Tag Archives: Barbara Boxer

Let the Boxer retirement discussions commence

Barbara BoxerHer term is up in 2016, will she run again?

by Brian Leubitz

With Senator Boxer’s term expiring in 2016, now is the time to talk about the future. With all the time required to build a strong campaign in California, prospective candidates are anxious for word, not wanting to step on any toes before making any moves. But, the chatter is that a decision could come soon:

Sources close to Boxer, 74, say the outspoken liberal senator will decide over the holidays whether to seek reelection in 2016 and will announce her plans shortly after the new year. Few of her friends believe she will run for a fifth term. Boxer has stopped raising money and is not taking steps to assemble a campaign. With Republicans taking over the Senate, she is about to relinquish her chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.(Politico)

The article goes on to point out the parade of candidates, but you can probably guess at the names. Harris, Newsom, Garcetti, Villaraigosa, and a slew of Congressional Democrats. Plus, there is always the discussion of whether Tom Steyer wants to put his millions on a candidacy of his own.

With the Democratic lean of the state, a Republican challenge would have to be something of the superstar variety, one that wouldn’t require vast support of the Republican crazy-base. I’m not sure who that would be, but with an open seat, you would have to expect at least some sort of well funded Republican.

But, until Sen. Boxer says something, one would have to expect at least Democrats to lay low. After an announcement, who knows?

Sen. Boxer Endorses MICRA Reform

Senator becomes highest-profile endorsement of measure to fix broken malpractice system

by Brian Leubitz

In a perfect world, we certainly wouldn’t be discussing medical malpractice reform. However, California’s law on the subject is far from the perfect world. For many victims of medical malpractice, it is cost prohibitive to seek justice. The costs of trial become too expensive to pursue the case, and many victims find it difficult to find an attorney that can handle the case.  There are a litany of other reasons MICRA is broken, but you can read more about MICRA in my previous post on the subject https://calitics.com/diary/…

The short story being that the $250,000 cap on non-economic damages hasn’t been adjusted for inflation for over 35 years, and that cap means that many victims won’t be able to get the justice that they need. Specifically, cases that are brought by people unable to show a steady stream of income are punished by this hard cap. So, children, senior citizens and the disabled are put in a real position of danger.

Now, to be clear, there are some good organizations on the other side of this issue. Planned Parenthood drew fire on its decision to oppose MICRA reform. Their logic on their position sounds good but the facts just don’t back up the position. Essentially, Planned Parenthood argues that changing the hard caps on malpractice damages will reduce doctor supply and vastly increase malpractice insurance. But the real data show that neither of these suppositions to be correct. Again, I point you to my previous writing or to the LA Times’ Michael Hiltzik on the subject:

Over the last 22 years, California malpractice insurers have paid out in claims an average of only 36 cents of every premium dollar they’ve collected, according to Insurance Department statistics. For comparison’s sake, for all property and casualty insurance lines the figure is 62 cents; for passenger auto insurers alone it’s more than 60 cents.(LA Times / Michael Hiltzik)

So, yeah, the reason that malpractice insurance premiums are rising? That would be a massive profit level for the insurance companies. But I digress.

The supporters of the Troy and Alana Pack Act recently submitted nearly 850,000 signatures to get their bill on the November ballot. Essentially the measure would adjust for inflation since the date of the 250,000 cap and permanently index the cap to inflation. It was something that was originally included in the MICRA legislation, but cut later in the legislative process. The Pack Act now has a big name supporter: Senator Barbara Boxer.

“I will never forget meeting a child who was severely disfigured and forever confined to a wheelchair because of medical malpractice,” Senator Boxer stated.  “I was stunned to learn how unfair California law is in terms of compensating these patients and their families, and I committed to helping the victims of these tragedies. That is why I am proud to support the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, which will reform our judicial system to hold accountable those responsible for so much pain and suffering and ensure that patients and their families get the justice they deserve.”

Seven year old Alana Pack and ten year old Troy Pack were killed on a roadside by a doctor-shopping drug addict who ran them over after being overprescribed thousands of narcotics at Kaiser and falling asleep at the wheel. Their father Bob Pack authored the Pack Act to increase accountability for medical negligence and substance abuse.

You can learn more about the Pack Act on their website.

Confessions Of A Hollywood Professional: Why I Can’t Support the Stop Online Piracy Act

According to a report published by the AFL-CIO, online piracy costs content providers (mostly TV networks and movie studios) a lot of money. Around $20 billion annually. That, in turn, costs a staggering number of industry-related jobs – over 140,000 by some estimates.

As  a freelance film editor, this scares the hell out of me.  If the  networks and studios I work for don’t make money, sooner or later I’m  out of a job. And if I’m out of a job long enough, I lose my union  health benefits, my pension, the whole ball of wax.

I know it scares the hell out of my union, IATSE, judging by numerous emails warning how my livelihood is in grave danger from “foreign rogue sites” dedicated to wholesale theft of the intellectual property of my employers.

On the flip side, there were petitions filing my inbox from internet watchdog groups urging me to tell Congress to “preserve free speech”, and that if I didn’t, the “internet as we know it” would cease to exist.

Now, if you don’t know what they’re talking about, you’re not not alone. Until I started getting these emails, I too was blissfully ignorant about the alphabet-soup of anti-piracy  legislation currently grinding it’s way through the bowels of Congress –  the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate.

But as I researched the bills and clawed my way though mountains of evidence on both sides predicting internet Armageddon, I quickly realized online piracy (and the solutions being put forth to curb it) is something we don’t have the luxury to ignore. Because what happens in the next month could profoundly affect many aspect of our lives, not just how we interact online.

So I’ll make you a deal: If you’ll stick around to read this, I’ll spare you the hyperbole and techno-speak and explain what I’ve learned in plain English.

Please, let my pain be your gain.


SOPA and PIPA are designed to close existing loopholes in online piracy enforcement.  To explain how, I first have to talk about another law: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,  otherwise known as DMCA.

Enacted in 1998, DMCA was Congress’s first attempt to deal with the brave new world of illegal file sharing. In a nutshell, it criminalized online copyright infringement while protecting “Fair Use” doctrine, as well as giving “safe harbor” to internet service providers (ISPs), websites and search engines which unknowingly hosted or linked to pirated material.

(I’ll circle back to “fair use” and “safe harbor” later,  but keep these terms in your head.  They’re really, really important – it’s why YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and even small sites like this blog aren’t sued out of existence every time someone uploads a photo or links to a movie clip.)

However, DMCA was limited. It only applied to domestic ISPs, websites and search engines. Why? Because US copyright law ends at our borders. Domestic plaintiffs can’t collect damages for overseas copyright infringement.

Of course, the first thing online pirates did after DMCA became law was set up shop overseas and out of the reach of US courts.

So ten years later,  Congress passed another law, the PRO-IP Act, which increased penalties and gave new enforcement powers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency most recently known for mistakenly deporting a 14 year-old girl to Columbia.

ICE could, with a simple affidavit, obtain a court order to seize the site’s domain name and IP address.  Anyone clicking on a seized site would see this:

Even though hundreds of domains were seized ( a partial list here ), critics complained PRO-IP didn’t solve the “foreign rogue websites” problem. Perpetrators – especially those operating overseas – disappeared easily, escaping fines and summary judgments, quickly setting up new and anonymous Internet storefronts at will. Even if found, there was often no way of tying the individuals who ran foreign sites to assets in the United States.

Got all that?

Good. Because this is where the fun starts.


SOPA and PIPA are designed to do one thing and one thing only – tie online pirates to assets in the United States so our justice system can get at them to collect civil judgments and cut off sources of revenue.

Of course, making that happen is not so simple. The internet is a complicated, borderless thing which changes faster than a teenager’s hormones on a Pepsi high.

So the bill’s authors tried to come up with a number of different ways to skin the same cat.

  1. Extend the authority to seize domain names and IP addresses to foreign websites determined to be in violation US Copyright law.
  2. Compel domestic ISPs, websites and search engines to block internet access to any foreign websites determined to be in violation US Copyright law.
  3. Prosecute developers who offer products or services that could be used to  circumvent  the blockade of foreign websites determined to be in  violation US Copyright law.
  4. Compel domestic financial service providers (Paypal,  Visa, Wells Fargo, etc….) and internet advertisers to close accounts and block payments to any  foreign websites determined to be in violation US Copyright law.

The bills also includes a provision the American Bar Association labels “a rather novel reinvention of online”market-based” enforcement”  by allowing copyright owners and their agents to initiate a “private right of action” to seek termination of an infringing site’s advertising and financial services.

Lastly, this legislation gives blanket immunity to any US-based financial service providers, advertisers, ISPs, websites, and search engines which voluntarily blocks internet access or terminates its services. It does this even if the site’s owners did not  knowingly host pirated material, or the  allegations later prove to be unfounded.


Even without SOPA/PIPA’s First Amendment implications (you can read some pretty good arguments here, here and here),  the bills as currently proposed are horribly flawed documents devised by people who either don’t understand how the internet works, or worse, understand it all too well and are trying to game the system for unfair competitive advantage.

SOPA’s sponsor, Texas Republican, Lamar Smith, thinks any fears are “completely unfounded”.

The criticism of this bill is completely hypothetical; none of it is based in reality,” said Smith, R.-Texas, in a statement. “Not one of the critics was able to point to any language in the bill that would in any way harm the Internet. Their accusations are simply not supported by any facts…..they need to read the language. Show me the language.”

You’re on, Lamar.


As I said before, ICE has seized hundreds of domestic domains under the PRO-IP Act. Well, it turns out some site owners are fighting back, suing the government for violating their First Amendment rights, saying the law’s “seize now, ask questions later” enforcement equals prior restraint. In at least one case, a judge agreed, throwing out part of the government’s case and expediting the site owner’s suit.

And then there’s the Kafkaesque case of dajaz1.com, a popular hip-hop music site which had it’s domain seized in 2010, then restored over a year later – all without a single charge being filed.

As the details came out, it became clear that ICE and the Justice Department were in way over their heads. ICE’s “investigation” was done by a technically inept recent college grad, who didn’t even seem to understand the basics of the technology. But it didn’t stop him from going to a judge and asking for a site to be completely censored with no due process.

The site’s lawyer, Andrew Bridges, filed a motion to get the site back. Instead of responding as the law required, the government stonewalled Bridges while they secretly pursued multiple filing extensions from the court in order to hold on to the site.

The government was required to file for forfeiture by May. The initial (supposed) secret extension was until July. Then it got another one that went until September. And then another one until November… or so the government said. When Bridges asked the government for some proof that it had actually obtained the extensions in question, the government attorney told Bridges that he would just have “trust” him.

You can read the whole story here.  It’s not pretty. Eventually, the government unilaterally decided it didn’t have probably cause after all and just dropped the case without comment. 


Don’t expect oppressive regimes like Syria, Iran, or Burma to take our lectures about internet freedom seriously, not while Congress is proposing protocols for site blocking that China already uses  to restrict their citizen’s access the web.   

Worse, if ICE starts going after software developers, they’re going to have to go after contractors the State Department hired to do the very thing Congress just made illegal. 

Seriously. I’m not making this up.   Last June, the NY Times reported:

The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.

The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “Internet in a suitcase.”

Financed with a $2 million State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global Internet……

Some projects involve technology that the United States is developing; others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers in a so-called liberation-technology movement sweeping the globe…….

“The cool thing in this political context is that you cannot easily control it,” said Aaron Kaplan, an Austrian cybersecurity expert whose work will be used in the suitcase project. Mr. Kaplan has set up a functioning mesh network in Vienna and says related systems have operated in Venezuela, Indonesia and elsewhere.


First, by mandating provisions completely incompatible with next-generation internet security standards and secondly, by throwing US software developers into legal limbo.

It turns out targeting software which could potentially be used for circumventing blacklisted websites also means targeting the same security software we use to keep our personal computers safe from malware, networked businesses safe from denial-of-service attacks and even payments to online financial service providers like PayPal safe from theft.

Meanwhile, as legitimate software developers sit around twiddling their thumbs, 20 year-old hackers have already created workarounds to domain blocking in anticipation of SOPA/PIPA.

Have fun with that.



Supporters, including my union, like to point out that SOPA/PIPA only affects foreign websites. This is demonstrably not true.

