The Issue Is: Gubernatorial candidate Doug Ose, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and Matthew Friend

This week on "The Issue Is," Elex Michaelson talks COVID surges, recall politics, infrastructure, and impressions with former California Congressman, and current Gubernatorial Candidate, Doug Ose, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and comedian Matthew Friend.


BACKGROUND: On Aug. 4, some of the top candidates seeking to recall and replace Governor Gavin Newsom will face off in a debate at the Nixon Library. Currently set to participate are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, and former California Congressman Doug Ose. Invitations have also been extended to Governor Newsom, Larry Elder, and Caitlyn Jenner for the event set to be hosted by Hugh Hewitt, Ambassador Robert O’Brien, and FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson and Christine Devine. Less than a week out, how does Ose plan to set himself apart?

OSE’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I'm going to tell them who I am. I'm going to say, look, I have the experience to get this done. I've been successful in business. I've been successful in politics. If you want strong, firm leadership with solutions, not just rhetoric, but solutions, I'm your guy. I've cut taxes. I've built water projects. I've built housing. I've dealt with homeless. I'm the father of the wall on the border.... I'm not your shiny object, I just get stuff done…."


BACKGROUND: According to data collected in early 2020, more than 161,000 Californians experience homeless on any given night. That number is expected to have only risen in the midst of the pandemic. As Governor Newsom sets aside an additional $12 billion in his recent "California Comeback" plan to combat the problem, how would a Governor Doug Ose address the growing crisis?

OSE’ CENTRAL TAKE: "Right now, homelessness is governed by a law called Lanterman-Petris-Short, passed in 1967... LPS has, as a standard, that you cannot take someone into custodial care if they are not an imminent threat to themselves or others. That standard is too high. It means that people who are drug addicted or mentally ill, who cannot function independently, are being left on the street with no assistance. We need to change the standard... Today, we're spending $4 billion dollars a year at the state level, on 41 different programs, spread across nine different agencies, and the number keeps growing - the number of homeless keeps growing. Governor Newsom has proposed to triple down take that to $12 billion. That's not a shortage of funds. It's a mistake in approach…"


BACKGROUND: This week, major steps in the effort to up flat-lining vaccination numbers. This, as the Delta variant has led to a surge of new coronavirus cases throughout California, and the nation. With incentive programs only going so far, this week, Governor Newsom announced that state employees, as well as public and private medical workers, would be required to show proof of vaccinations, or submit to weekly coronavirus testing.

OSE’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I actually think the Governor is within his rights to say that, he is the top guy in the state of California organization... [Under a Governor Ose] first, number one, parents, and the children that they are responsible for, they are going to get the right to choose where their kids go to school, and what mask mandate they have to meet. If they don't want to meet the public K-12 mask mandate, then you need to find another place for your children and we're going to give you options to do that, we're going to expand independent study programs, we're going to expand home schooling programs so that your kids can go there. If you're an employee, not of the state or health care, but by yourself, frankly, your boss, or your owner, or you, the owner, are smart enough to figure out how to handle your affairs. Understand there's risk. If you get out of bed, there's risk, so COVID is a risk-assessment issue…"


BACKGROUND: This week, after months of negotiations, the Senate voted 67-32 to advance the bipartisan infrastructure plan to the floor for debate. The plan, which will cost $1.2 trillion over the next eight years, is focused on so-called "hard" infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and the electrical grid.

GRANHOLM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "In California, you've got 1,500 bridges and 14,000 miles of highway that are in poor condition - every driver pays on average $799 a year in costs, driving on roads and bridges in need of repair. That's real money. That's serious stuff. You know, in California, we want to make sure that people have clean drinking water, and in older communities, a lot of the service lines are made out of lead, and that ends up causing lead poisoning in children and in schools that were built with lead pipes. If those are removed, obviously, it's much better for families and for children. We want to make sure that people have access to the infrastructure associated with driving all those electric vehicles that your Governor wants to put on the street, and that means, and what's in this infrastructure package, is building those charging stations, hundreds of thousands of them, in areas that the private sector isn't already building them, like on highways, or in urban areas, or poorer communities that don't have access... The one thing that I would want to emphasize, because as the Secretary of Energy, it's so important that we get enough capacity on the transmission grid, and that it's resilient, and that it doesn't cause, for example, wildfires, that building a resilient and sufficient energy grid is very important as well…"


BACKGROUND: Comedian Matthew Friend has mastered more than 250 impressions, showcasing many of them in viral online videos and in comedy clubs around the country. This week, Friend returns to The Issue Is as he channels some of the biggest names in politics and entertainment, including:

• Senator Mitch McConnell
• Senator Ted Cruz
• President Donald Trump
• President Barack Obama
• President Ronald Reagan
• Governor Gavin Newsom
• Howard Stern
• Jeff Goldblum
• Timothée Chalamet
• John Oliver
• Rami Malek
• And more…

The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to