Patterico's Pontifications

6/4/2018

Pity Us: One of These People Is Going to Be California’s Next Governor

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:08 pm



[guest post by JVW]

We Californians go to the polls tomorrow for our primaries. You out-of-staters may recall that a few years back we voted to go to a “jungle primary” (officially known as the “top-two system”) in the Golden State, where all candidates appear on a single ballot irrespective of party affiliation and where the top two finishers advance to the November election. This is the system that gave us the 2016 Senate election of Democrat Kamala Harris versus Democrat Loretta Sanchez. This year will likely see another November choice between two Democrats, with incumbent Dianne Feinstein squared off against hard-left challenger Kevin de Leon. But the real action this year is in the race for governor: a spate of Democrat leftists of various flavors, with an open question as to whether a Republican can sneak into the top two in a divided electorate. Here are the key players:

Gavin Newsom – D, current Lieutenant Governor
Newsom has been leading the polls most of the way and is generally considered to be a shoo-in to make the top two runoff. As such, I am going to keep my powder dry for the time being. Rest assured I will have a great deal to say about this particular candidate as the November election draws closer. In the meantime, just take a look at this pretty boy and ask yourself: If you are casting Gavin Newsom in a movie would you cast him as the crusading hero out to save the day, or the sneaky, slimy villain who hides his evil beneath a layer of smarmy charm? I know which one I would pick.

Would you buy a used agenda from this man?

Would you buy a used agenda from this man?

Antonio Villaraigosa – D, former Assembly Speaker, former Mayor of Los Angeles
Most of us can remember the early days of his first term as mayor back in 2005 when Villaraigosa was considered a rising star among Democrats, a party depressed and leaderless nationally after having lost to George W. Bush in the 2004 election. The thought at one time was that the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles in modern times would easily win re-election as mayor in 2009, then parlay that success into winning the governorship in 2010. Come 2016, the thinking of the time went, he would be a successful second-term governor and a serious candidate for President to succeed Barack Obama — the first African-American President being followed by the first Mexican-American President. But oh my how reality had an ugly way of intervening. By the time he ran for reelection four years later, the good progressives at Los Angeles Magazine were describing his first term as a failure. It turns out that Villaraigosa’s charm and energy served to mask the fact that he was almost congenitally incapable of focusing on a task long enough to see it all the way through (he was often mocked as the ADHD mayor); he liked cutting ceremonial ribbons and making grandiloquent cheerleading speeches a whole hell of a lot more than he cared for the nuts and bolts of running a city government. Although he won reelection, his political momentum came to a dead halt and he was shoved to the sidelines as Jerry Brown took control of the state party.

Once derided for being an insatiable ladder-climber who prioritized positioning himself to grasp the next rung rather than focusing on the job at hand, Villaraigosa used his five years in the wilderness since leaving City Hall in 2013 to reposition himself as the sensible Democrat, much in the mold of Jerry Brown. While California Democrats fall all over themselves to endorse the idea of single payer healthcare (which they deceptively like to call “Medicare for All”), Villaraigosa is the one reminding progressives that it is an unbelievably expensive proposition, and that spending on healthcare may crowd out other progressive priorities such as education, green energy, and shoring up pensions. He may end up being the man who has been left behind by his party, though if he survives the primary tomorrow he is frankly the best option for keeping Newsom out of the governor’s office.

John Chiang – D, current California State Treasurer, former California State Comptroller
Chiang is the most puzzling of the candidates in the race. Once a green-eyeshade numbers-please frankly boring type of political accountant, he has suddenly made a hard-left turn and is trying to compete on Newsom’s turf for the adulation of the progressive crowd. The man who as comptroller once warned the state about the exploding costs of state employee’s health care obligations is now a proponent of single-payer, though he acknowledges that he has yet to see a rational idea for how to fund it. A guy who spent the Schwarzenegger and Brown years earnestly trying to keep the income equal to the outflow now seems to think we can jack up spending on education, health, all while protecting the golden handshake of public pensions. This will be accomplished by enacting “sensible reforms,” as if there has always been an easy and painless common-sense solution that we are overlooking. Honestly, I don’t believe I have ever seen a politician — what’s the voguish word to use? oh yes — “evolve” so much on a fundamental issue since Arnie decided that bond money was a gift to ourselves from the future” or whatever nonsensical phrase he used. Chiang deserves to finish well in the back of the pack.

Delaine Eastin – D, former California Superintendent of Public Education
She left this office in 2003, and Lord knows what she has done for the last 15 years. Her campaign is a hodgepodge of ideas from the Bernie Sanders playbook for how California can tax and spend itself into oblivion even faster under her than under Newson or Chiang. The less said about this obvious lunatic the better. She’s currently polling about as well as Samantha Bee is in the Kushner residence.

John Cox – R, businessman and broadcaster
A failed candidate for office in Illinois who relocated to Rancho Santa Fe and is now trying his luck in the Golden State. Endorsed by President Trump, Cox is fighting with Villaraigosa for the second spot in the November election. He has an agenda that seems almost certain to me to be a loser in the general election — imagine Bill Simon or Meg Whitman running as a America First populist in deep blue California. Heaven knows that California is overdue for a populist revolt against the Hollywood-Silicon Valley-San Francisco-Public Employee-Green five-headed hydra that is running the state, but I’m just not sure that Cox is the most credible of candidates for the task.

