Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Angelides visits Kennedy High School

From the LA times blog:
Angelides at Kennedy High: Cornel West and Banana Suits
In the smart-kid wing of Kennedy High School in Sacramento, the halls were empty about a half hour before state Treasurer Phil Angelides arrived this morning with his longtime friend Cornel West, the theologian and intellectual who first met Angelides when they were freshmen at Harvard. In one empty classroom, a lone teacher wearing a sweater vest carefully made his way to the whiteboard: "Write sentences with vocabulary words," he instructed.

Across the hall, students, many in costumes, filed into an Advanced Placement government class. One wore a banana suit. The student body president was dressed as a doctor, and another came as a dark angel, signaling doom. A bored-sounding student read the Pledge of Allegiance over the public address system. Hardly anyone noticed. The boy in the banana suit turned toward the U.S. flag.

Angelides and West arrived in the classroom and took their place before the students. Reporters and cameramen were in one corner near a row of books: "Ishi" and "Hiroshima." On the wall, teacher Todd Whalen kept a collection of kitschy postcards in plastic cases along with photographs of himself with students.

Angelides spoke first, mentioning a mock election of Kennedy seniors in which he beat Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by 13 votes — 161 to 148: "I'm very honored that the students at Kennedy chose me over Arnold Schwarzenegger."

Then he pointed toward student Exie Frazier, the editor of the school newspaper, to ask the first question. Frazier spoke about "shady characters" in politics and wondered why Angelides had not fulfilled his promise from several months ago to provide students with free copies of West's books. Angelides promised her he would get the books ASAP, with his own money. His staff said the books were purchased in June and delivered today — the campaign wanted to wait until the next Angelides-West visit to deliver them.

"You know what, it would be the potential journalist who would ask that question," Angelides joked.



A student asked about Proposition 85, which would require parental notification if a minor seeks an abortion. Angelides told the students that Schwarzenegger supports it and called the initiative a right-wing plot to take away women's rights. Another student, standing in the corner, asked about the "illegal immigrant issue" and wondered what could be done about immigrants using public facilities and not paying taxes. Angelides said "we need a real border" and spoke of his immigrant mother and grandparents.

Angelides said the state would "come to a grinding halt" if immigrants were to leave, because they provide so much for the economy. West, a graduate of Kennedy High, said: "I just wish we could be as scrutinizing of corporations that often don't pay their fair share of taxes." He mentioned Jesus' admonition to focus on the least of us.

The talk soon turned to the huge amounts that state and federal governments spend on war and prisons, and not schools. "We're being stupid about this," Angelides said. "We are not investing in the front end of life and paying more for the back end."

West mentioned the disproportionate number of African Americans in prison and lamented: "Especially brothers, especially brothers."

Afterward, the two men shook hands with students, hugged each other, and went their separate ways.

Great Charley Brown Video

There is a great video for Charlie Brown and against Doolittle at

http://www.calitics.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1290

Kerry hits back

Kerry Grows a Spine

John Kerry has lashed out at the “right-wing nut jobs” who questioned his patriotism because of a comment he made Monday: “I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed-suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq....”


New York Times:

And the White House spokesman, Tony Snow, asserted that Mr. Kerry’s speech “sort of fits a pattern” of criticizing American troops in Iraq. “This is an absolute insult, and I’m a little astonished that he didn’t figure it out already,” Mr. Snow said. “If I say something stupid, I apologize as quickly as possible.”

But if anyone should apologize, Mr. Kerry said, it is President Bush and his administration officials who started the ill-conceived war. He said his remarks, which he conceded were part of a “botched joke,” had been distorted and called the criticism directed at him the work of “assorted right-wing nut jobs and right-wing talk show hosts.”

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy,” Mr. Kerry said in a statement. “I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.”

“I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed-suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq,” Mr. Kerry went on. “It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.”

At a televised news conference today in Seattle, Mr. Kerry said he was “disgusted” by the Republican attacks, which he noted were coming at the end of a bloody month in Iraq. “Sadly, this is the best this administration can do,” he said.

Mr. Kerry did not mention Mr. McCain in his statement, although at the news conference he said Mr. McCain should seek an apology from President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney if he wants an apology from anyone.

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion. Editor, Robert Scheer. Publisher, Zuade Kaufman.
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Republicans on the run: Rally

Republicans on the Run:
Education and Anti War Rally
CSU-Sacramento
Wednesday , Nov. 1, 2006 12 noon.

Place: Library Quad, CSU Sacramento:

Bill Durston: Candidate for the U.S. Congress.

“As of October 31,2001. 2814 Americans have been killed in Iraq and over 15,000 seriously wounded.”

“ It is critically important for young people to become involved in the political process and to vote. They are inheriting a massive debt, an unjust and unnecessary war, and an impending environmental disaster, from an older generation with too many inept and self-serving politicians.”

Who: Bill Durston, Democratic Candidate for Congress District 4, Rob Haswell, Democratic Candidate, Assembly District 4, representatives of candidate Charley Brown and several other candidates, labor leaders, and advocates of propositions 89 and Sacramento/Yolo H-I & L among others.

A voter education event and get out the vote rally focusing on student participation will be held on the CSU-S campus sponsored by Sacramento Progressive Alliance, the California Faculty Association, the Campus Progressive Alliance and others.

Press and media are invited to attend this event.
www.choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com
www.sacramentopa.org

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Republicans running for Congress

Here are some news articles on Republicans running for Congress.

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

Friday, October 27, 2006

Good Grief: Its Charley Brown Vrs. Doolittle


In Calif., Charlie Brown Could Have the Last Laugh
By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 24, 2006; A02

ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- Charlie Brown for Congress? At first it sounded like a joke.

Brown was an unknown Democrat running in the California Republican heartland. The eight-term incumbent, John Doolittle (R), had crushed his 2004 opponent. Fewer than a third of district voters are registered Democrats. When Brown jumped in a year ago, the Peanuts references were irresistible.

"Good Grief! Charlie Brown Takes on Doolittle," proclaimed one political blog.

There are two types of candidates: the obvious ones, who are recruited to run in key races and get lots of financial and organizational help, and the bootstrap cases, who do it all on their own. Usually these second-tier candidates run and lose in obscurity. But sometimes they get lucky. If a wave breaks next month, Brown is one of many bootstrap Democrats who could be washed into Congress.

The latest polls show that Brown, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, has pulled within striking distance of Doolittle, whose well-documented ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff may be an albatross. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is increasingly optimistic about Brown's chances and has chipped in an undisclosed amount of cash for the final push. Brown has scooped up local newspaper endorsements and raised $750,000, much of it in recent weeks.

The one person who isn't surprised by this turn of events is Brown, who ignored all the naysayers and trusted his gut that Doolittle could be beaten. The latest news to break his way: Doolittle's campaign reported more than $38,000 in legal fees in his third-quarter fundraising report that are related to a federal investigation into Abramoff's lobbying activities. A Doolittle spokeswoman said the congressman was attempting to be helpful and had not been contacted by prosecutors, but the disclosure put Doolittle on the defensive with weeks to go.

"It all comes down to someone who lives in the district, and knows it," Brown said of his success. He's not surprised the national party kept its distance all those months. "We've had to show them in Washington that it was worth getting involved. When I got started, there was nothing here to support."

The 4th District is made up of 48 percent Republicans and 30 percent Democrats, with the balance GOP-leaning independents. The geography also is daunting. The district contains 17,000 square miles, from the Sacramento suburbs to the Oregon and Nevada state lines.

But it's a more nuanced landscape than it seems, Brown says.

Bay Area residents are moving east in search of cheaper housing, and although they are not heavily Democratic, many are registering as independents. The Sacramento area was one of the few pockets in the state to vote for a 2005 measure to end partisan redistricting. Doolittle called the initiative politically "stupid."

In June, Doolittle won the GOP primary with 67 percent of the vote, an indication that his base had diminished. The California 4th is home to 102,000 veterans. Brown was raised in a military household and has a son serving in Iraq. He coordinated Air Force surveillance flights over Iraq during the 1990s and opposed the Iraq war from the outset. As conditions in Iraq worsen, he has found local veterans increasingly responsive to his call for setting a timetable for withdrawal.

Running in a political no man's land requires building a campaign operation from scratch. Brown lined up precinct captains and courted local unions and other left-leaning organizations. He traveled to every populated cranny of the district, either alone or with his wife, Jan, a retired Air Force nurse.

Like most candidates, Brown has entered a sort of parallel universe, wired but road weary, a regular at a taqueria next door to headquarters. His campaign has grown bigger and more frenetic, part small business and part family.

One fixture is Joanne Neft, founder of Republicans for Charlie Brown, who canvasses in silver elephant earrings. Another is Don Harper, who runs Veterans for Brown.

