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Meg Whitman

Do Conservatives Just Want to See the End of the Marriage Equality Debate?

by: Brian Leubitz

Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:15:00 PM PST

Prop 8 Overturned!Issue Now Wedges Against Republicans

by Brian Leubitz

Update: Attorney General Kamala Harris filed her brief in the Prop 8 case today. You can find the full brief at the LATimes website here.

Back in at the end of George W. Bush's first term, Karl Rove looked at the map, and was worried. He couldn't really run the president as a compassionate conservative like he did in 2000. That ship had sailed by then, so how could he turn out unreliable voters that would reliably vote for W? Why, go after the gays, of course.

It was as cynical of a ploy as is seen in politics, something straight out of the Southern strategy playbook. So, Rove got Republicans across the country to put gay marriage bans on the ballot to pull out social conservative voters that may not have turned out for W. And, he was once again able to squeak by with a win in 2004. It was a wedge issue that he used to bash over Kerry's head. And it worked.

The issue had lost some of its strength by 2008, and the few measures on the ballot, including our own Prop 8 that year didn't work the same magic for the GOP. While Prop 8 drew considerable attention, voters were more focused on the rapidly tanking economy. But the backlash from Prop 8, the ensuing legal battles, and the voter shifts in the last four years have since combined to make a toxic brew for the "Grand Old Party."

By now, the polls are showing considerable support for marriage equality. In fact, the trend is undeniable and quite stark. Over the past eight years, support for the freedom to marry has grown by 21 points. Rarely do opinions change so quickly on any issue, let alone a civil rights issue like this one. In California, the most recent Field poll, from about a year ago, shows 59% support, against only 34% opposed. These are not the kind of numbers you want to spit into the wind of.

And this brings us to Meg Whitman. In 2010, she said she supported Prop 8 and would work to defend it during the primary campaign. She ducked the issue as much as possible after she defeated Poizner in the primary, but it was still on the record. Given the final tally, it likely wasn't a deciding factor, but it also didn't really help her cause.  And now that she's back in the tech world, she's free to end her pander to the extreme base of her party. In a post on LinkedIn, Whitman addressed the flip-flop.

I have come to embrace same-sex marriage after a period of careful review and reflection. As a candidate for governor three years ago, I supported Proposition 8. At the time, I believed the people of California had weighed in on this question and that overturning the will of the people was the wrong approach. The facts and arguments presented during the legal process since then have had a profound impact on my thinking.
In reviewing the amicus brief before deciding to put my signature on it, one passage struck an immediate chord with me. In explaining his own support for same-sex marriage, British Prime Minister David Cameron once said, "Society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don't support gay marriage despite being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative."
(Meg Whitman LinkedIN)

David Cameron also took heat from his own party when he pushed the marriage equality bill through Parliament. In fact, he lost a substantial chunk of his own MPs on the vote, and was only able to pass the bill with LibDem and Labour support. Yet that really only illustrates the underlying fact of the conservative loss on this issue. Despite the former first lady's rejection of an ad campaign featuring her support for marriage equality, the writing is on the wall. Leaders like Whitman, Jon Huntsman, and Dick Cheney have already arrived at the basic understanding of where the country is moving on this issue.

Perhaps this will make an impact on the Supreme Court's reasoning, perhaps not. But the pressure to not be the court that got a major civil rights case wrong must be very real for the Court. With electoral and legislative victories in 2012 and into this year, surely they can see the writing on the wall as well. The Oral argument in late March may give us a greater indicator as to just how important it is to them.

Photo credit: San Francisco march after Judge Walker's decision to overturn Prop 8. Flickr user Thom Watson.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Back to Business for Meg Whitman

by: Brian Leubitz

Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 11:20:35 AM PDT

We hardly knew you, Meg Whitman.

by Brian Leubitz

The internet is abuzz with the rumor that Meg Whitman is about to be named CEO of Hewlett-Packard:

Meg Whitman, eBay's former chief executive, will likely be named to lead Hewlett-Packard after markets close on Thursday, according to a person familiar with board decisions.

The decision to replace Léo Apotheker, the company's chief executive, after only 11 months on the job is all but made, lacking only a final vote, said the person, who is not authorized to speak for the board. While Mr. Apotheker is going, his strategy, including consideration of spinning off H.P.'s personal computer business from other parts of the company, will remain in place. (NY Times)

While there were rumors that Whitman would be considered for a prominent role in any Romney administration, it now appears that her attempts at government greatness are behind her. She won't be running for Senate next year, and future government positions are unlikely.

