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THE NOONER for November 13, 2012
Yesterday, I linked to an Orange County Register op-ed by former State Senator Gloria Romero that relied on election night data to proclaim that "9.6 million of the 18.2 million voters just didn't show up." Of course, that ignores that there were 2,433,609 absentees, 922,446 provisional, and 92,981 "other" (primarily damaged) ballots left to validate and count.
Since election day, there has been a great deal of Wednesday-morning quarterbacking by the GOP about how campaigns could have been so shocked by the election results. The well-placed blame has landed on media pundits that made outlandish claims and pollsters whose models were just plain wrong. I mean, I really like George Will, but any objective observer would have as hard of a time predicting 321 electoral college votes for Romney as would follow Jim Cramer's prediction that Obama would get 440 electoral college votes. Of course, none of us would have predicted that Jim Cramer would be closer, which he was.
Anyway, Democrats have been misled by pollsters and deluded by demigods in the past, and this election, it was the Republicans' turn. However, Gloria Romero apparently has not learned, and I counsel my GOP friends to ignore her flawed analysis and ask why the Register didn't do one ounce of due diligence before printing her factually wrong op-ed yesterday.
Romero's goal is to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the result of Prop. 32 (political contributions) in the same way that Karl Rove is arguing that Obama surpressed turnout to win the election to challenge his legitimacy as Commander in Chief. Of course, as ballots are counted, Obama is on pace to getting the second largest vote total of all time, second only to the bar he set in 2008. And, his popular vote margin of 2.7% is the second largest since 1992, second only to 2008.
As my smart Republican friends are saying, "we got our butt's kicked" and let's not make excuses, let's regroup and not let it happen again.
Back to Romero and the Register. I have written many op-eds, both with my name and as a ghost-writer. I have never submitted something to a major paper without being asked for supporting materials for the facts I alleged. I even have worked with editors at community newspapers on explaining Proposition 98 "tests" and why something I argued was true. When people send me things for the Nooner, I do a bit of fact checking and have refused to replicate outright lies from the right and left.
Let's run through some of Romero's facts that should have been questioned by the editor that agreed to include her op-ed.
I grew up reading the Register to see how my Anaheim Rams and Anaheim Angels were doing. There are still outstanding writers there on the Capitol and political beat. I hope such editorial mistakes aren't made in the future and that it can still be seen as a legitimate journalistic enterprise. I've also enjoyed working with Gloria Romero over the years, and she is a true up-by-your-boostraps story of going to Barstow Community College. However, it is disappointing to see such recklessness exercised by both the Register and Romero.
I e-mailed Romero yesterday, and haven't had a response. I was also told by the Register that the way to correct this enormous publishing lapse was to write a letter to the editor. That said, I've always believed that the only people who read the opinion page are people who already have opinions. Heck, more people are probably reading this than read Romero's delusions in yesterday's Register.
Thanks for letting me vent.
CLIFFHANGER UPDATE: Four counties updated vote counts yesterday--Alameda, Orange, San Diego and San Luis Obispo. Here's how it affected the close races in those regions:
Los Angeles is expected to update at 1pm today, and lots of people will be watching the impact on AD50 (Bloom v. Butler). Don't forget to watch AD36 as well, where Steve Fox (D) needs 54% of late ballots to close the gap with Ron Smith. It's not likely to happen, but this is Antelope Valley district is shifting Democrat. Since May, Democrats registered 5,964 voters to the GOP's 2,843, bringing Dems within 0.3% of the GOP's registration of 37.6%. Fox is currently winning the Los Angeles County portion of the district 50.5%-49.5%, although he's losing the Kern and San Bernardino portions by large margins, which account for 12.8% of the district.
ENGLISH LESSON: A friend in the building reminds me that "factoid" is defined as something that is something that is accepted as a fact, although it is not. To use in a sentence, "Gloria Romero is full of factoids about election turnout."
IN MEMORIAM: Tim Howe, lobbyist, former legislative aide (1946-2012) [SacBee]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Democrats Will Propose Easing Of Parcel Tax Voting Rules
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Among other things, it means that Democrats are empowered to place constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot without any Republican support and legislative leaders â Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, particularly â want to reduce the vote requirements for local government and school district taxes, particularly those parcel taxes. If schools could raise more money locally through parcel taxes, it would reduce the state budget's school finance burden.
CSU Puts New Fee Increases On Hold - Sfgate
California State University trustees decided Tuesday to postpone consideration of proposed fee increases for students who stay in school after being eligible to graduate or who take more classes than is typical. The decision to delay a vote came as Gov. Jerry Brown was set to address the trustees' meeting Tuesday, a week after voters approved his Proposition 30 to raise taxes and avoid nearly $6 billion in cuts to public schools and higher education. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is a CSU trustee, praised the delay, saying in a release, Over the course of the last 10 years, tuition at the CSU system has tripled as state funding has been radically reduced.
Jerry Brown To Attend CSU Trustees, UC Regents Meetings
Anthony York @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown's campus tour continues this week with the governor planning to attend the meetings of the Cal State University Board of Trustees on Tuesday in Long Beach and the UC Board of Regents in San Francisco on Wednesday.
Oakland Council: De La Fuente Concedes
Matthai Kuruvila @ sfgate.com
Oakland Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente on Monday admitted that his 20-year run on the City Council, a body on which he played a pivotal role, will soon come to an end.
Tim Howe, Longtime Political Consultant And Lobbyist, Dies
Robert D. Davila @ blogs.sacbee.com
Tim Howe, a Sacramento lobbyist and veteran political consultant who was a top aide to Democratic lawmakers, died Friday of a heart attack while cycling in the American River Parkway, his family said. He was 66.
