This week on The Issue Is, Elex Michaelson is joined by an all-star panel to discuss some of the biggest, and most controversial, political issues of the day.
Peter Hamby is the co-founder of Puck News, and the host of Snapchat’s "Good Luck America" and the podcast "The Powers That Be." Mike Murphy is a longtime Republican strategist who has advised the likes of John McCain, Jeb Bush, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Murphy also hosts the "Hacks on Tap" podcast with David Axelrod.
On this consequential news week, Hamby and Murphy discuss homelessness in Los Angeles, the growing GOP Presidential field, Bidenomics, RFK Jr., the Supreme Court, and more.
Then, Michaelson is joined by developer and former L.A. Mayoral Candidate Rick Caruso, who just returned from the Vatican, where he and his family had a powerful and emotional audience with Pope Francis.
THE ISSUE IS: THE POLITICS OF L.A.’S GROWING HOMELESSNESS CRISIS
CONTEXT: This week, some sobering numbers in L.A.’s battle to combat homelessness. LAHSA’s Greater Los Angeles Homeless County showed that, year-over-year, the number of homeless people in L.A. County rose by 9%, and by 10% in the city of Los Angeles, to 75,518 and 46,260, respectively. All this, despite billions of dollars spent to combat the problems. Hamby and Murphy discuss the optics and political implications of the growing problem.
THE ISSUE IS: TRUMP AND DESANTIS BATTLE FOR THE GOP NOMINATION
CONTEXT: With more than six months until the first-in-the-nation primary contest, the Iowa Caucus, Former President Trump currently holds a commanding lead in the GOP primary. Trump is currently up more than 30 points in the Real Clear Politics average of polls over his closest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, no other candidate rates over 6%. Hamby discusses whether it is too early to call the race, and what DeSantis can do to jumpstart a campaign that has, so far, underwhelmed many in the political press.
THE ISSUE IS: HANDICAPPING THE CALIFORNIA SENATE RACE
CONTEXT: The battle is heating up to replace outgoing Senator Dianne Feinstein. With no strong Republican opposition yet to speak of, three Democratic Representatives - Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Barbara Lee - are jockeying to make it through the March primary to the general election. But who is the favorite: oft-viral sensation Porter, the recently censured, but Pelosi-endorsed, Schiff, or Lee, who, despite trailing in the polls, is the only candidate with a direct connection to Northern California? Hamby and Murphy handicap the race.
THE ISSUE IS: GOV. NEWSOM’S POLITICAL FUTURE
CONTEXT: A secret rival or the ideal surrogate? Despite protestations from the man himself, much has been speculated in recent months about California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Presidential aspirations, and how those plans might impact President Biden. Murphy discusses how California’s homeless crisis could hang over Newsom’s future moves. Meanwhile, Hamby responds to claims, mostly in right-wing circles, that Newsom could be primed to replace Biden, even before 2024 rolls around.
THE ISSUE IS: THE SUPREME COURT BECOMES AN ELECTION ISSUE?
CONTEXT: This week, 2022-2023 Supreme Court term came to an end with a series of high profile decisions: the court handing down decisions on affirmative action, student loans, free speech, and more in the final days of the session. This, a year after overturning Roe v. Wade via the Dobbs decision. Heading into the 2024 election season, what impact might the high court’s decision have as voters head to the polls? Murphy breaks it down.
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.