Saturday, August 30, 2003
The question of the day - Is the Democratic Party working the Cruz angle more so than we thought?
Cruz makes the headlines with his latest loophole exploitation. He's accepting donations to his Lieutenant Governor campaign committee, formed prior to Prop 34. The 2002 proposition requires all candidates limit contributions by individuals and corporations to $21,200. Use of last year's committee allowed two Indian tribes to provide Cruz with $800,000, which he is then able to transfer to his gubernatorial campaign committee.
Cruz's team says that this is necessary for Cruz to compete with the millionaires on the ballot. Prop 34 places no limit on the amount of money an individual can contribute to his/her own campaign. If you ask me, this is either plutocracy in action, or extreme naivete. Arnold, Arianna, Ueberroth, Simon, Issa...was Prop 34 designed for them? Or did a broke idealist author the whole thing, unable to imagine anyone would contribute more than $21,200 to his/her own campaign?
(Gray Davis, we should note, as the victim in this recall drama, gets his own personal loophole, and doesn't have to abide by the $21,200 rule.)
So one has to wonder, is Arnold the Republicans' man because he is just so ... money? And is Cruz "bet you didn't think we could have a candidate worse than Davis" Bustamante the Democrats' choice because he is just screams loopholes!?
I think so!
Republicans, if they get anything at all, understand that money talks. Riordan didn't have it, and so he walks. Arnold's campaign has raised 3.7 million, 2 million donated by the candidate himself, and there's more where that came from (Arnold didn't sign the statement saying he wouldn't spend more than 10 million dollars and has thereby forgone a candidate statement in the ballot. Strategic move on both fronts, seeing as the more Arnold opens his mouth, the less he says.)
Democrats, unable to keep the party in line, had to run someone, and just about any other democratic candidate would be subject (assuming he/she didn't have his her own loophole) to the contribution caps - putting the special interest contribution machine in a bind. The Indian Gaming cartel is focused on taking over California in a few years, and has a lot of cash out there looking to buy the future Governor's hand in christening them with slot machines galore. Top this all of with the fact that Cruz can funnel these contributions back into the fight against the recall. So all this talk about the Democratic party having frayed may really be the Budget Accounting Tricks applied to Campaign Finance for Democrats.
Monday, August 25, 2003
There are some pretty obvious differences between Arianna and me. I am a Democrat, and have always been. I did not support 187 and I protested against it. I'm not a millionaire, and while Manolo Blahnik has designed some cute shoes, I don't own any. I didn't spend $2,000 on eyewear last year, and I can't imagine being able to spend $10,000 on medical expenses. I have never lived in an 8,000 square foot house, with a twelve car garage.
I'm from Oakland. I know what the ghetto is like. I know what crumbling public schools are like. I know what crime looks like. These aren't things I'm just now learning about having decided to become a liberal halfway through my life.
I'm also not a member of the Green Party. I'm a lot younger than Peter Camejo, and I'm female. While I agree with many of the positions put forth by Camejo and Arianna, my campaign is different. It's about taking risks, and standing up for something we believe in. The recall is an unprecedented opportunity for California and for Democrats to stand up and say "We've been apathetic because we want something else. How can you expect us to care about voting when you put in front of us yesterday's leftovers?"
Goapele is quoted in today's San Francisco chronicle as saying "I gotta say I'm proud to be from the Bay Area," the petite singer told an enthusiastic audience. "People here don't back down from saying what they believe in." It's time for the Democrats to take a page out of Oakland's book, and start caring about issues. If nothing else, I hope this recall sends a warning signal to the Democratic party. Please stop acting like children, running scared when there is the slightest hint that you're falling out of favor, and show a little class, it goes a long way, and will remain in style even when the in crowd says you're out.
People don't like Gray Davis, and Cruz is nothing to write home about. The poll numbers are what they are because people want a Democrat in Sacramento, but I guarantee you that if people knew of an inspirational candidate who wasn't just more of the same, the poll numbers would be different. A Democrat with a platform like mine can win, but the leaders of the Democratic party are unable to step away from the poll data and realize that with a little bit of risk, comes reward. And on top of that, people can, and will, change their minds. No one likes wimps, or sell outs, or phonies. Reactionary politics have become the M.O. of the Democratic Party, transparently so, while leadership is brushed aside.
