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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    Thursday, November 30, 2006

    Reiss looking back

    CW's Anthony York has a sit-down with Bonnie Reiss, the governor's close friend and a top adviser, as she leaves Sacramento.

    Here's one telling passage:

    That night, Schwarzenegger's political advisers from his Proposition 49 campaign, including George Gorton and Bob White, were huddled at the house trying to cram for the historic election to come. That's when the actor and his wife called Reiss.

    "Maria and Arnold called me that night and they said, 'Listen, a bunch of these guys are over here talking, but there's one thing we need. These people are all experienced and good, but none of them go back with Arnold. We need someone whose brain we trust and we know will have our backs. Can you show up tomorrow at the office, get with the team, start to be involved as a senior adviser in the team? And that began it."

    New in CW 11.30.06 (My last week)

    For those of you who do not know, this is my last week at Capitol Weekly. I am joining the Capitol bureau of the Sacramento Bee next month, after a short jaunt of doing normal things that do not involve writing stories about California politcs.

    I will still be covering Capitol politics at the Bee and the paper is launching a very exciting Web site early next year that I will be heavily involved with.

    More details to come...

    And, with that, on to this week's story:

    Swanson takes office after years toiling behind-the-scenes

    After more than three decades of working behind-the-scenes on the East Bay's political stage, Sandré Swanson is finally stepping into the spotlight.

    A 30-year staffer to two of Oakland's best-known--and most liberal--politicians, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former Congressman and Mayor-elect Ron Dellums, Swanson won his own Assembly seat in a landslide election earlier this month.

    "I've already had one career and now I am trying to make a contribution to my community," said Swanson, whose district represents part of Oakland, Alameda and Piedmont.

    Schwarzenegger's D.C. rep departs

    Today marks another departure in Gov. Schwarzenegger's administration. David Wetmore, who has served as assistant to the governor and director of his Washington, D.C. office since early 2005, is leaving to join Carpi & Clay, a California-based government relations firm.

    A Republican, Wetmore held the same post for Schwarzenegger that he did under Gov. Pete Wilson, directing the then-governor's D.C. office.

    Though Schwarzenegger began his governorship surrounded by Wilson veterans, including chief of staff Pat Clarey, few remain.

    As for Schwarzenegger's relationship with Washington, that has been hit and miss. As many legislative Democrats love to note, he claimed he would go to D.C. as the "Collectinator" but has met with little success in terms of wrestling more money for the state. When Democrats took over Congress earlier this month, Schwarzenegger said, "I think it’s good that there are new ideas and new blood because Washington was stuck. They could not move forward, not much was accomplished. I think it was terrible"

    In a release, the governor's office credited Wetmore with helping secure federal funds for fix the state's levees, negotiating a hospital financing waiver to protect health funding and garnering more transportation dollars.

    Wetmore will stay on until the end of the year and a replacement has not been named.

    Wednesday, November 29, 2006

    Tamminen backs Lockyer automaker suit

    Terry Tamminen, a former top environmental aide to Gov. Schwarzenegger, had written a piece in the Chronicle today defending Attorney General Bill Lockyer's suit against automakers for causing global warming.

    Let us say Bob's BBQ opens next to your home. Bob refuses to do anything to stop the greasy soot and the smell of burning ribs that pour into your windows each night, because he has permits and operates lawfully. Technically he may be right, but if you take him to court there's a good chance he will be found guilty of creating a nuisance and ordered to direct his chimney smoke away from your windows so you can resume the normal use and enjoyment of your home. If Bob's smoke was affecting your property value and health, your case would be even stronger.

    On the specifics of Lockyer's action:

    When California Attorney General Bill Lockyer sued automakers this September for contributing to global warming, he followed a well-worn path that leads to fairer and more equitable use of our commonwealth, in this case, our state treasury. His suit seeks to compensate taxpayers for some of the costs of dealing with climate change and comes only after trying other means to abate the threat posed by vehicle emissions.

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    Updates from the blogosphere

    Today has brought about a few interesting posts in the blogs-o-California-politics.

    First up, is this from Calitics, where an activist plots to take over the California Democratic Party--from the inside.

