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CD10: Harmer goes on the offense against Garamendi

Republican 10th Congressional District candidate David Harmer goes after Democratic opponent and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi on taxes in a new video:

Posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | No Comments »

Bill Clinton to campaign for Garamendi in SF

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton will host a rally* with 10th Congressional District candidate and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi on Tuesday in South San Francisco.

The public event begins around 2:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave., in South San Francisco.

Clinton has endorsed Garamendi in the congressional race, and the lieutenant governor says the president promised to make a personal appearance during the campaign if he could fit it into his schedule.

Unfortunately for Garamendi, Clinton doesn’t have enough time to travel to the 10th District, presumably the preferred location for a the chance to publicly stand next to the popular former president. Clinton is in the Bay Area to attend the PGA President’s Cup at Harding Golf Course in San Francisco and has to catch a flight later Tuesday.

Clinton is in Los Angeles, today, campaigning for gubernatorial hopeful and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Garamendi says he vividly remembers a two-hour conversation in 1991 with then-presidential candidate Clinton about health care reform in 1991, when then-Insurance Commissioner Garamendi was working on a California version of a single-payer health insurance system.

“We go way back on health care,” Garamendi said of Clinton. “And here we are today, talking about the same issue.”

Garamendi won the Sept. 1 special primary election and will face on Nov. 3 GOP nominee David Harmer of Dougherty Valley and three minor party candidates.

* Update: Subject of rally no longer limited to healthcare but will cover a range of issues. 11:43 a.m.

Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election, Bill Clinton, Congressional District 10 | 2 Comments »

CD10: Harmer says poll shows him ahead of Garamendi

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, Democrat

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, Democrat

David Harmer, Republican

David Harmer, Republican

UPDATE 8:28 AM FRIDAY: I finally connected with Harmer chief campaign consultant Tim Clark last night (he was in an all-day conference) and he had some interesting additional information about his candidate’s poll. See the updated information in italics in the entry below.

Tenth Congressional District GOP candidate David Harmer touted a new poll in a fundraising email he sent out this week he says shows him beating Democrat Lt. Gov. John Garamendi 49 percent to 32 percent among voters who have heard of both candidates.

The survey of 450 likely voters also concluded that when respondents were asked whether they intended to vote for a generic Republican or Democrat, the GOP candidate received 40 percent compared with 44 percent for the Democrat. And it showed Harmer ahead among decline-to-state voters 40 percent to 26 percent.

That sound you hear is Garamendi laughing. Loudly.

“That’s not what my polling shows,” Garamendi said. “Look, this is a poll designed to raise money from the Republican base. It has no bearing on reality. If the Republicans think the Democrats are just going to sit back and go to sleep in this election, they are wrong. There is no way I am going to let that happen.”

The poll does seem, well, to put it nicely, a tad delusional.

The lieutenant governor has overwhelming name identification in a congressional district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 18 percentage points. Harmer is a political unknown likely to raise just a fraction of the money that his opponent will collect.

However, a reputable survey firm, Wilson Research out of Washington, D.C., conducted the telephone poll commissioned jointly by Harmer and the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. It was conducted Sept. 23-24 and the margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percent. The email solicitation features the name of well-known Republican fundraiser and Harmer campaign finance director Kristin Hueter.

Harmer chief political consultant Tim Clark said the poll numbers do not indicate his client has suddenly become the frontrunner. In fact, in a direct match-up between the men among all those questioned in the survey (not just those who have heard of both candidates), Harmer is down 6 1/2 percentage points, Clark said.

“Our client is in the hunt, that’s what we are saying,” Clark said.

Clark points to the shift in the generic ballot, where those surveyed were asked, “If the election were held today, would you vote for a Republican or Democrat?” In August, their internal polling showed the split at 52 percent Democrat and 29 percent Republican. This polls shows the split at 44 percent Democrat, 40 percent Republican.

“John Garamendi has to be worried about this shift,” Clark said.

Clark also says the poll also shows that 30 percent of those surveyed have a negative view of Garamendi, the result of a tough primary where his Democratic opponents spent thousands of dollars painting him as a carpet-bagging opportunist. (Garamendi lives just outside the District 10 line in Walnut Grove and dropped his faltering governor’s campaign in order to run for Congress.)

Harmer supporters say public sentiment is shifting away from Democrats such as Garamendi who support a public health insurance option. They correctly point out that Harmer beat Garamendi among ballots cast on Election Day on Sept. 1.

