The Issue Is: The Governor, the Secretary and the Queen

During another week in which temperatures soared across the Golden State, the issue continues to be energy and the state’s power grid.

First, Elex Michaelson speaks on "The Issue Is" with Governor Gavin Newsom (D) - the Governor touting a mobile text alert sent out this week that encouraged Californians to conserve energy in an effort to avoid rolling blackouts.

Then, Michaelson goes one-on-one with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. This, during the Secretary’s trip through California, doling out federal infrastructure grants.

Buttigieg discusses the ongoing impacts of that Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, new rules to hold airlines accountable, the transition to Electric Vehicles, and fatherhood.

Finally, on a week which saw the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, after 70 years on the throne, Michaelson is joined by Melissa Giller of The Reagan Foundation and Institute. 

Giller discusses the storied relationship between Her Majesty and President Reagan and how the 96-year-old monarch was able to spend her life transcending American politics.



SEC. BUTTIGIEG’S CENTRAL TAKE: "What's exciting about this is, you know, it's one thing to look at a piece of legislation, look at a spreadsheet, look at a PowerPoint and see what these dollars could do - it's another to look at the highway, look at the bridge, look at the port and stand with the local community leaders, expressing what it means to them to be able to solve a specific problem with these federal dollars. Sometimes a problem is a bridge in such bad shape that emergency vehicles aren't allowed to go over it. Sometimes the problem is, like we saw in the port yesterday, you know, an area where trucks can't really get to the containers that they need to. Sometimes the problem, like here in Fontana, includes students having to walk along a highway, literally to get to school, and we can bring solutions to that. I think that's why there was such support for this infrastructure package. That's why we had Republicans joining Democrats, at least some of them, to help us get it done and now to actually be able to get on the ground, see the work and and support it in a very direct way. It's exactly why I think I've got the best job in federal government…"



SEC. BUTTIGIEG’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I think all of us have experienced the frustration of trying to get to where you're going and the airline isn't ready, you get canceled or you get delayed and you don't even know what to expect when you're in that situation because you can't get somebody on the phone. I've experienced this, not just as a policymaker, but as a passenger who's on an airliner just about every other day. And we know that if we push harder, we'll get results. So we're doing three things at once. We're enforcing the rules that are there, fining airlines that don't refund passengers when they should, for example. Second, we're updating the rules, raising the bar on what is expected of airlines. The third thing we're doing, and it's actually been one of the most powerful, is transparency. We announced that we were going to put together a website where you could just find in one easy place how different airlines will treat people according to their customer service plans. The day we said we were going to set up that website, zero out of the top ten airlines, for example, committed in writing to providing hotel or meal vouchers for you when you get delayed and it's their fault, and we said, look, two weeks, we're going to put this website up, within less than two weeks, we had eight or nine of the airlines doing that. So sometimes that transparency, that sunshine, can do as much as some of the other enforcement actions that we're doing. We're going to keep advancing both in order to get results…"



SEC. BUTTIGIEG’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It's interesting to see how the states are trying to go above and beyond what we're doing at the federal level, and I'm really interested to follow these developments while we continue to set a national policy that's the baseline for all of this. We need to move in the direction of electric vehicles, and look, industry is already there - at least one major automaker says they're not even planning to make gas cars past 2035 - but we've got to make sure that this happens quickly enough to help us be climate change. We've got to make sure it happens affordably enough that it's not just wealthy people, but low income people who are the ones who most need those gas savings if they can afford the EVs in the first place. And we need to make sure that this is a Made in America EV revolution, which is why our policies are designed to encourage domestic sourcing, domestic battery materials, so that we're creating jobs on American soil. There's been a lot of that in California, just like there's a lot of that job creation happening in the Midwest where I come from and this country that has such a proud tradition of auto making, it's exciting to see kind of 100 years after cars exploded onto the scene in the first place, see how that EV revolution is going to accelerate…"



GILLER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "President Reagan loved to write - everyone, every diplomatic leader, members of Congress, the general public, he loved to write letters. And the queen did write back. They had a great relationship, the President called her delightful, warm, charming, caring - he wrote these things in his personal diaries. In his autobiography, he talks about them. He says one of his favorite memories of his presidency was landing in a helicopter at Windsor to meet the Queen - of all the things he could choose, that's what he chose. They had a very personable relationship, it wasn't just diplomatic in nature, they formed a friendship that really lasted the whole time they knew each other…"



GILLER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "You know, her English charm, her diplomatic skills... she's the Queen mom, she's everyone's mom, she's everyone's grandmother, just a lovely, warm lady. How can you not just be charmed by her? You know, as President Reagan once said to her, you know, our two countries share more than just a common language, a lot of our values, our beliefs, even how we run our government was formed on their soil, and so we have this common bond, the United States and Great Britain, and I think all of the Presidents of the United States see that. And again, she's just was one of the warmest people, and the stories I've heard about her are just lovely, and how could you not fall in love with her?…"


The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to