Republican Neel Kashari is about to find out whether or not two million dollars of his personal fortune is enough to win a spot in the November 2014 California gubernatorial contest.
The latest set of polls, via Stanford University’s Hoover Institute and San Francisco’s Public Policy Institute, point to a June 3rd victory by Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly. Despite endorsements from GOP luminaries like Condoleezza Rice, Mitt Romney and ex-Gov. Pete Wilson, TV ads and huge financial advantage, Kashkari’s only hope at this point seems to lie in winning over undecided voters in the primary.
Donnelly is counting on grass roots support, saying the election is about a “divide between the common man and political elite.” His campaign claims the unanimous endorsement of California GOP county parties and points to their 4,100 donations compared Kashkari’s slightly more than two hundred donations as proof of this point.
On May 2, Kashkari gave $500,000 to his campaign. Six days later, he donated another half-million dollars. A final donation of $1 million was submitted on May 16. Kashkari’s personal donations to his campaign have accounted for approximately 73 percent of all the contributions he has received over the past two months.
Via the San Francisco Chronicle:
With Democrat Jerry Brown still holding a commanding lead in the California governor’s race, the Republican contest for second place remains lively — with Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly enjoying a 7-point advantage over former Treasury official Neel Kashkari, according to a new Golden State Poll by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
The poll of 1,000 Californians was conducted May 7-19. With less than a week to go until the June 3 primary, it shows Brown with 36 percent, while Assemblyman Donnelly of Twin Peaks (San Bernardino County) has 12 percent and Kashkari has 5 percent. Donnelly enjoys 2-1 advantage over Kashkari among Republicans and 3-1 among independents, the poll shows.
The real shocker is the number of undecideds still in the race: 42 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 35 percent of overall respondents, the poll showed.
I voted. Have you?
My ballot’s in the mail this morning, having waited as long as I could so I’d get the benefit of all the mailings (it’s a political junkie thing) and the bother of all the phone calls. Unlike some folks around town I didn’t do a voting selfie or instagram of my ballot, since that might not be legal.
Laws against photographing ballots (or voters casting their votes) were enacted in many states during the 20th century (it seems so long ago) as a means of foiling political machines requiring proof in return for purchased votes.
I can’t find any recent examples of anybody being prosecuted here in California for this particular crime, but I have seen numerous examples of shaming by uptight social media users.
Following a warning by PR Guy/Pollster John Nienstedt, Sr. (Competitive Edge Research and Communications) that voter turnout could be as low as 16%, Registrar of Voters Michael Vu told City News Service yesterday he expects a 35-38% showing in San Diego County.
He said it initially appeared that turnout would be lower, based on a slow rate of return of absentee ballots.
The Memorial Day weekend could have had something to do with it, according to Vu, who told City News Service that 32,000 mail ballots arrived this morning.
“That makes me a little bit more hopeful,” Vu said.
He said that 162,000 of the 840,000 ballots mailed to registered voters in San Diego County had been sent back as of Wednesday.
Voice of San Diego’s Liam Dillon has been reading the recently unsealed deposition of ex-SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos, given as part of a lawsuit relating to sexual misconduct.
The ex-cop is now languishing in jail, having been convicted of soliciting sexual bribes.
As part of the deposition, attorneys representing a plaintiff in the lawsuit explored just exactly who might catch a break from the SDPD when it came to traffic violations. Arevalos named other cops, city attorneys and Chargers players as people not to be ticketed as a matter standard operating procedure. He couldn’t recall when asked if these privileges extended to team members of the San Diego Padres.
Arevalos said every police chief he worked for during his almost 20 years on the force told him and other officers to look the other way for traffic tickets to these groups and, in some cases, for drunk-driving incidents.
Of course, Arevalos, who’s sitting in prison at the moment, is far from the most credible of sources. And a quick search reveals at least one then-Chargers player busted on a DUI charge — Antwan Applewhite in 2011. But what makes Arevalos’ comments about the Chargers players so eyebrow-raising is that they come out of nowhere in the deposition and aren’t prompted by lawyers.
Not surprisingly, current and past SDPD officials disputed what Arevalos said. Ex-Police Chief Jerry Sanders, who later became mayor and now runs the local Chamber of Commerce, said through a Chamber spokeswoman that there was “absolutely no truth” to Arevalos’ remarks. SDPD spokesman Kevin Mayer also said Arevalos is wrong.
Obama to Bypass Congress on Emissions
Since you’ll probably not read about this in the local fishwrap (or if you do it will be in an whiny editorial), you should know that the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times are both leading today with a major story on the environment.
Via the New York Times:
President Obama will use his executive authority to cut carbon emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent, according to people familiar with his plans, and will force industry to pay for the pollution it creates through cap-and-trade programs across the country.
Mr. Obama will unveil his plans in a new regulation, written by the Environmental Protection Agency, at the White House on Monday. It would be the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change and could become one of the defining elements of Mr. Obama’s legacy.
Cutting carbon emissions by 20 percent — a substantial amount — would be the most important step in the administration’s pledged goal to reduce pollution over the next six years and could eventually shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants across the country. The regulation would have far more impact on the environment than the Keystone pipeline, which many administration officials consider a political sideshow, and is certain to be met with opposition from Republicans who say that Mr. Obama will be using his executive authority as a back door to force through an inflammatory cap-and-trade policy he could not get through Congress.
Meanwhile over at the Wall Street Journal, they’re busy denying the existence of a climate change problem.
Via the Guardian:
Rupert Murdoch’s The Wall Street Journal editorial page has long published op-eds denying basic climate science. This week, they published an editorial denying the 97% expert scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming. The editorial may have been published as a damage control effort in the wake of John Oliver’s brilliant and hilarious global warming debate viral video, which has now surpassed 3 million views. After all, fossil fuel interests and Republican political strategists have been waging a campaign to obscure public awareness of the expert consensus on global warming for nearly three decades.
The Wall Street Journal editorial was written by Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute political advocacy group of Unabomber billboard infamy, and Roy Spencer of “global warming Nazis” infamy. Spencer previously claimed in testimony to US Congress to be part of the 97% consensus, although his research actually falls within the less than 3% fringe minority of papers that minimize or reject the human influence on global warming.
For those of you who might not remember, the Heartland Institute rolled out its national advocacy programs as a shill for big tobacco. So, yeah, they’re scumbags.
In the 1990s, the Heartland Institute worked with Philip Morris to question the link between secondhand smoke and health risks. Philip Morris used Heartland to distribute tobacco-industry material, and arranged for the Heartland Institute to publish “policy studies” which summarized Philip Morris reports. The Heartland Institute also undertook a variety of other activities on behalf of Philip Morris, including meeting with legislators, holding “off-the-record” briefings, and producing op-eds, radio interviews, and letters.
Here’s the John Oliver video from HBO referenced in the story above, which now has over three million views on YouTube.
The Edward Snowden Interview (Try Watching It First!)
Reading through the press (both national and local) there are numerous stories reacting to an Brian Williams interview of former spook Edward Snowden aired on NBC last night.
Frankly, I’m wondering just how many of these pundits actually watched the interview.
David Zurawik at the Baltimore Sun actually DID watch the interview:
NBC News and anchorman Brian Williams have not done journalistic work the quality of Wednesday night’s exclusive interview with Edward Snowden in a long, long time…
…But overall, the questions Williams asked in the interview conducted in a Russian hotel room were probing, contextualized and consistently elicited revealing answers from Snowden.
Williams gave Snowden the chance to articulate both the philosophy behind his acts and the personal cost of them. He let Snowden expound on large abstract concepts like civil disobedience, but he also got him to talk about the nitty-gritty of his life in Russia.
Too much of the conventional media coverage ignored the actual content of the interview (no secrets were revealed) and told the story through various government spokesmen reacting to it. It was almost worse on social media, with much of the conversation centering on whether it would be better to have him drawn and quartered or boiled oil.
Here’s the lede from the Associated Press story in today’s UT-San Diego:
Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden a fugitive and challenged him to “man up and come back to the United States.
Do yourself a favor, regardless of what you think of Edward Snowden. Watch the interview.
UPDATE: NBC has pulled the full length version off YouTube. You can see it one snippet at a time here.
On This Day: 1932 – World War I veterans began arriving in Washington to demand cash bonuses they were not scheduled to receive for another 13 years. 1946- A contract between the United Mine Workers and the U.S. government established one of the nation’s first union medical and pension plans, the multi-employer UMWA Welfare and Retirement Fund 1973 – Mike Oldfield released his “Tubular Bells” LP. The title track would later become the theme for “The Exorcist.”
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