Monday, April 17, 2006

Steve Westly for Governor

The biggest "knock" on Steve Westly, which Gilbert hints at in his previous post, is that he was unwilling to stand up to Schwarzenegger. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, Westly supported Proposition 57 and 58, measures to help relieve the state's structural deficit problems. But so did the Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and the California Teacher's Association.

So now that we've basically covered the one area in which Westly has supported Arnold, let's see where he's opposed him. Westly was the first statewide official to oppose Arnold's shortchanging of schools via Prop 98. When the Governor issued an executive order to cut funding to higher education, Westly disregarded it, sent the money to colleges anyway, and challeneged Arnold to sue him. Arnold did not. Opposition doesn't get much bolder than that.

When Democrats in Sacramento said that raising taxes was the only way out of our fiscal problems, and when Republicans demanded that we cut spending, Westly implemented a tax amnesty program that allowed businesses and individuals to pay unpaid taxes without penalty. It brought in over $4 billion.

And finally, all of our favorite quality in a candidate: electability. Poll after poll show that Westly is the stronger candidate against Arnold. We can't risk this opportunity to unseat Arnold and take back the governorship in one of the most Democratic states in the country.


At April 17, 2006 4:13 PM, Blogger Gilbert Martinez said...

A quick look at campaign finance shows one reason why Westly has a name recognition advantage: Money. I don't have cable, but the handful of times I do watch I inevitably see a Westly commercial or two. I have yet to see an Angelides commercial. I think this is probably borne out in these early polls. (At one point, some early '03 polls showed Dean leading Bush in a hypothetical match-up.)

One advantage that Angelides has is that vast majority of CA political leaders think he is the better candidate, unless they endorsed him for fun. Many labor unions also support Angelides. During the special election, Angelides was very active helping out the Alliance, many of whom have endorsed Angelides. That will be big since the Alliance mobilized a ton of volunteers. Don't underestimate the power of these groups--many pushed the special election against Schwarzenegger by highly mobilizing L.A.

Long story short: Both candidates are likely to beat Schwarzenegger, unless Dems don't get to the polls.

At April 17, 2006 4:14 PM, Blogger Gilbert Martinez said...

BTW, I don't mean "money" as a slight against Westly, just wanted to emphasize the results: more media visibility.

At April 17, 2006 6:49 PM, Blogger Marie said...

I heard from one Angelides supporter and a friend of mine something which I think holds true for many; people endorsed Phil early because they thought he was going to win. Basically the premonition was that there would be no opposing candidate strong enough to provide a real challenge in the primary, and eventually against the Governor himself.
Steve has thoroughly disproved this - and although lacks some of the institutional party support - is winning the "hearts and minds" of Democratic voters across the state. I have an inclination that given another shot, some of Phil's early supporters might have different views today. Money, sure it's helping Steve (btw Phil is not exactly 'poor'), but he's also a good candidate and frakly a good guy.


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