Posts Tagged ‘dietrich’

Are we near the crisis point with the CA budget?

March 21, 2011

Find out my answer on KGO-AM 810 at 6:15 this morning as their Nonparitsan Political Analyst by clicking here.


What Jerry Needs to Get It Done

January 25, 2011

So the cat is now fully out of the bag, and it is clear to all what California’s new governor has planned to back the state away from a $25B (or more) fiscal cliff — about half big, genuine cuts and half new or extended taxes.  Here are my “3 Big Keys” Jerry must have to get this done:

Sign-off by his union base — If the major public employee unions throughout the state do not sign-off on the cuts and strongly get behind the June special election tax measures (with real monetary and volunteer muscle), it spells immediate trouble.

Neutralizing significant opposition — This means getting business interests and taxpayer organizations to at least take a muted approach to the tax plans.  If they go ballistic, and stay that way, it could sink the budget ship before it leaves the dock.

A highly effective public outreach campaign — Recent history at the ballot box is stacked against the planned June 2011 proposals.  Groundwork has been laid well making the fiscal case by Brown and his folks.  This will have to be followed up by a truly credible, mother-of-all outreach campaign to secure a majority of votes in support from a politically very grumpy electorate.

Catch Jerry’s State of the State address Monday, January 31st at 5pm.

The Countdown Begins…

October 29, 2010

It’s not quite “all over but the voting”…but it’s close. Campaigns are making their final big surge, pushing their “closing argument” as they say in the political business, gearing up get out the vote machines, and hoping that all the massive effort brings victory. Having worked on campaigns from legislative to presidential, and covered them for years as a broadcast political analyst, I well know the adrenaline rush this time of election season brings. Candidates begin so show their nervousness a bit more, campaign managers get a little more testy, dedicated volunteers start looking just a touch more tired. And inside the campaign, it’s hard not to begin thinking about the “what ifs.” What if we win? If it really happens…what comes next…as early as the day after for potential staff hires, etc. What if we lose…then what? Will this have all been a waste? What will all these people who’ve poured themselves into this campaign do? What will the candidate do? And do I ever want to go through this ever again…this insanity…and the toughest job with the longest hours (15 hour days 7 days a week is not uncommon in big races…) I’ve ever had?

These last few days before election day…the soul searching just begins to creep in. You try to ignore it, get it out of your mind, tell yourself to keep your head down and stay supremely focused…or else. Or else you may be sitting alone at 4 a.m. staring at 4 blank walls, once filled with campaign memos and volunteer lists, in an empty campaign office that once hummed with energy found in few other places. Or else you may have no idea what you’re going to give yourself to now that it’s over…and you’ve lost. So ignoring the drift towards soul searching becomes essential…a simple matter of survival. They’ll be plenty of time for that later you repeat to self whenever the notion creeps up. This is it…this is the big show…you remind yourself. Because next week…on November 3…there will be winners and losers. And our communities, states, and nation will take a collective sigh of relief that it’s all over for this round…and citizens will wonder themselves what it will all mean going forward. For those actually involved in candidate and ballot measure campaigns…that sigh takes on even greater significance…and is breathed so deeply one can almost hear it echo through capitols all across the land. For them…this is “all in” time.

Citizen Voice Nonpartisan Election Project 2010 Already a Huge Success

October 26, 2010

This has been a wild last couple of weeks, my friends.  Having wrapped up a whirlwind two week statewide media tour throughout California, I can report to you that I’ve rarely seen political fever at this high a pitch, certainly in a mid-term election.  Citizens, and the media, are engaged…big time.  Want some evidence?  How about the fact that we were not only well received in every CA media market in which we did interviews about the CV Nonpartisan Election Project 2010, but actually broke some significant ground, landing high-profile interviews at important media outlets in markets big (e.g. LA) and small (e.g. Santa Maria) that we haven’t been on before.  And get this…yesterday the CV website reached the 1 million hit mark since the Nov. 2010 election project launched on Oct. 1.  Not only have we now received over a MILLION hits in just over 3 weeks, this amazing milestone was reached by the CV site even faster than during the super high-octane presidential year in 2008!  Amazing stuff…and proof positive both that people are tuned into this election cycle in huge numbers, and that with all the negative campaign stuff thrown at them, they are hungry perhaps as never before for credible, honest, nonpartisan info to help them make solid voting choices.

Behind the scenes of the mini-debate filming…

September 24, 2010

In Politics as in Life…Things Aren’t Always What They Seem on the Surface

November 18, 2009

Now seems about the right time to take a step back, to take a long, broad look across the political landscape and take stock of where our nation is now, and where it may be headed in 2010.  “Change.” The victorious mantra of the 2008 elections.  The greatest economic crisis in over seven decades has indeed forced change in the lives of almost all Americans.  The economic woodshed has been very painful for very many.  And now, as the professional political tea leaf readers attempt to attach meaning to the last year in politics, there’s an-all-too-common-today temptation and tendency to couch it in overly simplistic terms.  But things in politics, as in life, aren’t always what they first seem on the surface.

Obama has enamored many, enraged many, and become the focal point for political upheaval that can only partially be linked to his own presidency.  Oh, sure, it’s easy for many to pick sides.  The partisan labels and political name calling have become so habitual in the past decade or two that taking shots at the other side has become easier for many than picking their favorite ice cream.  It’s become so ingrained, in fact, that political analysts themselves can slip into a too-easy analysis of Washington and the nation circa 2009.  Too easy, and too surface, indeed.

For now, in this time, the American public is restless and uneasy down deep – below partisan allegiances, below candidate loyalties, below voting habits.  They are concerned and frustrated and angry not simply or even fundamentally with those playing roles in some of the key structures of our society – the worlds of government, global finance, corporate operations, even education, and perhaps more – but with the structures themselves.  Trust has been broken, and it is proving tough to rebuild.  To do so will require far less responsibility-dodging and partisan backstabbing and far more problem solving for the common good.  Below the surface, this is profoundly evident.  Our people – and those of other nations struggling with similar substantial challenges — desperately want to believe that the folks in charge both know what they’re doing and are doing it for the benefit of all… but they currently believe neither.  Poll after poll demonstrates deep disenchantment with Washington, Wall Street, transnational public and private sector organizational structures, and most importantly the basic way “things seem to work out for those guys but not the rest of us.”  The very core of American commonality – that we’re all in this together – is being sorely and deeply tested in the hearts and minds of our people.

Today, as has occurred periodically in American history, the people are looking for some transformational ideas with universal merit, and some ones with honesty and integrity, in which to put their trust.  Knowing perfection is not possible, they look not for the perfect.  They look for the genuine, the credible, the resonating truth that sits well with their innermost conscience, that squares with who they’ve always hoped they, their children, and their nation could be and become.  It is a call, perhaps even a cry, for real, servant-hearted, courageous, and yes, even humble leadership rarely seen by most in our day as they scan the societal horizon. The founding fathers often appealed to Divine Providence for this kind of vision, this kind of leadership, this kind of national stewardship.  In our day, the people of our nation are again collectively deeply unsettled, uncharacteristically afraid of what tomorrow may bring, and quietly hoping, perhaps even praying, for this providential provision of institutions, and leaders, they can again believe in.  Below the simplistic surface, they hope for what they know should be, still believe may be possible, and deeply pray will come. Leadership, and institutions, they can trust.