Many have requested it, here is my tentative events schedule for the week:
Tuesday, August 26
The Ron and Don show - for our national followers: On the Air in Michigan at 8am
On the campaign trail...
Georgy for Governor will be on campus in Berkeley, my alma mater.
Wednesday, August 27
Glamour Germany visits Georgy for Governor for a story in next month's issue
Chinese Talkshow, stay tuned for air date
KMTP in San Francisco, stay tuned for when the show will air
On Air in Santa Cruz at 5:10pm
7pm OAKLAND A's vs. Baltimore - email us if you'd like to join the crowd.
Thursday, August 28
On the campaign trail:
Georgy for Governor will be on campus at Berkeley (San Jose next week)
Sunday, August 24, 2003
I went to the Oakland Chinatown Festival today to campaign. I met lots of very positive people there, and in true Oakland style, people of all ethnicities came out to the festival. Got a pic with Raiderettes, and yes, to many of you who have asked, I am a Raider fan, not a 49er fan, sorry!
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Slashdot in effect! Last time it was Slashdot day, we had 52,000 unique hits. Nice job beating the Howard Kurtz crew who only managed to generate 16k unique hits. I have seen a few of the /. emails, and I am impressed with the attention to detail in feedback regarding the issues. We're very busy here and hope to integrate suggestions as well as add some new things soon!
Thanks for everyone's support! We feed off it and need it. I'm off to tape a public television interview, and will let you know when it will air.
Whether or not we realize, the Press plays an integral role in our relationship to politics, especially in California. In California, with the fifth largest economy in the world, is home to LA and San Francisco, the nations number two and five media markets. To anyone trying to follow developments or participate in California politics, it is clear that fragmentation defines our media outlets. Interestingly enough, aside from those local to Sacramento, no television station operates a bureau in California'ss capital. TV isnâ€™t alone when it comes to serving only local markets and operating stations as independent islands, commercial and public radio lack correspondents dedicated to developments in Sacramento. Newspapers do cover Sacramento, the LA Times, for example has a capital bureau, but the problem with the paper is that its readership is concentrated in Los Angeles, and Northerners read the Chronicle or the Mercury. While the internet gives people access to all these papers more easily, it isn't equivalent to a state where we have a single source for statewide news. Initially, it seemed strange to me, a lifelong Nor-Cal girl, to read the LA Times, but I realized that I don't think twice about reading the Sunday New York Times, which is really a national paper, delivered daily to many New Yorkers and Californians alike.
So what does this fragmentation mean? I don't really know, exactly. (I could draw an analogy to a distributed computing system where each node operates independently, but I won't do that to you). I do think however, that in part, it results in much less indepth political coverage than we would otherwise have with a strong Sacramento presence. The Legislature and Davis can escape being indundated with questions regarding their every move, and Californians only hear when something goes wrong. The recall coverage in California has given the press unseen opportunities to cover politics, because candidates are everywhere. It also allows journalists who aren't political reporters to cover the recall in more of a Hollywood fashion. What we end up with is something for almost everyone in the land of recall entertainment, but not much in the way of the nitty gritty in terms of candidates' political plans. And this is excusable, at least so far, because we're not used to having anything more. I do hope however, that people will tire of Mary Carey and the little Arnold, and the media, in its need to maintain non-stop recall coverage, can dig a little deeper into Cruz's Indian Gaming pockets, and what exactly the tribes are going to expect in terms of payback.
and the recall itself, is a reflection of the press. There's no central point of contact for people to turn to in order to get the scoop on California Politics,
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Props to www.misinformer.com for posting an email interview with this candidate on their front page!
Sunday, August 17, 2003
Today's M-W word of the day was tankini. I totally knew that one already. Time to find out if I can get a Georgy for Gov tankini, how cute would that be?
The Bush Administration doesn't hesitate to send more troops to Iraq, but when it comes to supporting soldiers in active duty or our honorable veterans, they respond just as quickly to reduce benefits.
