This Tuesday, about 40% of the state’s registered voters will make it to the polls to vote in Primary Election Day 2004. Kevin Shelley, California’s Secretary of State has predicted a 43% turnout. CalPeek – a political trade publication – has guessed 47%-51%. I’m guessing even lower. My guess is about 40-42% statewide, at around 32% for Republicans. I just don’t see the energy for anything to cause even a decent turnout.
But, whoever goes and votes this “Super Tuesday,” many, many people are appearing as if they’re readying to vote incorrectly. Now, I don’t mean incorrectly in a Florida sense. I mean that Republicans are planning on consciously waking up in the morning and nominating people who don’t share their values, and in many cases are just bad people. Though my boss is looking to cruise to victory this Tuesday (thank you very much!), many other good guys around the state aren’t appearing likely to be so lucky…
Super Tuesday is shaping up to be a sad, sad day for freedom!
55 – The Prop 13 Gutting Act
This is one of my least favorite initiatives in some time. A cleverly disguised attack on Proposition 13, this pays for school repairs by jacking up commercial property taxes…YAY! I hope this falls short, but it’s appearing that the idiotic voters in this state are wanting to make the business climate just that much worse. OH, and by the way – Arnold support this…
Averaging the three latest polls, Prop 55 is looking like it will pass easily – as 49.6% currently are in favor, 39% opposed, with 11.3% still undecided.
Freedom – 0, Tyranny - 1
56 – Let’s Raise Taxes – Ya, that’s the ticket Act
Opponents have done a pretty good job of getting the message out that 56 is the “raise my taxes” initiative. However, the Yes on 56 people have proven very clever. Masking 56’s true intentions to lower the legislative threshold to raise taxes from 2/3 to 55%, proponents have been pushing words like “accountability” and tossed in a nice little provision that legislators don’t get paid until a budget is passed.
Somehow, by the grace of God, 56 is looking like it will fail. Averaging the three most recent polls, 56 is down. 37.6 in favor, 45.6 opposed, with 16.6 still undecided.
Freedom – 1, Tyranny - 1
57 – Arnold Sucks Bond Act
57 is perhaps the biggest sham of them all. It was looking doomed for failure until Arnold put his star power behind it. Somehow it was a bad idea for Gray Davis to paper over our gaping budget hole with borrowing, but it’s a good idea for Arnold to do the same thing. I just don’t get it. No one disagrees that we have a spending problem, but somehow there’s disagreement over how to fix a spending problem. Call me crazy, but I thought the way to fix overspending was to cut back on spending. Apparently not. Apparently, you’re supposed to borrow money for a few years until it’s someone else’s problem. Ahh – balancing the budget on the backs of future generations…YAY ARNOLD!
Unfortunately, 57 seems that it will pass easily. Polls just days into Arnold media blitz showed 57 hovering near 40%. Since then, it’s skyrocketed into the 50’s. Arnold and his merry band of spineless, soulless operatives have even conned the California Republican Party into endorsing 57.
You see, I’m confused. In years past moderates in the Party have screamed and cried that we conservatives should keep quiet about social issues – focusing instead on the fiscal issues we all agree on – for the sake of Party unity. Now, has that all gone out the window, and we’re free to start bashing moderates’ horrid stances on social values again? Or, is the only difference between Republicans and Democrats now that we support bonds and they support taxes?
I like to say that you can judge someone by the quality of their enemies. And if the enemies to my NO stance on 57 are Barbara Boxer, DiFi, Art Torres, Steve Westley, and Arnold – I think I’m doing a pretty good job.
Freedom – 1, Tyranny – 2
58 – The ‘I Wish I Were A Spending Cap’ Cap
One of the few good things I’ll say about John Campbell is that he puts forth pretty good fiscal solutions. The spending cap initiative he co-sponsored with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association was actually quite good. Unfortunately Arnold slapped it down, realizing it wouldn’t be a slam dunk to pass – and instead went for the weenie version – Prop 58. If he won’t fight for the one thing he said he would fight for – WHAT GOOD IS THAT MONKEY IN THE CORNER OFFICE???
Freedom – 1, Tyranny – 2, Draw - 1
The Senate Primary is nothing more than a useless exercise in Democracy. Whoever wins will get trounced by Boxer – short of Boxer being caught with a live girl or a dead boy – and in California, not even that would be sure to sink her…
Right now, I’m voting for Howard Kaloogian, but only begrudgingly. Any man who’s only claim to fame in the past four years is running a website isn’t much of a candidate. Plus, I promised myself I wouldn’t vote for any more clients of consulting firm Russo, Marsh, Rogers after they get Simon and Fong sliced and diced. But when my other options are the kinda-sorta moderate Rosario Marin – or Bill Jones (ie, Judas) – Howard is my only option. Well, I still might write in Tom McClintock…not sure yet…
Unfortunately, it looks as if Jones will win by 10+, ensuring Boxer wins reelection.
But this much I know – they all suck!
Freedom – 1, Tyranny – 3, Draw - 1
There is only one big Republican Congressional Primary – though I will talk about three. The 3rd CD is all that really matters. But the 20th will be important in November – and I work in the 29th, so that matters too (of course)…
3rd CD – A major win for the good guys would be for State Senator Rico Oller to win this Primary. Congressman Doug Ose, a major squish, is retiring at the end of this term, freeing up his safe Republican seat. Initially, Rico was the only real candidate in the race, but shortly thereafter jumped Dan Lungren – the failed Gubernatorial candidate. Dan’s a law and order guy most of the time, and Rico is a “shrink government” guy. It really would’ve been who ran the better campaign. But at the last second jumped in Mary Ose, Doug’s sister, creating a true ideological battle.
Club for Growth has run some great ads helping Rico. While the Main Street liberal folks have been helping out Ose. At this point Lungren is almost an also-ran, and each vote for him is really a vote against Rico.
Polls show Rico doing quite well. He’s run a very disciplined campaign, as he is not only a great candidate, but has a great staff behind him. Steve Presson is his consultant, with Joe Giardiello working with him. Steve Davey is doing the day to day. Great team. Great candidate. Great message. Plenty of money. Hopefully that spells victory on election day.
Mary Ose is self-financing, hitting the airwaves hard in these last days, but with Rico’s popularity, I think he’ll take this.
Prediction: Rico by 5+
Freedom – 2, Tyranny – 3, Draw – 1
20th CD – The Dems are having a Primary fight, as Congressman Cal Dooley (D – Visalia) is retiring. Former State Senator Jim Costa is running against Dooley’s Chief of Staff Lisa Quigley. Costa is the likely winner.
What makes this seat interesting is that the winner will take on State Senator Roy Ashburn in November. Roy is a battle-tested politician, and is very popular. It’s a slightly Dem seat, but depending on how the political landscape looks, Roy could potentially steal this. The Cook Political Index says the seat is Demo +5, but with no incumbent Democrat, could be a tossup.
29th CD – This race is one of those longshots, that if everything breaks right could become interesting. Adam Schiff, who campaigned and still pretends to be a moderate Democrat has been feeling out the possibility of running for higher office in the near future. He will be up against (more than likely) Harry Scolinos, a local business owner/attorney.
Schiff has the following disadvantages: 1)with his pro-war stance and a Green Party candidate on the ticket, he should lose a couple of points, 2)Schiff campaigned against Prop 22, 3)Schiff has maintained a voting record in the past year more liberal than Hillary Clinton’s!
A race to watch…
35th SD –
Moving over to the State Senate, we have a race down in Orange County where all around good guy Ken Maddox goes up against Arnold’s caddy John Campbell. Ken’s a great vote on social issues, on law and order issues, etc. He’s also a really cool guy. Where he’s not so good is on labor issues. Being how much I dislike unions, it really made it hard for me to support him. However, I like John Campbell even less. Not only is he the least genuine guy I may have ever met, but he’s also Arnold’s errand boy.
John is quite conservative, and John’s conservatism actually matches up better with mine than Maddox’s does. But I really like people who stick to their convictions, and Maddox is that kind of guy. Best evidenced, once Arnold started pushing Prop 57, Campbell immediately jumped on board (despite having voted against it on the floor!). He also supports Arnold’s new driver’s licenses for illegals program…Not the kind of conservative we need. Maddox is the good guy, and if his grassroots can pull off a victory, it’d be a great upset.
Campbell’s self-financing this race, as his family owns a bunch of car dealerships in the area. Maddox, on the other hand, has been doing a pretty good job of raising money. He also has been the beneficiary of huge Independent Expenditure campaigns. In the end, though I wish Maddox could pull this off, I don’t think it’ll be enough…
Prediction: Campbell by 3-5%
Freedom – 2, Tyranny – 4, Draw – 1
AD29 – With Steve “Where’s the Farm Bureau” Samuelian not running for re-election, there is a 3-man race for this open, safe-Republican seat. Former Assemblyman Mike Briggs has the most name id in the district, though that may not be a good thing, as he’s most remembered for being the deciding Republican vote on three straight budgets, going to work for Herb Wesson, and having a mailer sent out against him alerting voters to his statutory rape arrest years back.
Chris Mathys is a Fresno Councilman, who’s done a very impressive job fundraising. He may be the surprise winner in this race. The other candidate of note, Mike Villines, is the good guy in the race. Mike was a very active volunteer in the Simon for Governor campaign, and has garnered the support of the “establishment.” In using Steve Presson and Joe Giardiello, Mike’s also done a great job of picking a great team. All things equal, I think Villines takes it.
Prediction: Villines by 5-7%
Freedom – 3, Tyranny – 4, Draw - 1
33rd – This is one of those races, where the winner will be a net improvement over his predecessor. With Abel Maldanado termed out, the open seat was up for grabs. From beginning to end, conservative Sam Blakeslee was the favorite. Matt Kokkonen won some over as a hardline conservative, but Blakeslee’s polish and ability to get his message out (ie, money) will put him over the top.
Prediction: Blakeslee by 7+
Freedom – 4, Tyranny – 4, Draw - 1
37th AD – HOUSE OF SPOUSES, Part 1
Assemblyman Tony Strickland is a hero to many conservatives, despite being less than always loyal, and having a few REALLY BAD votes on his record. Tony, keep in mind, voted for AB60 – the bill to give driver’s licenses to illegals – in its first draft. He also has some really bad endorsements of late – Mike Briggs, Gayle Pacheco, etc. But Tony’s not running for reelection, his WIFE is running in his place.
The only thing that qualifies Audra for public office is that her last name is Strickland. She’s a dues paying member of the California Teacher’s Association, and generally is just a status quo type. Her opponent is not only a great conservative, but a great guy. Mike Robinson heads up the Ventura County chapter of the CRA, was Ventura County Chairman of the Recall, and headed up most of Southern California for Senator McClintock’s Committee to cut the Car Tax.
Audra’s campaign has had the audacity to say that Mike is unqualified for office because he inherited his money. Well, if Audra had been running based on her maiden name, she wouldn’t even be a serious candidate, so that argument is full of crap.
However, though it pains me to say it – it looks like Audra may win.
Prediction: Audra – close.
Freedom – 4, Tyranny – 5, Draw - 1
44th – Good vs. Evil
The 44th is a pure suicide seat. No matter who wins, Carol Liu is going to clean their clocks in November. Nonetheless, the pragmatists think they have a shot at her. They’re running local liberal Lynn Gabriel, a nice woman, who’s let this campaign bring out the real bitch in her.
Her opponent is local conservative grassroots guru Dave Wilcox. If politics were rocket science, Dave would kick all our butts – as that’s literally what he does. With a Bachelor’s from MIT and his PhD from CalTech, Dave is probably the best educated candidate in the state.
Dave has the local grassroots support and Lynn has the money – the age-old fight! Even helping Dave more is the fact that Lynn’s mail has SUCKED. I mean, its been awful. But, be that as it may – I still think Lynn pulls it off – though barely. I’m sure hoping Dave gets it though.
Prediction – Lynn by 5%.
Freedom – 4, Tyranny – 6, Draw - 1
60th AD – House of Spouses, Part 2
Gayle Pacheco is one of those candidates who literally will tell you EXACTLY what you want to hear. The husband of liberal Assemblyman Bob Pacheco, Gayle came to the CRA endorsing convention and with a straight face said she is SO INCREDIBLY pro-life that a few weeks prior she went to put her cat down, and when she found out it was pregnant, she couldn’t go thru with it. PLEASE! She really thinks we’re all stupid.
Thankfully, Cal-YAF PAC decided to tell some of the voters about Gayle’s liberalness. Both of Gayle’s competitors are good people. Bob Huff is a strong Prop 13 activist, and a Diamond Bar councilman. He should get a good chunk of the LA vote, and a good chunk of the Asian vote, as his wife Mei Mei is big in the Asian Republican community.
Bill MacAloney owns a chain of independent grocery stores in Orange County. He’s got the endorsement of Tom McClintock (do any other endorsements really matter?). As Orange County people are almost cultish about being from Orange County, I think he’s got the upper hand – but don’t count any of the three out.
Prediction: MacAloney by 3-5%.
Freedom – 5, Tyranny – 6, Draw - 1
63rd AD – PAC Money Galore
Bill Emmerson was the President of the CA Dentist PAC. That might explain why he’s been the beneficiary of hundreds of thousands of dollars of Dentist IE money. Emmerson is one of Jim Nygren’s 800 or so clients, and has Josh Cook working for him too. In the other corner is Elia Pirrozi, perennial candidate and all around good conservative guy. Elia has had a couple of good IE hits go Emmerson’s way, thanks to the CRA. There IS a third candidate, though he’s not that serious – Mike Morrell. Mike just recently got Senator McClintock’s endorsement, and that has to be good for a few votes – probably stealing them from Elia.
Prediction: Emmerson – close.
