Mike Gravel coming to Walnut Creek



Former president candidate and Democratic U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel, of Alaska, is the keynote speaker at the Feb. 4 meeting of the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center.

Gravel will talk about Wikileaks, the famous or infamous, depending on your point of view, Web site where thousands of secret U.S. documents have been posted.

Read on for for the Peace Center’s news release. Continue Reading


Poll: Palin ‘top villian,’ Hillary’s ‘3 a.m.’ top ad

Some results from a poll of Campaigns & Elections’ Politics magazine subscribers:

Who would you say was the “Best Villain” of the 2008 election?

  • Sarah Palin 23%
  • Joe Lieberman 17%
  • John Edwards 16%
  • Michelle Bachmann 7%
  • Rudy Giuliani 6%
  • Ron Paul 5%
  • Elizabeth Dole 4%
  • Barack Obama 4%
  • John McCain 3%
  • Other 12%
  • Don’t Know 3%
  • Which of the following political advertisements would you say was the “Best TV spot” of the 2008 election?

  • Hillary Clinton – “3 AM” 31%
  • Barack Obama – “The Moment” 24%
  • John McCain – “Celebrity” 11%
  • Mike Huckabee – “Chuck Norris Approved” 9%
  • Bill Richardson – “Job Interviews” 7%
  • Mitt Romney – “Experience Matters” 3%
  • Republican National Committee – “Storm” 3%
  • Mike Gravel – “Throws a Rock in a Lake” 1%
  • Other 4%
  • Don’t Know 6%
  • Continue Reading


    The Gravel Video Library, explained!

    I just talked to Mike Gravel again a few minutes ago. The former U.S. Senator from Alaska, who spent Tuesday evening in Berkeley, got 6,606 votes Tuesday in California, finishing dead last – behind five candidates no longer in the race – with 0.16 percent of the vote. But the returns don’t interest him.

    “I haven’t watched anything. That gives you an idea how much credence I put into the whole process,” he said.

    I’d called him today to get an answer to a question I’d failed to ask when I saw him last night, a burning question I’m sure has haunted political wonks and YouTube junkies from coast to coast: What’s the deal with those bizarre campaign videos?

    “The metaphor for the rock is very simple: You focus on something you want to do with your life, you go do it, you hope it has an effect on someone – that’s the ripples – and then you go off to your demise,” he told me. “Kids got this, young people got this metaphor in the heartbeat – it’s the super-duper big pundits who don’t understand it.”

    OK, sorry.

    Gravel said the metaphor for the campfire clip is that you go out into the world and collect wisdom (the firewood) and you kindle a fire with it to share light and heat with the rest of humanity.

    And the bike-and-dog clip? “Don’t feel bad, I don’t think I get it still,” he admitted.

    In fact, he said, he came up with the metaphors for the first two clips only after they’d been filmed by Matt and Gus, a pair of 24-year-olds from Los Angeles who’d convinced Gravel to take part in their film project.


    The Gravel Video Library, Vol. 1

    As I’d reported earlier, Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel will be in Berkeley tonight watching the Super Tuesday returns roll in. I’ll be going up to have a chat with him, hopefully both to blog tonight and for a story in tomorrow’s edition of the Trib.

    Meanwhile, I thought we should document some of the more — ahem — creative Web campaigning we’ve seen in a while. Ladies and gentlemen, the Gravel collection:


    Election Night events abound

    If you want to party Tuesday night with like-minded Republicans or Democrats as the election returns roll in, there are plenty of opportunities in the East Bay for political companionship.

    Here’s a list:

    EAST BAY DEMOCRATS will meet at the Pyramid Ale House, 1410 Locust Street in Walnut Creek starting at 4 p.m. Supporters of all Democratic candidates are welcome.

    SUPPORTERS OF GOP candidate and Ariz. Sen. John McCain will watch election results together at the Hop Yard Restaurant and Pub, 3015-H Hopyard Road, in Pleasanton starting at 7:30 p.m. RSVP to Jeff Elfont at 925-426-9600.

    SUPPORTERS OF GOP candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will gather at PJ Livingston Co., 7060 Koll Center Parkway, No. 334, in Pleasanton starting at 6 p.m.

    CONTRA COSTA COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY will have a returns-watch party for members of the Central Committee at the home of county Chairman Tom Del Beccaro. Call 925-930-9551 for details.

    CALIFORNIA YOUNG DEMOCRATS meet at Jillian’s at the Metreon, 101 4th Street/Mission Street, San Francisco, 6 p.m.-11 p.m.

    DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE MIKE GRAVEL will be at Spud’s Pizza, 3290 Adeline (@ Alcatraz) in Berkeley from 6-9 p.m. (He’s the only actual candidate expected to be in California on election night. Check out my colleague Josh Richman’s blog entry on Gravel’s visit here.)

    AN ELECTION NIGHT PARTY FOR supporters of Democratic candidate Barack Obama, an Illinois senator, starts at 8 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, 950 Mason St., San Francisco.

    IF YOU PREFER A MORE academic atmosphere, the UC-Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies will host a political junkies party starting at 5 p.m. at 109 Moses Hall in the institute’s library. Get the early returns from the East Coast, hear leading political commentators dissect the battle for the nomination and then wait for the California totals. An election night panel of experts will speak at 7 p.m., including: David Karol, assistant professor of political science; Ted Lempert, former member of California Assembly and current UC-Berkeley lecturer; and San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders.


    Mike Gravel to spend election night in Berkeley

    mike-gravel.jpgMike Gravel — the former U.S. Senator from Alaska and the only Democrat besides Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the ballot and still in tomorrow night’s race — will be at Spud’s Pizza, 3290 Adeline St. (at Alcatraz) in Berkeley.

    It’s an open-house type event hosted by World Can’t Wait–Drive Out the Bush Regime activists; the candidate, who says he’s the only true progressive left now that John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich have dropped out, will be there from 6 to 9 p.m.

    He’s around today, too: a 3 p.m. meet-and-greet at the Red Vic, 1665 Haight St. in San Francisco, and then a 6:30 p.m. address in the Xavier Room at the University of San Francisco’s Fromm Hall, at Golden Gate and Parker avenues.