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Archive for the ‘California Politics’ Category



Cage Match of the Marks: California’s Polling Miasma

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

loretta sanchez Kamala HarrisBehind the news:
California A.G. Kamala Harris remains the favorite against Representative and sister Democrat Loretta Sanchez in the race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Babs Boxer.

However, California’s top two pollsters – Mark DiCamillo of the Field Poll and Mark Baldassare of the Public Policy Institute of California (Mark I and Mark II), differ sharply in their findings on how close the race stands.

Field has Harris over Sanchez 42-20%, a gigonda 22-point lead and a big boost from Field’s July survey, which Harris led by 15 points at 39-24%. However, PPIC has it Harris leading 32-25%, a narrower 7-point gap and a tightening from their July survey when Harris led by 18 points, 38-20%.

Amid drastic, previously unannounced changes in survey methodology (Mark I), and the failure to use the ballot designations voters will see (Mark II), the most inexplicable difference between their polls is the huge contrast in their findings among Latino voters – a factor that dramatically affects the MSM narrative about the race (and as we note later, the Vegas odds).

twomarksQue pasa? In a nutshell: Field, who had Sanchez leading Harris 32-21% among Latinos in June and 49-24% in July (which intuitively made sense), now – after changing from its gold-standard practice of calling actual voters to an online experimental method – shows Harris ahead among Latinos 35-34% (which intuitively seems whacko). PPIC, who had Sanchez leading 45-29% among Latinos in July, now shows Sanchez crushing Harris among Latinos 58-16% — a massive 42-point advantage in that important voting bloc.

That, dear Calbuzzers, is a head-snapping difference. If all you care about is who will win the Senate seat, fine and dandy – Harris is your best bet. But if you care to understand why or what affects California voters, this is a disturbing lack of clarity.

One problem Field has with its new methodology was that finding Latino voters able and willing to participate in an on-line survey meant relying on fewer than half as many Latino voters as PPIC reached on the phone. And whether those on-line Latinos were typical of Latino voters generally is a pretty sketchy prospect.

For political professionals, pollsters, analysts and campaign technicians, understanding the dynamics that affect a race, especially among target populations, is important stuff. When top-ranked surveys differ so radically, no one knows what or if anything has influenced voters.

Confusion PortraitAt least somebody’s awake. The alert Matthew Artz at the Mercury News pressed DiCamillo about the shift in the Latino vote:

“You can see that among Latinos, the initial support for Sanchez had a lot to do with the recognition that she had a Latino surname,” DiCamillo said. “That put her in the early lead (with Latinos). Now more voters at least have some inkling of who the candidates are.”

Huh?

Since not much “on the ground” has happened in the race that seems to make this a logical explanation, beyond a few come-and-go big name endorsements for Dem establishment candidate Harris (starting with President Obama), Calbuzz asked DiCamillo to further explain his analysis:

“It was my judgment that voters, in the absence of lots of specific information about candidates, look for cues to guide their judgments. Usually the strongest cue that they rely on is party.  However, in this race both candidates are of the same party. So, they then look for other cues. Often times gender differences can be a deciding factor.

“But again in this race both candidates are of the same gender. So, it is my belief that one of the more powerful cues in the early polls was the differences in the names of the candidates, especially among Latinos, since they could recognize Sanchez as a Latina,” DiCamillo said in an email.

“However, as the candidates become better known, it is my belief that the influence of the name as a cue recedes and is replaced by other information that voters have learned about the candidates.

“In our latest poll, we see that majorities of voters, including a majority of Latinos, can offer an opinion about both candidates.  And, the very positive image that Latino voters now have about Harris is for many Latinos now overriding the power of their earlier preference for Sanchez based on her being a Latina.  It’s obviously still a factor, just not as big.”

Um, okay.

This is most uncharacteristic conjecture by DiCamillo. We say conjecture because there are no data to back it up and, well, it kinda defies logic – to suggest that Latino voters would abandon a credible Latina congresswoman.

To us, it makes more sense that the Field Poll’s sex change switch to an online survey methodology captured the opinions of atypical Latino voters. Unfortunately, the Field Poll didn’t ask a favorability question about Harris and Sanchez in its June or July polls, which might shed some light on the matter, and PPIC doesn’t ask a favorability question at all.

M8DADOF EC056Mystery deepens. In Field’s latest survey, 98% of Latinos had an opinion about Sanchez and it was 57% favorable and 41% unfavorable — +16%. Among Latinos, 91% had an opinion about Harris and it was 71% favorable and 20% unfavorable — +51%. Again, that’s with the unexpected and unfamiliar internet panel.

The last time we know of that Field asked favorability about Harris and Sanchez was eons ago politically, in January 2016 in live interviews by phone, Sanchez had a 49-13% favorable rating among Latinos (+36%) and Harris had a 37-14% rating (+23%). More Latinos had an opinion about Sanchez (62%) than had an opinion about Harris (51%).

Just for good measure, DiCamillo has pointed at least some California reporters to the fact that PPIC didn’t include ballot designations in its questions, i.e., they didn’t refer to Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California, and Loretta Sanchez, United States Congresswoman, unlike Mark I.

That’s a five-yard penalty in the Calbuzz Official Polling Rule Book, too. But at least PPIC has been consistent in how it refers to the candidates over time and their entire play book hasn’t radically switched in the middle of the game.

sad elephantGOPers vote with their feet. The two Democrats advanced from the June open primary, leaving many Republicans without a candidate they care to support; this might help explain PPIC’s Mark’s most salient issue in his poll: 43% of voters say they won’t vote at all in the Senate race, or they don’t know who they’d support. That compares to just 6% in the presidential race.

As for the notion that Latinos have shifted to Harris because they no longer are persuaded by Sanchez’s surname:

“I don’t have any evidence to show that, and as an observer, there hasn’t been the kind of activity or coverage in the media that would suggest there’d be any significant shift in candidate preference.”

“We’ve done three polls and in each one Harris is ahead and a lot of people don’t know what they’re going to do,” he said. “Latinos are supporting Sanchez by sizable margins in our polls,” he added.

Interestingly, two-thirds (66%) of Latinos say they’re satisfied with their choice in the Senate race, compared to just 42% of whites, according to PPIC.

A brief digression. (As long as we’re ranting about polling, here’s a factoid for all the Democratic bed-wetters about the national polling that shows Hillary Clinton only slightly ahead of Despicable Donald: the average winning percentage of presidential candidates since 1824, when the people started electing presidents directly, is 51.36%. What matters is what happens in the Electoral College, which means Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Iowa, etc. Keep your eye on the ball, people.)

bookieCalbuzz – Too Big to Fail? There’s one more, very practical, reason why the DiCamillo-Baldassare cage match matters: their polls shape how we set the betting line for the Senate race.

Sure, the contest as of today looks like a walkover for Queen Kamala, but the divergent surveys suggest there’s still volatility with more than a month to go. So there’s plenty of action to be had laying down on the Over-Under – i.e. wagering on the margin of victory (N.B. for those who like long shots, Vinnie “The Vig,” Capelli d’Angelo, our Las Vegas Bureau Chief and Sporting Life Consultant, is also offering 35-to-1 odds on a Sanchez win).

When last heard from, our bookie was fleecing us on our daft and rash wager favoring the low-energy Jeb Bush to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Full disclosure: Our Bushman bet made us the web site version of Lehman Bros: when a sharp downturn in advertising revenues (btw: Buy Now – Crazy Calbuzz is still offering 2009 rates! Plenty of free parking) left us a little shy of the requisite cash, he started compounding the vigorish on a weekly basis. Let’s just say he’s getting a little impatient for his money.

So we’re looking to make a score on the Senate race Over-Under: our number today is 10 ½ points – if the winner finishes 11 points or more ahead of runner-up, you win; 11 and under, you owe us.

Place your bets.

P.S. Further disclosure — We already owe Mark I dinner for a bet on Clinton’s victory margin over Bernie Sanders which was, in the end 7.1% We were closer, but over. Aagh, more nonstop compounding interest.

Clinton, Harris Lead; Field Poll Goes Online (Yow!)