The Pentagon's recent report detailed spending cuts which would reduce imminent danger pay for soldiers in Iraq, as well as launch a study of the entire issue of combat pay. Soldiers are still dying in Iraq, since May over 120 soldiers have died. But the Pentagon would like reclassify their standing, and say these soldiers aren't in imminent danger, yet not bring them home, in order to cut spending. It doesn't stop there, Congressional Republicans eliminated the provision to allow servicemen and women in Iraq to claim the child tax credit. Perhaps George Bush should rethink his tax cut, and instead take fiscal responsibility for the endangered lives of our soldiers. The Pentagon has apparently realized that war is not free, and trying to reduce the cost of this war by penalizing our soldiers and their families is cowardly. How's that for boosting morale in Iraq?
The President's treatment of our active duty soldiers only adds insult to injury. Bush budget cuts eliminate 5,000 Veteran's Administration nursing home beds and double to cost of prescription drug payments. This is amidst of a backlog of over 280,000 veterans awaiting disability ratings, which are required in order to determine the amount of their benefits. I guess Bush forgot that we're in a war, after which one would think we'd need more care for veterans, not less.
The Georgy for Governor Google effect has spawned some entertaining things. The first to capitalize on my name was probably the Georgy Watch guy, but he's really not a fan, (and judging by his blog, definitely did not see the picture of Georgy on the front page of USA Today Friday).
This morning my uncle sent me this: http://xrlq.com/MT-archives/001037.php, via which I discovered www.georgyrussell.org and www.georgyrussell.net.
Last week, I was referred to this page: http://beggingtodiffer.com/, scroll down to google oddity.
Having my name read as Gregory is something that started back in elementary school, when we'd have a substitute teacher. He or she would call roll, while I sat wondering if this teacher would know how to read, and save me from exposing him/her as less than qualified to teach us reading.
CBS News, after having Georgy for Governor as a guest, posted a story on their website in which they referred to me as a him, but still called me Georgy. That first happened in a paper overseas, which is understandable. But for CBS, it's just plain embarassing. On a local KQED show, Forum, the host mentioned that Georgy has a publicity problem, because she heard Georgy referred to as a him. As I see it, if people are talking about me, that's better than not saying anything.
Friday, August 15, 2003
Now you can actually bet on a brighter future for California! Odds are 100:1
Now we just have to get those odds up.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
FOR SALE: 1 vote.
COST: depends who you vote for.
I'll go by the recent CNN poll numbers.
Davis (aka No on Recall): 34%
Flynt, Arianna, Ueberroth: 4% each
Let's assume that voter turnout is 7 million, that's about what it was when Gray was elected. Some simple math (though probably not simple enough that all of the above named candidates could do it) gives us:
Davis: 2.38 million votes
Arnold: 1.75 million votes
Cruz: 1.05 million votes
McClintock: 630,000 votes
Simon: 490,000 votes
Flynt, Arianna, Ueberroth: 280,000 votes each
I don't have numbers on all of the candidates. Arnold said he'd spend up to 20 million of his own money, though his staffer said he'd spend whatever it takes (since money is no object in the household of this self proclaimed populist candidate who understands the "people"). Self identified grassrooter will spend a max of 10million. Davis raised 78 million for anti recall fight, and has spent most of it, but says he'll raise another 20 million. That's 98 mil. Bustamante told Garimendi he had 15 million lined up to spend.
Davis: $41 bucks per
Arnold: $11 bucks per
Cruz: $14.28 bucks per
Arianna: $35.70 bucks per
Funny how it works out...Arnold, should he win, is getting a pretty good deal. Grassroots campaigner Arianna is paying a premium for votes. She might do better if she simply offered a little over half the current estimated cost (20 bux) to willing recipients in exchange for a vote, which would put her at 500,000 votes for $10million. If we write off Davis's first $78million, and calculate his spending at $20 million, (because keep in mind I didn't charge any of the other candidates with the money dumped in to Rescue California by Issa and others), he'd be getting a STEAL, at only $8.40per vote. Remember that all of these numbers are based on 7million people turning out, many estimate it will be lower than that, which would, of course increase the per vote cost.
Georgy for Gov is hoping to keep things under $10 a vote. If we don't include the cost of filing ($3500) that should be doable.
