Patterico's Pontifications


The Power of the Jump™: Arnold Targets Message to Supporters!!!

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Politics — Patterico @ 6:59 pm

(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)

Shocking news: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to get voters out to the polls who might support his initiatives — and he doesn’t much care about other voters! And, apparently, his opponents have much more confidence in their positions, and are therefore happy to target their message to anyone who will listen. (Actually, that last bit is not true, but make sure to whisper it, while we shout the nasty stuff about Arnold.)

This startling revelation can be found in a story on the front page of today’s California section titled Gov. Aims to Get Out Vote Selectively. I don’t make the headlines up, folks — I just report ’em.

The “deck” headline reads: “With Schwarzenegger’s initiatives lagging in polls, he hopes the state’s Democratic majority and opponents in the GOP stay home.” The story opens this way:

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered next week’s special election to take his agenda to “the people,” but his campaign strategy relies on relatively few people showing up next Tuesday and large segments of voters staying home.

Shocking behavior, this. Sounds like he’s using campaign resources to suppress the vote! Wait ’till you find out the measures he’s taking to make sure opponents stay home! What will it be? Sending representatives to black churches to encourage them to vote in the special election on November “9th”? (The election is on November 8th.) Arnie riding through the streets of San Francisco with a bullhorn shouting: “Stay home, Kaleefornians! Stay hoooooooommee!”?

. . . Schwarzenegger’s campaign has put many of its resources into just motivating loyal Republicans.

So . . . he’s targeting supporters . . . but that sounds like standard practice for a politician, does it? Where’s the bit about suppressing the rest of the vote?

You can read the entire article, and you won’t find it. All he’s doing is targeting his resources towards loyal Republicans, who, he judges, are the most likely to support his initiatives:

In recent weeks, Schwarzenegger has campaigned heavily in conservative areas such as Fresno, San Diego, Redding, Orange County and Sacramento. Today he is scheduled to participate in conservative talk radio programs and campaign in Republican-dominated areas — San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield and Palm Springs.

His TV advertising also has been sectarian: Except on some cable stations, he has declined to run ads in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is heavily Democratic.

That nutty Arnold, targeting his supporters!

The question I asked myself, as I turned from Page B1 back to Page B7, was this: aren’t his opponents doing the same thing? I mean, I guess not . . . after all, the headline, deck headline, and lede all emphasize that Schwarzenegger is targeting voters selectively.

Imagine my surprise to see this, all the way down in paragraph 22:

Schwarzenegger is not the only one worried about who will turn out next Tuesday.

You don’t say!

The “no” message from Schwarzenegger’s opponents in unions and the Democratic Party could boomerang on them when they need as many of their constituents as possible to show up.

Their constituents? They need as many of “their constituents” as possible to show up? But what about the public at large? What about the greater good? Don’t the Democrats and unions care about them?

[Democrat and union consultant Phil] Giarrizzo says that the main anti-Schwarzenegger group, a labor coalition called Alliance for a Better California, has reached 1 million households with its message to encourage voters.

[Said in best Dr. Evil voice:] One milllllllllllion households!

[Low, impressed whistle]

And just how many voters is ol’ “selective Schwarzenegger” targeting?

[GOP consulting firm] TargetPoint research directed the Schwarzenegger campaign on where to send campaign mailings, which went to 5 million voters considered most likely to support his positions. The party also helped coordinate campaign material for 50,000 overseas voters, including the military, hoping that will help the governor.

So: the other side has targeted one million households, and vote-suppressing Arnie has targeted 5 million voters.

Oh, and he is broadening his message:

As the campaign enters its final days, the governor has attempted to broaden his message. He has launched a new statewide television ad in which he asks Californians to “give me the tools to do the job you elected me to do.” And he has scheduled several TV appearances in markets that allow him to reach a large segment of voters.

To sum up: Arnold has targeted more voters than his opponents, and in the critical final days of his campaign, he’s aiming to target an even larger segment of voters. So, naturally, the L.A. Times runs an article suggesting the exact opposite.

