Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Garry South Has a Point

Readers of the newly revamped Capitol Weekly may have noticed their new, semi-anonymous feature, "Experts Abound," in which Sacramento political types are surveyed on a political question of the week. The first issue asked the panel, which Democrat will give Arnold the toughest run for his money next year? The panel came back:

Westly - 38%
Villaraigosa - 30%
Angelides - 15%
Other - 17%

Conventional wisdom in the Capitol is that Angelides looks good to Dem primary votes, but has little general election crossover appeal. This would imply that Phillip wins the primary and loses the general.

On the reception circuit last night, however, Democrat/big-business consultant Garry South was arguing, quite well as he usually does, that Angelides has never faced a primary opponent with a competent political team and funding. Westly presumably will have both of those.

If, as Garry argues, Westly can take Phil in June, does this change any notions that, despite the struggles with his special election agenda, Arnold is still an odds-on favorite to be re-elected next November?


At 8/24/2005 3:27 PM, Anonymous Moo Shu Pork and Fried Rice said...

Good point Dichiara.

At 8/24/2005 5:07 PM, Blogger California Observer said...

Since I am not Duane Dichiara, I suggest you email him directly to let him know that I made a good point.

At 8/24/2005 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil Angelides beat David Roberti at a time when Roberti was the President Pro Tem of the California State Senate and had a strong campaign (run by Clint Reilly who was not cheap). Angelides beat him and went on from there.

I haven't taken sides in the Governors race, but personally I think there are a lot of reasons to think that any of the three candidates mentioned as probably running(I include Loretta Sanchez in that group) has a logical base of support and the potential at least on paper to move beyond it. Just as I also think Arnold could turn around his numbers very quickly.

One thing to remember is that all four candidates have the ability for different reasons to raise the money easily to get a message out statewide where in the past a lot of candidates including some who won had to spend a lot of their time putting together a coalition and building support. I am not sure who will win this race, but I think the election will tell us a lot about how effective the different campaign teams are. JMO!

Tom Kaptain

P.S. For reasons unknown to me, I cannot seem to register as a blogger and so I am signing my name at the bottom of my post because I don't believe in anonymous posting on the internet.

At 8/24/2005 9:14 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

Things that make you go hmmm...

At 8/24/2005 9:18 PM, Blogger California Observer said...

Hey Tom, glad to see your post. I should, however, complete your first paragraph and say, "...went on from there to lose to Matt Fong in the general."

At least some of the reason for that loss was that anger at Phil among Democrats for the nature and tenor of his campaign against Roberti.

Roberti was largely tapped out in his campaign account after spending his money fighting off an NRA-backed recall campaign.

I do agree with your main and final point that we have a long way to go, and we'll see how much today's convention wisdom goes by the wayside over the next year+.

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At 8/25/2005 7:21 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

These races get sooo convaluded...

But suffice to say, I'd much rather have to deal with Angeledies.

However, Westley has major baggage on the Cal BOE, where he routinely votes to take the heads off of taxpayers.

At 8/27/2005 3:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since my previous post was commented on, I will respond and also give people an idea (for what my opinion is worth) of how I see the Governor's race at this moment.

First, I am going to disagree with the comment about Angelides race against David Roberti. David used the NRA recall as a launching pad for the Democratic primary and it wasn't enough, but it was close.

In spite of the fact that Phil lost to Fong, I think Angelides showed a lot of ability in beating Roberti although he did lose during the Wilson landslide for Governor.

But, I still say that Phil Angelides is the only candidate for Governor in either party who has run for office several times where he has faced a very competitive election and I think that helps him without question.

Beyond that, Phil has a more active record than the other candidates of involvement supporting other candidates in their election campaigns. That experience will also help him in this race and I don't think anyone should count him out or discount that ability helping him in this fight.

If you look at the four candidates for Governor, they all offer something different to the voters. We tend to look for negatives in part because the media encourages it, but in a positive sense, there is a lot for the average voter to choose from.

Steve Westly for example, is a high tech businessman as is well known, who is in part arguing that because of his unique background in high technology that he understands that critical area better than most and can use that knowledge gained during his business career to build a better future for everyone.

Steve showed his concern for others long before he ran for office with a very strong record of volunteer work in his local community and also the time he spent teaching at Stanford Business School when he could have earned more by working outside of the classroom as a consultant or some such thing. The fact he is trying politics again shows a concern for what is happening in the world and says a lot of good things about him.

