New Pro-76 Ad
|The governor's campaign is launching a 15-second ad today saying, "“Say yes to 76. Say no to a tax increase next year.”|
Check it out here.
The daily observations of Shane Goldmacher, a Capitol reporter covering the policy, politics and people of Sacramento.
Shane Goldmacher is a former reporter for Capitol Weekly. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where he served as editor of the Berkeley Political Review.
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|The governor's campaign is launching a 15-second ad today saying, "“Say yes to 76. Say no to a tax increase next year.”|
Check it out here.
|State Treasurer, and Democratic gubernatorial aspirant, Phil Angelides has penned a letter to Sacramento State's newspaper, The State Hornet.|
|Schwarzenegger will appear today with “Count Cartaxula” to campaign for Prop 76, his spending control measure. |
|The Alliance for a Better California has released the Top 10 Halloween Costume Suggestions For Governor Schwarzenegger|
#10 – Dr. Evil - Whether telling anyone who disagrees with him to “zip it,” or spending $80.... Meeeellion….Dollars… of taxpayer money on a Special Election that nobody wanted in the first place, the Governor has definitely channeled Dr. Evil.
#9 – Vanilla Ice - Much like the one-hit-wonder from 1990, no one’s buying what he’s selling anymore.
#8 – The Wizard of Oz - Unfortunately, once the voters of California got a glimpse of the little man behind the curtain, they realized what a huge disappointment he was.
#7 – Mr. Smithers - Selling out to corporate interests faster than you can say “hypocrite,” the Governor needs “everymen” Homer and Bart Simpson to show him the error of his ways.
#6 – Boss Hog - Just like a politician, this Governor wants more power at all costs. But he uses the power he currently has to hurt everyday Californians and help his own corporate cronies.
#5 – Tonya Harding - With public polls showing his initiatives dropping like lead balloons, the Governor’s handlers are spinning faster than figure skaters in a death spiral.
#4 – Daddy Warbucks - Since he can’t seem to find enough Texas oil tycoons to fund his campaign, Schwarzenegger has put nearly $8 million of his own money into financing his floundering initiatives.
#3 – The Joker -Despite campaign promises to be “different,” it turns out the Governor has pulled a fast one on the voters of California, proving himself to be a politician through and through.
#2 – Tarzan - Since he hasn’t struck a chord with voters to sell his initiatives yet, the Governor’s campaign is swinging to a new vine and changing campaign tactics on almost a daily basis.
#1 – Pete Wilson - Governor Schwarzenegger didn’t just rip a page out of the Wilson playbook - he’s turned himself into a carbon copy of the former Governor. Scary. But it turns out Californians don’t want to turn back the clock on issues like immigration, public education and health care.
|Term-limited musical chairs continues. The current state treasurer, Phil Angelides, is running for governor. The current attorney general, Bill Lockyer, is running for treasurer. |
State Treasurer is a potentially powerful statewide office, with elected official sitting on both the CalPERS (state pensions) and CalSTRS (teacher pensions) board. Those both rank as two of the largest investment funds in the country and wield substantial political clout (currently pushing for divestment from the Sudan). Angelides, with his long-time open aspirations to be governor, has done much to consolidate power for the office and keep it (at least relatively) in the limelight. Whoever becomes the next treasurer will benefit from Angelides’ efforts.
Meet Bill Lockyer, the Democratic nominee for treasurer. Lockyer, the current attorney general, had been expected to make a run for governor next year, but in April he abruptly pulled out of that race and announced his candidacy for treasurer.
He brings with him a $10 million campaign kitty.
Lockyer’s arrival in the primary sent fellow Democrats scurrying. Sen. Joe Dunn of Garden Grove, Assemblyman Dario Frommer of Los Feliz and John Chiang, a member of the Board of Equalization, all packed their bags and moved to the race for controller—where no candidate had already won a statewide race and had a bulging $10 million budget.
According to the secretary of state, there is still one other declared Democratic candidate running for treasurer: Los Angeles County Treasurer Mark Saladino. But he has only raised $66,000—and none since March.
Lockyer will make for formidable general election opponent. Eight years as attorney general helps his name recognition, and the experience of winning two successful down-ticket statewide races can’t possibly hurt.
And, of course, neither will $10 million.
In late October, columnist Dan Weintrab broke the story on his blog that 2002 GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Simon was dropping out of the race for treasurer. His departure leaves the race for the Republican nomination for treasurer without a frontrunner—and gives Lockyer a big advantage in the general election.
In a letter to supporters, Simon said that the decision to bow out of the race was “not a political decision, but a personal one.”
Perhaps. But the decision certainly has political ramifications. In a letter from treasurer candidate Assemblyman Keith Richman of the San Fernando Valley, posted on the FlashReport, Richman openly writes that, "This news benefits my campaign.” Richman is termed out of the Assembly and was the author of what Gov. Schwarzenegger had hoped would be his pension reform proposal earlier this year.
That measure was scrapped, but the governor has vowed to address pension reform next year. That added publicity can only help Richman, who is likely to lobby hard for a Schwarzenegger endorsement with Simon out of the race.
Richman is known around Sacramento as a moderate Republican who does not necessarily toe the party line—which may make him a more popular general election candidate, but serve as a hindrance in the primary.
With the departure of Simon and his $1 million campaign account, Richman has the biggest bank among Republicans, with more than $407,000 as of June 30.
The other declared candidate is Claude Parrish, who is a member of the Board of Equalization. Parrish has raised more than $223,000 and, like Richman, immeasurably benefits from Simon’s departure.
Some Republican activists are hoping for another candidate to jump into the race—one with a higher name ID and a big campaign chest (or a self-funder). There are a couple of Republican races for statewide office where two better-known candidates will face off in the primary. It is entirely possible that one will jump into the treasurer’s race.
Current Job: Attorney General
Cash on Hand: $10,850,986.88, as of June 30.
Consultant: Bill Carrick
Candidate: Keith Richman
Current Job: Assemblyman
Cash on Hand: $407,605.07, as of June 30.
Candidate: Claude Parrish
Current Job: Board of Equalization Member
Cash on Hand: $223,650.75, as of June 30.
Candidate: Mark Saladino
Current Job: Treasurer, Los Angeles
Cash on Hand: $66,434.08, as of June 30.
Candidate: Bill Simon
Current Job: 2002 GOP Nominee for Governor
Cash on Hand: $1,066,182.45, as of June 30.
|Steve Poizner's Yes on 77 ads are on the air in Sacramento. The first segment features "everyday" people talking to the camera, followed by Poizner addressing the audience. No where does it identify Poizner as a future insurance commissioner candidate or past Assembly candidate, making me wonder what average audience member thinks of this random man talking into the camera.|
|For many, the 2001 energy crisis was the beginning of the end of then-Gov. Gray Davis' popularity. Simply put: Turn off folks' lights and someone receive their wrath.|
Well, on the ballot this November is the little spoken about (or advertised on) Proposition 80 that would tinker with the energy market in several ways.
The "pro" side has spent almost no money, and there has been little public polling data, but any changes in the energy market could have a huge impact on California.
If it passes, it may turn out to have been as impactual as many of the "main" measures.
|The governor's campaign has launched ads for the Yes on 74 side for the first time Friday. They feature education adviser Margaret Fortune.|
According to the campaign, "The ad calls attention to the nightmare scenarios often associated with dismissing bad teachers. Specifically, it talks about a situation in which a teacher verbally abused her young students and showed her class R-Rated movies. Fortune also talks about how current tenure laws protect bad and abusive teachers, such as the teacher noted in the ad."
Check it out here.
|I will be previewing the Treasurer's race, with a Republican primary in turmoil with the recent withdrawl of 2002 gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon.|
|I have obtained a copy of the letter sent from Univision back to Alliance Chair Joe Nunez regarding his request for equal time on the TV show Voz y Voto. If you haven't been following this story, get the background here.|
In short, Gov. Schwarzenegger taped an hour-long special on Univision's Voz y Voto on Tuesday. Democrats cried foul, saying it was a giveaway by one of Schwarzenegger's biggest donors (Univision Chairman and CEO A. Jerrold Perenchio has given Schwarzenegger more than $3 million this year).
The chair of the Alliance for a Better California, Joe Nunez, wrote a letter to Univision, saying, "Unfortunately, your station has not offered the Alliance equal time."
Now Univision has responded.
Univision General Manager Diego Ruiz writes, "It appears that you have received a great deal of erroneous information concerning the production and content of this program...Your letter state that Univision provided the Governor with an hour of Network time to "promote his views" on upcoming ballot initiatives. On the contrary, in this "town hall" format, the Governor answered questions presented to him by an audience of California Latinos."
The letter goes on to state that Univision was "soley responsible" for the format, noting that then-Gov. Gray Davis had a simliar town hall "on the eve of the recall election."
The letter denies that the Governor's campaign was involved in audience selection, saying his staff had "no role whatsoever...as was redaily apparent from the questions they asked."
The letter also notes that in recent weeks, "Roger Salazar, Art Torres, Alex Padilla, Gil Cedillo, Manny Hernandez, Dolores Delgado, and Fabian Nunez (twice) have appeared on Voz y Voto."
At the end of the letter, Ruiz writes that he appreciates, "the opportunity to clear up these misconceptions," though it is clear that the Alliance request for some sort of extra time following Schwarzenegger's appearance is not forthcoming.
|With the special election a week and a half away, it is time to focus on the renaming of baseball stadiums. The San Francisco Giants (Go Giants!) new stadium only opened in 2000. But it will soon have its thirdname because of corporate mergers.|
The Chronicle reports:
The name of the Giants' ballpark, which gets changed almost as often as the Giants change pitchers, is about to change again.
It's not going to be SBC Park anymore. It's going to be something else.
That's because SBC Communications Inc. said Thursday that it will adopt the name AT&T Inc. after it finishes acquiring that company, a $16 billion deal expected to be official by the end of the year. The name will spread to all of SBC's properties.
"Once we announce the merger is complete, then we do intend to move to a single brand," said John Britton, spokesman for SBC. "We'll of course work with the Giants to make the transition."
The new corporate owners weren't saying exactly what the ballpark's new name would be -- AT&T Park or AT&T Field or AT&T Stadium -- but presumably it will be something with AT&T in it.
Not that a new corporate name makes much of a difference, but I would really like to have the name of my home stadium stay consistent. Wrigley Field, after all, is a gum stadium. But it is a tradition in its own right.
|Proposition 73: Parental Notification|
Proposition 74: Tenure
Proposition 75: Union Dues
Proposition 76: Budget Reform
Proposition 77: Redistricting
The Schwarzenegger campaign quasi-released some of their internal poll numbers yesterday to a gaggle of reporters, trying to answer questions the PPIC poll will raise before they were even raised. According to John McLaughlin, the governor's pollster, the governor is ahead on both 75 and 77, hitting the 50 percent mark on each.
On 74, Todd Harris, the governor's spokesman, said that they were in "a pitched hand to hand, bayonet battle." Ok, we can pretend that clears that up. Also, the governor's campaign has not yet spent "a dime" on TV specificially targetted at teacher tenure. The push of that campaign has been the governor's education adviser Margaret Fortune talking to editorial boards.
Even the eternally optimistic Schwarzenegger campaign sounded glum about Prop 76, the governor's spending initiative that, at one point looked to be the linchpin of his reform package. "No question we are the underdogs," said Harris.
Schwarzenegger's campaign also said that 80 percent of voters, according to their numbers, intended to vote for what props they thought were best--irregardless of their feelings for the governor. That would be good for the campaign, presumably, because the governor's 33% approval rating is lower than everything he is pushing except Prop 76.
But I have a feeling the governor's campaign doesn't believe that 80 percent number any more than I do. The election, after all, is the governor's. And he is the face and the money behind 74-77. The proof may be in the pudding: Today the campaign goes on the air with a quasi-mea culpa ad, in which the governor directly addresses the viewers for 30 seconds, saying, "I've had a lot to learn, and sometimes I learned the hard way...But my heart is in this, and I want to do right by you."
The campaign would be unlikely to put the unpopular governor front and center--apologizing--if he was not a driver of voters.
The best article on what polls mean and why they differ this election season is here. Also, Capitol Weekly broke down the wording of the governor's poll versus the public polls.
|A ninth version of the “Voter’s Right to Protect Marriage Initiative.” has been given to the Attorney General for title and summary.|
|Latino Caucus Chair (and one-time candidate for Pro Tem) Sen. Martha Escutia endorsed Steve Westly today.|
|What should you do with a problem like Maria?|
Maria Shriver, California's first lady, made her most extensive speech to date on the special election agenda of her husband--but she didn't reveal whether or not she supported that agenda.
The highlights, as reported by the AP:
"I thought a lot about what I could say here today. I also thought a lot about what I couldn't or shouldn't say for one reason or the other," Shriver said. "We all know what happens to first ladies who shoot their mouths off - they get sent to first ladies' dungeon, and you wouldn't want that to happen to me."
"You can survive life in a bipartisan marriage, in an increasingly polarized and partisan world, where everyone wants immediate fixes to age old problems, and easy answers to complex issues that are not black and white but various shades of gray," she said. "You certainly can let people know that you love and believe in your husband, even though people on one side scream for you to denounce him and the other side screams for you to support him."
|Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, has appointed Larry Clark, the Mayor of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, to the California Coastal Commission. Clark is a Democrat.|
|The backers of Prop 79 have launched a new online animation ragging on the pharmaceutical companies airing ads against Prop 79. |
It is designed in comic book fashion and has some old-school Batman style "WHACK" "SLAM" "BANG" effects.
|The Chronicle has an election blog with a post this morning about the rising standing among Latinos of the Governor's initiatives.|
The Schwarzenegger campaign has already e-mailed out the post to the press core.
|The following first appeared in Capitol Weekly|
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez has raised more than $1.75 million in a campaign account to defeat Proposition 77, the governor's redistricting initiative. But instead of buying airtime, sending out mailers or paying political consultants, Nuñez has simply transferred $1.7 million of the funds he's raised into another campaign account, Californians for Fair Representation.
That account, like Nuñez's, was specifically formed to defeat Proposition 77.
But the limited--and duplicative--role of Nuñez's Committee to Protect California's Future, which has served as no more than a clearinghouse for anti-77 funds, has left many puzzled as to why the account exists at all.
"That is a damned good question," said one Republican political consultant...
Read the rest here.
|The following first appeared in Capitol Weekly|
A profile of Tom Torlakson
With a shoulder rubbed raw, a gash in his thigh and blood caked onto his body, Tom Torlakson crossed the finish line. It had been about three hours since the wheels of his bike had skidded out from under him. He was midway through a Half Ironman triathlon, a grueling 1.2 mile swim, followed by 56 mile bike, and 13.5 mile run--most of which he completed while bleeding.
"Take that same experience of him riding a bike and take that as a campaigner, as a legislator and you have Tom," said Andrew Acosta, a Democratic political consultant who managed Torlakson's 2000 Senate campaign.
With a body and attitude built for distance sports, Torlakson still retains a boyish charm, speaking with an earnestness that is as disarming as it is rare in elected politics. And Senate insiders say the affable East Bay senator is in line for a Senate leadership position.
On October 13, I joined the Antioch lawmaker for a bike ride--whizzing through the streets of Sacramento at 25 miles per hour. About five minutes in, he pointed out a pothole in the road. "I meant to call about that last time," muses the senator, who is also the chair of the transportation committee.
Torlakson has a Mr. Smith goes to Washington air about him (Smith, one might recall, was also a fan of the outdoors). Besides calling about potholes, Torlakson's cycling group, to which lobbyists, staffers, legislators and journalists are all invited--often avoids long distances on bike paths, lest they exceed the 15-mile per hour speed limit. After nine years in Sacramento, Torlakson still very much remains the bright-eyed believer who introduced the maximum-allowed 40 bills in his first two-year term in the Assembly.
But beneath that Boy Scout exterior is a ferocious competitor...
Read the rest here.
| The following first appeared in Capitol Weekly.|
The chairman of the Alliance for a Better California has demanded equal time on the state's largest Spanish-language network after Arnold Schwarzenegger taped an hour-long interview set to run on Univision stations statewide on Saturday.
Joe Nuñez sent a letter to Univision General Manager Diego Ruiz to request that the station provide equal airtime to Schwarzenegger's opponents. In a release, Nuñez wrote, "Unfortunately, your station has not offered the Alliance equal time."
Because Schwarzenegger is not a candidate on this fall's special election ballot, federal requirements for equal airtime for candidates do not apply.
But in a 1992 letter obtained by Capitol Weekly, the Fair Political Practices Commission's then-acting General Counsel Scott Hallabrin wrote in an informal ruling that, "the donation of free radio time to one side of a ballot measure, which is not offered to the other side of the ballot measure, is considered a contribution."
Ironically, that letter was addressed to Charles Bell, whose law firm now represents Gov. Schwarzenegger...
Read the rest here
|U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein penned a column in today's San Jose Mercury News about her positition on the war in Iraq|
A war worth fighting?
NOT IF WE KEEP PLACING OUR TROOPS IN THE BULL'S-EYE OF AN INSURGENCY THAT SHOWS NO SIGNS OF GOING AWAY
By Dianne Feinstein
The approval of a new constitution by the Iraqi people is welcome news. But it contrasts dramatically with the fact that U.S. troop fatalities have now surpassed 2,000.
We pay homage to the courage, sacrifice, and honor of over 2,000 American soldiers lost but not forgotten in our hearts. Their families grieve and suffer. Increasingly, they and other Americans demand answers about how we will disentangle ourselves from a situation that will undoubtedly take more American lives -- if we don't reconsider America's current mission and prospects in Iraq.
