Saturday, July 19, 2008

Field Poll: California voters' disapproval rating on Bush highest since 1961

This isn't exactly news but it does show how much of a drag He has become to the Republican brand.

From the Sacramento Bee
By Kevin Yamamura -
Published 12:00 am PDT Saturday, July 19, 2008
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A3

President Bush's disapproval rating in California has reached the highest mark for a president since the Field Poll began tracking White House numbers in 1961, according to its latest survey released Friday.

Less than a quarter of California voters – 24 percent – said they approve of Bush's job performance, compared with 71 percent who said they disapprove.

The latter mark is higher than Nixon's 70 percent disapproval rating in August 1974, the same month he resigned from office after his role in the Watergate scandal was revealed.

Only 18 percent of voters said they approve of Bush's handling of the economy, a drop from 24 percent who said the same in May. Voter appraisal of Bush's handling of the Iraq war has remained steady at 28 percent approval, compared with 27 percent in May.

"What's driving this particular poll down are the significantly lower ratings he's getting on the economy," said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo. "His Iraq ratings seem to have stabilized. I would consider those to have bottomed out."

More Republicans approve of Bush than disapprove, by a 54 percent to 38 percent margin. But the poll found that 90 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of independent voters disapprove of Bush.

Three-quarters of voters also believe the nation is headed on the wrong track, while 15 percent said it is going in the right direction, and 10 percent had no opinion. That is the gloomiest voter outlook since July 1992, when the state was mired in recession.

The Field Poll did not ask voters their feelings about Congress during its July survey.

In May, 30 percent approved of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, compared with 39 percent who disapproved. In December, 30 percent approved of Congress, while 56 percent disapproved.

"Institutional measures, whether it's Congress or the state Legislature, are often lower when things aren't going well because there isn't any one personality underpinning the institution," DiCamillo said. "The institution itself is often seen as not doing its job if the economy falls on hard times."

Friday, July 18, 2008

PRIDE and Republicans

With Sanders in support of gay marriage, where does that place Goldsmith, Boling, and Thalimier?

Anyone know?

And will it affect their races?

Your thoughts...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FPPC: DeMaio Violated Political Reform Act

This just came across my inbox from the Party:

San Diego City Councilmember-elect Carl DeMaio ran on a pledge to bring transparency to City Hall, but even before he finished filing as a candidate he was trying to hide information from the public, according to California’s political reform agency.

DeMaio was warned by the Fair Political Practices Commission last week that his Statement of Economic Interests fails to disclose required information about the clients of the consulting companies he owned until 2007.

He has until July 28 to come clean with the public about his clients at the Performance Institute and American Strategic Management Institute or face fines amounting to $5,000 for each violation of the Political Reform Act.

Officeholders and candidates for public office in the State of California are required to complete a Statement of Economic Interests, known as Form 700, so that the public is made fully aware of its representatives’ business interests before they’re elected to office. DeMaio’s statement currently does not include such information.

DeMaio’s Performance Institute made millions of dollars as a federal contractor, according to, a website that tracks U.S. government contract spending. His American Strategic Management Institute is a for-profit business that provides consulting to private companies. He reported selling both companies to Thompson Publishing Group, Inc. just before he began his bid for the City Council seat.

“Carl DeMaio’s failure to comply with this rule while he ran for City Council District 5 conflicts with his stated commitment to open government,” said Jess Durfee, Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party.

“It is ironic that Mr. DeMaio ran for office on a platform of making government more transparent when in fact he was violating open government laws by failing to disclose his own financial interests,” Durfee said. “If Mr. DeMaio were truly interested in open government, he would have told the public who his clients were.”

But DeMaio, a Republican, never claimed ownership in either business in his Form 700. Instead, he reported that he was the sole proprietor of an entity named “Carl DeMaio” and that both companies merely did business with “Carl DeMaio.”

“It is clear that Carl DeMaio is not being forthright with the public,” the Democratic Chair said. “He needs to come clean with the people of San Diego before we can trust he will have the public interest in mind when he becomes a councilmember.”

In light of DeMaio’s web of financial interests, Durfee further called on him to pledge that he will not conduct any private business with government contractors while holding public office.

Free Speech and the Blogosphere

So on the front page of the Business Day section of today's New York Times, a great story about balancing the law and blog posting. What is really interesting is that there seems to be a political bent to the specific blog that was targeted by the New York City's DA in attempting to find the IP addresses of anon posters criticizing Republican lawmakers and posting news reports about investigations that supported their criticism.

Luckily, the subpoena was withdrawn after “The district attorney was not aware that a subpoena was sent nor was he aware of the content of the comments, until after the subpoena was sent. The district attorney reviewed the matter, determined that a subpoena was not necessary at this time, and directed that it be withdrawn.”

But this story should give every blogger and those who publish blogs pause. We are a progressive blog but we don't try to stifle people in the expression their positions as long as it is done in a manner that is more or less in line with common decorum. I think we have only banned one comment in the time this blog has been up, which is a testament to our readers and our posters. However, if government entities begin issuing subpoenas to investigate posters just because they express their opinions anonymously how can real discussion take place? I would like to think that bloggers on both sides of the spectrum share this common thread of being able to express one's political views without fear of retribution from that politician or political entity. That is entirely anathema to what this country stands for. I mean wouldn't you be less inclined to share your opinions on say Jerry Sanders, Donna Frye or any other elected if they could find out who you are? Don't we have rights?

What do you think?