At this point the more important question for Californians is whether she can save HP without further jettisoning thousands of jobs at the once (and future??) Silicon Valley giant.

Discuss :: (9 Comments)

Who will be GOP's sacrificial lamb against DiFi?

by: Lucas O'Connor

Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 11:05:52 AM PST

Last week, PPP polling asked the Twitterverse what challengers they should test against Dianne Feinstein for her 2012 re-election campaign. It solicited a wide range of suggestions -- some serious, some decidedly less so -- including testing other Democrats given our state's new top-two primary.

The results rolled out yesterday, finding to (hopefully) nobody's surprise that DiFi "stomps the field." The full pdf of results are here, where PPP doubled down on the dire, declaring "No hope for Whitman, Fiorina, Arnold, anyone."

Before abandoning us for the Emerald City, Robert had an excellent series breaking down the long-term realignment that's settling in in California, and these PPP numbers certainly reflect that. But it goes beyond simply an overwhelming lead for DiFi due to her perpetually superhuman support. PPP, through their own calculations and twitter suggestions, couldn't come up with a single potential Republican candidate that hasn't already run a statewide campaign.

And of all those tested- Tom Campbell, Carly Fiorina, Darrell Issa, Steve Poizner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Meg Whitman- only Campbell managed a net positive approval rating (+3). And he only pulled that off by being notably less known than the rest of the field.

Arnold's at negative 40. eMeg a solid minus-22 and Fiorina at minus-19. A bare majority have an opinion of Steve Poizner, putting him at 13 points to the negative. And of the 48% who have an opinion of Darrell Issa, it's an unfavorable one by a 2-1 margin.

In other words, it's impossible to run statewide as a Republican without alienating people faster than you win them over. It hasn't just left all recent GOP contenders in a deep hole, but it should scare off anyone thinking of using a doomed DiFi challenge as a boost to higher office- just running statewide from the right is a career-ender. The half-dozen California Republicans with leadership positions in the House have no reason to come back and end their careers, and the new House members ought to see these numbers as reason not to bother.

It's a cycle that'll feed on itself as long as the Republican party is set on a dead-ender agenda of hyper-conservative purity.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

What of the Union that Backed the Wrong Horse?

by: Brian Leubitz

Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 09:30:00 AM PST

Meg Whitman didn't have much in the way of labor support.  However she was able to purchase secure one major public employee union, that of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association.  You might remember this from the incident where CSLEA extracted a promise from Whitman to exclude law enforcement from any pension reform process.  That incident became quite the brouhaha, first in that the candidate then said that she might take public employee pension reform to the ballot (without mentioning the topic of pension reform), and then later because somebody on Jerry Brown's staff called Whitman a "whore" for selling out to the union.

Of course, the "whore" episode only comes out because a) Jerry Brown didn't properly hang up the phone and b) CSLEA handed that tape recording over to the media.  This had to be a very calculated and considered move.  You just don't do something that creates that kind of personal attack without considering what you are doing.  In other words, CSLEA moved all in by releasing that tape...for the wrong side.

Sure, different interest groups play in politics, and politicians are used to that.  And CSLEA did spend a decent amount of money for Whitman,  about half a million on Whitman.  (And another $100K on the losing AG candidate, Steve Cooley.)  Money gets spent against you, and then you have to work with those interests if you overcome it.  In a democracy so awash with cash, it happens, and you deal with it.  However, it is simply human nature to have a longer memory when it comes to these more personal attacks.  One has to anticipate the same thing would have come into play for Whitman, if she had won, with anybody even remotely associated with Gloria Allred.

But CSLEA was in a more compromised position.  They haven't had a contract since 2008, and will now have to negotiate with Jerry Brown's team to get that contract.  And that's amidst a slew of other labor unions that are looking for contracts that did support him.  Heck, even the prison guards (CCPOA) went pretty heavily for Brown. (Think Bobble Head Meg)

The Bee has an interesting article about the political strategist behind the CSLEA efforts, Don Novey.  Novey, who has a long background with CCPOA, was one of the godfathers of California's Tough on Crime legislation and ballot measures.  He recognized that fear of crime was a powerful tool to get people to vote for measures and candidates that would benefit his ends.  And, in this situation with CSLEA, he lost:

Don Novey placed a multimillion-dollar bet on Meg Whitman to become California's next governor and lost. Problem was, he played the game with other people's money. A lot of it.

