And now, one day after Barack Obama‘s campaign rolled out its California “truth squad,” Hillary Clinton‘s campaign has unveiled its “rapid responders” in the Feb. 5 primary states, “a national group of truth tellers who will respond to inaccurate or misleading attacks directed at Senator and President Clinton,” the news release says.
Hot on the heels of Barack Obama‘s rout of Hillary Clinton in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, the Obama campaign announced today it’s forming a “truth squad” of California supporters who’ll refute what they say are mistruths spread by Clinton’s campaign.
“Yesterday we watched as the voters of South Carolina sent a clear message to America and voted for change,” House Education & Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez, said today. “They rejected the divisive politics of the past and chose progress for the future. According to exit polls, 70% of South Carolina voters said the attacks leveled by the Clinton campaign were unfair. And despite weeks of misleading negative attacks, Barack Obama won because voters in South Carolina, like voters across America, wanted to bring this country together, and change the way business is done in Washington so we can finally stand up to the special interests and solve the problems that matter to ordinary Americans.”
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who spent time phone-banking for Obama on Saturday at the Oakland campaign headquarters, said, “We’re here today because we know Californians are tired of the same divisive politics that failed in South Carolina. We are organized to make sure that the truth is shared with Californians and to respond to same type of negative attacks that the Clinton campaign tried, and the voters rejected, in South Carolina.”
Hillary Clinton‘s campaign rolled out a new green-themed California television ad today; here it is:
The campaign just held a teleconference with reporters to discuss the new ad. Former Rep. Lynn Schenk, D-San Diego, said Clinton resonates with Californians because “she has a long proven track record on delivering positive change toward helping the environment.”
Clinton California campaign director Ace Smith said “we’re building on incredible momentum we’re seeing in California” such as the United Farm Workers‘ endorsement yesterday in Salinas and big turnouts for the candidate’s and former President Bill Clinton’s visits to California last week. The new ad is running in every broadcast and cable market in the state, Smith said — “a very substantial buy,” though he said he never discusses specific dollar figures.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama rolled out three new ads today in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, New Mexico and Utah, all of which (like California) are among the 22 states holding their primaries Feb. 5:
I shoulda posted this earlier, but better late than never when it comes to great video: KGO-TV reporter Mark Matthews went toe-to-toe with Bill Clinton in Oakland the other day, asking about the Nevada Democratic Party’s plan to hold caucus meetings at nine Las Vegas Strip hotels. Hillary Clinton supporters including the state teachers union and some party activists sued, claiming this gives the Culinary Workers Union, which has endorsed Barack Obama for the president and represents the hotel workers, undue influence on the vote; a federal judge yesterday refused to intervene.
We saw Tom Lantos endorse Jackie Speier to succeed him, and we saw Leland Yee promptly declare he’s not running — but wait, here comes Yul Kwon, a San Mateo management consultant who won the $1 million prize on “Survivor: Cook Islands” in 2006, reportedly considering a run. He’s a former aide to U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. — which quite frankly might be more hinderance than help in Lantos’ district.
We saw Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger endorse Proposition 93, which would lower the total number of years a state legislator could serve from 14 to 12, but would let him or her divide those years between the houses as they choose — and would grandfather current officeholders so people like Don Perata and Fabian Nunez could serve another term. The governor’s own party this week called Proposition “a self-serving measure, authored by a small group of state legislators seeking to extend their terms in office beyond the limits set by voters in Proposition 140.”
A few recent, choice California political tidbits from other outlets…
From the Washington Post’s Sleuth blog: “Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), through a spokeswoman, now acknowledges she is blocking former Rep. James Rogan’s (R-Calif.) nomination to the federal bench because of his role in impeaching former president Bill Clinton.”
From the Stockton Record: An account of the foreclosure counseling workshop co-sponsored by Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, and Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Atwater, on Saturday in Stockton, which has the highest foreclosure rate among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.
From United Press International: House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee chairman Pete Stark, D-Fremont, says Medicare is overpaying for oxygen.
From Calitics: We’ve got water problems, big-time.
And from the Chronicle’s Politics Blog, an entry from the gifted Joe Garofoli: “Surely you’ve heard that Dennis Hof — owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel near Carson City — has cast the first official whorehouse endorsement of the 2008 presidential campaign when he announced that he’ll back Republican Rep. Ron Paul. Not only that, but he tells The Chronicle of a unique promotion: To those who enter into Hof’s establishment and declare that “I’m pimping for Paul,” Hof will bequeath the services of two bunnies for the price of one. Or double whatever they choose to partake of there. Some of you know the drill.”
Figueroa’s powerful defense of consumer rights has kept telemarketers off the line and insurance companies out of hospital rooms. A California state senator from 1999 to 2006, Figueroa helped create the Healthy Families Program, which has provided health care to more than 500,000 California children. She fought for reform in the insurance industry and wrote the landmark law that gave California patients the right to sue negligent HMOs. But the legislation that won her the most ringing endorsements from just about anyone with a phone is the legislation that created California’s “Do Not Call List,” which prompted the Bush administration to follow her lead with a national “Do Not Call” program.
“When it comes to answering the call to activism, especially for the rights of consumers, Public Citizen is definitely the organization I want on my ‘do call’ list ” Figueroa said. “Joining the board is a natural evolution in my commitment to standing up – and not shutting up – when the voices of citizens must be heard.”
Figueroa, who had chaired the Senate’s Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, was termed out last year; she ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, but finished behind winner John Garamendi and state Senator Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough. In January, state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, named her to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, where she’s earning $114,191 per year through the start of 2011.
Also named to the Public Citizen Foundation’s board was television producer Steve Skrovan, a longtime stand-up comic who wrote for “Seinfeld” and produced “Everybody Loves Raymond;” working with a fellow comic who had found plenty of material in her first job as Public Citizen’s founder Ralph Nader’s office manager, Skrovan co-wrote, produced and directed “An Unreasonable Man,” a documentary about Nader released in 2006.
And named to Public Citizen’s board was David Halperin, a former speechwriter for former President Bill Clinton and presidential candidate Howard Dean who now is senior vice president at the Center for American Progress and the director of Campus Progress, the Center’s effort to help young people make their voices heard.
Former President Bill Clinton will headline a cocktail reception tomorrow night at the Rotunda Building in downtown Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza to raise funds for the presidential campaign of his wife, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY. It’s $500 a head, or $2,300 to get into the VIP reception starting half an hour before the 7 p.m. main event.
Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic party chairman and longtime friend of the Clintons who now is Hillary Clinton’s national campaign chair, told me a few weeks ago that Bill Clinton has an extensive travel schedule set for this fourth quarter, raising funds on his wife’s behalf. “Every day he’s doing something for us,” McAuliffe said, calling the former president “probably the most popular man in the world today.”
UPDATE @ 12:55 P.M. THURSDAY: The Sacramento Bee today reports that voters in California strongly believe former President Bill Clinton should play an active role in his wife’s bid for the White House and also think he would be an asset in a Hillary Clinton administration, a new Field Poll revealed Wednesday. But the poll of 579 registered voters conducted Oct. 11-21 found comparatively lukewarm views on the Democratic Party front-runner herself.
“Initiatives like the Alliance for a Healthier Generation are providing the framework for a healthier America. I am thrilled to join with President Clinton and the American Heart Association because in California we are already doing everything the Alliance supports,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger. “The foundation for a healthy lifetime is built in the habits we learn as youth. They give us the strength and the confidence to achieve more, to feel better and to succeed. These healthy habits can help give our children the future they deserve.”
The dynamic duo today toured Columbia Middle School in El Monte, an award-winning participant in the Alliance Healthy Schools Program which provides both on-site and online support and resources to help schools have healthier food, increase physical activity during and after school, teach nutrition and start school employee wellness programs.
Said Clinton: “Thanks to the leadership at this school, and so many others across the country, students are being given the opportunity to take a critical step forward in learning how to live healthier lives. We know that reducing or eliminating childhood obesity comes down to a very simple formula: helping children reduce the number of calories they consume and increase the number of calories they burn. Here in California, under the Governor’s leadership, you have been committed to making this happen in your schools. When schools like this give students the tools they need to lead a healthier lifestyle, they are helping them make an invaluable investment in their future.”
Schwarzenegger, who in May replaced Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as co-leader of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, today challenged other Governors to enroll the highest percentage of schools in their states in the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program.
The governor’s office says that, second only to tobacco, obesity is a leading cause of preventable death among Californians and costs the state $28.5 billion in health care costs, lost productivity and workers’ compensation.
UPDATE @ 5 P.M. WEDNESDAY: Listen to audio of the event: