** TRACKS. Trailing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides campaigned today with Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. Meanwhile, outstanding questions at the top of the ticket: Which will have the bigger victory margin? Arnold ’03 or Arnold ’06? Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor or Jerry Brown for Attorney General?
** Former President Bill Clinton stars in his third TV ad for Proposition 87, the oil extraction tax for alternative fuels research. “Think of the children with asthma, they’re paying the price for our addiction to oil,” he says, in this second ad drawn from his LA rally speech before a crowd of 5000.
Clinton appears again in California for Prop 87 on Wednesday at 5 PM in a rally in front of San Francisco City Hall. The oil industry has already spent over $75 million to defeat Prop 87. Proponents have raised under $50 million, $43.5 million from Hollywood producer Steve Bing.
UPDATE: Steve Bing has just contributed another $6 million to Yes on 87, bringing his total to $49.5 million. Google co-founder Sergey Brin just kicked in $1 million, matching the $1 million Google co-founder Larry Page contributed earlier. On the other side, the oil companies are now up to $85 million for No on 87.
** Hunter for President. No, not the TV detective played by former Rams great defensive end Fred Dryer, this is San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter, current chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He announced today that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. Hunter, a strong advocate of the border fence and former ally of disgraced former Congressman Duke Cunningham, would be a distinct longshot in the race and has not previously figured in presidential speculations. He was swept into office in the Reagan presidential landslide of 1980. If Democrats take the House next week, as many expect, Hunter will lose his powerful committee chairmanship.
UPDATE: The start of Schwarzenegger’s webcast from the Reagan Library has been delayed an hour. It is now scheduled to begin at 11:45 AM.
** Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will deliver an address, webcast live today at 10:45AM, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the election of Ronald Reagan as governor of California. The event takes place at the Reagan Library. Reagan was a significantly more moderate figure as governor than many suppose.
** Outspoken liberal actor Alec Baldwin, who after starrring in the smash hit The Hunt For Red October, gave up the lead role in the Jack Ryan technothriller franchise to do a play, has dramatically disavowed a new documentary about Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that he narrates. On the Huffington Post he writes that he was very troubled by the loaded way in which images are presented, most notably Nazi images associated with Schwarzenegger. The producers say the film will be re-edited so that Hitler will be replaced by Mussolini. Much better …
** John Garamendi and John Chiang, the embattled Democratic nominees for lieutenant governor and state controller, respectively, are holding press conferences today to hit their opponents. Garamendi will be in San Francisco at noon, appearing with California Institute for Regenerative Medicine chairman Robert Klein and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to criticize Republican Tom McClintock for his opposition to stem cell research and point out that the lieutenant governor gets five appointees to the oversight committee for California’s landmark stem cell research program. Chiang will be criticizing Republican nominee Tony Strickland for his heavy backing from casino tribes seeking favorable tax treatment.
CORRECTION: John Chiang is actually going after Intuit, the software giant and maker of TurboTax. Present at the press conference will be Stanford Professor Joe Bankman, the originator of the ReadyReturn program that Intuit is trying to kill by spending $1 million in the state controller’s race.
** 2:15 PM UPDATE: A high-ranking source says tax software leader Intuit is now up around $2 million in its independent expenditure drive to defeat John Chiang and elect Tony Strickland as California state controller.
** Track global and national energy prices in near real time via Bloomberg. Crude oil prices are sliding below sixty dollars a barrel on continued speculation that OPEC production cuts will be less than advertised.