As we look forward, I believe the parliamentary election on Dec. 15 represents a significant turning point. For the first time in history, the Iraqi people will have democratically elected their permanent leaders to serve full four-year terms. Their constitution, problematic as it may be, has been adopted, and it is time for Iraqis to take greater control...
Read the rest here.
|President Bush's Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring Sandra Day O'Connor, Harriet Miers, withdrew her nomination this morning. |
Read Reuters here.
|The Capitol Weekly salary search is going crazy...75,000 searches and counting.|
|I just added a search feature where anyone can look through all the archives of CA Observer at the click of a button. Check it out at the bottom of the left-hand column.|
|Gov. Schwarzenegger has fashioned himself as the people's governor. He was elected through the populist mechanism of the recall and has pushed his agenda via the ballot--another populist tool.|
But the man in the robe in "The People's Court" is now cutting ads against the governor's agenda. Joseph A. Wapner, a former Los Angeles Superior Court judge who was on the TV show in the 1980s and 1990s, returned to television this week to oppose Proposition 77, the governor's redistricting initiative.
The Bee reviews the ad.
|Attorney General candidate and current Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo got some bad news yesterday. The Los Angeles Times reported that he |
"accepted thousands of dollars in political contributions from two landlords accused of operating apartments with slum conditions after he settled a lawsuit against them for a third of the amount the city initially sought."
|Senate candidate Alex Padilla added the endorsement of Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton yesterday. He is seeking to replace termed out Sen. Richard Alarcon and will face off against Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez.|
|Do you work in the Capitol? Do you want to know whether you are paid more than your officemate? Check out the new Salary Search at Capitol Weekly.|
It is a hoot--and in less than 2 hours there have been more than 7000 hits.
So far these are the top hits:
Cory Salzillo (560)
James Kjol (361)
Irving Pacheco (330)
Gus Khouri (311)
Shaun Flanigan (222)
Vincent Duffy III (214)
Bryan Crabb (178)
Juan Torres (173)
Steven Maviglio (149)
Irwin Nowick (147)
|The Alliance also announced today that tomorrow they will begin airing two Spanish-language ads across the state.|
|Following my story this morning, the Alliance for a Better California is demanding that Univision give them time on political affairs show Voz y Voto:|
ALLIANCE REQUESTS EQUAL TIME FROM UNIVISION AFTER GOVERNOR’S “INFOMERCIAL”
SACRAMENTO – The Alliance for a Better California today requested that Univision, the state’s largest Spanish language television, provide equal time to opponents of the governor’s initiatives after it provided the governor with an hour of free television time on its television program, “Voz y Voto.”
Joe Nunez, chairman of the Alliance, wrote the Univision General Manager Diego Ruiz requesting that the station provide equal time for firefighters, teachers, police officers, and others that oppose the initiatives. Nunez noted that “unfortunately, your station has not offered the Alliance equal time.”
Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, a campaign watchdog group, told the Capitol Weekly that “One would hope that they would offer time to the other side on this. When you are giving free time, it is always better to give both sides.”
Harley Shaiken, a UC Berkeley professor and chair of the Center for Latin American Studies, told the newspaper that the Univision production “carries the mantle of being a TV show, not a paid advertisement.”
According to Capitol Weekly, the Governor’s campaign has booked more than $2.3 million in television time on the network. The network’s chairman, Jerry Perenchio, has donated more than $3,250,000 to the Governor’s campaign.
The Governor’s campaign team worked extensively to revise the format of the program. The show’s regular commentator, Arnoldo Torres, was pulled from the show. The station’s other co-host Xochitl Arellano, was limited in her questions. The audience was not selected by an independent research firm. Questions were prescreened by the station’s management.
|Gov. Schwarzenegger has been on the receiving end of some positive editorials across the state in recent days. |
The San Francisco Chronicle endorsed Prop 77
The San Diego Union Tribune endorsed Prop 76
The Los Angeles Times endorsed 75
And the San Jose Mercury News endorsed 76
I would be willing to bet that the governor's next round of ads will quote from those editorials.
|Gov. Schwarzenegger finished taping an hour-long special on Univision later this morning. Read my report on the taping here The questions from the unscreened audience were tough. One man asked why only two Latinos had been appointed judges. Several queried about drivers licenses. And others spoke more broadly of undocumented immigrants.|
The show will air this Saturday
|This month online animated cartoons are all the rage. Today, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Phil Angelides released a cartoon further his Bush-Schwarzenegger agenda message.|
Check it out here.
The following is in Capitol Weekly
On Tuesday morning, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will tape an hour-long special edition of Voz y Voto, a Spanish-language political affairs program on Univision--a television network headed by one of the governor's largest contributors. Schwarzenegger will answer questions unscripted from the audience, without sharing the stage with Democratic representatives of the groups opposing his initiatives on the special election ballot.
The Univision appearance comes a day after a similar town-hall style event aired on Bay Area television station KTVU. But that Schwarzenegger's appearance was preceded by Senate leader Don Perata and California Nurses Association President Rose Ann DeMoro.
"Anytime you have a public debate program such as Voz y Voto is, both sides of the argument need to be presented," said Roger Salazar, a consultant for anti-Schwarzenegger Alliance for a Better California, who is working on Latino media. "That has to be the trademark of a program like Voz y Voto."
Univision's chairman and CEO A. Jerrold Perenchio, has been a major Schwarzenegger donor. Perenchio donated $1.5 million to Schwarzenegger's campaign earlier this month, matching a contribution he made earlier this year to help qualify the governor's agenda for the ballot.....
Read the rest here.
|The Los Angeles Times endorsed redistricting today.|
|Also over at HacknFlak Assemblyman Chuck DeVore has announced his very optimistic predictions for the special:|
Prop. 73, yes: 62 to 38
Prop. 74, yes: 55 to 45
Prop. 75, yes: 58 to 42
Prop. 76, yes: 51 to 49
Prop. 77, yes: 53 to 47
Prop. 78, yes: 52 to 48
Prop. 79, no: 48 to 52
Prop. 80, no: 44 to 56
Rah rah. Go team go.
|Pierre-Richard Prosper has officially filed to run for Attorney General against Sen. Chuck Poochigian, R-Fresno. It is an announcement that was met with some unhappiness with the California Republican organization. Over at HacknFlak, they have posted a portion of a letter from Republican leaders Dick Ackerman and Kevin McCarthy:|
"We are very disappointed that a transplanted New Yorker has decided to challenge Chuck. Just so there is no question: We view someone who has been absent from our state for nearly a decade… has not been voting in California... and, more to the point, has no record of ever participating in the great causes of the California Republican Party… as destructive and divisive to the unity we need to defeat the likely Democratic nominee, Jerry Brown."
Poochigian is still the heavy favorite, with more than $2 million and the support of the party apparatus.
Update:Prosper has a website
|AlterNet has a predictably anti-Arnold summary of the special election. But there is one great whirl of prose a few graphs in:|
The plan is that 73 will do for Schwarzenegger -- who is ostensibly pro-choice -- what the 18 gay marriage amendments on state ballots did for George Bush in 2004; function as a blooming, fragrant rose that beckons Christian conservative bees to come and vote their Leviticus as they pollinate his corporate agenda.
Wow. Read the whole thing here.
|In 2006, Cruz Bustamante will be termed out of office as lieutenant governor. Though the position is not the most glamorous or powerful statewide office, it has served as the launching pad to the governorship, most recently for Gov. Gray Davis. The official duties of the office are not extensive, but the office does provide a bully pulpit. When the governor is out of state, the lieutenant governor takes of their duties. And the lieutenant governor can break a tie in the Senate. Plus, there are dozens of boards and commissions he (and there have only been men) serves on.|
Two Democratic women Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont, and Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, are vying to be the first woman to hold the office. They will face off against current insurance commissioner John Garamendi. Those three officeholders make the race for lieutenant governor one of the most competitive Democratic primaries next June.
Both Speier and Figueroa both are likely to try to tap into the desire to elect the first ever woman lieutenant governor, with Figueroa (as her website already does) pushing to make that a Latina.
None of the three candidates have high name-recognition across the state, but Garamendi has run (and won) statewide. In 2002, he was elected reelected as insurance commissioner, more than a decade after he became the first Californian to hold that office. He ran against Gary Mendoza in 2002 and won with 46.6 percent, with 3,283,367 voters. That experience, in many regards, makes him the frontrunner.
In order to unseat Garamendi, Speier and Figueroa will have to spend money to raise voter knowledge of who they are. As of June 30, Speier had already amassed a large war chest, with just short of $2 million. Figueroa had raised almost $675,000. Garamendi had about $450,000, as of June 30.
If and when Speier does go on the air, she does have a compelling life story to tell voters. In 1978, as a young congressional staff person she went to Guyana on a fact-finding mission. But they were attacked and more than 900 people died that day, including Congressman Leo Ryan. Speier herself was shot five times and left to die.
Figueroa will try to tap into the same Latino electorate that launched current lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante into office. Interestingly, all three all from the Bay Area, making Los Angeles, where the biggest portion of the state’s voters live, the up-for-grabs battleground. With the heavy Los Angeles Latino population, Figueroa may have an advantage in that region.
