While there are disputes over the level of voter participation in this past Tuesday’s election, one thing is certain, according to exit polls and numbers released by the California Secretary of State: Non-Hispanic white voter participation is showing a rapid decline, falling from 63% of the state’s electorate in 2008 to 55% this year.
Estimates of voter turnout have ranged widely, with some sources claiming an 80%+ turnout, a Field poll estimate claiming 0% participation and other data showing turnout more in the 55% range. The actual numbers won’t be available for another month, as counties will be processing mail-in ballots and attempting to verify provisional voters. Turnout in the 2008 election was 77.5%.
A report on KPCC public radio in Los Angeles, says that participation among black voters in this years voting remained constant as a percentage of the electorate at 8%, with an especially strong turnout from African-Americans in the 18-29 age group.
UC Irvine political scientist Louis DiSipio is cited, saying that exit polls indicate Latino voters increased their share of ballots from 18% in 2008 to 22% in this year’s contest.
Asian Americans increased their presence in the electorate by 2% in 2012, rising to 11% of the votes cast. UC Riverside political scientist Karthick Ramakrishnan told KPCC that Asian American voters were motivated by ballot measures for education funding and a desire to support Asian candidates.
Younger voters across all ethnic groups increased their participation in the 2012 elections, rising eight points from the 20% turnout recorded in 2008.
The Best Headline, ever.
KPBS/iNewsSource has a story up today about the political consultants behind the candidates in the San Diego Mayoral contest. Tom Shepard (Filner) and Jason Roe (DeMaio) talked with reporter Brad Racino about the many challenges they faced in trying to mold the strong personalities of each candidate in a manner that would not eclipse the campaign messages they were trying to put out.
It’s a solid, behind-the-scenes story about a political contest that was hard fought and expensive, not to mention downright nasty at times. But the best part is the headline, which IMO deserves an award:
Darth Vader meets the Worst Person in the World
You’ll have to read the story to find out who was who in the headline.
Mayoral Election Fallout, Day Two
In case you’ve taken the mass media detox regimen, retiring Mayor Jerry Sanders has been named as the new face of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. He’ll be taking the reins just one day after vacating the city’s top spot. While he’ll be prohibited from engaging in some activities for his first year by law, he’ll be reaping the rather large rewards for his close relationship with the Chamber during his term. The job pays $300k plus, and Saunders will be drawing a $100K+ pension from the city.
As he exits public life, Sanders has taken good care of his minions in the future. Voice of San Diego is reporting today that at least four San Diego management-level employees received raises in the last two months. Money quotes from VOSD’s Liam Dillon story:
Unionized workers haven’t received across-the-board pay increases in years. The Proposition B pension initiative passed in June recommends a freeze on employees’ pensionable pay until mid-2018, a move estimated to save almost $1 billion.
… the four raises approved in the last two months come without promotions and will count toward those employees’ pensions.
Sanders has long touted that he’s held the line on employee salaries during the city’s pension and financial crisis. But the mayor did hand out $46,000 in raises to two department directors in spring 2011.
Political Advocacy or Coverup?
Also over at Voice of San Diego, Scott Lewis has a story up about efforts by three top local prosecutors to aid Carl DeMaio’s failed candidacy, despite previous pledges not to endorse candidates in that race. Money quote:
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Dumanis and U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy threw out their supposed commitments to stay nonpolitical and threw in for DeMaio. And DeMaio’s loss now puts their political agendas in stark relief as they go about maintaining public integrity.
There’s a reason these folks should be, and are, reluctant to endorse candidates. There’s a reason why Dumanis made a special point of announcing, years ago, that she wouldn’t do it.
They are the public’s bulwark against corruption. We have to be able to trust them to, with clear eyes, use their substantial powers to investigate and prosecute political leaders wisely. As we’ve seen, the U.S. attorney or DA has the ability to destroy lives and careers with their crusades.
I think there’s more to the story here, even though it’s just a “gut” feeling. I think their efforts may someday be proven to be related to questionable practices during the Sanders era that were “swept under the rug.” A good place to start looking, I’m told, might be the relationship between the City and various Business Improvement Districts.
Another Backroom Deal?
Last, but not least, on the post-election debris front we’re seeing headlines about a deal that’s been struck between the City, a contractor and the building trade unions that will remove obstacles in the path of a proposed Convention Center expansion.
We’re thrilled about the local jobs that may be created here, we’re thrilled that a private company has seen fit to utilize a Project Labor-type Agreement (remember when those deals were considered threatening to the very foundations of capitalism?), BUT we’re very concerned about the possibility that this is yet another backroom deal.
UT-SD Tries to CYA on Bogus Polling
I’m really not surprised by the editorials in our local daily newspaper bemoaning the election results. That the Dougchester’s Mission Valley minions look down on the “electorate” as too stupid to vote “the UT” way should come as no surprise.
I only wish I could have been a fly on the wall to witness the “shock and awe” around the editorial board room as the results came in. I’d like to give a special shout-out to the Proposition Z (SDUSD) folks, who won with a remarkable 60%+ of the vote despite a concerted effort at the daily fishwrap to paint San Diego Unified as a ‘poster child for financial irresponsibility’. And political consultant Larry Remer (an old co-worker of mine) should wear it as badge of honor that he’s been personally vilified repeatedly by the UT as part of their losing efforts in political campaigns.
The best part of the post-election drama surrounding Manchester’s media empire has been watching their attempt to walk back the blatant attempt to influence the outcome of the mayoral contest by publicizing a seriously flawed poll showing a 10 point lead for Carl DeMaio.
