Sunday, August 31, 2003
Interesting piece in today's SF Chronicle...California's tax myth / Despite complaints, state's rate is far from highest

posted by Zentronix @ 1:24 PM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, August 28, 2003
Arnie took an interesting tack yesterday to begin laying out the views he can lay out--he went on talk radio to talk about his social views. Move right, talk left. Talk radio is where right-wingers gather, but Arnie is hoping his star power will woo talk-show hosts who think they're landing a "get", and their audiences who might say, "Hey this guy really is cooler than Grim McClintock." He took a-hair-right-of-Gray Davis-type positions on domestic partnerships, gun control, and medical marijuana but got treated with total kid gloves. McClintock gets to whine, and Arnie steals a few points back. I still don't think I was far off in yesterday's post. Maybe the timeline is moved up, but don't expect anything more substantial from Arnie for Labor Day.

posted by Zentronix @ 7:31 AM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

While right-wingers and Dems continue to hound Arnie to give up a plan, any plan, he's been shaking the trees and lining up the old bosses. Not so independent after all, eh, Arnie? In fact, he's an old insider, making his contacts his context. Even the in-laws are trying to drum up crossover support.

This has all got to be true to plan. They're taking their time, lining up the Reeps internally and getting the team together. Their bet is that if they can get the money and the marketing together, they're in there. Until then, it's all about getting the machine in place, quieting the internal ideologues, and getting Arnie into fighting form.

They may in fact be planning to far ahead--acting as if the election is already won. The strategy has to take into account further bleeding in the polls for the next 2.5 weeks. After that, the after-burners are on, the campaign opens like "Terminator 4", the hammer comes down, Ueberroth's moderates are sent packing, and McClintock's goose-steppers reduced to yelling from outside the barricades. Then, only then, is when we will see "solid proposals" from Arnie.

The X factor is the national media and whether Arnie can withstand 2.5 more weeks of having nothing substantive to say. This week the Dems are looking good. We'll see come September 15.

posted by Zentronix @ 1:01 PM   0 comments links to this post

Friday, August 22, 2003

Both Arnie and Ueberroth were vague and mush-mouthed on their so-called economic plans on Wednesday. Ueberroth said don't blame Gray, it's the structure of the budget, but then vowed to maintain Prop 13.

Arnie vowed to cap spending (hey, that's a really good idea for a growing state whose biggest expenditure because of Prop 13 is education) without new taxes, but said, hey maybe we'll need new taxes anyway. "It is not coincidental that Secretary Shultz is on my right and Warren Buffett is on my left," he said.

On Prop 13, he told Buffett if he mentioned it again, he'd make the flabby dude do 500 sit-ups. Then he buckled like a girly-man to the right and said he wouldn't change a thing.

posted by Zentronix @ 11:20 AM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, August 21, 2003
This poll released by the Public Policy Institute shows a whopping 72% disapproval rating for Gray, a slight lead for Schwarzenegger over Bustamante, and a weak 50% support for Prop 54. The survey was done between August 8 and 17.

posted by Zentronix @ 11:01 AM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Davis came out contrite and confrontational yesterday in his first major speech on the recall.

He apologized again for the energy crisis, and reminded voters that his surplus spending had gone to education--and that test scores had jumped. He took a strong stand against Prop 54--Ward Connerly's latest ballot-box idiocy--calling it "another Republican effort to divide Californians over race". He compared himself to Bill Clinton, reminded Dems of Florida, and chalked his recall up to a national Republican conspiracy, a "right-wing power grab".

Here is the text of Gov. Gray Davis' Speech at UCLA yesterday.

Aides say he will court progressives, Latinos, African Americans, and gays much more assiduously--something neither he nor the Democratic Party has ever been very good at doing.

How close he stays to this line will be conditioned on how sticky his poll numbers are in 3 weeks or so, how aggressively Arnie touts his social liberal credentials, and how much progress Arianna and Camejo can make.

posted by Zentronix @ 10:28 AM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, August 19, 2003
So Arnie has announced he will announce his economic plan on Wednesday. Big deal. Without any talk of Prop 13 rollbacks, it'll probably give Arianna lots of firepower to label him a Bush Reep.

Here's a piece on Arianna in today's NY Times A Candidate Who Confounds, Charms and Reaps Publicity.

posted by Zentronix @ 10:43 AM   0 comments links to this post

Saturday, August 16, 2003

More confusion in the Schwarzenegger camp as his chief economic adviser, the trillionaire Warren Buffett, speaks some sense for once and everyone goes ballistic. Buffett was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying Prop 13 had led to an unmanageable tax system--and he is joined by many economists. Many agree that Prop. 13's tax rollback has in fact been the major structural cause of Cali's horrible cyclical budget crises.

But both Arnie's conservative henchmen and Gray "Structural Budget Change" Davis decried Buffett's comments yesterday. Read about it here, Buffett Property-Tax Remarks Stir Debate.

The article then quotes a number of elderly white pensioners in the Valley as saying overturning Prop 13 would be nuts. This, after describing the economists' and some Dems' quite modest perennial proposal of loosening Prop 13 caps on taxes on businesses, not home-owners. Come on now. Let's get some real debate about the budget crisis, yall. For the last three decades, Cali's K-12 and higher education systems have been crushed by the politics of elderly white pensioners from places like the Valley. None of the candidates are talking about this, and I'm too cynical by now to think that any of them will...

posted by Zentronix @ 9:25 AM   0 comments links to this post

Bustamante has a slight lead over Arnie, but within the margin of error. Basically they are in a dead heat. Still, it's all pretty volatile. 44% of voters may change their vote. Arianna at 4% has less than half of Tom McClintock's share. She and Camejo are polling at 6% combined. Poll results are here.

posted by Zentronix @ 9:15 AM   0 comments links to this post

Hey yall, I'm teaching a class on Music Writing through Media Alliance in November, you can sign up here if you're interested!

posted by Zentronix @ 8:11 AM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Only 4% in the polls and yet the victim of a huge hit piece in the LA Times today...Huffington Paid Little Income Tax...looks like editors are trying to close the field. I bet there's a Democratic consultant behind this one.

posted by Zentronix @ 8:27 AM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Here's Gary Coleman and Mary Carey. One's still a virgin and one's not.

posted by Zentronix @ 9:36 AM   0 comments links to this post

And another regarding the internal politics of Arnie's campaign, Schwarzenegger's Team Is Shuffled. Don't expect positions til this weekend at the earliest.

posted by Zentronix @ 9:19 AM   0 comments links to this post

Here's an article detailing Wilson and his former aides' key role in Schwarzenegger's campaign. Hit-piece ads are making the Spanish-language press.

posted by Zentronix @ 9:15 AM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Arianna looked pretty bad on Saturday, filing at the same time and same place as Arnold, and looking for an opportunity to bumrush the photo opps. She knocked over the microphones in her haste to get in the frame with Arnold and Maria, and stole a hug from Maria a handshake from Arnold as the cameras were going off.

Most pointed question of her day was "Are you stalking Arnold"? She mumbled something about "by any means necessary" and "waging guerilla politics", but she kinda looked like the girl who comes to the prom without her date. Real John Hughes-ish. I felt really bad for her, but then again, she got her hummer-hybrid soundbite off and the national media is now treating her a front-runner, which they aren't going to be doing for Peter Camejo. (One lefty fills their quota.)

Now she must hone her message. She's bound to be relegated to the second page for the rest of the campaign, so she'll have to come up with stronger arrows than what kind of car one drives--important, but come on, this is California, diamond in the back sunroof top. As part of a larger platform, OK, but as your only soundbite? Let's redefine success.

Meanwhile, her best point--how Bush I & II have devastated the Cali economy is beginning to be taken by the Dems. Cali Dem party chair Art Torres--a good guy, I hasten to say, whom I worked a lot with many years ago--has begun slinging it in his daily slugfests. More importantly, he has seized on the return of Pete Wilson, now the chair of Arnie's campaign. Good shit!

If Gray is the most despised Cali politician since Nixon, Wilson is on a whole other level for communities of color and labor--up there with FDR for Japanese Americans and Ronald Reagan for African Americans. During Wilson's reign of terror, he unleashed an anti-immigrant backlash that culminated in Prop 187--an initiative so noxious it was overturned by the courts--and sponsored an initiative that attempted to take away most political organizing and lobbyiing power from the labor unions--which the unions then angrily trounced at the polls. Hiring Wilson and his blackboot goons back to run Arnie's campaign is about the dumbest thing they could have done. It's energized the Latino and labor base to a fever pitch. Last week, Arnie couldn't lose. Forget the polls showing him at 35%. Now he definitely can lose.

