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Long IslandPolitics

Your politics briefing: All California, all the time

Bernie Sanders is hoping to do well in

Bernie Sanders is hoping to do well in California's June 7 primary. Credit: Newsday / David Trotman-Wilkins

Sanders and the ‘big enchilada’

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, would-be Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said it was hard to overstate the importance of the June 7 California primary.

“California is the big enchilada, so to speak,” the Vermont senator said. “Obviously it is enormously important, and obviously we want to win it.”

Sanders added: “You know, my campaign has been written off from before we started. ... We’ve now won 20 states, primaries and caucuses, and I think by the end of the process, we may win half of the states. So we’re going to fight till the last vote is cast and try to appeal to the last delegate that we can.”

But some political experts suggested that Sanders might want to think about another kind of victory.

The popular vote has helped him gain unprecedented influence over the formation of the Democratic Party’s platform, Newsday’s Emily Ngo reports.

Sanders can also mobilize his young activists to boost Clinton against Trump in the general election.

And Sanders can wield influence long after November, pressing for his signature issues of income inequality and environmental justice, experts say.

The take-away: Unaffiliated voters could be key in California

The last big contest of the primary season looms in California, where polls have Sanders and Hillary Clinton running about even in the Democratic primary.

Nonaligned independents could be key to the outcome.

But there could be confusion. The state has a modified “open primary” system that permits unaffiliated voters to participate in major-party primaries. Such prospective voters, though, need to request ballots in the primary.

Then there’s the American Independent Party. It runs candidates on local ballots — but voters in the right-wing party can’t vote for either Democrat. Dan Janison sorts it out.

Sanders on Clinton’s emails: Hey, maybe there is a problem here

On “Face the Nation” on CBS, Sanders argued that voters should take a “hard look” at the State Department audit criticizing Clinton for using a private email server.

“The inspector general just came out with a report, it was not a good report for Secretary Clinton. That is something that the American people, Democrats and delegates are going to have to take a hard look at,” Sanders said.

Last fall, Sanders said in a debate that he was “sick and tired of hearing about [her] damn emails,” and since then he’s refrained from using the issue against Clinton.

Trump checks in at Rolling Thunder rally

Donald Trump told a motorcycle rally in Washington, D.C., on Sunday that the government often takes better care of immigrants who aren’t in the country legally than military veterans, The Associated Press reported.

“We’re not going to allow that to happen any longer,” Trump told the Rolling Thunder rally, which was dedicated to remembering prisoners of war and those missing in action, at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool.

Trump’s remarks brought cheers. However, AP noted Congress and many states have laws and policies designed to restrict government services to people in the country illegally.

Johnson runs again

Libertarians again chose former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson as their presidential nominee, and gave ex-Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld the nod for vice president.

Johnson, the party’s nominee in 2012, thanked delegates at the party’s convention in Orlando, Florida.

“At a minimum, I think we’re in the presidential debates,” Johnson said to cheers.

Libertarians likely will be the only third party on the ballot in all 50 states, ABC News said.

Judge wants to see Trump University documents

A federal judge has ordered the release of internal Trump University documents in a lawsuit against the company in which students alleged they were misled and defrauded.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel in his ruling on Friday cited heightened public interest in the prospective presidential nominee. Trump’s attorneys had argued that the documents contained trade secrets.

Trump on Friday took after Curiel at a rally in San Diego. The candidate previously had questioned whether Curiel’s Hispanic heritage made him biased because of his call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. On Friday, Trump said Curiel “happens to be, we believe, Mexican,” and called the judge a “hater of Donald Trump” who had “railroaded” him in the case.

More math from the New York primary

You were wondering, maybe, who raised the most money in New York and on Long Island in the Democratic presidential primary last month? Newsday’s Tom Brune has the tally: Clinton bested Sanders statewide and on the Island.

What else is happening:

  • Sanders says he’s focused on trying to flip Democratic superdelegates in states where he won big victories. On the other hand, he won’t go after superdelegates in states where Clinton racked up sizable wins.
  • Clinton’s family will be fair game in a general election campaign, top Trump strategists said. “Trouble follows the Clintons everywhere,” Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort said on ABC News’ “This Week.”
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who gave up his quest for the GOP presidential nomination, says it’s a “safe assumption” he’ll run for public office again in the future.
  • Former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole urged Republicans to back Trump, and suggested that holdouts such as House Speaker Paul Ryan have time to get on board. “They still have time to get on the train,” Dole told CNN. “It’s not moving very fast.”
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger says he’s not ready to make an endorsement in the presidential race. The former Republican California governor said on “Meet the Press” that he will make an endorsement before the election, “But I will do it my way. Which is always an unusual way.”

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