    Then, the FlashReport's Mike Der Manouel says the stories about new GOP leader Mike Villines are a joke and that Villines is no partisan warrior. "Call it partisan if you will - but in reality, Mike Villines is simply doing what is right and necessary for these troubling times," he writes.

    Then incoming Senator Mark Wyland tells the U-T that Gov. Schwarzenegger doesn't do policy.

    "He does not really have an in-depth interest in policy. ... He loves marketing," said Wyland

    The Jerry Brown Interview

    The must-read of the day is a NY Times with Attorney General-elect Jerry Brown.

    As a Democrat accustomed to being in charge — you’re the mayor of Oakland as well as a former two-term governor of California — how do you feel about having to answer to a Republican governor?

    You don’t answer to a governor. The attorney general is autonomous.

    But isn’t Schwarzenegger over you?

    No. The attorney general reports only to the people and to his conscience.

    Either way, I admire you for being flexible and taking whatever position is available.

    That’s why my three and a half years of Jesuit training were helpful. The 12th rule is to let him in all things seek his greater mortification and continuing abnegation.

    How is being attorney general of the state of California a form of mortification?

    Well, that means you go against yourself. There’s a guy named August Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola’s older brother, and you know what he said to me? He said your most important role is governor emeritus.

    Meaning what, exactly?

    I never quite knew what he meant, but I keep thinking about it.

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    Slow week

    This may be the definition of a slow news week. Today, there were, count 'em, zero press conferences that I was aware of in the Capitol.

    And tomorrow? Another goose egg.

    CTA sues to campaign on campus

    The California Teachers Association, one of the biggest and most powerful unions in the state, is launching a lawsuit to enable the union to campaign for partisan offices on public school grounds.

    The Contra Costa Times has the story today.

    In a debate that pits electioneering laws against free speech, California's largest union has launched a legal battle to permit political endorsement on public grounds.

    State law ensures teachers unions the right to spread the word on contract negotiations and grievances using campus mailboxes. However school districts typically ban partisan politics from the rectangular receptacles, to the chagrin of unions.

    "We view that as censorship," said Priscilla Winslow, assistant chief counsel for the California Teacher Association.

    In conjunction with local union affiliates, CTA has filed four unfair labor charges with the state Public Employee Relations Board over restrictions on teacher mailboxes, long considered off-limits to election endorsements. The Mt. Diablo Education Association turned in a complaint earlier this month. Teachers in Long Beach and Yuba City schools made similar charges.

    Campaigning on public grounds has long been a no-no. In fact, it was an issue (of sorts) in this year's lieutenant governor's race, when GOP operatives took pictures of Democrat John Garamendi hosting a rally in a state building.

    No Otto win

    The OC's Buzz reports that Lou Correa ekked out his victory over Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher by more votes than GOP write-in (and Democratic-funded spoiler Otto Bade).

    "Now I don't have to name my next son Otto," Correa quipped.

    Expanding the blogpen

    Jon Fleischman just keeps adding new names to his list of conservative bloggers.

    Just added, former Assemblyman Ray Haynes, incoming Assemblyman Anthony Adams, and Adam Aleman from San Bernardino.

    With Adams and Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa both "blogging" for the FlashReport, that gives Fleischman precisely 1/17th of the GOP caucus.

    Sunday, November 26, 2006

    Arnold on Meet the Press

    Gov. Schwarzenegger made an appearance this morning on NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert. Find the full transcript here

    Here's some highlights:

    On what an "Arnold Republican" is:

    Well, it’s basically being fiscally conservative, being socially moderate and you know, being environmentally progressive. I think that’s what it basically means. And you know, Tim, one of the most important things, I think, that this nation is facing is that we—while we must see economic progress—and I think we have had great progress economically and I think the Bush administration hasn’t gotten enough credit for that, the jobs are coming back, we have the lowest unemployment rate in 30 years or so, the economy’s booming—But we also have to protect the environment at the same time, and that’s what we are doing in California. And I think this is something that this country has to do. We have to show leadership in protecting our environment so that we have a future for our children and grandchildren.

    On eliminating the deficit:

    And we have done a tremendous job of bringing down the structural deficit from $16 ½ billion when I took office to now $4 ½ billion. And we’re going to come down further this year and we’re going to eliminate it by next year or the year after that.

    On universal healthcare:

    First of all, we have to bring down the health care costs, we have to make it more affordable to provide health care. Number two, we’ve got to insure everybody, because we have 6.7 million people that are uninsured, and we’re working right now on the various different ideas, we’re going to bring those ideas together, I’m going to present this in my State of the State address. But this is the next big challenge. Look, if we could face the challenge and fix our infrastructure problem and approve a $37 billion infrastructure package, we can also solve the health care problem.

    Will he face Boxer in 2010?

    You know, I’m not really thinking about what I’m doing in 2010. I’m not ruling anything out, but I’m not really thinking about any of that. I’m thinking about, now, moving California forward, making sure that we create more accountability in education in California, fixing our health care problems to insure everybody that is uninsured. I mean, those are the kind of—and how we build California. I think those are the very important issues.

    On Iraq:

    So I think we got to get out of there. We have to have a time, a timeline. I totally believe that there has to be a timeline there. But we got to get out of there with a victory rather than with a defeat.

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Happy T-Day

    Eat turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and be merry.

    See you all next week.

    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    From Mulholland

    This was the priceless little Thanksgiving message sent out by Democratic party guru and Angelides confidant Bob Mulholland:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. There is hope coming for the world with a new Congress on January 4, 2007.

    Winston Churchill once said, “Americans will always do the right thing … after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.” Think Iraq!

    The Gov's staff

    Read the following list of Schwarzenegger administration departutres very carefully from the LA Times' Jordan Rau on the Political Muscle blog. The second paragraph is good for a laugh.

    Chief administration lobbyist Richard Costigan.

    Beloved press secretary Margita Thompson, whose departure leaves few Latinos in Schwarzenegger's administration, excepting Rosario Marin, secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency; Henry Renteria, director of the Office of Emergency Services, and Fabian Nunez, Speaker of the California Assembly.

    Sunne Wright McPeak, the governor's secretary for business, transportation and housing.

    Education adviser Alan Bersin (whose tenure was complicated by being frequently confused with the star of "The Exorcist," Ellen Burstyn).

    Longtime FOA (Friend of Arnold) and senior adviser Bonnie Reiss.

    Joe Desmond, undersecretary for energy affairs, who left because his office was getting inexplicably warmer and warmer.

    Cabinet Secretary Fred Aguiar.

    Paying the bills

    Phil Angelides logged a $39,959 contribution to his campaign yesterday and the Democratic Party chipped in another $78,000.

    Also, if you've ever listened to San Francisco Giants baseball on the radio (and I have done my fair share of listening) you will recognize the name of Catholic Healthcare West, which contributed $25,000 to Don Perata's ballot-measure account.

    The Pelosi-Harman rift

    I know I know, it's not happening in California. But there is a big decision brewing in Washington between two Californians, new Speaker Nancy Pelosi and ranking Democrat on House Intelligence Jane Harman.

    At issue is whether Pelosi will appoint Harman to chair the House Intelligence committee. As the ranking Democrat, Harman would seem to be in line for the post. But last year Pelosi's camp revealed that Harman wasn't the preferred choice (the Intelligence committee is one of the few committee where the leader can easily trump seniority in making appointments).

    In any case, the LA Times today has a terrific primer on the how Pelosi and Harman arrived at where they are today.

    Here's some of the meat of the story:

    Some California Democrats say tensions began during the 2001 redistricting of the state's congressional seats.

    As lawmakers from both parties cooperated in Sacramento to make Democratic seats safer for Democrats and GOP seats safer for Republicans, Harman reportedly complained that her district did not include Los Angeles International Airport.

    "She wanted to get the LAX asset in her district," said one Californian who was familiar with the process. "Jane thinks the airport is power."

    Party leaders were annoyed, given that the redistricting gave Harman — who until then represented a swing district — a safe seat.

    A Capitol Hill staffer suggested that Pelosi also was miffed that Harman had higher visibility in the media.

    Harman, using her platform as ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, landed on Sunday talk shows so regularly that she all but eclipsed Pelosi's rising star as House minority leader. An informal survey of the major talk shows over the last two years found that Harman made 18 appearances to Pelosi's six.

