Kaplan wins youths’ mock Oakland mayoral vote

My colleague, Katy Murphy, covered an Oakland youth candidate forum and mock election featuring three of the top four Oakland mayoral candidates; she posted this video to her excellent blog, The Education Report, but we thought all you political junkies might enjoy it too:


Prop. 19’s final ad blitz

A committee supporting Proposition 19, California’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative, rolled out the rest of its final pre-election media blitz today, explaining how it’ll use the rest of the $1 million that billionaire financier George Soros pumped into it earlier this week.

As reported here yesterday, some of the money went to a television ad that’ll be airing during Comedy Central’s popular “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” programs. They’re also keeping up substantial advertising on Southern California urban radio stations.

And now Drug Policy Action has placed four full-page ads in the Los Angeles Times: a three-page “wrap” of Monday’s main section and a full page ad in Sunday’s paper featuring former San Jose police chief Joe McNamara, star of the Prop. 9 campaign’s television commercial released on Monday.

“In the final days of this historic campaign, millions of Californians will be exposed in every media platform to the Yes on 19 message,” said Stephen Gutwillig, Drug Policy Action’s California director. “We’re communicating to young voters in particular because they bear the brunt of marijuana enforcement and their turn-out is crucial to Tuesday’s outcome.”


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.”


Independent voters on the rise

The number of voters who decline to state a party preference has reached a record high in California, according to Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

The new registration report released today shows 3.5 million — or 20.3 percent — voters have declined to join a political party.

These numbers are greater than the previous record raw-number high of 3.4 million set in February 2009, and the previous record percentage high of 20.18 percent from January 2010, Bowen said.

The figure could factor in next Tuesday’s mid-term elections. Some polls show independent voters breaking toward Republicans although it will depend on how many DTS voters cast their ballots.

Read on for the full press release. Continue Reading


Bill Lockyer gives his wife’s campaign $110k more

Incumbent California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who it seems has barely lifted a finger to fend off Republican challenger state Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel, dropped another $110,000 on his wife’s campaign for Alameda County Supervisor this week.

That brings Lockyer for Treasurer 2010’s total contributions to Nadia Lockyer‘s supervisorial campaign to almost $1.32 million. Nadia Lockyer, who directs the Alameda County District Attorney’s Family Justice Center, is competing with former state Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Sunol, for the District 2 supervisor’s seat, which represents Hayward, Newark, Union City, a chunk of Fremont and unincorporated Sunol.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters reports that the 2nd Supervisorial District has 128,168 registered voters; thus, Bill Lockyer has given Nadia Lockyer about $10.29 for every person who could possibly vote in this election. Of course, the turnout will be far less; watch for a cost-per-vote analysis once all the returns and campaign finance reports are in.

Bill Lockyer’s campaign committee still had $5,064,132.91 cash on hand as of Oct. 16, the end of the last reporting period.


Prop. 19 buys ads on ‘Daily Show,’ ‘Colbert’

For those who’d wondered how advocates for Proposition 19 would spend the cool million that billionaire financier George Soros dropped on them Tuesday, just watch Comedy Central’s popular Daily Show and Colbert Report programs for the next few days.

A 30-second spot advocating for the marijuana-legalization measure will air during the hit programs’ commercial breaks:

The ads were paid for by the Drug Policy Action Committee To Tax And Regulate Marijuana – Yes On Prop. 19, which is sponsored by Drug Policy Action; Drug Policy Action is affiliated with the Drug Policy Alliance, of which Soros is a board member and prime funder.

The ads will run in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose on Thursday and Friday. They will also run in Southern California on Friday and Monday, the night before the election.

“Comedy Central’s flagship shows are the perfect outlet for Prop. 19’s reform message,” said Stephen Gutwillig, Drug Policy Action’s California director. “Getting younger voters and progressive voters to the polls Tuesday could well make the difference for this historic initiative to end decades of failed, punitive and wasteful marijuana policies.”

Yes on 19 supporters also intend to bring the “Legalize Pot” message to Stewart and Colbert viewers when several hundred people gather at the “Rally to Restore Sanity” march Saturday in Washington, D.C. “Supporters will march in business suits – not Birkenstocks – to reinforce the message that there is no archetypal marijuana legalization supporter,” Drug Policy Action Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann said.

Meanwhile, the No on 19 campaign began airing a radio ad today in the Bay Area noting that the major-party candidates for U.S. Senate, governor and attorney general, as well as U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and President Barack Obama, all oppose the measure. It’ll remain on the air through Election Day.