Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Underdog Day Afternoon

Tuesday is election day. If you spend a lot of time with the TV on, as I am want to do, you've probably had your fill of Meg and Steve battling over who is the more conservative Republican, Das and Susan, bickering about who hates the big oil companies most and Joyce and Josh tussling over who will be the toughest DA.

It got so bad, that I had to get out of town for a few days and head north, first to San Luis Obispo, then onto the Monterey Peninsula to get some respite from the campaign ads. And no, don't bother asking why I simply didn't turn the TV off. That would have been too simple a solution.

Of course, going north only exposes you to a different set of political ads. Within range of the San Francisco TV market, I'm hearing and seeing Kamala Harris for Attorney General ads. Didn't see any of those back home. Nor have I seen any for our own Pedro Nava who is one of the boatload of Democrats who, along with Harris, is vying for the nomination.

Then there will be a few names on the ballot you probably won't recognize at all. For instance, did you know that Senator Barbara Boxer has opposition in the Democratic primary race? And no, it isn't Carly Fiorina! (She's running on the Republican side.)

Boxer's opposition is Mickey Kaus, whose candidacy is historic if for no other reason than, as far as I can ascertain, he will be the first candidate for any office whose occupation will be listed on the ballot as "Blogger."

Kaus, is a friend of mine and he was here in town a few weeks ago, so that I and a couple of other friends, Ann Louise Bardach and Jerry Roberts could introduce him to a few of our friends.

Put aside for a moment the fact that those who have made their entry-level job into elected politics that of "United States Senator" are few and far between, trying to persuade good Democrats to vote against Barbara Boxer can be a hard sell. Kaus doesn't do anything to make it easier. But give him credit, he's willing to try to get voters to think about two of the sacred cows of the Democratic Party, labor unions and immigration reform.

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Boxer could conceivably be vulnerable to the right challenger, given that the LA Times recently noted that, "She displays less intellectual firepower or leadership than she could." But I think Kaus is too much out of the mainstream of politicians and in the end, has too little financial wherewithal to mount a successful challenge.

Anyway, there's an excellent look at Kaus and his Quixotic campaign in the New York Times.

And if you're one of my Republican friends (and yes, I do have friends who are Republicans) there's no need to feel left out in the obscure-challenger-to-a-household-name department. 25-year old Daniel Goldberg, who happens to be a former student of mine at Ventura College of Law, is running against former County Supervisor Mike Stoker. Both are seeking to be the Republican nominee against either Susan Jordan or Das Williams for the 35th Assembly District.

Stoker is an old friend of mine. (I can't believe I just admitted that.) Few people seem to know that Goldberg is running against him. In fact, I'm not even sure if Stoker knows. He seemingly hasn't acknowledged any having any opposition in his primary campaign and already seems to be running against Williams and Jordan.

According to the Ventura County Star, Goldberg's "only political experience has been to start a political discussion group at the San Diego State University campus, provide some volunteer help to the campaign of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and to write a blog called 'Propaganda.'"

If he makes any kind of a showing in this race, he'll have something to tell his kids.

Kaus and Goldberg are both long shots but hey, you never know. Anyone else around here remember Jack O'Connell vs. Brooks Firestone?

* * *

I don't like to make election day predictions, but a friend in who is an observer of county politics has this to say, "Harry Hagan (Treasurer - Tax Collector) by 10 points, Janet Wolf (2nd District Supervisor) by 7, Das Williams by 5, and Joyce Dudley by 5."

The parimutuel wagering windows are open.

© 2010 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com