Wednesday, June 20, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 14th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 15 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 15

Political Watch 6/15/17

• California’s senators, Dianne Feinstein (D) and Kamala Harris (D), questioned former FBI Director James Comey as members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8. They probed Comey with questions regarding the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, possible collusion between the Trump campaign, and conversations with President Donald Trump before his firing on May 9. As the senior Democratic senator from California, Feinstein went first, thanking Comey for his service and saying she knew him to be a “strong” man before cutting to the point: “Why do you believe you were fired?” she asked. “I guess I don’t know for sure, but I believe, I take the president at his word that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. Something about the way I was conducting it, the president felt created pressure on him that he wanted to relieve,” Comey responded. Feinstein later elicited the now famous, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” from Comey when she asked him why he wasn’t “stronger” in rebuking the president’s question about the Michael Flynn investigation, when Comey says that Trump told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go.” “Maybe if I were stronger, I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in,” he said. Sen. Harris opened with friendly words to Comey, pointing out they’re shared history as prosecutors, saying, “In my experience of prosecuting cases, when I robber held a gun to somebody’s head and said, ‘I hope you will give me your wallet,’ the word hope was not the most operative word at that moment, but you don’t have to respond to that point.” Harris then asked Comey a series of rapid-fire questions imploring whether Trump campaign officials had communicated with Russian officials, or encrypted communications, or destroyed communications, all to which Comey would not comment in an open setting. She also asked if the FBI’s current investigation could be “biased” in any way. Comey replied: “No. The appointment of a special counsel, especially given who that person is, should offer great comfort to Americans—no matter what your political affiliation is—that this will be done independently, competently, and honestly.” 

• California’s 24th District Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on June 8 at 11:45 a.m., expressing concern over President Donald Trump’s recent executive order to review national monuments, including the Carrizo Plain. The letter urges Zinke to keep the monument intact as it currently is, according to a statement released by Carbal’s office, and argues that the Carrizo monument “has a long history of bipartisan support.” The letter argued that the plain was a habitat worth protecting, and citing the recent “super bloom” as a draw for visitors thanks to its natural beauty. “The Carrizo Plain National Monument serves as a crucial habitat for the conservation of numerous endangered plant and animal species, as well as an economic engine for tourism on the Central Coast,” Carbajal said in the statement. “This executive order is a blatant attempt to undermine the National Antiquities Act, one of the nation’s most important conservation tools, and poses a direct threat to the preservation of this unique habitat in our region.” Rep. Carbajal will tour the Carrizo Plain National Monument on June 17 with representatives from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Friends of the Carrizo Plain, and the League of Conservation Voters at 11:45 a.m. at Overlook Hill Parking Lot, Soda Lake Road, Santa Margarita.

• California’s 35th District Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-Templeton) will hold a “Kick-off 2018” election fundraiser event on June 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Eberle Winery in Paso Robles. Funds raised from the event will go toward Cunningham’s re-election campaign for next year’s election.

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What's your first thought when you hear the word "Lompoc?"

My time at the penitentiary.

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