Public Nuisance

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The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Friday, August 08, 2003
Lear In Sacramento

So we’ll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news, and we’ll talk with them too –
Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out –
And take upon’s the mystery of things,
As if we were God’s spies.

Laughing at Gilded Butterflies: Comedian Gallagher is now a candidate for Governor. If elected, he pledges to combat gay sex by legalizing gay marriage. "That kills the sex every time." He is joined by someone named Angelyne, who apparently is semi-famous in Hollywood as a career wannabe and publicity hound, who occasionally buys billboards to promote her own alleged celebrity.

Court News: The California Supremes have rejected challenges to the election and it will go forward as planned. There probably is no federal appeal on the suits because the California court normally has the last word on state law. And if the case were appealed to the Supreme Court, they'd probably just cancel the election and name Schwarzenegger Governor.

Who's In: I was right in predicting that another prominent Democrat would go in to challenge Bustamante, but wrong on the name. Turns out that Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has decided on a run. This will be a problem for Bustamante, but not necessarily a huge one. Garamendi hasn't got a very strong base of support, and indications are that party leadership is likely to unite behind Bustamante.

Also possibly in is former Olympics chairman and baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth. An Ueberroth candidacy is bad news for Arnold, since they draw from the same pool of moderate Republicans and socially liberal, fiscally conservative independents. And in terms of actual qualifications, Ueberroth has a pretty obvious advantage over the Terminator, having actually run complex organizations and made them profitable. But the LA Olympics were 20 years ago and Ueberroth's name is no longer familiar to many voters.

Who's Out: With the court's decision not to change the rules, Gray Davis's attempt to be a candidate to replace himself is finished. He will have to put all his hopes on winning the recall, where the polls are said to be moving against him, although the recall was losing in the last published poll I saw.

Also out is Darrell Issa, who financed the whole recall operation. He was in a three way contest with Bill Simon and Tom McClintock for the hard right Republican vote, which is around 20 - 25% of the tatal vote. That left him with, optomistically, maybe 12% of the vote, and he correctly figured that Schwarzenegger and Bustamante will both do better.

Rumors continue to circulate that Feinstein will jump in, but she is still out. And staying out, I believe. If she wanted to jump in, she'd have done so already.