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

hillaryanimatedHillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 17 percentage points in the race for California’s 55 electoral votes, down from 24 points in July, while Kamala Harris has expanded her lead over Loretta Sanchez in the U.S. Senate race to 22 percentage points, up from 15 points in the same time span, according to new survey data from the Field Poll and the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.

Nothing too surprising there: Clinton 50-33%, with 17% for others or undecided; Harris 42-20% with 26% undecided and 12%, mostly Republicans, not voting since no GOP contender made it into the finals.

kamalaharrisIs it real or Memorex? What’s horrifying shocking stunning surprising is that the Field Poll, widely regarded as one of the most accurate survey firms in the country, suddenly switched up its methodology, abandoning calls to known registered voters with a history of voting, to use an internet panel provided by YouGov.

For those who care about polling – including Calbuzz – this is shocking. Not that we have anything but the highest regard for Mark DiCamillo at the Field Poll and Professor Jack Citrin, at UC Berkeley’s IGS. But even with YouGov, a creation of Professor Doug Rivers at Stanford, providing the panel, and with DiCamillo weighting the data to approximate California’s voting population, this is like Ghiradelli suddenly announcing they’ve switched from sugar to Splenda.

The overall results may turn out to be OK in terms of who wins and who loses California. That’s easy. But explaining how or why or what the state’s voters tell us about what is happening nationally is far less satisfying. For example, how do you explain that Latinos in California favored Clinton 71-9% over Trump in July but now it’s 61-21%? Do we really believe Clinton lost 10 points and Trump picked up 12 points among Latinos? Or that blacks went from 80-5% for Clinton in July to 77-13% in September?

No, we do not.

But the Field/IGS/YouGov poll says so.

dicamilloSwitch hitter. DiCamillo – who for years has argued that no online panel can actually stand in for a random sample of actual voters – says he was persuaded to give it a try because there are so many ballot propositions in California and they are so complex that a pollster who tries to read the ballot summaries to telephone respondents can’t keep them focused and engaged.

He readily acknowledges there are weaknesses to the methodology – and he had to weight the final data for Spanish speakers, older voters, non-party-preference voters and others in order to match known frequencies. But since 90% or more of California registered voters have internet access, he thought it was worth a try to see if he could get more accurate measures on the ballot props.

And hey, lots of respected pollsters are trying to figure out how to deal with declining response rates for telephone surveys and they’re struggling to figure out ways to recreate the accuracy of probability sampling with cheaper internet surveys.

CourtneyPew is on the case. There’s a long way to go. As our old friend Courtney Kennedy, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center, said in a recent study of internet panels:

We found that not all online surveys perform equally well. A key reason seems to be the different methods employed by vendors. One of the nine nonprobability samples clearly performed better than the others, and it seems to be related to the fact that they use a more sophisticated set of statistical adjustments, both in selecting their sample and weighting their results [This, we understand, was YouGov] Our conclusions about why that sample performed the best are preliminary, though, because we have just one survey from that vendor and the relevant design features were not experimentally tested within that survey.

One of the other major findings was that, in general, subgroup estimates from these samples for blacks and Hispanics were very inaccurate. Almost all the samples were off by double digits – more than 10 percentage points – on average in their estimates for blacks and Hispanics. That is quite concerning for researchers like us who study the experiences of different groups within the U.S. population.

Quick PEW: there may be hope for online surveys but the jury’s still out.

trumpfaceChicken hawks come home to roost. Even with all our reservations about the Field/IGS polling methodology, it makes sense that overall, Clinton stayed at 50% and Trump rose to 33%, up from 26% in July. Why? Because the Republican voters – apparently — are accepting they have no other real choice.

Back in July, Clinton was pulling 81% of Democrats in a three-way race and Trump was winning just 64% of Republicans. In the new survey, Clinton has 85% of Democrats and Trump has 84% of Republicans. (Of course, because the sample is not of actual registered voters, the pollsters are relying on respondents themselves to say how they’re registered to vote – not always a reliable factoid, especially without sophisticated questions to weed out those who aren’t really registered or who don’t know how they’re registered).

pollingFor the deep divers. Here’s part of what the Field Poll reported about its methodology:

The findings in this report come from a survey of California voters conducted jointly by The Field Poll and the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. The survey was completed online by YouGov September 7-13, 2016 in English and Spanish among 1,800 registered voters in California, including 1,426 considered likely to vote in the November 2016 general election.

In order to cover a broad range of issues and still minimize possible respondent fatigue, some of the questions included in this report are based on a random subsample of voters statewide. YouGov administered the survey among a sample of the California registered voters who were included as part of its online panel of over 1.5 million U.S. residents.

Eligible panel members were asked to participate in the poll through an invitation email containing a link to the survey. YouGov selected voters using a proprietary sampling technology frame that establishes interlocking targets, so that the characteristics of the voters selected approximate the demographic and regional profile of the overall California registered voter population. To help ensure diversity among poll respondents, YouGov recruits its panelists using a variety of methods, including web-based advertising and email campaigns, partner-sponsored solicitations, and telephone-to-web recruitment or mail-to-web recruitment. Difficult-to-reach populations are supplemented through more specialized recruitment efforts, including telephone and mail surveys.

The Field Poll and the Institute of Governmental Studies were jointly responsible for developing all questions included in the survey. After survey administration, YouGov forwarded its data file to The Field Poll for processing. The Field Poll then took the lead in developing and applying post-stratification weights to more precisely align the sample to Field Poll estimates of the demographic characteristics of the California registered voter population both overall and by region. The Field Poll was also responsible for determining which voters in the survey were considered most likely to vote in this year’s election.

Polls conducted online using an opt-in panel do not easily lend themselves to the calculation of sampling error estimates as are traditionally reported for random sample telephone surveys.

Bottom Line That last sentence is important. It says in essence: because this was not a probability sample, we have no way of actually telling you what the margin of error is.

Trump the Isolationist is Really an Imperlialist

Monday, September 12th, 2016

ObamaSamIn deciding who they want for president, American voters are looking for two things in one person: a hard head and a soft heart.

This is the formulation coined years ago by Ralph Whitehead of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, describing voters’ yearning for a chief executive and commander in chief who is tough on economic and security issues but compassionate on social and cultural issues.

Voters don’t want someone with a hard head and a hard heart. Or a person with a soft head and a soft heart. Or someone with a soft head and a hard heart.

CLEVELAND, USA - JULY 21: Donald Trump accepts the Republican nomination for President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, USA on July 21, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Narcissists Need Not Apply: In a nutshell, this defines the divide between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. She actually has proven that she has a hard head (resilient) and soft heart. He has a demonstrated record as a man with a soft head and hard (cold-blooded) heart, who pretends just the opposite.

When measuring the Commander in Chief dimension of the presidency, most people gravitate toward the candidate who seems more hard headed. That doesn’t mean most extreme. Voters have rejected extremism at least since 1964, when Barry Goldwater extolled its virtue in the pursuit of freedom.

As a prime example of a man with narcissistic personality disorder (as Calbuzz was first to report in May of 2015) Trump can sound like he’s hard headed with great ease, but because he has no empathy for other human beings, he fails even to sound like he has a soft heart.

Moreover, when he ventures into the military dimensions of hard-headedness, he often comes at it with such ignorance combined with certainty, that his stances are often absurd.

lauerwclintonMatt Lauer Fail: Last week’s MSNBC’s Commander in Chief Forum, absurdly and incompentently hosted by the Today Show’s Matt Lauer, offered up a new doubling-down on one of Trump’s absurdist military hard lines. (Picking Lauer to host the interviews further demonstrated that the MSM refuses to learn from its mistakes: He had demonstrated his inappropriate and ignorant talents in the 2010 governor’s debate between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, but we digress.)

Trump glibly not only stood by his assertion that he knows more than the generals about ISIS, but said the generals, under Barack Obama, “have been reduced to rubble.” He argued that his plan to defeat ISIS has to remain a secret so that he won’t tip off the bad guys. Oy.

