Tag Archives: AD-80

Governor Brown Sets AD-80 Special Election Date

Election to replace Ben Hueso, who won Senate special election

by Brian Leubitz

A quick break from the Prop 8 coverage with some local elections news. Fresh from the SoS twitter feed, we learn that the Governor has just set the date for the AD-80 special election:

That filing date is this coming Friday, so this is really the first possible date for the election to be held. The seat is a strong Democratic seat, but until we get the final candidate roster, we’ll have to hold on any predictions for whether we’ll need that second election.

Thursday Open Thread

John Myers recaps the latest expenditure figures in the top legislative races. Unsuprisingly, the lone Senate race was the costliest race so far.  Currently over $8.5 Million has been forked over for little ol’ SD-19. The split between the two parties is pretty close on that one, but the biggest spender so far, according to the FPPC, is Californians for Jobs and Education.  The Chamber of Commerce provides most of that money. In the Assembly, AD-80 is the most expensive race at almost $6 million.  Manuel Perez is the preferred beneficiary of a bunch of that IE money, mostly from teachers and service employees.

• A coalition led by Change To Win has sent a letter to Arnold Schwarzenegger asking that he assign nonessential public employees to help at the polls on Election Day to facilitate the expected high turnout and long lines.  You can read the letter, which is quite good, at the link.

• The Governor formed a commission to study the tax structure. The idea was first put forth by Speaker Karen Bass, but this commission better do its job in, well, how’s a week sound?  Now, hop to it.

• Some athletes not to idolize: Jeff Kent (Dodgers) gave $15K to Yes on 8, and Philip Rivers (Chargers) gave $10 K to Yes on 4.  

State Legislature Picture – One Week Out

As Brian hit earlier today, these are tough times for the California Yacht Party.  There are competitive races in the state Legislature, in particular the Assembly, in over 30% of the seats currently held by Republicans.  Democratic allies are obviously feeling excited about these races as well, as the independent expenditures have jumped.  Here’s my list of the top races in order of likelihood of a flip:


1) AD-80. Manuel Perez (D) is poised for victory in this Palm Springs-area seat.  The polls have shown double-digit leads.  LIKELY DEM.

2) AD-78.  Marty Block (D), the recipient of a lot of that largesse from the IE’s, is not in an easy race with Republican John McCann (not McCain) by any stretch.  The ads have been tough on both sides and the California Dental Association is unusually interested in knocking off Block.  But it’s a Democratic year and the top of the ticket should help him.  LEAN DEM.

3) AD-15.  The big news here is that Ed Chavez, the Republican mayor of Stockton, endorsed Joan Buchanan for this seat.  Chavez is a moderate and a former Democrat, but an endorsement like this in one of the bigger cities in the district is helpful.  Buchanan looks strong.  LEAN DEM.

4) AD-10.  Calitics Match candidate Alyson Huber has her very first ad on the air, attacking her opponent Jack Sieglock for being a “career politician.”  It’s funny, too (although I think everyone has to stop with the I’m a Mac/I’m a PC parodies).  The response from the Sieglock camp has been to call Huber a carpetbagger, but considering she’s lived in the area and went to college there before transferring to Cornell, that hit doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Unions are spending big up here.  I think this one goes late into Election Night.  TOSS UP.

5) AD-26.  Jack O’Connell just endorsed John Eisenhut, and the state Democratic Party obviously has some numbers it likes – they just poured $300,000 into the race.  There’s going to be a major flooding of the district with cash in the final week, and Eisenhut has a 5:1 cash-on-hand advantage.  I really think this one is close, with Bill Berryhill slightly favored.  SLIGHT LEAN REPUBLICAN.

6) AD-36.  It really would be incredible to pull off this race.  A Democrat has not represented Palmdale in this seat since 1974.  But Linda Jones has a real chance to pull this off.  Republican Steve Knight is an LAPD officer and he’s still favored, but I’m hoping against hope.  This is the tipping point race.  LEAN REPUBLICAN.

7) AD-37.  Ferial Masry’s third try to unseat Audra Strickland (R) is getting a lot of residual help in this race from the hotly contested Senate contest in SD-19 between Tony Strickland.  I don’t see a lot of people voting for one Strickland and not the other, so it’s even more helpful in this case.  Timm Herdt of the Ventura County Star thinks the race is tightening – he’s seen Strickland release several mailers and the Democratic Party play a bit on Masry’s behalf.  Alberto Torrico and Karen Bass have been in the district.  This is a sleeper.  LEAN REPUBLICAN.

8) AD-02.  The only reason this is up there is because the guy the Republicans put up may not live in the district.

A claim that Republican Assembly candidate Jim Nielsen doesn’t live in the district in which he’s running has apparently led the secretary of state’s office to refer the case for prosecution.

Complainant Barry Clausen of Redding received a letter from the state office, dated Tuesday. The one-page notice says it has concluded its investigation against Nielsen and referred the case for prosecution to the state attorney general’s office.

Going to the AG’s office is pretty far down the road.  Paul Singh might just back into this race.  LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

9) AD-59. Anthony Adams is actually an incumbent, making this a more difficult battle.  But Bill Postmus’ explosion in San Bernardino county has soured the reputation of Republicans in the district, and Donald Williamson, the San Bernardino County assessor, has a decent profile.  This is certainly on the far outside edge of being competitive.  LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

10) AD-66.  There’s still the idea that Grey Frandsen can steal this seat for the Democrats, and while it’s unlikely against incumbent Kevin Jeffries, The local Inland Empire paper has kept an eye on this race.  It’s not out of the realm of possibility.  LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

AD-63 and AD-65 have potential as well, but this time I think they’re SAFE.


