Veteran GOP political consultant Sal Russo, no stranger to bare-knuckled campaigning, is the force behind the Tea Party Express.
Russo has worked for such Republican figures as George Deukmejian and Jack Kemp, and helped
John McCain in 2008.
The LAT reports: "But the seasoned strategist is now aiming his fire
directly at the GOP establishment. As a pivotal player in the "tea party"
movement, Russo has helped drive its cause by raising
millions of dollars and crafting caustic ads about
its opponents. His background as a professional politico,
however, has put him at odds with grass-roots leaders who question his motives..."
"As the only tea party group making significant advertising
buys, Tea Party Express has become one of the most
potent forces in the protest movement. The PAC raised
$5.39 million through early August, all in single donations
of $5,000 or less, by tapping into a database of supporters
that now surpasses 400,000 people."
"Much of the group's success is because of Russo, whose
political expertise gives the PAC media firepower in
its efforts to elect fiscally conservative candidates."
Jerry Brown gets some advice from columnist George Skelton. Bottom line: Be a one-termer and stand up to the unions.
"Brown should pledge to serve only one term as governor
if voters choose him over political novice Meg Whitman on Nov. 2."
"Rather than spending much of his four-year term plotting to run for reelection — as virtually every governor does — he could promise to focus exclusively on fixing the
broken state. Do what's right. Let the chips fall.
Damn the political fallout..."
"I'd like to hear him say how he's going to stand up
to the public employee unions that he empowered as
governor by granting collective bargaining rights."
There are lots of differences between Barbara Boxer
and Carly Fiorina, including the way each raises political cash, as the Mercury News'
Mike Zapler reports.
"On issue after issue, the battle for the Senate seat
in California between incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer
and Republican Carly Fiorina is a study in contrasts.
That is no less true when it comes to who is bankrolling
"Trial lawyers, abortion-rights advocates and entertainment executives are among
Boxer's top campaign contributors, while Wall Street
investors and oil and mining interests are major financial
backers of Fiorina's bid. And despite Fiorina's close
Silicon Valley ties as a former Hewlett-Packard CEO, high-tech firms are giving substantially more money to Boxer,
a three-term senator."
The Fresno Bee notes that times are tough everywhere,
even for established San Joaquin Valley Democrats seeking reelection to Congress.
"San Joaquin Valley congressional Democrats confront
a political head wind as they try to hold on to their
"By most measures, Reps. Dennis Cardoza of Merced and
Jim Costa of Fresno remain favorites to win re-election against Republicans Mike Berryhill and Andy
Vidak, respectively. Cardoza and Costa both enjoy the
advantages of incumbency, superior fundraising and
districts drawn for Democrats."
"But with Democratic prospects seemingly growing bleaker
nationwide, even longtime incumbents could be unsettled..."We're
in the same party as some people that [certain voters] don't like," Cardoza said. "Are people frustrated?
You bet they are ... but I'm working the district the
way I always have."
He's baaack: Former state treasuer Phil Angelides, now running
the federal commish examining the Wall Street implosion, is heading back to Sacramento.
From the Bee's Dale Kasler: "Now Angelides, the former Democratic state treasurer
deputized by Congress to investigate the market collapse,
is bringing his roadshow to his hometown. As chairman
of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, he will
preside over a hearing in Sacramento on Thursday to
delve into the details of the housing bubble."
"Sacramento is the last stop on a tour that has taken
Angelides' commission to other troubled communities
– Bakersfield, Las Vegas and Miami. It's also the last
day of public testimony before the commission delivers
its report to Congress in mid-December. "
"Angelides said "field hearings" in places like Sacramento
aren't window dressing; they're essential to understanding how the mortgage
industry went haywire."
In the wake of the San Bruno explosion, people in
the Bay Area want to know just where those underground
gas pipelines are -- and PG&E is poised to tell them.
"The disclosures about San Jose and Milpitas came amid
a chaotic situation Sunday, as the utility said it
was seeking to inform cities before providing the list
of the pipelines to the California Public Utility Commission,
and local officials were left waiting anxiously for
a call whose meaning was uncertain. Since the Sept.
9 San Bruno gas line blast that killed four and left
three unaccounted for, questions have emerged about
which other pipelines may be unsafe, and why PG&E hasn't acknowledged them..."
"Milpitas Vice Mayor Pete McHugh said a PG&E official contacted him this weekend and said the
city has two pipelines of concern, both located west
of Interstate 880. McHugh said PG&E officials did not disclose any more details on the
location of the pipelines."
And, finally, from our Neighorhood Cleanup files, 71-year-old Phillip Graham of Spartanburg, S.C., knows how
to use a Swiffer WetJet.
Graham was at home when a masked intruder with a gun
came into his house.
"The intruder didn't stay for long. Graham said he
grabbed the Swiffer and started prodding the suspect
“like a cattle prod."
“He got on the defensive and was backing out (of the house),” Graham told the local paper. “He was backing out the door trying to get away from
that end of the pole. When I prodded him the first
time, the Swiffer part was on there, but he broke it
off when he slapped it."
“And then the next time, I hit him with the end of the
pole where the Swiffer was and I just told him, ‘You better get out of my house you sorry S.O.B., before
I kill you.' ”
Graham chased the suspect outside, past the carport
in his back yard "before the cord on the Dustbuster