Assembly member Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) putts on the 18th green as other attendees shake hands during the Speakers Cup, a golf tournament fundraiser hosted by AT&T at Pebble Beach. Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times
As the sun set behind Monterey Bay on a cool night last year, dozens of the state’s top lawmakers and lobbyists ambled onto the 17th fairway at Pebble Beach for a round of glow-in-the-dark golf.
With luminescent balls soaring into the sky, the annual fundraiser known as the Speaker’s Cup was in full swing.
Lawmakers, labor-union champions and lobbyists gather each year at the storied course to schmooze, show their skill on the links and rejuvenate at a 22,000-square-foot spa. The affair, which typically raises more than $1 million for California Democrats, has been sponsored for more than a decade by telecommunications giant AT&T.
At the 2010 event, AT&T’s president and the state Assembly speaker toured Pebble Beach together in a golf cart, shaking hands with every lawmaker, lobbyist and other VIP in attendance.
The Speaker’s Cup is the centerpiece of a corporate lobbying strategy so comprehensive and successful that it has rewritten the special-interest playbook in Sacramento. When it comes to state government, AT&T spends more money, in more places, than any other company.
- President Obama’s Medicare slush fund – An $8 Billion ObamaCare Trick? – Call it President Obama’s Committee for the Re-Election of the President — a political slush fund at the Health and Human Services Department.
Only this isn’t some little fund from shadowy private sources; this is taxpayer money, redirected to help Obama win another term. A massive amount of it, too — $8.3 billion. Yes, that’s billion, with a B.
Here is how it works.
The most oppressive aspects of the ObamaCare law don’t kick in until after the 2012 election, when the president will no longer be answerable to voters. More “flexibility,” he recently explained to the Russians.
- Flood of fundraising under way in 26th Congressional race – Of the 1,347 men and women running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, only eight have raised more money this year in support of their quest than state Sen. Tony Strickland, of Moorpark.
Of them, six are incumbents and one is a Democratic candidate in Massachusetts by the name of Joseph P. Kennedy III.
Only one Republican challenger nationwide outpaced Strickland — Joseph Carvin, of New York, a partner in a hedge fund who outpaced Strickland only because he wrote himself a $1 million check.
Strickland, the lone Republican among six candidates running in Ventura County’s 26th Congressional District, raised $781,804 from the day he entered the race, Jan. 17, through the end of the first quarter, March 31 — an average of $10,424 a day.
- How much Hispanics matter in 2012 — in one chart – Republicans have a Hispanic problem.
Unless they can find ways to begin convincing the nation’s fastest growing population — Hispanics accounted for half of all the growth of the U.S. population over the last decade — that the GOP is a potential political home for them, they won’t remain a credible national party in 2016, 2020 and beyond.
Some within their party understand this. Take Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who is pushing a Republican “Dream Act” designed to show the Hispanic community that the entirety of the party is not lined up against them. And even former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who took a hardline stance against illegal immigration in the presidential primary, is starting to moderate his positions.
Resurgent Republic, a conservative-aligned, polling conglomerate has produced a snappy infographic that details everything you need to know about the Hispanic vote including the fascinating chart below that allows you to experiment with how much of the 2012 electorate will be Hispanic, how much of it Republicans will win and what that means for the outcome of the contest.
- Republicans making effort to speak to Latino priorities – For the Republican Party’s future, there is no greater strategic imperative than improving its performance with Hispanic voters for this election and for the foreseeable future.
A 2006 report from the U.S. Census Bureau demonstrates the explosive growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S. From around 15 percent of the population today, it is on pace to grow to nearly a quarter of the population 40 years from now. Just 40 years ago, Hispanics were only 4.7 percent of the population.
The Washington Post recently identified nine swing states that will decide the 2012 presidential election. Three of them have major Hispanic populations: Florida (primarily Cuban and Puerto Rican), Nevada and Colorado. According to estimates by Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions, only eight states have Hispanic voting-age populations greater than 13 percent, and among those, five are likely to be hotly contested in 2012: New Mexico (42.5 percent Latino), Arizona (21.3 percent), Florida (19.2 percent), Nevada (17.3 percent) and Colorado (13.4 percent). If Republican former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wins 31 percent of the Hispanic vote in those five states, the rate that McCain won nationally in 2008, he will likely lose four of them, and perhaps even Arizona.
- Schweitzer Stands by ‘Polygamy Commune’ Remark About the Romneys –
- Untitled (http://richardmourdock.com/sites/default/files/FactCheckRadio.mp3) – RT @jameshohmann: #INSen is red hot. Daniels ad for Lugar: . Mourdock radio ad: . Lugar mailer: …
- On the Job
– YouTube – RT @jameshohmann: #INSen is red hot. Daniels ad for Lugar: . Mourdock radio ad: . Lugar mailer: …
- With GOP Race Settled, Will Republicans Turn Out for Romney? – What if they held an election and no one came?
That could happen Tuesday, when five states will hold the first presidential primaries since a daunting delegate lead and Rick Santorum’s exit from the race made Mitt Romney the presumptive Republican nominee. For voters in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut, the put-a-fork-in-it race at the top of the ticket isn’t much of a draw.
Except that history shows there’s a group of hardcore voters who show up even when the presidential primary has been settled. George Mason University associate professor Michael McDonald, who specializes in turnout, calls them “expressive voters.’’ For a candidate like Romney, viewed in some Republican circles as a consolation prize in an election year in which stronger and more conservative politicians took a pass, Tuesday’s turnout could help “express’’ the enthusiasm gap, if it exists
- Can the Tea Party Defeat Dick Lugar? – ‘You can’t beat up on Grandpa. You shouldn’t beat up on Grandpa. But still, there comes a time when it’s time.” So declares Richard Mourdock, the Indiana treasurer who is trying to unseat 80-year-old Sen. Dick Lugar in the May 8 GOP primary.
It’s hard to find a better symbol of the “Washington establishment” than Mr. Lugar, who has lived in D.C. since he was first sworn into office in 1977. But the avuncular senator is beloved by many Hoosiers—and for the very reason that tea partiers want to send him home: He’s a statesman, not a warrior.
An early test of the tea party’s strength this year will be whether Mr. Mourdock can unseat the iconic incumbent. At 60, the challenger is no spring chicken, nor is he a national rock star like freshman Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. But he’s “capable, competent, and conservative,” as he says.
Mr. Mourdock spent 30 years in the energy business as a geologist, executive and consultant. A heightened sense of civic pride spurred him to run for Vanderburgh County commissioner in 1995. Ten years later, impressed by his business background and political service, Gov. Mitch Daniels recruited him to run for treasurer. “I am known as a hard-working politician,” says Mr. Mourdock. “I go everywhere in Indiana to help the local Republican parties.
- Rubio is latest to join Romney on campaign trail – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: Rubio is latest to join Romney on campaign trail –
- New York Times Backs Romney in N.Y. Primary – Lara Seligman – NationalJournal.com – RT @nationaljournal: New York Times backs Romney in NY Republican primary.
- 6 things to watch for at the John Edwards trial – John Edwards’s trial is the latest chapter in a “sex, lies and videotape” saga involving a politician’s reckless affair, a brazen cover-up and a spurned wife who later lost her battle with cancer.
But to those in the world of campaign finance, it’s also about the fuzzy line between the political and the personal, vague legal standards and questions of prosecutorial overreach.
- New York Times features piece on Mormons: In Salt Lake City, Museum Show – The president, according to Mormon doctrine, is literally a seer, a prophet – the president, that is, of the church. Usually American presidents have a somewhat lower reputation.
Now that Mitt Romney, an active Mormon, is aspiring to the more mundane office, new attention has come upon the faith that guides him. And much of that attention has been accompanied by controversy, confusion and concern about how Mormonism fits into American society.
For a glimpse of how Mormons see themselves, though, it’s worth visiting the Church History Museum of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here. Created by believers, for believers, the museum shows how close to the center of American life Mormons consider themselves to be.
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-23 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-23
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 22, 2012 – Choose – Day By Day April 22, 2012 – Choose
- Humor / Dissing the engineer – what? – Dilbert on a Sunday Dissing the engineer – what?
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein puts re-election campaign on cruise control – Millions of dollars were embezzled from her campaign. Twenty-two challengers are trying to knock her off in the June primary. And the stakes in the November election are nothing less than control of Capitol Hill.
But U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t a bit worried. Her campaign is on cruise control, her re-election all but certain — yet again.
After holding elected office for all but five of the last 42 years, Feinstein is the doyenne of California Democrats. She’s so politically bulletproof that no A-list candidates are wasting their time and money trying to dethrone her.
At 78, Feinstein has become the rare lawmaker who plays to her own political base while not overly riling her opponents. “She should have her easiest re-election ever,” said Gary Jacobson, a UC San Diego political science professor.
- Senator Rubio wants DREAM Act in time for fall semester – Rubio, in two separate events in Washington D.C., said his plan is still being hammered out, and important details – such as the minimum and maximum age of those who would qualify – were yet to be determined.
“We’re involving the DREAMers” in the drafting of the measure, he said, using the term that refers to undocumented youth brought to the country by their parents. “We’re involving the kids themselves.”
Asked by a reporter when it will be introduced in the Senate, Rubio said: “When it’s ready. It won’t be next week.”He said he hopes it gets introduced by summer and passed by fall.
“There are a bunch of kids. . .who want to go to school this fall,” Rubio said at an appearance at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.. “I’m also cognizant that this is an election year,” he added, saying it wouldn’t be easy to get bi-partisan support as the parties vie for elective offices.
The number of undocumented youth who would benefit from the DREAM Act has been estimated at between 1 million and 2 million. An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States.
Rubio said at different events throughout Thursday in the nation’s capital that criticism about his plan creating “a permanent underclass” was “not true.”
The senator said that critics who dismiss his plan before it is even finalized are just interested in keeping the inability of undocumented youth to attend college “a political wedge issue,” and are not really serious about finding a bipartisan solution.
“The general concept is that [students] would receive the equivalent of a non-immigrant visa, it legitimizes you,” he said of his alternate DREAM Act proposal. “It doesn’t allow you to to become a resident or citizen, however it doesn’t prohibit you from applying.”
“There’s no limbo” that the students will be stuck in under his plan, he said. “The limbo is what they’re in now.”
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Drops OPPO Bomb on Linda Parks – CA-26: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Drops OPPO Bomb on Linda Parks
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-21 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-21
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-22 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-22
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Who Can Out Nanny State on Grocery Bags Tony Strickland or Julia Brownley? – CA-26: Who Can Out Nanny State on Grocery Bags Tony Strickland or Julia Brownley?
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Approval Up, But Below Other Presidents Who Were Re-Elected – President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Approval Up, But Below Other Presidents Who Were Re-Elected
- Political Cartoons / Amateurs indeed – just like the Secret Service and their Columbian Hookers…. – Amateurs indeed – just like the Secret Service and their Columbian Hookers….
- Orrin Hatch pushed into primary in Utah Senate race – Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch will face off against conservative former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist in a June primary after the six-term incumbent failed to win 60 percent of the vote at the state Republican convention on Saturday.
- The Weekend Interview with Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus – Now, however, the Golden State’s fastest-growing entity is government and its biggest product is red tape. The first thing that comes to many American minds when you mention California isn’t Hollywood or tanned girls on a beach, but Greece. Many progressives in California take that as a compliment since Greeks are ostensibly happier. But as Mr. Kotkin notes, Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere.
Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – foursquare – Finished 12 miler and thank goodness for the clouds. Not too hot but humid. With Alice, Nancy and Mary
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: April 20, 2012 – The Morning Drill: April 20, 2012
- What swing states? Senate majority hinges on red states and blue states – The Washington Post – RT @RalstonFlash: NV is 7th most likely Senate seat to switch hands, says that Berkley ethics issue could be key.
- (500) http://pinterest.com/pin/114138171776344451/ – Love that Buffett…..Rule…..
- (500) http://pinterest.com/pin/114138171776344439/ – Bribe a blogger? Hummmm…..
- Awesome: Breitbart’s ‘Occupy Unmasked’ trailer released » The Right Scoop – – RT @trscoop: *** Awesome: Breitbart’s ‘Occupy Unmasked’ trailer released
- California Assemblyman Roger Hernandez was driving state car when arrested in DUI case – Assemblyman Roger Hernandez did not have permission of the Assembly to take a state car out of the Sacramento area last month when he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Concord.
The Toyota Camry hybrid that Hernandez was driving the night of his arrest, March 27, was an Assembly pool car assigned to the West Covina Democrat for travel in the Capitol area, according to Jon Waldie, Assembly administrator.
Lawmakers are making more extensive use of personal vehicles or pool cars after California’s independent salary-setting commission eliminated a lease-car program serving Assembly and Senate officeholders.
The general rule is that Assembly members not take pool cars out of Sacramento without prior permission. Officials prefer that out-of-area trips be for a legislative or governmental purpose, Waldie said.
- Romney campaign hits Obama on Hispanic unemployment rate – The Hill’s Ballot Box – RT @thehill: Romney campaign hits Obama on Hispanic unemployment rate
- Poll Watch: American cities favorability poll – The Pacific Northwest has a good reputation nationwide–the two most popular of the 21 prominent cities we asked about in our national poll last weekend are Seattle and Portland, OR. 57% of American voters see Seattle favorably and only 14% unfavorably, edging out Portland (52-12) by three points on the margin.
The most unpopular is Detroit, which only 22% see positively and 49% negatively. Americans have net-negative impressions of only two other of these cities, and both are in California: Oakland (21-39) and Los Angeles (33-40). In February, PPP found California to be the least popular state in the union. It does have the 11th most popular city, though: San Francisco (48-29).
Between the pack are Boston (52-17), Atlanta (51-19), Phoenix (49-18), Dallas (48-21), New York (49-23), New Orleans (47-24), Houston (45-22), Salt Lake City (43-20), Philadelphia (42-22), Baltimore (37-24), Las Vegas (43-33), Chicago (42-33), Cleveland (32-25), Washington, D.C. (44-39), and Miami (36-33).
- Untitled (http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/20/local-employers-add-3300-jobs-in-march/) – RT @vcstar: Ventura County employers add 3,300 jobs in March, but unemployment rate stays same.
- MA Dem Congressman Proposes Amendment to Strip Most Newspapers, Churches, Nonprofits, and Other Corporations of All Constitutional Rights – That’s the People’s Rights Amendment:
Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.
Section 2. People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.
Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.
So just as Congress could therefore ban the speech of nonmedia business corporations, it could ban publications by corporate-run newspapers and magazines — which I think includes nearly all such newspapers and magazines in the country (and for good reason, since organizing a major publications as a partnership or sole proprietorship would make it much harder for it to get investors and to operate). Nor does this proposal leave room for the possibility, in my view dubious, that the Free Press Clause would protect newspapers organized by corporations but not other corporations that want to use mass communications technology. Section 3 makes clear that the preservation of the “freedom of the press” applies only to “the people,” and section 2 expressly provides that corporations aren’t protected as “the people.”
- Untitled (http://www.snsanalytics.com/Zmf9y7) – RT @SacramentoDaily: California unemployment jumps to 11 percent; 11.6 percent in Sacramento #tcot #catcot
- The PJ Tatler » Hey Tommy Christopher, You Can Thank Maggie Thatcher for Romney’s ‘Obama Isn’t Working’ Slogan – RACIST! RT @PJTatler: Hey Tommy Christopher,you Can Thank Maggie Thatcher for Romney’s Obama Isn’t Working Slogan #tcot
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Update: Obama’s Father Has a Polygamist Past: Montana Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer Calls Out Mitt Romney’s Mormon “Polygamy” Past – No apology yet from Democrat Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer about Romney polygamy comment: #tcot
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 20, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 20, 2012