1) SD-19.  This is just an epic battle with loads of cash on both sides, mainly because it’s the only seat worth playing in for the State Senate.  The Ventura County Star endorsed Hannah-Beth Jackson over Tony Strickland, and she used some humor to mock Strickland’s endless attack mailers.  It’s going to be a long night waiting for this one in Ventura and Santa Barbara County. TOSS-UP.

Campaign Update: Lots And Lots Of News

Obviously, with just over two weeks to go, there’s quite a bit going on.

• CA-46: The Daily Pilot, a local paper in the district, writes about Debbie Cook:

Neither campaign would release its polling numbers, but both acknowledged that the affluent, heavily Republican coastal district that has primed Rohrabacher for victories in excess of 20 points in every election for the last decade will not be quite as friendly to the GOP candidate this year.

General frustration with the Bush administration, which has overseen the rapid deterioration of the American economy, is one of the biggest factors in heralding the turnaround for Democrats, according to UCI political science professor Carole Uhlaner.

“Given the combination of a strong, well-known current official with good funding and the change in the national tide there’s a chance that Rohrabacher could lose,” Uhlaner said.

And our pal Todd Beeton of MyDD writes up the great event for Debbie I attended yesterday.  But the pivotal moment of the campaign might be tomorrow at 11:15am.  Dana Rohrabacher and Debbie Cook will debate for the only time in the campaign.  We all know that when Crazy Dana opens his mouth, bad things happen for him.  We’ve seen on a national level what can happen to candidates with loose lips and an extremist ideology – ask Michelle Bachmann.  So we’ll be monitoring the debate tomorrow.

• CA-03: For some reason, Bill Durston is taking very seriously the Sacramento Bee’s endorsement of Dan Lungren.  Through his outreach to supporters, the letters to the editor in the wake of the endorsement were entirely on Durston’s side.  I don’t think these newspaper endorsements mean much, but it is something incumbents can use in their advertising, so it does have an impact.  And frequently these local editorial boards are pushing a conservative agenda that is resistant to change.

Speaking of debates, Lungren and Durston also have one tomorrow.  So there should be a lot of post-debate highlights to discuss.

• CA-04: I tend to think that this story, flagged by Dante over the weekend, is just devastating for Tom McClintock, so I’m going to post it again.

Tom McClintock, a conservative Republican in a Democratic-dominated state Legislature, is the only state lawmaker to fail to shepherd a single piece of legislation into law in the last two years.

Not that he seems to mind […]

“I came to the conclusion a long time ago that minority legislators have a choice,” said McClintock, who has served for 22 years in Sacramento. “One is to tinker at the margins and win very minor victories on unimportant matters and the other is to try to drive the public policy debate on major issues, sacrificing legislative victories for broader policy victories.”

I think America has had just about enough of obstructionist ideologues with no interest in governing.  If the Brown campaign plays this right, McClintock is toast.  This invalidates his entire candidacy.  It doesn’t surprise me that wingnuts are trying to wrap social issues around Brown’s neck to try and distract from this.  But at a fundamental level, Tom McClintock is telling the voters of CA-04 that he won’t lift a finger in Congress for them.  Since the Democrats will retain the majority, McClintock as a Congressman would be a press release machine without even trying to pass legislation.  It’s not his job, he thinks.  

That is a death rattle for McClintock.

• AD-15: If Dianne Feinstein is popular anywhere, it’s out in districts in the Central Valley like AD-15, and so her endorsement of Joan Buchanan is notable, also because she’s a habitually lazy campaigner and doesn’t do much for Democratic candidates historically. She’s also endorsed Fran Florez in AD-30 and John Eisenhut in AD-26.  This is the region where her endorsement can have the most effect.

• AD-36: Here’s a good piece from Dick Price about Linda Jones, the longshot candidate out in this district in the Antelope Valley.  She is a special ed. teacher in Palmdale and a board of Trustees member, looking to become the first Democrat to represent this area since 1974.  She sounds good to me:

Indeed, after putting up token opposition in recent races and losing by landslide margins, Democrats have finally leveled the playing field, narrowing the difference between Republican and Democratic registration to just 1.6%, according to the Jones campaign. Earlier this year, the Antelope Valley Press reported that 74% of new voters were registering as Democrats, compared to just 4% as Republicans, with the remaining registering as “decline to states.”

The region’s dramatic growth has not come without costs.

“Jobs here are either in aerospace or retail, so often people have to go into Los Angeles for work,” Jones says. “A third of the people are commuting downtown-that’s hard on people, their families, their marriages, their pocketbooks, their health.”

In Sacramento, Jones would work for a “Green Jobs” initiative, diversifying the Antelope Valley workforce, for example, by fostering much-needed solar and wind power industries that would create good-paying local jobs so fewer people would have to undertake the brutal commute downtown.

It would be incredible to win this seat.

• AD-10: The Sac Bee thinks that the race between Alyson Huber and Jack Sieglock will come down to turnout:

The game-changer for Alyson Huber or Jack Sieglock could be voter turnout to cast presidential ballots, said Allan Hoffenblum, publisher of California Target Book, which handicaps legislative races.

“How they vote for Obama probably will be the most important factor,” Hoffenblum said of 10th District residents, who tend to lean to the right – but by a dwindling margin.

The GOP’s edge in registered voters has fallen the past four years from 6 percentage points to just 2, giving Democrats an outside chance of an Assembly upset if Obama’s draw is decisively higher than McCain’s, Hoffenblum said.

Well that’s just devastating to Sieglock, because the excitement gap is much higher for Obama.  Then again, he won’t be doing a lot of GOTV in California, so Huber’s going to need to run a strong operation of her own.  The two candidates are even in fundraising, but Huber is getting major IE help.