    Associates of Pelosi say she was not troubled that Harman was on television frequently, only that Democrats' message on Iraq wasn't being aired.

    Some Democrats say Pelosi's choice for intelligence chair is less about personal conflict than fixing a political problem, which ironically began with Harman's return to the House in 2001.

    After Harman lost her gubernatorial bid, Pelosi urged her to run for Congress again. Harman's choice was made easier by the fact that then-Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) had promised her in writing that she could reclaim her seniority on the Intelligence Committee. That bumped a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), off the committee and jumped her over another African American, Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.), in seniority.

    Black members of Congress were upset by what they saw as a slap by House Democratic leaders. Last year the black caucus asked for a meeting, and according to one witness, Pelosi promised not to slight either blacks or Latinos when plum slots came up on the Intelligence and Homeland Security committees.

    About that GOP GOTV

    Bill Leonard, the recently reelected Republican Board of Equalization candidate, has a blog post wondering what happened to the Victory '06 get-out-the-vote effort.

    I had been excited about it. I saw what microtargeting accomplished for the President in Ohio two years ago and was eager to replicate that success in California. That excitement faded as results were tallied.

    Accusations have been flying that the CRP’s Victory ’06 was actually Arnold ’06, Period. I have heard that the CRP’s phone banks used scripts written by and for the Governor, leaving the rest of the ticket unmentioned. There are rumors that there was mischief with CRP door-hangars because the Governor and the party disagreed over ballot measures. There is concern that the Victory ’06 GOTV effort focused on voters who may not even have been Republicans. At this point, such accusations remain just that: undocumented statements with a tinge of bitterness following a brutal defeat of most of the party ticket. Therefore, what is needed is full disclosure by the CRP leadership, a detailed political audit of how this campaign was waged. The party members, donors and volunteers deserve to know the full truth and the actual numbers. Specifically, how did the CRP spend $20 million? How many voters were contacted, by whom, where were they, and what message was delivered to them? Can we identify why some of our biggest GOP counties appear to have had a much lower GOP turnout than usual? Did the party organizations there rely on Victory ’06 to turn-out the base instead of their usual, grassroots effort?

    Monday, November 20, 2006

    1070 Votes

    That's Democrat Lou Correa's new lead in his race against Assemblywoman and GOPer Lynn Daucher for state Senate, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

    Ackerman to concede

    The OC Register's Martin Wisckol says that Senate GOP leader Dick Ackerman is set to concede the 34th Senate District to Democrat Lou Correa.

    New limits

    The Bee's Buzz reports that contribution limits are rising with the new year:

    The FPPC also raised per-person campaign contribution limits. For legislative hopefuls, the limit goes from $3,300 to $3,600 per election. Max totals to would-be governors go from $22,300 per election to $24,100, and for other statewide office wannabes, from $5,600 to $6,000.

    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Schwarzenegger administration turnover

    Leg Secretary Richard Costigan and education adviser Alan Bersin are out.

    And Capitol Weekly's Skinny column reports that Ross LaJeunesse, a former chief of staff to Steve Westly, the Democratic challenger who lost to Phil Angelides in the primary, is joining the administration.

    New in CW 11.16.06

    Perata, Núñez hold seven-figure reserves heading into 2007

    California's two top legislative Democrats have combined to raise more than $11 million in unlimited donations this year using accounts not governed by the state's contribution limits.

    Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, has led the way, pulling in $8.65 million in the first 10-plus months of 2006, while Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, has raised $2.35 million.

    The leaders' ballot-measure accounts have allowed Perata and Núñez to build million-dollar war chests while doling out millions more to push this year's infrastructure bonds. As of this week, Perata and Núñez had approximately $1.75 million and $1.5 million cash-on-hand, respectively, though Perata had spent far more on the bond campaign than Núñez.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Sebeck joins Nunez's team

    Senate leader Don Perata's communications director Dave Sebeck is going from the red side of the building to green, taking a new job a "speechwriter and communications guru" for Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.

    “Dave brings a ton of history and experience with him and I think he’ll be a great addition to one of the best communications shops around,” Nunez said in a statement. “In terms of being able to get the Assembly’s message out to the public and the press, it’s kind of like landing on Boardwalk and Park Place.”

    He joins Deputy Chief of Staff Steve Maviglio and Press Secretary Richard Stapler in Nunez's press shop.

    October revenues up

    The Department of Finance is reporting that October revenues are $204 million above forecast.

    Party of one

    The Ventura County Star's Tim Herdt pens a column on Gov. Schwarzenegger's solo reelection bid.

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    What's next for Phil

    The Merc's Ed Garcia rounds up quotes from major Dems on what's next for their losing gubernatorial candidate.

    Post-election wrap-up

    Dan Weintraub has the goods on a post-election conference featuring Bill Carrick, Steve Schmidt, Gale Kaufman, Rick Klaussen, and Andre Pineda.

    It is definitely worth a read.

    Here's Schwarzenegger manager Schmidt on winning the race in the summer:

    we made the decision very early too that we would come right out of the primary at a time when these guys were not well defined and we believed we had a window til about July 4 to define the race. That was our most concentrated amount of advertising. I think we spent $14 million on TV in June through July 4. Then we were up with $4 million in July, $4 million in August and came back up on Labor Day. But we were never at more than $2.5 million a week through the fall campaign, but June was the, we always viewed June as the decisive month in the race. We believed if we did everything right over that post primary period that we could lock in this race, at least from a dynamics perspective by July 15. We could get through the rest of the summer and deep into the campaign in a pretty stable situation, and that’s the way that worked out.

    More highlights:

    Q. How much did the alliance end up spending?

    Kaufman: In the general we spent about, in the last run of ads, some were negative about the governor and some were positive for Phil, it was about 6 and a half to 7 million dollars. We spent somewhere in that range. It was under $10 million.

    And more:

    Carrick: One thing we did address was, Phil obviously came out for a middle class tax cut, which, you know, it would have be better if he had done that in the primary and started to inoculate himself on that issue earlier.

    Q. Did bill Clinton advise him to do that?

    Carrick: Phil told the president, Clinton that he was going to do it and the president thought it was a good idea. The conversation wasn’t initiated by the president.

    The Sikh road

    Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante may be termed out of his job, but he is still hosting movie premieres. Tonight he's hosting a screening of a new documentary Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath, which features a woman's journey across the country post 9/11 to tell the stories of Sikh Americans. Check out a preview here.

    The folks putting it on say the film is free at the secretary of state's auditorium at 11th and O street. Movie starts at 6:30 with a Q&A after.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Gates to give $15 million to CA schools

    State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell announced today that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $15 million to low-performing public schools.

    The foundation has given more than $1 billion to schools in 42 states.

    What went wrong

    This piece by Angelides adviser Katie Merrill covers--from her view--the structural problems that Phil Angelides faced in his fight with Gov. Schwarzenegger.

    The synopsis:

    1) Money

    2) Steve Westly

    3) Schwarzenegger's celebrity leading to a deluge of priceless earned-media coverage, particularly on TV.

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    Prison guards challenge Schwarzenegger in new TV ad

    Election Day is over, but the political ads keep on coming. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), a long-time critic of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, began running a television ad on Wednesday--only a day after the election--criticizing the state of California's prisons under Schwarzenegger.

    With grainy images of violent prison rioting mixed with statistics of assaults on prison guards, the ad states, "You've won another term, governor. Now it's time to fix the prisons."

    Lance Corcoran, a spokesman for the CCPOA, said the ad, which is airing until the end of the week in limited buys across the state, including Los Angeles, is meant to send a message to Schwarzenegger.

    ""The governor's first three years [of prison reform] can be summed up in two words: complete failure," said Corcoran. "The ads are a call to the governor to say, 'The first three years are behind you. What are you going to do from here?'"

    Schwarzenegger has said prison reform will be a critical piece of his 2007 agenda, calling it the "number two problem" after healthcare as recently as last week.

    "We have 65 percent of inmates that are being released come back in again, so it's this revolving door, and it is because we have a lack of rehabilitation," Schwarzenegger said last week in Monterey. "We must build more prison space, because we have 172,000 inmates, and we have facilities that were built for 100,000 inmates. So we are way overcrowded."

    Last year, Democrats in the Legislature balked at two Schwarzenegger-backed efforts to borrow money to fund new prisons. The governor also called a special session for prisons that was largely unproductive.

