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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Michael Der Manouel, Jr.

New Strategies for the Governator

All of us agree that he Governor has an uphill battle to fight in this special election. Few would disagree that his political shop has failed him. You can’t populate the shop with conservatives, moderate and liberals or you get a jumbled message, which is what we have seen up until list week. A couple of suggestions: quit talking about “union bosses”. Today’s public employee unions, while thuggish as a political adversary, are viewed more professionally than in the old days. Instead, refer to them as what they are: enemies of reform. Repeat it often. Second, these “staged” town halls are phony and they look phony. In the recall campaign you mingled with the people. Do it again. Take on the protesters. Better yet, let us do it for you. We are itching for the fight because you are RIGHT on the issues and we are eager to defend you. Return to your populist instincts. As a politician you look too contrived and scripted. The Terminator didn’t run from the competition. More later……..… Read More

Michael Der Manouel, Jr.

Hollywood Can’t Keep Its Mouth Shut

As "experts" wonder in awe at lagging box office receipts, the worst summer in history, and no improvement in sight, can I just suggest that there are a few of us who won’t subsidize the blame America first crowd in Hollywood? Now Donald Sutherland, who heretofore was rather quiet about all things political, is making an ass out of himself for all the world to see. For all Bush’s many, many faults, the war on terror is not one – no attacks since 9-11 on our soil would be the barometer to measure the outcome by. If you choose, you can link to Sutherland’s comments here.

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Will he or won’t he

The million dollar question is: Will State Senator John Campbell hit the 50% plus one vote mark he needs to win the 48th District Congressional seat outright on Tuesday, October 4 or be forced into a run-off.

The race has 17 candidates, but only a few with a prayer of even making a real showing:

Campbell of course had the edge from the get-go (see the Probolsky Poll [insert rolling of the eyes for my shameless self promotion here] from June). Former Assemblywoman Brewer has spent real money to try to be a player again and Minute Man founder Jim Gilchrist has parlayed his boarder protection volunteering and KFI radio’s John and Ken appearances into something.

Its important to note that the Dems will vote, some will listen to Brewer’s appeal that says a Democrat can’t win so vote for me a "moderate… Read More

Jon Fleischman

BOE 3: Advantage: STEEL

Late last week, former State GOP Chairman Shawn Steel sent out an e-mail announcing that his wife, Michelle, had been appointed Deputy to Board of Equalization Member Claude Parrish. This becomes important because in the race between Michelle Steel and Assemblyman Ray Haynes to get elected to the Board of Equalization in this sprawling district (OC, SD, Riverside and parts of LA and San Bernardino Counties), ballot title is a huge advantage!

It was reported in a FlashReport analysis of this race back in August:

"In obscure races like this, it seems like the most effective ballot title is ‘Deputy, State Board of Equalization’ or some other title that will give voters the feeling that the candidate already is in the office. So Steel or Haynes should be schmoozing Parrish…"

You can check out the e-mail that I got from Shawn below.

In tennis parlance: "ADVANTAGE: STEEL."Read More

The New Evil Empire?

If you live on the Peninsula, you don’t have live near the Caltrain tracks to know the train wreck that is Stanford football — a wreck that shows no sign of grinding to a halt. This weekend, a merely 27,000 fans showed up to see the Cardinal get blown out by Oregon. That, after a humiliating loss to UC-Davis (a 1-AA school fer cryin’ out loud!). A quick look at the remainder of Stanford’s schedule shows the distinct possibility of the home team going 0-for-Palo Alto in 2005.

Compounding Stanford’s woes: the success of chief nemesis Cal-Berkeley, now 5-0 and seemingly destined for showdown on Nov. 12 with top-ranked USC. The Bears, playing across the Bay on the same day, drew twice Stanford’s crowd last Saturday. Stanford’s reaction to the high times in Berkeley?

Call it the Evil Empire Syndrome. Cardinal fans suggest that Berkeley bends the rules academically and imports junior-college players to reload its football program as opposed to honestly rebuilding. It’s nothing… Read More

Dan Schnur

Running From Behind

Arnold Schwarzennegger is running behind. So why is his campaign running like they’re ten points ahead?

I respect the people around him: I’ve worked with most of them and they’re a talented group that does very good work. But there’s a lack of urgency surrounding the initiative campaigns that doesn’t make any sense. Mike Murphy talks about having enough money to drop a "grand piano" at the end of the campaign, which is the right approach, especially when the other side has more money. Hopefully that piano is a message that can change the dynamic of the debate, because so far it seems like pretty standard stuff.

Schwarzenegger himself is saying the right things on the stump, although tying the special election back to the recall is something they should have suggested to him in January rather than August. The ads are OK, but they’re the type of messaging for when you’re ten points ahead. Worse, they feel like boiler-plate campaign commercials that Pete Wilson, Gray Davis or George… Read More

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