Thursday, March 24, 2005

Campaign Finance: Just Making It Up As We Go

So, Arnold wins - this round - as a Superior Court judge stopped the enforcement of a new regulation that would've limited donations to the Governor-controlled ballot measure committees.

Anyone else remember those days when the world slammed Gray Davis for fundraising too much? Apparently not.

Also, via The Roundup:

After a promising, though modest, start last year, Schwarzenegger has embraced a hastily developed, hazily defined, harshly partisan agenda that promises to roil the waters of California politics all year long. Notwithstanding the “theatrics” — Schwarzenegger’s own term — of seizing the national stage in this election off-year, the program is less than it appeared, its prospects problematic.

LA Weekly takes to task a Governor it sees as failing to live up to his own PR. The piece highlights the repartizanization of the Governor - with disappointing results:

Although he had worked closely with Democrats, Schwarzenegger was persuaded by Chief of Staff Pat Clarey, Communications Director Rob Stutzman, Legislative Secretary Richard Costigan and Political Consultant Mike Murphy to try to win Democratic seats in districts he carried in the 2003 recall. All 11 of the governor-backed candidates in those districts lost. Privately, he didn’t like losing and spun the results. He blamed a pro-incumbent redistricting deal struck by Democrats and Republicans.

Actually, his candidates were poorly vetted. Several had embarrassing personal scandals. Most disagreed with his moderate Republicanism. And Schwarzenegger’s decision, urged by the Republicans on his staff, not to endorse even one Democratic candidate was bad PR for a “bipartisan guy.” . . .

After the November election, reapportionment emerged as a leading element explaining away the defeats, and partisan hostilities increased. Emboldened by their success in the legislative races, and increasingly miffed by the governor’s alternately cajoling and belittling them — they were cigar buddies one day, “girlie men” and “losers” the next — Democrats, notably Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, became annoying to Schwarzenegger, shooting off an endless barrage of sniping statements.
Also mentioned in the piece, growing concern that there's insufficient time to redraw lines for the 2006 election even if Schwarzenegger gets his reform. Well of course there's insufficient time. There's also insufficient data. But that doesn't matter. It's a red-herring. A bluff. A bargaining chip. Oh, gee, you guys will go for it if we drop that part? Why don't you work on some language, dear Legislature. Then we'll drop that ballot measure.

And any pretense that we'll get actual reform out of any of this nonsense.

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