Travis Allen – R, State Assemblyman
Probably has the most principled conservative campaign of any candidate, but of course these days in California that will get you absolutely nowhere, kind of like being the most progressive politician in Wyoming. If Trump were to appoint a Californian to serve in his administration, he could do a lot worse than Allen, though I suppose Cox is probably more to his liking, being a fellow ex-Democrat and all.

—-

As I mentioned earlier, the race appears to be between Villaraigosa and Cox to see who will go up against Newsom in the fall. As has been discussed on this blog many times before, the [William F.] Buckley Rule states that one should vote for the most conservative candidate who stands a legitimate chance of winning. There might be a clever argument to be made that Cox could pull off an amazing shocker against Newsom and win on a forgotten man populist surge, but I think the more likely scenario in a state where Hillary Clinton beat Trump by over three million votes is that Newsom beats Cox by about the same 60% to 40% margin that Brown bested Neel Kashkari by four years ago. Villaraigosa on the other hand could unite the final few remaining relatively-sane Democrats with some Republicans scared to death of what Newsom has in store, and make a race of it. In addition, a Newsom-Villaraigosa race might end up exposing and deepening some of the fissures that exist in the state’s Democrat party: Northern California vs. Southern California, entitled white males vs. scrappy minorities, progressives vs. pragmatists, and other interesting possibilities. I still haven’t yet figured out how I am going to mark my ballot.

– JVW

126 Responses to “Pity Us: One of These People Is Going to Be California’s Next Governor”

  1. Anybody want to argue that a vote for Allen (or some other candidate than Cox or Villaraigosa) is not a wasted vote?

    JVW (42615e)

  2. One other observations: Since I changed my party registration from GOP to no party preference, I now get political mailings from candidates of all parties and from left-wing as well as right-wing advocacy groups. Ugh.

    JVW (42615e)

  3. @ JVW: Thank you for this superb, timely, and informative post! California politics are a mystery to me, but this will better inform my understanding of tomorrow’s news. Good job!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  4. I think of Gavin Newsome as Mr. Kimberly Guilfoyle.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  5. Newsom should win the hotly contested illegals-released-committing-murder demographic. Should tip the scales for him.

    https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Family-blames-sanctuary-policy-in-3-slayings-3272118.php

    random viking (6a54c2)

  6. Will be interesting to see what happens in my district (CA-48).

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy once observed “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”

    I won’t be voting for either of them.

    Although Clinton narrowly won this historically GOP-dominated district, Rohrabacher was still re-elected by 16 points last time. I suspect some of the revulsion to Trump will rub off on him, but he still has to be considered a heavy favorite.

    Rohrabacher’s former protege, who Rohrabacher’s wife committed election fraud to help get elected to the state assembly (she pleaded guilty to two counts of felony election fraud) is the #2 GOP candidate; needless to say, his ties to Rohrabacher and history of involvement in corrupt practices do not inspire enthusiasm either.

    Meanwhile, the two leading Dems are locked in a mud-wrestling match of their own. Since the Dems were unable to rally around a single candidate, there is a real chance that Rohrabacher and his lackey take both November spots.

    It’s sort of like the 2016 presidential election, but with four terrible candidates instead of two…

    Dave (445e97)

  7. Starting to mark my absentee ballot now and still struggling on choosing between Cox and Villaraigosa. Again, the dilemma is that while I would prefer Cox as a candidate, I am quite sure he has zero chance of beating Newsom in November, whereas Villaraigosa under the right circumstances just might have a shot. To me, choosing between Villaraigosa and Newsom is kind of like having to choose between Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton. I’m not happy with either, but I am quite sure that one is far better than the other.

    if you had told me ten years ago that I would be contemplating voting for Antonio Villaraigosa today, I would have laughed in your face and probably used a cuss word or two. It’s weird how this jungle primary makes you consider such off-the-wall things.

    JVW (42615e)

  8. I wasn’t thrilled about voting for Loretta Sanchez last time, either…

    Dave (445e97)

  9. I think of Gavin Newsome as Mr. Kimberly Guilfoyle.

    One of the best things about a potential Newsom-Villaraigosa November match-up is that in the era of #metoo we would be looking at two guys who humiliated their wives (naturally now ex-wives) by having highly-publicized extramarital affairs while in office. I want to see the feminists address that.

    JVW (42615e)

  10. OT (but California-related): Dwight Clark, RIP

    Dave (445e97)

  11. I voted for Villaraigosa. Purely a defensive vote. Man, what has the world come to?

    JVW (42615e)

  12. Frum da Star, to da Moonbeam… to da =thud= backyard dirt pile. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  13. 1. Anybody want to argue that staying in California isn’t a wasted life?

    Gryph (08c844)

  14. Excellent post! I listened to Travis Allen being interviewed by the local radio show hosts Armstrong & Getty and he certainly came across well and made the case for voting for him. A very engaging fellow.

    Colonel Haiku (33b771)

  15. If I had spare change to lose, I bet the final outcome tonight is 1. Cox, 2. Villaraigosa. Chiang folks will rationalize into being Cox voters, and Villaraigosa will get enough Gavin doubters, Raza partisans and long game conservatives to crowd out Newsom.

    urbanleftbehind (b23bbe)

  16. Good gravy you admit to voting for Sanchez, sad.

    narciso (d1f714)

  17. How did voting for van Jones fan girl, Whitman or tarp
    Watercarrier kashkari work out again?

    narciso (d1f714)

  18. What the he’ll was the other option, and you misread the sisters, yes Linda is more sane of mind, but she’s also far more conventional of a left labor liberal. At least Loretta gives the gabacho a chance, both politically and other places.

    urbanleftbehind (b23bbe)

  19. R.I.P. Dwight Clark

    Icy (bfa4d2)

  20. Wjen you have the journolist and tbe rizzotto press behind you, what else do you need.

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. I have a litmus test of sorts; I figure if a candidate is pro second amendment the rest of their ideology should be fairly sound. Cox is the only candidate openly pro 2nd. I understand the odds for him being elected are slim and none, but I can’t see where any of the likely Democrats in the race are better than the other.

    My question JVW is who were you writing in for US senator? I’ve had a hard time finding ANY info or opinion on the best Republican pick for that office. Probably because after the last election where a Republican didn’t even make it on the general election ballot we are pretty disheartened, but it seems after that there would be a push to get us to coalesce behind someone in light of that.

    the Bas (ab264c)

  22. I’m certain Gavin Newsom will be the next governor of California, I feel it in my bones. It’s the same apprehensive feeling I had when I left the Golden State nearly 10 years ago.

    I love California, I’ve lived in LA and San Francisco and in several points between the two, graduated from the University, worked at JPL, traveled from the Oregon border to the Mexican border, up and down the many mountain ranges, the great valleys, the desserts, and sailed out of Santa Barbara to the Channel Islands, lived in Marina Del Rey and sailed to Catalina often, and North up the coast and through the Golden Gate. I know California well, and I love it, how could anyone not? But I had to leave because Democrat politicians were busy turning it into a third world sh*t hole.

    So now I live in SW Florida and pay no state income taxes. It’s still mostly a Southern state, the seafood is excellent, the beaches are splendid, the last few governors have been Republicans, and the weather is almost as good as California’s for about half the year (the other half is hotter than 40 hells). Most of the Snowbirds aren’t all that bad, but more than a few can be rude, demanding, and presumptions, and their numbers create traffic problems (one ran me down in a crosswalk, I was OK, just scuffed up.)

    So, overall, I’d love to go back to California (Morro Bay or Cayucos) but with Newsom as governor, it’s just not in the cards.

    ropelight (11bfaa)

  23. JVW, Cox now says it was a mistake not to vote for Trump. Newsom will bring that up whenever he can, and it will render Cox unelectable in California.

    aphrael (647002)

  24. Why was there no gov kashkari then, we know whitman was moored but then
    So was arnold

    narciso (d1f714)

  25. The problem is that the CA GOP is fighting the (lost here) national battles in CA. Instead they should be opposing the Democrats’ insane local policies. For example:

    Brown signed two bills, SB 606 by Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and AB 1668 by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), that require cities, water districts and large agricultural water districts to set strict annual water budgets, potentially facing fines of $1,000 per day if they don’t meet them, and $10,000 a day during drought emergencies…

    Standards will be based on a formula that is made up of three main factors: an allowance of 55 gallons per person per day for indoor water use — dropping to 50 gallons by 2030; a yet-to-be determined amount for residential outdoor use that will vary depending on regional climates; and a standard for water loss due to leak rates in water system pipes.

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/05/31/california-drought-jerry-brown-sets-permanent-water-conservation-rules-with-new-laws/

    Now, you might as, why are they doing this? The drought is over and the current problem has been torrential rains. While there is some concern about future droughts, the real thrust deals with “preparing for climate change.”

    What the GOP should be saying.

    First of all, market-based incentives can eliminate water scarcity at almost no cost. For example: Allow farmers to sell their water allotments at market rates without losing their vested rights. Or permit utilities to engage in mild price hikes that encourage people to use less water, instead of resorting to punitive tiered pricing or rationing. These alternatives, to some extent, have already been tried. They work. But if you accept the premise that increasing the absolute supply of water in California is desirable – here are the capital costs for water infrastructure that would create water abundance in California for decades to come.

    Desalinate 1.0 million acre feet of seawater – $15 billion.
    Reclaim and reuse 2.0 million acre feet of sewage – $10 billion.
    Build the Sites Reservoir for off-stream storage of 2.0 million acre feet of run-off – 4.4 billion.
    Build the Temperance Flat Reservoir for 1.3 million acre feet of storage – 3.3 billion.
    Aquifer recharge to store runoff – there isn’t even a good study exploring this option at a statewide level.

    As can be seen, all of these water infrastructure projects could be built for $32.7 billion. They could be financed via infrastructure bonds, increased rates to consumers, redirection of funds currently being squandered on high-speed rail, or even redirection of proceeds from carbon emission auctions.

    What California’s ruling junta prefers, however, is to create a surveillance state defined by expensive scarcity. In the 1950s and 1960s, California’s legislature approved and implemented what remains the finest system of inter-basin water transfers in the world. But today, after over 30 years of neglect, at the same time as California’s population has doubled, California’s water infrastructure is crumbling at a time when it should be expanded. The reasons for this are plain enough. Special interests have replaced the public interest.

