The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

October 30, 2008
The case for Heather Fargo -- flood control
RCB LEVY_02.JPGSacramento Mayor Heather Fargo stands with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other members of Congress after touring local levees in 2002. Bee photo by Renee C. Byer.
It's hard to write a passionate defense of Mayor Heather Fargo, partly because she seems so incapable of making one for herself.

Until fairly recently, Sacramento's incumbent mayor couldn't seem to specify her personal accomplishments. She often used the term "we" instead of "I." This odd political defect is the arguably the main reason Fargo could lose Tuesday's election, even though she has some successes to brag about and faces a candidate, Kevin Johnson, who has never held public office and carries around some considerable political baggage.

Fargo's main accomplishment involves the single most serious threat to Sacramento - a devastating flood.

For nearly two decades, Fargo has made flood control one of her priorities, first as a council member, then as mayor. She's served on the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency and is currently its chair. She can rightly boast, as she does on her campaign web site, that she's been "a steadfast advocate for repairing our levees and has made countless trips to Washington, DC to lobby the Congress for additional funding..."

Fargo has a seasoned perspective on flood control. She's been through the fights over the never-built Auburn Dam. As late as 1996, she and the SAFCA board supported the "dry dam" concept. But after Congress twice rejected Auburn Dam in 1990s, she and other SAFCA commissioners determined they had to pursue alternatives. They have, and the result - following years of haggling with U.S. Rep. John Doolittle and others -- is the ongoing work to add a new spillway to Folsom Dam, while upgrading levees along the American and Sacramento Rivers.


October 29, 2008
Brown up over McClintock?
The Daily Kos is reporting that Charlie Brown leads Tom McClintock, 48-42, in October poll results in the race for the 4th Congressional District. That up from 46-41 from a month earlier.

I'm not sure I'd be as cocky as Kos in assuming a Brown victory, but this race is way tighter than it appeared a few weeks ago.

UPDATE: An alert reader, Hektor, noted in the comments below that McClintock has his own poll for that October period that shows him up over Brown, 49-40. You can find info here.

I should also note that McClintock's pollster, Val Smith, has found fault with the Daily Kos poll of the 4th District. You can find his critique at the bottom of this page.

Who should you believe? We'll find out Tuesday night. The reputation of pollsters will be on the line, along with the political careers of Brown and McClintock.
October 29, 2008
Prop. 10: Will voters let a Texas oil man buy a bond measure?
In an editorial today, The Bee renews its opposition to Proposition 10, the Nov. 4 ballot initiative that would have California borrow $5 billion to subsidize natural gas-powered vehicles and other forms of transportation. States the editorial:

"In one fell swoop, this deceptively named 'Renewable Energy and Clean Alternative Fuel Act' would worsen the state's budget situation, undermine its fight against global warming and enrich a Texas billionaire - T. Boone Pickens."

As the editorial notes, Prop. 10 could well pass, because Pickens has poured nearly $19 million into this measure. On the other hand, groups and individuals as diverse as Bill Leonard, of the Board of Equalization, and Mary Nichols, chair of the Air Resources board, oppose the measure.

Keep reading to see statements by Leonard and Nichols in opposition to Prop. 10.

October 27, 2008
The final mayor's debate -- no game changer

The second half of the Sacramento mayor's debate was more meaty than the first. There was real discussion -- although not much -- of what the city could do to deal with people losing their homes. There was some talk about transportation priorities and auto malls -- the latter a non-issue, in today's economy.

There was Mayor Fargo dropping the bomb that some economic development staff with the city may not have jobs, depending on the outcome of the budget. (I sure hope this wasn't the first time they had heard of this possibility.)

Then a viewer asked about Fargo's trips to Paris and other parts of the world. Her answer was convoluted. She said that Paris was interested in Sacramento's experience with water conservation and combinated stormwater-sewer and so they paid her way to fly across the world. Really? Our water-gushing city is known as an international leader in water conservation?

Then, at the end, Fargo made a pitch, straight into the camera, on why she should be reelected. She talked about a real accomplishment  -- expanding the medical centers here in Sacramento, despite neighborhood and union opposition.

Sadly, that was too little, too late.

The Bee's poll shows K.J. up by eight points. Fargo tried to downplay that outcome by noting that the newspaper's poll had her up in the primary that Kevin ended up winning.

But let's face reality: Incumbents who lose in the primary rarely win in the final election, even if the polls are wrong. Tonight's debate did little to change the dynamic. Game over.

October 27, 2008
Mayor's debate -- where's the beef? Or even the tofu?

The first half hour of Sacramento's last mayoral debate between Heather Fargo and Kevin Johnson was almost void of substantive discussion on real issues.

First we heard an odd dust-up on Kevin Johnson's Saturday visit to city hall, in which a security guard allowed him to get up to the 5th floor. According to Fargo, Councilman Rob Fong confronted K.J. when he entered the council chambers and then the security guard was out of a job. What happened there? Do we have videotape?

Then we heard extended debate on Sacramento spending $200,000 on surveying its trees, which have been known to fall on people (including some of Heather's supporters at a primary election night party earlier this year.) K.J. says it's a waste of money, Fargo says no, because trees shade our horrendously hot city and can kill people, as they have.

Finally, at minute 36, a question was posed about the mortgage meltdown....Finally.

October 27, 2008
Monday memo: Beyond endorsements
The Bee's editorial board is -- whew! -- nearing the end of its endorsements for the Nov. 4 election. Having held scores of meetings and made our picks in 55 separate races and ballot measures, we are now thankfully moving onto some new topics:

PENSION OBLIGATIONS: The collapse of the stock market means that state and local taxpayers could be on the hook for pension obligations handled by CalPERS. Ginger Rutland is examining the long-term consequences. Email her here.

REGIONAL TRANSIT: Ginger is also writing about the workshops that Regional Transit is holding to map its future operations. Have you been to one? If so, email Ginger with your impressions.

We are also examining new twists on old topics:

PROPOSITION 8: If the ballot measure to ban gay marriage fails, will it result in teaching of gay marriage in public schools? Contact Pia Lopez with your thoughts.

PROPOSITION 11: Opponents of the redistricting reform measure suggest it will result in "taxation without representation." They call it a "power grab" by Republicans. But they also call it a "power grab" by Democrats. This has left us in a state of confusement. Should we comment? Email me if you have a dog in this fight.
October 22, 2008
California's reservoirs at lowest levels in 14 years
NEA_P0830_FOLSOM2.jpg
RP FLOSOM LAKE CROWS.JPG
Folsom Lake was brimming with water in July 2002, as shown above. By July of this year, as seen to the right, it was at 25 percent of capacity and steadily dropping. (Photos by Brian Baer and Randy Pench.)

As of Friday, there was only 15.8 million acre feet of water in California's reservoirs -- the lowest amount since 1994, according to Steve Nemeth of the state Department of Water Resources.

15.8 million acre feet isn't much of a savings account. Imagine Folsom Lake near Sacramento at full capacity. That's one million acre feet. Now imagine 15 of those reservoirs for a huge state with 37 million people and millions of acres of farm land.

The DWR says on its Web site that "California is facing the most significant water crisis in its history." That may be stretching it. In 1977, the state just had 7.6 million acre feet of water in storage following the driest year on record. And let's not forget the drought of 1928-34. Things got so dry that no fresh water from the Sacramento River reached the San Francisco Bay in 1931, according to Sue McClurg's book, "Water and the Making of California."

Of course, California has millions of more people now - and more valuable crops at stake - than it did in 1977 or 1931. So we can't afford another dry winter. Unless we plan on eating crow.
October 20, 2008
Are newspaper endorsements "dinosaurs"? Or a heritage worth keeping?
CC_DINOSAUR_WIDE.JPGThe Swarm last week blogged on how congressional candidate Tom McClintock was balking at meeting with The Bee's editorial board for an endorsement interview. The item drew a number of comments, including this one from "csicathy," who wrote:

Newspaper "endorsements" are so irrelevant today, so predictible, so utterly lacking in credibility, why would McClintock waste his time? Time to pull the plug on this dinosaur called "editorial board."
As it turned out, after we published our blog item, McClintock's campaign quickly arranged an interview with our editorial board dinosaur. That made us feel more relevant. Even so, csicathy's item touched a nerve. At a time when newspapers are struggling and voters have so many options for information on candidates, do newspaper editorials really matter?


