June 5, 2012 archive

Key California Races to Watch Tonight


Today is California Presidential Primary election day.

Here are the key California races that I will be watching tonight:


CA-26: Republican Tony Strickland Vs. No Party Preference Linda Parks Vs. Democrat Julia Brownley and three other Democrats. This race will test the new top two election susytem in California. Will Linda Parks be able to knock out Julia Brownley from second place in this marginally Democratic registration Congressional district. In any event, this will be a an intensely fought race in November between winning candidates tonight.

CA-24: Will conservative Republican Chris Mitchum be able to knock off Republican and former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado in order to face off against incumbent Democrat Congresswoman Lois Capps in the fall?

CA-30: In the battle of Dem upon Dem will incumbent Democratic Congressman Howard Berman be able to defeat his Democratic Congressional Colleague Brad Sherman in this Westside/San Fernando Valley race? Will the GOP/other candidates win sufficient votes to knock one of them off the November ballot?

CA-31: In a GOP Vs. GOP race will Congressman Gary Miller prevail against Republican State Senator and former GOP Senate leader Bob Dutton? Whoever wins will face a rough race in November in this leans Democratic district.

CA-25: Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon dodged a contested race when Rep. Elton Gallegly retired. But, will the Armed Services Committee Chairman McKeon be harmed by trying to hijack a California Assembly seat for his wife, Patricia?

United States Senate:

Does anyone REALLY think that long-time Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein won’t be the top vote getter tonight? But, who will she face?

Di Fi has over twenty opponents, including the following to watch: Elizabeth Emken who won the coveted California GOP endorsement, Dan Hughes, Al Ramirez and dentist/lawyer/birther Orly Taitz.

San Diego Mayor:

Republican Councilman Carl DeMaio is said to be leading in the polls and Democrat Congressman Bob Filner is said to be in second. But, former Republican California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher who switched parties mid-race is hoping to upset Filner? Will enough independent voters come to save his political career? How will San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis fair in the mix?

California State Assembly:

AD-44: This is my home assembly district and incumbent Republican Jeff Gorell will have an easy time in this GOP district. But, will his margin be eroded because he was in Afghanistan this past year? Or, will it be enhanced?

AD-48: A safe Democratic seat but incumbent Democratic Assemblyman Roger Hernandez was arrested for a DUI a few weeks ago. How will this play in this heavily Latino district?

AD-38: My friend and Community College Trustee Scott Wilk is running in a four-way race with two other Republicans, who include Rep. Buck McKeon’s wife, Patricia. Who will be in the top two in this safe Republican district? Will a run-off be between Wilk and McKeon in November?

AD-66: My high school friend and conservative businessman Craig Huey is in a three-way race with a moderate Republican Nathan Mintz and a solid Democrat. Will Huey who challenged (and lost) Rep. Janice Hahn in a special election Congressional race in 2011 be able to pull out a top two win and face Torrance school board member and prosecutor Al Muratsuchi? The seat will be heavily contested in November.

California State Senate:

SD-19: In this heavily Democratic registration Senate District we have far-left Hannah-Beth Taxin’ Jackson vs. moderate Democrat fireman Jason Hodge. Republican Mike Stoker is waiting to see who falls over in this Dem on Dem fight. Will Stoker be able to pick up the pieces and wage a general election race against Taxin’ Jackson?

SD-27: Whatever the result tonight, Republican Todd Zink will face off against incumbent California state Senator Fran Pavley in November. There are only two candidates running. This is my home California State Senate district being vacated by Tony Strickland and the only result pundits want to see is by how much Pavley wins. If she wins small, this may persuade the special interests to send a little campaign cash to LA County Prosecutor Zink for November

California Proposition 28:

.This measure changes term limits, but are voters in a YES mode to change things?

California Proposition 29:

This is the tobacco tax measure and since less than 20 per cent of Californians smoke, it doesn’t really affect as many voters. But, will Californians be in a taxin’ mood?

These are some of the races, I will be watching closely tonight.

For full coverage and comments as the returns come in throughout the night, watch my Twitter feed and follow @Flap.


Flap’s California Morning Collection: June 5, 2012


The California Capitol

Good Tuesday morning!

It is California Primary election day and there are no floor sessions scheduled in the California Legislature.

The California Legislature is in session.  Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s here.

On to today’s California headlines:

Field Poll predicting low turnout — perhaps a record low — in today’s California presidential primary

Voter turnout for today’s election will likely set a record low for a presidential primary in California, with just 35 percent of registered voters casting ballots, according to the Field Poll.

The estimate reflects the state’s insignificance to the Republican presidential nominating contest, which was settled long ago, and to a dearth of competitive, high-interest races statewide.

“There’s really no comparison,” poll director Mark DiCamillo said. “We’ve never had a turnout at this level before for a presidential primary in California.”

In a report released today, Field estimates 6 million people will vote in the election, 35 percent of registered voters and just more than 25 percent of all Californians who are eligible to vote.

In the 2008 presidential primary, turnout reached almost 58 percent.

If turnout today falls below 40 percent of registration, as Field expects, it will be for the first time in the modern era. The previous record low turnout for a presidential primary was 41.9 percent in 1996.

Dan Walters: California’s primary election stakes are minimal

Primary elections are, by their nature, not conclusive political events, but rather stage-setters for the real showdown in November.

For the political cognoscenti, however, this particular primary carries some unusual interest because it’s a first test of two major structural changes.

They are legislative and congressional districts drawn by an independent commission rather than by politicians themselves, and a new voting system in which two top finishers will face each other in November, regardless of party.

In a handful of the 153 legislative and House seats up this year, that could mean that two Democrats or two Republicans, or perhaps even an independent, could qualify for the November runoff.

It will, however, almost certainly eliminate minor party candidates from competing, which strikes many as unfair.

Californians to test new primary system

Californians heading to the polls Tuesday will decide whether to tweak term limits for state lawmakers and raise cigarette taxes to fund cancer research — even as they try out a revamped primary system designed to reduce partisan gridlock here and in Washington.

Under new primary rules, the top two finishers in races for state and federal offices will face off in November, regardless of party affiliation. The presidential contest is an exception. Candidates also are competing in new voting districts drawn by a citizens panel rather than the Legislature, which formerly engineered those districts to protect incumbents and maintain the influence of party bosses.

The outcome could reshape the way power is wielded in two capitals long defined by gridlock and brinkmanship. If more moderates are elected, it could eventually break the hold of labor unions on Democrats and anti-tax groups on Republicans.

Brown seeks to reduce environmental protections for bullet train

With legal challenges to the California bullet train mounting, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday began circulating proposed legislation designed to significantly diminish the possibility that opponents could stop the project with an environmental lawsuit.

Brown’s office sent the proposal to a group of powerful environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, the Planning Conservation League and the Natural Resources Defense Council, hoping to win their support for the special legal protection.

The proposal puts environmental groups in a tough spot. Brown is asking them to agree to water down one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation in history, but for a project they support because of its potential to help reduce vehicle emissions and global warming.

The legislation would most immediately affect suits brought by Central Valley agricultural interests, which have been among the project’s leading critics because of potential effects on farms, dairies, processing plants and other holdings.

Enjoy your morning and please remember to vote!


Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-05


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