A federal judge has overturned the Maryland law that sought to force WalMart to provide health insurance coverage to more of its employees. A similar proposal is pending in California.
Posted by dweintraub at 2:05 PM
In the last few days a bunch of people have asked me for my take of the governor's race as it now stands. Conventional wisdom seems to be shifting toward a sense that Angelides is in big trouble, or even that he is out of it. I'm not ready to go there, but I do think he has his work cut out for him.
If the next couple of polls confirm what appears to be the latest trend -- independents have returned to the governor's camp -- then that presents a big problem for Phil. Independents helped elected Schwarzenegger in 2003, then drifted away from him last year, during the special election. If they have come home, then it is going to be very difficult for Angelides to pry them loose again with campaign promises, ads and what have you. The big news Schwarzenegger is likely to make between now and the end of the year will involve prescription drugs, global warming and the minimum wage. None of these issues will thrill the true right-wingers in his party, but they actually do appeal to the broad mainstream of Republicans in California, and they will protect his flank with the independents and moderate Democrats.
So I don't think Angelides can pull those independents away. Only Schwarzenegger can do that. By his actions, he could drive independents back into the opposition, but I wouldn't expect him to do that. Or there could be a scandal, or some other shock to the system -- a disaster -- to which he reacts poorly and turns people against him.
Could power outages do it? Perhaps, but it might depend on how he reacts. If he dithers, like Davis did, then people will be upset. But if his reaction were more forceful, and more effective, then it could produce just the opposite result.
It is also still very possible that this is going to be a big Democratic year nationally in which just about every Republican with any kind of competitive race loses. And Angelides is well positioned to ride such a wave if it comes.
So I guess that's another way of saying that yes, Angelides is the underdog. He needs a Democratic tsunami or a shock to the political equation to shake things up and turn the dynamic in his favor again. He probably can't do it through traditional campaigning, try as he might.
Posted by dweintraub at 1:47 PM
I missed Jon Fleischman's announcement the other day that he is leaving the OC sheriff's office to start his own political firm and, presumably, to have more time to tend to this fast-growing website. In the past year FlashReport has become a go-to site for folks looking to take the temperature of the conservative wing of the California Republican Party.
Posted by dweintraub at 1:18 PM