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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.”

Posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010
Under: 2009 CD10 special election, Congressional District 10 | 7 Comments »

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.”

Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | No Comments »

CD10: Garamendi swearing-in set for Thursday

You can watch Congressman-elect John Garamendi’s swearing-in ceremony on C-SPAN on Thursday morning sometime around 9 a.m. California time.

Posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | 11 Comments »

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.

Posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | 4 Comments »

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.

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | 10 Comments »

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%

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | 7 Comments »

Early results in CoCo show Garamendi leading

Vote-by-mail results just posted in Contra Costa County show Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi leading with 57 percent compared with 38 percent for Republican David Harmer.

The results offer a stronger than usual window into the outcome because elections officials expect 75 percent of all ballots cast in this special election will come via the mail. Contra Costa election guru estimates that the vote-by-mail numbers reported so far represent about two-thirds of all the votes that will be cast.

Harmer has been campaigning strong in the final two weeks and the national Republican Party has dumped four mailers into the district. But it may not be enough to overcome the sheer numerical 18-percentage-point registration advantage of the Democrats.

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | 10 Comments »

CoCo registrar’s Election Day notes



Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters Steve Weir sent over an update this morning on today’s election.

Among the party registration of those who have voted by mail, a higher percentage of Republicans have voted than Democrats. But Democrats significantly outnumber Republicans — 7,000 more Democrats have returned ballots than Republicans. That bodes well for Democratic candidate and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, as long as those Democrats voted for him rather than Republican David Harmer.

Voter turn-out has surpassed that of the Sept. 1 election, Weir said. That makes sense. There are more issues on the ballot than in September, including high-profile elections in Walnut Creek and its two school districts.

And on the lighter side, Weir says some folks are calling him and demanding to know why they can’t vote. Uh, they don’t live in a city or political district where there is an election. Only about half of the county’s voter reside in a region with an election today. But kudos to people who want to vote!

Here is what Weir had to say in more detail:

Lost an inspector yesterday do to wife’s illness.  Lost an inspector this morning due to flu (we were able to cover.)

Lost power at a church and we’re operating off of extension cords (to the school next door.)  Will probably move the polls before 5 pm as power cords only help with the AutoMark.

Just left a tour from a delegation from Uganda and Tanzania, they toured Walnut Creek, then my office and now they are going to a poll site in Pleasant Hill.  They have toured Harris County Texas, and will tour in Oregon tomorrow.

One of our most requested items today is for ballots for Congress for people who do not live in the 10th CD.

I listened to a man at the counter this morning who just could not believe that there was not anything for him to vote on. Maybe I ought to bring out the favorite flavor of ice cream test ballots?

Walnut Creek’s return rate is 62.7 percent as of last night.  San Ramon is at 35.6 percent. (9 of the 11 San Ramon precincts are out of the 10th CD.)

Dems are returning at 51.8 percent of issued in the 10th and Reps are at 61.3 percent return rate of those issued.  (Dems are ahead of actual ballots returned by about 7,000.)

Of the 112 polling sites (representing 132,000 non-vote-by-mail (VBM) voters, we have just under 6,000 votes cast.  So, we’re at just under 5 percent turn-out of the non-VBM voters at the polls as of 10 am.  (This is a better turn out at 10 am than we had on Sept. 1.)

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | 5 Comments »

CD10: National press weighs in on race

The national press is writing about today’s 10th Congressional District special election. Most conclude that Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi will beat Republican David Harmer, although it may not be the partisan stomping that Democrats have enjoyed in past elections in this district.

Here are the links:

Wall Street Journal:

Fox News:

Washington Monthly:

New York Times:

Washington Post:



The Nation:

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | No Comments »

CD10: CBS poll shows Garamendi leads by 10 points





A new CBS Channel 5 poll conducted by SurveyUSA shows Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi ahead of his GOP opponent David Harmer by 10 points.

Garamendi received 50 percent support, while Harmer took 40 percent followed by 6 percent for one of the three minor party candidates. Only 4 percent were undecided.

Folks may recall that SurveyUSA is the same outfit KPIX hired to do several pre-primary polls in this race. They turned out to be remarkably accurate.

The results of the only independent poll in this race reflect a wider gap than what Harmer’s campaign people said their internal poll of several weeks ago, a trend that should have gone the other direction if Harmer was gaining traction.

But given Democrats’ 18-point registration lead in the 10th District, it seems as though Garamendi ought to have a bigger lead.

The answer may be found in the results for decline-to-state voter, where Harmer leads 42 to 35 percent; it’s a group Harmer has targeted.

SurveyUSA conducted the automated robo-style survey of 581 registered voters on Oct. 26-28. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percent.

In its other findings:

1) Half of the respondents have already voted by mail

2) Garamendi leads among women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Democrats, moderates, liberals, college graduates, pro-choice voters and Obama supporters.

3) Harmer leads among Republicans, independents, conservatives, regular church-goers, pro-life voters, gun-owners and McCain supporters.

Click here to download the poll from KPIX’s Web site.

Posted on Thursday, October 29th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | 6 Comments »