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Daniel Weintraub

California Insider

A Weblog by
Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub

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« November 8, 2005 | | November 10, 2005 »
November 9, 2005

Problem solving

Since the message from voters Tuesday is that they want problems solved by the Legislature, not at the ballot box, I'm guessing that now the legislative leaders will take that to heart and come back with proposals to meet the governor halfway on the issues he raised, many of which voters have said in polling they believe are legitimate problems. Here are some ideas for middle ground that I bet the governor would be happy to support in the new era of solving problems in the Capitol:

An independent redistricting commission with new lines that don't take effect until 2012.

A spending limit that doesn't give new powers to the governor.

A measure to require unions to get annual permission from members before deducting political donations from their paychecks and requires corporations to get clearance from shareholders for their political spending.

An end state micromanagement of hiring and firing rules for teachers, entrusting that topic to the adults who are elected to run local school districts.

A hybrid pension plan that would give new hires a basic defined benefit and a 401K style benefit on top of that, standardize local benefits to end the bidding wars and require voter approval for future benefit increases.

Other ideas?

Posted by dweintraub at 7:52 PM

Polling accuracy

These two charts are from SurveyUSA. I have not checked the math, but they purport to average the “error rate” by the six pollsters that surveyed the special election. The first chart looks at only the five props that SurveyUSA polled, and how all the pollsters did on those measures. The second chart looks at each outfit's rate for all the props they polled. Note that many pollsters would quibble at the use of the word “error” since they consider their surveys to be snapshots in time which, unless taken on election day, can never be said to be wrong. Also note that the much maligned Field Poll does pretty well using either measure. And see my added note below regarding the PPIC.


Field 3.36
SurveyUSA 5.32
PPIC 5.76
Stanford/KN 5.96
Polimetrix 6.24
LA Times 7.44


5 SurveyUSA 5.32
8 Field 6.05
7 Polimetrix 7.20
8 LA Times 7.85
8 Stanford/KN 8.80
7 PPIC 9.57

NOTE: Mark Baldassare at PPIC notes in an email that the poll used in this comparison for the first chart came out of the field 16 days before the election, and some of the results in the second chart reflct a poll that was completed 50 days before the election. He is right that it's not fair to compare those results to polls that were done within days of the vote. But it's also true that the media and political players cite his polls as reflecting the state of mind of the voters right up until Election Day, so it's worth reminding folks that, in most cases, the data they are citing is quite old.

Posted by dweintraub at 3:52 PM

'Bread and circuses'

Here's a preview of the Angelides campaign for governor, from his remarks today on Tuesday's election results.

Posted by dweintraub at 3:18 PM

Wishful thinking

The consensus from pundits and pols this morning seems to be that Californians rejected the idea of governing by ballot box and sent a message to the governor and the Legislature to solve these problems in the Capitol. That may indeed by the message people intended to send. But it's doubtful it will be the message received in Sacramento. The governor went to the ballot because Democrats wouldn't negotiate with him on his proposals. He offered his ideas in January, invited the Democrats to negotiate, and held out the possibility of a special election if they did not. They called his bluff and when he showed his hand, he had nothing. If you're a Democrat in the Legislature, the message from that result is not that you should negotiate with the governor, be more accommodating. It's just the opposite: hold the line. Give no ground. Before, Schwarzenegger at least had the threat of going over their heads directly to the people. Now that option is gone, at least for the time being. Why would they take that development as a signal that it is time to compromise?

Posted by dweintraub at 7:09 AM

Lost centrism

Republican consultant Dan Schnur says Schwarzenegger didn't lose this year by veering to his right so much as by ignoring his left.

Posted by dweintraub at 6:43 AM



At Crossroads, a panel of experts and the public debate the future of health care in California. We'd like you to join the conversation.

Daniel Weintraub


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