Meet the Republican nominee Tom McClintock. Barring any surprise entrants into this race, McClintock will be the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. The bully pulpit aspect of the office fits McClintock well—after all, he is often the lone Republican voice during Senate floor debates, taking on the role of anti-tax spokesman on a regular basis.
McClintock’s chances in the general election are debatable. His campaign has an online “prospectus” hawking the conservative southern Californian’s credentials. Namely, at the end of the 2003 recall he had the highest “favorables” of any gubernatorial candidate. That campaign raised his name-ID in the state, as well. McClintock received 1,160,182 votes—or 13.5 percent—in a race that included another Republican, now-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
McClintock has tried to continue to keep a statewide presence. Just last week, he began airing radio ads in support of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Proposition 76, his spending control measure.
McClintock has already raised more than $700,000 for the race, as of June 30. Like every statewide Republican candidate, McClintock faces an electorate that leans Democratic in a general election. To make matters more difficult, McClintock is no moderate Republican. (His campaign would point out that according to the LA Times exit poll, 28 percent of his recall voters were Democrats). McClintock is an outspoken anti-tax crusader and would, by most measures, rank as one of the stalwart conservatives of the legislature.
That may have helped drive away potential primary competitors, but could also drive away Democratic voters in a general election.
Candidate: Liz Figueroa
Current Job: State Senator, Fremont
Cash on Hand: $672,408.02, as of June 30.
Consultant: Andrew Acosta
Candidate: John Garamendi
Current Job: Insurance Commissioner
Cash on Hand: $450,490.11, as of June 30.
Consultants: Just Us Group, Leonore Blitz Consultants
Candidate: Jackie Speier
Current Job: State Senator, Hillsborough
Cash on Hand: $1,933,275.07, as of June 30.
Candidate: Tom McClintock
Current Job: State Senator, Thousand Oaks
Cash on Hand: $709,380.18, as of June 30.
Consultants: John Feliz and John Stoos
|On Saturday, the Democratic State Central Committee Of California poured $100,000 into the No on 77 campaign.|
|How many voters will turn out on November 8th? No one seems to know for sure. In Sacramento they are doubling the number of voters to a polling station in expectation of low turnout...but there have also been unusually high requests for absentee ballots, a sign of voter interest.|
And today, the Ventura County Star reports
"I don't think people are going to thumb their noses at this election...I've got 20,000 absentee ballots returned already," said the Ventura County Registrar of voters.
Conventional wisdom is that a low turnout favors Republicans. A turnout close to 30 percent would most likely balance out the voting electorate as half Dems, half Reeps (these numbers, mind you, are all guesstimates). A higher turnout (say 40-45 percent) would favor Democrats. Anything much higher than that, conventional wisdom goes, makes it very tough for Republicans to win in the state.
|In his weekly address Fabian Nunez said the following:|
But the experts agree, this proposal would give the Governor more power than any other executive in the entire country. It would give him the power of a king.
|On Monday I will be posting a preview of the race for Lieutenant Governor, so "stay tuned," as Schwarzenegger strategist Mike Murphy would say.|
|This is a pretty funny list from California Congresswoman Linda Sanchez|
"Top Ten Reasons I Don't Date Republicans"
10. The only time they believe in fiscal restraint is when the dinner bill comes.
9. His idea of getting to second base is fondling my stock portfolio.
8. He thinks that Emily's List is a call girl service.
7. His idea of oral stimulation is getting me to recite the Contract with America.
6. He thinks that white pantyhose and pearls are sexy--and you should see what he wants me to wear.
5. Because when Republicans say that they want to create opportunities for minorities, that means they want to date me and
[her sister] Loretta.
4. Despite all the hype, I still can't find his weapon of mass destruction.
3. His pending prison term for political corruption is just another excuse for him to be emotionally unavailable.
2. Republicans are only interested in screwing the poor.
1. Because they make love like they make war: they lie to get in and don't have a plan for what to do once they get there.
Hat tip: The Roundup.
|The TV personality, and well-known man of the officially dull voice, Ben Stein will serve as co-chair of the Yes on 73 campaign.|
|The governor will appear today in interviews on Univision National News and KQED's CA Connected. |
This, in advance of Monday, when the governor will appear live, on stage, answering unscripted questions for 90 minutes from California voters in a town-hall hosted by Bay Area TV station KTVU Channel Two News (where I once interned) and the Contra Costa Times.
|To make clear, the memo below was fabricated|
The folks at California Democratic Majority have posted a memo they found in the Capitol from Karen Hanretty, GOP spokeswoman, to GOP Chair Duf Sundheim.
I have attached the memo below:
To: Chairman Sundheim
Fr: Karen Hanretty
Dt: October 20, 2005
Re: Bush Visit Updated Talking Points (Please pin these to your coat)
1) President Bush is not bringing any federal aid to California. Remember – NO mention of that “Collectinator” line!
2) We are not pleased about this visit, it is “ill-timed”.
3) Bush is welcome back after Thanksgiving – preferably when Arnold is in China.
4) President Bush is taking needed money from California. (Face it, Duff. Without Arnold raking in the dough for us, the entire party apparatus would be whittled down to just you and me.)
5) We need money to pay for our multitude of consultants – (Duff you saw the bill, Murphy’s tower ain’t cheap).
6) Arnold owns California (remember Bush lost CA big in 2004).
7) We only like good Republicans preferably Mike Murphy clients (McCain Good – Bush Bad).
8) Arnold can’t be distracted by President and his big plane – Duff please stay focused on “reform”.
9) Arnold can’t meet with Bush – Duff please throw out that “the Governor had a long standing commitment” line. That seems to work.
10) Next time the press calls, just let Rob or I handle it.
|The following is a release from the Alliance for a Better California|
CALIFORNIA RECOVERY TEAM ILLEGALLY DISTRIBUTES
CAMPAIGN MAIL WITH NONPROFIT POSTAGE
“Yes On 75” Mailer Fraudulent; Breaks Law
Sacramento – Today the Alliance for a Better California has requested an investigation by United States Postal Service (USPS) and announced possible legal action against the California Recovery Team (CRT) unless they stop violating the law by sending out campaign mail that illegally uses discounted non-profit postage and displays a fraudulent union bug. Both actions are violations of federal law.
“CRT’s use of a non-profit permit to get cut-rate discounts on their blatantly political mailing is outrageous. This permit was either unlawfully issued or is being unlawfully used. Only organizations that satisfy special standards and have received official authorization from the USPS may mail items using the Nonprofit Standard Mail rate,” said Alliance Attorney Lance Olson.
“CRT’s unlawful use of a nonprofit permit places the Alliance at a significant competitive disadvantage to communicate its dissenting views prior to the November 8th Special Election,” said Olson. “We have requested that CRT to immediately stop this illegal activity and if they continue, the Alliance is prepared to initiate legal action to require CRT to stop breaking the law. We are working with the USPS and expect a full investigation."
By misusing the nonprofit mail permit, the governor’s campaign saved about seven cents per piece mailed. A single small mailing of one million pieces would have saved $68,000, while a larger six million piece mailing would have saved $408,000. According to the California Secretary of State, there are currently 15,839,327 registered voters in California.
A fake union bug on the Proposition 75 mailer identifies the piece as being printed by a Allied union shop in Los Angeles (“9”), but no such printer exists. (Copy of bug is attached).
“Union label #9, which Governor Schwarzenegger put on his mailer, is not authorized by the Southern California Allied Printing Trades Council. The unauthorized use of this union label not only raises the question of legitimacy about the governor’s mailer but further raises questions of violation of federal trademark laws,” said Howard Dudley, president, Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 14904, representing printers and mailers in Southern California, and delegate to the Southern California Allied Printing Trades Council.
“The deceit perpetuated by the people behind Prop. 75 has always been fraudulent – but now they are breaking the law,” said Martin Ludlow, Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Labor Fed. “The California Recovery Team attempting to misrepresent themselves by putting a fake union bug on the mailer is outright fraud.”
“This fraudulent action is representative of the whole strategy behind the ‘Yes on 75’ campaign: deceive voters into believing the measure actually helps workers, when in fact it will silence their voices and take away their rights to participate in the political process,” he added.
|I wonder how all the news of Gov. Schwarzenegger and President Bush not getting along (the Gov. won't be meeting with the president when he visits California today) impacts the Angelides campaign. |
The campaign's new favorite catch-phrase has been "the Bush-Schwarzenegger" agenda, with Angelides recently penning a piece in the Sacramento Bee saying as much.
Is that still effective if the two are not speaking or meeting?
|The state of Ohio has been making a comeback in terms of California political news. First, there is the battle between Prop 78 and Prop 79.|
The folks behind 78 (pharmaceutical companies) are claiming that the drug discount program in Ohio (which 78 is modeled after) provides deeper discounts than the program in Maine (which 79 is modeled after). There have been a spat of e-mails, press releases and vitriol on the subject.
