Round-up: Harris, Sanchez, Glazer & Kim K’s Butt


kamalaharrisBottom line on the new Merv and Mark Poll: Kamala Harris looks strong, but far from inevitable, in the race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer.

With only 531 shopping days until the 2016 election, the Field Poll out this week shows Attorney General Harris, who’s been a candidate for what feels like a year already, leading the field with 19 percent. Democratic rival Loretta “Big Whoop” Sanchez, who jumped in last week, has 8 percent, and the other declared wannabes are running for the exercise.

The vast majority of voters said they more greatly favor: a) the NBA playoffs; b) stories about coffee as an aphrodisiac and c) additional tweets of Kim Kardashian’s big butt.

Bird’s eye view: When we bumped into our old friend Rose Kapolcynzski, who managed all four of Boxer’s successful campaigns, at last weekend’s DisneyDem convention, she told us she’d been impressed with Queen Kamala’s “shock and awe” entry, aimed at clearing the field early.

“Despite a year of speculation about a Boxer retirement, only Harris was ready to run when Boxer announced in early January,” she said. “Clearly she was planning for the possibility of an open Senate seat long before Boxer announced.”

(We were kind enough not to point out that Rose herself may have been responsible for others being lulled, given that she was denying as late as September 2014 that Boxer was retiring).

The Field numbers largely reflect little but name ID, and it’s worth keeping in mind that Harris benefits from having run a successful re-election race just last fall, spending about $4 million versus 12 cents by a Republican stiff.

Rose Kapolczynski“To be fair to others,” Kapolcynzski (common spelling) added, “Harris had just wrapped up a statewide campaign 60 days before Boxer’s announcement and had an infrastructure in place and a statewide organization of donors and volunteers.”

Rose is one of the most professional, decent and least full of, um, herself consultants in the business, and we’re sorry she won’t be playing in her fifth consecutive Junior Senator from California Election Sweepstakes. The good news is that, because she’s freed of full time spinning duties, we’re able to consult her as a disinterested and well-seasoned campaign cognoscente.

“This race is wide open for the entry of other credible, well-funded candidates,” she concludes.

Paging Xavier Becerra…

Sifting the entrails: The most risible feature of Steve Glazer’s 10-point victory in Tuesday’s special election in the 7th state senate district, was the speed with which organized labor’s spinners, led by our friend Steve Mavigilio, aggressively tried to discount it.

Such whining we’ve not heard since all the rug rats were here for Christmas:

This low turnout special election was a special circumstance where a Democratic candidate was able to pander to Republican voters to gain an edge. Our opponent received less than 30 percent of the Democratic vote, which will not be sustainable in future elections in a Democratic-leaning district. His campaign was bankrolled by a record-shattering $5.1 million in spending; $2 million from a Los Angeles developer more and than $1.3 (sic) from a PAC funded in part from the tobacco industry plus millions more from corporate education interests that we were unable to match.

catchThis just in: if the Niners had won only eight more games last season – or if it was 1981 – they’d be Super Bowl champs today. Super Bowl champs today!

Hard to believe, but Maviglio was just getting warmed up:

This election was not about the soul of the Democratic Party. It was a craven political strategy designed by corporate special interests and Republicans to clear the field of credible Republican candidates and then spend records amount of money to keep Democrats away from the polls.

No word yet on the craven political strategy designed by labor special interests and Democrats.

Calbuzz gets results: The plain fact is, the anti-Glazer crusaders clumsily and consistently misplayed their hand, as we explained, with vigor and blinding insight, six weeks before the election:

Those are valid reasons to oppose Glazer, Orinda mayor and Gov. Jerry Brown’s longtime political strategist, and to support Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, the other Democrat in the May 19 run-off election in Senate District 7….

(But) Steve Glazer is a lifelong progressive, pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-working class, Jerry Brown Democrat. The campaign to brand him as a traitor to Democratic values is beyond scurrilous.

tonyquinnThe best post-election piece we saw is at Fox and Hounds, where Tony Quinn penned a spot-on analysis attributing the result to labor’s failure to understand the top-two primary, its over-reliance on sleazy, old-school mailers and its apparent inability to comprehend that most district voters agree with Glazer on outlawing BART strikes.

Mindful of the millions they spend electing Democrats, the public employee unions expect legislators to act like the old Soviet-era nomenklatura, compliant toadies who do what they are told. So when one gets out of line it’s a big deal.  Democratic special election candidate Steve Glazer dared do so, and labor spent $3.5 million trying to keep him out of the State Senate.  Last night Glazer won… with and labor lost.

Nice touch, that nomenklatura, Tony.

