‘Governor Newsom?’

During her big rally this evening in downtown Oakland, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton was talking about the progressive values she’d like to see California export to the rest of the nation when she praised the work of “Governor Newsom.”

“Uh, Mayor Newsom,” she corrected herself, as San Francisco’s mayor blushed and bobbed and the crowd… went… WILD. “That’s what he told me to say, and I guess I can see why,” Clinton quipped.

Newsom is, of course, among rumored Democratic gubernatorial contenders for 2010. Among the others is state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who was onstage for Clinton’s slip of the tongue and just smiled dutifully.


Worthington to run for Hancock’s seat?

This from Kristin Bender, our intrepid Berkeley reporter:

Berkeley City Council Member Kriss Worthington announced this week that he intends to run for the state Assembly in 2008 to replace Loni Hancock, who’ll be termed out.

Worthington held a little soiree at a Berkeley restaurant and gave a moving speech, said community activist Jane Stillwater, who was there. “He said he’d only run if we voted for him then and there,” said Stillwater.

“So the 100 or so folks clapped and cheered voted for him unanimously and said we would come visit him in Sacramento,” she said. “Then he signed his application to run for Assembly and then we all trooped out to the corner mailbox and he dropped it in the slot. And everyone clapped again.”

But Worthington’s candidacy is subject to one big “if”: a ballot proposition headed for the February election could alter the state’s legislative term limits, allowing Hancock to stay in office she chooses. In that case, he’ll apparently opt out.

Worthington, who has represented the Telegraph Avenue area for the past 11 years, said he’s ready to make decisions in a larger arena. “I want to get Democrats to stand up to (Gov.) Schwarzenegger and either get him to compromise or defeat his bad ideas,” Worthington said.


2010 is not so far off…

… and it’s never to early to bank some cold, hard campaign cash, and so Lt. Gov. John Garamendi is about to shake the Silicon Valley money tree.

Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group — the main lobbying group for the area’s high-tech businesses — will host a 90-minute fundraising reception for Garamendi Oct. 23 at his Los Gatos home: $500 per person, $900 per couple, $2,500 to be a co-host.

The money goes to Garamendi 2010, his campaign committee… but his campaign for what? Well, although this is his first term in the number-two spot and he could seek another, he’s made no secret of the fact that he’d like to occupy the horseshoe. If you look at Garamendi 2010’s paperwork, it’s non-committal: in the space marked “office sought or held,” he specifies that he holds the lieutenant governor’s office – but that doesn’t mean he’s committed to seeking it again. Garamendi 2010 had about $125,000 in the bank at mid-year, and looks to have received at least about $23,000 in major contributions (each of $5,000 or more) in the third quarter.

Nothing nefarious here. But as Garamendi and other rumored possible Democratic contenders — Jerry Brown, Bill Lockyer, Jack O’Connell, Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa, among them — gear up their fundraising and try to lock down early support, it’s interesting to see who the high-tech hoi polloi gathers to fete.

Others co-hosting the fundraiser include Seagate Technology CEO Bill Watkins; Silicon Valley Bank vice chairman Harry Kellogg; solar-power executives Tom and Darlene McCalmont; attorney James McManis; Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone; venture capitalist John Freidenrich; genetic programming pioneer and would-be Electoral College reformer John Koza; former Novellus president Sass Somekh; Catapult Strategies president John Neece; real estate investment banker and state stem-cell initiative campaign chairman Robert Klein; energy consultant and former U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary T.J. Glauthier; Construction Navigator CEO Rani Yadav-Ranjan; and tech business consultants Arthur and Marianna Keller, among others.


McNerney rushes Rush

U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, has declared war on Rush Limbaugh.

McNerney’s campaign sent this out today:

You won’t believe this.

Yesterday, right-wing icon Rush Limbaugh insulted everyone who has served our nation in uniform.

In an exchange with a caller, he actually called troops who return from Iraq and voice their opposition to the war “phony soldiers.”

Where does Rush Limbaugh get the moral standing to pass judgment on our heroes who wore this nation’s uniform and returned to exercise their First Amendment rights? Even for Rush, that’s too far!

Will you join me in calling the following radio stations to demand they take Rush’s show off the air?

KWSX in Stockton – (209) 551-1280
KSFO in San Francisco – (415) 954-7449
KFBK in Sacramento – (916) 929-5325

I can’t do it justice to simply describe it, so below is the show’s transcript:

CALLER: No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they’re willing to sacrifice for their country.

I’ve talked to lots of real soldiers. My son is a real soldier who signed up for the Air Force after the horrific attacks on September 11th. To suggest that men and women in uniform who serve and return critical of a conflict are “phony” is appalling – and it’s wrong.

This is the latest, and most insulting, in a string of right-wing talking points that insult the sacrifice and commitment made by our military men and women.

Serving in Iraq, knowing the harsh reality of that conflict, earns a soldier the right to be truthful and critical. And it should certainly earn them more respect from a chickenhawk like Rush Limbaugh.

Demand these local stations take the Rush Limbaugh show off the air.

KWSX in Stockton – (209) 551-1280
KSFO in San Francisco – (415) 954-7449
KFBK in Sacramento – (916) 929-5325

Thank you for everything you do,


OK, enough on the freakin’ MoveOn ad, already!

Jeez, y’all, it’s not like there’s a WAR going on or anything…

Yes, the House on Wednesday resolved to praise the patriotism Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and to condemn MoveOn.org’s full-page ad in the New York Times this month referring to Petraeus as “General Betray Us.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, quickly fired off an e-mail accusing 11 Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee — including chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, of “flip-flopping” (man, is that phrase NEVER going to fade away?) on the resolution, having voted against it in committee shortly before voting for it on the House floor.

But that doesn’t quite pass the smell test. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., had raised the Petraeus/MoveOn issue during a committee discussion on a bill about raising penalties against people who aid terrorism, the International Emergency Economic Powers Enhancement Act; the committee voted 23-13 that under House rules, the Pence amendment simply had nothing to do with the bill at hand. On the House floor a short while later, the Petraeus/MoveOn resolution was attached to a continuing appropriations bill — something entirely different.

Boehner also took a moment to potshot “those 79 Democrats who voted to condone the tactics of the radical, left-wing organization” in the floor vote — including Barbara Lee, Pete Stark, George Miller, Zoe Lofgren, Lynn Woolsey and Mike Honda. And later Wednesday, MoveOn apparently sent this message to its members in districts of House members who voted for the resolution:

They didn’t condemn Vice President Cheney when he falsely connected Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein.
They didn’t condemn Colin Powell when he lied about WMD to the United Nations.
They didn’t condemn President Bush when he started eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant.
They didn’t condemn President Bush and the Republicans when they attacked Sen. John Kerry’s war record.
They didn’t condemn Sen. Saxby Chambliss when he ran ads comparing triple-amputee and war hero Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden.
They still haven’t done enough to slow this dreadful war or protect our troops.
But a few hours ago, your representative voted in the House to join the Senate in condemning a MoveOn.org newspaper ad.
Enough. Can you call Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher—tell her to stop voting on useless resolutions and force an end to the war?

I agree. It’s enough — from ALL of ’em. Enough about the ad.

Did anything else important happen Wednesday during all this back and forth on what is clearly First Amendment-protected speech? Well, let’s see – the Senate said it’s a good idea to split Iraq into three parts; the Bush Administration asked Congress to approve another $42.3 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, bringing its total 2008 war funding request to nearly $190 billion; the Blackwater scandal continued to deepen; and the Senate said Iran’s largest military branch should henceforth be deemed a terrorist organization, a move some decry as a step toward our next war.

So, no, nothing important. Let’s talk about the ad some more.


Obama to open Oakland office while Hillary’s here

Democratic presidential candiate Barack Obama is about to open his first regional campaign office outside the four early primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) on Sunday right here in Oakland — two blocks from where Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is scheduled to stage a big rally a few hours later. No, he won’t be here himself.

It hadn’t been lost on journalists or political observers that the Obama operation in California thus far has been almost exclusively grassroots; there’ve been some trainings and events, but not much in the way of professional staff or offices.

Former gubernatorial candidate and state Controller Steve Westly told me today that Oakland was chosen for the office because the junior Senator from Illinois enjoys a broad base of support in the Bay Area and Northern California — remember the 10,000 to 12,000 who turned out for his March 17 rally in Oakland? — and expects that widespread backing by minority and young voters will carry him to victory in the Golden State. Oakland represents the kind of ethnically, socio-economically and otherwise diverse audience to which Obama appeals, Westly added, and efforts have been underway for weeks to secure a location; it turned out to be 436 14th Street, not far from Frank Ogawa Plaza.

But Westly wouldn’t comment on whether it’s coincidence that the office will open at 1 p.m. Sunday, three and a half hours before Clinton’s “Club44 Block Party” is to begin on Clay Street between 12th and 14th streets. “Who knows?” he said.

The Obama campaign also today announced an expanded California staff, including communications director Debbie Mesloh; she’ll be on leave from her post as communications director for San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, herself an avowed Obama supporter. Mesloh previously worked as Northern California Field Director for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and as press secretary for the Atlanta City Council.

Other hires include:

  • deputy campaign director and political director Vincent Harris, who’ll be on leave from his post as chief of staff to state Senator and Legislative Black Caucus Chairman-elect Mark Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles. Harris earlier worked as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Gray Davis and as senior policy advisor to the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald; he has managed field operations as a regional coordinator in the Democratic Coordinated Campaigns in 1998 and 1990 and as campaign manager for congressional and city council elections in 1996 and 1992, respectively.
  • field operations director Buffy Wicks, who most recently was political director for the UFCW’s WakeUpWalMart.com campaign. A California native, she has also worked as an organizer for the Howard Dean campaign and for the antiwar movement.
  • deputy political director and director of Asian/Pacific Islander outreach Van Tamom, who most recently was deputy director of public relations at the Los Angeles-based public relations firm Bomaye and was the 2006 Democratic nominee for the 60th California Assembly District.
  • Latino outreach director Edith Ramirez, on leave as a litigation partner in the law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, LLP; she’s also vice president of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners.