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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Fleischman

Winning the war – but losing the animation battle…

This special election is extremely important. The reforms being pushed by Governor Schwarzenegger are critical — whether reforming teacher tenure, restructuring our state finance and budget process, giving public employee union members say over how their dollars are spent, or ensuring that we have fair legislative districts in the state. The Schwarzenegger Team is to be commended for bringing this debate to the voters and running a strong closing effort as we approach election day.

That said, I am afraid to say that at this point, we are going to have to say that the special interests who have a grip on the heart of California, and are squeezing it dead, they have won at least one minor skermish – the cartoon battle.

A few weeks ago, the Join Arnold team put out a short animated movie – it is a spoof on the union bosses literally shaking down a teacher to line their political coffers. You can see the animination here.

Shortly after this, the Angelides… Read More

Mike Spence

Simon’s Departure From Race Leaves Big Hole

Big News. Bill Simon is leaving the race for State Treasurer. The Sac Bee has the story here. He had money, name ID and a solid base. This leaves a gaping hole in the GOP Primary. Now, the two top candidates are Keith Richman and Claude Parrish.

Keith Richman is a state Assemblyman from the San Fernando Valley. He is way out of any type of GOP mainstream. He is the only Republican Lawmaker that won’t support Prop. 73. See more on that here. On fiscal issues he voted for the Gray Davis budgets but not Arnold’s. Why? They didn’t have tax increases. Does the Republican Party want a fiscal liberal as its’ standard-bearer in this kind of race?

Claude Parrish is on the Board of Equalization representing Southern California. I guess now he is theconservative candidate. He has filled outRead More

Jon Fleischman

Bill Simon drops bid for State Treasurer

Well respected conservative and businessman Bill Simon has quietly told his supporters that he has decided not to run for California State Treasurere in 2006 (props to Dan Weintraub, who broke this news).

An excerpt of the letter from Simon to his supporters said:

"I am writing to tell you about a difficult and important decision I have made. Since you have honored me with your support, I wanted to let you know about it before any public announcement. . . It came only after a great deal of soul-searching and prayer. It was not a political decision, but a personal one. At this time of my life, as a father of four young adults, it has become increasingly clear that my active participation is needed in their daily lives. As a result of the attention they deserve, I would not realistically be able to devote the all encompassing time and energy to another statewide political campaign during the 2006 election cycle." (source: … Read More

Jennifer Nelson

There’s No Great Pumpkin Patch in SF, Charlie Brown

San Francisco city government never fails to amaze me.

This morning, the local news carried a story about how a "beloved" pumpkin patch–one of only two in the city–has been closed down because of a permitting dispute. Apparently, neighbors have complained about the size of a shed on the land that serves as the Great Pumpkin Patch’s haunted house. The business owner says that the size of the shed was reduced to comply with permitting rules, but an appeal was filed to revoke her permit.

Here’s the kicker: the appeal hearing is scheduled for December 7th–well after Halloween. Don’t you think that city management could find a way to expedite the hearing to allow a small business to remain operating and give city kids a place to get their pumpkins… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Weintraub does it right, Scully does too! Canciamilla gets props!

News Roundup: FORUM IN THE EASTBAYThere is nothing that our friends in the media like more than a spectacle – and that is what they got yesterday at a townhall forum held at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek, in the East Bay Area. While the format was a little goofy (it was a ‘debate’ but the proponent [Governator] and opponents [State Senate President Don Perata, and the Chief of the Nurses Union, Rose Ann DeMoro] never actually shared the stage at the same time.

The general concensus is that the Governor actually did quite well in this format, and that his opponents very much came across as trying to defend the status quo. FR friend and blogger extraordinaire Dan Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee actually reported on the event ‘live’ on his blog. While there are a dozen (or more) stories on the FlashReport website on this debate, it is… Read More

Dan Schnur

A Good Night for Arnold — But Make It Better

Todd Harris, who is a campaign spokesman for the Schwarzenegger initiative committee, has spent most of the year playing the role originated by Kevin Bacon in the closing minutes of "Animal House". As John Belushi and his fellow Deltas wreaked havoc on their school’s homecoming parade and destroyed a small town, Bacon played a young pledge whose responsibility was traffic and crowd control for the parade. The lasting image of Bacon’s first film role is him jumping up and down , frantically repeating the phrase "Remain calm. All is well", even as chaos descended around him.

After the governor and his opponents completed their participation in last night’s campaign forum in Walnut Creek, media coverage shows that Harris was on message, proclaiming that the evening had been a great success for Schwarzenegger. After months of being forced to attempt to spin the unspinnable, Harris was right. His boss won hands down.

Before the event had even concluded, armchair analysts were complaining that "nothing… Read More

Mike Spence

Political Payback Perry Style

Ever think of running for office? Do you think the worst that can happen is to lose and maybe spend some of your own money. The LA Weekly has a story that shows it can get worse. Peter Torres, a LAPD officer had the nerve to run against Jan Perry’s boss (LA City council member Rita Walters) and then ran against Jan Perry.

He of course lost, but the payback has been a .. well you know. Read it about the whole story by clicking here and here.

You will think twice before throwing your hat in the ring. Then again, that is the idea.… Read More

35th Senate District – So you thought it was a done deal

As of a few weeks ago, most political insiders were expecting Assemblyman Tom Harman to walk into the 35th State Senate seat (to be vacated by Sen. John Campbell as soon as he wins the race for the 48th CD on Nov. 8).

There have been rumors about possible challengers, Michael Resk, a Huntington Beach businessman, disabled veteran and HB 4th of July Parade Co-Chair has been making the rounds and expressing interest (former OC GOP party staffer turned consultant Will Hutson is handling Resk). OC Board of Ed. member and failed Congressional candidate (47th against Loretta Sanchez in 2004) Alexandria Coronado has made some noise, but most don’t think she would go for the senate seat.

OC Supervisor Jim Silva, candidate for the 67th Assembly seat (the one Tom Harman holds now) has been recruited for to switch to the senate race, but probably won’t… Read More

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