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June 07, 2006

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Angelides has a long record of providing financial support to the Democratic party in CA. I know of an interesting project he built with one of the most modern architects in CA, experimenting with designing an urban neighborhood to ecourage a sense of village; the technique has become more perfected since that Sacramento suburb buildout, and even the primary architect still perceives minor flaws in the result. Another close affiliation of Angelides is yet another architect, a man who was the official CA state architect several decades ago. I have known both of those architects, but have only seen Angelides in public, never having met him in person. Arnold S., by contrast, is still reading scripts, but the Republicans writing them appear to have changed; and Arnold has hired a few nominal Democrats to add the classical CA brand of moderate Republican speechifying and event fabrication.

Link revision: Try Sim at this link, though it is different from his primary website; he is the ex State Architect.

For me the best California primary news was that Jerry McNerney crushed Rahm Emmanuel clone Steve Filson in CA-11. McNerney now has the honor of taking on the execrable Richard Pombo in the November election. Especially heartening is that former liberal Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey garnered 31% running as a protest candidate against Pombo in the Republican primary.

Also of note: Lynn Woolsey demolished DLC poolboy Joe Nation in CA-6. Nation -- term limited out of the California Legislature -- raised a boatload of money from the usual DLC funding sources. Woolsey beat him 2 to 1.

In Marin County, NRDC lawyer Jared Huffman won the primary to take Nation's place in Assembly District 6.

Finally, voters in Humboldt County passed Local Measure "T", which bars political spending by out-of-county corporations. This is probably unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, but it shows where voter sentiment is. Measure "T" passed 55% - 45%.

Amazing Jared won. Should help peace of mind in the northern reaches of his district and beyond. Lynn has grown immensely in office. Nation could change to Republican and get elected on city council, though, where races are nonpartisan. I think one of the most heated races statewide this autumn will be for a post in what was the sleepy backwater known as Secretary of State. The more I read BradBlog and that hardworking professor's site in election law in southern CA, the more I realize how eminently hackable the electronic technology is, and how disingenuous regulators are. Democrat Bowen garnered more primary votes for the CA-SoS post than appointee Republican McPherson, but the stakes for electoral control are substantial. Democratic Party nominee to attorney general JBrown accumulated double the votes of the Republican in this primary, but that, too, promises to be an autumn melee with national fundraising. I am glad Brown, who at heart is fairly conservative, is planning on statewide office, where the access to making appointments has far-reaching benefits; for some inexplicable motive, his appointees are typically some of the best people around. Maybe he simply appreciates intelligence. As Pete put it going in, he did not expect to win, but he wanted Pombo to recognize that it was a contest; Pombo is still on CREW's corrupt officials list, and spent time fundraising in TX in recognition that McCloskey, an participator in designing the Endangered Species law as well as the founding of the CA Coastal Commission, represented a pushback for Pombo's decadelonge effort to eviscerate ESA. McCloskey's 1/3 of the vote fairly parallels Marcy Winograd's in the LA coast zone where Jane Harman walked back into office in that heavily Democratic district recognizing once again that a substantial portion of her own party remains at odds with much of the centrism in her statements while on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Winograd's background is in education, and even involvement in teach-ins. Marcy was active in hearings in the state capitol where she resisted the storyline in one of the early scripts Schwarznegger read as interim Governor, that to appoint McPherson SoS. Maybe if Democrats win the House in November, Harman will help relaunch some investigations which Pat Roberts has suppressed in his partisan management of the Senate committee.

The difference between the Pombo and Harmen situations is that McCloskey took those votes from the left wing of Republican voters (sounds odd to say it, doesn't it?) and Winograd took her votes from the left wing of Democratic voters. In other words, McCloskey voters are closer to Democrats, and thus more likely to vote for a Democrat; while Winograd voters are farther away from Republicans, and thus less likely to vote for a Republican.

I am still reviewing the results of the election. Kaleid-e-scope's comment reminded me our county which over the years has augmented its Democratic Party majority noticeably, in this election produced almost double the participation rate of other counties. Like Kaleide, what I see is the mobilization and activism of the most progressive components of the populace energizing the democratic process. There are pockets of complacency and parrochially transfixed zones where change is lethargic, but overall the message to give at Ykos this end-week is the progressives are moving, and are incenting both parties to put forth better populist leaders but leaders with aggressive views. It is as if all this organizing the past six years is generating a fresh breeze in American politics.

As for the recriminations, I find a few very locally; without need to visit southern CA. In our county the Democrats put a challenger before the Republican pro-growth anti-environment supervisor; what kind of challenger did the Democratic central committee select?--a former planning commissioner who had promoted four-fold growth in her own little home town; thing is, she was a better choice than the Republican; she almost won, too, only 350 votes would have put her in a supervisor's chair.

In the mysterious realm of the county district attorney's office, a similar result nearly occurred; a lady lawyer who tired of old boy politics had quit her post and taken up defense work, but she lost by 2,000 votes to a well financed incumbent machine when she entered the election on the last permissible day to appear on the ballot. It must be said that the incumbent, though from a staid Republican family, has improved the office compared to any of his predecessors for the past few decades. To affect conduct of legal business in local areas, CA needs excellence in the state capitol, as much energy flows from there to the watershed realms like ours; and we recognize the message coming from the current caretaker governorship in Sacramento, it is the Republican National Committee script with a few localizing garnishes, as if a sprig of parsley would get CA to endorse TX-style redistricting, WPA-style repaving of the state, and Gingrichian isolation of our schools and universities.

In the assembly race, JHuffman's success bodes well for that geographic region, the political birthplace of Senator Boxer. Barbara Boxer has done alright, but her constituency is a truly exceptional one with great promise for producing innovative leaders. This is quite different from ingratitude for all BBoxer has accomplished; perhaps she can have a place in the next Democratic administration, if she would like that, and give some other excellent people a chance to take her place.

TypePad is being fussy, so I will brave another post in the hope it appears only once:
Update Registrar of voters, as interpreted by me, places both local races at statistically uncertain outcome, given the increasingly moderate to progressive trend among absentee ballots of which 20,000 will be counted by June 20, and the regulatory environment in CA which has encouraged the increasingly popular option to vote permanent absentee. In our district only one person in three now votes at the poll, two in three voters vote by absentee ballot either by snailmail or by delivering the sealed absentee ballot in its signed envelope to the poll on voting day.
Further evaluating the new absentee ballot utilization statistics in our region total Democratic party absentee ballots cast outnumbered the aggregate of all Republican votes both at the poll and by absentee ballot. Jared Huffman, whose state Assembly district encompasses part of our county and part of the county which adjoins the Golden Gate Bridge, has postponed declaration of victory in his primary even though the registrars are predicting his margin will remain unsurmountable. Also in accord with Kaleid-e-scope's theme, the runnerup in the Huffman race was another progressive, one with more city government experience than Huffman, but not a renowned science and environment lawyer like Huffman. I am not sure yet whether Huffman would face a runoff, though he earned more than 40% of the Democratic party primary votes.
Further updates as good news develops.

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