    The governor's office has not revealed the shape of Schwarzenegger's prison-reform package, though it is widely expected to be unveiled in January's State of the State Address.

    The CCPOA had originally booked $5 million in television time in the final weeks of the governor's race, but the union cancelled those spots, preferring not to embark on a "multi-million dollar suicide mission" opposing Schwarzenegger, who was resoundingly reelected on Tuesday.

    The new ad, which features much of the same imagery as a summer spot that said the state's prisons were in "melt down," comes while that the prison-guards union is negotiating a contract with the Schwarzenegger administration. The state's correctional officers have been working without a contract since July 1.

    The above first appeared in Capitol Weekly today

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Plescia ousted, Villines in as new GOP Assembly leader

    Anthony York has the breaking story in Capitol Weekly.

    New in CW 11.09.06

    What's next for Bill Lockyer?

    As Attorney General Bill Lockyer climbed onto the stage on election night, he was victorious. He had just dispatched his hapless Republican opponent by 17 percent and was flanked by his wife and fellow Democratic winners U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the next Attorney General Jerry Brown, and soon-to-be Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

    But something was amiss.

    He had been elected state treasurer, his second statewide constitutional office. But Lockyer, who continuously has held elected office since 1968, was supposed to have run for governor in 2006.

    Ballot proposition results

    Find them all here.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    South the Mouth

    Garry South just can't get enough of complaining about Phil Angelides and his campaign. Today, he has penned two op-eds on the subject.

    For the Los Angeles Times, he wrote "Phil, the unlovable loser". Read it here.

    In the San Francisco Chronicle's "Why Phil Angelides lost", South pens an epic 1,300-word piece--and barely even uses his content from the LA Times piece.

    How did the Angelides' campaign meet its ignominious end? Let me count the ways: No compelling message. No credible messenger. No cogent case made on his own behalf. No consistent or convincing attack strategy against his opponent. No coherent policy agenda or vision for the state. No capability of raising the money necessary to be competitive.

    Of course, South gets his word into the Bee, as well.

    "Phil was the wrong candidate running against the wrong candidate at the wrong time with the wrong campaign on the wrong issues," South said. "I don't know how you can be more wrong than that in a campaign."


    The day after his resounding reelection, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is off to Mexico for a trade mission.

    13 votes

    That's the difference this morning between Lynn Daucher and Lou Correa with the secretary of state reporting 100 percent of precincts.

    Lou Correa (Dem)
    49.9 %

    Lynn Daucher (Rep)
    50.1 %

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    Angelides' final message

    Here is the final pitch--in full--Democrat Phil Angelides made to supporters via e-mail today


    A better tomorrow for California is within reach. But it begins with the choices we make today!

    That's not just rhetoric - it's reality. Today voters across the Golden State will determine who will lead California in the years ahead.

    And that is why I am writing to ask for your vote.

    Together we can build the California of our dreams - a California that does right by expanding opportunity for all.

    The stakes couldn't be higher. Four more years of Arnold Schwarzenegger means four more years of Bush/cheney/Schwarzenegger policies in California. Four more years of the same broken path.

    I have a record of standing up for California's schools and colleges, environment and working families. As Governor, you can count on me to keep up the fight.

    I hope I can count on your vote.

    Click here to find your polling place or call 800-345-VOTE. Polls have already opened and will close at 8 p.m.

    With your help, we will once again make California a beacon of hope for the entire nation.

    Thank you for your support.


    Phil Angelides

    Ten Races to Watch

    Here's the races I am keeping an eye on tonight that:

    Lt Gov: Tom McClintock has lost two state squeakers. Can he win this one?

    Controller: How will the millions in IEs affect Tony Strickland?

    SD 34: Democrats are bankrolling a GOP write-in candidate? This must be close.

    AD 80: If insider banter means anything, this is the closest Assembly seat as the Dems, once again, try to knock off Bonnie Garcia.

    CD 11: Hundreds of thousands spent against Pombo in a Democratic year. If he wins, he's a congressman for life.

    CD 4: Can a Democrat really win in this northern California Inland district? Charlie Brown will find out.

    Proposition 1B and 1D: These are the bonds with the biggest sticker prices.

    Proposition 85: Does the redo fare better than the original? This is my pick as one of the closest contests.

