Friday, October 28, 2005

The State Treasurer Race? Are You Kidding Me?

So Bill Simon recognized he still is not cut out to be a candidate and has stopped tossing his hat and started tossing his towel instead - calling off his bid for State Treasurer.

But Lockyer is still in it. In fact, he's a formidable candidate - so much so that Simon got scared off.

Wow. It's like the game the NFL lets you see when the game you want to see is blacked out (as they always are here in SF since neither of the hometeams can sell out their damn stadiums - which might bother me more if I cared about either team. But it's the principle of the thing. rant over).

Two woulda-been horseshoe seekers duking it out over the STATE TREASURER race. No disrespect, Phil Angelides, but c'mon.

It's criminal that John Chiang got squeeze out so Bill "Was That My Political Capital I Set Fire To?" Lockyer could stay in statewide office somehow. I still can't exactly put my finger on why the constant office-switching bothers me so much. I like career service. But this feels more like, well, a pre-determined prom queen - oh, who am I kidding - prom king election. Who's turn is it now? Now, now, you were in the royal court last year, it's Trey's turn now.

Otherwsie fine candidates can't seem to settle on anything - meanwhile, woman almost scored a victory, but instead will likely pick each other off in the primary battling for two offices instead of spreading the wealth since the Big Boys didn't really consult with anyone while they played electoral Twister (Left Hand Insurance Commissioner!).

Does this bug anyone else?


doughnut70 said...
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Anonymous said...

Lockyer is FAR from universally respeted - far from even "almost" universally respected.

Don't you recall his politically stupid statments after the 2003 recall? He voted for the recall and he voted for Arnold. What kind of moron admits to that? Sure Steve Westly buddied up to the new Governor awfully fast, but even he didn't jump on the Damn Davis wagon until the body was at least a little cold in the grave. Lockyer just went ahead and crapped all over everyone.

The disrespect for Lockyer was such that at the subsequent CDP Convention, the whole of the women's caucus stood and turned their backs to him when he popped in to say a few words.

If Lockyer is especially courageous, he wasted it on foolish admissions for which he is now being appropriately punished now.

Lockyer WAS going to run for governor. He's been a Legislator, the Senate Pro Tem, and the Attorney General. Why on God's green earth is he running for State Treasurer? Because he was running for governor and it took him about 5.2 seconds to realize NO ONE was going to support him to the extent necessary to win the primary. He burned his bridges and so he's content to fuck with the futures of promising, next-generation California leadership like John Chiang.

As far as competition between women goes - were the race for Lt.Gov merely between Liz Figueroa and Jackie Speier then, yes, it would be (sort of) a sign of "maturity within the process." But no, John "What Do I feel Like running for today" Garamendi hops in and we're absolutely going to face a case of "yeah, it's Garamendi and those two women." It won't be "Figueroa and Speier and that other guy."

There has been a vacuum of women's leadership at the statewide level for too many years. And, sadly, it's likely that two strong women in the LG race will split the vote and Garamendi will win.

Frankly, I heard it posited that Speier should've jumped to the Governor's race - and that would've been fantastic. Not only is she a fine legislator, but she's got a story campaign consultants can only dream about.

For now, the Secretary of States race is the only one where your argument stands since, as of now, the D nominee will be a woman (though I'm sad that it's going to be a showdown now since Ortiz joined the field. Bowen's my South Bay homegirl and I was gerrymandered out of her district. Boo!)

To prove that no one wants anyone else to have a shot (and the party isn't about to make them move out of the way), we've got Cruz Bustamante (also politically disliked after his "I'll run in the recall stunt") running for Insurance Commission, and, to a certain extent, the wondeful, truly qualified Joe Dunn who finalllly decided to run for Controller and will face the chased-from-treasurer John Chiang who is the guy actually suited for these wonky jobs.

But nevermind. Power is power and it always plays out the same way.

But don't think that Lockyer is universally beloved. If he were, he'd still be running for governor.

doughnut70 said...
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Anonymous said...

If the Women's Caucus stood up and turned their back to Lockyer I believe that is about as hard as evidence can get against your use of "universally" as it relates to "respected."

This is also the second time you've advised me to seek my parents' input on something. Funny thing is, though, see, they're my parents, so I already know a fair bit about both their history and their views. And as far as I know, they aren't huge Lockyer fans either.

What you see as guts, I see as gross political stupidity. I'm not sure I can back someone who would make such a blunder. It wasn't a principled stand that did much for any cause or person. A wise politician would've kept his mouth shut.

I have never, ever said - and never, ever will say that anyone deserves an office because she is a woman. Nor have I, nor will I ever vote for a woman solely because she is a woman.

Be very careful before you even approach what could be seen as a lecture on the proper method of women running for or approaching office. You statement that "they" - that'd be we - have to learn to get in there and work on building up "their" - that'd be our - support is . . . well, I'm finding it hard to find one word to accurately say what it is. But it ain't good.

My point in this entire thread is that no one should "get" any office at all - and the constant switching between top ballot bids by some of the current/would-be statewiders looks like a bunch of popular kids deciding among themselves who gets to be Prom King and who gets to be the duke, duchess, etc, on the prom court. It's ridiculous. It looks bad. It looks like people who feel they are entitled to something shopping around for the best deal for themselves rather than measuring themselves against the needs of the office in which they want to serve.

Bill Lockyer, having seen the writing on the wall and ditching the gubernatorial race, has picked an office for which he is not the best candidate and he looks goofy for doing so.

So watch the lecturing. I know what I think, I know what I've read, I know what I've heard, what I've seen, and what my parents' views are. I also know that the girls have learned to get in there and work. But you'd be surprised how few of the boys want us there or think we can handle it once we are.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that this is what you're asking, but in case you were wondering, yes, Bill Simon bothers me. Just generally speaking.

doughnut70 said...
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Anonymous said...

Also, Bill Simon bothers me for specific reasons, but, again, I don't think that was what you were after...

doughnut70 said...
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doughnut70 said...

But I would be curious as to who you would like to see hold the job since we no longer have to worry about Mr. Simon.

doughnut70 said...

I have to add one more comment about Lockyer that was pointed out to me by a friend. Bill Lockyer could easily make a whole lot of money working as a lobbyist if he chose to go that route. He could make in fact much more than he can make as an elected official. I believe that he is running for office because he believes public service is a noble calling in and of itself, which is not something that enough people believe nowadays.

doughnut70 said...

I deleted most of my comments on this subject, because I thought I was overdoing it, which sometimes happens to me when I start writing on the internet.

I am still a huge Bill Lockyer fan and felt the need to stick up for him ,because too often in any profession, people move to the top by playing up to people who are already there and I think Lockyer made it in a different way. Mostly I think he made it by sticking up for people that were trying to get more access to the system, not the people that were already there.

I tend to jump in for people like that, because I have found that something about a person with that type of personality, will occasionally make them do things like what Lockyer did when he said he voted for Arnold in the recall (after voting no on the recall itself). They make mistakes because they try and solve problems, not just reflect the popular mood. Most politicians are not like that and I think as a society we can accept the occasional gaffe for the more substantial output.

The problem for people like that, is that those who have to give up a little power often remember and try and get even, while those who finally get a place at the table don't really know who cooked the meal because everyone takes credit.

I mentioned CD's parents in an earlier post which is now deleted because I knew their basic outlook on politics was essentially the same as I viewed Lockyers (I had worked as a volunteer on her fathers Assembly campaign many years ago and had sent her an email a while back mentioning that) and I thought he might have a different take than some of the people who never get past what is in their newspapers for their political views.

Generally, my original point was to disagree with CD's belief that the trading of offices was like the popular kids on the school ground trying to hog things for themselves and to argue that instead for some of them, it was a product of having built up support in major battles they have fought so that a lot of people who do remember, want them in public service no matter what it might take, because they know there are always more battles to fight.

