Flap’s California Morning Collection: June 21, 2011

Posted Posted in Bud Selig, California, Dianne Feinstein, Flap's California Morning Collection, Frank McCourt, Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Marathon

A morning collection of links and comments about my home, California.

The buzz in the Capitol today is that long time Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is not polling well in the latest California Field Poll. In fact, her numbers are the lowest for her since 1992. If any pundit really thinks DiFi is vulnerable, I will refer them to Carly Fiorina who was the last Republican challenger to a California Democratic U.S. Senator who was deemed vulnerable = recently re-elected Barbara Boxer.

DiFi is not going anywhere except back to the Senate, barring any health problems. But, I wonder who the GOP will run in 2012 as the sacrificial lamb?

The poll graphic:

In Los Angeles, everyone is talking about the L.A. Dodgers and the owner Frank McCourt. The Commissioner of Major League Baseball who took over control of the team some time ago from McCourt disapproved a new Fox Sports television contract which may precipitate a sale of the team, lawsuits, and/or a bankruptcy filing. Likely, there will be all of the above, but most folks in L.A. want McCourt and his wife to be gone and the Dodgers to concentrate on baseball.

Oh yeah and McCourt owns the Los Angeles Marathon too. I might just have to run in Pasadena next Spring.

OK – on to the links:

Steinberg raises legal questions over pay issue

Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, made it clear that there are legal implications — lawsuit, anyone? — with the decision on legislative pay that state Controller John Chiang is expected to make Tuesday.

Steinberg suggested that any decision by the Controller would be legally questionable.

The question that got Steinberg reverting back to the lawyer that he is: Will you be able to hold out and negotiate all summer if your members are not being paid.

The unspoken suggestion: that legislators would cave on demands of $2 billion to $6 billion more in cuts to schools, universities and public safety to ensure they get their salary and daily expenses.

“It is a bad precedent for anybody in the executive branch to question the quality of a budget passed by the Legislature,” he told reporters after a quick Senate session Monday. “Because to do so is to shift the balance of power … in a way that is dangerous.

“Think about if there was a governor, a treasurer or controller from the other party and they were unhappy with the quality of the budget the Legislature passed, they would have the ability — if Proposition 25 is interpreted in a way some suggest — to say it’s not good enough, we withhold your pay until you make all of the decisions and and all of the cuts that we believe are appropriate.”

The follow-up question: Could withholding legislators’ pay “tip the balance” to legislators accepting the governor’s cuts?

“If it is an attempt to tip the balance, then it is a conflict of interest like California has never seen,” Steinberg said.

Salary matters are best decided by the Citizens Compensation Commission, Steinberg said, and legislators should not be forced to determine their vote based on whether or not they would be paid.

Why McCourt must go, from one baseball blogger

Many kudos on baseball websites today for blogger Larry Behrendt’s detailing of the case against Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, from the interlocking companies that mean the Dodgers now pay rent for their own stadium and parking lots, to the ticket revenue that gets drained elsewhere, to the huge debt and lavish personal spending. Behrendt posted before commissioner Bud Selig stepped in today to nix the deal with Fox. But that’s exactly what Behrendt felt Selig must do…..

Over the next two weeks, Bud Selig will face the defining moment of his career as Commissioner of Major League Baseball….

There is no doubt: Commissioner Selig should reject the Dodgers-Fox contract, seize control of the Dodgers, and sell the team to a responsible owner who will (with the grateful help of millions of my fellow left coasters) restore the team to its former greatness. Selig must act to prevent Frank McCourt from continuing to plunder the team. Selig must act before the team is saddled with even greater debt, while the team’s reputation can still be salvaged and the team is still marketable to a worthy owner….

How much have the McCourts managed to extract from the Dodgers? Well, if we ignore the debt the Dodgers took on so that the McCourts could buy the Dodgers but include the McCourt salaries, the McCourts have withdrawn from the Dodgers anywhere from $109 million (Frank McCourt’s estimate) to $141 million (Jamie McCourt’s estimate). The truth is, the real amount the McCourts plundered from the Dodgers may be more than $141 million – at the moment, all we have to go on is what each McCourt has been willing to admit to.
I(In case you were wondering, during their ownership of the Dodgers the McCourts have paid not one penny in income tax.)

