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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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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