"Former Gov. Jerry Brown
holds a massive lead in his bid to become California's 'top cop,' but three other races for state constitutional offices are cliffhangers
whose winner could be determined by undecided voters, according to a Field Poll released Thursday," reports Jim Sanders in the Bee.
"Democrat John Garamendi
and Republican Tom McClintock
are virtually tied in their fight for lieutenant governor, with Garamendi clinging to a one percentage point lead, while 13 percent of voters have not yet made up their minds."
"'That's almost a dead heat,' said Mark DiCamillo
, poll director."
"Democrats lead in two other tight campaigns -- for controller and secretary of state -- but with balloting set for Tuesday, more than one of every four voters remains undecided in those races."
Let's get to the numbers
McClintock: 43%Attorney General:
Parrish 26%Secretary of State:
Strickland: 31%Insurance Commissioner:
"DiCamillo said there is no evidence of a coattail effect
in which supporters of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
are embracing all candidates of his GOP party."
"'It appears ... that voters are making their judgments on these down-ballot races on an individual basis
,' he said. 'I don't see any wave breaking over the top.
Dan Walters writes
: "As a new Field Poll underscores, Democrats have pretty much sewed up two of those offices, attorney general and treasurer. Former Gov. (and current Oakland Mayor) Jerry Brown is running far ahead of stateSen. Charles Poochigian
for attorney general, while Attorney General Bill Lockyer
is coasting against Claude Parrish
, a member of the Board of Equalization, for treasurer. Republican Steve Poizner
, a very wealthy Silicon Valley businessman, meanwhile, enjoys a strong lead over Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante
for insurance commissioner."
Not to worry Mr. Svelt, if things don't go well next Tuesday, with your new figure, you've got lots of new career opportunities
The Merc News's Steven Harmon writes
that, in addition to Poizner's sizeable fundraising advantage, "[i]t also hasn't helped that Bustamante, the highest ranking Latino in state government, failed to get the endorsement of La Opinión
, the largest Spanish language publication in the state."
"'This is the one case where the well-known candidate seems to be rejected,' DiCamillo said. 'His image took a hit in the recall, and the impact of that still lingers.'"
On the Republican side, the top of the ticket isn't necessarily together on message.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appreciates the Republican lieutenant governor nominee's opinion that the infrastructure bonds on next week's ballot are a mistake, but believes that he is 'totally wrong,'
" reports Josh Richman in the Oakland Tribune.
"If you went with his way of thinking, you would never rebuild California
,' the governor said Thursday of state Sen. Tom McClintock
as he visited the Port of Oakland to stump for the $37 billion bond package."
"'With California's population continuing to swell, we can't continue waiting, we have to build now,' Schwarzenegger said, estimating the state's economy is only '70 percent living up to our potential" because it can't move goods and people fast enough.
"Proposition 1B is a $20 billion transportation infrastructure bond which would provide money to relieve highway congestion, improve public transit and reduce air pollution, particularly at California's ports."
"Known as one of the Legislature's foremost fiscal conservatives, McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, contends Proposition 1B, Proposition 1C, a $3 billion affordable-housing bond, and Proposition 1D, a $10 billion school construction and renovation bond, put too little money into projects that will last a generation, squandering too much on ongoing program costs and routine maintenance."
"He supports only Propositions 1E, the $4 billion levee and flood-control bond, and 1A, which would prevent existing gas-tax revenue from being diverted away from transportation projects."
The Bee's Peter Hecht writes that the race for lieutenant governor is stealing the spotlight
. "And the two former -- and possibly future -- gubernatorial candidates are presenting real people with poignant testimonies to boost their quests."
"It is part of the political theater in California's most competitive statewide contest. As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger holds a double-digit lead over gubernatorial challenger Phil Angelides, the junior varsity race now finds the spotlight."
"'Compared to the governor's race, the lieutenant governor's race is exciting,' said Republican political consultant Kevin Spillane
. 'It means a lot if the governor ever gets hit by a bus. And it's the 'pre-primary primary' for 2010: Whoever wins will be a leading candidate for the next gubernatorial election.'"
The AP's Michael Blood reports that, in contrast to his public attitude, the governor is not playing Mr. Nice Guy in the mail
. "There, Republicans have sustained a barrage of acidic attacks against Angelides in ads featuring unflattering photos and alarmist headlines such as 'Don't Let Angelides Keep Parents in the Dark' and 'Serious Ethics Questions.'"
"While Schwarzenegger's latest TV ads include shots of sun-splashed landscapes and optimistic messages about the future, the mail ads mock Angelides as a dishonest environmental criminal who is insensitive to the safety of children."
"For Schwarzenegger, 'one of the things that drove down his approval rating is harsh rhetoric,' said University of Southern California political scientist Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
, alluding to the governor's infamous snipes at public labor unions and 'girlie-men' legislators."
"Mail advertising 'is an easy way to rev up your base, slam the opponent and not get that much visibility doing it. It fits his campaign strategy,' she said."
Wham, bam, thank you m'am!
"A 16-year-old class-action lawsuit has jeopardized Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to ship inmates out of state
that was supposed to get under way today," writes the Bee's Andy Furillo.
"Attorneys who successfully sued in 1990 to improve treatment for mentally ill prisoners filed for a temporary restraining order Thursday to block the first flight of 80 inmates. The Department of Corrections is hoping to put them on a plane today for a private prison in Tennessee."
"The lawyers lodged their action with U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton
in Sacramento, who, after conferring by telephone Thursday evening with attorneys for both sides, set a hearing for 8:30 a.m. today to decide whether to block the initial transfers."
The Chron's Mark Martin reports: "A ballot measure expected to win voter approval Tuesday could lead state parole agents to lose track of thousands of registered sex offenders or spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars
housing them in rural and industrial areas, according to a report by top parole officials."
"A key component of Proposition 83 would prohibit sex offenders from living near schools or parks. But the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Chronicle, says those residency restrictions 'will place the community at greater risk,' by potentially forcing many parolees from their homes and increasing the numbers of convicts who evade supervision."
"In addition to undercutting arguments by supporters of Prop. 83 -- including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who runs the parole department -- the report depicts a state agency scrambling to figure out how to implement a wildly popular initiative that includes numerous ambiguities."
And, down to San Diego, which may have the mildest climate in the U.S., but is becoming one of the nation's political hot spots.
"The battle for the 78th Assembly District enters the last weekend of Campaign '06 at full boil, with Republican incumbent Shirley Horton
and Democratic challenger Maxine Sherard waging million-dollar campaigns built around a flurry of nasty political mail
," reports Philip J. LaVelle in the Union-Tribune.
"Neither candidate seems suited to the rough side of politics – both are genial and reserved – but you wouldn't know it by the tone of their fliers, which have been landing daily in mailboxes for weeks."
"One Horton mailer calls Sherard a “liberal extremist” – soft on drugs and illegal immigration, itching to raise taxes and outlaw SUVs. Horton's Web site links to tape recordings of Sherard's past comments on these issues, and a mailer features a grainy picture of Sherard that looks like an FBI surveillance photo."
"Sherard's strategy: To paint Horton as a reliable conservative Republican vote, while framing herself as a champion of Democratic causes – “working families,” education spending and the environment."
"Sherard mailers suggest Horton is on the take, featuring a cartoon drawing of a blond woman peeking out from a back pocket stuffed with hundred-dollar bills."
"The Democrat challenging Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia
(R-Cathedral City) in a tough Imperial Valley race accused her Thursday of misusing state property for campaign purposes
," reports Nancy Vogel in the Times.
"Democrat Steve Clute also accused a Garcia campaign consultant who works as her chief of staff of violating legislative rules intended to keep state employees from doing campaign work while being paid by taxpayers."
"Assembly officials say the campaign consultant and chief of staff, Richard Harmon, failed to notify them that he was going to work for Garcia's campaign."
"Assembly rules designed to prevent conflicts of interest require that staff members notify the Rules Committee before accepting any other paid employment."
"'I don't have any notice of outside business activity or employment on file for Harmon,' Assembly Chief Administrative Officer Jon Waldie
"Waldie said he also was investigating whether any legislative rules were broken Oct. 13, when someone smashed a window on Garcia's state-leased Ford Expedition. The SUV was parked at Harmon's Palm Springs home at the time
, and Harmon told police that he parked the vehicle, according to a police report. He reported the theft of a shoulder bag and makeup bag worth $175 from the SUV."
"Waldie said the incident raised a question about whether a lawmaker can allow campaign staff to use state-leased vehicles. Legislators are allowed to use their state cars for personal use because they pay 10% of the cost of the lease, Waldie said, and legislative staff frequently drive the state cars. But it is unclear whether Assembly rules allow campaign workers to do the same
, he said."
Meanwhile, Garcia's campaign has countered with an FPPC complaint against Clute, while a new Democratic mail piece takes a look at who else Bonnie Garcia won't kick out of bed
The Chron's John Garafoli writes about the three dirty words on the lips of Republicans
nationwide. "If the Democrats win the House on Tuesday, expect the descriptor -- epithet, really -- "San Francisco values" to become a permanent part of the media conversation."
"'If (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi
becomes speaker of the House, it will be on the Republicans' list of top five talking points every week,' said longtime GOP media strategist and UC Berkeley political science instructor Dan Schnur."
And finally, this little gem from our friends at LA Observed
"When the FBI and Santa Monica police served search warrants at the home of Animal Liberation Front supporters Jerry Vlasak and Pamelyn Ferdin
this week, they gained entry through a pet door
"The raid was part of an 'ongoing criminal stalking and conspiracy investigation' of activists who have apparently targeted POM Wonderful, the pomegranate juice company in Santa Monica."