Is Lynn Woolsey retiring? Is Gavin Newsom interested in that seat?

We’re getting the distinct feeling that something is up. Just got an “advisory” that Rep. Lynn Woolsey will hold a press conference at her home Monday in Petaluma “joined by Rep. Barbara Lee and friends and family.”

Hmmm. Remember, back in December Woolsey’s peeps told us she was “thinking of” retiring and they’d let us know by June. Tick…tock…tick…

All that Woolsey spokesperson Bart Acocella will say is: “I can tell you that she will make an announcement on the 27th about her future plans.”

Even with the state’s new redistricting plan likely to create a very-different looking 6th District, there’s already a line forming to snag the super-safe Democratic seat-for-life, starting with termed out Assemblyman Jared Huffman and activist and author Norman Solomon, Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams, state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, and Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane.

Here’s another name to toss in the mix: What about Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom?

Yes, we know the duties of Lt. Gov. are…uh…pressing. Especially when he has to walk the Governor’s dog. But eyebrows raised when Newsom just moved to…wait for it…Marin County to live with his in-laws after they had their second child.

Enjoy your morning!

CA-Sen: Sen Dianne Feinstein in Re-Election Trouble? Uh No

Posted Posted in Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senate 2012

California Democratic U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein

The must be smoking crack over at Hot Air to even suggest that DiFi is in any trouble.
A new poll from California shows Dianne Feinstein falling below 50% in re-elect support, a rating than in any other state might mean something.  McClatchy sends up the red flag from the latest Harris Poll, which gives the four-term Senator only a +4 on support for a fifth term, hitting below 50%: (…)

Despite this poll analysis, Senator Feinstein is very safe, especially with the expected turnout for Obama’s re-election to be high. I mean, if Carly Fiorina gets blown out by 10 points against Sen. Barbara Boxer who was much less popular and there was a lower Dem turnout of voters…..

And, should Feinstein, who will be 78 in June, have health problems, the California Dems have a deep bench with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ready to duke it out as her replacement.

Mike Huckabee’s PAC Raising Funds to Defeat California Senator Dianne Feinstein?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Dianne Feinstein, Mike Huckabee

This missive came into my e-mail box this afternoon. Now, Huck is not at CPAC and begins his book tour soon, so what is he doing here:

California needs a conservative United States Senator. Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein has been in Washington too long and it appears she’s stopped listening to California voters – after all, you didn’t want bailouts, you didn’t want the stimulus package and you sure didn’t want Obamacare. Thanks to elected officials like Senator Feinstein you got bailouts, you got the stimulus and you got Obamacare.

Senator Feinstein like all of the Democrats up for re-election in 2012 is a large reason our nation is going bankrupt. Sadly last week, when given a chance to begin to redeem poor legislative choices, Senator Feinstein voted AGAINST the repeal of Obamacare.

Huck PAC is preparing to help conservatives win the California Senate seat and defeat other vulnerable Democrat Senators across the nation. We are asking 100 California supporters to donate this week towards this goal. Will you make a donation of $5 or more to stop Senator Feinstein and the budget-busting Democrats in Washington?

I have sent this email to just 1,000 California voters across the state. I am counting on a response from you. If you would prefer to donate by mail, please send your check to Huck PAC at:

Huck PAC
Attn: Stop Senate Democrats Fund
PO Box 2008
Little Rock , AR 72203 

California and America would be better off with conservative Senators like Marco Rubio in office. Together, we worked sohard to take back the House – now you can help conservatives take back
the Senate. Please chip in today.

Fighting for California,

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

California’s Senior Senator Dianne Feinstein, unless she has failing health is a lock to win another Senate term in 2012. She will likely win by over fifteen points in a deep blue California.

