all of us” and that he may one day consider running for the White House.

Seven years later, Garvey attended the Republican National Convention in New Orleans as he raised money for future President George H.W. Bush, and spoke about his political ambitions.

“Precedents have been set,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune, adding that he might ponder a statewide run in 1990 or 1992. “We’ve had an actor in the White House. Why not a first baseman?”

Garvey has spent much of recent years unsuccessfully trying to win a spot in the baseball Hall of Fame, commenting on the sport and promoting the game in Ireland. But he has recently shown a renewed interest in politics, including meeting with California political donors and leaders.

In mid-May, Garvey attended a California GOP donor appreciation event for supporters who had contributed at least $45,500 at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage.

His potential candidacy was “openly discussed at the event,” said a prominent Republican who attended the event, which was hosted by the state’s GOP legislative leaders as well as the leader of the state party. “He attended the receptions, played golf, interacted with the attendees. He was very engaging.”

On Tuesday, Garvey headlined a fundraiser for Rep. Michelle Steel at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach where he autographed baseballs.

Garvey is also scheduled to headline the Orange County Republican Party’s signature Flag Day salute on June 14.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

Ocasio-Cortez to rally young voters in Irvine this weekend

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is slated to speak at UC Irvine in an effort to galvanize young voters in the upcoming midterm elections

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is headed to Orange County this weekend.

The social media-savvy progressive congresswoman from New York is slated to speak at UC Irvine on Sunday, Oct. 23, in an effort to galvanize young voters in the upcoming midterm elections.

“This high turnout must continue for Democrats to keep control of Congress and to win state races around the country – where choice, climate, and justice are on the ballot,” said a release teasing the event.

Ocasio-Cortez is the second high-profile Democrat to visit Irvine, where Democratic Rep. Katie Porter is up for re-election, in as many weeks. President Joe Biden visited Irvine Valley College last week where he touted his administration’s efforts to combat inflation and cut down on rising drug costs – while also praising Porter’s work in Congress.

Ocasio-Cortez’s visit is a “continuation of what we’ve seen … and what we’ve been building up” in Orange County, said Ada Briceño, chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County.

“We now see statewide elected officials stop by, like (Attorney General) Rob Bonta and (Gov.) Gavin Newsom, and the president,” Briceño said. “It’s a continuation of people understanding Orange County is so crucial for the nation.”

Matthew Beckmann, a UCI political science professor, said Biden and Ocasio-Cortez “have a star power that will shine a light on local Democrats and put a little wind into the turnout sails.”

“The stereotype of Orange County as a conservative bastion has been overplayed for many years now. Now, though, everyone knows we are home to several ‘swing’ districts,” Beckmann said. “Whereas politics have long dropped into Orange County for fundraising, they now also take the time to help buoy fellow partisans in competitive areas.”

Aside from Ocasio-Cortez, those scheduled to speak are: Tommy Vietor, co-founder of Crooked Media and host of Pod Save America; Costa Mesa Councilwoman Arlis Reynolds; UCI professor Kathleen Treseder; and Iris “Nini” Wu of the Orange County Young Democrats.

“High voter turnout is a sign of a healthy community, so I’m all in for events that bring awareness and interest in local elections – especially among our young adults who will live with the impacts of our decisions longer than the rest of us,” Reynolds said.

Porter faces Republican Scott Baugh in the CA-47 race this fall. The Cook Political Report has ranked the race as “lean Democrat.”

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Porter Berated Irvine Mayor in Texts After Town Hall: ‘Lecture Me’ on ‘Professionalism’ and ‘See What Happens’

California Democrat Rep. Katie Porter berated Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan in their text conversation after trashing the Irvine police department after her violent town hall last year.

Fox News Digital obtained the full text message exchange between Porter and Khan following a fight that broke out at the congresswoman’s July 2021 town hall that saw the man Porter lives with arrested.

In the texts, Porter criticized Khan, saying she would not call the mayor after the arrest of Julian Willis after he allegedly punched a pro-Trump protester, giving the protester a bloody nose.

Fox News Digital previously reported that Porter trashed the Irvine police department after Willis’ arrest, calling the force a “disgrace” and that she “will never trust them again.”

“I see that you’re upset, but it would be more professional of you to just call me for clarification,” Khan said in the text messages exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital.

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“I have never done anything to you. You cannot say the same,” Porter wrote. “I have helped you with your campaign and tried to be a good partner. I don’t owe you a phone call.”

“You should have called me with [the] complete fail by [the] city yesterday,” Porter continued. “I am a United States Congress woman (sic).”

“You can lecture me on professionalism. And see what happens,” Porter added, despite famously wearing a Batgirl Halloween costume to the House of Representatives on the same day Democrats voted for a resolution on ground rules for the impeachment inquiry surrounding then-President Trump. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and other Republicans mocked the costume on Twitter.

“As I have been with you, even though I feel like I’m treated very poorly,” Khan responded.

Porter asked Khan to tell her how she has “helped” her, texting “I’m listening” and telling Khan she “can take the advice about Bogarting stuff or not.”

“Up to you. But I am not alone,” Porter wrote. “I am just [the] only one who respects you enough to give you the advice.”

“I have supported you for a very long time in many ways and continue to do so,” Khan responded.

The pair of Democrat officials also sparred over Khan and her executive assistant Cory Allen going to a Mexican restaurant where Porter was eating, with the congresswoman taking aim at the mayor’s reputation and making the barbs personal.

