Politics and Government

A green marker writes on paper covered with legislative words.

From a higher minimum wage, to stricter rules for carrying firearms and more protections for immigrants, a lot of change is coming to California in the new year. Forum rounds up the newest state legislation taking effect on Jan. 1, and looks at how it might affect you.


Melanie Mason, state government and politics reporter, Los Angeles Times

Alexei Koseff, capitol reporter, Sacramento Bee

The United States Capitol building

Senator Mitch McConnell announced Friday that Republicans had enough votes to pass the party’s tax overhaul even though GOP leaders are still hammering out parts of the bill. McConnell’s announcement comes as former national security adviser Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI. Forum brings you the latest in political news.

Amanda Becker, congressional correspondent, Reuters
Steven Rosenthal, senior fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute
Kelsey Snell, congressional reporter, NPR

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate enters court for an arraignment on July 7, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

A San Francisco jury has found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty of murdering Kate Steinle in a case that attracted national attention to San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy. Zarate’s attorneys argued that he accidentally killed Steinle on San Francisco’s Embarcadero when he picked up an object wrapped in a towel that he didn’t know was a gun and it fired. Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Steinle was killed.


  • Alex Emslie, KQED News reporter
  • Lara Bazelon, associate law professor, USF School of Law
  • Jim Hammer, San Francisco prosecutor and former San Francisco police commissioner


U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to welcome President Klaus Iohannis of Romania to the White House for a 'working visit' June 9, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Forum discusses the latest political news including movement on the Republican tax plans, and the ongoing sexual misconduct scandals rocking Congress.

Kenneth Walsh, Chief White House correspondent, U.S. News & World Report; author, “Ultimate Insiders: White House Photographers and How They Shape History”

Olivia Nuzzi (ISDN: Washington DC)
Title: Washington correspondent, New York Magazine

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), speaks to reporters about the proposed Senate Republican tax bill, after attending the Senate GOP policy luncheon, at US Capitol on November 14, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Republican members of both chambers of Congress are hustling this week to reach an agreement on a tax plan. But major differences remain between the Senate and House bills, especially the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. We’ll get the latest on Republican efforts to pass a tax plan.

Peter Morici,
professor, Smith School of Business at University of Maryland; former chief economist, U.S. International Trade Commission
Robert Reich, professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
Amanda Becker, congressional correspondent, Reuters

First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs

Orlando. Las Vegas. Now, Sutherland Springs, Texas. Mass shootings in America have become all too familiar. In the latest incident, a gunman opened fire in a church, leaving at least 26 people dead and many others wounded. In this hour, we’re going to talk about the killings in Texas and renewed calls for gun control legislation. We’ll also review some other stories from recent days, including new developments in the Russia investigation and revelations about the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Michael Montgomery, senior reporter and producer, Reveal
Joey Palacios, Texas Public Radio
Noah Rothman, associate editor, Commentary
Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent, The Nation; author, “What’s the Matter with White People: Finding our Way in the Next America”

Chairman and Editor-In-Chief of Forbes Media, Steve Forbes speaks about the flat tax during a discussion at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, March 16, 2015.

Steve Forbes made tax reform the centerpiece of his bids for the Republican nomination for president in 1996 and 2000. Now, as House Republicans prepare to release their proposal for tax reform, Forum talks with the editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine about what he thinks should be in the Republican plan and what its chances are of passing.

Steve Forbes,
chairman and editor-in-chief, Forbes Media; author, “Reviving America: How Repealing Obamacare, Replacing the Tax Code, and Reforming The Fed will Restore Hope and Prosperity”

Former Senator George Mitchell.

As U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East during the Obama administration and a key architect of the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement, former Senator George Mitchell has played a major role in trying to solve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts. Senator Mitchell joins us to speak about the current state of Middle East peace talks under the Trump administration. He’ll also discuss why he thinks diplomacy and sanctions are the right approach to North Korea, and why the United States can’t look to China to de-escalate the situation.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a oversight hearing on Capitol Hill December 14, 2011 in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort turned himself into authorities today on charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. A federal grand jury has charged Manafort and his business and campaign associate Rick Gates in a 12-count indictment including “conspiracy against the United States, and conspiracy to launder money.” Mueller has been investigating Manafort, who resigned as campaign manager in August 2016, for his alleged financial ties to a pro-Russia party in Ukraine. Another former Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russia probe while he was a Trump aide.

A minor traffic accident during a winter’s storm in Brooklyn becomes the catalyst for a meeting between three very different individuals in Bay Area author Isabel Allende’s new novel, “In the Midst of Winter.” We’ll talk to Allende about her latest book and her ongoing work to empower women and girls across the globe.

Isabel Allende,
author, “In the Midst of Winter,” “The House of the Spirits,” “Of Love and Shadows” and “The Infinite Plan”

Mentioned on Air:
Solving Illegal Immigration [For Real] |: Sonia Nazario’s Ted Talk (YouTube)

Van Jones poses for a portrait.

In the wake of President Trump’s election, CNN commentator Van Jones tearfully said, “This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president in part.” To better understand Trump supporters, Jones sat down with them at their dinner tables to discuss politics, their reasons for voting for Trump, and why many had voted for Obama in the two previous elections. Jones joins us to talk about his new book, “Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together,” which was inspired by his CNN show “The Messy Truth with Van Jones.”

Van Jones,
social entrepreneur, political commentator and TV host; author, “Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart & How We Come Together”

Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon exits an elevator in the lobby of Trump Tower, November 11, 2016 in New York City.

Steve Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News and former chief strategist for President Trump, will be a keynote speaker at the California Republican Party’s fall convention, a 3-day event opening Friday in Anaheim. We’ll preview the convention and talk about the future of the party in California, where less than 26 percent of registered voters are Republican.


Scott Shafer, senior editor for KQED’s California Politics and Government desk

Harmeet Dhillon, national committeewoman for California Republican National Committee; former vice-chair of the California Republican party

The political divide in the U.S. on such issues as the environment, immigration, race and the role of government is wider today than ever before, according a new study by Pew Research Center. A San Francisco project is seeking to bridge that divide and spur dialogue between those on the left and the right. We’ll hear about the project and talk to participants about their experiences connecting with people they might normally avoid.

Chris Collins, creator, Glide’s Bridging the Divide project
Catherine Montalbo, former leftist who now identifies as conservative
Winnie Fink, member Glide Church
Tom Canaday, member, Bay Area Conservatives

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