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Marc Valdez, Candidate for California Governor

Helping Californians Choose the Lesser of 135 Evils. The Dancing Meteorologist Says "Contribute Your Ideas, But Keep Your Cash".

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election Alumnus Running For Lieutenant Governor

Paging through the Voter's Pamphlet, I notice a familiar Democrat:
As a Ph.D. scientist rather than a career politician, I will bring needed analytical capabilities and innovative thinking to Sacramento. While simultaneously being the father of young children and a successful entrepreneur relying on good money management skills, I believe strongly that funding for schoolteachers and higher education should take precedence over spending on government overhead. Therefore, to set an example of fiscal restraint for other state officials, I will cut the Lieutenant Governor’s staff and budget by 50% and accept no pension. As Lieutenant Governor, most of my energy will be devoted to fighting for your rights to efficient and cost effective government. I sincerely request your vote and look forward to hearing your ideas.
I remember Eric from San Diego! Met him once too! Struck me well: an amiable, scientifically-trained fellow would be good in higher office. Vote for Eric!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

10th Anniversary Madness Of the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election Continues!

Jayson Haedrich writes:
Hi Everyone: Thanks for the intro Mark - We are pleased to be screening the recall documentary I produced back in 2003 with Robbie Stauder at Sacramento State University. If you didn't get a chance to catch the film last month at the 10th anniversary reunion at the capital - please feel free to come to this screening. Time- Thursday, November 21st, 6PM Location - CSUS - Mendocino Hall - Room 1015 Thanks Jayson Haedrich
Here is some Additional Info. PS- If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Jayson so that he can give the school your name / info. Marc's PS: Jayson is available on Facebook, and his E-Mail address is: jaysonhaedrich@gmail.com

Monday, October 14, 2013

10th Anniversary Meeting Of The 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Candidates

Hi all: The 10th Anniversary meeting of the 2003 California Gubernatorial recall candidates at the State Capitol went well on Saturday. We had about eight candidates present, plus various friends. We first met at the River City Brewing Company for lunch (Daniel Watts, Jon Zellhoefer, friend Adam Sartain, Cheryl Bly-Chester, Darrin Scheidle, and myself). The candidates present at the State Capitol (with number guests indicated in parentheses) were: Cheryl Bly-Chester Jon Zellhoefer (who came in from Pahrump, NV) Marc Valdez (3) Darrin Scheidle (who came in from Las Vegas, NV) Gerold Gorman Leonard Padilla (3) Daniel Watts (3) Badi Badiozamani (who came in from San Diego, CA) The total audience was about 17. Afterwards, we ate at Bento Box for dinner (Jon Zellhoefer, Cheryl Bly-Chester, Gerold Gorman, Darrin Scheidle, and myself). People were very complimentary about Jayson Haedrich’s documentary ‘Born to Run’ (aka ‘Gubernatorious’). Jon Zellhoefer said he liked the choices Jayson Haedrich made regarding what candidates to follow and what he showed in the documentary. At general urging, I plan to start a Facebook page soon (called ‘The California 135’, at Darrin’s suggestion). Initially, members will be from the 2003 Recall candidates, but it will be an open page, so other people who share the broad general outlook of the Candidates’ Forum (for example, the importance of choices in politics, the need to work across partisan boundaries, the importance of active political involvement) can join. Marc Valdez

Friday, October 11, 2013

10th Anniversary Reunion of the CA Gubernatorial Candidates

Hi Fellow Historical Figures!: Tomorrow is the big day! Just a few notes. Access to the State Capitol is limited on weekends to just one door, in the Glass Pavilion, on the North side of the Capitol (close to 11th and L Streets). From that door, Room 126 is easy to find: take the first hallway to the right, and it’s the first room on the left. We will first meet at 11:30 a.m. at the River City Brewing Company in Downtown Plaza Shopping Mall. Meeting starts at 1 p.m. and runs till 3:30 p.m. Documentary film will run 1.5 hours, so that will start at 2 p.m. Afterwards, we are free to do as we please. I discovered Chops Steakhouse doesn’t open until 5 p.m., so I suggest going over to Bento Box afterwards, unless we have a better idea. Marc Valdez
(Previous E-Mail) Hi All: Here are plans as they currently stand for the 2003 California Gubernatorial Election 10-Year Reunion, in Room 126 of the California State Capitol, in Sacramento on Saturday, October 12, 2013. Jon Zellhoefer recommends for lunch the River City Brewing Company in Downtown Plaza. Their address is: 545 Downtown Plaza #1115, Sacramento, CA 95814 - (916) 447-2739. On Saturday, they open at 11:30 a.m., and so I’ve secured a reservation for eight to ten people, starting at 11:30 a.m. I might leave at 12:30 p.m. just to double check on the setup, but the get-together at the State Capitol starts at 1:00 p.m. and runs until 3:30 p.m. Afterwards, we can go where we please for more conversation. There are several places that come to mind. The lobbyists seem to prefer Chops Steakhouse on the K Street Mall. Their address is: 1117 11th St Sacramento, CA 95814 - (916) 447-8900. (They have a big party room downstairs, but it costs $750/day, so maybe we’ll stay upstairs, and go downstairs just to gawk at it.) I like Bento Box for its Asian food and young vibe. Their address is: 1101 16th St, Sacramento, CA 95814 - (916) 706-1286. We can choose what we please.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Update To Recall Reunion

Fellow Historical Figures!: Jayson Haedrich is continuing to work on the possibility of a second screening for his movie. He has been in contact with Kim Nalder, an Associate Professor in the Department of Government and the director of the Project for Informed Electorate at California State University in Sacramento. She is interested in trying to put together a panel discussion reviewing the 2003 Recall election. Provided we can make this event happen, former candidates would be most welcome too. We don’t have dates or times yet, but in the event you can’t come to the October 12th reunion, there is the possibility of a different, second event, where we can get together. Marc Valdez

The Recall Election Ten Years Later

A few months ago, San Francisco Chronicle Reporter Joe Garofoli tracked down several of the Gubernatorial candidates and interviewed them about the Recall Election and its effects, a decade later. From his piece about Mary Carey:
Carey was only 23 when she moved to Los Angeles in April 2003. The fledgling theater major dropped out of Florida Atlantic University, where she had taken classes for three years, to seek her fame in LA’s adult film world. When she filed her candidacy papers for governor, she still had Florida license plates on her car. She signed with a smaller company whose owner Mark Kulkis promised to make “me a household name in a year.” One day, he asked her a question: You want to run for governor? “Well, I didn’t graduate from college,” Carey recalled telling him. “I dropped out.” No, no don’t worry about it. You just have to be 18 and have no felonies. So Kulkis, the president of Kick Ass Productions, much like any other campaign operative, began prepping Carey on everything from the state’s budget deficit to its tax structure. “I’m really good with coming up with funny answers and being witty,” Carey said. “Because I was kind of goofy, people mistake my playing dumb for really being dumb…. realistically, if I was dumb, I wouldn’t have been able to get through these interviews and come up with funny answers.”

10th-Anniversary Reunion of the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election Candidates

Left: In anticipation of appearing later that evening on Jay Leno's Tonight Show, Candidate Mike P. McCarthy from San Luis Obispo arrives at Johnny Carson Park, Burbank, CA, for the Candidates' Forum, September 22, 2003.
Date: Saturday, October 12, 2013 Place: Committee Room 126 in the California State Capitol Building Time: 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. (2 and ½ hours) The candidate reunion is open to all who wish to attend. Room 126 can house a large group. The first hour will be meet-and-greet. At 2 p.m., the Main Event starts: a screening of Jayson Haedrich’s 90-minute documentary of our various activities on the campaign trail. As Jayson relates:
It features 5 main characters: Cheryl Bly-Chester Mike McCarthy Bill Wyatt Georgy Russell Mary Carey The coalition of candidates is the biggest part of the story and the bus ride you guys took following Arnold becomes the big story in the end- but there are definitely other characters Short Synopisis: “Born to Run AKA Gubernatorious”: It was once said that politics is the art of the possible - and in California for eight short weeks in 2003, 130 Americans without a lick of political experience ran for Governor hoping to defy that statement. This comedy about democracy follows 5 first-time candidates in their quests to be heard as they vie for attention in an electorate gone mad. When an opportunity from an odd political loophole arises that allows any citizen of the state easy access to a place on the ballot, the would-be candidates came out of the woodwork. Quacks, dreamers & opportunists -ahem... Americans - all scramble to put together first-time campaigns with the hope of becoming the leader of one of the largest economies in the country. Coming up with a platform and an issue or two is one thing but having people listen to you once you do is a whole other animal. Join the struggle to be heard as a Soccer Mom, a Used Car Salesman, a Radical with a MiniVan, a Young College Grad, and a Porn Star all compete to capture a few precious seconds of the public's attention. Discover truths about electioneering, the media and what gets votes in this unique American political comedy.
Food and drink are not permitted in the Committee Room. If some are willing, we will go out to eat afterwards at one of several nearby eating establishments. I have recently published a book regarding the campaign, called "Carpe Diem! - A Memoir of the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election": "Marc Valdez, one of the 135 official and 28 write-in candidates in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election, relates the (sometimes) heartwarming political tale of how, when faced with media scorn, the multitude of obscure candidates for governor banded together to enhance their visibility and advance each other's candidacies, despite vast differences in party, ideology, outlook and temperament." I will bring a bunch of owner's discount copies, and autograph them. I’ll charge $7.00 each for them (but no money can change hands within the walls of the State Capitol itself, since that is expressly banned). Copies are also for sale on-line for $20.00 here: Amazon and Kindle. Best wishes, Marc Valdez

Monday, July 08, 2013

"Carpe Diem! - A Memoir of the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election"

I have published a book! It's my first book, actually! On the tenth anniversary of the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Governor of California, "Carpe Diem! - A Memoir of the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election" explores that strange and memorable event from the viewpoint of one of the lesser-known candidates. According to my blurb:
"Marc Valdez, one of the 135 official and 28 write-in candidates in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election, relates the (sometimes) heartwarming political tale of how, when faced with media scorn, the multitude of obscure candidates for governor banded together to enhance their visibility and advance each other's candidacies, despite vast differences in party, ideology, outlook and temperament."
I have placed an order for 50 books, so I can get you an owner's discount copy in about two weeks (provided we bump into each other, of course). Heck, I'll even autograph it! Given the esoteric subject matter, regarding recent California history, I expect it won't sell that many copies: maybe ten copies total (five copies to people yet unborn). So, I will do book marketing the traditional way that musicians sell CDs, by selling them in supermarket parking lots and dusty flea markets from a box located in the trunk of my car. Copies are for sale on-line for $20.00 here: Amazon and Kindle.

My Book Is Now Complete Regarding The 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election

And, at least in principal, is available for $20.00 from Amazon. A Kindle version is available too. I haven't tried to order them yet, so the exact procedure is still a mystery, but I will figure it out. Now, the hard part: marketing! I have a blurb regarding the book, and it goes like this:
Marc Valdez, one of the 135 official and 28 write-in candidates in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election, relates the (sometimes) heartwarming political tale of how, when faced with media scorn, the multitude of obscure candidates for Governor banded together to enhance their visibility and advance each other's candidacies, despite vast differences in party, ideology, outlook, and temperament.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Cornucopia Of Nouns

I've basically finished a second draft of my California Gubernatorial Recall Election book. Yay! Now, I need to create an Index to it. But that's proving to be more arduous than I expected. Turns out, the Recall Election, for being just 2 1/2 months long, was still an absolute cornucopia of nouns: 135 candidates; dozens of newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations; cities and towns from one end of California to the other; companies; TV shows; actors; Propositions; Legislative Acts; mementos; restaurants; hotels; airlines; aircraft; Presidents; judges; politicos; you-name-it! I could just cover the important stuff in the Index, but then it loses utility, or I could keep it big, but balky. The Index is harder to manufacture than the manuscript!

Friday, May 28, 2010

RIP, Gary Coleman

Since I rarely watched TV in the 80's I knew Gary Coleman only as a candidate in the 2003 California Gubernatorial recall election. Too young, really, to pass on. Condolences to his family.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Daniel Watts, Candidate For Davis City Council, Visits DMTC

One of the pleasures of having run for Governor in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election is catching up on the various activities of the other 135 official (plus 11 write-in) candidates for the office.

This year, the second-youngest, and among the most-promising of these candidates, Daniel Watts, a UCD law student, age 27, is running for a seat on the Davis City Council. Last Thursday, he received front-page coverage in the Davis Enterprise newspaper:
As a member of the council, Watts said, he will work to protect students' tenant rights, prevent student profiling and harassment by police, and annex on-campus student housing into the city, so students can vote in city elections.

Watts is no stranger to student issues. In 2003, when he was 20 years old, he entered the California gubernatorial election to force candidates to address the issue of increasing tuition fees.

"My goal then was not to get elected, but to raise awareness of the rising student fees issue," Watts said.

He had planned to join the race for governor again this year, but the $3,500 filing fee proved too steep this time around. He paid for it in 2003 with winnings from his stint on "Wheel of Fortune" earlier that year.

Although student rights are his primary objective, Watts is also concerned about all residents' constitutional rights. He said the city needs to repeal ordinances that clearly violate the First Amendment rights of free speech.
Since I already knew Daniel from the Governor's race, and since DMTC's relations with the Davis City Council have sometimes been rocky, I hastened to invite him Friday evening for a tour of the DMTC theater.

It turns out Daniel used to play piano for various musical theater groups in the San Jose area when he was in high school; at least, until he departed to San Diego for college. One summer, he played "The Sound of Music" for two groups - to the point where the dilemmas of the von Trapp family loomed large in his life.

Daniel much enjoyed the tour of DMTC's theater. Of course, as a 501(c)3 non-profit group, DMTC cannot endorse political candidates, and as a Sacramento resident my endorsement need not mean much to Davis residents. Nevertheless, Daniel's past experiences make him naturally sympathetic to the needs of a non-profit theaters, and I'm happy to extend to him my personal endorsement for his current campaign.

Afterwards, Daniel E-Mailed:
And I just noticed that the YPT did Starmites last year! I played Trinkulus/Shak Graa in that show during high school, and I loved it. That was the first time the musical theater class drafted me to play an onstage role instead of the piano.
Yes, a candidate naturally-attuned to the needs of non-profit theaters!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thinking Of Going BOOM

February 15th's Sacramento Bee featured an announcement of a new publication:
A publication that proposes to "explore the history, culture, arts, politics and society of California" is taking on quite a challenge, but that's the goal of a quarterly now accepting submissions from "creative voices" – writers, photographers and artists.

Boom: A Journal of California, scheduled to debut next February, will focus on "informed, critical perspectives about the past, present and future of the state." Creativity and "unusual formats" are encouraged.

Boom will be published by the University of California Press and co-edited by two UC Davis professors. Carolyn de la Peña teaches American studies and directs the UC Davis Humanities Institute; Louis Warren teaches history.

"We think it's the right time to bring (to the forefront) some different perspectives about issues we're facing in California," de la Peña said on the phone.

"We're especially interested in (written-word and visual) stories that connect specific places and issues with larger concerns. For example, if you wrote a piece about a festival in your town, you would need to show how it's raising an issue about California as a whole and the challenges we face."

Guidelines for submissions and explanations of content are at www. ucpressjournals.com/ assets/BOOM_ Guidelines_v4.pdf.
I've been thinking that I really should try and boil down my experience of the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election into something more-formal. So I contacted Carolyn de la Peña:
[T]he race had many features that might be of greater general interest. Many of the candidates saw themselves as tribunes of the electorate in various ways, but when shut out from access to the media, many were forced to cooperate with the other candidates (often their ideological enemies), in order to secure publicity together. That tale of cooperation under duress was rather heartwarming, and touched on many issues of current concern to all Californians.

If you would, let me know if something like this sounds like a good fit for your journal.
She responded:
I do think there is something there in exploring how the Recall process/experience revealed possibilities for collaboration or reconciliation across the aisles in the modern media circus that is California politics.
Do I detect a note of disdain there? She speaks about the modern media circus like it's a bad thing! As alternative candidates, all we wanted to do was be the ringleaders of the modern media circus. Was that too much to ask?

In any event, by next week I can start reviewing my materials. I’m thinking maybe by late April – May 1st - I’ll have something ready to submit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So, It's Really Come To This

The Governator tells legislators: "F*** You".

Yes, Ahnold was that breath of fresh air we really needed....

Thursday, June 18, 2009



2010 approaches, and it's time to start thinking about running for Governor!

Daniel Watts was the second-youngest of the 135 candidates who ran in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Election, and among the most energetic. At the time, he was a student at UCSD. Now, he's at UC Davis, and part of the greater Davis community.

Support your candidates!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

RIP, Peter Camejo

What an inspiring guy! I saw him give a really moving speech during the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election campaign and I was filled with admiration. May we all live up to his shining example!:
SACRAMENTO -- Peter Camejo, a Green Party leader who was a third-party candidate in three California gubernatorial elections before becoming Ralph Nader's running mate in the 2004 presidential race, died Saturday. He was 68.

Camejo, who had been battling lymphoma, died at his home in Folsom, a suburb east of Sacramento.

"Peter was a friend, colleague and politically courageous champion of the downtrodden and mistreated of the entire Western Hemisphere," Nader wrote in a statement released Saturday. "Everyone who met Peter, talked to Peter, worked with Peter, or argued with Peter, will miss the passing of a great American."

Camejo ran for the state's top office in 2002, 2003 and 2006, supporting abortion rights, the legalization of marijuana, universal health care and a moratorium on the death penalty. Before joining the Green Party, he also ran for president as the Socialist Workers Party nominee in 1976.

In 2004, Camejo was independent Nader's vice presidential pick.

Last month, Camejo, who lost his hair from chemotherapy, attended the Peace and Freedom Party convention in Sacramento to endorse Nader's current bid for the presidency with running mate Matt Gonzalez.

"Ralph Nader is more than a candidate, he's an issue," Camejo said in his Aug. 2 speech, adding that Nader brought true reform, offering an independent choice to the "ruling party."

Camejo passed away a few days after completing his autobiography, according to Nader.

Born on New Year's Eve 1939 in New York City, Camejo, a first-generation Venezuelan-American, became an activist at an early age, speaking out against the Vietnam War and for migrant worker rights. He marched in Selma, Ala., with Martin Luther King, Jr.