Now one of the state employee unions that the labor legend advised to oppose Gov.-elect Jerry Brown must negotiate a new contract with the incoming administration.(SacBee)

The article is worth reading, not only for the background on Novey, but the future of collective bargaining for law enforcement will certainly be affected by what happened in the election.

The bigger issue, pension reform, is still hanging out there.  Brown seems to be looking at the subject to cement some sort of legacy in this term.  He'll have to overcome some very tepid supporters in labor, but certainly his position will be generally stronger than Whitman to shove something down.  The big danger here is that we might slam the middle class in the process.  If we are going to solve the long-term budget crisis, we will need to stop ignoring the revenue side of the equation.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Where do you actually stand on choice, Meg?

by: Dante Atkins

Tue Oct 26, 2010 at 23:17:59 PM PDT

Meg Whitman certainly didn't do her imploding campaign any favors with her cowardly refusal to join Jerry Brown in running a positive campaign from now through election day at Governor Schwarzenegger's Women's Conference in Long Beach. And if women knew that Meg was just as non-committal on choice as she is on her campaign strategy, they'd probably be even less impressed than they already are. Thankfuly, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party has an ad for that:

Truth is, Meg Whitman doesn't care about social issues, just as long as she gets impose her radical economic agenda on the state. So she'll just say whatever she thinks is likeliest to get her elected. Pathetic, all in all.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Matt Lauer Asks Brown and Whitman to Take Down the Negative Ads

by: Brian Leubitz

Tue Oct 26, 2010 at 16:49:31 PM PDT

At today's Women's Conference, Matt Lauer asked both candidates to take down their negative ads.  Eventually, Jerry Brown agreed that he would be fine with both candidates just talking to camera in nice positive spot.  Meg Whitman seemed to hedge away...

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Meg Whitman: California is NOT for Sale

by: Robert Greenwald

Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 11:15:13 AM PDT

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 200 words in story)

California Race Chart 2010 (Part 1 of 3: Statewide Races)

by: cali_girl_in_texas

Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 05:46:06 AM PDT

Cross-posted at Swing State Project, Daily Kos, and Democracy for California.

Here I will cover the eight constitutional offices, three State Supreme Court justice confirmations, and nine ballot measures. In the second diary, I will cover the U.S. Senate race and the House races, and in the third the state legislature. I will also combine my regular registration updates within the diaries.

Speaking of registration updates, as you will see in the layout of the statewide registration numbers, Democrats are more pumped up here, adding almost half a million voters to their rolls since 2008. The Republicans in comparison added just 13,000 in the same amount of time. So if you are looking for a lethargic Democratic base, look elsewhere because you won't find it here!

More info can be found at the 2010 Race Tracker.

Here is the most recent registration data: http://www.sos.ca.gov/election...
Here is the list of candidates that will appear on the ballot: http://www.sos.ca.gov/election...

Statewide Layout
Democrats: 7,531,986 (44.32%)
Republicans: 5,257,669 (30.94%)
Decline to State: 3,427,395 (20.17%)
Others: 776,025 (4.56%)

Key: I will list the incumbent first, in boldface (in the case of open seats, the incumbent party first without boldface), and all minor parties after the two major parties.

D: Democratic
R: Republican
L: Libertarian
G: Green
AI: American Independent
PF: Peace and Freedom
NP: Nonpartisan
SW: Socialist Workers

Race Ratings
Toss-up: Margin by less than 5%
Lean: Margin by 5-10%
Likely: Margin by 10-15%
Strong: Margin by 15-20%
Solid: Margin by more than 20%

Governor: Ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R) vs. Attorney General Jerry Brown (D), Laura Wells (G), Dale Ogden (L), Chelene Nightingale (AI), Carlos Alvarez (PF), and Lea Sherman (SW-W/I)

Profile: I see no way Whitman can win. Running as an outsider when the current governor, who also ran as an outsider, is leaving office with 20% approval ratings, is a surefire losing strategy. And pissing voters off by running ads nonstop and spending nine-figure sums of money while they're forced to cut back is not going to help at all. Brown is leading by example, running on a shoestring budget and calling for everyone to sacrifice, meaning no sacred cows. Polls may not yet show it, but in my opinion I think Whitman is finished. In fact, I'll be very surprised if she even manages to make it a low-teen loss.

Outlook: Likely to Strong Brown (D pickup)

Lieutenant Governor: Interim Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) vs. S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsom (D), Jimi Castillo (G), Pamela Brown (L), Jim King (AI), and C.T. Weber (PF)

Profile: Here we have quasi-incumbent Abel Maldonado, appointed after John Garamendi went to Congress, running to be elected in his own right against Newsom. While Maldonado is moderate for a Republican (though that is not saying much), being closely associated with Arnold is going to be a huge liability, which I do not think he will overcome.

Outlook: Lean Newsom (D pickup)

Attorney General: S.F. DA Kamala Harris (D) vs. L.A. DA Steve Cooley (R), Peter Allen (G), Timothy Hannan (L), Dianne Beall Templin (AI), and Robert J. Evans (PF)

Profile: This is the only statewide race in California I am worried about, and where my theory (that California has just become too Democratic for even a moderate Republican to win barring unusual circumstances) will be put to the test. Cooley is not that bad for a Republican, having had the audacity to stand against popular opinion of issues such as three strikes and Jessica's Law, though he is also against dispensaries for medical marijuana. Harris is a rising star in Democratic circles, and is a more formidable opponent than any of Cooley's challengers in the past. The wild card is the big enchilada of L.A. County, where Harris' name ID is low and she'd need to win by 18-20% to win statewide. I am of course pulling for Harris because I want our bench to stay nice and full for the inevitable retirements of DiFi probably in 2012, Boxer probably in 2016, and for the open governorship in 2014 or 2018; and also because she has courageously stood up to Prop 8, while Cooley pledges to defend it in court.

Outlook: Toss-Up

Secretary of State: SoS Debra Bowen (D) vs. businessman Damon Dunn (R), Ann Menasche (G), Christina Tobin (L), Merton D. Short (AI), and Marylou Cabral (PF)

Profile: Bowen is a lock for reelection.

Outlook: Solid Bowen

Treasurer: Treasurer Bill Lockyer (D) vs. State Senator Mimi Walters (R), Kit Crittenden (G), Edward Teyssier (L), Robert Lauten (AI), and Debra Reiger (PF)

Profile: Lockyer is a lock for reelection.

Outlook: Solid Lockyer

Controller: Controller John Chiang (D) vs. State Senator Tony Strickland (R), Ross Frankel (G), Andy Favor (L), Lawrence Beliz (AI), and Karen Martinez (PF)

Profile: A rematch from 2006, only with Democrats more pumped up, Chiang will win by a wider margin this time around.

Outlook: Strong to Solid Chiang

Insurance Commissioner: State Assemblyman Mike Villines (R) vs. State Assemblyman Dave Jones (D), William Balderston (G), Richard Bronstein (L), Clay Pedersen (AI), and Dina Padilla (PF)

Profile: In California, when a non-damaged Democrat is up against a generic Republican, the Democrat wins. Take it to the bank.

Outlook: Likely to Strong Jones (D pickup)

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Retired Superintendent Larry Aceves (NP) vs. State Assemblyman Tom Torlakson (NP)

Profile: Torlakson voted against Race to the Top and believes parents, teachers, students, and communities alike all need to come together to improve our schools, while Aceves believes that the problem with public schools is the teachers and hedge funds and billionaires should have more control over K-12 education. This will be a close one.

Outlook: Toss-Up

State Supreme Court confirmation - Tani Cantil-Sakauye: Voters are being asked whether to confirm Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Arnold's pick to replace Chief Justice Ron George. She is seen as uncontroversial, but likely to share Arnold's views on corporate power.

Outlook: Lean Confirm

State Supreme Court retention - Ming Chin: Chin was in the minority that voted to uphold the state's ban on marriage equality in 2008, and is one of the most right-wing justices on the state Supreme Court. I want to see him go, but it doesn't look likely.

Outlook: Likely Retention

State Supreme Court retention - Carlos Moreno: Moreno was the only justice who courageously voted to overturn Prop 8 at the State Supreme Court last year, and has been a reliable vote for equality and so should be voted to be retained.

Outlook: Likely Retention

Ballot Measures: Nine measures will be on the California ballot this fall. Information can be found here: http://www.smartvoter.org/2010... Field has released polls on 19, 23, and 25. http://www.field.com/fieldpoll...

