Patterico's Pontifications


Primary Night in California [Updated]

Filed under: 2014 Election,General — JVW @ 10:03 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Polls in California have closed and it’s time to tabulate the vote. You can follow live at the Secretary of State’s website. Here as of this moment (9:37 pm update) are some notable results:

Governor: Jerry Brown winning 55.3% of vote. Battle for second between GOP contenders Neel Kashkari and Tim Donnelly is close, with Kashkari at 17.6% to Donnelly’s 14.8%. Cindy Sheehan (yes, that Cindy Sheehan) is at 1.2% for the Peace & Freedom Party.

Secretary of State: This is one of the only statewide offices where a Republican might stand a chance to win in November. Right now, party favorite Pete Peterson is polling at 29.8%, slightly ahead of state senator Alex Padilla at 28.7%. Fun fact: state senator Leland Yee, who has been indicted on charges of gun-running and accepting bribes is bringing in a respectable 10.7%. Hooray for the low information voter!

Controller: Amazingly enough, two Republicans are so far leading the field, Ashley Swearengin (23.7%) and David Evans (23.0%) currently edging out Betty Yee (21.8%) and assembly speaker John A. Perez (20.0%). Should Perez finish in fourth, or even miss qualifying for November’s runoff by finishing third, it would have to be seen as a massive rebuke for the state legislative leadership. As speaker, Perez is arguably one of the three most powerful politicians in the state.

State Senate District 26: I reported on this one earlier so that everyone could share my excitement in Sandra Fluke’s maiden (whoops, poor choice of words?) run for political office. This is a neck-and-neck race with Sandy at 17.6% trailing fellow Democrat Ben Allen at 23.2% and law professor Seth Stodder, with no party preference, at 19.5%. Still in the running are former assembly member Betsy Bulter (Dem) at 16.3% and Manhattan Beach mayor Amy Howorth (Dem) at 14.3%. Under the open primary system, the top two finishers will move on to face each other in November.

The State Senate District 26 race featured seven Democrats and the one no party preference candidate. No Republican made it on the ballot, which is every bit as much an indictment of the local party as it is of Democrat dominance in this state.

U.S. House of Representatives, District 33: This is my congressional district, most recently represented by the retiring Henry Waxman (don’t get me started). The odds-on favorite has been my current state senator, Ted Lieu, a decent and patriotic sort of guy who suffers from the sin of unbridled ambition and whose every action reminds you that he aspires to move rapidly up the political ladder by pandering to every conceivable Democrat constituency. It was assumed that he would run for California Secretary of State, but changed his mind when Waxman suddenly announced his retirement. Surprisingly, he is running second as of right now to Republican Elan Carr, a criminal gang prosecutor. Nipping at Lieu’s heels is former Los Angeles City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Wendy Gruel. Knocking Lieu out of the top two runoff would be a huge deal, though I think the prognosticators expect him to pull through. Flaky New Age guru Marianne Williamson is running a left-wing campaign with no party preference and thus far drawing 8.6% of the vote, so it would be awesome if she is responsible for denying Lieu a top two finish.

I wasn’t a big fan and didn’t vote for it, but I think I am starting to warm up to the open primary where everyone runs and the top two go on to face each other in the fall. Hopefully there will be some interesting results to discuss tomorrow.

UPDATE [10:45 pm] In the Controller’s race Betty Yee is gaining ground on the two Republicans, so she’ll probably slip in to the final two. It wouldn’t surprise me if John Perez does as well, what with the – ahem – success that Democrats traditionally have had in finding extra ballots while tallying up the vote in close races.



This Happened Today

Filed under: 2014 Election,General — JVW @ 3:41 pm

[guest post by JVW]

My hometown newspaper, The Daily Breeze, published their endorsements for the June 3 primary today. Who did they judge to be among the best two choices for the state senate in my district? None other than Sandra Fluke.

Seriously, Sandra Fluke.

Here is what they had to say:

Fluke is an attorney and women’s rights activist best known as the woman who radio’s Rush Limbaugh called a slut — he later apologized — after she testified before Congress in favor of birth control. She may be young (she’s 33) and a first-time candidate for public office, but she has the spine and the know-how to take on Sacramento.

Her fast rise to national attention and the way she handled all the buzz was impressive. Even more impressive are her clear and thoughtful ideas on policy. If elected, she said she would focus on issues such as water conservation measures, easing congestion on Los Angeles’ Westside, expanding Hollywood tax credits, and coastal preservation.

So according to the Los Angeles News Group (they are the parent company of the Breeze and they make the endorsements), a woman who rose to fame on the specious yet obnoxious notion that a Catholic university should be forced to pay for birth control for 30-year-old law students is the best choice to represent my district in Sacramento. So hey, you might be saying, perhaps ol’ Sandra has some really good ideas for how to reinvigorate the California economy, create a stable flow of tax revenue that does not depend upon windfalls from the stock market, or address the looming public pension bills which threaten to overwhelm our budget. I will save you having to make a visit to her puerile campaign website, chock full of trendy liberal talking points delivered straight from the hack factory at the DNC, but here are the issues that Sandra specifically calls out:

* affordable health care
* access to a quality education
* LGBTQ rights
* economic justice

In other words, she’s running a 2008 campaign in 2014. Is there anyone with even one iota of sense who thinks that any of the four items above (with the possible exception of education) is a burning issue in 2014? Even if you think that health care and education are important, I doubt if you would be impressed with Ms. Fluke’s proposed solutions. Not to mention the fact that Ms. Fluke’s whole adult life appears to have been spent either as a student or working for some left-wing nonprofit advocacy group, all of which I’m sure will be invaluable in helping to facilitate growth in the private sector.

Oh well, we’ve ruined this state so much that maybe at this point it would just be fun to watch it all crumble down in a spectacular way. Go Sandy!


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