Tag Archives: Cruz Bustamante

How’s That Cruz Bustamante Pick Look Right About Now?

The greatest concern in the post-wildfire landscape of California is the insurance situation.  Obviously there are going to be thousands of claims, and how the insurance companies handle them will deserve great scrutiny.  John Garamendi, the former Insurance Commissioner and current Lieutenant Governor who has been all over the media this week (building a profile for an attempted 2010 Governor’s run – hint hint), has talked a lot about the insurance industry’s desire to limit payouts to their customers after the 2003 Cedar Fire.

LT. GOV. GARAMENDI: The first commandment of the insurance industry is, “Thou shalt pay as little, as late, as possible.” And then you get the reward. You go to financial heaven if you can carry out that commandment.

BRANCACCIO: California lieutenant governor John Garamendi, a democrat, served twice as the state’s insurance commissioner. A total of eight years battling with the industry over the many ways he says it tries to avoid high payouts where there’s been a total loss.

LT. GOV. GARAMENDI: I’m telling you, the insurance industry, prior to the fire and probably even to this day, is purposely misleading their customers.

Garamendi was actually pretty relentless in forcing insurers to honor their commitments.  Now we have a Republican in the Insurance Commissioner’s position.  While Sara Nichols wants Steve Poizner to honor his supposed environmental credentials, I’m worried that he will let too many insurers off the hook.  Plus, with fires wrecking the landscape around homes and making them more vulnerable to mudslides, the ability of those homeowners to get insurance for those potential disasters is a major concern.

All of this is mad possible by the revolving-door manner in which top Democrats have shuffled statewide positions in recent years, leaving us with maybe the worst Democratic candidate possible for Insurance Commissioner in 2006, Cruz Bustamante.  He was crushed, not only because Poizner outspent him, but because he was a horrible, ethically compromised candidate.  But Insurance Commissioner was available to him, so that’s were he went.  This musical chairs in these top seats ends up having a major impact in times like this.

CA-Ticket: Help support Democrats over Greens in California

(Unfortunately, the two-party system dominates. A Green pulling votes could hand the election to a scary conservative, such as McClintock. – promoted by SFBrianCL)

So, we are holding a press conference tomorrow morning with Rep. Barbara Lee (D, CA-09).  We are going to highlight the importance of supporting the Democrat in a close race where a Green is running.

Especially when that Democrat has a Progressive message and agenda, such as John Garamendi and Debra Bowen.

This is late notice, but I wanted to get the message out.  We would like there to be as big a show of support as we can get.  Unfortunately, it is being held during business hours, so that will be a challenge.  It is being held at 9:30 tomorrow morning, but if you can make it please try and be there at 9:00AM to help set up.

The location is in Richmond, CA at 3431 D Macdonald Ave (at 35th).  This is our West Contra Costa County UDC campaign HQ.

Press release on the flip…

CONTACT:  Bonnie Jean von Krogh
November 1, 2006
(510) 594-0224 (W); 415-336-6176 (C)


(Richmond, CA) – Congresswoman Barbara Lee is joining with Mayor Irma Anderson to call on Richmond Mayoral candidate and Green Party member Gayle McLaughlin to publicly announce her support for the Democratic candidates for statewide office. McLaughlin has endorsed against Democratic statewide candidates.

“Four races in California are close enough that progressive support for Greens over Democrats could make Richmond the Florida of the 2006 election,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Polling shows that four statewide races could be within the margin of error.  All four races have a Green Party candidate.
.    Lieutenant Governor between Democrat John Garamendi and Republican Tom McClintock
.    Secretary of State between Democrat Debra Bowen and Republican Bruce McPherson
.    Controller between Democrat John Chiang and Republican Tony Strickland
.    Insurance Commissioner between Democrat Cruz Bustamante and Republican Steve Poizner

WHAT: Barbara Lee, Irma Anderson & Contra Costa County Democratic Party leaders call on Gayle McLaughlin to endorse Democrats for statewide office
WHEN: Thursday, November 2nd, 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: West County Democrat/Irma Anderson Headquarters

3431 D Macdonald Avenue (at 35th)
WHO: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Mayor Irma Anderson, Democratic Party Executive Boardmember Gabriel Baty, and Community Advocates

CA-InsComm: SF Chronicle Debate

Steve Poizner and Cruz Bustamante will be “debating” for the SF Chronicle’s endorsement.  The event will be streamed live on CBS5.com today at 2PM.

Should be an interesting one.  Maybe they will ask Poizner about the glass houses built from insurance money.

UPDATE: Oops, forgot to point out the Controller Debate here.  John Chiang “won” by being better on the issues, IMHO.  The debate was quite civil, pleasant even.  My kind of debate.

CA-Gov + Down-ballot Races: Don’t Knows Dominating

LA Times has released their down-ballot polling data:.

