by Ben P, Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 11:29:02 PM EDT
by Ben P, Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 11:29:02 PM EDT
interesting that the dem actors aren't polling well either. can it be our golden state's gotten its fill of shallow, feel-good politics-as-entertainment? one can dream...
Folks have figured out that speeches
like last night just don't cut the mustard
in wartime. I'd say that post-enron california
would be roughly equivalent to a battleground
in the state house. he had his work cut
out for him to begin with. Here's hoping
he can get something done... we hire
elected officials to work for us, not
to engage in partisan games... heres hoping
the cal dems can find some way to give him
something if he cuts a middle road somewhere.
Don't know about anyone else but I'm reaping my "I told you so's."
California voted out a Democrat, and voted
in this guy. That is what wins elections.
Votes at the election box, folks.
No, Arnold is not defeated, and the GOP
is using his position to help turn
California over to the GOP.
Thats why poor chris bowers is tying himself
into pretzel knots today to try to re-district
and gerry mander the country to prove his
anti-grassroots thesis about how california
is "part sagebrush" and the republicans are
just hopelessly lost voters...
Arnold is a moderate. At least with
folks who can remember long enough for
him to have funded stem cell research -
well guess what - those people
have a memory that can even stretch
back all the way back to 3 months ago
when his approval rating was higher.
The entire GOP is taking a hit
because of Guys like Tom Delay
and Karl Rove.
My guess is that they'll bounce back
and you'll be standing there, standing
up for what you later wish you would
have believed in.
Don't be naive. If you want California
to stay in the blue category those
people Dean met up in San Fran
don't have the answer. Its
Now as for the primary, thank god its there. They'll be on TV constantly. Westly can self finance so the money isn't an issue there. Angelides is well off himself although maybe not on a self financing level. But the most important reason this primary is a good thing is that it will leave us with the stronger candidate and we need a strong candidate. Schwarzenegger should not be underestimated. The best thing for Dems would be for him to forgo reelection because of bad poll numbers because even with polls like this I still feel that he has a slight edge if he chooses to run for reelection.
So may the best Dem face him. I personally feel that's Westly. I'm not a fan of Angelides and feedback I get from Moderate Republican family members is that they would love Westly but would switch to Arnold if Angelides is the nominee.
California Democrats have made their share of mistakes as well, I'm hoping for improvements -- a fantastic high profile success story would be Villaraigosa achieving quick, much-needed improvement in Los Angeles.
I'm leaning Angelides now, I have liked his policies and long-term thinking for a long time. Westly will pay the price for campaigning for Schwarzenegger's bond issue which further added to California's budgetary problems.
I rarely agree with a Daniel Weintraub, a conservative columnist for the Sacramento Bee. In a column June 5, he writes:
Schwarzenegger ran for governor promising to balance the budget while cutting taxes and leaving essential programs - especially education - untouched. His plan could only have worked with a miraculous economic boom, a big bailout from the federal government or a radical restructuring of state and local government that saved billions. None of that happened.
(my note ... Weintraub's column proceeds to offer a potential series of reforms)
First, a comprehensive budget solution. It's crazy to even consider raising taxes unless it gets you a balanced budget. Insist that any new tax money requested by the Democrats be paired with the governor's spending plan to close the budget gap once and for all. The state isn't taking in enough money now to pay for all of the programs it provides. New money must be dedicated to those programs first, not expansion of government.
Second, a spending limit. California's personal income tax is notoriously volatile, leaving the state vulnerable to wild swings in revenue. Raising taxes still higher on the upper end would make this even worse. Any move to do so must be coupled with, at minimum, a smoothing mechanism of the kind Schwarzenegger has proposed so that future revenue spikes are not committed to new programs that can't be sustained when tax receipts flatten out again.
Third, if the idea is to get more money to education, then that must be coupled with fundamental school reform. On top of my list would be the "Home Rule" proposal by Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher, a Republican from Orange County. That measure would allow voters in any district to opt out of state micromanagement of their schools as long as their students are making progress toward meeting statewide standards.
If none of this is enough to get sufficient numbers of Republicans to vote for the tax increase, I have one other idea. If they really think that raising revenue would be bad for California, and they truly believe the voters don't want to do it, they should join with Democrats to put the tax increase on the ballot this November in a special election. If they are right, the voters will reject the measure and, in so doing, direct the Legislature to balance the budget using existing revenues instead.
Well there you have it. I think the primary will be close, and boil down to Angelides vs. Westly. Beatty and Reiner are both too late, and too celebrity right now. Angelides has locked up many early endorsements, including Boxer, Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Gil Cedillo .. there are dozens, which should help equalize the financial advantage Westly brings with his personal wealth. Westly will ride the high tech company executive success story to reform government and run it more efficiently, but I am not sure that always works as well in practice as it does in theory. Angelides knows California state financing as well as anyone, like it or not. Schwarzenegger quickly found out how complicated it is and how difficult it is to change.
I rest my case. Arnold is far from out
of the picture. You know, Americans are largely
apolitical and polling in this
interim is really more geared towards television
advertising than anything else.
Maybe when we all figure out that TV advertising
doesn't work so hot anymore we'll learn
why these polls are just silly.
History teaches you to be more circumspect in
your analysis. True, AS can't seem to work
with anyone - but that special election
seems to be on its way, doesn't it?
I think you've got to remember how
fluid the electorate is and then you'll
have your answer. Seriously . You have
to go with the candidate that can truly
Right now, AS is casting himself as a reformer.
and you may not agree with what he's doing,
but he's trying.
Will the Democrats be the party of Anti-reform
The topic was regarding primaries, and Angelides has dozens of very well-known politicians and Democratic Party groups already sewn up. I think that gives him a distinct advantage, regardless of the particular stands on issues each brings to the table.
As far as AS, I certainly do NOT consider him to be out of the picture. I would go so far to say that if he prevails on 2 out of 3 propositions in the special election he will run for re-election, and be a formidable candidate. But, I do not give him any credit for getting a special election called -- all that takes is deep enough pockets to pay $5 and up for a signature and it is easy to qualify many (not all) propositions. But, California has been voting NO on more and more of these propositions, and I hope the trend continues.
Now, Americans being apolitical. Probably a true generalization, but special elections tend to have lower turnout than let's say Presidential elections, so it is reasonable to assume that those that turn out are MORE political than average. In THIS particular special election, there is already much organized opposition, and I expect a larger-than-average turnout, especially for a special election.
AS is not, IMO, "trying" to reform California. Much like President Bush, he had a unique opportunity to radically, and productively, shake things up and produce real change that benefits all. In Bush's case, I refer to the moment post-9/11 and how that opportunity has been squandered into Iraq. In Schwarzenegger's case, he could have "reformed" California, asking something from both Republicans and Democrats, and would have truly had a mandate to force both to deal with reality.
For Republicans in this state, the primary system has removed all moderates and what we have is seriously flawed, set in stone demands that there never, ever be any tax increase. With California's requirement for a 2/3 majority to pass a budget (I think only a dozen states require this), they have been able to prevent ANY adjustment in the tax structure in this state. For one example, Proposition 13 in the 1970's was passed to keep the elderly from being taxed out of their homes, and has served that purpose well. However, corporations have benefited from the locked in taxable base by selling 99-year leases and other abuses of the system. This was not what we were sold when given the choice of Prop. 13. Commercial property should be subject to reassessment when the business is sold -- and I'm not an expert, but there is some room here. AS, in the age of political TV advertising, misleads Californians when he runs ads showing an old man threatened with property tax increase.
As to the Democratic Party in California, there is certainly room for improvement also. They could cut spending on some pension benefits, and in conjunction with some tax relief from the Republican side we could have, as I said, had some real reform when AS was first put into office.
I think it should be worrying to the Schwarzenegger camp that both announced Democratic Party candidates win in hypothetical matchups, granted that the election is more than a year away -- an eternity in political circles. To counter your argument that TV advertising doesn't work anymore, I would first disagree, and second suggest that both Angelides and Westly have low name recognition -- certainly less than Schwarzenegger. Also, Schwarzenegger has been running heavy TV advertising for almost two months, and his numbers continue to tank. These have been ads pushing "reform" and trying to portray him as an ordinary guy. I don't think the public is buying that anymore, and the poll numbers show it. These numbers (re-elect vs. not re-elect) are almost exactly reversed where they were just four months ago.
Finally, I for one am tired of Democrats being portrayed as "anti-reform". It doesn't work on the national playing field when Republicans control the WH, Senate AND House. It may have worked in California had Schwarzenegger proposed real solutions (as he promised) and brought Republicans to the table for serious negotiations. Had the Democratic Party stood in the way at that point, I would have listened to what was being said and made up my mind as to whether the proposed "reform(s)" made sense.
A lot of the politically active or connected people seem to be gung ho for Angelides, most likely because he was willing to stand up to Arnold from day one. But that's what rubs me wrong about him. I like the fact that Westly tried to work with Arnold in the beginning because that is why we elect people, to work together to get stuff done. I was one of those Democrats though who approved of Arnold in his early days even though I hadn't voted for him, and now am pretty disgusted by him. So my opinion has mirrored Westly's actions more than Angelides. For some reason, in that intangible side of politics,w hich is always there, Angelides has rubbed me wrong. He seemed to eager to oppose everything and it just came off as opportunistic to me. I am keeping an open mind as it is still so early in the process, but Westly seems like a breath of fresh air compared to Angelides.
Walters always, to me, has an agenda (anti-union, anti-Legislative Democrats) and walks the reader to that conclusion, whether logical or not. There are exceptions, but overall that's been my impression. So much so, whenever Walters even comes down the middle of the road, I find it disingenuous and just throwing me a bone (as a liberal) ... I don't think he is sincere.
Incumbents dominate. Arnold will outspend us by massive margin. He will "win" the debates via canned one-liners if not substance. The 2003 numbers indicate he had huge margin for error and these flimsy poll numbers will not convince me it has been spent, not even close. Especially 17 months ahead of time when no one is paying attention.
My problem right now, is , what - its 2005,
nearly august. Where is chairman Dean's
new slate of political talent?
Who will run against AS right now? I think
if you have a really strong opponent
AS takes the fall but California
is definitely heading over into
the libertarian camp esp. after they
willingly elected AS to the governorship.
They are kind of angry at things not
getting done.. I think the right message
of reform will resonate -
My guess is that it would be reform and results.
You know, that kind of thing. Find someone
who can challenge the system enough
to change it but not so much
that they might not break it.