Posts Tagged ‘Mike Curb’

eMeg’s Money Pit, Maldo vs Pedro, Spin & Marty

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Wannabe Governor Meg Whitman tossed another $20 million into the pot like so much couch dust this week, leaving Republican primary rival Steve Poizner to whine about her per unit Return On Investment.

“Twenty million dollars bought Meg 45 percent of likely Republican voters in a January poll,” a Poizner flack sniped, pointing to the first $20 million personal check Her Megness wrote to her campaign. “That’s (sic) means Meg has so far spent $444,444.44 for every percentage point.”

Yeah, and…so what? It’s not like Republicans have something against rich people spending their own money.

Team Poizner also recycled the observation, by blogger Bill Bradley, that the $40 million eMeg  generously donated to herself, six months before the primary, already matches what Governor Al Checchi, the previous record holder, self-funded during his entire, miserably failed 1998 bid for the Democratic nomination.

True that, but again, what’s the point?

The bottom line is that Whitman’s lavish spending has bought her two, very valuable things in the race: 1) she’s clearly established herself as the front-runner, if not yet the GOP presumptive nominee, and; 2) she’s accomplished this largely with an under-the-radar radio campaign that has managed to avoid triggering a she’s-trying-to-buy-the-election backlash, at least outside of insider circles.

For Whitman, $40 million is chump change, a tiny sliver of her billionaire fortune; if it’s working, why not keep working it? Poizner made a brief splash last month by fronting a mere $15 Large of his own dough, but given his below-par outside fund-raising to date, Smokestack Steve will have to go to the wallet for a lot more than that to catch Monoxide Meg.

Brown-Coakley redux: With no exit polls from the big Massachusetts Senate race – who can afford them these days? – we’re unfortunately left with a wide-open bazaar of conflicting, unconfirmable  theories about what happened, none of them based on data.

That said, the most interesting take we’ve seen comes from Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, who advances the case that Republican Scott Brown’s late surge past rival and erstwhile front-runner Martha Coakley coincided with the release and publication of two robo-polls (so-called IVR polls, which auto-dial respondents) and which apparently triggered the flood of web fund-raising that boosted Brown. Mellman, writing in The Hill (HT to Gale Kaufman for the link):

(W)ithout the close polls, the circumstances that made Republican victory possible would have been insufficient to bring it about. The polls were the spark that ignited the dry kindling on the forest floor. Without the spark provided by the polls, though, there would have been no conflagration.

Is there anything wrong with polls influencing elections? If the polls were accurate reflections of reality, it’s hard to complain. Though we will never know for sure, my own strong sense is that these two IVR auto-dial polls significantly overstated Brown’s support when they were completed.

Another chewy take-out: the Washpost’s Chris Cillizza at “The Fix” lists five “myths” about the Bay State election: 1) Brown didn’t win, Coakley lost it; 2) Brown’s win means health care is dead; 3) Dems are headed for oblivion in mid-terms; 4) Obama’s brand is dead; 5) Mass. Voters won’t elect a woman.  It’s here.

The daily fix for our T-Ridge jones: Anthony York, over at  “California Politics,” the online collaboration between the LAT and Capitol Weekly, posted a juicy little report on the spat between Lite Gov. Wannabe Abel Maldonado and Assemblyman Pedro Nava over Calbuzz’s idée fixe, the Tranquillon Ridge offshore oil project.

Lobbying in print for his confirmation. state Senator Maldo reminded York of his past consistent opposition to the project,  insisting the offshore issue should not derail his appointment:

“I’ve voted against the proposal three times,” Maldonado said. “As lieutenant governor, I would take each issue as it comes before the commission, but I don’t know how much clearer I can be on that issue.”

Maldo also ripped Assemblyman and AG Wannabe Nava (D-Tree Hugger), who told Calbuzz earlier that he believes the Republican senator pledged support for T-Ridge before Schwarzmuscle nominated him for lite gov.

“It’s so crazy,” said Maldonado. “No deal has been cut.” Nava is “spreading stories that have absolutely no basis in fact.”