    Proposition 86: Supporting has been sinking, but it was still close

    Proposition 90: The popular-on-its-face eminent-domain reform has been opposed by business and labor. Is that enough to sink the measure?

    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Novak's take

    Conservative columnist Bob Novak has one of the more comprehesive takeouts of what's going to happen in tomorrow's election.

    Angelides: Worst Campaigner

    The Washington Post's Cliff Cillizza gives him the award.

    H/t to Robert Salladay.

    Speaking of celebrities...

    One more has campaigned for Proposition 87, the oil-tax measure bankrolled by Hollywood producer Steve Bing: Leonardo Dicaprio.

    He joined California Sen. Barbara Boxer on Sunday.

    UPDATE: I spoke too soon, yet another celeb is on the campaign trail today: actress Alyssa Milano.

    Fox endorses McNerney

    In the increasingly heated race for CD 11, Michael J. Fox weighed in on behalf of Democratic challeneger Jerry McNerney on Sunday.

    Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, is backing Democrats across the country who support stem-cell research and filmed this political ad in Missouri, which is easily of the most memorable of the year.

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    Dead woman wins election--via coin toss

    In a race for an Alaska school board seat, a dead woman won the contest after an electoral tie was determined by a coin flip.

    The must read is here.

    h/t to the Chronicle blog.

    Making Nice: Tribe hedges bets

    The Agua Caliente Band Of Cahuilla Indians (Palm Springs, CA) has not exactly gotten along well with the Democratic leadership this year.

    First, Democrats torpedoed the tribe's Schwarzenegger-approved Indian-gaming compact that would have expanded gambling at Agua's profitable casino.

    Then, the tribe gave $450,000 to the Riverside GOP, which was spent defending targeted Republican Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia. Then, the tribe ponied up $2.85 million to an independent-expenditure effort, Team 2006, which is supporting Republican causes.

    But in a lesson about the screwy ways by which campaign cash flows in Sacramento, the tribe gave $25,000 the the Democratic State Central Committee yesterday, the chief arm of Democrats staying in power. That comes on top of $10,000 given in July and $7,900 in June, $25,000 in April, $10,000 in March and February and $27,900 in 2005.

    Ironically, the California Republican Party, which the tribe has supported indirectly in its independent spending, hasn't gotten a dime this year.

    Crossing on the campaign trail

    Gov. Schwarzenegger and Phil Angelides have held only one debate in this year's governor's race. A few other times they've crossed paths.

    They will do so again today as both are expected to attend the 11am memorial service at Raley Field for Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Mitchell, who was killed last week.

    Friday Roundup

    With so many good stories out there today, here's a roundup:

    *Field Poll results:

    Lieutenant Governor:
    Garamendi: 44%
    McClintock: 43%

    Attorney General:
    Brown: 56%
    Poochigian: 31%

    Lockyer: 45%
    Parrish 26%

    Secretary of State:
    Bowen: 40%
    McPherson: 34%

    Chiang: 38%
    Strickland: 31%

    Insurance Commissioner:
    Bustamante: 37%
    Poizner 46%

    * Jon Fleischman says the governor should campaign with down-ticket Republicans.

    The real question is whether now is the time for the Governor to make some key public appearances on the campaign trail for the final five days -- appearing at rallies with Tom McClintock, in GOTV offices with Tony Strickland, riding a Harley with Bruce McPherson, and appearing on talk radio with Chuck Poochigian.

    *An LA Times story breaks down the costs and consequences of Proposition 83.

    *The AP looks at the governor's direct mail campaign.

    *And Evan Halper documents who would benefit--financially--from Proposition 87.

    Thursday, November 02, 2006

    SOS Registration Numbers

    The secretary of state's office has released the final state's registration numbers before Election Day:



    American Independent



    Natural Law

    Peace and Freedom

    Declined to State

    New blogscan

    Jon Fleischman has added a new feature to his FlashReport, a blogscan that culls from the various CA political blogs, including this one.


    Welcome (that's the title of the post in Chinese).

    That's what the Asian Pacific Islander caucus is telling speakers of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog after launching a new multilingual Web site today.

    Find it here.