His fiery activism also got him expelled from the University of California, Berkeley in 1967 for using a school microphone during a demonstration. A year later, then-governor Ronald Reagan put him on his list of the 10 most dangerous people in California because he was "present at all anti-war demonstrations."

In 1987, Camejo co-founded Progressive Asset Management Inc., an Oakland investment firm that steers its clients' money into socially responsible funds where he remained its board chairman until his death. He also served as a board member of Earth Share, a federation of more than 400 environmental organizations, where he worked to promote solar energy.

"Peter Camejo was a man of great passion and boundless compassion for the poor, uninsured workers and for immigrant workers in their struggle for justice and legalization," Mike Wyman, a longtime friend, said in a statement on behalf of the Green Party of California. "He became a leader in the environmental justice movement and helped organized communities of color around environmental issues that affected them directly."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh-Oh! Leonard's Grandstanding Again!

I rarely watch Cable TV, but I caught a glance of CNN today, and wouldn't you know it, Leonard's on national TV!

Colorful Sacramento personality (and gubernatorial and mayoral candidate) Leonard Padilla has got himself involved with the high-profile disappearance of Caylee Anthony:
Padilla arrived Sunday with his cowboy-hat-sporting, bounty hunter uncle Leonard Padilla to bail Anthony out of jail — and, rumor has it, shoot a TV show.

"My only interest ... is to get that child back," Leonard Padilla told FOX News on Monday.

His interest might also be a reality program called "Bounty Hunters" that he stars in on the National Geographic Channel. There have been rumblings that the elder Padilla has gotten involved in Anthony's case to have material for the small screen.

Anthony is charged with child neglect and lying to authorities about her daughter's disappearance on or around June 16.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You Try Running For Governor!

Former 2003 California Gubernatorial Candidate, Beverly Hills restauranteur Jim Vandeventer, Jr., has put together a documentary of his experiences running for Governor! The trailer for "This is JIM" is available here.

This looks like it will be an awesome film! Several other candidates are featured in the trailer, such as author Warren Farrell and Jim Lane (whose heterodox views were closest to mine) and the charming and magnetic Iris Adam and Cheryl Bly-Chester (I even see myself in the background).

Many of the alternative gubernatorial candidates were successful in their various businesses and professions, but had beliefs that set them at odds with the prevailing liberal/conservative divide in the state and country. Liberal Republican Jim Vandeventer perfectly captures the political fusion that is California's political gift to the world.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

No Clowning Around

Here's the text of a letter I just submitted to Sacramento News and Review regarding a recent article entitled "No Clowning Around". In the article, Kel Munger at SN&R notes:
Even if they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the mayor’s seat, we’ve got some “fringe” candidates with a lot on the ball.

That’s why SN&R’s editorial board reacted with shock to Bee columnist Marcos Bretón’s decision to slam lesser-known candidates in print, referring to them as “court jesters” in his May 18 column. (For more on that, see “Bullies and Ballots,” SN&R Bites, May 22.)

We interviewed all the mayoral candidates (except Richard Jones, who didn’t return our calls, and Adam Daniel, who’d already dropped out of the race). It’s clear from those interviews that these people are not clowns of any kind.
Here's my letter:
SN&R’s editorial board was shocked by media figures kicking lesser-known mayoral candidates around? Boy, that's a surprise! In the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election, SN&R led the California media pack in kicking lesser-known gubernatorial candidates around. With 135 candidates running, many with impressive credentials, SN&R featured just five or six of the most notorious publicity-seekers, all with the aim of discrediting the entire election, ignoring all the others. Nothing like kicking around the weak to show you mean business.

Why the change? I can only hope that the slovenly gatekeeping exercised by the national media over the last decade, which led directly to the Iraq War, has caused some rethinking even on SN&R’s editorial board. Elections are always vital and should never, ever be scorned. Candidates are rarely frivolous: it's a weary, expensive process to chase votes.

Fringe candidacies often announce the birth of important new political forces. Democratic presidential politics example: 1972's Shirley Chisholm led ultimately to 2008's Barack Obama.

Overlooked constituencies generally have only fringe candidacies to push new ideas into the political mainstream. 2003 recall election example: several candidates championed the rights of non-custodial divorced fathers in California courts. It's an oddball political issue, and if you read SN&R faithfully, you will remain blithely ignorant to it, plus being completely blindsided if it ever develops into something bigger.

The media in general, and SN&R in particular, must stop righteously abusing public-spirited citizens for wanting to enter the political process. I'm glad SN&R put away the pins and voodoo dolls, at least until the next election.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

30 Years Of Proposition 13, And The Loss Of Local Control

And that evil thing is still there:
Proposition 13 celebrates its 30th birthday this year. Revolting against out-of-control property taxes that outpaced growth in wages, 65 percent of California voters passed the anti-government measure and state constitutional amendment on June 6, 1978. It not only rolled back property taxes, but forced residents to rethink, virtually overnight, the role of government.

...In the 30 years that have elapsed since Prop. 13 became the rule of the land, L.A. County’s population has grown by 50 percent, adding plenty of residents who can’t plunk down $35 for the new Harry Potter, but its county libraries haven’t even been close to keeping pace. “Until the last, maybe, five years, the newest libraries I had were built prior to Prop. 13,” Todd says. “We were almost 30 years without any capacity to build anything. That really shows in my libraries. If you go to Lennox, which is my oldest, from the late ’40s, [it’s a] tiny, tiny library … huge population to serve. My Cesar Chavez Maywood Library, a postage stamp with a huge population now in Maywood. Even my communities like Rowland Heights and Hacienda Heights, where lots of construction has taken place since those buildings were built in the ’60s and ’70s, there’s been no capacity to really increase the size of community libraries to fill the need of the population.”

...By neutering local governments’ incomes, Jarvis’s amendment made beggars of city and county governments. When they need money to provide services their constituents demand, they must crawl to the state government on their knees – the political equivalent of calling a plumber in Sacramento to fix pipes in L.A.

...Elisa Barbour, who recently authored a paper on Prop. 13’s aftermath for the Public Policy Institute of California, observes how the measure undid the old system. “It removed [the local control] that allowed the property tax to reflect, more than any other source, the community-wide taxing decisions of a given set of residents. The state was now responsible for allocating what had been the single largest local revenue source, yet local governments were still responsible for implementing programs locally.” Many theorists agree, she says, “You need to connect revenue raising ability with policymaking responsibility. The point I’m making is that, after Prop. 13, those waters got far muddier in relation to property taxes.”

...The outcome of these types of battles: While cities’ and counties’ inflation-adjusted total revenues are now about the same per capita as before Prop. 13, their general revenues – the funds they actually get to allocate – have shrunk to the tune of more than one-third for cities and more than one-half for counties, according to reports compiled by budget guru Michael Coleman for Californiacityfinance.com. Coleman says that, with so much money already earmarked when they get it, city governments “have less latitude to be able to govern.” The general revenues that cities still get, he says, go to emergency services at the expense of other programs. “It’s not police and fire that are likely to get hit the most,” Coleman explains. “It’s parks, libraries, and streets. You can tell a city is in [budget] trouble when there are potholes, park closures, and cut library hours.”

Edelman governed through these dramatic changes, and their damage has been far reaching, he says. “It has made our education system, made our local government system – we used to have the best in the United States – now ... we’re way down at the bottom. Now, people are going to Sacramento, fighting for their own little areas, and it takes away the flexibility of local government to meet the needs in their area as they see them. We had to go up to Sacramento to get money to keep the county afloat. Eventually, they took the [revenue] they gave us as a substitute [for property taxes], and used it for their own needs,” he says. “We lost control of doing the things that we should be able to do as elected officials. We should be able to tax, and if we tax too much, the voters can vote us out of office!”

Edelman says that, despite the best efforts of the supervisors, county programs evaporated. “All the county services were cut ... whether it be for schools, whether it be for libraries, whether it be for mental health, whether it be for police and fire, it set us back,” he says. “We still have to go hat-in-hand up to Sacramento, and we can’t really run the county with the same ability we ran it previously. We have to release people from prison earlier than we should, the sheriff doesn’t have enough money, we’re still trying to do the best job we can, but revenues are not there.”

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Rumor Cheryl Heard....

....Looks increasingly like it might have legs...
Embattled Congressman John Doolittle, the focus of a federal corruption probe, will announce that he will not seek re-election paving the way for former State Sen. Rico Oller for the 4th District Congressional seat, the California Majority Report has learned. The move, first noted back in November in the Stockton Record, could come as early as this week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Angelyne Fights The Man

Looks like it's time for the Candidates' Forum to ride to her aid!:
Angelyne can barely squeeze into the 8-foot-wide storage room. And not just because she's the buxom, bigger-than-life billboard queen of Los Angeles.

Boxes of printed posters and placards depicting her in glamorous poses fill the Hollywood self-storage space she is renting while she feuds with city redevelopment leaders and developers of a planned $500-million luxury project near the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

...Angelyne operated her promotional company from a Selma Avenue office building for 18 years until she was forced out last fall to make way for a W Hotel, upscale retail shops, condominiums and apartments.

Developers paid relocation expenses for her and about 35 other tenants who were occupying shops and offices in the path of the Hollywood and Vine project.

But they are balking at her demand that they also pay for the reprinting of perhaps 100,000 promotional and souvenir items that list her old address.