When asked about Maldonado’s comments, Nava said, “It’s hard for me to believe there wasn’t an agreement reached” between Schwarzenegger and Maldonado. “Let him sign a written public pledge that he will vote no on T-Ridge. Then I might feel some comfort.”

This just in: T-Ridge foes were caught by surprise when the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office recommended Thursday that the Legislature approve the project. While it’s a fairly tepid endorsement, coming after a laundry list of policy criticisms of the proposal, it’s an endorsement nonetheless, and from a very influential source:

While the Legislature will want to evaluate the proposal accounting for the policy concerns that have been raised, it should weigh these concerns against the opportunity to gain much-needed revenues for the General Fund. Analyzing the potential risks and trade-offs, we find, on balance, that the Tranquillon Ridge proposal merits legislative approval.

Jerry’s time warp: Crusty the General’s offhand reference to Mike Curb this week was just the latest evidence that he’s in danger of being stuck in a pre-1980s time warp. Here’s the Calbuzz Next Ten list of folks we look for Brown to reference in coming weeks:

1-Spin & Marty
2-S.I. Hayakawa
3-John Brodie
4-Gale Storm
5-Houston Flournoy
6-Willie Kirkland
7-Ozzie Nelson Dr. Irwin Corey
8-Caryl Chessman
9-Earl “The Pearl” Monroe
10-Wavy Gravy

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: Weird hair showdown pits Donald Trump vs. Lady Gaga.

Meyer Debuts, Dr. H Returns, Jerry Time Travels

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

meyer cartoon 1.1-18colorToday we present the latest, irrefutable evidence that America’s most talented journalists are free flowing to the web (emphasis on “free”), with the Calbuzz debut of award-winning editorial cartoonist Tom Meyer.

Meyer, who says he aimed to “entertain and exasperate readers” during a 28-year stint at the SF Chronicle, has also been published in the NYT, the WashPost, New Republic and National Journal, plus a whole bushel full of other places through United Features Syndicate.

Recipient of a Fischetti Award, the big-deal editorial cartoon competition named after the late, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist John Fischetti, Meyer also has been honored with a James Madison Freedom of Information Act Award – not to mention a couple of particle board plaques from the Peninsula Press Club. In his spare time, he likes to bet on dachshund races.

He’s quite simply one of the best in the business, a point we think is sharply underscored by today’s take on televising the Prop. 8 trial. Please join us in welcoming Meyer to the Calbuzz ranks.

meyer cartoon 1-18color


The Return of Dr. Hackenflack:

Dear Dr. Hdr-hackenflack
In analyzing the Massachusetts Senate race, do you think Scott Brown’s nude centerfold photos in Cosmo were a really big factor?
— Lady Gaga, Poker Face, Tex.

Dear Gaga,
There was a MASSI
VE gender gap on this issue: Men thought it a huge positive by +10, but women said it wasn’t that big a deal, only +4. Final length of victory = +5.

Herr Doktor,
I just heard Meg Whitman’s new statewide radio ad attacking people on welfare. Isn’t she a zillionaire or something – is this really the greatest good for the greatest number?
— Karl, Marxville

Dear Karl,
Please remember, the filthy rich are people, too. I’m sure she’s more than willing to give one of those welfare folks a good job grooming her horse or cleaning up behind it.

To Dr. P.J. Hackenflack
From Ellen from Malcolmsburg
Re: Women and Whitman

I just stumbled across Meg Whitman’s campaign video with testimonials about her from prominent women in politics, like Jillian Hasner, Amisha Patel, Jessica Patterson, Sara Myers and Sarah Pompei. She sounds like such a generous person!

Dear Ellen,
Yes, since everyone in the video is on her payroll, we think of it as eMeg’s very own welfare queen program.

Jerry smashemike-curbs time-space continuum: Plenty of Calbuzzers, not yet eligible to pull money out of their 401(k)s, were scratching their heads  when California’s Acting Governor, Attorney General Jerry Brown, joked in Wednesday’s “Quicktake” that he planned to suspend AB32  and compared himself in the process to former Lite Gov. Mike Curb.

