10 PM UPDATE: New Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll now off embargo.
Schwarzenegger by 18 over Angelides in the governor’s race. Schwarzenegger’s lead has gone up by one point in the last month. The big bipartisan infrastructure bonds are on the bubble. More in the comments section and tomorrow in the AM leader.
DESPERATE MOVES ARE NOT PAYING OFF for California’s most powerful statewide offices. Former Governor Jerry Brown easily fended off a legal gambit by backers of distant Republican challenger Chuck Poochigian to block the counting of votes for the Oakland mayor as attorney general. And Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides finds himself trailing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 53% to 35%, in a new Democratic poll.
Angelides touched on gun control yesterday as what his advisor Steve Maviglio called a “silver bullet” issue. It’s the latest in a string of “silver bullets” which turn out to be blanks. Nothing has worked for Angelides. This one won’t, either. In fact, although Maviglio blogged that Angelides had raised the issue yesterday, the treasurer actually shied away from it in a Sacramento coffee shop appearance. Perhaps he sensed that quarreling with Schwarzenegger over two very technical bills would not detract from the former action superstar’s standing as a gun control supporter. Or perhaps he realized that his past support for a ban on handguns could quickly become problematic for him.
In any event, the string of stunts indulged in by the Angelides campaign has availed the former state Democratic chairman not at all. He trails Schwarzenegger by a whopping 53% to 35% margin in a highly credible private Democratic poll. His new biographical TV ad has not worked. The millions spent by the Democratic Party to tie Schwarzenegger to unpopular President George W. Bush did not work. The millions more spent by the Alliance for a Better California public employee union coalition, attempting to stir the embers of anger over Schwarzenegger’s 2005 special election, did not work.
As a result, with two weeks until the official postmortems begin, Angelides is headed for a landslide defeat, in what has seemed to be one of the most Democratic states in the nation, in the midst of a very good year for Democrats nationally.
Also proving that desperate moves to torpedo rivals and curry favor are best practiced by desperate housewives is state Senator Chuck Poochigian, the Republicans’ badly trailing candidate for state attorney general.
As negative as the Angelides campaign has been to such little avail, the Poochigian campaign has been even more negative. The entire campaign has been about an unremitting attack on Jerry Brown. While Poochigian himself has been largely off-stage, his campaign has issued an endless stream of nasty missives about Brown, as well as a series of ads that have diminished as money has run out. In that respect, the Poochigian campaign has been more focused than the Angelides campaign, which flits from issue to issue, theme to theme, and slogan to slogan (four or five so far).
Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang noted the position of country registrars of voters and the California Secretary of State that the relief sought by the plaintiffs — disqualifying votes cast for Jerry Brown — would be extraordinarily disruptive of the election and, even were it possible, would be more costly to taxpayers than the alternative, plaintiffs having argued that taxpayer concerns were at the core of their complaint.
In fact, during the hearing, the plaintiffs’ lawyer withdrew the request that votes not be counted for Brown. Which was the entire point of the move, other than an attempt for publicity. The request for an injunction failed, as did the effort to expedite matters. Plaintiffs’ lawyer was left agreeing the suit would require major amendments if it were to continue.
The lawsuit had other odd aspects. California’s secretary of state, who oversees elections, should have been named in the suit because his office certified Brown for the ballot. But he was not. Indeed, Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, a Republican appointed by Schwarzenegger, petitioned successfully to become a party to the suit, supporting Brown’s position that the remedy sought by the plaintiffs be dismissed by the court. As did current state Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
The chief named plaintiff, Contra Costa County Republican Chairman Tom Del Beccaro, was not on hand. Poochigian himself was 175 miles away in Fresno, revisiting his endorsements by some Central Valley law enforcement figures.
At the core of the issue is whether or not Brown is qualified to be state attorney general. The Yale Law School graduate has been a member in good standing of the California Bar since 1965, admitted to practice before the state Supreme Court, for which he once clerked. Legal experts view this standard of admission for five years prior to election as the standard of eligibility.
However, Brown has for most of his tenure as mayor of Oakland, in which it would be improper for him to practice law, saved on high bar association fees by going from active to inactive membership. Backers of Poochigian, who by all measures is headed for a big loss in the election, seized on this inactive status to argue that Brown is not qualified. Had Brown wanted to practice during his inactive Bar membership status, all he would have to have done is fill out a form and pay additional membership fees and his active status would have returned automatically and immediately.
I heard of this ploy weeks ago, looked into it at the time and determined it had no merit. Of course, a serious legal bid to disqualify Brown would have taken place months ago, before ballots were printed and systems for the election set in place. This legal bid took place at the last minute, with Poochigian having taken his shot at Brown and failed, trailing by a huge margin in private polls in both parties.
Hoped for independent expenditure (IE) campaigns for Poochigian also, as reported here, have not materialized, with the smart money recognizing that even with a big win looming for Schwarzenegger, the possibility of defeating Brown approached the vanishing point.
So the IE action on the Republican side is with other candidates; namely controller nominee Tony Strickland and lieutenant governor nominee Tom McClintock.
Big casino tribe money is flowing to the aid of Strickland, as reported here over the weekend. And Intuit, the tax software giant (TurboTax), is also helping Strickland. His Democratic opponent, John Chiang, has been supportive of efforts by Controller Steve Westly to simplify taxes for some taxpayers by allowing them to use a state estimate of their obligation. The program, called Ready Return, is popular but was killed in the Legislature under the weight of heavy lobbying on behalf of Intuit.
Labor, which has been focused on propping up Angelides, is responding by “reprogramming,” as one senior Democrat puts it, money for IEs to help Chiang and John Garamendi, the longtime major Democrat locked in a very tight race for lieutenant governor with McClintock.
But Republicans have gotten the jump on the Democrats here. It remains to be seen if the late-breaking Democratic effort will work.
In what does not qualify as a shocking development, the effort by some Republicans aligned with state Senator Chuck Poochigian, the trailing Republican candidate for California attorney general, to essentially use the court system to halt the election of former Governor Jerry Brown, ran into a brick wall today in a Sacramento court. The judge noted the position of country registrars of voters and the California Secretary of State that the relief sought by the plaintiffs — disqualifying votes cast for Jerry Brown — would be extraordinarily disruptive of the election and, even were it possible, would be more costly to taxpayers than the alternative, plaintiffs having argued that taxpayer concerns were at the core of their complaint. In fact, the plaintiffs’ lawyer withdrew that request during the hearing. The request for an injunction failed, as did the effort to expedite matters. Plaintiffs’ lawyer was left agreeing the suit would require major amendments if it were to continue.
At the core of the issue is whether or not Brown is qualified to be state attorney general. The Yale Law School graduate has been a member in good standing of the California Bar since 1965, admitted to practice before the state Supreme Court, for which he once clerked. Legal experts view this standard of admission for five years prior to election as the standard of eligibility. However, Brown has for most of his tenure as mayor of Oakland, in which it would be improper for him to practice law, saved on high bar association fees by going from active to inactive membership. Backers of Poochigian, who by all measures is headed for a big loss in the election, seized on this inactive status to argue that Brown is not qualified. Had Brown wanted to practice during his inactive Bar membership status, all he would have to have done is fill out a form and pay additional membership fees and his active status would have returned automatically and immediately.
This is another example of what political ventures in extremis do. Incidentally, trailing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides this morning, at another Sacramento coffee shop stop near his home, seized on a “silver bullet” issue, as one of his PR people puts it. That would be, his latest “silver bullet” issue. Gun control. Prediction: It won’t work.
The ballyhooed bipartisan infrastructure bonds initiatives on California’s November ballot are on the bubble. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has already begun making adjustments in his schedule to campaign more for the bonds. With the bonds campaign taking the unusual step of releasing its internal tracking poll — showing the two main bond measures barely over 50% — an even more dramatic bipartisan intervention may be needed to win passage.
The Let’s Rebuild California committee, the umbrella campaign committee headed by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, yesterday released some of the numbers in a Jim Moore poll for the campaign. While containing more good news for Schwarzenegger — a plurality of California voters saying the state is back on the right track — the news was much more mixed for the infrastructure bonds, comprising some $37-plus billion.
In the tracking poll ending the night before last, the big transportation bonds initiative has only a 50% yes vote. The big education facilities initiative has only a 52% yes vote.
The affordable housing bonds initiative, based on a reading of its very favorable ballot language, is at 54%. Levee repair and flood management is at 55%.
This, as the campaign noted, is after two weeks of radio advertising and one week of TV advertising, all of it uncontested. Campaign spokesman Paul Hefner described the poll as showing “movement” that is “consistent and positive.”
While the measures are there to be won, they are also in dangerous territory. Finance-related initiatives that are hovering at or around 50% two weeks before a California election usually lose.
That was certainly the fate of the Reiner Initiative, Prop 82 on California’s June ballot, to raise taxes on the wealthy for universal preschool. That measure, once way ahead, went down in a landslide, although it was highly contested. The library bond measure on the June ballot was not contested, but it, too, went down.
There is a lot of money on this ballot, in the form of bonds and taxes, worrisome for some experts who expect widespread No voting across the ballot as a result.
While the bipartisan bonds effort has raised substantial resources, its public face has been underwhelming, much less than advertised several months ago.
After some internal scuffling, Schwarzenegger and Perata have appeared together for the campaign, as promised. But Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez appears to have entered a witness protection program. He has not made the bipartisan bonds appearances he promised, at least in public, and has not been in evidence on the campaign trail. Actually, anywhere on the campaign trail.
Both Nunez and Perata came under great pressure from organized labor and trial lawyer interests not to appear with Schwarzenegger. But given the reality of the governor’s race, which has been apparent to sophisticated observers for a long time, that doesn’t seem particularly well-advised.
At this point, however, while that promised joint campaigning would be helpful, something much more dramatic could well be what is needed to ensure the passage of the bonds.
Something involving Schwarzenegger and famous Democrats and Republicans at the gubernatorial and senatorial levels and high-profile members of the private sector.
That would break through the fast-emerging media clutter of the last two weeks of this campaign. Since many people are already voting, it would not come a moment too soon.
** Former Vice President Al Gore addressed a rally of 2000 supporters of Proposition 87 today in Berkeley. Hollywood producer Steve Bing has given another $3.5 million to the measure, which would enact an oil extraction tax at the wellhead to fund alternative energy research and development. Bing has now given $43.5 million to the Prop 87 campaign, a record amount for any initiative campaign.
** Democrat John Garamendi and Republican Tom McClintock, running in that dead heat race for California lieutenant governor, debate today at 2 PM before the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board. It will be webcast live on CBS5.com.
** Democratic gubernatorial primary rivals Phil Angelides and Steve Westly will appear together today at 10 AM for the Orange County Democratic Party, lending their voices to the bipartisan chorus of condemnation of a Republican congressional candidate whose campaign sent out letters telling immigrant voters they could not vote.
Also, former Vice President Al Gore‘s appearance for Proposition 87, the oil tax for alternative fuels initiative on California’s November ballot, has been moved from UC Berkeley to Martin Luther King Park across from Berkeley City Hall. The time remains 12 noon today.
** Track global and national energy prices in near real time via Bloomberg. Crude oil prices have slipped on word from the London-based Center for Global Energy Studies that OPEC production cuts will be less than stated. The center was founded by legendary former Saudi Oil Minister Sheik Zaki Yamani.
For months, the word in California Democratic circles was that the governor’s race would turn around for Treasurer Phil Angelides when the cavalry arrived. In the form of the Alliance for a Better California (ABC) public employee unions with the sequel to their pummeling last year of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his disastrous special election. It was reported that $25 million would be spent on the effort.
But the cavalry arrived and nothing changed. Now, to switch to the other metaphor, with the sequel to 2005 over it’s time for labor to try to inject late help for struggling down ballot Democrats. It has not been easy for labor to mobilize against Schwarzenegger this year, as seen in this NWN video of some recent rallies boosting Angelides and challenging the governor.
The ABC labor coalition made its last independent expenditure on Angelides’ behalf, a $1.2 million media buy for a pro-Angelides TV spot, on October 11th. Prior to that it had spent $4 million on negative TV advertising about Schwarzenegger. All the advertising featured the now perhaps too familiar iconic line-up from last year of popular public employees such as teachers, firefighters, and police officers.
Schwarzenegger had a big lead over Angelides before the ABC intervention and has a big lead now. Indeed, public and private polls have shown the former action superstar with a favorable view from a plurality of union households, although Angelides leads the moderate Republican in preference for governor among union households.
The $5.2 million TV advertising effort was a far cry from the reported $25 million that the ABC coalition was said to be ready to spend to defeat Schwarzenegger when the effort was launched last month.
Says a high-ranking labor source: “The stories that were written about what the Alliance was going to do came from people other than anyone who actually knew” what the plan was.
Some say that Schwarzenegger’s string of bipartisan successes, achieved in a partnership with Democratic legislative leaders, is responsible for taking the wind from the sails of these opponents who were so effective in derailing Schwarzenegger’s ballyhooed “Year of Reform” special election initiative agenda.
But there were signs that the anti-Arnold effort would be less than overwhelming back in the primary, even before Schwarzenegger and the Legislature finally came up with the bipartisan infrastructure bonds package.
The ABC forces called two demonstrations against Schwarzenegger; the first outside a fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, the second outside a fundraiser at Schwarzenegger’s capital residence, the Hyatt Regency at Capitol Park. Each drew only a few hundred people, and lacked the intensity of last year’s roaring demonstrations against Schwarzenegger.
Of course, the context had changed. Schwarzenegger was no longer pursuing his il-advised course of last year.
It was apparent by the beginning of October that ABC’s intervention was much smaller than anticipated, with spending at a pace nowhere near that hoped for by Angelides and his boosters. But there was another problem.
With an avalanche of highly lucrative advertising on Propositions 86 and 87, the tobacco tax for health care and oil tax for alternative fuels, California’s public-spirited TV stations jacked up the advertising rates. They were suddenly roughly 50 percent higher than in the primary. And even then TV advertising was proving significantly less effective than anticipated, with viewers more skeptical and it taking much more time to drive a message home.
Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger and his new political team had moved immediately after the primary, which Angelides narrowly won over ex-eBay honcho-turned state Controller Steve Westly, to define the race. Schwarzenegger criss-crossed the state, drawing crowds far larger and more enthusiastic than either of the Democrats (Westly actually drew bigger crowds than Angelides, for the most part) had drawn in their hotly contested primary contest.
And he and his campaign pounded home consistent themes in TV advertising: Under Schwarzenegger (and after the recall), California was moving forward again. Echoing though not quoting a famous line from Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez’s, one of Angelides’ campaign co-chairs. And under Angelides, California would go backwards.
Now we will see what labor does with the down ballot races.
Dealing with an unpopular war and an unpopular president — even in Virginia — and with the state’s senior senator, John Warner, who also chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee — critical of the policy, cheerleader Allen has adopted a more measured and somewhat critical tone. He’s also dealing with a Democratic opponent who served four years in the Reagan Administration, was one of the most highly decorated Marine Corps officers of the Vietnam War, and publicly predicted that Iraq would become a quagmire.
The only thing that is fortunate for Allen, shown here infamously welcoming a Webb intern to America,
is that Webb is loathe to brandish his Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Stars, and Purple Hearts before the voters. So far.
** That Team 2006 casino tribes independent expenditure committee which began with $800,000 from the Sycuan, then grew to over $3 million, while making big expenditures on behalf of Republican legislative candidates … Well, it just got a whole lot bigger. Another $4 million has arrived. $2 million from the Agua Caliente, $2 million from the Pechanga. And they just did a poll on behalf of former Assemblyman Tony Strickland, the Republican candidate for California state controller
** FROM THE DEPT. OF BRILLIANT IDEAS … Trailing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides again had a lawyer send Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger a letter demanding that he release the private audio tapes that Angelides opposition researchers surreptitiously obtained from the governor’s web server and very selectively leaked a small portion of to the Los Angeles Times. This is actually the second time Angelides has had such a letter sent. The first letter set an actual deadline. Which of course came and went and nothing happened.
Why doesn’t Angelides simply release the four hours of purloined tapes himself? He should do exactly that, since he seems to feel so strongly about it. But he has had weeks to do so, and has not. An Angelides source admits to some trepidation about legal ramifications, despite the campaign rhetoric about the tapes being freely available on a web site. So why send another letter demanding something that Schwarzenegger has already made obvious will not happen, this time not setting a deadline to be blown through like the last one? Well, it seemed to be a clever way to intimate what is on the tapes, at least in the two newspapers that paid any attention to the maneuver. But we already know what is on the tapes, as has been discussed here before. I wonder how much time I spend typing about this brilliant idea.
In any event, Angelides should hand the tapes over to NWN. They will be published here immediately and made available in their entirety. Enough of this mincing around.