Prop. 19 (Marijuana): If passed, this proposition would legalize the possession and growing of marijuana for personal use of adults 21 years and older, and allow state and local governments to regulate and tax related commercial activities. This proposition winning may make Washington reexamine its own policy towards marijuana, since what happens in California often makes it way to the other side of the country. Polls have shown Yes leading by single digits, so I'll call 19 a passing proposition.

My recommendation: YES!
10/21/2010 Outlook: Lean Pass

Prop. 20 (Redistricting Congressional Districts): This proposition would amend the state Constitution be amended to have the Citizens Redistricting Commission (prop 11 from 2008) redistrict for the U.S. House of Representatives seats. This initiative calls for each district being composed of people of the same income level and people with the same work opportunities, which to me feels like a backdoor to the old bygone Jim Crow ways. And passing this prop while giving free passes to Republican-controlled legislatures in Texas and Florida to gerrymander the hell out of those states is likely to put California at a disadvantage when competing for federal dollars. In addition, there is no way this commission can be held accountable.

My recommendation: NO!
10/21/2010 Outlook: Toss-up/Lean Fail

Prop. 21 (Vehicle License Surcharge): Establishes an $18 annual vehicle license surcharge to provide funds for maintaining the state parks and wildlife programs, and grants surcharged vehicles free admission to the state parks. Our cash-starved state parks could use the extra funds. In addition, the governor can't take funds from this coffer when other coffers are low. The tough economy may dampen the chances of this prop passing, though.

My recommendation: YES!
10/21/2010 Outlook: Toss-Up

Prop. 22 (Local Government Funds): Prohibits the state from taking funds used for local government services. It is well-intentioned but flawed. The cities and counties would get an immediate payment of over $1 billion, forcing further cuts to vital public services.

My recommendation: NO!
10/21/2010 Outlook: Toss-Up/Lean Fail

Prop. 23 (Suspension of AB 32): Backed by Texas oil interests, this prop would suspend AB 32 until unemployment dropped to an unrealistic 5.5% for a whole year and hurt the state's fledgling green jobs industry, doing the exact opposite of what its backers claim: it would actually kill more jobs than create more jobs. (Here in "business-friendly" Texas, the economic situation is also pretty bad, with unemployment here at its highest level since the late '80s [and me being unable to find a job to save my life] and an $18 billion deficit for the 2011 budget session, which will make 2003 look like the good old days.) Polls have shown a low double-digit lead for the No side.

My recommendation: NO! NO! NO!
10/21/2010 Outlook: Likely Fail

Prop. 24 (Corporate Loopholes): A long-overdue measure that would close corporate tax loopholes, reducing the budget deficit by $2 billion.

My recommendation: YES!
10/21/2010 Outlook: Toss-Up

Prop. 25 (Majority Vote on Budget): Another very long-overdue measure that eliminates the ridiculous 2/3rds rule to pass a budget in the state legislature. This prop is passing by double-digits in the polls.

My recommendation: YES! YES! YES!
10/21/2010 Outlook: Likely Pass

Prop. 26 (Two-Thirds Vote on Fees): Would require two-thirds vote approval for the imposition of certain state and local fees, including those on businesses that adversely impact the local community and environment. The last thing we need is higher vote thresholds.

My recommendation: NO! NO! NO!
10/21/2010 Outlook: Toss-Up

Prop. 27 (Redistricting Commission): This proposition eliminates the Citizens Redistricting Commission from Prop 11, which barely passed, suggesting some voters have some doubts about its effectiveness. This commission also gives Republicans much more power than their current share of the population.

My recommendation: YES!
10/21/2010 Outlook: Toss-Up

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Tom McClintock Still Doesn't Like eMeg, Part 2

by: Brian Leubitz

Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 07:00:00 AM PDT

Back in August, Tom McClintock made some not too excited remarks about Meg Whitman.  Seems the election approaching hasn't really changed his mind on that front: Meg Whitman is just not loyal enough to ummm...McClintockianism...

McClintock - a tea party favorite with a strong libertarian streak - had particularly hash words for his party's nominee for governor, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. Asked about Whitman following his remarks, McClintock suggested she is not loyal to the "principles of the American Founders," and said he agrees with her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown as much as he agrees with Whitman:

   My loyalty is to the principles of the American Founders. My loyalty to the Republican party and to its candidates extends only so far as they are loyal to those principles. And I don't see that in the current ticket. Two of the people on the Republican ticket were singularly responsible for biggest tax increase by any state in American history. These are Whitman's handpicked running mates. [...]

   I look at all of these things and I realize I agree with her maybe 20 percent of the time. I agree with Jerry Brown about 20 percent of the time. I agree with the libertarians about 80 percent of the time. So I'm not making an endorsement, particularly for that!(Think Progress)

Must be hard to live up to the pure principles that exist only in the mind of Tom McClintock, but on the other hand, I'm sure it is an awesome place.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Another Republican Says No to Whitman

by: stevefromsacto

Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 14:47:45 PM PDT

Whitman's continued attacks on the IHSS homecare program are turning even staunch Republicans against her.
Here's another post on the Whitman web site from Cheryl Rose, a homecare provider and lifelong Republican.
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 244 words in story)

Post Debate Wrap

by: Brian Leubitz

Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 20:35:21 PM PDT

Discuss :: (13 Comments)

California Baselines

by: Alibguy

Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 06:59:20 AM PDT

Cross posted on my blog http://frogandturtle.blogspot.... which you should visit for more election analysis in California and the U.S.

With Arnold Schwarzenegger retiring, Democrats thought they would have a great shot at picking up California's Governorship. Then, they ran into problems. Jerry Brown who is the Attorney General and former Governor decided to run. He has material to attack and he knocked other candidates out of the primary who would have won the general election more easily like Antonio Villaraigosa. Then Meg Whitman, former CEO of ebay from Silicon Valley decided to run and brought all her money with her. The worst part is that this is a Republican year, putting the national mood against Democrats. Now Jerry Brown is running a tight race with Meg Whitman which is finally going his way with the news story about Nicky Diaz Santiallo. Whitman's ex-nanny, Jill Armstrong is also supporting Santiallo so this story is not leaving. Meg Whitman though can just write herself another check to defend herself. Anyway, this could become a dead heat again. This is why I created the baselines for the race. I factored in Presidential results from 2008 and Attorney General results from 2006.

The baselines are predictions for county percentages if the race is tied. These are NOT my predictions for the actual vote count, it just shows how the county map will look if there is a tie. The baselines show Brown doing well in the Bay Area but getting crushed in the Central Valley. He also carries two of three bellwether counties. He wins Lake and San Benito counties but loses Santa Barbara County. He also does poorly in Southern California except for LA County which he wins by 16 points. Also, I have the vote totals for each county below too. I had the turnout levels be 65% of 2008. I did not take into account the fact that some parts of the state might have 55% turnout of 2008 or 75%. For Jerry Brown to win, he will have to either increase turnout in the Bay Area or increase his vote percentage there. Okay, here are the baselines and a few links:
http://quickfacts.census.gov/q... clearer map of California
http://uselectionatlas.org/RES... 2008 results
http://www.sos.ca.gov/election... 2006 Attorney General results

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 74 words in story)

Schwarzenegger's Third Term

by: Leland Yee

Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 14:52:53 PM PDT

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 332 words in story)

Third Debate Cancelled

by: Brian Leubitz

Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 11:45:00 AM PDT

What had been billed as the "third debate" between the candidates for governor, Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown, has now seemingly been canceled.  From Carla Marinucci:

The big radio debate between California gubernatorial candidatees -- Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman  -- which had been scheduled Tuesday at 10 a.m. on the Ronn Owens' show has been cancelled, the station says.

Sterling Clifford, Brown's spokesman, said the debate was only a "discussion" between the two candidates, and "by mutual agreement,'' the two have decided not to pursue it.(SF Gate)

No word yet of any additional joint appearances, but if this is it, then this is it.  Back in 2006, we had only one debate, so I'm sure we'll something about a step forward for democracy for the Whitman camp.  Although, with Brown seemingly opening up a lead in the polls, perhaps a change in position might be brewing on debates?

UPDATE: As pointed out in the comments, there is one more debate scheduled for Oct. 12 in San Rafael at Domincan University. It is scheduled to be moderated by former NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

10 Things You Should Know About Prop 24

by: Randy Lyman

Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 15:04:45 PM PDT

(Cross-posted on the Live Wire)  

Five ballot measures on the November ballot could bring great changes to the state budget and the way revenues are raised in California: Propositions 21, 22, 24, 25 and 26. Proposition 24 would repeal $1.3 billion worth of corporate tax breaks enacted under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

SEIU California and the California Labor Federation support Prop 24. Meg Whitman is against it.

According to a recent analysis by the non-partisan California Budget Project, the tax breaks that Proposition 24 would repeal, if

fully implemented, will cost the state $1.3 billion or more per year. ... These tax breaks are distinguished by their cost, by the fact that they were approved at a time when the state faced enormous and ongoing budget shortfalls, and by the fact the [sic] most of the benefits would go to a tiny handful of corporations that will receive large tax breaks.

These tax breaks are the price exacted for passing a state budget under Schwarzenegger, the ransom for not massacring a roomful of public services entirely. Now, corporations can pick and choose how they're taxed each year ("SSF apportionment"), even changing their mind each year depending on what's most convenient for minimizing their tax bill. They can also transfer tax credits and carry back net operating losses (NOL), and take advantage of all three of these tax breaks at the same time.

The CBP report runs 12 pages (14 with footnotes), but here are a few highlights of what will happen under the Schwarzenegger corporate tax breaks unless Prop 24 is passed by voters. Read this, then get out your own 1040 for last year and see how well yours compares:

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 460 words in story)

Eric Hogue: There Is More than One Latino Assembly Member?

by: Brian Leubitz

Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 14:00:00 PM PDT

This is really classic GOP. Insensitivity bordering on the farcical, connecting dots that aren't really there and a whole lot more.  Really good stuff.  Here's the story, apparently an aide to Asm. Hector De La Torre had some documentation problems.  Mr. Hogue, who is something of a nativist from his perch in Sacramento minor radio personality land, decides that this is a great opportunity to bash Jerry Brown.

Why? Well, because Asm. De La Torre has endorsed Jerry for the governorship. So, you know, every Democrat's problems are Jerry's problems now.  But it gets better.  Hogue tries to increase the connection by showing that De La Torre was quoted on Brown's website.  The only problem?  It was actually Asm. Kevin De Leon who was quoted.  Hogue has since changed the site, so here's a screen grab that I took:

Hogue 1

As I said, the post is still up, but it has now been changed. Unfortunately, they didn't really clean up after themselves, and now it just doesn't even make sense:

Assemblyman De La Torre is quoted  is listed on Jerry Brown's campaign website:
Southern California Latino leaders today joined together to announce their support for Jerry Brown's campaign for Governor and decry Republican Meg Whitman's anti-Latino positions and deceptive campaign tactics.

I guess when you are trying to spin this hard, sometimes you are going to confuse yourself. Or maybe to Hogue "Hector de La Torre" = "Kevin De Leon"?  Who knows, but this immigration story just continues to control the media narrative.

Over the flip, find a screen grab with more of the post.

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The eMeg Immigration Saga Continues

by: Brian Leubitz

Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 16:00:00 PM PDT

At some level, you really have to feel for the woman at the center of the Whitman "housekeepergate" story, Nicky Diaz Santillan.  She is an undocumented immigrant, and she has now exposed herself to the world, and ICE.  It's not an easy thing to do.  But at another level, the story is deeply intriguing, from both personal and political standpoints.  Today, Meg Whitman, and Gloria Allred, Ms. Diaz Santillan's attorney, held back to back press conferences.  And, as this is the kind of stuff that makes gossip rags crazy, TMZ.com streamed both live.

I'll just summarize Meg's press conference: "Gloria Allred is a liar and a tool of Jerry Brown. Nicky is being manipulated by that shystress. Oh, and I'm so certain that Gloria Allred is a liar that I'll take a polygraph."

And Allred's response? Well, I'll let TMZ summarize

But today, Gloria produced the letter with what she says is a written command from Meg's husband -- "Nicky, please check this."

Earlier today Whitman said she would take a polygraph test -- but Gloria says Nicky doesn't have to take a polygraph test because she has the letter as proof, and "the evidence speaks for itself."

As for Whitman's claim that Gloria is working with Jerry Brown to engineer a smear campaign -- Gloria says she has not made any contribution to Brown's current campaign and hasn't had any contact recently with Brown or his people.

Take a look at the letter that the Whitman residence received.  Allegedly, the handwriting down at the bottom is that of Dr. Griff Harsh, Whitman's husband. (yes, for real) So while Whitman said she didn't receive the letter, apparently her husband did.

Of course, there is the other question that will be on the minds of Californians. If she thought of Nicky as family, then why did she treat her like somebody that could simply be tossed out.  You know, members of my family have done things that I really don't like, and vice versa, but I'll do everything that I can to stick up for them.  That's what family is for.

But the Harsh-Whitman family, is, well, a bit harsh. Sure, she'll build a dorm at Princeton to get her sons admitted, despite the fact that they were kicked out of several schools for racist attacks upon fellow students and general poor behavior, but fib on a few papers in order to make a life where you can eat and provide for your children? Well, you are persona non grata.

It's a sad statement about our immigration system to be sure. It provided a very poor choice for Meg once she had the entire situation displayed in front of her.  But she took the easy way out. And that says a lot about her character.

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Jerry Brown Supports Construction of Peripheral Canal

by: Dan Bacher

Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 20:10:26 PM PDT

Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for Governor, said he supports building a peripheral canal/tunnel to ship water to southern California and corporate agribusiness during the debate with Republican Meg Whitman in Davis Tuesday night.

Up until the debate, Brown had refused to take a position on the controversial canal and water bond. However, political pressure by agribusiness, southern California water agencies and corporate environmental NGOs including the Nature Conservancy has apparently forced him to adopt a pro-canal stand.

A broad coalition of conservationists, Indian Tribes, fishing groups, Delta residents, environmental justice advocates and family farmers opposes the peripheral canal and water bond. Canal opponents believe the canal will lead to the extinction of collapsing populations of Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River chinook salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Sacramento splittail and green sturgeon. The canal would cost an estimated $23 to $53.8 billion.  

"The old issue of a canal to bring water to Southern California reemerged in tonight's debate," according to Anthony York of the LA Times in his piece, "Brown-Whitman Debate: Water," on September 28. "Brown said he supports the idea of a peripheral canal to ship more water to Southern California but supports more water conservation. He implied Southern Californians should pay for the new delivery system."

"The beneficiary has to pay, not the general taxpayer," Brown said.

Meg Whitman has been a strong backer of the peripheral canal, the water bond and the gutting of the biological opinions protecting Central Valley salmon and Delta smelt, just like Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been. She brought up the false dichotomy of "fish versus jobs" during the debate.

"Turning our backs on water is turning our backs on jobs," she stated, failing to acknowledge that keeping more fresh water in the Bay-Delta Estuary helps support the thousands of jobs in the recreational and commercial fishing industries that depend upon healthy salmon and other fish populations.

Whitman also reaffirmed her support for the water bond that will go before the voters in November 2012.

Brown (37%) and Whitman (38%) are locked in a virtual tie among likely voters with 18 percent undecided, according to a survey released on Wednesday, September 29 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Brown's support of a peripheral canal shouldn't really be a surprise, since he supported the canal in 1982 when an initiative approving the canal was overwhelming defeated by the state's voters. Didn't Brown learn from that resounding defeat that a peripheral canal is not popular with the vast majority of the state's voters, whether they're from northern or southern California?  

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CNN Poll Shows Widening Leads for Democrats

by: Brian Leubitz

Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 17:30:00 PM PDT

A bit of news on the horse race front today.  A new poll from CNN has good numbers for Brown and Boxer:

According to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday, 52 percent of likely voters in the Golden State say they support Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, with 43 percent backing Republican challenger Carly Fiorina. ...

In the fight for governor, the poll indicates that 52 percent of likely voters back California Attorney General and former Gov. Jerry Brown, the Democratic nominee, with 43 percent supporting former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, the GOP nominee.

The interesting thing to note here is that both candidates are now over that magical 50% figure.  The last week has been kind to Democratic candidates across the nation, as Democrats are beginning to wake up from their slumber and realize that there is an election about to happen.  Here in California, Boxer and Brown have both fairly well consolidated their bases, and the big push now is to get them to the polls.

With Meg Whitman having a lovefest with Texas on the debate last night, and Carly Fiorina hanging out with the Tea party at every conceivable chance, the question is how the two Republicans plan on getting the middle.  They simply cannot win with the base alone in California.  They are each rapidly turning off California's middle.

I suppose it was just a matter of time.

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EQCA needs help to elect pro-LGBT candidates statewide

by: mcc

Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:35:20 AM PDT

Hi. I'm sure if you're reading this site, your e-mail box must be stuffed by now with pleas to volunteer for the election. But I want to let you know about one more volunteer opportunity that I think is really important, just in case it's a good fit for you.

I volunteer with Equality California, the group trying to repeal Proposition 8 and bring marriage equality back to California. I want to let you know that every weekend until the election Equality California will be holding phonebanks at each of its statewide offices doing get-out-the-vote calls for pro-LGBT candidates like Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris-- and we have a huge need for volunteers right now.

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