Despite all the excitement, the party mantra remained unchanged: "Show me the polls." Brown commissioned a survey last month that showed Doolittle ahead, 41 percent to 39 percent, and 17 percent undecided. Shortly afterward, Brown was endorsed by the Sacramento Bee under the headline "Time for Doolittle to go."

On Oct. 11, the candidates met for a combative two-hour debate. "Nothing like it has ever been seen in Placer County," the San Francisco Chronicle observed.

Doolittle called Brown a "flimflam man." He cited Brown's membership in the American Civil Liberties Union, which Doolittle accused of defending the North American Man/Boy Love Association, which he said "is helping pedophiles get away with their dastardly deeds."

Brown lambasted Doolittle for his relationship with Abramoff and a San Diego businessman implicated in the bribery case that sent former representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) to prison. Brown noted that his opponent had accepted a $1,000 donation from Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who resigned from Congress last month in a scandal involving male teenage congressional pages. "Mr. Doolittle knows more about man's love than I do, with his support of Congressman Foley," Brown retorted.

They say timing is everything in politics, but part of that is knowing when an incumbent's time may be up. "There's a whole lot of people who are going to win this year, simply because they showed up," said Amy Walter, who tracks House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. "People who are willing to take the biggest risks often get the biggest rewards."

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

Nov 1 Election rally: CSU-Sacramento

Change to Win Voter Rally
CSU Sacramento

Wednesday , Nov. 1, 2006 12 noon.

Place: Library Quad, CSU Sacramento:

Bill Durston: Candidate for the U.S. Congress. “ It is critically important for young people to become involved in the political process and to vote. They are inheriting a massive debt, an unjust and unnecessary war, and an impending environmental disaster, from an older generation with too many inept and self-serving politicians.”

Who: Bill Durston, Democratic Candidate for Congress District 4, Rob Haswell, Democratic Candidate, Assembly District 4, representatives of several other candidates, labor leaders, and advocates of propositions 89 and Sacramento/Yolo H-I & L among others.

A voter education event and get out the vote rally focusing on student participation will be held on the CSU-S campus sponsored by Sacramento Progressive Alliance, the California Faculty Association, and others.

"It is emplematic of how far our country has strayed from the ideals upon which it was founded that as a candidate running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, I have been repeatedly been asked, "What is your position on torture?'
Of course I'm opposed to torture. And it's shocking that my opponent is not." Bill Durston.

www.choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com
www.sacramentopa.org

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mayor Villaraigosa says Yes on 89


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Endorses Proposition 89 for Political Reform

One of the most influential elected leaders in California, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has endorsed Proposition 89, the initiative to stem political corruption and create a level playing field for California elections, Prop. 89 proponents announced today.

“At a time when far too many Californians are disenchanted with our political system, passage of Prop. 89 will be a big step forward in getting more people involved in our political system and restoring public faith in our democracy,” said Villaraigosa.

“Prop 89. will broaden the playing field and allow Californians from all walks of life to run for office and help solve problems affecting all Californians – from improving our schools to protecting our environment to assuring access to quality healthcare for all,” said Villaraigosa.

“We are especially proud to add the support of Mayor Villaraogisa to the more than 300 good government and community organizations and forward thinking political leaders who are committed to transforming politics in California,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association, the sponsor of the initiative.

Villaraigosa’s endorsement also comes amidst growing support for Prop. 89 among Latino political organizations and leaders, including the Mexican American Political Association, Latino National Congreso, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, State Sen. Richard Alarcon, and Assembly members Ed Chavez, Cindy Montanez, and Pedro Nava.

Proposition 89 reduces how much corporations, unions or individuals can give to candidates, bars contributions to candidates by lobbyists and government contractors, and limits corporations to spending no more than $10,000 on ballot initiatives. It supports candidates who reject private fundraising with a set limit of public funds, paid for not by individuals but by a small 0.2% increase in the corporate tax rate. If politicians or lobbyists break the law, they can be fined, removed from office, or jailed.

Other major endorsers of Prop. 89 include the League of Women Voters of California, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) California, Sierra Club California, Common Cause, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, United Teachers Los Angeles, Service Employees Intl. Union California Sate Council, and the California Clean Money Campaign.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Corporate campaigns try to defeat Prop.89



The $2.8 Trillion Dollar Corporate Interests Fighting to Stop Proposition 89 and Reform

Three dozen big corporations with nearly $3 trillion in assets are among the economic elite leading a campaign to stop Proposition 89, the reform measure that would stem political corruption and reduce the influence of special interests in California politics, according to data released today by Prop. 89 proponents.

In addition to their $2.8 billion in total assets, the 36 companies, all donors against Prop. 89, reported $73 billion in total profits last year, and their top 155 executives received $959 million in total compensation, an average of $6.1 million each.

The list is headed by such corporate heavyweights as oil companies - Chevron, Conoco/Phillips, and Occidental; HMOs - United Healthcare Services, Blue Cross, and Aetna; insurance companies - Fireman’s Fund, Farmers, Travelers, and Mercury; and utilities – Southern California Edison and PG&E (see attached chart for a full list).

Notably the breakdown does not even include some of state and nation’s biggest corporations – including pharmaceutical and banking industry giants – whose contributions against Prop. 89 are masked through political action committees.

The size of the economic elite’s opposition stands in stark contrast “to the regular Californians who are harmed every day by the imbalance in our political system” said Deborah Burger, RN, president of the California Nurses Association which sponsored Prop. 89, www.yeson89.org.

“We see patients who can not afford medications they’ve been prescribed, or who can only take their medication every other day. We see patients and their families waiting hours in emergency rooms for care they should have received in a clinic, but have been shut out of the system for lack of medical coverage. We see children with debilitating chronic asthma that is directly linked to breathing polluted air,” Burger said.

“We need to take out the coercive influence of money in politics so our legislature can set policies based on their constituents, not on their biggest donors,” added CNA Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.

“In California we are increasingly at the point where we don’t have elections, we have auctions. That’s what Prop. 89 would change,” she said.

Proposition 89 reduces how much corporations, unions or individuals can give to candidates, bars contributions to candidates by lobbyists and government contractors, and limits corporations to spending no more than $10,000 on ballot initiatives. It supports candidates who reject private fundraising with a set limit of public funds. If politicians or lobbyists break the law, they can be fined, removed from office, or jailed.

Prop. 89 is supported by the League of Women Voters of California, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) California, Sierra Club California, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sen. Barbara Boxer, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, California Common Cause, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, United Teachers Los Angeles, and the California Clean Money Campaign, among more than 300 community organizations and leaders.

Don't count the Republicans Out


Don't Count the Republicans Out

By Molly Ivins
October 19, 2006,Truthdig

Stunning coincidence. The verdict in the long-running trial of
Saddam Hussein in Iraq is now due two days before our
congressional elections in November. Astounding. How
ineffable.

Sometimes you know the Republicans have just lost the rag
completely. This week, Dick Cheney said to Rush Limbaugh
regarding the Iraqi government, 'If you look at the general,
overall situation, they're doing remarkably well.' The vice
president also acknowledged there's some concern because the
war wasn't over 'instantaneously.' We have now been in Iraq
just one month shy of the entire time it took us to fight
World War II. Seventy Americans dead so far in October.
Electricity in Iraq this year hit its lowest levels since the
war started.

What infuriates me about this is the lying. WHY can't they
level with us? Just on the general, overall situation.

Put me in the depressive Dems camp. We always look good going
into the last two weeks, until we get hit with that wall of
Republican money (though I do think Ohio is beyond political
recall at this point for the R's). Of course, both sides
always complain about unfair advertising, but I must admit
that almost all political advertising strikes me as ludicrous
and I don't notice the D's looking simon-pure. A little
shading, a little emphasis here and there-I'm hard to shock on
political ads, but I do get more than miffed when they take
the truth and just stand it on its head.

For example, if ever there has been a friend to Social
Security it would be Rep. Chet Edwards from Waco, Texas, a D
loyal to the FDR, LBJ and government-exists-to-serve-the-
people tradition. So what are the R's attacking him on? Not
supporting Social Security. All this kind of thing does is
render political debate completely meaningless.

The argument now is that D's have a seven-point structural
deficit going into any election. I see the problem, I just
have no idea what the actual numbers are.

Let's start with the easy end, the Senate. From the book 'Off
Center' by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, as recently
quoted by Eric Alterman in his blog: 'The mismatch between
popular votes and electoral outcomes is even more striking in
the Senate. Combining the last three Senate elections,
Democrats have actually won 2.5 million more votes than
Republicans. Yet now they hold only 44 seats in that 100-
person chamber because Republicans dominate the less populous
states that are so heavily overrepresented in the Senate. As
journalist Hendrik Hertzberg (of the New Yorker) notes, if you
treat each senator as representing half that state's
population, then the Senate's 55 Republicans currently
represent 131 million people, while the 44 Democrats represent
161 million people.'