Now this week, President Bush is coming to town, hat in hand, raising money. But some close to Arnold Schwarzenegger are saying that he is not being loyal to a governor who stuck his neck out to campaign for the president in Ohio, almost a year ago. From George Skelton's column:
"A little respect and courtesy for what Schwarzenegger is doing out here would be appreciated,' says a gubernatorial aide. Or, to put it another way: a little appreciation for what Schwarzenegger did for the president in Ohio, which included alienating California Democrats and turning himself into a full-fledged partisan."
And then there is redistricting. In Ohio, the out of power party--which is Democrats, not Republicans--are pushing for redistricting reform. Issue 4 (Ohio's reform) and Prop 77 (California's) have been crossendorsed--trying to lend a nonpartisan feel across both states.
In a statement yesterday Gov. Schwarzenegger said:
“One of the most important ways Americans can reform our election system is to work in a bipartisan fashion to change how we draw electoral districts. That is why I am campaigning so strongly for Proposition 77, a measure to let a bipartisan panel of independent retired judges draw election districts in California. I support similar efforts around the country designed to take the power to draw districts away from the politicians and give it back to the people.
“State Issue 4 on the ballot this year in Ohio would change the way Ohio draws election districts. State Issue 4 is far from perfect and has several shortcomings, but the perfect cannot be the enemy of the good and State Issue 4 remains a step forward toward more competitive election districts. For that reason, State Issue 4 has my endorsement.”
We knew Ohio was a battleground state in 2004, but who would have predicted it would be a battleground in the California special election?
In an unusual move, EMILY's List, a political organization dedicated to helping elect Democratic pro-choice women to office, has endorsed Sen. Debra Bowen in next year's primary for secretary of state, despite another pro-choice woman, Sen. Deborah Ortiz, entering the race.
"We think she would make a great secretary of state," Cristina Uribe, the regional director of EMILY's List, said of Bowen. According to Uribe, the decision was made before Ortiz jumped into the race.
EMILY's List - which stands for "Early Money Is Like Yeast," because it makes the "dough" rise--is an organization committed to financially supporting Democratic pro-choice women, a qualification that both Ortiz and Bowen fit.
"The last time I talked to Ortiz was early August and she was running for insurance commissioner," says Uribe. "If she wasn't running for insurance commissioner, she wasn't running for anything."
Ortiz had been slated to run for insurance commissioner, but that race would have pitted her against Cruz Bustamante. Both are clients of Democratic political consultant Richie Ross.
Though Ortiz was recently quoted in the Sacramento Bee as saying she would have been prepared to leave Ross, she noted that declaring for secretary of state was a "win-win" situation.
In a letter dated Oct. 4, Ortiz wrote to supporters that on Sept. 15 she "took the first step to becoming California's next Secretary of State." Six days after that "first step," but two weeks before Ortiz's letter was sent, EMILY's List officially endorsed Bowen, though Uribe says the organization had already made an in-kind donation of a staffer to Bowen's campaign in August.
"We support Senator Bowen because she will restore confidence in the electoral process," Uribe said in a statement. "As a leading advocate for a woman's right to choose, she will be an important voice in statewide office."
The move is not unprecedented--Uribe says EMILY's List made a similar endorsement of one pro-choice woman over another in Minnesota this year--but it does highlight a peculiarity of next year's primaries: There are four women senators running for statewide office--and they are all running against one another.
Besides the Debra-Deborah showdown for secretary of state, Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont, and Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, will face off in the battle to be lieutenant governor. They are running against fellow Democrat, and current insurance commissioner, John Garamendi.
All four female senators running statewide are termed out of office in 2006. In fact, 16 of the Legislature's 37 elected women will lose their seats to term limits next year, with another 11 having terms that expire in 2008. If women fail to run for and win all those seats, the number of women in the Assembly and Senate would sink to 10--a mere 8 percent of the 120-member Legislature.
Many of the women termed-out in 2006 have already announced their intent to run for further political office, either at the state or local level. Bowen, by announcing her candidacy early has already sown up the endorsements of 15 of the 25 Democratic members of the Senate, including the majority of women senators.
Steve Barkan, Bowen's campaign consultant, said that he "wouldn't anticipate [EMILY's List] changing their endorsement" with the official announcement of Ortiz's candidacy.
As of the latest filing deadline, Sen. Bowen had just short of $250,000 cash-on-hand, spread across three campaign accounts. Sen. Ortiz has about $415,000 in her campaign account.
The endorsement of EMILY's List, which has a grass-roots network of more than 100,000 activists, may come with financial benefits for Bowen. The group raised more than $10 million in the 2004 election cycle, though almost all of it was spent outside California.
The group has yet to endorse in the race for lieutenant governor. "We have met with those candidates," said Uribe. "And we don't have a position in that race."
|Proposition 79, the labor-backed prescription drug initiative, has not gotten the funding its supporters had hoped. The only ad aired was produced by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and was an extremely small buy. So they tried to drum up some media attention with an online ad contest...but it looks like there were not a lot of ad creators out there.|
The deadline has been extended to October 21.
An arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday and bail set at $10,000 for former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay ahead of his scheduled court appearance this week in Austin, Texas for money laundering and conspiracy charges, a Texas court clerk said.
The so-called "capias" was a "purely procedural event" but would require DeLay to turn himself into authorities to be fingerprinted and photographed, Travis County Grand Jury Clerk Linda Estrada said.
Court officials said DeLay was expected to go to Fort Bend County jail in his district near Houston for booking, but that had not been confirmed.
|The Alliance for a Better California has launched two new ads that are going into circulation statewide beginning today. Check them out here (They are at the top of the page).|
|According to most opinion polls, Proposition 76 is hurting--the least likely to pass of the governor's four main initiatives. In the Sacramento Bee today Andy Furillo discusses Schwarzenegger's new tack on the initiative.|
"What is important is to vote yes on Proposition 76 because then they do not have to go out and buy school supplies any more, because we will do it," Schwarzenegger said, unloading a shopping cart at the GW School Supply Store while the teachers beamed.
"Because any time you get one-time money and we have good revenues, we will be able to fund school supplies and pay for all those things. ... Under the current system, we don't do that. One-time money is not being used. We use it for other things, but not for these kind of things where it ought to be used, which is for education and for school supplies."
While that might be a good strategy, it seems a hard sell--especially when voters actually see the ballot title and summary:
STATE SPENDING AND SCHOOL FUNDING LIMITS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
*Limits state spending to prior year’s level plus three previous years’ average revenue growth.
*Changes state minimum school funding requirements (Proposition 98); eliminates repayment requirement when minimum funding suspended.
And that will be the last thing voters see before they vote (thanks to Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer), not Schwarzenegger's school funding increase message. Lockyer's office certainly helped the No side with his title and summary.
|I have already posted on the fact that Steve Westly has launched the first advertisement where a non-Latino candidate speaks entirely in Spanish. (One loyal reader notified me that Gray Davis also spoke in Spanish in 1998— but only in a tagline at the end of an ad.).|
But when one viewed the Westly Spanish-language ad online (see picture below), a strange name appeared on the right-hand side of Windows Media Player: Fernando Ferrer.
Ferrer has nothing to do with Westly’s gubernatorial campaign. But Ferrer is a candidate running for mayor of New York this fall, who also happens to share a media consultant, David Doak, with Steve Westly. Doak also did the media for Gray Davis’ campaigns, both primary and general, in 1998 and 2002.
The Westly campaign has obviously noticed the error and deleted Ferrer's name midday Tuesday. Oops.
|Two big donations just hit the books. L. John Doerr, a Google multi-millionaire, just dropped $425,000 into the Yes on 77 campaign. And S. Robson Walton (as in Wal-Mart) just cut a check for $250,000.|
|MoveOn.org, the progressive coalition that spend millions trying to defeat President Bush last year, sent out an e-mail today about the California special election. But instead of urging No voters on each of the governor's propositions, they asked for people to vote--with the winners receiving a MoveOn endorsement.|
Today we're announcing a "MoveOn Members Endorse 2005" project, asking members to recommend positions on the key initiatives on the ballot. If two-thirds of responding members agree on a position on the ballot, we'll make that position an official MoveOn endorsement and publish the results for the world to see. If we put our voices together, we can get the word out, forming a powerful progressive voting bloc.
Not that the vote is likely to turn out against the Alliance for a Better California. But coming on the heels of Howard Dean and John Kerry visiting the state, it is curious that MoveOn is asking for opinions rather than giving them.
|Phil Angelides and Dianne Feinstein are lining up in opposition to new taxes on the wealthy? President Bush announced today that he would propose to cap mortgage deduction at $350,000, or so. That would mean multi-million dollar homes would no longer be huge tax deductions. But the plan has drawn criticism from Democrats:|
“The proposal by the President’s Tax Panel today to cap mortgage deductions at approximately $350,000 would be devastating for states like California where real estate values have skyrocketed and affordability is at its lowest levels. This proposal does not simply affect a small portion of wealthy homeowners, it would impact nearly the entire State, and worse, those who are living paycheck to paycheck may be forced to sell their homes."
