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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.

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Boxer hopes to save the whales

boxer.jpgU.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., led seven other Senators in sending a letter today to Ryozo Kato, Japan’s ambassador to the U.S., urging Japan to reconsider a hunt in which Japanese whalers are expected to hunt about 1,000 whales, including some vulnerable and endangered species.

“(W)e join the growing chorus of world leaders and environmental experts in asking Japan to reconsider its decision to conduct this hunt, or, at a minimum, significantly scale back its scope. We also ask that Japan immediately cease the killing of both humpback and fin whales, and only employ non-lethal techniques for studying these populations. By pursuing these actions, Japan can continue to make significant scientific contributions, while conserving and protecting these important species.”

Read the whole letter, after the jump… Continue Reading

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Activists pressure Lieberman on Iran

Hunger-striking North Bay activist Leslie Angeline was arrested yesterday morning for refusing to leave the Capitol Hill office of U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., whom she says is advocating a military strike on Iran. Here’s a video shot by a member of the phalanx of CodePink protesters who accompanied Angeline:

Angeline, 50, of Santa Rosa, had fainted in Lieberman’s office a few weeks ago and was briefly hospitalized.

Lieberman this morning joined with three Republican Senators to introduce an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act “confronting the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran over its proxy attacks on American soldiers in Iraq,” according to Lieberman’s news release:

The amendment details the publicly available evidence put forward over the past year by General David Petraeus, commanding general of Multi-National Force Iraq, and others about Iran’s violent and destabilizing activities in Iraq.

The amendment states that “the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces by a foreign government or its agents is an intolerable act of hostility against the United States,” and demands the government of Iran “take immediate action” to end all forms of support it is providing to Iraqi militias and insurgents. The amendment also mandates a regular report on Iran’s anti-coalition activity in Iraq.

“For many months, our military commanders and diplomats have warned us that the Iranian government has been training, equipping, arming, and funding proxies in Iraq who are murdering our troops,” said Senator Lieberman. “This amendment is a common sense, common ground statement of the Senate to Tehran: we know what you are doing, and you must stop.”

Watch Lieberman talking about the amendment today on the Senate floor here.

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She’ll be waiting for Snoop Dogg’s set

boxer.jpgSenate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., will watch tomorrow’s Live Earth concerts — a 24-hour series of concerts in nine cities on seven continents, expected to be viewed by 2 billion people, calling attention to the issue of global warming — from her Oakland home, she told reporters this morning.

“Yes, I’m going to watch everything that I can,’’ she said. “For me the most important thing is action, I’ve got to get the votes out of my committee — I’m going to watch the party, but boy I have a lot of work ahead of me.”

Boxer said she approaches the issue “with hope, not fear.”

“Just six months ago few would’ve predicted that meaningful action on global warming was possible in this Congress,” she said, yet an unrelenting stream of scientific evidence and expert testimony has “begun to build the consensus that I was so hopeful for when I took the gavel.”

U.S. Sen. John Warner, R-Va., and U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., last week announced they’ll collaborate to draft an economy-wide global warming bill that includes a cap-and-trade program, she noted — a bipartisan effort that could finally kick the federal government into gear on an issue for which hundreds of cities and dozens of states already have committed to action. “People all over the world realize action on global warming is needed now … and Americans are far ahead of our government.”

On the same conference call, MoveOn.org Political Action Executive Director Eli Pariser said the hubbub around Live Earth is adding up to his group’s biggest series of events since the 2004 presidential election. Tens of thousands of Americans will attend MoveOn-organized house parties tomorrow, and with help from partner organization Avaaz.org, almost 10,000 such parties are expected to be held worldwide.

Previously scheduled for eight cities but nixed from the nation’s capital by Republican critics, Live Earth will have a show in Washington, D.C., after all: a last-minute affair at the National Museum of the American Indian, kicked off tomorrow morning by country music stars Garth Brooks — upon whom global-warming guru Al Gore reportedly prevailed upon personally to give an out-of-retirement performance — and Trisha Yearwood.

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Bay Area activist faints in Lieberman’s office

CodePink activist Leslie Angeline, 50, of Santa Rosa, fainted today during the 15th day of her hunger strike protesting the continued refusal of U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., to meet with her.

She launched the effort earlier this month after Lieberman appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and said “I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq.” Angeline, who’d recently returned from Iran as part of a delegation organized by the human-rights group Global Exchange, has said she’s determined to prevent a U.S. war against Iran.

The Hill reported Angeline was being treated for dehydration at George Washington University Hospital. Lieberman’s staff has not yet responded to my e-mailed request for a comment.

UPDATE @ 5:30 P.M. THURSDAY: Here’s the video of Angeline that CodePink just posted to YouTube:

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A delicate U.S. Senate majority?

lieberman.jpgU.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., tells Politico he has no immediate plans to switch parties — thus handing control of the Senate to the GOP — but suggested that Democratic opposition to funding the war in Iraq might change his mind. And he tells Time magazine he might vote Republican for President in 2008, “a not-so-veiled hint that he would prefer John McCain, his fellow true believer in the Iraq war, to most, perhaps all, Democratic alternatives.”

That’s gotta hurt for senators Tom Carper, D-Del.; Mary Landrieu, D-La.; Ben Nelson, D-Neb.; Mark Pryor, D-Ark.; and Ken Salazar, D-Colo., all of whom continued to endorse Lieberman last year after he’d lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont and declared himself an independent candidate in November’s general election. At least U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. — who took heat from the Bay Area and beyond for endorsing someone so hawkish on the Iraq war — switched her support to Lamont in the general election after having gone to Connecticut to stump for Lieberman in the primary.

As for the Democratic presidential contenders, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.; U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.; U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.; 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee and former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack all did as Boxer did, supporting Lieberman in the primary, but then supporting Lamont as the Democratic nominee in November. So on a personal level, you can see why he’s not in a rush to endorse any of them, but from a party standpoint, he’s not exactly burnishing his Democratic bona fides.