OK, we all know about the small-state advantage in the Senate.
How did the People's House get so far out of fair? Paul
Krugman explains: 'The key point is that African-Americans,
who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, are highly concentrated in
a few districts. This means that in close elections many
Democratic votes are, as political analysts say, wasted-they
simply add to huge majorities in a small number of districts,
while the more widely spread Republican vote allows the GOP to
win by narrower margins in a larger number of districts.'

I should also point out that Democrats used to pack minority
voters into the same districts when they drew the
redistricting lines because of simple racism. Minority
candidates need more votes to win, as polling consistently
shows them several points ahead of where they actually finish
because some people still cannot bring themselves to vote for
black politicians even if they agree with them.

For instance, race is a factor this year in Harold Ford's
Tennessee Senate contest-even though political people keep
pretending it's not.

I'm the one who has been writing for two years that the
American people are fed up with the war in Iraq and with the
Bush administration's lies and incompetence. I'm the one that
keeps beating the Washington press corps about the head over
how out of touch it is. I'm the one who has been insisting
there's a Democratic tide out here, and that the people are so
far ahead of the politicians and the media it's painful to
watch.

So how come I'm not thrilled? Because I watched this happen
two years ago-same rejection of the Iraq war, same disgust
with Bush and Co., same understanding Republicans are for the
rich, period, same polls showing D's with the lead going right
into Election Day. And the same geographic gerrymander and
same wall of money in the last two weeks. I'm not close to
calling this election, and I'm sure not into celebrating
anything yet.

(c) 2006 Creators Syndicate

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Governor's Not Losing Over Education

Governor's Not Losing Over Education
Angelides has backing of state teachers union, but voters aren't ready to dump Schwarzenegger over schools, which got record funding this year.
By Howard Blume, Times Staff Writer
October 17, 2006

Late in 2004, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was enjoying a surprisingly warm romance with the Democratic-leaning education establishment. An endorsement for reelection was not out of the question.

Then, early in 2005, Schwarzenegger reinterpreted a pledge to educators — reducing "promised" funding to grade schools and community colleges by about $3 billion.

That "broken promise" inaugurated a war between teacher unions and Schwarzenegger. And it made education-union endorsements of his opponent, Democratic state Treasurer Phil Angelides, virtually automatic.

But polls suggest that, despite this backing and despite the importance Californians place on schools, voters are not convinced they should desert Schwarzenegger for Angelides over education.

It helps that Schwarzenegger last month signed a bill that repays diverted money to settle a lawsuit over the matter, just in time to undermine any attempt to make the governor's alleged bad faith a campaign issue.

Rising overall state revenue helped pave the way. All told, $55.1 billion is being spent on K-12 and community college education — more than ever before.

But union apparatchiks have neither forgiven nor forgotten. Though there are other notable differences between incumbent and challenger, it was Schwarzenegger's diversion of education funds — during difficult budget times — that became a turning point for many, including Barbara Kerr, president of the California Teachers Assn.

"He went from saying, 'I am going to pay it back' to saying, 'I'm not going to pay it back' to saying, 'I never promised to pay it back,' " Kerr said. "It told me you will never know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is. He changes with the political wind and you can't trust him."

And yet, schools are getting about $8 billion more per year than in Schwarzenegger's first spending plan.

"To the union leadership, the funding is never going to be enough," said Peter G. Mehas, a Republican who recently retired as the elected Fresno County superintendent of schools. "Look at this year — $55.1 billion, the highest that has ever been spent — more than $11,200 per pupil. And yet the leadership of the union says it's not enough. How much is enough?"

Estimates of how California compares on education funding with other states vary from a little above average to near the bottom, depending on the study and the method of measuring.

The increasing education budget has provided new funding for low-performing schools, teacher recruitment and retention programs, targeted class-size reduction and vocational education courses as well as higher per-pupil funding. The governor has also supported the mandatory state high school exit exam and settled Williams vs. California, the lawsuit brought by civil rights lawyers over conditions in low-achieving schools.

In higher education, he made cuts early in his term, but also stabilized funding for the University of California system, provided money for higher costs and enrollment growth through an agreement with the higher-ed establishment. This compact allows studen fees to increase, but caps the annual rise at 10%.

For his part, Angelides would raise the ante, putting more money and multiyear funding into such efforts as preventing dropouts and closing the achievement gap between black and Latino students and their white peers. For higher education, he promises to roll back student fees, increase money for research and provide particular help to prospective teachers and those who pursue science degrees. He would pay for the programs with higher taxes on the wealthiest Californians and by closing corporate loopholes.

The governor "promised" to maintain education funding guarantees "over his dead body," said Angelides, paraphrasing a Schwarzenegger pledge from the recall campaign that elevated him to governor.

"Time and time again, we've seen that you can't trust Arnold Schwarzenegger to do the right thing by the education of our kids," Angelides said in an interview.

The treasurer's long-established positions and his voting record from his tenure in the Legislature establish him as a consistent ally of teacher unions.

"Phil Angelides pointedly refers frequently to the importance of public higher education, which is relatively unique in a political campaign," said John Travis, the Humboldt State University professor who heads the California Faculty Assn., which has endorsed Angelides. "I am impressed by his knowledge. He really understands the higher education system."

Schwarzenegger's record is the subject of more debate.

Early in 2004, when the state faced a multibillion-dollar deficit, education was in line for a sizable increase because of constitutional guarantees. Schwarzenegger asked for temporary relief and the education establishment proved receptive.

A coalition that included state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell and the California Teachers Assn. accepted a $2-billion one-time reduction in education funds. Even without the $2 billion, school spending rose.

There is some dispute over the terms of the deal, but there's also a credible consensus that the cut was supposed to be limited to $2 billion and was not supposed to harm future funding.

"I was in the room when he made the promise," O'Connell said.

A year later, Schwarzenegger's budget specified other uses for money that would have gone to schools under the established funding formula, Proposition 98, which became law in 1988. The diversion added up to about $3 billion lost — or $5 billion when the original $2 billion is added in.

"Maybe you make deals and break them in Hollywood," said O'Connell, a Democrat, referring to Schwarzenegger's acting career, "but you don't when you're governor."

"Phil Angelides will fully fund public education every year, not just when it's a strong economy," he added.

Last year, Schwarzenegger also maneuvered to amend Proposition 98, so it wouldn't lock in so much for school spending. This goal was incorporated into the unsuccessful Proposition 76, dubbed the "Live Within Our Means" initiative.

Bush Lied. Vote Nov.7




Bush Lied!
2781 Americans Died
so far in Iraq.
Over 15,000 seriously wounded.
Over 600,000 Iraquis dead (estimate).
That is more people than died in the 9/11 attacks.
The Iraq occupation is failing due to fraud, waste, and corruption. Republican contractors including Halliburton, Ratheon, and Blackwater, are making millions, while our soldiers die.
Support the troops.Bring them home alive- Now!
Vote Nov.7!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Vote Yes on 1 E

A friend posted a long piece with recommendations on each of the propositions. I have a vigorous dissent from his position on 1 E. He thought it was a just a valley issue and valleys flood.
Here is my response.

Eric,
Let me take strong exception to your recommendation on Proposition 1 E, the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006.
I urge a Yes Vote.
First, the floods of Katrina have more than developers flipping out. A major portion of the residents of the Central Valley are at risk. In fact, we are more at risk than was New Orleans before Katrina.
The Levees need repair, yesterday. This bond issue is only a down payment on what is needed.
Yes, it is a Central Valley issue. However, the entire state depends upon the water that passes through the Central Valley. Except for people on the North Coast, the major parts of the state drink this water and use if for farming.
The current levies were build between 1890 and 1915 by mostly Chinese workers carrying dirt in baskets. We desperately need an updated system. Over 700 miles of levies are outside of the state system and not even inspected,
A major flood could collapse the system and thus collapse the water supply for Central Valley agriculture and the entire Los Angeles basin. As in Louisiana, it if far less expensive to repair the levees than it is to repair the damage after the floods. Notice, the poor people of Louisiana still are not back in their homes.
There is a place where the developers are blocking progress. They are preventing laws from establishing that you can not build new homes in a flood plane. This is a disaster. It needs to be changed.
The amount in the bond issue is too little, but it will make a start. We need a complete over haul of the system and a rebuilding of hundreds of miles of levees.
I live behind a levee. But, if the system is not re built, Sacramento would face a disaster on the scale of New Orleans in case of a major flood. In 1986 and 1997 we came close. Sacramento’s flood risk is the highest in the U.S.
If the Central Valley faced a flood like that in New Orleans, the entire state would suffer an economic crisis. It would cost the state over $20 billion to re build. And hundreds of thousands would be forced to move to higher ground temporarily for emergency shelter, such as the North Coast.
Property owners in the Sacramento and Central Valleys are paying increased costs to build new, improved levies. The bond issue of 1E would provide money to get federal matching funds of billions of dollars to continue to prepare for floods.
For more see www.safca.org


Also, I disagree with your recommendation on Proposition 88.
While progressives are generally not opposed to raising taxes to pay for essential services like public education, Prop 88 is not the right way to resolve the problem of our under-funded schools and even the initial backers of it have walked away. The $470 million a year Prop 88 would allocate to schools includes more than $100 million that is earmarked only for "academically successful" schools, that have not received other money for state improvement, according to how they rank within the state's standardized testing system. Those are code words. All public academically successful schools have received funds. This is an allocation for charter schools. I believe that they are the only “successful” schools that have not received funding.
This requires more checking.
Under-performing schools are already at a disadvantage in this state, and Prop 88 would widen the gap.

Here is what the California Federation of Teachers says about Prop. 88.


No to regressive taxes
VOTE November 7, 2006
Prop 88, on the face of it, should be a no-brainer for educators. Its language says that it would impose a $50 tax on each real property parcel in the state to pay for K-12 programs, including school safety, textbooks, and extending class-size reduction beyond K-3. It would bring in several billion dollars for public education. Sounds great, you say. It seems egalitarian and supports education.
But Prop 88 hits poor people for the same chunk of money as the well-to-do. This is not an equal levy. If you’re Bill Gates, $50 is pocket change. If you’re a Wal-Mart “associate” and you have a mortgage to pay, $50 could mean having to choose between medicine and shoes this month.
Another difficulty with Prop 88 is that it would raise false expectations. Remember the lottery? Ever since that ballot initiative passed, much of the public wonders why we complain about the public schools still being under funded. Yet, in reality, the lottery never brings in more than 2% of the state’s public education budget, and in many years the total is closer to 1%.
Prop 88 would impose a statewide property tax, the first since Prop 13. But it would raise fewer funds than the lottery does for schools. We need to reform Prop 13; but if we do, it should be a significant state budget reform that brings in substantial monies to schools and other necessary programs. Prop 88 would make it harder to enact real budget reform.
Prop 88 would award its facility grants to fewer than one in a hundred schools, targeting schools without state bond monies and with standardized test scores in the top half. Its backers’ intent is to quietly favor charter schools.
The stated goal of Prop 88 is laudable; the mechanism is faulty. Vote NO on Prop 88.
Now that your posts have raised some alarm bells, I will have to go back and look through your other recommendations.

Duane Campbell

Friday, October 20, 2006

A government more dangerous to our liberty: Olberman

MSNBC.com
'Beginning of the end of America'
Olbermann addresses the Military Commissions Act in a special comment
SPECIAL COMMENT
By Keith Olbermann
Anchor, 'Countdown'
Countdown

Updated: 12:00 p.m. PT Oct 19, 2006
We have lived as if in a trance.

We have lived as people in fear.

And now—our rights and our freedoms in peril—we slowly awaken to learn that we have been afraid of the wrong thing.

Therefore, tonight have we truly become the inheritors of our American legacy.

For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:

A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from.

We have been here before—and we have been here before, led here by men better and wiser and nobler than George W. Bush.

We have been here when President John Adams insisted that the Alien and Sedition Acts were necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use those acts to jail newspaper editors.

American newspaper editors, in American jails, for things they wrote about America.

We have been here when President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the Espionage Act was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that Act to prosecute 2,000 Americans, especially those he disparaged as “Hyphenated Americans,” most of whom were guilty only of advocating peace in a time of war.

American public speakers, in American jails, for things they said about America.


And we have been here when President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted that Executive Order 9066 was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that order to imprison and pauperize 110,000 Americans while his man in charge, General DeWitt, told Congress: “It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen—he is still a Japanese.”

American citizens, in American camps, for something they neither wrote nor said nor did, but for the choices they or their ancestors had made about coming to America.

Each of these actions was undertaken for the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.

And each was a betrayal of that for which the president who advocated them claimed to be fighting.

Adams and his party were swept from office, and the Alien and Sedition Acts erased.

Many of the very people Wilson silenced survived him, and one of them even ran to succeed him, and got 900,000 votes, though his presidential campaign was conducted entirely from his jail cell.

And Roosevelt’s internment of the Japanese was not merely the worst blight on his record, but it would necessitate a formal apology from the government of the United States to the citizens of the United States whose lives it ruined.


The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.

In times of fright, we have been only human.

We have let Roosevelt’s “fear of fear itself” overtake us.

We have listened to the little voice inside that has said, “the wolf is at the door; this will be temporary; this will be precise; this too shall pass.”

We have accepted that the only way to stop the terrorists is to let the government become just a little bit like the terrorists.

Just the way we once accepted that the only way to stop the Soviets was to let the government become just a little bit like the Soviets.

Or substitute the Japanese.

Or the Germans.

Or the Socialists.

Or the Anarchists.

Or the Immigrants.

Or the British.

Or the Aliens.

The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.

And, always, always wrong.


“With the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few: Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously, and did we do what it takes to defeat that threat?”

Wise words.

And ironic ones, Mr. Bush.

Your own, of course, yesterday, in signing the Military Commissions Act.

You spoke so much more than you know, Sir.

Sadly—of course—the distance of history will recognize that the threat this generation of Americans needed to take seriously was you.

We have a long and painful history of ignoring the prophecy attributed to Benjamin Franklin that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

But even within this history we have not before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow.

You, sir, have now befouled that spring.

You, sir, have now given us chaos and called it order.

You, sir, have now imposed subjugation and called it freedom.

For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.

And — again, Mr. Bush — all of them, wrong.

We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done to anything the terrorists have ever done.

We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted again that “the United States does not torture. It’s against our laws and it’s against our values” and who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him.

We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-American citizens “unlawful enemy combatants” and ship them somewhere—anywhere -- but may now, if he so decides, declare you an “unlawful enemy combatant” and ship you somewhere - anywhere.

And if you think this hyperbole or hysteria, ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was president or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was president or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was president.

And if you somehow think habeas corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an “unlawful enemy combatant”—exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this attorney general is going to help you?


This President now has his blank check.

He lied to get it.

He lied as he received it.

Is there any reason to even hope he has not lied about how he intends to use it nor who he intends to use it against?

“These military commissions will provide a fair trial,” you told us yesterday, Mr. Bush, “in which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney and can hear all the evidence against them.”

"Presumed innocent," Mr. Bush?

The very piece of paper you signed as you said that, allows for the detainees to be abused up to the point just before they sustain “serious mental and physical trauma” in the hope of getting them to incriminate themselves, and may no longer even invoke The Geneva Conventions in their own defense.

"Access to an attorney," Mr. Bush?

Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift said on this program, Sir, and to the Supreme Court, that he was only granted access to his detainee defendant on the promise that the detainee would plead guilty.

"Hearing all the evidence," Mr. Bush?

The Military Commissions Act specifically permits the introduction of classified evidence not made available to the defense.

Your words are lies, Sir.

They are lies that imperil us all.

“One of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks,” you told us yesterday, “said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of the end of America.”

That terrorist, sir, could only hope.

Not his actions, nor the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists (real or imagined), could measure up to what you have wrought.

Habeas corpus? Gone.

The Geneva Conventions? Optional.

The moral force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out.

These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would be “the beginning of the end of America.”

And did it even occur to you once, sir — somewhere in amidst those eight separate, gruesome, intentional, terroristic invocations of the horrors of 9/11 -- that with only a little further shift in this world we now know—just a touch more repudiation of all of that for which our patriots died --- did it ever occur to you once that in just 27 months and two days from now when you leave office, some irresponsible future president and a “competent tribunal” of lackeys would be entitled, by the actions of your own hand, to declare the status of “unlawful enemy combatant” for -- and convene a Military Commission to try -- not John Walker Lindh, but George Walker Bush?

For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.

And doubtless, Sir, all of them—as always—wrong.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15321167/

© 2006 MSNBC.com

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Doolittle facts

Great web work. And, you can listen to the radio ads if you missed them.

http:www.doolittlefacts.org

Clean elections on PBS/NOW


PBS Now is running a major piece Friday night on clean elections around the nation with a significant portion on California featuring CNA.

You can watch a preview on youtube through this link. Please circulate and encourage people to watch. This Friday night, PBS’s acclaimed national news magazine NOW will air a special on California's Proposition 89 and the national movement for clean elections. PBS bills the show as "A special hour-long investigation into the 'Clean Election' movement, a fight to keep American elections free and fair across the country." Be sure to watch the show and let others know about it. Find out when the program will run on your local PBS station here.

In announcing the upcoming show, titled "Can Clean Elections Save Our Democracy?" PBS notes that: "The run-up to this year's midterm election smells of scandal and corruption. From the $90,000 found in Rep. Jefferson's freezer to the scandal-tied resignation and indictment of Rep. Tom Delay, a question emerges: Can anyone stop the influence of Big Money on political campaigns?" "Votes for Sale?" will spotlight the so-called Clean Elections movement. It may not only help clean up politics, but also open the door for more average Americans to run for office and win.

Yes on 89 Rally: Oct. 26. Sacramento



Yes on 89. Californians for clean elections.

Arnold’s Record? Attacks on nurses, teachers, and firefighters.
His corporate donors love it- but we know that it means he can’t be trusted.

Come protest Arnold’s lastest $100,000 fundraiser, with co host Sean Hannity from Fox News.

Join us. Thursday, Oct.26. 5:30 PM.
Sheraton Grand Hotel. 1230 J.St. Sacramento.

For more information call Lisa Ecks at 916-491-3217.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Political muck. Pombo and Doolittle.

Peter Schrag: The friends of fixers, gamblers and sweatshops

By Peter Schrag -
Published 12:00 am PDT Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What is it about the Central Valley that produces so much political muck?

Thirty years ago, an 11-term congressman from Manteca named John McFall failed to report a $3,000 contribution from wheeler-dealer Tongsun Park in the widespread influence peddling scheme that became known as Koreagate.

McFall, a conservative Democrat who bragged that he'd put a water project on every river in his district, got slapped on the wrist by the House Ethics Committee, but lost the 1978 election to a San Joaquin County supervisor named Norm Shumway. The district has been predominantly Republican ever since. McFall died, more or less forgotten, earlier this year.

Then there was Rep. Tony Coelho of Merced, the hard charging fundraiser who resigned his seat in 1989 following allegations that he got special favors in the purchase of junk bonds. He was replaced by fellow Democrat Gary Condit of Ceres, a married man who, in part because of his evasive answers, was widely suspected of an affair with Washington intern Chandra Levy. She was found murdered 13 months after she disappeared in 2001. Condit was never accused of a crime, but the uproar led to his defeat in the 2002 primary.

And now we have Sacramento's two near-neighbors, members of what unsympathetic bloggers call the Abramoff Seven: Rep. Richard Pombo of Tracy, who succeeded Shumway in the 11th District, and Rep. John Doolittle of Roseville in the 4th District, which runs north to the Oregon border. Both are running for re-election; both are in deep doo-doo.

Earlier this year Washington fixer Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion charges. Of the other five, one is already gone and another, Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, is on his way. Ney pleaded guilty last week to making false statements and conspiracy to commit fraud. Former Abramoff fellow-traveler and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, facing separate charges in Texas, resigned from the House.

Neither Doolittle nor Pombo has been charged with anything illegal. But the goop trailing behind them makes the transgressions of their Valley predecessors look almost benign. Just tracing their links to Abramoff and the sweatshop-dominated Northern Mariana Islands and the Indian gambling interests that were his biggest clients would take a wall-size diagram.

In a recent debate with Jerry McNerney, his Democratic opponent, Pombo declared that Abramoff "never once lobbied me on anything." He'd barely met the guy. But records of the Northern Marianas government show that Abramoff billed his clients there for contacts with Pombo and his staff. Kevin Ring, who'd gone from Doolittle's staff to join Abramoff's K Street lobbying firm, contributed $3,000 to Pombo; Abramoff and his firms kicked in $8,000, plus another $5,000 to Pombo's PAC.

How did a rancher from Tracy get so interested in those remote Pacific islands? The low-wage garment industry on the islands, which are U.S. territory, can label its products "Made in U.S.A." When the industry fought to block legislation that would have ended its exemptions from U.S. immigration and labor laws, Pombo and Doolittle were happy to help.

But after the phase-in in 2005 of free trade laws that neutralized the islands' advantage, much of the industry migrated to still cheaper labor markets. Thus the islands are now burdened by growing numbers of jobless workers, many of them Asian women who were exploited both in the garment industry and as sex workers for Korean and Japanese tourists. Now only tourism promises growth.

Pombo got some $6,500 in individual contributions from the Marianas, but they pale beside the $250,000 he collected in the last two election cycles from Indian gambling interests, most of them Abramoff clients. Thanks to DeLay, Pombo chairs the House Resources Committee, which oversees Indian casinos. No congressman got more from the tribes in those years than Pombo.

For his part, Doolittle and his PAC collected $60,000-plus from Abramoff, his firm and convicted Abramoff co-conspirator Tony Rudy and his wife. (Ney and Pombo got smaller amounts from the Rudys.)

In addition, there's the $100,000-plus Doolittle got from defense contractor Brent Wilkes, whom Doolittle helped get $37 million in federal contracts. Wilkes has since been named as a co-conspirator in the bribery of former San Diego Rep. Randy Cunningham, who's now in prison. And then there's his wife Julie's consulting business, which rakes in 15 percent of every dollar he raises in contributions, and which, of course, is family income.

Doolittle denies there were any quid pro quos here. But since he's a devout Mormon, what principle moved him to work so hard for Indian casinos? Doolittle, who ran fundraisers in Abramoff's Washington restaurant and used his skybox at sports events, also claims that he saw no sweatshops in the Marianas, or evidence of sex slavery or forced abortions.

Last week, Charlie Brown, his opponent, launched radio ads in which Wendy Doromal, a former government investigator, charges that she told Doolittle about all those things. Like Speaker Denny Hastert on Foleygate, Doolittle says he doesn't remember.

Back in 1994 Doolittle and Pombo both signed the GOP Contract With America, which promised to restore "the faith and trust of the American people in their government" and to root out "waste, fraud and abuse." Is this how they honor it?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Less corporate money, More Voters: Yes on 89


Less Corporate Money, More Voters - Proposition 89 would loosen corporations' stranglehold on elections, a major factor in keeping turnout low

By Jamie Court
Los Angeles Times
October 10, 2006

WITH A FULL four weeks to go before election day, more than $400 million has already been spent on California's ballot measures and political races. If the number surpasses half a billion dollars, as many believe it will before Nov. 7, it could make this year's election the most expensive in state history.

Ironically, that extraordinary amount of money (and the deluge of television advertising that it will buy) guarantees only one thing on election day: that more voters will stay home.

A recent report by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California shows why special interests that want to preserve the status quo like it that way. If nonvoters went to the polls, the institute found, they would favor a more activist government — voting out Arnold Schwarzenegger and passing big bond measures. The institute identifies an "exclusive electorate" that is older, richer, whiter and more conservative than the average Californian.

"If the trends in voting continue, we face the prospect of an electorate making policy choices that neglect the realities and problems facing large segments of California society," said the study's author, Mark Baldassare.

Voter disaffection and disgust are especially intense regarding ballot measures. A poll in 2005 by the institute found that more than 92% of voters believe that special interests control the initiative process. Interest groups that want to torpedo reform know that noisy, confusing television ad campaigns turn voters off to voting yes — and often to showing up at all.

Such a climate works well for the oil companies that have poured $52 million into the campaign against Proposition 87, the proposal to create an alternative-energy fund through a tax on oil company profits. Hollywood producer Steve Bing answered back and matched the industry's ad purchases, but big money on both sides is quicksand. Polls show that Proposition 87's support has slipped from 53% to 44% since the television ad wars began this summer.

The mostly tobacco-company-funded campaign against Proposition 86, the proposed healthcare fund created from an increase in the tobacco tax, has spent $55 million to date. That has knocked support for 86, whose proponents have raised far less, from 63% in July to 53% now.

The sheer volume of political advertising is drowning out all real political debate and corrupting the initiative process. But the answer to the problem of big-money political campaigns is on the November ballot.

The political finance reforms of Proposition 89 would limit ballot measure contributions by corporate treasuries to $10,000. Corporations account for the vast majority of spending on ballot initiatives, and limiting the biggest spender reduces the overall pot. The other ballot measure spenders — individuals and labor unions — are not restricted under Proposition 89, but they have far fewer resources overall (Bing notwithstanding). What's more, courts have frowned on the limitation of political spending by individuals and their political associations.

Proposition 89's ballot initiative spending limit has been attacked by big corporations as threatening to silence their political speech. In fact, under Proposition 89, corporations could still ask their executives, managers, customers and investors to give unlimited amounts for or against ballot measures.

At the moment, the playing field is sharply tilted toward corporations because of their extreme wealth. ExxonMobil, for example, made more than $8 billion in profit each of the last three quarters. Its chief executive officer took home $400 million in compensation last year, more money than the total revenue of any labor union in the state. Retiring Chief Executive Lee Raymond could still have a significant political effect if he chose to spend his money. But the reality is that individuals are much more likely to write smaller checks.

Proposition 89 would start restoring sanity in political spending, and not just by reforming the financing of ballot measures. It also would provide for public funding for candidates willing to forgo private fundraising from special interests, which is likely to reduce overall candidate advertising.

Ironically, the voters who would benefit most from the reform are the ones most likely to stay home, discouraged and disgusted by the power of money. The question is whether they will see past the blitz of deceptive, negative advertising to find out what the power of one more vote could be.


JAMIE COURT is president of the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

SMUD Vrs. PGE in Yolo


Yolo County: Vote Yes on H and I
Local control
SMUD is owned by its customers
Residents elect the SMUD Board of Directors
SMUD Directors answer only to customers, not stockholders
Customers have direct input on energy decisions and rates
Don't be fooled by PG&E's BIG LIES. The true costs of PG&E's poles and wires in the expansion area is NOT $500 million. That's part of their scare campaign. In fact, last year PG&E paid taxes on an assessed value of $78 million for these poles and wires. After an extensive study of PG&E and SMUD, the Sacramento LAFCo, an independent governmental body who decides on the merit of any agency expansion, ruled in favor of SMUD and approved a vote on Yolo annexation for this November. Not buying PG&E's lame arguments, LAFCo concluded that SMUD had the electric capacity to provide additional service, and the funds to purchase the Yolo infrastructure (which LAFCo's consultant appraised at $110 million), and the potential to save the district's customers between $165 million and $380 million dollars over 20 years. LAFCo's executive director said, "It's a win-win for Yolo and (existing) SMUD customers".

PG&E ads spread outrageous claims. When Folsom asked to change from PG&E to SMUD, PG&E trotted out paid "experts" who predicted that the switch would bring high rates and dire straits. It did not. What PG&E won't tell you is that Folsom has enjoyed a savings of $238 million and the entire SMUD community $360 million since Folsom joined SMUD twenty years ago. So far, through Sept. 22, PG&E had spent $l.2 million of our monies on KCRA ads. Add the other stations plus print ads and you can see why PG&E keeps asking the Public Utilities Commission for rate increases.

SMUD would bring HUGE savings to our schools. The 2003 Davis Citizen's Energy Task Force report showed that when the actual bills of Folsom High (@11.1 cents/kWh))and Davis High (@20.4 cents/kWh) were compared, Davis High School could hypothetically have saved $12,329 a month with SMUD, with an annual savings of $147,948. Using the Folsom School District model, the Davis Joint Unified School District could have had an annual savings of $477,816 with SMUD over PG&E's much more expensive rates. Think how many bake sales or car washes that equals. The numbers are stunning! Seeing the benefits, the Davis School Board recently voted 5-0 in favor of SMUD. Add the savings Yolo cities could achieve with SMUD and it's no wonder 19 elected leaders of Davis, Woodland, and West Sacramento and Yolo County unanimously voted to invite SMUD to provide service for Yolo County. It's a no-brainer if people know the facts.

Written by Lorna Enero Berman
Davis


In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
~ George Orwell

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Iraq for Sale : Free Movie, Free popcorn


Dear Friends and Supporters,

Robert Greenwald’s latest film, "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers," has just been released, triggering a mix of praise, outrage and grave concern among concerned Americans across all political and cultural boundaries.


“Iraq for Sale” is a tale of unspeakable greed and fraud, misery and betrayal, and brazen waste of public tax dollars for private enrichment. The film reveals in compelling detail the depth of control corporate war profiteers exert over our elected representatives and the danger these alliances have created for soldiers and innocent civilians.

This is a story you won’t hear or read in America’s mainstream, corporate-sponsored media.

In “Iraq for Sale” Greenwald:

Interviews soldiers, former private contractor workers, widows and children whose lives have been devastated as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq.

Exposes the price gouging and exorbitant compensation levels of not just Halliburton and its subsidiary, KBR, but also companies like CACI International and Blackwater Security Consulting.

Reveals the longtime personal connections between executives of these corporations and members of the current administration.

Details the stories of truck drivers promised they would be kept out of harm's way, only to be forced to drive into battle zones unprotected.

Takes viewers inside the story of Halliburton’s contract for millions of dollars to purify water -- and how our troops still do not have clean water for things as basic as brushing their teeth or making coffee.
In the true spirit of grassroots support, “Iraq for Sale” was funded entirely outside corporate America. More than 3,000 people donated $367,892 to help Greenwald and Brave New Films produce and distribute this documentary.

“Iraq for Sale” is available now on DVD for only $12.95. You can order yours by clicking here.

This is a film every American should see.
Shown by Sacramento Progressive Alliance. 7 PM. Oct. 13. CSUS. Student Union

Schwarzenegger on Tonight Show



Update: This afternoon the campaign sent a letter to the station managers at California’s 11 NBC affiliates demanding that they pull tonight’s broadcast of the “Tonight Show” featuring Governor Schwarzenegger and to halt promos for tonight’s broadcast, or provide Phil with equal time.

In December of 2003, 32 NBC affiliates pulled an episode of “Saturday Night Live” that featured then Presidential candidate Al Sharpton due to equal time considerations. Click here to read more.

Some additional news for our Calitics friends:

Several minutes of exposure on one of America’s most popular late night talk shows? Worth millions.

Not having to answer tough questions from reporters? Fantastic.

Having the taxpayers foot the bill for The Tonight Show jaunt? Priceless.


Tonight Arnold Schwarzenegger will receive from NBC and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno what can only be described as a free multi-million dollar infomercial when the Governor appears (in violation of FCC equal time rules) on The Tonight Show.


As if being handed what amounts to millions of dollars worth of free exposure on national television four weeks from Election Day and as Californians are already casting absentee ballots weren’t enough, it has now come to our attention that the taxpayers of California get to foot the bill for The Tonight Show visit.


That’s right folks. The Governor’s own spokesperson has confirmed that the Governor’s jaunt to hang with buddy Jay Leno is “official,” which means taxpayers get the bill for this trip.


It is an insult to the people of California that Governor Schwarzenegger has time to pal around on a talk show but doesn’t have the time to debate his opponent and defend his record. After spending $35 million in his campaign of mass deception, the last thing the Governor needs is a gift from the network.


Schwarzenegger should reimburse the state for this trip.
From Calitics.


See the great videos on www.yeson89.org
Including an ad that ran during the Leno show.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Governor fails English Language Learners

In as yet another example of how our governor is out of touch with the people of California, Swartzeneggar vetoed the bill that would have provided teachers with essential tools to help English Learners (EL) reach high academic and English language standards. The achievement gap for EL students is of deep concern to educators and community members up and down the state, but Swartzeneggar doesn’t seem to care.
There is a long-standing Supreme Court case, Lau v. Nichols, stipulating that when EL students are provided with the same materials used with native-speakers of English, they are… “effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education.” Nowhere in the vetoed bill is there any reference to separate classes for EL students, making Swartzeneggar’s charge of segregation disingenuous, at the very least. In fact, both Lau v. Nichols and the proposed bill were about meaningful integration of EL students into the academic curriculum.
Swartzeneggar had the privilege of learning English after long-term formal schooling in his native language (the best predictor of success in learning a second language). It is a shame that he cannot relate to the millions of EL students in California, their families, their teachers, and their communities, who would like to ensure EL students’ academic success and full democratic participation.
Prof. Nadeen Ruiz.
Chair, Bilingual/Multicultural Education
CSU-Sacramento

Monday, October 09, 2006

The debate format was dumb

Dear Readers.
How many of you found the debate format dumb? The California Broadcasters were in charge and insisted on it being their way.
Now Dan Weintraub of the Sac Bee says this may be the last debate.
Debates are not a bad idea; dumb formats are a bad idea.
It was a bad debate because the format was dumb. The moderator discouraged response and retort.
And, many of the questions were silly including those by the moderator.
I prefer a real debate. And let some real reporters ask questions. Lets get some reporters in the debates and the corporate media types out. Its our government.
Duane Campbell

Clean money vrs Corporate money


BIG FINANCE DUMPS BIG CASH TO DEFEAT ANTI-CORRUPTION MEASURE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2006
CONTACTS: Sara Nichols, (916) 444-3669 or (916) 769-4266 mobile

Sacramento - On the deadline for filing disclosure of campaign contributions, banks and insurance companies are pouring money into defeating Proposition 89. On Saturday, October 7th, frontrunner Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will engage in his one and only debate against Democratic challenger Phil Angelides. As Election Day draws near – once again other state candidates throughout California are doing their best to duck tough public debates. Instead of facing the voters, the press and their opponents, too many candidates prefer to let their attack ads do all the talking.
Proposition 89, the Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, will end this debate ducking and require that candidates face the public in at least two debates. If Proposition 89 passes on November 7th, any state candidate who accepts public funding for their campaigns must participate in at least one primary debate and two general election debates.
And it’s the same in races across the state – both Democrats and Republicans are hiding from critical public forums.
Clean Election Now – Yes on 89 Executive Director, Susan Lerner, said, “Clearly the big boys are getting scared of how Prop 89 would clean up California elections. The disclosures from recent days show that the banks and insurance companies are dumping cash into defeating Prop 89. They know that their interests lie in continuing to control the debate with negative attack ads. Voters deserve to hear substantive conversations about issues. They shouldn’t be relegated to watching mud on television with no public accountability.”
League of Women Voters of California President Jacqueline Jacobberger said, “The League of Women Voters has been working for years to help moderate substantive political debates. One of the reasons we are working so hard to pass Prop. 89 is the requirement that clean money candidates participate in public debates in the primary and general elections.”
If passed by California voters on November 7th, Proposition 89 would establish a voluntary “Clean Money” system for full public financing of election campaigns modeled upon successful programs already in place in Arizona and Maine and recently adopted by Connecticut. It is designed to level the election playing field, open up the ballot to more good candidates, and stop political corruption by making elected officials accountable to voters, not big money donors.
For more information on Proposition 89:
www.89Now.org
www.Yeson89.org
www.Latinosfor89.org

SMUD vrs. PGE: the difference is public ownership


Yolo County: Vote Yes on H and I
Local control
SMUD is owned by its customers
Residents elect the SMUD Board of Directors
SMUD Directors answer only to customers, not stockholders
Customers have direct input on energy decisions and rates
Don't be fooled by PG&E's BIG LIES. The true costs of PG&E's poles and wires in the expansion area is NOT $500 million. That's part of their scare campaign. In fact, last year PG&E paid taxes on an assessed value of $78 million for these poles and wires. After an extensive study of PG&E and SMUD, the Sacramento LAFCo, an independent governmental body who decides on the merit of any agency expansion, ruled in favor of SMUD and approved a vote on Yolo annexation for this November. Not buying PG&E's lame arguments, LAFCo concluded that SMUD had the electric capacity to provide additional service, and the funds to purchase the Yolo infrastructure (which LAFCo's consultant appraised at $110 million), and the potential to save the district's customers between $165 million and $380 million dollars over 20 years. LAFCo's executive director said, "It's a win-win for Yolo and (existing) SMUD customers".

PG&E ads spread outrageous claims. When Folsom asked to change from PG&E to SMUD, PG&E trotted out paid "experts" who predicted that the switch would bring high rates and dire straits. It did not. What PG&E won't tell you is that Folsom has enjoyed a savings of $238 million and the entire SMUD community $360 million since Folsom joined SMUD twenty years ago. So far, through Sept. 22, PG&E had spent $l.2 million of our monies on KCRA ads. Add the other stations plus print ads and you can see why PG&E keeps asking the Public Utilities Commission for rate increases.

SMUD would bring HUGE savings to our schools. The 2003 Davis Citizen's Energy Task Force report showed that when the actual bills of Folsom High (@11.1 cents/kWh))and Davis High (@20.4 cents/kWh) were compared, Davis High School could hypothetically have saved $12,329 a month with SMUD, with an annual savings of $147,948. Using the Folsom School District model, the Davis Joint Unified School District could have had an annual savings of $477,816 with SMUD over PG&E's much more expensive rates. Think how many bake sales or car washes that equals. The numbers are stunning! Seeing the benefits, the Davis School Board recently voted 5-0 in favor of SMUD. Add the savings Yolo cities could achieve with SMUD and it's no wonder 19 elected leaders of Davis, Woodland, and West Sacramento and Yolo County unanimously voted to invite SMUD to provide service for Yolo County. It's a no-brainer if people know the facts.

Written by Lorna Enero Berman
Davis


In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
~ George Orwell

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sex, lies and power games


Time Magazine

The End of a Revolution
Sex, lies and power games are just the latest symptoms of a Republican Party that has strayed from its ideals

It seems likely that the party will instead need to reckon with sex and scandal throughout the final weeks of the election. As conservative George F. Will, writing in the Washington Post last week, put it, the Foley affair is "a maraschino cherry atop the Democrats' delectable sundae of Republican miseries." In the latest TIME poll, conducted the week after the news broke, nearly 80% of respondents said they were aware of the scandal, and two-thirds of them were convinced that Republican leaders had tried to cover it up. Among the registered voters who were polled, 54% said they would be more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress, compared with 39% who favored the Republican--nearly a perfect reversal of the 51%-40% advantage the G.O.P. enjoyed as recently as August. There was even worse news in a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center that showed a precipitous drop in Republican support among frequent churchgoers, one of the most important and loyal elements of the G.O.P. base. There's no indication that they are clamoring to be Democrats, but the risk is that they will simply stay home on Election Day.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Karl Rove leads the press

Published on BuzzFlash (http://www.buzzflash.com/articles)
The Sexual Security of America’s Youth Betrayed by the Republican Party: Rove’s in Charge Now

By BuzzFlash
Created 10/06/2006 - 9:30am
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS

With a poll revealed by none other than FOX News showing that if Hastert stays on as House Speaker, the GOP could lose up to 50 seats in the House [1], [2] it was time for Karl Rove to come in and start organizing a classic divert, diffuse and delay strategy.
Hastert is staying on for the moment as GOP House Speaker for three reasons only. Internal Republican polling must show that the potential GOP losses in the House might be even greater if Hastert resigns – given that it would be an admission of culpability (as it should be), and given that anyone who might replace him would have skeletons in his closet that might come tumbling out just days before the election.

The third reason is – given the first two reasons – that the White House is backing Hastert’s cover-up of a GOP Internet sexual predator of house pages. And if Rove has made the decision that they have to gamble with Hastert staying on as House Speaker, then Hastert is going to stay on, unless the voters elect a Democratic Congress and the position of House Speaker then belongs to Nancy Pelosi.

What we are seeing now are classic Rovian media control strategies to start to diffuse the crisis and repackage it is a "proactive" GOP "investigation." The press is already falling for it.

First, Hastert claimed that he was taking "responsibility" while saying that he didn’t do anything wrong. In short, he hasn’t taken any responsibility whatsover; he just said that for television. This is exactly what Bush did after Katrina, and then appointed himself to investigate the gross negligence he was responsible for. Did you ever read a report from Bush about his "self-investigation?" Exactly, are you starting to see the Rovian touch?

Then Hastert announces that he is asking the so-called House "Ethics" Committee, which has been virtually dormant in the face of massive GOP corruption in Congress, to investigate the Foley scandal, which Hastert calls the "page scandal." This was like Bush saying that he would have the Plame leak investigated, even though Bush and Cheney were at the center of the leak.

Such a Rovian strategy works if it can kick the ball down the field (stall until after the election). It also makes it appear as if Hastert wants to get to the bottom of a scandal that he is central too. If he wanted that, he would just have to tell the truth.

In the Plame case, Rove had Bush say that the Justice Department was investigating, and, therefore, he couldn’t comment. Then the Justice Department sat on the case and did nothing until Ashcroft had to recuse himself from "controlling" the "investigation" for reasons that have not yet been disclosed.

Already, Republican congressional candidates across America have been given the message point to respond – when asked if Hastert should resign: "I want to wait until the outcome of the investigation to make a judgement."

Of course, no investigation will make any report before the election – if ever. And the FBI is moving as fast as mice on valium.

And if the House Ethics Committee does start leaking to the press prior to the election, you can be sure it will be with little tidbits such as that they have discovered that some unnamed Democratic congressmen might have engaged in the same behavior as Foley.

In short, they will use the phony "investigation" process to throw the press off of Hastert’s – and the Republican leadership’s – betrayal of young people for the purpose of maintaining power by diverting attention, tossing up "anonymously sourced" diversionary muddying up of unnamed Democratic Congressmen, and running out the clock.

This is classic Rove. They will make it seem that the GOP wants to find out the truth, when it is using a sham "process" to hide the truth.

It’s worked for Rove before over and over again, because the press loves to report on "process," since it takes the responsibility of actually investigating stories off their hands.

This time, it may not work with the voters, because the chickens have come home to roost for the GOP.

Come to power on the basis of the demagogic use of "moral values"; then you die by the revelation of immoral values.

Rove has just a few weeks to use "process" to somehow make the Democrats seem responsible for l’affaire Foley.

Will his Machiavellian dishonesty and cynical betrayal succeed once again?

A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS

Source URL:
http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/articles/alerts/125

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Corporations and newspapers


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tribune6oct06,0,7711575,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines
Tribune Asks for Times Publisher's Resignation
By James Rainey
Times Staff Writer

7:56 PM PDT, October 5, 2006

The Tribune Co. forced Los Angeles Times Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson to step down Thursday, three weeks after the executive stirred a national debate about corporate ownership of newspapers by publicly defying a demand for staff cuts in his newsroom.

Tribune Publishing President Scott C. Smith announced that Johnson would be replaced immediately by the publisher of the Chicago Tribune. David Hiller is the 12th chief executive in the 125-year history of the Times. Smith said during an interview at the paper's headquarters downtown that he hoped the management changes would signal Tribune's intent to maintain ownership the Times. Three local billionaires have expressed interest in buying the paper. Two weeks ago, Tribune's board of directors, under pressure to raise the company's sagging stock price and to appease its largest shareholder, announced it would explore a potential break up or sale of the assets.

The new publisher, a former corporate lawyer and member of President Reagan's Justice Department, held a series of meetings with employees through the afternoon and then met with business leaders Thursday night.

Hiller, 53, said he had no preconceived ideas about whether to follow through with job cuts. Johnson and Times Editor Dean Baquet had refused to cut as many as 100 staff jobs that Tribune had requested, contending they would damage a newspaper that has commonly been rated as one of the nation's best.

"I don't have a plan or a set of numbers or any set of definitive answers," Hiller said in an interview at the Times offices. "What I want to do is come in, get to know the place, get to know my new colleagues and, with them, figure it out."

He told Times editors that they shouldn't assume that he would carry out cuts Johnson had blocked. He also said that despite fears to the contrary, he understood the value that readers placed in the Times' national and foreign bureaus.

Baquet told associates last week he was likely to leave if Johnson was fired -- a move that some at the paper feared would trigger an exodus of other top journalists. But the Times editor and Hiller agreed -- after a hasty Thursday morning meeting over coffee at a downtown hotel -- that they would try to work together.

"I have a tremendous loyalty to Jeff," Baquet told a somber gathering of editors, who packed into a conference room late in the morning. "But, as I have said before, the paper has to come first.

We do not need a resignation

We need revolution, not resignation
Democrats will be making a huge mistake if they allow themselves to get sucked into the emerging political vortex of making the Foley scandal all about whether Dennis Hastert (and perhaps other members of the GOP leadership) should resign, or more likely, step down from the leadership. Bringing down one, two or even five people isn’t the point:

We need revolution, not resignation.

An aside: So as to avoid the sort of confusion that might land me in Guant├ínamo Bay, let me emphasize I’m talking here about the, “a dramatic change in ideas or practice” meaning of the word revolution, not the violent overthrow one.

Although the way things are going, I suppose even advocating for that may soon be good enough to land me in Guantanoma.

But back on point: What have GOP leadership resignations ever bought us?

Newt Gingrich stepped down under pressure.

Tom DeLay stepped down under pressure.

Trent Lott stepped down under pressure.

So, do you think the Republican controlled House and Senate got better after these guys were forced out? Me neither. The problem here isn’t with a few powerful rogues; it’s in a culture of arrogance, deceit and corruption that extends all the way from the top dogs down to the back bench.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ll be as pleased as punch to see Hastert take a well deserved fall: But that won’t solve the problem. Even a Democratic victory in November, as critical as that is, won’t by itself get us to where we need to be. What’s needed is a fundamental change in the way Congress does business.

And that’s what Democratic candidates need to be talking about over the next few weeks: A promise of change — real change. When a reporter asks a Democratic congressman or congressional candidate whether Dennis Hastert should resign, the answer should be:

“Speaker Hastert should be held accountable for his actions in this disgrace and based upon what we already know, yes, of course, he should go. But that’s not going to solve the problem. As we keep seeing again and again, there is a culture of dishonesty and corruption entrenched in Washington today; and what’s needed is fundamental change. And that’s simply not going to happen while the current batch of Republicans are in charge.”

Keep your eye on the ball boys and girls. And Dennis Hastert, as big a low life as he is, isn’t the ball.

This entry was posted by Steve on Wednesday, October 4th, 2006 at 10:15 am and is filed under Comment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “We need revolution, not resignation”
Weirdharold Says:
October 4th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

Charlie Brown in the 4th. District

( - promoted by SFBrianCL)

Charlie Brown is demanding that Rep. John Doolittle, who's too cowardly to even face him in a televised debate, to return a campaign donation from Mark Foley's Political Action Committee.
Now the donation is a mere $1,000. I think Abramoff would tip Doolittle that for walking him to his car. But the point is that Brown is campaigning with the aggressive, take-no-prisoners, seize-every-opportunity streak we've come to expect from Republicans. From his multitude of creative websites to his non-stop attacks on Doolittle's involvement with the CNMI, Brown is attacking hard but also putting the entire thing into an easy-to-read narrative. From his email to supporters:


"This is an absolute moral outrage," said Brown. "Any Member of Congress, Democrat or Republican, who had knowledge of Congressman Foley's illicit behavior and took no action should resign. There is no excuse for putting political considerations before protecting children," Brown said. He called for an independent, non-partisan investigation into the issue.
"This Congress is losing the moral authority to lead – every day the news is about corruption, bribery, campaign-finance scandals and cover ups," Brown continued. "This is not about left versus right, it's about right versus wrong. It's long past time for a change."

I can't help but be impressed with Brown's skills as a campaigner and a candidate. His rapid response team is ridiculously good. He's skilled at grabbing free media attention by attacking his opponent's weak points and not letting go.

There is no way Charlie Brown should have a shot in CA-04. It's redder than red. But contesting everywhere has a great benefit, by freeing up the Democrat in question to absolutely go for broke.

I don't make predictions often, but I really think that Charlie Brown will be the next Congressman from California's 4th District.

SF Brian on Calitics

Hastert Blames Democrats

Now, this is rich. The House page scandal is the fault of the Democrats.
Talk about State of Denial.

ELECTION NOTEBOOK
Hastert: 'Buck stops here' on Foley scandal
Ethics panel launches investigation, issues subpoenas
By William L. Watts, MarketWatch
Last Update: 5:12 PM ET Oct 5, 2006

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Thursday apologized for the sex scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley, but said he saw no reason to resign his post over the Republican leadership's handling of the matter.
"I'm deeply sorry that this has happened," Hastert said at a news conference in his Illinois district. "And the bottom line is that we're taking responsibility, because ultimately, as someone has said in Washington before: 'The buck stops here.'"
Hastert, however, rejected calls by conservative groups for his resignation. The speaker said he didn't believe that he would undermine the GOP's prospects in the Nov. 7 midterm elections.
"I said I haven't done anything wrong, obviously," Hastert said.
The news conference came minutes after Democratic and Republican members of the House ethics committee announced that they had established a special subcommittee that will investigate the scandal, which broke last Friday with the resignation of Foley, a Florida Republican, who had been questioned by ABC News about sexually explicit Internet messages allegedly sent to teenage boys who had served as congressional pages.
The panel has issued dozens of subpoenas for documents and testimony.
Hastert welcomed the committee's decision and said he would fully cooperate with the effort. He also called for a criminal investigation by the Justice Department and Florida authorities. Earlier, Hastert announced a toll-free hotline for anyone with relevant information regarding the page program.
The House, meanwhile, has "reached out to experts around the country to put a system in place to make sure this never happens again," he said.
Polls show Democrats are within striking distance of making a net gain of 15 seats needed to take control of the House. Foley had been expected to easily win re-election to a seventh term. Political handicappers now expect Democrat Tim Mahoney to win the seat.
A handful of conservative groups this week urged Hastert to resign the speakership. Democrats and some Republicans charge that Hastert and other GOP officials should have taken steps to investigate the Florida Republican after a teenage former page complained about an e-mail from Foley last year which the teen found to be inappropriate.
"The problem today is that House Republican leaders had evidence of a sexual predator in their ranks and chose to cover it up instead of choosing to protect these children. What is needed is for Republican leaders to testify under oath about what they knew, when they knew it, and why they didn't properly act," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Senior Republican lawmakers said Hastert was made aware of the e-mail, which wasn't sexually explicit, in the spring.
Hastert says he doesn't recall those conversations, but doesn't dispute that they took place.
After being alerted to the e-mail, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., who heads the committee that oversees the page program, told Foley to cease contact with the boy. Hastert, Shimkus and other officials say they had no knowledge of the sexually explicit Internet messages before they were revealed by ABC News last week.
"Could we have done it better? Could the Page Board have handled it better? In retrospect, probably, yes. But at that time, what we knew and what we acted upon was what we had," Hastert said.
Top congressional Republicans closed ranks behind Hastert after the news conference.
"I continue to have full confidence in Speaker Hastert and his leadership, and I applaud him for his comments today. He has my full support, and I believe strongly he should remain our speaker," said House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, the No. 2 House Republican.
"Mark Foley's actions were despicable, and he deceived us all," said House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, No. 3 in the House GOP leadership. "I know that if the speaker had known what we know now about Foley's disgusting activities, he would have personally moved to have Foley expelled from the House of Representatives."
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., offered words of support for his House counterpart.
"Denny Hastert is good man, a capable leader and he has my confidence and support," Frist said.
Hastert told the Chicago Tribune in an interview conducted Wednesday night and published Thursday that his resignation would only play into the hands of Democrats.
"Our members are supportive. I think that [resignation] is exactly what our opponents would like to have happen -- that I'd fold my tent and others would fold our tent and they would sweep the House," Hastert said.
Hastert's top lieutenants in the leadership had previously distanced themselves from the speaker's handling of the matter in recent days.
On Wednesday, Blunt said he would have handled the matter differently had he been made aware of the e-mail.
A day earlier, Boehner told an Ohio radio station that he had been assured by Hastert last spring that the Foley matter had been handled.
On Wednesday, Rep. Ron Lewis, R-Ky., who is in the midst of a tough re-election battle, cancelled an upcoming fundraising visit by Hastert.
William L. Watts is a reporter for MarketWatch.



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