Angelides, calling it "Bush Blue State Tax Increas" says:
“The Bush panel’s recommendations are a double-barreled blast aimed squarely at California and the middle class...These recommendations are good for Texas, but bad for California."
They are righ about one part: California would be harder hit due to higher real estate values. But it is odd to see Democrats arguing against higher taxes on wealthier homeowners.
|A release from her office:|
"Today, I received a copy of the April 11, 1989, questionnaire submitted by Texans United For Life to Harriet Miers during her campaign for the Dallas City Council and her responses to these questions.
The answers clearly reflect that Harriet Miers is opposed to Roe v. Wade. This raises very serious concerns about her ability to fairly apply the law without bias in this regard. It will be my intention to question her very carefully about these issues."
|One of the governor's biggest donors, Stockton mega-developer Alex Spanos, is hosting a fundraiser today for Schwarzenegger at his home. There will be protests from the Alliance from a Better California, but that should not prevent Schwarzenegger from bring home some cash for the final push of the campaign.|
(Of note: as Capitol Weekly reported last week, Spanos gave $25,000 to Steve Westly last January.)
|For those keeping tabs at home Gov. Schwarzenegger has his 13th "Conversations with Californians" town-hall style event today in Redding.|
|The OC Blog just linked to a item that Jim Gilchrist of Minuteman fame, and American Independent candidate for Congress in the 48th district, announced that he suppported Green Party candidate Peter Camejo in the recall.|
Republican John Campbell is the prohibitive favorite in the December primary--he almost broke the 50 percent barrier to win the election outright in the primary.
|State Sen. Tom McClintock has taped a new radio ad in support of Proposition 76, the governor's spending limitation initiative. McClintock, who is one of (if not the) leading criticsof spending in the legislature, lends a conservative voice to Schwarzenegger's cause|
The ads will begin airing tomorrow (and my guess is that won't include the Bay Area).
|The Merc reports today that Steve Westly will be the first non-Latino candidate to air an ad on Spanish-language TV, with the candidate speaking entirely in Spanish.|
It is hard to believe that has not been done before.
Here's what Westly had to say:
"I know there are a few words I could have pronounced better in the ad,'' Westly said, ``but I think as long as you try and make a fair effort, people appreciate it.'"
The Democratic primary for Attorney General will likely be the most media-covered primary race on next June’s ballot, after the battle for the Democratic nomination to face off against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
One reason is name ID—the front-runner in the race is Oakland mayor and former Governor Jerry Brown. The son of a governor, who has already served as secretary of state and governor, as well as launching a bid for president, Brown is a recognizable figure in California politics.
He will face off against Rocky Delgadillo, the Los Angeles city attorney, who has been anointed a "rising star" in Democratic politics. In 2003, the Democratic Leadership Council named Delgadillo one of the "100 New Democrats to Watch," along with San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, gubernatorial hopeful State Treasurer Phil Angelides and then-Illinois State Senator Barak Obama.
The battle, as Delgadillo would like to frame it, would be of California’s past against California’s future.
"I am not the son of a governor. I wasn’t governor. I haven’t run for president," Delgadillo told me the day before he "officially" launched his campaign. "I’m a kid from the neighborhood. I was born and bred in the community. I wasn’t born and bred into politics."
As of the June 30 filing deadline, Brown had more than $1 million more in his campaign account than Delgadillo, at $2.3 million compared to $1.3 million. Both candidates have continued to raise money at a steady clip, despite the siphoning off of donors’ money to the special election campaign.
Whatever money Delgadillo does raise will be crucial for him to bring his name recognition up to that of Brown’s. Outside of Los Angeles, Delgadillo is virtually unknown. Brown’s long history with the state is clearly an asset, though if the Delgadillo campaign goes negative there are many in the state who may not recall "Governor Moonbeam" so fondly.
Always important in the battle for the state’s "top cop" is tough-on-crime credentials. Delgadillo points to programs he has implemented in Los Angeles, such as Operation Bright Future, which he claims has had a 99 percent success rate getting 6000 formerly chronically truant students back in class. Meanwhile, Brown points to his successes as the executive of what has historically been one of the state’s, if not the country’s, most crime-ridden cities: Oakland.
Policies priorities aside (where they are far too often put), Brown is considered the favorite in the race. He has higher name recognition; he has more money and he has the experience of several statewide campaigns.
"We are pleased to see there will be a robust Democratic primary. I will be prepared to run against whoever the Democrat is," Sen. Charles Poochigian, R-Fresno, told Capitol Weekly more than a month ago.
Perhaps Poochigian, who looks almost certain to claim the Republican nomination, is pleased because he can continue to pile up a campaign war chest while his general election opponents fight it out in the primary.
The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that Pierre-Richard Prosper, a Bush administration war crimes prosecutor was considering a run at the Republican nomination. Prosper is young (42) and African American, but this would be a tough primary to jump into late. Unless his Bush connection comes with big bucks, he faces an uphill battle.
Poochigian has raised more money than any other Republican candidate for statewide office next year (excluding Schwarzenegger, who is currently using his campaign kitty for the special election). With more than $2 million in the bank, Poochigian will likely have an immediate financial advantage over whoever his Democratic opponent is in the general election.
Poochigian is already positioning himself as a tough-on-crime candidate. As recently as last week, his picture appeared on the top of Schwarzenegger’s official website, a photo-op for an anti-crime bill signing.
"Well, it's wonderful to be here today with Senator Chuck Poochigian and all the members of law enforcement, it's great to see everyone here that is fighting crime," announced Schwarzenegger.
My crystal ball shows many more such appearances to come.
Like every Republican running for statewide office next year, Poochigian will have to overcome the Party’s poor showing in 2002—where every statewide office was swept into Democratic hands.
Candidate: Jerry Brown
Current Job: Mayor of Oakland
Cash on Hand: $2,381,533.96, as of June 30.
Consultant: His wife, Anne Gust
Candidate: Rocky Delgadillo
Current Job: Los Angeles City Attorney
Cash on Hand: $1,318,663.34, as of June 30.
Consultant: Larry Grisolano
Candidate: Charles Poochigian
Current Job: Fresno State Senator
Cash on Hand: $2,054,895.27, as of June 30.
Consultant: Ken Khachigian
|The top story on Rough&Tumble rarely needs to be highlighted. But today's story is interesting, not only because of its content, but the timing. |
It is from the LA Times, and the gist of the piece is that next year Schwarzenegger intends to take a more bipartisan, concilliatory stance. This year began with fireworks--the State of the State address--where Schwarzenegger took on many of the most powerful Democratic constituencies.
But, according to the article, next year Schwarzenegger wants to work on issues like healthcare for children (this year he vetoed AB 772, saying that there was no dedicated funding source). But the timing of the story is interesting because appearing to want to be bipartisan next year is certainly helpful now, as he tries to get 50 percent plus one of each of his four propositions on November 8th.
One of the most interesting parts of the story is about the governor's plans for pension reform, which he had to abandon this year, but vowed to return to in 2006.
Early this year, the governor made an overhaul of the state pension system a signature issue, saying it has been plagued by spiraling costs. But an initiative written by his allies that would have reduced the state's contribution would also have cut off death benefits for police and firefighters, analysts and the state attorney general said.
A public relations disaster ensued, and Schwarzenegger decided to delay his plan, hinting that he would bring it back for the June 2006 ballot.
Now Schwarzenegger wants a new approach. He signed legislation that requires municipalities to report to the state next year on the stability of their pension funds. After the data is collected, Schwarzenegger will tackle the issue again, his aides said, either by calling a commission to find a solution or working through the Legislature.
Pensions had looked to be a major issue next year, with the governor remaking the STRs boardin preparation for that fight.
But the timing of the piece sounds like the administration wanted the news out now, with almost all the information was given on background (on-leave communications director Rob Stutzman is the only administration official quoted).
It is a savvy move by Team Schwarzenegger to put the idea forward that the governor wants to reclaim the bipartisan, compromising mantle he lost earlier this year only weeks before a distinctly partisan election.
|But it is online...|
Check out this anti-Arnold spot on the Alliance for a Better California website.
|Schwarzenegger just announced his latest appointments. Chief among them is Linda Adams, who was as recently as this year working for Westly. She has been appointed to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.|
Here is the governor's office's bio of Adams:
Linda Adams, 56, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. She most recently served as chief of staff to the state controller from 2004 to 2005. Previously, Adams was a member of the California Performance Review, director of the Department of Water Resources, legislative secretary and chief deputy legislative secretary to the governor and principal consultant to the Senate Agriculture & Water Resources Committee. She is a member of the board of directors of the Sacramento Local Conservation Corps. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Adams is a Democrat.
|With a low turnout expected in the special election, it increasingly looks like who gets their supporters to the polls will make all the difference.|
In yesterday's LA Times, there was a good piece on the role of Proposition 73 driving conservative voters to the polls.