    But they aren’t.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  26. The water rationing bills were signed June 1st.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  27. Arnold wasnt Moored until well into his 2nd term. Kashkari also did not have the entirety of the Desi community the same way Jindal had in LA (talking magnitudes of several hundred thousand in CA v. tens of thousands in LA, but it would make some wonder). Kashkari was seen as a plant and probably some residual anti-Indian H1-B takeover hysteria, though his fame was in finance not IT. Chiang probably has this with the Chinese-American vote, but they may be going elsewhere today for framing the Novemeber matchup.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  28. so he was moored by alred, if we’re going to go with ‘resistance is futile’ why vote. it’s like picking the puppet in colony,

    narciso (d1f714)

  29. I’ll be gone in less than 3 weeks. But I echo what ropelight says. Randy Newman was spot on about L.A., but ever since the locusts arrived from the north-east, things have been going bad, and there seems no end in sight. By now, the only hope of recovery is to convince the working-class (i.e. Hispanics) that the Democrat Party isn’t serving them. It shouldn’t be hard as they aren’t, other than in gross racial pandering. But so long as the national party attacks illegals — without doing anything about them — this is difficult.

    There is a chance, though. As my Mexican immigrant gardener said last week, when I told him we were leaving, “This town is fukked up!”

    Kevin M (752a26)

  30. BTW, the straw that broke the camel’s back for me about CA was the realization that the state GOP wasn’t really trying.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  31. But the republican party of California descended from Nazis. You can’t support that. Just ask Google.

    NJRob (b00189)

  32. No, JVW, not Villar!! That’s like voting for Sharon Angle! Yes, Cox is a doofus, but maybe Trump will help him to stand tall, as opposed to the other doofus elected in anger: Arnold S.

    We may be surprised though. Everyone I know is either disgusted by the state or is leaving. This applies to Dems, too, but they always think the solution is … more Dems. I am retiring soon and looking at AZ or Utah. I wish there was a Match.com for ex-pats: “looking for a free state, no recycles, no homeless, no full time legislature.”

    The present jungle primary, IMO, was designed to ensure that the part that leads in registration takes it all. You know who that is: Jerry Brown’s party. Another “legal” way to fix elections.

    To add to Kevin M’s post, I just wish we could vote against the insane tyrant Felicia Marcus.
    http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/05/31/california-water-limits/comment-page-1/#comments

    Patricia (3363ec)

  33. Patricia, ironically enough, the jungle primary was designed to (a) give general election voters in one-party-dominant districts more *meaningful* choice, and (b) give not-registered-with-any-party voters a voice in the candidate selection process.

    There was a recent poll that showed that no more than 10% of Californians want to go back to the old closed primary system.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  34. I know, aphrael. Somehow it didn’t turn out that way. :(

    Patricia (3363ec)

  35. newsom is like the getty scion that wasn’t kidnapped, his father was in partnership with getty.another pampered trust funder with inconvenient investments, (remember deepwater horizon)

    narciso (d1f714)

  36. Dave, being the principled conservative that you are, I have no doubt that you’ll pick one of the Democrats. Because reasons. Just like last time.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  37. Patricia, it certainly has given decline-to-state voters a way to participate in the candidate selection process! And, in districts like San Francisco, it *has* increased meaningful choice in November.

    My last state Senate vote went to a race between two Democrats which was hotly contested and went right down to the wire; the guy who came in second in the primary ended up winning narrowly in the general.

    In the old system, the woman who won the primary would have crushed the Republican candidate 70-30.

    And we’d have been worse off, since the fundamental argument between the two was on housing, and she was a “only allow housing projects to be built if they have at least 30% affordable housing” person who had supported basically every construction moratorium before the board of supervisors and had opposed almost every construction project while on the board of supervisors, and he’s the guy writing the bills to make housing construction easier.

    So on the most important issue of the day (IMO), a Democrat who supports more free market housing construction was able to win *because of* the top-two primary … while the old system would have elected a generally anti-development Democrat, because that’s who would win a Democratic party primary.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  38. JVW – I’m torn in a different direction.

    I *detest* Gavin Newsom. I do not want him to be governor.

    No Republican can beat him.

    So do I vote for Chiang, who is one of my favorite politicians in the state? Or do I vote for Villaraigosa because he has a *chance* of beating Newsom?

    I voted for Cruz in the 2016 primary for similar reasons.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  39. aphrael,

    The problem with the moderation theory is that no one opposes the incumbent of their party in a single party district.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  40. Kevin M — in the liberal districts, at least, we *do* get challenges from the left against incumbents of a single party district. They aren’t usually very successful, but challenges to incumbents are usually not very successful.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  41. voting between kang and kodos, that’s a pointless exercise,

    narciso (d1f714)

  42. The cad Newsom may not be beatable, but one thing is for sure: If Travis Allen won the number 2 spot, the sheer entertainment factor of watching him debate with Newsom would be astronomical, worthy of PPV.

    Colonel Haiku (33b771)

  43. Newsom would be red-faced the entire way, and for him, that really takes some doing.

    Colonel Haiku (33b771)

  44. This reads like an election in Massachusetts or Hawaii.
    This country needs a kick in the azz.

    mg (9e54f8)

  45. So do I vote for Chiang, who is one of my favorite politicians in the state? Or do I vote for Villaraigosa because he has a *chance* of beating Newsom?