October 18, 2008
Fargo, Johnson differ on weak mayor and current city manager
I just watched the televised debate between Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo and challenger Kevin Johnson. Although fatigued by this contest and the choices that voters face, I was intrigued by the candidates' answers to a question about the current weak mayor system in Sacramento.

Fargo said the system works well with a "strong personality as mayor" and a strong personality as city manager. But then she added that "there have been some problems with past city managers and with the one we have now."

Problems with current manager Ray Kerridge? What are they? Fargo didn't say and the moderator didn't ask.

Johnson, by contrast, praised Kerridge by name, and said he would be able to work with the current structure by "using the bully pulpit." He then went on to say: " I do think the city needs to have a discussion to move from a weak mayor structure to an executive mayor structure." In other words, he'd like to change the city charter in a pretty dramatic way.

I'd love to know what Ray Kerridge thought of these two responses. One candidate dissed him without elaboration. The other suggested a change that would make the mayor the city manager. No matter who wins, it could be a tough four years for Mr. Kerridge.
October 17, 2008
Plumbers create new committees: More attack ads in the mayor's race?
The presidential race isn't the only contest that features mysterious plumbers. The latest filings on the City of Sacramento Web site shows that four plumbers unions have created new "qualified large political committees" in the last month.

These new committees could foreshadow another series of attack ads on mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson. He is trying to unseat incumbent Heather Fargo, who is supported by local and statewide plumbers unions.

Earlier this year, the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 447 launched an independent expenditure campaign that smeared Johnson with glossy mailers and a Web site. "Never before have Sacramento voters seen such a despicable independent expenditure campaign," The Bee said in an editorial at the time. 

The new new committees that have filed are the Southern California Pipe Trades District Council #16; the United Association of the Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, Local #343; the Pipe Trades District Council #36 and the Plumbers and Pipefitters U.A. Local #246.
October 16, 2008
Ballot propositions: Videos and a tally of support and opposition
Fox & Hounds has produced this handy grid showing where leading interest groups, newspapers and political parties stand on the 12 ballot propositions on the ballot. It is quite a divergence of views.

To get more information on the propositions themselves, check out the Center for Governmental Studies, a non-profit headed by good-government guru Bob Stern. The CGS has put together one-minute, non-partisan videos on each ballot measure, like the one below. Further evidence of how the YouTube generation is influencing politics.




October 15, 2008
California air board, after delay, releases plan to cut CO2 emissions

The California Air Resources Board has just released its proposed scoping plan for cutting greenhouse gases nearly 30 percent by 2020. The plan, likely to be controversial for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, originally was to be unveiled on Oct. 3. It was delayed for reasons I examined in an earlier post.

UPDATE: Reaction from environmental groups is all over the map. Read their statements, and one from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the jump.


October 14, 2008
City treasurer to council: Get ready for "painful reality"

City Treasurer Russ Fehr will deliver a bleak report to the city council on Sacramento's finances tonight. You can find his report here 105_2265.JPGon the council's web site.

In the report, Fehr notes that property values in the city  "have declined by more than $10 billion" in the last three years.

He says that rating agencies have lowered the rating on several of the city's bond issues because of problems with insurers. He warns against additional borrowing, because it would lower the city's AA rating further. At the same time, the city will need to increase contributions to its employee retirement system because earnings in the stock market will be "significantly below actuarial targets."

The bottom line, says Fehr: "Spending must fall below income and the difference applied to debt reduction and increasing savings...Adapting to these constraints is critical and will continue to be a painful reality...for years to come."

UPDATE: The ever-active Steve Maviglio, campaign manager for Kevin Johnson, just released a memo putting his spin on the city's financial troubles. Read it on the jump. 

October 10, 2008
What's delaying Schwarzenegger's plan to cut greenhouse emissions?

NEWSWEEK_COVER.jpgThe Schwarzenegger administration was scheduled last Friday to release its long-awaited "scoping plan" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as required by a 2006 state law to fight global warming.

But a week has come and gone and still no final scoping plan. What gives?

Stanley Young, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board, told me earlier this week that officials were just "crossing t's and dotting i's" in pulling together the voluminous report.

That may be so, but the collapse of the financial markets is surely adding to the delay.

For one, the governor's staff has been busy trying to deal with the state's cash-flow crunch. Thus, they probably haven't had time to vet a plan that is sure to be controversial.