And he insisted, despite actual evidence, that he always opposed the invasion of Iraq. [The facts on this are simple:  Trump told Howard Stern he would support invading Iraq on Sept. 11, 2002 -- before and during debate in Congress which approved Bush's war authority on Oct. 16, 2002.] Instead, Trump told Lauer, “I’ve always said, shouldn’t be there but if we’re gonna get out, take the oil. If we would have taken the oil you wouldn’t have ISIS because ISIS formed with the power and the wealth of that oil.”

usimperialismTrumpism, the Lowest Order of Imperialism: “How are we going to take the oil?” Lauer asked.

“You would leave a certain group behind and you would take various sections where they have the oil,” Trump said. “People don’t know that about Iraq but they have among the largest oil reserves in the entire world. And we’re the only ones, we go in, we spend $3 trillion, we lose thousands and thousands of lives, and then, Matt, what happens is we get nothing. You know it used to be that to the victors belong the spoils. There was no victor there, believe me. There was no victor, But I always said take the oil.”

This is as brazen a statement of U.S. imperialism as we’ve heard since the notion was last openly floated in the 1950s, when President Dwight Eisenhower argued that the U.S. had a national interest in securing the natural resources – tin, rubber, oil, etc. – of Indochina, which gave us cause to intervene in Vietnam.

Even the neocons have argued, not for U.S. expropriation of Middle East oil, but for ensuring that oil flows to regional allies that possess it who will then sell it to us and not the Russians or Chinese. Few on the far right continue to suggest that only U.S. oil companies should have total control over Mideast oil.

troopsHow Many Troops, Donald? But did Lauer pick up of what Trump had just suggested? Of course not. He didn’t note that Trump had just suggested using American troops to seize and hold Iraq’s most important natural asset. He didn’t respond with incredulity: “How many troops are you will to commit to the capture and holding of Iraqi oil fields? 10,000; 20,000; 200,000? How many would it take and how long would the mission be?”

Neither did he note that this sounds like advocacy for outright American occupation of a foreign country. Nor did he then ask Trump how he justifies stealing appropriating another country’s natural resources?

The point was not lost of Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe and Iraq war commander, who later told Anderson Cooper:

“[Trump’s plan] implies the American military is a mercenary force … It is not the American way of war to go and occupy a land, steal its resources, rape its women and do the kinds of things that Mr. Trump is saying. It is a simplistic approach that is appealing to a certain percentage of Americans.”

Now we don’t know that Trump is advocating raping Iraqi women in oil-rich areas, but Hertling’s point is well taken. And while the Indian Wars, the Mexican-American War and many others suggest that the U.S. military was, for more decades than not, a tool for U.S. imperial interests, we have, as a society, in modern times, rejected the notion that the U.S. has a right to appropriate other country’s resources by brute force.

In fact, our claim to American exceptionalism rests in part on the notion that we believe in and will support national self-determination of peoples and nations throughout the world. We self-righteously oppose countries that invade and occupy or control other sovereign nations.

putintrumpThe Donald and Vlad show: Roger Simon tweeted out a lovely summation of  Trump’s twisted narcissistic world view in which praise from Vladimir Putin is a good thing.

So it makes sense that Trump longs for the day when “to the victors go the spoils” – an argument with which Joseph Stalin surely agreed, following the Allied victory in Europe in 1945.

If Trump truly believes that “to the victors go the spoils,” he will surely urge his party pals in the U.S. Senate to rubber-stamp Hillary Clinton’s appointments in 2017 to her cabinet and to the United States Supreme Court. That’ll be refreshing.

Op Ed: How the CA Nurses are Failing All Labor

Monday, September 5th, 2016

canursesforbernieBy Steve Maviglio
Special to Calbuzz

Bernie Sanders announced recently that he would launch a nationwide effort to help elect Hillary Clinton to the presidency, promising to fill up stadiums in key swing states. He’s headed to New Hampshire for Labor Day rallies and seemingly is pulling out all the stops to help the Clinton campaign.

Good for him. And it seems to be convincing his supporters to do the same: A Pew poll finds that more than 90 percent of his supporters are solidly behind Hillary Clinton.