    I think you move to another state.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  46. look I had Debbie dubious as a rep from 15 years, you think I was happy about it?

    narciso (d1f714)

  47. Law enforcement officials say New York fashion designer Kate Spade has been found dead in her apartment in an apparent suicide.

    this is not good

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  48. Well sure, we can see positive and negative effects of the primary law, but I still say it was designed to ensure Democrat domination. Your SF example kind of proves that. Two Dems with differing campaign promises ran on one narrow issue.

    And if a Republican would have been a candidate instead, who knows, both might have modified their policy choices to appeal to a broader electorate. And independents could register with a party if a primary seemed important to them–which I did at one point.

    It’s part of checks and balances in my opinion. And again, you may disagree, but the state has gone downhill since we devolved into a one-party-rule state. (See The Curley Effect.)

    And I still wonder what they lawyers think about my question on the primary: doesn’t it now disenfranchise a whole class of people, which is forbidden by the Voting Rights Act?

    Patricia (3363ec)

  49. Rachel Brosnahan’s aunt

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  50. >Your SF example kind of proves that. Two Dems with differing campaign promises ran on one narrow issue.

    And I can imagine two Republicans doing the same in a one-party Republican district. There are such.

    > And if a Republican would have been a candidate instead, who knows, both might have modified their policy choices to appeal to a broader electorate

    I’m sorry; that comment betrays a fundamental unfamiliarity with San Francisco politics. If a Republican had been a candidate instead, the Democrat would have had no reason to modify their policy choices. The Republican label is so massively toxic in this city that *an endorsement from a prominent Republican* is sufficient to tarnish a Mayoral candidate’s name. You’d have an easier time getting a real policy debate between a Democrat and a Green.

    The only way we can get anything approaching a real debate in a general election here is via top two or an equivalent.

    > the state has gone downhill since we devolved into a one-party-rule state

    I don’t know when you think that happened. I think that the situation got better after the independent redistricting commission and the top-two primary, but I also think we’ve effectively been a one party state for around twenty years — the state Republican party imploded at the end of the 1990s and has never recovered. Yeah, there was Schwarzenegger, but he came from outside the party apparatus, and he and Poizner are the only Republicans to win a statewide office since Quackenbush got driven out — the other Republican statewide officeholders were appointed by Schwarzenegger and lost re-election.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  51. Colonel Haiku — that may be, but there’s no way that I, a liberal gay man who reregistered as a Republican so I could vote for Ted Cruz and against Donald Trump, would ever consider voting for a man who quite clearly wants to be California’s Trump.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  52. > doesn’t it now disenfranchise a whole class of people,

    I doubt it very much. There’s no guaranteed right to have your candidate on the ballot, and the rules are the same for everyone. This is no more disenfranchisement than all of the complicated schemes partisan duopolies have enacted in most states to keep third parties off the ballot — and the federal courts have repeatedly upheld such schemes.

    The blanket primary was overturned by the Supreme Court, and this system was designed specifically to avoid the problem the Supreme Court identified with the blanket primary.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  53. So you like the system. Great!

    Patricia (3363ec)

  54. Also — describing housing policy as ‘one narrow issue’ shows a lack of familiarity with local context. Housing is the single biggest issue in bay area politics today, and the debate dominates *everything*. As, honestly, it should.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  55. yes, let the water run dry, let the power grid collapse, then they’ll impose confiscatory taxes,

    narciso (d1f714)

  56. Patricia — I think the system could be improved by limiting it to legislative races rather than statewide executive races. I hadn’t contemplated the effect on statewide races, and I don’t think the current system is sustainable long term unless the Democratic party openly fissions.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  57. My question JVW is who were you writing in for US senator?

    I voted for Erin Cruz because he is very pleasant on the eyes and because I like her cousin Ted (just kidding on that last part). Seriously, I expect this to come down to a race between Feinstein and de Leon, so I didn’t spend too much time figuring out which Republican gets my ritual wasted vote.

    JVW (1b9c4b)

  58. I know aphrael has been a strong supporter of the jungle primary system, and in this case I can at least see one of the benefits of it. Had we had an old-fashioned GOP primary, I would have voted strictly by my conscience and chosen Travis Allen over John Cox. But I have no doubt that either Allen or Cox would then have lost badly to Newsom, who would have won a Democrat primary over Villaraigosa and Chiang. With this new system, I am voting more strategically. I need there to be a candidate in the field — even if I have to accept another progressive Democrat — who can beat Newsom, whom I find to be absolutely detestable.

    aphrael, as I wrote in the post, I liked Chiang a whole lot more before he decided he needed to run as a progressive tax-and-spend Democrat. I get it that if you want to be the Big Cheese in this state then you need to change your positions to reflect where the voters in your party are, but I’m with what Jesus said to his disciples on the way to Caesarea Philippi. I find Chiang to be a major disappointment in that regard. I also look with real askance at a Catholic who says that his religion leads him to oppose the death penalty, yet at the same time is totally fine with unrestricted abortion at any phase of the pregnancy.

