links for 2010-09-28

  • With polls showing the race tied and the number of undecided voters in California rising, the two major party candidates for governor will meet tonight in the first of three debates, with the economy, jobs and spending likely to dominate.
    Jerry Brown, the Democratic nominee and state attorney general, is making a bid for an unprecedented third term; he was governor from 1975 to 1983. His Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, the billionaire former chief executive of eBay, is also trying to make history as the state’s first female governor.

    A Field Poll released last week found Mr. Brown, who at 72 would also be the state’s oldest chief executive, tied with Ms. Whitman at 41 percent. More striking, however, was the widening number of voters – some 18 percent – who said they had not yet made up their minds, an increase of 5 points from July.
    Read it all

  • U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina offered some new details Monday on what she would do to curb federal spending, including a ban on congressional earmarks, a freeze on pay raises for some federal employees and a proposal to give taxpayers the right to designate as much as 10% of their federal tax liability toward reducing the national debt.

    Reining in the growth of federal spending has been a top issue for Fiorina, who is running against Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. But she has avoided naming specific programs that she would cut or scale back — instead calling for a top-to-bottom review of each federal department to determine where cuts should be made.
    Good Luck with eliminating earmarks.

  • House and Senate Democrats are increasingly competing against one another over a small universe of deep-pocketed donors who could make a financial difference in the final stretch before the midterm elections.

    In some cases, donors report that they are being urged to fund Senate campaigns at the expense of the House, where Democrats are in danger of losing their majority.
    One House Democratic fundraiser said that some Senate operatives are telling big donors and union officials, “The House is lost; you have to save the Senate.”

    While top Senate Democrats insist they don’t use that line, some House strategists are playing their own angle. Their money pitch: House Democrats have worked overtime to pass President Barack Obama’s sweeping agenda, parts of which have been stymied in the intractable Senate.

    The Democrat Civil War over donors. Love it!

    (tags: democrats)
  • California, the novelist Wallace Stegner famously wrote, is like the rest of America, only more so—meaning that wherever the country is headed, the Golden State is probably there already. So the state's ObamaCare advance planning deserves closer scrutiny, given that it mirrors the regulatory and ideological model that the White House favors for everyone else.

    In a matter of days, California will set a precedent for the future of the U.S. individual and small-business insurance markets via ObamaCare's "exchanges," where people will purchase coverage at heavily subsidized rates. The exchanges don't start up until 2014, but the states were given wide bureaucratic latitude in how they're run, and Sacramento is using this flexibility to convert them into a pretext for imposing de facto price controls on the insurance industry.
    Read it all

    (tags: Obamacare)