Sunday, April 30, 2006

Well, that was a mistake

I just got back from the California Democratic Convention, where the party officially endorsed Phil Angelides for Governor. All I can say is, what a mistake.

I should say that I was at the convention volunteering for Westly, so my point of view is hardly unbiased. But as I was talking to delegates about whom they were supporting, almost all of those who were for Phil mentioned one of the following reasons: a)Westly was too cozy with Arnold, b) it's Phil's "turn," or c) Westly is too centrist. All of these are patently absurd. First of all, Westly supported Arnold on Proposition 57 and 58, and that is all. Nothing more. And may I mention that Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, the AFL-CIO, the California Teacher's Association and, oh yes, the CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, all endorsed Propositions 57 and 58 as well.

Secondly, since when do we nominate someone because it's "their turn?" Isn't that what Republicans do, annoint a nominee and clear the field? Democrats fight it out and let the strongest candidate emerge. And as for who's the strongest candidate, there's hardly a question. ALA Times poll that was released on Saturday showed Westly leading Angelides by 13 points in the primary and beating Arnold by 9 points in a head-to-head matchup. Angelides, on the other hand, only tied Arnold.

And finally, let me dispel once and for all (hopefully) this ridiculous assertion that Westly isn't a progressive. Steve Westly was the first statewide official to support gay marriage. He vigorously opposed every one of Arnold's special election intitatives, ESPECIALLY Prop 73, the parental-notification initiative. He once refused an order from the governor to cut education funding and told Arnold he'd have to sue him to force him to comply. And since he felt that the environmentally-liberal California government wasn't going enough to combat global warming, he put together a private organization to pressure auto makers to raise fuel efficiency standards and helped to pass a shareholders' resolution to that end.

I don't think this endorsement is going to matter. The last time the party endorsed a gubernatorial candidate was in 1990, when they picked the liberal John Van de Kamp over the more moderate Dianne Feinstein in 1990. Feinstein went on to win the primary anyway (but lost the election.) Westly's got the money, the message and the skill to win this primary anyway.

17 Comments:

At April 30, 2006 2:59 PM, Blogger Marie said...

Cheers Eric. I'll also out myself as a Westly volunteer. That being said I'd like to emphasize my personal opinion of the utter idiocy of endorsing at all. We have primary's for a reason, it's the most democratic manner to pick a candidate whom the most people objectively support. With no endorsement the party will be able to put full support behind any candidate in June - unfortunately now they won't be able to do that. I'm betting (and hoping) Westly is going on to a nomination, at which point the party will have a lot of backtracking to do, and negative attitudes to reverse. When can we learn and stop digging holes for ourselves?

 
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