They’re now saying the reason for the utter failure of the USD Center for Education Policy and Law/U-T San Diego Poll, released slightly more than two weeks before the election, was the large bloc of undecided voters. They’ve even included a spokesperson for the polling firm saying:
…it isn’t unusual to ask screening questions that include whether a respondent works for the city. “It is a standard question in every political poll we’ve ever done, and it is usually done for a variety of reasons,” he said. “You don’t want to put city employees in an awkward position.”
Oh really? Can they name even one other pollster who’s ever asked that question/excluded public employees? I think not.
Market Economics Triumphs Over Marketing
We have the “utter shock” stories saying that the Romney campaign was blind-sided by the results. From Huffpo:
As Republicans search for reasons why they came up short in Tuesday’s elections, anonymous Mitt Romney advisers have described what it was like to be with the former governor as he came to terms with his loss.
“He was shellshocked,” one adviser told CBS News.
Another unnamed senior adviser explained that as returns came in and battleground states went into President Barack Obama’s Electoral College column, they felt their paths to potential victory narrowing. CBS reports that the campaign was unprepared for this in part because it had ignored polling that showed the races favoring Obama. Instead, it turned to its own internal “unskewed” polls, which it believed more accurately reflected the situation on the ground. They didn’t.
On the eve of the election, a number of polling aggregators, including HuffPost’s Pollster and New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight, showed Obama with a huge statistical advantage over Romney.
As evidence of the Romney campaign’s sincere belief that the former Massachusetts governor would emerge victorious on Tuesday night, the Boston Globe reported Thursday that it had planned to fete Romney’s election with an eight-minute display of fireworks overBoston Harbor.
“It was not an intense, grand finale-type of display for eight minutes, but it certainly was a fast-paced show to cap off the evening, if it were necessary,” Steve Pelkey, the CEO of Atlas Professional Fireworks Displays, told the Globe.
Romney also told reporters on his campaign plane earlier this week that while he had written a victory speech, he hadn’t prepared concession remarks.
Then there’s the Propublica story about filings with the Federal Election Commission that really tells the story of what a bad return on investment Mssrs. Rove, Adelson and Koch had on this year’s outcomes. Here’s what the numbers say about the so-called independent campaigns’ results in the presidential contest:
Barack Obama – $1.83 Spent per vote, $1.43 of it attacking Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney – $6.35 Spent per vote, – $5.60 of it attacking Barack Obama
And we won’t even get into just how poorly the Lincoln Club fared locally with their estimated $13 million investment in local politics. If these guys really believed that the marketplace is king, Tony Krvaric’s tenure as head of the local GOP would have ended yesterday.
Why the GOP Hates Education
The grownups in the spurned party, on the other hand, faced the day after the election by asking themselves the Hard Questions, like “what aspects of our agenda may have proven unpopular with the electorate?” or “how might we best adjust our message to meet a changing electoral landscape?” Or, if they’re the NRO’s David Gelertner, they might ask, “Where did all these degenerate communist morans come from? Must be the colleges! They’re full of radicals! Let’s root out the colleges!”
“But we’ve won civil wars and preserved the Union before. We’ll do it again — if we face up to the fact that we need to replace our schools and colleges now; the grace period has lasted a generation, but it’s over. I know we can do it and I’m pretty sure we will do it. Americanism is too strong and brilliant and young to die”.
Congressman Issa Under Fire for Ethical Lapse, Again.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is charging that Congressman Darrell, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, misused government resources for political purposes in making a video released just prior to the election, which the group describes as “nothing more than a negative political advertisement against President Obama.”
The video, titled “Obama State Dinners: Spend Like He Says, Not Like He Does,” compares Obama’s denouncement of a lavish $840,000 General Services Administration conference in Las Vegas to two expensive State Department dinners that hosted leaders from India and Mexico and included a performance by the singer Beyoncé.
“The attack ad offers no information about any action whatsoever by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,” CREW wrote in its letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics demanding an inquiry. The video was made by the committee and posted on the committee’s YouTube channel.
ACLU Sues Over Proposition 35
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has gone to court seeking to block provisions of California’s new voter-approved law targeting human trafficking.
Proposition 35, which passed with 81 percent of the vote Tuesday, enacts harsher penalties for persons convicted of crimes related to human trafficking, a concept that gained broad support in polls and at the ballot box. A less-noticed provision in the measure requires registered sex offenders to disclose to authorities aliases and service providers they use online.
American Civil Liberties Union’s Northern California branch and the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation are arguing the provision unconstitutionally restricts the First Amendment rights of registered sex offenders. The groups filed a lawsuit challenging just those provisions related to the Internet identifiers in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Wednesday on behalf of two registered sex offenders and a group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws.
Quote of the Day: “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts… for support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
On This Day: In 1935 United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis and other labor leaders formed the Committee for Industrial Organization. In 1961 the Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) eliminated its “caucasians only” rule. In 1963 “Louie, Louie” was released by the Kingsmen.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Fallbrook (102 S. Main, at Alvarado) 10 am – 2 pm, Imperial Beach (Seacoast Dr. at Pier Plaza) 2 – 7:30 pm, Kearny Mesa (No. Island Credit Union pkg lot 5898 Copley) 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, La Mesa Village (Corner of Spring St. and University) 2 – 6 pm, Rancho Bernardo (Bernardo Winery parking lot 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte) 9 am – noon, Southeast San Diego(4981 Market St. West of Euclid Ave. Trolley Station) 2 – 6 pm
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