I’m not buying that last argument, though.  Just one out of every four votes cast on Sept. 1 in Contra Costa County, which comprises the largest segment of the 10th District, took place on Election Day. Everyone else in Contra Costa County voted by mail, where Harmer placed third behind state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord. (In all votes cast the 10th District, which includes portions of four counties, Harmer came in second place: Garamendi, 27,580 votes or 25.7 percent; Harmer, 22,582 votes or 21 percent; DeSaulnier, 18,888 votes. or 17.6 percent)

Turnout at the Nov. 3 special general election will very likely reflect a similar if not higher percentage of votes by mail. Voting by mail starts Monday.

Read on for the full content of Harmer’s fundraiser email: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election, Congressional District 10 | 30 Comments »

Voting in CD10 run-off starts Oct. 5

Voting by mail begins Oct. 5 in the special Nov. 3 election where voters will select the replacement for former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher.

Voters will choose from among Democrat and Lt. Gov. John Gararmendi, Republican David Harmer and three minor party candidates.

Read on for the detailed press release about mail and other deadlines from the Contra Costa Registrar of Voters:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | No Comments »

Some upcoming political events around the Bay

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will be scooting around the district tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 18, first taking part in a 1:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new local U.S. Census office at 1814 Franklin St. in Oakland, and then attending a 2 p.m. ceremony at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in the Port of Oakland, celebrating the completion of the 50-foot Oakland Harbor Deepening Project.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Board of Equalization Chairwoman Betty Yee will forecast state revenues and spending for the next year at the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club luncheon, at noon tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 18, at Cocina Poblana, 499 Embarcadero West in Oakland’s Jack London Square. It’s open to the public but space is limited so you’re encouraged to RSVP by email to treasurer@demlawyers.org. Tickets cost $25 for club members, $30 for non-members at the door, but there’s a $5 discount if you buy in advance through the club’s Web site.

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, is holding another of his “Congress At Your Corner” constituent meet-and-greets from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at the Margaret K. Troke Branch Library at 502 W. Benjamin Holt Drive in Stockton. “Instead of asking community members to come to one of my offices, I am going to go to them to make it as easy as possible for them to meet their Member of Congress,” he says. “I am committed to meeting with residents throughout the district so that I can effectively serve them and address their needs.”

Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, chairman of the Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology, will chair an informational hearing on “Maintaining California’s Status as the World’s Biotechnology Capital” at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at Exelixis Inc., 210 E. Grand Ave. in South San Francisco. Executives from local life science companies will testify about the challenges of starting a biotech business and explain what other states are doing to lure companies away from California.

Rumored Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Jerry Brown; state Treasurer Bill Lockyer; and 10th Congressional District Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. John Garamendi will headline the 39th Annual Alameda County Democratic Unity Dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Oakland Airport Hilton, 1 Hegenberger Road; Board of Equalization Chair Betty Yee will emcee. All interested Democrats are invited to attend; tickets cost $75 per person in advance or $125 for patrons, with tables available at $1,000 and up. Advance tickets are available by calling 510-263-5222. A limited number of door tickets will be available at $85 each.

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election, Assembly, Barbara Lee, Bill Lockyer, Calendar, General, Jerry Hill, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi, Nancy Skinner, U.S. House | Comments Off

CD10: Antioch mayor bashed for endorsement

Some Republicans are up in arms about Antioch Mayor Jim Davis – also a Republican – endorsing Democrat Lt. Gov. John Garamendi over Republican David Harmer in the 10th Congressional District special election.

“Why is he doing this? Harmer is a conservative Republican and we need to call these guys out on this! Any way you can help David Harmer and California out,” said a posting made today to a local conservative MeetUp group’s message board.

The posting urges people to call, fax and e-mail Davis to ask questions such as “May I ask WHY you are endorsing a democrat when the Republican party is already so fragmented?;” “How can we get you to change your mind?;” “We would love you to have your job another term and THIS may affect it.” (Yes, I know that’s not a question); and the one-two punch of “Why didn’t you endorse David Harmer?” and “Will you consider changing your mind?”

Davis’ pick doesn’t seem so shocking given that it’s not his first endorsement across party lines; I see he endorsed Ellen Tauscher for re-election to this seat over Republican Darcy Linn in 2006.

UPDATE @ 5:35 P.M.: Mayor Davis just e-mailed me a statement: “I have not endorsed anyone for the General elect in Nov.” But seeing as how the Sept. 1 vote was a special primary — in which Garamendi could’ve won the seat outright had he topped 50 percent of the vote — it’s not entirely clear to me why Davis would endorse Garamendi in that vote but someone else in the general election.

Posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election, General | 14 Comments »

CD10: Statement of the Vote highlights

Contra Costa elections guru Steve Weir sent me via email the statement of the vote from Tuesday’s special election in the 10th Congressional District. It’s the final certified count of the 10th District votes by precinct, city and other elected districts.

Keep in mind, these are only Contra Costa results but the county comprises 68 percent of the district:

1) Turnout was 32 percent, a bit shy of Weir’s projection of 38 percent. Of the 80,567 votes cast, 76 percent were vote-by-mail ballots leaving just 24 percent, or 19,856 votes cast at the polls.

2) Republican and attorney David Harmer of Dougherty Valley was the first-place finisher among votes cast on Election Day, followed by Democrat and state Sen.Mark DeSaulnier of Concord.

3) DeSaulnier beat the overall Democratic winner Lt. Governor John Gararmendi on Election Day. Some might interpret that as a sign of success in DeSaulnier’s late campaign to paint Garamendi as a carpet-bagger but I doubt it. It was a very small lead, just 335 votes. DeSaulnier lost in the vote-by-mail tally to Garamendi by 2,464 votes.

4) DeSaulnier lost to Garamendi in his Senate District 7 by 2,129 votes.

5) Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, came in fourth place among 10th District voters who also live in her Assembly district.

6) Among the five Democratic candidates, Garamendi won in Antioch, Brentwood,El Cerrito, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, San Ramon and Walnut Creek. DeSaulnier prevailed in Concord, his home town, and Pleasant Hill.

7) Albeit with slight numbers, Republican Harmer beat all the candidates, including the Democrats, in Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda.

Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | No Comments »

CD10: Democrats pledge unity

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Tenth Congressional District Democratic nominee and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi hosted a short unity meeting this morning in Sacramento with two of his unsuccessful challengers, Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord.

Well, they do say time heals all wounds and it’s been a week since the election.

Buchanan and DeSaulnier pledged their support for Garamendi and asked their own supporters to rally behind the Democratic nominee.

“In the primary, there were minor differences between the candidates, but in the general election, there are major differences between John and his Republican opponent,” Buchanan said, referring to Republican nominee and attorney David Harmer of Dougherty Valley.

“For all of my supporters,” said DeSaulnier, “I urge them to get on with the next step and support John Garamendi. We don’t want a Republican to represent us in Congress.”

Garamendi is also hosting a unity breakfast on Sept. 12 designed to smooth over those emotional scars from the primary election.

Democrats have an 18 percentage point party registration advantage in the 10th District, a gap political experts in both parties view as nearly insurmountable for a Republican. But Garamendi wants to win with big numbers. Members of Congress enjoy very high re-election rates but there’s nothing better than a strong win to discourage primary and general election challengers.

Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election | No Comments »

Garamendi calls state garage sale an ‘abomination’

Lt. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Great California Garage Sale was disgusting, says Lt. Gov. John Garamendi.

“Have we no pride?” Garamendi said. “That we would allow the governor to go out and finance the state with a garage sale? To sell his signature to finance the state? We are the laughing stock of the world. It’s an abomination. I take pride in California. I take pride that we are the Golden State. Where’s your pride, governor!”

Ouch. Tell us how you really feel, John.

Garamendi had a few other choice words for Schwarzenegger during our phone interview following his Tuesday victory in the 10th Congressional District special primary election. (Democrat Garamendi will run in the Nov. 3 run-off against Republican David Harmer.)

Garamendi called Schwarzenegger the “worst governor this state has ever had. He has taken this state down the tubes. He has destroyed education. He has no progress on health care. He has no progress on education. And prison reform he wants to toss over to the judges.”

Sheesh. If Garamendi’s not careful, he could wake up one morning and find his Capitol office furniture on Craigslist.

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election, Congressional District 10, Lt. Governor, Schwarzenegger | No Comments »

DeSaulnier appointed chairman of reform panel

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, who lost Tuesday’s special 10th Congressional District special election, has been appointed co-chair of a joint Senate-Assembly committee on reform.

The committee will look at ways to make government and the legislative process more efficient.

It looks as though DeSaulnier is moving on after what had to be a disappointing loss. But I have never known him to spend any time feeling sorry for himself. He had plenty on his plate at the Senate before the 10th District seat unexpectedly opened in February and diverted his attention. He has repeatedly told me how much he enjoys his job in the Senate, and he is clearly getting back to it.

Read on for the press release out a few minutes ago:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election, California Senate | 8 Comments »