Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held rallies in Los Angeles and Sacramento on Monday to urge voters to support Proposition 61, the California pharmaceutical drug-pricing initiative.
Hundreds turned out to see the former Democratic presidential candidate criticize drug companies and encourage supporters to combat the influence of money in politics.
Proposition 61 would limit state government spending on prescription drugs to the prices paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Because the VA typically negotiates the lowest prices for prescription drugs of any public or private entity, the measure’s supporters say they hope to curb rising drug costs paid by the state.
Sanders started the day at Pershing Square in Los Angeles, where he addressed a crowd of about 200. Proposition 61 is the most expensive of the 17 measures on Tuesday’s ballot. Pharmaceutical companies have contributed more than $109 million to oppose it. Supporters of the measure have contributed $18.5 million.
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris spent the final day before election day hop-scotching from San Diego to Los Angeles, urging supporters to go to the polls to back down-ballot Democrats in tight races.
Harris started Monday morning at UC San Diego with retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, who Democrats hope will have enough support to knock off GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the Obama administration’s most vociferous critics.
Applegate told the crowd, a mix of students, union workers and party loyalists, one of the major reasons that Issa was on the ropes was because of the “racism, bigotry and misogyny” of Donald Trump, whom Issa backs.
“Kamala and I are going to stand up to extremism on both sides,” Applegate said. “We’re going to work for compromise, balance and, most importantly, we’ll both put country and our community ahead of party.”
From there, Harris took her campaign bus to the Mariscos El Cangrejo Nice restaurant in Anaheim for a rally with state Senate candidate Josh Newman.
At both stops, Harris told supporters that the “stakes are high” in Tuesday’s election and, in a nod to the presidential election, said the results would redefine the nation. The two-term attorney general ended the day with rallies in Long Beach and at USC.
On the eve of election day, Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez and several of her congressional colleagues made a last-minute pitch that the state’s open U.S. Senate seat should go to a Latina from Southern California.
Representatives Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk), Scott Peters (D-San Diego), Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and Linda Sanchez (D-Whittier), the candidate’s sister, vouched for the veteran Orange County lawmaker’s credentials and made a regional appeal to voters.
“It is time to elect a qualified Southern Californian Latina,” Linda Sanchez said at a news conference in front of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument.
Several noted that both Sen. Dianne Feinstein and outgoing Sen. Barbara Boxer hail from Northern California. Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris is the favorite to win the Senate race and is from San Francisco, though she now lives part-time with her husband in Los Angeles.
“The future of Southern California is with this woman,” Napolitano said of Sanchez.
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) emphasized that Sanchez could be the nation’s first Latina senator and inspire millions of Latinos.