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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  • National NAACP bucks CA chapter, backs tobacco tax initiative
  • NAACP's Huffman assailed for tobacco, telecom payments
  • Schwarzenegger targets the 'ElimiDate Voter'
  • Legislators tap Sacramento interests for campaign cash
  • New York developer's eminent-domain crusade comes to California
  • Schwarzenegger's election-year olive branches
  • Dems, Gov. tapped same spots for campaign cash
  • Schwarzenegger has a special interest in Capitol-area money
  • Schwarzenegger's million-dollar woman
  • The kings and queens of the California political quotation
  • All about Phil: Angelides is strategist in own campaign
  • "Women of the year" married to men of Legislature
  • With new law, chase for campaign cash becomes family affair
  • High school student gives governor $44,600
  • Going to interview with CTA? Be sure to look into the camera
  • David Crane: Arnold's other Democratic adviser
  • The rise of the blogs: How the GOP uses the Web to organize

  • 1A: 76.9-23.1
    1B: 61.3-38.7
    1C: 57.4-42.6
    1D: 56.6-43.4
    1E: 64-36
    83: 70.6-29.4
    84: 53.7-46.3
    85: 45.9-54.1
    86: 48-52
    87: 45.2-54.8
    88: 23-77
    89: 25.5-74.5
    90: 47.6-52.4

    U.S. Sen.
    Feinstein 59.7
    Mountjoy 34.9
    Schwarzenegger 55.8
    Angelides 39.2
    Lt. Gov
    Garamendi 49.5
    McClintock 44.9
    Atty. Gen.
    Brown 56.7
    Poochigian 37.9
    Sec. of state
    Bowen 48.5
    McPherson 44.7
    Lockyer 54.8
    Parrish 37
    Chiang 50.9
    Strickland 40.1
    Insur. Comm.
    Poizner 50.7
    Bustamante 38.9

    For complete election results click here.

    Angelides 48.2
    Westly 43.1
    Lt. Gov
    Garamendi 42.9
    Speier 39.3
    Figueroa 17.8
    Atty. Gen.
    Brown 63.2
    Delgadillo 36.8
    Sec. of state
    Bowen 61.1
    Ortiz 38.9
    Parrish 56.4
    Richman 43.6
    Democratic primary
    Chiang 53.4
    Dunn 46.6
    Republican primary
    Strickland 40.9
    Maldonado 36.9
    Insur. Comm.
    Bustamante 70.5
    Kraft 29.5
    Supt. of Schools
    O'Connell 52.5, avoids run-off

    For complete election results click here.

    73: 47.4-52.6
    74: 45-55
    75: 46.6-53.4
    76: 38-62
    77: 40.5-59.5
    78: 41.5-58.5
    79: 38.9-61.1
    80: 34.3-65.7

    For complete election results click here.

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    Wednesday, November 30, 2005

    Shades of Gray?

    Gov. Schwarzenegger has picked former Davis top aide Susan Kennedy as his new chief of staff today. At his press conference this afternoon he made it official, and simultaneously tried to assuade the growing fears of his Republican base.

    "She's willing to take her Democratic philosophy aside," said Schwarzenegger, "and to do the job, and to fulfill my vision, and to work and to implement my vision."

    Implement my vision? Isn't that the infamous phrase Gray Davis used to describe the role of the Legislature.

    Maybe the Davis administration folks like Zingale and Kennedy already have a hold in the horseshoe.

    In his words

    Click here to listen to the governor explain his choice of Susan Kennedy in his own words.

    Stop Susie?

    And there is already an anti-Susan Kennedy movement afoot with a website urging her rejection.

    Speaking of websites urging action that is unlikely to happen, there is also a Draft Warren Beatty site.

    Also, Dan Schnur at the FlashReport considers whether the governor should pack his bags and leave the Republican party altogether.

    But there's less reason than ever for Schwarzenegger to jam himself into a political identity with which he is not comfortable. If Arnold is an independent, who supports Republican positions on some issues and Democratic positions on others, maybe his re-election campaign would be a good time to come out and say it. Then we'll see what the voters think.

    Chamber weighs in

    California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg:

    “I have the highest respect for Susan and know that she will be a terrific asset to Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration. Susan has consistently shown her ability to be a problem solver - and bring together competing interests in finding solutions.

    “Throughout her career in government, Susan has always sought to improve California’s economy.

    “I want to applaud the hard work and dedication of Pat Clarey, who has served the Governor and the people of California well over the past two years. Her leadership in the Governor’s office helped the Governor achieve successful resolution of issues important to improving California’s economy, such as landmark workers’ comp reform.”

    Nunez on CoS Changes

    “Today, I learned from media accounts that Governor Schwarzenegger has hired PUC Commissioner Susan Kennedy as his new Chief of Staff. I welcome Susan back to Sacramento.

    At the same time, I will certainly miss the leadership of Patricia Clarey. During two very unusual years Pat led the Administration with vision and vigor.

    It's a tribute to her character that she earned complete trust of leaders from both parties during a very fractious time.

    Pat’s vast professional skills are matched by a kind heart and a profound commitment to public service. I wish her the best of luck in all future endeavors.”

    More on Kennedy

    Here are some blog highlights on Kennedy:

    An email sent by the outgoing Pat Clarey to her staff.

    FlashReport's Mike Der Manouel, Jr. says he has already checked out of the governor's campaign next year.

    Marvin Lucas at HacknFlak "The hiring of Susan Kennedy should not come as a shock to you REEPS out thereliving in the Schwarzenegger fantasy-land. Every major player in the horseshoe is a Dem -- it has been that way since day one."

    The OC Blog asks what is Arnold smoking.

    Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin says, ARNOLD TURNS TO THE DARK SIDE.

    The folks at FlaknHack say this is an exciting development..

    And lastly SactoDan has a sarcastic Merry Christmas letter from the Governor.

    Mundell Out

    Bill Mundell, who took charge of parts of the Yes on 77 campaign earlier this year, and has long been rumored as the likely Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein next year announced today that he is not running.

    Mundell said: “In this post special election climate, it has become apparent to me that it will be difficult to raise the money necessary to conduct the type of campaign I want to run. I have said all along that, though I was willing to contribute meaningfully to my own campaign, I did not want to buy a U.S. Senate seat. It is unfortunate because our Senior Senator is badly under serving California, and is vulnerable with a properly resourced campaign. Now I will focus my efforts on shifting the debate in California through this citizen group.”

    Ire from the Right

    The angry among the Republican base for the choice of Susan Kennedy as Gov. Schwarzenegger's new chief of staff continues to boil. Steve Frank, a conservative activist, sent out a mid-week missive decrying the choice.

    Here's some highlights:

    In the phone calls I received tonight about her, the donors and the grass roots leaders now believe that the Governor is not running for re-election. They feel the Democrats won't support him, the Independents no longer trust him and the Republicans have lost trust in him. They also note the numerous other Davis top staffers like Bonnie Reiss and Daniel Zingale, the Chief of Staff for Maria Shriver, also a former Deputy Chief of Staff for Davis in top advisory positions in the Administration--but where are the leading Republicans--and will they stay --want to stay--or allowed to stay?

    One legislator I spoke with this evening flatly said that Kennedy has no credibility in representing Schwarzenegger to the Republican legislative caucuses. "What happens", he said, "when the governor needs GOP votes to pass the budget? Kennedy was one of those responsible for the massive deficits under Davis, why should we listen to her?" The question was also raised, how can she work with the GOP grass roots to give support for the measures of the Governor. Not only doesn't she know them, but due to her previous work, she was what these folks were working against.

    Of course, the issue should always be policy, not personality. But on these grounds there are problems as well. Just after November 8th the Governor announced he would rethink a raise in the minimum wage, would have the Democrats co-wrote the State of the State address and more. Complaints have been circulating for months now that in LA County, and other places, the Governor was top heavy with Democrats appointed to the bench. A Supreme Court appointment should be coming soon, will it be a version of Janice Rogers Brown or Rose Bird?
    All of this gives rise to the question, why should Republicans support the Governor for re-election? The unanimous answer from those who called or wrote this evening is that the Governor has decided not to run for re-election, that the Kennedy appointment, will take away any electoral base he could have for next November.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005


    [UPDATE]: John Howard at Capitol Weekly has the skinnyon the Kennedy appointment, including this great nugget:

    Kennedy decided to accept the chief of staff's position following lengthy meetings at the Hyatt, but she had been approached earlier by the governor recently in Los Angeles to take the job--but turned it down.

    She changed her mind after Schwarzenegger, who approached her anew to accept the post, agreed to give her broad authority over the staff. Schwarzenegger also had approached others to take the post, including former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, who turned him down.

    And also:

    Kennedy's hiring was the culmination of a five-hour meeting, sources said, at which Kennedy demanded--and got--sole authority over hiring and firing the executive staff.

    The simmering rumors around the Capitol have come to a full-throttle boil that Gov. Schwarzenegger will appoint Susan Kennedy, who help run the ship of state under Gov. Gray Davis, as his new chief of staff.

    Now the chief of staff's job is arguably one of the most powerful in the state, running the various departments and acting as the final go between for those who want to reach the governor.

    Kennedy is a Democrat.

    She worked for Davis, and Feinstein before him, and over at the FlashReport blog there are already rumblings of discontent in Republican circles.

    Fleishman opines:

    I am not sure how Governor Schwarzenegger expects Republicans to react to this appointment. This is not an appointment to some peripheral position in his administration. The Chief of Staff is the most central role on the Governor's entire staff.

    I think it would be premature to comment on a rumor, even a 'very confirmed' one at this point. But you can be sure that there will be a lot of questions, frustrations, concern and anger from the base if this turns out to be true.

