It’s a cheap trick and a cheap date, for sure. But Calbuzz is a sucker for all things new. So we’re passing along the link to Insurance commissioner Steve Poizner’s latest attempt to get his name in the news — his first “web video” of the campaign, attacking former eBay CEO Meg Whitman for ducking next Monday’s “debate” in Sacramento.
As a campaign tactic, Calbuzz finds this only a little bit cheesier than the phantom ads that candidates “release” but never spend money on to broadcast. These are not really campaign advertising in the sense of trying to reach a mass audience. They’re video press releases, masquerading as TV ads. We’ve called on those who are monitoring and covering campaigns to find out from candidates’ handlers just how big their big their buy is. If it’s less than $1 million in California, then it’s really being done to affect media coverage, not public opinion.
That’s exactly what Poizner is doing — even if he does use quotes from Calbuzz as third-party validation of his charges. It’s a video press release.
Meanwhile, Whitman today called for laying off 20,000 to 30,000 state employees “while prioritizing public safety and teachers” as a first step in dealing with a looming state deficit of up to $21 billion. In a speech to the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, eMeg said “We shouldn’t have to lay off teachers, we need to lay off bureaucrats.”
For a critique of eMeg’s off-with-their-heads math, check out Josh Richman’s post at Political Blotter.
Feinstein Prop Update: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, after commissioning an exhaustive study, finally weighed in on the ballot measures today, holding her nose and supporting Propositions 1A and 1B. “I will reluctantly vote for 1A and 1B because I do not see any way to prevent a greater financial disaster for the state of California,” she said.
But she also said: “I will vote against Prop. 1C because I do not believe that taking money from future lottery proceeds to reconcile existing debt is advisable in public finance.” Also: “Voters are confronted with these bad choices because we don’t have a budgeting system that works effectively and efficiently in times of budget crisis. Ultimately, I believe major reform is necessary in order to put California back on track.”
Feinstein did not declare her position on another key state fiscal issue: whether or not to dump California’s two-thirds vote requirement to pass a state budget in the legislature.