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Joe Guzzardi: Internet, independent voters could change electoral game

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Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2014 12:00 am

Conventional political wisdom has it that few politicians can be successful without name recognition and lots of money. But Republican State Assemblyman and California gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly hopes to be among the few that will break the well established pattern

I’ve come to wonder just how accurate recognition and money are in a modern day campaign. After all, California voters recognize Jerry Brown, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer’s names. But many get a queasy feeling in the pit of their stomach when they hear them mentioned. California’s three top elected officials are pro-Obamacare, pro-open borders, pro-same sex marriage, pro-state transgender laws that allow youths to play sports or use bathrooms in accordance with their gender identities, but are also anti-guns, positions many Californians disagree with.

California’s leaders do have plenty of money though, both personal fortunes and deep campaign treasure chests. Feinstein’s net worth is $70 million; over her career, she’s raised more than $57 million; Boxer’s worth is a comparatively paltry $5 million with donations hitting nearly $14 million.

How Brown became rich is interesting. After exhaustive research by Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters, he learned that after Pat Brown left the executive mansion, he became involved in a questionable but lucrative Indonesian oil brokering business that made him and eventually his family wealthy. Just how wealthy, Brown is unwilling to say. In 2010, Brown raised more that $7 million during his campaign.

Challenger Donnelly doesn’t have the funding that Brown does. But, in part because of Internet technology, his name and message are getting out to the public. No sooner does something happen on his campaign trail than the news reaches Google. Only hours after the state GOP convention adjourned, the Los Angeles Times reported that Donnelly’s candidacy had been met with a “resounding” endorsement.

Earlier, Donnelly had shared his personal story with the audience. One of 14 children who grew up in a four-bedroom house in Michigan, Donnelly drove to California and then, after paying his own way at the University of California Irvine and earning a B.A. degree, went into the plastics manufacturing business. But, Donnelly added, the government regulated him out of business. As a result, Donnelly told the enthusiastic crowd: “I want my state back. I want my freedom back.”

Donnelly is relying on Independents to help him carry the day. Noting that independents are California’s fastest growing demographic, Donnelly says they have power to wield and should start flexing their muscles. Independents make up 21 percent of all registered voters.

Assuming Donnelly wins the June 4 primary, his timing for an upset over Brown is excellent. Recent Rasmussen polling found that nationwide, 62 percent of Americans think the nation — including California — is headed in the wrong direction. Public trust in government, 19 percent, is at the lowest level in nearly six decades.

With that kind of widespread voter dissatisfaction, suddenly the odds against long shot candidates like Donnelly get markedly shorter.

Joe Guzzardi is a registered Independent who ran for California governor in 2003 on the Democratic ticket. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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  • Eric Barrow posted at 1:32 pm on Wed, Apr 2, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1535

    Mostly what I was saying is that you brought up a comparison of AZ and CA I said if you were going to compare the two maybe you should include more info and then you stated that your comparison was foolish and I agreed, enjoy your summer.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:42 am on Wed, Apr 2, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839


    Now you're saying you can speak for everyone. How do you know People in CA don't have AZ on their minds? And why is it you find it unusual someone (who was born in Lodi) likes to blogg in the LNS? Actually, I don't think it's a matter of concern. I just like to know what's going on in the world. You may find that unusual. Suit yourself.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 2:37 pm on Tue, Apr 1, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1535

    Brian I think it was you who first compared AZ to CA most of us here in CA aren't concerned with AZ at all, you don't see me writing letters to a newspaper in AZ do you and yes from my statement you can see I did think it was foolish for you to compare AZ to CA

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:48 am on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839

    Mr. Barrow stated:

    How do you feel about your tax dollars going to try to lure people to your state, pathetic

    -Would you rather those tax dollars go to opening up the boarder with Mexico to lure even more illegals?

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:10 am on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839


    Sorry Mr. Birch. I meant he.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:08 am on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839


    Ms. Bobbin is upset BECAUSE Mr. Birch only disallows comments not based on a bias but only because he considers them unacceptable and not within the rules. It irks her he isn't biased to the left. Of course he can't possibly scan all of the comments. This is evident because comments should have not been allowed on many occasions. And they are not just from Ms. Bobbin. Contrary to her belief she is singling her out.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:00 am on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839

    Mr. Barrow stated:

    Brian do you ever wonder why there is over six times the population in California than Arizona?

