Tuesday, May 30, 2006

California Democrat primary

After George Bush Arnold Schwarzenegger is the American politician Australians have heard off. A recent poll has him level pegging with both of his potential Democrat rivals who go to a primary on June 6 before a general election in November. I might be inclined to agree with the comment of state Democratic party chair Art Torries:
For an incumbent governor to be tied with two men who the media say hasn't made a splash with the public is not good news for him...Even with all his moves to the moderate center with hopes of regaining voters who supported him in the special election, it isn't working for him.
The more liberal of the two Democrat candidates Phil Angelides (a property developer) has come from behind with the support of teacher unions to level-peg in the primary with eBay pioneer Steve Westley, but the bad blood and negative campigning in the primary may alienate voters and impact on the Democrat vote in a crucial Congressional by-election on the same day. Brad de Long agrees. The amount of money that both candidates have had to raise does show that primary elections are not necessarily an empowering process for ordinary voters. True this is a single ballot in a state of 36m. Fund sources from here:

Phil Angelides

Raised: $28.7 million. Spent: $26.2 million. Major donors: Phil Angelides, $1.5 million; California Democratic State Central Committee, $822,000; Peter Angelos, owner, Baltimore Orioles, $22,300; American Federation of Teachers, Washington, D.C., $22,300; Service Employees International Union District 1199, Columbus, Ohio, $22,300; SEIU Illinois Council, Chicago, $22,300; George Andros, Fresno developer, $22,300; Luke Ellis, Orinda attorney, $22,300; International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, Ontario, $22,300.

Californians for a Better Government (Independent expenditure committee for Angelides): Raised: $9.8 million. Spent: $7.49 million. Major donors: Angelo Tsakopoulous, Sacramento developer, $6.13 million; Eleni Tsakopoulous-Kounalakis, Sacramento developer: $2.57 million; California Association of Teachers, $1 million; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, $100,000.

Steve Westly: Raised: $41.4 million. Spent: $38.4 million: Major donors: Steve Westly, $35.1 million; Lilli Rey, Hillsborough homemaker, $22,300; Steve Jurvetson, Los Altos venture capitalist, $22,300; California Department of Forestry Firefighters PAC, $22,300; Farmers Employees and Agents PAC, Mill Valley, $22,300; William Hambrecht, San Francisco venture capitalist, $22,300;


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