Shane Goldmacher is a former reporter for Capitol Weekly. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where he served as editor of the Berkeley Political Review.

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

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

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

    For complete election results click here.

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

    For complete election results click here.

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

    For complete election results click here.

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    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    National Guard and the governor's race

    Democratic gubernatorial challeneger Phil Angelides has made California's national guard troops an issue in the governor's race by calling for their withdrawal from Iraq. Thus far, Schwarzenegger has side-stepped the war issue.

    But he has gone on offensive with his support of the troops. Yesterday he welcomed home some 100 soldiers from the California National Guard's 49th Military Police Brigade, who returned to California after a year long combat tour in Iraq.

    Today, he signed legislation to give former guards and their families a leg up when applying for civil service employment.

    "Our brave men and women in the military are incredible and we owe them our deepest gratitude for taking extraordinary risks and making tremendous sacrifices in defense of our country's freedom and democracy," said Schwarzenegger in a statement on his signing AB 2550, by Assemblyman Tim Leslie, a Republican.

    For Angelides' part, his campaign is accusing Schwarzenegger of "staying silent...even as the violence in Iraq continues and thousands of Americans continue to risk their lives in Iraq, Arnold Schwarzenegger continued to duck the real issue."

    Poll position

    Two public polls released yesterday show Angelides trailing Schwarzenegger by wide margins in the governor's race (17 points in the PPIC and 10 points in Field) . You can find newspaper coverage here, here, and here.

    The lower-down numbers are what's most interesting in the Field Poll. While Schwarzenegger is winning the support fo 77 percent of Republicans, he is losing only 4 percent to Angelides--a remarkably low number. Angelides, meanwhile is only at 61 percent support among Democrats and is losing 16 percent to Arnold.

    Perhaps most important, Schwarzenegger is winning in Los Angeles, where he holds a four-point advantage. That may seem small, but every point gained in Los Angeles is hard to counteract across the rest of the state.

    Women favor Angelides, but only by a small margin, 39 to 36 percent, while men go heavily for Arnold, 51 to 29 percent.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    CMR's new look

    The California Majority Report has been redesigned and is infinitely easier to use.

    Being Schwarzenegger

    When you are Arnold Schwarzenegger and you are governor you get to sit down with High Holiness Dalai Lama. That happened this morning.

    Now that's a tax and spend liberal

    Meet Michael "Marijuana Mike" Glover.

    He is the Democratic nominee challenger Assemblyman Chuck DeVore in Orange County's 70th Assembly District. And he has a proposal to help plug the California budget gap: Legalize marijuana and tax it.

    The Daily Pilot has the story.

    The policy he suggests would keep marijuana illegal for people under a certain age — somewhere between 21 and 25, he said — and would encourage anyone underage to abstain or get help if they're using drugs. Adults would be able to buy state-regulated marijuana, which would be taxed to help plug the holes in the state budget, but driving under the influence and public intoxication would still be illegal.

    Although Glover said he no longer uses marijuana, he added: "I'm 59 years old. Are you really telling me the state has any police interest in me, my neighbors, my friends recreationally using marijuana?"

    If Glover sounds like a gadfly, just remember that he served four terms in the Kansas state Legislature before making this run for office. And if you think DeVore is a character in Assembly debates, Glover sounds like he could compete.

    Chevron drops another $3 million

    Trying to compete with billionaire Stephen Bing, who has promised to spend $40 million to pass Proposiiton 87, Chevron, the biggest opponent of the oil-extraction tax initiative, has contributed another $3 million.

    Buffett for Schwarzenegger

    Yesterday the governor announced the endorsement of Warren Buffett, the billionaire financier. In a side note, sorry for the slow postings, my actual job is keeping me very busy.

    Sunday, September 24, 2006

    Angelides brings Iraq into play

    In interviews with the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Phil Angelides has announced that he will push to remove California's National Guard from Iraq if elected (See stories here and here).

    My first response is that it sounds an awful lot like something Democrat Chris Lehane suggested a month ago here.

    Here's what Lehane, who has been quoted in several newspapers in the last few days bemoaning Phil's chances, had to say:

    Angelides needs a game-changer–a big play that will change the direction of this campaign. And the play here is to connect Arnold to the fundamental issue of our times–the War in Iraq–and give voters the opportunity to use their 2006 gubernatorial vote as a way to express their opposition (or support) for the war.

    How is this possible given that this is a race for the governorship of California and not the presidency or Congress?

    Imagine, for a moment, if Angelides were to make public that he has bought five minutes of statewide primetime TV to make a major announcement about what he will do as governor on the single most important issue confronting California and the country–the War In Iraq.

    Lehane even wrote a sample speech. Lehane continues:

    Here in the deep Blue–so blue it is indigo–state of California, this proclamation would be a classic example of the right policy translating into good politics. The war is extremely unpopular in California across the spectrum–even with Republicans (surveys show two-thirds of Californians disapprove of Bush’s handling of the war). The announcement would generate enormous free media attention and would change the nature of the campaign from a discussion about taxes–a sure loser–to a discussion about Iraq–a sure winner. And this lightening strike would give Angelides the opportunity to seize the offensive and put pressure on Arnold.

    The Angelides campaign’s game plan is to expose Schwarzenegger as a man without values–a pol without a soul. What better way to drive this message than forcing Arnold to take a position where there is no room for triangulation. Arnold will either have to disavow his words of support for Bush and Iraq ("I think he (Bush) is doing a great job. I supported the war in Iraq"; defending the war "as the right thing to do"), and thus be opened up like a soft-boiled peanut (to quote former Senator Bob Kerrey) on the central values issue of the day, or oppose the removal of the Guard and take a position that could be the defining issue of the campaign.

    Lehane's hopes aside,the immediate response has been that Angelides is on tenuous legal grounds, without the authority to order such a withdrawal. And that such an announcement--made six weeks before Election Day--has an air of a candidacy in decline.

    If Angelides hopes is to rally the base (as strategist Bill Carrick suggests in the Times piece), it could be succesful. Lefty blogger Randy Bayne gives a rave review

    True, the Governor is powerless to actually bring home our California troops, but he can ask, and he can challenge the President on the issue. It is this challenge that shows true leadership and a willingness to stand up for California. As he has done since the beginning, Angelides continues to spotlight Schwarzengger's support for George Bush and his destructive policies.

    Angelides is scheduled to appear at anti-war events on both Tuesday and Thursday this week.

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    Progress Report: Poizner took insurance money

    Frank Russo at the California Progress Report says that GOP insurance commissioner candidate Steve Poizner, who has pledeged not to take money from insurance companies, has, in fact, taken such donations.

    Aside from the initial skepticism that a Republican would be the best person to protect us from insurance companies, the biggest problem he has is that a campaign committee he controls has already received hundreds of thousands of insurance company contributions, some direct and some through other committees that they have contributed heavily to. And at least one of the checks he received from Fireman's Insurance Fund is strikingly similar to a later sent to one of the State Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committees and then apparently bundled and given to this committee he controlled.


    On November 2, 2005, two insurance contributions totaling $75,000 is deposited in the Chamber's PAC and the very next day $75,000 is given to Poizner's committee. Records of the CALBUSPAC show that on November 1, 2005, they received $25,000 from Fireman's Fund and on the next day, they received $50,000 from The Dentists Insurance Company.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    More than Westly

    Stephen Bing, the Hollywood billionaire, has now pledged to spend $40 million to promote Proposition 87, the oil tax initiative.

    That's more than Steve Westly spent in his bid for governor.

    Site(s) of the day

    Click here to read about the faux-endorsement by the Headless Horseman of Chuck Poochigian sent out by the Jerry Brown campaign.

    Fresno -- The famed Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow today announced his support for Chuck Poochigian's campaign for state attorney general.

    "Senator Poochigian is the only candidate for attorney general who hired a cast of headless fictional characters to star in his ads," said the Horseman . "As perhaps the most famous headless character in the western canon, I am proud to support his candidacy."

    At a press conference at Poochigian headquarters in Fresno, the Headless Horseman took the opportunity to highlight the contrast between Senator Poochigian and his Democratic opponent, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown.

    "Unfortunately, Mayor Brown's ads feature real people with faces," said the Horseman. "That's not cool. And as a big fan of the .50 caliber sniper's rifle, I could never vote for Brown. Nothing removes a head more cleanly than a .50 caliber round ... even if it has to travel through two police cars to get there."

