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Posts Tagged ‘eMeg’



Weekend Flea Market: Lie Down with Dogs, Come Up with Items

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

blankface1Whither Tony V?: L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s abrupt cancellation of his appearance at the Democratic state convention, coupled with the consistent snarliness of his political handlers, has fueled speculation that Tony V. may not run for governor. But L.A. political insiders scoff at such gossip: “It looks like it’s going to be a Democratic year. If he doesn’t go now, in eight years he’ll be 66, and facing a whole new generation of young ‘uns,” said one savvy southland seer. “This is his shot.”

Still, local politicos are closely eyeballing the increasingly bitter brawl for city attorney between lawyer Carmen Trutanich and city councilman Jack Weiss as a measure of Villaraigosa’s strength. If Weiss, the mayor’s dog in this fight, loses on May 19, it will be one more bit of evidence, along with Tony’s unimpressive re-election numbers, that Antonio Alcalde’s standing with his political base ain’t all that.

Whitman Sampler: On the Republican side, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner stepped up his attacks on GOP front-runner Meg Whitman this week, issuing no less than three statements ripping eMeg variously for ducking debates, stiffing the press and sugarcoating her tenure at eBay.

Weirdest move by the Poizneristas was a press release reprinting in full an article written for Capitol Weekly by Democratic consultant Garry South, Gavin Newsom’s strategist. The piece was South’s take on the problems faced by rich business executives who jump into politics, an issue we posted about on Monday. In recounting how he tackled the wealthy businessman Al Checchi while handling Gray Davis for governor, South saw similarities with Whitman:

“Whitman shares yet another commonality with Checchi – a spotty voting record,” he wrote. “Whitman didn’t bother to vote in four statewide elections since just 2003 – including the ‘03 recall election that put Gov. Schwarzenegger in office. À la Checchi, she hasn’t been able to verify whether she voted in the 1994 gubernatorial election, when the controversial anti-immigrant Prop. 187 was on the ballot. She has apologized for these lapses, saying she was busy running a company and had two kids. (Average voters with kids use that as an excuse for skipping the polling place?)”

Whitman has remained sanguine in the face of near-constant sniping from various corners, apparently believing that the Republican primary is more than a year away… Oh, it is?

Be that as it may, by remaining silent in the face of Poizner’s pounding, eMeg runs the risk that the narratives her rival is setting down – she’s afraid to debate, she’s afraid of the press, she’s doesn’t understand state issues – take hold, at least among the cognescenti and the media. If that happens, she may find down the road that her orchestrated efforts to “introduce” herself to voters will be hampered by a need for rehab, to undo the definition frame Poizner plunked on her early (now, about that Calbuzz interview request, Meg…)

Lust in his heart: Tom Campbell, the third Republican in the race, keeps plugging away in his terminally earnest energizer bunny manner, trying to make the race about…issues, fercryinoutloud.

Campbell this week delivered a big guest lecture on economics at UCLA, in which he raised the specter of unintended consequences arising from Obama’s John Maynard Keynes imitation:

“The growth in federal borrowing over the last six months has been greater than at any comparable time in American history, by a large amount,” Campbell said. “When the economy recovers, inflation is inevitable. A modest estimate, given the amount of money the federal government has printed, is in excess of 12% inflation.

“That has a direct cost to California because of the huge amounts our state borrows,” he added. “No one will buy a California bond at less than the expected rate of inflation. So, as systemic double-digit inflation, dead since Jimmy Carter, returns to our national economy, the effect will be particularly devastating on California’s ability to balance its budget.”

Oy.

Puff, puff, bail, bail: Greg Lucas, Calbuzz Capitol Correspondent, blogs his take on the dust-up over legalizing marijuana, over at California’s Capitol. His bottom line — not bloody likely anytime soon:

“Expansion of sin taxes hasn’t fared well in the Capitol… Although possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction, lawmakers are reluctant to back legislation that could make them appear soft-on-crime, fearing campaign attack pieces. That would make legalization of marijuana that much more difficult.”

The long goodbye: Latest twist in the sad saga of newspapers twisting slowly in the wind was a Senate subcommittee hearing on “The Future of Journalism” this week; chairman John Kerry and other members of the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body defended ink-stained wretches against the likes of print-killers Arianna Huffington and Marisa Mayer of Google.

Washington Post class clown Dana Milbank had the most succinct report here while the strongest testimony was delivered by David Simon, former cop shop reporter for the Baltimore Sun who took on the decline of newspapers in season five of his superb HBO series, “The Wire.”

Freudian parts dept: One of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s many signature moments in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” comes when he wields a giant tear gas launcher against a bunch of cops while escaping from Cyberdyne Systems: “It’s definitely you,” adolescent hero John Connor tells Cyborg Arnold.

Now, one day after the governor promised fire-weary Santa Barbara residents he would do whatever it takes to conquer the raging Jesusita blaze, local smoke eaters got the firefighters’ equivalent of Arnold’s Big Gun: a DC-10 air tanker, which made repeated sorties over the fire Friday, dumping 12,000 gallons of retardant in a single drop.

“Chill out, dickwad.”

Calbuzz Rant: eMeg Mutters More Malarkey

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

megcropCalbuzz watched eMeg Whitman — who’s been ducking serious questions from California political writers for months — being “interviewed” on Fox by Neil Cavuto a few hours ago. We waited to post in hopes we’d cool down, but we’re still fuming.

eMeg’s solution to California’s massive budget and spending crisis? Run government more like a business, create jobs and streamline government. Ah, c’mon. Like nobody’s ever peddled that pablum before.

“I’ve run large organizations,” Meg said. “I understand how to lead large organizations. I’ve balanced budgets. I’ve created jobs. As you know, 1.3 million people make their living selling on eBay,” she said. [Note eBay sellers: Meg claims she created your job.] She failed to note, however, as Saul Hansell did in the New York Times the other day, that “John Donahoe, her successor, has pretty much disassembled all of her major strategic moves.”

“We have to streamline government,” eMeg blathered. “Californians can no longer afford the government they have; we have got to give them the government they deserve and works for the people.” Poor Ted Sorenson must be gasping for breath.

This wasn’t an interview – it was a warm-up for an interview, where tepid, mushy platitudes slid by as “answers.” While eMeg was happy to cavort with Cavuto, she’s apparently terrified of the Bakersfield Californian – whose reporter she stiffed at the California Republican Assembly confab over the weekend. Since stumbling through a sit-down with Michael Finnegan of the L.A. Times the day after she announced back in February, she’s avoided every other serious news outlet in California. She’s ducking the Sacramento Press Club’s May 18 debate on the propositions. And Calbuzz is still waiting for our tete-a-tete with her Megness.

eMeg says it’s a “false choice” to have to pose cutting services versus raising taxes. Instead, she said, “We have to make government more efficient.” Aaaaarrgggggh. [Cut to Calbuzz tearing out what's left of our hair.]

NEWS ALERT HERE: eMeg did announce her support for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. “I would support Mitt,” she said, noting that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin “did an admirable job with the job she was dropped into.”

As for how she’ll try to sell herself to the right-wing movementeers in the California Republican Party who think she’s a squishy liberal, eMeg argued for a return to “core principles” of the GOP.

“We can’t lead with the social issues. We’ve got to lead with our power-alley issues – which are not divisive, which everyone can buy into, and let’s lead with what we know most people want and it’s the tried and true formula for creating a strong economy, which allows you to do many other things.”

WTF was the answer? Is she speaking in eCode?

We’re just sayin.’

PS: Note to the City Sunnyvale – eMeg slandered the hell out of you: She said, when making her point about the need to streamline government, that when building a new building for PayPal it took 2 ½ years “to break ground” and required “three consultants to navigate the labyrinth of California regulations.” Could any of that be true? We await your reply.