CLBR 223: Special California Primary Edition with Dario Frommer

Special California Primary Edition 
with Dario Frommer

With the California Primary that will decide the nominees of both parties and narrow the field for an open U.S. Senate seat, we are bring on former Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer to give us a preview of the races.

29323Dario Frommer

Dario is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a Washingon powerhouse that includes several former members of Congress.  His practice is a mix of strategic political advice to key clients and representation of clients on high-stakes matters before state and local government entities, including rulemaking, regulatory enforcement, bids, bid protests and investigations.

His political career includes:

  • Former Majority Leader California State Assembly
  • Senior Advisor, Governor Gray Davis
  • Former Chairman, California Transportation Commission
  • Oversight Board, Community Redevelopment Authority of Los Angeles.
He currently is the legislator in residence at the University of Southern California’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.

More information on Akin Gump and the Unruh Institute below.

Finale Tuesday 101

The primary comes to a conclusion with a battle in California which has 546 delegates (146 in the Republican primary) along with primaries in Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and the District of Columbia plus a caucus in North Dakota.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton needs only 95 delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination and Donald Trump needs only 28 delegates to clinch the Republican nomination.

The candidates:

California Senate Primary

California Senator Barbara Boxer is retiring and there are five major candidates running in what is known as a “jungle primary” in candidates from all parties are on the ballot and the top two finishers face off in the fall.  In the last poll, Attorney General Kamala Harris led Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez  31-22 with none of the three Republicans getting double digits.

The main Republican candidates are two former Party Chairmen Tom Del Beccaro and Def Sundheim , along with activist Ron Unz.

We have talked about Harris a fair amount on this show (she was one of the Heroes of our annual “Heroes and Zeroes” show) because of her work on privacy, data breaches and revenge porn.   The San Francisco Chronicle endorsed Harris stating:

She has the depth, demeanor and political savvy to provide the nation’s most populous state with an energetic and effective representative in what has been called the world’s greatest deliberative body.

Loretta Sanchez gained national attention when she beat one of the most conservative members of Congress in the Republican stronghold of Orange County in 1996.  She is a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees and is involved in addressing cyber threats.  The Orange County Register endorsed Sanchez, “because she has demonstrated incredible judgment on the most crucial issues of our generation, taking tough stands in the face of tremendous opposition” (citing her votes against the Iraq invasion and the Patriot Act).

Sanchez, however, has generated controversy in the race by claiming that 20 percent of U.S. Muslims want a caliphate.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is an American international law firm whose largest office is in Washington, D.C.  With more than 900 attorneys worldwide.  It is the largest lobbying firm by revenue in the United States.  The firm was founded in Dallas, Texas, in 1945 by former Democratic National Committee Chairman and Ambassador to Russia under President George H.W. Bush, Robert Strauss and Richard Gump.

Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics

The Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics is dedicated to bridging the academic study of politics with practical experience in the field. The Unruh Institute channels its efforts in courses in applied politics, a variety of speaker series, and an extensive political internship program. Its goals are to engage public officials with the USC community and to facilitate the discussion of relevant issues across campus.


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