Time for Cheapskate Gandalf to Cover the Spread


jerrygandalfIt’s time for Gov. Jerry Brown to spend some of the millions in contributions he has on hand for his own re-election against Republican Neel Kashkari. Why? Not because he’s in danger of losing – he’s ahead 52-36% in the latest PPIC poll. But because he risks political humiliation by not covering the Calbuzz 20-point spread.

Our scientifically calculated spread is based on algorithms so complicated even we don’t understand them. But trust us, they take into account the 1998 governor’s race when then-Lt. Gov. Gray Davis beat Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren 58-38% at a time when Republicans constituted about 35% of registered voters compared to 29% today.

So what’s it going to be, Jerry: are you going to let a staffer outdo you in historic ranking of all-time smashing victories?

Given that Brown’s job approval rating is 54%, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, he is woefully under-performing at 52% against a former Goldman Sachs banker, fercryinoutloud.

300-xerxesFun with numbers: Granted, Gov. Gandalf is pulling 83% of Democrats, 44% of independents and even 14% of Republicans while Xerxes of Kashkari is drawing just 71% of Republicans, 40% of independents and 10% of Democrats. [Secret memo to Anne Gust: you really must hunt down those one-in-10 Democrats and give them a good tongue lashing).

But the two measures Brown is throwing money at – the Prop 1 water bond – and the Prop 2 rainy-day fund – aren’t doing all that great: 56-32% for Prop 1 and 49-34% for Prop. 2.

If Gandalf would wave his magic wand and put some money behind a couple of TV ads reminding California voters what it was like before he took over, he could surely beat the Calbuzz spread. Which is the bottom line of this woeful governor’s “race.”

PPIC has lots of nifty findings about ballot measures, which you can find here.

Speaking of Jerry and money: Mega-kudos to Thomas Peele and Josh Richman of the Bay Area News Group for an excellent investigative piece showing a) how Gov. Gandalf over the past few years has quietly accumulated millions of dollars in net worth through a web of real estate investments with big-time Bay Area developers; b) avoids public disclosure of the true size and details of his investments by hiding behind the state’s woefully out-of-date financial disclosure forms; c) is stonewalling on releasing any further information about what the reporters characterize as a “small fortune.”

While the rest of the California MSM was asleep at the wheel, Peele and Richman, with an assist from the indefatigable Howard Mintz of the Murky News, have published a must-read look at the personal finances of Brown and Gust that puts the lie to Gandalf’s public posturing about being the reincarnation of Sister Teresa:

But in recent years Brown has quietly built a small fortune in real estate and stock holdings, in part by going into business with prominent Oakland developers whom he once regulated as that city’s mayor, a Bay Area News Group analysis of Brown’s personal investments shows.

While Gov. Brown was busy over the last four years frugally balancing California’s budget, the state’s chief executive was actively building up his multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio. Just two years ago, he invested in an $11 million office building near Oakland International Airport in an area that is being considered for a massive “Coliseum City” redevelopment project that could include new baseball and football stadiums. And earlier this year Brown and partners broke ground on a 100-unit apartment building on prime real estate they bought in 2007 on the Oakland-Emeryville border.

Yo, Xerxes! If you really want to throw your money away on negative ads, check this out instead of trying to link Brown to dead kids.

(N.B.Calbuzz readers who’ve misplaced their Dr. P.J. Hackenflack decoder rings may ask, “Hey Calbuzz, why do you compare Kashkari – whose parents are Kashmiri Brahmins – to Xerxes, the Persian king who lived from 486 to 465 BC?” Because, grasshoppers, Kashkari looks uncannily like the character Rodrigo Santoro played in “The 300.”)

Also, according to the Calbuzz Style Book: One Sight Gag > 1,000 Wool-Gathering Fulminations. You could look it up.

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There are 3 comments for this post

  1. avatar RobertJMolnar says:

    2012 Emken pulled 37.5% (4.7 mill votes)…2010 Meg pulled 40.9% (4.1 mill votes)…2010 Carly pulled 42.2% (4.2 mill votes)….2010 Abel pulled 39% (3.8 mill votes)…2010 Dunn pulled 38.2% (3.6 mill votes)…2010 Tony Strickland pulled 36.1% (3.4 mill votes)….2010 Mimi Walters pulled 36.2% (3.5 mill votes)….2010 Cooley pulled 45.5% (4.3 mill votes)…..2010 Villines pulled 37.6% (3.5 mill votes)….

    It should be noted that Meg and Carly had robust full spending campaigns…..but nobody else on this list spent much of anything….hence, the natural cap range for GOP statewide candidates is pretty narrow.

    Neel will end up on the low range….if Jerry puts up a closing argument ad, he could drive Kashkari below 36%.

  2. avatar Scoop says:

    Guys, I think you have it all wrong. If I were a betting man, I would wager that he is amassing this fortune JUST in case Hillary Clinton self-destructs.

    After the 1992 campaign, he will not challenge Hillary directly. Also, the DLC controls the party establishment and the Clintons control the DLC.

    If she blows it, Jerry, a popular Dem governor from a populous state with some real successes, would be a natural. Warren needs more ‘seasoning’ according to conventional wisdom, and Biden is just too gaffe prone. O’Malley doesn’t have the name recognition and Hickenlooper doesn’t either—plus he’s facing a nail-biter of an election night in two weeks.

    • avatar pjhackenflack says:

      This is an intriguing thought, but wouldn’t be legal unless the funds were re-donated under federal limits.

      FEC regulations generally prohibit the transfer of funds from a candidate’s non-federal (state) account to a federal account, subject to certain exceptions:

      (d) Transfers from nonfederal to federal campaigns.

      Transfers of funds or assets from a candidate’s campaign committee or account for a nonfederal election to his or her principal campaign committee or other authorized committee for a federal election are prohibited. However, at the option of the nonfederal committee, the nonfederal committee may refund contributions, and may coordinate arrangements with the candidate’s principal campaign committee or other authorized committee for a solicitation by such committee(s) to the same contributors. The full cost of this solicitation shall be paid by the Federal committee.

      11 CFR 110.3(d).

      This is consistent with the BCRA (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act) — basically, if the state campaign contributors agree to re-donate to the federal campaign account consistent with BCRA’s hard money limits, those funds can be used by the candidate for a federal campaign.

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