Remember, the Justice Department has no jurisdiction overseas, but it does have jurisdiction over domestic ISPs, websites, and search engines, domestic financial service providers and domestic software developers. SOPA/PIPA may target foreign sites, but all the legal liability and compliance costs would fall on American companies. As techdirt.com points out,

We’ve been trying to make this point for months, and the folks in favor of these bills just keep ignoring it insisting time and time again that this is just about foreign sites. Most of those people have never been entrepreneurs. They’ve never worked at a company where the threat of legal action is a BIG DEAL, that can massively disrupt operations (and cash flow). They don’t realize that increasing liability, compliance costs and legal risks isn’t just a nuisance — it can force an entire business to shut down. We’ve talked about how these bills change things so that it’s not just two engineers in a garage any more, but two engineers… who need a team of a dozen lawyers.



Remember how I mentioned “fair use” and “safe harbor” at the beginning of this post?  Let’s circle back to that now.

I use a lot of social media – YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to share  information, links, videos and other online content. And I do this  under the “Fair Use” doctrine, which allows me to use copyrighted material without permission for “transformative” purposes such as commentary, criticism and parody.

What  is a “transformative” use? If this definition seems ambiguous or vague,  be aware that millions of dollars in legal fees have been spent  attempting to define what qualifies as a fair use. There are no  hard-and-fast rules, only general rules and varied court decisions,  because the judges and lawmakers who created the fair use exception did  not want to limit its definition. Like free speech, they wanted it to  have an expansive meaning that could be open to interpretation.

Now, to illustrate my point, I’m going to link to this really cool video created by a fan of “Castle”, the ABC Television show I work on. Go ahead, have a look. I’ll wait.


Great video, isn’t it?

It also happens to be made up of hundreds of copyrighted clips I’m reasonably sure ABC Television never gave permission to use. But that’s OK, because I’m also reasonably sure the video is covered by Fair Use. But if I’m wrong about that, this is where DMCA’s “safe harbor” provisions come in.

Safe Harbor assumes I didn’t knowingly post anything which violates US copyright law.  So even if my ISP gets a take-down notice from ABC, Safe Harbor is supposed to protect me as long as I comply with the notice and remove the video.

Together, Fair Use and Safe Harbors allow for innovation because they create safe space for both free expression and honest mistakes. But content providers hate Fair Use and (more importantly) Safe Harbors because providers think these exceptions take the teeth out of enforcement, creating loopholes you could drive a truck through.

SOPA/PIPA gets rid of Safe Harbors. There is no safe space. A copyright holder can initiate a “private right of action”, convince a judge to issue an injunction (which we now know is way too easy to do) get your domain blocked, your advertising pulled and your finances frozen.

And thanks to to SOPA/PIPA’s immunity provisions, a copyright holder wouldn’t even need a court order shut you down, just a letter to your service providers threatening to.

This section says that anyone who takes voluntary action “based on credible evidence” basically gets full immunity. Think about what that means in practice. If someone sends a service provider a notice claiming infringement on the site under this bill, the first thing every lawyer will tell them is “quick, take voluntary action to cut them off, so you get immunity.” Even worse, since this is just about immunity, there are no counter notice rules or anything requiring any process for those cut off to be able to have any redress whatsoever.

Between blanket immunity, the loss of safe harbor, and the lack of any redress for impacted site owners, SOPA/PIPA actually incentivizes wholesale abuse.

It’s already happening. Entire legal industries have been built around responding to DMCA takedown notices in bulk. Thin-skinned businesses routinely ignore Fair Use to issue DMCA takedown notices against sites which criticize them. Unscrupulous content providers also sue legitimate online competitors for copyright infringement just to bankrupt them.

In 2007, Universal Music Group (UMG) brought a lawsuit against Veoh Networks (Veoh), a video hosting website, alleging that Veoh facilitated copyright infringement by providing a website that hosted videos containing music owned by UMG. On December 20, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a summary judgment in favor of Veoh and held that Veoh was protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) “safe harbor” provisions….

While Veoh’s website was found to be perfectly legal, its victory is bittersweet; the small startup company filed for bankruptcy early in 2010 from the high cost of defending its case.

At least under DMCA, Veoh could keep it’s business running while the case was litigated.

The SOPA/PIPA bills, however, would have immediately shut Veoh’s website down before it even had its day in court, thereby keeping Veoh from running its business which, in this case, was ultimately found to be perfectly legal. There is cause for concern when copyright holders abuse the law to stymie innovative new startups.

There are also some nasty implications for political campaigns. Implications that ought to give the bill’s Congressional supporters pause.

Imagine you are running for Congress in a competitive House district. You give a strong interview to a local morning news show and your campaign posts the clip on your website. When your opponent’s campaign sees the video, it decides to play hardball and sends a notice to your Internet service provider alerting them to what it deems “infringing content.” It doesn’t matter if the content is actually pirated. …. If you don’t take the video down, even if you believe that the content is protected under fair use, your website goes dark.

I’m sure nothing like that would ever happen, because, you know, it never has before.

During the waning days of the 2008 presidential race, there was an important but overlooked occurrence on the John McCain campaign. In mid-October, the McCain campaign awoke to find that its Web videos and online advertisements were disappearing from its YouTube page.

The culprit turned out to be a major television network claiming they owned portions of the videos and that posting the clips was a violation of copyright law. Even though the campaign, and many others in the online community, believed the content to be privileged under the “Fair Use Doctrine,” the videos were pulled down.

John McCain, by the way, is one of PIPA’s co-sponsors.


What do Darrell Issa, Nancy Pelosi, the ACLU, Daily Kos, RedState.com, Markos Moulitsas and Ron Paul have in common? They all oppose SOPA/PIPA.

Personally, I’ve never agreed with Darrel Issa on any issue ever, but I agree with him on this.

How is this possible? Because the divide over SOPA/PIPA isn’t political, it’s between those who understand how the internet works and those who don’t,  those who see opportunities for growth and innovation and those who fear change and are holding on to old business models for dear life.

During the House Judiciary Committee’s SOPA hearings last December, it became nightmarishly clear Congressmembers who support these bills are in the “don’t understand how the internet works” camp.

