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Did Steinberg bawl out Yee in public-records flap?

Did state Senate Democratic leaders call Sen. Leland Yee on the carpet behind closed doors last week after Yee spoke out against their proposal to water down the California Public Records Act?

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says he didn’t dress down Yee; Yee won’t say. But two reliable sources – a good-government policy advocate I talked with last week at Netroots Nation, and a State Capitol expert I talked with today – say that’s exactly what happened.

Darrell SteinbergThey said Steinberg, D-Sacramento, was none too pleased that Yee, D-San Francisco, spoke with me on Friday, June 14 as Thomas Peele and I prepared an article about the budget trailer bills that would’ve let local governments opt out of key parts of the public-records law.

Bad blood between Steinberg and Yee reportedly dates back to their Assembly days, as both jockeyed for leadership positions and influence. In the Senate, Steinberg has stripped Yee’s name from a few bills in recent years – including a 2009 bill to restore funding for domestic violence shelters and a 2010 bill providing relief after the San Bruno explosion – and stripped Yee of his title as assistant pro tem in 2010, in part because Yee opposed the Dems’ budget deal.

So Yee’s public criticism of Steinberg, Budget Committee Chairman Mark Leno and other Democrats who’d voted to water down the Public Records Act shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but Steinberg and other Dems reportedly were miffed nonetheless that Yee had hung them out to dry in public.

“God forbid you vote your conscience and then tell people why,” said the State Capitol expert I talked with today, noting that it would’ve been foolish for anyone to think Yee – a longtime government-transparency activist who’s running for Secretary of State next year – would either vote for the bill or remain silent about it afterward if called by a reporter.

Leland YeeYee wouldn’t discuss it today. “We don’t have any further comment on that matter,” spokesman Dan Lieberman said. “We’re just glad the CPRA is being protected.”

Steinberg spokesman Mark Hedlund said no caucus meeting was convened for the purpose of dressing down Yee; when I asked whether Yee was dressed down during a caucus meeting that was convened for some other purpose, he replied with a simple, “No.”

“Senate Democrats all strongly support the Public Records Act. That support has never waned,” Hedlund said. “What we now have is a fair compromise that offers a short-term solution, while allowing the people of California to constitutionally enshrine CPRA protections and to ensure that state taxpayers don’t pay for what local governments should be doing on their own.”

Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
Under: California State Senate, Darrell Steinberg, Democratic politics, Leland Yee | 4 Comments »

Pertaining to the GOP and strippers

Here is an open letter that Democratic National Committee member and longtime California Democratic Party advisor Bob Mulholland sent yesterday to national and state Republican officials:

Bob Mulholland
Chico, Ca
DNC Member
April 8, 2013

To: Reince Priebus
RNC Chair
Fax (202) 863-8773 (RNC)
Jim Brulte
Ca Republican Party Chair
Fax (916) 266-4580 (Ca Strategies)

They’re Not in Kansas on Wednesday

Just some friendly advice since you have a RNC meeting on Wednesday (9AM) at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, located at 1755 North Highland Ave.

Your meeting is only a 2.3 mile Taxi ride to the Voyeur West Hollywood Club, an erotic bondage-theme sex simulating club, located at 7969 Santa Monica Blvd. in W. Hollywood, so you might want to assign Monitors (or GPS anchor bracelets) on your RNC Members, especially those from Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, etc., if they don’t have their wives with them.

Just ask former RNC Chair, Michael Steele, who tried to explain why the RNC paid $1,946.25 for an “outing” at the Voeur (2/4/10) by RNC people. Never did read if the RNC was reimbursed for that wild night of “relaxation.”

Stick to your meetings and avoid the “extra entertainment” options.

However, if some members need to get out and “experience” a Club, not seen at home in Kansas, Bruce Herschensohn and I would recommend the Seventh Veil at 7180 Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Bruce always thought it was a discreet Club, and less than a mile from your meeting.

Sincerely,

Bob Mulholland

Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Under: Democratic Party, Democratic politics, Republican Party, Republican politics | 1 Comment »

Obama coming to Bay Area for Dem fundraisers

President Barack Obama will headline his first Democratic fundraiser for 2014′s midterm election right here in the Bay Area next month.

