Schwarzenegger signed the prescription drug discount bill today. With all the talk about him moving left and flip-flopping on issues, this is the one indisputable case of him abandoning a previous position and, arguably, pandering for votes. Last year, his position was that using the Medi-Cal program as leverage against the drug companies was wrong because it would put the poor's pharmaceutical options at risk. This year, he says that's ok. As far as I know, he has never really explained his change of heart. At least his opponents can no longer say he is in the pocket of the prescription drug industry.
Posted by dweintraub at 2:58 PM
The governor's strategists did one of their periodic conference calls with reporters today, and as usual, broke no news. Their primary message was that they continue to think that Angelides will improve his standing among Democrats before Election Day, but they would be happy to be wrong.
"We think this race is going to be close," Matt Dowd said. "We think the margin is going to close."
They want this message out so that if the race does grow closer, reporters will note that this was what everyone expected all along, and it's not a sign that Angelides is turning the tide. Of course, it could be a sign of that, even if it is what the campaigns -- and the press -- expect.
But from my perspective, this call was more instructive for what it said about the governor's campaign operation, and their willingness to engage, or not, with reporters.
I have not been on every one of these calls, but I noticed a new wrinkle today that was particularly infuriating. After each reporter asked a question, his or her line was immediately shut down, so they couldn't ask a follow-up or even for a clarification of what Matt Dowd or Steve Schmidt were saying. It's been my experience in the past on these calls, at least with other campaigns and offices, that the line is left open so a reporter can engage in a limited back-and-forth with the sources. Instead, this time, you got a question, then a self-serving sermon from the campaign folks, absolutely no follow-up, and on to the next question. Even if a reporter simply didn't understand an answer or missed a word or phrase, there was no way to ask them to repeat what they said.
In addition to being rude and even more self-serving than usual for political types, the new wrinkle makes Dowd and Schmidt look like cowards who can't handle a follow-up question or engage in intelligent back-and-forth with journalists. Given that they have a huge lead in the polls and pretty much everything in this race has been going their way, you have to wonder, what are they afraid of?
Posted by dweintraub at 11:51 AM
BoiFromTroy notes a mostly overlooked number in this week's PPIC poll: for the first time ever (he says), a plurality of Californians say they support gay marriage. The result was 47-46.
Posted by dweintraub at 10:39 AM
The Riverside paper supports the school bond but opposes the statewide parcel tax for education.
Posted by dweintraub at 6:31 AM
The San Francisco Chronicle is trying to schedule 60-minute endorsement debates in front of its editorial board, which will be webcast by the CBS station in San Francisco. The first one, involving the candidates for attorney general, is scheduled for next Thursday.
Posted by dweintraub at 6:28 AM
The parcel tax wouldn't provide much money for the schools, and the money it did generate would come with too many strings attached, the LA Times says.
Posted by dweintraub at 6:23 AM
The Union Tribune endorses the transportation and flood control measures but opposes the housing, education and parks bonds.
Posted by dweintraub at 6:21 AM
A 700-mile border fence would be an expensive, ineffective symbol, says the Orange County Register.
Posted by dweintraub at 6:16 AM
The latest Field Poll shows all five bond measures hanging on to at least narrow majorities, with the housing bond showing an unexpected surge that the pollster attributes to a favorable ballot summary.
Posted by dweintraub at 6:15 AM