“And the next time I have a high ranking official come, only come to things you are invited to,” Porter wrote. “Stopping by the Mexican restaurant was ridiculous. You have a reputation for not staying in your lane and seeking attention. And the result is we’ll keep things out of Irvine next time.”

“You need to hear this [because] it is damaging others willingness to work with you (sic),” Porter continued. “Tammy, Dave, Santa Ana mayor [Vicente Sarmiento], etc all great. You created stress on staff.”

“That’s quite a leap you’re taking,” Khan fired back. “I’m sorry, but Cory and I were planning on going to the Mexican restaurant that day, when we saw the security vehicles we went somewhere else. I attended all events I was invited to either by Secretary [Marty] Walsh’s staff, [the Orange County Labor Federation], your staff or [Irvine Unified School District].”

“You just happened by that particular Mexican restaurant????” Porter responded. “Please.”

It is unclear what sparked the Mexican restaurant spat, but it further illustrates the tumultuous relationship between the two California Democrats.

Following the exchange, the pair of Democrats reverted to incredibly formal salutations and communication style, addressing each other by their titles.

Neither Porter’s nor Khan’s offices responded to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

In the initial report by Fox News Digital, Porter spokesperson Jordan Wong told Fox News Digital the congresswoman “was upset that a planned family-friendly town hall was hijacked by extremists, who made constituents feel unsafe, including using hateful slurs in front of children.”

“She was disappointed that despite our staff alerting police days before the event that the extremists were openly advertising their intention to disrupt the town hall, officers on the day of the incident were hundreds of feet away and did not intervene immediately when fighting broke out,” Wong said.

“Since then, Rep. Porter and our office have worked productively with the Irvine Police Department, including the Congresswoman hosting the new police chief in her office for a constructive and cooperative meeting,” he continued.

The congresswoman — a former law professor who was paid more than $285,000 one year during her time at the University of California, Irvine — made headlines when it was revealed she earned thousands of dollars in royalty fees from law school textbooks that she required her own students to purchase for the courses she taught.

In 2017, Porter, who is now seeking re-election to the House this November, was paid $286,674 to teach two courses per semester at the institution, according to Transparent California.

Click here to read the full article at Fox News

Rep. Katie Porter Draws Scrutiny for Calling Irvine Police ‘Disgrace’ in 2021

The OC congresswoman expressed frustration with how Irvine police handled an altercation that broke out at her event after far-right protestors interrupted it.

Rep. Katie Porter’s Irvine event in July 2021 was memorable not because it was her first in-person town hall since the COVID-19 pandemic started but because a physical altercation broke out after far-right opponents disrupted the gathering.

In the aftermath, Porter texted Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan, voicing her frustration with what happened at the event and how it was handled by law enforcement.

“I will never trust them again,” Porter said, noting she was set to meet with the chief of police. “Well, your police force is a disgrace.”

The texts, critical of the Irvine Police Department, were first reported on by Fox News and have been shared by conservative media outlets.

“Rep. Porter was upset that a planned family-friendly themed town hall was hijacked by extremists who made constituents feel unsafe, including using hateful slurs in front of children,” Jordan Wong, a spokesperson for the Democratic congresswoman, said in a statement shared with the Register. “She was disappointed that despite our staff alerting police days before the event that the extremists were openly advertising their intention to disrupt the town hall, officers on the day of the incident were hundreds of feet away and did not intervene immediately when fighting broke out.”

A spokesperson for the Irvine Police Department did not respond to emailed questions about its handling of the event.

Julian Willis of La Jolla was cited and released for his actions during the altercation, police said at the time. Willis reportedly has lived at Porter’s Irvine home, although it’s not clear if that is still the case.

A self-proclaimed “American Nationalist” group led by Nick Taurus — who has been involved in other protests that turned physical — interrupted the July 2021 event by shouting personal insults at the congresswoman.

Click here to read the full article at the OC Register

With California’s Congressional Maps Set, Candidates Swoop In

After months of stall as they waited for new district lines, California’s congressional incumbents and challengers rushed to declare their candidacies Tuesday as key matchups, including a potential high-stakes contest between Orange County Democrats, began to crystallize.

The redrawing of California’s congressional, legislative and Board of Equalization boundaries will shape the contours of the state’s political landscape for the next 10 years. Politicians, however, immediately turned their attention to a more pressing question for the next 11 months — where they will run in the 2022 midterm election.

Soon after the state’s independent redistricting commission approved the new maps — in some cases, within minutes of the vote — incumbents had announced reelection plans and specified which of the reconfigured seats they’re seeking.

The flurry of announcements underscored how antsy California politicians are to introduce themselves to new voters, scope out potential challengers and, in some cases, physically relocate, in response to the commission’s work.

“We have our maps now. We’re talking to all of our members to see who’s running where,” said Jessica Patterson, chair of the California Republican Party. “We will be pushing on those [recruited] candidates we think are ready to step up to the next level.”

The new district lines were not drawn according to partisan considerations — the independent commission is not allowed to take partisanship into account. But the lines were broadly good news for the Democratic Party. All of the seats now held by Democrats will tilt even more blue with the new boundaries. By contrast, five of the 11 seats held by Republicans will grow more competitive.

But the shuffling has led to at-times awkward maneuvering for candidates of both parties, especially in Orange County and the Central Valley, two of the most politically contested parts of the state.

Click here to read the full article at the LA Times