Beyond that, one has to wonder if the governor is reluctant to release a plan that will lay out new fees, regulations and market mechanisms to achieve a 28 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. All will surely increase the cost of doing business in California.

 The scoping plan is big -- sure -- but it may have too large a scope for Schwarzenegger to feel comfortable in these hard economic times.

 

October 9, 2008
Lockyer is trying to sell $4B in notes, Schwarzenegger tells Paulson

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger just sent another letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson regarding the possibility that California might need a $7B loan to get it through the month.

In the letter, the governor says State Treasurer Bill Locker is in the process of trying to sell the first $4 billion in "bond anticipation notes." If that happens -- Massachusetts was able to get a loan yesterday -- it could make it easier for California to get all the credit it needs to the market to make it through the month.

But Lockyer hasn't yet sold the notes, so Schwarzenegger's letter leaves the door open on California seeking a federal loan if the credit market remains in a semi-panic.

Gov's letter is on the jump.

October 9, 2008
The Bee: Say "no" to all but one of the Nov. 4 propositions
The entire editorial page of The Bee today is devoted to an argument on why, in the current economic and political climate, voters should reject 11 of the 12 propositions on the Nov. 4 ballot.

"Say "no" to all measures that could worsen the state's budget situation or push agendas unrelated to the state's broken governance," the editorial states.

Proposition 11, an initiative to reform how legislative districts are mapped every decade, is the only measure The Bee supports. An endorsement on that measure will appear Friday.
October 7, 2008
They'll be baaackkkk....
Just when you thought the financial crisis couldn't get more scary, the Associated Press reports that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday will call lawmakers back for a special session.

Their mission? To deal with an estimated $3 billion to $5 billion gap lawmakers didn't close with the budget the governor signed a few weeks ago. The Bee has an additional story here.
October 7, 2008
Johnson has raised $1.5 million, three times more than Fargo

The latest campaign finance filings show that Sacramento mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson has raised $1.5 million in his bid to unseat incumbent Heather Fargo, three times more than she has raised.

Johnson is getting big contributions from Realtors, the building industry, the building trades and law enforcement unions.

Fargo received big contribs from the plumbers and pipefitters unions (which financed a nasty independent expenditure campaign against Johnson in the primary.) She is also getting four-figure contributions from the Sacramento Teachers Association, several city council incumbents and the Stonewall Democratic Club.

With less than a month to go before the election, Johnson had an ending cash balance of $139,040 and Fargo had $116,257. Johnson has outstanding debts of $538,704 -- most of which is a half million dollar loan from himself to his campaign -- while Fargo has a debt so far of nearly $38,800.

Interestingly, developer Angelo Tsakopoulos has given $2,150 to Fargo so far, even though he held a September fundraiser for Johnson. Hedging his bets, perhaps?

 

October 7, 2008
Did SacBee declare Johnson the winner last night? No.

The Swarm doesn't take kindly to campaign operatives mischaracterizing its postings or The Sacramento Bee's editorial positions. Late last night, Steve Maviglio, the campaign manager for Sacramento mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson, sent out an email to reporters entitled "Sac Bee -- Johnson wins."

The email included a Swarm posting below from my colleague, Ginger Rutland, who wrote that "Kevin wins on points." But Maviglio's email didn't make clear that the item came from a  single Swarm writer. He made it seem like it was the view of The Bee.

Just for the record, The Bee's editorial board did not collectively call last night's debate, and it has not yet issued an endorsement in the mayor's race. One of the factors we will be weighing is the truthfulness of the two candidates and their campaign operatives.

October 6, 2008
How the blogs rated the debate between Fargo, Johnson

Here's a roundup of local blogs on the mayoral debate tonight:

Joe Sacramento found "Fargo's snarky grin and huffy body language to be insulting... How many comments did she make under her breath?"

 

Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio (a co-sponsor of the event) thought this debate was the best yet. "Here, both candidates came out aggressively.  Johnson continued to press the mayor on her shortfalls, but this time, Fargo has more than returned the favor."

 

The mysterious author of Uneasy Rhetoric also liked the debate, but wasn't so hot on Fargo's performance, nor KJ's. "Fargo's answers are unconvincing and her attitude toward Johnson is blatantly condescending.  Johnson's answers are unrealistic. He is full of energy but overestimates the ability of the mayor to get things done."

