Posts Tagged ‘money primary’

Antonio Plays Hamlet: A Two-Man Race for Demos?

Monday, June 1st, 2009

villaraigosa1To Run or Not to Run? That is His Question — Two Looks at Mayor V

That’s also the unanswered political question that will shape the 2010 governor’s race, a little more than a year before next year’s primary.

While we’re awaiting word from L.A. City Hall that will indicate whether Antonio Alcalde will choose to suffer the slings and arrows of a governor’s race, today we present two Calbuzzer commentaries on the mayor that offer different perspectives about where he stands.

Journalist Ron Kaye, a frequent critic and political foe of Villaraigosa, argues that the combination of the mayor’s political problems and the city’s fiscal crisis will keep him on the sidelines in 2010. Then political consultant Richie Ross takes a second look at L.A. Magazine’s now famous attack on Villaraigosa and concludes it’s not the mayor who’s the “Failure.”

First, some context:

At the start of 2009, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa looked like a surefire, top-rank contender to succeed Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Apparently poised for easy re-election, he exuded confidence, even brashness, standing atop a strong base of labor and Latinos on which to build a statewide campaign.

Since then, however, the mayor has suffered a series of political setbacks, beginning with his underwhelming 55 percent re-election on March 3 against a weak field, and his city has become mired in the same kind of fiscal mess afflicting California government at every level.

Amid that backdrop, the calendar presents him with a tactical handicap in the Democratic race; he won’t be sworn in for his second term until July, effectively stalling his candidacy, while Attorney General Jerry Brown (not formally a candidate) and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (a declared candidate) have both been politically active for months.

For now, Newsom has a clear field in sniping at the front-runner Brown, styling himself as the Obama-like tribune of new politics against the old school Brown, the front-runner for the nomination. If Villaraigosa gets in, the shape of the race instantly changes, as he and Newsom will elbow and crowd each other as they try to position themselves as the chief challenger to the attorney general.

At this point, Villaraigosa himself is the only one who knows if that will happen or not. The indications we have say that he has genuinely not yet made that decision. As a practical matter, it’s not a choice that will wait much longer; lacking independent wealth, the L.A. mayor has to go out and grub for contributions like almost every candidate in California, and he’s already months behind in the money primary.

Here’s the link to Ron Kaye and here’s the link to Richie Ross.

Friday Fishwrap: Road Trip!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Not Exactly Huntley-Brinkley: We’ll be reporting live from the Calbuzz Convention Sky Box in Sacramento this weekend, bringing the vast resources of our far-flung crack political team to the task of bringing you the best and worst of the Democratic state confab and schmoozefest.

With Tony Villar taking a duck, just days after John Boy Garamendi quit the field, the first cattle call of the Democratic primary for governor will be the Jerry and Gavin Show. S.F. Mayor Newsom rolls into River City on the momentum of his statewide announcement Twitter, while Ageless Wonder Brown seeks to keep his crown as the champion of new ideas. Plus: Cameos by Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Howard Dean and a cast of thousands.

Will General Jerry and Prince Gavin come to blows over hair products? Who will win the party’s coveted seat as Male Undersecretary Assistant Treasurer? How’s the food at Lucca? Can John Burton get through an entire sentence without an F-bomb? All this and more, in Calbuzz’s special weekend coverage. . .

Utz vs. Early Bird Special: How do you entertain delegates when the guy trying to paint you as a drooling geezer is being honored by California College Democrats at a hot-ticket block party featuring Wyclef Jean – a Grammy-winning rapper that a lot of vintage members of the California Democratic Council never heard of: Wuddee say? There’s a cleft in his jeans? Whaa? Huh?

If you’re Jerry Brown, you throw a “Recession Reception” kegger with chips and salsa at your Dad’s old home – which just happens to be the historic governor’s mansion, through which you’ll be happy to offer guided tours. That’s the General’s play, during Early Bird Special hours, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Saturday. Not sure what music will be playing, but don’t expect “Fast Car” or “Riot.”

For that, you’ll have to stroll over to the College Dem’s block party which doesn’t even get going until 8 p.m. and likely won’t pick up steam until after 10 when Jerry’s Kids will be back in their rooms with their Polident. Out in the hood, SF Mayor Gavin Newsom will be working the crowd and being honored. Beatbox artist Butterscotch from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Sacramento’s Utz! and the Shuttlecocks are also scheduled. Plus: Hip-hopper Biz Markie is on for a post-concert “After Party” for special invited guests at Lounge ON20.

Despite all the flash, why is Jerry not too worried about being outflanked by Gavin among young voters? Because, as Brown argued to Calbuzz, those younger voters Newsom is chasing account for no more than 12% of the Democratic primary vote. . .

eMeg leads money primary: Over on the Republican side, Steve Poizner has been winning the battle of earned media in recent weeks, but chief rival Meg Whitman made a little bottom line news of her own this week.

The Whitman camp announced that she’s kicked $4 million of her own dough into her race, and is “on track” to raise at least another $5 million by the June 30 reporting deadline. While her handlers were a little wiggly about exactly what that meant – spokesman Mitch Zak wouldn’t say whether or not she would have $9 million in the bank come July 1 – it’s still an impressive number (especially if they’re actually low-balling at this point to make their eventual fundraising number look bigger).

Zak said that still on the table is the notion of Whitman stepping up to put some bucks opposing Prop. 1A on the May 19 special election ballot, at a time when she and Poizner are competing to be the loudest voice against the measure’s $16 billion extension of tax increases.

The GOP primary has been framed as a battle of two personally wealthy business types squaring off, but so far it looks like there’s only one fighter in that ring.

PS: After we posted we came across this nice piece (here) by Michael Finnegan in the LATimes about troubles Poizner’s having getting his campaign organized. Also, a fairly critical look at Meg’s challenge from the National Review Online (here).

Dr. H’s Old Mailbag: Comes this convention weekend query for esteemed political psychiatrist Dr. P.J. Hackenflack:

Dear Doctor: My husband told me something troubling: that John Burton is in the Guinness Book of Records for using the f-word as every possible part of speech in a single sentence. Is this true?
— Sarah Saddleback, Orange County

Dear Sarah: WTF?