Republican praise for Ted Kennedy

I’ve received several dozen e-mailed statements from elected officials, advocacy groups, candidates and pretty much everyone else you can imagine regarding the death of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy. We’ll be carrying an article of reactions in tomorrow’s editions, but for now I thought I’d take a different tack and present here some of the statements issued by Republicans about the death of this liberal icon.

From Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

“Maria and I are immensely saddened by the passing of Uncle Teddy. He was known to the world as the Lion of the Senate, a champion of social justice, and a political icon.

“Most importantly, he was the rock of our family: a loving husband, father, brother and uncle. He was a man of great faith and character.

“Teddy inspired our country through his dedication to health care reform, his commitment to social justice, and his devotion to a life of public service.

“I have personally benefitted and grown from his experience and advice, and I know countless others have as well.

“Teddy taught us all that public service isn’t a hobby or even an occupation, but a way of life and his legacy will live on.”

From gubernatorial candidate and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner:

“I wish to extend my greatest sympathies to First Lady Maria Shriver and Governor Schwarzenegger on the passing of Senator Kennedy. The Senator’s commitment to public service will long be remembered. My thoughts and prayers are with both the Kennedy and Shriver families as this loss comes so close to the passing of Eunice Shriver. My heart goes out to all family and friends in this time of mourning.”

From House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio:

“The people of Massachusetts and the United States Congress have lost a tireless public servant.

“Ted Kennedy was my friend. While there were few political issues on which he and I agreed, our relationship was never disagreeable, and was always marked by good humor, hard work, and a desire to find common ground.

“Ted Kennedy was also a friend to inner-city children and teachers. For the better part of the last decade, Ted and I worked together to support struggling Catholic grade schools in inner-city Washington. By helping these schools keep their doors open and helping them retain their committed teachers and faculty, this joint effort made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of inner-city children, who otherwise would have been denied the opportunity for a quality education. It wouldn’t have been possible without Senator Kennedy and his genuine desire to give something back to help inner-city students in the city in which he’d served for so many years. I’m proud to have worked with Senator Kennedy on this project, and I will dearly miss his friendship and his partnership in this cause.

“Debbie and I extend our thoughts and prayers to Vicki and the entire Kennedy family at this difficult time.”

And, from U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah:


Al Gore does not approve

As referenced in today’s article, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer visited Kaiser Permanente’s new Oakland medical building today for a demonstration of Kaiser’s electronic medical record system, a roundtable meeting with Kaiser staff and a news conference.

Boxer listened intently as Dr. Patricia Conolly, an internal medicine specialist, walked her through the medical record system, which Kaiser began phasing in in 2005; Conolly said it has made it easier for her and other Kaiser physicians to track and improve patient care while lowering costs. Everything from a patient’s complete medical history, including all previous Kaiser visits, to tools for diagnosis and prescription are available at the touch of a button by the patient’s bedside, Conolly said.

“Wow,” Boxer marveled, “did you invent this?”

“No,” Conolly replied as Kaiser staffers chuckled.

“Did Al Gore?” Boxer quipped.


Maybe we can all sell some plasma, or something

This just in from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office:

Following through on his promise to eliminate waste in state government, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced that the Department of General Services has posted several surplus items – some signed by the Governor – for sale on eBay and Craigslist in preparation for the Great California Garage Sale.

“By posting items online, Californians and people from other states and around the world can participate in the Great California Garage Sale,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This is a win-win for the state and for shoppers. Together we are eliminating waste and providing great deals in this tough economy. I encourage everyone to log on or attend this great event.”

In anticipation of the Great California Garage Sale, the Governor announced last month via Twitter that he would listen to public feedback and put several items up for sale on eBay and Craigslist. Items posted include 10 to 15 vehicles with visors that have been signed by the Governor. These items are a snapshot of the wide variety of inventory that can be found at the Great California Garage Sale which will include computers, desks and office supplies. The Garage Sale will also include unclaimed and confiscated items such as jewelry, a specialized racing bike, surfboard and an antique piano.

“The Great California Garage Sale is not just for Californians,” said State and Consumer Services Secretary Fred Aguiar. “We want everyone to be able to have the opportunity to purchase unique state property and Craigslist and eBay are going to help us do just that.”

The Great California Garage Sale will be held August 28th and 29th at the Department of General Services’ Surplus Property Warehouse in Sacramento where thousands of Californians are expected to shop for surplus state property.

This news release comes one day after the state Department of Finance released projections showing the state’s operating deficits will balloon again in the next few fiscal years – to $4.958 billion in 2009-2010, $7.419 billion in 2010-11, $15.467 billion in $15.467 billion in 2011-12 and $15.097 billion in 2012-13 – due to the governor’s and Legislature’s utter failure to deal with California’s structural deficit.

Hmmm – I doubt the garage sale will cover that. Maybe a bake sale? I’ll bet Gov. Schwarzenegger – though clearly unwilling to recognize California doesn’t have enough steady revenue to pay for an appropriate level of state services – bakes a mean toll-house cookie.


California GOP joins national campaign finance lawsuit

California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring is headed to Washington, D.C., where he will join colleagues from the Republican National Committee at a U.S. District Court Thursday hearing on a lawsuit challenging the legality of federal limits on corporate contributions to political parties and campaigns. (I blogged about this lawsuit a few days ago.)

The RNC, California GOP and the San Diego Republican Party are the plaintiffs in the case.

If the Republicans are ultimately successful, it could allow corporate dollars to again flow directly into political parties rather than through political action committees or 527s.

I am also curious to know if a ruling in the GOP’s favor would impact labor unions’ status with respect to federal campaigns. They are treated much like businesses and can contribute only to PACs, which are subject to limits of $5,000 per campaign.

Read on for the California GOP’s press release:

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CD10: Sept. 1 election nuts and bolts

The Contra County elections office put out this important notice about the Sept. 1 special election:

All polling places for the September 1, 2009 10th Congressional Special Primary Election will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.  Voters are encouraged to pre-mark their choices in their sample ballot and to take it with them to use as a reference when going to the polls.  To avoid lines, voters are advised to vote mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Polling place locations and directional maps are available on the Contra Costa County Election’s Office web site at:  www.cocovote.us.  Information regarding the voter’s sample ballot and information about candidates is also available at www.cocovote.us.

City Clerks have volunteered to assist voters who may need the location of their polling place.  They will be available for assistance on Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, Election Day, September 1.  If voters are unsure of where they need to go to vote, they may contact any of the following agencies until the polls close at 8:00 p.m.  Some cities will be available for abbreviated time periods as stated below.

County Elections Office                                    (925) 335-7800

City of Antioch                                     (925) 779-7009

City of Brentwood                                            (925) 516-5400

City of Clayton                                     (925) 673-7300

City of Concord                                               (925) 671-3430

Town of Danville                                              (925) 314-3401

City of El Cerrito                                              (510) 215-4305     8/31 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., 9/1 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

City of Lafayette                                               (925) 284-1968

Town of Moraga                                              (925) 888-7022

City of Oakley                                                  (925) 625-7000     8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days

City of Orinda                                                  (925) 253-4221     8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days

City of Pittsburg                                                (925) 252-4850

City of Pleasant Hill                                          (925) 671-5270

City of Richmond                                              (510) 620-6513

City of San Ramon                                           (925) 973-2539

City of Walnut Creek                                        (925) 943-5818

Local election results will be available election night beginning at 8:00 p.m. on the Contra Costa County Elections Office web site at www.cocovote.us and on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) beginning at 9:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 27, Astound channel 32 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99.  District wide results will be available on the Secretary of State’s website at http://vote.ss.ca.gov.


CD10: DeSaulnier follows ad with smack mailer

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier hopes his new mailer (see images below) chock full of smack about 10th Congressional District rival and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi will win some votes. DeSaulnier has gone on the attack this week against the lieutenant governor, who has posted 10-point leads in recent polls.

The mailer describes how Garamendi rejected requests that he run in District 3 — where he actually lives — against Republican Rep. Dan Lungren. The ad says:”Lungren is the number one target of the Democratic Party. But when Garamendi was asked to take him on, he chose to fight other Democrats instead.”

Granted, Garamendi clearly chose the easier of the two paths. Running for an open seat in a heavily Democratic district is far more attractive option than against an inumbent in a Republican-leaning district.

And Garamendi was worried about how this issue would play among Democrats. He asked voters about it in his recent poll. In a low turnout election where voters are more likely to be party loyalists who pay attention to this kind of stuff, it might matter.

I guess we’ll find out on Sept. 1.

Here is the mailer: