Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders continued their efforts to court Southland voters Tuesday, with both appearing in a series of local events two weeks before the California primary.
Clinton joined Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, in a discussion on foster care in South Los Angeles, then spoke at a boisterous campaign rally at a union headquarters in Commerce.
“We’ve got to get incomes rising,” she told a standing-room-only crowd in Commerce. “We’ve got to get more good jobs. And here’s how we’re going to do it: We’re going to do it by investing — investing in infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy. Because some country is going be the clean-energy superpower. It’s going to be either Germany, China or us. I want it to be us.”
Clinton also criticized presumptive Republican nominee Donald J. Trump.
“And somebody may come along promising that he can make the economy great without telling you what he would do other than slash taxes,” Clinton told the Commerce crowd. “Donald Trump’s tax plan was written by a billionaire for billionaires, best as I can tell.”
Clinton also taped an appearance on the syndicated daytime talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” that will air Wednesday. Clinton is scheduled to appear at UC Riverside later Tuesday.
Sanders, meanwhile, held a morning rally at the Anaheim Convention Center, again pushing his campaign themes of boosting the minimum wage — while taking some pot shots at Anaheim’s biggest corporate resident, the Walt Disney Co.
“Anybody here work for Disney?” he asked the crowd. “Anybody here making a living wage who works for Disney?”
“Let us be clear,” he said, “the $7.25 federal minimum wage is not a living wage, it is a starvation wage. I believe we should raise that starvation wage in every state in this country to $15 an hour. Life would be a little bit different for some of the employees here working for Disney if the minimum wage here was $15.”
California’s minimum wage is $10 an hour, but will increase to $15 an hour by 2022 under legislation approved earlier this year.
Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown hit back at Sanders’ criticism of the entertainment giant.
” Mr. Sanders clearly doesn’t have his facts right,” Brown said. “The Disneyland Resort generates more than $5.7 billion annually for the local economy, and as the area’s largest employer has added more than 11,000 jobs over the last decade, a 65 percent increase.
“These numbers don’t take into account our $1 billion expansion to add a ‘Star Wars’-themed land, which will create thousands of additional jobs across multiple sectors.”
Sanders also took issue with companies who use foreign labor to manufacture products.
“If they want us to buy their products … it is time for them to build those products right here in America, not in China,” he said.
Sanders will appear at rallies later Tuesday at Riverside Municipal Auditorium and the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino.
—City News Service