LOS ANGELES - This week, "The Issue Is" welcomes two first-time, history-making guests to the show.
First, as the nation marks a year of the Biden administration, Elex Michaelson joins Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff at a food pantry in Van Nuys for an exclusive one-on-one interview.
Following in the footsteps of 38 Second Ladies, Emhoff is the nation’s first-ever Second Gentleman. He and Michaelson discuss their similar upbringings in Southern California, and how the Golden State has shaped his worldview as he now travels the country. The two also talk the first year of the Biden-Harris administration, supporting strong women, and what Emhoff has to say to critics of his wife.
Then, Michaelson is joined by Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who is now running as an Independent for California Attorney General against incumbent Rob Bonta. If elected, Schubert would be the first non-Democrat to be elected to California statewide office since 2006, she’d also be the first openly-LGBT Attorney General in state history.
Schubert’s campaign comes at a time when crime has surged across California, from smash-and-grab robberies at department stores to the recent high-profile murders of two women, 70-year-old nurse Sandra Schell and 24-year-old UCLA Grad Student Brianna Kupfer, by homeless men in random attacks.
Schubert addresses those crimes, how she’d handle what she calls "rogue prosecutors" like District Attorneys George Gascon of Los Angeles and Chesa Boudin of San Francisco, and her own background prosecuting cases like the Golden State Killer.
THE ISSUE IS: BECOMING THE FIRST-EVER SECOND GENTLEMAN
EMHOFF’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I'm only here because the country elected the first woman Vice President, that happens to be my wife, Kamala Harris, so I'm only here because of that. And I'm really, first and foremost, still husband, dad, and looking after those obligations. So I really approach everything, really as a father, but that's really helped me in this role as Second Gentleman... It's been amazing, it's a lot of vaccination work, it's food, it's been legal aid, and some fun stuff, naturalization ceremonies, I got to throw the first pitch at at a Nationals game... all the things you've seen on TV your whole life, where the Super Bowl champs come to the White House, I'm there talking to Tom Brady, so it's just been an incredible experience, but it's really to do the work for the people…"
THE ISSUE IS: SUPPORTING STRONG WOMEN
EMHOFF'S CENTRAL TAKE: "We have to support women, period, and not just talk about it, not just think you're doing it, but actually doing it with deeds and not just words. And so for me, it was when she had this opportunity, it was stepping away from my primary career as a lawyer and to unequivocally, absolutely to do it. I think men need to step up because, you know, COVID has been so horrible, but it's been really horrible for working women, a lot of whom have had to step away from the workplace, take care of kids, home schooling and all the things we've seen, it's just not fair, it's just completely not fair. Men need to step up…"
THE ISSUE IS: RESPONDING TO CRITICS OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
EMHOFF’S CENTRAL TAKE: "We don't really pay attention to that stuff, I mean, polls go up and down, and she's just focused on the work that she was elected to do, which in this case is Vice President of the United States, at a time where we're facing a once-in-a-century pandemic, economic devastation, climate deficit.... there's so many things that have been happening in this past year, and they've done a great job: American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Act... We're just all about the work. We don't pay attention, that stuff. We don't have time for it…."
THE ISSUE IS: REINING IN "ROGUE PROSECUTORS"
SCHUBERT’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Get control of these rogue prosecutors that are not holding people accountable... essentially, they're dismantling the system from within, I've heard people say we're melting from within. You know, you've got people like Gascon, who has come out, the first day he was sworn in, with a bunch of policies saying, I'm not going to enforce this, I'm not going to ever file gang enhancements, I'm not going to file special circumstances - it doesn't matter if you kill one person or 10 people, you're going to get treated the same... Those are the types of things we're talking about. You had a recent terrible murder of a police officer, and that case was taken to the federal prosecutors, and I'm quite sure that's because of the policies of Gascon.... the AG has the constitutional authority to step in when a prosecutor is not doing their job, they have supervisory powers, and that's something I would do, because what's happening in L.A. is you shouldn't have to have a prosecutor's union sue their boss to actually do his job and enforce the law, and so as the Attorney General, I have every intention to make sure that if he's not doing his job, that he does it, and if he doesn't do it, I will do it for him…"
THE ISSUE IS: CALIFORNIA’S HOMELESSNESS CRISIS
SCHUBERT’S CENTRAL TAKE: "We need some kind of compassionate, mandatory treatment, that's the bottom line. As prosecutors, we used to have really good tools to get people into drug treatment, we don't have those anymore because in large part, because of Prop 47. So, a the AG, I have every intention of leaning into that issue, making sure that we have obviously the shelter beds that people are entitled to, enforce the law, and we need mandatory treatment, but we also need the reform of many mental health types of laws that are not doing the job to get the people that they help get them off the streets, get them into housing, but perhaps most importantly, for those with mental health and drug addiction to get the treatment that they so need desperately in our world today…"
THE ISSUE IS: BEING ELECTED TO STATEWIDE OFFICE AS AN INDEPENDENT IN CA
SCHUBERT'S CENTRAL TAKE: "I'm a prosecutor. I stand up for crime victims. I stand up for public safety. Public safety is not an 'R' or a 'D' issue, everybody wants the same thing, no matter their zip code, their race or gender, they want to feel safe in their communities. For me, I believe very strongly that the role of the District Attorney is a nonpartisan position, the role of the Attorney General should be as well. How am I going to win this? I'm going to be relentless, just like I was on many of these cases that people know about, whether it's on EDD, whether it's on the Golden State Killer, I am very proud of the support I'm gaining across the state, and I feel very strongly that we are at a place in California where people are fed up with what's going on. People want to get a handle on what's happening.... We need to fix what's going on here in California, and I can do that…"
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.
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