A musical primary post-mortem

When I’m having a good day, or sometimes when I’m down, I sometimes give myself a gift on the limited budget available to me as a reporter: a 99-cent splurge on new iTunes song for my iPod. And so as the primary election winners strut and the losers lick their wounds, here are a few suggestions for songs they might want to add to their playlists:

Meg Whitman, the billionaire former eBay CEO who spent $71.1 million out of her own pocket to buy the Republican gubernatorial nomination: “Money” by Pink Floyd, or “Killer Queen” by Queen

Steve Poizner, buried under Whitman’s $71.1 million and a 37-percentage-point deficit in the election results: “Wipeout” by the Surfaris

Chris Kelly, who spent $12 million out of pocket to lose the Democratic primary for Attorney General to San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris by 17 percentage points; PG&E President and CEO Peter Darbee, whose company spent $46.4 million on the unsuccessful Proposition 16; and Mercury Insurance Group President and CEO Gabriel Tirador, whose company spent $15.9 million on the unsuccessful Proposition 17: “Can’t Buy Me Love,” by the Beatles

Carly Fiorina, who as the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate has had the last laugh after people snickered at her “demon sheep” ad attacking rival Tom Campbell: “Sheep” by Pink Floyd

Abel Maldonado, the appointed incumbent who – despite winning the GOP’s nomination to try to keep the lieutenant governor’s office – knows his party wants him and needs him but there ain’t no way it’s ever gonna love him: “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” by Meat Loaf

Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco mayor who won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor but might have his own words from 2008 on same-sex marriage come back to haunt him in November’s general election: “Like It Or Not,” by Madonna

Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles District Attorney who broke from California tradition by being a moderate capable of winning a Republican primary: “Middle of the Road,” by the Pretenders

Tom Torlakson, the Antioch Assemblyman who placed second and so will go to a November runoff – at which time he’s likely to pick up a lot of the Democratic votes that went yesterday to third-place finisher Gloria Romero, along with stronger Democratic turnout overall – against former school district superintendent Larry Aceves for state Superintendent of Public Instruction: “Time Is On My Side,” by the Rolling Stones

Mike Villines, the Clovis Assemblyman and former Assembly Republican Leader widely berated within the GOP for OKing a budget deal with tax hikes last year, who now is eight-tenths of a percentage point – 11,204 votes – behind political unknown Brian FitzGerald, an Insurance Department attorney from Napa who raised no money, in the GOP primary for Insurance Commissioner: “Living on the Edge” by Aerosmith

Brian FitzGerald, who might want to ask himself, “Well, how did I get here?” : “Once in a Lifetime,” by the Talking Heads

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • CarolineSF

    Gloria Romero’s defeat — even with two opponents splitting the vote — should be a great big waving red flag to others that attacking public education, promoting privatization and bashing teachers is political suicide, even if espousing “education deform” does win the favor of the billionaires. The success of local ballot measures supporting public schools bolsters the hope that this signals a new day. Anti-public-education deformers, begone!

  • John W

    Re: #1

    Goria Romero got my vote. It won’t be transferred to Torlakson. And I don’t need any lectures on supporting public education. I have no kids of my own but do at least 200 hours of elementary school classroom volunteer work a year, have voted for every parcel tax and have a close family member who teaches in the SRV school district.

  • John W

    Addendum to #2:

    And I pay a full one percent property tax on the full market value of my home, which is more than most “advocates” for public education funding can say. I get so tired of John Rothmann on KGO radio on this subject. He has kids in public school and, commendably, has spent more than 30 years involved with SF school system affairs. But he opposes all reforms and whines all the time about K-12 funding levels (which are pathetic) but then turns right around and defends the Prop. 13 residential property tax system as is. If you dare to mention to him, as I have, how much better things could be if he and others would pay the same property tax as more recent buyers with homes of comparable fair market value, he exclaims how he couldn’t afford his deluxe SF home (which is probably mostly paid for) if he had to pay the same as others. But it’s okay for others to pay the higher taxes so that he can pay less, send his kids to school and yak about how much he supports public education. California “I’ve got mine, the hell with you” hypocrites!

  • AJ

    One data speaks for itself! CA is almost last the nation in regards to educating our kids. Thank you public schools & union bosses!

  • John W

    Re #4:

    So, AJ, what are you prepared to do — out of your own pocket, not the pockets of others, to better educate our kids?

  • Tom

    Oh, come on! No one is going to suggest the old-but-obvious (and germane to the post) song: For Jerry Brown, “You’re No Good” by Linda Ronstadt?

    And for some reason, Carly brings to mind “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” by the Spin Doctors.

  • Josh Richman

    Excellent, Tom — thanks!