Loretta Sanchez is a part of a major ethnic group that has never been completely accepted in the mainstream of California and yet she managed to bridge that gap in Orange County and now is considering trying to do so at the statewide level.

When you talk about the idea of a latino being able to provide the image of a role model and help unite Californians, Loretta has a background that could argue very strongly in her favor.

Most people don't know that background, but if she runs for Governor, they probably will before it is over.

Among other things, Loretta Sanchez was a major advisor and ally to Anaheim Mayor Tom Daley before she ran for Congress and was a close associate of several leaders in the media and entertainment industry for many years, including most of the top people from Disney because Anaheim had to deal with a lot of media issues during that time and she was a major part of the group that controlled the City Council.

She was a go to person for the movie industry and could make an honest argument that she could protect the industry in Sacramento better than any of the other candidates, even given Arnolds background in the business and probably would have a lot of studio heads backing her up in that claim. It is that strong and that legitimate.

Loretta was active in issues like overseas filming and illegal copying of tapes and DVD's long before most of us even knew there was a problem with such things. She is among the few people that can honestly say she has done something to fight those problems and in a state where the movie industry is a major employer, that will resonate. That background along with her ethnicity, could be a strong combination that could very easily resonate statewide and carry her to the Governors mansion.

Back to Phil Angelides, he has always been described as a liberal in the FDR sense of the word, but Phil has done a very effective job in convincing people that he can accomplish a lot of liberal goals more effectively than other politico's, precisely because of his success as a businessman.

Remember, most land developers don't do well in politics because a lot of their choices in building decisions can be controversial. People will criticize you for not doing more in building projects as well as for doing too much. Angelides managed to overcome criticism while building successful projects and is very respected for his work, even by a lot of Republicans who don't agree with his politics. They also know that no one goes into that business to run for office and respect the idea that he is in politics because there are things he believes in.

If Phil were to win the primary, he would not be seen as a typical "head in the clouds liberal" because his success in private business makes it clear that he understands the market and knows how it works.

I also think Corporate Corruption is a hidden major issue in next year's election and given Angelides record and his personal closeness to Elliot Spitzer, I think he can establish his leadership in that area with the general public and I am not so sure that won't be the single most important issue nationally in the next year or so.

With gas, the war, which some people argue is just about oil in the end and with all of the accounting scandals going on, as well as the general loss of control people feel in the digital age over their day to day lives, I think a record of standing up to the big faceless corporations is very important and will play very well with most voters. Phil Angelides has stood up and I think that will gain him some votes from people of all political ideologies.

In some ways Angelides business success is more impressive than anyone else's in the race, because it didn't come about through picking one very successful company to work for (like Westly did with Ebay although Steve was also very successful in other areas of his life) and his business success was also more widely based than the entertainment industry where so much of what goes on is measured by superfluos uncontrollable things like an actor's looks and what is hot with the public at that moment.

Phil was not a famous person when he started in the development business. He built his reputation by hard work and without cutting corners. He has also supported issues that most politicians have shyed away from, because they were controversial. Things like energetically supporting a change in the local school board when he wasn't happy with how the local schools were doing. People respect Phil Angelides for his political courage and that always helps when the mud flies in a campaign.

Then there is Governor Schwarzenegger who is arguing that California needs conservative fiscal stands mixed in with liberal social views. He is respected by many people who disagree with him because they know he is taking a financial sacrifice to run for office and also by many people because he has recreated the Republican party which was nearly extinct in California.

Even some Democrats like the fact that there is now some arguing going on in Sacramento and think in the long run it will be good for the state. Arnold alone get's so much media attention whenever he speaks that he could conceivably change an election result completely with one very good speech. That makes him a serious threat right up until election day. It also gives him a tool that could be effectively used on what Ronald Reagan used to call the "Bully Pulpit" to push for change. He will not be an easy opponent for anyone to beat.

So I guess to me the bottom line is that I think every candidate for Governor has a legitimate opportunity to convince the voters that they offer the best choice for the future in part because they all have different strengths as candidates and I think the election will show which is closest to the vision of how Californian's view their state in the future.

I guess to me as the stepson of a Hungarian immigrant, it is just impressive that we have this kind of a wide variety of choices and I think the election will be decided by who grows the most in the course of the campaign and goes beyond their base to give the best vision of where California should be in the future. I like the fact we have these kinds of choices and I think that is the way it is supposed to be and probably the main reason I wrote this overly long email is that I think the whole process is way too long for anyone to be starting with attacks on anything this early. JMO!

Tom Kaptain

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