Saturday, August 09, 2003
I just returned from filing my paperwork at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. 76 people pulled papers from the office, but I was the ninth to actually pay the fee. We'll see what the final numbers are. (Thanks to Scott and Rob for coming by, you should have told me that you know Rosie, who is awesome btw)
I understand that Arnold and Arianna showed up at the same time to file for candidacy in LA. Arianna mentioned her "grassroots" campaign will limit it's spending to 10million dollars, she also mentioned she has raised 60k on her website. (Does this mean the remaining 9.94 million will come out of her own bank account?)
In any case, the real grassroots Georgy for Governor campaign will also agrees to limit its spending to 10mil. Watch KRON4 at 5pm for some footage of the official filing.
Friday, August 08, 2003
The news has not discussed who will take Cruz's place if he wins. I looked this up in the State Constitution, and it appears that Cruz will have authority to nominate a new Lt. Governor, who then needs majority Senate and Assembly approval.
A couple of things:
I couldn't be more impressed. http://www.solitairecity.com/GeorgyForGov.htm
People keep questioning me regarding the Secretary of State's Candidate list. My county's registrar refers them to this page:
where my name is listed on page 6.
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Regarding my lack of experience ... I've gotten asked about this a lot, especially by callers on the radio. In the same breath as my critics and even some self proclaimed supporters disparage Gray or Bush, they tell me I need to run for local office first, before they will consider me for the governorship.
That brings me to the most obvious response to the issue - Bush and Davis are successfully demonstrating that experience holding political office is over-rated. But let's dig deeper, because this unarguable defense is one that Arnold and Arianna can claim. I have lived in California for 26 years. Almost 27. I'm a second generation native Oaklander. Residents of my neighborhood included gay and lesbian couples, African Americans, Philipinos, Vietnamese, etc. My dad is from LA, where I visit his side of the family several times a year. I've attended public schools throughout my life, including UC Berkeley. I have worked in high tech through the dot-com boom and bust. This first hand experience, judging by the lack of native cali girls and boys on the ballot, is under valued. But it's this experience, in part, that sets me apart from the Arnolds and Ariannas. So all of this really begs the question, what sort of experience does the position of governor require? To answer this, for now, try to not look at PRIOR office holders, and think about what sort of person you want representing you. And maybe ask yourself, if you were stranded on a desert island, forced to choose a leader, would you elect the best looking person? the most popular? the person with the highest IQ? the person with the highest EQ? the most courageous? the most athletic? the richest? So you decide that, and I promise I will later discuss some of what it is that the governor actually does (or what he/she *can* do).
Onto an inexperinced, yet high profile, candidate I haven't addressed much - Arnold. To those who cite Proposition 49 as "experience," realize this is Arnold's PR machine at work. The proposition simply earmarked existing funds, it did not give any new funds to the school system, just rearranged how they were spent. The crafty proposition did, however, set a stage in the minds of Californians, upon which Arnold is now acting out his political fantasy. Today, it's quite possible anyone who loves the Terminator, but wonders about his ability to govern, will think back to last year, faintly recollecting Arnold spearheaded prop 49, and subsequently convincing himself it's ok to vote for Arnold. This is what he's hoping for, I'm hoping people will see thru this blatant manipulation of the electorate, and ask the Terminator, how exactly do you plan to pump up the economy? I've been asked a wide array of questions, and have tried to answer as many as possible directly in emails or through my issue positions. If Arnold were subject to this depth and breadth of questioning, I guarantee Arnold would "falter," wondering where his teleprompter is, resorting to the "I'll be back" defense and running for the nearest advisor.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
A recent guestbook posting quotes my platform and suggests that Arianna is the right person to get these things done.
Arianna announced today she will run as an Independent. Georgy for Governor is the ORIGINAL campaign proposing this platform.
Georgy for Governor is *truly* a GRASSROOTS campaign. Every dollar was raised through the website and without the help of Hollywood celebrities. Unlike Arianna, I'm not an aristocrat. Georgy for Governor can't (at this point) bring together a bunch of high profile Angelinos in my Brentwood home to pontificate on my candidacy.