Attorney General: 51% Brown (D), 34% Poochigian (R), 3% Other, 12% Don’t Know
Treasurer: 50% Lockyer (D) 26% Parrish (R) 3% Other, 21% Don’t Know
Insurance Commissioner: 43% Bustamante (D) 38% Poizner (R) 4% Other 15% Don’t Know
Lieutenant Governor: 42% McClintock (R) 41% Garamendi (D) 3% Other, 14% Don’t Know
Controller: 36% Chiang (D) 30% Strickland (R) 3% Other, 31% Don’t Know
Secretary of State: 35% Bowen (D) 33% McPherson (R) 3% Other, 29% Don’t Know

I see this as pretty good news.  In most of the races there is a strong don’t know category.  Most of the state’s independent voters will typically break for the Democrat.  So, a tied poll is probably a good thing for the Democrat.  McClintock, who has a one point lead, is ahead based on name recognition from the Recall.  I’m guessing 42% is pretty much his ceiling.  He’s pretty darn conservative, too conservative for this state.

Now, I’m not totally in love with the LA Times polls, they seem to poll to the right.  For example, the 13 point lead for Westly in the primary was an LA Times poll.  Their track record ain’t so hot. 

One other point, the Times also came out with their governor’s poll.  It has a 17-point lead for Arnold at 50-33.  As I said, this polls to the Right. But quite frankly 33% is a wildly low number for a Democrat in this state, even an unpopular Dem.  However, if Angelides doesn’t pick up some steam soon, there is a bit of a danger of turnout hurting Dem candidates.

CA-InsComm: An Opening for Poizner, and that’s not a good thing

UPDATE: Oops! I got the District right, but the candidate wrong.  It was the 21stAD, but that’s Ira Ruskin’s seat, not Sally Lieber, who is in the 22nd AD. Ruskin beat Poizner in 2004.  Also, apparently Cruz has recently launched a new site: joincruz.com

Cruz Bustamante! Start With Cruz! Are you excited yet?  No? Well, that’s a problem.  Why? Because Steve Poizner is an up-and-comer in the world of California politics.  When he lost his race for the 21st AD, it was just the beginning.  He was willing to invest a boatload of money to be competitive in that heavily Democratic District.  Ira Ruskin won that race, but she had to really work for it.  That’s something of a surprise in that seat.

You see, Cruz Bustamante isn’t running much of a campaign.  It’s not that he’s been mired in scandal or something like that. No, he’s just literally not running a campaign.  Have you seen him campaign? It’s like seeing Loch Nessie. Grab a picture, it’s sure to be worth something. Have you seen his website? Well, yes, I guess I do mean Start With Cruz.  Yup, that’s his only presence on the web.  And cruzbustamante.com? Well, that links to Political Asylum, a liberal blog.  So, no real-world campaigning, no online campaigning…Sheesh.  That’s a doozy of a campaign, huh?

Well, my concern here isn’t really over the IC position itself.  Not that I don’t care about that position.  It’s just that Poizner doesn’t really need a platform to launch himself. He’s essentially the GOP answer to Steve Westly.  He’s a Silicon Valley businessman with loads of cash to spend on his campaigns and a seemingly moderate.  He’d be the strongest GOP candidate for the governor in 2010 if he won this race.  Now, it would be difficult for him to win the statewide primary against somebody like McClintock, but an unchallenged Poizner would be a formidable challenge, even for a powerhouse like Villaraigosa.

However, we don’t really want this job landing in Poizner’s hands for reasons of the job itself.  As numerous people have commented here, it’d be a little like the fox guarding the hen house? How can we trust a corporate-leaning conservative to protect the interests of ordinary Californians in relation to Big Insurance?  This job is meant to protect us, not the insurance companies.

So, Cruz…let’s start already.

Statewide Money Report…A Bit Late

So, on the flip you’ll see a table of money information from the statewide candidates from the July 31 FPPC Reports.  I meant to publish this a lot sooner, but well, it never happened. Until now.

A few questions from the data. 1) What the hell does Bill Lockyer plan to do with $10 million for his treasurer’s race?  First of all the race is entirely uncompetitive, and second it’s a treasurer’s race.  I know most of this was raised when people thought he was going to run for governor, but what the hell is going to happen with that money now?

2) Is Cruz going to survive?  Poizner has a big money lead, can self-finance, and Cruz has yet to attempt a campaign.  Given the fact that he’s not really popular amongst Dems after that Recall stunt he pulled, is he in serious trouble?  The Field Poll had him up by four points, but Poizner’s got only 15% name recognition, something he will change with all that cash he’s got.  Cruz also has a 43%  unfavorable and a net fav/unfav of -5.  Unless Cruz actually mounts a campaign once Labor Day hits, it looks like we may have a GOP I.C. Ick!

Candidate Party Q2 Contrib Q2 Expend Q2 EOQ Cash
Phil Angelides D $5,097,575.65 $7,426,086.85 $725,995.02
Peter Camejo G No Campaign Filings
Arnold Schwarzenegger R $4,273,008.33 $9,829,793.35 $4,073,110.54
Lt. Governor
John Garamendi D $590,338.00 $541,377.53 $408,238.39
Tom McClintock R $385,362.43 $103,755.40 $1,509,335.06
Sec. of State
Debra Bowen D $100,533.02 $81,410.77 $180,216.26
Bruce McPherson R $147,372.40 $60,577.37 $708,843.09
John Chiang D $151,759.48 $209,209.84 $116,555.05
Tony Strickland R $233,958.00 $278,940.56 $160,817.90
Bill Lockyer D $91,076.60 $114,028.12 $10,515,440.71
Claude Parrish R $22,034.44 $39,259.12 $205,709.87
Attorney General
Jerry Brown D $981,743.17 $413,329.30 $5,206,568.65
Chuck Poochigian R $543,438.80 $227,480.77 $3,595,714.43
Insurance Comm.
Cruz Bustamante D $249,968.03 $223,184.25 $387,988.17
Steve Poizner R $309,055.42 $556,532.02 $2,431,062.11

Down Ballot Field Poll: Good News for Dems

The down-ballot Field Poll came out this morning, with pretty good, although unsuprising news for Democrats in statewide races. All 6 down ballot Dems are leading, and only SoS and Insurance Commissioner are really close right now.

However, these numbers should be taken with more than just a grain of salt. As shown in the table below, many voters have no opinion of either or both candidates. So much of this poll is really based on mere party affiliation. I suppose that it’s good to know that a D in a statwide race of unknowns still stakes you to a lead.

See the flip for the full table of information from the Field Poll. I’ll also put this in the extended of the Poll HQ.

Candidate Field Poll 8/1/06

Lt. Governor

Poll Support Favorable Unfavorable No Opinion
John Garamendi (D) 48 46 17 37
Tom McClintock (R) 38 40 17 43

Attorney General

Poll Support Favorable Unfavorable No Opinion
Jerry Brown (D) 54 45 36 19
Chuck Poochigian (R) 33 9 7 84

Secretary of State

Poll Support Favorable Unfavorable No Opinion
Debra Bown (D) 38 10 6 84
Bruce McPhereson (R) 35 19 9 72


Poll Support Favorable Unfavorable No Opinion
Bill Lockyer (D) 52 43 16 41
Claude Parrish (R) 27 9 5 86


Poll Support Favorable Unfavorable No Opinion
John Chiang (D) 38 13 5 82
Tony Strickland (R) 27 11 8 81

Insurance Commissioner

Poll Support Favorable Unfavorable No Opinion
Cruz Bustamante (D) 43 38 43 19
Steve Poizner (R) 39 7 8 85

The Statewide Winners and Also-Rans

Well, the election last night had its ups and downs, but I think overall, it was an exciting night.  The Democratic voters elected a strong slate heading into the general election.  We’ll take them one by one.


Phil AngelidesPhil Angelides has officially claimed victory over Steve Westly. ( KGO7 has the victory speech video.) The campaign was mired in muck, but Angelides was ultimately able to emerge. I would have appreciated a clean campaign, but now the focus needs to shift to Schwarzenegger.  He’s already started his campaign, so we need to redouble our efforts and ensure that we can proudly claim Governor Angelides in the fall.

Lt. Governor

This was something of a nailbiter early, but John Garamendi’s lead grew throughout the night. I sincerely hope Jackie Speier will be back on the statewide stage.  I think throughout the campaign she looked like something of a rising star.  Garamendi was helped along by his allegations of improper insurance company harassment.  Garamendi will be taking on Tom McClintock, and you can’t help but be pretty confident about our chances there.  The California GOP does pretty poorly when they choose their idealogues, and Garamendi will continue that trend in November.

Secretary of State

This one wasn’t really that close.  I think ultimately it looked more like Debra Bowen ran a more focused campaign.  She primarily stuck to the issues that are important to the SOS position.  Deborah Ortiz’s campaign never really got any momentum.  Bowen has a formidable challenge in the primary in the person of incumbent, but unelected, Bruce McPherson, a so-called moderate.  Bowen has been campaigning on the issues of voting machines, and knows the issues.  This could be an important race, so keep an eye out for it.  It will likely fly below the radar for a while.


John Chiang and Joe Dunn ran fairly clean campaigns, and for that I am thankful.  Hopefully Dunn will be back, I think he has a lot to offer the state in terms of electability and vision.  Chiang will take on Tony Strickland, a corrupt GOP former assemblyman and leader of the Norquist-inspired California Club for Growth.  Thank you GOP for not nominating the more electable candidate, Abel Maldanado.


Current AG Bill Lockyer ran unopposed.  He will face anti-tax loon and BOE Member Claude Parrish.  Once again, thank you GOP for not nominating the more electable candidate, Keith Richman.

Attorney General

Jerry Brown won solidly, mostly based upon his name recognition.  Rocky Delgadillo ran a good campaign, but he just ran head-on to a popular former governor.  Again, I hope Rocky will be back.  I think he has a lot to offer the state.  Chuck Poochigian will be hard-pressed to seriously challenge Brown.

Insurance Commissioner

Current Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante easily defeated Kraft foods heir John Kraft.  The general will be an interesting race against wealthy businessman Steve Poizner.