Further reading: Steve Greenhut’s comparison of the Bay Area 7th district race to an Orange County Assembly special; Cathy Decker’s take on how Steve Westly’s bid for governor may look like Glazer’s senate campaign; and John Wildermuth’s good piece on how Maviglio-style pissing and moaning “ignore(s) the changes taking place in California elections” are all worth checking out on this very important race.

art_pulaskiEating their own: Glazer’s win came amid signs of a certain political desperation by labor. For starters, organizers felt compelled to run a GOTV phone bank backing his rival, Susan Bonilla, during 17.5 of the 30 hours of activities at last weekend’s state convention. And they listed it in the official convention program.

Then Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer and CEO of the California Labor Federation, in his convention speech attacked by name Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove, for not opposing President Obama’s controversial Pacific trade legislation, the only California Democrat to take that stance.

“It’s time to call them out,” Pulaski said angrily, claiming Bera had “bowed to corporate interests and kneels at the altar of profits.”

“Our message is this – you’re choosing sides,” he thundered, adding that come next election, “we’ll choose sides” against Bera.

“Let’s kick ass together.” Really?

Kim-Kardashian--ma_1911525aSure it’s true that labor poured considerable resources into Bera campaigns in three straight cycles, but the threat to punish him still seems short-sighted for several reasons: a) after losing in 2010, Bera won election by very narrow margins twice in a tough swing district, barely knocking off GOP incumbent Dan Lungren in 2012 and, last fall, defeating former GOP congressman Doug Ose by 50.4-to-49.6 percent; b) he’s the only Indian-American member of Congress, a still small but increasingly significant and politically active bloc of voters; c) as things stand, it’s unlikely Democrats will even need Bera’s vote, given Obama’s decidedly uphill fight in the House, so they could give him a pass.

Aren’t there any, you know, Republicans for labor to oppose?

Nomenklatura, indeed.


subscribe to comments RSS

There are 4 comments for this post

  1. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    Is there any rethinking going on within California labor? Doesn’t sound like it.

  2. avatar konnyu says:

    I am amazed that given the Harris and Sanchez record, the Republican “loyal opposition’s” opposition to these two U.S. Senate candidates is almost non existent. Take a look.

    I admit that with 2.68 million more Democrats than Republicans in California normally a Republican has no chance to win but the two major Democrat candidates for Senate are political refuse.

    First, there is the beautiful (so called by President Obama) but deadly state Attorney general, Kamala Harris with zero lawmaking experience. Her ruling killed the sale of 6 money losing non-profit hospitals owned by the Catholic order of nuns, The Daughters of Charity. The proposed buyer was Dr. Reddy’s “Prime” hospital chain. That ruling which denied the sale to “Prime” bankrupted those 6 hospitals instead of giving the Daughters of Charity $843 million dollars to be used for their future charity works. This Harris effective denial of the sale by a much admired but money losing chain of charity hospitals is a political and morally bankrupt “criminal act”.(Full disclosure: I am an angered Catholic.) (See: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/hospitals-657042-charity-california.html)

    Then there is the Washington D.C. clown princess publicity hound, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, famous for disrespecting Christmas by sending out holiday cards of her, for instance, riding a Harley large handlebar motorcycle. Another newsmaker from Loretta was proposing to have a fundraiser during the 2000 Democrat National Convention at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion. This week the Congresswoman apparently bored with being in the House of Representatives made some American-Indian “war” calls caught by NBC disrespecting her opponent Harris’ Asian-Indian heritage among other things. (See: http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/17/politics/california-sanchez-gaffe-native-american/ and http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-rep-loretta-sanchez-insults-native-americans-while-talking-n360271 )

    These kinds Senate candidates, one deadly against a charity helping the sick, the other playing publicity clown disrespecting Christmas and her opponent’s heritage are clearly not the best that California has to offer the Senate.

    Nevertheless, the Republican leadership is silent on putting up a real fight. Chairman Brulte’s line to me was he is required by the by-laws to stay neutral. The big R money men who could give leadership are sitting on their piles of cash. How serious is this? Harris raised $2.5 million while the three announced Repubicans, a couple of past state GOP chairmen and an Assemblyman raised less than $11,000 over the same period as Harris.

    Screwing the California citizens through Republican noninvolvement, the next Senator is either going to be the beautiful but deadly Harris who put the Daughters of Charity essentially out of business along with the 7000 employees of those 6 hospitals or it’s going to be the clown with her “Indian war calls”.

    The traditional two party system is failing California badly.

  3. avatar JohnF says:

    Well Ernie, it is the republican party that failed California, and the voters finally realized that and stopped voting for your team. So your team cannot get anybody electable to run anymore, because smart people realize that they wasting their time. Maybe you should run!

  4. The pro-business/GOP forces outspend labor by several million dollars in a low-turnout special election race. To suggest that this election is somehow a bellweather for the future of the Democratic Party (particularly when there was no real Republican ever in the race) is ludicrous.

Please, feel free to post your own comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.