This is ridiculous. In any political campaign, political operatives will seek to get voters to the polls who are going to support their issues. Both sides in this campaign are doing the same thing. But if you ran a story titled “Both Sides Seek to Target Own Supporters” — well, that would just sound silly, wouldn’t it? So let’s run a Page B1 story making it sound like Arnold is the only guy trying to do that.

Because, who knows? Mebbe we can get more Democrats to the polls that way!

Not that the editors of the L.A. Times would want that to happen.

P.S. As in previous articles about the propositions, The Times today claims in the deck headline that polls show all of the measures headed for defeat:

With Schwarzenegger’s initiatives lagging in polls, he hopes the state’s Democratic majority and opponents in the GOP stay home.

But, based on posts by Daniel Weintraub, Dafydd ab Hugh has been reporting lately (most recently here) that the poll results are mixed. You never read that in The Times either.

8 Responses to “The Power of the Jump™: Arnold Targets Message to Supporters!!!”

  1. Dean Baquet, how can you deny that the possibility of bias even exists at the LAT?

    That this is the premise of a page A1 article is a metaphor for everything wrong with the LAT. I can hardly wait for the next circulation audit results.

    Times Hater (83afc6)

  2. B1, not A1.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  3. So . . . he’s targeting supporters . . . but that sounds like standard practice for a politician, does[sic] it?

    This is a matter of degree, not of kind. ‘Looks like Arnie’s having to go way out of his way to keep his message from the rest of the state.

    Where’s the bit about suppressing the rest of the vote?

    You can read the entire article, and you won’t find it.

    The article doesn’t claim that he is using campaign resources to “suppress” the vote (although selective pandering to just the right voters has, in effect, the same result). The article does, however, explain why the vote will probably have a low turnout.

    First, according to the article, “experts” claim that voting “No” discourages voter turnout since many of them think that not showing up to vote “No” would be the same as actively voting “No.”

    Second, from the article:

    Off-year elections tend to elicit a low turnout. And the special election is about ideas rather than candidates, with a ballot containing eight statewide initiatives — four embraced by Schwarzenegger. Voters tend to engage less in a debate over initiatives than in deciding who will represent them, election experts say.

    So you have to cause to whine, the article’s not out of line.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  4. Sorry, that last line of mine should read:

    You have no cause to whine, the article’s not out of line.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  5. BTW Pat, you should be overcome with glee seeing this LAT story:

    Nominee Has Some Unexpected Supporters
    Liberals who have worked with Samuel A. Alito Jr. say he is fair, not a rigid ideologue

    The whole article is mostly positive on Alito; quoting judges who vouch for him.

    That blasted liberal media strikes again!

    Tillman (1cf529)

  6. BTW Pat, you should be overcome with glee seeing this LAT story . . .

    It’s good. I’ll write it up at lunch.

    Patterico (056d48)

  7. “So . . . he’s targeting supporters . . . but that sounds like standard practice for a politician, does it? Where’s the bit about suppressing the rest of the vote?”

    One doesn’t need to suppress the vote in order to rely on few people, or just the highly interested, showing up. Its enough to schedule it in an otherwise uninteresting election cycle. Is that the case?

    actus (ebc508)

  8. at a state level, a slight detour

    CAA : “The November 8, 2005, California Special Election is just one week away.”
    “The following is a brief description of the measures that will appear on the November 8 ballot…”

    Proposition 73 – Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy

    Summary: Proposition 73 would amend the California Constitution by defining and prohibiting abortion for an unemancipated minor until 48 hours after a physician notifies the minor’s parent or guardian. It would permit an exception to the notification requirement in the case of a medical emergency or with a parental waiver and would mandate reporting requirements and authorize civil monetary penalties for physicians who violate the requirements of the measure.

    Proposition 74 – Public School Teachers; Tenure and Dismissal

    Summary: Proposition 74 is one of three measures sponsored by Governor Schwarzenegger. This statutory measure would increase the probationary period for public school teachers from two to five years and would make changes to the process by which school boards can dismiss a teacher who receives two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations.