Then there is the lawsuit hatched by people around trailing Republican attorney general candidate Chuck Poochigian to have former Governor Jerry Brown disqualified from serving as attorney general and votes cast for him go uncounted because he chose not to pay bar association fees to remain an active rather than inactive member, since he can’t practice law anyway while serving as mayor of Oakland.
Legal experts have uniformly thrown cold water on the notion. I heard about it in Republican political circles weeks ago, looked into it, and concluded it was nothing. (In fact, according to a well-placed Democratic source, Brown’s primary rival, Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, considered trying the same thing but dismissed the idea.) Brown has been admitted to practice before the state Supreme Court, which is the standard for qualification, and a member of the Bar in good standing, for 41 years. (If while an inactive member of the Bar, he had suddenly needed to argue before the court, he would have simply filled out a form, paid a fee, and would automatically have been in court.) A supposed quick move for a temporary restraining order against Brown’s candidacy went by the boards, though the Republican county chairman who is the principal plaintiff says they will be very active next week.
Jerry Brown, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, is well on his way to a resounding election victory. People on the losing end can go down with grace, or they can go down. But going down with grace can mean giving up the limelight, or at least what little there is left.
Bustamante was gravely damaged when his campaign tried to use millions of dollars in Indian casino tribe contributions when he was the Democrats’ replacement nominee for governor against Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 recall. Schwarzenegger won in a landslide. Poizner met the new governor when the former action superstar made an ill-advised attempt to beat Democrats in legislative districts drawn for Democrats. Poizner made a near-miss bid in a San Francisco Bay Area state Assembly district. He was the only good thing that came out of the venture for Schwarzenegger, and the governor encouraged his continued involvement in statewide politics.
** Alrighty then. On an extraordinarily exciting Friday afternoon in California politics — and here is a shout out to Republican attorney general candidate Chuck Poochigian: Try The Adam Carolla Show! — it’s time to renew that favorite NWN tradition. The Arnold Clone Movie.
In this video, ripped off from Mad TV and placed (by an awful lot of people) on YouTube, the future governor discusses his then upcoming super-fantastic clone action movie hit, Stolen Identity III. Regretfully, the former Mr. Olympia does not discuss ethnological theory, computer security, or his favorite word in the Portugese language. (Phil Angelides? Say what? Besides, that’s Greek.) Never let it be said that the governor of California is treated with anything but the utmost dignity here.
** The two most recent presidents of the United States stumped in Virginia’s dead heat Senate race yesterday. Both had their awkward moments. George W. Bush was there for Senator George Allen, who has toned down his pro-war rhetoric in the wake of the state’s senior Senator, John Warner, delivering a grim assessment of the Iraq War policy. Bush has only a 42% job approval rating in Virginia, one of the key battlegrounds in the struggle for control of the Senate. Clinton was in full flight for the Democratic nominee, former U.S. Navy Secretary James Webb. But there was an awkward moment there, too; Webb had declared Clinton in 2000 to have had “the most corrupt administration in modern memory.” Clinton laughed it off with a quip.
Who is the real ticket-topper for California Democrats this year? Trailing, flailing would-be governor Phil Angelides? Dianne Feinstein, facing a walk-over Senate re-election opponent? Jerry Brown, the only Democrat currently winning a contested statewide race? Or is it a duo of out-of-staters, former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore?
Evidence increasingly points to Clinton and Gore.
Bill Clinton appeared at a big UCLA rally for Prop 87 last Friday. Al Gore appears at a UC Berkeley rally on Monday.
Both men have cut TV commercials for Proposition 87, the oil extraction tax for alternative fuels on California’s November ballot. Gore started it off at the beginning of last week, with an ad playing off his popular new persona from the hit documentary film on his crusade against global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.
Clinton, meanwhile, is the public face of the campaign, with not one but two TV ads running in rotation right now around California.
The idea, according to friends of the two men, belongs to Clinton and the principal backer of Prop 87, Hollywood producer Steve Bing. Bing has contributed an astonishing $40 million to the Prop 87 campaign. He was the principal funder of the campaign against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s redistricting reform initiative last year in the former action superstar’s ill-starred “Year of Reform.” Bing is one of the most important Democratic moneymen in the country, having helped finance the new Democratic national headquarters in Washington.
It was Bing, actually, who convinced his friend Clinton to become involved with the campaign.
The idea to emphasize Prop 87 is a natural. It is a fight against a big interest group generally aligned with Republicans, in the form of the oil industry. It is about the environment, and it is future-oriented, with a focus on the hottest future-oriented political issue around, global warming.
In other words, it is a great way to appeal to Democratic base voters and get them activated for this election at a time when the putative Democratic ticket-topper, gubernatorial hopeful Phil Angelides, is tanking and inspiring only hardcore hyperpartisans.
Meanwhile, Angelides’ troubled campaign looks to have jumped the shark yesterday, as in the video above. Failing to get on Schwarzenegger’s TV home away from home, the Tonight Show, after filing an unsuccessful complaint with a Federal Communications Commission that has previously judged the Howard Stern and Donahue shows to be news shows, hence not requiring equal time for opponents, the state treasurer ended up yesterday on a raunch radio show.
Wittily acerbic LA Times columnist Steve Lopez refers to it as the candidate’s “desperate and idiotic decision to appear on the Adam Carolla radio show Thursday morning.”
Ironically, most of the listenership of the Carolla show, young, non-intellectual males, undoubtedly had no idea what such an old guy cultural reference meant. Tang being, of course, the astronauts’ allegedly orange juice-flavored powdered drink back in the Space Age of the 1960s and 1970s.
As Angelides flails and the national big guns Clinton and Gore stump for Prop 87, the rest of the statewide Democratic ticket not named Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, or Bill Lockyer looks to the future with no little trepidation.
The big labor independent expenditure money has mostly not shown up yet for down ballot Democratic candidates. Lieutenant governor nominee John Garamendi is getting the benefit of about a million dollars in labor money, now showing up on radio. He also benefits from a favorable state auditor report on his controversial early ‘90s handling of the state takeover of the Executive Life insurance and junk bond empire.
A big Indian casino tribe IE in formation is said to be largely for the benefit of Republican candidates; namely controller candidate Tony Strickland and lieutenant governor candidate Tom McClintock. Some had hoped that money would go to Democrats. Not so far is isn’t.
** A larger than expected OPEC production cut to maintain price. According to the Wall Street Journal: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to cut oil output by 1.2 million barrels a day, a modestly larger cut than expected, in an effort to prop up rapidly falling oil prices. The output cut, decided at a hastily arranged meeting in Doha, Qatar, represents about 4.4% of the group’s current output and just more than 1% of global consumption. The cuts will take effect Nov. 1, the oil bloc said in a statement after the meeting.
** UPDATE: Just received a press release from the Republican county chairman fronting the attempt to have 45-year California Bar member Jerry Brown declared ineligible to hold the office of state attorney general. Aside from the fact I’ve already looked into the relevance of the move when I heard of it weeks ago, the statement loses me with this dreadfully written lead sentence: “Today myself and several colleagues filed an action …”
Poochigian had a slender chance to make a real race of this. I waited all summer for some action, which with the state of the governor’s race would have been more than welcome, but none came. Now he is low on money, his TV ads having failed to close the gap, his fundraising seriously overmatched and hoped for independent expenditure campaigns failing to materialize, focused on a radio ad, and trying a hail Mary pass with a lawsuit. Poochigian’s campaign had high hopes for a book seeming to link Jerry Brown with the mob. Until it turned out the book was really more about the purported hookup between the mob and Ronald Reagan. If Poochigian thinks wasting thousands of dollars on bar association membership fees to maintain an active rather than inactive bar association membership when a mayor can’t have legal clients anyway is sensible, it would surprise me. But his campaign is moribund and consultants always have brilliant ideas. This does sound familiar.
** Trailing Republican California attorney general candidate Chuck Poochigian just formally endorsed that lawsuit to have former Governor Jerry Brown declared ineligible to serve in the office. (Because Brown has been, at times, an inactive member of the bar association, saving on fees, rather than an active member, though always admitted to practice before the state Supreme Court. As mayor of Oakland, he can’t practice law.) It’s a fitting thing he endorsed it, since his campaign has been talking about the brilliant idea in Republican circles for weeks, as revealed here yesterday. Poochigian is way behind in the polls, and in fundraising. His campaign effort is currently focused on a radio ad featuring comic personality Ben Stein.
** Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses Solar Power 2006 at 12 noon Pacific Time in Silicon Valley. He may be saying something about his Million Solar Roofs program, the biggest solar energy program in the country. The event will be webcast live.