Election June 2012

It's the money, stupid

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If you want to know what American politics looks like in a post-Citizens United world, check out the June 5 elections.

It's not that this specific court case played a role in all of the key races -- the tobacco industry could have spent $47 million to defeat a cigarette tax with or without Citizens United -- but around the country, you saw the role that big money played in literally altering the political landscape.Read more »

Tobacco tax: It's going to be way too close

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About 25 percent of the vote in. 50.6 Yes, 49.4 No. Trending the wrong way. This is going to be very close.

I didn't believe that the tobacco companies could beat this thing, and I thought the results from LA would push the Yes vote, but in LA county, Prop. 29 is losing. Odd to see the absentees more liberal than the election-day votes, but let's remember: As the polls showed this getting closer, Big Tobacco threw more and more money into the strategic areas, and that's clearly had an impact.Read more »

Reading Ed Lee's mind

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Political reporters love to believe we can read politician's minds; it makes us feel important. (And Lord knows, these days we need something to make us feel important.) So let me go way out on a limb here and tell you what Mayor Lee is thinking right now:

1. Gotta minimize Prop. B. It was an aberration, a bunch of rich Nimbys from Telegraph Hill, nothing more to see here. Certainly not a public referendum on my Rec-Park director, Phil Ginsburg, and his efforts to make money by renting out city parks for private events. No no no, just ignore it and maybe it will go away.Read more »

Tobacco money showing its power

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The tobacco companies spent very, very heavily in Southern California to defeat Prop. 29, and as more results come in, it's clear that the tens of millions of dollars worth of misleading TV ads had an impact. The numbers are now very, very close. With 15 percent of the vote in, it's 50.3 Yes, 49.7 No. Still mostly conservative areas; LA and San Francisco aren't in the mix yet, and only half of Sacramento's been counted. Still: This is way, way closer than I thought it would be.

80 percent reporting: You can take (most of) this to the bank

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WIth 80 percent reporting, you can take this much to the bank:

Prop A is dead. Prop. B has won. The left will no longer control the local Democratic Party.

Phil Ting will have an actual race in November (although he won more votes than the conservative Dem and the Republican combined and will almost certainly win the seat).

The Padres beat the Giants, 6-5, with a walk-off home run in the ninth.

Hell of a night.

40 percent reporting: Not a lot of change

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Witrh 40 percent of the precincts reporting, there's been very little change in the results, which is surprising: Typically the absentees don't reflect the election-day turnout. But Prop. A is still going down by huge margins, Prop. B is still winning (and at this point, that one's probably in the bag, striking a blow against the privatization of public resources and offering a vote of no-confidence in the direction of the city's Rec-Park department).Read more »

Tobacco tax tightens up

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Whoa -- with 10 percent of the state reporting, the tobacco tax, Prop. 29, is tightening up. It's now 51.3 yes, 48.7 no. But I've checked the counties that have reported in, and they're mostly the no-tax conservative areas. Only 5 percent of Los Angeles is in, and San Francisco hasn't even reported to the state yet. So not time to worry yet.Read more »

Early SF results: No on A, Yes on B

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The first results just got posted, and it's a fairly large number of votes. More than 60,000 people voted by mail, and there's enough to draw a few conclusions.

Prop. A, the measure that would have required competitive bidding for the city's garbage contracts, is dead, losing in the early absentees 77-23. No surprise that it's losing; getting 23 percent of the vote with no campaign to speak of up against the full might of Recology's money and political connections is actually pretty impressive.Read more »

Statewide results: Tobacco tax close, term-limits change leading

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The statewide results are very early, very limited and most likely very conservative, because they represent only absentees that have come from the few counties already reporting. Here's what I can draw from them: The change in term limits, Prop. 28 -- promoted by opponents of the current term-limits law but described as reducing the amount of time a legislator can serve -- is going to win handily. It's ahead 66-34. Read more »

Two things to watch for in CA

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There are two things that could be really significant around the state tonight (and no, I'm not talking about which liberal, balding Jewish man wins the primary in the San Fernando Valley, which will almost certainly be replayed in the fall). There's a real chance that, thanks to redistricting, the Democrats could pick up enough seats to win a super-majority in the state Senate -- meaning they could pass new taxes despite GOP recalcitrance. Read more »