It’s exactly as we feared….this is like a group of well-intentioned amateurs getting together to perform heart surgery on a patient incapable of moving. “We hear from the motion picture industry that heart surgery is what’s required,” they say cheerily. “We’re not going to cut the good valves, just the bad – neurons, or whatever you call those durn thingies.”

This is terrifying to watch. It would be amusing – there’s nothing like people who did not grow up with the Internet attempting to ask questions about technology very slowly and stumbling over words like “server” and “service” when you want an easy laugh. Except that this time, the joke’s on us.

It’s been a truism for some time that you can tell innovation in an industry has ceased when the industry starts to develop a robust lobbying and litigating presence instead.

Which brings me back to my union,  IATSE.

I believe my union leadership is acting in good faith to look after the best interests of its membership. But I don’t think my union leadership understands how the Internet works. By backing the industry’s position on SOPA/PIPA, I believe they’re tying themselves to a business model that simply can’t be sustained and won’t be rescued by badly crafted legislation.

Look, you can’t un-ring this bell. Internet file sharing, streaming  video, and movies-on-demand aren’t going away.  Fans of American  television shows and movies use the internet to form international online communities, upload their favorite clips via YouTube and share them on Twitter and Facebook. As an industry, we should encourage them. Because today’s “pirates” are tomorrow’s customers. 

It’s a brave new world out there.

We’ve been down this road before with the music industry. Ten years ago, while all the major record labels responded to file sharing by locking up content and suing Napster into the ground, Steve Jobs quietly developed iTunes. By tapping into a market that was already habituated to file sharing and offering quality content conveniently and legally at a price point people were willing to pay, Apple dominated the music industry while the record labels tanked.

We either follow the path of the record labels or we follow the path Apple took.  I’d rather follow Apple. And frankly, I wish IATSE was leading the charge.


PIPA is scheduled for a cloture vote in the Senate on January 24th, meaning it would take 60 votes to break a filibuster. So far 49 Senators are on record as supporting PIPA, which means they’d need 11 more to advance the bill to the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote.

Opponents of SOPA/PIPA have set up this handy website so you can find out which lawmakers support the bills. If it turns out your Congressmember supports the bills, click on their name and the site will take you to a page with their contact information. Please call them right away.

Unfortunately, both Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein are co-sponsors of PIPA. (Feinstein seems particularly clueless, stating she thought the tech industry were just fine with the bills)

Click on this link to get Barbara Boxer’s contact information

Click on this link to get Diane Feinstein’s contact information

The Year that Our Senate Race Became Just Like the Governor’s Race

Barbara Boxer won by about nine points, but that’s not for lack of trying of the right-wing interests to boot her out. Over at California Watch, Chase Davis takes a look at the IEs against Boxer:

The Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United ruling earlier this year helped major corporations and other interest groups spend more than $5 million on California’s Senate race without disclosing their contributors, according to independent spending reports analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Ten months ago, when the high court handed down Citizens United, effectively allowing businesses and trade groups to contribute unlimited sums to federal elections, the punditocracy was eager to predict an unprecedented flood of secret interest-group cash that would soon flow into competitive elections nationwide.

Many of those predictions have come true. In the months since, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has emerged as exhibit A in the ruling’s predicted consequences, contributing millions of dollars to primarily Republican candidates while taking advantage of new legal covers to keep the sources of its contributions secret. (CalWatch)

In all, there was about eleven million dollars of these direct campaign ads lobbed up against Boxer.  You can be the judge on effectiveness, perhaps they did move the needle a little bit. But in the end, I guess it is just as well that this money was spent in California, rather than other races.  The Chamber’s five million bucks in secret money are the most egregious, and there should be disclosure rules, but the money isn’t going to slow without some sort of constitutional amendment to bring our democracy back to, you know, democracy rather than plutocracy.

But in California we have essentially had the Citizens United Scheme for years now.  While we have a more robust disclosure system than the federal government now has, we have allowed essentially unlimited independent expenditures in state races.  This is of course the reason that you see many races where IEs outspend both major candidates. It is why we have been stuck with a legislature dominated by one interest group or another dating back to Hiram Johnson’s era.

It hasn’t worked particularly well in California, and Citizens United only added to the inordinate power of the wealthy.  With the DISCLOSE act flailing in Congress, don’t expect any major changes anytime soon.

VOTE! & Election Recommendations

Senator – Barbara Boxer

AKA California’s Good Senator. Boxer is a reliable liberal in a senate full of utterly useless corporate centrists, and quite unafraid to make waves in the service of doing the right thing. In a career that has mostly been dominated by Republican control of the senate, Boxer has distinguished herself by pushing back against a decade of wingnuttery. By contrast, I knew about Fiorina’s awful reputation in silicon valley a decade before she decided to make a vanity run for senate, just from techies I knew heaping scorn upon the CEO who drove HP into the ground and then walked away with millions. Thank goodness Boxer’s a formidable campaigner, and Fiorina appears to be headed for the dusty place where all the gazillionaire right wing vanity candidates go after they lose, right next to Michael Huffington.

House of Representatives

CA-01 – Mike Thompson

Mike’s generally a pretty good guy, and there have been no groaners like the credit card/bankruptcy bill. this time around. Mike’s candidate-for-life in that district, but he does a good job representing his people, and I respect that.

CA-02 – Jim Reed

This district is so gerrymandered for Republicans it isn’t funny, but I have to applaud Reed for making a serious hard run at the execrable Wally Herger, who isn’t even bothering to campaign this time around, much less debate Reed.

CA-03 – Ami Bera

I am thrilled to see Democrats finally start to compete east of the Carquinez, and Bera is certainly giving Lungren a run for his money. As a once and possibly future denizen of the 3rd CD, I really hope Bera knocks off that right wing SoCal carpetbagger. The 80 corridor has changed, and deserves a good congressman.  

Governor – Jerry Brown

I didn’t endorse Brown in the primary because he effectively wasn’t bothering to run, and did not ask for my vote. Since then, Brown has come out and made a very strong case for himself as the right candidate for this moment in time. What seemed far-out 30 years ago turns out to be just what California needs today: energy independence and a healthy green economy, bullet trains and a next-generation infrastructure, efficiency in both energy and the functioning of the state government, and a deep love of the state for who we are, in stark contrast to his opponent, who seems to spend most of her time telling us why we’d be better off making California into Texas.

By contrast, Meg Whitman is basically a failed insider trading CEO reading Pete Wilson’s cue cards, and utterly unqualified to function as governor, both experientially and tempermentally. The choice by the CA GOP to run two abrasive, disgraced CEO-turned-amateur politicians after the state has suffered through a wicked one-two punch from corrupt incompetent CEOs compounded by an amateur millionaire-turned-vanity candidate just blows my mind.

Lt. Governor – Gavin Newsom

I’ll admit it; Lt. Governor isn’t the most interesting position, and Newsom is not my ideal candidate. And yet the Lt. Gov. sits on a bunch of commissions that determine everything from offshore drilling to UC tuition. Newsom has higher ambitions, and will be on good behavior delivering on his campaign promises to hold down tuition and not risk another Deepwater Horizon blowout off the California coast. Maldonado, similarly, has higher ambitions, and will no doubt do everything in his power to impress the usual CA GOP primary voters and fundraisers by throwing monkeywrenches in a Brown administration wherever possible. Additionally, Maldonado’s role in the annual hostage crisis that is the CA budgetary process has been to demand all manner of extortionary concessions before he finally cast his vote to pass it, months late. No way I’d vote to reward that kind of jackassery.

Attorney General – Kamala Harris

I am genuinely thrilled to vote for Harris, who by all accounts has done  an innovative, thoughtful job as DA in San Francisco, trying to prevent crime by studying what makes people re-offend and trying to disrupt that vicious cycle. For well over a generation, California has tried the “lock ’em up and throw away the key!” style of policing, and it has been an utter failure on every level (unless you’re a prison guard, in which case it’s been good for business). Additionally, Harris has vowed not to appeal prop 8, and to defend the state’s carbon trading regime against corporations trying to weasel out of paying for their pollution. Naturally, Karl Rove’s corporate-funded group is gunning for Harris with everything they’ve got, and throwing all manner of negative slogans against the wall to see if anything gets traction. Cooley, by contrast, will waste CA money defending the unconstitutional mess that was prop 8. Easy choice here.

Secretary of State – Deb Bowen

Quite possibly one of my favorite statewide politicians. Competent, progressive, and an effective advocate for the reform of California’s voting machines, Bowen has more than earned her reelection.

Treasurer – Bill Lockyear

I am not a fan of Lockyear, and still hold his endorsement of Schwarzeneggar against him. And yet he has done a good job of keeping the state bonds moving in an awful economy with a lot of speculators determined to create the false image of a California on the verge of a default bankruptcy crisis. I’m not likely to support him in any contested primary, but he’s a whole lot better a treasurer than Mimi Walters would be.

Controller – John Chiang

I really like the way Chiang stood up to the Schwarzeneggar administration’s attempts to screw state workers out of sheer spiteful malevolence, and I hope he has a long career in state politics ahead of him. Definitely earned reelection.

Insurance Commissioner – Dave Jones

I was impressed with Jones in the Democratic primary, esp. his deep knowledge of insurance policy and substantial record as a consumer rights advocate, and continue to support him for those reasons. Lord knows the Insurance corporations will eat us alive if noone’s standing up to them effectively.

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Tom Torlakson

It is beyond question that our state’s public educational system is a mess, after decades of deliberate underfunding and burdensome BS testing that robs class instruction time and fattens consultants and experts while starving teachers and programs. Who you vote for in this race depends on where you think the solution lies. If you think teachers are the problem, and that the state needs to make it easier for administrators to fire them, break their unions, and lower their pay, then you probably will want to vote for the other guy. After all, that’s the mindset of the types who are backing him.

If, though, you think that teachers are the solution, and want to give our schools better funding and treat public teachers like the treasured community servants that they are, than Torlakson is your man. As a product of the CA public school system, and as someone who has taught the kids coming out of the school system, I know the strengths and weaknesses of the status quo, and I know which side I am on. I stand with teachers and Torlakson.

Board of Equalization, district 1 – Betty Yee

She seemed nice enough, although I’ll admit I was tempted for a split second to vote for the candidate named “Borg” out of sheer Trekkie geekiness. Then I remembered that’s how the state got Arnold Schwarzeneggar, and came back to my senses.

Assembly – Mariko Yamada

Mariko did such a good job standing up for the district’s interests that she got locked out of the talks on screwing the Delta and building a peripheral canal, along with Lois Wolk. She has not only voted a solid liberal line on most stuff, but has also been there for area farmers with her votes to save Williamson Act funding, one of the few things keeping back the tide of real estate speculation on Ag Land. Deserves reelection.


Keep – Carlos Moreno, Kathleen Butz

Reject – Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Ming Chin, and especially Nicholson

No recommendation – Harry Hull

I hate the way that judicial races pose all the candidates with no political or legal information and no campaigning, and then let you vote on them. People whining about the politicization for the Judiciary miss the point – it’s already politicized. On that note, here’s my reasoning for the votes:

Moreno dissented quite beautifully to prop 8 and the various decisions to let it stand. Ming Chin OTOH argued against the decision to legalize same sex marriage, then voted to uphold prop 8 after it passed.

George Nicholson is a grade a right wing activist, who wrote the “victim’s bill of rights” and is a strong proponent of “strict originalism.”

Kathleen Butz, from her information, seemed pretty middle of the road.

As for Cantil-Sakauye, I could not find any information on her legal stances, much less political ones, and I don’t trust Schwarzeneggar further than I can throw him. Better to let the next governor appoint someone else, with more of a record.

Davis School Board

Honestly, I’m still pretty upset with the way the Valley Oak closing went, and am not inclined to vote for any of the incumbants. None are crazies, and all will probably coast to reelection. I voted for Mike Nolan, for his refreshing statement that there comes a point where schools cannot be cut beyond, and that he would go to the public and ask them what they would be willing to pay for, and then float a bond well ahead of time to pay for it. I do not buy the “People in Davis don’t have the money for schools” line, not with so many Lexuses and Mercedes parked around town. Pony up, yuppies.