The strategy for Arnie has been shut up and be vague. As long as he is, everyone can read into him some barbarian-storming-the-citadel fantasy. Now he's doubly troubled--his message is that people will have to wait for his platform--this, in a campaign that's gonna be less than 2 months long! Worse, he's got Pete Wilson delivering that message. Meanwhile, Bill "Who Am I?" Simon and McClintock will be firing shots from the right. No doubt, this week will be pure pleasure for the Dems. Witness this exchange on MSNBC yesterday...

SEIGENTHALER: Governor Wilson, let me start with you. You're the co-chair of this campaign, you're supporting Arnold Schwarzenegger. When are we going to hear some specifics about what your candidate stands for?

Gov. WILSON: You're going to hear a lot of specifics, John. We have seven weeks to go, that is longer than general election campaigns in New York and probably most of the states in the country, longer than the British Parliamentary elections. We are going to make certain that the people do hear statements that are substantive, statements that define his positions, but we're obviously going do this on our own schedule. This is a tactical consideration, it's a adversarial process.

SEIGENTHALER: I--I understand that, but you've been in this business of politics for quite some time and you understand how it works. I mean, candidates sit down--before they decide to run, they decide what they stand for, where they stand on certain issues. We just don't seem to get that from Arnold Schwarzenegger. Has he not thought about it?

Gov. WILSON: Oh, you're going to get it. He's thought about it a good deal. As I say, this is a tactical decision. There are going to be times when we want the focus on a particular issue, other times it will be other issues. Through the seven weeks you're going to hear him on every major issue. I hope we'll hear as much from the others.

SEIGENTHALER: All right. Let me--let me st--ask you, Mr. Torres. We looked at this poll, let me show it to our viewers one more time. It shows that 59 percent of Californians want to recall Governor Davis. You've got a lieutenant governor who's a Democrat who's now in this race. It--it--it sounds as if Governor Davis is in serious trouble. How do you turn it around?

Mr. TORRES: Well, 64 percent Gallup Poll yesterday. So if we're going down, I think we're improving in terms of the--of the situation. The way we're going to test this...

SEIGENTHALER: That doesn't sound like much of an improvement if you look at that poll, I'll tell you.

Mr. TORRES: Well, 64 percent down to 59 is--I--I'll take that as an improvement. That's 5 points. I'll take it. And we're going to go down further, but we're going to concentrate on the issues. And I think Governor Wilson said it right, Arnold has to tell us where he stands on issues. But when he tells us that businesses are leaving California, our own statistics, the Department of Employment in California, tell us that in 2001 to 2002 businesses increased in California. Job loss was .2 between 2002 and 2003. So, our task as Democrats is not only to show the record of this governor, but also to rebut the urban legends that the Republican spinsters--spinesters, rather, are trying to put out to us.

SEIGENTHALER: Well, one thing that's not a legend is the $38 billion budget deficit, now down to $8 billion, but it's still a big problem for the state. Doesn't Governor Davis take some responsibility for this?

Mr. TORRES: Well, quite frankly, look at the numbers. Since 1959, Gray Davis has been the governor that has spent less increase in spending than any other governor in the history of this state.

SEIGENTHALER: So he takes no responsibility for it?

Mr. TORRES: Now, how does that jive with what you said. I'm sorry?

SEIGENTHALER: So, he takes no responsibility for it?

Mr. TORRES: Excuse me, he takes the responsibility for not spending as much as any other governor since 1959. He takes the responsibility for increasing the quality of the schools from 43rd to 23.

SEIGENTHALER: Whose fault is it, then?

Mr. TORRES: I'm sorry?

SEIGENTHALER: Whose fault is it, then?

Mr. TORRES: I think there are a number of factors that are playing into this scenario. And, quite frankly, some of it has to do with Washington in terms of their economic policies, with a $455 billion deficit. The other is the responsibility of trying to educate the voters. I don't think the governor's message has been out there as effective as it should be, and I think he takes the responsibility for that because there's a record to run on, a record that we're proud of.

SEIGENTHALER: And Governor Wilson, do you think that Arnold Schwarzenegger can simply win on the basis of criticizing Governor Davis' record?

Gov. WILSON: No, but I--I must say what just I heard from Art Torres is absurd.

Mr. TORRES: What is absurd, Pete?

Gov. WILSON: What you have said...

Mr. TORRES: What is?

Gov. WILSON: The absurd thing--the absurd thing--and I didn't interrupt you, Art, so don't interrupt me.

Mr. TORRES: I'll interrupt you when I think you're wrong, Pete.

Gov. WILSON: The absurd thing is the contention--I will interrupt you not at all, but the answer...

SEIGENTHALER: All right, gentlemen, let's just...

Gov. WILSON: The answer is that you're right, John, this--this governor is responsible, along with an irresponsible legislature. This is the third sham budget in a row, and the people of California were deceived last fall--they're talking about stealing the election. If anybody stole the election it was Gray Davis by deceiving the people of California, and then, after the election, letting the other shoe drop and discovering that it weighed $38 billion pounds. And to say that he has spent less than any governor since '59 is just absurd on its face. He's spent far more.


Gov. WILSON: And with a warning, the warning that he asked for and that I gave him, I said, 'When you come to office you need to understand that the only thing standing between you and an utterly irresponsible legislature and financial ruin for the state is your ability as governor to check their virtually limitless appetite for spending. They will spend right through the fat, multi-billion-dollar surplus that I have left you. They will spend through every penny of revenues that you have, and they'll spend money that you don't have.


Gov. WILSON: That's exactly what's happened.

SEIGENTHALER: Let me give Mr. Torres a response, please.

Mr. TORRES: Well, quite frankly, I think that Pete Wilson deceived the voters when he pushed deregulation and gave us the energy crisis and Proposition 187. But the bottom line is--check my facts out, Pete--you will find...

Gov. WILSON: You're ducking the question, Art.

Mr. TORRES: Oh, no, not ducking the question. Check...

Gov. WILSON: Ducking the question.


Gov. WILSON: Yes, you are.

Mr. TORRES: No, you ducked the question when it came to the energy crisis. You ducked the question when you overrode Latinos in this state with Prop 187...

Gov. WILSON: Tell me why every...

Mr. TORRES: ...and quite frankly, that's why George Bush...

Gov. WILSON: Tell me why every member of the legislature...

Mr. TORRES: ...didn't campaign with you, Pete. Are you going to campaign with George Bush now?

Gov. WILSON: Pathetic?

Mr. TORRES: Are they letting you come out in public again?

Gov. WILSON: Are you going to explain why every member of the legislature, including Cruz Bustamante, voted for the energy bill that you now deride...

Mr. TORRES: Governor--governor...

Gov. WILSON: ...while Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis said nothing?

Mr. TORRES: Your--you increased spending by 37 percent when you were governor, sir.

Gov. WILSON: I--listen...

Mr. TORRES: Gray Davis, 32 percent.

SEIGENTHALER: Gentlemen...

Mr. TORRES: Check the facts, Pete.

Gov. WILSON: As you should remember...

SEIGENTHALER: Gentlemen, we're going to have to leave it there. This is a campaign...

Gov. WILSON: Pathetic.

SEIGENTHALER: ..that just beginning and it continues now, and it's going to be interesting.

Gov. WILSON: Guilt by association won't work. Sorry, John. Go ahead.

SEIGENTHALER: As are--it's going to be interesting as--as we've seen here tonight. It's good to have you both of you on the program. Thanks very much.

Mr. TORRES: Thank you, John.

Gov. WILSON: Thank you, John.

posted by Zentronix @ 9:02 AM   0 comments links to this post

Saturday, August 09, 2003
AP is now reporting as of a half hour ago that Garamendi has dropped out of the race...

Insurance Commissioner Quits Recall Race
August 9, 2003 06:32 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO - Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi dropped his bid for governor Saturday, hours before the deadline to file his candidacy papers in the October recall election.

Garamendi's advisers said the former state senator was under pressure to stay out of the race from Democrats who feared splitting support among Democratic candidates, should Gov. Gray Davis be recalled.

"I know firsthand that this recall election has become a circus," Garamendi said. "I have concluded I will not engage in this election as a candidate."

Garamendi was one of two Democrats who jumped into the race Thursday despite earlier pledges not to run. Garamendi said he was pressured by three Democrats to step aside in the first 24 hours of his campaign.

With a 5 p.m. deadline for filing election papers, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante was the only prominent Democrat on the ballot.

Garamendi postponed filing his papers at the Sacramento County Registrar's office at noon, citing logistical problems. His spokesman Gary Gartner said he was still being urged to drop out, but that he would file papers later.

At 3 p.m., he announced he was exiting the race.

The announcement came after Republican moderates Arnold Schwarzenegger and former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth filed papers to run for governor Saturday, adding marquee names to a growing list of candidates.

"I'm running for governor and I promise you that I will be the people's governor," Schwarzenegger said outside the Los Angeles County recorder's office. "I will be there for everybody, young and old, men and women alike, it doesn't make any difference."

Efforts to recall Davis were sparked by California's flagging economy, as well as state government's record $38 billion deficit and the decades-long debt to be paid for the 2000-2001 energy crisis.

The actor arrived with his wife, Maria Shriver, to the shrieks of onlookers. He grinned and signed autographs as he made his way inside to file papers.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, greeted independent candidate Arianna Huffington, who arrived at the same time to file. She and Shriver hugged.

Before filing, Huffington called for more fuel-efficient vehicles and noted that Schwarzenegger had arrived in an SUV while she arrived in a hybrid vehicle. There were a few boos and cries of "Arnold, Arnold."

Ueberroth, who also was chief organizer of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and said he could bridge the gap between Democrats and Republicans, filed his candidacy papers in Orange County. The Republican businessman said he would only to serve the three years remaining on Davis' term, which is up in January 2007.

Businessman Bill Simon, who lost the November election to Davis, also filed Saturday, joining state Sen. Tom McClintock as the two prominent conservative Republicans in the race. Among the uncertainties Saturday was how many prominent Democrats would file for the ballot. The governor had sought to keep others of his own party out of the race so he could concentrate on defeating the recall.

Bustamante filed papers Friday. It was unclear whether Democrats would line up behind his strategy of voting "no" on the recall portion of the ballot, but "yes" for Bustamante in case Davis is voted out.

In the two-part ballot, voters will first vote on whether Davis should be removed from office, then pick someone to succeed him if he is ousted.

Election officials said Friday that at least 443 Californians had taken out candidacy papers to run for the state's top job, though far fewer had officially filed.

Candidates had to pay the $3,500 filing fee and submit signatures of at least 65 registered voters to qualify. A candidate could avoid paying the fee by submitting 10,000 voter signatures.

Recall opponents also are fighting the election in court, but so far have only a string of losses to show for it. On Friday, a judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction halting the election over allegations that petition signatures had been gathered improperly.

posted by Zentronix @ 3:58 PM   0 comments links to this post

Friday, August 08, 2003
Here's a great piece proving someone at the New York Times has read Bakari Kitwana's book even if they ain't give no props to him for it...Younger Blacks Tell Democrats to Take Notice

posted by Zentronix @ 10:43 AM   0 comments links to this post


Here's my Friday morning quarterbacking for what it's worth:

1) Sad to say, but I think the election is Arnold's to lose at this point. He's motivated media, which is mobilizing the Republican party and national right-wing money. This could end up as big as Prop 13. Clearly Bush folks are going to be raining cash if they can lock Cali and its electoral votes for next year. I figure Bill Simon, like Issa (THE OTHER WHITE RICH PUNK) did yesterday, will drop out in 2 weeks when he realizes he can't raise a nickel from a dead guy.

An NYTimes article, Actor Calls for Overhaul of State Economic Engine, noted today Arnold's inexperience and the fact he went on Access Hollywood over CNN. But to me that's East Coast snobbery. Who watches CNN outside of New York City anyway?

He doesn't have to impress Harvard-educated pundits, he has to impress my man in the trailer park in Gardena. And that's a done deal. The less he seems to stand for, the better shot he's got--all the political consultants' advice to the contrary. All they've got to do is figure out how to get homie out of his refrigerator and into the polling booth. This should be good for Coors sales.

2) The Dems have 2 months to get themselves an anti-recall machine in place. They got the labor unions which is good, but even the labor leaders admit they will have a tough time energizing their base to do the phone-banks and the walks. Nobody as far as I know, has been hit up in communities of color. Gray made 2 TV appearances in the Bay Area last week shaking confused kids hands, and that's the extent of his work to excite the progressive base. Can you say, "Wham bam thank you ma'am"?

In polls, their best tested line is "Can you believe this thing costs $60 million?" In the mind of most voters, hell, that's probably less than the cost of "Terminator 4". And if Arnold can gross that much in 2 weeks, hey, maybe he can do a better job than Gray. That's the logic that the Dems have to fight now. Now you've got a national figure in Arnold focusing the race on the Richard Nixon of California politics. How will the Dems get their message out? As my 2 year-old Soli says, "I dunno!"

3) Party disunity is their downfall. Bustamante has no chance. Nor does Garamendi. These guys have a better chance trying to make P-Diddy's band and freestying with Wyclef. But as long as these guys are sucking up Democratic money to boost their opportunism, that's more money off-message. And off-message is not going to cut it against Conan money. What does the stump speech look like, "This recall is wrong. But vote for me!" Most folks who come to their rallies will be asking, "Now who do I need to see about getting my $50?"

4) If I'm leaning to someone now, it's Arianna. Whatever her strange past, she's become a true progressive. But it looks like her role is to play spoiler, the role that third party candidates are so ambivalent about. No one wants to run thinking they are going to lose, but the fact that no major media outlet covered her leak on Tuesday, but waited for Arnold and then buried her in the 18th inch means she has little to no chance at all. She's ahead of the Dems in getting on local and national TV, but she won't be able to sustain the interest after this weekend.

Her campaign is run by a consultant whose biggest win appears to have been the still-embattled medical marijuana initiative (which had big bank behind it) and her team consists of wonderful, great, smart progressives who have mostly never won statewide victories. If this article, Hollywood Is All Eyes as One of Its Own Takes a New Stage is correct, she and Arnold are tapping the same circle of friends for their cash. Where she gets money to make it to October 7? See Soli's comment above.

She's got the ideas, though, and a more mediagenic edge than Peter Camejo, the perennial Green (pun intended) ever had. All she can do is keep the Dems honest if they can get it together, and if they can't, then steal their votes and assure Cali gets Terminated.

5) All this, of course, is predicated on Nixon, I mean Gray, not making it interesting. He may. He has before. But I can't imagine how he gets himself out of this predicament. He's been buried this week. Yesterday he promised to come out swinging for the Sunday papers, once the ballot is almost final on Saturday night, so I guess we'll see then.

posted by Zentronix @ 10:37 AM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, August 07, 2003

That's what this October 7 ballot is going to be. Lt. Gov. Cruz "Oops, didn't mean to use the N-word" Bustamante and State Insurance John "Gray II" Garamendi join Gary "Whatchutalkingbout Willis?" Coleman on the ballot now, along with what will be maybe 3 dozen others by this weekend's deadline.

Scwarz looked just as wooden as Gray last night--expect the brillliant Dem spinmeisters to play on his accent and his stiffness as evidence of his latent Nazism--and he was not Dat Phan. And although I was rooting for my Asian brother, Dat Phan's not funny.

Glad Arianna is in the race. She won't be given a chance, and she's a profound pundit but a campaign neophyte. She announced on the wrong day and the newswires ignored her Tuesday leak. But she will keep the Dems honest and running to the left.

More important than all this--let's keep our eyes on the real, here--is Ward Connerly's Prop 54, the so-called Racial Privacy Initiative. Infuriatingly dumb, as always, and bound to do more damage to health, education, social services and race relations than anything he's ever done before.

California has taken back the crown of Apocalypse State from Florida, with a vengeance.

posted by Zentronix @ 11:02 AM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Even MORE interesting...

I'm sure the Dems are quaking now. Threats from the left and the right and the right center. No one willing to make the leap. I bet we see another Dem in the race by Friday.

Schwarzenegger Announces Calif. Gov. Bid

August 6, 2003 08:22 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES - Arnold Schwarzenegger ended the suspense Wednesday and said he would run in California's recall election, awarding Republicans his marquee value in their campaign to oust Gov. Gray Davis. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein ruled out a run, labeling the election "more and more like a carnival every day."

Schwarzenegger's announcement came as a surprise; advisers had said in recent days that he was leaning against running in the Oct. 7 election.

Schwarzenegger made his announcement during a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

"The politicians are fiddling, fumbling and failing," he said. "The man that is failing the people more than anyone is Gray Davis. He is failing them terribly, and this is why he needs to be recalled and this is why I am going to run for governor."

Political commentator Arianna Huffington declared Wednesday that she would run as an independent, one of the only other well-known names in the race so far. Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, a moderate Republican, has said he would enter the race if Schwarzenegger did not.

Feinstein's decision not to run gave a big boost to Davis, while frustrating some Democrats who wanted her to run to ensure the governorship would remain in the party's hands if Davis lost.

"After thinking a great deal about this recall, its implications for the future, and its misguided nature, I have decided that I will not place my name on the ballot," Feinstein said in a statement.

"I deeply believe the recall is a terrible mistake and will bring to the depth and breadth of California instability and uncertainty, which will be detrimental to our economic recovery and decision-making," she said.

The recall election is yet another setback for Davis, who has seen his popularity plummet as the state grapples with a record $38 billion budget deficit.

It also is the latest force to bedevil Californians, who in recent years have endured an energy crisis, the collapse of the dot-com economy and a federally mandated cutback in one of the state's main water supplies. Residents now face the prospect of higher car taxes and college fees to close the state's budget gap.

Davis is the first California governor to face a recall and would be only the second governor nationwide to be removed from office if the effort succeeds.

Analysts from both parties believed the governor's chances for survival would have dramatically diminished if Feinstein, who tops polls as California's most popular politician, was on the ballot as an alternative.

Her decision came a day after a strong endorsement for Davis from the AFL-CIO. Both developments were key victories for the governor, whose support from fellow party members had appeared to be weakening.

"I'm very pleased with Sen. Feinstein's announcement," Davis told San Francisco radio station KGO-AM.

"To the extent that Democrats get in the race, it makes it look like a normal election, and legitimates what is really an effort by the right wing to steal back an election they couldn't win last November," he said. "I think at the end of the day people will realize that the party is better served rallying around its sitting governor."

Some party members still thought otherwise.

"I want to back the strongest candidate and it's important that we coalesce around one, and now I'm appealing to the leaders, the folks whose pay grade is one or two notches up from mine, to figure out who our strongest candidate is and lead us in coalescing behind that candidate," said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., who had supported a Feinstein candidacy.

One possibility was U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who had supported a Feinstein candidacy and said she might run if Feinstein didn't.

"I have a feeling something will be decided tomorrow probably one way or the other," said Sanchez's spokeswoman, Carrie Brooks.

Members of California's congressional delegation discussed the matter in a conference call Wednesday, with the majority leaning toward finding a consensus candidate, said a source familiar with the discussion who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Huffington, the ex-wife of former Republican Congressman Michael Huffington, announced her candidacy at a news conference in Los Angeles.

"I'm not, to say the least, a conventional candidate. But these are not conventional times," she said. "And if we keep electing the same kind of politicians who got us into the same kind of mess funded by the same kind of special interests, we'll never get out of this mess."

Michael Huffington also has taken out papers, but has not indicated whether he will enter the race.

The ballot also is likely to include several conservative Republicans. U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, who funded the recall, is a declared candidate, and state Sen. Tom McClintock filed papers Tuesday. Businessman Bill Simon, who lost to Davis in November, also is expected to run.

posted by Zentronix @ 6:12 PM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Now it gets interesting...

My friends,

As you may have noticed, I've taken two weeks off from writing my column.
I have spent this time meeting with community leaders and the activists
who started and doing a lot of thinking -- and tossing
and turning -- about whether I should run for Governor of California in
the upcoming recall election.

During this time, I've received many wonderful e-mails from so many of you
urging me to run. Well, tomorrow morning at 10:30am at A Place Called
Home in South Central Los Angeles (a center for at-risk children I‚m on
the board of; directions below), I'll be announcing my decision.

You've been reading every week my outrage at the state of our politics,
and I would love it if you could be there to join me as I make the leap
from analysis to action -- from columnist to candidate.

For those of you who are not in Los Angeles, I ask you to be with me in
spirit and I hope I can rely on your support and counsel in the weeks to

Hope to see you there,



From the Westside

Take the 10 East
Exit on Central Avenue (past Harbor F‚way)
Stay on the right as you exit the freeway
Make the first right on Naomi Street
Make another right on Washington Blvd.
Make a left on Central Avenue
Stay on Central for about 9 blocks.
APCH is on the corner of 29th and Central.

From the South Bay Area

Take the 110 North.
Exit on Martin Luther King Blvd.
Make a right on to MLK Blvd.
When MLK deadends on Central Avenue, make a left.
Go a few blocks up past the Newton Police Station.
Make a right on to 29th Street.
APCH is on the corner of 29th and Central.

If you have questions or comments, contact Arianna at

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posted by Zentronix @ 1:05 PM   0 comments links to this post


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