In a different era (Think Kennedy, "Ask not etc.) going into politics was considered a noble calling and by and large voters challenged politicians as to why they would be better at a job than their opponents. Politicians were generally respected even if you disagreed with them because it was believed they were trying to do a public service. There was some cynicism, but nothing like today and certainly not as deserved as I think todays is.

Nowadays it seems like many vote for the nice smile and the bland personality and will support anyone who won't rock the boat. I think that's sad because there is still so much to be done and rather that expect people to move aside for anyone, I would like to see younger politico's have the courage to take on some of their elders that they think they can outperform.

Just so it's clear what I am talking about, I will mention the first time I met Bill Clinton. He was already being promoted as a national figure and a California State Senator named Gary Hart (not the Presidential candidate) was considering a longshot run for Governor challenging Tom Bradley in the primary.

No one thought Hart could win (although everyone that knew him admired him. He is working as a high school teacher now even though he is a Stanford grad and regarded as having a brilliant mind) and he eventually dropped out of the race.

But while he was considering running, Bill Clinton came out and endorsed him and appeared at a couple of fundraisers on his behalf.

The reason he did that was Hart had been a leader in the fight for some things like Teacher competency testing which Clinton was also for and that had put him on Clinton's radar screen and after a lot of investigation, Clinton decided he liked him and wanted to help.

Too many of today's California politicians wouldn't have the guts to do that because Bradley was supposed to be the sure winner and could have hurt Clinton's chances for National office if he was still Mayor of Los Angeles when he ran. But Clinton decided he liked Hart and he was getting active nationally, so he supported him.

What would have been a selfish reason for doing so. None that I can think of. However, I do think it was important in that era that if you were campaigning as believing in something that you had a record of taking chances to advance your cause. In my opinion most California politicians don't take those chances and Bill Lockyer does. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Doughnut70, are you initials TK? If so, I did receive an email from you once, but it didn't mention that you had volunteered on my dad's campaign, nor was there any connection between it and your screen name here. So if your initials are TK, I did get your message, in September, but didn't connect the dots. I apologize if I seemed heated in these comments - it's only ever about the debate here, so no offense is ever intended.

I think we'll always disagree on Bill Lockyer. I will ask my parents their thoughts, I don't know them for sure, but you are right that they do form their opinions from information past what is available in the newspaper.

A former, high ranking Clinton staffer once said, during the 2004 primary, that John Kerry had used up all his courage in Vietnam. Now, I think he had some left, but it sure did seem like he wasn't employing it enough. The same may be true with Lockyer. Frequently, those that have given blood, sweat, and tears to make government better are never recognized for those efforts. Perhaps this is the case with Lockyer. Unfortunately, this can turn people into something that sounds a little self-centered and entitled. It's not fair, but it happens. The first time I stood in a room with Lockyer (and a small group of people) to listen to him talk about his accomplishments, I was unimpressed. And it wasn't so much that I didn't believe what he was saying. See, there are some politicians who can deftly list their accomplishments without emphasizing the word "I" and some with whom "I" is the only word you'll here. I think it rubs some voters - including this one - the wrong way.

So while I don't think he's a *bad* person, he just doesn't float my political boat. And for me, his post-recall statements weren't courageous, they were foolish and they cost him the chance to be governor himself.

He has a lot of service left in him, fine. But I will forever contend that State Treasurer isn't the best avenue for that. People can serve their country through more than just government - and its taken me a long time to realize that and value those alternative avenues.

(Lastly - and this references something in a comment no longer posted, so I won't belabor the point longer: the women's group that turned their backs to him was the Women's Caucus of the California Democratic Party. These ladies may lunch, but only after walking precincts. They work.)

Don't stop commenting doughnut70, you sure do keep things lively. But I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

Rocky Fernandez said...

Excuse me-

On behalf of the 49er faithful, I must call you out on the inaccuracy of your charge.

The 49ers have had every game televised for 20 years. They haven't suffered a blackout for the whole time I've been conscious of football.

It's those lamo Raider Nation people who can't fill their stadium and have half their games blacked out.

Just for the record....

Anonymous said...

Okay - I'll take your word for it.

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