Steven T. Jones reports that the folks at the Newsom victory party aren't just celebrating Gavin's overwhelming win; they're looking forward to the fall. The Republicans have nominated two big-business executives for governor and senate -- and that's not a good political position to be in these days. "I think it's stunningly politically tone deaf to nominate two Wall Street CEOs at the top of the ticket," noted Dan Newman, a Newsom communications advisor.
Jerry Brown speaking now in LA. LA County Sheriff Lee Baca introduced him as the man who "implemented Prop 13." Oh great. This campaign season is gonna suck. Back to the 1970s for Jerry Brown: we need "discipline, humility, live within our means." Brown sounds like he's going to run as the apostle of austerity.
The results on Prop. 14 -- the open primaries law -- are a bit alarming. This thing's passing with 60 percent of the vote -- and winning every single county that's reported so far. And Prop. 15, the election-reform law, is losing big. I know that open primaries sound appealing (as long as you don't stop to think about it), but why would people vote against a law that creates public financing for just one statewide office, at no cost to the taxpayers? I'm also a little disturbed that Prop. 16 is doing so well in Los Angeles. Read more »
Kamala Harris is far ahead in the AG. primary, and we can call that one for her at this point. Chris Kelly spent a lot of money and got nowhere. Dave Jones is going to win the Dem insurance commish nod. The Supt. of Public Instruction is more interesting; Larry Acevas, a retired school superintendent who has the support of the L.A. Times but wasn't much on the political radar in a race involving two high-profile Dems from the state Legislature, is actually in the lead statewide. Read more »
The first results are in from San Francisco, and the typically conservative absentee votes include a few surprises. Linda Colfax, a lesbian public defender, is well ahead in the open judicial seat, with 47 percent of the vote. The next closest challenger, Harry Dorfman, has just 33 percent; I think it's safe to say Linda's going to win this one, quite possibly without a November runoff. The other judicial race is much closer -- the incumbent, Richard Ulmer, has 46 percent and Michael Nava 41 percent. Read more »
Mercury Insurance, sad to say, is doing a bit better than PG&E; Prop. 17 has a 55-45 lead. But other than Marin, these are all fairly conservative counties reporting. In Marin, both PG&E and Mercury are getting hammered. If that pattern stays true in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose and Sacramento, then these corporate scams may be in trouble.
PG&E has an early lead, with just a small fraction of a few counties reporting. Right now the Yes on 16 vote is 52.5 to 47.5, but there are no big cities reporting in yet. And in eight of the ten counties where there are results, the measure is losing. So I would say at this point, PG&E has a lot to worry about.
One of the first telling primary races is over, and it appears that Blanche Lincoln has narrowly survived a primary challenge in Arkansas. The progressive Dems who fought hard to get rid of a senator who helped kill the public option and might as well be a Republican will be unhappy, but the fact that even with the (tepid) support of the president she only squeaked by with the narrowist of victories sends a signal to other fence-sitting Dems. Read more »
On the brink of the June 8 election, the clock is ticking before the moment of truth on Proposition 16 -- Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s anti-competitive ballot initiative, which has earned widespread criticism for aiming to snuff out competitive community-choice aggregation programs to put a lock on its own power monopoly. Read more »
Glory upon ye, Californians, for your beards have triumphed! Yes, even without the competitive edge of Jack Passion (two time Full Natural Beard world champ and Bay resident, who sat this one out to emcee), the Golden State prospered with three out of four first places at the National Beard and Mustache Championships in Bend, Oregon this weekend. Per his promise, Jack Passion filled us in with what went down with the beardos.Read more »
EDITORIAL Proposition 16 — Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s monopoly power grab — has to rank as the most venal, corrupt abuse of the initiative system in California history. The utility spent nearly $50 million to pay for a misleading signature drive, mount a campaign of lies and distortions, create bogus front groups, and flood the airwaves with ads — all in an effort to convince Californians to vote against their own interests. It's a case study in why the state needs initiative reform (a ban on paid signature gatherers and limits on corporate campaign contributions would be good places to start).
At press time, we didn't know how the election would turn out — but this much is clear: San Francisco needs to move ahead with community choice aggregation and continue to push for public power anyway.