    JVW (1b9c4b)

  59. I don’t think the current system is sustainable long term unless the Democratic party openly fissions.

    And I confess that one reason I would like to see a Newsom-Villaraigosa match-up is because I think that greatly increases those odds. Progressives who back Newsom would be fit-to-be-tied if Villaraigosa wins based upon support from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

    JVW (1b9c4b)

  60. Probably so JVW, but Kashkari got 30-40% of the vote without even running a campaign. I think the GOP just ceded the state and accepted a few crumbs here and there. But that’s politics, I guess!

    Patricia (3363ec)

  61. that’s like picking between adan Chavez and maduro, name your favorite colectivo, mob,

    narciso (d1f714)

  62. Im surprised CA beat FL to producing a politician hottie like Erin Cruz @ @, given the dietary disadvantages of the pinto bean – tortilla combo vs. the black bean – white rice combo.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  63. btw, the summit that wasn’t happening will be at the hotel capella, or sentosa island, I wonder if that’s where they filmed hitman 47?

    narciso (d1f714)

  64. apparently not, but the references did occur to me, when I heard where it would be held,

    http://geekcrusade.tumblr.com/post/127457407258/5-singapore-landmarks-that-star-in-hitman-agent

    narciso (d1f714)

  65. there can be a problem there sometimes,

    http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/01/16/why-the-anitere-flores-and-oscar-braynon-affair-matters-to-florida-voters/

    and lets ignore the Latina version of coulter, or nicolle Wallace,

    narciso (d1f714)

  66. ohnoes

    sleazy slutty ethanol bimbo thinks Scott Pruitt is no good

    Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) slammed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt Tuesday, calling him “about as swampy as you get.”

    “He is about as swampy as you get here in Washington, D.C., and if the president wants to drain the swamp, he needs to take a look at his own cabinet,” Ernst said at an event organized by Platts, according to Bloomberg News.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  67. Yeah, thats some Dexter and “British Broadcasting Corporation” type stuff with the 2 state reps. So just how “Coulter” would Delgado get, or are referring more to appearance?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  68. Probably so JVW, but Kashkari got 30-40% of the vote without even running a campaign.

    Short of running a celebrity, the GOP’s ceiling in statewide offices as I see it is about 45%. And recall that 2014 was a strong Republican year, yet somehow Kashkari topped out at 40%.

    JVW (1b9c4b)

  69. yay America!

    McConnell cancels Senate’s August recess

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  70. Re 66, thanks a lot bread bag girl! You gave the national Dems the only lifeline they could possibly had i.e. dont run against Trump but run against those mean ol’ cabinet appointees and the specter of Ryanist fiscal “cons”.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  71. well ana alliegro, who is the other one, well she served time in Nicaragua, which is a poor choice, since her father aided the Nicaraguan resistance, so as not to incriminate her paramour, who is a piece of work on his own,

    narciso (d1f714)

  72. re Delgado, who set the wrong forest fire early on, her behavior precluded accepting a post in the administration for not only herself but her significant other,

    narciso (d1f714)

  73. and she picked a thuggy looking wiboy to do it with

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  74. oh good grief:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-president-is-missing-review-preserve-protect-and-defend-1528152956

    getting back to the main point of the thread, the democrats will mobilize their usual constituencies, why should conservatives use their reservoir,

    narciso (d1f714)

  75. 13. Anybody want to argue that staying in California isn’t a wasted life?

    As the saying goes, people move to California to live; people move to Florida to die.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. @69. Only three of the four weeks, Mr. Feet; he has one of those Trump Watches, too.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  77. Illinois – to steal, next…

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  78. urbanleftbehind, what’s with the insulting comments?

    Patricia (3363ec)

  79. florida votes red at the gubernatorial level, and at least last time at the presidential, Illinois is at best one of two, and California might as well be on vormir,

    narciso (d1f714)

  80. Even a sewer with zipcodes can have a theme song:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYUfGXPV_Sc

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  81. Admitted RINOs shouldnt count (i.e. Rauner, Ryan, Edgar, Thompson) – thats IL and MA; that would also put Ohio in blueberry instead of bright red territory (James Rhodes, Voiny, DeWine and the Postman’s kid).

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  82. Dave, being the principled conservative that you are, I have no doubt that you’ll pick one of the Democrats. Because reasons. Just like last time.

    Like last time, when I voted for the only conservative running, McMullin, and you voted for the guy who endorsed Hillary Clinton and bankrolled her, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, Jimmy Carter, Charlie Rangel and Anthony Weiner?

    Go f*ck yourself, f*cking liar.

    Dave (445e97)

  83. I am of course incompetent to comment on Kashkari as I was out of state from 2011-2015.

    JVW, I think your comment demonstrates the point. There is *no question* that Newsom would win a Democratic primary, and there’s no question that he would win the general against either Cox or Allen. The jungle primary at least gives the *possibility* of getting a candidate up there who can defeat him, as opposed to having the Democratic primary simply determine the result for the state.

    I’d prefer there to be more than one functioning party at the state level. I’d be fine if the state Democrats openly fissioned into a left-wing and a fiscal-moderate-social-left party. That would be good for the state.

    But at the moment, the alternatives are between this system and having most of the state’s elections functionally decided by the Democratic party primary, which would be terrible.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  84. IMO, Newsom is the candidate in the general election most likely to blow himself up.

