Chuck DeVore is done for, too

… as Carly Fiorina emerges as the Republican nominee to take on incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in November. No word from Tom Campbell yet.

DeVore is in Tustin tonight; here are his prepared remarks:

My friends,

I just completed my telephone call to Carly Fiorina, to congratulate her on her victory this evening. She is our party’s nominee. I endorse her. I will support her. I will vote for her. And I call upon all of you to do the same in November.

We traveled a long road to get here. When I started this campaign many months ago, I had the support of my wife, my daughters, and my dog.

And I want to say: Diane, you’ve put up with me for 22 years — through moves, deployments, children and campaigns. You are the best wife and companion I can imagine. I love you.

We started this campaign small. Today, I am sincerely humbled to have received the support of hundreds of thousands of Californians from all walks of life.

But let me remind all of you — this campaign was never about me. It was about conservative principles. It was about our Constitution. I believe we did our honorable part in reminding California why it needs both.

Never doubt that what we did in this campaign mattered, and will matter long after we’re gone. All of you in this room — and all of you who voted for me today — can hold your heads high.

Winston Churchill said it best when he said:

“The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.”

My friends … my fellow Californians … my fellow Americans — If you support me, my campaign is over. But if you support our Constitution and our country — that fight goes on. And I promise you this: I will march with you in that fight, “in the ranks of honour,” to the very end.

God bless you all.


Campbell’s last stand: ‘Only I can beat Boxer’

Former Congressman, Cal business school dean and state finance director Tom Campbell will spend the final week of the Republican U.S. Senate primary emphasizing the fact that polls show he’s the only one who can beat U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in November, he told reporters on a conference call a few minutes ago.

But he’ll be doing so on a shoestring, while the candidate whom the latest poll shows in the lead – former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina – spends heavily on television ads. Campbell, whose campaign coffers are largely tapped out, will spend the week hitting GOP strongholds around the state in search of last-minute contributions and media attention.

A USC/Los Angeles Times poll released over the weekend showed Fiorina at 38 percent, Campbell at 23 percent and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, at 16 percent.

“As an outsider and fiscal conservative, Carly is the candidate who will go to Washington and refuse to become part of what Ronald Reagan once called ‘the Washington buddy system,’ “ Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund had said Saturday. “One-time front runner Tom Campbell has seen his fortunes fade as we predicted because he could run on name identification, but could not run from his 20-year record of support for higher taxes and bigger government.”

But that same poll also showed only Campbell beating Boxer in a hypothetical November match-up, 45 percent to 38 percent; the poll showed Boxer beating Fiorina by 6 percentage points and DeVore by 10. That’s what he’s playing up in a new video, released today, that he hopes will go viral:

“Those who are undecided I think are likely pragmatic voters, and so we make the pragmatic argument: If you want to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer, there’s one candidate who has a very good chance of doing so,” Campbell said on today’s conference call. “I win if I get that message out.”

Campbell also reiterated his history as a fiscal conservative, and highlighted some of the differences between him and Boxer: his support of constitutional limits on spending; his approval of Arizona’s immigration law; his support for trying terrorism suspects in military tribunals and keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention facility open; his opposition to a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and his opposition to confirming Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.

No matter who the nominee turns out to be, the poll held some bad news for Republicans: It showed that Californians overwhelmingly want a senator who’ll support President Barack Obama’s policies. In fact, among decline-to-state voters who’ll be November’s crucial swing vote, a senator backing Obama won the support of 56 percent, compared to 29 percent for a senator who would oppose him.

“Whenever he’s right, I’m with him,” Campbell quipped when asked about this, noting it’s vital for the GOP nominee not to come across as closed-minded.

He cited his support of the Troubled Asset Relief Program instituted by President George W. Bush and continued by President Obama to stabilize the nation’s financial industry in late 2008 and 2009, as well as his record in Congress and the state Senate of seeking solutions across the aisle. “I think those who know my record know I’m interested in finding common ground for the good of the state and the good of the country.”


Campbell outraised Fiorina in recent months

We’re putting together an extensive report for tomorrow’s editions on the campaign finance reports due today, but for now, the breaking news seems to be that Tom Campbell raised more money in the most recent period and had more cash on hand at the period’s end than Carly Fiorina, his rival for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

Campbell reported raising $989,662 since mid-March from April 1 to May 19, with $975,271 cash on hand reported in today’s filing.

“We are continuing to raise money and buy TV airtime for the home stretch,” Campbell spokesperson James Fisfis said in a news release. “Our opponent, Carly Fiorina, is a failed CEO who sent thousands of California jobs overseas. Moreover, she rarely bothered to vote. Tom Campbell will be traveling around California for the next two weeks communicating his message that he is the only Republican in the race who will end Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate career.”

