Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sacramento vs. the Bakersfield-Washington connection

Political Duel for California Governor Spans Nation

By ADAM NAGOURNEY, NYT, JULY 16, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Gov. Jerry Brown has a little-known Republican challenger campaigning against him across California, taunting him on issues from taxes to transit. But his most formidable Republican adversary is turning out to be a fellow Californian who wields his power from an office 2,700 miles away: Representative Kevin McCarthy, the incoming House majority leader.

In the weeks since Mr. McCarthy, who represents Bakersfield, was elected to the No. 2 position in the House of Representatives, the powerful California governor has found himself facing a no-less-powerful legislator with clout and a platform unlike any he has confronted since he took office. Mr. McCarthy may someday be remembered as a last gasp of Republicanism in this increasingly Democratic state — at least in the view of some Democrats — but for now, he is emerging as an ideological and politically wily opponent, a former State Assembly minority leader with strong opinions on how things should be done back home.

Within days of being elected majority leader, to replace Eric Cantor after his surprise loss in a Republican primary, Mr. McCarthy escalated his long-held opposition to Mr. Brown’s signature project, a 520-mile, $68 billion high-speed train that would run from San Francisco to Los Angeles, vowing to do what he could to kill it. “If Sacramento looks to Washington to pay for the train, that will never happen,” he said in an interview last week.

(More here.)

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