So, why is Mike Huckabee fundraising for her defeat? Since the money goes to his PAC, which he controls, I assume he could use the money for whatever race he deems fit.

Or, is Huck, just getting some name ID out her in California for a possible 2012 Presidential run?

Chuck DeVore to Challenge Senator Dianne Feinstein in 2012?

Posted Posted in Chuck DeVore, Dianne Feinstein
chuckdevoretweets CA Sen: Chuck DeVore Preparing to Run for Irvine City Council?

Termed out California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore

Yes, and I received an e-mail from Chuckles last week saying he will be running for something in 2012 and asking for money to get his California state campaign account out of debt.

If he thinks he can beat long time Senator Dianne Feinstein who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, he is suffering from delusions of grandeur. Even the LEFT is skeptical and they are not greats fans of DiFi.

Despite getting only a small vote share in the GOP Senate primary this year (as conservatives decided to go with the slightly-more-electable Carly Fiorina), Chuck DeVore is talking Senate again, for 2012, when Dianne Feinstein will presumably run for re-election. Or is he? All he’s saying is that he’s likely to run in 2012, but hasn’t decided what office. Senate is the only thing that’s available, though, which makes his statement seem kind of strange (unless he’s talking about trying to rejoin the state Assembly). If Barbara Boxer could still win by 10 points in a terrible year, the more-popular Feinstein in a presidential year is an even more daunting target, meaning that DeVore may be the only prominent GOPer crazy enough to take on the task.

CA-Sen: Why Don’t You Pay for Your Own Political Junkets Senator Boxer?

Posted Posted in Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein

I mean, after all, you are a RICH MILLIONAIRE and California’s other U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein pays her own way.

Since 2000, Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, has taken 18 trips, sponsored by outside organizations, at a value of $97,975.

Naturally, if you want to learn about the Islamic world, you go to… Paris, France. With your spouse. For a week. At a cost of $12,272, as Boxer did in 2008.

If you want to become more familiar with the impact on U.S. policy on Latin America, clearly, you go to…. the Punta Mita beach resort in Mexico. With your spouse. Three times, in 2006, 2005 and 2002, at a cost of roughly $6,000 per trip.

If you want to learn more about U.S.-Russia-European relations, you go to… Dublin, Ireland for five days, at a cost of more than $6,000, as she did in 2005. (I salute her taste.) Or perhaps you go to London, at a cost of $8,260, as she did in 2002.

The Aspen Institute was most often underwriting the cost of Boxer’s trips; in addition to the destinations above, the group covered the costs of Boxer’s trips to the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, the outdoor sports resort town of Banff, Alberta, and Barcelona, Spain.

I won’t begrudge a lawmaker for attending an AIPAC conference; but I’ll bet an initiation to one in Hawaii must be more tempting than the usual annual meeting in Washington. Boxer found the time for that one in 2000.

And lest one think, ‘oh, every senator does this,’… some don’t. In 2005, the California press started to notice the wide disparity between the travel expenses of Boxer and the state’s other senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein: “Ms. Boxer’s 14 privately funded trips averaged out to nearly $5,300 apiece. In sharp contrast, Ms. Feinstein averaged about $292 per trip.”

Feinstein’s spokesman, Howard Gantman, gently put it that his boss “does prefer to pay her own way.”

Taking a vacation is OK, Senator. But, what kind of influence are you selling by taking these outside donations for obvious junkets.


Is Senator Dianne Feinstein Smoking Crack? California Prisons “Eminently Capable” of Holding Gitmo Detainees

Posted Posted in Dianne Feinstein, Government
California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein on the floor of the Senate today

Hell, Dianne, you are so out of touch and out of California so much you probably don’t even know where the damn California prisons are.

No thank you, we Californians don’t want any of the GITMO terrorist folks in our state.


Because they will be placed in OUR neighborhoods – not yours but OURS.

By the way, after her little suck up to the LEFT Senator Feinstein voted to withhold funding for moving the Gitmo terrorists out of Guantanamo Bay because Obama had “NO PLAN.”

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