It’s a terrifying but true fact that state Republicans stand a fair chance of waking up on Wednesday, June 6, to find that the candidate carrying their proud banner against Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is widely known whack job Orly Taitz.
At first glance, the specter of GOP voters stumbling into nominating Orange County Orly to challenge the Senior Senator from California seems a mildly amusing scenario that would generate some laughs for Leno and Letterman for a week or so before quickly becoming a stale ho-hum.
Unless, of course, you happen to be a serious and earnest person of the conservative persuasion working day and night to rebuild the California Republican brand, operations and influence, in which case it’s painful to imagine what the Washington Post (“California GOP Selects ‘Birther Queen’ as Sen. Feinstein Foe”), the New York Post (“Nut Case in La-La Land”) or Chris Matthews (talk about a tingle up the leg) could do with the story.
“We’re aware (Taitz) has name ID,” state GOP chair Tom Del Becarro, who’s doing all he can to boost the candidacy of little-known but party-endorsed Elizabeth Emken, told us bravely. “We think the party’s endorsement will carry the day.”
Obviously. The alternative is too awful to contemplate.
Republicans on my right, Republicans on my left: After weeks of intensive data crunching, our Department of Quantum Computing and Abacus Repair has finally completed counting all the candidates who’ve signed up for the sacrificial honor of taking on Feinstein, and reports to us exclusively that the total is 23, with 14 of them wearing the GOP label.
As Del Becarro suggests, it’s Politics 101 that the most critical factor in a big field of unknowns is name ID. And while there’s no good polling on the Senate race yet, Martin Wisckol over at Total Buzz reports on a robo-call survey, done by Rasmussen associate Pulse Opinion Research for another Republican wannabe, that shows the Moldavian Mad Hatter running first, far ahead of the establishment favored Emken, for just that reason:
Taitz is the best known of the candidates, thanks to her numerous (birther) suits against Obama, and polls at 19 percent among Republican voters, according to the poll by Los Angeles businessman Al Ramirez. Ramirez places second at 15 percent. Danville autism advocate Elizabeth Emken received the state GOP’s endorsement on Sunday but was tied for last place at 2 percent in the Ramirez poll.
Emken is a Bay Area non-profit advocate who seems pleasant and presentable enough to avoid embarrassing her party if she can manage to finish second in June 5’s top two primary; she’s certainly working hard to improve her chances, out there getting coverage, piling up endorsements from electeds and hiring actual political professionals for the job.
“Orly Taitz has been living off tabloid controversy — it’s all downside for her and all upside for us,” said Mark Standriff, who’s honchoing the Elizabeth E. show. “I feel very good that we are running against Dianne Feinstein now and we’ll be running against Dianne Feinstein in the general.”
Standriff and Del Becarro both argue that sample ballots sent to voters, which will identify Emken as the Republican Party’s choice, will carry considerable weight in the primary. But she’s still going to need money to break through, especially as she must get by a battalion of rivals, including third party candidates, the aforementioned Ramirez, and Oceanside businessman Dan Hughes, who reported having $100,668 in the bank in his December FEC filing.
That compared to $33,441 for Emken and $3,641 for Taitz and, cough, cough, $6,574,635 for Difi her own self.
A final note: Much, far too much, has been reported and written about Orly the Taitz’s adventures as an attorney, as she’s filed, briefed and argued lawsuits across the country challenging the validity of Obama’s birth certificate, social security registration and, as far we know, his frequent flier miles and Ralph’s card as well.
What has been far less remarked upon has been her record as a dentist, another of the professional skills claimed by this extraordinary Renaissance
alien humanoid Lady Gaga doppelganger on her web site (“World’s Leading Obama Eligibility Challenge Web Site”).
A good thing for her, too, at least if a quick read of Yelp reviews of her Rancho Santa Margarita dental practice means anything; here’s hoping not too much of her name ID hangs on her reputation as a tooth and tusk virtuoso:
“DO NOT GO!” counsels “Ryan L.” [Caps his] in one commentary. “They will tell you one price and then charge you way more when you walk out. Also, the people working on you have horrific breath. “
“Crazy dentist who can’t stop talking about her quest to bring down Obama for his ‘failure’ to turn in his birth certificates,” adds “Serena J.,” a one-time only client. “I only got a consult, which was ridiculous. I’m just glad to have escaped with all my teeth.”
You want Novacaine with that election?
Press Clips: Mega-kudos to Hank Plante, veteran TV political reporter who’s being honored by the AP Press Television and Radio Association with the 2012 Stan Chambers Award for Extraordinary Achievement. As GLAAD notes:
Plante was one of the first openly gay TV reporters in the country, from the time he began a career in TV journalism thirty-five years ago. For his work, Plante has received local and national Emmys, honors from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and a George Foster Peabody Award. In 2005, GLAAD honored Plante’s groundbreaking career with the Pioneer Award. He is known for his many high-profile political interviews and for covering the AIDS crisis at a time when information was hard to come by, especially in mainstream media.
Unfortunately, they left out the most important thing on Hank’s resume: his recent promotion as Palm Springs Bureau Chief of Calbuzz. Yo Hank, we need a quick file as soon as you pocket the plaque. Don’t forget the pictures.
Speaking of geezers: When we first saw that Costco Carla Marinucci’s yarn marking the 25th anniversary of Nancy Pelosi’s election to Congress included the Old Chronicle’s 1987 Snooze Analysis of the event composed by one of your loyal Calbuzzards, we were deeply touched and all, like, gee, how nice that she remembers the Little People she met on the way up.
Reading further, however, we were shocked beyond measure to find that she described the piece as “a trip to the time machine.”
The time machine? Really? The friggin’ time machine?
That’s right, we’ve been moldering away, buried in the back yard inside that rusty cylinder along with our old Underwood, frayed bell bottoms and avocado-colored rotary wall phone for what seems like just forever. Thanks for digging us up, kid.
Tipping the Toledo: Headline of the week honors to the New York Post copy desk for its fine work noting New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s visit to Jerusalem: “Whale at the Wall.” God we love this business.