    He’s got a double-digit IQ, and has never had to win a meaningful election where he was opposed by legitimate candidate on the other side. Once he had the backing of SF’s liberal establishment, he was going to cruise thru every re-election regardless of what he did or said.

    Having him in the Top 2 is the best chance the GOP has for a potential election-roiling gaffe that might make things competitive in a race vs a real GOP challenger.

    What the GOP needs is a conservative Hispanic candidate. You can’t deny the demographics of the state. In a “zero sum” game like elections, a 20 point spread between the parties only requires a 10 point flip to even up the race.

    A legitimate conservative Hispanic candidate would hold on to the 35-40% of the electorate in Calif that remains in the GOP camp, and draw some number of Hispanic votes, as there is a conservative streak in aspects of the California Latino community — especially on issues of family and religion.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  85. The real question is who would win a jungle system in Texas – would the true conservatives still prevail or would it be those who fall within the spectrum of John Cornyn leftward to those last named White (i.e. the Joe Strauss party)?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  86. Minor editorial change

    A legitimate conservative ~ Mexican-American candidate who can at least name his family’s home state and enjoys some aspects of his culture ~ candidate would hold on to the 35-40% of the electorate in Calif that remains in the GOP camp, and draw some number of Hispanic votes, as there is a conservative streak in aspects of the California Latino community — especially on issues of family and religion.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  87. SWC, I should have prefaced that with a spot-on about your Newsom comments.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  88. The problem with the prospect of Villagarosa being a potential winning alternative to Newsom is that V would pretty much turn California governance over to the whack-jobs in the Calif legislature.

    He has no interest in governing — its pretty well established that he lacks the intellectual firepower to bring much to the table anyway.

    To the extent Calif has not gone over the cliff already, its been because Jerry Brown — to a limited degree — has kept his foot on the break while the Legis has floored the acellerator like Thelma and Louise.

    V is likely to get out of the car and help it along by pushing on the back bumper.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  89. “brake”

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  90. If Cox hadn’t decided that he was wrong to oppose Trump, he *might* have stood a chance; run on the gas tax repeal and fiscal conservatism, distance yourself from Trump as much as possible, minimize the conversation about social issues. It would have been hard, but it would have been possible.

    He’s lost that chance. It got him Trump’s endorsement, which was effective (maybe) in killing off Allen’s campaign, but will be devastating to him in the general.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  91. One of, if not the, most interesting questions at the moment is whether poizner can win.

    aphrael (c29a61)

  92. Vote cast for Travis Allen… if only…

    Aphrael… I’ve read up on and listened to Mr. Allen. Given the current state of California, where office-holders actively support free healthcare for illegal immigrants and many more terrible ideas and Allen sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

    Colonel Haiku (33b771)

  93. To the extent Calif has not gone over the cliff already, its been because Jerry Brown — to a limited degree — has kept his foot on the brake while the Legis has floored the acellerator like Thelma and Louise.

    You know, four years ago I was one of those guys saying, “All things given, Jerry Brown hasn’t been so horrible as a governor.” I gave him a lot of credit for fiscal sanity to the extend that he stared down legislative Democrats and told them that the money just wasn’t there, even though in reality he didn’t have any other options. That said, I voted for Neel Kashkari anyway. But I have been massively disappointed in Brown’s second term as the economy has improved. Brown celebrates the fact that we have $10 billion in a rainy-day fund, but during the last two economic collapses we have seen the budget go out-of-whack by about $30 billion annually, so in essence we have less than one-third of one-year’s potential imbalance that we can use for backfill. We should be pushing to have a rainy-day fund closer to $30 or even $50 billion, especially if we are still depending upon the wealthiest Californians to fund most of government operations.

    My point is that any idiot can be thrifty during a crisis, but it takes a real leader to convince legislators to hold down spending, or at least limit it to one-time initiatives, during the boom times. Of course Brown can always claim that had he not been there, the socialists in the CA legislature would have spent tens of billions more, but overall I think Brown failed at the job. That, and his puzzling legacy with the bullet train are really going to drag down the legacy of his second swing through office when the history of the state is written.

    JVW (2326d4)

  94. Go f*ck yourself, f*cking liar.

    Dave (445e97) — 6/5/2018 @ 11:36 am

    Now see here there’s no call for that. McMuffin was a fool’s choice though.

    Kevin M, you should stay and run for Governor, I like that list of priorities!

    Colonel Haiku (33b771)

  95. One of, if not the, most interesting questions at the moment is whether poizner can win.

    It would be interesting to see if changing from a Republican to an Independent makes a difference out here. Back in 2014 my Democrat state assemblyman (Al Muratsuchi) lost to a Republican-turned-Independent (David Hadley), but came back to beat him in the rematch two years later when the Presidential election was on the ballot and Democrats are more likely to turn out.

    JVW (2326d4)

  96. The unfunded liabilities in this state, let alone the country, are more than enough to sink us.

    Colonel Haiku (33b771)

  97. Haiku: Allen will get wiped out today, and if he keeps running for statewide office, will become one of those perennial failed candidates like Gail Lightfoot.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  98. And JVW the good economy has allowed Brown to cave to the zealots with his new water and electricity punitive acts. Those are going to stick.

    Patricia (3363ec)

  99. 31.But the republican party of California descended from Nazis. You can’t support that. Just ask Google.