Nearly all of his major supporters have gotten the message, except for one lone standout: the California Nurses Association and its affiliate, National Nurses United.

goregrimaceHands that Elected Bush For unexplainable reasons, the union’s leadership is still sitting on its hands. Or as Politico headlined its story on the union’s refusal to join the labor effort to put Clinton in the White House: “ODD UNION OUT.”

None of this should come as a surprise: this is the same union leadership that endorsed Ralph Nader rather than Al Gore in 2000.  We know how that election turned out.

At the time, well-respected Assemblywoman Helen Thompson of Davis, a registered nurse herself, called that move a “political and tactical mistake.” And when the Florida results were tabulated, that proved to be true, with Gore narrowly losing. And, something the union still fails to admit, along with it were lost the chances of improved health care for millions of Americans.

Yet that lesson seems like one the union may soon repeat. And the antics of the union — once held in high esteem for its publicity stunts that used to attract widespread media attention — are beginning to come into question from within the media and the labor movement itself.

DNCprotestersConvention hecklers Last week, Buzzfeed’s Cora Lewis wrote extensively about “the one lonely union that still isn’t on Team Clinton.” She noted the “radical” union’s behavior at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia where “representatives from NNU booed, heckled, and held up signs reading “Oligarch” to express dissent for the party’s nomination of Clinton.”

(Having personally sat as a delegate, in front of several members of the union’s leadership, I can attest to these antics, including disrespectfully booing First Lady Michelle Obama and even President Obama).

demorroandbernieMs Bomb Thrower Reported Lewis: “Not everyone within organized labor appreciated NNU’s tactics. One high-ranking public union official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said some within unions saw (CNA Executive Director RoseAnn) DeMoro as a ‘bomb thrower, not a bridge builder.’”

Lewis also noted that “The nurses’ stance sets them apart from their union colleagues — and far from the Working Families Party, a longtime bastion of Sanders support.” The Working Families Party voted to endorse Clinton after more than two-thirds of its members voted in support of that move.

The Communications Workers of America and the American Postal Workers Union, also backers of Sanders, also have endorsed Clinton. As has the Amalgamated Transit Union, considered by many as the most liberal union in America, which added its support last week.

Earlier in the year, major unions like SEIU, AFSCME, NEA went big and early for Hillary Clinton. They deployed active field campaigns in key battleground states.

cnaberniebusBussing Bernie’s backside  Not CNA. It deployed souped-up a “Bernie Bus” that traveled around the nation, burning through more than $5 million of union members’ money, funded by an independent expenditure committee, for which Sanders received heavy criticism. The bus’s main feature appears to have been for its members to take selfies with, and the union’s website still features a “Bernie Store” where you can order a “Bernie Sanders Head Tattoo” for 15 cents.

Even in the union’s home bastion of California and neighboring Nevada, the effort did little to help Sanders, who lost both states to Clinton.

Worse, the SuperPAC-ish effort sometimes left the Sanders campaign uncomfortable; and whenever Sanders tried to beat up Clinton for her SuperPAC support, the media pointed to CNA’s effort backing Sanders, undermining Sanders’ message.

This $5 million failure follows several other expensive political and media flops by the union.

chevronCNA double standard In late May, Sacramento Bee editorial board editor Dan Morain wrote a column about the union, questioning its commitment to progressive politics after it made contributions to a tobacco and oil industry-controlled political action committee. He pointed out that the candidate benefiting from the PAC’s contribution had voted against “one of the most important health care bills to come before the Legislature in years, one to require public school kids to get vaccinated.”

That candidate, known as “Chevron Cheryl” also is a backer of fracking. Yet union leader RoseAnn DeMoro says one of the leading reasons she didn’t support Hillary Clinton was because of her fracking stance. Go figure.

In late 2014, the union tried to take political advantage of the Ebola scare. At a press conference outside the governor’s office calling for increased protective equipment to prevent exposure for nurses (Brown didn’t attend), DeMoro was confronted by reporters who remembered her union’s opposition to legislation that would have required health care personnel to get annual flu shots or wear surgical masks.

A spokesperson for the California Hospital Association noted “If they’re complaining so much about getting protective equipment, why wouldn’t they support getting flu shots?”