If nothing else, this campaign alone should convince you of my progressive spirit, my hard work and determination, and show you that I'm a serious candidate, dedicated to change in California. However, recognize this as a call to arms. I cannot win an election on individual attributes, alone or in combination. Democracy necessitates participation
The recall makes possible the election of a candidate who is true to her beliefs, and gives you the opportunity to examine your beliefs, showing this "enemy" government that you will exercise your right to chose a member of your community as your leader over the political royalty which become so complacent in it's ownership of our democracy. Darrell Issa may have the money to pay more hired hands than I do, but it's everyone who refuses to vote on October 7 who allows him to buy a core values of his/her American identity.
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
I neglected to mention that there was about 80million cut to community colleges, which will be made up with a 60%+ fee hike :(
Darrell Issa, among others, is a fan of President Bush's No Child Left Behind.
No Child Left Behind as a concept is a great idea. Who could be against leaving children behind? Children are our future, and should be treated with care and caution. As adults, we are only as good as we are to our children. But is NCLB simply a catch coined for the purpose of re-election, or does it actually improve the lives of children?
NCLB places mandates on school systems, requiring them to be more accountable for the education of their students, by way of teaching rules and procedures, as well as performance measurements. It appears however, that these mandates are in large part unfunded. Enforcing the system put forth by NCLB is costly, but most of these costs are pushed to the school districts. As we in California know all to well, school districts are perpetually strapped for cash. Estimates suggest that new federal monies will provide a scant 1/8 of the NCLB implementation costs.
Apart from the financial issues surrounding NCLB, the effectiveness the methods it sets forth are questioned. In struggling schools, where students are more likely to have difficulty learning, the "scientific methods" suggested by NCLB may not work. Teachers criticize Reading First, a cornerstone of NCLB, as being an arbitrary guide to teaching. Children, who like you and me, all learn differently, may not benefit from a one size fits all method of teaching. NCLB leaves little room for creativity on the part of teachers. It compromises talented teachers, forcing them to ascribe to general teaching methods. It flies in the face of small classroom sizes, and begs the question: Why train teachers at all, when there is no need for individual attention to the needs of an individual, wouldn't it be easier to give our children the equivalent of a Wal-Mart one stop shopping education?
Sunday, August 03, 2003
Budget FACTS: (from SF Chronicle and others)
- The University of California and the California State University systems take a combined hit of close to $443 million.
- The Arts Council budget is $1 million, down from $20 million in the 2002-2003 fiscal year.
- What most people did NOT know is that this budget bill appropriates even more money for the Department of Corrections than Governor Davis asked for, including $220 M for a new "State of the Art Death Row."
- Last minute Republican requests added up to nearly $300 million in new costs to the state, either by upping spending or recinding some types of fees.
- Davis administration officials said California lost $500 million during the budget impasse because the state continued to spend money at last year's levels during July, the first month of the fiscal year.
$220 million on a new death row? Had the Legislature forgone the death row, they could have cut the hit to public universities in half. Had they simply given Gray what he'd asked on the Department of Corrections front, the Arts Council might have had $11 million more. Had the pigs not rushed to the trough for last minute feeding, we'd have the other half of the university cuts. Had this government simply gotten its act together ON TIME, 10,000 jobs might have been saved.
These don't seem like California's priorities to me. They more closely resemble the priorities of a short sighted legislature, where politicians are more worried about re-election, where re-election is controlled by special interests and big money and not by how well the people are served.
Saturday, August 02, 2003
Will the real Bob Dole please stand up!?
The Straits Times reports:
"Other doppelgangers include a Republican called Bob Dole, a Democrat named Dan Feinstein, the mysterious S. Issa and a clutch of Davises.
There are other wannabes like Mr Georgy Russell, a 26-year-old computer programmer who is campaigning for a clean energy policy and selling thong underwear on her website "
and goes on to say,
"The heavyweights include Mr Darrell Issa, a wealthy Republican congressman who bankrolled the recall drive against Mr Davis, Republican Bill Simon, who was defeated by Mr Davis last year, and possibly former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan."
I'll ignore the fact that they have called me a "Mr" and head straight for the "wannabe."
