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Posts Tagged ‘california choices’



Meyer ‘Toon, Top Goo Goos, Meg’s Money, Polls

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Since Meg Whitman wouldn’t change her pearls without a market research study, it’s safe to say that her grudging and belated acceptance of Jerry Brown’s apology in the campaign’s whore war came about only after polling showed she was doing herself as much harm as good by continuing to whine about it. As Tom Meyer reminds us today, most normal people, not to mention the Sisters of Perpetual Disappointment, almost certainly couldn’t figure out what she and her amateur hour communications crew was on about in the first place. (As for us, we, per usual, blame The Media).

Sifting through the entrails of this scandal-that-wasn’t, Calbuzz wants to acknowledge a few heroes in the saga, starting with the students, staff and administration of Dominican University, who did a heckuva’ job in staging an event of presidential debate caliber, even if the quality of the political entertainment sometimes fell a little short of the standards of excellence and civility they set with their careful preparations and warm hospitality.

H/T too, to Tom Brokaw for a first-rate job of ringmastering the eMeg-Krusty show. We made no secret of our concern that Tom the Tourist might not be the right man for the job. But after trying a little too hard at the start to ingratiate himself by bragging on his California bona fides, Brokaw hurled sharply crafted queries at each of the rivals – seeing no need, to his great credit, to pose the same questions to both – and also allowed the debate to go where it wanted to go, letting the rivals bark at each other, with none of the typical moderator’s control freak need to micromanage the clock or hog the camera. For our lack of faith, we criticize ourselves severely .

Calbuzz Goo Goo Offering: More and more sites on the interwebs are offering ways of helping people participate in the great, glorious process we call “democracy,” and Calbuzz, ever-helpful and dedicated to civic participation, is aware of a few worth mentioning.

First mention, of course, is one that BUYS ADVERTISING on our site. And that would be California Choices, which has a neat application to help you understand the propositions and, even better, to see what stands have been taken on the props by myriad interest groups, unions, newspapers and political parties you may like or dislike.

You can even fill out an online ballot form and email your personal recommendations to whomever you want. It’s put together by Next 10, the Bill Lane Center at Stanford, Berkeley’s IGS and Sacramento State.

Our old friend Greg Larson has also pulled together a massive number of organizations into a giant spreadsheet on each of the propositions. You can find it here. These kinds of sites are helpful because maybe you don’t know what to think about some props, but you know that you’d likely to agree (or disagree) with the Sierra Club or the Chamber of Commerce, or whoever.

Yahoo! and eVoter have teamed up to create a cool app with which you can enter your address and find your polling place – in case you’re not a permanent absentee voter and would actually like to show up and vote on election day.

There’s also an easy-to-use nonpartisan online voter guide called Imagine Election. You type in your zip code and get information about federal, state and some local candidates and invites reviews of candidates. Some of their information (for example how much money each candidate is spending) is rather out of date, but there’s some decent basic info there.

Coals to Newcastle: Not long before eMeg tossed another $20 million of pin money into the pot  - bringing her self-funding total for the campaign to more than $140M – our spies inside Camp eMeg forwarded an intriguing fundraising appeal aimed at a very select group of Top Bracket FOMs.

With a heavyweight sponsorship lineup including Sun Microsystems czar Scott McNealy, veteran GOP cash cow Howard Leach and Bush fundraiser/cell phone fortune spouse Susan McCaw, the A-list pitch bemoaned the evil forces that conspired to force eMeg into the position of, um, well, being responsible for her own actions regarding Nicky Diaz.

The recent attacks against our friend Meg were orchestrated to disrupt her campaign at the most pivotal moment.  The facts are that Meg did everything right.

Well almost everything.

In a stirring call for ruling class solidarity personal loyalty, the October 6 letter says, without a hint of irony, that Team Moneybags must raise $1 million in 10 days to spare eMeg the outrageous opprobrium of being accused of trying to buy the election.