    Of course, Poochigian's camp have had some fun online, as well, particularly with, which has a great quotes section.

    My favorite: is [Jerry Brown] “is the most self-serving, inept politician that I have ever met in my 35 years in politics,” said by the one and only Sen. John Burton.

    Major donor level to stay at $10,000

    Gov. Schwarzenegger announced today that he has vetoed SB 1693, authored by Sen. Kevin Murray, which would have raised the state's major donor level from $10,000 to $30,000 in a calendar year.

    Interestingly, the bill, which would provide for less major-donor disclosure, was sponsored by the Fair Political Practices Commission, which tracks and regulates political donations in the state.

    Why would the FPPC sponsor such a bill? Because so many many donors don't file reports--or don't file them properly--that the office is inundated with deliquent donors. Plus, major donor contributions are tallyed by the campaign, so they made the argument that the donor filings are duplicative.

    Here's the key part of Schwarzenegger's veto message:

    By raising the major donor threshold to $30,000, this bill would effectively reduce the level of disclosure of campaign finance information. That is something I cannot support. While I am sympathetic to the burden imposed on major donors to file their reports, full and timely disclosure is a critical safeguard against abuse and corruption in the political process.

    Schwarzenegger by 600,000?

    You know things are going bad for Phil Angelides when the secretary of state was showing Arnold Schwarzenegger already winning the governor's race on the election results page. (h/t to the Skinny.)

    See the image below, which was pulled from the official results page of the secretary of state's Web site earlier this week:

    The numbers have since been removed and the secretary of state has posted the following disclaimer, "The results on these web pages are randomly generated to test and ensure the website is functioning properly. These numbers in no way represent projected outcomes in any contest."

    But the randomly generated results are in: 4.17 million votes for Schwarzenegger and 3.57 for Angelides, with 61 and 60 percent of the vote, for whatever that's worth.

    Find the results page here.

    New in CW 09.14.06

    2006: The year of the odd alliance
    The cast of characters at Monday's press conference was unusual, to say the least. The participants represented each of the major factions in last year's special election: the drug companies, big-business Schwarzenegger allies and unions. But this time they were all on the same side. They all opposed Proposition 89, which would create publicly financed campaigns in California.

    Ex-lawmakers join the lobbying ranks
    As term limits force the early retirement of a growing number of legislators, many are starting to take up residence in the Third House, shifting from the role of lawmaker to lobbyist. All told, 35 ex-lawmakers are registered as full-time lobbyists in California, including 11 that have left office since 2000.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    EMI execs join Arnold

    A small group of executives at EMI Music are rocking out to the tunes Gov. Arnold Schwarenegger is playing.

    The following EMI Music executives donated to Schwarzenegger last week:




    --V.P. SALES




    Another $6 million

    That would be Chevron donating at the No on 87 campaign yesterday. All told, the oil company is approaching $20 million in donations to the campaign.

    Arnold's marriage advice

    This from Schwarzenegger via Dan Weintraub on working with Democrats in the Legislature.

    "You know it is the same thing, I can go to my wife and I can go and say, ‘Look, I have some friends coming over from Austria and I expect you to make the best wiener schnitzels they’ve ever eaten. This is absolutely a must.’ She most likely will burn that and they will all choke to death. That’s what she would do.

    "But if I say to Maria, ‘I have some friends coming over from Austria, and the Austrians claim that Americans don’t know how to make wiener schnitzel. Let’s show them. I know you make the best wiener schnitzels in town. Better than my mother ever made. It is unbelievable. You make those wiener schnitzels, and its going to be a winner.’ Now my wife is going to kick in and go and do everything she can because it’s a different approach.

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Perata bill vetoed

    Gov. Schwarzenegger announced today that he was vetoing SB 815, a bill authored by Senate leader Don Perata.

    Here's what the governor had to say:

    "The changes proposed by SB 815 are not based on a comprehensive analysis, and will double the cost of permanent disability benefits. As we look to build upon the economic successes of the last three years, I simply cannot support a measure that would reverse many of the economic gains now powering California's economy."

    Here is Perata's response:

    Three years ago Governor Schwarzenegger made a commitment that the workers’ compensation system would not be fixed by slashing permanent disability benefits to the most seriously injured workers.

