Mixed Salad: Dems, Old Saws, The Chron and Whites


While Chairman Jim Brulte and the California Republican Party are planning to “build a farm team” by concentrating on local non-partisan elections and moving Republican officeholders up to partisan offices, Democrats plan to meet them in the trenches, according to Chairman John Burton.

“They’ve got to start at the bottom because they can’t elect anybody at the top,” Burton told Calbuzz. “They have to carry the burden of those fucking idiots in Washington . . . On the big picture, they’re pissing against the wind.”

Burton, who served with Brulte in the state Legislature, said his old friend has little choice because the GOP brand is so reviled among the broad electorate. But he said, “We’re not going to abandon local races to the Republicans.”

The California Democratic Party, Burton argued, has already been active in local races, including, for example, the election of former U.S. Rep. Bob Filner as mayor of San Diego – “the first Democratic mayor in San Diego in God knows how long.”

Burton will be seeking a second term as CDP chairman when the party gathers in convention in April. When told that one of our myriad Calbuzz editors wanted to know if Burton is promising to clean up his language in his second term, Chairman Burton said the Calbuzzard should “go fuck himself.”

He said it in the nicest possible way.

Old Saw Won’t Cut It

Meanwhile, something worth noting happened in a partisan election last week, when  Assemblyman Ben Hueso, a San Diego Democrat, won a special election in the 40th state Senate district in a special election, restoring the Democrats’ supermajority in the upper house.

The unofficial tally gave Hueso 52.3% of the vote — enough to overcome Democrat Anna Nevenic and two Republicans, Hector Raul Gastelum and Xanthi Gionis.

Said Democratic consultant Richie Ross: “One of the old truisms in politics that hasn’t been true for a long time is that low turnout special elections give Republicans an advantage . . . Ben Hueso’s success is just the latest example of why that isn’t true.”

Department of Dumb Ideas

Speaking of what’s not true, how about the notion that readers will be willing to pay about $15 a month to see the content of the San Francisco Chronicle online?

We’re not sure what genius at the Comical came up with this brilliant idea that we hear is in the works, but we suspect it’s a another loser attempt to save the paper’s bottom line without doing what might actually work: investing in reporting, improving the paper’s breadth and depth and making it a must-read.

Lurking behind a pay wall is just stupid. Not to put too fine a point on it.

White on White

You don’t have to pay $15 a month to learn truly significant political information about trends that have deep implications in California. Read, for example, Charlie Cook’s report at the National Journal: The GOP Keeps Getting Whiter, including these key grafs:

Fresh 2010 census data by congressional district, compiled by The Cook Political Report’s House editor, David Wasserman, provides some numerical food for thought. Between 2000 and 2010, the non-Hispanic white share of the population fell from 69 percent to 64 percent, closely tracking the 5-point drop in the white share of the electorate measured by exit polls between 2004 and 2012. But after the post-census redistricting and the 2012 elections, the non-Hispanic white share of the average Republican House district jumped from 73 percent to 75 percent, and the average Democratic House district declined from 52 percent white to 51 percent white. In other words, while the country continues to grow more racially diverse, the average Republican district continues to get even whiter.

As Congress has become more polarized along party lines, it’s become more racially polarized, too. In 2000, House Republicans represented 59 percent of all white U.S. residents and 40 percent of all nonwhite residents. But today, they represent 63 percent of all whites and just 38 percent of all nonwhites. In 2012 alone, Republicans lost 11.2 million constituents to Democrats (a consequence of not only the party’s loss of a net eight House seats but also the fact GOP districts had grown faster in the previous decade and needed to shed more population during redistricting). Of the 11.2 million people Republicans no longer represent, 6.6 million, or 59 percent, are minorities.



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There are 6 comments for this post

  1. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    Say what you will about the Chron, who can forget “A Great City’s People
    Forced to Drink Swill.”

  2. avatar Sideline says:

    I loved the Chron… Read it every day to see what new outrage would be sparked by Charles McCabe, with whom I kept up an ongoing correspondence, and to see if my name was in Herb Caen’s column and–most eagerly–to read whatever John Wasserman was reviewing. It was smart and funny and entertaining and, if I wanted “hard news,” I knew I could always go somewhere else. It’s a true shame what is happening to the Chron… I miss the old days in the M&M Tavern on 5th, as reporters “prepared” to write their stories, starting at around 11 a.m…….

  3. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    Charles McCabe, Herb Caen, Art Hoppe, Stanton Delaplane … the finest collection of light essayists in the nation at the time. I say that at the risk of sounding like an old fogey.

    • avatar LustyLampoonist says:

      I still have my original hardback copies of Caen’s Baghdad 1951 and McCabe’s Tall Girls Are Grateful.

      I would hardly call Charles McCabe a “light” essayist. I remember him as being extremely literate, well-read, and most discerning in the topics about which he chose to write. I found him more cynically wry than punchline humorous. He would make one think.

    • avatar kpminott says:

      Not so old … I agree. Without those guys, my morning reads went from being a highlight of my ‘news cruise’ to a desultory ‘why am I even bothering?’ …

  4. avatar chrisfinnie says:

    Chairman Burton told me the same thing when I asked him his plans for another term. He neglected to add the anatomically impossible sexual suggestion. However, he’s clearly had a bad effect on my language. Because I asked him “why the fuck” he wanted to keep doing this at his age. He said, “I love it. It’s what I do.” A lot of grassroot Democrats have long wanted the state party to focus on building the bench. If John Burton is willing to work on this, I say good on him!

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