    Proposition 75 – Public Employee Union Restrictions on Dues for Political Contributions

    Summary: Proposition 75 has been labeled the paycheck protection initiative. It would require public employee unions to obtain written consent from union members (each year) to use dues revenue for political contributions. The consent requirement would not apply to contributions made to charities or to be used for other non-political purposes.

    Proposition 76 – State Spending and School Funding Limits

    Summary: Proposition 76 is one of three measures sponsored by Governor Schwarzenegger. This constitutional amendment would limit state spending to the prior year’s level plus three previous year’s average revenue growth. Proposition 76 would also make changes to the Proposition 98 minimum school funding requirements and permit the Governor, under specified circumstances, to reduce budget appropriations of the Governor’s choosing. It would further prohibit the state from borrowing money from special funds and require the state to reimburse local government mandates.

    Proposition 77 – Redistricting

    Summary: Proposition 77 is one of three measures sponsored by Governor Schwarzenegger. This constitutional amendment would substantially change the process by which legislative districts are drawn in California. It would create a panel of three retired judges (selected by legislative leaders) and vest in that panel the duty to adopt a new redistricting plan after each national census. The redistricting plan would become effective when adopted by the panel and would govern the next statewide elections even if voters ultimately reject the plan. If voters reject the plan, the panel would be required to reconvene and repeat its process. Officials elected under the rejected plan would still serve their full term.

    Proposition 78 – Discounts on Prescription Drugs

    Summary: Proposition 78 is sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. It would establish a discount prescription drug program to be administered by the California Department of Health Services that would enable qualifying low and moderate income individuals to purchase prescription drugs at a reduced price. Under this measure, the Department of Health Services would be authorized to contract with participating pharmacies to sell prescription drugs at an agreed discount and to negotiate rebate agreements with participating drug manufacturers.

    Proposition 79 – Prescription Drug Discounts; State-Negotiated Rebates

    Summary: Proposition 79 would establish a prescription drug discount program for qualifying individuals. The discounts would be funded by rebates from participating drug manufacturers negotiated by the Department of Health Services. It would prohibit new Medi-cal contracts with drug manufacturers not providing the Medicaid best price to this program (with limited exceptions). Rebates would be deposited into the state treasury and may only be used to reimburse pharmacies for discounts to offset administrative costs.

    Proposition 80 – Regulation of Electric Service Providers

    Summary: Proposition 80 would subject certain electric utilities to control and regulation by the California Public Utilities Commission. It would restrict an electric customers’ ability to switch from private utilities to other providers (direct access contracts). It would also require all retail electric sellers to increase renewable energy resource procurement by at least 1 percent each year, with 20 percent of retail sales procured from renewable energy by 2010 instead of 2017 as currently required.

    Fiscal Impact: According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) there are potential annual administrative costs associated with this measure, ranging from negligible to $4 million, all to be paid by fees paid by consumers. The LAO further estimates unknown net impact on state and local costs and revenues from uncertain impact on electricity rates. The LAO opines that it is difficult to predict the effect of this measure on electricity rates as the net effect would be influenced by several competing factors, including, to the extent to which the measure increases certainty about the structure of the electricity market, it may encourage additional investment in the marketplace – such investment could increase the supply of electricity and potentially lower rates. On the other hand, the measure’s ban of direct access contracts could have a chilling effect on competition and result in higher electricity rates. Much would depend on the regulations adopted by the CPUC to implement the measure.

    Proposition 80, would ban consumers from buying their electricity from independent power providers. By limiting the state’s retail market for electricity, which gives users such as homeowners, hospitals, factories, and farms an alternative to buying power from regulated utilities, Proposition 80 would roll back a primary feature of the state’s 1996 electricity deregulation law. Proposition 80 was bankrolled by the Alliance for a Better California, a labor-backed anti-Schwarzenegger campaign committee. It is, in some ways, a pawn in an escalating battle for political supremacy in Sacramento. Unions are fighting Schwarzenegger by pushing Proposition 80, which would throw a wrench in the Governor’s own plans for the state’s energy grid. Some experts believe that asking voters to decide a complicated question such as how to structure a statewide electricity market is bad public policy.

    Yi-Ling (4e4b70)

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