Op-Ed Holiday Special: The Mulholland Report


Bob MulhollandBy Bob Mulholland
Special to Calbuzz

We bumped into our old friend Bob Mulholland, ex-political director of the California Democratic Party, at the recently concluded Disneyland Dem convention, and invited him to share his singular brand of political wisdom with Calbuzz readers.

Glazer, indubitably. Amid spin downplaying Steve Glazer’s victory in the 7th state Senate district election, consider this: Steve would have won with, or without, the Top Two system. In the March 17th primary, Glazer was the top vote getter, and in pre-Top Two world, would have advanced to face a Republican (plus 3rd party candidates, if they’d filed); SD 7 is 43.4% Democrats versus 28.5% Republicans, so it’s Senator Glazer in any case. Congratulations – he ran with causes and the voters responded.

The digits of drought: Scientists say there is a place in Antarctica that has not had precipitation in two million years; California is only in its fourth year of drought, but alas has 38 million people and an ag industry that feeds much of America. About 70 percent of the state’s precipitation falls north of J Street, in downtown Sacramento, but about 80 percent is used in the Central Valley, where massive amounts are being sucked out of aquifers, including water that fell as rain 20,000 years ago. More Latin prayers, please governor.

Chicken hawk alert: Republican presidential candidates are so afraid that Dick Cheney, who sobers up every few weeks to go on FOX, will attack them, that they keep heaping support on the phony arguments that Big Dick and W used to invade Iraq, while insisting the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. Loose GOP translation: when it comes to governing the Cradle of Civilization, ISIS is a cut above Saddam.

I read the news today, oh boy: One family controlled four cancer “charities” and spent $187 million on themselves; five big banks pleaded guilty to felonies and paid $5.6 billion in fines; Takata recalled 34 million cars for defective airbags. All I can think of is Meg Whitman, the 2010 Republican candidate for governor, endlessly saying we should run government like a business.

spillOleaginous bastards. Ten thousand years of history prove that Murphy’s Law is immutable; Santa Barbara’s oil spill, however, shows it’s still human nature to conclude that an accident or mistake can’t happen here. For corporate CEOs, that way of thinking comes with added incentives: they get big raises when they cut costs, and an even bigger severance check when they get fired after a fiasco (i.e. Carly Fiorina’s $20 million walk away from HP). Solution: send a couple corporate culprits responsible for disasters to jail, and stop imprisoning potheads.

It’s on: That murderous scene in Waco, Texas, where biker gangs emptied out of a bar and into a parking lot, where they promptly emptied their guns on each other (nine dead) should not be a surprise. American men do stuff like that all the time, even in the national pastime; baseball dugouts often empty after a pitcher hits a batter, but so far, the coaches aren’t handing out 9mms and AK47s on the bench.

thomas-jefferson1Mark your calendar: The Democratic National Convention will be held the week of July 25, 2016 in my hometown, Philadelphia, Pa., which Thomas Jefferson once described this way:

The city of London, tho’ handsomer than Paris,
is not as handsome as Philadelphia.

Not clear what Jefferson would have made of Waco.

Bob Mulholland, a Vietnam veteran, is a member of the Democratic National Committee.


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There are 6 comments for this post

  1. Is Calbuzz so in the tank for their old friend Glazer that facts no longer matter? Glazer would have not have come close to winning if it were a traditional primary. Among Democrats, he would have finished behind Bonilla and Buchanan. In the recent election, he received less than 30% of the Democratic votes. Glazer’s margin of victory comes entirely from Republicans. As was shown in the Assembly race where Glazer came in third, if the GOP heirarchy hadn’t muscled out the GOP candidate, Glazer would still be a home advising tobacco companies how to spend their PAC money.

    • avatar Bob Mulholland says:

      A lot of ifs. And that is the case with most elections. If such & such candidate did not run, another candidate would have won, if that candidate had no money, then the other candidate would of won. When Democrats put on (I was against) Prop 14 to create the Top Two system, it was the Democrats quoted as saying that Democratic candidates would need to reach out to voters in other parties. But with Special Elections, that has been the case for decades, with Blanket Primary ballots. Like I stated- a lot of ifs.

  2. Keep in mind that even pre-Prop 14 California special elections were not traditional primaries. They were the last relic of the old open primary system where all candidates appeared on the same ballot, voters could vote for members of any party, but only the top vote getter of each party advanced.

    So Maviglio is right that Glazer was in fact not the plurality choice of Democrats in either March or May. But Bob is right that under the old rules, that still wouldn’t have mattered.

    What both fail to highlight is that changes to the rules change strategies which change outcomes. Under the old special election rules, Democrats would have had a HUGE incentive to unite around either Bonilla or Buchanan in March rather than letting them battle it out. That would have virtually guaranteed one would have been the top vote getting Democrat. That would have aced Glazer out of the May election no matter how many Republican votes he got.

    Quite frankly, facing that math I don’t know that Glazer would have even run, let alone enjoyed as much financial support as he did.

    • avatar pjhackenflack says:

      All that said, seems like Top 2 is doing exactly what its sponsors said it would.

  3. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    “All said,” or “All the same”? Works either way.

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