    SB 815 was a responsible way for him to keep his commitment. I am disappointed he did not.

    SB 815 would have made a meaningful difference for permanently disabled workers without making a scratch on the state’s economy or business climate.

    Protecting the California Stream

    Today, the governor's office will stream live Schwarzenegger's morning event in Fresno at 11am on I am pretty sure that's the first time that has happened.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    In a signing mood

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has spent much of 2006 reaching across the aisle to Democrats on legislation.

    Greenhouse gases. Minimum wage. Perscription drugs. Infrastructure bonds. They've been all over the news.

    Well, his ratio of signed to vetoed bills--all of which must pass out of the Democrat-dominated Legislature--continue to bear out that trend.

    Today, Schwarzenegger announced that he was signing 28 bills, 14 of which are Democrat-authored, 13 of which GOP-written and one committee bill. So far this year, Schwarzenegger has taken action on 338 bills, signing 327 and vetoing 11.

    That's only a 3.25 percent veto ratio.

    Compare that to last year, when a more conservative, special-election calling Schwarzenegger angered many Democrats in the Legislature and vetoed many more bills.

    As of early October last year, Schwarzenegger had signed 729 bills and vetoed 232, for a 24.14 percent veto rate--almost eight times this year's pace.

    The big AZ

    The Chron's John Wildermuth takes a look at how publicly financed campaigns have worked.

    Sunday, September 17, 2006

    The battle for Monday

    Tomorrow, both Phil Angelides and Arnold Schwarzenegger will be making high-profiling appearance with other high-profile politicians.

    And, as has been the case for the last several months, they will both be appearing with Democrats. Schwarzenegger will be at bill signing for LA Mayor Villaraigosa's schools-takeover effort and Angelides will be appearing with 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry.

    Poizner goes on air

    First, Jerry Brown's campaign for attorney general went on the air this week with a $300,000 cable buy primarily in the Los Angeles television market.

    Now, Steve Poizner, the GOP nominee for insurance commissioner, has launched the second down-ticket candidate-funded ad of the general election.

    Find it here.

    It is an biographical spot. Of more interest, however, is the press release which says this is the first the campaign’s $11 million initial television advertising effort. If he's spending that much, why not run for governor.

    Party for Arnie

    The Schwarzenegger campaign e-mail blasted supporters on Friday to organize a block party on October 10th, three days after the one scheduled event.

    The theme: Protect the California Dream in Your Neighborhood.

    No toga party, to be sure, but a good way to rally supporters in the month before Election Day.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Phil goes No on 90

    Here's the statement:

    “I oppose Proposition 90. We need to protect Californians’ homes and our small businesses, and local governments should be able to use eminent domain only for a legitimate public purpose. However, Proposition 90 goes too far. It would seriously harm our efforts to protect the environment and California’s quality of life. It would hinder communities trying to revitalize blighted neighborhoods and clean up contaminated industrial areas. It would also prevent voters and state and local agencies from enacting environmental protections, eroding our ability to protect natural resources, wildlife and habitat, ensure water quality and adequate water supplies, and regulate growth and development.”

    Statham to stay

    Interim Oakland schools state administrator Kimberly Statham has been appointed full-time to the job by California schools chief Jack O'Connell.

    LAUSD audit

    State auditor Elaine Howle takes a look at what LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is taking over at LAUSD.

    Both the 2000 and 2004 reorganizations achieved staffing reductions, but by December 2005 support services staffing levels had increased to levels that exceed those existing before the 2000 reorganization, which LAUSD attributed to the need for additional employees to manage school construction and information services efforts.

    Only four of the eight local district Parent/Community Advisory Councils (advisory councils) created by the 2000 reorganization plan are still operating, and LAUSD has not attempted to measure parent satisfaction with the remaining advisory councils.

    Although LAUSD has established measurable benchmarks and goals for the superintendent, it has not replicated this practice with other managers responsible for improving student achievement.

    LAUSD has addressed many of the concerns over the salary-setting practices that we noted in a July 2001 audit, but its Personnel Commission still does not have written procedures for determining salaries or appropriate documentation to support salary-setting recommendations for classified managers and executives.

