The latest McCain video brushback pitch for the press, pressuring for more criticism of Obama and less criticism for the new negative strategy.
** GARAMENDI FOR GOVERNOR, SCHWARZENEGGER MAKES DRAMATIC BUDGET MOVE, JERRY BROWN SUES E.P.A., GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE, PRESIDENTIAL AD WARS. All while I have been out and about … Somewhat unexpectedly but not unproductively caugbt up away from the semi-mobile office. Too bad the software does not exist for me to publish by thinking.
Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi did declare for governor of California late this morning in a brief appearance on the West Steps of the state Capitol. Looking quite spiffy, he appeared with his wife Patti and five grandchildren, declaring at the beginning of his remarks to about 60 supporters and a group of press that he is officialy a candidate in the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary.
As he did so, the current governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was about to sign an executive order cutting the pay of permanent state employees to the federal minimum wage — absent publicy safety and health workers, who are exempt from the order — and terminating contingent employees. Upon the pasage of the state’s very late budget, all permanent employees will receive back pay and those contingent employees who can be restored will be restored. In the meantime, Schwarzenegger is directing his administration to assist state workers in finding any necessary loans to tide them over.
The prospective frontrunner for 2010, former Governor-turned-Attorney General Jerry Brown, was at the same time in Los Angeles, suing the US Environmental Protection Agency for not acting to curtail greenhouse gases in the shipping field, a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. Brown has not made a declaration of candidacy, but he is raising money with the prospect of regaining the governorship that he won for two terms in the 1970s and ’80s.
2010 gubernatorial fundraising numbers are now becoming available, and I will offer an assessment of the emerging race — and the potential fields — shortly.
Back to Garamendi, who used the occasion of his formal announcement of candidacy to declare that the Capitol in his dramatic backdrop is not “a stage set,” a reference to Schwarzenegger’s governorship, and particularly to denounce Schwarzenegger for his budget move.
His crowd of supporters, who included some state employees, cheered loudly at that.
His grandfather, said the former Peace Corps volunteer, state insurance commissioner, state Senate majority leader, and US deputy interior secretary for President Bill Clinton, taught him “that you have to fix the fence to keep the cattle off the road.”
By which he meant that the state budget must be attended on a constant basis, criticizing Schwarzenegger for what he termed a lack of the attentiveness that former governors such as Pete Wilson paid to ongoing negotiations. He did not mention Brown, who also handled eight state budgets.
Garamendi declared that the answer to the chronic budget crisis is “to reform, to cut, and to raise taxes.”
He went on to outline the beginnings of a campaign platform, which included “fixing the economic engine,” promoting technological innovation, reforming education, fighting climate change, and building infrastructure. These are familiar themes for those who have followed Garamendi’s career over the years, which has included several previous runs for the governorship.
Garmendi is an experienced player with appeal who as a legislator was quite involved in the state’s budget process. He’s a rancher with a strong family background, a former star football player and wrestler at Cal with an MBA from Harvard. He starts back in the pack behind Jerry Brown, but is not to be dismissed.
Garamendi’s announcement, which began at 11, was over by 11:12, which gave me ample opportunity to dash around the side of the Capitol and go through security for Schwarzenegger’s budget announcement, which ended starting about 15 or so minutes late.
With regard to Schwarzenegger’s announcement, I’m under the impression that some key Democrats had convinced themselves he wouldn’t do it. Nope.
** GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT ON TAP. A very well-known figure in California politics will announce his candidacy for governor late this morning. More to follow when I get back.
** CALIFORNIA POLL: BIG OBAMA LEAD, ARNOLD JOB APPROVAL 49%, OFFSHORE DRILLING UP, FUEL EFFICIENCY PREFERRED. The latest poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shows Barack Obama with a big lead over John McCain, 50% to 35%.
The poll is an in-depth exploration of Californians’ views on environmental issues. Most notably, it shows a huge majority, 80%, in favor of taking immediate steps to curb the greenhouse effect.
The pain at the pump is hitting home, with 51% now saying they favor offshore oil drilling. The shift is mostly due to large numbers of Republican moderates changing on the issue, as Democratic and independents remain opposed. Offshore drilling is John McCain’s current big issue.
However, the preferred solution by far to high gas prices is increased vehicle fuel efficiency. Some 80% of California voters want that to happen, even if cars cost more. Barack Obama has championed this approach, while McCain has frequently voted against it.
When it comes to California’s governor, yesterday’s birthday boy himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, he gets some good news amidst all the state’s economic and budget woes. While only 43% of California residents approve of what he’s doing as governor, 49% of California voters approve of Schwarzenegger’s performance as governor. That’s nearly twice President Bush’s rating.
Schwarzenegger, incidentally, will attempt to break through the Gordian knot around the budget fashioned by the state’s anti-government and ultra-government factions this morning when he signs an executive order reducing permanent state workers to the minimum wage and terminating contingent workers. Not that he thinks this is a good way to go other than as a pressure tactic on the Legislature. State workers will receive back pay after the budget is passed.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Iowa. He meets with flood victims in Cedar Rapids and holds a town hall, also in Cedar Rapids, on economic security.
John McCain is in Wisconsin. He holds a town hall meeting in Racine.
Obama leads in both of these battleground states.
** QUINNIPIAC POLLS: OBAMA WELL AHEAD IN PENNSYLVANIA, CLOSE RACES IN FLORIDA AND OHIO. The new Quinnipiac polls — still not so new, as it happens, as these are polls taken July 23-29 — of Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio indicates that John McCain has made some gains on Barack Obama in these battleground states, two of which were won by President Bush. Here are the numbers.
Pennslvania: Obama, 49-42. Ohio: Obama, 46-44. Florida: Obama, 46-44.
The poll’s director says that the results show Obama’s foreign tour didn’t help him in these states, as folks there are much more concerned with domestic economic insecurity. You can’t really say that, though, as the poll was still in the field during the second half of Obama’s tour, which included the Berlin speech and the fawning receptions of Obama by the leaders of Britain and France.
McCain seems to be making headway with the offshore drilling issue, at least in the interior states. You know my views on the longtime political salience of this issue. Beneath the surface, the facts are not there, and voters don’t like to feel conned. Intriguingly, the poll did not measure the question of vehicle fuel efficiency, improvements in which will yield much faster savings at the pump.
Nevertheless, this is a useful snapshot, bearing in mind that if McCain actually lost Ohio or Florida, he would almost certainly lose the election.
** 13 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MAC’S 3RD STRAIGHT ATTACK AD. The reason the McCain campaign is so worried is that the Olympics start in less than two weeks. The next big event right after the Olympics? The Democratic National Convention. From my other blog.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer, bringing you English-language, jargon-free, fast-paced coverage of global and Russian news from the new Russia Today channel. You probably already know about CNN International, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Russia Today, which also features culture, entertainment, and sports, is based in Moscow and is owned and operated by the TV Novosti division of Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti.
While it’s quite foolish to expect to see, say, criticism of Vladimir Putin on Russia Today, which I know as a former DemRussia advisor, the channel is very interesting nonetheless. With U.S. cable news chattering away as it does, this sort of respite can be informative. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND U.S. ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. After crashing over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, crude oil is trading in the $126 to $128 per barrel range, up a few dollars from yesterday. The drop of over $20 per barrel came amidst multiple signs that the weak US economy will cut future demand and fresh signs of a detente between the US and Iran.
Your posts are welcome in the Forum.