Assemblymember Tony Thurmond introduces bill urging censure of Trump

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California could become the first state to support the U.S. Congress’ efforts to censure President Donald Trump, after Assemblymember Tony Thurmond introduced a resolution in the State Assembly.

The resolution from Thurmond, D-Richmond, would support the censure of Trump over his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to his press release. Ayodeji Taylor, Thurmond’s communications director, added that the resolution was motivated by Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacist groups. The measure, HR 57, would urge the U.S. Congress to continue current efforts to censure Trump and encourage other states to offer their support as well.

“In his short time as President, President Trump has shown that he is morally corrupt,” Taylor said in an email. “The leader of the free world should have no tolerance for racism and bigotry. For California and the rest of the nation President Trump has to understand that even as President his words have consequences.”

Though a censure is only a formal statement of condemnation, many supporters of Thurmond’s resolution, including Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb, a candidate for Thurmond’s seat in the 2018 election, agree that it would serve as a “forceful and symbolic action.”

“This is beyond the the realm of legitimate policy debates,” Kalb said. “As any president of the United States, when you step over that line, the Congress and the entire country need to push back and a formal congressional censure is one way to do that.”

The U.S. Senate has censured a president only once before, in 1834 after Andrew Jackson withheld a document demanded by the Senate.

In June, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, and Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, announced in a press conference their intent to initiate efforts to impeach Trump.

While Owen Poindexter, a writer and candidate for Thurmond’s seat, said he supports a censure and its symbolic importance, he contended that real change will come in the form of winning elections and using leverage where it is accessible.

A number of supporters of Thurmond’s resolution said if the California State Assembly were to pass the resolution, it could encourage other states to follow suit and place more pressure on Congress to follow through with a censure.

Some, however, remain skeptical of the plausibility of a censure with a Republican majority in Congress.

“I think the (Republicans) in Congress need to put their politics aside and stand up for what they believe in,” Buffy Wicks, a candidate for Thurmond’s seat and former adviser to former president Barack Obama, said. “The Republicans who continue to allow for President Trump to embrace such a racist ideology are just as bad as him in that regard.”

But Judy Appel, Berkeley Unified School District board member and CA-15 district state assembly candidate, said she believes that censure is likely, and California could serve an important role in that process.

“I think California has to continue to be a beacon of progressive leadership for the country and we have to be a loud voice speaking against all the oppressive and repressive policies and initiatives coming out of D.C.,” Appel said. “I think there’s a real possibility of censure, there’s increasing evidence of multiple missteps … but we have to be bold and we can’t be bullied.”

Sydney Fix is the lead schools and communities reporter. Contact her at sfix@dailycal.org and follow her on Twitter at @sydney_fix.

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  • Shebility

    But President Trump did condemn the supremacists and the neo Nazis by name. It’s clear in the press conference. It’s also clear that it was the monument debate which he said had “good people on both sides”, not the Charlottesville violence. All one has to do is watch the recorded press conference. I don’t understand the comprehension difficulties so many seem to have with a very straightforward statement.

  • Shebility

    Please remind me which day Govenor Jerry Brown denounced the two hate statements made by California Imams on July 21, 2017–one of which called for the “annihilation” of “filthy” Jews while the other called Jews “unjust tyrants” and called that they be “destroyed”. Please point me to the governor’s statement denouncing this hate speech. I simply can’t find it.

  • California Defender

    “Thurmond’s communications director, added that the resolution was motivated by Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacist groups.”

    Ahh, but President Trump did. Thurmond just doesn’t like it when his side is publicly shamed for it, too.

    I don’t appreciate Thurmond further making California’s Legislature the laughing stock of the nation. Then again he isn’t Californian, so go figure.

  • D.Plorable

    This weekend on C-Span I watched Google’s “Education Evangelist” proclaim–as an alphabet soup of tech executives before him–that despite the vast resourcess of the UC and CSU systems, the fastest-growing (and best-paying) sector of the economy cannot find nearly enough qualified graduates (numbers he gave were 5K CS grads/year with 60K unfilled jobs). Meanwhile the UC and CSU still stubbornly drag their collective feet on expanding on-line access and wail about not enough money. And what is the legislature’s response to this? None that I can find.

    At the other end of the spectrum the Community College system, with a very few exceptions, exhibits the same obstinant attitude when it comes to any kind of response to real-world marketplace demands. (Try and find a CC class that teaches any plumbing, an in-demand field among the dwindling number of jobs that can’t be outsourced to Asia.)

    And the state government is all wound up about something Trump said? Why don’t you expense-account jokers do something of a practical nature that would benefit the tax-paying citizens? I’ll just bet you this clown’s state-supplied car is a luxury SUV.

  • jim hoch

    There is little Trump wants more than to be attacked by CA Democrats, it proves to his base that he is doing a good job.

    • Rollie

      Many of us non-Democrats join in the attack too. And if Trump’s base judges his performance by what Democrats think of him, then that’s a very narrow and partisan viewpoint to begin with. As for what “Trump wants…” well, isn’t it obvious? Trump wants what’s best for Trump.

      • jim hoch

        He promised his base to PO the progressives and has delivered in spade. I agree he has no principles at all. Does Trump really care about “Southern Heritage”?

      • California Defender

        By non-Democrat you mean the Green Party? Or perhaps the Socialist Party? I’m sure they joined in “the attack.” There are even a handful of globalist Republicans like McCain and Ryan who did, too. Their attacks are fuel to the movement just the same.

        Yes, Trump does want what is best for Trump. Curiously, that also tends to be what is best for America and why he is now the President.

        • Rollie

          Not Green, not socialist, not any party at all. I’m a committed non- partisan voter, with no loyalty or affection for any political party on the books. But I can testify for many Republican and Libertarian friends who would rather drink bleach than vote for Trump.

          Responding to your second point, I believe that every president faces moments of choosing between personal benefit and what’s best for the country, so therefore what’s best for Trump will not always be what’s best for the rest of us. I’m talking about doing the right thing at the risk of one’s own career, reputation or political standing. I consider Trump to be incapable of that kind of courage.

          • California Defender

            Good for you! As a libertarian, I have little faith in any party and vote for those who fit my philosophy the best. Although I find your claim that many libertarians would “rather drink bleach than vote for Trump” to be laughably false. No doubt there are some establishment Republicans who despise Trump because he’s willing to take a stand against their globalist agenda. But nearly all libertarians I know, save a few who continue to vote only for “big L” Libertarian Party folks, voted for Trump.

            He’s not perfect, but he’s the best we’ve seen in our lifetime.

            As for politicians who have the courage to take personal risks to do the right thing for America, can you name any? I can’t think of any.

            Although if you consider the violence of the left, those who support Trump (without Secret Service protection) are taking significant risks, financially, professionally, and physically, to do the right thing for this nation.

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