I assume they're saying I'm a wannabe governor. Which is fine, because I do want to be governor. But, more importantly, I'm a wannabe Georgy Governor. I don't wannabe Gray, and I certainly don't wannabe George, Bush that is. (Thank God they called me Mr. Georgy and not George). I wannabe California's fresh face for the future. I wannabe California's clean choice for change. That said, I think pretty much all of the candidates are wannabes, in one way or another, except for maybe Gray, 'cause he already is Governor.
So ... here we go again. Why are Darrell, and Riordan, noted "heavyweights," and yet our campaign is dismissed as "wannabe?" Seriously - Issa's website is 50% about Gray Davis, and 25% about George Bush, and the remainder is pointing out the obvious. His issues positions are at best transparent - take for example what he says about schools:
"We need a real system of accountability that allows struggling schools to improve, while providing a new direction so that even our excellent schools can be even better places."
Issa's giving lip service to "struggling schools" here, hoping to snag a few votes, it's clear to me this heavyweight is more interested in these "excellent schools." He is going to *provide* "new directions" (read innovation, got vouchers?) for them - making them into better "places" (read place as somewhere people feel happy, comfortable, at peace). As for those struggling schools, eh, just *allow* them to "improve," don't *provide* them with anything. (aren't they already allowed to improve?)
Now, Issa goes on to say the following:
"I have always believed that an educated workforce is absolutely essential to our country, its future prosperity. That's why I was proud to support President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" Act that the Congress overwhelmingly passed to bring a new era of accountability to our most under-performing schools, while at the same time ensuring that all of our children have an opportunity to grow and develop in a positive, productive learning environment. "
Thanks for the original ideas there Darrell. Should I read this as, NCLB is enough, and you won't do more?
For a second here, I thought I figured out what separated the "heavyweights" - the amount of $$ in the pockets. If that were the case, Larry should have been included in the list. We shall see, come Wednesday, perhaps Larry will be the new "celebrity" candidate, moving into the heavyweight ring, if/when Arnold drops out.
Friday, August 01, 2003
I saw this article in today's Washington Times, one of my favorite papers. Not.
Sexton quotes Professor Jack Pitney, "There will be a small number of serious candidates and a much larger number who think they are serious but are crazy, and many more who are in it for ego gratification," Mr. Pitney said. "At $3,500, that's a pretty cheap ego trip."
First of all, Georgy for Governor is a serious campaign. We have put forth serious issues no other candidates are discussing. These are issues which directly affect the people of California. We are the only "unconventional campaign" with it's own newspaper profile. We've been taken seriously by prominent columnist Jon Carroll, and labelled earnest by the LA times.
I'll give Pitney the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he's grouping us with the serious (AND NOT CRAZY) candidates.
Now, I ask Pitney, do you consider Darrell Issa to be one of the serious candidates? And what about Simon? I sincerely hope that Pitney doesn't think these candidates lack an ego.
What I love about Pitney's quote is that it highlights the mindset of many Americans today. That is, a jaded view that anyone who doesn't have at least 6 zeroes in his/her bank account or isn't a career politician is CRAZY (mentally ill?) to think he or she can participate, with some degree of power, in his/her state government. This is exactly why I want to see CHANGE in California. We need someone who can represent those of us without a million bucks in our pocket (or our campaign fund) to lead this state.
Georgy for Gov challenges people to dismiss the campaign because they disagree with our issues, or think our arguments are flawed, but please, please don't dismiss this campaign because I don't have a million dollars and I sell underwear, among a slew of items in the back corner of our web page.
I just took a look at old Issa's site (note to Drudge: maybe investigate whose site gets more hits, mine or Issa's), his issue positions start off with a laundry list of Gray attacks rather than any "bold vision". We need ideas not flames, Darrell. Among his "new" thoughts is a tax cut (ORIGINAL!). In a time of huge deficits and growing debt, this is likely the same discipline he exhibited when he allegedly "borrowed" those vehicles. Someone needs to remind Rep. Issa that CA can't just borrow indefinitely, a la Bush. Time to find a new role model if you want to run THIS state.
This is an issues campagin, but as the Washington Times' Sexton says, it is easy to dismiss me based on frivolities. The true test for voters, is whether *they* will.