The TAKE with Rick Klein
It’s a story about COVID anger — light on MAGA gear and Fauci-hating slogans — that looks nothing like anti-vax rallies or masses of Canadian truckers.
For all the noise and color coming from the right, COVID-weary San Francisco parents may leave the first major political marks of 2022. It’s mainly liberals taking on fellow liberals — with a dose of some outside money and national attention mixed in — over local education priorities and how best to get schools back to normal.
More relevantly, it’s parents squaring off with other parents in Tuesday’s recall election targeting the president of San Francisco’s school board and two other board members. A campaign launched in a kitchen by two parents frustrated by the board’s priorities could send a powerful message far beyond the shared hometown of Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“They would spend the first seven hours talking about renaming schools, or they would spend the first seminar talking about whether a gay dad was diverse enough to be on the Parent Advisory Council,” recall co-leader Autumn Looijen told ABC’s Zohreen Shan in an interview for “Nightline” Monday night.
For their part, the board members whose jobs are on the line argue they were doing what they were elected to do: make tough choices and prioritize reopening schools during COVID while taking into account safety and community members’ concerns.
COVID-inspired recalls started popping up with some regularity last year. Most — including, famously, the one targeting California Gov. Gavin Newsom — wound up fizzling out.
Whether or not these school board members are replaced, the sentiments that led to Tuesday’s voting are powerful — and not in ways that strictly align with party affiliation.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
As President Joe Biden mulls his choice for a Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, the commander in chief is under pressure to select someone who can gain bipartisan Senate support.
White House officials remained tight-lipped about the selection process Monday. Deputy White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Biden had not interviewed potential nominees but shared that the president continues to review materials and have conversations with lawmakers and legal scholars about “deeply qualified” candidates.
“He is on track to select a SCOTUS nominee by the end of this month,” Jean-Pierre said.
Among the candidates Biden is said to be considering is Judge J. Michelle Childs. The South Carolinian is backed by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
“I think she’s the one that would get the most Republican votes,” said Graham of Childs to ABC “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos. He later added, “She would be somebody, I think, that could bring the Senate together and probably get more than 60 votes. Anyone else would be problematic.”
Still, others warn that some labor and progressive groups could “actively organize” against Childs if she were the pick, according to a report by ABC News’ Devin Dwyer, citing her record defending corporate clients during her eight-year tenure practicing labor and employment law.
The TIP with Alisa Wiersema
The start of voting in Texas is ushering in a familiar partisan dynamic on the campaign trail following a weekend of progressive-led mobilizing efforts.
At a “Get Out The Vote” event in Austin on Monday, incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott seized on Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent rally backing Greg Casar and Jessica Cisneros, two progressive congressional candidates. Although the New York congresswoman did not appear on the campaign trail with Abbott’s Democratic opponent, Beto O’Rourke, the governor took the opportunity to link the two when blasting what he called “extraordinarily dangerous” policies.
In the race for attorney general, Republican candidate and current Land Commissioner George P. Bush, echoed Abbott’s sentiments during an interview on Fox News, issuing a political warning.
“I’m reminding my fellow Republicans, if we don’t get serious about this, the state could turn more blue, especially in races where we don’t nominate the right candidates, including my race,” Bush said.
As reported by ABC News, Texas Democrats have been projecting it could take about a decade to turn the state “reliably Democratic,” but that goal requires significant voter mobilization in the near term. Democrats need to register and turn out 100,000 to 150,000 more Democrats per cycle to the polls than Republicans, according to the state Democratic Party’s post-2020 analysis.
NUMBER OF THE DAY, powered by FiveThirtyEight
59. That’s the percentage of polled Americans who told the Pew Research Center in 2019 that the government should provide more — not less — assistance to people in need. Yet as Alex Samuels and Neil Lewis Jr. write for FiveThirtyEight, efforts to expand the social safety net often fizzle out. Democrats, in particular, have been hesitant to expand the social safety net despite campaign promises to bolster it. Read more from Alex and Neil on why many Democrats are now against expanding America’s social safety net.
ABC News’ “Start Here” Podcast. Start Here begins Tuesday morning with the latest on the Olympic doping case involving a Russian figure skater. “Icarus” director Bryan Fogel joins us for a discussion about Russia’s doping program. Then, ABC’s Zohreen Shah describes how school board elections have become the front line for COVID politics. And, ABC’s Alex Mallin reports on a Navy nuclear engineer accused of espionage. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY