Canciamilla: Burton doesn’t speak for all Dems

Former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittsburg, accompanied Republican incumbent Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado to his campaign stop this afternoon in Walnut Creek. Per my article, he explained that serving with Maldonado in the Assembly convinced him that Maldonado is truly interested in working across the political aisle, and is a straight shooter who means what he says.

Canciamilla and Maldonado 10-29-10 -- photo by Josh RichmanCanciamilla said that’s why other moderate Democratic former lawmakers like John Dutra of Fremont and Joe Nation of San Rafael are on Maldonado’s side, too.

That reminded me of what happened last week when Dutra, now an independent, was named the head of a Democratic and independent voter coalition supporting Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman: California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton unleashed his legendary ire.

“John (Dutra) is a nice guy, but if that’s the best she can do, her campaign is in more trouble than I think it is,” Burton had said at the time, noting Dutra finished third in a three-way Democratic primary for state Senate and since had abandoned the party.

So I asked Canciamilla if he was prepared to brave Burton’s raging rhetoric himself, and he replied with some of his own.

“I respect John but I think the years of drugs and alcohol have taken their toll,” Canciamilla said. “He doesn’t speak for all Democrats, and the extremes are entitled to their opinion but they shouldn’t be allowed to be the dominant voices in the debate.”

UPDATE @ 4:15 P.M.: While we’re on the subject of cross-party endorsements, Democrat Gavin Newsom‘s campaign sent out an advisory a few minutes ago announcing his endorsement for lieutenant governor by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican. “Running a city requires creativity and a commitment to solutions that work, regardless of their ideological origins,” Bloomberg said in the news release. “Mayor Newsom has demonstrated a dedication to innovative policies that protect the environment, improve the city’s education system, and create jobs. Gavin Newsom will bring this commitment to making government work for its citizens to Sacramento.”

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.

  • Elwood

    Gavin Newsom has been endorsed by the mayor of New York in his campaign for Lite Governor of California!

    Now, is that impressive or what?

  • John W

    That’s interesting about Bloomberg. Guess it’s that mayoral brotherhood thing. I’ll bet nobody told him about Maldonado working across the aisle on the budget and his success in getting the open primary.

  • ted ford

    Bloomberg is seriously considering a third party run for President in 2012. If Palin were to win the Republican nomination, Bloomberg would likely enter as a third party candidate. He is willing to spend $1 billion to $2 billion of his own money in the race.

  • John W

    Bloomberg can afford to do that and obviously is thinking about it. But I don’t think he’ll do it unless he can see a path to victory. In a three-way race, he conceivably might win in popular votes with, say 34%. But getting a majority of electoral votes is another matter. In that scenario, if nobody wins an electoral vote majority on election day, then the party in control in Congress would decide — most likely, the GOP. Say hail to the chief to President Palin!

  • ted ford

    If there is not an electoral majority and it goes to the House of Representatives, I believe each state gets one vote as determined by the state legislatures. You are correct that Sarah Palin would be President in this scenario. Otherwise, in a direct head to head match, I don’t think it possible for her to be elected. Assuming Obama as the Democratic nominee, he automatically gets the entirety of the African-American vote and at least 65% of the Hispanic vote. The immigrant bashing by the Republicans hurts them with this segment. Obama will also again win the under 30 vote. With the remainder of the electorate, i.e. whites over 30, Palin would have to win 65% of the vote to get a popular majority. It’s highly unlikely considering that nearly 70% of the country considers to be unqualified. The Republican establishment fully realizes this is apprehensive. I don’t think Mitt Romney is acceptable to the conservative base. That’s why Chris Christie keeps getting the whispers. The Republicans need to come up with a candidate that both conservatives and moderates can unify around — and that’s not Palin — or Obama is a two-term President.

  • Stan D.

    Good for Joe Canciamilla. I wish he were still our representative in the Assembly or State Senate!