Joe Garofoli
Joe Garofoli
Senior political writer, The San Francisco Chronicle @sfchronicle Host, "It's All Political"podcast https://apple.co/2EGbK4r Insta: joegarofoli Go Steelers/PensSource
San Francisco, CA
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Alex Padilla is everywhere, but where is Dianne Feinstein?

Alex Padilla is everywhere, but where is Dianne Feinstein?

It’s hard to miss Sen. Alex Padilla lately. California’s junior senator has been a relentless media presence since he was sworn into office Jan. 20 to replace Vice President Kamala Harris.Padilla has done 89 interviews since then, including 46 with California-based outlets. It’s a Swalwellian pace of interviews that included an on my “It’s All Political” podcast in February.And then there’s California’s other Democratic senator, Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Californians are more likely to see a unicorn than their senior senator being interviewed on their favorite media outlet or answering...

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Joe Garofoli
Apr 18
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California Exit Interview: Housemates in Oakland, or a home for a family in Atlanta?

California Exit Interview: Housemates in Oakland, or a home for a family in Atlanta?

Alison Grady and Ernest Brown made a spreadsheet of places they wanted to live a few years ago, and Oakland came out on top. Within a day of moving to The Town, Brown found a salsa dance class near Lake Merritt that he said was “truly diverse, not ‘hashtag’ diverse.”The politically active couple, who grew up in the South, fell in love with the city. But they knew they were living on borrowed time.“You can’t go to a party or a house or a bar with twenty-somethings” without the high cost of housing coming up, said Brown, who chaired the board of the pro-housing organization. “Because however...

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Joe Garofoli
Apr 18
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Shirley Weber will be in middle of California recall election - and afraid of no one

Shirley Weber will be in middle of California recall election - and afraid of no one

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber will soon become a national figure as the referee at the center of the expected recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom — a slugfest that nobody wants to officiate.It will be her job to do everything from valid signatures on the recall petitions to administering the election.No matter what she does, Weber will become a controversial figure to some in this era of crying about Just about every secretary of state does these days.But if that happens, Weber won’t back down. Not much scares her after what her family has lived through.The 72-year-old...

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Joe Garofoli
Mar 21
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Feinstein on filibuster: She's open to reform to counter GOP 'abuse' of tactic

Feinstein on filibuster: She's open to reform to counter GOP 'abuse' of tactic

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, long one of the Senate’s staunchest supporters of the filibuster rule that allows a minority of members to block legislation, reversed course Friday and said she would be open to reforms if needed to pass bills on Democratic priorities such as gun control and voting rights.The California Democrat said she had softened her stance in reaction to a suggestion by President Biden, another longtime opponent of filibuster reform dating back to his four decades in the Senate. Biden said he would be open to requiring a “talking filibuster,” in which a senator actually has to...

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Joe Garofoli
Mar 20
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Time is Gavin Newsom's friend when it comes to the recall

Time is Gavin Newsom's friend when it comes to the recall

The groups that want to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom say they will soon turn in enough signatures to put him on the ballot later this year.That’s going to be a problem for recall backers. The “later” part.It’s unlikely any election will be held before November, when the world could well look a lot different — and better. That benefits Newsom.“Things are starting to get back to normal,” said Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at the Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform at Wagner College in New York and the founder of theYes, there are more than enough of them to keep a blogger busy. Spivak...

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Joe Garofoli
Mar 6
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California is a special place. That means holding it to special standards

California is a special place. That means holding it to special standards

I’ve been writing the It’s All Political column — and hosting — for five years, and you’ve seen it pop up on different days since then. Now that we’re moving to Sundays full time, I thought this might be the moment for a quick reintroduction.You know the saying about how no one is more zealous than a recent convert? Same goes for those of us who moved to California. We love it more, often appreciate it more, because we weren’t lucky enough to be born here.We defend California quicker and louder because we uprooted our lives to move thousands of miles to be here. We can’t understand why...

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Joe Garofoli
Feb 7
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Silicon Valley billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya: would-be governor just for a moment

Silicon Valley billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya: would-be governor just for a moment

Until Wednesday, the flavor of the month on the California political scene was Chamath Palihapitiya, a billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist who was getting plenty of Twitterverse attention for endorsing the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom and saying he might run to replace him. Until Wednesday. When he said he wasn’t. “Let’s be really honest. I’m not ready to do any of that,” the 44-year-old former Facebook executive and founder of Social Capital said on an episode of his “All In” podcast that posted Wednesday. “What I need to do is, I need to figure out (A) my business and where...

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Joe Garofoli
Feb 4
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California's Alex Padilla brings rare Senate perspective - an immigrant family's struggle for dignity

California's Alex Padilla brings rare Senate perspective - an immigrant family's struggle for dignity

Sen. Alex Padilla began to choke up. He was talking about his father, Santos Padilla, an immigrant from Mexico.The California Democrat was recalling the time he brought his father with him when he was seeking the endorsement of a labor organization during his first run for office. The elder Padilla wasn’t there to provide moral support — he was living evidence that the young politician came from a place where the fight for dignity wasn’t an abstract concept.It was a moment of insight into how Padilla, in the Senate, will bring a different life experience to Washington than most politicians...

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Joe Garofoli
Jan 25
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California progressives' mantra for Democratic convention: 'Challenge Biden'

California progressives' mantra for Democratic convention: 'Challenge Biden'

Joe Biden will get a preview of what’s in store for his potential presidency when the Democratic National Convention starts Monday: pressure from progressives to tack left.Known to brag more about his work across the aisle with Republicans than his progressive bona fides, Biden will be facing an energized left flank that wants to ensure he won’t forget them if he wins.“We want to be clear: We are saying, ‘Vote for Joe Biden.’ But we are going to make our demands known,” said Marcy Winograd, a delegate from Santa Barbara who is spearheading opposition to Biden’s potential foreign policy...

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Joe Garofoli
Aug 17
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