When Sen. John Kerry came to town yesterday he said, "Some people are saying to themselves, 'I don't think I should vote; I don't like it,' " said Kerry. "That is exactly the wrong thing to do."
The California Democratic Party just sent out an e-mail urging that "Just 20 hours of your time can help stop Arnold Schwarzenegger."
"That is all it takes to be part of the most important Get Out the Vote effort in our history. Working with the Alliance for a Better California Democrats can stop the governor's special interest agenda and begin to take back our state."
And later today, Gov. Schwarzeneggger will appear at the Orange County Republican Headquarters to kick off that county's GOTV efforts.
|President Bush's embattled nominee for the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers has agreed to meet with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Monday. Feinstein voted against confirming John Roberts for chief justice at the end of September, and has seemed weary of Miers, though she has expressed happiness that Bush nominated a female to replace retiring Sandra Day O'Connor.|
|Schwarzenegger just deposited another $1.25 million into his California Recovery Team account, in a report filed yesterday.|
|John Kerry is in Los Angeles today to endorse the No on Prop 75 campaign, but Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team has invited the one-time presidential candidate to endorse the Yes on 74 effort.|
Here's what they had to say:
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry will be in Los Angeles today to announce his opposition to Proposition 75. No surprises there. But while he is here in California, the California Recovery Team would like to invite him to participate in a “Yes on 74” event as well. Kerry has been a long-time advocate for ending teacher tenure, once calling for “an end to teacher tenure as we know it.”
We could not agree more Senator, and would love to host you as our guest at an endorsement event sometime between now and Election Day. We are flexible as to time and place.
At the end of the release Schwarzenegger spokesman Todd Harris jabs at Kerry for his oft-criticized Iraq war vote, and later opposiiton to the war.
“I suppose it’s possible that Senator Kerry voted FOR teacher tenure before he voted AGAINST it, but short of that, we look forward to hosting him at a ‘Yes on 74’ event at a time and place of his choosing,” stated California Recovery Team Spokesman Todd Harris.
|William Robinson, founder of DHL and major Schwarzenegger donor, just dropped another $250,000 in Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team account.|
|The Join Arnold web site now loads with the music "That's the way--uh huh uh huh--I like it" playing in the background.|
|Welcome to the redesigned California Observer website. I have posted my two articles in this week's Capitol Weekly below. On the left-hand side I have added links to my most recent pieces in print. I will soon be adding new content (think next Monday). I am always open to feedback, so feel free to e-mail me.|
|The following first appeared in Capitol Weekly|
New round in long-time California political feud as wealthy Greek-Americans pick sidesAlex Spanos, whose contributions to Gov. Schwarzenegger and the governor's initiative committees this year total $2 million, gave $25,000 to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly last January. That donation continues a long tradition of Greek-American Spanos bankrolling candidates running against State Treasurer Phil Angelides, a fellow Greek-American who is running for governor.
In 1998, Spanos was a top-10 contributor to every Republican statewide candidate, donating more than $1 million in all. The biggest chunk of Spanos' giving however, $450,000, went to Curt Pringle, the Republican candidate for state treasurer.
Pringle's opponent: Phil Angelides.
Pringle had contemplated running for state controller, but, according to Pringle, Spanos wanted a strong candidate for treasurer.
"If I do it, I need you to be my campaign chairman and help me raise money," Pringle recalls telling Spanos. "And he did both."
Jude Barry, Westly's campaign manager, says the Westly camp has not paid any attention to Spanos, but adds that "maybe we can convince him to re-register, to switch sides."
Barry notes that Spanos has given to other Democrats, including Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, Sen. Mike Machado, D-Linden, and San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. But none of those donations come close to the $25,000 Spanos contributed to Westly--or the millions Spanos has given to Republicans.
At the time of the Spanos donation, Westly was not a declared candidate for governor. In fact, he was actively campaigning with Schwarzenegger, appearing in ads with the governor to promote Schwarzenegger's deficit-bond proposals, Propositions 57 and 58. Westly even gave Schwarzenegger a $200 box of cigars in 2004, according to records filed with the Fair Political
Westly and Angelides are the only two declared Democratic candidates for governor, and will face off in a high-cost primary next June. Westly has already raised $11.4 million, the lion's share of which, $10 million, comes from deposits the former eBay executive made into his own campaign account. Angelides has raised more than $14.4 million in his campaign account. The Angelides campaign declined to comment on the past, and possibly future donations by Spanos to Westly.
Throughout his political career, Angelides himself has received support from a different Greek mega-donor, Angelo Tsakopoulos, who he used to work for. The Sacramento-based developer magnate gave Angelides $1 million in his unsuccessful bid for state treasurer in 1994 and followed that up with $350,000 in 1998 (with the donations divided between Tsakopoulos' personal and corporate giving).
Tsakopoulos' firm, AKT Development, has donated $500,000 to a campaign committee currently controlled by Angelides, and he, as well as two of his daughters Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis and Katina Tsakopoulos, have each given Angelides gubernatorial campaign $21,200.
"I haven't seen many donations to Democrats," Pringle says of Spanos. "But maybe in this case he does have a preference for one over the other."
|The following first appeared in Capitol Weekly|
Arnold MIA from TV ads; big push for Latino support
Down in the polls and facing a career-defining special election in less than four weeks, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign is kicking into full gear: He is making an unprecedented Spanish-language television ad buy and he is inundating mailboxes with some 10 million flyers in the largest absentee direct mail effort in California history.
"The issue of reform is much larger than I am," announced Schwarzenegger at a recent campaign stop. "And this is why it's worth fighting for." Remarkably, Schwarzenegger--an internationally known actor who goes to great lengths to market his public image--is absent from his own Spanish-language ads. His handlers clearly believe that his own ballot initiatives, on which he has staked his crusade for reform, stand a better chance of passing among Spanish-speakers if Schwarzenegger isn't personally identified with the proposals.
Ironically, his opponents are plastering the governor's face all over their own ads.
The conspicuous absence of the governor, whose personal charisma and populist image helped propel him into office in 2003, highlights an ironic twist of fate that will drive the campaign's strategy in the final push toward Nov. 8: Schwarzenegger is now less popular than the reforms he is promoting.
Capitol Weekly obtained the results of an internal poll commissioned by Univision, the leading Spanish-language TV network, showing that although the governor may be unpopular among Hispanics, two of his initiatives, Propositions 74 and 75, are ahead by double-digit margins among Latinos. Propositions 76 and 77 both trail by single-digits, with many Latinos still undecided on each of the measures.
Those results stand in stark contrast to Schwarzenegger's own approval rating among Latinos, which had plummeted to 18 percent, according to the latest poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. To further court the Hispanic population, Schwarzenegger recently announced the formation of a Latino Coalition, with former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin and Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, serving as co-chairs.
"What is interesting is that the Latino voters are being looked at by both sides as a gettable group of voters who are going to ultimately decide the results of the election," said Carlos Rodriguez, a Republican consultant, whose nonpartisan polling group Latino Opinions conducted the poll.
The poll, which queried 600 registered Latino voters and asked their opinions on the measures after reading the official ballot title and summary, is being circulated by Univision to drum up advertising dollars--from both Schwarzenegger and the labor coalition lined up against him.
Some Democrats, when told of the poll's results, questioned the legitimacy of a survey commissioned by Univision, a company whose chairman and CEO, A. Jerrold Perenchio, has been a major Schwarzenegger donor. Perenchio cut Schwarzenegger's campaign a check for $1.5 million earlier this month, matching a donation he made earlier in the year to help qualify the governor's agenda for the ballot.
"The money goes in the favors go out," says Steve Maviglio, spokesman for the Alliance for a Better California, the labor-coalition opposing Schwarzenegger's agenda. "It's like Perenchio is paying himself back. It's all about helping his contributor. It is not about reaching out to Latinos who [Schwarzenegger] has ignored for the last two years."
Perenchio is only one of many top contributors who Schwarzenegger has tapped for cash in the waning weeks of the campaign.
In a private campaign conference call held at the beginning of this month, Schwarzenegger's strategists told potential donors that the campaign plans to spend $1 million a day until the election, with $12 million still to be raised. In this month alone, Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team has taken in more than $4.2 million in new contributions. His Univision buy was between $1.7 million and $2 million, sources told Capitol Weekly.
That influx of money has allowed the governor to invest in the largest absentee mail campaign in California history, with 10 million pieces sent out. That is nearly double the number of pieces that campaigns traditionally use to saturate the electorate. The direct mail, which is sent overwhelmingly to Republicans, is aimed at mobilizing a conservative base for a special election where low-turnout is expected.
The intense fundraising has also allowed the governor to begin purchasing airtime for television spots, including the Spanish-language ad. The campaign has a parallel English ad without Schwarzenegger, titled "Package" (the Spanish ad is called "Paquete"), which follows an identical format.
Four seemingly everyday Californians glowingly describe each of the governor's four reform initiatives, with an announcer asking for a "yes" vote on the entire package at the end of the commercial. Schwarzenegger is never mentioned in either ad--save the fine print identifying who purchased the spot.
