Tag Archives: Robert Salladay

Robert Salladay says Good Bye Cruel World

While some people mistakenly think the blogs are to newspapers as Craigslist was to classifieds — that thinking is totally wrong. The blogs thrive on news, we are all news junkies, and all of us have favorite reporters. One of my favorites (of many) was Bob Salladay. While I wish him the best of luck, I’m sorry to see this.

And most of you other reporters who don’t write “America’s (cough) Finest Blog” have plenty of fans. And we’ll miss you if you leave. I wish there were an easy answer to save the papers as my retirement strategy involves me, a porch, coffee and all the papers. I was hoping (then old man) Salladay would be part of my plan, but woe is me.

UPDATE by Brian: Hey Bob! You know you are welcome to post here anytime. You don’t even have to write all that good libruhl stuff that we normally spout here. There’ll be a user account waitin’ for ya!

Ellen Tauscher Most Offensive

Todd Beeton alerted us to this earlier, but the new Working for Us PAC just fundamentally upended the conventional wisdom about Ellen Tauscher and her 2008 primary campaign.

This is not “cocky bloggers” who are “getting too big for their pixels”. Steve Rosenthal, Anna Burger, Eli Pariser, Linda Lipsen, Kos — the list of those involved amounts to an impressive breadth and depth of a coalition. These “top Democrats” targeting is a clear sign they “share the bloggers’ hostility” towards Ellen Tauscher.

Join me after the flip where I’ll take a look at how this has changed the money race, candidate recruitment, field, and communication.

The Money Race  It is now likely that Ellen Tauscher will be the financial underdog in her primary campaign. Since bloggers started targeting her, it has become apparent to everyone that she has lost her ability to cut deals across the aisle, which dries up her corporate PAC support. In fact, considering Tauscher’s long-standing feud with Nancy Pelosi, the smart business PACs will contribute to her opponent and kiss up to the Speaker. And Tauscher’s New Dems didn’t raise much last year even with PAC support.

In 1996, Tauscher spend $1.7 million to buy her seat, but she lost that ability following her divorce. In short, Tauscher has lost access to the two main sources of support that have been there for her in the past.

But her opponent will be able to raise huge money online with DailyKos and Moveon and receive a great many checks from the trial lawyers. We’re talking millions.

Even more important is that there will be more than enough easy money to free the challenger from the phone to go out and campaign while Tauscher is begging for donations.

Candidate Recruitment  What potential candidates want to hear are things like, “courageous primary challengers will have immediate, substantive, significant support.” Removing viability concerns means that we no longer need to find a self-funding candidate, we are free to find the best candidate. And with the emerging time-frame, there is no rush.

Primary campaigns are like recalls, the first question is whether the incumbent should be retired followed by a traditional comparison race.

It makes sense for a challenger to announce early in the quarter to be able to report good fundraising numbers out of the gate. Nobody wants to announce in the summer. That leaves early April or early October. The former turns this into a marathon and we can do better in a sprint. To make a long story short, the smart move isn’t until at least the first week in October (setting up a sprint 2 months longer than Lamont).

Until then, it will only be about Tauscher. Not about her compared to somebody else, but about what she is doing.

And now, there is a perfect vehicle to advance the debate on the first question. Working for Us probably has 9 months to keep the focus squarely on Tauscher while organizing the district and raising an army.

Field  One huge potential for a challenger is the ability to leverage the entire Bay Area and deploy activists via the 6 different BART stations stretched across Tauscher’s district.

With Moveon and Kos working in tandem to electronically mobilize their tens of thousands Bay Area supporters the online potential for offline volunteering is enormous and scalable. The unions have impressive infrastructure in place and taken together there is an army waiting for walk kits and phone lists.

Communication  Frank Russo has a great read on the democratizing of ideas that this race is triggering. Tauscher’s opponent is going to have real-time message capability across the blogosphere.

Voice in traditional media are going to be held to account — publicly. This is now the number one primary race in the country and online fact checking is going to keep the discussion in the reality-based world.

And newspapers aren’t just going to follow this in print, they are going to do it online. Already, this story has been blogged on by Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Robert Salladay and Josh Richman

As a proxie battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, this race is going to be exciting and the coverage will be expansive and in-depth. Political junkies should be delighted. As should Democrats in California’s 10th congressional district because you are going to have a choice.

If you are into campaigns and elections, Ellen Tauscher is certainly one to watch.

Lordy, Help Us From The Cynicism of Robert Salladay

LA Times journo Robert Salladay picks up the story of progressive bloggers running for CDP elections, in particular me, and says “Lordy, help us.”

And then this:

Don’t expect a revolution or a leftward shift for the party. The establishment is too organized to let that happen.

I’m sure that’s what the CDP thinks as well.  Of course, the only way movements begin and catch fire is from the bottom up.  You don’t just get to be party chair first.

Kind of hilarious, all the tut-tutting from the establishment (and media figures like this are a part of it).  All I have to say is “we’ll see.”  By the way, check the Secretary of State’s office is you don’t think a leftward shift is possible.

On the Electorate and Robert Salladay

( – promoted by SFBrianCL)

PPIC came out with an interesting study of the electorate yesterday.  It’s really rather interesting, and somewhat depressing for progressives in this state. A quick summary: whites are rapidly becoming a reducing minority in the population as a whole, but will maintain their voting majority for some years to come.  Why? Because minorities have been negligent in exercising their voting priviliges.  Frank has a great post at CPR:

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has released a report today based on interviews with thousands of our state’s residents—voting and nonvoting adults—which shows that if nonvoters made their voices heard at the ballot box, political realities that are taken for given and policies that appear to be set in stone would change by 180 degrees.

California would provide more services and pay higher taxes. Nonvoters prefer higher taxes with more services to lower taxes and fewer services 66% to 26%, but likely voters are in favor only 49 to 44%.

Even Proposition 13, limiting property taxes, might be changed—or at least a dialogue started. Nonvoters think this has been a bad policy by 47 to 29%, but likely voters think it has been good by 56 to 33%. CPR 9/13/06

Now, these are all interesting remarks.  Robert Salladay, at the LA Times Blog Political Muscle posted about it too.  However, Bob got a little sloppy with his wording:

Some good news for pessimists today: California is headed toward a political system dominated by a white minority which votes and sets public policy at the ballot box, while Latinos and other ethnic groups that make up the majority of California’s population sit on the sidelines.(Political Muscle 9/14/06)

You see, that’s some sloppy blogging right there. And Kos called him out on it  in one of his famous fly-by one liners. That’s some language that would have gotten filtered out in your typical LA Times editorial process.  But he left all that behind.  Now, he’s just blogging, and he’s learning that it’s not so easy after all.  If you read the sentence a couple of times, it’s not really racist.  Rather, he’s saying it’s really a bad thing.  I.e., good news for pessimists: you got some bad news.

So, no I don’t think Bob Salladay was trying to be racist, but he’ll learn that he’ll have to be his own editor now.