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Wednesday’s RNC video highlights

Former presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee:

Former presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney:

Former presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani:

And I’ll add vice presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as soon as I can find clean video…

UPDATE @ 8:26 A.M. THURSDAY: Sorry for the long delay… here we are:

Posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
Under: Elections, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Republican Party, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin | No Comments »

Obama leads statewide student mock vote

Preliminary results of the 2008 MyVote California student mock election — involving more than 240,000 students from 450 middle and high schools across the state — show Barack Obama and John McCain are the picks of the next generation of voters.

Launched in November by Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, MyVote California is a hands-on civic engagement project for high school students that culminated in the statewide mock election, held this week.

bowen.gif“The MyVote mock election wasn’t just about taking the political pulse of California students; it was about engaging them in our democracy,” Bowen said in a news release. “I wanted to see how students would feel about issues that would directly affect their lives and their wallets, which is why MyVote included three simulated ballot initiatives dealing with issues that legislators are actually grappling with today.”

Students received one ballot that listed all 48 of the candidates certified for this election; the students then chose only one candidate. Students had the option of voting for a candidate in any of the state’s six recognized political parties, and apparently tilted heavily toward the Democratic side.

Barack Obama got 35.1 percent of the total presidential vote (27,845 votes, which is 55.6 percent of those who voted Democratic); Hillary Clinton got 22.5 percent of the total (17,813, or 35.6 percent of Democratic voters); and John Edwards got 3.7 percent of the total (2,945, or 5.9 percent of the Democratic voters).

John McCain got 4.8 percent of the total vote (3,773 votes, or 29.9 percent of those voting Republican); Mike Huckabee got 3.6 percent of the total (2,822 votes, or 20.1 percent of the Republican voters); and Rudy Giuliani got 3.0 percent of the total (2,345 votes, or 15.2 percent of the Republican voters).

The first ballot measure asked, “Should the registration fee that every car or truck owner is required to pay each year be based, in part, on the amount of pollution the vehicle emits?” The results: 45 percent (28,341) said yes, while 55 percent (34,665) said no.

The second ballot measure asked, “Should every eligible citizen be required to vote?” The results: 40.4 percent (25,232) said yes, while 59.6 percent (37,204) said no.

And the third ballot measure asked, “Should people who use e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging and the social networks to bully or harass others be allowed to do so as part of their constitutionally protected right to free speech?” The results: 41.4 percent (26,474) said yes, while 58.6 percent (37,529) said no.

“Some California high school seniors will cast their first ballots next week and many more students will become voters by the November general election,” Bowen said. “The MyVote mock election gives the next generation of California voters hands-on exposure to our democracy, and I hope they’re inspired to make voting the habit of a lifetime.’’

These preliminary results are based on returns from 280 of the 450 schools participating in MyVote. Complete Mock Election results are available on the Secretary of State’s MyVote California Web site, and will be updated as schools report their results.

Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Debra Bowen, Elections, General, Hillary Clinton, Jack O'Connell, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani | 1 Comment »

How powerful is Arnold’s endorsement?

Oh, sure, he’s the governator, an international superstar, a guy who made a mockery of Democrats’ voter registration edge twice. The Associated Press story says Schwarzenegger’s endorsement of John McCain tomorrow in Los Angeles is “giving a certain boost to the Republican presidential front-runner six days before California’s high-prize primary” and is “yet another setback for Mitt Romney.”

But consider a few things:

    (1.)Survey USA says the governor’s approval rating is at 47 percent, after having lingered in the 50s for all but one month since his November 2006 re-election. (The Field Poll put that number considerably higher in December, at 60 percent, so maybe this isn’t much of a consideration; on the other hand, that was before we were staring at a $14.5 billion deficit and 10 percent across-the-board budget cuts.)
    (2.)The California Republican primary is closed, meaning only registered Republicans can vote — no independents. And although this is a presidential year and turnout is expected to be high, closed party primaries tend to represent that party’s true believers, the ideological core, and less so the moderates. Yet both Schwarzenegger and McCain have made careers out of trying to secure not only their own party’s voters, but unaffiliated ones as well. (Of course, a closed primary didn’t seem to stop McCain from clinching Florida.)
    (3.)Some elements of the Republican Party are not so happy with Schwarzenegger right now. He has endorsed Proposition 93, the term-limits reform measure on next week’s ballot which his party staunchly opposes. He favors abortion rights, and although he has twice vetoed gay marriage, he has signed a slew of bills granting rights to domestic partners. Some have never been happy with his choice of advisers, including a Democratic chief of staff. Remember, Arnold Schwarzenegger has never had to win a Republican primary — he was elected in the raucous recall of 2003, and had no primary challenger in 2006.