A Calbuzz stroll through the dustbin of history (mixed metaphor? –ed) brought back vivid memories of Curb, the cherubic-faced record* executive-turned-future-hope-of-the-Republican party. In 1979, his first year in office, Curb carried on a campaign of political performance art, purporting to seize control of the levers of power every time Brown left California to promote his nascent bid for president, which was pretty damned often.

Curb’s dumbass guerrilla effort crashed on the evening of Wednesday, May 16, when he tried once again to assert his disputed powers as acting governor, this time suspending state standards for the content of gasoline, and pretty much making a fool of himself to boot.

With Brown in D.C. , Curb with great ceremony signed a proclamation in San Francisco, rolling back tougher-than-national standards on lead and vapor pressure in gas. Not long after, an aide discovered that the word “consistent” had been substituted for the word “inconsistent” in the signed executive order, which would have given it exactly the opposite effect Curb intended.

So he made a mad, 90-mile dash to Sacramento, for a very informal meeting with then-Deputy Secretary of State Michael S. Gagan, a favorite of Sacramento’s crowded, after-work saloon crowd, who happened to live one floor below Brown’s famous “mattress on the floor” digs in an apartment near the Capitol.

Curb was met at the curb by a trio of tipped-off reporters when he pulled up to the apartment. The group included a future Calbuzzer, who provided this chronology for S.F.’s morning paper the following day:

6:59:30 – Curb hustles into the apartment house elevator accompanied by an aide and several reporters who showed up to greet him.

As the elevator door closes, a building security guard throws it open and asks, “Who let you in?’”

“You’re holding up state business,” says the aide, explaining that the deputy secretary of state is expecting the lieutenant governor.

7:00 – As the governor’s plane approaches California’s skies, the elevator slowly creaks up to the fifth floor and Curb mumbles, “There’s got to be an easier way to make a living…This is the last thing I needed this week.”

7:02:10 – Deputy Secretary of State Gagan calls the telephone recording that gives the time, as Curb signs his corrected executive order, sitting on a leather couch below a leaded glass lamp with the word “Budweiser” embossed on it.

7:03 – As Gagan, drinking a beer, completes the legal necessities of accepting the proclamation…Curb paces in the living room of the neatly furnished apartment and answers questions from reporters.

“Some people may not understand why we did this, but I think it’s a key issue,” Curb says. “I don’t think anyone with a brain doubts this is going to produce more gas.”

For the record, SF Chronicle night city editor Michael Taylor was told by the Federal Aviation Administration later that night that Brown’s plane entered California air space at the Colorado River on Jet Airway J-10 at 7:06 pm, PST. You could look it up.

* A disk designed to be played on a phonograph (an electronic device that reproduces sound by means of a stylus in contact with a grooved rotating disk).

iCarly dcarlyrightefies laws of arithmetic: In the wake of the Massachusetts Senate race, there are plenty of things a Republican Senate wannabe like Carly Fiorina could whack an incumbent Democrat like Barbara Boxer over – but one of them is not campaign fundraising, especially one larded with numbers that are backasswards.

“Barbara Boxer should be a very worried incumbent senator today,” sez a new press release from Hurricane Carly HQ. “Not only did Carly out-raise Boxer in just 60 days to the tune of 2 to 1, but the polls” etc. etc.

Well, not really. In fact, iCarly’s “2-to-1” claim about out raising Boxer turns out to be what Poor George W would call your fuzzy math.

In her latest campaign finance filing, Fiorina in the 4th quarter of 2009 did, in fact, report receipts of $3.58 million, compared to $1.8 million for Boxer. Problem is, $2.5 million of the total – 70 per cent – came in the form of $2.5 million loan from Carly to herself.

In contributions, it was Boxer who out-raised Fiorina almost 2-to-1 – $1.8 million to $1.08 million.

More importantly, Babs has $7.2 million in the bank, compared to the iCarly’s $2.75 million – including the self-loan. Which helps explain how the Hurricane messed up the finances at HP so effectively during her tenure there.

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: TMZ sez Mo’Nique’s got a leg up on the competition.  (You wanna see it, you gotta follow the link.)