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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Barry Jantz

The Two Dr. Phils

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Phil Kurzner’s use of “Dr. Phil” in his campaign missives makes him sound less like a highly-qualified M.D. running for Insurance Commissioner than a daytime TV personality made famous by dishing out touchy-feely psycho-babble on the Oprah Winfrey Show? I know…this must have been gauged by some consultant (what, to reach out to the Oprah voting bloc?), but no one is actually gonna think he’s that Dr. Phil, are they?

Actually, looking at the two Dr. Phils, there is a striking resemblance.

Note to voters: Vote for the one with the hair.

Realistically, though, there may be strand of brilliance here. In the Republican primary, how many voters will actually know the difference between Phil Kurzner and Steve Poizner? Kurzner, Poizner.… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Oller for Treasurer? Steinberg on the Special

RICO OLLER LOOKS AT TREASURER BID? Ever since last week’s bomb shell news that Bill Simon was dropping his bid for the GOP nomination for Treasurer, the FlashReport has been receiving a steady stream of e-mails and ‘anonymous tips’ on potential candidates to replace him in that primary. There is wide-spread disatisfaction with the remaining candidates in the field. Claude Parrish, a Board of Equalization Member from Southern California (and quite an odd fellow) has failed to ignite any enthusiasm for his campaign with six years to work a district covering a quarter of California’s voters. The other candidate in the primary, Keith Richman, is so far outside of the mainstream of Republican thought that he might almost be dismissed out of hand. His opposition to the Governor’s last budget because it didn’t raise taxes, his opposition to the parental notification initiative, and his strong support for the recent open primary measure are just a few of his extreme positions…

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Emotional Rescue

I promised you a Big Boy Blog. Something sexier than levees and ranches…then I got emails asking whether I was going to post who is sleeping with who….nope…go to the other blogs for that crap. To be sure, I have fun with my silly titled posts…the goofy music thing…but writing this one has been anything but fun.

There’s nothing fun about adding your name to a growing list of political professionals who sense the next election may be 1994 in reverse. I write this piece from the perspective of having served as the designated “adult” on the ground during George Nethercutt’s victory over then Speaker Tom Foley. I was fortunate to have the mail contract too…but the real fun was being stationed at one of the hottest outposts of the ’94 Revolution.

The genesis of this piece starts with a Fred Barnes story detailing some of Frank Luntz’s latest analysis on voters’ emotions and their affect on vote behavior and also with a piece penned by… Read More

Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt

GOP in Local Races. Get Over It.

I had to chuckle today when I sawboth the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and the Riverside Press-Enterprise editorially decryingpolitical parties’ involvement in local, "non-partisan" elections this November (here we go again). According to the Press Enterprise, "Local elected offices are nonpartisan for a reason. These officials handle the nuts and bolts of local government: mostly practical issues that transcend party lines." Read it here. The Daily Bulletin lamented the parties’ involvement as a "loss of political innocence" (how’s that for an oxymoron?): "We’d like to see community races stay nonpartisan, with voters evaluating candidates’ skills, experience and ideas on specific local issues rather than their political alignments." Read it here.

So let me get this straight. The single most useful piece of information that most voters rely upon… Read More

Matthew J. Cunningham

This Is A Host Committee, Cassie

My friend and FR Blog colleague Adam Probolsky recently blogged about 5th Supervisor District hopeful Cassie DeYoung’s recent fundraiser, and noted her glaring lack of a host committee. Adam’s is correct that these are an important indicator, although by no means the only indicator, of a candidate’s depth of support.

Still, they’re a useful measurement of how seriously elected officials, community leaders and donors take a candidate.

This invite from Yorba Linda Councilman Mike Duvall is a good example. Duvall is running for termed-out Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher’s seat.

Even if one doesn’t know much about Mike Duvall in terms of record and philosophy, it is readily apparent that he is endorsed by several elected officials with strong conservative credentials, such as Supervisor Bill Campbell and Treasurer John Moorlach, and the guest speaker Senate Republican Leader Dick… Read More

Barry Jantz

Blog Balance from San Diego

I’ve been a reader of the FlashReport since its inception. I had no doubt in those early days that Jon “Do You Have My Business Card?” Fleischman was just the person to sustain such an effort over the long term…that with his contacts and drive, the FlashReport would become a daily “read” of choice by many polunkies around California.

And, yes, for those of you new to this site, what was then an e-mailed collection of news articles and opinion from across California, supplemented by Jon’s preceding commentary, became a must read, thanks to every day getting himself up two hours early and reading darn-near everything.

So, when Jon announced he was taking the FlashReport to the next level, with a website, links to the important news around California, and blogs by experienced pols and pundits, I encouraged him.

But be-jeepers, when I saw Jon’s… Read More

Duane Dichiara

Puetz and CCRs Move the Ball Forward

The rise of local Republican Party organizations with strong volunteer precinct programs has coincided with the decline of the grassroots ground capabilities of most of the Republican affiliated clubs. There could be cause and effect to some degree, but the decline of grassroots oriented clubs probably began in the mid 1990’s. Many organizations were able to bluff about their capabilities for a while (a bluff I think most GOP insiders wanted desperately to believe because there were no alternatives). Many of the clubs essentially became speaker’s bureaus or lunch clubs with a Republican affiliated theme – noble and important aspects of any community and any political party, but generally not the means of accumulation of political power. Others deteriorated to the point of meaninglessness. A fewer number continued to run viable ground organizations, or mutated into something altogether different.

Generally, I believe for a political organization to have real pull it has to be able to demonstrate either the capability of raising and spending reasonable amounts of money (examples: California Republican Assembly, New Majority, or San Diego County Lincoln… Read More

Jason Cabel Roe

Grab Bag I

Sen. John Campbell was in Washington last week making the rounds and raising money. In a reception last Wednesday, Campbell brought in $80,000 and also found time to drop by areception hosted by Reps. Pete Sessions (TX), Mike Rogers (MI), and Jim McCrery (LA) for the top Republican challenger candidates of 2006. Each of those candidates raised over $80,000.

Vartan Djihanian, former communications director for Rep. Buck McKeon, has returned to California to serve as district director for Sen. Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside). Eventually, Vartan will move over to the campaign side and run Morrow’s campaign for Congress. Vartan got his start in 1994, while still in high school, as a volunteer on Jim Rogan’s first campaign for the State Assembly in the wake of Pat Nolan’s resignation.Read More

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