    Based on our survey of four of the nation's largest school districts, LAUSD's salaries are higher than those of comparable positions for more than half of the 27 high-level positions surveyed, but there may be factors that justify such differences.

    Gov to sign cell phone bill

    Put your hands up and the cell phone on the dash.

    Today, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to sign Sen. Joe Simitian's SB 1613, which would prohibit driving with a hand-held cell phone.

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    And the envelope...

    Here are the much balleyhooed Capitol Weekly awards...

    Parra to chair Mod Squad

    Vic Pollard has the story that Assemblywoman Nicole Parra will chair the Assembly's Mod Squad last year.

    New in CW 09.14.06

    Schwarzenegger targets the 'ElimiDate Voter'

    ElimiDate fans beware: You'll likely be seeing a lot of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the next two months.

    That's because Schwarzenegger's political team has promised to mount the biggest cable-advertising campaign in California history. And independent voters, whom most analysts regard as the key to the governor's re-election, are watching elimiDate, and other reality-dating shows like it, more than just about anything else on TV.

    "We're going to spend more on cable than anyone in California has ever spent before," Matthew Dowd, Schwarzenegger's chief strategist, told the Wall Street Journal last week.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    O'Connell recants

    Well, that was fast.

    “In light of today’s article in the Ventura County Star, I want to be clear
    that I have not made any decision about running for Governor. Having just
    been reelected I remain focused on critical improvements in our public
    education system. The most pressing issue is the need to close the
    pernicious achievement gap, which has the potential to cause great harm to
    our future economy.

    But go read Herdt's article. He sure didn't sound undecided yesterday.

    O'Connell's in

    Forget Gavin and Antonio.

    Tim Herdt has the details on the superintendent of public instruction, Jack O'Connell, and his desire to run for governor in 2010, should Angelides lose.

    If you need a primer on O'Connell, and his obsession with the band read this.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Gov. signs minimum wage hike

    Schwarzenegger announced his signature on the legislation to raise California's minimum wage to $8 per hour by 2008.

    New LA Times blog

    It's Day Two at the LA Times' new blog with the latest post focusing on Schwarzenegger's appearance on Monday Night Football last night. A link is being added to the right as we speak.

    In his words

    Gov. Schwarzenegger pens a column on the hot topic of immigration today.

    Not surprisingly, Schwarzenegger lands in the political center, saying that after Congress failed to act, "it's up to the rest of us to tone down our rhetoric and listen to the voices on all sides."

    He offers some advice, as well:

    "To the immigrant rights activists I say: Change your message" and "To those who believe illegal immigration is reaching a crisis level in this country I say: Tone down the rhetoric."

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    Clean air, clean money

    The Sierra Club announced their endorsement of Proposition 89 today.

    Isn't that illegal?

    Under campaign contribution limits approved by voters, candidates for legislative office are allowed maximum donations of $3300 for both the primary and general election campaigns.

    But today, Cathleen Galgiani, a candidate for Assembly in one of the few genuine races in November, reported receiving $15,00 from Aetna.

    Nunez announces new committee chairs

    Among the interesting appointments is Mark Leno as appropriations chair, Gene Mullin as chair of education, Mervyn Dymally as chair of health, Hector De la Torre as chair of Rules, Ted Lieu as chair of banking and finance.

    Sally Lieber was elevated to Speaker Pro Tem, and Karen Bass is the new Majority Floor Leader. Noreen Evans is Caucus chair and Alberto Torrico is director of majority affairs.

    Audio file from public online database?

    Donald Lathbury at the Majority Report says that the Schwarzenegger tape from Friday wasn't handed over to the LA was gotten from a public database.

    No bomb squads

    Today is the fifth anniversary of 9/11 and I was reading through today's Matier and Ross column and pretty surprised by this item:

    Rent-a-bomb squad: In this post-Sept. 11 world of homeland security dollars, it may come as a bit of a surprise that not every county even has a bomb squad.

    Take Marin County, for instance.

    A few days ago, a suspicious package was found in a parking lot of a Mill Valley shopping center just as classes were letting out across the street at Tamalpais High School.

    But Marin doesn't have a bomb squad, so the tiny Mill Valley police force put out an emergency call to the military explosives unit at Moffett Field down on the Peninsula.

