Tags: Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown Slams Republicans Over California Wildfires


California governor Jerry Brown took the opportunity of the San Diego wildfires to assail Republicans over global-warming dissent, noting that the state is now “in the third year of a very dry season.”

“The state’s climate appears to be changing, the scientists tell us that definitely,” the three-term governor told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week Sunday. He added that the state’s future would be “radically different” from its past.

“There’s virtually no Republican who accepts the science that is virtually unanimous,” Brown said. “There is no scientific question. There’s just political denial for various reasons best known to those people who are in denial.”

Brown also called for heavier regulation on how residents “live, how they build their homes, and what kind of vegetation is allowed to grow around them.”

The Golden State already has by far the heaviest environmental regulations in the country. The region appears to have been prone to wildfires since before the formation of the California territory, and in fact this year is not even the state’s driest of the last 20 years. Republicans hold no statewide offices in California, make up less than a third in both houses of the state legislature, and only have gained partial clout against the Democratic supermajority this year because three legislative Democrats have been criminally indicted or convicted.

Brown, who challenged Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential primary (running on a flat-tax platform), also denied that a Hillary Clinton presidential nomination would be the “coronation” he accused Bill Clinton of receiving 22 years ago. He cautioned that Hillary’s front-runner status puts her at risk of a challenge.

Tags: California , Global Warming , Jerry Brown , Sunday Shows May 18 2014

Races for Governor Starting to Take Shape in Ohio, New Mexico


Campaign-related news you may have missed in recent days . . .

OHIO: Democratic Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald will formally announce he’s running for governor of Ohio this week against incumbent Republican John Kasich. Fitzgerald already has a campaign web site up and running, and is at this point the only Democrat running, something of a surprise. Quite a few Democrats have turned down a race, including former governor Ted Strickland, U.S. representative Tim Ryan, and former U.S. representative Betty Sutton, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

MINNESOTA: Rep. John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, announced he will not run against Senator Al Franken in 2014; he said he will focus on running for reelection. No Republicans have announced bids against Franken so far.

NEW MEXICO: State senator Howie Morales, a Democrat, said Friday that he is considering running for governor against Republican governor Susana Martinez. State senator Linda Lopez and state attorney general Gary King are also running on the Democratic side, and there’s some buzz around state senator Tim Keller, last seen lamenting the condition of the state’s economy, taking pride in the state’s $900 million surplus, and complaining about a recent cut in the state’s corporate tax rate. In February, a poll found Martinez enjoying a high approval rating of 64 percent.

CALIFORNIA: Thomas Elias, columnist for the Santa Monica Mercury, says that Republicans are still looking for a top-tier contender to put up against incumbent Jerry Brown in 2014.

It’s almost absurd to think Brown, who has vied with the likes of ex-Gov. Pete Wilson, billionaire Whitman and a sitting attorney general in Evelle Younger, worries much about the Republicans now lining up. If Poizner or some other billionaire capable of writing personal checks to finance a major campaign were to enter the lists, Brown might be given some pause. But right now he looks as secure as any 2014 candidate in America, even though he hasn’t said a word about running.

Tags: Suzana Martinez , Linda Lopez , Gary King , Jerry Brown , John Kasich , Ed Fitzgerald , John Kline , Al Franken

Perfect: $8.5 Billion Tax Hike on the Ballot in California in November


The chances of California being in play in the presidential election are close to nil – but if I wanted to ensure GOP turnout was as high as possible in all of the down-ticket races, I would want something like a referendum on a giant, giant tax hike.

Thank you, Governor Jerry Brown:

Gov. Jerry Brown is pleading with Californians to raise their taxes as part of his solution for solving the state’s budget deficit, but it’s uncertain whether voters will be in an accepting mood come November.

Polls show voters want more money for schools but don’t want to tax themselves to pay for it. They continue to be pessimistic about the economy in a state with one of the highest jobless rates in the nation. And they distrust the Legislature, which oversees the budget.

Brown is facing a tough environment after announcing over the weekend that the state’s deficit had risen to $15.7 billion, much larger than he said a few months ago, said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College in Pomona.

“When the governor says devastating things are going to happen, people will say, ‘Look, you said the shortfall was going to be a lot smaller than it was. You were wrong then; why should we believe you now?’” Pitney said. “The governor is facing a trust deficit as well as a fiscal deficit.”

…Brown said the size of the tax is fair given that California’s economy is nearly $2 trillion and the measure would mostly impact the wealthy. When he released his $91 billion revised spending plan Monday, he did so with a plea, asking voters to “please increase taxes temporarily.”

Under Brown’s tax plan, California would temporarily raise the state’s sales tax by a quarter-cent to 7.5 percent for four years and increase the income tax for seven years on individuals who make more than $250,000 and joint filers who make more than $500,000.

The article notes the last seven tax increase proposals have been turned down, including a “temporary” sales and vehicle tax extension in May 2009 by a margin of nearly two-thirds, and that a recent poll indicated that 65 percent of likely California voters support taxing the rich, but a 52 percent oppose raising the state sales and 57 percent oppose raising personal income taxes.

As Margaret Thatcher said, the problem with Socialism… as well as California’s model… (perhaps I repeat myself) is that at some point, you run out of other people’s money.

Tags: California , Jerry Brown , Taxes

NRCC: Even Democrats Outside D.C. Know We Must Cut Spending


If you thought you would never see the National Republican Congressional Committee speaking well of Democrats like California governor Jerry Brown, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, departing Chicago mayor Richard Daley, and New York governor Andrew Cuomo . . . well, here’s their latest web ad:

Of course, the point is to draw a contrast between Democrats in state capitals and major cities, who have to balance budgets and who are embracing at least some spending cuts, and Washington Democrats, who have yet to find any serious non-defense cuts that they’re willing to embrace.

Tags: Andrew Cuomo , Jerry Brown , John Hickenlooper , NRCC

Are Meg’s and Carly’s Fates Still Joined?


When Republicans nominated two high-profile former CEOs who are women for statewide offices in California, I figured the fates of Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina were tied at the hip. Not only were their profiles and themes similar — fiscal conservatives with business sense, taking on calcified embodiments of the state’s exhausted liberal establishment — but it was hard to imagine the state’s voters feeling dramatically different about what they wanted in a governor and in a senator.

Now I’m not so sure. Whitman has taken a tumble in the polls, no doubt. (If her slide really does stem from the housekeeper brouhaha, then perhaps it’s time to give up on that place. I understand Lex Luthor has a plan to bring dramatic change to California’s troubled landscape.) And even in this most expensive of states, to spend more than $140 million and to trail boggles the mind.

Fiorina seems to be polling a little better, and has the advantage of running against a true incumbent. I think Whitman is far and away a better choice for Californians, and keep waiting for the Democrats to admit that the Jerry Brown campaign has been a big joke. But if the state really is going to send the old retread to Sacramento, maybe they’ll be wary of embracing both icons of the liberal approach to governance that has left their state in such a mess.

Tags: Barbara Boxer , Carly Fiorina , Jerry Brown , Meg Whitman

What Is Influencing West Virginia and California Voters?


Sometimes, you can see a campaign shift on an issue that strikes you as wildly obscure, unimportant, and irrelevant.

Are Californians really going to elect a liberal fossil as governor because Meg Whitman’s maid pulled a publicity stunt with Gloria Allred?

Well, this morning Rasmussen puts Jerry Brown ahead by 6.

Are West Virginians really going to send another Democrat to the Senate because a firm hired by the NRSC looked for “hicky” actors?

Well, this morning Marshall University puts Joe Manchin ahead by 10.

One of the reasons Democrats thrive is that when they run a place for a long time — think the East Coast’s big cities, or New Jersey until 2009, or California (at least the state legislature) — they tend to enact policies that drive out those who oppose them. Some will object to counterproductive liberal policies at the ballot box, but many others will vote with their feet. Why do Democrats run Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Detroit? Because their policies have driven most who demand better out to the suburbs.

If these electorates really do make their decisions based on housekeepers and casting calls . . . those states will deserve what they get.

Tags: Jerry Brown , Joe Manchin , John Raese , Meg Whitman

What Will Brown Do To You?


The top story in this morning’s Jolt:


Slim Whitman Chances?

I haven’t been to California since 2008, and barring some sudden speaking engagement, I won’t be heading to the Golden State anytime soon, more by circumstance than choice. But it’s easy for us outsiders to have a slight sense of relief with the ominous anxiety that the embattled leading state might be about to take a tough turn for the worse. Mostly it’s relief that we don’t have to live with their mistakes.

It’s rather odd, NBC has promoting the heck out of their new spin-off series, “Law and Order: Los Angeles,” and all of the commercials include all of the classic California images –palm trees, the Hollywood sign, cops in fancy suits and sunglasses, Tupac’ California Love on the soundtrack. They’re promoting a glamorous, idealized image that probably took root when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved out there and perhaps peaked in the 1980s.