We all know that Meg and Griff have invested significant resources and have been attacked for trying to level the playing field against the status quo…

Meg will be vilified for any additional contributions she makes to the campaign. We need to show her critics that she has enormous support from individuals within California and around the country…

Meg has worked tirelessly and done everything we could have expected her to do to win this race. We cannot sit by and let these attacks go unanswered. As her friends, we have to stand with her in the final days and ensure she knows we are behind her.

Given that our friend Meg just had to cough up another $20 million, it appears they were standing far behind her.

Don’t Call Us: When a Rasmussen Poll says Jerry Brown is leading Meg Whitman 50-44%, including 53-41% among women (after the “whore” story fallout) and 76-23% among non-whites and non-blacks (mostly Latinos with a few Asians), you know the ground is shifting in Brown’s direction.

Part of the explanation is that Rasmussen is fiddling with his turnout model – moving from a 2-point spread of Democrats over Republicans to a 6-point spread (could be he wants his survey to look more “scientific” and less partisan). But because the Rasmussen survey is automated, and it’s illegal to automatically dial cell phones, his surveys are fatally flawed – against Democrats.

A new study by the Pew Research Center underscores the distaste Calbuzz has regularly expressed for automatic, robotic calling, web-based polling and other shoddy political surveys. Pew found that surveys that do not include cell phones, “including virtually all of the automated polls” (like Rasmussen and SurveyUSA) yield a bias for Republicans and against Democrats on the order of 4 to 6 percentage points.

California pollsters (like the Field Poll, USC/LA Times and most private pollsters) who use the Secretary of State’s official list of voters as a base for their surveys automatically avert this source of potential error because they call respondents at whatever phone number they used when registering to vote. Other credible pollsters (like PPIC) use random digit dialing but  include a representative sample of cell phones.

Here’s what Pew reported:

The latest estimates of telephone coverage by the National Center for Health Statistics found that a quarter of U.S. households have only a cell phone and cannot be reached by a landline telephone. Cell-only adults are demographically and politically different from those who live in landline households; as a result, election polls that rely only on landline samples may be biased. Although some survey organizations now include cell phones in their samples, many — including virtually all of the automated polls — do not include interviews with people on their cell phones. (For more on the impact of the growing cell-only population on survey research, see “Assessing the Cell Phone Challenge,” May 20, 2010).

In the Pew Research Center’s latest poll, conducted Aug. 25 to Sept. 6 among 2,816 registered voters, including 786 reached by cell phone, 44% said that if the election were held today that they would vote for the Republican candidate for Congress in their district or leaned Republican, while 47% would vote for the Democratic candidate or leaned Democratic. Among the landline respondents, 46% preferred the GOP candidate and 45% the Democratic candidate, a four-point shift in the margin.

Rasmussen also had Democrat Barbara Boxer with a narrow 49-46% lead over Republican Carly Fiorina in the U.S. Senate race but again, take it with a huge grain of salt: no matter how hard Rasmussen tries, as long as they exclude cell phones, their surveys will tilt to the right

Memo to Rose K: Now that Babs has melted down in front of both Fred Barnes and Wolfie, we can only conclude it’s waaay past grandma’s nap time.

Fishwrap: Mac Attack, Goo Goo Guide, Hot Sex

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Betting the farm on illegal immigration (as Calbuzz predicted), Steve Poizner on Thursday launched a new TV spot, featuring GOP rock star Congressman Tom McClintock (as Calbuzz suggested) explicitly appealing to Republicans to reject Meg Whitman.

“This time our choice for governor matters,” McClintock says directly to the camera. “And it comes down to this: Steve Poizner supported Arizona’s law to stop illegal immigration; Meg Whitman cut and ran.

“This time, let’s have a governor from the Republican wing of the Republican Party – Steve Poizner.”

Up until now neither candidate has put money into television ads appealing directly to partisans, but Poizner, who is running behind in every public poll, now is seeking to rally the GOP base with an explicit partisan pitch. (Poizner, for example, has until now appealed to conservatives and occasionally referenced “Republican”  on the screen, but this ad takes partisanship to a new level.)

Does it mean he’s desperate to rally his base or is he within striking range and needs to peel away a few more conservative Republicans? Or both?

Clip and take to the polls: Kudos to California Choices.org for coming up with a nifty comprehensive grid that shows who’s for and against what ballot measures in the June primary.

The ultimate non-partisan goo-goos, the group has collected and collated  the initiative endorsement picks of more than 40 newspapers, non-profits, unions and other political groups. California Choices is an academic collaboration focused on political reform in the state which includes Cal’s Institute of Governmental Studies, Stanford’s Bill Lane Center, Sac State’s Center for California Studies and Next 10, a non-profit funded by venture capitalist F. Noel Perry.

For fans of the cui bono school of political analysis, or those who are just too bored or lazy to read the voter handbook, the endorsement guide provides a useful means for preparing your own ballot cheat sheet, simply by aligning yourself with the groups that most reflect your views.

Example: the guide shows clearly that Prop. 16, the zillion dollar initiative financed by the greedheads at PG&E, which is aimed at killing in the crib any new attempts to approve public power in the state,  is opposed by all right thinking people everywhere; virtually everyone on the list except –- surprise, surprise — the state Chamber of Commerce, the Republican party, the conservative California Taxpayers Association and the corporate-dominated Bay Area Council (we’re not sure how the L.A. Daily News, none of whose readers are served by PG&E, got in there) — is agin it.

And Prop. 14, the open primary initiative, which has set off a furious, dithering debate among members of the High-Powered Calbuzz Executive Board of Senior Executives and Maintenance Engineers, is backed by almost every newspaper editorial board in the state — but opposed by every political party and union on the list.

We figure that anything the Republicans and Democrats agree is terrible might be really good, although the determinative signifier for us, as usual, is the AARP, which casts an “aye” vote on Prop. 14.

Life in imitation of art: Not since the Great Tiger Woods Mistress Count have we wasted as much time cruising the internets as we’ve frittered away in recent days following every twist and turn of South Carolina’s Nikki Haley (maybe-maybe-not) Sex Scandal.

In the wake of the infamous Argentina-Appalachian Trail dalliance of Mark Sanford, Will Folks, a political blogger and former aide to the Palmetto State governor, has offered up a bizarre confession in which he admits to a purported affair with Haley, a state representative who’s the Palin-Tea Party favorite to succeed the Luv Guv.

Folks, who’s been backing Haley in the governor’s race, on Monday put up a post on his FITSNews.com blog (“Unfair. Imbalanced.”) that he’d had “an inappropriate physical relationship” with state Rep. Haley, saying that he was doing so only because he’d been “pressured and threatened” by unnamed political consultants and reporters, and he’s too chivalrous to say more:

I will not be discussing the details of that relationship, nor will I be granting any additional interviews about it to members of the media beyond what I have already been compelled to confirm.

Well, not exactly.

After Haley immediately and categorically denied the allegation, FITSNews.com started dribbling out a non-stop series of archived text messages, cell phone records and hints of “compromising” photos in an effort to stand up his claim; to date, his documentation has gone right up the edge of confirmation but not quite made it.

As the muggy Body Heat mystery of this incestuous redneck political drama deepens, there are a few things that have become clear:

1-There’s something really weird in the water in South Carolina.

2-Haley is what you call your Rather Striking Woman, while Folks looks like an oaf, not your most common recipe for sultry romance.

3-The non-stop posts that FITSNews keeps putting up have seriously spiked his traffic.

In light of this, Calbuzz is now duty-bound to inform our readers that Dr. P.J. Hackenflack, our staff psychiatrist, recently confessed, in the course of an emotional and tearful meeting with our stockholders, that he for some time has carried on “illicit, horny-toad relations” with at least one prominent candidate for an important statewide office in California.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you more. But keep checking back (and click on the ads!) anyway, just in case we do.

Read of the week: E.J. Dionne on how red state anti-government warriors learned to stop worrying and love socialism.