    Baca sends state-paid mailers to would-be council district

    Assemblyman Joe Baca lost a June primary for the state Senate, but he's still involved in Inland Empire politics. He's running for city council in Rialto.

    And, as Jim MIller reports:

    In the early months of his quest for a seat on the Rialto City Council, Assemblyman Joe Baca Jr. sent tens of thousands of pieces of taxpayer-funded mass mailings to Rialto households, according to Assembly Rules Committee records.

    From early July until a September pre-election cutoff, the Rialto Democrat's office sent more than 93,000 mailers to households in his 62nd Assembly District.

    Of that, at least 71,000 pieces went to Rialto ZIP codes -- an average of two to almost four pieces of mail per household.

    DCCC invests against Pombo

    Get the details here.

    Field Poll on Props

    Here's the summary:

    Prop. 85 (parental notification):
    46% Yes
    43% No
    Prop. 86 (cigarette tax):
    45% Yes
    45% No
    Prop. 87 (oil tax):
    40% Yes
    44% No
    Prop. 90 (eminent domain):
    35% Yes
    42% No

    Find all the Field polls here.

    New in CW 11.02.06

    Parties use county, state committees to skirt donation caps

    Democrats and Republicans, legally exploiting a loophole in California law, have funneled more than $10 million in oversized contributions through a network of county and state committees to skirt around voter-approved contribution limits.

    In the biannual money shuffle, donors--both well-heeled interest groups and legislators looking to curry favor--are giving to multiple committees, sometimes shifting, indirectly, more than $100,000 into candidate coffers, despite a $3,300 legal limit on direct contributions.

    For example, during the last 40 days, more than a half-dozen Assembly Democrats, from Santa Cruz to Fresno to Eureka, have donated at least $27,900 to an obscure political committee in Stanislaus County.

    That money, in turn, was packaged into six-figure chunks and passed on to the handful of Democratic candidates--sometimes hundreds of miles away--locked competitive races on the November 7 ballot.

    The process repeated itself in San Diego, San Luis Obispo and Sacramento.

    In the half-dozen competitive legislative races in California, such party-given money often comprises a majority of all funding in the campaign.

    Campaigns use unlimited cash despite contribution limits

    With warm images of Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Merced, driving a tractor, embracing his family and throwing a baseball to a young boy, the television ad that aired last month in the Central Valley had all the hallmarks of a campaign advertisement.

    "When he votes, he's always thinking about our families," the ad said.

    But technically it was not a campaign ad for Denham.

    Pioneering a new loophole in California's campaign-finance law, Republican political operatives have used state and local GOP committees to create thinly guised issue ads that never are reported as political spending on behalf of a legislative candidate.

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Westly's priorities

    Steve Westly just sent out an e-mail to his supporters of what they can do come Election Day. The surprise here is definitely Prop. 83.

    Here's the list:

    1) Elect Democratic Leadership: It’s time to usher in a new generation of leaders committed to cleaning up our environment, fixing our schools, and providing healthcare to more Californians. That’s why I’ve been working hard to help elect Phil Angelides and the Democratic ticket.

    2) Vote Yes on Props. 1A-1E: In the 1950s and 60s, California led the world by building the best public universities, largest state water project, and most modern highways. Propositions 1A-1E will give us the resources we need to reduce congestion and build more schools making California a model for the rest of the world.

    3) Vote Yes on Prop 83: The high-tech revolution had its side effects. Today child molesters use the internet to find their victims. California can lead the way by passing Prop 83 to use cutting edge technology to monitor parolees and increase penalties on sex offenders.

    4) Vote No on Prop 85: With new judicial appointments on the horizon, a woman’s right to choose is in danger. Voting “No” on Prop 85 will send a message back to Washington that California cares about protecting constitutional rights.

    5) Vote No on Prop 90: Prop 90 has hidden provisions that would prevent lawmakers from protecting natural resources, wildlife, water quality, and open spaces. Prop 90 is bad policy. That’s why almost every public interest group in the state opposes it, including the Sierra Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and the California Teachers Association.

    Election Day is November 7th. It’s your chance to change the world.

    Villines to make play for leader

    The Dem-run CMR is reporting that GOP Assemblyman Mike Vilines is making a play to replace Assembly GOP leader George Plescia.