But pick up one of the California newspapers, and you’ll get a different story. In fact, you’ll probably get a special collector’s edition as the print edition of that California newspaper ceases production. The state seems to be coming part at the seams: 12.4 percent unemployment, nine cities with unemployment above 15 percent, a budget crisis that makes Washington look thrifty, crime rates on the rise, social divisions that make the Balkans look like a big kumbaya campfire jamboree, and now, the worst outbreak of Whooping Cough in 55 years. It’s not hard to find eye-popping stories like, “In Sacramento, beset by California’s financial woes, homicides are up 43 percent this year, assaults on police are up 13 percent, and Chief Rick Braziel said he had to eliminate his vice unit.”

All of this is a roundabout way of asking whether Californians really will decide their next governor based on the allegations of an angry former housekeeper of Republican candidate Meg Whitman. Perhaps they will, but the idea of Governor Jerry Brown has felt like the largest televised practical joke ever…

But we’re a month out. “Go groom better candidates” is always good advice but you can’t just run out and pick up some more at Price Club. The next governor of California is either going to be Whitman or Jerry Brown. Either Republicans make their peace with whatever bad calls Whitman made or they sentence California to four years of a guy who effectively defined tax-and-spend liberalism, casually compared Whitman to Goebbels and was buddies with the Rev. Jim Jones.

Tags: Jerry Brown , Meg Whitman

Indecisive Californians


This poll from the Public Policy Institute of California offers some strikingly high “undecided” numbers:

Likely voters are closely divided between Democrat Jerry Brown (37%) and Republican Meg Whitman (34%), with 23 percent undecided. Of those saying that a candidate’s environmental positions are very important in determining their vote, 50 percent would vote for Brown and 16 percent would vote for Whitman. Among those who say a candidate’s environmental positions are somewhat important, Whitman is favored (42% to 33%). Preferences follow party lines, with independents split (30% Brown, 28% Whitman, 30% undecided). (The survey questionnaire lists results for all six candidates listed on the November ballot.)

Most likely voters (79%) also view the U.S. Senate candidates’ positions on the environment as at least somewhat important. Thirty-nine percent of likely voters support Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, 34 percent support Republican Carly Fiorina, and 22 percent are undecided. Those who view candidates’ positions on the environment as very important are three times as likely to support Boxer (54%) as Fiorina (18%). Among those who say candidates’ views on the environment are somewhat important, support is evenly divided (37% to 37%). Each candidate has the support of her party’s likely voters. Among independents, 35 percent support Boxer, 29 percent support Fiorina, and 25 percent are undecided.

Both of these races are winnable for the GOP, and I’m trying to think of the last time I saw a three-term Senate incumbent getting 39 percent. (Perhaps Harry Reid on one of his bad days.) But clearly, both Whitman and Fiorina have a lot of work ahead.

Tags: Barbara Boxer , Carly Fiorina , Jerry Brown , Meg Whitman

A Second Look at Those PPP Numbers in California and New Hampshire


I have gotten to the point where when I see good news for a Democrat candidate in the PPP poll, I figure it’s probably just a shift in the partisan divide in their polling sample.

One of my regular correspondents, Number Cruncher, checks in on their latest numbers in New Hampshire:

They blame Palin for the reason why Kelly Ayotte, has lost, four of her seven point lead over Paul Hodes. However, in reading the poll I think a more obvious answer can be deduced once you read the cross-tabs.

First, I checked the “Who did you vote for last time”, I always find this one interesting, because about 6% of people forgot they voted for Obama. This cross-tab is the one I read for my own amusement.

So next we go to Obama personal approvals: While Obama is slipping nationwide, somehow he has made a remarkable turnaround if you trust PPP’s latest poll. In fact his Approve/Disapprove is at a far more respectable 49-47 (+2); in the prior poll it was 47-48 (-1). Could all those polls across the country be wrong? We have a three point turnaround to the positive — hurray the recession is over! I wonder how that would play into Ayotte losing 4 points over April?

Next stops are Party ID and Political Philosophy, both trending more favorably for Democrats and Liberals since the April poll.

PPP Party ID in July: 35% Democrat, 29% Republican, 36% Other (D+6).

PPP Party ID in April: 32% Democrat, 30% Republican, 38% Independent (D+2).

That alone should pretty much tells you why Ayotte lost 4 points. For the record, the exits in 2008 indicated party ID to be Democrat 29%, Republican 27%, and Independent 45%. (D+2).

Next stop: What is your political Philosophy?

In April: 37% Conservative, 20% Liberal, and 43% Moderate

In July: 30% Conservative, 23% Liberal, and 47% Moderate.

So let me get this straight: Liberals have gained 3% and Conservatives lost 7% since April? For the record, the exits in 2008 showed 26% Liberal, 28%, Conservative, and 46% Moderate. In 2004 the exits indicated 30% Conservative, 21% Liberal, and 49% Moderate. Even if PPP argues that their more recent poll is more in line with past elections, it doesn’t change the fact that the reason Ayotte’s polling numbers decreased is that PPP samples 7% less Conservatives and 3% more Liberals. Simply put, its not Palin who caused Ayotte’s polling numbers to go down, rather it’s that PPP sampled more liberals and Democrats this time around than they did in April.

I guess when you’re a partisan pollster you can take a poll and tell whatever story you want. PPP is a Democrat pollster. That being said: I find it interesting that a Democrat pollster is so interested in discrediting Palin from endorsing candidates. If she is truly so polarizing and thus a drain on Republican candidates, why not just keep your mouth shut?

PPP also has a new poll out in California, showing Democrat Jerry Brown leading Republican Meg Whitman in the governor’s race, 46 percent to 40 percent, and Democrat Barbara Boxer leading Republican Carly Fiorina, 49 percent to 40 percent.

Their sample splits 46 percent Democrat, 34 percent Republican, 19 percent independent. The CNN exit poll of the state in 2008 was 42 percent Democrat, 30 percent Republican, 28 percent independent.

An electorate with fewer independents in it would normally be plausible as you change from a presidential election year to a midterm. But more voters are identifying as independents this year, and the economic hard times might mitigate the regular drop-off. It’s not impossible that the California electorate will be more Democratic this year than it was in 2008, but I am skeptical.

UPDATE: A Republican operative well-versed in California politics emails in to contend that there’s a good chance PPP oversampled voters in two groups more likely to favor Democrats in its California poll: Hispanics and African-Americans: “In 2008, Latinos comprised 18 percent of those voting, but 20 percent of those surveyed by PPP were Hispanic. CNN’s exit numbers did show that 10 percent of California voters in 2008 were African-American, but without Barack Obama on the ballot, there’s a good chance that PPP’s 8 percent number could be off, too.”

This individual says that the proportion of Hispanic, and African-American, voters is expected by many California political operatives to be lower than does PPP. I think that interpretation makes sense, but I’m not going to go nuts over a 2 percent shift. I think the party ID is the more troublesome factor in this sample.

Tags: Barbara Boxer , Carly Fiorina , Jerry Brown , Kelly Ayotte , Meg Whitman , PPP

A GOP Surge in California, With a Caveat


Team Fiorina is excited about the first poll showing their gal ahead, 47 percent to 45 percent, over Sen. Barbara Boxer in California. But it isn’t that surprising; there have been enough polls showing a close race — back in March, the Field Poll and PPP showed Boxer ahead by a single point — that a Fiorina lead was likely to appear in one eventually.

A bit more surprising is Meg Whitman suddenly jumping to a 7-percentage-point lead; she had been ahead for a stretch in March and Jerry Brown had seemed to close the gap and pull ahead in recent weeks.

I’d make one note of caution about this poll: Is Obama really at 41 percent favorable, 43 percent unfavorable and 14 percent neutral in California? Note that his favorable rating — distinct from his job approval — has been much higher in most polls in this state. Then again, California’s had unemployment above 12 percent since December; perhaps the patience of Golden State voters is running out.

Tags: Barack Obama , Barbara Boxer , Carly Fiorina , Jerry Brown , Meg Whitman

Jerry Brown: A Godwin’s Law and Order Candidate


Right now, I take Alvin Greene’s campaign more seriously than Jerry Brown’s:

“‘It’s like Goebbels,’ referring to Hitler’s notorious Minister of Propaganda. ‘Goebbels invented this kind of propaganda. He took control of the whole world. She wants to be president. That’s her ambition, the first woman president. That’s what this is all about.’” 

– Doug Sovern, “Run Jerry Run,” KCBS’ Blog, 6/9/10.

Statement from Meg Whitman campaign manager Jillian Hasner in response to Jerry Brown’s remarks comparing Meg Whitman to Nazi minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels: 

Just last week, Governor Brown promised he wasn’t going to engage in mudslinging, but now he is comparing Meg Whitman to Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. Jerry Brown’s statements comparing our campaign to a propagator of the Holocaust is deeply offensive and entirely unacceptable.

This is all a massive prank designed to get Dana Carvey back on Saturday Night Live, right? This isn’t a real campaign, right?

Oh, Brown really is running? Wow. Sounds like somebody’s been drinking the Kool-Aid. Hey, wait a minute . . .

Tags: Jerry Brown , Meg Whitman

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