    Moffett's crack crew said that with midafternoon traffic, it couldn't get to the mysterious package for 2 1/2 hours.

    "That was not going to work,'' said Mill Valley police Detective Sgt. Dean Loutas, who had been forced to close streets around the shopping center and had a big traffic jam and scores of cranky motorists on his hands.

    As it turns out, UC Berkeley's Police Department has a bomb unit, and the campus cops monitor police scanners around the Bay Area. By time Mill Valley police contacted them, the bomb squad was already en route.

    Nonetheless, it was late in the afternoon before the package, which turned out to be harmless, was destroyed and traffic got back to normal.

    As for why Marin doesn't have its own squad?

    "I don't think many counties do have them," Undersheriff Dennis Finnegan said. "It's extremely expensive ... and the training is unbelievable.''

    So, instead, they make the call to Berkeley -- or Moffett Field -- as the potential bombs tick away.

    New League president

    The California League of Cities has selected a new president to replace the outgoing Alex Padilla, who is expected to waltz into a state Senate seat in November. Pinole Mayor Maria Alegria, who previously served as first vice-president, will be the new president.

    Former second VP, Jim Madaffer of the San Diego city council becomes first VP and Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo becomes the new second VP.

    Sunday, September 10, 2006

    Schwarzenegger attends African American church

    On Sunday, Gov. Schwarzenegger attended church services at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland. It is the second time in the last month that Schwarzenegger has worshipped at a predominantly black church. The was was in LA the day after his speech to the Republican convention.

    And tomorrow night Schwarzenegger is set to appear on Monday Night Football on ESPN

    Friday, September 08, 2006

    And pivot...

    One of the first lessons of crisis management is address the problem and change the subject.

    Looks like the Schwarzenegger campaign is doing that, after announcing that the governor has agreed to one debate, on October 7, sponsored by the California Broadcasters Association.

    Hanretty: LA Times story not a hit piece

    Former Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Karen Hanretty writes that today's LA Times piece is fair game--and the real story is who betrayed the governor's trust and released the tape.

    Audiotape fallout

    Update:Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia is hosting a press conference at the Schwarzenegger campaign headquarters at 3:30 this afternoon.

    LA Times reporter Robert Salladay had been just about set to launch a new LA Times political blog yesterday but instead he was polishing up a story that has rocked the governor's race.

    This morning Salladay reported on a audiotape that shows Gov. Schwarzenegger in some more candid moments.

    In the sanctuary of his Capitol office with an audio recorder rolling, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger describes Republican legislators as the "wild bunch" and, referring to a Latina lawmaker, casually says that "black blood" mixed with "Latino blood" equals "hot" — a fiery personality.

    The governor is heard on a six-minute recording, obtained by The Times, of a meeting with some members of his inner circle last spring. At the time, Schwarzenegger was struggling to persuade Republican lawmakers to embrace his plan to place billions of dollars in borrowing on the November ballot.

    The fallout began quickly. The FlashReport's Jon Fleischman began by attacking the LA Times, writing "It is not surprising that this unsourced tape is being reported in the L.A. Times - they have always 'had it in' for Arnold Schwarzenegger."

    The Schwarzenegger campaign sent out a press advisory at 5:11 am saying the governor would host a Santa Monica press conference at 10am.

    At 9:28 (at least in my e-mail inbox), the California Republican Party picked up where Fleischman left off, calling on the LA Times to reveal their source for the tape (i.e. who gave the tape to the paper).

    "The California Republican Party demands that the Los Angeles Times name its anonymous source and disclose how it got a recording of the Governor's private conversation. The Los Angeles Times' history of using anonymous sources criticizing the Governor has been called into question by its own reporters and other journalists," said Party Chairman Duf Sundheim in a statement.

    Then it was the Democrats' turn.

    At 9:29, Phil Angelides released the following statement: "“Once again, Governor Schwarzenegger has used language that is deeply offensive to all Californians and embarrassed our state. His comments reflect a disturbing pattern of behavior. The Governor has a responsibility to conduct himself with dignity.”

