Progressive California Democrat calls for Feinstein primary challenge

Hours after Dianne Feinstein announced she will run for re-election next year, a prominent California Democratic representative urged primary challengers to unseat the four-term senator.

Arguing it’s time for Democrats “to move on” and better represent the progressive grassroots, freshman House Democrat Ro Khanna of Silicon Valley on Monday said he has contacted Rep. Barbara Lee, one of the most liberal members of Congress, and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich to urge them to challenge Feinstein’s re-election in 2018.

Khanna reacted Monday to a tweet from Feinstein, the oldest member of the Senate, saying that she was “all in” and would seek a fifth full Senate term in 2018, when she will be 85. In an interview with POLITICO, the Silicon Valley Democrat said that while Californians can respect Feinstein’s “lifetime of public service,” she does not represent progressive grassroots on key issues that include privacy, “Medicare for All,” and the new innovation economy.

“She was totally out of touch when the whole debate happened on encryption,’’ that occurred between Apple and law enforcement officials in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist massacre, he said. “She didn’t even understand some of those issues.”

“She hasn’t been a strong advocate on privacy, she hasn’t been strong on civil liberties, she hasn’t been strong in terms of standing up to our foreign policy interventions around the world,’’ he said, describing her views as “hawkish.”

“And most recently, she has not embraced a move toward ‘Medicare for All,’ and bold economic policies,’’ he said.



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