• AD-80: Great new ad from Manuel Perez:

• SD-19: The money is pouring into this race, as it’s the only one contested on the Senate side.  Tony Strickland has outraised Hannah-Beth Jackson by about $3 million to $2 million, but 53% of Strickland’s take is from business PACs.  Meanwhile, Strickland dropped an illegal mailer:

Tony Strickland has reached a new low in his dishonest campaign against Hannah-Beth Jackson. Yesterday, voters in the 19th District received a mailing from Strickland’s campaign titled “Hannah-Beth Jackson’s Economic Plan.” Inside, the mailing contained Strickland’s predictable false charges about Hannah-Beth Jackson and taxes.

The mailing was clearly designed to look like it was coming from Hannah-Beth Jackson’s campaign.

Expect an ugly last two weeks.

The Drive For 2/3: Republicans Falling Off The Cliff

There are two arguments against Prop. 11.  One is that in 60% of the regions of the state, no amount of gerrymandering is going to create a competitive seat (and that’s all this redistricting measure would accomplish – gerrymandering under another name).  I live in Santa Monica.  I have yet to get a legitimate answer about how to incorporate my 70-80% Democratic city into a contiguous region and make it competitive.  You go South and there’s Venice and the South Bay, and by the time you get to a Republican pocket the district is too large to include them.  You go north and there’s Malibu and the Palisades and blue cities up the coast.  You go east and there’s Los Angeles, with liberals everywhere.  You go west and you’re in the ocean.

The other argument is that the other 40% of the state actually has the potential for competition, and the district boundaries are indeed not constrictive.  Demography is destiny but it is not static.  People die, people are born, people achieve voting age.  People move into cities, others move out.  This demographic shift has been occurring for a while now, with the eastern counties moving back to the Democrats, and it’s reaching a critical mass in 2008.

Until recently I considered the drive for a 2/3 majority in the Assembly and the Senate to be a two-year project, culminating with a new Democratic governor in 2010.  That is still true in the Senate, thanks to Don Perata’s bungling of races in SD-12 and SD-15.  Honestly, he should be indicted for his failed leadership, forget the corruption.  But in the Assembly, we absolutely have the chance to get a 2/3 majority, and everyone is starting to recognize that.

SACRAMENTO – The sliding economy and other factors are giving a lift to Democrats in key legislative races that are coming down to the wire, according to consultants working with those races.

In polls that ask whether likely voters would vote for a generic Democrat or Republican in five state Assembly districts with open seats, Democrats get the nod in all five.

What’s more, in two seats held by Republicans – Assembly Districts 38 and 63 – a generic Democrat vs. Republican race is a dead heat, according to the consultants, who hosted a background briefing for reporters Tuesday.

That would be seven races, and six seats are needed for 2/3.

This has been increasingly clear over the past several months.  Manuel Perez has been pulling away in his race in AD-80 against Gary Jeandron with his transformative message of social and economic justice.  Marty Block has been outspending his opponent John McCann in AD-78 by over 8:1 in TV advertising, although McCann is benefiting from IEs, including, bizarrely enough, the California Dental Association.  Between those two plurality-Democratic seats, and the competitive race in AD-15 with Joan Buchanan, 3 seats looked like a good haul.

At this point, Republicans ought to pull out of those 3 seats altogether and put up a firewall.  Because Alyson Huber is looking very strong in AD-10.  And the unions are throwing down for John Eisenhut in AD-26.  And there are wild-card seats that are starting to look incredibly attractive.

The Antelope Valley, the vast open land between Los Angeles and San Bernadino counties typically isn’t very hospitable territory for Democrats for the legislature. It’s the home of the hard-right couple of George and Sharon Runners, who, between them, have occupied the 36th district Assembly seat for more than a decade. No Democrat has held the seat since 1974.

This year, things might be a little different. Democrats have nearly evened the registration gap, down to just a two percent GOP advantage compared to eight points just two years ago.

Enter Linda Jones, a Westside Union School District trustee and a Vice president of the Antelope Valley School Boards Association, who is making a hard run for the seat. She is taking on Palmdale City Council member Steve Knight, a former LA police officer.

Jones is no sacrificial lamb. She’s been running full throttle for months, backed by labor, educators, and African-American groups. Knight, a former LA police officer, is a cookie-cutter Republican running on illegal immigration, a no tax pledge, and a strong opponent of gun control.

We can win that race.  Eric Bauman tipped me off to it three months ago.

AD-37, with Ferial Masry running against Audra Strickland, is winnable too, especially if she gets a draft off of Hannah-Beth Jackson’s overlapping State Senate race.  And AD-63 is even on a generic ballot, according to Democratic consultants.  And AD-66 could be a surprise on election night, thanks to a strong candidate in Grey Frandsen, a former employee of Russ Feingold.  If you add that up, you’re talking about 9 of the 32 Assembly seats held by Republicans in play, over 30%.  So does that sound like gerrymandering to you?  A progressive wave makes redistricting talk look ridiculous.

Alberto Torrico is giving the soft sell, but this is a great opportunity.  It’s a wave election, and every new voter that Obama turns out in California is a likely candidate to vote the Democratic ticket.  Every new voter registered by a Congressional candidate might vote for a Democrat in the Senate and Assembly.  And it’s not as easy for Republicans to play defense in such an environment.  They have the dismal national economic picture and the state budget crisis to contend with, and they’re out of money.

If there was no excuse yesterday, there’s REALLY no excuse now.  This is the time.  If the laws of the state government are designed to prevent change, if they force us to meet “unreachable” goals, then we reach them.  

Do everything you can to get 2/3.

More from Louis Jacobson.

Campaign Update: CA-11, AD-80, SD-19, AD-15, AD-30, LA Board of Supes

Here’s what’s happening on the campaign trail.

• CA-11: Apparently trying to win some kind of award for the worst attack website in history, Jon Fleischman of the Flash Report (a terribly designed website in its own right) has put together One Term Is Enough, in all of its way-too-large masthead, ridiculously-spare with no action items or columns, design out of Quark X-Press glory.  Man, that’s ugly.  And I think the focus on Jerry McNerney’s earmarks, given the summer of scandal that Dean Andal has lived through which is entirely about a construction contract with a community college (if he was in Congress, that would be, basically, an earmark), is kind of silly.  Meanwhile, McNerney is up with his first ad of the cycle, focusing on his work on behalf of troops and veterans.

• AD-80: As soyinkafan noted, Manuel Perez and Gary Jeandron had a debate where Jeandron stated his support for a tax increase in Imperial County.  That’s not likely to help him with the conservative base, but clearly Jeandron understands that he has to move to left if he has any chance to win this seat.  The Palm Springs Desert Sun has a debate report here.

• SD-19: Tony Strickland’s latest endorsement is Erin Brockovich, of all people.  However, this could be less of a reach across the aisle as it appears.

Ventura County Star columnist Timm Herdt got Strickland’s Democratic opponent Hannah-Beth Jackson on the phone, who said she was “a little surprised” by Brockovich backing her opponent.

While Brockovich says she is a Democrat in the ad, she writes on her blog that she’s ready to leave the party and become an independent.

“I am ready to turn because both parties are acting foolish and judgmental and attacking,” she writes.

She also has kind words for GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

“I am proud to be a member of the same Strong Woman’s Club that Sarah Palin is in.” Brockovich writes.

• AD-15: As has been noted, Joan Buchanan released her first campaign ad of the cycle.  Her opponent Abram Wilson responded with his own ad, also biographical in nature, and his campaign has questioned the Buchanan spot and her commitment to fiscal responsibility.  I suppose signing a “no-tax” pledge is the height of responsibility, then.

• AD-30: We were all expecting it, and now Nicole Parra has officially endorsed Republican Danny Gilmore in the election to replace her.  This is a family fight moved into the political sphere – the Parra-Florez feud is well-known.  

Parra’s support of Danny Gilmore angered Democratic Party leaders, but comes as no surprise because she has been praising Gilmore for months.

“I will endorse Danny Gilmore in the near future and I will campaign for him and do commercials,” Parra said in an interview. Gilmore, a retired California Highway Patrol officer from Hanford, is running against Democrat Fran Florez, mother of state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, a longtime Parra rival.

• LA Board of Supes: Turns out that not only is Bernard Parks turning to Republicans to help him get elected over progressive State Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, but for ten years he was a member of the American Independent Party (!).

According to voter registration forms certified by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder:

Bernard Parks left the Democratic Party and registered as an American Independent on February 12, 1992 – just in time to miss the opportunity to vote for President Bill Clinton.

He registered again as an American Independent on August 9, 1996.

President George Bush was elected in November 2000 – but Parks still wouldn’t become a Democrat for nearly a year and a half.

Parks was fired as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department on April 9, 2002. Shortly thereafter, he began to prepare to run for Los Angeles City Council, and re-registered as a Democrat on May 30, 2002. Less than a year later, he was elected to the City Council.

That is very strange, especially for an African-American to sign up with a party which is the legacy of George Wallace.

California Race Chart (Part 3 of 3: House/State Legislature Races B)

Here is Part 3, the last part of my analysis of this fall’s elections in California, which will cover the races for the U.S. House, State Senate, and State Assembly seats in Southern California, and summarize which races we need to win.

Here is Part 1, which covered the presidential race and the 12 ballot measures: https://calitics.com/showDiary….

Here is Part 2, which covered the U.S. House, State Senate, and State Assembly races in Northern and Central California: https://calitics.com/showDiary….

Cross-posted at Swing State Project: http://www.swingstateproject.c…

Incumbents are in boldface. In the case of open seats, the party of the retiring incumbent is listed first without boldface.

U.S. House (Composition: 34 Democrats, 19 Republicans)

CA-22 (Bakersfield): McCarthy (R) – unopposed

CA-23 (Southern Central Coast): Capps (D)

CA-24 (Inner Santa Barbara/Ventura): Gallegly (R)

CA-25 (Palmdale, Big Empty): McKeon (R)

CA-27 (Western San Fernando Valley): Sherman (D)

CA-28 (Eastern San Fernando Valley): Berman (D) – unopposed

CA-29 (Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena): Schiff (D)

CA-30 (Malibu, Beverly Hills): Waxman (D) – only faces a write-in candidate

CA-31 (Hollywood): Becerra (D) – unopposed

CA-32 (Covina, Baldwin Park): Solis (D) – unopposed

CA-33 (Culver City): Watson (D)

CA-34 (Downtown L.A.): Roybal-Allard (D)

CA-35 (South Central): Waters (D)

CA-36 (Beach Cities): Harman (D)

CA-37 (South Central, Long Beach): Richardson (D) – opposed only by minor party candidates

CA-38 (Southeastern L.A. suburbs): Napolitano (D) – opposed only by a Libertarian

CA-39 (Southeastern L.A. County): Linda Sánchez (D)

CA-40 (Northern Orange County): Royce (R)

CA-43 (Ontario, San Bernardino): Baca (D)

CA-47 (Anaheim, Santa Ana): Loretta Sanchez (D)

CA-48 (Central Orange County, including Irvine): Campbell (R)

CA-49 (Temecula, Oceanside): Issa (R)

CA-51 (Imperial County, southern SD suburbs): Filner (D)

CA-53 (San Diego): Davis (D)

Races to watch:

CA-26 (Northeastern L.A. suburbs): David Dreier (R) vs. Russ Warner (D), Ted Brown (L)

Registration: R+7.73%

Profile: This is my home turf, in the northeastern L.A. suburbs. It was drawn to be red, but has been purpling recently, with a Cook PVI of only R+4. Warner is a tough challenger, though he’s at a huge cash disadvantage, 40:1 last I checked.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Likely Dreier

CA-41 (Most of San Bernardino County): Jerry Lewis (R) vs. Tim Prince (D)

Registration: R+11.96%

Profile: While it’s unlikely this district will flip, it will be interesting to see how Prince’s challenges on Lewis’s dealings with earmarks will go. I noticed this district now has a 3-star rating on DC Political Report, meaning this race will be mildly entertaining.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Lewis

CA-42 (Chino, Brea): Gary Miller (R) vs. Edwin Chau (D)

Registration: R+18.28%

Profile: Here is another solidly Republican district with a Republican incumbent that could get into hot water over corruption, in this case steering funds toward an OC tollway ( http://downwithtyranny.blogspo… ), and this race has a 3-star rating on DC Political also.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Miller

CA-44 (Riverside, Corona, San Clemente): Ken Calvert (R) vs. Bill Hedrick (D)

Registration: R+10.89%

Profile: I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but here we go again: strong GOP district, GOP incumbent possibly in trouble over earmarks ( http://www.politickerca.com/al… ). Hedrick’s only real problem is money.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Calvert

CA-45 (Most of Riverside County): Mary Bono Mack (R) vs. Julie Bornstein (D)

Registration: R+5.80%

Profile: While Bono Mack has seen this challenge coming, significantly outraising Bornstein, we still have a shot here from increased Latino turnout in the Coachella Valley and the highly contested AD-80 race, since that district partially overlaps this one.

9/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Bono Mack

CA-46 (Costa Mesa, Palos Verdes, Avalon): Dana Rohrabacher (R) vs. Debbie Cook (D), Ernst Gasteiger (L), Tom Lash (G)

Registration: R+13.65%

Profile: Here we are in yet another strongly Republican district, only here we have a strong Democratic challenger in Huntington Beach mayor Debbie Cook. Some pundits are finally getting around to looking at this race, with Charlie Cook now rating it “Likely Republican” ( http://www.dailykos.com/story/… ), ( http://www.politickerca.com/al… ) and DC Political giving it a 4-star rating, meaning there is going to be considerable entertainment in this race. Here are a couple of totally awesome interviews with Mayor Cook, at Open Left ( http://openleft.com/showDiary…. ) and TPM ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… ).

09/19/2008 Outlook: Likely Rohrabacher

CA-50 (Northern San Diego suburbs): Brian Bilbray (R) vs. Nick Leibham (D), Wayne Dunlap (L)

Registration: R+11.23%

Profile: Here’s the old seat of the corrupt Uncle Duke, now held by his protégé Bilbray. The DCCC has targeted this race ( http://www.dccc.org/page/conte… ), and Leibham has been visible. If he can strongly articulate an agenda, then we will have ourselves a race here.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Likely Bilbray

CA-52 (Eastern San Diego suburbs): Duncan D. Hunter (R) vs. Mike Lumpkin (D), Michael Benoit (L) – vacated by Duncan Hunter (R)

Registration: R+13.39%

Profile: Lumpkin is a great challenger from what I heard ( https://calitics.com/showDi… ), though we still have a battle on our hands, since most voters that pulled the lever for Hunter in the primary thought they were voting for his retiring father and Lumpkin will need more cash here.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Hunter

STATE SENATE (District size: ~846,791) (Composition: 25 Democrats, 15 Republicans)


SD-17 (High Desert): George Runner (R)

SD-21 (Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena): Carol Liu (D) – vacated by Jack Scott (D)

SD-23 (West Side L.A., Oxnard): Fran Pavley (D) – vacated by Sheila Kuehl (D)

SD-25 (South Central, Palos Verdes): Roderick Wright (D) – vacated by Edward Vincent (D)

SD-27 (Long Beach, Avalon): Alan Lowenthal (D)

SD-29 (Eastern L.A. suburbs): Bob Huff (R) – vacated by Bob Margett (R)

SD-31 (Inland Empire, Riverside): Robert Dutton (R)

SD-33 (Most of inland Orange County): Mimi Walters (R) – vacated by Dick Ackerman (R)

SD-35 (Coastal Orange County): Tom Harman (R)

SD-37 (Most of Riverside County): John Benoit (R) – vacated by Jim Battin (R)

SD-39 (San Diego): Christine Kehoe (D)

District to watch:

SD-19 (Southern Central Coast, western L.A. suburbs): Tony Strickland (R) vs. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D) – vacated by Tom McClintock (R)

Registration: R+1.96%

Profile: Here is McClintock’s district, which we have a very good chance of picking up, with Ventura County recently obtaining a Democratic advantage in registration and with Jackson maintaining high visibility throughout the district ( http://tinyurl.com/6ehde6 ).

09/19/2008 Outlook: Toss-up

STATE ASSEMBLY (District size: ~423,388) (Composition: 48 Democrats, 32 Republicans)


AD-35 (Santa Barbara, Oxnard): Pedro Nava (D)

AD-38 (Santa Clarita): Cameron Smyth (R)

AD-39 (San Fernando): Felipe Fuentes (D)

AD-40 (San Fernando Valley, including Van Nuys): Bob Blumenfield (D) – vacated by Lloyd Levine (D)

AD-41 (Oxnard, Malibu, Santa Monica): Julia Brownley (D)

AD-42 (Beverly Hills, West Hollywood): Michael Feuer (D)

AD-43 (Burbank, Glendale): Paul Krekorian (D)

AD-44 (Pasadena): Anthony Portantino (D)

AD-45 (East L.A.): Kevin de León (D)

AD-46 (East L.A., Huntington Park): John Pérez (D) – vacated by Fabian Núñez (D)

AD-47 (Culver City): Karen Bass (D)

AD-48 (Part of South Central L.A.): Mike Davis (D)

AD-49 (Inner Northeastern suburbs of L.A.): Mike Eng (D)

AD-50 (Bellflower): Hector De La Torre (D) – unopposed

AD-51 (Inglewood, Hawthorne): Curren Price (D)

AD-52 (Compton): Isadore Hall (D) – vacated by Mervyn Dymally (D)

AD-53 (Beach Cities): Ted Lieu (D)

AD-54 (Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Avalon): Bonnie Lowenthal (D) – vacated by Betty Karnette (D)

AD-55 (Carson, Long Beach): Warren Furutani (D)

AD-56 (Norwalk, Buena Park): Tony Mendoza (D)

AD-57 (Covina, Baldwin Park): Ed Hernandez (D)

AD-58 (Inner Eastern suburbs of L.A.): Charles Calderon (D)

AD-59 (Parts of L.A. and San Bernardino Counties): Anthony Adams (R)

AD-60 (Western Inland Empire): Curt Hagman (R) – vacated by Bob Huff (R)

AD-61 (Pomona, Ontario): Norma Torres (D) – vacated by Nell Soto (D)

AD-62 (San Bernardino, Fontana): Wilmer Carter (D) – unopposed

AD-63 (Northern and Eastern Inland Empire): Bill Emmerson (R)

AD-64 (Riverside, Palm Desert): Brian Nestande (R) – unopposed – vacated by John Benoit (R)

AD-65 (Yucca Valley, Big Bear): Paul Cook (R)

AD-66 (Temecula, Riverside): Kevin Jeffries (R)

AD-67 (Huntington Beach): Jim Silva (R)

AD-68 (Garden Grove, Costa Mesa): Van Tran (R)

AD-69 (Anaheim, Santa Ana): Jose Solorio (D)

AD-70 (Central Orange County): Chuck DeVore (R)

AD-71 (Corona, part of inland Orange County): Jeff Miller (R) – unopposed – vacated by Todd Spitzer (R)

AD-72 (Inland Northern Orange County): Michael Duvall (R)

AD-73 (San Clemente, Oceanside): Diane Harkey (R) – vacated by Mimi Walters (R)

AD-74 (Coastal Northern San Diego suburbs): Martin Garrick (R)

AD-75 (Inner Northern San Diego suburbs): Nathan Fletcher (R) – vacated by George Plescia (R)

AD-76 (Northern San Diego City): Lori Saldaña (D)

AD-77 (Most of inland San Diego County): Joel Anderson (R)

AD-79 (Southern San Diego City, Imperial Beach): Mary Salas (D)

Districts to watch:

AD-36 (Lancaster, Palmdale): Steve Knight (R) vs. Linda Jones (D) – vacated by Sharon Runner (R)

Registration: R+2.85%

Profile: While this is not a likely pickup, Jones may make this a race due to the shrinking Republican registration advantage.

9/19/2008 Outlook: Lean Knight

AD-37 (Most of Ventura, small part of L.A.): Audra Strickland (R) vs. Ferial Masry (D)

Registration: R+7.25%

Profile: This district partly overlaps SD-19 and in fact Audra Strickland is Tony Strickland’s wife (and they aren’t related to the governor of Ohio). If Hannah-Beth Jackson does well here, her GOTV efforts could spill over into this race.

9/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Strickland

AD-78 (Inner eastern suburbs of San Diego): John McCann (R) vs. Martin Block (D) – vacated by Shirley Horton (R)

Registration: D+10.48%

Profile: Block has the advantage in this race thanks to the D’s advantage in party registration.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Lean Block

AD-80 (Imperial County, eastern Riverside County): Gary Jeandron (R) vs. Manuel Perez (D) – vacated by Bonnie Garcia (R)

Registration: D+11.22%

Profile: Perez is doing very well here, and a recent poll gave him a double-digit lead. Hopefully his good performance here will spill over into CA-45, which partly overlaps this district.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Lean Perez

That’s it for all the California races. Now I will cover what we need to zero in on to win this fall, and also include how we should vote.

Ballot measures

High Priority

#1: Prop 1A: YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!

#2: Prop 6: NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!

#3: Prop 4: NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!

#4: Prop 8: NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!

#5: Prop 7: No

#6: Prop 10: No

Medium Priority

#7: Prop 2: Yes

#8: Prop 5: Undecided

#9: Prop 11: Leaning No

#10: Prop 9: No

Low Priority

#11: Prop 3: Yes

#12: Prop 12: Yes

Our priorities in the House

#1: CA-04

#2: CA-46

#3: CA-26

#4: CA-45

#5: CA-50

#6: CA-52

#7: CA-44

#8: CA-42

#9: CA-41

Our priorities in the Assembly

#1: AD-15

#2: AD-80

#3: AD-78

#4: AD-10

#5: AD-26

#6: AD-36

#7: AD-37

#8: AD-30

To summarize, if we keep CA-11 and win CA-04, we will have 35 Democrats and 18 Republicans in our House delegation. If we win SD-19, we will have 26 Democrats and 14 Republicans. If we win all the toss-up/Dem-leaning Assembly races, we will have 53 Democrats and 27 Republicans, just one short of 2/3. We’d need at least one of the 36th or 37th districts to get us there.

Campaign Update: CA-04, CA-11, CA-50, CA-26, AD-80

Things are happening very quickly in the most hotly contested campaigns in California.  Here’s an update:

• CA-04: Watching himself falling behind in the race to replace John Doolittle, perennial candidate Tom McClintock decided to borrow one of his predeccesor’s smear campaigns and release an ad claiming that Charlie Brown dishonored servicemen by appearing at an anti-war rally.

The idea that wearing a camouflage jacket constitutes being “in uniform” is ridiculous, and so is the idea that a retired military officer has no free speech rights.  But the idea is to smear Charlie as some kind of radical leftist and anti-military, despite Brown’s long record of supporting veterans and McClintock’s longer record voting against them.

The ensuing press conference put on by the McClintock campaign was a wild affair.

SACRAMENTO – A press conference on congressional candidate Charlie Brown’s actions in 2005 at the home of an anti-war display nearly descended into conflict itself, with disruptions before, during and after the event and a near-appearance by police officers […]

But before the event even began, a handful of Brown supporters – accompanied by Brown’s campaign manager, Todd Stenhouse – were asked to leave so that they wouldn’t cause a disruption.

One man loudly protested that as a military veteran and the father of an active-duty U.S. soldier, he felt he could stay. “This is not Russia,” he said.

McClintock campaign consultant John Feliz and Stenhouse eventually got the man to agree to leave, but not before security at the Hyatt hotel where the press conference took place made calls to Sacramento police to remove the man […]

But a third man who was with the veterans pointed out that Brown was within his First Amendment right to do so, prompting Feliz to ask him to leave as well, while also saying Brown should re-enlist and face a court martial for his actions.

The man, who gave his name as Bret Sherlock, said afterward that he attended because he was tired of non-veterans like McClintock smearing veterans like Brown.

“Did he do anything illegal?” Sherlock said of Brown, adding that if anyone should be able to protest the war, it should be Brown, as both a veteran and a father of a soldier who has served four tours of duty in Iraq.

McClintock campaign spokesman Bill George said the video came from a “concerned citizen.” Neither McClintock nor Brown appeared at the press conference.

After the press conference concluded, Stenhouse tried to give McClintock’s campaign a pledge to join a Brown program that donates 5 percent of Brown’s campaign contributions to nonprofit community groups that work with charities.

Feliz angrily took it and threw it down without looking at it.

They don’t want to talk about issues.  So McClintock tries to smear a decorated veteran to win an election.  Typical.

More on the flip…

• CA-11: We’ve talked before about Dean Andal’s embarrassing fall from Congressional contender to also-ran, but it’s just getting worse and worse.  The questions over Andal’s role in a botched construction project at a local community college have continued, and he’s also been caught lying about his claim that he’s raised more money than any Congressional challenger in the country.  Now his mailers are hitting mailboxes throughout the district, and they’ve been revealed as lies.

What it says: “Instead of taking action to fix America’s energy crisis, ruling Democrats shut down Congress this month (August) for a five-week vacation – with Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney casting the deciding vote to adjourn.”

Is it true? No. The vote was 213-212 in favor of adjournment. Under Andal’s argument, all 213 members of Congress who voted in favor of the annual summer break were the “deciding vote.”

Besides, party leaders don’t let freshmen decide anything.

It’s almost sad how bad Andal is doing.  The NRCC isn’t even spending in the district.

• CA-50: The latest registration numbers for the district are in, and while Republicans continue to hold an 11-point lead, the trend is in Democrats’ favor.  Republicans are also perilously close to the 40% registration line, under which it becomes harder for them to win, as more independent voters lean Democratic.  I don’t know if Paris Hilton ads and chicken suits will get it done for Nick Leibham, whose campaign is clearly just trying to get in the headlines.  But there are lines of attack on Bilbray, particularly over his single-minded focus on immigration and not the pocketbook issues that affect people’s lives, though Bilbray is enough of a nut to say that the two are functionally equivalent.

• CA-26: There’s another smear campaign going on in this race, where David Dreier and the NRCC are trying to hold onto this seat by dredging up old news about Russ Warner and old tax liens and business license payments.  These are incidents from as far back as 1992, and Warner’s business license has since been reinstated.  It’s a pretty negative mailer considering that Dreier sounds so confident about victory.  Warner is now out with his own mailer highlighting Dreier’s many ties to special interests (like the $200,000 he’s received from oil and gas companies).  The fact that Dreier and Bush agree 94% of the time makes an appearance as well.  The fact that this race is getting so nasty so early suggests that Dreier has seen some polling that has him worried.  Maybe it’s because the Inland Empire is gradually turning blue and Dreier’s days of easy campaigns are numbered.  Enough of the district is in the IE for that to matter.

• AD-80: Manuel Perez has snagged the endorsement of the Sierra Club.  They also have an ad up on the air, which is notable for an Assembly candidate.  

The Calitics Target Book – The Drive For 2/3

The California Target Book released its August “hot sheet” listing potential competitive seats throughout the state legislature.  Well, two can play at this game.  Here are the competitive seats as I see them and a little precis about them:

State Senate

1. SD-19.  Hannah-Beth Jackson (D) v. Tony Strickland (R).  Sadly, thanks to Don Perata’s bungling and undermining this is likely to be the only competitive race out of the 20 up for election in the state Senate.  The good news is that it would be an absolute sea change to replace Tom McClintock with a true progressive like Hannah-Beth Jackson.  With Ventura County’s registration flipping to Democrats over the past year, Ronald Reagan country is no longer solidly red.  Hannah-Beth has been actively courting voters at community events (there’s a BBQ in honor of the “Gap” firefighters on Sunday) and she’s wrapped up lots of endorsements.  With this being the only competitive race, expect it to be costly, as both sides throw millions into capturing the seat.  A win here would put us one seat away from a 2/3 majority in the Senate.

Assembly on the flip…

State Assembly

1. AD-80.  Manuel Perez (D) v. Gary Jeandron (R).  Perez appears to have the right profile for this plurality-Democratic seat currently held by the termed-out Bonnie Garcia.  The most recent poll showed him with a double-digit lead, and he’s consolidating his support by earning the endorsements of the local Stonewall Democratic Club and his primary rival Greg Pettis.  This race is looking strong, and hopefully the raising of performance among Hispanic voters will aid Julie Bornstein in her CA-45 race against Mary Bono.

2. AD-78.  Marty Block (D) vs. John McCann (R).  Block, a Board of Trustees member at San Diego Community College and former dean at San Diego State University, also has a favorable registration advantage in his race against Chula Vista Councilmember John McCann.  This should be a case of party ID sweeping in a lawmaker in a progressive wave thanks to increased turnout for the Presidential election.  Block needs to do his part, of course, in making the case that the 2/3 majority is vital for responsible governance.

3. AD-15.  Joan Buchanan (D) v. Abram Wilson (R).  After a bruising primary, San Ramon Mayor Wilson has barely survived to defend the seat held by Guy Houston against San Ramon Valley school board member Buchanan, who did not have a competitive primary.  She has outraised Wilson by almost 2 to 1 so far in the race and the registration numbers are about even.  I think we have a real chance here.

4. AD-30.  Fran Florez (D) v. Danny Gilmore (R).  This is currently a Democratic seat held by Yacht Dog Nicole Parra, who has practically endorsed the Republican Gilmore for the seat.  That’s unhelpful, but in a Democratic year Gilmore has an uphill climb.  The California Faculty Association has targeted Gilmore in their ads that campaign on the budget, and voters in the Central Valley are fleeing the GOP in droves.  Gilmore has a shot, but I think Florez is in a comfortable position.

5. AD-10.  Alyson Huber (D) vs. Jack Sieglock (R).  Huber, about to hold her campaign kick-off this weekend, is in a district that is rapidly changing.  Registration has shifted over 3% in just two years.  This is a race in the Sacramento area that Randy Bayne covers intently, and he’s fairly high on Huber.  Jack Sieglock is your basic Republican rubber stamp that puts “conservative Republican” in his title, and I’m not certain the district is still organized that way.  This race is also seeing ads from the California Faculty Association.

6: AD-26.  John Eisenhut (D) v. William Berryhill (R).  This is Greg Aghazarian’s old seat, also in northern California in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.  Stanislaus recently flipped to Democrats, and Eisenhut, a local almond farmer, fits the profile of the district pretty well.  Berryhill, whose brother Tom is in the Assembly, is also a farmer, and is banking on the Berryhill name ID to win.  There’s a good synopsis of the race here.  Democrats actually have the registration edge in this district.

7. AD-36.  Linda Jones (D) v. Steve Knight (R). Linda is a teacher, school board member and former vocational nurse.  This is an outside shot, but I’m told that the Palmdale-area seat is turning around and may accept a Democrat this time around.

8. AD-59. Donald Williamson (D) v. Anthony Adams (R).  Adams is actually an incumbent, making this a more difficult battle.  But Bill Postmus’ explosion in San Bernardino county has soured the reputation of Republicans in the district, and Williamson, the San Bernardino County assessor, has a decent profile in the district.  This is certainly on the far outside edge of being competitive.

9. AD-37. Ferial Masry (D) v. Audra Strickland (R).  This is another Republican incumbent, and it’s in the same relative district as SD-19 – in fact, the Republicans in both races are Stricklands.  So maybe there will be a residual effect to Hannah-Beth Jackson’s efforts.  Masry, an Arab-American, has been getting good press in the district and definitely has an outside chance.

AD-80: Rapprochement Between Perez, Pettis

If you read the reader diaries column in April and May in this space, you would have noticed a somewhat antagonistic relationship between Greg Pettis supporters and Manuel Perez supporters during the Democratic primary for AD-80 in the Palm Springs area.  It was probably more pronounced on the Interwebs, but I’m told from those in the district that there wasn’t a whole lot of love there on the ground, either.  Now, with the primary over, it appears that Democrats are coming together to take back the seat in the fall.

If Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can make peace, we anticipate Greg Pettis and Manuel Perez can, too.

An olive branch was extended between the former Democrat rivals last week when Richard Oberhaus – campaign manager of Pettis’ failed bid in the 80th Assembly race – announced he was joining Perez’s camp.

“He endorses the ideals that we all hope and dream will be implemented in Sacramento,” Oberhaus said in an e-mail announcing his plans.

“I shall implement all the strategies that are necessary to make this seat turn from red to blue.”

While Pettis hasn’t publicly endorsed, this move by his campaign manager and, as the article notes, several of his volunteers suggest that Democrats district-wide are committed to working for victory.

By the way, with less than 100 days until the election I am going to start a “drive for 2/3” legislative roundup.  I was talking with some leading Dems in LA County over the weekend and they told me about some off-the-radar Assembly possibilities, particularly in the Inland Empire region.  Did you know that Democrats are now within 1,500 votes of making San Bernardino a Democratic county?  Last year that was a 35,000-vote majority.  We need to turn them out, of course, but with a favorable top of the ticket we’re going to see some surprises in the Assembly (the Senate is a tougher nut to crack).