Friday, June 09, 2006

Quick and Dirty Election Summary

Hi all,

Here's my Quick and Dirty election summary. I take that back, Quick, but not Dirty, we've all had enough of that.


In the 6th Assembly race the keyword was Message. I know conventional wisdom has it that the keyword was Mail and too much of it. And yes, there were a lot of wasted trees. Mostly from PACS carrying both positive and negative messages.

But the messages got through. For the top three vote-getters, here are the messages I think the voters got in their mail:

Jared Huffman - It's the environment Stupid!

Pamela Torliatt - I'm the hometown Progressive

Cynthia Murray - Yes, I am in the pocket of developers.

Murray's two biggest mistakes, I think, were her eschewing the cap on spending, thereby giving at least the perception to the voters that she was for sale, and her last minute attack on Jared. One trick pony? Yeah, that both highlighted his environmentalism and showed her to be out of touch.

Coupled with the many mailers from Unions and consumer attorneys pointing out her developer "buyers," what looked to many at the outset as an easy victory turned into certain defeat.

Both Pam and Jared stayed positive and on message. giving them both resounding victories in their home counties. Pam's campaign could easily have been an outright win, in my opinion, if her strategy to play to Sonoma had been supplemented by a stronger push in Marin. She got off on the wrong foot at the College of Marin debate when she took someone's bad advice and failed to express opinions on many of the crucial issues.

That undercut her ability to find strong backing from Marin progressives.

Jared stayed on message from day one.


The 6th Assembly race was positively pristine comared with the Democratic governor's race. Steve "self made millionaire" Westly was down and dirty from the get go, prompting Phil "proud to be the son of immigrants" Angelides to strike back. In this race, the he's paid for by develop message didn't work. Why? because Westly got caught in multiple exaggerations of the truth, if not outright lies.

Phil stayed on track with his Anti-Arnold message as well as his tax the rich to pay for education theme. And it seems to have paid off. (Also that scary drawing of Steve Westly in his last mailer may have done more harm than good; he looked like a demented boy scout.)

Now phil has to stay on message and not run to the right to try to capture the moderate vote. He must be Anti-Arnold. I want to see him in a cape! Don't forget us Progressives, Phil. And if anyone doubts Phil is a progressive, iI have a photo of him signing up at our very first meeting of the California Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus in April 2005. Check the blog for April 17, 2005.

We should all be prepared to remind him of that, if he strays.

More later!