Friday, July 25, 2003

Fascinating column on California politics:

So I wondered: who had the recall crowd recruited to speak to Latinos at this well- attended Capitol press conference, just as the story was making national news? Would it be somebody big, like the hip, new vice-chairman of the California Republican Party who is working to open up his party, Mario Rodriguez?

Dave Gilliard returned a blank look to the Latina reporter. Clearly, it hadn't even crossed anyone's mind to have a Spanish speaker on hand.

This is just the sort of gaffe that tells you exactly how people in the California Republican Party still think. It's still as white as snow. It's still as out of it as a comatose patient in an intensive care ward.
I told this story to Pat Caddell, former pollster for Jimmy Carter and George McGovern, and a national Democratic commentator who was probably the first public figure to push the idea of recalling Davis last year. "California Republicans are the dumbest people I have ever met," Caddell harrumphed of the crowd currently overseeing the recall.
So what did Mulholland really say that day?

He attacked the homeless.

"Voters should know the kind of people bused in to do the circulating!" Mulholland boomed. "The Republicans don't want judicial review of the types of people they had circulating petitions! The homeless! And convicted felons!"
Does the Democratic Party condone the idea that these petition-gathering jobs, which require no previous experience, should not be offered to the homeless? Perhaps the homeless are not even worthy of the right to vote?

I called Steve Smith, the well-to-the-left laborista who Davis appointed as California's top labor bureaucrat in order to placate state labor unions.
Smith is now campaign manager of Davis' humorously named Taxpayers Against the Governor's Recall. Smith's spokesman Nick Velasquez assured me they'd call back, but they never did. Was it because their "two felons" allegation has gotten too embarrassing now that the San Francisco Chronicle has reported that the two felons worked at Rescue California just a short time---and were then promptly hired by the Gray Davis side to gather signatures for a non-binding pro-Davis petition?

via Mickey Kaus