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Archive for the ‘Special Election’ Category



Election Update: Sweeney Holds Lead in Calbuzz Poll

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Jim Sweeney, veteran editorial writer for the Sonoma County Press-Democrat, held a solid lead in the Calbuzz Special Election Pool tonight, with about 50 percent of the vote counted.

It was a humiliating night for Gov. Schwarzenegger and the Legislature, who saw their quintet of budget fix propositions resoundingly voted down across the state.

But it looked like a good night for Sweeney, the only player whose pool entry matched the early vote order for the five props:

Prop.1B
Prop 1C
Prop.1D
Prop.1E
Prop.1A

But with Props. 1E and 1A less than a percentage point apart, it was still too close to call the pool, at least for a Calbuzzer who edited an early edition story electing Tom Bradley the first black governor of California in 1982. Still, Sweeney strengthened his front-runner position by also running strong on Prop. 1F, where he had predicted a 75.7 percent “yes” vote, only four-tenths of a percent lower than the actual vote at this hour.

We’ll post our analysis of the actual election at 12:01 a.m.

Early Returns Show Key Trends in Calbuzz Pool

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

As excitement over Tuesday’s special election neared fever pitch, the Calbuzz Department of Survey Research reported that more than 40 percent of those entering the site’s Plenty of Free Parking Election Night Pool predicted Prop. B would score the strongest among five budget measures on the ballot.

In response to Question #1, which asked entrants to rank the order of finish of the five budget props, Calbuzzers offered 15 different combinations, with only three sequences winning support from at least two entrants. The most popular sequence, submitted by 25 per cent of those entering was:

Prop B
Prop A
Prop D
Prop E
Prop C

On Question #2, which asked the final percentage vote on Prop. F, aimed at denying pay raises to state officials in years of deficit, predictions ranged from 22 percent to 83 percent, with a large majority of Calbuzzers saying the measure would win somewhere between 63 and 79 percent.

As for the tiebreaker, predicting voter turnout for the election, entries ranged from 15 percent to 42 percent.

The margin of error is zero. More later.

Calbuzz Election Poll: Win Big Prizes, Plenty of Free Parking

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

With the special election carrying less suspense than a Globetrotters game, here’s a contest designed to give Calbuzzers a rooting interest to stay awake through the 11 o’clock news Tuesday.

Email your answer to these three questions (mail to: Calbuzz) to qualify for Big Prizes; you need not (in fact you better not) be present to win; friends and family members of Calbuzz employees are TOTALLY eligible to win.

1-List the order of finish for Propositions 1A-1E, with the measure with the highest “yes” vote first and the measure with the lowest “yes” vote last. Include your guesses for the percentage of “yes” votes for each.

Example:
Prop 1C – 97% Yes
Prop 1D – 95% Yes
Prop 1A – 93% Yes
Prop 1E – 91% Yes
Prop 1B – 3% Yes

2-What is the final, election night, statewide percentage vote on Proposition 1F? Example:

Yes 12%
No 88%

3-(Tiebreaker) What will be the statewide turnout figure provided by Secretary of State Debra Bowen?

1st Prize: 1 free rant. Overall winner gets 500-word “I’m just sayin’” rant on the subject of his or her choice published on Calbuzz. Plus: 2 Free “I’m a Calbuzzer” buttons.

2nd Prize: 1 copy each of “Movers and Shakers: The Study of Community Power” and “Never Let Them See You Cry: A Biography of Dianne Feinstein” by Calbuzzers Phil Trounstine and Jerry Roberts, respectively. Plus: 1 free “I’m a Calbuzzer” button.

3rd Prize: 2 copies each of “Movers and Shakers” and “Never Let Them See You Cry” or 1 free “I’m a Calbuzzer” button, depending on what the judges feel like giving away.

All entries must be received at Calbuzz World Marketing Headquarters and Storm Door Company by 6 pm Tuesday, May 19. Thanks for playing!

Surf’s Up: We Read This Stuff So You Don’t Have To

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

surferNeed to get away? Amid the endless sky-is-falling media situationers on the budget mess published elsewhere, sometime Calbuzzer Greg Lucas looks closely at Arnold’s new alternatives and concludes that Demos will find about $15 billion worth of politically palatable moves there – enough to get them 70 percent of the way to the gov’s worst-case $21B scenario…

As one door closes: One of the all-time top 10 clichés in the Political Writer’s Handbook is that every crisis represents both risks and opportunities. Over at Flashreport, our friend Jon Fleischman manages to be positively Reganesque about the big chance for change presented by the budget mess, in a nice piece that combines the usual bromides about markets with compassionate concern for the folks who will be hurt. Meanwhile The Economist brings big picture perspective to Tuesday’s election, concluding that only a constitutional convention aimed at rebuilding state government from scratch can save “ungovernable” California.

Michelle Speaks: Calbuzzer Jessica Trounstine stirred up a lively debate here about UC Merced a couple days, using Michelle Obama’s commencement address as a point of departure. For those who missed the First Lady’s actual speech Huffpost has complete text and video here.

Conspiracy Theorist Alert: Not sure what it means but Barron’s reports that liberal uber money man George Soros recently took a stake in Houston-based PXP, the oil company that would benefit from the gov’s bid to approve a new offshore drilling lease in Santa Barbara.

Calbuzz gets results: The NYT discovers the California governor’s race in a dozy rehash that’s mostly notable for the fact that it’s the first major MSM piece on the campaign that doesn’t even mention the possibility that Difi will run. Calbuzz gets results!

Forest and the trees: Big Bad Dan Walters has a good one that argues persuasively that California is largely responsible for triggering the global banking crisis and puts in appropriate context the pathetic “fantasyland” effort by GOP legislators to solve the state’s economy woes with a couple cheesy bills about business regulations.

Arnold’s Final Bid for Budget Ballot Props

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

heilarnoldArnold’s drop-by at his big press avail on the May budget revision was a case of the elephant giving birth to the mouse.

The administration has been putting out details of its worst-case/worser case scenarios for almost a week: more cuts for schools, early release of thousands of state prisoners, selling off everything but the Golden Gate Bridge. So there wasn’t a whole lot new in terms of the numbers, and the governor’s plaintive plea on behalf of his ballot props next Tuesday was definitely déjà vu all over again.

(The Department of Finance report on the two alternatives for addressing the deficit for the fiscal year that begins July 1 — $15.4 B if the props pass, $21.3 B if they don’t — is here.

That said, his Arnoldship did make at least a few interesting statements, starting with his introduction of Finance Director Mike Genest – “this man is on suicide watch” – that will frame yet another budget brawl, which will erupt next week as soon the election formalities are finished:

1-“To look for new revenues is out of the question.” It’s true that in negotiating this year’s budget deal, Schwarzenegger kept insisting that he’d never go for tax increases, right up until he did. But his position at this point is basically irrelevant; with the six Republican legislators who signed on to new taxes in February all being punished – by losing their leadership posts, facing recalls, or being shunned by the GOP caucus – it’s a safe bet that the death grip Reps hold on budget matters because of the 2/3rds requirement will now be tighter than ever. So look for lots of anti-tax triumphalism by the party of Grover Norquist, er, um, Lincoln.

2-“I absolutely despise taking money away from local government.” Besides looming battles over more cuts for education and cutting prisoners loose, the loudest fight will be over Schwarzenegger’s grab for $2 billion from local governments, in direct violation of his earlier promise not to do just that. With cities and counties scrambling to pay cops and firefighters while facing the same recession-level revenue problems as Sacramento, taking an extra hit so the Capitol Clown Show can pretend to balance the budget won’t be popular.

3-“You hope the economy is coming back.” That’s a bottom line underlying assumption of Schwarzenegger’s fiscal strategy at this point, whether the May 19 props pass or not. In addition to squeezing the locals by “borrowing” $2 billion, both his fixes also call for $6 billion in new borrowing through Revenue Anticipation Warrants and scheming to use federal stimulus money to backfill state cuts; in other words, kicking the can down the road, one more time.