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AntonioVillaraigosaDebate.jpgIt's a slow week around the Capitol so let's check in on the 2010 governor's race.

In his Sunday column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Willie Brown wrote of a recent conversation he had with Antonio Villaraigoisa, the reelected mayor of Los Angeles and potential candidate for governor in 2010.

In it, Brown says Villaraigosa was touting a recent statewide poll showing him trailing Attorney General Jerry Brown by only 4 percentage points.

(That was the margin in the latest Field Poll, when Sen. Dianne Feinstein was not included.)

Poll results aside, the point is that Villaraigosa, who has declined to comment on his gubernatorial ambitions, is hawking the poll in the first place.

Meanwhile, The Bee's Peter Hecht profiled Anne Gust, the wife of Jerry Brown and one of his top advisers.

"If Jerry says he wants to give it all up and be a farmer, I'm fine with that," she said.

"I don't think he'll be a farmer," she added.

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, meanwhile, could skip out on his bid for governor and instead run for Congress.

CalBuzz, the new California politics Web site by Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine, has a fun rundown likening each of the candidates for governor to a particular Silicon Valley company.

Jude Barry, who departed Lt. Gov. John Garamendi's campaign last week, authored the comparisons:

Jerry Brown is to Apple...as Gavin Newsom is to Facebook...as Antonio Villaraigosa is to Yahoo!...as John Garamendi is to Sun Microsystems...as Meg Whitman is to eBay...as Steve Poizner is to Intel....as Tom Campbell is to Wilson, Sonini, Goodrich, & Rosati.

Garamendi announced Monday that he had hired a new "messaging" consultant, Peter B. Collins, a liberal radio talk show host.

In the Los Angeles Times on Monday, Bill Whalen, a former speechwriter for ex-Gov. Pete Wilson, said GOP candidates Whitman and Poizner must get beyond trying to channel Ronald Reagan.

"For the same reason that the Dodgers showcase Manny Ramirez and not Kirk Gibson, California Republicans have to resist the urge to revisit the greatest hits of the 1980s and making the election a history lesson on "Morning in America." Save it for Lincoln Day dinners, not the campaign trail," Whalen wrote.

Whalen concluded:

As individuals whose run for office is financed by personal fortunes born of ingenuity rather than the GOP cliche of trust funds, Whitman and Poizner should leap at the chance to show they are reflective souls, not some manifestation of focus groups and hackneyed rhetoric or the product of political consultants.


To borrow very loosely from Reagan, taking such an approach might go a long way in tearing down the wall that keeps Republicans out of higher office in California.

In non-2010 news, Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, hosts his first town hall of 2009 in Gold River.

California Health and Human Services Agency Kim Belshé and Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health, will release new data on smoking in the state and tout the benefits of the state's 20-year old tobacco control program in a morning press conference.

And the secretary of state's office today will conduct its random alphabet drawing to determine the ballot order for those lining up to replace Rep. Hilda Solis.

Photo: Los Angeles mayor Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa talks to the media in the spin room following the CNN/ Politico Democratic presidential debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on Thursday Jan. 31, 2008. Credit: Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee.



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