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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

Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt

Steel, Haynes Ready for ‘Taxing’ Race

Two candidates have emerged as a likely head-to-head match-up for the June ’06 Primary to replace Claude Parrish on the nation’s largest elected Tax Board. Parrish is termed out of his Third District Board of Equalizationseat. Michelle Steel is reportedly off to a good start with $450,000 cash on hand and Mike Richman of Johnson Clark Associates on board. But the big news is Steel’s recent appointment by Parrish as Deputy Board of Equalization Member. And yes, she’ll get to use that ballot title in the June ’06 Primary. So we’ll see what kind of incumbency mojo that gets her, if any.

The other major force in the race is Assemblyman Ray Haynes, who has good conservative legislative credentials, including his authorship of the California Border Police Initiative. His… Read More

Master of His Domain

For all your Bay Area folks, tonight’s political "must see tv" is the televised "townhall" in Walnut Creek featuring Gov. Schwarzenegger and two critics of his initiative slate.

The fun begins at 6 p.m. on KTVU, Channel 2, the Bay Area’s Fox affiliate.

Actually, there’s no good term to describe tonight’s event. With a pre-selected audience, it’s not a "townhall" — at least, not in the purest sense. It’s not a debate, as there’s no direct back-and-forth between the two sides. "Forum" is too longwinded and somber (and the name of a public-affairs show on the local NPR station). "Smackdown", which you might get if you put all the players on the same stage at the same time, is too WWE.

What tonight’s broadcast shows is how skill with which the governor and his handlers control the medium that is television. Thanks to smart… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Major Newspapers Endorse 77! Sea change?

As we get close to the Special Election, California’s newspapers are going through their every-election ritual of taking official position on ballot measures that will appear before voters. For conservatives, this is an exercise in cynicism – as we have come to expect, with a few exceptions, it is always the liberal causes that receive the blessing of the editorial boards. Heck, in Orange County, where I am from, it is a running joke that the candidate backed by the LA Times in a GOP primary loses a lot of perspective Republican voters!

So, it was with a bit of disbelief that I read an email from Prop. 77 Chairman Steve Poizner:

Hi Jon, Today, we received endorsements from the LA Times andRead More

It’s easy to pile on

Few young people in politics aspire to be a sanitation district board member, but there is huge money (your user fees and tax dollars) in sewage and we really can’t afford to ignore these types of agencies.

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, our local version of Sen. Tom McClintock, has had some stern words for the Orange County Sanitation District regarding that agencies hiring of a new age management consulting firm.

An email today from Assemblyman DeVore explains: "This is a follow-up to a story you may remember from last July when I first wrote about the Orange County Sanitation District’s (OCSD) $180,000 per year consulting contract with a yoga priest (“Holy Sewage!” in Human Events July 15, 2005), then two weeks later when I reported that the $117.8 million sewer treatment agency fired Dharma Consulting after being embarrassed by the revelationsRead More

Mike Spence

Gil Cedillo, Problem Solver

Four score and some years ago, CalTrans and the state of California thought finishing the 710 freeway would relieve congestion and bring economic prosperity to the west San Gabriel Valley.

They didn’t count on the people of South Pasadena who have organized and spent millions of dollars fighting this idea.

Now, State Senator Gil Cedillo has proposed a tunnel to connect the freeway. Read about it here. We’ll see if he solved the problem…. in another forty years.Read More

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