    A press conference was called by the Democratic Party, featuring United Farm Workers organizer Dolores Huerta, who worked with Ceasar Chavez to organize farmworkers years ago, at 11:15 to criticize the governor's remarks. Meanwhile, a post at the popular Democratic blog Dailykos, calls Schwarzenegger a sexist bigot.

    In response to Angelides' statment, the governor's campaign released a statement by Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, the ""black blood' mixed with 'Latino blood'" legislator the governor was referring to.

    She attacked Angelides, saying "Phil Angelides has a long history of divisive, over-the-top political attacks including referring to former President Reagan as racist."

    California Democratic Party chair Art Torres jumped into the fray, as well, issuing this statement: “I was offended and disturbed upon hearing that the governor had reverted to ethnic and racial stereotyping that we thought had ended in California. He has embarrassed our state and he owes all Californians an apology for his use of this language, especially the good and decent women of the Latino and African American communities.”

    Then this morning, Schwarzenegger apologized for his statements. Again, the LA Times has the story.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today apologized for saying the lone Latina Republican lawmaker in California had a "very hot," fiery personality because of her ethnicity, a comment captured on audio tape last spring in his private office.

    The governor made his apology in Santa Monica standing next to Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City), the lawmaker Schwarzenegger and his chief of staff discussed. Garcia's parents were from Puerto Rico.

    "Anyone out there that feels offended by these comments, I just want to say I'm sorry," Schwarzenegger said.

    "The fact is that if I would hear this kind of comments in my house, by my kids, I would be upset, and today, when I read it in the papers, it's something when you say things, but it is another thing when you read it in the paper. It made me cringe. It made me feel uncomfortable. And so this is why I thought I should come out and address the issue right away."

    Republican leader George Plescia, who had previously remained silent and whom Jon Fleischman said wanted his comments kept private, has issued a statement as well.

    “The Governor has called to personally apologize and I accepted. He has reiterated his respect for our entire caucus. Politics is a contact sport, and we look forward to continued civility from all sides as we move toward the November elections.”

    I'd imagine the description of him as a confused deer in Schwarzenegger chief of staff Susan Kennedy's backyard rankled the GOP leader--and his statement certainly isnt' nearly as supportive as Garcia's, who stood by Schwarzenegger during his public apology.

    I can tell you one thing: I wouldn't want to be working in the Horseshoe today (the nickname for the governor's suite of offices) where I would imagine there is a pretty intense effort to find out how the tape made its way to the Times.

    (Oh, and Democratic operative Bob Mulholland says it wasn't him...not that he would have been able to access the tape in the first place).

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    After Antonio

    Former Rob Reiner and Rocky Delgadillo staffer Ben Austin takes a look at the field shaping up to succeed LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

    About that half-billion dollars

    CW's John Howard has a great story today about what happened to a half-billion dollars promised in the budget by legislative Dems and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the depths of the budget deficits two years ago.

    When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote his first state budget, he floated an unusual idea to collect nearly a half-billion dollars: Let the state take 75 cents of every dollar that juries award in punitive damages. The Legislature eagerly bought into the idea for the cash-strapped state, and the budget was written on the assumption that the money would be there.

    It wasn't. In fact, it never has been.

    Two years later, that $450 million still hasn't materialized. Amazingly, not even a penny has flowed into the state Public Benefit Trust Fund, which was expressly set up to handle the punitive-damage money. This gap between the administration's promise and pocketbook reality is remarkable, even in the smoke-and-mirrors world of state budgeting that, in the end, is based on sophisticated expectations of revenue and expenses.

    New in CW 09.07.06

    Developers line up behind school bond

    If California voters reject the $10.4 billion education bond on the November ballot, the state's builders and developers will be on the hook for the full cost of every new school built in the state, starting at the end of 2007. The specter of having to cough up thousands of additional dollars in fees per home has California's builders and developers dumping millions of dollars into the education bond campaign.

    Two separate committees, funded largely by builders, developers, architects and engineers, already have contributed more than $1 million to help pass Proposition 1D, the school-bond measure.

    Hybrids to cruise in carpool lanes until 2011

    California lawmakers are hoping to keep the state's hybrid-car drivers whizzing by in the fast lane for another five years after passing legislation last week that would allow owners of hybrids to drive in carpool lanes until 2011, even while driving solo.

    And, as with every other week, I've got a run down of the week in political donations.

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    CCPOA backs Angelides

    The powerful prison guards union has voted to endorse Phil Angelides for governor. The union has already reserved TV time for the final two weeks of the campaign.

    Bustamante endorses Prop. 89

    Earlier this morning, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante become the second ranking Democratic official in California politics to endorse Proposition 89, which would institute publicly financed campaigns in California. Bustamante joins Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides and the California Nurses Association, which is sponsoring the measure,

    "California voters have lost faith in the electoral process. They understand the crisis of corruption in Sacramento, and want to do something to change it," said Bustamante. "A publicly funded electoral system would help make politicians more accountable."

    Bustamante is currently running for insurance commissioner and earlier this year drew criticism from his Republican opponent Steve Poizner for taking insurance industry money, which he has since returned.

    "I have returned all campaign contributions from the insurance industry, and will not accept their campaign donations in my bid for Insurance Commissioner," said Bustamante. "Bad actors use our electoral system to pollute the efforts of good public servants like John Garamendi. I will not stand for it any longer. Prop. 89 is a good start in fixing the problem. I hope voters send a clear message to big donors by passing Prop. 89."

    Bustamante's opponent, Steve Poizner, is a self-made multi-millionaire expected to self-fund his candidacy, having already contributed $4 million. Poizner spent $6 million in a losing bid for Assembly in 2004. Bustamante took a small dig at Poizner in the release, saying, "Voters should be able to decide elections based on the best ideas, not who has the most money to spend."

    But how good a spokesman for "Clean Money" Bustamante will be is unclear. He was fined more than $250,000 by the Fair Political Practices Commission for shuffling $3.8 million around during the recall election. And was pilloried in the media for the millions he took from Indian gaming tribes.

    Bustamante's endorsement of Prop 89 comes after several insurance companies have poured hundreds of thousand of dollars in to defeat the measure. Zenith Insurance gave $100,000, Mercury General gave $100,000, George Joseph, CEO of the Mercury Insurance Group gave $100,000, State Farm gave $125,000, 21st Century gave more than $32,000, Farmers Employers and Agents PAC gave $50,000, and SAFECO insurance gave $25,000.

    PPIC poller on the Gov. race

    PPIC guru Marc Baldassare pens a piece in the Union-Tribune today about the state of the governor's race and how he expects it to tighten.

    A fight worth watching

    Today's LA Times story about Fresno Mayor Alan Autry has a pretty priceless quote near the end.

    As to why Nuñez and Villaraigosa joined forces, Autry echoes a commonly held theory: Both want to trade up. Villaraigosa may want to run for governor in 2010, and Nuñez may want to be L.A.'s next mayor. If the school overhaul works out, both will have a proud showpiece to present to voters.

    Autry, whose term expires in about 2 1/2 years, said that he isn't certain what he'll do next but that neither Villaraigosa nor Nuñez needs to worry about facing him in a future election.

    "I'd be more worried about me going to Sacramento and kicking their ass," said Autry, who once played pro football for the Green Bay Packers.

    Now a fight between former boxer Nunez and former football player Autry--that's a Sacramento tussle worth keeping an eye on.

    Angelides unveils new Web site

    Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides has unveiled a new, higher-tech Web page.

    There are a few more bells and whistles and more multimedia features. There is also a blog, with links to Angelides' Facebook page, his MySpace page and his YouTube videos.

    Welcome to campaigning in 2006!

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    Rudy Rudy Rudy

    Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be in Orange County this evening raising money.

    No, not for Arnold Schwarzegger, but for the down-ticket GOP trio of Tony Strickland, Tom McClintock and Chuck Poochigian.

    Poor Claude Parrish, Steve Poizner and Bruce McPherson who appear to have been left out of the Costa Mesa event.

    Antonio and Phil

    Democratic gubernatorial challeneger Phil Angelides is making two appearances today with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Sounds like an endorsement party to me.

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    Going Camping

    After a long legislative week, I am off to the mountains for some back-packing this weekend so the blog shall be silent until Monday.

    Flood bill sunk

    The Bee has the story of the demise of flood legislation.

    The Regulator

    FlashReport contributor Jennifer Nelson laments Gov. Schwarzenegger's new policies this year saying he's moved from Terminator to Regulator.