"One of the developers said that is too much. He said, 'Honey, take me to court.' He talked to me like I was his ex-wife," she said, adjusting her dark glasses as sunlight streamed through the open storage room door. "I was stunned."

...And Angelyne is definitely a character — though she'd dispute the "old Hollywood" characterization. She became famous (locally, at least) in the early 1980s when a series of billboards popped up around the city featuring her in various sexy poses. Although she has appeared in several movies, she said her billboards have been shown in "hundreds" of films and TV shows.

In the 2003 gubernatorial recall election, Angelyne was one of 135 candidates. Running on the campaign slogan, "We've had Gray, we've had Brown, now it's time for some blond and pink," she finished 28th.

...She estimates it would cost about $400,000 to reprint her inventory with a new address — a sum the developer says is way too much.Those in charge of the Hollywood-Vine project contend they have played it straight with Angelyne and the other displaced tenants. They said relocation expenses of about $6 million have been paid.

"We've offered her a perfectly amiable solution to her problem. We've offered her a permanent address on the property. She can have mail sent to her old address and we will deliver it to her each day," said Jeff Cohen, senior vice president of Gatehouse Capital Corp., the Dallas-based developer of the project's hotel and commercial property.

"She's never shown us her inventory. Relocating her has not hurt her. We've followed every CRA rule and regulation. We've tried to be very fair. When somebody is making a claim we feel is creditless and we have offered a reasonable solution, we have to put it in somebody else's court."

"We don't just print money in the backyard and give it away," Cohen said.

...The standoff is puzzling to Thomas Zia, an Aptos, Calif. real estate consultant retained by Angelyne.

"In the 35 years I've been involved with relocation issues I've never seen anything like this. Under state law they're supposed to pay all of her moving costs and printing expenses for promotional material, business cards and stationery," Zia said.

"Her livelihood is based on her fan club and selling her items. An actual mailing address is important."

...Likened by some to an earlier era's Paris Hilton, Angelyne became famous for being famous because of her billboards.

As for her fan club, Angelyne claims "hundreds of thousands of members, or something like that — I don't know." Her website, meantime, states that club membership is about 20,000.

Although not a dues-payer, Hilton is among them, according to Angelyne — who met the now-jailed hotel heiress once: three years ago at a Hollywood night club.

"Paris said she's a fan," Angelyne says before slipping into her pink Corvette and driving off.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Becca's Article Is Out!

Here's the link to Becca Costello's column regarding the Sacramento preview of 2003 California Gubernatorial candidate Lorraine (Abner Zurd) Fontanes' movie "The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kissed My A**".

Sorry, that's "The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kicked My A**" (we'll have to wait for the sequel for the former).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kicked My A**"

One very nice evening!

Fellow Historical Figure (and current member of the California Mines and Geology Board) Cheryl Bly-Chester, her daughter Erica, and myself met with Becca Costello from Sacramento News and Review at the Pyramid Ale House on the K Street Mall in downtown Sacramento. Lorraine (Abner Zurd) Fontanes dropped in on the way to her screening, and said hello! We ate, and talked about the 2003 California Recall Election.

Then, at 7 p.m., we headed over to the Crest Theater to preview (for free!) Fellow Historical Figure Abner Zurd's new movie "The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kicked My A**" (promotional videos; music by New Maximum Donkey). Excellent documentary that captured perfectly the excitement and the apprehension of running for Governor in 2003. We all had different experiences, of course, but in many ways, all our experiences were analogous. It was heartening to see Fontanes face down a significant fear, that of being mocked in a national FOX TV News interview (her filmmaking experience had made her vulnerable to attack).

Also joining us was Gerald Gorman, another Fellow Historical Figure from the 2003 campaign. Afterwards, the four of us ex-candidates entertained questions from the audience.

There were just a handful of the other alternative candidates pictured in the film, all from the September 24, 2003 "Democracy Matters" Saratoga High School debate (near San Jose). Christopher Sproul, Jon Zellhoefer, and, yes!, Diana Foss (plus another candidate, probably Darrin Scheidle) were briefly shown. I was pleased that John Hancock, from the California Channel, also got a brief (and credited!) cameo.

Here is Graham Womack's promotional article in this week's Sacramento News and Review (SN&R). Check out Becca Costello's column in next week's Sacramento News and Review!

Support Abner Zurd in her upcoming Presidential bid!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Party Like It's 2003!

You are all invited to a PARTY! The fun starts at 6 p.m., where Fellow Historical Figure (and current member of the Schwarzenegger Administration) Cheryl Bly-Chester and myself will play host to Becca Costello from Sacramento News and Review at the Pyramid Ale House on the K Street Mall in downtown Sacramento. Over fries and beer, Becca will ask a few questions about the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall election campaign, and I'll show off a few mementoes.

Then, at 7 p.m., we'll head over to the Crest Theater to preview (for free!) Fellow Historical Figure Abner Zurd's new movie "The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kicked My A**".

Here are promotional videos: music by New Maximum Donkey.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The 2003 Candidates Confer....

...About Ab Zurd's new movie "The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kicked My A**":
Diana Foss: The movie is great! And I'd say that even if I didn't make a microsecond appearance in it. (As if I'm the only one!)

Doesn't 2003 seem like a long time ago?

Marc Valdez: Have you seen the movie, Diana? How many boxes of Mentos does it rate? Has anyone else seen it?

Diana Foss: I have seen it. Abner sent me a rough cut DVD last year. I can't really use the Mentos scale (given how sick I made myself on Mentos three years ago) but I'd say the little man is definitely sitting up and clapping.

Cheryl Bly Chester: Do you think we can get all of the Sacramento Area Candidates out for next weeks showing?! - I think it would be a total blast!!

Marc Valdez: I'm definitely up for it! Let's get everybody down to the Crest Theater on Thursday evening and have a party!
"The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kicked My A**"

Last night, while walking my dog, Sparky, near the musical theater rehearsal space for Sacramento's Runaway Stage Productions, I started reading a fresh copy of the weekly, Sacramento News and Review (SN&R). Sparky started coughing as he snuffled through the leaves, and I started coughing as I snuffled through the ads and movie listings in SN&R - Ab Zurd has a movie coming out!!! The film is called: "The Day Arnold Schwarzenegger Kicked My A**".

Abner Zurd, filmmaker, was one of the 135 candidates on the ballot for Governor in the 2003 Recall Election, and she has made a film about her experiences in that campaign. Her statewide tour takes her to three theaters. Let's support Ab Zurd's film!!!

Tour dates:
Sunday, November 5, 2006, 4 PM
Art Share Los Angeles (in downtown arts district)
801 E. 4th Place • Los Angeles, CA 90013

Friday, October 20, 2006, 6:30 PM
The Pageant Theatre • 351 East Sixth Street • Chico, CA 95928

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 7 PM
The Crest Theatre • 1013 K Street • Sacramento, CA 95814


Promotional videos. Music by New Maximum Donkey.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"The Tonight Show" Flaunts The Law - Again!

So, Jay Leno is resisting inviting Democrat Phil Angelides to come on "The Tonight Show," as he is legally-required to do if Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger appears.

I remember the 10 seconds of shouting-in-unison we other candidates were so graciously allowed in the 2003 campaign.

Sorry, NBC must follow the law. If they don't, penalties must follow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

People Who Can't Remember S***

Keith Drum describes a world where no one remembers even the basics about how things happen. Wasn't it FDR who said that, in the political world, nothing happens by chance? Rachel Morris describes how White House staffers have been trying to figure out where the Talk Radio kerfuffle regarding illegal immigration came from:
Staffers listened to hours of talk radio and found that the obsession with illegal immigration on talk radio had appeared virtually from nowhere.
Appeared from nowhere? Give me a break! KFBK's DJ Mark Williams, in Sacramento, started on the illegal immigration bandwagon almost immediately after the California Recall Election, in October 2003. By November, 2003, it was a staple of Sacramento Talk Radio - the next enthusiasm, after the California Recall. It was a meme consciously placed on the air waves by the usual suspects of the California Right - Howard Kaloogian, et al.

Appeared from nowhere? You bet your fat A it came right from right-wing central!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Backing Down Under Pressure

Strange things are afoot with the Board of Reclamation. First, there is the matter of the River Islands Project in the Delta, which has become oddly-controversial, not for the merits or demerits of the project per se, but for manner in which the meetings are conducted and how the Board is constituted. Senator Dean Florez recently proposed a bill in the State Senate which is unusually specific regarding the qualifications of future members of the Board. Why be so specific, unless members-in-waiting have already been selected?

At the most recent meeting of the Board in Merced, Board Member Burroughs surrendered a principled defense of homeowners in the Plumas Lake Basin, in response to some kind of peer pressure, and in exchange for promises and flattery (pp. 197-198) . It's hard to puzzle out exactly what's happening, but I suspect you don't have to go to the State of Denmark to find something rotten.
BOARD MEMBER BURROUGHS: Thank you. That's currently what I have that's on the table right now.

Prior to what's on the table and we're going passed now is philosophically I believe that planners, developers, the community, our entire society has to have common sense about where to build homes. And building homes in a floodplain, to me, does not make good common sense.

It's great that we do have some of these agricultural levees that are in place and we've been able to hold our breath as they've stayed in place. But they're not long term. They're not lasting. And I guess what we're seeing here is I'm just not into a crapshoot of building homes first without protection and building more homes and having people at risk while we, so to speak, set bonds or taxes or assessments and have these people have to pay for it.

And that's my problem, is that I just don't believe that homes belong on floodplains and there's smarter places to put homes. And I apologize for that.

And at the same time, I feel like that's the voice I'm here on the Board for is to -- is to be for the everyday person. And sometimes -- but I have heard if people there in this area -- and I haven't heard from everyone. When I got on the Board I got a couple of calls, concerned citizens that just said, "Just want to let you know that when I bought this home I didn't know anything about it. There was a fine print behind the closing statements." And last week I asked, "Well, you know, you've said that there's this problem. Why aren't you going to the meetings?" And they said, "Well, most people didn't get a specific notice that there was a specific hearing in regards to this issue."

So I would -- I think I would implore you to give the best notice you can in the appropriate hands. And that would be -- I think that's the right thing to do anyway. Not for me asking you, but it's the right thing to do.

MR. SHAPIRO: Well, we believe we do and we will redouble our efforts. And for what it's worth, I think you have been a clear voice in this and I think your "no" vote last month in the policy issue represented a very clear voice on this. And I believe people heard that voice. We would ask for your vote "yea" today on the agreement to implement the action the Board has already said in the direction it desires to go, understanding that if there's anything we can put into this agreement to address some of your concerns, we remain willing to do so.

BOARD MEMBER BURROUGHS: With that, I'm vote yes.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More Trouble in River City

The Reclamation Board will meet to reconsider its vote:
The state Reclamation Board plans to reconsider an April vote that moved toward allowing luxury homes to be built on top of levees on a Delta island.

Board President Ben Carter announced his intention to reconsider the vote at the board's meeting Friday (May 19) in Merced. He cited concerns that the decision violated state open-meetings law. That concern was expressed at the time by the board's own attorney, but ignored by the board.
It's not clear what's really going on here, but it should be closely watched.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Furtive Rumors

That the documentary about the California Recall 2003 alternative gubernatorial candidates will come out sometime this year, but nothing hard yet.... That would make for some interesting watching. I hope it appears soon!
Recall Candidates Getting Feisty Again

It must be the political season:
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides didn't know it, but when he dropped in on UCSD College Democrats yesterday, he was not the only one in the room who has sought the top job in California politics.

Sitting with about 40 other students – and armed with the toughest question of the day – was Daniel Watts, one of 135 candidates in the 2003 recall election that put Republican action-movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger in the governor's office.

A history and political science major from San Jose, Watts, 23, financed his campaign with some of the $11,300 he won on TV's "Wheel of Fortune."

His platform was simple: He ran against tuition and fee increases for California's public universities and colleges.

That put him in ideological sync with Angelides, the state treasurer, whose call for taxing the wealthy and businesses to finance education – and to roll back higher education tuition and fees – is a cornerstone of his campaign.

Angelides emphasized his education policy heavily yesterday, without
mentioning taxes.

Until Watts raised his hand.

"What, specifically, are you going to do to pay for it?" Watts asked.
I'm not running this year because I'm not so annoyed as I was in 2003 by the California political situation. And why isn't Daniel running?
As for Watts, he has abandoned, for now, his interest in becoming governor. He got 2,021 votes in 2003, but took a pass on this year's contest. “I ran out of 'Wheel of Fortune' money,” he said, “so I couldn't afford the filing fee.”

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cheryl Responds

It is clear the Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters wanted to place the Board of Reclamation's vote into an established, simplified story line. These matters often have convoluted histories, however, so maybe it's a square peg in a round hole.

My personal view is that development needs to be severely restricted in the Plumas Basin and elsewhere along the Sacramento River, and in the Delta, because the risk of flooding is too great, and also because of environmental concerns. Unfortunately, serving on the Board of Reclamation, one rarely has the luxury of dealing with problems from first principles.

Good luck to you, Cheryl!:
To my esteemed Fellow Historical Figures - I want to set the record straight on Dan Walter's erroneous hit job on me in the Sacramento Bee yesterday. It was, of course, politically motivated and I am sure he isn't even aware that he has been played by his puppeteers.

First of all, my firm Rosewood Environmental Engineering does not currently work for developers and started closing out its contracts with developers during the 2003 Gubernatorial Recall election. No funding from developers was accepted during any of my political campaigns. Rosewood's final project for a developer was completed over a year ago.

The Project discussed in the Dan Walters commentary was not to build on a levee as he reported. In fact, it was specifically to build a massive and very costly privately funded fill area that would raise the entire ground level under the houses well above the flood plain.

No one reading this understands the implications of building on, behind or near levees and floodways more than I do. As the Vice President of the California Board of Reclamation, I look at all projects that come before the Board on an individual merit basis. I stand on my record, which is regularly reported in the Sacramento Bee by real reporters who are doing a remarkable job in keeping the flood protection issue in the news and, unlike Mr. Walters, actually attend Reclamation Board meetings and become familiar with the issues.

Neither I nor Mr. Walter's other target, Board Secretary Teri Rei (who happens to be the sole Democrat on the Board), made the motion to approve the project, nor did either of us second the motion. I moved to amend the motion in order to provide more stringent easement restrictions than was requested by the applicant or by the Board Member who made the motion to approve the application (Butch Hodgkins). Mr. Walters obviously knew better than to attack Mr. Hodgkins who is beyond reproach on the matter. However, in swerving clear of impugning Mr. Hodgkins, Dan Walters mischaracterized the proceedings.

Aside from a basic failure to provide accurate reporting for his readers, Mr. Walter's polarizing political commentary is unsophisticated and interferes with achieving Californians' desire for a government that works together to resolve important issues.

I'd be delighted to catch up with any of you and hope you are all doing well.

- Respectfully,
Your Fellow Historical Figure, Cheryl Bly-Chester

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Let Us Proceed, Quibbles Aside!

Former California Recall 2003 gubernatorial candidate Diana Foss points out that former California Recall 2003 gubernatorial candidate Cheryl Bly-Chester is making waves again:
Last year - on Sept. 16, to be precise - the state Reclamation Board, a relatively obscure state agency that oversees flood protection levees, approved a potentially far-reaching policy to intercede when local governments and developers propose residential subdivisions behind levees designed to protect farmland.

... Ten days later, before the new policy could be finally adopted, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fired the entire board and replaced it with seven new appointees, most of whom had strong ties to land developers. Ever since, skeptics of building homes behind agricultural levees - including deposed members of the Reclamation Board - have wondered aloud whether the new board would be more favorably disposed toward development interests.

The issue was settled, it would seem, late last month, when the Reclamation Board voted to allow the developer of an immense subdivision on a Delta island south of Stockton to begin widening the existing levee and - ignoring warnings from the board's attorney that it was violating state open-meeting laws - expanded the developer's permit to indirectly allow construction of luxury, riverview homes atop the widened levee.

A transcript of the board's April 21 meeting reveals that two of the board's members - Cheryl Bly-Chester, who owns a Roseville engineering firm that does work for developers, and Teri Rie, a Contra Costa County public works engineer - pushed hard to expand the permit sought by Cambay Group, the developer of the River Islands project.

The development on Stewart Tract, a Delta island that flooded in 1997 when a levee broke, envisions a community of 11,000 residential units, two golf courses, several marinas and 5 million square feet of commercial space. Cambay, owned by British financier F. Allan Chapman, has already obtained the enthusiastic support of the small city of Lathrop, whose boundaries include Stewart Tract.

Cambay - acceding to the board staff - had sought just a permit to begin shoring up and widening the existing levee, but the firm had made no secret of its unhappiness with the board staff's go-slow approach under which the levee expansion would occur first and the issue of what could be built atop the levee would be taken up later. Cambay project director Susan Dell'Osso complained that the company was reluctant to do the levee work without assurances that home construction would be allowed, and that became the board's bone of contention during a lengthy and often rambling debate.

Member Butch Hodgkins, former director of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, tried to delay a decision on housing, but Bly-Chester and Rie eventually prevailed on a 5-1 vote even though the board's counsel, Scott Morgan, warned repeatedly that altering the permit to imply approval of housing atop the levee would violate rules against taking up issues not on the agenda. Hodgkins actually voted with the majority in the end. The only dissenter was Rose Burroughs, owner of a Denair livestock company.
Cheryl doesn't see the downside of projects like these. Placing premium houses on top of levees increases the state's liability and adds to the cost of levee maintenance. Isn't anyone speaking to that?
VICE PRESIDENT BLY-CHESTER: Thank you, Susan.

What I've heard -- and I want to make sure the rest of the Board members really heard this -- is that the only way they can afford to do this multi-million dollar flood improvement project for the State of California is if they have lot premiums that they can sell. They cannot sell lot premiums if they don't know how close to the levee edge they can build.

So they cannot afford to do this. The state will not get the benefit of this project. And it's free levee protection, is what it is, for the State, as far as the state's concerned.

So this project is not going to be worth it to the applicant if they cannot do lot premiums. They can to lot premiums unless they know where they can build their buildings. We need to give them some direction here so they can do this project.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Phil Angelides For Governor

Angelide's been State Treasurer for some time now, and a real estate developer as well. He understands how the state works. I'm worried that he might be a bit too rigid or unimaginative, but better that than Steve Westly's misplaced, enamored response to Arnold Schwarzenegger. And Angelides understands that it's time to make investments in the state's infrastructure rather than focus just on budget-balancing. So, go Phil!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dr. Frank Is Running Again!

I didn't realize until I got the Democratic primary ballot tonight in the mail that Dr. Frank Macaluso, Jr., from Visalia, is running for Governor again. Dr. Macaluso was one of the 135 candidates running for Governor in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall campaign. Dr. Macaluso is positioning himself as the budget-conscious Democratic choice in 2006. Certainly keep him in mind when Election Day comes in June!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Jon Zellhoefer, Candidate

Here's an entirely too-modest Jon Zellhoefer (candidate, 2003 California Recall Election) regarding his run for Assembly Seat, District 34. According to former candidate, Daniel Watts, the district leans Republican, so Jon might do better than many expect:
So why run?

"I really expected that (Maze) was not going to run," Zellhoefer said.

Like many, Zellhoefer expected Maze to run for state Sen. Roy Ashburn's seat when it looked as though Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, would run to replace retiring Rep. Bill Thomas in Congress.

But just before the election filing deadline, Ashburn said he wasn't going to enter the race for the House seat, opening the Republican field for Assembly Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

By that time, Zellhoefer had declared his candidacy for the Assembly seat and paid the $1,109 filing fee.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Howard Kaloogian, Faker

That's funny! Howard Kaloogian, noted Republican hatchet type (particularly in the 2003 California Recall campaign), and current candidate for Congress from San Diego, has been misrepresenting photos of Istanbul as Baghdad, trying to show what a normal place that Mesopotamian hell is these days. Exactly the kind of Congressional Representative a scandal-burned Congressional district needs these days!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Moth, And The Light

At FOX News, they have a video clip concerning Mary Carey's latest effort to run for Governor of California.

There's no question there's great theatrical allure in such a candidate, but porn stars in politics are unlikely to make a serious dent in a political campaign unless they address serious issues of some sort - an approach that HAS worked in Italy and Hungary, for example, where porn stars have ended up in Parliament.

In the FOX video, Mary Carey alluded to people disrespecting her (e.g., the National Republican Committee babysitters sent to keep her under close watch at a fundraiser). Disrespect is a problem she also experienced in her 2003 campaign (I disrespected her myself in the 2003 campaign). Disrespect is a great engine for political involvement, of course, but only if she can connect her experience with the disrespect others suffer. Narcissistic performance artists often can't make that jump, however, and appear instead as marginalized seekers of fame.

If Mary Carey could just connect her campaign to marginalized people beyond the Van Nuys adult film community, such as illegal aliens, or the rural poor, or maybe to neglected issues of some sort - inadequate fire protection or overcrowded child protection services, or SOMETHING, then maybe she can get some traction. Look to Europe to find an appropriate model, tailor those experiences to California circumstances, and then see what might happen!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Is Jon Zellhoefer A Shoo-In?

According to former 2003 California Recall gubernatorial candidate Daniel Watts, Assembly District 34 leans heavily Republican. Maybe Jon will get in after all!
Congratulations, Jon!

I Googled Assembly District 34, and it looks like you're a shoo-in if you can get through the primary (48% Republican to 33% Democrat).

Good luck with the campaign!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Jon Zellhoefer, Candidate

Jon Zellhoefer (R), former CA Recall 2003 gubernatorial candidate, announces that he is going to run for State Assembly District 34.

The best of good fortune, Jon!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Gerald Gorman, Candidate

Former 2003 California Recall candidate Gerald Gorman is in the running again, for State Assembly:
Yep, I've got my hat back in the ring again. This time it is for the State Assembly seat that will be vacated by Joe Canciamilla at the end of the current term due to term limits. Interestingly enough, even though I ran for Mayor of San Bruno in 1991, and for Governor in 2003, and another time for a County Board of Education spot - the Contra Costa times still considers me to be a political unknown.

Now I realize that some of the things that I have said over the years have been very contraversial - and this may be problemetic insofar as how I should approach the current situation. My first instinct is to run a basic platform that I think that "political decisions would be better off being made by engineers than for engineering decisions to continue to be made by politicians" AND that "I have a track record of identifying (the critical) issues (that are most often overlooked by those suffering from a failure of imagination)"
Gerald has formidable memory skills: name a week in the last half-year, and he can tell you what the Super Lotto Megabucks number was for that week. If politics were like 'Jeopardy,' he'd win easily. But as we know, politics is a trickier game....

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Clements' Taking

Logan Darrow Clements, young libertarian and former 2003 California Recall gubernatorial candidate, was in the news recently, trying to use eminent domain to seize the property of U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, in order to score political points:
"This is in the tradition of the Boston Tea Party and the Pine Tree Riot," Organizer Logan Darrow Clements said, referring to the riot that took place during the winter of 1771-1772, when colonists in Weare beat up officials appointed by King George III who fined them for logging white pines without approval.

"All we're trying to do is put an end to eminent domain abuse," Clements said, by having those who advocate or facilitate it "live under it, so they understand why it needs to end."
There is a legitimate issue here. Indeed, just listening to the news regarding the particular Connecticut eminent domain case, my impulse was to side with the conservatives. Nevertheless, an opponent of Clements sees things differently:
State Rep. Neal Kurk, a Weare resident who is sponsoring two pieces of eminent domain legislation in New Hampshire, said he expects the group's proposal to be defeated overwhelmingly.

"Most people here see this as an act of revenge and an improper attack on the judicial system," Kurk said. "You don't go after a judge personally because you disagree with his judgments."
Indeed, there is a regrettable impulse, at least on the part of conservatives in California (such as California State Senator Tom McClintock), to see eminent domain controversies, such as the recent one involving Yolo County and the Rumsey Rancheria (as I blogged about here last year) as just another handy wedge issue, which can be cynically manipulated, whatever the local nuances, to score lazy Culture War points.

I'd be more impressed with Clements if he tore after some conservatives for a change. He is a follower of Ayn-Rand style libertarianism, which places a very high value (too high in my opinion) on individual freedom-of-action (note I don't say freedom here: it's as much freedom of economic action as it is freedom of thought). The thought of making a sacrifice for the common good seems anathema to him, and the idea of eminent domain must strike him as particularly horrible, but perhaps it's better to let him speak for himself....

Here is a portion of an E-Mail from him, sent shortly after the Recall election(dated 10/21/03), to other Recall candidates on our mailing list, attacking, making a caricature of (and thus misrepresenting) the views of one of the liberal Democratic candidates in the election. It's written in the heat-of-the-moment, and a window into what his philosophy is:
When will socialists like yourself come to realize that socialism is disgustingly unethical. I’m sure you already realize that it is a miserable failure everywhere in the world. But I’m not against socialism because “it doesn’t work”, I’m opposed to it because it makes “society” the standard of value and sacrifices individuals to this new god called “society”. Under socialism individuals become pawns of the government who can tell them what to do, take as much of their money as it wants....or kill them if it is “good for society”. Problem is that “society” is nothing more than a word to denote a group of individuals. So history shows us that socialism amounts to one individual (or group of individuals) using the power of the government to rob, imprison or murder another individual (or group of individuals).

You socialists fear “big corporations” that provide us with food, housing, cars, software, clothing, medicine and everything else but you don’t fear “big government” which has murdered over 100 million people in the last 100 years (read “The Black Book of Communism” written by former socialists) and stolen more money from people than all the thieves in the world in all of history. A thief might steal a car stereo, some jewelry or a few hundred dollars. Governments take 50% to 80% of the income of their subjects. In socialist nations they steal entire factories and entire industries. Hillary Clinton tried to put one fifth of the US economy under socialism with her delicately named “single payer” health care plan.

What governments do: start wars, murder people, imprison people, steal our money, take away our freedom
What “big bad corporations” do: produce all the things to keep us alive, make us happy and save our life

Who do you and your ilk think are the real villains in our world?... the mass murders, destroyers and thieves which are governments? No, the companies that sell you the car you drive, the toothpaste you use and the milk you drink. What a pathetic lot of misguided fools you all are.

It’s funny how socialists like yourself often favor gun control but all of your programs require guns because they all function by force. Force people into social security, prohibit people from freely trading by force, prohibit competition with public transportation by force, take their money by force, force employers to do this, force workers to do that, force, force, force...its the way the wheels turn (or don’t) under socialism. You will need a lot of guns to implement your plans since none of them involve free choice and all involve force.

I won’t defend the Republicans. Many Republicans are as bad as Democrats, some are worse. I’m an Objectivist who just ran on their ticket. I’ll defend Objectivism though and if you’d care to take a swipe at it here’s where you can get more information about this philosophy. Take your best shot!
Www.objectivistcenter.org

Monday, October 03, 2005

The "Buzz"

From this morning's Sacramento Bee's "Buzz" feature:

Bus route to Arnold appointment

Two years ago, Cheryl Bly-Chester roamed the state with a bus of unknown candidates in the 2003 recall, tailing Schwarzenegger on the campaign trail.

Bly-Chester, a Roseville engineer, helped organize the multiday bus tour from San Diego to Northern California in a desperate attempt to attract media attention in the 135-candidate race.

The bus tour didn't make Bly-Chester famous - she won 4,527 votes to finish 17th that year. But she credits her two-month foray into campaigning for her nomination last week to the state Reclamation Board, California's lead flood-control agency.

Schwarzenegger apparently didn't hold any grudges against his former opponent.

"Technically, he ran against me because he declared after me," Bly-Chester mused. "I think he had a good sense of proportion about the whole thing."

Bly-Chester said she has supported Schwarzenegger since he took office and has become active in Placer County Republican politics since the recall.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dramatic Board Replacement

I didn't realize how much attention Cheryl Bly-Chester's appointment would gather. The replacement of the entire state reclamation board was today's LEAD story in the Sacramento Bee!

Courtesy of former 2003 gubernatorial candidate Diana Foss, here is the story, from the LA Times.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Appointment of Cheryl Bly-Chester to the State of California Reclamation Board

Since the 2003 Gubernatorial Recall Election, former candidate Cheryl Bly-Chester has been working patiently with the Schwarzenegger Administration to find an appropriate place within state government for her many skills. She was determined, at first, to get an appointment within the Department of Conservation, but her efforts there ultimately came to naught. Nevertheless, she didn't give up her ambition to serve the State of California.

Today, Cheryl Bly-Chester announces her appointment to the State of California Reclamation Board! (I'm looking for the presse release, but don't see it yet....)

In 2004, Cheryl worked on issues regarding relief to California National Guard families.

Many, many congratulations to her!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The 135 Candidates of 2003 Soldier On!

According to The Carpetbagger:
If scandal-ridden Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) runs for re-election, as he claims he will, he'll have to deal with a primary challenge for the first time in his career. Businessman George Schwartzman, who runs a health records management company, announced yesterday that he will take on Cunningham next year.
George Schwartzmann - he ran as one of the 135 candidates in the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Mary Carey Aligns Herself With Bush

Ah, so she begins to make good on her promise to run for President in 2012 (a promise made in the April 2004 issue of Hustler), by cozying to the Republicans!:
Last week, Carl Forti, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, explained to WND that self-described pornographer Mark Kulkis and his date, porn star Mary Carey, will be attending the two-day event, "The 2005 President's Dinner and Salute to Freedom," next Monday and Tuesday because their money is just as good as anyone else's.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Spirit of 2003

Drudge ran this for the supposed shock value of Howard Dean quoting scripture against Republicans, but what I found most striking was Dean's encouragement of political participation - what motivated 135 (plus some write-in) candidates to run for Governor of California in 2003! Good for him!:
Dean said he wanted the audience to focus not only on national politics but also on state and local elections.

He urged every person present to run for office.

"How many people in the audience think they can't be just as good a
president as George W. Bush?" he said, prompting a wave of applause and
laughter.

He encouraged those not able to run to donate "$10 or $15" to a political candidate they support or donate their time to a political campaign.

"It's not about Republicans and Democrats, but about democracy that works," he said. "I'd rather see someone go to work for a Republican campaign than sit on their butt."

Monday, February 28, 2005

Chuck Pineda for Congress

The March 8th election is approaching. Sacramento-area Democrats will choose a successor for U.S. Congressman Robert Matsui. Despite widow Doris Matsui's favored position in the election, I nevertheless support Charles (Chuck) Pineda, Jr. for the post. Why? Chuck was one of the 135 gubernatorial candidates in the 2003 Recall Election, and I got to meet him. Nice guy. Pineda is very concerned about keeping youths away from gang activity - he himself had faced similar pressures growing up in East Los Angeles.

An unfortunate consequence of any campaign is that candidates tend to define themselves and others in harsh terms. Pineda's anti-gay-marriage position has proved difficult:
Charles Pineda Jr. had to defend his Democratic credentials after Julie Padilla told him he ought to rethink his party registration when he said he opposes gay marriage. Pineda insisted later that many Democrats agree with him.
I've always believed that liberals need to concerned primarily with economic matters, not life-style matters. Pineda may be 'conservative' regarding gay marriage, but on economic matters, he is a solid liberal. Gay marriage is a godsend of a wedge issue that Republicans use to split Democrats apart. We should ignore Republican wedge issues and focus on what keeps liberal Democrats together. Gay marriage is inappropriate as a wedge issue, particularly when Social Security needs to be saved from the 'piratizers.'

Vote Pineda on March 8th!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Schwarzenegger Kicks Sand in Face of 98-Pound Weakling State GOP

Interesting! Two years ago, Schwarzenegger couldn't win a fair Republican primary, and today he's completely locked out the intraparty competition! It's appropriate that Dora Kingsley resigned - that was the only honorable course!

Monday, January 31, 2005

See Arnold Run

I was curious about the A&E television film, to see if any reference was made to the other gubernatorial candidates. No references, of course: it was all Arnold worship, all the time. I was most surprised how little mention was made of Tom McClintock and Cruz Bustamante (but, of course, both remain in state government, and I'm sure out of prudence, the filmmakers kept references to these important figures to a bare minimum).

One scene caught my eye, though. The (uncredited) photographer taking pictures of Bodybuilder Arnold with three lovelies on the beach sure looked like David Hume Kennerly, a photojournalist who helped start a Web Site called Candidate Camera. Gateway, Inc., passed out digital cameras to the candidates and encouraged them to take photos of their individual campaigns. A handful of the images are still on-line.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Recall Alumni At Work

Leonard Padilla and Chuck Pineda, Jr., both 2003 California Recall gubernatorial candidate alumni, have announced their candidacies for late Robert Matsui's Sacramento congressional seat.

Chuck Pineda's passion is turning juveniles away from gangs and gang violence. It seems to me his interests are perfectly suited for the environment these days in the U.S. House of Representatives.

(Matsui's death caught us all a bit flat-footed: otherwise, more of us might have run for the seat. The 500-signature deadline is Monday, January 24th).

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Recall Candidates: One Year Later!

Courtesy of Diana Foss:

Here on the first anniversary of the election, we're back in the news. Here's an article about Jack Grisham and here's one featuring more candidates.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Jay Leno Back-Tracks

Jay Leno says, “I’m not conservative. I’ve never voted that way in my life.” Wouldn't have guessed it from his actions in last year's Recall campaign!

Monday, June 14, 2004

Dear Russo, Marsh & Rogers

Last year, with the recall effort against Governor Gray Davis, many of us appreciated your leadership role in the state GOP in promoting healthy political debate. This year, I'm appalled to learn you are taking a leadership role in trying to get theaters from showing Michael Moore's new movie, "Fahrenheit 911." How hypocritical is that? That's a decision for theater management to make, based on what they believe audience interest is, without pressure from you. It's time you jokers back off!

Marc Valdez
(Former) Candidate for California Governor
http://marcvaldezcalgov.blogspot.com

Friday, May 28, 2004

Carpe Diem!

I have produced a first draft of a book, called "Carpe Diem! - The 2003 California Recall Election and the Candidates' Forum" (Across an Oz-like California, aspiring amateur politicos band together on an elusive search for support).

Today, I E-Mailed the first draft to five of the other gubernatorial candidates (Renz, Foss, Weir, Badiozamani, and Gorman), to get their reactions and criticisms. In two weeks, I hope to have their feedback. After an extensive update, I hope to find a publisher.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

More Navel Gazing

The 2003 California Gubernatorial Election has now been certified by Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. Of the 1,837 votes I received (once again, thank you!) nearly one-third came from Los Angeles County. If I correct for population, however, it appears I was most popular in Monterey (where 1.8 voters in a thousand voted for me), Imperial, San Benito and Inyo Counties, which I suspect means that rural-oriented Mexican-American voters are my natural base of support. It's a bit of surprise, really, since my anti-Proposition 13 campaign was based upon fixing the state budget, but one takes ones support where one can find it. If I run again, I will focus harder on Mexican-American concerns.

Looking at the results of some of the other Hispanic candidates, a similar pattern emerges, with Monterey, Imperial, Inyo, and other rural counties high on the lists for Ralph Hernandez, Leonard Padilla, Daniel Ramirez, etc. There are some interesting fluctuations, though. For example, Mr. Ramirez got a cluster of votes from Yuba County, whereas I got none from there. Is that a pro-life Hispanic vote there?

Of the 1,837 votes, here's the county breakdown. In the first table, the number of votes, with the percentage of my total vote. In the second table, correcting for population, the percentage of the total voting population that voted for me:

Table 1: The number of my votes, with the percentage of my total vote from each county

Preliminary__________________Final
Los Angeles_____504__33.60%__Los Angeles_____590__32.118%
Ventura_________139__9.267%__Monterey________167__9.091%
Alameda_________115__7.667%__Ventura_________150__8.165%
San Diego________58__3.867%__Alameda_________128__6.968%
Monterey_________54__3.600%__San Diego________73__3.974%
San Francisco____49__3.267%__Santa Clara______62__3.375%
Santa Cruz_______46__3.067%__San Francisco____58__3.157%
Santa Clara______45__3.000%__Santa Cruz_______54__2.940%
Orange___________45__3.000%__Orange___________49__2.667%
San Bernardino___34__2.267%__San Bernardino___41__2.232%
Riverside________34__2.267%__Santa Barbara____40__2.177%
Santa Barbara____33__2.200%__Riverside________37__2.014%
Fresno___________32__2.133%__Sacramento_______36__1.960%
Sacramento_______31__2.067%__San Mateo________34__1.851%
San Mateo________29__1.933%__Fresno___________33__1.796%
Contra Costa_____23__1.533%__Contra Costa_____27__1.470%
Sonoma___________20__1.333%__Imperial_________22__1.198%
Imperial_________18__1.200%__Sonoma___________21__1.143%
Yolo_____________16__1.067%__San Benito_______18__0.980%
San Joaquin______15__1.000%__San Joaquin______16__0.871%
San Benito_______14__0.933%__Stanislaus_______16__0.871%
Marin____________13__0.867%__Yolo_____________16__0.871%
Kern_____________13__0.867%__Marin____________14__0.762%
Stanislaus_______12__0.800%__Kern_____________13__0.708%
Tulare___________10__0.667%__Solano___________12__0.653%
Solano___________10__0.667%__Humboldt_________11__0.599%
Napa_____________10__0.667%__Napa_____________11__0.599%
Humboldt_________10__0.667%__Tulare___________11__0.599%
San Luis Obispo___7__0.467%__Inyo_____________10__0.544%
Mendocino_________6__0.400%__San Luis Obispo___9__0.490%
Nevada____________5__0.333%__Mendocino_________6__0.327%
Merced____________5__0.333%__Nevada____________6__0.327%
Madera____________5__0.333%__Madera____________5__0.272%
Inyo______________5__0.333%__Merced____________5__0.272%
Butte_____________5__0.333%__Butte_____________4__0.218%
Kings_____________4__0.267%__El Dorado_________4__0.218%
El Dorado_________4__0.267%__Kings_____________4__0.218%
Shasta____________3__0.200%__Calaveras_________3__0.163%
Placer____________3__0.200%__Placer____________3__0.163%
Calaveras_________3__0.200%__Plumas____________3__0.163%
Tuolumne__________2__0.133%__Shasta____________3__0.163%
Mono______________2__0.133%__Lake______________2__0.109%
Mariposa__________2__0.133%__Mariposa__________2__0.109%
Lake______________2__0.133%__Mono______________2__0.109%
Tehama____________1__0.067%__Tuolumne__________2__0.109%
Sutter____________1__0.067%__Glenn_____________1__0.054%
Siskiyou__________1__0.067%__Siskiyou__________1__0.054%
Plumas____________1__0.067%__Sutter____________1__0.054%
Glenn_____________1__0.067%__Tehama____________1__0.054%


Table 2: The percentage of each county's total voting population that voted for me

Monterey_________0.1826%
Inyo_____________0.1500%
San Benito_______0.1357%
Imperial_________0.1045%
Ventura__________0.0662%
Santa Cruz_______0.0621%
Mono_____________0.0610%
Plumas___________0.0354%
Santa Barbara____0.0337%
Alameda__________0.0332%
Yolo_____________0.0301%
Los Angeles______0.0301%
Mariposa_________0.0289%
Napa_____________0.0270%
San Francisco____0.0246%
Humboldt_________0.0243%
Mendocino________0.0224%
Madera___________0.0192%
Fresno___________0.0183%
Kings____________0.0180%
San Mateo________0.0174%
Calaveras________0.0171%
Stanislaus_______0.0159%
Santa Clara______0.0151%
Tulare___________0.0150%
Marin____________0.0143%
Nevada___________0.0143%
Glenn____________0.0141%
Sonoma___________0.0134%
Lake_____________0.0132%
Merced___________0.0125%
San Joaquin______0.0121%
Solano___________0.0121%
San Bernardino___0.0113%
San Luis Obispo__0.0100%
Tuolumne_________0.0098%
Sacramento_______0.0096%
Riverside________0.0094%
Contra Costa_____0.0093%
San Diego________0.0089%
Kern_____________0.0083%
Siskiyou_________0.0065%
Orange___________0.0063%
El Dorado________0.0059%
Butte____________0.0058%
Tehama___________0.0058%
Shasta___________0.0054%
Sutter___________0.0043%
Placer___________0.0025%


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Another, Similar Letter

I fired this one off to the Sacramento Bee. I hope they publish it!
----------------------------------------

The unanticipated popularity and efficacy of the recent gubernatorial recall election has prompted numerous suggestions for reform that would actually strip the recall option of its greatest virtues (Sacramento Bee op-ed by Bill Whalen 10/28; also Assemblymember Mark Ridley-Thomas' proposed constitutional amendment 10/22). It's time to fling these arguments back in the faces of these 'reformers', many of whom have apparently forgotten what a properly-functioning democracy is supposed to look like.

Replying to an oft-repeated falsehood, the recent recall election was not part of a national pattern suggested by the 2000 Florida election debacle or the Texas legislative redistricting problem. The California recall was democracy's healthy response to a particular California injustice. In 2002, Gray Davis was elected in an illegitimate manner. Davis interfered in the Republican primary, spending large amounts of money to elevate the candidacy of a weaker rival, Bill Simon. Davis was successful in his effort to deny Richard Riordan the Republican nomination, and thus deprive California voters of Davis' strongest viable opponent. Democracy is always threatened when the stronger candidate chooses his opponent. The 2002 gubernatorial election became a farce, with all the trappings of legitimacy, but stripped of content, and low voter turnout demonstrated that voters understood the fraud. Where were the 'reformers' then, with their supposed high-minded concern? Nowhere, which is why the recall was necessary! The 2003 victor, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be not be recalled soon, if at all - superior voter turnout and plentiful voter choices helped seal his election's legitimacy.

Regarding proposed reforms for future recall elections, there's no need for a higher signature threshold, or for more-specific grounds to qualify a recall. Remember, impeachment has never been restricted only to criminal acts. And what can be done about illegitimate elections except rerun them? Preservation of democracy from questionable actions by the candidates, such as interfering in an opposition party's primary, demands that a recall option be available and relatively easy to invoke.

The argument that it should be hard to qualify a recall rests on the need for an officeholder to enjoy a period with few distractions in order to be free to govern. In 2003, despite a severe budget emergency, Gray Davis proposed little except stopgap measures, just as he had the year before - Davis' choice was to hobble into the next year, and pray for an economic miracle. So much for the advantages of having a new term in office. Indeed, it wasn't until Davis had the blowtorch of a recall election on him that he seemed to act at all. Davis' inaction shreds the argument that the officeholder needs few distractions, and given his questionable election, he never deserved such time anyway.

Regarding ballot access, there are two apparent problems, not just one: a crowded ballot vs. a ballot with non-serious candidates. The crowded ballot problem is a technical matter that can and should be settled rather easily by the county registrars. And what's so bad anyway about having a ballot crowded with serious candidates? More points of view that can be aired - more choices - isn't that what America should be all about anyway? Serious political messages can start small and spread quickly. And why not? Even critics like Loyola University Professor Richard Hasen now concede that concerns about voter confusion in the recall election were overblown.

As is only too evident in modern American elections, any mechanism to narrow the list of candidates, like a runoff or higher entrance requirements, serves instead to stunt public interest. The major source of illegitimacy in modern elections is lack of choice, not a divided field. Open your eyes and look at the 2003 recall election! Big field, higher turnout! That was not an accident! Even if celebrities had been absent from the ballot, turnout would have been high. I suspect that if Schwarzenegger had looked less like a winner the week before the election, and the result of the election even more in question, the turnout would have been yet higher. And it was still possible for Schwarzenegger to gain a commanding majority, without an unseemly division of the electorate (pre-election fears about that possibility were WAY overblown!)

The signature threshold and fee requirements for the recall election were the same as they had always been for any previous gubernatorial election. What provoked many candidates to join the race this time (apart from the evident self-promotion opportunities), was a remarkable display of political incompetence by the Democrats - the effort to impose party discipline and not run any Democratic Party candidate at all on the second part of the recall ballot. What's a good Democrat supposed to do - let the Republicans take the post unopposed? Or try to rouse obvious incompetents to do the job instead? I, for one, chose to run, and so should have you!

Still, to help narrow the choices of the voters, just as a practical matter to narrow the field, an instant runoff voting (IRV) procedure would help: choice of candidate is preserved, and yet it is possible for a legitimate majority to be determined. Why don't the reformers push IRV, if they are so keen on election reform?

Regarding a ballot with non-serious candidates, remember, there are large concentrations of non-serious wealth in the United States, particularly in California. If requirements are raised, only porn merchants and performance artists will be able to afford access to the ballot. Serious folks will be excluded, to everyone's detriment. It's a distraction having non-serious folks on the ballot, but it's better to let them in, in order to allow the serious others to have a shot as well. You can raise ballot requirements high enough to exclude the Green Party, high enough to exclude the Republicans and Democrats, but never high enough to exclude Hustler Magazine!

The virtue of a populist recall effort is that it is open to the people. You can't get popular energy behind an election if it's not open to the people, or at least to their tribunes. Remember, even with 135 names on the ballot, that was still only one candidate per quarter million people: with only five candidates on the ballot with Hispanic surnames, in a state that's one-third Hispanic, a good argument can be made that there weren't nearly enough candidates on the ballot, not too many. Many people, like 'reformer' Whalen, are willing to concede the recall was a success, because of the higher voter turnout and media interest, but remember, the only reason the voter turnout was higher was because the election was open to all comers. The 'reformers' want to squelch the very attribute that made the recall election a success! We must protect our elections from such 'reformers'!