    While Republicans are not a majority in California by a long shot, there are still many million of us out here. It doesn't seem plausible that there was not one person who could ably serve in this capacity who agrees with the Governor's general philosophy enough to register in the same political party as he does.

    More on this tomorrow.

    Rocky News

    More bad press for LA City Attorney (and Democratic AG hopeful) Rocky Delgadillo. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that "The head of the Los Angeles Housing Department complained in a letter released Monday that City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo's office failed to file criminal or civil actions in 275 rent-control cases, despite evidence that the ordinance was violated."

    Read the full story here.

    Runaway Production, Take Two

    At the end of legislative session last year, Gov. Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders (especially Fabian Nunez) tried to hammer out a deal of tax cuts for the movie production industry, saying that filmmaking was "running away" to other states.

    Well, the LA Times reports on the sagging movie industry, which may well prove more fuel for the "runaway production" tax cut fire.

    In October, for example, 40 of 81 feature films were shot in other states, 26 in Canada and other countries and just 15 were based in California.

    At the end of session (if memory serves me right) the Legislature circulated a letter signed by Senate leaders Don Perata and Dick Ackerman and Assembly leaders Kevin McCarthy and Fabian Nunez, as well as the governor, promising to return to the issue in 2006.

    Skelton In, Stall Out

    With the Los Angeles Times facing financial woes, the paper offered a buyout to columnist George Skelton, who has refused, according to the Capitol Morning Report. For the Capitol, that means the Skelton column will continue, though he is off this week.

    Bill Stall, who is the Times' Capitol Bureau editorial writer is the only Sacramento bureau writer knowne to be leaving. He won a Pullitzer last year. He will be "involuntarily" retiring.

    The Magic Touch?

    Phil Angelides is hoping that Earvin "Magic" Johnson will be a slam dunk for his campaign, announcing the endorsement this morning.

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    From the Right

    The Orange Punch blog is calling for right-wing challlenger to Gov. Schwarzenegger so he doesn't shift left before next fall's general election.

    Zogby on Schwarzenegger

    Zogby has conducted a post-election poll of California voters:

    Here is some of what it had to say:

    More damning for Schwarzenegger may be the fact that 43% believe people will be less likely to support an inexperienced celebrity for public office in the future, based on his performance to date.

    Ouch for Beatty and Reiner.

    Did Schwarzenegger, whose popularity Zogby polled at 37 percent, bring down his own initiaitves:

    Indeed, 49% of measure supporters and 44% of measure opponents indicate that the Governor’s support for the measures was “very important” in determining their vote.

    And that's bad news for an unpopular governor. As for next year...

    What can be read in the political tea leaves for 2006 coming out of this election? Despite the fact that the defeat on his key measures was viewed as a major defeat for Schwarzenegger, his core constituency may be intact. Among those who voted for all of the reforms, just 2% say the outcome of the balloting makes them less likely to vote for Governor should he run for re-election next year, while 47% are more likely to vote for him and half say it makes no difference. He splits those who voted for some and against other measures, with 22% of this group more likely to vote for him and 25% less likely to do so.

    Read the full results here.

    A Little Late?

    ElectionTrack just registered a donation to the yes on 73 campaign--three some weeks after the election--from The Matsonian Group for $9,850.


    Cunningham to Plead Gulity

    Check it out here.

    He doesn't like spending

    Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assocation, has a column on the FlashReport today decrying the governor's bond proposal. The HJTA is, more or less, the center of anti-tax thought in the state.

    Coupal does have one moment of selective memory:

    Think for a moment of the huge multibillion dollar surpluses Gray Davis enjoyed in his fist three years in office. If, instead [of] using the extra $28 billion to expand programs that mandate a permanent spending increase, the money had been put into one-time expenditures like building schools, the taxpayers would have been spared the expanse of repaying $25 billion – nearly $50 billion with interest -- in state school bonds over the next 30 years.

    Coupal doesnt' mention that Davis' "permanent" changes in the state budget also included tax cuts, most notably the steep cuts vehicle license fee, that continues to this day.

    Still, it is worthy of a read to see the conservative base rebelling from Schwarzenegger floating, as Coupal calls it, a "massive “infrastructure” bond trial balloon "

    Stuck Between a Rock and China

    If and when a governor goes on a trade mission, or a trip to "pump up" California's economy abroad, there is always a question of financing.

    No governor wants to take a jaunt on the far side of the earth and hold the state's taxpayers accountable for the bill. That wouldn't make those taxpayers very happy.

    And if the governor raises private monies (which most do, and Schwarzenegger did for his recent trip to China), then campaign watchdogs denounce the excursions--which are often paid for by donors whose donations are not fully disclosed--as junkets.

    Democrat and hopeful Schwarzenegger-nemesis in next fall's general election Phil Angelides is trying to take advantage of this today by proposing new diclosure rules and saying the governor should disclose the financial details of his trip.

    Good politics, perhaps, but on the Monday after Thanksgiving is that really the best timing?

    For Those Keeping Track...

    I haven't posted a statewide preview for this week because of the abbreviated Thanksgiving holiday break. And I took a holiday.

    Next Monday will feature the race for Insurance Commissioner and the following week will feature the governor's race.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2005

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Yes, it's a little early. Don't expect any postings for the holiday or on Friday.

    Have a great holiday.

    A Not So Clean Environmental Award?

    Yesterday, Gov. Schwarzenegger announced his annual "environmental leadership awards." No real news there. But one of the recipients was Pardee homes, a development company that according to a Capitol Weekly report, "is a major Schwarzenegger donor. The company has given $72,300 to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team in 2004 and 2005, along with another $22,300 to Schwarzenegger's reelection campaign in March."

    One of Pardee's signature development projects this year was rejected in Livermore by voters after the company spent millions trying to pass the pro-growth measure.

    The project of this "environmental award winning" company was opposed by the Sierra Club and Greenbelt Alliance.

    And in early October, Capitol Weekly also reported that "Pardee Homes held a press conference in Livermore saying it would include solar power in 100 percent of the homes it would build in the proposed Livermore Trails development. Nowhere in the local November ballot initiative, however, does it actually say that Pardee Homes would be required to install solar technology."

    At the press conference, supporting the Pardee development was Joe Desmond, chairman of the California
    Energy Commission and an appointee of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Now Pardee may be the model of sustainable practices, but donating to the governor, and then having the CEC Chair speak out for your project and then receiving a governor-given environmental award raises questions.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Padilla Steps Down

    Alex Padilla stepped down yesterday as LA City Council President yesterday and endorsed Councilman Eric Garcetti, saying he would devote his attention to his heated Senate battle with Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez.

    Montanez's campaign had this to say:

    While Padilla is attempting to claim that he is "stepping down" from the presidency to focus on his Senate race against me, it is clear that he had no choice but to resign or be voted out. This is nothing more than an unconditional surrender in the face of overwhelming opposition to his continued presidency.

    The LA Times reported that "Garcetti lined up the eight votes needed to become council president without Padilla's support, sources said. The endorsement, however, sets a timetable for a peaceful transition and heads off a potentially nasty coup."

    Keeping up with Knot Tyings

    This Saturday Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez is remarrying his ex-wife, and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be the best man.

    And last week, Alliance for a Better California top strategist (and Nunez's consultant) Gale Kaufman married as well.

    My name is?

    Few people in California know the names of candidates for statewide office next year, and those they know they tend not to like.

    Here's a run down from the latest Field Poll: (first number is name recognition then favorable then unfavorable)

    The Governor's Race:
    Arnold Schwarzenegger 92-38-54
    Rob Reiner 66-25-41
    Warren Beatty 64-16-48
    Phil Angelides 35-23-12
    Steve Westly 29-18-11

    The Lieutenant Gov's Race:
    Tom McClintock 53-35-18
    John Garamendi 49-28-21
    Jackie Speier 31-20-11
    Liz Figueroa 22-14-8

    Insurance Commissioner
    Cruz Bustamante 73-35-38
    Gary Mendoza 19-10-8
    Phil Kurzner 15-7-8
    Steve Poizner 15-5-10

    Attorney General:
    Jerry Brown 70-39-31
    Rocky Delgadillo 27-13-14
    Chuck Poochigian 14-8-6

    Bill Lockyer 48-29-19
    Claude Parrish 14-6-8
    Keith Richman 14-8-6

    Abel Maldonado 20-10-10
    Tony Strickland 18-7-11
    Dario Frommer 9-3-6
    Joe Dunn12-7-5
    John Chiang 14-6-8

    Secretary of State
    Bruce McPherson 28-19-19
    Deborah Ortiz 22-12-10
    Debra Bowen 17-10-7

    Spanish language commercials now standard for statewide campaigns

    The following first appeared in Capitol Weekly

    California political campaigns are taking notice of the state's exploding Latino population. On the air and on the ground, Democratic and Republican campaigns alike are targeting the state's fastest growing demographic, and trying to communicate with the Latino electorate in what for many is their native tongue--Spanish.

    As a result, Univision, by far the most watched Spanish-language television network (and in much of the state the most watched network, period) has begun flexing its political muscle. It is emerging as a gatekeeper to the state's most coveted political demographic.

    Political advertising on Spanish-language TV has tripled in the last three years, according to estimates from the TNSMI-Campaign Media Analysis Group, an organization that tracks campaign ads. Statewide, campaigns spent $2.2 million for spots on Spanish-language TV in 2003. That number more than doubled to nearly $5.3 million in 2004, and reached a record high of $7.3 million this year.

    The lion's share of those dollars went to Univision, the Spanish-language giant that, combined with sister-network Telefutura, controls as much of 90 percent of Hispanic market in parts of California.

