Tag Archives: AD-26

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-04, CA-11, CA-46, AD-26, AD-30

Here are some things happening around the state:

• CA-04: The most important debate evah is tonight!  No, not that Biden-Palin thing, it’s Calitics Match candidate Charlie Brown and Tom McClintock in Oroville.    Meanwhile, the air war has begun in earnest.  Brown is up with a 60-second ad featuring a local family as a third-party endorser, explaining their struggles to stay ahead in this economy and how Brown is the right choice.  I think it’ll play well (Brown has an American Jobs Plan which includes investments in infrastructure and green jobs, which is key to the needed reindustrialization of society).  On the other hand, Tom McClintock has decided to use Grandpa Fred.

“The financial crisis our nation faces is complicated, and I don’t think anybody’s got all the answers,” Thompson, a well-known actor and former U.S. senator from Tennessee, says in the commercial. “But I’ll tell you one thing. I’ll feel a lot more confident with Tom McClintock working on it, rather than some amateur.”

Shorter Grandpa Fred: “All this book-learnin’ and financializin’ is hard to figger.  Pick the guy who’s never voted Yes on a budget in his entire career.”

• CA-11: If you want to know why Dean Andal isn’t getting any traction in his race against Rep. Jerry McNerney, this quote says it all:

Elected in 2006, McNerney is in a better position for reelection than many expected. But he sits in a district that gave President Bush 54 percent of the vote in 2004, a sure sign that the freshman Democrat ought to be looking over his shoulder.

His Republican opponent, former state Assemblyman Dean Andal, may not be in a position to capitalize, though. The Lodi News-Sentinel reported that an Andal spokesman took the curious position that “it would be inappropriate of Andal to comment on the bailout bill, because he is not in office.”

Yes, it would be terrible to actually give your viewpoints on national issues during a political campaign.

• CA-46: You know that Calitics Match candidate Debbie Cook is gaining traction in her race against nutjob Dana Rohrabacher by this – Rohrabacher has gone negative.  He’s sent an attack mailer that takes a Cook comment about gas prices out of context and really goes to great lengths to greenwash himself.  He mentions his sponsorship of a bill to completely eliminate environmental review for solar projects, which is irresponsible but which he is trying to cynically use as proof of his green energy bona fides.  It also calls Cook an extremist liberal who opposes drilling.

What’s hysterical is that Rohrabacher sent the mailer to everyone in the district but Democrats, meaning that Greens got it.  And I’m told by the Cook campaign that they received numerous calls from Green Party members saying that they were voting for Debbie BECAUSE of the mailer!

In other news, Rohrabacher is certifiably crazy.

According to a September 25, 2008, Pasadena Weekly article by Carl Kozlowski, Rohrabacher believes that the Los Angeles Police Department has for 40 years hidden the fact that Sirhan Sirhan, the lone man convicted of shooting Kennedy, worked as part of a “real conspiracy” of Arabs […]

In early 2007–39 years after the killing and right around the time that he blamed global warming on dinosaur flatulence, Rohrabacher decided to solve his murder mystery for “the Kennedy family.”

Anyone familiar with Rohrabacher knows this story is now headed for unadulterated, wacky bliss.

At some point, Sirhan sent Summer Reese, one of his lawyers, a letter telling her that “a Diana was coming to see him.”

Reese told Kozlowski, “Sirhan didn’t know it was the congressman because his visitor was presented as a woman.”

Rohrabacher. Undercover. In drag. Using the name Diana?

Perhaps this sheds light on why ex-Congressman Bob Dornan (R-Garden Grove) liked to call Rohrabacher “a fruitcake.”

I actually know Carl, maybe I’ll track him down and interview him about this.

• AD-26: I’ve noticed a lot of Republicans afraid to debate this year.  Here’s another example.

Stretching from Turlock to Stocton, the 26th Assembly District is fairly even in voter registration and is a target on both party’s lists. So why would one candidate take a pass on a critical opportunity to face his opponent and make his case to voters? That is the question being asked by Democratic candidate John Eisenhut who was at a League of Women Voters debate in Modesto Friday night. His Republican opponent, Bill Berryhill, had a “scheduling conflict.”

In a conversation with Eisenhut the night after the debate he said that Berryhill didn’t want to debate him. This in spite of Berryhill being quoted by the Modesto Bee saying,

“People deserve some dialogue and to know where we both stand.”

• AD-30: Fran Florez runs against Sacramento  in this solid new ad.  Is she also running against her own son, State Sen. Dean Florez?

AD-10, AD-15, AD-26: Is Republican “slamming” affecting three close races in San Joaquin County?

By Randy Bayne

Bayne of Blog

Recordnet.com is reporting:

Swing State Project, a Democratic-leaning online blog covering election races nationwide, recently identified three California Assembly races to watch – all involving portions of San Joaquin County – and calling them all toss-ups at this point.

