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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    Monday, July 31, 2006

    Rogan to the bench

    In an odd release, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today that he intends to appointed former Congressman James Rogan to the Orange County Superior Court.

    It's odd only because usually the governor releases his appointments, not his intent-to-appointments.

    Either way, Rogan, who made his name during the Clinton Impeachment as a young questioner on the House Judiciary Committee and Commerce Committee, will likely be on the bench later this year.

    Clean Money

    Over the weekend, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Proposition 89 "endangers labor-business truce".

    A cease-fire between California business and labor groups that followed last year's contentious statewide special election is threatened by a November ballot proposition that would establish a system of public financing of state political campaigns.

    But that doesn't quite seem right, particularly after the shop of Gale Kaufman, the California Teachers Association's political consultant sent out an email today announcing a business and labor coalition working together to stop Prop. 89. Indeed, the only major union backing the measure that I know of is the California Nurses Association.

    Here's what Kaufman Campaigns had to say:

    A diverse coalition of business, labor and nonprofit community groups is building to fight Prop. 89, a deceptive initiative filed by the California Nurses Association. Prop. 89 is poorly crafted initiative that would silence the voice of businesses and non-profit groups. Significant portions of similar measures in other states have been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court."

    People quoted in the release include Allen Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, Bill Hauck, President of the California Business Roundtable, and Larry McCarthy, President of the California Taxpayers Organization and Barbara Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association.

    The threat of publicly financed campaigns--and the possibility of weakening the hand of top unions and business groups--has actually brought labor and business closer together.

    Saturday, July 29, 2006

    Being with Blair

    Looks like this weekend both state Treasurer Phil Angelides and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. At 5:30 today, Angelides will host a press avail.

    Then, on Monday, Schwarzenegger and Blair will sit down for a roundtable discussion about greenhouse emissions followed by a joint press conference.

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    On display

    The LAO has released the ballot arguments for the November initiaitves for their display period and Secretary of State Bruce McPherson has them here.

    Common Cause, League of Women Voters to back Prop. 89

    Proposition 89 is the Clean Money initiative placed on November ballot by the California Nurses Association. The measure gained the backing--not surprisingly--of both Common Cause and the League of Women Voters yesterday.

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    The blackout blackout

    For the third weekday in a row the state's peak power usage approached 50,000 megawatts, but the lights remain on. Looking at the ISO System Outlook the state is out of the woods for today, as demand wanes in the evening.

    Not only that but temperatures have begun to cool.

    That's good news for California, but not quite as good for Team Angelides, which yesterday sent out a missive advertising today's campaign event in Los Angeles with the preface "With continued blackouts throughout the state..."

    But those blackouts never materialized.

    Dan Walters considered this morning whether Angelides might be hoping for an outage:

    Does that mean that in his heart of hearts, Angelides hopes the heat wave will morph into a gigantic natural disaster that will damage Schwarzenegger's standing and slow what has become a political juggernaut? Only he could answer that question.

    And Team Schwarzenegger fired off a missive (they come daily during the week), tagging Angelides for his pessimism.

    "I guess this is the most we can expect from a pessimistic campaign that sits around crossing its fingers for a power blackout," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Matt David in a statement.

    Angelides has been trying for a couple of weeks to ride Schwarzenegger and the news cycle to more, and more positive, coverage but he seems to have overreached this week.

    Let them eat popsicles

    Ok, so I generally don't post entire press releases but this one that just came over the wire from Roger Salazar and the Democratic party is a gem:


    The Governor’s office released a fact sheet yesterday with tips on how to survive California’s heat wave.

    Listed among the suggestions are these gems of public policy genius:

    “Dress in lightweight loose fitting clothing.”
    “Encourage frozen treats such as ‘Popsicles’ between meals.” (Fact Sheet: Tips from State Agencies on How to Survive the Heat, Governor’s Office, 7/24/06)

    Californians are suffering a record-breaking heat wave that has already caused death, brownouts and threatens the capacity of our energy infrastructure. “Gripped by a 10th straight day of 100-degree heat, California sweated out the possibility of more blackouts Tuesday as the number of suspected heat-related deaths climbed to at least 38...” (A.P., July 25, 2006)

    While Californians are struggling to deal with the heat and the state is in desperate need of a long-term comprehensive energy plan that includes conservation strategies and investment in renewable fuels…our Governor suggests muu-muus and popsicles.

    “While California is burning, Arnold is fiddling,” said Roger Salazar, Communications Director for the CDP Victory 2006. “Instead of marshalling the state's emergency resources, he's bouncing around in a campaign bus and suggesting we eat popsicles."

    BTW - The Governor also ordered state agencies to keep all thermostats at 78 degrees, a practice he himself ignores.

    According report in the Sacramento News and Review, “A source at the state Department of Conservation (DOC) recently described…the deep-freeze conditions instituted in honor of a recent visit from the Governator to the Renaissance Tower at 801 K Street. ‘Due to Schwarzenegger’s scheduled visit to the 20th floor of the department at 10:30 this morning, the building temperature was reduced to 60 degrees Fahrenheit ‘because that is the way the governor likes it…’” (Sacramento News and Review, July 15, 2004)

    No word on whether he ordered a dozen fudgesicles for the room.

    Mexico a no-go

    Gov. Schwarzenegger's office announced today that he is postponing his trade mission to Mexico, originally scheduled for August.

    Here's the statement from press secretary Margita Thompson.

    "In consultation with former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and after talking to President Fox, Gov. Schwarzenegger felt it was appropriate to reschedule his trade mission in November. President Fox shared the Governor's desire to allow Mexico to concentrate on concluding its election before we conducted the trade mission. The Governor looks forward to a successful trade mission later this year."

    McClintock's picks

    Sen. Tom McClintock, running for lieutenant governor, has announced his campaign team. The campaign is run by the same folks behind McClintock's 2003 bid for governor during the recall.

    John Feliz is campaign director, Stan Devereux is communications director, Jim Evans will do mail, Igor Birman will do fund-raising, and Lerelei Kinder will serve as political adviser.

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Angelides up

    The latest Zogby poll has Democratic challenger Phil Angelides ahead of gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Angelides: 44%
    Schwarzenegger: 42.3%

    Find the full poll here.

    Power grid

    With the record heat (and it is damn damn hot), power-watchers are keeping a close eye on the state grid.

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    Gov. endorses Prop 84

    Gov. Schwarzenegger today endorsed Proposition 84, the $5.4 billion environmental bond, which increasingly looks like a negotiating coup pulled off by Schwarzenegger and leading legislative Democrats to get around a balky Republican minority unwilling to borrow to fund environmental priorities.

    The bond, which includes $580 million for sustainable communities, $500 for parks and nature education centers, $540 million for coastal and beach protection and more than $900 for rivers lakes and streams, drew almost no support in the legislative GOP minority.

    GOP members had demanded that any bond include money for surface storage--better known as dams. Democrats refused and both sides agreed to drop the enviro/water bond altogether--all the while signature were being gathered to place a bond on the ballot with all the Democratic priorities--and more.

    Here's what Steve Maviglio, said to me last month in Capitol Weekly:

    "Republicans were opposed to a wide range of natural-resources programs in the original bond," says Steve Maviglio, deputy chief of staff to Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles. "It was pretty clear that the smartest strategy was to eliminate them, knowing this bond was coming down the line."

    Núñez and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, were among the first to endorse. And on Friday, the governor joined them.

    "This initiative ensures that the environment remains a key component of California's Strategic Growth Plan. Proposition 84 will help preserve California's incredible coastlineand natural resources for generations to come," said Schwarzenegger in a statement. "I look forward to working with environmental and legislative leaders to build on this initiative to expand California's water supply infrastructure."

    Not so nonpartisan

    Today, the Angelides campaign reported the maximum $22,300 donation from Machinists Non-Partisan Political League.

    That doesn't sound all that nonpartisan to me.

    Of growth and politics

    Gov. Schwarzenegger held a press conference today and one of the highlights was the governor touting 11,000 new jobs in California in June.

    "I have good news. I love coming into this office, I have to tell you, in the morning with good news, like we just found out that we have gained another 11,000 new jobs in California this last month. So this is really great, so our unemployment has gone from 5 percent down to 4.9 percent, so this is why I'm smiling again. Every day I'm smiling. We've got all great news."

    But the Angelides campaign quickly fired back with Schwarzenegger quote from the 2005 State of the State Address:

    If a politician tries to take credit for job growth, don't believe it.

    Here's what Team Angelides had to say:

    Continuing his pattern of doing and saying the opposite of what he’s done and said before, today Governor Schwarzenegger is claiming credit for (anemic) job growth. Despite the election year posturing and rhetoric, job creation in California under Schwarzenegger continues to lag. In June, job growth nationwide ticked up nearly 40%, while growth in California fell.

    Expect a Angelides-is-negative e-mail retort from Team Arnold in the next several hours.

    Angelides mishap

    The Bee has the storyof yesterday's rear-ending of the Treasurer.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    In a frenzy

    Over at the Sac Bee, readers are commenting like crazy on the news that there is an accord for a Kings stadium.

    Signed, sealed and made into law

    The governor signed the following bills today. And, even in California, sometimes GOP bills make it into law. In fact, the majority of bills signed today (8-7-1) were Republican.

    AB 1203 by Assemblymember Gene Mullin (D-South San Francisco) - Manufactured housing: sales.
    AB 1781 by Assemblymember Dennis Mountjoy (R-Monrovia) - Highways: victim signs.
    AB 1787 by Assemblymember Rebecca Cohn (D-Saratoga) - Protective orders: service.
    AB 1834 by Assemblymember Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City) - The California Date Commission.
    AB 2042 by Assemblymember Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) - Trustees: removal.
    AB 2083 by Assemblymember Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) - Emergency medical services: automatic external defibrillators.
    AB 2126 by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) - Enforcement of judgments.
    AB 2164 by Assemblymember Jay La Suer (R-La Mesa) - Local law enforcement: supplemental services.
    AB 2236 by Assemblymember Ira Ruskin (D-Redwood City) - Los Trancos County Water District.
    AB 2257 by Committee on Business and Professions - Psychologists: records retention.
    AB 2439 by Assemblymember Johan Klehs (D-San Leandro) - Taxation: refunds: direct deposit.
    AB 2559 by Assemblymember John J. Benoit (R-Palm Desert) - Vehicles: driving under the influence: manslaughter.
    AB 2615 by Assemblymember Van Tran (R-Garden Grove) - Information relating to victims of sex offenses.
    AB 2648 by Assemblymember Barbara Matthews (D-Tracy) - Pesticides.
    AB 2705 by Assemblymember Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) - Victims of crime: information card.
    AB 2885 by Assemblymember George Plescia (R-San Diego) - Medi-Cal: benefits: prescribed drugs.

    If you had the money...

    Would you spend $100,000 on lunch? or dinner?

    Here's portions of the invites to Schwarnegger's swank event with Bush the Elder.

    Singleton to head AP

    LA Observed has the story.


    Gov. Schwarzenegger keeps trying to put a wedge between himself and the President just as Angelides tries to lasso the pair together.

    Today, Schwarzenegger officials are holding a briefing on stem-cell research this morning, the day after President Bush's veto of stem-cell legislation, which Schwarzenegger supported.

    Then, the governor said how much he loved Al Gore's latest flick, An Inconvenient Truth, yesterday.

    New in CW 07.20.06

    This week Capitol Weekly has a special section on transportation. The one non-trans story I've got is below:

    Bermudez leads the term-limits two-step

    This week, Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez, D-Norwalk, became the latest poster child for legislators trying to stay in office. First, he filed a petition to recount the votes in his razor-thin loss to fellow Assemblyman Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, for state Senate in June. Second, he filed paperwork to run for the Assembly again--in 2012.

    That would be six years, two gubernatorial and two presidential elections away. According to the secretary of state's office, no other candidate has filed papers to run for any office in the state in that election cycle.

    "It is just to move the money around. It is just a placeholder," says Bermudez. "It's a placeholder. It's placeholder. It's placeholder. I don't think there is much of a story there."

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Letters to George

    Yesterday (see below), I posted that the letter Gov. Schwarzenegger sent to President Bush about stem cells was one sign of how difficult it will be for Angelides to tie the two together.

    Well, today, Team Angelides fired back. In a e-mail titled "Letters to George," they ripped into the letters a political theatre, saying "what Schwarzenegger's letters to George really show is just how weak Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is."

    Nearly every day, the "action" Governor seems to send a letter to the White House in lame attempts to distance himself from the President he campaigned for in Ohio and spoke so highly of at the Republican convention. Although you'd never know it, this is the same Governor that said of George Bush on "Hannity & Colmes," "I've seen firsthand of the effectiveness that we have, the leadership that he has provided over the last few years..He's a terrific leader ... I think he's doing a terrific job." The same governor who told Fox News (On The Record With Greta Van Susteren, October 16, 2003), “I can tell you one thing, that there is no greater ally that this Golden State has in Washington than our president, my dear friend, President George W. Bush.”

    The letter ends: "Fighting for California means more than writing letters to the President that Schwarzenegger helped send back to the Oval Office. Governor, you can run from George Bush, but you can't hide."

    Schwarzenegger no help for mods

    Ventura County Star columnist Tim Herdt has an interesting piece on how Gov. Schwarzenegger has not helped fellow moderate GOPers.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Gov to Bush: Sign stem cell legislation

    Today, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger showed Team Angelides why it will be hard to tie the California governor to the unpopular-in-California President George W. Bush.

    In a sharply worded letter released to the press core, Schwarzenegger urged Bush not to veto legislation moving through Congress that would create the opportunity for more federally funded stem-cell research.

    "I urge you to join the majority of Californians and Americans who support stem cell research by signing into law legislation currently under consideration by Congress to expand federal funding for this vital, emerging field," wrote Schwarzenegger.

    The governor went on to describe Bush's promised veto as a "disastrous message to limit the role the federal government must play in pursuing the most promising forms of basic scientific research."

    He ended the brief letter with, "Mr. President, I urge you not to make the first veto of your presidency one that turns America backwards on the path of scientific progress and limits the promise of medical miracles for generations to come."

    Audit the CSU

    Just when you thought the UC compensation debacle was losing its head of steam...a CSU story pops up. Today, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez called for a JLAC audit of CSU compensation practices. Here's what he said:

    “I’m deeply troubled by allegations that former high-level CSU officials have been given dubious positions after their tenures, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars to do no discernable work while students have seen their tuition rise almost 30 percent in the past three years. I am hopeful that an audit will let the sun shine on these allegations.”

    He is asking JLAC to consider the audit on the August 9th.

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    The absentee-minded voter

    Secretary of State Bruce McPherson officially certified the June vote today. Here's the stats:

    The 33.6% statewide turnout represents 5,269,142 total ballots cast. Of that total, 2,471,358 votes were cast by absentee ballot, which represents 46.9% of the votes cast.

    I guess those "I voted" stickers aren't as popular as they used to be.