The April 3 fundraiser in San Francisco will raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. According to an invitation obtained by The Associated Press, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will also attend.

The White House confirmed Thursday that the president will be in Northern California on April 3 and 4 for fundraising events for both the DCCC and the Democratic National Committee.

My esteemed colleagues at the Chronicle reported last week that the president should expect to be met in San Francisco by protestors urging him to nix the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

The AP reports Democratic officials have said the president plans to headline at least 14 fundraisers this year for the party’s House and Senate candidates. Some of the events will be in Washington, but most will be held around the county.

Congressional Republicans say Obama is more focused on regaining Democratic control of the House in the midterm elections than he is on seeking bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems. Obama disputed that notion during private meetings with lawmakers this week.

Posted on Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Under: Barack Obama, campaign finance, Democratic Party, Democratic politics, Nancy Pelosi, Obama presidency, U.S. House | 5 Comments »

“I only have eyes… for blue…” (Or red)

Don’t tell Mary Matalin and James Carville, but researchers have found that online daters time and time again choose to pursue romantic relationships with people from their own political party and with similar beliefs.

Stanford Graduate School of Business Associate Professor Neil Malhotra and Yale University political science Professor Gregory Huber analyzed thousands of interactions from an online dating website. Their findings, presented last fall in a research paper titled “Political Sorting in Social Relationships,” show political affiliation rivals education level as one of the most important factors in identifying potential mates.

“We underestimate how much politics affects our daily lives,” Malhotra said in a news release issued Monday. “After an election is over, we don’t think about it, but in fact our political affiliations strongly affect other aspects of our lives, such as our romantic choices.”

And that has important implications beyond the households that politically similar individuals may form, he says.

“At the highest levels within our political system, we increasingly see that people are unwilling to work and communicate with each other,” he said. “Simply put, our society has become more and more polarized, and we wanted to explore if political preferences in romantic relationships could begin to explain part of the divide in America.”

So, Democrats – take a Republican out to dinner this Valentine’s Day. You’ll be striking a blow for bipartisan cooperation and the future of the Republic. And hey, you might get lucky, too.

When people pair with individuals of similar political beliefs, their households can become echo chambers that transmit extreme views to the children, Malhotra said. In fact, research shows that children are more moderate if their parents have differing political viewpoints. There is a genetic story at play, as well: Studies of twins demonstrate a genetic predisposition for certain political beliefs, which suggests that offspring of like-minded individuals may be predisposed to more extreme beliefs.

So Malhotra and Huber launched a laboratory experiment in which they presented participants with online dating profiles. Participants evaluated profiles more positively (e.g. had greater interest in dating the targeted individual) when the target had their same political ideology and level of interest in politics. Study participants even found online candidate profiles more physically attractive if they shared similar political beliefs.

Gipper loveTo validate these results, the researchers partnered with an online dating website, which provided the team a unique window to observe people’s beliefs and preferences before they meet and interact in a marriage market. It also provided a wealth of data since, according to a Pew Research study, 74 percent of single Americans seeking partners have used an online dating site.

The team developed a set of seven new questions that users were asked when signing up for the online dating service. The questions measured three different political characteristics: political identity, including party affiliation; issue positions; and political participation. Most users opted to keep their answers to these questions private, meaning that other users could not proactively search for potential mates using these criteria.

Still, after assessing how men and women interacted via the site’s messaging function, Malhotra and Huber found that — in line with the results from the lab study — shared political characteristics increased the messaging rates in statistically significant ways above a baseline rate. Shared partisanship increased messaging rates by 9.5 percent, shared levels of political interest increased messaging rates by 10.7 percent, and shared ideas about how to balance the budget increased messaging rates by 10.8 percent.

These are similar to the messaging boosts found from shared educational background and height; slightly lower than race; and lower than religion. But since political characteristics were not disclosed — unlike these other publicly disclosed characteristics — it shows “how strong the political effect is, and how easy it is for people to pick up on cues about political beliefs,” Malhotra said.

Malhotra said their findings indicate reduced political disagreement within households, which can lead to the rise of political enclaves, which means “partisan polarization could get much worse.”

Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2013
Under: Democratic politics, Republican politics | No Comments »

Mike Honda is no longer a DNC vice chair

After a more-contentious-than-usual election of the Democratic National Committee’s officers, Rep. Mike Honda is no longer a vice-chairman.

The LA Times has a good report on how “chaos reigned for a time as DNC members balked at rubber-stamping a White House-approved list of replacements for several veterans of the pre-Obama era.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., won another term as chairwoman of the national party as expected, but some lower-level offices changed hands. DNC sources tell me Honda, D-San Jose, had wanted to stay on as one of the vice-chairs but stepped aside when he saw the writing on the wall, and freshman Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii – whom Honda was helping raise campaign funds just months ago – now holds the post instead.

“The honor and distinct pleasure of serving for nine years in DNC leadership, at the request of the President and the Democratic Party, is one that I am now thrilled to see bestowed on an increasingly diverse Democratic National Committee helm,” Honda said by email this afternoon.

“Having pounded the political pavement for the President and the Party in over 35 states, I step down as vice-chair deeply satisfied with the diversity of color and creed that has entered our ranks,” he added. “As DNC leaders, we accomplished a great deal in this last decade, leaving Congress, and the White House, more diverse than ever before. The new Democratic leadership aptly reflects the new America and I look forward to working with them, as ardently as ever, to champion and campaign our democratic cause.”

Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
Under: Democratic Party, Democratic politics, Mike Honda, U.S. House | 6 Comments »

Kamala Harris’ speech to the DNC

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has just finished addressing the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Harris – an East Bay native and former San Francisco District Attorney – was an early, ardent supporter of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and he endorsed and campaigned for her as she sought her current office in 2010.

Here’s what she said:

http://youtu.be/yq-Q5-kqfAY

On behalf of the great state of California, I thank you for the honor and the privilege to be here. Let’s get right down to business.

We are here because we love our country, and we firmly believe in the American ideal that our country should work for everyone. That ideal is written into our laws, the rules of the road that create a level playing field in this country. Those are the rules I became attorney general to uphold. And those are the rules Mitt Romney would have us roll back.

He would roll back the rules that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. Roll back the rules that protect the health and safety of women and families. Roll back the rules that prevent the kind of recklessness that got our economy into this mess in the first place.

Well, we’ve all seen what happens when you roll back those rules. What happens are rows of foreclosure signs. What happens are mountains of family debt. What happens is a middle class that’s hurting. That’s what we’ve seen in towns across California and across this country.

Read the rest of Harris’ speech, after the jump…
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Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Democratic Party, Democratic politics, Kamala Harris | 5 Comments »

Tom Steyer’s speech to the DNC

Tom Steyer – co-founder of Advanced Energy Economy, co-senior managing member of Farallon Capital Management and chairman and funder of California’s Yes on Proposition 39 campaign – addressed the 2012 Democratic National Convention tonight in Charlotte, N.C.

Prop. 39 would require every company to use the so-called “single-sales factor” method to calculate their taxes, based on their sales within California. Companies could no longer choose the “triple factor” method, in which half the tax bill is based on California sales and half on property and employees here, allowing firms headquartered elsewhere to pay less. The loophole currently costs the state about $1 billion per year.

But Steyer, 55, of San Francisco, was in Charlotte to talk about President Obama’s long-term economic and energy plans – and to get in a few digs at Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney:

Hello, California. Hello, delegates. Hello, everyone else from America! I’m Tom Steyer. I’m a businessman, a professional investor, and a proud Democrat. I think Mitt Romney and I share the same income bracket— although I guess we’re never going to know. But the reason I’m here tonight is that Mitt Romney and I don’t share the same vision for the future, especially when it comes to energy. You see, this election is a choice—a choice about whether to go backward or forward. And that choice is especially stark when it comes to energy.

Take Mitt Romney’s approach. Governor Romney would do nothing to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and much to increase it. He would gut President Obama’s investments in clean energy. He wants to keep giving four billion taxpayer dollars to oil companies every year—the very same oil companies pouring millions into the outside groups backing his campaign.

Or we could follow President Obama’s long-term plan for the future for an economy fueled by a safe, secure, sustainable energy supply. During the last several years, we’ve seen tremendous progress on new technologies that can make us energy independent and create thousands of jobs. This is about investing for the long haul, not for a quick-and-dirty buck. This is about taking control of our destiny by doing what Americans do best: out-innovating, out-thinking, out-hustling our competitors. And President Obama has put us on track to do just that—making investments for the long term.

Read the rest of Steyer’s speech, after the jump…
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Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Democratic Party, Democratic politics | 1 Comment »

Assembly Speaker John Perez’s DNC speech

Fresh from the end of a contentious legislative session, California Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, addressed the 2012 Democratic National Convention tonight in Charlotte, N.C.

http://youtu.be/72Y9g5TGRz0

Good evening Democrats! I am so honored to join you tonight.

Certainly, this close to the election much of our attention is focused on the nuts and bolts of victory—how we’ll prevail in the swing districts and battleground states. But this convention gives us the chance to discuss something much more important than how or where we fight. It gives us the chance to reflect on the question of why we fight.
And the answer to that fundamental question can be summed up in one word — opportunity.

Opportunity is why we fight. Across the country, there are parents who want nothing more than the opportunity to have a job, and the ability to put food on the family table. We fight for them.

In too many states, even some folks who have a job wake up every morning in fear that they will lose that job simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. We fight for them.

On our nation’s campuses, students are seeking the opportunity to go to college, earn a degree, and find a career that will unleash their potential. We fight for them.

Women are fighting for the opportunity that comes with equal pay for equal work, and the respect that comes with having control of their medical decisions. We fight for them.

Inmigrantes de todo el mundo llegan a los Estados Unidos buscando una oportunidad para darles una mejor vida a sus hijos. Nosotros luchamos por ellos.

Read the rest of Perez’s speech, after the jump…
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Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Assembly, Democratic Party, Democratic politics, John Perez | 1 Comment »

Rep. Barbara Lee’s speech to the DNC

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, has just finished her speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.; as a member of the party’s platform drafting committee, she was tapped to speak in delivering that platform.

Here are her remarks as prepared:

I am so pleased I had a role in drafting this remarkable document. It embodies the values we hold dear as Democrats and as Americans. And it sets forth our great President’s vision for our future where together we will reignite the American Dream for ALL.

Because the reality is: four years ago, the American Dream had slipped out of reach for too many. And it had turned into a nightmare for millions.

President Obama changed our course. He invested in our future and put men and women back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges. He raised educational standards, invested in early childhood education and worked to make higher education more affordable for everyone. He invested in clean energy and enacted the broadest tax cut in history — reducing taxes on the middle class to near historic lows. He saved the American auto industry. He produced historic health reform. And he put forward a balanced deficit reduction plan that will put us on sound fiscal footing.

Today, our economy is growing again.

Our platform states that America faces a clear choice: move forward as a nation where everyone has the chance to get ahead, or go back to the same failed ideas that created the crisis in the first place. We will move forward, not backward.

Follow after the jump for the rest of Lee’s speech…
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Posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
Under: Barbara Lee, Democratic Party, Democratic politics, U.S. House | 12 Comments »

Barbara Lee to present platform at convention

Rep. Barbara Lee, along with Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker and retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, have been tapped to present the party’s platform to the 2012 Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Sept. 4 in Charlotte, N.C.

Barbara Lee (Dec-2010)This is the first time that Lee, D-Oakland, has been asked to speak at a Democratic National Convention, and it won’t be lost on anyone that one of the House’s most outspoken liberals is helping to present the party’s statement of core values.

“As a member of the Democratic platform drafting committee, I’m excited about presenting the 2012 platform,” Lee said Friday. “It is a strong document that clearly illustrates the contrasts between our party and the party of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and sets out the vision of how under the leadership of President Obama we can and must move America Forward.”

Lee won’t be the only California presence at the convention’s podium: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is the convention’s chair, and California Attorney General Kamala Harris also is scheduled to speak.

Posted on Friday, August 24th, 2012
Under: Barbara Lee, Democratic Party, Democratic politics, U.S. House | 8 Comments »