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Posts Tagged ‘Calbuzzer’



Flea Market: Ensign-Newsom Sorry Similarities

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

ensignSex, Lies and Politics: The sordid tale of how Republican presidential wannabe and Nevada Sen. John Ensign had an affair with a campaign aide who happened to be the wife of a senior adviser in his Capitol Hill office  carries unfortunate echoes for Gavin Newsom.GavinNewsom

The San Francisco mayor and wannabe California Governor copped to a dangerous liaison involving an eerily similar triad two years ago, a scandal that came and went in S.F.’s laid back liberal culture, but is likely to resurface in the heat of Newsom’s first statewide campaign. (The GOP has already trotted it out on cable news.)

There is at least one big difference between les affaires politiques, however: Newsom to his credit stood up tall and accepted responsibility when he acknowledged the whole icky mess, while Ensign has spent the days since his admission trying to slime the unfortunate couple, who say their “lives have been ruined,” with shaky allegations of being blackmailed.

That said, the magnitude of the breach of trust involved with both cases is considerable. Former governor and ex-Marine Pete Wilson used to say that being in a political campaign with someone was the closest thing to going through war with them. Some way to treat your foxhole buddy, eh?

More on sex: A sharp-eyed reader opines that Calbuzz misread a recent L.A. Times analysis examining the impact of sex scandals involving Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa on the governor’s race; we characterized the piece as kissing off the importance of the political playboys’ wandering, um, eyes, but Cathy Decker’s nut graf, buttressed by an academic study, states that it will truly matter to some voters. Busted.

boxerangryBoxer Rebellion: Barbara Boxer’s snippy insistence that a military officer address her as “Senator” instead of “Ma’am,” – “I worked so hard to get that title” – offers a good measure of how fiercely she intends to fight to keep it.

Although we keep reading speculation about how formidable and well-financed former Silicon Valley executive Carly Fiorina will be as a Republican challenger when (if?) she finally gets into the arena, Boxer got a nice boost from an unlikely source this week when Steve Forbes, the erstwhile GOP presidential contender and silver spoon publisher bashed Fiorina is his new book, “Power Ambition Glory.”

“Examples of business leaders who rise to heights of corporate power only to be brought carly_fiorina_630xdown by their egos include…Carly Fiorina, former head of Hewlett-Packard,” Forbes writes. “As leaders of corporate empires, both failed because they focused on what flattered, instead of what mattered.”

There’s more: Fiorina was “high-handed,” “brusque” and “concerned more with publicizing herself and socializing with entertainers and high-fashion figures than with promoting HP and running the business.

“There were even rumors that she was positioning herself to run for political office.”  Imagine that.

Thanks to Calbuzzer CA Politech for the cites.

We Get Letters: Big Bad Dan Walters cries “foul” over our Fishwrap item that trashed the California press for whiffing on the no-go fed rescue of the state budget story. BeeDan sniffs at a WashPost piece we highlighted as “old news,” and forwards his column from May 22 saying “the Obama Administration said it couldn’t underwrite loans (for California) without congressional authority.”

Fair enough, but his column was referencing public congressional testimony, constructed with Clintonian obfuscatory precision (or precisely Clintonian obfuscation) by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; the new Post piece advanced the ball considerably, reporting private White House meetings involving Obama’s big brain troika of Geithner, Lawrence Summers and Christina Romer…

Comment of the Week: Buddyg takes home a coveted “I’m a Calbuzzer” button for his calbuzzertake on our latest post on Senator Difi’s shifting position on the Employee Free Choice Act. As winner of our first Calbuzz Comment of the Week, he also gets his comment highlighted in full:

DiFi has always been too MOR for this state, on too many issues. In this case, she is also naive if she thinks there is a compromise that will give even ‘half a loaf’ to both sides.

There can be no denying that federal labor law is broken and employers regularly take advantage of that when resisting union campaigns and collective bargaining negotiations.

Simply put, the cost and consequences of violating the law are just not substantial enough to make it worthwhile for employers who don’t care about workers’ rights to comply. That is the reality, and has to be the analytical starting point, which of course, the Cs of C of the world will deny forever.

Until DiFi gets over the idea of (dis)pleasing everyone and realizes there is a right and a wrong on this, she will continue to be pressured. It would be fitting and just for labor to mount a campaign to knock her out of the box, and take Arlen Specter with her!”

– By Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine

Dr. H’s Glittering Bash Opens Demo Weekend Meet

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Delegates to the California Democratic Party cast a contentious key vote Friday in favor of all six of the ballot propositions on the May 19 ballot – but the hottest action on opening night of the Sacramento convention came at the A-list party hosted by Calbuzz staff psychiatrist Dr. P.J. Hackenflack.

Following heated debate, the vote by the party’s Resolutions Committee was a victory for the Democratic establishment, and came over the objections of grass and netroots delegates who fiercely oppose the half-dozen budget measures put on the ballot by Governor Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislative leaders; the volatile debate is expected to resurface Sunday, when resolutions are to be voted on on the convention floor.

The atmosphere was far friendlier a few hours later at Lucca, the fashionable J-Street restaurant where the esteemed Dr. H welcomed political and media luminaries for the First Annual Meeting of the Dr. Hackenflack Senior Advisory Board. After consuming 13 or 14 cocktails in the bar, members of the group adjourned to a private back room for their choice of penne pasta, chicken risotto, grilled salmon and braised short ribs. The event was graciously underwritten in part by a bipartisan coalition led by Alpha consultants Gale Kaufman and Donna Lucas, who picked up the tab for a number of deadbeats who ate and ran. (We know where you live, weasels.) Also kicking in was top drawer Sacto consultant Jason Kinney.

Guests included Attorney General and gubernatorial front-runner Jerry Brown (pictured here earlier in the day expressing his appreciation for the premise of a piece by Carla Marinucci of the S.F. Chronicle); the redoubtable Garry South, chief strategist for Brown rival SF Mayor Gavin Newsom; Capitol power couple, Ms. Lucas escorted by blogger/consort Greg; Capitol Alert’s Shane Goldmacher , the hardest working man in show business; Dave Lesher, communications guru for the Public Policy Institute of California; Beth Willon, communications director for Lite Gov John Garamendi; Democratic consultants for LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Ace Smith and Dan Newman; also consultants Steve Maviglio and Roger Salazar, pollster Ben Tulchin and longtime Democratic linebacker Ed Emerson; and political writers Michael Finnegan of the LA Times, Marinucci and John Wildermuth of the Chronicle, Peter Hecht of the SacBee and Bill Bradley of New West Notes.

Best story of the night: Garry South on former Ohio Gov. Dick Celeste’s wife and her anatomically correct Christmas cookies. Weirdest moment: Lady from another party hands cell phone to Jerry Brown to take a call from famed SF attorney William Coblentz, special counsel to California Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown (1959 to 1961).

Attendees all received much-coveted “I’m a Calbuzzer” pins, suitable for shameless promotion.