Tauscher helps broker Russia-U.S. arms deal



Former East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, now serving as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security in the Obama Adminstration, played a key role in the negotiation of a nuclear arms pact that would reduce U.S. and Russian arsenals by one-third, according to the Washington Post.

The Senate confirmed Tauscher to the post in June, and former California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi was elected as her replacement in the 10th District in a special election in September.

Read full Washington Pot article here.

The Post wrote, in part:

“Work must still be finished on the technical annexes to the treaty that lay out details of inspection and verification regimes, Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. under secretary of state for arms control, told reporters at the State Department.

She said officials hoped to finish those annexes by the end of April and then submit the full package to the Senate, where a vote of two-thirds is required for ratification.

“Our goal is to submit the treaty in the late spring and to seek ratification by the end of the year,” Tauscher said.

Tauscher insisted the new treaty placed no limits on U.S. missile defense systems, despite Russian suggestions last week that either side had the right to pull out of the offensive nuclear arms agreement if the other beefs up missile defenses.”


CoCo election worker helps flu victim vote

What would you do if you were a pollworker and a voter with a suspected case of H1N1 flu stopped off to cast a ballot on Tuesday? The election division does not typically stock hazmat suits.

“While we provide a ’10 ways you can stay healthy at work’ tip sheet to our inspectors, this one our did (him or herself) proud and performed an outstanding job.” said Contra Costa Registrar of Voters Steve Weir.

Here’s the text from the inspector’s journal:

“18:35 Attended/performed curbside voter who was on way home from hospital after being diagnosed probable H1N1.  I utilised full bio containment proc’s tossing the pens she touched (after sealing them in ziploc bags) she signed the Prov. roster w/o touching it, but she had to hold her Prov. ballot Env. to complete it.  Hence her P.B is sealed in a ziploc bag.  Utmost care was taken to assure virtually no poss’y of any poss. contamination, and to contain any known contaminated items/objects/surfaces.”


CD10: A look at the numbers



Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi pulled out an expected win Tuesday in the 10th congressional district, although his margin of victory was just slightly more than half of his party’s 18-point registration advantage.

Garamendi garnered 53 percent compared with Harmer’s 43 percent.

Does the narrower-than-expected win signal a GOP comeback in District 10?

Probably not.

It was an open seat in a low turnout special election. Such elections are rarely useful as predictors of the future. And while Harmer’s candidacy undeniably galvanized local Republicans, they lack the numbers required to overtake the Democrats anytime soon.

I looked over some of the details of the results this morning and noted a few interesting numbers:

Harmer won by nearly 1,000 votes in the Alameda County portion of the district, which is primarily Livermore.

Garamendi owes his win to Contra Costa County, where his 12,514-vote lead accounted for almost all of his victory margin of 12,870 votes.

Garamendi barely won among votes cast at the polls on Election Day in Contra Costa, beating Harmer by 399 votes. But Garamendi more than made up for it with votes cast through the mail, where he beat Harmer by 12,115 votes.(Contra Costa comprises two-thirds of the 10th District.)

Also in Contra Costa County, Harmer received 463 fewer votes than the total number of registered Republicans who voted by mail. Garamendi, on the other hand, received 4,265 more votes than the total number of Democrats who voted by mail. There’s no way to know for certain that the Reeps all voted for Harmer and the Dems all sided with Garamendi. But if most of them voted their respective parties, it indicates that the 8,790 decline-to-state registered voters broke for Garamendi.


CD10: Harmer unimpressed with AP declaration



GOP congressional candidate David Harmer took a dim view a few minutes ago of the Associated Press’ decision, with a third of the precincts reporting, to call the race for his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi.

“Wasn’t it the AP who wrote the headline ‘Dewey defeats Truman?’ ” Harmer said. “I don’t believe in giving any concession speeches until all the votes have been counted.”

Actually, no. It was the Chicago Tribune and that was a long time ago, 1948, to be exact.

Unfortunately, in this case, the number of precincts reporting is an inaccurate reflection of the total votes cast. In a low turnout election where three-quarters of the ballots are cast through the mail and not in a precinct, the percentage of precincts reporting is a far smaller number than the percentage of votes that have already been counted as vote-by-mail ballots.


CD10: Garamendi lead looks insurmountable

With about a third of the precincts reporting in the 10th District, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi is retaining a commanding lead over his Republican opponent David Harmer. With a 12,500-vote spread, this election looks as though it’s over.

10th congressional district
One seat; 78 of 273 precincts reporting
David Harmer (Rep)    39.5%
Jeremy Cloward (Gr)    1.9%
John Garamendi (Dem)    56.1%
Mary McIlroy (PF)    1.3%
Jerry Denham (AI)    1%