Calbuzz kudos to Jen and Gavin Newsom, who welcomed their new daughter, Montana Tessa, tipping the Toledos at 7 lbs 12 oz, shortly after noon on Friday.
Not long after, Prince Tweety was sending 240140-character digital messages to the world: “Jen’s doing great…not sure she’s happy I am on Twitter.” Trust us, man: she’s not. Jeez.
Even before the baby arrived, it was already Newsom’s best week of the campaign since he announced his candidacy back in the spring. Bill Clinton’s delivery of the official Bubba Seal of Approval gave Prince Gavin a sudden boost in stature, not to mention access to the wallets of Hollywood Clintonistas.
And the almost overlooked endorsement of former state Senator Sheila Kuehl a few days later bought him street cred among leftist netroot types, though that may be cancelled out by the SEIU’s hounding of the San Francisco mayor over budget issues, as the resourceful Brian Leubitz noted over at Calitics. (Also, the netroots libs are still heartsick that Newsom bounced Eric Jaye for Garry South.)
Newsom also benefitted from Jerry Brown’s increasingly annoying public pretense that he might not run for governor after all; as one loyal Calbuzzer who’s otherwise inclined to be for Brown wrote us, “Someone needs to tell Jerry that this courting dance is getting really BORING.”
Brown sometimes seems to think it’s still 1974, he’s still 36, and we’re all watching with fascination while he mutters smug tautologies in the guise of koan wisdom: “Tune in,” he told the SacBee this week, when questioned about his gubernatorial plans. What are you, dude – Timothy Leary?
While Brown so far has been skillful in using the Attorney General’s office to boost his chances for governor, he’d be well advised to move swiftly to investigate this whole ACORN mess.
Sure, the conservatives’ years-long crusade against a community based organization set up to benefit poor people is a shooting-at-lifeboats right-wing jihad, but that doesn’t alter the sleazy stuff happening in ACORN offices that’s been revealed by the now-famous undercover tapes made by the spawn of Yuppie Scum.
The ACORN employees’ apparently eager aiding and abetting of prostitution, not to mention the sexual exploitation of teenagers, is not only political dynamite but possibly illegal and California’s highest ranking law enforcement officer ignores it at his peril.
Gubernatorial GOPers: Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman meanwhile both lurched hard right this week, the better to butt-smooch Republican primary voters.
The Commish launched a libertarian-style fiscal offensive that did everything but call for a flat tax (including the groveling spectacle of signing a no-new-taxes pledge for the tiresome talk show yakkers John and Ken) while Her Megness ramped up her patented l’etat c’est moi strategy by vowing to act unilaterally on her first day in office to suspend the state’s landmark AB32 greenhouse gas reduction law, and then start moving to dismantle the historic California Environmental Quality Act.
eMeg’s singular absence from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s lineup of wannabe’ guv candidates buttressed Poizner’s campaign frame that she’s seeking to win the governor’s race without bothering to climb into the arena with all those dreadful Other People who are running (bawk, bawk!) a narrative that’s gaining traction at all points of the political spectrum.
Perhaps this is why eMeg decided it was a good time to buy a little love from state Republicans by funneling $250,000 into voter registration programs, or what Willie Brown more indecorously might call “walkin’ around money.”
Tom (The Turtle) Campbell meanwhile unveiled his new health care plan, which is characteristically serious and earnest but which seemed to us to be totally out of sync with the rhythm of state politics at a time when all the action on that issue is in Washington.
P.S. While political junkies await eMeg’s deigning decision to debate Poizner and Campbell, you can check out back-to-back appearances by the Commish and Her Megness on Larry Kudlow’s CNBC show here and here.
Part-time legislature: Just 23% of the voters in the most recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California said they favor returning to a part-time Legislature, but there’s an organized group of proponents pushing an initiative. So it made sense this week that an opposition force was announced by consultant Steve Maviglio, former spokesperson for Gov. Gray Davis and then the Assembly Speaker’s Office.
What was a bit surprising was the bipartisan trio who stepped up to front the group — Democrats John Laird of Santa Cruz and Dario Frommer of Burbank and Republican Bob Naylor of Sacramento – which will operate as “Californians for an Effective Legislature.”
“While we understand that many Californians are frustrated with their government, turning back the clock and making the legislature part-time will make matters worse,” said Laird, former chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. “The seventh largest economy in the world with a $131 billion budget needs committed legislators, not amateurs who will have only 90 days a year on the job before they make decisions affecting millions of Californians.”
“This initiative will be a wrecking ball to the carefully crafted balance of powers between the governor and the legislature, and will give special interests more power than ever,” says Naylor, former chairman of the California Republican Party. “It makes little sense to expect our legislature to be more effective if we say to lawmakers: ‘take less time to study and tackle California’s complex problems.’”
The initiative – if it qualifies for the November 2010 ballot — would seek to limit the legislature to meet for 30 days every January, and then only 60 days additional days beginning in May each year.
Calbuzz has to admit that there’s something delicious about the idea of smacking down those legislators who spend their time being sanctimonious, pompous jackasses. But we recognize that if the legislature meets for 90 days, all the institutional memory and legislative expertise would transfer to lobbyists and the governor’s office – further weakening the influence ordinary people might have in Sacramento.