The LA Weekly has endorsed state Controller Steve Westly in the Democratic primary for Governor of California.
To date, in terms of newspaper endorsements, state Treasurer Phil Angelides has won the endorsements of only the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Virtually every other newspaper endorsement has gone to Westly. The Angelides campaign had expected the endorsement of the LA Weekly, one of the most reliably left-liberal and highly partisan papers in the country.
The paper had previously endorsed, as reported, former Governor and current Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown for state attorney general. Other endorsements include state Senator Jackie Speier for lieutenant governor, state Senator Joe Dunn for state controller, state Senator Debra Bowen for secretary of state, and state Attorney General Bill Lockyer for state treasurer.
The paper declined to endorse U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in her race for re-election, protesting her early stance on the Iraq War and other liberal concerns. And Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, once an early favorite of the paper in his race for governor in the 2003 recall, also went un-endorsed in his unopposed race for the Democratic nomination for state insurance commissioner, though the paper could not bring itself to endorse his moderate Republican opponent, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Poizner. The paper also urges a Yes vote on Proposition 82, controversial movie director Rob Reiner‘s tax-the-rich for universal preschool initiative.
** Phil Angelides will launch his long-expected “Twins” ad linking Steve Westly and Arnold Schwarzenegger today. Expect to see a picture of the two men hugging. But not a picture of Arnold kissing Angelides’ campaign co-chairman, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.
UPDATE: Don’t be surprised if Phil Angelides himself is on hand for the unveiling of his Westly/Schwarzenegger TV ad in Sacramento. This is something almost always left to staff and consultants. But this is the campaign Angelides has always wanted to run, as the “anti-Arnold.”
UPDATE: HERE IS THE ANGELIDES ATTACK AD,”TWINS,” LINKING WESTLY AND SCHWARZENEGGER. With the predicted hug, of course.
5:45 PM UPDATE: IS THIS A STRONG MOVE? OR IS IT A FEINT?
** Expect the pre-election Field Poll for Friday morning publication.
** A bit of intrigue in the intriguing Democratic primary race for lieutenant governor. Univision was expecting to tape a face-off between the three candidates today on its Voz y Voto program, Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi and state Senators Jackie Speier and Liz Figueroa. But Speier won’t be there, her spokesman Nathan Ballard saying: “It wasn’t on Senator Speier’s schedule.”
Here, incidentally, is the new Garamendi TV ad, which boosts him and blasts Speier, whose campaign calls it “misleading.” It could make it sound to the casual viewer like she took hundreds of thousands from Enron, which she did not.
UPDATE: According to her campaign, Speier received $5,000 from Enron, in 2000. In those days, it was not uncommon for Democrats, including Phil Angelides, to raise money from Enron. To be fair, I suspect that Steve Westly would also have received a contribution from Enron, had he been in politics at the time. This being the time before California’s electric power crisis, when Enron and its chief, Ken Lay, were widely regarded as brilliant paragons.
Here is an interesting question. Why does Figueroa have a billboard blasting Speier along the Bayshore Freeway south of San Francisco?
UPDATE: The Figueroa campaign says they have nothing to do with the billboard, that it was arranged by an independent expenditure committee. As it is independent, they don’t know who is behind it.
The campaigns of relentlessly bickering Democratic gubernatorial rivals Phil Angelides and Steve Westly, absent past bravado, head toward the home stretch of their dead heat race for the Democratic nomination. Here is what the candidates are doing between now and the weekend, and why, as they continue their desperate struggle for the right to run against Arnold Schwarzenegger.
State Controller Steve Westly, the ex-eBay honcho who test marketed and honed his candidacy in small markets a few months ago, has been spending much time in them on the statewide bus tour he kicked off a week ago. Why? Westly’s TV ad blitz developed real strength in the Los Angeles and San Francisco media markets, but when Angelides and the independent expenditure campaign principally funded by the development empire of his campaign finance co-chairman and longtime patron and partner, Angelo Tsakopoulos, roared back onto the air after a few weeks absence, Westly found himself in trouble in the other media markets.
Personal attention can make a big difference for a candidate for a big office in a small market, so Westly is back in person. But inevitably, his tour will take him back toward the big markets as the campaign comes to its close.
Meanwhile, over the next three days Westly and his wife, Anita Yu Westly, will be campaigning in Ventura County, various parts of Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and San Diego. His events will focus on education, the environment, veterans, and senior citizens.
Today Westly is in Thousand Oaks touring a medical clinic. Then there is an event at UCLA, and a senior citizen event in the San Fernando Valley. He will do more events in Los Angeles on Thursday, trying to shore up his strength there.
On Friday, Westly goes to the Inland Empire to tour a solar manufacturing facility, has a lunch event with workers, goes to suburban San Diego to visit a senior citizen center, and has a town hall in San Diego.
While Westly is doing this, his campaign will continue airing its attack ads against Angelides. The focus continues to be on his environmental record as a developer.
Although principals in both the Westly and Angelides campaign have historically subscribed to the theory that a campaign is best served by focusing on driving a few core messages home to the electorate through a few TV ads over the closing sequence of a campaign, both campaigns are violating that principle as they seek advantage. Angelides went through a bout of advertising arrhythmia recently, airing five TV spots statewide over a course of six days as the candidate reacted to the attacks mounted against him. Now Westly’s campaign is doing something like that, in what might be described as a flurry strategy, forcing Angelides to respond.
The latest Westly attack ad on Angelides, continuing the environmental theme, concerns his partnership with Tsakopoulos and others in a condo development at Lake Tahoe. Westly accuses Angelides of polluting the big blue lake in the sky, one of California’s scenic crown jewels. Angelides, who seems to have had a small piece of the project, says he was not responsible and sued the primary developer who he says was responsible. Angelides then transferred his interest in the project to Tsakopoulos.
For his part, Angelides, whose long expected bus tour has yet to materialize, will continue his practice of jetting up and down the state between the major population centers. His campaign will continue trying to push the “fat cat” visual (some poor soul in a suit sent by Angelides honcho Bob Mulholland) at Westly’s bus tour stops as part of the overall theme that Westly is buying the election so he can do favors for other rich people.
This is in synch with the current Angelides TV advertising push to paint the super-rich Westly as a “pay to play” politician. The campaign held a media conference call yesterday to push a Sacramento Bee story which revealed that Westly had invested in Goldman Sachs, the leading investment banking firm, prior to approving Goldman Sachs and other houses financing California’s revenue anticipation notes when the state was in financial extremis a few years ago. Westly says Goldman Sachs, one of the eminent Wall Street firms, was one of the few eager to provide finance and that his investment was a minor part of his portfolio. The press doesn’t seem interested in the story.
A TV attack ad on the issue is expected, complementing the current ad linking Westly to “a corrupt Chicago businessman” who gave several thousand dollars to Westly and whose firm subsequently received a $5 million investment from a state pension fund. Angelides also solicited the businessman, a recent top fundraising official for Al Gore and the Democratic National Committee. There is also a likely ad on Westly raising money from the Barnes and Noble bookstore chain after advocating that the company not pay back taxes on its Internet sales.
As his campaign dukes it out with Westly’s in dueling attack ads, Angelides will appear mostly at education and labor-oriented events. That is the core of his candidacy, that he is the candidate who wants to spend the most money on public education and is the candidate closest to the state’s powerful public employee unions. Angelides hopes that this core message and set of associations will enable him to prevail in an election which may draw only a preponderance of hardcore Democratic voters. He seems to be doing somewhat fewer public events than Westly, but fills up the rest of the time with TV and radio interviews and fundraising.
Today Angelides will be in San Francisco, where he will again attempt to push back against the Westly TV attack ads with an environmentalists event. He will also appear at a high school in Sacramento.
On Thursday, he has another school event in San Francisco, jets down to LA for a beach town event with Senator Dianne Feinstein, then flies back for a San Jose event.
On Friday, Angelides does firefighter and police union events in the Bay Area, then goes to San Diego. Where, as it happens, Westly will also be appearing.
Whose approach will work best? That will be clearer by the weekend.
** “I QUIT. I HATE THEM BOTH.” The hyperliberal and very popular Kos on the Westly and Angelides campaigns.
** REINER INITIATIVE TRIES TO PULL OUT VICTORY. I’m hearing that the Yes on 82 (tax-the-rich for universal preschool) initiative campaign is pouring money into TV advertising in the Los Angeles media market to try to salvage a win.
** Joining state Senator Jackie Speier on the air, the other two Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi and state Senator Liz Figueroa, also have TV ads on the air, as reported here yesterday. The Figueroa TV ads, 15-second spots by the rising Acosta/Salazar firm, are viewable here. The Garamendi spot, which boosts him and criticizes Speier (who is running second in the primary behind Garamendi) does not seem to be available online yet but will be available here. There is another TV spot which may be web-only.
** FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON AND OTHER LUMINARIES HONOR THE LATE, LEGENDARY TEXAS SENATOR LLOYD BENTSEN in Houston.
** WESTLY NOT THE ONLY TEACHER IN 50 YEARS. While on the trail over the weekend, Controller Steve Westly told a TV news interviewer that he is the first major gubernatorial candidate in 50 years to have been a teacher. Westly was a lecturer at Stanford. But LA area Congresswoman Jane Harman, a 1998 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, was an adjunct professor at Georgetown and UCLA.
With the nasty Democratic gubernatorial primary race continuing dead even over Memorial Day weekend, rivals Phil Angelides and Steve Westly adjusted their mix of advertising, trading charges about it all the while, and the Tsakopoulos family-funded pro-Angelides advertising campaign scrambled to get its freshly-financed new ad on the air. Both candidates seek to replace Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The broadcast ads from the two bickering Democratic campaigns were all negative all the time over the national holiday weekend. The ads are not available on either campaign’s web site. Nor is the new ad from from the pro-Angelides independent expenditure campaign online.
Westly is running two versions of a TV spot attacking Angelides for his background as a land developer. Both open cinematically with helicopter shots of Angelides developments. The one running in inland California closes by criticizing him for developing in flood plains. The one running in coastal California closes by criticizing him for water and wetlands violations.
Angelides says he followed the rules and ran afoul of bureaucracy. Coastal protection advocate Susan Jordan — part of the Angelides spin team at the environmental debate in Los Angeles and wife of Assemblyman and former Coastal Commissioner Pedro Nava — says Angelides’ environmental endorsements in this campaign are “not just based on one’s past record but on one’s ability to grasp the nuance of existing environmental challenges and formulate forward thinking solutions that could be implemented during one’s term(s) as the next Governor.”
Angelides is taking a different tack in his negative advertising. Dropping his emphasis on Westly breaking his no-negative-ads campaign pledge and his insistence that it is really Westly, not Angelides, who wants to raise taxes, Angelides’ main TV spot over the weekend hits Westly for raising money from a “corrupt Chicago businessman” and steering a $5 million public pension fund investment to the firm he partnered in.
The businessman had not been indicted, was a recent top fundraising official of the Al Gore for President campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and, according to a Sunday Los Angeles Times report, was aggressively but unsuccessfully solicited for funds by Angelides himself and his associates. But Angelides did not push for a pension fund investment for him.
Meanwhile, the controversial independent expenditure (IE) campaign largely funded by the development empire of Angelides’ campaign finance co-chairman, his decades long patron and partner Angelo Tsakopoulos, scrambled with some notable success to get its freshly-financed ($2 million in new contributions from the Tsakopoulos family) TV advertising back on the air over the Memorial Day weekend. The problem was that the latest Tsakopoulos money, with no other matching contributions, came late last week, and normal time buying deadlines were moved up because of the holiday weekend. But by weekend’s end, a new TV ad from Californians for a Better Government was airing in most markets around California.
This TV ad, which has much the same style as an earlier spot from the Angelides campaign, features a firefighter, a teacher, and a police officer talking about their support for Angelides.
The Westly campaign had already launched a 15-second TV spot to counter it, pointing out that the great bulk of the funding for the IE campaign came not from the unions whose members appear in the ad but from Tsakopoulos.
But some more money from a non-Tsakopoulos source has just arrived for the Angelides IE. The $200,000 from the electrical workers union that I reported on May 21st was just about to arrive has finally arrived. Over the weekend, the IE reported to the California Secretary of State that the amount, sent from three separate union accounts (two locals and the union political action committee), has arrived in in its coffers.
At nearly $10 million, this IE is by far the largest in the history of California, easily dwarfing the $2 million spent by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association to elect Gray Davis to the governorship in 1998. And the Tsakopoulos contributions, closing in on $9 million, are the largest by an an individual or family group to an independent expenditure campaign in American political history.
As reported here and in the Sunday Los Angeles Times, Tsakopoulos has ferried Angelides repeatedly in his private plane and has important interests which fall under the sway of the governorship.
NOTE: The new pro-Angelides independent expenditure campaign ad is now available online at this location.
The June 6th primaries for lieutenant governor feature two candidates who have already run for governor and a third who would love to be governor. Tom McClintock has no serious opposition for the Republican nomination; he ran for governor in the 2003 recall. John Garamendi is the Democratic frontrunner; he ran for governor in 1982 and 1994, and pulled out of the 1986 race.
Garamendi, the twice-elected state insurance commissioner, is facing a stiff challenge from state Senator Jackie Speier, who harbors gubernatorial aspirations of her own. She has launched a $2.7 million TV ad blitz around the state. The Bay Area Democrat has trailed Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi in public polls, running ahead of Bay Area state Senator Liz Figueroa. Each seeks to be the running mate of Steve Westly or Phil Angelides.
Garamendi seemed to be hurt by an insurance industry advertising campaign against him, but garnered plenty of press for not backing down from an auto insurance regulation when, he says, the industry threatened him. Speier’s principal ad, narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Peter Coyote, highlights her dramatic story of being shot on an airstrip in Guyana in 1978, while on a congressional fact-finding tour with her boss, Congressman Leo Ryan, who was himself assassinated by followers of the Jim Jones People’s Temple cult. Who were then killed in the infamous “Jonestown” massacre.
It’s a dramatic story and Speier has a creditable record as a legislator and consumer advocate. But she is hampered by the presence of Figueroa in the race, and by Garamendi’s long track record. In addition to his two actual runs for governor — he finished a distant second in the Democratic primary to then LA Mayor Tom Bradley in 1982 and then Treasurer Kathleen Brown in 1994 — and the aborted 1986 bid, Garamendi lost to Gray Davis in a 1986 bid for state controller.
Davis had only been in the Assembly for four years at that point, but he represented Beverly Hills, and had served for seven years as Jerry Brown’s chief of staff, making him one of the most powerful and best-connected politicians in the state, and Garamendi’s run against him a risky one. Then in 1990, Garamendi was elected state insurance commissioner, the post he gave up in 1994 to run for governor.
After serving several years as Bill Clinton’s deputy secretary of the interior, Garamendi was a merchant banker in Democratic rainmaker Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies empire, then returned to public life in 2002, again winning election as state insurance commissioner. He’s a highly experienced figure, and California Democrats are used to voting for him.
Indeed, Garamendi is one of those figures who, had several things gone differently, might well have been governor by now. He was a ‘70s wunderkind, elected to the state Assembly in 1974, then the Senate in 1976, and rose quickly to the post of Senate majority leader. But he ran afoul of the Legislature’s internal politics, and in the mid-’80s launched a leadership challenge against then Senate President Pro Tem David Roberti which gained no backing.
As a moderate Democrat with consistent environmental and organized labor backing, Garamendi’s politics are a good fit for California. A big, good-looking guy, an ex-Cal football star with a Harvard MBA, this rancher and former Peace Corps Volunteer seems straight out of Central Casting.
Typically, he has not raised as much money as his principal opponent, Jackie Speier, for this race, but his frequent practice has been to borrow against his family’s land when necessary and pay off the loan after the campaign. Going into the Memorial Day weekend, this transaction had not occurred.
Garamendi leads in the new LA Times poll, with 30% of the Democratic primary vote to Speier’s 16% and Figueroa’s 11%. He has bought some TV advertising time as well — though at less than a million dollars, not nearly so much as Speier — and has bought into some slate mailers. Figueroa is also on the air, with about a $600,000 TV ad buy.
The winner goes up against the man who is California’s most prominent conservative politician, Republican Tom McClintock. This veteran state senator from Southern California’s Ventura County is brainy and engaging, one of the most consistent voices in the state against tax increases and for government reorganization.
After narrowly losing a race for state controller in 2002 to ex-eBay honcho Steve Westly, McClintock shot to fame as a candidate for governor in the dramatic 2003 recall election. He infuriated many pragmatic Republicans by refusing to get out of the race in favor of Arnold Schwarzenegger. But in the end, he was helpful to Schwarzenegger. Sitting next to him in the only debate in which the action superstar participated, McClintock might have seriously damaged the former Mr. Universe’s candidacy by turning to him and confronting him on his scanty budget plans. But he did not, and ended up with a respectable 13% of the vote while Schwarzenegger won in a landslide.
Although he was no favorite of the Pete Wilson crew — McClintock and Wilson frequently clashed during Wilson’s governorship — that then dominated Schwarzenegger’s operation, McClintock, never a big fundraiser, found that the grateful governor returned the favor by helping him raise money and win re-election to his senate seat.
In February, with Schwarzenegger under severe fire from conservative activists for his post-special election return to the center and hiring of controversial Democrat Susan Kennedy as his chief of staff, Schwarzenegger and McClintock announced that they would run together this year as a team. This greatly helped the governor and his new political operation quell the anti-Arnold rebellion on the right at the party’s state convention.
But lately, with McClintock voting in the Senate against all but one of the four infrastructure bonds that Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislative leaders Don Perata and Fabian Nunez succeeded in placing on the November ballot, the Schwarzenegger-McClintock team has seemed more problematic.
McClintock has only raised $600,000 this year, though with no primary opposition to speak of has $1.2 million cash on hand.
He has high favorable ratings as well, coming out of the recall campaign as a highly respected figure. But he benefited greatly in the recall by virtue of the fact that it was in no one’s interest to attack him. Governor Davis and the Democrats didn’t want to attack him, because they wanted him to cripple Schwarzenegger’s candidacy. Some felt Schwarzenegger should attack him, but the movie star realized that move could backfire, and moved instead to establish his dominance in the party and wean away potential McClintock supporters.
McClintock is widely respected as a man of principle. But in California, those principles may not stand him in such good stead with the Democrats going after him in earnest this fall.
… HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY, ALL!
VERY IMPORTANT HOLIDAY POINT. IF YOU GO TO THE NEW “X-MEN” MOVIE, DON’T LEAVE UNTIL AFTER THE CREDITS ROLL. THE ENDING OF THE MOVIE BECOMES DIFFERENT.
Former Governor Jerry Brown seems to be taking a calculated risk. That his fame is great enough to overcome being significantly outspent by his rival in the Democratic primary for attorney general, L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. In the last reporting period, Brown was outspent six to one. The gamble looks set to pay off, as the Oakland mayor entered the stretch drive of the campaign with a huge 60% to 27% lead in the new L.A. Times poll.
Delgadillo reports spending $2.7 million on TV advertising; Brown a little less than $400,000 on cable. Yet the two-time runner-up for the Democratic presidential nomination has the commanding lead and $4.4 million cash on hand in the latest report.
“I’m frugal,” Brown said of his approach earlier in the month. Republicans seem disappointed. “We had hoped he would be forced to spend most of his money in the primary,” says one Republican strategist who worries that the party’s presumptive nominee, Central Valley state Senator Chuck Poochigian, is off to a slow start.
Poochigian has raised money. He had over $3.2 million as of May 20th, and has added another $100,000 since then.
The veteran senator is an articulate and impressive legislator who authored workers compensation reform legislation for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also has good campaign help, in former Ronald Reagan advisor Ken Khachigian and consultant Kevin Spillane. He is known by less than 10 percent of the voters, according to polls, and currently trails Brown two to one (his larger support level due to his identification as the Republican candidate). Yet he has a chance against Brown, who is famed for his opposition to the death penalty (which Brown pledges to enforce), and whose mercurial career provides many colorful quotes.
But aside from a little burst of publicity here and there — as on the controversy surrounding the Rob Reiner-led California Children and Families Commission — Poochigian hasn’t done much yet to try to penetrate the public consciousness.
Delgadillo certainly has. His campaign has been one of the most aggressive in a new and not especially welcome phenomenon: The relentlessly barbed e-mail press release. Delgadillo’s campaign ranks with the constantly bickering campaigns of Democratic gubernatorial candidates Phil Angelides and Steve Westly in that department.
Delgadillo did well in gaining what seemed at first a surprising number of endorsements, such as the California Teachers Association and a host of labor groups, including an endorsement from the California Labor Federation, which also endorsed Brown. But having been a political lightning rod since the 1970s, Jerry Brown also has plenty of enemies. As Oakland’s mayor and a champion of charter schools, he ran afoul of the teacher’s union and some other public employee groups. And Delgadillo is an impressive younger politician who, even in defeat, would remain one of L.A.’s top elected officials and one of the most prominent Latino politicians in California.
In the end, however, Brown scored key endorsements, including the three largest newspapers in Delgadillo’s home base of Los Angeles.
Delgadillo has been aggressive in going after his opponent for the recent rise in Oakland’s murder rate on Brown’s watch. While most violent crimes are down during Brown’s tenure, it’s been embarrassing for the mayor to see the bodies piling up this year while he’s been running for state attorney general.
Other Delgadillo plays, such as attempting to paint Brown as anti-choice on abortion because of a musing comment in the 1980s and the former governor’s urging clemency for an imprisoned anti-abortion protester at the request of Mother Teresa, were less successful. And Delgadillo had his own problems, the latest being a Los Angeles Times story on inflated athletic claims.
Brown has campaigned around the state and he and Delgadillo tangled in four debates, the last of them at the California Democratic Party convention in late April (real time blogged here). Since then, aside from a little sparring in the media, Brown has pulled it down, focusing on his job as mayor of the gritty city on the other side of the Bay, letting the two little-known statewide officials who seek to follow him as governor dominate the scene for now by blasting away at each other in their primary battle.
Beginning in 1950, when Brown’s late father, then San Francisco District Attorney Pat Brown, won the Democratic nomination for state attorney general, members of the Brown family — Pat, Jerry, and sister Kathleen — have won 13 California Democratic primaries. Putting very little money down, Brown is making a large bet that another one is on the way.
The brand new LA Times poll is quite similar to the PPIC poll (although the governor does substantially worse), showing the two Democratic gubernatorial candidates in a statistical dead heat: Phil Angelides 37%, Steve Westly 34%. In general election matchups, Angelides is tied with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Westly leads Schwarzenegger by 10 percent.
In the Democratic primary for attorney general, Jerry Brown leads Rocky Delgadillo, 60% to 27%.
John Garamendi leads Jackie Speier and Liz Figueroa in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, 30% to 16% and 11%, respectively. Other contested primaries in both parties are very close, largely because voters don’t know much about the candidates.
Movie director Rob Reiner’s tax-the-rich for universal preschool initiative, Proposition 82, clings to a precarious 51% to 43% lead.
There were a few moments in the past two weeks in which it seemed as though state Treasurer Phil Angelides was finally about to put away the Democratic gubernatorial primary win which was long expected to go to him. Now, although his early endorsements by most of the Democratic establishment may yet win the nomination for him, he is scrambling to defend his environmental record against a barrage of TV attacks from Controller Steve Westly.
In cinematic ads featuring helicopter shots of Angelides developments, Westly scores the treasurer for his land developer days, criticizing him for violating the Clean Water Act, building on flood plains, and his close association with his longtime patron, Sacramento development kingpin Angelo Tsakopoulos.
Yesterday, Angelides’ campaign produced two events to counter Westly’s attacks against him.
First a conference call for selected reporters with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. The senator’s first, very narrow, victory over Republican Bruce Herschensohn in 1992 was greatly aided by then state Democratic chairman Angelides’ mobilization of party resources on her behalf and by then state Democratic political director Bob Mulholland’s dramatic election eve confrontation of Herschensohn for patronizing a Hollywood strip club, the Seventh Veil. (Mulholland is a senior advisor to Angelides in this campaign.) Angelides publicly dismissed Mulholland for his “rogue” tactic on behalf of Boxer’s campaign, then brought him back right after the election.
Boxer, an environmentalist champion herself, insists that Angelides is good on the environment.
Then, after campaigning in San Diego with Teamsters and high school students, Angelides did a rather hastily scheduled afternoon event in Sacramento with longtime environmentalist supporters such as veteran Sierra Club lobbyist and renewable energy advocate V. John White.
The Sierra Club, which has endorsed both Angelides and Westly in this campaign, declined to endorse Angelides when he ran for state treasurer.
But in public office, Angelides has compiled a strong environmental record. He has especially pleased environmentalists by steering public pension funds into renewable energy and in-fill development projects. Now he has a raft of environmental endorsements, which he is brandishing against Westly’s attacks on his record as a land developer.
As he attempts to defend himself in events geared for the news media, which is not paying much attention, Angelides attacks Westly on the air with new TV advertising painting the controller as a “pay to play” politician soliciting contributions in exchange for public pension fund investments.
While both campaigns touted their openness through most of the campaign, both Angelides and Westly have become quite stealthy. Their negative ads are mostly not to be found on their campaign web sites, which once heralded the arrival of new campaign advertising.
Who is most happy about this campaign? The friends of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“We love this,” says one Schwarzenegger advisor who asks not to be named. “Here you have two guys who are little known and have less charisma. Instead of showing they are up to the job, they are introducing themselves to the public by smearing each other. Whichever one wins, Arnold goes up against a guy defined as a guy who wants to raise your taxes, bad on the environment, a crook.”
CORRECTION: Longtime Sierra Club contract lobbyist V. John White no longer lobbies for the organization. He was there wearing one of his other hats, that of California League of Conservation Voters board member.
** While traveling this week, I received a document from Anne Gust Brown, wife and manager (campaign, that is) of former Governor Jerry Brown. Earlier, I had criticized Brown — currently mayor of Oakland and frontrunner for California attorney general — for evading the question when asked what he thinks of The Da Vinci Code.
This new document would appear to provide a hitherto undisclosed linkage between the Jesuit-trained Brown, a shadowy religious organization, and the Da Vinci “code” itself. I need to study it further and determine its provenance. It looks to be very old, indeed. If it proves out, and if my LA Weekly tech can help me upload it to this site, the document will be revealed.
** THE POLITICS OF IMMIGRATION REMAIN TANGLED, DESPITE PASSAGE OF THE SENATE COMPROMISE BILL. (Could be a consensus emerging around illegal immigrants already here, and perhaps future guest workers, but border security remains a sticking point.) BUT ONE THING IS CLEAR, THE GREAT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AND ASSEMBLY SPEAKER FABIAN NUNEZ.
You can listen in here.
Those who read my Nunez profile last summer might not be surprised. I exclusively revealed at the time that the speaker and the governor put in marathon sessions at Schwarzenegger’s LA home to try to avert last November’s special election showdown.
** Meanwhile, discontinuing the love, Jon Fleischman over at Flash Report tells about the mini-boycott of Mexican President Vicente Fox’s visit to the Capitol and the president declining to meet with legislative Republicans.
** THE CANDIDATES TODAY.
Phil Angelides: A Teamsters labor event in San Diego, a high school visit in San Diego, and an environmentalists event in Sacramento.
Steve Westly: The ex-eBay honcho’s buscapade adventure continues, taking in Tulare, Bakersfield, Fontana, and Cathedral City. Just think of all those West Wing episodes I’m missing.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: The governor is engaging in visualization exercises today.
** Okay, yes, the Brown family are old friends of mine. But never let it be said that I am not a nice guy. Rather than tee off on LA City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and his hyper-aggressive campaign for state attorney general, which would be child’s play for me to do … I have not. However, here are the newspaper endorsements from the would-be AG’s hometown. LA Times? Jerry Brown. LA Weekly? Jerry Brown. LA Daily News? Jerry Brown. From left to right, the pick over the LA home boy is the erstwhile Governor Moonbeam. Case closed. Game over. Without me ever investigating some very questionable events regarding the pro football player who was not, the gangland survivor who was not, the … well, you get the picture.
Attention, Republican state Senator Chuck Poochigian. I want to cover your campaign against Jerry Brown. Whenever it occurs. Because I love a story. And I need stories. Especially stories involving interesting personalities. There is a reason why I have urged your campaign to challenge Brown on his home turf. It is not simply because he would likely take that challenge and turn it back against you.
Here is the slogan of the British Special Air Service (SAS), which I am sure is familiar to you. “Who dares wins.”
Happy Memorial Day, all you vets out there.