Freedom – 5, Tyranny – 7, Draw - 1
68th – Just How Racist Is Orange County?
On the surface, this race doesn’t seem too complicated. Van Tran, a former YAFer who can raise tons of money because of his ethnicity. He’s up against Mark Leyes – a recent Democrat convert who works for liberal Assemblyman Bob Pacheco. But Leyes is running a two-fold campaign. First to establish himself as a conservative Councilman, then to attack Van’s ethnicity itself.
Leyes is running a disgusting, racist campaign. His latest mailer is a mock letter from Van (who in mailings, Leyes always calls Van Thai Tran to play up the ethnic thing) in broken English, pushing Van as a sleazy trial lawyer.
If Van can get enough people to see Leyes as a racist and a bigot, and mobilize enough Vietnamese votes, he could still win this. However, I’m guessing he falls short.
Prediction: Leyes by 5%.
Freedom – 5, Tyranny – 8, Draw – 1
70th AD – Umm, Wrong Party Missy
The 70th AD is one on EVERYONE’S radar. It pits the forces of righteousness versus the forces of evil. Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vader. Al Bundy versus Marcy Darcy.
Chuck Devore is a good conservative activist. He was a Reagan appointee to the Pentagon. He was a staffer for Chris Cox. He’s been an Orange County activist for years, sitting on the OC Central Committee. He’s a rock solid conservative in the traditionalist mold. He’s also running a pretty solid campaign, if not a little whiney in attacking others. He’s generally pretty well liked throughout the county.
On the other side of the equation is Christy Cristich. To describe her best, think of words that rhyme with her last name. All you really need to know about Christy is that she was Chair of REPUBLICANS FOR CLINTON in 1996. She claims to be sorry for that, that she was new to politics and would never make a mistake like that again. Too bad lady.
She also is a liar. She has sent out three mailers this cycle that just scream BULL$#!*. She sent out two mailers purposely misleading voters into thinking popular Congressman Chris Cox had endorsed her. What in reality she was quoting was a letter Cox had sent her saying he was staying neutral. However, in conveying that message to voters, Cristich put on the cover of her mailer “IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM CONGRESSMAN CHRIS COX” and proceeded to quote selected passages from the letter. Even after Cox’s legal counsel sent her a letter demanding she take action to remedy the situation, she sent out ANOTHER mailer to the same effect.
Then if that weren’t enough, she sent out a mailer quoting passages from Jack Kemp, Vice-Presidential nominee from the 1996 GOP ticket, the same year she headed Republicans for Clinton.
Cristich is also known for saying, “Republicans should fear Republicans like me.” Umm, ya. And that’s why I’m glad it’s looking like you’re going to lose!
This should be De Vore’s to win. However, there is another person in the race. Conservative Don Wagner, being led by Scott Taylor, has come on strong in recent days. Wagner has had arguably the best absentee effort, and consultant Dave Gilliard called one of Wagner’s recent mailers the “best of the cycle.” A Wagner vote is definitely one out of DeVore’s column. But despite the charge from Wagner, DeVore should still take this pretty easily.
Prediction: DeVore by 7%
Freedom – 6, Tyranny – 8, Draw – 1
73rd – Missed Opportunity
Jim Gibson is one of the best candidates statewide this cycle. An unflinching, unapologetic conservative, Gibson – a Marine – currently is a School Board member from Vista. He’s done a decent job raising money, and has had a pretty decent clip of IE’s come his way. They way the district is broken up, conventional logic was if he could carry a supermajority of San Diego, plus take some of the conservative votes from Orange County, where a majority of the district lies, he should be able to win.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if that will transpire.
Mimi Walters and Tom Wilson are the other two in the race. Neither is particularly conservative, and again this will mark a missed opportunity in the district – as Jim Lacy lost last time around to Pat Bates.
Wilson is being pretty well sliced and diced, and so it looks as if Mimi will take this seat, but don’t count out a late Gibson charge. Eyes statewide will be glued to the results from the 73rd.
Prediction: Walters by 3-5%
Freedom – 6, Tyranny – 9, Draw – 1
It says something about where the Party is right now when guys like Mike Robinson and Jim Gibson are passed over by people who we are nearly certain to be collectively pissed at in just a matter of months. When those nominated on Tuesday take office and start voting for Democrat budgets, we’re going to collectively scream our heads off, but will have nobody but ourselves to blame. Who elected these bozos in the first place?
I hope I’m wrong on some of these. I hope Mike, Bob Huff, Elia, Jim Gibson, Van Tran, and Ken Maddox pull off upset victories. I’d be elated if Howard could pull of a win, or if 55, 57, or 58 failed…but I’m not holding my breath. I really think Tuesday is shaping up to be a sad day for freedom.