 An indignant DeMoro refused to discuss the apparent hypocrisy.

JerryHill2Slashing innuendo Last week, the union was it again, when it attacked progressive Senate Democrat Jerry Hill, who has a 100% rating on his legislative scorecard from the California Labor Federation.  While he has been endorsed by for re-election by the union coalition, CNA essentially accused him of being a stooge for right-wing political interests.

“There is a chilling undertone to this legislation that parallels the anti-regulatory agenda of the far right American Legislative Exchange Council in seeking to eliminate regulatory protections that are critical to health and safety oversight on public boards,” wrote CNA co-president Deborah Burger in assailing Hill.

It’s that kind of “bomb-throwing” that reduces political effectiveness, whether it be in California’s capital or on the national stage.

maviglioCan CNA redeem itself? DeMoro told Bee columnist Morain that she shudders at the thought of a Trump presidency. Perhaps she can use Labor Day as an appropriate time to look at her history, and join the rest of organized labor to prevent a repeat performance of her 2000 Bush-Gore election antics.

Steve Maviglio is a Sacramento-based Democratic public affairs consultant. He served as press secretary to Gov. Gray Davis and was a Clinton delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. 

Clinton’s Strategy: Isolating Trump as a Party of One

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

hillaryaltrightWe take only scant satisfaction in noting that the MSM finally show signs of understanding what Calbuzz laid out more than a month ago: that in their speeches to the Democratic National Convention in July,  President Obama and Hillary Clinton herself reframed the 2016 presidential election by isolating Trumpism as a singular, virulent strain of nativistic ignorance, distinct from Republican, Democratic and all other American values and ideals.

The analytical point is simple. The American political landscape is divided in two parts: 1) Democrats, Republicans, independents, the middleclass, working people, women, blacks, Latinos and other minority groups and 2) Donald Trump.

As if struck by a blinding insight, the TV yackers seemed to have actually listened this time when Clinton said: “From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.”

abraham-lincoln-pictureHonest Abe, rolling in grave Even the sluggish commentators got the point when Clinton called the 2016 election “a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump.”

“This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism as we have known it,” Clinton said. “We have our disagreements. We need good debates. Need to do it in respectful way. Not finger- pointing. Every day, more Americans are standing up and saying “enough is enough” — including a lot of Republicans,” Clinton said. “I’m honored to have their support. And I promise you this: With your help, I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans and Independents. For those who vote for me and those who don’t. For all Americans.”

usandthem“Us and Them,” Redefined Clinton was merely building on the analysis Obama had advanced in his speech to the DNC where he said:

“Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. it’s precisely this contest of ideas that pushes our country forward.

“But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems, just the fanning of resentment and blame and anger and hate. And that is not the America I know.”

As we wrote on July 28: “Barack Obama on Wednesday masterfully reshaped Donald Trump’s division of the nation into “us and them” — putting Hillary Clinton, the middle class and American values on one side and the New York narcissist alone on the other.”

Left-Liberal Critics We should note that some left-wing Democrats (many with more theory than practical experience) don’t like the notion of isolating Mr. “I alone can fix it” from the Republican Party. They argue that Trump is nothing more than the personification of all that Republicans have represented and fought for. It’s a mistake, they insist, to make Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell the “good guys” when they will ultimately be just as obstructionist toward a Clinton administration as they have been to the Obama administration.

Perhaps. But before there even can be a Clinton administration, Trump must be dispatched. And if isolating him from moderate or even traditionalist Republican voters works, it matters little what else Trump tries to do to shore up his base. And it appears to be working, which is why Trump is scrambling to keep from losing broad swaths of GOP voters.

His phony “outreach” to blacks and Latinos, for example, has nothing to do with trying to recover his footing among these two behemoth voting blocs: it’s an attempt to reassure Republican women in particular that he is not the raving racist demonstrated by his past comments – about Mexican immigrants, Muslims, a Mexican-American federal judge, inner-city blacks, etc.

It’s as if he’s saying, “What are you going to believe: everything you’ve heard and seen from me for more than a year, or what I’m telling you now?”

Too late, Donald.