Fiorina reported raising $909,000 (though she also loaned her campaign another $1.1 million), with $620,000 cash on hand as of this filing.

“I am humbled and honored to have received the support of so many dedicated people around California and across the nation,” Fiorina said in a news release. “Recent polling confirms that the hard work our financial supporters, grassroots volunteers and dedicated campaign team members have together invested in the race is paying off. Californians increasingly recognize that I am the Republican candidate best positioned to defeat Barbara Boxer in November. We expect this momentum to continue growing in the final days before the primary election and into the general election this fall.”

We’re still waiting for numbers from the third Republican in the race, Chuck DeVore

UPDATE @ 4:19 P.M.: DeVore raised $520,898 in this period, finishing with $276,614 cash on hand.

UPDATE @ 6:09 P.M.: Fiorina’s campaign hastens to note that she has loaned her campaign another $1.9 million since May 19, the end of the reporting period, so she has plenty of money for significant television advertising between now and the June 8 election. Campbell’s campaign, they note, cancelled its LA-area television ad buy for this weekend.

“As far as we can tell, team Campbell is working their abacus overtime to make it appear as if they have significant funds heading into the final stretch,” said Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund. “But my calculator is telling me their numbers just don’t quite add up.”

So, yes, Fiorina has more money on hand for the final 10 days before the election. Nonetheless, Campbell attracted more in total contributions than Fiorina did during this reporting period.


Let the budget wars begin. Again.

Advocates for the elderly, disabled, poor and others are howling about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May Budget Revision, which among other things would eliminate CalWORKS, the state’s welfare-to-work program, as well as most child care for the poor; slash mental-health spending by 60 percent; and freeze funding for schools, but not raise any taxes.

But business groups are fine with it. From John Kabateck, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)/California, on behalf of Californians Against Higher Taxes:

John Kabateck“We are thankful to Governor Schwarzenegger for making the tough decisions on this budget that will give California a fighting chance to pull out of this recession. By resisting calls for more tax increases, the Governor is leaving more money in the hands of those who create jobs and build businesses as well as the working families hit so hard by this downturn in the economy.

“This is the only way to reduce the state’s alarming unemployment rate and it is a healthy, robust economy that will provide the tax revenues to fund critical programs. We urge the Legislature to follow the Governor’s lead and help put California on the road to recovery.”

And from California Manufacturers & Technology Association President Jack Stewart:

Jack Stewart“Californians are out of work and worried about their long-term security while many manufacturers, especially small ones, are concerned about their long-term competitiveness. The Governor’s ‘no new tax increases’ announcement in his revised state budget proposal is a responsible step toward the state’s recovery.

“California’s budget focus must shift from extracting dollars from families and employers to putting people back to work in high wage jobs. Everyone wins when more Californians are working.”

Not so, contends California Budget Project Executive Director Jean Ross, whose nonpartisan nonprofit group advocates for fiscal reforms to benefit low and moderate income Californians:

Jean Ross“Largely because of the economic downturn, California once again faces a very difficult budget year. But the Governor’s May Revision is not the balanced, responsible approach called for at this critical time. It relies too heavily on proposed cuts, threatens the state’s economic recovery, and recklessly gambles with our future. It pulls the rug out from under families already struggling with double-digit unemployment rates and the worst economic crisis this country has seen since the Great Depression and would leave the state ill-prepared to compete in an ever more competitive global economy.

“The Governor’s proposals cut far past the muscle and into the bones of our state’s safety net – the health care, job placement, child care assistance, and other services Californians have turned to in greater numbers for help during the recent downturn. The Governor’s proposed cuts to public schools would further reduce the state’s commitment to education below that of the nation as a whole, a gap that is wider than at any point in the last 40 years.

“Instead, California needs a thoughtful and responsible budget, one that takes a balanced approach that includes more federal aid and prudent and carefully targeted cuts that preserve the core capacity of services. And in the same way that families unable to make ends meet work overtime or take an additional job to boost their incomes, California needs to bring in new revenues. Protecting our public services will ensure we can meet the needs of Californians now and pave the way for an economic recovery.”

A sampling of further back-and-forth, after the jump…
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Food-stamps-for-felons bill draws DeVore’s ire

An East Bay Assemblyman’s bill to let drug felons get food stamps after their release from prison passed the Assembly floor today, but not without taking some heat from a lawmaker seeking higher office.

The Assembly voted 42-23 to approve AB 1756, the Transitional Assistance for Re-Entry Programs Act, by Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda. Existing federal law permanently bars drug-related felons from receiving food-stamp benefits, but allows states to opt out of the ban through legislative action; that’s what this bill would do. Elsewhere, 14 states have eliminated the ban entirely, and 21 have modified the ban so those with certain drug felony convictions can get food stamps and cash assistance.

Said Swanson:

“California currently spends over $8 billion on prisons, and spending is on track to surpass the higher education budget within the next four years. We cannot begin to address this problem without implementing programs that help former offenders successfully re-enter society.

“If a person’s most critical needs are not met when they re-enter society after being in prison, they won’t be able to successfully return to their communities. In fact, without basic support, many of them will be inclined to return to criminal activity and drug use instead of attaining sobriety and gainful employment. The recidivism rate in California is at an astonishing 70 percent. It is hypocritical for the Legislature to say we are interested in stemming the spiraling prison population while we continue to release prisoners without addressing some of their most basic needs upon re-entry.

“California’s restrictive policies are inhibiting its access to federal monies. AB 1756 will tap into more of these federal funds, which will support agriculture, sales tax revenue, reduce the state’s recidivism rate, and provide fundamental services to families.”

But Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine – a candidate vying for the GOP nomination next month to challenge U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in November – voted and spoke against the bill, calling it Democrats’ most recent attempt to weaken welfare-reform measures signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton.

“Giving felony-level drug dealers government funds with no strings attached undermines the very concept of holding them accountable for their actions,” DeVore said in his news release. “With just 12% of the nation’s population residing here, California is home to 32% of the welfare recipients in the United States. We should be encouraging Californians to become self-reliant, not enlarging the welfare rolls with convicted felons. Each dollar given to drug felons is a dollar that could go to an out of work family with children to care for.”

The bill now goes to the state Senate.


More Boxer: Campaign cash and the court

The full word is in on President Barack Obama’s visit to San Francisco later this month to raise money for U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s re-election campaign and for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the word is “ch-ching!!!”

The tickets to the cocktail reception at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at the Fairmont Hotel atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill cost $250, $500 or $2,000 each, depending on where you want to stand or sit. But the big money will come at the 5:30 p.m. photo reception and dinner at the home of billionaire oil heir Gordon Getty and his wife, Ann, where it’ll be $35,200 per couple. The fundraisers make a point of noting an individual can give as much as $45,200 to California Senate 2010 while a couple can give as much as $90,400, so they’re clearly aiming for the deepest of the deep pockets.

How does that big money get broken down? The fine print says “(t)he first $4,800 of each contribution from a person will be allocated to the Friends of Barbara Boxer. The first $2,400 of each contribution will be considered designated for the primary election; the second $2,400 will be considered designated for the general election. The next $30,400 of each contribution from a person will be allocated to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Inc. The next $10,000 of each contribution from a person will be allocated to the Democratic State Central Committee of California-Federal. Any contributor may designate his or her contribution for a particular participant.”

Meanwhile, Boxer had nothing but praise today for the president’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Solicitor General and former Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan:

“I congratulate Solicitor General Elena Kagan on her nomination to the United States Supreme Court.

“From what I have seen thus far, Elena Kagan understands the fundamental promise of our Constitution, which is equality, justice and fairness for all Americans. She has a proven ability to reach across ideological lines, which is so important so we can build consensus.

“Elena Kagan has broken barriers throughout her career – as the first female dean of Harvard Law School, the first female Solicitor General and potentially the fourth woman to sit on the Supreme Court. Her confirmation would be historic, marking the first time that three female Justices have served together on the nation’s highest court.

“I look forward to learning more about Solicitor General Kagan’s views and record during her confirmation hearing.”

Meanwhile, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina – one of the candidates vying for the GOP nomination in June to challenge Boxer in November – was sounding the alarm:

“The American people should have the confidence that the next member of the Supreme Court will impartially serve and work to uphold the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench. It is crucial that the Senate Judiciary Committee subject Ms. Kagan to a rigorous confirmation process so that we can learn more about her background, views and the approach she would take to adherence to the Constitution as a member of our nation’s highest court. Given Ms. Kagan’s brief litigation experience, lack of any judicial experience and in light of some of the information publicly available about her record, the Senate must ensure a confirmation process that is fair, tough and includes a close examination of her career, writings and public statements.

“While I will reserve judgment as to whether or not I will support Ms. Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court until the public vetting and confirmation process has been completed, I do find some of the available information about her past record troubling. Specifically, the extent to which her effort to keep military recruiters off Harvard’s campus was motivated by her own political views rather than by following the law of the land may indicate a potential activist mentality I do not believe is appropriate for the Court.

“The job of a U.S. senator is to advise and consent to the nominations to the Supreme Court made by the President. In deciding to support or oppose a nomination as a member of the U.S. Senate, I would require a record showing adherence to the Constitution and proof the nominee would not use the bench to legislate or attempt to interpret the Constitution based on his or her own political philosophy.”

The other GOP candidates for U.S. Senate, Tom Campbell and Chuck DeVore, are similarly unimpressed, according to the Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli.