Tag Archives: Mike Davis

SD-26 Results Thread

UPDATE by Brian: As pointed out in the comments, with 100% reporting, it looks like the May 19 election will feature a runoff between Dem. Asm. Curren Price, Republican Nachum Shifren, and P&F Cindy Varela Henderson.  Price is the prohibitive favorite, but the failure to attain 50% delays the special election merry-go-round for another few weeks.

As of 10:30pm, the results at the Secretary of State’s site only have 15% of the vote in.  Basically, Asm. Curren Price is looking like he’ll win (although Mike Davis is only behind by about 1,000 votes right now), but not by enough to avoid a runoff.  So we will have to wait until May 19 to have a full complement of State Senators, at which point we’ll have one less Assemblymember and will need a special election for Price’s seat.  And the whole thing never ends.

Anyway, post results here.

as of 10:30pm:

Candidate                                     Votes    Percent

Mike Davis (Dem)                        2,968   23.44%

Saundra Davis (Dem)                  840         6.63%

Cindy Varela Henderson (P&F)  244       1.93%

Curren D. Price, Jr. (Dem)       3,996   31.56%

Nachum Shifren (Rep)                1,910   15.08%

Robert Cole (Dem)               1,883   14.87%

Mervin Leon Evans (Dem)       76           0.60%

Jonathan Friedman (Dem)       745         5.88%

Tuesday Open Thread

News from around the state:

• Polls close in the SD-26 election between Asms. Curren Price and Mike Davis shortly. We’ll update with election results upon their release.

• CalPERS/STRS are attempting to be the lead plaintiffs against Bank of America in the Merril Lynch bonus scandal.  Both organizations have been outspoken advocates for sound corporate governance.

• Imagine this, a bipartisan bill in Sacramento!  With Dave Jones, Nathan Fletcher and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner all aboard!  And the cause is noble!  Basically, this bill would allow workers at small businesses with under 20 employees to be eligible for federal subsidies to COBRA in the same way that workers in firms with more than 20 employees are eligible under the economic recovery plan.  The bill is AB23, and should pass out of the Assembly Health Committee today.

• An interesting story about the relationship between Speaker Pelosi and President Obama, and how the Speaker views her role as a leader. Much of it is not all that insightful, but it does take a look at how Pelosi is trying to use the House as a counterpoint to the more conservative Senate, and to Obama’s compromising instincts.

• OC Progressive takes a look at cuts to OCTA, the county’s bus service. Unfortunately, at a time when we should be investing heavily in public transportation, services are being slashed throughout the state.

• For those interested, Adriel Hampton, candidate for CA-10, has posted a short video about himself.

• Sen. Tony Strickland (Yacht Party-Thousand Oaks) may be able to ball, but that picture of him in uniform for the minor league Los Angeles Lightning, for whom he will actually play May 2 for a one-game special in his district, should get him disqualified from a political career.  Memo to politicians – lay off the tank tops.

Monday Open Thread

Let’s get down to it:

• Asm. Mike Davis has released a get to know you video in his race for the 26th Senate seat, the seat vacated by Mark Ridley-Thomas when he won the LA County Supervisor’s race over Bernard Parks. His main opponent is Asm. Curren Price.  The election is tomorrow.

• Local governments who took losses during the dissolution of Lehman Brothers want a bailout of their own.  Apparently caveat emptor no longer applies as we head toward a slippery slope of bailouts for everyone.  Yes, multiple investors lost their shirts on Lehman, through no fault of their own, but I fail to see how that demands a cash transfer from the Treasury.

• A new study links student obesity and proximity between schools and fast-food restaurants.  I hope that study didn’t cost too much, because it’s completely intuitive.  And I have no problem with urban planners who take this information into account when zoning areas around schools.  There’s a public health responsibility for government here.

• California is going to try to sell about $4 billion of bonds this week. It’s not a particularly huge sale, but the response should be telling. Joel Fox notes that if we have problems selling these, don’t hold your breath on the lottery securitization.  With the recent bond rating decrease, they won’t be an easy sell.  Although, first-day sales yielded about $2.4 billion, almost half of the overall goal.  John Myers examines why.  I’d guess that investors know they’ll get a great yield because they’re demanding a high interest rate because of the state’s fiscal troubles.  With interest rates near zero, these are some of the best deals out there.  But more bonds sold means more future payouts that hit taxpayers’ bottom line.

• Arnold is very sad about raising taxes. Poor Arnold, can I get you a tissue?

• Finally, our condolences go out to the families of the Oakland Police officers gunned down this weekend.  The incident is a profound tragedy for the City of Oakland and the entire state.

SD-26: One Special to the Next: Curren Price nabbing endorsements

Assemblymember Curren Price looks to be the front runner in SD-26, nabbing the SEIU State Council endorsement last week, and the endorsement of the former holder of the seat, Mark Ridley-Thomas. Today he also nabbed the Cal Labor Fed’s endorsement.

“Curren Price has been a strong voice for working families in the legislature,” said California Labor Fed honcho Art Pulaski. “In these tough economic times we need leaders like Price in the Senate to protect workers and help us get our economy moving.”

His main competitor is Asm. Mike Davis, but for the time being, Price looks to have all of the major chips right now.  I’ve not heard any big tales of grassroots support that would overwhelm the institutional support.  That being said, this election will likely be pretty low turnout, so you never know.

Either way, the carousel will go around again when either of them takes the seat.

Monday Open Thread

Here is some linky goodness:

• Alan Keyes, who kind of plays the Washington Generals to Barack Obama’s Harlem Globetrotters, has filed suit in Superior Court in Sacramento to stop California from awarding its electoral votes to Obama because he doesn’t fulfill the necessary citizenship requirements.  Discussion item: Keyes used to have a talk show on MSNBC.

• Assemblyman Mike Davis has filed as a candidate in the special election to replace State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is now an LA County Supervisor.  Assemblyman Curren Price is also rumored to be seeking the seat, but he hasn’t filed yet.

• One of the most interesting news items from this weekend’s Join The Impact rallies was the coming out of comedian Wanda Sykes at an event in Las Vegas.  Sykes, who was married to her partner last month, had this to say:

“Everybody that knows me personally they know I’m gay,” she continued. “But that’s the way people should be able to live their lives.”

The motivation behind the revelation: the Nov. 4 passage of a same-sex marriage ban in California that has taken the nation by storm.

Sykes said the ban (also known as California’s Proposition 8) made her feel like she was “attacked.”

“Now, I gotta get in their face,” she said. “I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay.”

• President-Elect Obama is raising money for the victims of the SoCal Fires on his website. The BarackObama.com landing page is now a message that links back to the Governor’s California Volunteers Page.

Jackie Speier remembers her Jonestown nightmare. It is 30 years ago today that Congressman Leo Ryan was killed in Guyana.

• In the close races yet to be decided in California, the news remains not so great.  Hannah-Beth Jackson and Alyson Huber are now behind by more than the .5% needed for a partial recount.  Charlie Brown is within 622 votes of Tom McClintock but there aren’t a lot of ballots left in his stronghold of Nevada County. Interestingly, both Brown and McClintock showed up for the freshman orientation.

“I believe that there is market manipulation at the refinery level”

That was Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez today at an event in downtown Los Angeles, in front of a Chevron station (that was selling gas for a low low $3.49, I think the advance man could’ve found stations 30-40 cents higher without too much trouble), as he announced with Assemblymen Mike Davis, Mike Feuer and Mike Eng a series of bills to combat rising gas prices and the artificial depression of refinery supply.  The bills will seek to oversee refinery maintenance, expand regulatory authority, and deal with the “hot fuel” issue.  The Speaker said that “During the electricity crisis a few years ago, California adopted similar measures to keep energy companies from using these convenient (refinery) shutdowns to amp up their profits, and today we’re going to make sure oil companies can’t use Enron-like tactics on California consumers.”

This is an object lesson in why now was the exact wrong time for the CDP to accept $50,000 from the prime progenitor of those Enron-style tactics.  And it actually came up in the press conference.  A full report on the flip, with audio to come.

Nunez referenced a Wall Street Journal article (behind the wall, sadly) that detailed how refineries are cashing in on high gas prices by artificially lowering their supply through various methods, particularly shutdowns.  The three bills work out this way:

1) new oversight committee: Nunez and Eng’s bill would create the California Petroleum Refinery Standards Committee, made up of the Attorney General, the State Controller and a couple political appointees, which would develop standards for maintenance and operations at California refineries, would look into shutdowns and would increase mandatory reporting from oil companies regarding them, would take audits and inspections, and would ensure compliance.  Penalties for not complying to these standards, would be “very stiff” and would be considered felonies, not misdemeanors.

2) “Hot fuels”: temperature varies in fuel, and it impacts the weight of gasoline, which since it’s sold by the gallon impacts the price.  The suspicion is that oil companies are manipulating temperature variations to give the consumer less for its money.  Assemblyman Mike Davis’ bill would seek a comprehensive study, cost-benefit analysis, and recommendations on what the national standard for gasoline temperature should be.  Right now it’s 60 degrees; the concern is that the number should be higher.

3) Petroleum Industry Information Reporting Act: oil companies are not releasing enough data to determine properly the efficacy of inventory levels and profit margins.  Assemblyman Mike Feuer’s bill would mandate monthly financial reports on oil supply, demand, and price issues.  It would also allow that information to be shared with the Attorney General and the Board of Equalization.

These appear to be decent bills that correctly address the issue of artificial refinery supply.  However, in the question-and-answer session that followed, there was an example of why it is not smart to play both sides of this fence.

The fact that the backdrop of the press conference was a Chevron statement is telling; after all, they own 25% of the refineries in the state, and they are getting rich off the high gas prices being made by their actions at those refineries.  The VERY FIRST QUESTION offered to Speaker Nunez was about his trip to South America paid for in part by Chevron.  Nunez replied that the trip was “insignificant,” that the trip was taken to learn more about alternative fuels in South America, that he stands for issues that are important to Democrats, and that he resented any attempt to question his ethics.  And right after the presser was over, during a sort of press gaggle, he told the radio reporter who asked that question that is was either a “cheap shot” or a “chicken shit” question (I wasn’t quite close enough to fully make it out).  The reporter replied that the information was out there and she was just giving the Speaker a chance to respond.

Clearly that’s a fair question.  And clearly it’s fair to ask whether, at a time where the Speaker of the Assembly is accusing Chevron of market manipulation and of engaging in “Enron-like tactics,” it’s the best time for the CDP to be taking a $50,000 contribution from that same corporation.  Now more than ever, the message should be united, and the perception here is quite confusing, and more hurtful than the money is helpful.  I appreciate these efforts to stop market manipulation, but I do not appreciate giving the opposition another arrow in their quiver through the appearance of impropriety of this donation.  I renew and strengthen my call for the Party to return the money and work in more innovative ways to fundraise and grow the party.