    Meh. Ask former CA Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, instead:

    ‘Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947 in Thal, Styria, to Aurelia (née Jadrny) and Gustav Schwarzenegger. Gustav was the local chief of police and had served in World War II as a Hauptfeldwebel after voluntarily joining the Nazi Party in 1938, though he was discharged in 1943 following a bout of malaria… In later life, Schwarzenegger commissioned the Simon Wiesenthal Center to research his father’s wartime record, which came up with no evidence of Gustav being involved in atrocities, despite his membership in the Nazi Party and SA.’ – source, wikibio

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  100. Tony Villar got one thing done: he got the L.A. City yacht refurbished, with money from the Obama trillion-dollar stimulus.

    I mean, do you want your city’s yacht to look crappy?

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/02/06/taxpayer-money-used-to-maintain-million-dollar-yacht/

    Patricia (3363ec)

  101. Why does LA need a yacht?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  102. 101 Because it has a river that runs right through the middle of it. Duh

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  103. Thank you, CA commenters, who’ve contributed to this genuinely educational post.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  104. i was sixteen and sick of school i didn’t know what i wanted to do

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  105. And there it is: Newsom vs. Cox.

    It is quite satisfying that Antonio Villar was partially done in by government apparatchiks with a major screw-up in his home county (L.A.).

    Ed from SFV (76ec9e)

  106. Tony V calls for election day to be extended through Friday due to the screw-up.

    LOL.

    Dave (445e97)

  107. The screweup was terrible and y’all should recall your registrar-recorder.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  108. But it was just a RANDOM error!

    LOL.

    Dave (445e97)

  109. Putin’s congressman (and mine) Dana Rohrabacher, has the first spot in my district locked up, but with only 30% of the vote at the moment (78% reporting). There’s a very tight 3-way race for second between two democrats and Rohrabacher’s former (and apparently equally corrupt) protege, all within 1% of each other. Currently the less objectionable/liberal of the two Dems is barely clinging to the second spot.

    Republican candidates combined only have 53% of the vote total in this district that Rohrabacher won by 16 points last time.

    Dave (445e97)

  110. Dave: I really don’t care *why* the error occurred. This level of screwup is a firing offense.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  111. No, I was just mocking the “random” description as a transparently BS attempt at CYA by whoever was responsible.

    Something “random” can’t possibly be anyone’s fault, right? :)

    Dave (445e97)

  112. doesn’t the job include checking to see if your contractors are doing what you asked them to? maybe not on everything, but on something this important?

    aphrael (3f0569)

  113. doesn’t the job include checking to see if your contractors are doing what you asked them to? maybe not on everything, but on something this important?

    They’re a victim of CIRCUMSTANCE!

    LOL :)

    Dave (445e97)

  114. Dramatic finish in the CA-48 primary…

    With 100% reporting, Democrat (and 2016 John Kasisch donor…wut?) Harley Rouda vaulted into second place for the first time all night. Only 70 votes (out of about 100K cast) separate Rouda and Hans Keirstead, the other Dem who had been barely clinging to 2nd place all night.

    Comrade Rohrabacher held onto 30% of the vote. The overall party split among all the candidates is about 52-48 GOP.

    My best friends are neighbors and friends of Keirstead, a former UC Irvine stem-cell researcher who founded his own bio-tech company (my friends’ teenage son did an internship there). One of his volunteers came to my door today; since I couldn’t support any of the top four candidates, I told him I wouldn’t be voting…

    Dave (445e97)

  115. As of 1.30 AM, Poizner is holding on to first in the Insurance Commissioner race. That’s impressive, and makes him the only non-Democrat to come in first in a statewide race.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  116. That’s impressive, makes him the only non-Democrat to come in first in a statewide race.

    THE GOP IS BACK IN TOWN, BABY – KICKIN’ @SS AND TAKIN’ NAMES…

    :)

    (For those keeping score, the Repubs haven’t won a state-wide race since 2006…)

    Dave (445e97)

  117. Actually, as you point out up thread, he *was* the last one… too funny.

    Dave (445e97)

  118. What kind of Manly Man changes his family name, combining it with his wife’s, when he gets married? Unless he was hiding from creditors (and who knows what else), like DeWatsisname in New York.

    nk (dbc370)

  119. didn’t kierstad, have a #metoo situation, the dems also lost their majority in the state assembly,

    narciso (d1f714)

  120. what is this, they hung themselves with the chad?

    narciso (d1f714)

  121. According to what I read, Keirstad was indirectly accused of improper conduct by a rival he was involved in some kind of intellectual property dispute with. “Indirectly” meaning, the guy accused him of improper conduct with someone else. None of the alleged victims ever accused him of anything.

    UCI investigated the charges and found them entirely without merit. The guy who brought the charges later admitted they were false, but claimed he thought they were true at the time.

    (This is all based just on what I read yesterday in the stories about the race, I have no personal knowledge of the matter through UCI, or my friends…).

    Dave (445e97)

  122. OC and North County are still OC and North County.

    urbanleftbehind (b23bbe)

  123. Would have preferred Travis Allen, but I voted for Cox because I wanted to ensure that Villar didn’t come in second instead. Allen was already a distant fourth when I made up my mind.

    Mitch (341ca0)

  124. dave– poizner is no longer a republican.

    aphrael (79562f)


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