Do I believe Schwarznegger will bring some votes McCain’s way? Yes. I’m quite sure any candidate would prefer to have this endorsement rather than see an opponent get it.

I also believe McCain will win in California; the latest polls show he has a substantial lead over Romney and Mike Huckabee, and most of the people who were planning on voting for Rudy Giuliani are more likely to migrate to McCain than to either of the others. California’s GOP primary isn’t winner-take-all — rather than the statewide popular vote winner getting all of the state’s delegates, the candidates are competing in each and every Congressional district; the winner in each district gets three delegates — that’s 159 — and then the statewide winner gets 11 more. I’m sure Romney and maybe even Huckabee might walk off with a few, but I’m betting McCain will get the lion’s share.

All I’m sayin’ is, maybe Arnold isn’t the powerful people-mover he once was — maybe his endorsement is far from making a big difference.

Posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
Under: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elections, General, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »

Giuliani is pulling the plug

From the Washington Post, regarding John McCain‘s big win in Florida today:

giuliani.jpgFormer New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, whose status as “America’s Mayor” catapulted him to the head of the GOP field for most of last year, finished third. His speech to supporters had the feel of a goodbye, and top aides said he plans to drop out Wednesday and endorse McCain in California ahead of a debate there.

Speaking in Orlando as tears ran down his staffers’ faces, Giuliani said: “I’m proud that we chose to stay positive and run a campaign of ideas. We ran a campaign that was uplifting. You don’t always win but you can always try to do it right.”

Ouch, that’s gotta hurt (though it can’t be too surprising, given how Giuliani’s “Florida or bust” strategy clearly wasn’t working out in recent weeks) for America’s Mayor’s staunchest supporters here in California: former Giuliani subordinate and 2002 gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon; Silicon Valley venture capital mogul E. Floyd Kvamme; Hoover Institution senior fellow Abraham Sofaer; an array of California businesspeople; some Bay Area folks who were advising him on health care; and others.


No, there’s no good reason for me to be re-running this photo from last March. I just like the hand gesture.

Posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2008
Under: Elections, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »

California GOP primary field in disarray

From the new Field Poll:

During the past month, there has been a complete reordering of candidate preferences among Republicans likely to vote in California’s February 5th primary election. Four weeks ago, Rudy Giuliani stood atop the field at 25%, followed by Mike Huckabee at 17%.

Now, John McCain, who was in fourth position in December, has vaulted to first place with 22%, just ahead of Mitt Romney, who is now in second place, with 18%.

Support for Giuliani has plummeted to 11% in the current poll, putting him in a tie with Huckabee for third place, just ahead of Fred Thompson (9%) and Ron Paul (7%).

The proportion of GOP voters who are undecided has grown to 21% and is nearly equivalent to that of frontrunner McCain.

These are the findings from the latest Field Poll of 377 likely voters in California’s February 5th Republican primary for President.

Read the whole shebang right here.

Posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
Under: Elections, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »

Brace yourselves for the next four weeks…

…because you’re gonna be phone-banked, direct-mailed, door-knocked, robo-called and television-advertised like never before until our Feb. 5 presidential primary election.

Democrat Hillary Clinton‘s win over Barack Obama (39 percent to 36 percent, with John Edwards a distant third at 17 percent) in New Hampshire last night — unexpected by all the polls conducted in recent days — along with Republican John McCain‘s more predictable foreseeable victory means this race is wide open, with the Nevada caucuses coming Jan. 19, the South Carolina primary Jan. 26, the Florida primary Jan. 29 and the nearly two dozen states holding elections Feb. 5. And the spin is in full tilt-a-whirl mode now.

“Coming off an impressive win in Iowa and taking the once inevitable frontrunner down to the wire in her firewall state, it is clear that Obama is well-positioned to become the next President of the United States,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said this morning.

“Momentum is clearly in our side,” said Clinton national campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe. “Voters across the country are going to see what New Hampshire voters saw.”

How’s it stacking up? Nevada’s polls, now way out of date, showed Clinton way ahead, but Obama today picked up the endorsement of the state’s Service Employees International Union and later today might get the nod from the more politically powerful Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas — endorsements which could be key in getting voters out to the caucus sites. Those same outdated polls showed Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney — neither of whom did well in Iowa or New Hampshire — in a dead heat, but don’t bet on that being the case when the votes are counted.

In South Carolina, recent polls have shown Obama leading Clinton with Edwards a distant third — but so did New Hampshire’s. You’ve gotta wonder if the Bradley effect — the idea that white voters are quicker to say they’ll vote for a non-white candidate than to actually cast the ballot — will play an even more profound role in South Carolina than in New Hampshire. On the GOP side, polls show Mike Huckabee doing well there (perhaps on the strength of that state’s concentration of evangelical Christian voters) but watch for McCain, buoyed by New Hampshire, to stage a surge here.

Then comes Florida, where Clinton and Rudy Giuliani seem to rule their roosts. And after that: Feb. 5, when California, New York and Illinois will lead a slew of other states in effectively picking the nominees.

So we’re gonna get all that attention we craved, in spades. The Obama campaign will be holding a news conference outside San Francisco City Hall later today to announce a new list of endorsements, including House Education & Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez. Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will be out working the Mission District for Clinton. Game on!

Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Elections, General, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »

California’s voting has begun

Well, I’m back after a week of vacation, and what did I miss? Oh, not much: The state Senate’s President Pro Tem got carjacked; a powerful Bay Area Congressman and committee chairman announced his illness and impending retirement; Obama won Iowa; etc. A slow week by all accounts.

OK, maybe the vacation was a bit ill-timed. But we’ll put that all behind us, as today marks the start of absentee voting in California!

The Golden State’s presidential frontrunners — Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani — are excited, perhaps particularly given their less-then-stellar performances in Iowa (Hillary in third place among Democrats, Giuliani a distant sixth among Republicans). After all, California absentee ballot voters comprise more than 40 percent of the overall primary vote, and the state has a tremendous percentage of the delegates needed to win the nominations.

Clinton supporters including Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (a national campaign co-chair), other state lawmakers and California campaign senior staffers will gather in Sacramento in about 15 minutes to discuss “a plan that will ensure a victory for Senator Clinton on February 5, 2008.” Over the weekend, they sent out a memo claiming “our ground game, grassroots organization, and volunteer network throughout the 58 counties are unmatched and will allow us to remain strong.”

Meanwhile, this from Bill Simon, Rudy Giuliani’s California Chairman:

For the first time in years, California Republicans will play a pivotal role in determining who the Presidential nominee will be for their party. The voters in California begin to be heard today, as absentee voting starts in the state. As Republicans cast their ballots, I urge voters to choose the only true fiscal conservative in the race and the man whose tested leadership brought the country together in a time of crisis — Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Remember, vote-by-mail ballots must be received by an elections official no later than the close of polls — that’s 8 p.m. on primary election day, Feb. 5. You can mail it in or return it in person to any polling place in your county or to the county elections office on Election Day; if illness or physical disability prevents you from returning the ballot yourself, you can designate a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, or a person residing in the same household to return the ballot to the elections official or the precinct board at any polling place within the jurisdiction.

Posted on Monday, January 7th, 2008
Under: Elections, Fabian Nunez, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »

Presidential campaign Christmas ad roundup

Republican Mike Huckabee:

Democrat John Edwards:

Two from Republican Rudy Giuliani:

Democrat Barack Obama:

Republican Ron Paul:

Democrat Hillary Clinton:

Republican John McCain:

Posted on Monday, December 24th, 2007
Under: Barack Obama, Elections, General, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »

Upcoming Bay Area political events


  • California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, has two Bay Area speaking engagements this Monday, Dec. 10. First, at 1 p.m., he’ll give a Harris Seminar Brown Bag Lunch Talk at Cal’s Institute of Governmental Studies, 119 Moses Hall, free and open to the public. Then, at 6 p.m., he’ll be part of the Commonwealth Club of California‘s panel discussion on immigrant health care; this’ll be in the club’s office on the second floor of 595 Market St. (at Second) in San Francisco, free for club members, $18 for nonmembers, $7 for students.
  • giuliani.jpgRepublican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has a fundraising reception scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Woodside home of Woodside Hotels and Resorts CEO Katherine Alden — $1,500 per person, $2,300 per couple. Then, on Tuesday morning, he has a fundraising breakfast scheduled for 8 a.m. at the home of Behrman Capital managing partner Bill Matthes and his wife, Leigh, in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights; this one’s $2,300 a plate. RSVP for either to Jane Clark, 707-933-9000 or
  • senatorclinton.jpgBillionaire investor Warren Buffett hosts a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the San Francisco Hilton; it’s $100 for a limited number of students or those under 30, $250 for a regular ticket, $1,000 for preferred seating, and $2,300 for a VIP Lunch with Buffett and Clinton. A similar event that the Berkshire Hathaway chairman hosted in June in New York City reportedly raised about $1 million for Clinton.
  • gravel.jpgThe Commonwealth Club will host Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska, at noon Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Le Petit Trianon Theater, 72 N. Fifth St. in San Jose; $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers. Says the club’s Web site: “From his advocacy for a universal health-care system to the support of a guest worker program, learn more about how Gravel plans to be the ‘Man for America.'”
  • romney.jpgRepublican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a fundraising double-header scheduled for Friday, Dec. 14.: first, a 12:30 p.m. luncheon at the Oakville home of vintner H. William Harlan and his wife, Deborah; then, a 5:30 p.m. reception at the San Francisco home of investment banker Michael Whitman and his wife, Sandra. Both events are $1,000 a head, $2,300 with a photo op; RSVP to Kristin Hueter at 510-420-1199.
  • Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2007
    Under: Assembly, Elections, Fabian Nunez, Hillary Clinton, Immigration, Mike Gravel, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »

    VC partners endorse Giuliani, Clinton

    kvamme.jpgSilicon Valley mogul E. Floyd Kvamme told reporters on a conference call just now that Rudy Giuliani — who’ll be in the Bay Area early next week — would be the business-friendly president the valley desires.

    “The valley is a very globally thinking kind of economy,” he said. “The mayor talks a lot about that… competitiveness in improving our picture.”

    Kvamme — a partner emeritus at high-tech venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — said Giuliani wants to roll back government regulation that forces business overseas, but also is “very committed to the whole issue of workforce generation and education… Most of us here in the valley believe that more choice in the (school) system would be good for the system.”

    On immigration, “the mayor is the one person who can sort out this issue, because its a big one and he lived in it for a number of years” but also because he understands total, comprehenisve reform may not be the appropriate, immediate goal if Silicon Valley wants to continue attracting the best and brightest from around the world. And on energy, Kvamme said, Giuliani “has recognized that on the electricity front, the cleanest electricity going is nuclear power” and opposes raising taxes on U.S. oil production.

    Giuliani is “taking California very seriously — he has been here a ton of times,” Kvamme said. “People are excited about his candidacy and I think he’s going to do extremely well in California.”

    doerr.jpgIncidentally, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner John Doerr and his wife, environmental advocate Ann Doerr, today announced their support of Hillary Clinton, citing her “forward-looking agenda in energy, innovation, healthcare and the economy” and her “experience, judgment and leadership to strengthen America’s standing in the world.”

    Just as Kvamme is a longtime GOP figure — high-tech advisory positions in the administrations of President George W. Bush and former Gov. Pete Wilson; a stint as chairman of a Bill Bennett-founded conservative think tank; giving, with his wife, at least $122,000 to Republican causes in the 2004 cycle, $252,000 in 2000 — the Doerrs were big-time Al Gore supporters in ’00 and gave $428,000 to Democratic causes in ’04. John Doerr had endorsed Joe Lieberman in 2003 but quickly fell in line behind John Kerry post-nomination in 2004.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007
    Under: Al Gore, Democratic Party, Elections, General, Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, President Bush, Republican Party, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »