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Posts Tagged ‘Mario Obledo’



The Latino Vote: Why Brown Crushes Whitman

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

After Meg Whitman’s appearance the other day at the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a 30-year-old account executive from Univision told Julia Prodis Sulek of the Mercury News she was “wowed away.” This led to a story suggesting eMeg would be trying to round up votes from Latinos.

Which got the Calbuzz Department of Historic Factoids and Demographic Analysis pretty worked up for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that one of eMeg’s campaign chairmen is former Gov. Pete Wilson (once known on the streets of Mexico City as “Hijo de Puta”) for his pioneering role in using illegal immigration as a wedge issue in California politics.

Although Whitman would eliminate “sanctuary cities” and is opposed to amnesty for undocumented immigrants, she certainly comes across as less antagonistic to immigration than her GOP rival Steve Poizner:  she says she would not have voted for Prop. 187, which sought to deny services to illegal immigrants, and would not deny medical services or education to the children of illegals.

But try as she might to keep anyone from noticing that she is seeking the REPUBLICAN nomination, the chance that she could capture even a quarter of the Latino vote is far from certain.

Even before he has campaigned among Latino voters — who are expected to comprise 15% of the November electorate – Crusty the General is in a lot better shape among Latinos than eMeg is.

In the January Field Poll, Brown’s favorable-unfavorable ratio among Latinos was 43-22% and in March it was 36-22%, By comparison, Meg’s ratio was 17-16% in January and 31-18% in March. And while Brown led Whitman 52-29% in January among Latinos, he was ahead of her 54-25% in March.

In other words, while eMeg picked up some positive ID among Latinos from her TV ads between January and March, Brown’s lead in the vote among Latinos increased from 23 percentage points in January to 29 points in March. And the only thing Brown had done was his announcement media tour.

And that’s before the Brown campaign has made clear a few actual facts about Jerry Brown and Latinos, including:

1. Former Gov. Brown made Cruz Reynoso the first Latino on the California Supreme Court.

2. He named Mario Obledo in his Secretary of Health and Welfare – the first Latino in a modern-day California cabinet.

3. Brown marched with Cesar Chavez in support of the National Farmworkers Association and later the United Farmworkers Union.

4. Brown signed into law the Agricultural Relations Act, giving farm workers the right to unionize and provide state oversight of labor relations in the agricultural industry.

5. He hooked up with Linda Ronstadt.

Case closed.

ABC (Always Believe Calbuzz): The emergence in Brown’s weekend speech to the SEIU of an overtly and aggressive populist tone, as alertly reported by the SacBee’s Jack Chang, fulfills the prediction we made after the surprise election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat:

We hear from a lot of conservative circles: It’s the people who work for the people, the firefighters, the nurses, the hospital workers, the janitors, these are the people who caused our problems – not true,” Brown told a gathering at Oakland’s Marriott City Center hotel and hundreds more around the state via a video link.

“The folks of Wall Street who cost the United States over $11 trillion, they’ve created the problem,” he said. “And we are the ones who suffer.

As we reported in January, in a year when Brown, and other incumbent Democrat officeholders, face enormous risk in being portrayed successfully by the GOP as political insiders, the smart play is to position himself as an insurgent scourge of big business greed heads of all types:

In both the Senate and governor’s race, we expect the Democrats to sound a lot like one of the roving 1886 lecturers cited in “The Populist Movement” by Duke historian Larry Goodwyn:

“We have an overproduction of poverty, barefooted women, political thieves and many liars. There is no difference between legalized robbery and highway robbery . . . If you listen to other classes, you will have only three rights . . . to work, to starve and to die.”

Boxer and Brown — we predict — will run against the banks, the corporations and the oil companies — all of which will be lashed to their GOP opponents.  Whether voters will buy it is anyone’s guess.

Commish pounds immigration: Proving that he has little  interest in the Latino vote, Steve Poizner’s campaign plans to unveil a new TV spot today, in which he declares himself the only candidate with “the guts” to stop illegal immigration.

Stepping up the pitch to GOP conservatives he rolled out at the Republican state convention, promises to “stop taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants,” or to bring a new initiative before voters to do so.

Down but not out in his battle against GOP front-runner Meg Whitman, Poizner ends the ad by doing a superman act with a Buick, representing California, that’s about to fall over a cliff. Preview the ad here.


How Padilla Plans to Sell Newsom to Latino Voters

Monday, July 20th, 2009

padillaFollowing Gavin Newsom’s breathless press release announcing that he has enlisted State Sen. Alex Padilla to serve as “chair” of his campaign for governor, Calbuzz was keen to find out how Padilla – a bright, young, Democratic rising star in East Valley LA politics – intends to sell Prince Gavin to California Latinos.

Clearly, the Prince of Prides has got some work to do among Hispanics who, if history is a quide, will likely comprise about 15-18% of the Democratic primary vote in 2010. Polling by JMM Research in June found that the San Francisco mayor trails Attorney General Jerry Brown among Latinos 22%- to-51%, in a two-way race.

Obviously, this is partly because Latino voters don’t know Newsom like they do Brown. The General’s favorable-unfavorable was 42-to-3% among Latinos; for Newsom it was 15-8% (that’s 77% with no opinion whatsoever). But it may also reflect, in part, some cognitive dissonance among those who do know him, because Latino voters (at 53-to- 47%) were second only to blacks (70-to-30%) in support of Proposition 8’s ban on gay marriage.

So Calbuzz was eager to chat with Padilla, the former LA City Council president who is part of an East Valley political brokerage led by James Acevedo, an ex-Brown Beret turned developer and consultant, along with LA City Councilman Tony Cardenas. (These guys supported Jimmy Hahn over Tony V in the 2001 mayor’s race but backed Antonio four years later.)

We asked Padilla what he will point to about Newsom to convince Latinos to support him instead of Brown (who was an ally of Caesar Chavez’s, signed the Agricultural Relations Act into law, appointed Cruz Reynoso to the California Supreme Court and Mario Obledo to his cabinet).

“I’m not going to say anything different to the Latino community than I will to anybody else,” Padilla told us. “Latinos care about the same things all other voters care about.”

Here’s part of Padilla’s press-release spin and what it means (Content Alert: Put on your official Calbuzz Decoder Ring to see the actual translations.)

“Mayor Newsom personifies California’s brighter future. He reflects a new generation of leadership that will bring bold, innovative ideas and a nationally recognized record of reform to the governor’s office.”

– Translation: Gavin’s the young guy, with new ideas as opposed to Jerry, the old guy drooling soup on his tie.

“Gavin’s politics reflect the majority of our state: socially progressive, fiscally responsible, environmentally active and unequivocally dedicated to the promise of quality public education and health care for everyone.”

– Translation: He’s a Democrat.

“I appreciate and admire Gavin’s fight to ensure that every man, woman and child has full access to those rights and opportunities so integral to the California Dream. His entire political career, he has followed deeply-held core principles, not poll numbers.”

– Translation: To the extent that I have to deal with it, I’ve been told to reframe the whole gay marriage deal as an act of great political courage.

In our interview, Padilla, smart and articulate, echoed these generic themes, saying that Latinos will rally to Newsom, once they know about his vision, his record in San Francisco and his plans for California.

As for Newsom’s close association with gay marriage, “I don’t think it’ll be any more or less of an issue (with Latinos) than it will be for any other voters,” Padilla said. “It’s not a concern to me that it will be an issue that will impede him in reaching out to Latino voters.”

In other words, there’s nothing about Newsom that Padilla can cite to appeal specifically to Latinos and to chip away at Brown’s history among that important cohort of voters. If the campaign has a plan to address concerns Latino voters might have about gay marriage, Padilla wasn’t letting on about it.

Still, Padilla “is a genuine future big league talent,” as Richie Ross, Calbuzz’s resident expert on Latino politics in the state, put it (Padilla’s not his client). And getting him on board “is not an insignificant deal” for Newsom; before this, Brown had everything among Latinos and now “Gavin has something,” Ross added.

Or, as one of our trench-warfare sources in Los Angeles observed: “It’s always better to have something than nothing. He now has a recognizable Latino on his team.”

On the other hand, said this LA knife-fighter, “Where Gavin is hurt in the Latino community because of gay marriage, Padilla is not going to help him.”

gavinspeakingBTW, “actual reporting” kudos to Tony Castro of the LA Daily News,  for catching up with Acevedo, the Padilla ally and patron of East Valley politics, after the Prince did a big town hall meeting at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, last week.

Boss Acevedo, who supported Brown in past campaigns, said Newsom has a challenge because the former governor remains popular in Los Angeles in general and among Latinos in particular.

“I think (Brown) is going to have a very strong constituency among Latinos,” said Acevedo. “Few people know Newsom outside his own city, and I think it’s going to be tough for him to try to create a constituency among Latinos.”

– By Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine