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Archive for January, 2010

Don Perata is on the move

Veteran political consultant and 1999 San Francisco mayoral candidate Clint Reilly; former state Controller and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Steve Westly; San Francisco attorney Jeremiah Hallisey; and former state lawmaker Patrick Johnston will co-host a $300-a-head cocktail reception for Oakland mayoral candidate and former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 at Credo, Reilly’s new Italian eatery at 360 Pine St. in San Francisco. (Yes, Perata dumped that pledge to limit his contributions to $100 per person a while ago.) “As President Pro Tem he proved that he can accomplish great things. Oakland needs his leadership,” the organizers say.

Sooner yet, Perata will woo a crowd of predominately black voters as the Alpha Rho and Sigma Iota chapters of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity will host his campaign pitch and community question-and-answer session at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Omega House, 1448 14th St. in West Oakland. Omega Psi Phi is among the nation’s biggest African-American fraternities, founded in 1911; the Alpha Rho chapter is at UC-Berkeley, while Sigma Iota is an Oakland-based graduate chapter dedicated to community service.

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: Don Perata, Oakland | 1 Comment »

Brown in the nude? TMI!

I have great readers who send me stuff including this link to Cosmo’s web site, where you can see the 1982 nearly-nude pictures of Sen.-elect Scott Brown, R-Mass.

My goodness. And here I thought Cosmo was just a place to find out the latest advance in mascara technology.

But the link got us to talking here in the newsroom about which of our local elected officials we never want to see naked.

It’s an exhaustive list. I won’t bore you with their names as you will probably have your own ideas.

And I’m pretty sure they feel the same way about us.

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: political humor | 1 Comment »

Obama picks South Bay judge for federal bench

Judge Lucy KohPresident Barack Obama today nominated Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Lucy H. Koh, 41, of Stanford, to a seat on the U.S. District Court for California’s Northern District.

Before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named her to the Superior Court bench in January 2008, Koh was an in private practice in Palo Alto as a litigation partner representing technology companies in patent, trade secret, and commercial civil matters. Earlier yet, she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in California’s Central District from 1997 to 2000, and a special assistant to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General in Washington, D.C., from 1996 to 1997 and special counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1994 to 1996.

She’s a former member of the Board of Directors of the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California who earned her B.A. from Harvard University in 1990 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1993. A Democrat, her nomination to this lifetime appointment is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Her annual salary as a Superior Court judge is $178,789; a federal judge earns an annual salary of $169,300.

UPDATE @ 5:22 P.M.: U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who says she recommended Koh’s nomination to the White House after a thorough interview and vetting process by her judicial advisory committee for the Northern District, is “so pleased.”

“Judge Koh brings a wide range of experience – not only as a judge, but as a federal prosecutor and a litigator in private practice – that makes her an outstanding nominee,” Boxer said. “When she is confirmed, Judge Koh will make history as the first female Korean-American District Court Judge in the country.”

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: Obama presidency | 1 Comment »

Nadia Lockyer gets community colleges board seat

Nadia LockyerGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday named Nadia Lockyer – a candidate for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ District 2 seat in this June’s election, and the wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer – to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

She issued a statement today saying she’s honored. “At a time when budget cuts are threatening higher education, I will work especially hard to strengthen California’s Community Colleges. As unemployment projections look bleak, California’s Community Colleges are the key to economic recovery, giving us hope for a bright future.”

Lockyer, 38, of Hayward, is executive director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center and is a Democrat; her appointment is subject to the state Senate’s confirmation.

The Board of Governors sets policy and provides guidance for the 72 districts and 110 colleges of California’s system of Community Colleges, which has more than 2.9 million students. The 17-member board is appointed by the governor, comprised of two tenured community-college faculty members, one voting classified employee, two community college students and 12 California citizens.

It would be hard to believe this appointment, less than five months before Lockyer faces former state Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Sunol, and other local officials in the election to succeed Gail Steele on the Board of Supervisors, is purely coincidental. If she’s confirmed – and I see no reason to believe she won’t be – it’s a feather in Lockyer’s campaign cap and a (modest) bully pulpit for someone whose last public office was one term on the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Trustees about a decade ago.

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Alameda County, Alameda County Board of Supervisors | 2 Comments »

What they’re saying about Brown’s Senate win

Everyone’s atwitter (and, I suppose, on Twitter) about Republican Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate. Republicans say it’s their way or the highway – especially as applies to incumbent U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. – while some Democratic boosters say it’s time to take off the gloves and do whatever it takes to overcome Republican obstructionism.

From California Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina:

“I extend my sincere congratulations to Senator-elect Scott Brown on his successful campaign and big win in Massachusetts this evening. Voters made themselves heard loud and clear tonight – they are ready for checks and balances in Washington and leaders who will address the issues they care about most: job creation, economic growth and fiscal responsibility in Washington. This sentiment extends across the country all the way to California, where voters are unsatisfied with the status quo and are ready for a leader who will address the issues with more than just rhetoric and increased government spending.

“This news out of Massachusetts tonight is not good news for Barbara Boxer. Over the last 18 years, she has repeatedly taken California voters for granted and cast votes that have cost Californians jobs, increased our taxes and contributed to the rapid increase in our national debt. I challenge her to learn a lesson from tonight and become the 42nd vote on the side of California taxpayers, instead of for the special interests. And throughout this campaign, I intend to hold her accountable for her failed record, while also continuing to make the priorities of the people of California – job creation and reining in out-of-control government spending – my first priorities.”

From AFL—CIO President Richard Trumka:

Richard Trumka“The American people are justifiably uncertain and fearful in these tough economic times and expressed their frustrations tonight at the lack of action coming from Washington.

“Tonight’s election should be a sobering reminder to candidates running in 2010. The American people are urgently expecting RESULTS from Washington. If elected officials want the support of working families they need to fight to win legislation on jobs, health care and financial regulation. Americans need champions who will fight for their cause.

“Scott Brown’s victory as the next Senator from Massachusetts is a giant step backwards for working families. Brown has already promised to be the 41st vote for the Republican party of NO on crucial improvements for working men and women.”

From California Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Campbell:

“Congratulations to Scott Brown — the new Senator from Massachusetts. His win is a tremendous victory for every American taxpayer, regardless of party, who’s concerned about the suicidal direction Congress and the President are taking our economy. Clearly, the people have spoken, and clearly they want to change course. In this regard, I’m the only candidate for Senate with a proven record of fighting federal spending — a record that stands in very sharp contrast to Barbara Boxer’s reckless abuse of our tax money.”

More after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: U.S. Senate | 3 Comments »

CCUSA annual event set for Jan. 27

Steve Westly

Steve Westly

Christine Todd Whitman

Christine Todd Whitman

Michael Milken

Michael Milken

Today is the deadline to reserve tickets for the Jan. 27 annual Contra Costa USA, a daylong conference hosted by the Contra Costa Council.

Speakers include former Environmental Protection Agency director Christine Todd Whitman, former gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly and philanthropist Michael Milken.

Westly will speak at breakfast on investing in clean technology. Todd Whitman is the lunch keynote speaker, who will talk about “Staying Ahead While Going Green.” Milken will headline the dinner event.

The conference will be held at the Hilton, 1970 Diamond Blvd. in Concord. For times, registration and prices, contact the Contra Costa Council at info@contracostacouncil, 925-246-1880 or

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: Contra Costa County, Political events | No Comments »

East Bay volunteers phone bank for Coakley

I just spoke with Madera Glenn of Hayward, an Organizing for America community organizer who led an eight-person team in making get-out-the-vote calls today to voters in western Massachusetts in support of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Martha Coakley. She and five others made calls from their cell phones at a Castro Valley coffee shop, the other two worked from home.

“We punched out a few hundred calls. They went fast, it was just a short message and a lot of people already had it, so there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion,” she said, noting most of the people they called turned out to be “die-hard ‘we’re going to vote for Coakley’ people” who’d already cast their votes today.

Glenn said she spends about 20 hours a week on OFA activities, but this one is near and dear to her heart because it’s the late Ted Kennedy’s seat at stake, “the father of health insurance reform.”

“The thought of losing just by virtue of the scales being tipped after all this time, after being so close, has kept me up at night,” she said.

If Republican Scott Brown wins as the polls predict, Glenn said tomorrow morning it’ll be “roll up our sleeves, back to the drawing board, what to we do now?” If there has to be some other way of getting to 60 votes for health care reform and other things on the Obama Administration’s agenda, so be it, she said: “We don’t give up.”

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Under: U.S. Senate | 2 Comments »

Tauscher makes East Bay appearance

Former congresswoman Ellen Tauscher delivers a very different kind of speech to a very familiar audience this morning.

Watch the full speech below of Tauscher, now the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, as she speaks to the Contra Costa Council in Concord.

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Under: Contra Costa County, International politics | No Comments »

Boxer touts fundraising, but polls look shaky

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s re-election campaign this morning said the fact that it raised more than $1.8 million in 2009’s last quarter – its best quarter so far in the 2010 cycle – denotes “growing momentum.”

“We’ve been preparing for a tough race and our supporters really came through for us,” said Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski. “With this broad base of support, I’m confident we will have the resources we need to win in November.”

The campaign said more than 14,000 of the 23,000 fourth-quarter donors were new supporters, and 90 percent of the total contributed $100 or less. The campaign’s 2009 totals are $5.9 million from 43,000 donors, of which more than $1.1 million was raised online. And the campaign said it will report more than $7.2 million cash on hand as of Dec. 31; at this point in her 2004 campaign, she had only $5 million banked.

She might need every penny: A Rasmussen Reports poll of 500 likely voters conducted last Thursday shows Boxer in tight races with some of her Republican challengers. The poll showed Boxer led former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina by three percentage points, 46 percent to 43 percent; she led former Congressman, state finance director and Cal business-school dean Tom Campbell by four points, 46 percent to 42 percent; and she led Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, by six points, 46 percent to 40 percent.

Other polls (done before Campbell jumped from the gubernatorial race to this one) didn’t show Fiorina or DeVore, but it’s unclear whether Rasmussen’s numbers are outliers or if the momentum actually lies with the GOP.

On the other hand, the GOP primary is shaping up to be a real bruiser, especially now that Campbell is in; whether the winner emerges stronger for having built consensus in the battle, or weaker for having depleted his/her money and goodwill, remains to be seen. As does Boxer’s reputation as she tries to shepherd a controversial cap-and-trade climate change bill through her Senate Environment and Public Works Committee this spring.

All of which is to say: It’s still sooooo early in this fight.

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, campaign finance, Chuck DeVore, Meg Whitman, Tom Campbell, U.S. Senate, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Meg Whitman’s mother passed away

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s mother, also named Margaret Whitman, passed away last night in Lexington, Mass.; she was 89. From the candidate:

“Last night, my mother, Margaret Whitman, passed away after a courageous, adventurous, and above all a well-lived life. She was a beacon of integrity, loyalty, and inspiration in our family. I often say that I am my mother’s daughter because she taught me from a very young age that the price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake. My mother loved doers. She never focused on the challenges, but rather on the opportunities. She encouraged me and everyone around her to follow their dreams and to test their limits. Together with my father, my mother inspired my brother, Hal, and my sister, Anne, and me to follow our passions, appreciate each individual’s unique gifts, and, most of all, go out and do our very best. We will deeply miss her.”

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Under: 2010 governor's race, Meg Whitman | 3 Comments »