    Angelides backs Jessica's Law

    Democratic challenger for governor Phil Angelides endorsed Jessica's Law this morning and added a six-point plan to deal with sexual predators.

    “As a husband and the father of three daughters, I will do everything in my power to protect Californians from sexual predators,” said Angelides. “On Governor Schwarzenegger’s watch, sexual predators have been allowed to live without supervision near schools and parks. I will put sexual predators behind bars where they belong and will ensure that those who have been released get the tough supervision needed to protect our community and our families”

    Levee bond: Where the money goes

    AP writers Aaron Davis and Samantha Young have a story about where the money in the levee bond would go. And it doesn't sound so good.

    an Associated Press review of the bond has found the measure requires voters to take a leap of faith that the state will spend the money the way lawmakers have promised.

    An extensive examination of the measure, reviews of state and federal studies, and interviews with two dozen water experts, lawmakers and environmentalists have revealed the bond lacks core details about how, when and where the money should be spent.

    Lawmakers rushing to assemble the bond as part of a wider package of public works improvements on the November ballot largely avoided those tough questions, leaving the details to future lawmakers.

    Without those components, the bond measure fails to answer how soon the hundreds of thousands of Central Valley residents and the critical freshwater supply guarded by 2,300 miles of levees might be protected.

    In what some experts say is the bond's most open-ended question, it provides little more than a sketch for how the state would rank and allocate billions of dollars for levee projects. At best, experts say, the process would be based on scientific studies but still run the risk of becoming politicized. At worst, it could allow deep-pocketed developers to sway decisions and build even more homes in flood-prone areas.

    Angelides crime event

    At 10am in an event in Los Angeles, Phil Angelides, alongside L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, will make a "major annoucement" about his plan to deal with sex offenders.

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Yippee kayee

    Gov. Schwarzenegger will make an appearance as the honorary grand marshal of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo this evening at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

    A little down

    The Department of Finance reports that revenues were $59 million below forecast for the month of June.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Maldonado apologizes

    Backtracking from his previous criticism of the governor, Sen. Abel Maldonado issued the following apology today.

    “I apologize to Governor Schwarzenegger for my public comments to the Los Angeles Times. The Governor and I have worked together for the past three years on important issues beneficial to California's Latinos. I will continue to support the Governor in his efforts to strengthen California.”

    Of Abel and Arnold

    As I pointed out here and here, Sen. Abel Maldonado has been increasingly distant with the governor.

    That came to a head in yesterday's L.A. Times story, where Maldonado ripped into Schwarzenegger on-the-record.

    Hours after Schwarzenegger's appearance with Latino supporters, the state's highest-ranking Latino Republican, Sen. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria, questioned the governor's loyalty to Latinos.

    "Our governor cares about one thing only, and that's Arnold Schwarzenegger," Maldonado said in a telephone interview requested by his staff.

    Maldonado, who lost the Republican primary for state controller last month, said he was disappointed that the governor declined to support his candidacy.

    At Schwarzenegger's request, Maldonado had sponsored a bill to raise the minimum wage, a move that irked conservatives in the primary. "I kind of felt like I got left holding the bag," Maldonado said.

    The senator also said many Latinos thought Schwarzenegger had shown "a lack of respect" with the Latino community by spending too little time in Mexico. Schwarzenegger has visited Mexico twice as governor and plans to visit again before the election.

    "When he needs Latinos, Latinos are always there for him," Maldonado said. "When Latinos need him, the answer's been no."

    Now Jon Fleischman takes Maldonado to task for his comments.

    Maldonado has no ideologically consistent ground on which to stand in his new jihad against Arnold Schwarzenegger. And since he cannot make a credible argument that he has policy disagreements with the Governor, then clearly his problem is personal. Which leads us to an obvious place. This is one big case of sour grapes. The Governor didn't endorse me, and I lost. (I hear a baby crying in the background - or is that the Senator?). Grow up. Guess what? The Governor didn't endorse Tony Strickland in the primary either.

    New in CW 07.13.06

    Perata to oppose Jessica's Law

    On Wednesday, Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, announced that he will oppose Jessica's Law, the sex-offender initiative, if the Legislature passes alternative legislation authored by Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-San Jose. With the announcement, Perata becomes the first major Democratic politician in the state to oppose the measure.

    Jessica's Law's no-live zone is bone of political contention

    A November initiative to toughen penalties and place new restrictions on where past sex offenders can live essentially would make the city of San Francisco a sexual-predator-free zone, according to maps produced by the Senate Office of Research.

    New York developer's eminent-domain crusade comes to California

    Howard Rich may live in New York, but he has waded deep into California politics. The multimillionaire developer, and president of U.S. Term Limits, has bankrolled California's eminent-domain measure to the tune of $1 million. But the money is only one front in Rich's national crusade against eminent domain, an effort that spans more than a half-dozen states and millions of dollars.

    New York developer's eminent-domain crusade comes to California

    The following first appeared in Capitol Weekly today

    Howard Rich may live in New York, but he has waded deep into California politics. The multimillionaire developer, and president of U.S. Term Limits, has bankrolled California's eminent-domain measure to the tune of $1.5 million. But the money is only one front in Rich's national crusade against eminent domain, an effort that spans more than a half-dozen states and millions of dollars.

    "We have the ability to, in effect, bypass legislatures by going directly to the people through the initiative process," says Rich from his New York office.

    Through a web of organizations, Rich is backing eminent-domain initiatives in Arizona, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma and Washington with $4 million--though no state has received as much financial support as California. In each of these efforts, Rich himself is never disclosed as a major donor. Instead, he steers his contributions through nonprofit intermediaries, such as the Fund for Democracy, which he is using to finance California's Proposition 90 campaign.

    "I think California often leads the nation," says Rich. "It is the largest, most populous state and it is very important to us that property rights be restored there."

    But the influx of out-of-state money pushing measures to amend state constitutions across the country has angered many local activists.

    "They are backed by an organization that is chaired by a New York real estate developer and that makes you wonder who is going to benefit," says Aaron Toso, spokesman for the campaign against Washington's eminent-domain measure. "Obviously if people don't live here they wont have to pay the extra taxes and sit in the extra traffic."

    Here in California, opponents of the eminent-domain initiative are also accusing Rich of pushing his unwanted, out-of-state agenda on the state's voters.

    "The fact that this one guy from New York, an out-of-state multimillionaire, has decided, 'I know what's best for the nation and I am going to tell all the state's how to do things right' … that's offensive," says No on 90 spokeswoman Kathy Fairbanks.

    But Kevin Spillane, spokesman for Yes on 90, defended Rich's contributions.

    "This is really a grassroots, populist issue. It is one of the government, the political establishment taking advantage of power against the little guy," says Spillane, who adds that the campaign has raised money from more than 5,000 individual donors in California since Rich's contribution. "It is very much a California-driven issue and we are busy raising money from Californians to fund it."

    But ultimately it was Rich's money that pushed the issue onto the November ballot.

    Earlier this year, Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, tried to gather signatures to qualify his own eminent-domain measure--one that was far less sweeping than what is now Proposition 90. But McClintock's efforts failed due to a lack of funding. McClintock could only secure pledges totaling $1 million. He credits Rich with providing the money needed to bring the issue before the voters.

    "They were able to raise the money to qualify their initiative. I was not," says McClintock, who has endorsed Proposition 90. "I learned during the car-tax initiative that if you don't have the money lined up before the signature gathering, you shouldn't start."

    So who is the man behind Proposition 90?

    He's certainly no stranger to California politics.

    As far back as 1990, Rich recalls making a small contribution to California's original term-limits measure, Proposition 140. In 2002, when then-Senate leader John Burton, D-San Francisco, placed a term-limits extension on the ballot, Rich responded by corralling a $1 million donation for the campaign against the measure, through an affiliate organization, Americans for Limited Terms, less than three weeks before Election Day.

    "The bad guys were very surprised by that funding at the end," remembers Rich.

    For Rich, the "bad guys" have always been incumbent politicians and those seeking to expand the reach of government.

    A former libertarian party activist (he officially left the party in 1983), Rich has deep roots in limited-government politics. He sits of the board of directors of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C., and he is the chairman of Americans for Limited Government, a national coalition dedicated to smaller government.

    His wife, Andrea, until recently owned the libertarian Laissez Faire bookstore in New York, and in 1990 he and his wife acquired the Libertarian Review Foundation and renamed it the Center for Independent Thought. He and his wife also have been financial backers of Reason, a leading libertarian monthly magazine.

    In 1992, Rich bought the Citizens for Congressional Reform, then a leading term-limits advocacy group. He quickly reorganized the group as U.S. Term Limits, with himself as president, and heaped $1.8 million on various state term-limit campaigns by the end of the year, according to Common Cause.

    "My interest is in restoring property rights, in term limits, and in capping state government spending at some reasonable limit," says Rich, whose Americans for Limited Government is also sponsoring spending measures in eight states this year.

    Rich calls term limits his "first love." But since the Supreme Court's decision last year that expanded the right of government to seize private property for public use, his focus has been on reducing government's ability to use eminent domain.

    Here's what his network of political committees and nonprofits have done:

    In Missouri, Rich donated more than $1.3 million to gather signatures for two measures, one of which would limit government spending, the other to limit eminent domain, through Americans for Limited Government. But both measures were tossed from the ballot by the secretary of state, though a pending lawsuit is challenging that decision.

    In Arizona, the Rich-run Americans for Limited Government has contributed $650,000 to qualify an eminent-domain measure.

    In Idaho, Rich's Fund for Democracy, the same nonprofit that donated in California, contributed $237,000 to help qualify an eminent-domain initiative.

    In Nevada, the eminent-domain effort, titled PISTOL, or the Initiative to Stop the Taking of Our Land, lists only a single endorsement on its Web site: Americans for Limited Government. The campaign's most recent filings do not list a Rich-backed organization as a donor.

    In Washington, an eminent-domain measure that qualified for the fall ballot this week has received $200,00 from Americans for Limited Government.

    In Oklahoma, Americans for Limited Government contributed $55,000 to a group called Oklahomans in Action that pushed for an eminent-domain initiative, though the state's supreme court struck down the measure last month because it dealt with multiple subjects, a violation of the state constitution.

    In Montana, a group with a near-identical name, Montanans in Action, has qualified a trio of measures for the fall ballot, including one limiting eminent domain. Americans for Limited Government gave the group a $25,000 loan, according to newspaper reports, though the organization has refused to disclose its donors.

    In May, Montanans in Action--formed in the least populated state in the union--donated $600,000 to the eminent-domain campaign in California, the nation's most populous state.

    Rich denies that he is the man behind for Montanans in Action. "That is a completely separate group," he says, though the Montana organization's spokesman, Trevis Butcher, has close ties to Rich's Americans for Limited Government as the past chairman of the campaign to keep Montana's 8-year term limits.

    There are also records of recent e-mails between Butcher and John Tillman, president of Americans for Limited Government, and Paul Jacobs, the only staffer listed at U.S. Term Limits other than Howard Rich.

    Those records were obtained by Helena attorney Jonathan Motl, who is considering filing a complaint with the state's campaign finance commission to force the group to reveal its donors.

    "I am working on that right now," says Motl.

    Rich has ruffled some feathers in South Carolina politics as well, skirting the state's contribution limits with multiple donations to Gov. Mark Sanford. Since December, nine separate maximum donations of $3,500 have been made to the governor by individuals and businesses with ties to 73 Spring Street, New York, N.Y., where Rich's Fund for Democracy is headquartered. Rich is not among the declared donors.

    Supporters of the eminent-domain movement acknowledge that Rich's money has played a role in the nationwide debate over property rights. But they say the issue is so important--and so popular--that the push to strengthen property owners' hand against the use of eminent domain would still be occurring without Rich's financial backing.

    "Certainly he has provided the seed money to qualify these initiatives, but it would be a mistake not to recognize the tremendous grassroots appeal," says McClintock.

    Bills to limit the scope of eminent domain have sailed through 27 state legislatures since the Supreme Court decision. And 43 of the 44 state legislatures that have convened since the ruling have at least considered legislation to limit the taking of private property, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    But opponents of the ballot-box eminent-domain measures, both in California and elsewhere, see Rich as a major--and negative--driving force.

    "The ironic thing about what he is doing is he is as guilty of the same overzealous abuses that he accuses government of," says Fairbanks. "If this should pass, one of the consequences is that we are going to see lawsuit after lawsuit filed--and guess who is the loser in that? The California taxpayers, not Howard Rich."

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    "The governor's cabinet secretary is sort of running errands for the CCPOA president"

    The AP has the story on John Hagar, the special master who reports to U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson, and now wants the power to conduct a full investigation into Schwarzenegger and his relations with the prison system.

    In a hearing, Hagar described Susan Kennedy, Schwarzenegger's chief of staff, as "in the pocket" of the CCPOA, the prison guards union.

    "Really what the meetings are all about (is) 'You do a favor for me, I'll do a favor for you,'" Hagar said during Wednesday's hearing. "The governor's cabinet secretary is sort of running errands for the CCPOA president."

    Ask 'em

    Gov. Schwarzenegger is hosting his second online Q&A, this time with Mercury News reporter Kate Folmar picking the questions. The 30-minute event is happening here at 3pm.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    Where's Abel?

    Gov. Schwarzenegger has just trotted out his long list of Latino supporters that comprise his "Hispanic Families for Arnold." But there is one prominent Republican missing: Sen. Abel Maldonado, the only Latino GOPer to run statewide this year (he lost the primary for state controller to Tony Strickland) and a close ally of the governor in the Legislature, who carried the governor's minimum wage bill.


    It looks a little like Gov. Schwarzenegger is dovetailing his appointments, campaign, and state appearances nicely this week.

    Today, the governor appointed David Lopez to the board of education, a capper on a two-day swing courting Latino voters.

    Lopez, who has previously served as president of the National Hispanic University in San Jose, comes on top of yesterday's appearance at the 2006 National Council of La Raza Annual Conference and only a half-hour before Schwarzengger hosts an event in Lynwood, California to announce his coalition of Latino supporters, dubbed "Hispanic Families for Arnold."

    Maybe all the attention on the Latino vote is one reason that Schwarzenegger's office would not acknowledge that the governor skitted off to D.C. for an event at the White House last night.

    Westly 2010?

    Internet squatters, start your engines. In Steve Westly's first interview since losing the Democratic primary, he has not ruled out running for governor again in 2010.

    So buy that Web site.

    Monday, July 10, 2006

    They lost, they'll be back

    Two losers in the June Democratic primary have filed papers to make runs for different offices in 2008. Assemblyman Johan Klehs, who lost a three-way bruising primary to Ellen Corbett for a seat in Senate District 8, has filed papers to run in 2008 for SD9...the district currently held by Senate leader Don Perata, who will be termed out.

    Sen. Liz Figueroa, who also a three-way primary for lieutenant government, has filed papers to run in 2008 for AD 20, currently held by Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, who is not termed out until 2010.

    Making hay with Mulholland

    So Angelides adviser Bob Mulholland is still somewhat in the news for making a comparison between Gov. Schwarzenegger and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. The Bee's Buzz column has an update. And the Schwarzenegger camp has sent out another quote poking at Angelides for Mulholland's faux pas.

    This from Schwarzenegger spokesman Matt David:

    It's clear Phil Angelides isn't ready to run the largest state in the nation when he can't manage a single member of his campaign staff. He acknowledged that the comments coming out of his campaign were offensive, but he failed to stop his senior aide from defending them

    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    Angelides to stump for infrastructure

    Democratic gubernatorial challenger Phil Angelides is scheduled to make a Bay Area stop on Monday to campaign for the infrastructure bond package on the November ballot. Angelides has said that he supports the bonds, but this, as far as I can tell, will be the first appearance he is making in which the bonds will receive central billing.

    The $37 billion bond package, which is a pared down version of the infrastructure proposal Angelides' opponent, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger presented in January, presents a political tightrope for Angelides. First off, the bipartisan package has been Arnold's chief policy accomplishment this year, after he struggled to work with Democrats in 2005's so-called "year of reform". No one wants to tout the accomplishments of their opponent.

    Second, it is awfully hard for Angelides to go into an election saying Yes on Schwarzenegger's bonds, No on Schwarzenegger. Sounds eerily like Yes on Bustamante, No on Recall...which didn't work so well.

    In any case, Angelides appears Monday with Sen. Don Perata and Assemblywoman Wilma Chan at the Port of Oakland to urge that voters support the bond package. It will be interesting to see if such events will continue as Election Day nears (because who, really, is paying attention right now).

    Friday, July 07, 2006


    The New York Times is reporting that Redding, California "has remade itself and is becoming a destination".


    Kim Jong-Il?

    The Drudge report is reporting that Angelides adviser Bob Mulholland has compared Gov. Schwarzenegger to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il.

    Bob Mulholland, senior advisor to Democratic nominee Phil Angelides, aims for controversy this morning, saying: "With North Korea leader Kim Jong-Il back in the news, it reminds me that he and Schwarzenegger have something in common. Both have their shoes specifically made to add a couple inches of lift. What we don’t know is does Kim Jong-Il have his shoes made by Schwarzenegger’s shoemaker in Italy."

    Aint no anti-tax pledge to him

    Yesterday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged to not raise taxes in his second term as governor. But Phil Angelides, who has promised to raise taxes on corporations and high income earners to balance the budget, says the governor has already raised "taxes" under different names.

    “As Governor, Schwarzenegger has backed more than $2.5 billion in taxes and fee increases that heavily burden middle class families, young people and seniors while protecting corporate tax giveaways. Last week Schwarzenegger signed his budget that leaves the state with over $20 billion in deficit borrowing and facing a budget deficit of more than $3 billion next year, and admitted that he has ‘no plan to end the deficit.’ We know what Schwarzenegger will do next year if he’s reelected – he’ll do exactly what he did before – raise the cost of living for middle class families by cutting school funding, raising tuition and fees, and cutting health care for children, the disabled, and the elderly. And when Governor Schwarzenegger breaks his promises to the people as he always does, middle class families will once again be stuck with the bill.”

    Licensed to ride

    The NY Times reports that Arnold Schwarznegger has gotten his motorcycle drivers license. Which begs the question, How did the Times get that story?

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    A man among animals

    Fellow CW reporter Malcolm Maclachlan wrote a bit back that Assemblymen Lloyd Levine and Paul Kortez headed the Legislature's unofficial Animal Caucus. Well, it looks like Levine wants to make his post a bit more official. Today, the Van Nuys Democrat sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez requesting the creation of a Select Committee on Animal Welfare.

    Guess who would chair the committee? Levine.

    "The purpose of the Committee would be to investigate, highlight, and understand what the state can do to move away from the often unnecessary exploitation of animals in California," said a release from Levine's office.

    The immediate cause of the letter, according to Levine's office, is the death last month of Gita, an Asian elephant in the Los Angeles Zoo. Levine's office describes the death as a "tragic passing". Levine has introduced legislation, AB 3027, which he calls the Elephant Protection Act, to regulate the space given to elephants at zoos.

    Levine envisions that the new committee would have "subpoena power" to gather information "regarding the care the elephant received in her final days."

    Here's what Levine wrote to Nunez:

    We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them.... We know we cannot be kind to animals until we stop exploiting them – exploiting animals in the name of science, exploiting animals in the name of sport, exploiting animals in the name of fashion, and yes, exploiting animals in the name of food.

    Like you, I have strived to serve Californians by not turning my back on them, on not only acknowledging but standing up for the voiceless and most vulnerable among us. By acknowledging that the welfare and suffering of animals matters, and by striving to extend them compassion, I believe we undermine the worst parts of us, those which allow us to turn our backs on each other.

    Levine also took at shot at the anti-animal protection community, writing "With this authority it is my belief that we can uncover truths that are all too often shielded from ordinary Californians by well-funded lobbying efforts."

    Still waiting for comment from Nunez's office.

    The Great Debate

    Ok, maybe not. But Arnold Schwarzenegger and Phil Angelides' campaign teams are trading barbs over how many times the pair will meet and "debate the issues" this fall.

    It started the day after the primary when Schwarzenegger campaign manager Steve Schmidt released a letter to Angelides manager Cathy Calfo.

    Here's what Schmidt said:

    Californians deserve debates and the Governor is very much looking forward to the opportunity to discuss California's most important issues in a public forum. The people and the state will benefit from an honest discussion about the clear choice in this election.

    The Californians for Schwarzenegger debate negotiators will be Steve Merksamer, former chief of staff to Governor George Deukmejian, and former state Senator Jim Brulte. Our representatives look forward to meeting with yours in the very near future to discuss the debate schedule. Please let us know as soon as possible who will represent your campaign in the debate negotiations.

    So this week Calfo resonded--with the acceptance of eight proposed debates. But Calfo was playing a bit coy, writing "You and I should be able to quickly come to an agreement on a matter as simple as the debate format. A simple, generally accepted debate format, as we have suggested below, will assure that an open and spontaneous exchange between the candidates and questioners occurs."

    Well, that "simple format" is never so simple. Here's what Calfo pitched:

    1. Questions are not made available to or prescreened by either campaign;
    2. No written notes are allowed at the podium;
    3. Multiple opportunities are provided for the candidates to question each other;
    4. Brief opening and closing statements are made by each candidate (1 to 2 minutes);
    5. Standard response (1 to 2 min) and rebuttal (30 sec to 1 min) times within a 1-hour debate format;
    6. Candidates stand next to each other, at podiums.

    Schmidt sent back a letter today in which he seemed none too pleased.

    Thank you for your letter regarding debates. While I appreciate your ongoing correspondence, it doesn’t seem that it is moving us forward in this process and in fact seems to be moving us backwards.

    Look how Schmidt even managed to sneak the campaign theme into the first sentence. Schmidt went on to ask about who the debate negotiators were for Angelides and who Brulte and Merksamer should contact "to begin realistic discussions about the debate schedule and format".

    Schmidt also offered some insight to Schwarzenegger's plans for a single debate.

    Historically in California, incumbent governors participate in no more than one debate. That precedent dates as far back as Governor Ronald Reagan. With the exception of Governors Reagan and George Deukmejian, who did not participate in an official debate at all in 1970 and 1986, others such as Governors Wilson and Davis participated in one debate.

    That's fine and dandy, and as Dan Weintraub pointed outyesterday incumbents generally prefer fewer debates.

    Bottom line: Schwarzenegger will ultimately decide how many times he debate--and it's a safe bet the number will be less than eight.

    New in CW 07.06.06

    Here's what I've got this week:

    Labor splits in secretary of state race

    Republican Secretary of State BruceMcPherson's election bid has received a boost from an unlikely source--several of the state's leading unions, including the powerful California Teachers Association, which has endorsed a statewide Republican for the first time.

    Three unions, which in the last two years have spent more than $50 million opposing Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, have endorsed and contributed to McPherson, a Schwarzenegger appointee. A fourth union endorsed and donated to McPherson in his unopposed primary, but remains neutral in the general election.

    Labor splits in secretary of state race

    This June's primary may have had the lowest voter turnout in California history, but don't tell that to the residents of Sierra County. While only 30.5 percent of eligible voters statewide cast a ballot, more than two out of three eligible voters in this rural, mountainous county made their way to the polls.

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    CA GOP releases 2 new ads

    And the ads just keep on coming.

    The California Republican Party has released two more ads that support Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's bid for reelection. As with the last round, one ad is negative and one ad is positive.

    Here's the text of the positive ad:

    Tomorrow will be cleaner and healthier than today for California families...Because Governor Schwarzenegger is one of our country's most innovative leaders in protecting our environment. He is preserving 25 million acres of land. Helping families afford solar energy systems. He's adding hydrogen fueling stations to our interstate highways. Governor Schwarzenegger is moving us all forward to a cleaner, healthier future.

    Here's the text of the negative ad:

    One person's view of Phil Angelides and our environment.
    "Cited by the EPA for bulldozing wetlands."
    "Cited by the EPA for violating the Clean Water Act."
    "The Sierra Club took you to court to stop destruction of habitats with endangered species."
    "Million solar homes bill ... Mr. Angelides, missing in action."
    "These are facts and public record."
    What if Steve Westly was right?

    You can find the ads here.

    NFIB endorses Schwarzenegger

    The National Federation of Independent Business announced this morning that the group, which represents small businesses, is endorsing the governor's reelection bid.

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    'There really is no plan'

    Team Angelides has sent out this video of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger saying he has no plan to end the deficit in the state.

    Happy 4th

    Happy Fourth of July. I am off to a couple BBQs in a few minutes but thought I should make a post over the long weekend. There have been several interesting Op-Eds over the long weekend. The first is by Bill Magaverna of the Sierra Club on why his organization has endorsed Phil Angelides.

    The second is by Rob Stutzman, Schwarzenegger's former communications director, on why term limits are bad after all.

    The third, is by Sherry Bebitch Jeffe about why Arnold, Fabian and Antonio are all getting along so well.