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Archive for June, 2012

Lynn Woolsey endorses Jared Huffman in CA-2

Retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, today endorsed Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, as her successor in the newly drawn 2nd Congressional District.

“I congratulate Jared Huffman on his impressive showing in Tuesday’s primary, and regardless of the final vote tally, I am proud to endorse him in the November election.

“Jared is that rare public servant with both the courage of his convictions and the ability to work constructively to get things done. He is both a principled progressive and an effective coalition-builder. His environmental expertise and credentials are second-to-none. He has proven time and time again that he will stand with working families, women, seniors and consumers. And I believe he will continue the ongoing struggle to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

“Our nation faces major challenges, and we need leaders like Jared Huffman who can hit the ground running and start getting the job done immediately. Jared has everything you would want in a member of Congress, and I am confident that he will be as strong a legislator in Washington as he has been in Sacramento.

“His victory this fall would allow me to leave office knowing that the North Coast is in capable hands, with a representative that truly reflects our district’s values.”

Unofficial results show Huffman finished with 37.3 percent of the vote, followed by Republican Dan Roberts, an investment banker from Tiburon, with 15.3 percent. Roberts narrowly edged out Democrat Norman Solomon, a liberal activist and author from Inverness, who had 14.2 percent of the vote; nine other candidates trailed farther behind.

The newly redrawn district stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border, spanning parts of Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity counties.

Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Under: 2012 Congressional Election, Lynn Woolsey, U.S. House | 1 Comment »

‘Dog on the Roof!’ book pokes fun at Romney, SF

Dog on the RoofI received today a copy of “Dog on the Roof! On the Road with Mitt & The Mutt,” a political satire novelty picture book by Bruce Kluger and David Slavin.

The small book lampoons Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s now infamous family vacation, a cross-country road-trip for which they put their dog, Seamus, in a carrier on the roof of the car.

The book follows the Romneys through various American cities, with heavily doctored photo illustrations accompanied by verse. As we’re a Bay Area news organization, I thought I might share the San Francisco section:

(from Romney)

Now, boys, close your eyes,
for we’ve hit rock bottom –
a city that’s ruled
by Gomorrah and Sodom.

A village of sinners
who clamor for booty,
and bow at the altar
of Liza and Judy.

Don’t mean to be prissy,
don’t want to disparage –
they’re free to cut hair,
but they’ll never have marriage!

(and, from Seamus)

These people love Broadway,
so how ‘bout a spoof?
Instead of a fiddler –
a dog on the roof!

I’m am not anticipating that this will be a National Book Award recipient.

Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, books, Mitt Romney | 1 Comment »

The pool reports from Obama’s SF fundraisers

The Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci was inside President Obama’s fundraising luncheon today in San Francisco. Here’s her report, verbatim:

The very elegant wood paneled Julia Morgan Ballroom, considered a neoclassic architectural gem in the historic Merchants Exchange building, was filled with 27 tables of 10 guests each.
The White House official count was 250, but we were told by organizers that the demand for the event — sold out — was big and they wanted to squeeze in a few more. The majority of those paid $5,000 each to attend, but tickets went up to $7,500 for photo to $50,000 for “table captain.”

Among those in attendance: prominent San Francisco real estate developer Clint Reilly – a former Democratic strategist who also owns the historic Merchant Exchange building where the fundraiser is taking place. His wife, Janet, who heads the board of directors for the Golden Gate Bridge, was also present.
Lloyd Dean, chair of Cytori Theraputics and Obama bundler and Silicon Valley insider Wade Randlett among other guests.

California Governor Jerry Brown is also here.

Outside the Merchant Exchange building, there was a variety of vocal protesters, what looked to be a few hundred. They included about 50 from the Bay Area Tea Party Patriots, and another group some protesting Obama’s crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries, and (no kidding) anti-circumcision protesters.
And there were another two dozen from the Center for Biological Diversity — some dressed as polar bears, protesting Shell Oil’s drilling in the Arctic.

(Lots more, after the jump…)
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, campaign finance, Obama presidency | 8 Comments »

Barr’s ‘RoMentum’ becomes ‘NoMentum”

Despite her Rose-y predictions the other day, Roseanne Barr’s “RoMentum” appears to have turned to “NoMentum” on Tuesday as her home state’s Green Party voters preferred Jill Stein of Massachusetts as their nominee.

With about 64 percent of precincts reporting, at about 12:35 a.m. Wednesday, Stein had 48.6 percent of the vote to Barr’s 39.7 percent; another Californian, Kent Mesplay of San Diego, had about 11.7 percent of the vote.

The actress/comedienne-turned-candidate had been looking to California, which has 65 Green delegates, to help her continue closing the gap with Stein, who’d come out on top in 22 primaries before this past weekend, when Barr finally won a few.

Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Green Party | No Comments »

Gone, but not forgotten

Though Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney clinched his party’s nomination last week with his win in the Texas primary, Californian Republicans went to the polls today to cast their ballots – and early returns showed eight out of 10 of them were accepting the inevitable.

As of 11 p.m., Romney had about 80.7 percent of the vote, while Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., followed with 9.4 percent. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum had 5 percent of the vote, even though he dropped out well before former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was at 3.8 percent.

Posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul | No Comments »

CoCo Supervisor Glover wins re-election in a landslide!

Er, it helps to run unopposed.

Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover just put out a press release thanking voters for re-electing him to a fifth term.

“All the work positioning myself in regional policy-making bodies and building relationships are paying paying off,” he said in the statement. “The people see the results of that work.”

All that may well be true.

But his supporters also warned off all potential challengers including Martinez Councilman Mike Menesini, who backed out on the last day to file.

Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho, of Discovery Bay, also ran unopposed. She was re-elected to a third term.

Read on for Glover’s full press release.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election, Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, Contra Costa County | 3 Comments »

Senate GOP nixes Paycheck Fairness Act

Senate Republicans today ensured there would be no vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill pushed by the Obama Administration as a policy priority – and now a Democratic campaign rallying point.

The cloture vote was 52-47, short of the 60 votes needed to end debate and bring the bill to a straight up-or-down vote.

Census data showed women still made only 77 cents on the male dollar in 2008. This bill would have let employees disclose salary information to co-workers despite workplace rules forbidding this, in order to expose wage disparities. Employers would have been required to show that any such disparities are based on genuine business requirements and related to specific details of the job that aren’t based on gender; it also would’ve prohibited retaliation against those who raise wage-parity issues, provided resources to help women develop negotiating skills, and bring more research into lingering causes of male-female wage disparities.

From President Barack Obama:

“This afternoon, Senate Republicans refused to allow an up-or-down vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a commonsense piece of legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and give women more tools to fight pay discrimination. It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics ahead of American women and their families. Despite the progress that has been made over the years, women continue to earn substantially less than men for performing the same work. My Administration will continue to fight for a woman’s right for equal pay for equal work, as we rebuild our economy so that hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and every American gets a fair shot to succeed.”

From U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:

“Senate Republicans let down the women of America – and their families – by refusing to stand up for the basic principle of equal pay for equal work. But just as we didn’t quit when Republicans tried to defeat the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, we are not going to stop fighting until the Paycheck Fairness Act becomes the law of the land.”

From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:

“It’s 2012 but Republicans are stuck in the past; by blocking the Paycheck Fairness Act from receiving the simple vote it deserves, Senate Republicans have obstructed progress and prosperity for American families. They’ve joined House Republicans, who just last week voted unanimously against bringing the Paycheck Fairness Act to the floor and in doing so stood against fundamental fairness for America’s working women and families struggling to get by.

“Equal pay for equal work should be a pillar of our American recovery. In this time of great economic challenge, the 77 cents that women make for every dollar men make adds up to a real impact on working families.

“When we strengthen economic security for America’s women, we strengthen economic security for America’s families. That is why Democrats will continue to work on behalf of the opportunity for all Americans to participate equally in the prosperity of our country.”

Republicans say it was a political ploy.

From U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah:

“It doesn’t seem to matter to Senate Democrats that federal law already prevents gender-based pay discrimination. Nothing seems to get in the way of Democrats’ desire to push a message-tested bill that would be a boondoggle to trial lawyers with the cost borne by small businesses and job creators who would face mountains of litigation. Given how bad this bill is, I might almost say I’m glad this is just a politically-motivated show vote. But the reality is that the American people need relief from the Obama economy, not more votes designed for the President’s political base. With our economy as weak as it is, it’s time for the President and his Capitol Hill allies to stop the games and start working to stop the largest tax hike in American history that will hit every tax-paying American on January 1st.”

Posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Under: Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Obama presidency, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | 7 Comments »

Who bankrolled campaigns for, against Prop. 29?

Those wonderful folks at Berkeley-based MapLight.org have crunched numbers on who bankrolled the campaigns for and against Proposition 29, the measure on tomorrow’s ballot that would impose a $1-per-pack tobacco tax to fund cancer research. The data is as of this afternoon:

SUPPORT: $12.3 million raised in total
1. American Cancer Society – $8,467,937
2. Lance Armstrong Foundation – $1,500,000
3. American Heart Association – $563,594
4. Michael R. Bloomberg – $500,000
5. American Lung Association – $421,986
6. Voters Organized for Community Empowerment (VOICE) – $152,188
7. ACS Cancer Action Network – $80,000
8. Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund – $65,000
9. University of California, San Francisco Foundation – $50,000
10. Irwin Mark Jacobs – $30,000

OPPOSITION: $46.8 million raised in total
1. Philip Morris (Altria) – $27,531,416
2. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Reynolds American Inc.) – $11,168,698
3. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco (Altria) – $3,039,818
4. American Snuff Co. (Reynolds American Inc.) – $1,750,000
5. Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. (Reynolds American Inc.) – $1,148,000
6. California Republican Party – $1,140,909
7. John Middleton Co. (Altria) – $737,201
8. Core-Mark – $75,032
9. McLane Company Inc. – $50,000
10. Californians Against Unaccountable Taxes – $47,744

Breakdown by State

For Prop. 29:

Against Prop. 29:

Posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012
Under: 2012 primary election, ballot measures, campaign finance, taxes | 10 Comments »

Roseanne Barr claims ‘RoMentum’ before CA vote

Mitt Romney now has enough delegates to clinch the GOP presidential nomination, but lurking out there among the minor parties in tomorrow’s primary election is a showdown for the ages featuring someone who once was among the nation’s better-known TV stars.

Roseanne Barr “The more Americans hear my platform of ending our wars, legalizing pot, locking up corporate criminals and getting their filthy money out of politics, the more they support my candidacy,” comedian/actress Roseanne Barr said in a news release issued early this morning. “When they hear about the 10 Key Values of the Green Party, they understand that the only way to change our politics and fix our country is to break up our corporate-sponsored ‘two-party’ system. Thanks to this weekend’s victories, we’re heading into California with the wind at our backs – we’ve got the RoMentum!”

Barr did have a great weekend. Until now, Green presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein of Lexington, Mass., had gone 22 for 22 in Green Party primaries across the nation, picking up 143 delegates to Barr’s 40 (like California’s GOP primary, they’re not all winner-take-all).

But Barr got 69 percent of the vote in Georgia, 53 percent of the vote in Oregon and clean sweeps of all the delegates in North Dakota and South Dakota this weekend. The Green primary tomorrow here in California – Barr’s home state – has 65 delegates at stake.

“We all know that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee and Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee,” Barr said. “That’s why I’ve urged all Californians to cross over and register Green to send a chilling message to Democrats, Republicans and their masters on Wall Street: Your goose is cooked. You are outnumbered and we’ve got you surrounded. Behold the greening of America.”

If you hadn’t gotten that message already, it’s way too late to switch parties now for tomorrow’s election; also, the Green Party has chosen not to let no-party-preference voters cast ballots in its primary.

Kent Mesplay of San Diego also is in the race, but has lagged far behind Stein and Barr. The Greens will hold their nominating convention July 12-15 in Baltimore.

Maybe she can call the convention to order by leading the National Anthem. Lest we forget:

Posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Green Party | 2 Comments »

Dennis Kucinich to stump for Pete Stark on Sunday

Liberal icon Rep. Dennis Kucinich – now a lame duck, having lost his primary in which redistricting pitted him against a fellow Ohio Democrat – isn’t going quietly into that good night, but instead is rallying to the side of a Bay Area friend.

Kucinich will join Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, for a get-out-the-vote rally, phone bank and precinct walk at noon this Sunday, June 3 in Dublin – the home turf of Stark’s own primary opponent, fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell. In fact, they’re rallying in the same union hall that’s the meeting place of the TriValley Democratic Club, of which Swalwell is a longtime member.

Dennis Kucinich“I have worked closely with Pete Stark for the past 16 years in Congress. He is a singular force to protect the health of the American people,” Kucinich said in a news release issued by Stark’s campaign. “He is a key architect of the Affordable Care Act, which will finally guarantee quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Pete is also the author of a law (COBRA) which is directly responsible for protecting access to and continuity of health care for 45 million Americans who are in between jobs. We need Pete Stark to continue representing us in Congress.”

Stark said he’s honored to have the support of Kucinich, who ran dark-horse campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. “Dennis is a strong leader on progressive issues – we have worked together to enact health reform, protect Social Security and Medicare and stand up for working families.”

Stark announced President Obama’s endorsement two weeks ago.

Swalwell, 31, a Dublin councilman and Alameda County prosecutor, is taking on Stark, 80, a 20-term incumbent, in the newly drawn 15th Congressional District, which includes Hayward, Fremont, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Livermore, Union City, and the unincorporated areas of Castro Valley, Fairview and San Lorenzo. Conservative independent candidate Chris Pareja, 40, a businessman from Hayward, is running as well.

What might’ve been a cakewalk for Stark – rumored to be seeking his last term, and dean of California’s delegation – instead grew ugly in April and May as Stark had to apologize for a series of unsubstantiated accusations he made against Swalwell.

Posted on Friday, June 1st, 2012
Under: 2012 Congressional Election, Dennis Kucinich, Pete Stark, U.S. House | 8 Comments »