"The special election is not about the governor," says Schwarzenegger campaign spokesman Todd Harris. "It is about fixing the broken system."
Still, it was only a year ago that Schwarzenegger's presence in large part propelled an initiative campaign to victory. Two weeks before the November 2004 election, opponents of reforming the state's "three strikes" law launched a multi-million dollar television campaign prominently featuring then-popular Schwarzenegger. With approval ratings in the mid-60s, the governor was the most sought-after campaign surrogate in the state, if not the country.
Before the ads aired, polls showed the measure leading handily. But after the Arnold ad blitz, the initiative was defeated with more than 52 percent of the vote.
Now the tables have turned: It is the union-coalition aligned against the governor that is using Schwarzenegger in their ads. One labor coalition ad titled "Record" characterizes Proposition 74 as "another bad Schwarzenegger idea." Schwarzenegger's name or face--or both--appear on every frame.
Larry Grisolano, the lead consultant for the No on 75 campaign, says that prominently featuring Schwarzenegger is a useful tool for opponents of his initiatives.
"When they find out that he's behind [Proposition 75], they are less apt to believe it is providing new rights to workers," says Grisolano. "It is easier to understand that it's about weakening the political voice of nurses, police, teachers and firefighters."
This is not to say that the governor will be completely absent from the campaign airwaves. The campaign's ad buy on Univision is identified as only the "first round," with later advertising volleys potentially including the governor. And the campaign has already aired English spots centered around the governor.
In addition, Schwarzenegger has been crisscrossing the state, hosting invite-only "town hall" events to promote the special election. On Monday, Arizona Senator John McCain, who shares political consultant Mike Murphy with Schwarzenegger, joined the governor to campaign. McCain's appearance signals an attempt to rekindle the reformist mantle Schwarzenegger held
during the recall, and early in his first-term.
Part of that strategy, according to the conference call between campaign donors and strategists, is apologizing for Schwarzenegger's first-term shortcomings, namely saying things that were "more appropriate on Saturday Night Live" than for a sitting governor.
The campaigns' two main messages will be, first, that the governor's measures are needed to get the state's fiscal house in order and, second, that this election pits Schwarzenegger against pro-big government labor unions defending the status quo.
This week, the Schwarzenegger camp released an animated cartoon on their Web Site, featuring a pair of union bosses "shaking down" a schoolteacher for money. "Fighting reform is expensive," chortles one of the goons. Driving off, the license plate reveals that the total union spending against Schwarzenegger's agenda has topped $100 million.
"We've always known that the union bosses would say anything to preserve the status quo and would do anything to fight reform," adds Harris. "Now we know that they will spend anything to keep the system just the way it is in
|The state keeps taking in revenues at a faster rate than expected. September revenues were up $897 million from that month's forecast and for the fiscal year-to-date, California is up by $1.222 billion.|
You can read the latest report from the Department of Finance here
|Here are Capitol Weekly we just received a fax listing some of the endorsements for Proposition 78 (industry-sponspored) and against Proposition 79 (labor-sponsored).|
But on the No on 79 list was 11 chapters of the NAACP, including the cities of Oakland, Sacramento and San Jose.
Does anyone know why?
|In Los Angeles tomorrow, Sen. John Kerry will announce his opposition to Proposition 75 and his joining the Alliance for a Better California in opposing the measure.|
|Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, led all Republican freshman in terms of sheer number of bills sent to the governor (7) and had the highest percentage of bill go through the process among Republican freshmen Assemblymembers (35 percent).|
The members that struggled most were Mike Villines and Mimi Walters, both of whom had a single bill transmitted to Schwarzenegger, out of 13 and 18 introduced, respectively.
The lower percentage for almost all the Republicans in getting bills through the Legislature is a testament to the dominance of Democrats in the Assembly, where they hold 48 seats (after Ted Lieu's election) in the 80-seat chamber. Blakeslee is the only Republican to be successful more than one-quarter of the time, while Assemblyman Juan Arambula, was the only Democratic freshman to be successful less than 25 percent of the time (2 bills passed out of 17 introduced).
|Among first-year legislators, Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, was the most successful at getting his bill's through the legislature, getting a total of 13 bills to the governor.|
The top three lawmakers in terms of the number of personal bills transmitted to the governor :
1. Jones (13) – 13 ABs
2. Umberg (9) – 9 ABs
2. Nava (9) – 9 ABs (8 introduced, 1 gut & amend)
Jones introduced the third most bills among freshman, behind Assemblymen Klehs and Umberg, though Klehs, who had served in the Assembly many years ago, is arguably not a "true freshman," as they call it in college football.
Highest Number of Personal Bills Introduced:
1. Klehs (27) – 27 ABs
2. Umberg (25) – 22 ABs, 2 ABXs, 1 ACA
3. Jones (24) – 24 ABs
3. Torrico (24) – 22 ABs, 2 ABXs
3. Wyland (24) – 23 ABs, 1 ACA
Jones also led with the highest percentage of bills sent to the governor:
1. Jones (54.2%) – 13 / 24 Bills
2. Nava (50%) – 9 / 18 Bills (8 introduced, 1 gut & amend)
3. Karnette (46.6%) – 7 / 18 Bills (6 introduced, 1 gut & amend)
|Two days after Arizona Senator John McCain came to California, Gov. Schwarzenegger is going to Arizona to raise money. |
A group of nurses will protest “outside [the] Schwarzenegger corporate fundraiser” at the Phoenix home of Ed Robson at 5pm this evening.
|On a day that the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Maria Shriver has yet to publicly endorse the governor's reform package, the California first day will make an appearance on everyone's favorite daytime talk show--Oprah.|
But, the Chronicle notes, she won't be talkingn about her famous husband's politics.
Shriver, a former reporter for NBC News, will appear on the nationally televised talk show as a journalist to discuss "America's Invisible Poor" -- not the top-of-mind political agenda of her famous husband, who conducted 10 radio interviews alone Monday to pump up his lagging polls and fend off attacks from a barrage of negative TV ads regarding his special election agenda.
The Chronicle goes on...
Her appearance today on Oprah Winfrey's show will be in dramatic contrast to an earlier pre-election visit to her friend's TV stage. In September 2003, Shriver sat on the "Oprah" couch alongside her husband to proudly tout his family values and virtues -- and hit the stump statewide to make the case to millions of California women voters why her candidate-spouse, then battered by allegations of groping as he campaigned in the recall election for governor, would be good for the state.
|Gov. Schwarzenegger's office took the time today to issue a congrats to the Angels for making the American League Championship Series:|
"On behalf of the people of California, I want to congratulate the Angels for their Game Five victory over the Yankees to win the Division Series. Despite playing on short rest and after a difficult loss Sunday night, the Angels dug deep and got it done when it really mattered. Congratulations and good luck in winning the pennant."
Too bad they are no longer the California Angels--or even the Anaheim Angels. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? Really though.
And though they are from California, I can't ever root for the Angels. Ever. Not after they beat my San Francisco Giants in 2002.
The governor's campaign just released an animated cartoon on their website. It features an idealized school on a hill with the American flag flown high, when all of a sudden two union goons approach in a pickup, exit the car and enter the building.
It looks like its time for a shakedown. "Fighting reform is expensive," says unidentified goon number one. They go into the classroom, grab an innocent looking teacher, turn her upside down and violently shake her until the money stops coming. Then they drive off, with the license plate reading $100,000,000, the amount the Schwarzenegger camp is saying unions have spent opposing his agenda.
You can view the cartoon here.
|A new candidate has officially registered to run for secretary of state next year. |
His name: Forrest Hill.
His party: Green.
That is too good to be true.
|State senate candidate Alex Padilla (and current president of the Los Angeles city council) is taking on a new job this week: the presidency of the League of California Cities. The League, against Padilla's wishes, endorsed Gov. Schwarzenegger's Proposition 76 last Saturday. Padilla will face off in a hotly contested primary next June against Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez in the race to succeed Sen. Richard Alarcon.|
|Gov. Schwarzenegger is reaching out to talk radio listeners today with a series of phone calls:|
8 a.m. The Rick Roberts Show, KFMB, San Diego.
8:15 a.m., The Armstrong and Getty Show, KSTE, Sacramento.
8:30 a.m., The Eric Hogue Show, KTKZ, Sacramento.
11:15 a.m., The Al Rantel Show, KABC, Los Angeles.
11:40 a.m., The Larry Marino Show, KTIE, Inland Empire.
4:30 p.m., The Roger Hedgecock Show, KOGO, San Diego.
5 p.m., The John and Ken Show, KFI, Los Angeles.
5:15 p.m., The Larry Elder Show, KABC, Los Angeles.
7 p.m., The Inga Barks Show, KMJ, Fresno.
One interesting one to watch is the John and Ken show in Los Angeles. In one recent appearance on that show, Schwarzenegger made open his controversial support of the Minutemen. With John and Ken, as always, focused on illegal immigration the issue is likely to resurface today.