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Archive for the '2008 presidential election' Category

Presidential candidates reach out to Latino voters

Contra Costa Times reporter Matt O’Brien wrote a fascinating story today about how the presidential campaigns and candidates are reaching out to Latinos. But the candidates don’t necessarily do the best job speaking Spanish.

Click here for the story.

And below, you’ll find some extra notes that Matt could not fit into the published story as well as some links to the candidates as well as President Bush and Jackie Kennedy speaking in Spanish.


But impressions among fluent speakers was that whether or not he can actually speak the language in a non-scripted setting, Obama’s accent is better than that of President Bush, who has been known to sprinkle Spanish words into his speeches since his time as governor of Texas.

“It’s nice and short and correct,” said college Spanish instructor and Hayward City Councilman Francisco Zermeno. “It’s got a good use of the subjunctive. Good diction, he’s almost natively speaking, almost fluently, a couple little problems here and there. Not as fluid as it could be, but of course, he’s monolingual.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, October 31st, 2008
Under: 2008 presidential election | No Comments »

Dogs and their humans unite for Obama in Richmond

Metro Dog co-owner Diane Livoti with Bark for Barack poster (Photo by Kristopher Skinner/Contra Costa Times)

Metro Dog co-owner Diane Livoti with "Bark for Barack" poster (Photo by Kristopher Skinner/Contra Costa Times)

Your pooch cannot vote for president. Not legally, anyway.

But the humans at Metro Dog, a Richmond doggie daycare and boarding center also known as “Disneyland for Dogs,” found a way to get out the bark for Barack Obama.

Get it? “Get out the bark!” instead of “Get out the vote!”

Okay, it’s a stinky joke.

But this is a really cool poster.

Emily Jan of Timbuktu Designs styled the vivid artwork titled “Bark for Barack” after an early 1900s Alexander Rodchenko Russian literacy poster.

The poster features a regal greyhound, which probably wasn’t Metro Dog regular and Burmese Mountain Dog Tomas’ first choice. (His human, after all, coined the phrase “Bark for Barack” for the poster.)

Pet lovers are displaying it all over the East Bay, including the Oakland Zoo.

Bark for Barack poster

"Bark for Barack" poster

Hundreds of copies of the image have been downloaded from all over the nation at their web site,

Metro Dog co-owners Diane Livoti and Alison Smith have raised more than $2,000 for Obama’s campaign through sales of the poster although they long ago exhausted their one and only order of 500 prints.

The only place to obtain it now is a download from their web site, where they ask for a $5 campaign donation in return for use of the image.

In the interest of fairness, I asked Livoti to arrange a paw-wow with the Republican pups in her fine establishment.

Surely, there must be some toothy growling over this flagrant bias against their candidate John McCain?


There are no Republican dogs here.

Posted on Thursday, October 30th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics | No Comments »

Get Alameda County election results on your cell

Before long, election officials will beam results directly into implants embedded into our foreheads.

In the meantime, sign up for Alameda County’s email blast service of the results of a select group of races to your cell phone. Click here to sign up.

Races include Alameda County results for: President, Pleasanton Mayor, Berkeley Mayor, Oakland City Council at Large, Berkeley City Council District 4, San Leandro City Council District 2 and Measure V V.

If it works well, Registrar Dave Macdonald says he will expand the service in future elections.

For those who are counting, the score in the East Bay contest to possess the most high-tech election gadgets in the East Bay is:

Contra Costa County: 1

Alameda County: 2.

Both counties launched GIS-based mapping results in the last election but Alameda County is the first to send emails to your Blackberry.

Posted on Thursday, October 30th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election, Alameda County, Contra Costa County | No Comments »

Obama leading in California by 22 points

San Jose Mercury News political reporter Mary Anne Ostrom reported today on Field Poll findings that Barack Obama leads John McCain by 22 percentage points.

That Obama is winning in California isn’t news, of course. But the potential margin of victory carries huge coattails implications for down-ticket Democrats such as Rep. Jerry McNerney, the Pleasanton freshman seeking re-election in a conservative-leaning district.

Here are the few few graphs of the story:

Barack Obama is poised to win California by the largest margin of any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, a new Field Poll released today finds.

The Democratic presidential candidate leads Republican rival John McCain by 22 percentage points — 55-33 — among likely voters in California. If that margin holds Tuesday, he would set a post-World War II record for a presidential victor in the state. Not even landslide victories in 1980 and 1984 by Ronald Reagan, a former California governor, came close.

Posted on Thursday, October 30th, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election, Congress, congressional district 11 | No Comments »

Website features Obama pumpkin-carving pumpkin by Laura Enman pumpkin by Laura Enman

A reader just called and told me to check out, a website featuring pumpkin carvings of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The picture on the right was identified as the work of Laura Enman of Oakland.


If you are so inclined, upload photos of your own Obama carvings to the site or download stencils.

Anyone know of a comparable site for Republican nominee John McCain?

Posted on Friday, October 24th, 2008
Under: 2008 presidential election | No Comments »

Women strips off Obama shirt in Contra Costa election office

Rgistrar of Voters Steve Weir

Registrar of Voters Steve Weir

Unruly pro-Obama voters invaded the Contra Costa election office in Martinez late this afternoon, including a well-endowed woman who stripped off her Obama tank top in the lobby.

It’s illegal campaign within 100 feet from where people are voting and the county elections office is now open for early voting.

Registrar of Voters Steve Weir approached the women and advised them of the rules and asked them to remove the offending pro-Obama items or he would be forced to call the police.

One woman refused to remove her Obama button and voted anyway, Weir said. A second woman partially covered her Obama shirt with her purse.

But a third took off her Obama tank top to reveal a lovely tan-colored bra, Weir said.  She reversed the shirt and put it back on inside out right there in the the middle of the election office.

“She was stunning,” said Weir, a gay man who recently married his longtime partner in the county’s first same-sex marriage ceremony. “I can say that, can’t I?”

The women were also carrying digital and video cameras, also in violation of the law. It is illegal to bring a camera or recording device into the voting booth and take pictures or videos of people voting. (I’ll be watching YouTube to see if this shows up.)

Weir ended up calling the Martinez police. The police warned the women but didn’t arrest them. And they were all allowed to vote.

“We don’t want to stop anyone from voting but this group clearly came with the intention to cause a disruption and that’s not a good idea,” Weir said.

On the other hand, the disrobing does put Weir in the the running for the informal, annual Butte County award, the site of the first recorded incident in which a woman took off her shirt in a voting precinct.

Posted on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election, Contra Costa County | 12 Comments »

Campaigning for liberals: Do they stay or go?

A few weeks ago, there was “Drive for Change,” an appeal to California Democrats to pack their bags and travel to battleground states and campaign for the Democratic presidential ticket.

Plenty of folks are doing it, too. In fact, the response has overwhelmed Obama campaign organizers in Nevada who fear the locals — who often view Californians with considerable and well-deserved scorn — will see it as an invasion. (I lived in Northern Nevada for many years and I know of what I speak.)

Now, Calitics blogger Brian Leubitz urges “Stay for Change.”

Lots of local candidates and state ballot measures need precinct walkers, too, he argues.

“This is California,” he wrote. “We have the people right here in this state to defeat these terrible props, and accomplish our goals.  But we need some progressives to stay here in California.”

Posted on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, 2008 presidential election | No Comments »

Martinez beavers choose Obama for president

Who needs political pundits, pollsters and political scientists’ computer forecasts when you have Martinez beavers.

Check out this very clever YouTube video where one of the beavers living in Alhambra Creek in downtown Martinez chooses Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain.

Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
Under: 2008 presidential election, Contra Costa County | No Comments »

If Palin and McCain were a romance novel?

This political cartoon, of sorts, is making the rounds on the Internet.

I could not figure out where it originated but it’s pretty funny.

It’s someone’s idea of what would happen if GOP veep nominee Sarah Palin and her running mate, John McCain, were on the cover of an old-fashioned, bodice-ripper romance novel called “The Maverick and the Maiden.”

(Note the author’s name.)

Posted on Friday, October 17th, 2008
Under: 2008 presidential election | No Comments »

GOP apologizes for offensive Obama mailer

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports today that a local Republican women’s group placed an offensive and racist depiction in its newsletter of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s head on a mock food stamp bill complete with photos of fried chicken and watermelon. (I won’t republish the image but if you want to see it, click on the link above the Press-Enterprise has it.)

Ugly. Very ugly.

Here are the first couple of graphs:

The Press-Enterprise

The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women’s group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”

The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist. …

It prompted a swift response today from Republican leaders, who denounced the use of the graphic as well as another use of a picture in Sacramento County of Obama wearing a turban and sitting next to Osama Bin Laden. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, October 16th, 2008
Under: 2008 presidential election, Republican politics | No Comments »