 

Ben van der Meer also didn't help voters much in making a decision by Nov. 4. "Fargo is a bureaucrat who is out of touch and out off ideas to improve the city. Challenger Kevin Johnson talks a bigger game than he can back up, with no real plan or identified way to pay for his ideas."

 

UPDATE: Jason Daniel of Capital Elector offers a different take than the bloggers above. He opines that "Fargo wallops K.J. before and after the debate" and that Johnson "looked like he was going into hyperventilation to get all of his talking points out."

 

October 6, 2008
Mayor's debate: Did it change any votes?

My choices tonight at 6:30 p.m. were to watch Monday Night Football, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (zzzz), Jeopardy, Entertainment Tonight, Judge Judy, Friends or, over on the E! channel, the 25 Most Memorable Swimsuit Moments.

For some reason, I decided to watch the mayoral debate. Was that the right choice?

If nothing else, the Sac State debate further defined the differences between Mayor Heather Fargo and her rival, Kevin Johnson. Fargo thinks the city "is just fine." Johnson cites statistics that Sac is the second most dangerous place in California. Fargo touts what "we" have done for the city. Johnson touts what he's done, except when it comes to matters involving the ongoing investigation of his St. HOPE operation. 

Fargo made the claim that the Sacramento Teachers Association "has chosen to support me because of my support for education." Johnson noted that she got STA support "because of the status quo." In other words, Johnson is willing to take on the STA over school reform and charter schools. Fargo? Not so much.

October 6, 2008
Oh-oh, it's getting ugly

In my pre-date post on "things to watch," I postulated the question of which candidate would go negative first. Mayor Heather Fargo answered when she jumped on a question from a student about the federal investigation of Kevin Johnson's St. HOPE operation. Johnson provided his stock answer, and then Fargo leaped on it, asking where did the money go?

Johnson tried to turn it back on her, rehashing the city's budget trouble. Fargo snapped back that the city's problems were negligible "compared to what you are up against, Kevin."

Yikes. The gloves are off.

 

October 6, 2008
Fargo continues to score on specifics

Heather Fargo has limitations as a politician. She keeps talking about what "we" have done in the city, instead of what she has done.

Yet when it comes down to specifics, Fargo offers much more substance than Johnson in the current debate. Transportation is a good example. Johnson took his time talking about infill and the Portland Trolley, as if he had just discovered both yesterday. Fargo went into detail about she had done through SACOG and RT to improve light rail and bicycle access.

On the other hand, I thought Johnson scored higher on an earlier question about the American River Parkway. Fargo did one of her usual moves -- blaming someone else, in this case, the county. Johnson jumped in and talked about public safety and the parkway -- a point that resonates with anyone who uses our beloved and, in places, blighted parkway.

 

October 6, 2008
First question for mayoral candidates? It's the economy, stupid

The Sac State debate has started between Mayor Heather Fargo and challenger Kevin Johnson.  You can go to KCRA-TV or KXJZ-FM to tune in. The first question to the candidates: What would you change in Sacramento to deal with the slumping economy?

Neither candidate scored an "A" with their answer. Johnson repeated his stump speech about economic development and recruiting new businesses. Fargo talked about she'd done to secure $13 million so the city can buy up foreclosed homes and get people into them.

But what about the city budget? What will need to be cut -- or added -- to deal with a future of reduced revenues and people out of work?

 

October 6, 2008
What to watch for in the mayoral debate tonight

HA2_3877.JPGMayor Heather Fargo will face off against former NBA hoopster Kevin Johnson at 6:30 p.m. tonight in their first debate since the primary.

The Swarm will be offering commentary after, and possibly during, the mayoral debate. While it probably won't draw the viewership of the Palin-Biden smackdown, we'll be interested in your reaction.

Here are five things I'll be watching for as the two-term mayor debates Johnson, an Oak Park businessman and community activist making his first run for office.

1. Will either candidate articulate, in detail, how they will guide the city through what could be an extended recession, with increased crime and a downturn in tax revenue?

2. Which candidate will be the first to "go negative" on the other? Both have run a relatively clean campaign since the primary. Will that end tonight?