    -No I don't, Mr. Barrow. Unlike you, I don't have this denial CA's politiicians have created a beaurocracy that has caused people to leave the state in the thousands and head to states like AZ and Texas where the economic conditions are much better because their politicians had the foresight to do exactly the opposite CA did. Of course CA is still the 7th largest economy in the world. For you to compare CA to AZ is like comparing Lodi to San Francisco.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:15 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839

    Frankly Mr. Barrow,

    I believe it's rather foolish of you to even compare AZ to CA.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:09 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839

    Mr. Barrow,

    The use of tax dollars to lure people to a state is nothing new. CA spends a lot more tax dollars per capita to lure people to their state than Az and many other states combined. How's that going? And as far as more people in CA?
    Well, CA got quite a jump on AZ. The gold rush, much cooler weather in general. The list goes on. Most of the the AC technology was developed in AZ. It's a beautiful state. The economic growth here really picked up speed in the last 30 years. Now, if you were to look at the rate of growth in this time period. It's enormous. Except for the silicon valley. the last 30 years in CA has seen economic stagnation. The foundation of the economy in CA started over 100 years ago. I think you can figure it out.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:35 am on Wed, Mar 26, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Armpit!! Ha Ha!!

    BTW, Mr. Birch, where is my comment from Monday in reply to Mr. Liebich's citation of an article from Calwatchdog? Was it offensive? No, it wasn't.

    Once again YOU have proved that YOU will allow all kinds of offensive comments to be posted, but you disallow those from many on the left.

    Your bias is showing. And your judgment as to what is offensive stinks.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 12:49 pm on Tue, Mar 25, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1535

    Brian do you ever wonder why there is over six times the population in California than Arizona? Even with there liberal gun laws and low tax rates people would rather stay in California than move to the armpit of the nation. How do you feel about your tax dollars going to try to lure people to your state, pathetic.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:26 am on Tue, Mar 25, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839

    -From the link Andrew provided. This is a comment. It seems to me since this supposed scandal happened so long ago and the signifigance of it wasn't that much it just went away. Nevertheless, it is worth looking into.

    Burt Wilson says:
    August 22, 2010 at 9:37 am
    The news of the Brown Family Oil Business was actually released in the mid-70′s by myself and Tim Brick when we were co-coordinators of CAUSE–the Campaign Against Utility Service Exploitation. We did a news conference in the Senator Hotel with graphs and arrows pointing to the cross-references which linked the Brown Family to Suharto and Pertamina and Perta, the major holding company. The then Sacramento Union was the only paper to print our expose. Walters worked for the Union at that time.
    - See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2010/03/09/new-brown-scandal-resurfacing/#sthash.zQQDWGqw.dpuf

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:29 pm on Mon, Mar 24, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839

    Joe stated:

    California’s three top elected officials are pro-Obamacare, pro-open borders, pro-same sex marriage, pro-state transgender laws that allow youths to play sports or use bathrooms in accordance with their gender identities, but are also anti-guns, positions many Californians disagree with.

    -Yet, the likes of Ms. Bobbin will keep on voting to keep chumps like this in office. You won't see a kid who identifies herself as a male ever walking into a boys bathroom here in AZ. And iut just happens to be AZ has a low crime rate that can be attributed to a high gun ownership rate. Something I figued ms. Bobbin would be all for. It's quite the contrary given she's one of the water carriers for mthese three chumps. The only thing good Jerry Brown has done for Calif. practice fiscal Conservatism. How about that. It works for Gov Brewer here. Maybe that giant sucking sound of people leaving Calif in the droves will actuallly curtail some.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:49 pm on Mon, Mar 24, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2839


    Gov. Brown is a fiscal Conservative. But Ms. Bobbin can assure us that has nothing to do with his approval rating.

  • robert maurer posted at 10:58 am on Mon, Mar 24, 2014.

    mason day Posts: 447

    Some take journalist views with a grain of salt; others, a salt block, depending on the reader's personal views.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 8:51 am on Mon, Mar 24, 2014.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    [sleeping] http://calwatchdog.com/2010/03/09/new-brown-scandal-resurfacing/

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:46 pm on Sun, Mar 23, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    “I want my state back. I want my freedom back.”

    Number one - California is not Donnelly's "state." Sounds like Michigan is.

    Freedom? To pollute? Perhaps Donnelly couldn't run a viable "plastics business" without polluting the environment. Thank you, "regulations."

    Too bad those national ratings that Guzzardi quoted do not reflect Californians opinion of where California is going.

    Brown's approval rating is around 60% - up from 49% at the end of 2013.

    I doubt Donnelly has a chance, despite Joe Guzzardi's attempt to smear Brown with tales of Brown, Sr.'s "questionable Indonesian oil scheme."

    Columnist Dan Walters has been on a 40 year campaign to destroy Brown in any way possible and it is a little strange that the ONLY source for the alleged Brown "oil scheme" is DAN WALTERS.

    According to the REQUIRED financial disclosures, Jerry Brown has NONE of his wealth tied up in "Indonesian oil." And, contrary to Guzzardi's statement here, Brown's wealth, along with his wife's wealth, is known and estimated to be in the millions.

    Clearly, this is another of Joe Guzzardi's attempts to make implications that his gullible readers will swallow wholesale.


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