In AD-10 they site the near equal registration numbers – a 2.04% difference, advantage Republicans – that have close from 6% since the 2006 primary election. The difference was only 1.97% in May but odd numbers from San Joaquin County skewed the 60-day report.

In AD-15 nothing is certain, but it looks like Joan Buchanan should come out on top. Still, this is one to watch and could be close.

In AD-26 there is a 1% Democratic advantage and the election should be a close one for John Eisenhut. The Republicans have a strong candidate with a known family name — Berryhill.

Each of these districts share something in common. All three include a portion of San Joaquin County. Why is this important? In spite of the rapid rise in Democratic registration throughout California, San Joaquin is the only county in any of these districts to experienced a drop in registration. As a matter of fact, about 4,000 voters, 3,700 of them Democratic, have dropped off the San Joaquin rolls since May, 2008.

Comparing reports on the Secretary of State’s Website, it was found that Republicans managed to increase registrations in San Joaquin County between May and September adding about 1,800 new voters. Over the same period, Democrats lost nearly 3,700, very close to the 4,000 total decrease county wide. Something doesn’t smell right, and it isn’t rotting fish in a drying delta.

With reports of “slamming” coming out of San Bernardino County, the CDP needs to get on this quickly. CA Democratic Party Region 7 Directory Gary Robbins and San Joaquin Co. Central Committee Chair Richard Blackston have already been informed, and San Joaquin should be added to the already started investigation.

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.

California Race Chart (Part 2 of 3: House/State Legislature Races A)

Here is Part 2 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 Northern and Central California. Part 3 tomorrow will cover the races in Southern California.

Here is the link to Part 1, which covered the presidential race and the 12 ballot measures: 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-01 (North Coast): Thompson (D)

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

CA-03 (Sacramento suburbs): Lungren (R)

CA-05 (Sacramento): Matsui (D)

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

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

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

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

CA-10 (Inner East SF Bay): Tauscher (D)

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

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

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

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

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

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

CA-18 (Upper Central Valley): Cardoza (D) – unopposed

CA-19 (Yosemite, part of Fresno): Radanovich (R) – unopposed

CA-20 (Fresno, part of Bakersfield): Costa (D)

CA-21 (Tulare): Nunes (R)

Now for the races to watch:

CA-04 (Northeast, including Tahoe): Tom McClintock (R) vs. Charlie Brown (D), Paul Netto (L) – vacated by John Doolittle (R)

Registration: R+16.00%

Profile: As a lot of people already know by now, there is a high-profile battle going on here to replace the disgraced John Do-Little (R). Fighting Democrat Charlie Brown came within a few percentage points of knocking off Do-Little in 2006 and is back again, this time facing carpetbagger Tom McClintock, whose State Senate district is 400 miles away from the 4th. In such a strongly Republican district, especially in a Presidential year, one would normally give the Republican a leg up, but Charlie has been doing fantastically, maintaining a huge cash advantage over McClintock, and polls have shown him competitive.

9/18/2008 Outlook: Toss-Up

CA-11 (San Joaquin County and parts of East Bay): Jerry McNerney (D) vs. Dean Andal (R)

Registration: R+2.41%

Profile: This was a pickup for us in the House in 2006, and the GOP hoped to make it one of their highest priorities, pinning their hopes on Andal. Well, now it looks like those hopes have fizzled. Andal is now in hot water over negotiations for a new San Joaquin Delta College campus ( http://www.capitolweekly.net/a… ), and the claims are coming from evil liberals registered Republican and former Andal supporter Ted Simas, a SJDC board member. The NRCC has also pulled funding from the district, meaning that we can breathe a little easier here and devote funds to CA-04 and elsewhere.

9/18/2008 Outlook: Lean McNerney

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


SD-01 (Northeast, including Tahoe and Mother Lode): Dave Cox (R)

SD-03 (North Bay, part of San Francisco): Mark Leno (D) – vacated by Carole Migden (D)

SD-05 (Sacramento River Delta): Lois Wolk (D) – vacated by Michael Machado (D)

SD-07 (Most of Contra Costa County): Mark DeSaulnier (D) – vacated by Tom Torlakson (D)

SD-09 (Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond): Loni Hancock (D) – vacated by Don Perata (D)

SD-11 (Silicon Valley, most of Santa Cruz County): Joe Simitian (D)

SD-13 (Most of Santa Clara County including San Jose): Elaine Alquist (D)

SD-15 (Central Coast, part of Santa Clara County): Abel Maldonado (R)

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

AD-01 (North Coast): Wesley Chesbro (D) – vacated by Patty Berg (D)

AD-02 (Sacramento Valley): Jim Nielsen (R) – vacated by Doug LaMalfa (R)

AD-03 (Northeast): Dan Logue (R) – vacated by Rick Keene (R)

AD-04 (Tahoe): Ted Gaines (R) – unopposed

AD-05 (Northern Sacramento suburbs): Roger Niello (R)

AD-06 (North Bay): Jared Huffman (D)

AD-07 (Napa Valley): Noreen Evans (D)

AD-08 (Sacramento River Delta): Mariko Yamada (D) – vacated by Lois Wolk (D)

AD-09 (Sacramento): Dave Jones (D)

AD-11 (Northern Contra Costa County): Tom Torlakson (D) – vacated by Mark DeSaulnier (D)

AD-12 (Western San Francisco): Fiona Ma (D)

AD-13 (Eastern San Francisco): Tom Ammiano (D) – vacated by Mark Leno (D)

AD-14 (Berkeley, Richmond): Nancy Skinner (D) – unopposed – vacated by Loni Hancock (D)

AD-16 (Oakland): Sandré Swanson (D)

AD-17 (Stockton, Merced): Cathleen Galgiani (D)

AD-18 (Eastern Oakland suburbs): Mary Hayashi (D)

AD-19 (Most of San Mateo County): Gerald Hill (D) – vacated by Gene Mullin (D)

AD-20 (Southern East Bay): Alberto Torrico (D)

AD-21 (Silicon Valley): Ira Ruskin (D)

AD-22 (Western San Jose): Paul Fong (D) – vacated by Sally Lieber (D)

AD-23 (Downtown San Jose): Joe Coto (D)

AD-24 (Southern San Jose): Jim Beall (D)

AD-25 (Mother Lode, Yosemite): Tom Berryhill (R)

AD-27 (Northern Central Coast): Bill Monning (D) – vacated by John Laird (D)

AD-28 (Inner Central Coast region): Anna Caballero – unopposed

AD-29 (Eastern Fresno): Michael Villines (R)

AD-31 (Western Fresno): Juan Arambula (D)

AD-32 (Bakersfield): Jean Fuller (R)

AD-33 (Part of southern Central Coast): Sam Blakeslee (R)

AD-34 (Big Empty): Connie Conway (R) – vacated by Bill Maze (R)

Now, for the races to watch:

AD-10 (Eastern Sacramento suburbs): Jack Sieglock (R) vs. Alyson Huber (D), Janice Bonser (L) – vacated by Alan Nakanishi (R)

Registration: R+1.97%

Profile: You know you’re in trouble when the interior voice of your own party is voicing great concern over a seat, in this case, the California Yacht Republican Party’s voice Jon Fleischman being concerned over the 10th Assembly district ( https://calitics.com/showDiary…. ). What was once a 6% Republican advantage in registration has shrunk to a 2% advantage, and Sieglock had a much tougher time in the primary than Huber. If we have a really good GOTV, we can count on wins here and elsewhere to put us at 2/3!

9/18/2008 Outlook: Toss-Up

AD-15 (Inner East Bay): Abram Wilson (R) vs. Joan Buchanan (D) – vacated by Guy Houston (R)

Registration: D+1.31%

Profile: Like the 10th, the Republican candidate in this one survived a really tough primary while the Democrat cruised through and is sitting pretty on a comfortable cash advantage. With a well-oiled turnout machine, we can win here, and if we do, we will shut out Republicans in every legislative seat in the Bay Area! A recent poll has Buchanan in the lead.

9/18/2008 Outlook: Lean Buchanan

AD-26 (Stockton, Modesto): Bill Berryhill (R) vs. John Eisenhut (D) – vacated by Greg Aghazarian (R)

Registration: D+1.99%

Profile: While this district has trended blue also, it will be a bit more competitive for us than the 10th and 15th. Eisenhut is a local almond farmer and fits the district well, while Berryhill is counting on name ID from his brother Tom in the neighboring 25th district and his father, who represented this area in the state legislature in the 1960s, to win.

9/18/2008 Outlook: Toss-Up

AD-30 (Southern San Joaquin Valley): Fran Florez (D) vs. Danny Gilmore (R) – vacated by Nicole Parra (D)

Registration: D+9.15%

Profile: Normally this district is not competitive, but the polarizing Yacht Dog Parra made the past 3 elections in this district closer than they should have been. Fortunately, she’s on her way out, and Shafter Mayor Fran Florez, Sen. Dean Florez’s mother, looks to be in a comfortable position to keep this seat in our column. The fact that voters in the Central Valley are fleeing the GOP ( http://www.istockanalyst.com/a… ) further adds to Florez’s advantage.

9/18/2008 Outlook: Likely Florez

Well, that’s it for the NorCal and CenCal races. Tomorrow, look for an analysis of the SoCal races, as well as a summary of the races we need to zero in on to win this fall.

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.