 

October 3, 2008
How California House members voted on the bailout bill

On a vote of 263-171, the House today approved a $700 billion government bailout bill for the financial industry that President George Bush quickly signed.  

Nationwide, some 58 House representatives moved from voting "no" earlier in the week to voting "yes" today for a slightly revised package.

In California, these consisted of six Democrats, including Joe Baca, Barbara Lee, Hilda Solis, Mike Thompson, Diane Watson and Lynn Woolsey, according to The Associated Press.

Thompson, whose Northern California district includes Yolo County, issued this statement tonight on his vote.

On the jump is the total vote breakdown for the Golden State delegation.

October 3, 2008
Morning memo

In our meeting this morning, members of the editorial board ruminated over the economy, the fishy business with homicide detectives at the Sacramento Sheriff's Department and the latest distressing report from The Bee about the county's Child Protective Services and actions of a particular case worker.

We're looking forward to the Monday debate between Mayor Heather Fargo and challenger Kevin Johnson, their first since the primary. And we are curious to see how the markets will react to the House approval of the $700 million bailout package, which occured just over an hour ago and about what should come next in the effort to right the struggling economy.

And gosh darn it, we still are buzzing over last night's debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. They both did a heckova job. A big shout-out from The Swarm to all the third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School!

 

October 2, 2008
Polls apart? Not on Biden's performance

Two snap polls following tonight's debate give the edge to Joe Biden in his debate smackdown with Sarah Palin. (A smackdown, I might add, that was pretty cordial and responsive to what Americans say they want in their civic engagement.)

CNN reports that 51 percent of those polled thought Biden did the best job, while 36 percent thought Palin did better. Palin, however, won on being "likeable," scoring 54 percent to Biden's 36 percent.

Meanwhile, CBS conducted a poll of 473 uncommitted voters and reports that 46 percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed say Biden triumphed in the debate, compared to 21 percent for Palin. One third declared it was a tie.

 

October 2, 2008
Bottom line: Palin did damage control, Biden did real damage to McCain
Sarah Palin didn't wilt. She had no major gaffes. She tried to endear herself to viewers with lines like, "Say it ain't so, Joe." And at times, she showed some command of issues she fumbled in her recent TV interviews with Katie Couric.

Biden, on the other hand, went straight after McCain, especially at the end, when he declared, "McCain is not a maverick." He hit the GOP nominee on health care, McCain's support of Bush tax policies and other domestic issues. He looked presidential and I bet that many viewers wondered, "Why didn't I notice this guy during the primaries?"

I'll be waiting for the polls to see how independents reacted. The big question: Which one of these candidates would you want replacing the president in a moment of crisis? What is your take?
October 2, 2008
Sarah Palin: Well prepped and winning points
Some supporters of Barack Obama thought the campaign would be over tonight, with Sarah Palin melting down in a debate before a national audience. But one hour in this verbal throw-down, Palin is poised, well-prepared and gaining confidence.

Her spirited attack on Obama and his comment about meeting with enemy leaders was very effective. Instead of being on the defensive, she is pushing her points, while throwing in some collegial comments to Joe Biden.

What's interesting is Biden's restraint in going after Palin and her past positions and lack of experience. Biden's attacks are on McCain, not her, but she is going after both Obama and Biden. Still 20 minutes left for fumbles, but if she hangs on, she'll do some real damage control on the harm caused by the Katie Couric interviews.
October 2, 2008
Darn right! The debate is off and running
Some 30 minutes into the debate, neither Sen. Joe Biden nor Gov. Sarah Palin have delivered knock-out punches nor made crushing blunders. Biden scores points for his "ultimate bridge to nowhere" line about McCain's health care plan. Palin is playing the folksy card to the hilt with her use of phases like "Darn right" and "heckova" and her claim that she is going to stop Wall Street greed.

I wish Gwen Ifill were more aggressive. Did either V.P. candidate really answer the question of whether the bailout debate in the House was the worst or best of Washington? Does Palin really believe she and McCain can stop greed?
October 2, 2008
What to watch for in the Palin-Biden debate tonight
While it doesn't compare with weighty world matters such as the collapse of financial markets, the vice presidential debate holds plenty of intrigue tonight. Here are five things I'll be watching for as we start blogging at 6 p.m..


About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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