AB32 Fight: Smokestack Steve vs. Monoxide Meg
Throughout our so-called careers, Calbuzz has been consistently entertained by our friend Richie Ross’s talent for concocting cut-to-the-bone epigrams about political campaigning.
“When you’re behind,” Richie once told us, amidst a race where he was running some now-forgotten dog, “always pick a fight.”
The formulation came to mind this week, as Smokestack Steve Poizner took out after Monoxide Meg Whitman, insisting to all who would listen that his position on the environment was waayyy worse than hers.
One day after our piece examining eMeg’s fierce opposition to California’s landmark AB32 climate change legislation (Coincidence? You be the judge) The Commish whacked her as an opportunistic, closet tree-hugger.
“Meg’s rhetoric on AB32 is again a sign of the two Meg Whitmans,” said Jarrod Agen, Poizner’s slasher-in-chief. “Campaign trail Meg is making claims that directly contradict her actions and Republican voters will not trust her.”
The me-too attack came as Poizner endorsed the so-called “California Jobs Initiative” being co-sponsored by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Paleolithic, and Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Sirloin. The measure, now being signature circulated, calls for suspension of AB32, until employment levels get back to where they were before it passed in 2006.
But the endorsement was really just an excuse to remind GOP primary voters of eMeg’s eleemosynary contribution of $300K to the Environmental Defense Fund, a strong supporter of AB32, not long after the measure passed, as well as her gushy past praise for ex-Obama Green Czar Van Jones – “I’m a huge fan!” – whom she met on a save-the-earth cruise that also included Jimmy Carter, fercrineoutloud.
Pshaw, dismissively responded the volcanic Sarah Pompei, eMeg’s well-paid responder. Whitman, she said, don’t need no stinkin’ initiatives to crank up the thermostat on the world all by herself.
“The authority to suspend AB32 already exists and Meg is committed to using it on her first day as Governor,” Pompei said, adding that, “as a result of the struggling economy, Meg was the first candidate to call for a suspension of AB32 . . . If there was any possibility that Steve Poizner could be touting those same credentials, well then, he probably would be.”
And thank you for that.
On Monday we presented the case, and the polling to back it up, that a majority of Californians don’t see a huge conflict between environmental protection and economic growth. While Calbuzz is open to being proven wrong (in fact, we’ve made a pretty good living at it), we think racing to the bottom on pollution is strictly a GOP primary strategy that won’t sell in a general election.
Milk Carton Report: Phil Angelides, who had a charisma bypass before such surgery was fashionable, strode his way into the national spotlight Wednesday, as he opened as chairman the much-anticipated hearings of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
“People are angry,” Angelides said, with the heads of the nation’s two largest banks and two biggest Wall Street firms sitting, under oath, before him.
They have a right to be. The fact that Wall Street is enjoying record profits and bonuses in the wake of receiving trillions of dollars in government assistance — while so many families are struggling to stay afloat — has only heightened the sense of confusion.
Not bad stuff for a guy who ran the worst campaign for the top spot since John D. Sloat didn’t cop a single vote. Given his financial bona fides as a former state Treasurer, not to mention his classic training at the hand of Angelo Tsakopoulos, Angelides ain’t a bad pick for the gig, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi helped him land.
It’s hard to imagine the commission coming up with much in the way of true reform, however, although the hearings do have some entertainment value. Best coverage we’ve seen is the live blog over at Huffpost which also has a dandy piece co-authored by former N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who managed to keep his pants on for the occasion.
Beltway wisdom gone awry: There are few people in the political news business more obnoxious, self-referential and self-absorbed than ABC’s Mark Halperin, so we were delighted at Jason Linkins’ superb takedown of “Game Change,” the ’08 campaign account Halperin co-authored with John Heilemann, and which their fellow Beltway snobs are lapping up like melted Ben & Jerry’s.
Under the terrific hed “The Blackhearted Ethos of Game Change,” Linkins writes:
What you will get from this tome is the experience of being dragged through a great, teeming, gossipy Superfund-sized pile of shit, lovingly accumulated by two authors who have basically allowed anyone willing to offer nasty hearsay, trash-talk, or score-settling to dump away.
Calbuzz sez check it out
We’re from the press, we’re here to help: Kudos to Calitics for being first on the scene early Wednesday with a list of how-to-help contact info for the victims of the horrible earthquake in Haiti. Best bitchslap of the insufferable Pat Robertson: thank you Andy Borowitz for “Haiti? I Thought They Said ‘Hades'”
I would be interested to see a breakdown of polling on environmental regulation by region. Drive across the Central Valley some time, and you will see large signs posted along the highways that basically say environmental regulations to save the Delta smelt are killing our farms. The signs are mostly professionally printed and clearly expensive, which makes me suspect they were printed by the same astroturf group that staged farmworker protests for Sean Hannity. But some farmer still allowed them to be posted in his field. And you see some hand-painted ones too that are even more harsh.
Not all farmers in the Central Valley have been taken in. A friend on the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee told me a farmer switched his registration to Democrat after they got to talking about salinization of fields and aquifers caused by salt intrusion in the Delta being pumped down to the Valley.
But a lot of rural voters DO believe the rather simplistic GOP arguments that economic problems are caused by environmental regulations. Of course they never mention how many millions of dollars of taxpayer-subsidized water is being sold South to support expanded housing development.
But my point is that the GOP argument is widely accepted in certain parts of the state.
The impact on the insurance industry which global warming, which threatens increased and more severe hurricanes, rising sea levels, drought leading to wildfires, etc. is likely to cause is a matter of great concern to many insurance companies (see for example this report by Allianz, one of the world’s largest insurers, https://www.allianz.com/en/press/news/commitment_news/environment/news_2009-11-23.html) and at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which held a Climate Change Risk Summit last month, http://www.naic.org/committees_ex_climate.htm. Although the state has been devastated by major wildfires during his tenure as Insurance Commissioner, Mr. Poizner seems to be taking a “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” approach to these issues in his relentless pandering to the right wing of the Republican primary electorate.
“eleemosynary”? I have to say I’m impressed!
In their past lives, the Calbuzzards always wanted to get that word into a story, but the damned City Desk would never let them do it. Another victory for bloggers!
Clean Air Performance Professionals
Friday, January 29, 2010
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-558-3160 ( new number )
RE: Sierra Research Report SR 2007-04-01
Dear Mr. Governor
California Air Resources Board (CARB) and The Department of Consumer Affairs/ Bureau of Automotive Repair DCA/BAR have contracted with Sierra Research for a Report of Smog Check performance.
Sierra has informed me the report was final in March 2009 and released to CARB.
CARB, BAR, IMRC, and the California Legislature are using the Report for public policy but refusing to release the publicly funded Report.
Mr. Governor, I’m confused, can you refer me to someone who might help?
Cc to interested parties
From: Charlie Peters
Clean Air Performance Professionals
(510) 537-1796 – fax: (510) 537-9675