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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Sanford’



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.

Grab Bag: Twitter Cash, New Rule, DiFi and Tony V

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

gavin3Tweeting For Dollars: With the deadline for this quarter’s fundraising approaching fast (midnight tonight), Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown and Steve Poizner all turned to their Twitter followers to raise bucks and demonstrate support.

On the Democratic side, Brown seems to be a big winner, predicting he’ll have $7.3 million to $7.4 million in the bank while Newsom claimed to be breaking new ground in online fundraising.

Here’s a series of Newsom pitches:

* Campaign reporting deadline in 36 hours. Need 208 donations to break 4000 online. Can you give $10?
* Update: 162 donations to go to hit 4000. 75 donations already today! Can you give $10 to help?
* Update – 227 people donated today! We’re just 10 donors short of our goal of 4000 online donations already.
* Reporting deadline in 13 hours. We r $2,459 short of $1 million raised online. Can you give $10?

(In an email to supporters Tuesday afternoon, Newsom says he’s pulled in more than 4,000 online donations worth more than $1 million.)

EGBrown3Here are a couple of Brown’s tweets:

* Help me Beat the Deadline: Midnight tonight -
* Less than 10 hours to go – help me beat the deadline!

And an assist from Joe Trippi:
* I’ve worked w/ Jerry Brown for a long time. CA is a mess. He’s the right man to get CA out of it. Pls donate b4 midnight

“We’re going to have somewhere between $7.3 and $7.4 million in the bank,” Brown told Calbuzz Tuesday afternoon.

126719_poizner_GMK_And then there was Steve Poizner, trying to build up his showing against eMeg (who’s expected to show as much as $8 million for the quarter).
* June 30th fundraising deadline is tonight, become a Dollar Donor today!

People often ask us, “Calbuzz, what about this Twitter deal? Is it important to campaigning these days?” To which we reply: It depends how it’s used.

When a candidate or campaign uses Twitter to raise money (like the examples above) or to mobilize supporters (like Tom Campbell did the other day when he was about to appear on KGO Radio with Ronn Owens) – those are uses of Twitter that make sense.

Then there’s what we call, in the trade, a Big Fat Waste of Time:

Whitman2010 Just filled up with gas at the Boyett gas station. Now off to Visalia in our truck

Who gives a rat’s ass?

sanfordCalbuzz Rules: While everybody knows that the First Absolute Rule of Politics is that “Conventional wisdom is always wrong,”  South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford appears to have invented a second inalienable law of politics:  “Don’t cheat on your wife and then talk to the AP.”

Sanford caught a lucky break last week when wall-to-wall coverage of Michael Jackson’s death quickly eclipsed the bizarre story of his sexcapades with Argentine news reader Maria Belen Chapur. A wiser, or less narcissistic, pol might have relished the opportunity to lower his profile, but not good ole’ Governor Gamecock.

No, Sanford had to fight his way back into the headlines  by sitting down with a couple of AP reporters at the South Carolina statehouse and spill his guts, not only offering TMI about Ms. Chapur, but also way more than we wanted to know about the rest of his personal life.

“This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story,” he said. “A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.”

Yuck.

Hey, if this whole politics thing doesn’t work out, Mark, you can always find a job writing jacket copy for Danielle Steel.

Go ahead, make my day: That roar of hilarity rising up and out of Southern California feinsteinglassesemanates from the political camp of Senator Dianne Feinstein, choking with laughter after reading GOP analyst Dan Schnur’s LAT op-ed predicting Herself won’t stand for re-election in 2012.

Of even greater amusement was Schnur’s suggestion that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in line to take over the seat two years hence. “That would be a Clint Eastwood moment,” says one DiFi acolyte. “Please, God, let Antonio run against Dianne.”

tonyvAdd Tony V: Speaking of Villaraigosa, Betty Pleasant, who writes the “Soulvine” column for the Los Angeles Wave has some great behind-the-scenes dish from the big parade celebrating the Lakers’ NBA championship. She reports that Kobe Bryant was none too happy with the former Tony Villar’s efforts to push himself in the team’s spotlight, and refused for a time to board the bus to the event:

The cause of the hold-up was occurring adjacent to the locker room, where Kobe was refusing to ride on the City Council bus because the mayor was to ride on it. At the same time, the mayor, the consummate spotlight thief, was refusing to get on the City Council bus unless he got on with Kobe. Kobe loudly denounced the mayor in phrases that
started with “I don’t like the …” and ended with “I’m not going to let him pimp my popularity!”

Saturday Swap Meet: Jacko, Farrah & Ed, RIP

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

sanfordThat was the week that was: We’ll leave to more talented social commentators the task of weaving together the sad, always-happens-in-threes departures of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, and focus instead on another crossover entertainer who seared himself into the nation’s consciousness with a breakthrough performance this week: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

As everyone who’s watched Sanford’s narcissistic, nihilistic, nut ball performance in confessing to an Argentine love affair already knows (anyone who hasn’t is banned from reading further until you do ), the guy flat-out retired the Loony Tunes Lifetime Achievement Award with an excruciating, stream of consciousness, political-train-wreck-in-public act.

Between his opening incoherence – “I won’t begin in any particular spot” – his self-pitying Andrew Lloyd Webber knockoff – “oddly enough, I spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina” – and his extraordinary explanation of how he’d violated moral law – “the biggest self of self is indeed self” – Sanford managed the seemingly impossible feat of mmariaaking Rod Blagoevich and Sarah Palin seem like Ozzie and Harriet.

(Calbuzz finds it fascinating that Sanford’s Argentine lover,  María Belén Chapur, was a producer at the television network America from 2001 to 2002 — kinda reminds us of LA Mayor Tony V’s fixation on TV babes.)

