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Savage irony

Here’s right-wing radio shock jock Michael Savage — real name Michael Alan Weiner, nationally syndicated but based right here in San Francisco at KNEW 910 AMspeaking about ABC’s Diane Sawyer after her interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

“Take me to a court of law for calling you a whore, because you are an intellectual prostitute for what you have done for ratings.”

Read as: “Hello, kettle? This is the pot. You’re black.”

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Prison drug-treatment blues

Yesterday’s editions carried a story about how the governor has moved the longtime director of the state Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs over into the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to take over the state prisons’ substance-abuse treatment programs, which a new report from the state Inspector General calls an utter disaster.

Read that report here. And here’s an older report, from last October, on similar issues.

A highlight from the executive summary of this week’s report:

This litany of problems adds up to a $1 billion failure — failure to provide an environment that would allow the programs to work; failure to provide an effective treatment model; failure to ensure that the best contractors are chosen to do the job at the lowest possible price; failure to oversee the contractors to make sure they provide the services they agree to provide; failure to exert the fiscal controls necessary to protect public funds; failure to
learn from and correct mistakes — and most tragically, failure to help California inmates change their lives and, in so doing, make our streets safer.

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It’s gonna be a long election

E-mail is going to kill me.

Seriously.

I opened up my e-mail account this morning and I have a message from, get this, the Iowa Democratic Party. (The party hired a new communications director. Whoopee.) There’s another one from the Nevada Democratic Party.

How the heck did Iowa get my e-mail address anyway? It’s not like this local political writer in Walnut Creek, Calif., filed even one news story from Iowa. I did go to Nevada in 2004, largely because that was about the only way I was going to even see a presidential candidate. As you recall, the Democrats ceded California to Kerry and neither candidate showed up often in the Golden Stateunless they needed more cash.

Believe me, I don’t want to be left out.

But if every political party in every state in this nation puts my name on their e-mail distribution lists during the course of the upcoming presidential campaign, my in-box will start sending out smoke signals: “Rescue me!”

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EMILY’s List chief lauds early primaries

At breakfast this morning with reporters in San Francisco’s Hotel Monaco, EMILY’s List president and founder Ellen Malcolm extolled the virtues of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and suggested that earlier primaries would help the New York senator become the nation’s first woman president.

California, along with half-dozen other states, is likely to move the presidential primary to Feb. 5, 2008, creating a mega-Tuesday that could leave little question as to the names of the top potential nominees heading into the Democratic and Republican parties’ national conventions.

A successful candidate, Malcolm said, will need lots of money over a long period of time to compete, particularly in a huge state like California with expensive media markets.

“I believe Hillary Clinton has the foundation to run over the long haul,” said Malcolm, the founder of the 22-year-old organization. EMILY stands for “Early Money is Like Yeast,” referring to the fact that many candidates need seed money to get started. “The early primaries will make it more difficult for an underdog to be successful.”

The Washington, D.C.-based EMILY’s List endorsed Clinton the same day she declared her candidacy. Clinton is the first presidential candidate the organization has ever supported.

It’s a key endorsement from the nation’s largest political action committee. EMILY’s list raised $46 million for Democratic, pro-choice women candidates in the 2006 election cycle with an average donation of $100 a person.

Malcolm is in California, in part, to attend Clinton’s fund-raiser Friday in San Francisco.

When asked about Obama Barack, the Illinois senator that has become a Democratic Party rock star, Malcolm said she believed voters will go with experience. Clinton, she said, has spent far more time on the national stage and has the training to grapple with the complex issues of the Iraq War and domestic policy.

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EMILY’s List chief lauds early primaries

At breakfast this morning with reporters in San Francisco’s Hotel Monaco, EMILY’s List president and founder Ellen Malcolm extolled the virtues of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and suggested that earlier primaries would help the New York senator become the nation’s first woman president.

California, along with half-dozen other states, is likely to move the presidential primary to Feb. 5, 2008, creating a mega-Tuesday that could leave little question as to the names of the top potential nominees heading into the Democratic and Republican parties’ national conventions.

A successful candidate, Malcolm said, will need lots of money over a long period of time to compete, particularly in a huge state like California with expensive media markets.

“I believe Hillary Clinton has the foundation to run over the long haul,” said Malcolm, the founder of the 22-year-old organization. EMILY stands for “Early Money is Like Yeast,” referring to the fact that many candidates need seed money to get started. “The early primaries will make it more difficult for an underdog to be successful.”

The Washington, D.C.-based EMILY’s List endorsed Clinton the same day she declared her candidacy. Clinton is the first presidential candidate the organization has ever supported.

It’s a key endorsement from the nation’s largest political action committee. EMILY’s list raised $46 million for Democratic, pro-choice women candidates in the 2006 election cycle with an average donation of $100 a person.

Malcolm is in California, in part, to attend Clinton’s fund-raiser Friday in San Francisco.

When asked about Obama Barack, the Illinois senator that has become a Democratic Party rock star, Malcolm said she believed voters will go with experience. Clinton, she said, has spent far more time on the national stage and has the training to grapple with the complex issues of the Iraq War and domestic policy.

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Today’s Congressional odds and ends

pete-stark2.jpg“Thank you, Pete”: MoveOn.org members from throughout the 13th Congressional District — from Fremont up to Alameda — will deliver “You’re the Decider” messages tomorrow to Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, in thanks for his vote last week against President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq. “We want Rep. Stark to know that we support his vote and are counting on him to end the war in Iraq,” Brenda Salgado of San Leandro said in a news release. They’ll rally at noon at the Veterans’ Memorial at Paseo Padre and Walnut Avenue in Fremont to hear veterans and their relatives speak out, and then march to Stark’s Fremont office at 39300 Civic Center Dr., Suite 220, to present a “human billboard” reading “THANK YOU, PETE;” a cake; and hundreds of handwritten letters bound with yellow ribbons.

lee2.jpgState of the District: Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will deliver her third annual State of the District address, outlining her legislative priorities for the year to come and reporting on her work over the last year in Washington and in her 9th District, which includes Oakland, Berkeley, Castro Valley and other areas. It’s 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, in the Edward R. Roybal Auditorium at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, 1301 Clay St. in Oakland. She’ll almost certainly have something to say about the meeting she and other Congressional Black Caucus members had last week with President Bush at the White House.

tauscher1.jpgTauscher’s new hires: Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, has hired a pair of natives from her 10th District to work in her Capitol Hill office — Beth Ann Pramme, born in Danville, will handle scheduling duties and serve as a press assistant, while Paul Swanson, born in Walnut Creek, will take charge of front-office duties as a staff assistant. But just because they’re natives doesn’t mean they’re naifs. Pramme has worked for more than a year for Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., and spent this past campaign season in Racine, Wisc., working on several races, including re-electing a Democratic governor for the first time in 32 years. And Swanson, who recently received a political science degree from Cal, worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last year.