‘$9.11 for Rudy’

The motif of a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani hosted by a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University is raising eyebrows, the Associated Press reports.

According to the invitation, “$9.11 for Rudy” is an “independent, non-denominational grass-roots campaign to raise $10,000 in small increments to show how many individual, everyday Americans support ‘America’s Mayor.'”

Can anybody say, “politicization of America’s darkest hour?”

sofaer.jpgDemocratic presidential candidate Christopher Dodd‘s campaign quickly branded the gimmick “absolutely unconscionable, shameless and sickening” and suggested Giuliani “should reject and/or return any money raised” through the party, to be held this Wednesday night at the Palo Alto home of Abraham Sofaer, a legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State from 1985 to 1990.

A Giuliani spokeswoman said the idea was selected without the campaign’s knowledge and was “an unfortunate choice.”

Sofaer told the AP he had nothing to do with the decision to ask for the $9.11. “There are some young people who came up with it,” he said Monday evening, referring other questions to Giuliani’s campaign and saying, “I’m just providing support for him. He’s an old friend of mine.”


Schwarzenegger video of the week

This week, the governor’s toots California’s horn at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change yesterday in New York City. (I know, it looks funny… just hit “play.”)

Previous SVOTWs: September 18, September 11, September 4, August 28, August 21, August 7, July 31, July 24, July 17, July 10, July 3, June 26, June 19, June 12, June 5, May 29, May 22, May 15, May 8, May 1, April 24, April 17, April 10, April 3, March 27, March 20, March 13, March 6, February 27, February 20, February 13, February 6, January 30.


Leave the beef jerky at home.

arctic-grey-wolf.jpgAh, the logistics of good political press.

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez, issued a news release today announcing he’ll hold a press conference tomorrow to introduce the Protect America’s Wildlife Act, which would “close a loophole in the Airborne Hunting Act that has allowed Alaska to shoot and kill nearly 700 wolves from airplanes in the past four years, and put a stop to the unethical and inhumane practice of aerial hunting.” Among those with him at the event in the Cannon House Office Building will be Atka, a three-year-old Arctic Grey Wolf.

Perhaps knowing journalists’ penchant for snacking whenever possible, and perhaps fearing loss of limb, Miller’s office noted that “No food is allowed on the terrace when the wolf is present.”

Here’s hoping nobody attending the press conference has bacon for breakfast tomorrow. Why take chances?


Arnold and Ahmadinejad in Manhattan

What a day for the Big Apple! Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was in New York City today to speak at a United Nations conference of world leaders on global warming. At the same time, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in town to speak at Columbia University; he’ll address the UN General Assembly tomorrow.

Never one to miss an opportunity for a timely news release, the governor announced today he’ll be happy to sign AB 221 by Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-La Mesa, prohibiting the state pension funds from investing in companies that do business in Iran. CalPERS, the state’s employee retirement fund, is the largest pension fund in the nation and CalSTRS, the state’s public education retirement fund, is the second largest pension fund in the nation. Both legislative chambers voted unanimously for the bill.

“California has a long history of leadership and doing what’s right with our investment portfolio,” the governor said. “Last year, I was proud to sign legislation to divest from the Sudan to take a powerful stand against genocide. I look forward to signing legislation to divest from Iran to take an equally powerful stand against terrorism.”

If you want to read a transcript of the governor’s speech at the UN, it’s after the jump… Continue Reading


Andal had legal run-in with convicted lawyer Lerach

GOP Congressional candidate Dean Andal, who hopes to unseat McNerney, heard a name from his past in the news this week.

Major Democratic campaign contributor and trial attorney William Lerach pleaded guilty to federal charges that he paid kickbacks to recruit plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits. (A lot of Democrats, including Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, are returning the money or donating it to charity.)

By way of background, Lerach successfully sued the state in 2002 over auto smog fees. An arbitration process awarded his firm $88.5 million in legal costs and the state, as the losing party, would have to pay.

Andal, then a member of the state Board of Equalization, was rightfully outraged. He sued Lerach and won when the state appellate court cut the bill to a mere $18.2 million.

Okay, Andal saved the taxpayers $70 million. Look for the message on a campaign mailer coming to your house soon.

But lest we get overly smug, wouldn’t everyone object — except the folks involved in that wacky arbitration deal — to paying a lawyer $8,800 per hour?