Oakland Council: Dan Kalb Apparent Winner - Sfgate
Dan Kalb's bespectacled, balding persona is that of an environmental policy wonk who listed solar energy, green jobs and clean technology as priority issues in his campaign for the City Council District One seat. On Monday, Kalb said voters may have been slightly misled by his campaign literature, which listed building a green economy and environmental stewardship ahead of crime prevention and neighborhood safety. On his campaign website, Kalb described himself "as a public interest and environmental advocate, a policy analyst, community service volunteer, and progressive reformer." If there is a surplus in next year's city budget, Kalb would want it used to hire more Oakland police officers and beef up the Police Department's investigative abilities with more homicide and crime scene investigators. Improving law enforcement, increasing the number of police officers and restoring public faith in local government is a much taller order - and clashes with his opposition to a youth curfew sought by Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan. Kalb is counting on new council members to bring an attitude adjustment to council proceedings and begin a tradition of professionalism and decorum in city government.
Gay marriage backers plan campaigns in more states
Erik Eckholm @ sacbee.com
Elated by their first ballot victories, in four states, advocates of same-sex marriage rights plan to push legislatures in half a dozen more states toward legalization as they also press their cause in federal courts.
This Time, Groups Get To Say Their Piece On Weighted Student Funding
John Fensterwald @ edsource.org
Intent on passing school finance reform this year but open to revising last yearâs proposal, the Brown administration held the first of three Friday meetings with dozens of school district officials and advocates last week on plans for weighted student funding. The outreach contrasts with the tack that Gov. Jerry Brown and the Department of Finance took last year, when they dropped a weighted student formula into the state budget in January, only to meet a wall of resistance from groups in the Education Coalition facing potentially massive budget cuts.
Meet Tom Steyer: He'll Be A California Political Player For Years To Come
Josh Richman @ contracostatimes.com
Tom Steyer, with two successful ballot measure fights under his belt, a grateful president, a billion in the bank and an impending retirement from the private sector, says hes committed to changing California and the nation.
Oakland Council: Dan Kalb Apparent Winner
Chip Johnson @ sfgate.com
Dan Kalb's bespectacled, balding persona is that of an environmental policy wonk who listed solar energy, green jobs and clean technology as priority issues in his campaign for the City Council District One seat.
CCPOA attorney says multi-million dollar award would cripple union
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
A multi-million judgement against the California Correctional Peace Officers Association is excessive, a union attorney said last week as he argued for a federal appeals court to overturn the award.
Unions Offer Support for President Obamaâs Tax Plan
Unions say they will rally behind a broader agenda, seeking to counter business and conservative groups pushing for cuts in social programs and tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.
The Gop’s Demographic Problem — In 1 Chart
Chris Cillizza @ washingtonpost.com
Republican politicians and strategists continue to sift through the election results to figure out just what happened in an election where they thought they could win the White House and Senate and wound up with neither.
Students ask: Why rush on CSU fees?
It's a natural question: Why – just a week after voters approved Proposition 30 to alleviate cuts to California schools and tuition increases at its colleges – are California State University trustees considering a new set of student fees?
Advocates of Gay Marriage Extend Their Campaign
Buoyed by victories four states, advocates of same-sex marriage rights plan to press their cause in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Rhode Island, Minnesota, New Jersey and Oregon.
Proposition 30 win no guarantee of fiscal safety for California
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
California's unstable tax base, debt and falling revenue are among the threats that could upend the budget despite the infusion from the passage of Proposition 30.
Prescription Deaths: Lawmaker Wants Cases Reported To Medical Board
Scott Glover and Lisa Girion @ latimes.com
The chairman of a state Senate committee that oversees the Medical Board said Monday he would introduce a bill requiring coroners to report all prescription drug deaths to the agency â a move aimed at helping authorities identify doctors whose prescribing practices may be harming patients.
Warriors' Interest Rate Riles Arena Foes - Sfgate
"Reject the 13 percent" may soon be the rallying cry for opponents of the Golden State Warriors' plan to build a new waterfront arena in San Francisco as the project goes before the Board of Supervisors budget committee Wednesday to approve the start of environmental review. In a letter to supervisors Monday titled "Reject the 13% Interest Rate!," Nothenberg wrote that over the course of a lengthy career in city government, including as a high-level financial adviser to five mayors: City officials say the rate is actually quite reasonable when talking about private developers building public infrastructure. The city's deals with private developers to build out Treasure Island and the Hunters Point shipyard include returns of 18.5 to 20 percent on public infrastructure, city documents show. Documents related to negotiations with the Giants to develop what is now a port-owned parking lot south of the ballpark show that the team wants a return of 20 and 22 percent on its predevelopment costs and for putting in infrastructure like pilings and roads.
Despite Business Opposition, California's Cap-and-trade Auction Starts Wednesday
Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
Despite fierce opposition from much of the business community, California's grand experiment in taming global warming begins in earnest Wednesday.
Top Candidates to Replace Clinton at State Dept. May Face Hurdles
Senator John Kerry and Susan E. Rice, the U.N. ambassador, are considered front-runners to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state.
Biz Break: Google faces governmental pressure from both sides of the Atlantic; Facebook and Gilead rise
Jeremy C. Owens @ mercurynews.com
Today: Google reportedly receives an ultimatum from the United States on a possible antitrust lawsuit as British politicians grill an executive on taxation. Also: Facebook falls, then rises ahead of another lockup expiration, Wall Street has steady day.
States Now Must Make Call On Obamacare
Victoria Colliver @ sfgate.com
President Obama's re-election solidified the future of national health care, and now it's up to the states to carry it out. They have to work quickly.
Liberal Groups Mobilize For ‘fiscal Cliff’ Fight Over Social Security, Medicare
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