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Archive for February, 2008

Another look at Super Tueday

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So where did it all go wrong for Barack Obama on Tuesday? He appeared to be gaining in polls of California voters leading up to the election, the Bay Area seemed to be a receptive environment for his campaign and he even looked to have run a better grassroots campaign in San Mateo County.

Meanwhile, the campaign of Hillary Clinton appeared to skirt the county, focusing on San Francisco and then skipping down to Palo Alto and Silicon Valley. For example, a listing of local events on Clinton’s Web site on the weekend before Super Tuesday contained multiple entries for Santa Clara County and not a single one for San Mateo County.

Several things appeared to have been at play. For one, we learned all over again that polls are fallible. In particular, a Zogby poll that showed Obama surging into the lead statewide turned out to be flat-out wrong.

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Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2008
Under: 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Barack Obama, Colma, Democratic Party, East Palo Alto, Elections Office, Hillary Clinton, San Bruno, San Mateo County | 1 Comment »

Bay Meadows

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So Bay Meadows began what is probably, almost certainly, most definitely going to be it’s last full season of racing on Wednesday. (In the photo above, shot by Times photographer Mathew Sumner, Oakland resident Bill Jones, 86, makes his picks Wednesday afternoon.)

Track officials have declined to completely rule out the possibility of racing continuining into 2009, but demolition of the track is presently scheduled to begin sometime this fall.

So, anyway, we thought this would be a good time to post the rather lengthy item from Saturday’s print Insider column on Bay Meadows’ involvement in the fight over Props 94-97 and the Indian gaming compacts for those who didn’t see Saturday’s paper.

Here it is, with just a couple small edits to update the chronology:

The battle over four Indian gaming compacts got a bit nastier last week, when a union supporting the agreements filed a complaint with the state attorney general against the owner of Bay Meadows race track.

In a letter dated Jan. 29, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association urged the attorney general to investigate whether Terry Fancher, whose real estate fund owns both Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park in Inglewood, made false statements to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which has invested $177 million in the fund.

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Posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bay Meadows, San Mateo | No Comments »

Who’s it going to be?

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[Updated at 7 p.m. Wednesday. See below.]

One and a half hours until the polls close in California, so how is it looking in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination? Will Barack Obama, pictured above, complete his come-from-behind surge, or will Hillary Clinton hold him off?

Early exit polls show Clinton with a slight lead, but then this piece in Slate tells us to disregard exit polls in California because they’re skewed by the large number of absentee voters.

One poll released just before voting started today showed that Obama had not only erased Clinton’s lead, which was in the double digits a couple weeks ago, according to some polls, but was in position for a convincing win.

We’ll see. Democratic insider and famed trial attorney Joe Cotchett told us Friday for our election preview that he’s seeing a big shift to Obama by Edwards supporters, especially trial lawyers. He pointed to Assemblyman Keith Jones, D-Sacramento, who is head of the Judiciary Committee, by way of example.

Incidentally, we’re hearing that voter turnout is insane tonight. San Mateo County Elections Manager David Tom is now predicting turnout as high as 65 or 70 percent.

UPDATE: Well, so much for Obama’s surge. Clinton dispatched him with relative ease. Tomorrow we’ll take a close look at Tuesday’s result and empty the old notebook, so come on back.

Posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
Under: 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Assembly, Barack Obama, Democratic Party | No Comments »