Oh sure, between eMeg, Prince Gavin and General Jerry, our own field of candidates for governor includes a few eccentricities and some borderline weirdness. But Calbuzz feels a profound sense of journalistic injustice at being denied the career peak experience of covering a total whack job like Sanford.

In our view, the only decent thing for Sanford to do — with just 18 months left in his term, Palmetto State legislators screaming for his head and almost a year to go before California’s primary — is to move to the left coast and jump into the Republican primary with twin barrels aimed at both feet. Please, governor, you’re the only one who can save us from the earnestness of Tom Campbell, the grumpiness of Steve Poizner and the unctuousness of Meg Whitman. Plus: great connections to BA from LAX.

BTW, the Sanford saga produced some yeoperson efforts by the ladies and gentleman of the press. Top honors in the print category go to the San Jose Mercury News for a keeper front page, carefully crafted for single copy sales, which featured a big foto of the wild man and a red, screamer hed: “What Was He Thinking?” Online division kudos to the Washpost for its special, Sanford edition slide show titled: “Interactive: A history of political sex scandals.” Interactive? Really?

Don’t Invitems: Capitol Weekly and the Bay Area Council went head-to-head twice within a few days over the former’s coverage of the latter’s proposal for a constitutional convention.

The first flap focused on a Weekly piece published Monday, in which Malcolm Maclachlan reported that the council was circulating a draft convention call that would bar changes to Proposition 13. When we checked out the report, Council execs grumbled that the Weekly had overreached in its sweeping assertion. Because the Calbuzzer motto is, “We’re from the press – we’re here to help,” we offered our own report that addressed the nuances of the council’s position on the complex issue, ever eager to heal a breach between two organizations we respect.

Then on Thursday, Maclachlan filed again, this time reporting that the Council was moving to “hand off” the campaign for a convention to an independent third party. At this, council vice president John Grubb let his feelings show – hollering “foul” and loudly demanding a correction.

At issue in the new dispute is a report about a panel of “experts” that the Council plans to convene for the purpose of wording and framing the exact questions that convention delegates would consider; the language this panel will draft is to be included in the “call to convention” initiative BAC is aiming at the November 2010 ballot.

The Weekly story suggests the “experts” panel gives the council a pass-the-buck way to escape the political heat they’re getting from anti-tax groups threatening to oppose the convention if it tackles Prop. 13. Not so, insists Grubb, who told us the “experts” panel has been part of the plan all along, and that the Council fully intends to remain the lead dog on the constitutional convention campaign.

“It was kind of weird to have your obituary written,” Grubb said of the latest Weekly story, “without having participated in your death.”

Anthony York, the editor of the Weekly, told us he’s confident the story is factually accurate, but “understands (Grubb’s) sensitivity” to the suggestion the council is ceding control of the convention process. York called it “a semantic difference” and said he’s invited Grubb to submit a letter or a commentary addressing his concerns.

Putting aside the journalistic subtleties here, the crucial substantive  issue is how and whether the convention deals with Prop. 13. Whatever your favorite cliché for the tax-cut measure – political third rail, elephant in the room, the Big Enchilada – trying to revise California’s system of governance without dealing with the multiple strands of Prop. 13 is like trying to blog without links; it kinda’ misses the point.

dianne_feinstein

Dissin’ Dianne: Back in the day, when she was Empress of San Francisco, Sen. Dianne Feinstein once chewed out a Chronicle reporter for running a scoop that disclosed a draft plan for a new ballpark that Her Honor wasn’t yet ready to make public: “I don’t want any more premature ejaculations in the paper,” she told him angrily, promptly generating a follow-up story that prominently featured her lovely comment.

The old quote came to mind this week, when DiFi again got in trouble for being candid with a reporter, this time on a Sunday talk show, where she threw cold water on President Obama’s big health care reform plan: “Well, to be candid with you, I don’t know that he has the votes right now,” she told CNN’s John King. “I think there’s a lot of concern in the Democratic caucus.”

Damn that candor.

It didn’t take long for the armies of the netroots to launch a full-scale attack, led by Moveon.org, which rallied its members to swamp her office with calls assailing her for politically incorrect (for a Democrat) thought. By week’s end, as David “Comrade” Dayen reported on Calitics ,  Moveon and its coalition had organized a full-bore, multi-platform assault.

With an arsenal of Facebook, Twitter and My Space weapons arrayed against her, Feinstein responded with a throwback press release featuring a laundry list of principles she would support in health care . The techno mismatch of the fight between an old-school pol and new generation social network forces was fascinating to behold – who knew from one-click re-Tweets? – and made us start to wonder if maybe Dan Schnur might be on to something with his out-of-right-field prediction in a L.A. Times op-ed: “Feinstein is an unlikely candidate for re-election in 2012.”

Wussup on the internets: Mega-kudos to Nikki Finke, who sold her DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com site for a reported $14 million , which establishes a decent enough price floor for when it comes time to unload Calbuzz in a month or so (why of course, Tom Campbell will drive more traffic than Jacko!). Don’t miss Finke’s post-sale grilling by arch-rival Sharon Waxman, who runs The Wrap.

In other internets news, the Public Policy Institute of California has an interesting new survey on digital usage in the state, including a full and frank examination of the 12 people who actually use Twitter. Key finding: internet use has increased from 70 to 76 percent over the past year (clearly due almost entirely to the launch of Calbuzz).

Must read of the week: “California to Feds: Drop Dead,” Joe Mathews’s terrific piece over at Fox and Hounds analyzing the chutzpah of Obama et al in refusing loan guarantees for California.

Finally, we note Kevin Roderick’s classy tribute to TMZ for their ace online reporting on Michael Jackson’s death — which killed the traditional media in LA.