Ballot Initiatives

For an explanation, vote by vote, check out this diary. In a nutshell, I endorse:

YES on 19 – Let Timmy Smoke!

NO on 20 – beware of trojan horse redistricting schemes

YES on 21 – $18 a year for free entry to state parks is a great deal

NO on 22 – the budget doesn’t need yet another complicated set of restrictions

NO on 23 – Beat Texas Oil and protect CA’s green industry

YES on 24 – repeal the last budget deal’s corporate tax giveaways

YES on 25 – majority rule on budgets

NO on 26 – trojan horse corporate polluter attempt to prevent paying fines

YES on 27 return redistricting to the majority party

originally at surf putah

Barbara Boxer In WeHo Today at 2pm For Phonebank Flashmob!

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer who is in a tightening re-election race with failed former Hewlett-Packard CEO Republican Carly Fiorina that could decide who controls the upper house of Congress will be in West Hollywood today at 2pm for a Phone Bank Flashmob.

Yesterday Fiorina was hospitalized with an infection yesterday and still has not returned to the campaign trail but the National Republican Senatorial Committee has bought another $3 million of television ads supporting her.

Boxer is a strong supporter of LGBT equality and last week released a list of LGBT community leaders supporting her (that includes MadProfessah).

With even Meg Whitman endorsing Jerry Brown for Governor, the Senate race is the most important race in the State we must focus on. Come out today to meet Boxer at 2pm at Plummer Park and make some calls to friends and family urging them to vote for Barbara Boxer today!

Previewing Senate Elections: California, Section 2

This is the last part of a series of posts analyzing competitive Senate  elections in blue states. It is the second section of two posts focusing on the greatest state in the union (otherwise known as California). The first part of the series can be found here.

Previewing Senate Elections: California,Section 1

Suburban SoCal

Southern California (SoCal, in short) is where the battle for California will be won or lost. Ms. Fiorina must accomplish two tasks in the region.

First, she must clean the clock in the suburban counties outside Los Angeles.

More below.

It is in places like Orange County, San Diego, and the Inland Empire that the votes to counter the Democratic bases in the Bay Area can be found. In the 2008 presidential election, there were one million more votes cast in the six SoCal counties above (excluding Los Angeles) than in the entire Bay Area.

This task is not too difficult. Unlike liberal NorCal, the suburbs in this region are more like the rest of the United States in their political leanings; in fact, they are probably more conservative than the median. Orange County and San Diego County are nationally known as conservative bastions (although they are not as red as in the past). Ms. Fioina probably needs to win above 60% of the vote in both counties. Historically, Republicans have often done this. The trouble is with Los Angeles.

Los Angeles

Ms. Fiorina’s second task is to run closely in Los Angeles. It is here that Republicans face their greatest challenge. Los Angeles – sprawled, extremely populous, and arguably more diverse than even the Bay Area – constitutes a Democratic stronghold. President Barack Obama ran off with 69.2% of the vote here; Senator John Kerry took 63.1%. Ms. Fiorina must reduce this Democratic margin to within the single-digits.

Previewing Senate Elections: California,Section 2

The math here is simple.  There are just not enough Republican votes in Central Valley, the Orange County-San Diego metropolis, and the Inland Empire to offset the Democratic bastions of the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Republicans must therefore break one of the two strongholds. It is impossible to do this in the Bay. So the choice must be Los Angeles.

The key are the outer, wealthier suburbs within Los Angeles county. Some are liberal Hollywood areas, typified by Congressman Henry Waxman’s 30th congressional district. Republicans probably cannot win these. Others are more conservative and even voted for Senator John McCain (see, for instance, the patches of red north of Pomona and south of Redondo Beach). Ms. Fiorina will have to expand upon this core and win places like the San Fernando Valley and Pasadena – suburbs which rarely vote Republican.


When the voting booths close and the precinct results start pouring in, look at Los Angeles County. Ms. Fiorina’s performance there will be most indicative of her overall strength. If Democrats are winning the county by double-digits, then she is in trouble. Conversely, if their margin is less than five percent – or if Republicans are winning the county – then Republicans are in good shape. A Democratic margin between five and ten percent signifies that a long night is ahead.

On a state-level basis, modeling a close Republican victory is somewhat difficult; Republican candidates haven’t won a close race for a long time in California. There is, however, a substitute that fits well:

Previewing Senate Elections: California,Section 2

These are the results of the famous Proposition 8, which passed by a 4.5% margin. On a county-by-county basis, a Fiorina victory will probably look quite similar to this. There are minor differences; the margins in Orange and San Diego Counties would probably be greater; Republicans probably wouldn’t win Los Angeles County.

Overall, however, the picture would not be too different. Heavy margins from the SoCal suburbs and Central Valley counter Democratic strength in NorCal, while a strong Republican performance in Los Angeles dilutes Democratic margins there.

There is one final complication for Republicans. California constitutes the most diverse state in the country; winning minorities is a must. The Republican Party is not very good at this, which why California is a blue state today. It must change this, if candidates like Ms. Fiorina are to win the state.

Some minorities are easier to win than others. Blacks are most loyal to the Democratic Party, but they number only 6.2% of the state’s population. While more numerous Asians and Latinos do not vote their numbers (their share in the voting electorate is slightly more than half their share of the overall population), their votes are easier to get.

Here Proposition 8 is less useful as a guide. In Los Angeles County, for instance, all of South Central voted for the proposition. Unless Republicans start winning Compton and Watts, they will have to find support from a different section of California’s majority-minorities.

Winning minorities constitutes a novel challenge to the Republican Party; until now it has drawn an ever-increasing percentage of the white vote to offset increasing numbers of minorities. This is no longer possible in places like California. If Republican candidates like Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman are to win the state, they will need to envision a new strategy.

(Note: Credit for several edited images goes to the LA Times).

–Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

California Race Chart 2010 (Part 2 of 3: Congressional Races)

Here is Part 2 of my analysis of this fall’s elections in California, which will cover the Congressional races. Part 3 will cover the state legislature.

Cross-posted at Swing State Project, Daily Kos, and Democracy for California.

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

D: Democratic

R: Republican

L: Libertarian

G: Green

AI: American Independent

PF: Peace and Freedom

SW: Socialist Workers

I: Independent

Senator:: Barbara Boxer (D) vs. ex-HP CEO Carly Fiorina (R), Duane Roberts (G), Gail Lightfoot (L), Edward Noonan (AI), Marsha Feinland (PF), James Harris (SW-W/I)

Even after Arnold decided against running, and long before “Coakley” became a verb, I expected Boxer to be in a tough fight in 2010. Fortunately, she is no slacker and knows how to run a tough campaign, hitting her opponent where it hurts (in this case, on attacking Fiorina’s praise of outsourcing and using former HP employees). She is polarizing, but fortunately the Democratic base in California is big enough for her to win even if she loses independent voters by single to low-double digits.

Outlook: Lean Boxer

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

CA-03 (Sacramento suburbs): Dan Lungren (R) vs. Dr. Ami Bera (D), Art Tuma (L), Lerry Leidecker (AI), Mike Roskey (PF)

Registration: 40.31% GOP, 37.55% DEM, 17.72% DTS, 4.42% other

Profile: This is one of the Democrats’ best chances of picking off a GOP-held seat in the House. This suburban Sacramento seat was strongly Republican early in the decade before rapidly swinging left to become an Obama-voting district in 2008, also nearly catching Lungren off-guard. Bera has outraised Lungren every quarter this cycle, and don’t be surprised to see this as one of the closest races in a GOP-held seat.

10/23/2010 Outlook: Toss-up/tilt Lungren

CA-11 (San Joaquin County and parts of East Bay): Jerry McNerney (D) vs. attorney David Harmer (R), David Christensen (AI)

Registration: 39.45% DEM, 39.00% GOP, 17.54% DTS, 4.01% Other

Profile: This was expected since the end of the last cycle to be another challenging race for McNerney, especially after Harmer won the primary. Harmer, as you may remember, made the 2009 special in the more Democratic CA-10 a 10-point race against Garamendi. Fortunately for Harmer, the 11th is much less Democratic and he now has more name recognition. Unfortunately for Harmer, the race in CA-11 will be in a general election rather than an off-year special, so turnout is guaranteed to be higher. Also, the trends in registration are more in McNerney’s favor, flipping to a Dem advantage in registration for the first time, mirroring the trend to the Dems statewide in registration.

10/23/2010 Outlook: Lean McNerney

CA-18 (Upper Central Valley): Dennis Cardoza (D) vs. agribusinessman Mike Berryhill (R)

CA-20 (Fresno, part of Bakersfield): Jim Costa (D) vs. farmer Andy Vidak (R)

CA-18 Registration: 49.85% DEM, 31.81% GOP, 14.32% DTS, 4.02% Other

CA-20 Registration: 51.45% DEM, 31.02% GOP, 12.64% DTS, 4.89% Other

Profile: Not on anybody’s radar screens until about a month ago, the Central Valley is now the source of two more competitive races, with water a hot issue here and the Republicans harping the issue nonstop. The 18th is less Democratic than the 20th, owing to the lack of a major urban center, having gone for Bush narrowly in 2004, but Cardoza is taking his tougher-than-expected reelection more seriously, so I expect Costa to have a slightly tougher reelection than Cardoza.

CA-18 10/23/2010 Outlook: Likely Cardoza

CA-20 10/23/2010 Outlook: Lean to Likely Costa

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

Registration: 43.11% GOP, 33.87% DEM, 18.38% DTS, 4.64% Other

Profile: One of the out-of-nowhere near-upsets of 2008, Hedrick is back for a rematch. Calvert is trying to avoid being caught asleep at the wheel again, and Hedrick is surprisingly lacking in the money department despite coming very close last time, so I don’t like his chances this time.

10/23/2010 Outlook: Lean to Likely Calvert

CA-45 (Most of Riverside County): Mary Bono Mack (R) vs. Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet (D), Bill Lussenheide (AI)

Registration: 41.29% GOP, 38.31% DEM, 16.17% DTS, 4.23% Other

Profile: Democrats got a top-tier recruit here in the openly gay mayor of Palm Springs. Bono Mack has taken heat for her vote against repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, even though her district has the highest proportion of gays of any Republican-held district, and Lussenheide is challenging her from the right, on some of her “insufficiently conservative” votes such as cap-and-trade. I expect Pougnet to perform better than Bornstein last time, though still come up short.

10/23/2010 Outlook: Likely Bono Mack

CA-47 (Anaheim, Santa Ana): Loretta Sanchez (D) vs. Assemblyman Van Tran (R), Ceci Iglesias (I), Gary Schank (I)

Registration: 46.90% DEM, 30.90% GOP, 18.67% DTS, 3.53% Other

Profile: Like the Central Valley Dem districts, the Orange County Dem district, which also voted for Bush like CA-18, is now a hot race after being off most radar screens until about a month ago. Sanchez didn’t help herself by the gaffe “The Vietnamese are after my seat”, which I thought was really boneheaded, considering all that she had done for them in the past. I still expect Sanchez to win, though by less than against Tan Nguyen from 2006.

10/23/2010 Outlook: Lean to Likely Sanchez

CA-48 (Central Orange County, including Irvine): John Campbell (R) vs. Irvine Councilwoman Beth Krom (D), Mike Binkley (L)

Registration: 44.41% GOP, 28.99% DEM, 22.45% DTS, 4.15% Other

Profile: Once expected to be a top-tier race, this district fell off the radar screen as the touted former mayor of Irvine Beth Krom has lagged on the money front.

