California

California Gubernatorial Politics By the Numbers

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Because California is the bellwether for the nation, and because I relish any opportunity to drive out (up? over?) to the Valley, here's the statistical breakdown of gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom's town hall in Woodland Hills tonight (or, for those of you on the east coast, last night):

1 CBS News 2 van
1 unidentified TV news van
2 Los Angeles Police Department squad cars
2 Los Angeles School Police Department squad cars
3 professional video cameras on tripods
1 roving professional video camera
2 personal video cameras on tripods
4 professional still photographers
5 amateur still photographers
4 piece band: Roman Alexander and the Robbery
437 heads I actually counted, not counting media and people clearly affiliated with the Newsom For Governor campaign
450-500 people in my good-faith estimate of total attendance
1 reference to composting
1 reference to "biodiesel grease from Google and Stanford"
1 reference to a wave-energy power generator at Ocean Beach
1 reference to a tidal energy project
1 plug for Twitter and its assistance to the people of Iran
1 reference to "my business experience"
1 "Obviously yes," given in response to question of whether Gov. Newsom would fight for a public option in health care reform
3 suggestions for stopping the "flight of human capital" from California: 1) public education; 2) public health care; 3) workforce training
At least 8 uses of the term "sanctuary city" in response to a question about immigration reform
1 applause-line mention of a high-speed rail line
1 mention of Notre Dame des Victoires parish in San Francisco
1 mention of an inmate Newsom met during his visit to San Quentin who, it turned out, was a former classmate of the future mayor at the Notre Dame des Victoires grammar school
0 questions I was able to ask the candidate
1 question I wanted to ask: "How committed are you to maintaining Prop 13 property tax protections, and more broadly to honoring the apparent will of the voters that state government live within its means without raising taxes?"

(If I get a response to that question, I'll update this post.)

NEXT: California's Bill to Legalize and Tax Pot: Not All It Ought To Be

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  1. 1 reference to a wave-energy power generator at Ocean Beach

    So Southland Tales was a documentary?

  2. 0 questions I was able to ask the candidate

    Nice try. You probably just didn’t feel like uploading his responses to YouTube.

  3. Art-P.O.G., that’s just an ad hom conceding my points and showing the cowardly, childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians.

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  5. Lonewacko has the best memes, at least as far as unintentional hilarity is concerned.

  6. …who are all these poor fools looking to take over this gubernatorial office nobody’s going to want once the state’s financial train wreck hits for real? Gavin Newsom’s running, obviously. Who else?

  7. Whoever the next CA governor is had better keep blaming the budget crisis on his or her predecessors.

  8. “Roman Alexander and the Robbery”

    Seems appropriate for a political gathering.

  9. I know I’m late to the party and stuff, but that was a pretty tough question you wanted to ask.

  10. the replica watches bot asked the real tough question: how many replica watches does california have?

  11. Newsom would be the final nail in our coffin . . . whether you like it or not.

  12. If you get a response to that question, you should post the answer to youtube.

  13. Most important to Newsom’s chances: 394 audience member who think he’s dreamy.

  14. “….and a partridge in a pear treeeee….”

  15. So…, Newsom is competing (almost certainly) with Jerry Brown for the Democratic nomination. Villaretardo dropped out before he got started.

    The Republican field is uncertain. Meg Whitman is a definite. I think Steve Poizner is definitely in too.

    Indeed, while expressing his support for public funding of election campaigns (can California still be the nation’s leading political indicator when people here still take that idea seriously?), Newsom tagged Whitman for putting up “$15 million of her own money.”

  16. That’s a dumb question. It’s a proposition; he couldn’t do jack to change the rules. The second part of the question is incorrect as well; the voting population of California wants good public schools, high speed rail, good freeways, etc., but they don’t want to actually pay for them with an appropiate level of taxation. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Which is the reason California is in the budget mess to begin with.

  17. Tim Cavanaugh | July 16, 2009, 2:55am | #
    Art-P.O.G., that’s just an ad hom conceding my points and showing the cowardly, childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians.

    It really never gets old, does it?

    God bless Lonewacko for the joy he brings us all.

  18. It’s a proposition; he couldn’t do jack to change the rules.

    The legislature and governors have finagled with Prop 13 since it was passed. Sometimes the finagling has expanded the tax protections, sometimes not. But it’s not true that there’s nothing he can do about it.

    And if I want to hear the old Californians-want-the-world-but-don’t-wanna-pay-for-it rant, I’ll take mine directly from John Saxon.

  19. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Which is the reason California is in the budget mess to begin with.

    A lot of California voters have it in their head that anything financed with bonds is free. They got that idea from all the pro-bond ballot arguments over the years that have said, “It won’t cost the public anything!”

  20. # Geotpf | July 16, 2009, 12:08pm | #

    # The second part of the question is incorrect
    # as well; the voting population of California
    # wants good public schools, high speed rail,
    # good freeways, etc., but they don’t want to
    # actually pay for them with an appropiate
    # level of taxation. They want to have their
    # cake and eat it too. Which is the reason
    # California is in the budget mess to begin
    # with.

    Blame the victim, right. The key here is the phrase “appropriate level of taxation.” California pays too much for its infrastructure, including public works and the services of government employees. So, the “level of taxation” necessary to handle those sky-high bills is “inappropriate” from the start.

    To speak only of education, our school system was hailed as leading the nation back in the early 1970s. We are now spending, per pupil, in inflation-adjusted dollars, about twice what we were spending then. But we are being told today that we are way underspending, and that we have only our stingy, shortsighted ways (and Prop 13) to blame for the sad state of modern schools. Taxpayers who can add two and two together correctly, and especially those who have been around long enough to witness the decline in our public school system firsthand, recognize such rhetoric as raw sewage.

    With the notable exception of the HSR, which is a massive boondoggle in the classic mold (and I say this as someone who would love and use such a system, were I able to make it happen merely by snapping my fingers), I am convinced that California has more than enough tax revenues flowing in to fund all appropriate infrastructure and government services — even in these tough times. Unfortunately, our pocketbook isn’t big enough to satisfy the egos and ambitions of our ruling class, who always find ways to spend every dollar in the treasury and more besides — mostly on things we don’t truly need, or on things that, while arguably necessary, come with top-dollar price tags (but not commensurate VALUE).

  21. Hey Tim, I hope you understand the aptness and profundity of your description of California as “bellwether.”

    Also, did Newsom provide any details at all about his wave-generation project at Ocean Beach? It has been several months since the city applied for federal permits to look into this, and I was hoping that Newsom would now have more to say about the technologies and vendors that they were seriously considering.

  22. “And if I want to hear the old Californians-want-the-world-but-don’t-wanna-pay-for-it rant, I’ll take mine directly from John Saxon.”

    So did Diana Muldaur’s “Marg” on a 22nd century, post apocalyptic “Planet Earth.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkNHCOpbKzA&NR=1 — interesting segments at 1:18 and 5:04 — steam starts at 7:55).

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