What would you like to tell Obama?

What would you like to tell Barack Obama upon his inauguration?

Call 1-510-495-1442. Your audio recording may be posted on this web site or published in the newspaper. Give your name and hometown, but do not give your phone number, as published recordings are not edited. Please try to keep your comments under 30 seconds.

Or, write your comment on our message board.


CCT and Oakland Trib political blogs merge

I’ve gotten a few calls and emails about the changes on the blog, so here is the deal: The editors merged my blog, Inside Politics, with Political Blotter, the blog of my colleague Josh Richman at the Oakland Tribune.

Josh and I often wrote about some of the same issues and the joint page allows us to better coordinate our political coverage and gives our readers political news in one place. (It also means the site won’t go dead when one of us goes on vacation.)

I must agree, though, that the generic government buildings picture at the top lacks appeal. I will be asking the web designers — in their spare time — to come up with something more distinctive.

So, enjoy double the politics on this newly merged blog and know that I have no plans to slack off just because Josh is sharing the load.

If anything, I’ll have to work harder to keep up — his blog received a lot more clicks than mine did! (Okay, so the name of my paper isn’t as Google-known as Oakland. People ask, when I tell them the name of my paper, Contra Costa Times, “Are you a Central American newspaper?”)


Tell us how you feel about this election.

We’re trying a new feature for Election Day that lets people call in and leave a voice message with their thoughts. We’re presenting the audio mp3s on our Bay Area web sites, including ContraCostaTimes.com, InsideBayArea.com and MercuryNews.com.

So — How has this election changed the country? How has it affected you?

Call 1-510-495-1442 to offer a comment of about 30 seconds or less, and then check back later by clicking here to see it’s among those we’ve posted.


Tribune Editor in Denver

Well, folks, I have arrived and managed to get all the necessary credentials to access the Pepsi Center, where much of the convention will take place, and Invesco Field, where Obama is to make his historic acceptance speech.
I am working with the folks from the Denver Post, the paper of record for the State of Colorado. It’s a formidable team they have formed, with journalists from across the MediaNews universe, converging to take on the competition and cover this convention.
I am part of the political team that will be working out of an arcticly-airconditioned tent outside of the Pepsi Center. I just saw a protest outside of the Denver Post offices, where it seemed the cops outnumbered the protestors. There are a lot of police here, on horses, bikes, on foot, barricades, Secret Police, and any other CIA/FBI-like gadget or operative you can imagine.
It’s quite a spectacle.
This morning while having some oatmeal down the street from the hotel where 17,000 journalists were coming to get their credentials, I came across a small group of Obama supports having breakfast.
There was a group of woman, middle-aged, one in a wheelchair, one a walker. They apparently didn’t even know each other, but sat at a table together simple because they came to town to support Barack Obama.
I have also seen many people walking around with Hillary Clinton buttons on. Oops, a protest just started. More details to come.


You can’t keep a good journalist down

Steve Geissinger, who for years brought you news from our Sacramento office before falling victim to our company’s latest downsizing late last month, has landed on his feet, just as I knew he would: He’s the new reporter for Capitol Television News Service, as reporter Rob Griffith moves up to be bureau chief.

CTNS is an independent, subscriber-driven news service supplying dozens of television news departments across the state with daily satellite video feeds and news stories on state news and political developments. CTNS News Director Steve Mallory, himself a former correspondent, said Steve will continue CTNS’ tradition of reliable and objective reports to its subscriber stations: “For more than 20 years, CTNS has delivered the cold, hard facts on state politicians. I’m confident Steve will be a solid addition to our aggressive team of journalists.”

Being back in the saddle means Steve’s reinstatement as president of the Capitol Correspondents Association of California — not an easy post to stomach, given all the downsizing happening at news outlets everywhere.

“Amid state budget chaos, this is one of those historic times to keep an eye on the Capitol. But after I was forced to leave MediaNews in the downsizing of its Sacramento bureau, there were no mainstream newspaper job openings covering the Capitol,” Steve told me.

“Actually, I was told there will be more cuts and more cuts in the newspaper industry. Nobody really knows where it will stop. So I was very lucky a TV news service job opened at the right moment. But TV is under the same economic pressures caused by the Internet. Maybe something on the Internet will develop into a mainstream, objective watchdog independent of for-profit newspapers and TV. But right now, the watchdog that’s so key to democracy is fading away.”

Steve said as CCAC president he’s willing to assist any nonprofit foundation willing to step up to restore that watchdog.


One editorial, four endorsements?

9th State Senate District candidate Wilma Chan put out a mailer recently touting her endorsement by the Oakland Tribune, the Contra Costa Times, the Tri-Valley Herald and the Alameda Times-Star:


But in case you were wondering, yes, all those newspapers are owned by the same chain. And yes, all four of those quotations came from a single editorial.