10/23/2010 Outlook: Likely Campbell


CA-01 (North Coast): Mike Thompson (D)

CA-02 (Northern Sacramento Valley): Wally Herger (R)

CA-04 (Northeast, including Tahoe): Tom McClintock (R)

CA-05 (Sacramento): Doris Matsui (D)

CA-06 (Northern SF Bay): Lynn Woolsey (D)

CA-07 (Northeast SF Bay): George Miller (D)

CA-08 (San Francisco): Nancy Pelosi (D)

CA-09 (Berkeley, Oakland): Barbara Lee (D)

CA-10 (Inner East SF Bay): John Garamendi (D)

CA-12 (Lower SF Peninsula): Jackie Speier (D)

CA-13 (Southern East Bay): Pete Stark (D)

CA-14 (Silicon Valley): Anna Eshoo (D)

CA-15 (Santa Clara, Cupertino): Mike Honda (D)

CA-16 (San Jose): Zoe Lofgren (D)

CA-17 (Northern Central Coast): Sam Farr (D)

CA-19 (Yosemite, part of Fresno): Jeff Denham (R) – vacated by George Radanovich (R)

CA-21 (Tulare): Devin Nunes (R)

CA-22 (Bakersfield): Kevin McCarthy (R)

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

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

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

CA-26 (Northeastern L.A. suburbs): David Dreier (R)

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

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

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

CA-30 (Malibu, Beverly Hills): Henry Waxman (D)

CA-31 (Hollywood): Xavier Becerra (D)

CA-32 (Covina, Baldwin Park): Judy Chu (D)

CA-33 (Culver City): Karen Bass (D) – vacated by Diane Watson (D)

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

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

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

CA-37 (South Central, Long Beach): Laura Richardson (D)

CA-38 (Southeastern L.A. suburbs): Grace Napolitano (D)

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

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

CA-41 (Most of San Bernardino County): Jerry Lewis (R)

CA-42 (Chino, Brea): Gary Miller (R)

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

CA-46 (Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Palos Verdes): Dana Rohrabacher (R)

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

CA-50 (Northern San Diego suburbs): Brian Bilbray (R)

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

CA-52 (Eastern San Diego suburbs): Duncan D. Hunter (R)

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

Previewing Senate Elections: California, Section 1

This is the part of a series of posts analyzing competitive Senate elections in blue states. It will focus on California. Because California is such a big and complicated state, it will have two sections – of which this is the first. The second part can be found here.

California, Section 1

In the greatest state of the union, a fierce senatorial battle is brewing. Former HP executive Carly Fiorina is mounting a tough challenge to incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer. In an anti-Democratic national environment, polls show the race close and competitive. This post will examine the obstacles Ms. Fiorina will face as she seeks to overcome California’s formidable Democratic geography.

CA 2008

As America’s most populous state, California contains a number of distinct regions. This post, and the one following, will examine each.

More below.

Upper California and the Sierra Nevada

When people think of California, the northern forests and year-round snow of the Sierra Nevada generally do not come into mind. These regions, geographically expansive yet thinly populated, tend to vote loyally Republican (although until the 1970s Democrats had a base of support in several northeastern counties).

Not all of this region is Republican-voting, unpopulated wilderness. Exurban Placer County, for instance, contained 173,812 voters in 2008. Other parts – especially the liberal coast – tend to vote Democratic, eating into Republican strength.

Ms. Fiorina will probably need something like 70% of the vote in places like Placer County to win. Strong margins from this Republican stronghold constitute the first, easiest step to a Republican victory.

The Bay Area

In many ways, the Bay Area is what makes California a blue state. Without the Bay Area, for instance, President George W. Bush would – almost – have won California in 2004, losing by a mere 0.7%.

Previewing Senate Elections: California,Section 1

Unfortunately for Republicans, the Bay Area – one of the richest, most diverse, and most liberal places in the country – does indeed exist, and it votes strongly Democratic. A popular attack against Senator Boxer is to call her a San Francisco liberal; this generally works less well in San Francisco.

In addition, voting habits in the Bay Area tend to be “sticky.” If the rest of California moves ten points more Republican, the Bay Area will tend to move only five points right. San Francisco and Alameda counties are sometimes the last two counties standing during Republican landslides.

There is a glimmer of hope for Republicans, however. The counties surrounding San Francisco and Berkeley tend to be one degree less intense in their liberalism. Ms. Fiorina will not win them, but a well-run campaign can reduce Democratic margins somewhat.

Central Valley

Home to some of the richest farmland in America, the counties composing Central Valley once leaned Democratic but now vote Republican in all but Democratic landslides. Conservative and heavily populated – although not by California standards – Central Valley provides somewhat of a reservoir to offset the enormous Democratic margins radiating from the Bay Area.

There is, however, one important exception: Sacramento, a populous county whose Democratic leanings deny Republicans a vast store of potential votes.

In the long run, Central Valley is a ticking time bomb. Democratic-voting Latinos compose 30-50% of the population in many of these counties, and their numbers will only increase. For now Ms. Fiorina is safe – Latinos do not vote their numbers, especially in mid-terms – but future Republicans cannot take Central Valley for granted.

The Challenge of Southern California

Previewing Senate Elections: California,Section 1

It is in the urban sprawl of SoCal, however, where Republicans face their greatest challenge. Ms. Fiorina has two tasks here. The first is to win the counties outside Los Angeles, and win them big. The second is to keep Los Angeles itself within single digits.

The next post will expand upon SoCal and offer a conclusion on Republican prospects of winning California.

–Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

We’re getting the word out: Carly is bad for women, bad for California

by EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock

Fasten your seatbelts: EMILY’s List is going all out in these last two weeks before the election for Sen. Barbara Boxer, one of our strongest progressive advocates. Our WOMEN VOTE! project in California is hitting the airwaves and reaching out to women voters to spread the truth about Carly Fiorina: she’d be disastrous for women and for California.

This race is a dead heat for one reason and one reason alone: women voters don’t have the information they need about Carly Fiorina. From her courtship of the Tea Party and Sarah Palin to her catastrophic tenure at HP – and her unwillingness to make job creation a priority – Carly Fiorina’s real agenda would be devastating to women and their families in California and throughout the country.

Team EMILY, our new volunteer program, will have over 400 women making calls to potential drop-off women voters throughout California. Why? Our research makes it clear: these women voters need trusted information and explanation of why their votes matter. They need to know about Carly’s extreme agenda: repealing health care reform and taking away women’s rights to make their own health care choices.

Our effort, talking to voters and getting on TV, highlights Carly’s long record of failure: axing 33,000 jobs while at HP; shipping nearly 10,000 jobs overseas; and floating away with a $42 million golden parachute after getting fired and leaving her company in tatters. “Opera,” our hard-hitting ad that shows voters Carly’s true colors, will be airing largely in LA, including shows like Good Morning America, Access Hollywood, Judge Judy, Dancing With the Stars, Dr. Phil, Letterman, and evening news programs. Watch our spot for yourself: