The Times podcast: How the California GOP lost its national sway

The Times podcast: How the California GOP lost its national sway
A person holds up a T-shirt with the words

Aug. 23, 1988: President Reagan receives a “Win One for the Skipper” T-shirt from Pete Wilson after a fundraising lunch for the U.S. senator at the Irvine Hilton Hotel.

(Don Tormey / Los Angeles Times)

For decades, Republicans across the country looked to California for conservative stars and ideas even as the GOP lost its way in the state. Not anymore.

Today, we talk about how how Kevin McCarthy’s tortuous path to become speaker of the House was yet another loud death rattle for the California GOP. Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times politics columnist Mark Z. Barabak

More reading:

Column: Kevin McCarthy ‘won’ the House speakership. Now the country will pay the price

Listen to “The Battle of 187”

Today’s GOP could snub even Reagan

About The Times

“The Times” is produced by Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistants are Roberto Reyes and Nicolas Perez. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our fellow is Helen Li. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera, Heba Elorbany and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen.

David Toledo is an award-winning audio producer and storyteller with the Los Angeles Times. Most recently, he was an associate producer on various ABC News shows. He produced segments on their daily news podcast “Start Here,” as well as their LGBTQ+ culture podcast “Life Out Loud with LZ Granderson” and their entertainment news show “Close Up with Kelley Carter.” Before that, he was an early member of the audio team at CNN, where he produced shows covering the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump era and the racial reckoning of 2020. He is originally from Medellin, Colombia, but now calls Brooklyn his home. He graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in political science and is an avid long-distance runner.

Kinsee Morlan is supervising editor of “The Times” podcast at the Los Angeles Times. Most recently, she produced the border podcast “Port of Entry” at KPBS, the NPR member station in San Diego. Before that, Morlan worked as engagement editor and podcast manager at Voice of San Diego and served as the arts and culture editor for San Diego CityBeat. Morlan is a graduate of PRX’s Project Catapult, a podcast accelerator and training program for public media stations. A native of a small mountain town in rural Colorado, since graduating high school, Morlan’s lived in San Francisco, San Diego and Tijuana. She graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in journalism and is a volleyball player, snowboarder, reluctant 5k runner and mother to two young boys who make sure to keep her up-to-date on all the latest cool-kid slang.

Gustavo Arellano is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, covering Southern California everything and a bunch of the West and beyond. He previously worked at OC Weekly, where he was an investigative reporter for 15 years and editor for six, wrote a column called ¡Ask a Mexican! and is the author of “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.” He’s the child of two Mexican immigrants, one of whom came to this country in the trunk of a Chevy.

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