CD10: CBS poll shows Garamendi leads by 10 points





A new CBS Channel 5 poll conducted by SurveyUSA shows Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi ahead of his GOP opponent David Harmer by 10 points.

Garamendi received 50 percent support, while Harmer took 40 percent followed by 6 percent for one of the three minor party candidates. Only 4 percent were undecided.

Folks may recall that SurveyUSA is the same outfit KPIX hired to do several pre-primary polls in this race. They turned out to be remarkably accurate.

The results of the only independent poll in this race reflect a wider gap than what Harmer’s campaign people said their internal poll of several weeks ago, a trend that should have gone the other direction if Harmer was gaining traction.

But given Democrats’ 18-point registration lead in the 10th District, it seems as though Garamendi ought to have a bigger lead.

The answer may be found in the results for decline-to-state voter, where Harmer leads 42 to 35 percent; it’s a group Harmer has targeted.

SurveyUSA conducted the automated robo-style survey of 581 registered voters on Oct. 26-28. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percent.

In its other findings:

1) Half of the respondents have already voted by mail

2) Garamendi leads among women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Democrats, moderates, liberals, college graduates, pro-choice voters and Obama supporters.

3) Harmer leads among Republicans, independents, conservatives, regular church-goers, pro-life voters, gun-owners and McCain supporters.

Click here to download the poll from KPIX’s Web site.


What they’re saying about the rise in GDP

From President’s Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer:

“Data released today by the Commerce Department show that real GDP [Gross Domestic Product] grew at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of the year. This is in stark contrast to the decline of 6.4 percent annual rate just two quarters ago. Indeed, the two-quarter swing in the rate of growth of 9.9 percentage points was the largest since 1980. Analysis by both the Council of Economic Advisers and a wide range of private and public-sector forecasters indicates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 contributed between 3 and 4 percentage points to real GDP growth in the third quarter. This suggests that in the absence of the Recovery Act, real GDP would have risen little, if at all, this past quarter.”

“After four consecutive quarters of decline, positive GDP growth is an encouraging sign that the U.S. economy is moving in the right direction. However, this welcome milestone is just another step, and we still have a long road to travel until the economy is fully recovered. The turnaround in crucial labor market indicators, such as employment and the unemployment rate, typically occurs after the turnaround in GDP. And it will take sustained, robust GDP growth to bring the unemployment rate down substantially. Such a decline in unemployment is, of course, what we are all working to achieve.”

From House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio:

“Any positive signs for our economy are welcome, but a jobless recovery is not what the American people were promised. President Obama and his economic team said the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ would create jobs immediately and keep the unemployment rate below eight percent. Since then, roughly three million jobs have been lost and unemployment has risen to near 10 percent.

“For millions of out-of-work families struggling to make ends meet, this recession feels far from over. Yet even now, after the Obama Administration’s top economist has stated that the ‘stimulus’ already had its greatest impact on the economy, Washington Democrats are intent on staying the course and trying to spend, tax, and borrow their way to prosperity. Republicans have proposed fiscally responsible solutions to help small businesses create good-paying jobs and get our economy moving again.”

From House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez:

“Today’s news is another important indicator that the Recovery Act is beginning to repair our economy and get our nation back on its feet. While it will take time for all these investments to kick in, we know that the Recovery Act has already helped to stave off hundreds of thousands of pink slips being planned.

“While saving and creating jobs must be a central concern, we also must ensure that Americans still looking for work have the temporary support they need to get by and that displaced workers have access to the education and training they need to succeed in the jobs of the future. We won’t rest until the millions who lost their jobs during this economic crisis have an opportunity to work and are ready to help shape a new era of economic growth and innovation.”


Rep. Miller optimistic about health bill’s passage

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez

Democratic Rep. George Miller, chairman of one of three House committees that jointly wrote health reform legislation unveiled today, predicts the bill will pass before Veteran’s Day.

In a telephone conference call this morning with reporters, Miller said only a few issues remain unresolved.

“I am confident a vote will happen,” said Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and top policy adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “There are some discussions going on about abortion but in terms of the core contents of the bill with respect to medical reform and how we pay for it … over the course of the past week, we have arrived at the consensus necessary to get more than the 218 votes we need to pass this legislation.”

It is one thing to persuade his Democratic colleagues.

It is another thing, of course, to convey the details of the complex, 2,000-page bill to constituents who have been buffeted on the airwaves and in newspapers for months between vastly disparate and contradictory views on how to reform the nation’s health care system.

To that end, Miller said he will hold more telephone town halls in his district in the next week, where constituents have the opportunity to ask him questions about the 2,000-page bill.

Read the full bill at edlabor.house.gov.

Click here to participate in Miller’s Tuesday telephone town hall at 7 p.m.You will be asked for your telephone number and you should keep in mind that not all callers will have the opportunity to ask a question during the hour-long event; thousands of people often join the call and several hundred people may want to ask questions.

Contact his Concord office at 925-602-1880 and let his staff know if you wish to be advised of the time and details of other telephone town halls.


CD10: National GOP drops mailers for Harmer

The National Republican Congressional Committee has dropped two mailers (shown below) in the 10th District on behalf of GOP candidate David Harmer, providing a late but clear investment in a heavily Democratic district most political experts view as unwinnable for a Republican.

The election is Nov. 3 but many voters have already cast their ballots in the mail. Election officials expect the percentage of those who vote by mail in this low turnout special election will exceed 75 percent.

The mailers do not actually mention Harmer’s name. Both mailers urge voters to vote “no” on his opponent, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi.

One shows Garamendi pictured with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and says the two Democrats’ policies are sending Americans into the poor house. The other targets Garamendi’s support for tax increases.


Barbara Lee’s statement on Bay Bridge closure

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, just issued this statement on the Bay Bridge closure:

“First, I want to say I am relieved that no one was injured in the incident that forced authorities to shutdown the Bay Bridge. My office has been in constant contact with Caltrans, and I have been closely monitoring the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Bay Bridge and the work that is being done to repair the bridge.

“I have received assurances from Caltrans officials that crews are working as quickly as possible to make the necessary repairs and to be certain that the work is done properly. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) provided funding for the initial repairs that were done during the Labor Day weekend closure of the bridge. The FHA has been contacted again by Caltrans to secure emergency funding for the repairs. These emergency federal funds will assure a speedy response to repair the bridge.

“The Bay Bridge is a vital transportation link between San Francisco and the East Bay, and it is imperative that we all work together to ensure the bridge repairs are done as quickly and safely as possible.”


Brentwood recall effort resurrected

Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor

Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor

A Brentwood resident angry over the city’s decision to build a new civic center that will encroach on a downtown park served a second set of recall notices last night on Mayor Bob Taylor and councilmembers Chris Becnel and Bob Brockman.

Kathy Fredenberg’s first attempt fell victim to a missed deadline and she had to restart the process. Click here to see CCT reporter Rowena Coetsee’s story on the dispute.

Whether or not Fredenberg will gather sufficient signatures is an open question. She needs to collect 4,800 valid signatures of Brentwood registered voters in order to put the recalls on the ballot.

Becnel and Taylor don’t believe voters want to recall them over the civic center vote, and argue that the reconfigured park will actually be larger than the current park.