    "This isn't your uncle Jaime's Mexican TV anymore," said Wayne Johnson, a Republican political consultant who believes that Latinos are a swayable segment of the electorate for the GOP. "If this were the 1980s, we would call [Univision viewers] the Reagan constituency. Today, that audience speaks Spanish."

    And, Johnson says, the best way for Republicans (and Democrats) to reach that audience is advertising on Univision, which in Los Angeles has more prime time adult viewers (18-49) than ABC, CBS and NBC combined, according to Nielsen Media Research's July ratings.

    But some skeptics question the efficacy of Spanish-language political advertising. They say Univision's audience, whose "backbone" as one observer put it, is first generation immigrants, is flush with viewers but short on voters.

    "I think it is terrific if you want to sell stereos; it is another thing entirely if you want to win votes," said André Pineda, a Democratic pollster, who has done Latino outreach. Pineda notes that only 18 percent of U.S. Hispanics voted in the 2004 election, meaning that, at best, only one-fifth of Univision's viewers are voters.

    Still, the advertising numbers don't lie: More campaigns are spending more money on Univision than ever before.

    Univision sources say that 2005 was their single largest year ever of California political advertising--and that 1998 is the only year to even come close. That year, Democrats had a contested gubernatorial primary (Al Checchi spent some $40 million, including buys on Spanish-language television), a full slate of constitutional officers up for election, and a controversial ballot measure, Proposition 227, which eliminated bilingual education and directly impacted California's Latino community.

    For the special election, industry sources say the governor spent around $2.6 million on Spanish-language television, with the Democrats and unions aligned against him spending another $2 million The pharmaceutical companies' spending on Spanish-language spots was in a similar range.

    Such spending, as far as Univision and its chief Spanish-language competitor Telemundo are concerned, has been a long time coming.

    "We started breaking through," said Manuel Abud, general manager of Telemundo in Los Angeles. "More and more strategists and politicians are realizing that my audience is also citizens and also voters."

    In 1994, Latinos compromised a mere 8 percent of the California electorate. But by 2004 Latinos made up nearly double that--14 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times exit polls. The U.S. Census now estimates that California is home to more than 12 million Latinos--just shy of 35 percent of the population.

    The numbers are even more startling in Los Angeles, where Latinos now are 47 percent of the population, and made up 22 percent of voters in this year's mayoral race.

    But therein lies the rub for campaigns: More and more Latinos are voting, but advertising on Spanish-language television reaches more and more nonvoters--and ad prices are set per viewer, not per voter.

    Parke Skelton, who was the lead consultant for Antonio Villaraigosa's mayoral campaigns in 2001 and 2005, says that in 2001, Spanish-language advertising was "a luxury we couldn't afford."

    "Univision is not cheap," says Skelton. "Rates on it are as high or higher than on English language media, which is why it is not always a great buy because at least half of the viewership are not able to vote."

    The Villaraigosa campaign, which overwhelmingly won the Latino vote this year, spent only 10 percent of its media budget on Spanish-language television, even though Latinos were Villaraigosa's base and comprised more than 20 percent of the electorate.

    "It is an allocation game," says Skelton.

    And Univision is an increasingly active player in that game. For the special election, the company commissioned an independent poll of Latino voters (and Univision viewers) that it circulated to both the Schwarzenegger and labor campaigns to drum up political advertising dollars.

    As the most popular prime time network in July among all adults (18-49)--regardless of language--in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno, Monterey, Bakersfield and Palm Springs (and #2 in San Francisco and Santa Barbara), Univision makes a powerful case that advertising on the network is the most efficient means to communicate with the Latino electorate.

    And studies have shown that advertising in Spanish is a more effective means of communicating with Latinos.

    In 2000, Roslow Research Group, a Latino marketing firm, published a study that showed that among all Hispanics, "English ads are 36 percent less-effective than Spanish ads in terms of communication." The study tested whether respondents could remember an advertisement's main message, a crucial measurement for political advertising.

    The pitch certainly worked for Gov. Schwarzenegger, who invested approximately $2.6 million in advertisements on Univision this year, despite the governor's own approval among Latinos plummeting to 18 percent, according to a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. Democratic cynics say the ads were a "kiss" to Jerry Perenchio, CEO of Univision, one of the governor's top donors.

    But Schwarzenegger is not the only 2006 statewide candidate to invest in Spanish-language ads. State Controller Steve Westly, a Democratic gubernatorial aspirant, spent around $250,000 on Spanish-language advertising for the special election--most of it on Univision, according to campaign manager Jude Barry.

    "You are sending a signal to the community that you value the community and you value the participation of voters in the community," said Barry.

    Univision's growing political clout results not only from the phenomenal growth of the Latino population, but their growing political engagement and the view, on both sides of the aisle, that Hispanics political preferences are not settled.

    And with 80 percent of the Spanish-language television market share nationally, there is no easier outlet than Univision to reach Latinos. Still, the premium campaigns must pay to reach Univision's audience (which was two and a half times larger than the next biggest station among adults in prime time this summer in Los Angeles) has been prohibitive.

    Richard Temple, a consultant who helped orchestrate the anti-Schwarzenegger media buying campaign, says, "When you are advertising on any show with a higher percent of voters, you get bang for your buck."

    But Univision, Temple says, has yet to prove that its viewers "are actually going to go to the polls and vote."

    Political ad-trackers are looking to next year's ballot measures and down-ticket statewide races as a harbinger of whether less well-heeled campaigns than the unions', the governor's and the drug companies' will still pony up for Spanish-language spots.

    Regardless, there is near consensus that with the Latino population surging and political-engagement on the rise, Spanish-language advertising is here to stay.

    "Spanish-language television is not getting its fair share of the political advertising," says Telemundo's Abud. "When that is happening the only way to go is North--for both us and Univision."

    Or as Carlos Rodriguez, a Republican pollster whose firm, Latino Opinions, has done work for Univision, says:

    "The sleeping giant is waking up."

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    Diebold and California

    For those anti-Diebold conspiracy theorists, today is not a good day. The Secretary of State has a hearing this morning on the proposed certification of a Diebold Voting System in California.

    Capitol Weekly Early This Week

    For those Capitol Weekly aficionados out there, be aware, the latest issue is coming out tomorrow, Tuesday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Try Try Again

    George Skeltons reports that anti-union, anti-tax advocate Lew Uhler wants to re-do the Prop. 75 campaign--next year. This time the proposal would be stricter.

    Maybe Republicans really do want to re-run the campaign every couple of years to drain union coffers.

    Read about it here.

    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    Slow News Sunday

    With the governor returning from China, the Legislature out of session, the special election more than 10 days away, news around the Capitol this weekend was scant, to say the least.

    Somebody ought to declare for some office to fill the vacuum.

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    That tax bad, My tax good

    Rob Reiner, political gadfly and proponent of next year's First 5 preschool initiative (has anyone else ALREADY seen ads about preschool!), has come out against another tax initiative.

    The tax, which would add $1.50 to a pack of cigarettes would generate nearly $1 billion per year for California hospitals.

    Reiner's initiative would raise taxes to pay for universal preschool.

    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Revenues on the Rise

    According to the lastest data from the Department of Finance, October revenues surged $478 million above forecast, meaning for the year-to-date, revenues are up by $1.696 billion over projections.

    Read the whole report here.

    Yosemite, Pot, and You

    Here is the incredible beginning to a SF Chronicle story this morning:

    Hikers in national parks such as Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon are encountering a danger more hazardous than bears: illegal marijuana farms run by Mexican drug cartels and protected by booby traps and guards carrying AK-47s.

    Apparently, the cartels are using national parks and other federal lands to grow their crop.

    California may have seized more pot plants this year than in year's past, but I guess the focus was not on national parks.

    Read the Chronicle story here.

    The Battle for 20

    It is, perhaps, the most Democratic legislative primary of 2006. The 20th Senate district pits L.A. City Council President Alex Padilla against Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez.

    Both candidates are still young--and have accomplished much in their brief careers. When Montanez joined the Assembly, she was the youngest member of that body. Ditto for Padilla and the City Council. And the two are jockeying for replace Sen. Richard Alarcon, who is termed out.

    Today, Montanez garnered the endorsement of the L.A. Firefighters.

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    Get Your Ballot On

    As has been reported for a couple of days, the Reiner preschool initiative has gathered the necessary 1 million signatures to qualify for next June's ballot.

    Times 'a Changing

    From the LA Times: The Los Angeles Times said Wednesday that it planned to eliminate about 85 newsroom jobs and an undetermined number of positions elsewhere at the newspaper to reduce costs in the face of sluggish circulation and advertising sales.

    Some of the newsroom cuts — which would amount to about 8% of the paper's editorial staff of 1,032 — already have been made through attrition. The rest will be achieved by Jan. 1 through voluntary employee buyouts and an unspecified number of layoffs,

    So how will that impact the Capitol staff of the Times?

    It's about how UC it

    For the fifth consecutive year, the UC regents hiked fees--this time by 10 percent.

    Univision is Numero Uno in California

    In today's Capitol Weekly, I have the first of a three part series on Univision, California top TV network--in any language.

    The media is splintering. The Internet is exploding. Network audience share is dwindling. Local stations across the country are scraping for viewers as ratings continue to slide.

    Every station that is, except Univision.

    In an era of media fragmentation, the country's most popular Spanish-language network is consolidating its iron-clad grip on the Hispanic market. Univision, and its sister network Telefutura, control more than 80 percent of Spanish-language broadcast market nationally. And in California, Univision is the unquestioned ratings king--in English, Spanish or otherwise.

    "In the Latino market, Univision is the equivalent of CBS and NBC combined at the height of their popularity [in the 1960s]," said Carlos Rodriguez, whose polling firm, Latino Opinions, has done work for Univision.

    This July, Univision was the most watched network in prime time among all adults (18-49) in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno, Monterey, Palm Springs and Bakersfield (and finished a close second in San Francisco and Santa Barbara), according to Nielsen Media Research, the TV ratings firm.

    Univision has such a dominant share of television-watchers that "on fifty-two nights last season, Univision was the #1 network in any language among 18-34s" nationwide. That was the message the company broadcast on Nov. 7 in full-page ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

    And that is just the start: Read the entire piece here.

    And there is a sidebar on the programming secrets that make Univision such a success.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Titled and Summarized

    The AG's office reports that several new initiatives have been titled and summarized. They ar:

    Healthcare for Uninsured Citizens. Tax Relief for Medical Professionals. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. (SA2005RF0095, Amdt. #1-S);

    Cigarette Tax. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. (SA2005RF0097);

    Tax on Cigarettes. Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute. (SA2005RF0098);
    Marriage. Elimination of Domestic Partnership Rights. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. (SA2005RF0100);

    Election Day Holiday. Initiative Statute. (SA2005RF0101);

    Invalidation of Domestic Partnerships. Marriage. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. (SA2005RF0102); and

    Marriage. Elimination of Domestic Partnership Rights. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. (SA2005RF0104).

    Read them here.

    A couple more initiatives have been submitted for title and summary, including four versions of "The Transportation Funding Protection Act of 2006” and another three strikes reform act.

    New Clearinghouse

    UC Berkeley just launched a new website that will serve as a clearinghouse for new studies on California. It is called the California Policy Inbox.

    Check it out here.

    Migden in the Mix

    Two weeks after Capitol Weekly reported this, the Westly campaign has released that Sen. Carole Migden will be joining his campaign for governor.

    Black is the new Red

    According to the latest LAO report, "Budgetary Outlook Has Improved . . . But State Still Not Out of the Woods." And for the first time in recent memory the January budget to be introduced by governor Schwarenegger will be able "to keep the state’s budget in balance in 2006-07 without any new program reductions or added revenues-even though current-law projected expenditures exceed projected revenues by $4 billion during that year."

    The LAO's Liz Hill says that the state will still spend $4 billion more than it will take in. The budget will be balanced, however, becasuse of revenues that are "up sharply."

    The future beyond 2006-07 is not as bright.

    "Even assuming continued steady economic growth, we project that multibillion-dollar operating deficits (that is, annual shortfalls between revenues and expenditures) will persist throughout most of the forecast period," writes Hill.

    That means next year will be relatively easy to balance the budget, and perhaps makes it the best opportunity yet to make long-term progress on the budget shortfall. Not that the Legislature or the governor will want to make those tough choices in an election year.

    California is now in at least year three of solid economic growth--and at least "moderate growth" is predicted for the duration of the LAO projections. So if the state continues to have economic growth and a deficit, what (dare I say) will happen the next time revenues fall short of projections?

    Read the whole LAO report here. It is, in my opinion, the most imporant read of the month.

    Your "Top Priority"

    There is something magical about those words in politics--"top priority". Because every time a politician utters them, the opposition begins looking for ways to undermine that priority.

    Senate Leader Don Perata has put a large target sign on next year's "top priority," a massive multi-billion dollar infrastructure bond to upgrade what he says are the the state's woefully inadequate road, port and levee systems.

    But being top priority may be more of a burden than a blessing. (Perata, it should be noted, has in recent days been joined by Gov. Schwarzenegger in pushing for such a bond).

    Last legislative session, Assembly Democrats torpedoed one of the Gov's top priorities, SB 1, the million solar roofs initiatives. In the months leading up to the contentious special election, many Democrats did not want to give the governor a "win" at a time when he had, as they saw it, declared war on them. And so they saddled the bill with hostile amendments until it was too heavy to float.

    Now next year there is no special, but top billing also means top target. Let's see how Perata's bond turns out.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    They Lost, He'll Win?

    Gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly trotted out two new endorsements today from Democrats with recognizable names: former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and former Democratic House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt.

    Daschle was ousted from the Senate last year in one of the most competitive races in the country and Gephardt's 2004 presidential bid never got off the ground.

    Among those who believe endorsements matter (which is hardly everyone), there are two schools of thought. One is that big-name endorsements are key (like Daschle or Gephardt, as the Westly campaign would argue) and the other is that more obscure and well-organized "ground game" groups are a better bet.

    The real question is whether two of '04s losers will they help Westly's '06 campaign get off the ground.

    More Borrowing: Priceless

    So in about ten minutes Mastercard representatives will be briefing leg staffer on “Debt Know How,” a program "to help constituents and others learn money management".

    Color me skeptical, but a know-about-debt program run by a credit card company sounds like a "when you borrow, borrow with us program."

    For Stupidity's Sake

    The LA Times has a Joel Stein commentary today on why voting last week was stupid. I would prefer to say this column is well, you fill in the blank.

    It begins: YOU WEREN'T one of those suckers who voted last week, were you? Wearing that dorky sticker on your chest all day like you just got named school safety guard? The first clue that you've been tricked into helping people in authority keep their power is when you're given a badge. It wasn't as though the bus driver slapped an "I Rode in the Front!" sticker on Rosa Parks.

    When you voted last Tuesday, you weren't making the world better. Giving blood, volunteering, donating, buying a car without an alarm — these are things that improve your community. At best, you got to promote your own belief system about eight issues, or — more likely — you promoted your belief system about one issue and randomly guessed on the other ones.


    So yesterday's analysis of the statewide race for secretary of state was remiss. I forgot the Green Party candidate with the golden name: Dr. Forrest Hill.

    Today, he is holding a press conference at 1500 11thst in Sacramento to discuss his "true reform" agenda for the office.

    In any case, any reader who sees a candidate, consultant, or great piece of info missing from a preview be sure to pass it my way.

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    If you miss the governor...

    Now you can listen to him in China.

    DiFi to Meet Alito

    California's U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is scheduled to meet with Pres. Bush's Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito tomorrow morning.

    Did You Know?

    Gov. Schwarzenegger is an official Special Olympics Global Torch Bearer.

    In a press release sent by the Gov's office, that title came before "California Governor:

    Beijing, China, November 14, 2005 - Today in Beijing, Special Olympics Global Torch Bearer and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined 700 Special Olympics athletes at a special event to celebrate the growth of Special Olympics in China, and to focus world attention on the upcoming Special Olympics World Summer Games, to be held in Shanghai in 2007.

    California Young Democrats

    The California Young Democrats gathered in Lake Tahoe over the weekend and endorsed State Treasurer Phil Angelides for the next governor.

    Secretary of State

    The race for secretary of state was not supposed to be one of the more competitive races in 2006. Kevin Shelley was swept into office as secretary of state in 2002, in a year that Democrats won every statewide office.

    But earlier this year Shelley resigned among a swirling storm of scandals, and Gov. Schwarzenegger was given the power to name his replacement. And suddenly the Republican Party, which held none of the eight statewide offices in early 2003, held two.

    Schwarzenegger appointed moderate former Republican senator Bruce McPherson, who was quickly confirmed by the Democrat-controlled legislator. And recently, McPherson officially established a campaign account—and faces no established primary competition for the nomination—making two him the second incumbent Republican running next year.

    The Democrats

    Two Senate Democratic women have thrown their hat in the ring to challenge McPherson—Deborah Ortiz and Debra Bowen.

    The Debra-Deborah battle is one of two next year where two female Democratic senators face off in a primary. In the race for lieutenant governor, Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont, and Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, square off against current insurance commissioner John Garamendi.

    All four women will be termed out of office next year. In fact, 16 of the legislature’s 37 elected women will lose their seats to term limits in 2006, with another 11 having terms that expire in 2008.

    Bowen has been the declared Democrat candidate for the office for the longest, announcing her intent to run soon after Shelly stepped down. Perhaps because of that, Bowen has already sown up the endorsements of 15 of the 25 Democratic members of the Senate, including the majority of women senators. But her campaign account remains relatively thin, with just under $250,000, as of June 30th.

    Ortiz has gathered more than $400,000 in contributions. In a letter dated Oct 4., Ortiz wrote to her supporters that on Sept. 15 she “took the first step to becoming California’s next Secretary of State.” Ortiz had previously declared her intent to run for insurance commissioner, but that primary would have pitted her against fellow Richie Ross client Cruz Bustamante.

    For months the whispers around the Capitol were that Ortiz intended to run for mayor of Sacramento in 2008. But instead, she wrote to supporters that secretary of state was the office for her.

    “I have held on to one guiding principle…people can change their own lives and the world we share through civic action,” Ortiz wrote.

    Capitol Weekly reported on the timing and surprising endorsement of EMILY’s List, which stands for “Early Money Is Like Yeast,” because it makes the “dough” rise, which is an organization committed to supporting Democratic pro-choice women—which both candidates are.

    As Capitol Weekly reported, Six days after [Ortiz’s] “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.

    The Republicans

    Once Bruce McPherson was appointed by Schwarzenegger as secretary of state any potential GOP primary competitive for this office dissipated. Many Capitol sources intimate that a major bonus of (and perhaps a reason behind) Schwarzenegger’s selection of McPherson was his viability as a statewide candidate.

    McPherson is a moderate Republican, who was well-liked on both sides of the aisle during his term in the Legislature and was a one-time editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. He has filed papers with, well, with his own office, declaring his candidacy, though he has yet to report any donations.

    That is likely to change. As the only Republican incumbent outside of Schwarzenegger, it would be surprising if McPherson didn’t draw at least moderate interest from party backers, even if he historically has been more moderate than much of the Republican base.

    Candidate: Debra Bowen
    Party: Democrat
    Current Job: State Senator, Redondo Beach
    Cash on Hand: $249,087.25, as of June 30.
    Consultant: Steve Barkan
    Campaign website

    Candidate: Deborah Ortiz
    Party: Democrat
    Current Job: State Senator, Sacramento
    Cash on Hand: $414,639.20, as of June 30.
    Consultant: Richie Ross

    Candidate: Bruce McPherson
    Party: Republican
    Current Job: Incumbent, Secretary of State
    Cash on Hand: $0 , as of June 30.
    Campaign website

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    The Royals of SF

    Last week, Prince Charles and wife Camilla visited San Francisco and met with Mayor Gavin Newsom. And in photographs of the event the price and mayor were each with their repsective wifes, including Newsom.

    But Newsom and his wife are separated--sort of--depending on the day, and number of cameras in the room, according to a fun little column by Matier and Ross.

    As for the photo, even the Chronicle caption writers appear confused. Here's what the caption reads:

    Prince Charles (right) talks with the mayor and Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom at de Young Museum. Chronicle photo by Mark Costantini

    Her name, but not wife of the mayor?

    Back to the Matier and Ross column, here's what Newsom's wife had to say:

    "All I know is Gavin and I once again had an incredible weekend, and he was happy to have me by his side,'' she said from New York.

    So are they back together?

    "If I was standing back and looking at the situation, I would say it went great -- these two people obviously love each other and get along very well,'' Guilfoyle Newsom said.

    "But I don't have an answer for you," she added. "We are not back together."

    Gumming up the Works

    And you thought only little kids didn't brush their teeth. Apparently the Army is looking into "combat gum" for soldiers out in the field without the time for proper dental maintenance.

    CNN (via AP) has the here.

    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    Nursing His Public Image

    After the 0 for 8 special election, Gov. Schwarzenegger may have to pick his political battles.

    And, administration officials clearly decided nurse ratios were not going to be one of them.

    The LA Times has the story here.

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Coming Soon...

    There will be updates over the weekend, as usual. But I also wanted to alert readers that on Monday I will post a preview of the race for secretary of state.

    Write-in Victory

    Donna Frye came close to winning a mayor's race in San Diego last year as a write-in candidate. But she lost. And she lost again this Tuesday.

    But in Michigan, one 18-year was just elected mayor as a write-in candidate.

    HILLSDALE, Mich. — When Michael Sessions ran for vice president of the Hillsdale High School student council last year and lost, he swore he'd make a political comeback.

    This week, the 18-year-old senior did so in a startling way: He was elected mayor.

    On Thursday, after officials reviewed each ballot, they announced — to the shock of many in town — that the teen, a write-in candidate, had beaten incumbent Douglas Ingles, 670 votes to 668.

    Read it all here

    New Appointee was Donor

    Gov. Schwarznegger just appointed JIm Berkus to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Berkus is an A-list Hollywood agent that gave Schwarzenegger $2,000 during the recall.

    Here's the release:

    Jim Berkus, 59, of Santa Monica, has been appointed to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. He is currently the chairman of the United Talent Agency. He formed Leading Artists Agency in 1981 and served as president for ten years. In 1991, Berkus merged Leading Artists with the Bauer Benedek Agency to form United Talent Agency where he continues to serve. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Berkus is a Democrat.

    Charting New Territory

    This morning's LA Daily News reports that:

    The state awarded about $8.3 million - nearly one-third of its grants to develop and open charter schools - to educators and community groups in underserved Los Angeles communities, the California Charter Schools Association announced Thursday.

    The money from the State Board of Education will help fund the start-up costs of 14 charter schools in high-need communities of Los Angeles and to two model charters that will share their program ideas with the entire public school system.

    On the Up and Up

    Fees at CSUs are on the rise again.

    Veterans Day

    The Capitol may be off today, but Capitol Weekly is still at work.

    And on this veterans day, I will point to a great little piece from last month's Bee about the role of the lowered flag to honor veterans.

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    Up in Smoke

    Attorney General Bill Lockyer is proudly announcing California's recording breaking pot crackdown year. The 2005 "Campaign Against Marijuana Planting" has seized, for the first time, a dime's worth, errr, more than a million pot plants.

    Leading the way is with ganja seizures is Shasta county with a whooping 214,00 plants taken into custody.

    People in Lake, Tulare, and Fresno are keeping it cool (or would have been) with more than 100,000 plants seized in each of those counties.

    But Alameda county (home of Berkeley) didnt even make the top 31.

    The estimate wholesale value of the seizures is $4.5 billion. (I had no idea pot had a wholesale and a retail value.

    With 73 percent seized on public lands, there has to be an argument, being made somewhere, that this is the solution to the state's perennial budget woes.

    Can anyone spell surplus?

    Mapping the Results

    Here is a map of the results for Proposition 76, the governor's spending initiatives. It looks like the governor not only lost the liberal coast, but the base and central valley.

    No Rest for the Weary

    And no, I am not talking about reporters heading to China with the governor. Senate Leader Don Perata is holding a fund-raiser later this week to raise money to put his infrastructure bond on the next June ballot.

    And, as the Weekly Roundup says, Only 209 shopping days left until the June 6 primary!.

    Big 5

    In about 20 minutes the legislative leaders of both houses will gather to meet with the governor in a Big 5 meeting, an increasingly common gathering of political bigwigs that once was used exclusively to hammer out a budget deal.

    Traditionally, the legislative leaders will be hounded as the exit the horseshoe (the name for the governor's office) by a gaggle of media-types hungered for every scrap of news the legislators throw their way.

    The world of slate mailers

    In this week's Capitol Weekly, I have a story about the world of slate mailers, where campaigns can hide who sent out the
    mail, where Democrats send slates to Republicans, and vice versa, all unbeknownst to most voters.

    Here's a snipet:

    Packaged to look like it is an official party platform, slate mail is, more often than not, produced by for-profit organizations that auction off their collection of endorsements to the highest bidder.

    In the waning weeks of a campaign, thousands of such mailers are stuffed into voters' mailboxes with innocuous and informative-sounding titles like Voter Information Guide..., Independent Voters League, and Your Ballot Guide.

    The slate mail operations take place deep in the trenches of campaign warfare. Every campaign observer and operative Capitol Weekly interviewed--on and off the record--decried them as one of the dirtiest elements of electoral

    Read the rest of it here.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    Day One or Round Two

    Today was press conference day. Don Perata held one. Fabian Nunez held one. Phil Angelides held one. Steve Westly held one. Rob Stutzman (Schwarzenegger's communications guy) held one. Barbara Kerr and the Alliance held one.

    And spin they did.

    There are two tacks to take in the day (and days to come) after the special election: bipartisan cuddling and more partisan warfare. It is unclear which direction Sacramento will go.

    During the waning weeks of the campaign Schwarzenegger aides told the LA Times that the governor, win or lose, would come back in 2006 and address some bipartisan reforms--like providing children's healthcare.

    But some of the unions, fresh from what can only be described as a clean sweep, are sniffing around for blood--trying to push an expansive Democratic agenda.

    After all, the victory yesterday did not change policy in Sacramento; it changed politics.

    As one Democrat last night wondered aloud, "Did we just accomplish great things? Or did we just stop bad stuff from happening?"

    And there are plenty of Democrats who, with a politically weakened governor, want to push what they see as "great things." So does Nov. 9 mark the beginning of a new year in Sacramento--or simlpy round two of a battle with Schwarzenegger that won't end until he is up for reelection next November.

    Online Only

    Check out Dan Schnur's post-election analysis at the FlashReport blog.

    Feinstein on Special

    Here's an excerpt:

    I cannot remember a California election where virtually every measure on the ballot went down. This is the most significant ‘no vote’ in modern political California history, and it ought to cause serious reflection by the Governor.

    More on the Results

    You can view all the election results here.

    In Los Angeles, the governor lost on every initiative (LA voted "no" across the board) in a county that he won in the recall.

    And what do Alpine, Imperial and San Francisco county have in common? They all voted in favor of Proposition 79--the only three counties in the state to do so.

    San Francisco is the only county to directly vote the Democratic slate. (no no no no no no yes yes)

    No county voted completely Arnold's slate (yes yes yes yes yes yes no no), but four counties came closest, El Dorado, Orange, Placer, and Sutter (which all voted yes yes yes yes yes no no no).

    California Special Election Results

    No No No No No No No No

    73 ---- 47.4 to 52.6
    74 ---- 44.9 to 55.1
    75 ---- 46.5 to 53.5
    76 ---- 37.9 to 62.1
    77 ---- 40.5 to 59.5
    78 ---- 41.5 to 58.5
    79 ---- 38.9 to 61.1
    80 ---- 34.3 to 65.7

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    Early Results

    State Ballot Measures
    2.8% ( 499 of 17657 ) precincts reporting as of Nov 8, 2005 at 8:05 pm

    Statewide Returns County Returns | County Status

    Propositions Yes Votes Pct. No Votes Pct.
    73 Y Minor's Pregnancy 253,101 52.8 226,530 47.2 Map
    74 Y Teacher Tenure 259,966 53.8 223,709 46.2 Map
    75 Y Public Union Dues 282,726 58.5 200,745 41.5 Map
    76 N Spending/Funding 223,422 46.3 258,258 53.7 Map
    77 N Redistricting 231,739 48.7 244,048 51.3 Map
    78 N Rx Drug Discounts 206,108 43.5 267,543 56.5 Map
    79 N Rx Drug Rebates 183,739 38.9 288,096 61.1 Map
    80 N Electric Regulation 169,175 36.5 294,304 63.5 Map

    That is mainly from Placer, San Diego and Santa Barbara

    Making Nice

    Democratic Senate Leader Don Perata on the special election:

    “Early turnout reports show voters are taking this election seriously. Regardless of the outcome, I believe we must all be prepared to turn the page quickly on this long and divisive special election and immediately start working together on the issues that matter most to California.

    I’ve already written to the Governor offering to join forces in fighting to protect California from potentially devastating cuts being proposed in Congress. I will also be sharing with him some concerns prior to his departure for China that any new trade commitments fully respect both future lawmaking authority and California's existing laws on environmental safety and public health. Additionally, Senate Republican Leader

    Dick Ackerman and I have already agreed to meet and discuss opportunities for bipartisan efforts in the coming year.

    Win, lose or draw for either side, it’s time for the Governor and the legislature to get back to the basics of what this state needs: better schools, sufficient health care, usable roads and affordable energy.”

    Tough to Vote

    Over at DailyKos, a dairy writer says that "Either voter disenfranchisement is currently occuring on a broad scale across LA County, or, our County's registrar of voters is completely incompetent and needs to be fired."

    Read it here

    New Gov. CoS

    According to FlashReport's Jon Fleishman, Schwarzenegger chief of staff Pat Clarey is on the way out. He has a list a of possible replacement here.

    Paper Tiger?

    The Contra Costa Times reports on the decling circulation of the SF Chronicle, which fell by nearly 80,000 subscribers on weekdays and 73,000 on Sunday, according to the latest circulation study.

    The report is here

    42, 43, or What?

    What will the turnout be today ? The Secretary of State Bruce McPherson predicts 42 percent. The latest Field Poll predicts 43 percent.

    Black publishers, angered by lack of political advertising dollars, sought 'special interest' ads

    The following first appeared in Capitol Weekly

    This year's special election will be the most expensive in California history, with spending topping $220 million. But as of mid-August, none of the multi-million dollar campaigns had committed a single dollar to advertising in the African American print media.

    Frustrated that the black press was losing out in a year of unprecedented political advertising, two-dozen black publishers gathered in Sacramento in mid-August to urge the campaigns to provide what they described as their "fair share" of advertising dollars.

    The meeting, titled "Black Media Forum: Securing Special Interest Ads," was called by the California Black Media Association and Assemblyman Jerome Horton of Inglewood. Representatives from labor, the governor, and insurance, banking and pharmaceutical industries were all invited; some attended.

    "When we went up there, we were looking at zero dollars [in committed advertising]," Hardy Brown, publisher of Riverside's Black Voice News and president of the California Black Media Association (CBMA), told Capitol Weekly.

    "And now the preliminary reports are over $700,000 spent on black media throughout the state." The CBMA represents 47 newspapers, most of them weeklies, five magazine and three radio stations.

    The meeting, according to its sponsors, had two goals. The first was to open the lines of communications between the black media and the big-money players in Sacramento. The second was to begin to tap those players for advertising.
    On both counts, it seems to have been successful.

    "In all the years I have been publishing, this has been the largest [in terms of political ads]," said Brown, who has published the Black Voice News for two and a half decades.

    Les Kimber, who attended the meeting and is the publisher of Fresno's California Advocate, says that this is the first time in history that he has had ads on both sides of an issue. That is, he says, "as it should be."

    "They advertise in the Fresno Bee, the Sacramento Bee--the white media. They ought to do the same in the black media," adds Kimber. Media buyers, however, note that the majority of campaign money is spent on broadcast media--which reaches across racial lines.

    The California Black Media Association was organized in December 2001 to collectively pressure the political class of Sacramento for California advertising dollars. The group, according to director Paulette Brown-Hinds, is "a political and promotional organization trying to lobby for the black press."

    CBMA president Brown and meeting co-sponsor Horton agree that, as Horton put it, "there has been a failure to engage the African American community" through advertising. But the two disagreed on where the advertising money should come from.

    Brown simply hopes to generate more new political ad revenue--from both sides of the aisle. While in Sacramento, Brown met with both Republican and Democratic legislative leadership in the Capitol as well as with the banking and insurance industry.

    Horton, a Democrat, hoped to use the "Securing Special Interest Ads" effort to specifically drum up Democratic advertising dollars, helping solidify support among blacks who have historically been Democratic constituents.

    "Over the last two or three campaigns, Democrats have not engaged the African American community in a significant way," says Horton. "The Republican Party is actively and aggressively developing an agenda and presenting it."

    Horton says he already sees the allegiance of blacks to the Democratic Party eroding. He points to last year's election where President Bush made major inroads in the African American community, compared to four years earlier.

    "[Democrats] need to communicate through the black media," implores Horton. "We need to advertise through the black media to communicate to the community."

    For Horton, the most significant guest of the forum was Larry Grisolano, the representative for the Alliance for a Better California, the labor coalition opposing the governor's agenda. (No representative of the governor's campaign attended).

    Grisolano, who is the chief consultant for the No on 75 campaign, the best-funded of the Alliance's efforts, said, "They made a strong pitch as for why we should advertise there."

    Before the meeting the Alliance had "a plan in place" for black print media--though no advertising dollars had been committed, according to Grisolano.

    Afterward, the Alliance contributed $311,978 to New California Media, an ad placement agency that reserves space in various ethnic media outlets. Multiple phone calls to New California Media to determine the exact amounts that went to black publications were not returned.

    "We made decisions on how to advertise on the merits," said Grisolano.

    When asked whether the black press got its "fair share" this year, Hardy quickly retorts, "Oh heck no. Not when you look at how much has been spent on statewide advertising campaigns and you look at the number of blacks in the state."

    Overall, the print media--black, ethnic, or otherwise--receives only a fraction of every statewide campaign's spending on political ads.

    La Opinion, the largest circulation Spanish-language newspaper in the state, reports receiving only $17,000 in advertising from the labor groups lined up against Gov. Schwarzenegger's agenda. And even those ads only began running only two weeks ago, in contrast to the television spots that have been inundating the airwaves for most of the year.

    "There is always lip service to our market on both sides," said Paulette Brown-Hinds, director of the California Black Media Association. "Everyone says they need us, they want to work with us but when it comes down to it we get very little."

    But with a new, more direct, more in-your-face approach, the publishers of the black press hopes to generate more revenue--and more respect.

    "This is just the beginning of marketing ourselves," said Brown.

    The story is posted here.

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    Migden Out

    Sen. Carole Migden, chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, is taking a leave from that job.

    Capitol Weekly has the breaking story here.

    Muscle Man

    Gov. Schwarzenegger, the body-builder turned politician (OK, OK, I had to start at least one post that way) is still bulking up his campaign account with money from the dietary supplements industry.

    In the last few weeks he has taken in $74,000 from Weider Health & Fitness, which produces supplements and advertises in some of the magazines Schwarzenegger still writes for.

    Padilla Committee

    The always active Los Angeles City Council President has established his own campaign account, only days before the special election, urging a No Vote 74, 75, 76 and 77. The only activity, thus far, has been a transfer from his own account.

    So why did he set it up at all?

    Check it out here.

    State Controller

    With current controller Steve Westly declaring his intent to run for governor early this year, the position of state controller immediately became one of the most up-for-grabs statewide offices. The field includes three Democrats and two Republicans—with no definitive front-runner. The office has not traditionally been a launching pad to higher state offices, but Westly, who largely self-funded his candidacy in 2002, is trying to change that.

    The Democrats

    If Steve Westly ran for reelection, he almost certainly would not have faced any opposition from Democrats in a primary. But when Westly announced his gubernatorial ambitions and Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced that he would seek the office of treasurer instead of governor, down-ticket Democrats began to shuffle around.

    Three, Sen. Joe Dunn of Garden Grove, Assemblyman Dario Frommer of Glendale and John Chiang, a member of the Board of Equalization, all left the race for treasurer and relocated to the race for controller.

    Perhaps, Lockyer’s $10 million campaign kitty had something to do with it.

    In fact, controller is the third statewide office that Sen. Dunn has declared for. Initially, the southern California lawyer declared for attorney general, but well-known former Governor Jerry Brown had him re-declare as a candidate for treasurer. At the time, Lockyer was expected to run for governor. When he didn’t (and instead announced for treasurer), Dunn re-re-declared for controller.

    Dunn is termed out of the Senate and looking for an elected office to continue to serve in. Frommer, who is currently a top lieutenant to Speaker Fabian Nunez and is termed out in 2006, still has yet to serve in the Senate.

    John Chiang, who serves as chair of the low-profile Board of Equalization, which deal with tax policy, is looking to move to a higher profile office. In a letter to supporters when he announced his candidacy, Chiang wrote, “I have concluded that my financial management and tax policy experience as the chairman of the State Board Equalization and a member of the Franchise Tax Board best suits me to assume the duties of State Controller.”

    None of the Democratic candidates have statewide name ID. And less than $200,000 separates the three in terms of campaign funds raised (no candidate has raised $1 million, as of June 30). By almost every account, the primary is wide open.

    The Republicans

    The race for the Republican nomination is a classic moderate-conservative duel. The moderate candidate is Sen. Abel Maldonado, the only Republican Latino senator, who represents the Central Coast.

    Maldonado is currently serving as co-chair of the governor’s efforts to woo Latino voters in the special election. Indeed, on several occasions Maldonado has appeared alongside the governor, most recently in August to announce new water and rest regulations for farm workers. Those appearance are driven, in part, by the fact that Maldonado is the Latino Republican elected to the highest office in the state.

    Running against Maldonado is former Assemblyman Tony Strickland, a conservative from Moorpark. He was termed out of office last year; his wife, Audra, replaced him in the Assembly.

    Neither candidate has raised much money (Maldonado has just more than $100,000 spread across three accounts, and Strickland is just short of $200,000).

    In a down-ticket race that is not likely to stir much media coverage (or campaign contributions) Strickland has the advantage of support among the more conservative grass-roots elements of the Republican Party. That support, historically, has been very important in Republican primaries in this state, where the more conservative candidate the more successful they have been.

    Still, Maldonado is likely to try to convince voters that he is a more viable general election candidate, as both a moderate and a Latino.

    As with the Democratic primary, this race remains wide open.

    Candidate: John Chiang
    Party: Democrat
    Current Job: Board of Equalization Member
    Cash on Hand: $679,996.99, as of June 30.
    Campaign website

    Candidate: Joe Dunn
    Party: Democrat
    Current Job: State Senator, Garden Grove
    Cash on Hand: $ 770,385.95, as of June 30.
    Consultants: Richie Ross

    Candidate: Dario Frommer
    Party: Democrat
    Current Job: Assemblyman (and Majority Leader), Glendale
    Cash on Hand: $ 854,192.61, as of June 30.
    Campaign website

    Candidate: Abel Maldonado
    Party: Republican
    Current Job: State Senator, Santa Maria
    Cash on Hand: $101,550.54, as of June 30.
    Consultants: Jim Nygren
    Campaign website

    Candidate: Tony Strickland
    Party: Republican
    Current Job: Former Assemblyman
    Cash on Hand: $190,598.38, as of June 30.
    Consultants: JohnsonClarkAssociates
    Campaign website

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Whirlwind Tour

    Gov. Schwarzenegger will make the most out of his last full day of campaigning. Here's the towns he will hit:

    9:00 am Chico
    10:30 am Roseville
    12:30 pm San Ramon
    2:15 pm Fresno
    4:30 pm Corona
    6:00 pm Orange
    9:00 pm Del Mar

    Poor Los Angeles

    I was watching KCRA's news at 6pm tonight and suddenly I felt bad for the residents of Los Angeles. No, there was no new natural disaster there. Just an unnatural amount of political ads.

    One commercial break began with a Yes on 75 ad, followed by the governor's quasi-mea culpa ad, followed by a No on 73 ad followed by a No on 74 ad.

    Then, back to our regularly scheduled special election news.\

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Raising McCain

    U.S. Sen. John McCain campaigned with Schwarzenegger today. Listen to his rebuke of Democratic politicians here.

    Good Timing

    I turned on my TV this morning to hear Maria Shriver narrating a feel-good charity event called the Best Buddies Challenged for those with intellectual disabilities.

    The nationally televised event is sure good timing the weekend before an election as she spoke about how wonderful a state California is.

    All an Act

    Warren Beatty and his wife Annette Benning spent much of today shadowing Gov. Schwarzenegger in what the coalition aligned against the governor called the "Truth Squad."

    And you wonder why other states roll their eyes at California.

    I remember during the recall visiting family in Virginia. The check-out guy rolled his eyes at some strange law in that state--but quickly recovered, saying, "Hey, at least we aren't California".

    He had no idea I was from this good ol' Golden State.

    The Reuters story is here, though it is hardly a fascinating read.

    The best part, without a doubt, is the photo of Beatty faux strangling Schwarzenegger spin master Todd Harris. I am waiting to read Harris' pun-on-strangling quote in tomorrow's paper.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Wrong Way?

    In the waning days of a campaign, contributions flow freely from committee to committee, candidate to candidate. But it is curious that money is flowing out of the Schwarzenegger-controlled California Recovery Team account, and the primarily formed Prop. 75 Employee Consent account.

    In campaign reports filed today the Governor transferred $500,00 to the California Republican Party and the Prop 75 account gave the state GOP another $200,000.

    Isn't that the opposite direction donations usually flow this time of year?

    24 Fitness Today

    In about ten minutes, Gov. Schwarzenegger will begin an event at 24 Hour Fitness in Sunnyvale, touring the facility and talking to voters about "his refom package."

    But a spokesman for the Alliance for a Better California points out that 24 Hour is also a major Schwarzenegger contributor. The company has given the governor a total of $35,000 with the latest $10,000 installment coming on October 16th.

    Perata Senda Letter to Gov.

    With California facing cuts from the federal budget, Senate leader Don Perata just sent off a letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger urging a united California front to beat back cuts.

    Here are some excerpts:

    Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

    Even though so much time and energy from all sides is being focused on the final days of the special election, there is an immediate concern that requires us to reach out and work together for the sake of California.

    Right now thousands of California women and their families are facing drastic and unconscionable cuts in a package assembled in Congress by the House Budget Committee. These cuts will likely be voted on next week and will cost California billions of dollars at a time when we simply can’t afford more hits.

    Among other things, the package reduces federal funds that aid our efforts to identify child support obligations and collect child support payments. Collecting child support is an important tool to help families stay off of more expensive government assistance programs. California stands to lose well over $3 billion of these funds over ten years if the proposed cuts go through....

    This is the kind of issue we should be focusing on, and focusing on together. I am contacting my Democratic colleagues in the congressional delegation to share these concerns; I assume you are making similar contact with Republican members. A phone call from you to Bill Thomas of Bakersfield, the Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, could aid in getting him to change course for the good of our state.

    I hope we can also present a united front to encourage business leaders, community groups and others to oppose these cuts....

    Don Perata

    Chamber on Votes

    The California Chamber of Commerce released their annual legislative vote record today. Interestingly, a brief glance through shows that no member of the legislature opposed the Chamber on every top priority bill. No Republican opposed the chamber more than twice (out of a sample between 12 and 15 votes)--and only two Republicans opposed the Chamber that many times.

    The most business-friendly Democrats were Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny, Sen. Mike Machado, and Sen. Dean Florez in the Senate, and Barbara Matthews, Nicole Parra and Juan Arambula in the Assembly.

    Check out the entire report here

    Getting Blood from a Stone

    A couple of months back, Gov. Schwarzenegger got a lot of flack in the media for his campaign event in Boston--where he asked for $100,000 to watch the Rolling Stones with him.

    But now the Democrats are tapping good ol' Mick for some money as well, with a fundraising with Pro Tem Don Perata and Speaker Fabian Núñez scheduled for this Sunday. Go--for the low low price of $5000, which is one-twentieth of what Schwarzenegger asked.

    International Ink

    Gov. Schwarzenegger and his special election get The Economist treatment.

    Raiding the Radio

    Gov. Schwarzenegger made another flurry of talk radio appearances this morning:

    8:05 a.m., The Bill Handel Show, KFI Los Angeles.
    8:15 a.m., The Lee Rogers and Melanie Morgan Program, KSFO San Francisco
    8:30 a.m., The Scott Cox Morning Show, KERN Bakersfield.
    8:45 a.m., The Morning News with Ray Appleton, KMJ Fresno.

    Minimum Wage

    After having Gov. Schwarzenegger veto an increase in the minimum wage two years in a row, Democratic Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (who sponsored the vetoed bills) said she would bring such an increase to the ballot next year.

    Well, the Attorney General just received three versions of a minimum wage initiative for title and summary.

    He was what the governor said in this year's veto message of AB 48 (minimum wage):

    It is essential to those working at or near the minimum wage that the adequacy of the wage is reviewed on a regular basis and raised when appropriate. The minimum wage has not been increased since 2002, and I believe it is now appropriate. This is a position I made very clear to the author. However, I have also made it clear that I do not support automatic increases to the wage that relieve elected officials of their duty to consider all of the impacts each increase to the wage will have on workers and businesses.

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Ninth and a Half?

    As part of the effort to reduce federal spending following the aid bills piling up surrounding Hurrican Katrina, the House Budget Committee today approved a breakup of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Running Statewide? Get on TV

    Tonight KABC in Los Angeles will broadcast a debate on the special election. But the participants look an awful lot like those running statewide next year:

    The Democrats:
    Bill Lockyer (running for Treasurer)
    Steve Westly (running for Governor)
    John Garamendi (running for Lieut. Governor)
    Rocky Delgadillo (running for Attorney General)

    The Republicans:
    Keith Richman (running for Treasurer)
    Tom McClintock (running for Lieut. Governor)

    The lone appearance by a non-candidate is Schwarzenegger on-leave Finance Director Tom Campbell.

    Blogs as Speech?

    There is an interesting article in the Mercury News today about efforts to define the role of the blog in the complex world of campaign contribution regulations.

    Check it out here.

    Talk Circuit

    Gov. Schwarzenegger continues to reach out to talk radio audiences today with appearances on the Armstrong and Getty Show and the John and Ken Show.

    By the Numbers (Redux)

    I have posted all the latest poll numbers in the left-hand column of the page.

    The Federal Budget and You

    The California Budget Project has released a report on wha the latest federal budget cuts (in the wake of Katrina) mean for California.

    The left-leaning budget analysis group has this to say:

    Eight House committees have adopted proposals to reduce spending in a range of federal “entitlement” programs, as well as other spending. Net reductions total approximately $50 billion and affect programs ranging from child support to student loans. House leaders have defended the proposed reductions as necessary to offset the costs of Katrina-related relief efforts and reduce the federal deficit. However, the proposals would take a significant toll on programs that affect low-income families and children without scaling back the benefits of recent tax cuts that were largely targeted at the wealthy.

    Read the whole report here.

    New in Print

    Democrats give money to slate mailer that calls for passage of three Schwarzenegger initiatives

    With the special election less than a week away, campaigns are using every available tactic to lure potential voters to the polls. For the No on 77 campaign, that includes bankrolling a direct mail piece sent to Republicans urging a "yes" vote on three-quarters of Gov. Schwarzenegger's special election initiatives.

    The mail piece, which was enclosed in an official-looking envelope with the words "JURY DUTY IS GOOD CITIZENSHIP" printed on the outside, urges Republicans to "Support Arnold's Reform Agenda, but Vote No on 77," which is the governor's redistricting initiative.

    "They are just trying to trick Republicans into thinking some
    Republican-oriented group is supporting all of the governor's initiatives," said Steve Poizner, who is heading up the efforts to pass Proposition 77.

    A slate-mailer group called the Citizens for Good Government, which has received $610,000 from the No on 77 committee and only $50,000 other groups, according to the latest filings with the secretary of state, produced the piece.

    Tom Kaptain, whose group created the mailer, claims that every initiative campaign contributed to the mailer, though current state records only identify two committees contributing.

    "We are a committee for No on 77 and our main concern is defeating
    Proposition 77," said Stephanie Williamson, a spokeswoman for the No on 77 campaign. "We are trying to exercise the most effective means to doing that."

    Does that mean a Democrat-funded committee is willing to subsidize a mailer urging Republicans to vote yes on Propositions 74, 75 and 76?

    "I wouldn't say we paid for it. I would say we bought on to that slate," said Williamson.

    The lion's share of the No on 77 committee's money came from Hollywood producers and Democratic mega-donors Stephen Bing ($4.25 million) and Haim Saban ($100,000). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, has herself donated $25,000 the committee, and helped corral donations from many of her congressional Democratic colleagues.

    But nowhere on the mailer does Bing's name, or any of the Democratic donors funding the piece, appear because the mailer was sent through an independent slate mailer committee.

    "Congressional Democrats are using clever techniques like going through slate houses to obscure who sent the mail," says Poizner. "There is no way they would send mail to Republicans if they had to disclose who paid for it."

    The focus of the mailer is clearly advocating a "no" vote on Proposition 77.

    "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Reform Agenda will bring a breath of fresh air to Sacramento," says the mailer. "Arnold deserves our thanks and gratitude. But Republicans should fear 3 randomly selected volunteer retired judges (with political prejudices) having all the power. No on Proposition 77!!"

    The piece goes on to quote Rep. John Doolittle, the only California
    Republican congressman to openly oppose the initiative, and a Republican State Senate caucus briefing book.

    According to Kaptain, the choice to include the No on 77 side in the slate mailing was strictly a business decision.

    "The people who are running the Yes on 77 campaign, they have purchased space on my slate in the past," said Kaptain. "By the time the Yes on 77 campaign said they were interested I was already committed on that measure." Poizner says such "business" decisions show Kaptain to be "a mercenary willing to sell any position on any issue to the highest bidder."

    "I find that whole part of the campaign industry distasteful," he said.

    The more than $600,000 the No on 77 committee spent on the Citizens for Good Government mailers is the organization's second largest expenditure, after a $2.25 million television ad buy. That ad features Judge Wapner, a former Los Angeles Superior Court judge better known as the man with the gavel in television show "The People's Court," urging voters to oppose Proposition 77.

    As for the controversial jury duty summons theme on the mailer's envelope, Kaptain says, "That's been done for years, going back to the 1940s as a way to get people to take a look inside the envelope. There is nothing immoral or illegal about doing that."

    Kaptain says his direct mail organization, still has three more slate mailers to mail out.

    "Shouldn't people who got that mailer understand who is paying for that piece?" asked Steve Poizner, who is heading up the governor's effort to pass Proposition 77. "Voters have a right to know who is paying for propaganda like that."

    The above first appeared in Capitol Weekly

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    T-Minus 6 Days

    The election is less than a week away. And ads are inundating the airwaves. I had my television on last night for an unusually long amount of time and in nearly every commercial break there was at least one political ad--and that is in Sacramento, which is not the campaign battleground central of Los Angeles.

    Top Donors

    The Chronicle's John Wildermuth takes on the mammoth task of compiling the top donors in the $300 million special election. Here is his list.

    -- California Teachers Association (Oppose Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $56.6 million
    -- California State Council of Service Employees (Oppose Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $16.1 million
    -- Pfizer (Support Prop. 78): $9.9 million
    -- GlaxoSmithKline (Support Prop. 78): $9.8 million
    -- Johnson & Johnson (Support Prop. 78): $9.8 million
    -- Merck & Co (Support Prop. 78): $9.8 million
    -- Arnold Schwarzenegger (Support Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $7.25 million
    -- Amgen (Support Prop. 78): $4.7 millio
    -- Abbott Laboratories (Support Prop. 78): $4.6 million
    -- Bristol-Myers Squibb (Support Prop. 78): $4.5 million
    -- Novartis Pharmaceuticals (Support Prop. 78): $4.5 million
    -- Aventis Pharmaceuticals (Support Prop. 78): $4.5 million
    -- Wyeth (Support Prop. 78): $4.5 million
    -- Eli Lilly (Support Prop. 78): $4.5 million
    -- Stephen Bing, producer (Oppose Prop. 77): $4.5 million
    -- SEIU Local 1000 (Oppose Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $4.1 million
    -- William Robinson, former DHL owner (Support Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $3.75 million
    -- California Federation of Teachers (Oppose Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $3.6 million
    -- California Correctional Peace Officers Association (Oppose Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $3.5 million
    -- Alex Spanos, Stockton developer (Support Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $3.25 million
    -- Jerry Perenchio, Univision CEO (Support Props 74, 75, 76, 77): $3 million
    -- PACE of California School Employees (Oppose Props 74, 75, 76, 77): $2.1 million
    -- Constellation Energy Group (Oppose Prop. 80): $1.3 million
    -- California Professional Firefighters (Oppose Props 74, 75, 76, 77): $1.3 million
    -- Steve Poizner, Silicon Valley executive (Support Prop. 77): $1.25 million
    -- Voter Registration and Education Fund (Oppose Prop. 77): $1.1 million
    -- Wal-Mart Stores and family (Support Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $1 million
    -- Small Business Action Committee (Support Prop. 76): $1 million
    -- Association of California School Administrators (Oppose Props. 74, 75, 76, 77): $1 million

    78 and 79

    The backers of Proposition 79 are celebrating the low poll numbers of Prop 78 (see below) and are holding a press conference today. They are making available their TV spot "Drug Companies Think Californians are Idiots.”

    In it, they boast that the cost only $500 to produce.


    By the Numbers

    The Los Angeles Times released their first and only poll of the special election:

    Proposition 74 - Tenure
    Yes: 45%
    No: 47%

    Proposition 75 - Union Dues
    Yes: 40%
    No: 51%

    Proposition 76 - Budget Control
    Yes: 31%
    No: 60%

    Proposition 77 - Redistricting
    Yes: 34%
    No: 56%

    And the Field Poll followed up yesterday's numbers

    Proposition 73 - Abortion
    Yes: 41%
    No: 49%

    Proposition 78 - Pharmaceutical Drugs - Industry
    Yes: 36%
    No: 45%

    Proposition 79 - Pharmaceutical Drugs - Consumer/Labor
    Yes: 37%
    No: 43%

    A different poll by Stanford University/Hoover Institution/Knowledge Networks had dramatically different results. That poll did not allow for undecided voters.

    Proposition 73 - Abortion
    Yes: 58%
    No: 42%

    Proposition 74 - Tenure
    Yes: 53%
    No: 47%

    Proposition 75 - Union Dues
    Yes: 64%
    No: 36%

    Proposition 76 - Budget Control
    Yes: 45%
    No: 55%

    Proposition 77 - Redistricting
    Yes: 55%
    No: 45%

    Proposition 78 - Pharmaceutical Drugs - Industry
    Yes: 51%
    No: 49%

    Proposition 79 - Pharmaceutical Drugs - Consumer/Labor
    Yes: 50%
    No: 50%

    Proposition 80 - Electricity Regulation
    Yes: 46%
    No: 54%

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Hammer Time

    Over at FlashReport, the blog has this little gem about Congressman John Doolittle.

    Rep. John Doolittle introduced a new lapel pin for Republican Members in Washington. The pin, a tiny hammer, is being sported by Members and staff to show their support for Tom DeLay as he fights off the attacks from Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle. DeLay's communications director, Kevin Madden, mused that some Democrats were wondering where he found the tiny hardware store to buy them.

    Feinstein on Larry King

    Sen. Diane Feinstein will appear on Larry King Live tonight at 6:30-7 Pacific. According to the release, she will discuss the Valerie Plame investigation and the implications for the White House, how we got into the war in Iraq, and today’s Senate closed session.

    T-Minus 7 Days

    The special election is a week away.

    Reiner to Phone Bank

    Flimmaker and political gadfly Rob Reiner will phone bank tomorrow with the Alliance for a Better California to encourage voters to vote no on Proposition 75.

    It's Never Too Early...?

    Is it too early to talk about measures on next year's ballot?

    Next year, Rob Reiner will be pushing an initiative to expand (or, rather create) preschool for all California children. And a new study from UC Berkeley shows mixed results for the impact of such a program.

    The Chronicle has the story here.

    Playing theField

    Here are the results of the latest Field Poll:

    Proposition 74 - Tenure
    Yes: 44%
    No: 50%

    Proposition 75 - Union Dues
    Yes: 40%
    No: 50%

    Proposition 76 - Budget Control
    Yes: 32%
    No: 60%

    Proposition 77 - Redistricting
    Yes: 32%
    No: 61%

    Proposition 80 - Electricity Regulation
    Yes: 24%
    No: 48%