Friday Fishwrap: Sifting the Entrails of the Sacramento Crowd


Whee the people: The Just Say No message delivered by voters on Tuesday set off a post-election scramble among politicians to denounce everyone and everything to do with Sacramento except the Camellia bushes.

Notable among the heated rhetoric were remarks by GOP guv hopeful Steve Poizner, who tried to sound as if he’d never even visited the place, but was delivering his remarks from, oh say, Bhutan, viz: “Sacramento doesn’t seem able to pass a budget…the Sacramento crowd…my message to Sacramento is simple,” etc. We’ll double check the GPS, but isn’t the Insurance Commissioners’ office in the River City?

As a quantitative matter, however, it should be noted that Poizner earned bragging rights as the biggest outsider among insiders on special election day: Stevie Wonder finished first in the pack of wannabe governors in the number of pre-election positions on the props that agreed with those of the angry electorate.

Among the GOPers, Poizner took the same stance as voters on five out of the six measures (he went no on everything, including Prop. F), while Meg Whitman got four of six right (she backed the defeated Props. 1D & 1E), and Tom Campbell batted only .333 (he supported 1A, 1D & 1E and opposed 1F).

Among Dems, Gavin Newsom led the way with three of six positions that agreed with the voters (he whiffed on 1A, 1B and 1F), while the establishment stances of Jerry Brown and Antonio Villaraigosa made each of them 1-for-6 (they both backed Prop. 1F).

This just in: Five days before the election, Gov. Arnold presented his scary budget alternatives to Californians with about as much noise and flourish a governor can muster in the middle of the day, complete with a packed-to-the-rafters Capitol press conference, videocast and reams of financial documents posted in real time.

Yet Reuters news service mysteriously delivered word of Schwarzenegger’s plan to sell off state landmarks with this weird lede, which read like a dispatch from Antarctica:

“California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is planning the sale of some state properties including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, San Quentin State Prison and the Orange County Fairgrounds to raise cash,the Los Angeles Times said, citing a copy of a proposal.

Damn those sneaky devils from the L.A. Times and their damnable investigative reporting!

Yo Reuters! Calbuzz sez check out this whole internets thingy

Management by objective: The East Bay Express is a pretty good paper, and carried a pretty good zinger on Jerry Brown after Obama this week hired Rosie Rios to be the Treasurer of the United States. Brown, it seems, fired Rios as Oakland’s a top economic development official when he was mayor, giving the Express this kicker to their piece:

“How about this for a gubernatorial campaign slogan? Jerry Brown: Keen Eye for Talent.”

After the story published, Garry South, chief strategist for Newsom, and the hardest workin’ spinner in show business, e-blasted it, then worked the refs for good measure, complaining that no political reporters had followed it up.

Given Newsom’s history of, um, exhausting his administrative remedies with a staff member, is “Keen Eye for Talent” really the line of attack his campaign wants to take against Brown? We’re just askin’.

Everyone in the pool: Final, final tallies from the Calbuzz Election Night Pool Clambake and Crab Boil shows the winner’s circle shapes up this way:

1st Prize – Jim Sweeney.
Sweeney missed the exact order of finish for Props 1A-1E by just 0.005%, the only entrant to get more than two of the five positions right. He finished second in winning percentage for Prop. F, and his 23.5% turnout prediction just missed nailing the 23% reported by SOS Debra Bowen. A professional ranter at the Sonoma Press-Democrat, Sweeney wins a free rant here, plus two Calbuzzer buttons.

2nd Prize – Kevin Dowling
Dowling won the Yes-on-F category, as his 75-25% prediction came closest to the actual 73.9-26.1% finish. He tied for second on the other two questions. A Hayward city councilman, he wins two out-of-print books by old white guys, plus a Calbuzz button.

3rd Prize – Shane Maharaj
Maharaj had a solid ticket throughout, tying for second on questions #1 and #3 and finishing third on question #2. A legislative aide to Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, who’s now based in Washington, he says he is “a Sacramentan and a Californian through and through.” He wins a Calbuzz button and maybe some out-of-print books if we find any extras laying around.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all for playing.

View From the Right: Curious to know how the reddest of the red-blood conservatives saw the election? Check out Jon Fleischman’s take on winners and losers.

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There are 6 comments for this post

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    WELL – this was certainly orth waiting for, guys! BTW: I’ve been in that “packed to the rafters” Capitol Press Room – next to Da Guv’s Offices – and on a good day ‘Sac Bee’ columnist dan walters AND i COULD STAND SIDE BY SIDE WITH ROOM FOR MAYBE A HALF DOZEN SMALLER, YOUNGER AND FAR THINNER REPORTERS SIMULTANEOUSLY! 😉 WOuld the erstwhile, distinguished Mr. Sweeney — far older yet wiser than most – please confirm?

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    congratds to all winners — THERE WERE REALLY “no LOSERS” ON THE cAL bUZZ SPECIAL ELECTION POLL AND PROGNOSTICATIONS [did I get the spelling right on that]? Especial bravos for Shane of my good friend BOB FILNER (D-CA) inside the Beltway; ask Bob, SHane, if he got my letter on “the most important piece of veterans legislation in his career on which he shall work during this term”? 😉 Similar letter to the Senate committee for vets, as we move smartly toward one of the two most emotional holidays all veterans experience annually: Memorial Day. FAIR WARNING: I have picked out a HONDA ‘cycle and am even now preparing to make “The Run to the ‘Wall in 2010” with my fellow ‘Nam War vet brothers next year.

  3. avatar Anonymous says:

    IF LA Times DC Bureau chief DOYLE McMANUS had a hand – even in the background so he probably DID – in their investigative reportage on “the attempt to sell historic monuments” as a fire sale to balance the CA budget: Tell Da Guv the LA Memorial Coliseum near USC campus is OFF LIMITS, bub! Try somewhere else, farther to the East — like a certain San Berdu NASCAR speedway.

  4. avatar vbonnaire says:

    It’s going to be Jerry Brown, all the way!



    That Rios gig didn’t work for actual Dems…not a chance.

    Jerry Brown is hard at work right now as a solver! (just look at his twitter)…Jerry is what being a Calif. Dem is!

    hahahahaha! tell fluffy no chance with the crowd that just voted the other day…

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    Congrats to Sweeney! Fantastic job and it just goes to show that while newspapers may be dying…grizzled vets of the ‘bidness still have something to offer! Although, Jim’s paper did endorse the measures (what paper in the state didn’t endorse this mess?), he knew all along it was not a fight worth having nor a slate of proposals worth protecting…for too long anyways.

  6. avatar Earnest Hussein Dodge says:

    Who cares how the voters voted? There’s no way California can be run that way. Unless you don’t mind letting a couple hundred thousand felons running loose. Mind you, I don’t, since I live in Humboldt and they’re all gonna mostly be in SoCal. You guys can rot. 🙂 There’s a part of me that almost can’t wait unti lthis state collapses and the Republicans are forced to take blame for turning California into a third world country.

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