Tuesday, March 31, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Brown’s looking at a 2014 cakewalk

TomEliasW

By
From page A6 | May 14, 2013 |

Like flowers blooming in the spring, Republican candidates for governor have begun to pop up during the past few weeks.

But there’s a key difference between the folks jumping up this time and many who ran in gubernatorial primaries of the past two decades:

There are no billionaires among the early entrants. There is no one with the financial wherewithal of people like airline mogul Al Checchi, former Congresswoman Jane Harman (whose big money came from her late husband’s electronics business), financier William Simon, developer Phil Angelides, software innovator Steve Poizner and former eBay executives Steve Westly and Meg Whitman.

There is also no one with the political experience of a Poizner or a Westly or an Angelides, all of whom held statewide office before running for governor.

And certainly no one with the combination of experience, savvy and fundraising ability of Gov. Jerry Brown, whose approval ratings are high in every poll after reducing the huge state deficit he inherited at the start of his latest term.

In fact, the coming run for governor looks like a cakewalk for Brown, who was gallivanting around China as his would-be rivals started making their pitches. It is similar in one way to Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s 2006 U.S. Senate re-election campaign, where only one Republican bothered to enter the primary — the far-right former state legislator Richard Mountjoy of Monrovia, who never had a chance.

It is similar in other ways to Feinstein’s re-election drive last year, when several Republicans vied for the GOP nomination against her, but none was adequately funded for a serious run and all were previous political unknowns who soon faded back into obscurity. Anti-autism activist Elizabeth Emken won the GOP nod, but lost the election by a 63-37 percent margin — meaning she drew virtually no votes beyond the bare-bones Republican base.

The early list of prospects to run against Brown next fall is short so far: Abel Maldonado, a onetime state senator and former lieutenant governor appointee who has not formally declared, has some name identification around the state despite having been beaten soundly by Democrat Gavin Newsom when trying for the lieutenant governor’s office on his own in 2010.

State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Hesperia also has a bit of a public profile — but not for positive reasons. This early enlistee in the anti-undocumented immigrant Minutemen organization is best known for trying to carry a Colt pistol onto an airliner at Ontario International Airport in January 2012.

Donnelly’s run for governor (he was the first to declare) comes after getting three years probation when he pleaded no contest to reduced charges of carrying a gun into a city without a permit and carrying a prohibited item into a sterile area. Donnelly has never admitted he had no concealed weapon permit when caught with the gun in his attaché case.

Also lurking in the Republican weeds is Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, a former county treasurer.

One statewide GOP official summed up the prospective candidates in two words: “serious problem.”

The short list already has produced its share of intra-party sniping and maneuvering. Billionaire physicist Charles Munger Jr., son of the partner of renowned investor Warren Buffett, says he will donate to Maldonado’s campaign in gratitude for Maldonado’s fathering the state’s three-year-old “top two” primary system. There were no limits on what Munger could contribute to the initiative campaigns for top two and two other measures he funded last year, but there are strict limits on what he can give directly to Maldonado this time.

Maldonado is also derided by the GOP’s leading anti-tax advocate, Grover Norquist, head of the advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform and the main purveyor of the “no new taxes” pledge many Republicans sign before running for office.

Noting that as a state senator in 2009, Maldonado voted for a temporary tax increase, Norquist told a reporter that “If you’re a Republican who raised taxes, how can anyone trust you? The state’s worse off because he did it.”

Besides that, Maldonado last year proved unable to defeat the vulnerable Democratic Congresswoman Lois Capps in a district with far less of a Democratic plurality than her party’s current statewide edge.

It’s almost absurd to think Brown, who has vied with the likes of ex-Gov. Pete Wilson, billionaire Whitman and a sitting attorney general in Evelle Younger, worries much about the Republicans now lining up.

If Poizner or some other billionaire capable of writing personal checks to finance a major campaign were to enter the list, Brown might be given some pause.

But right now he looks as secure as any 2014 candidate in America, even though he hasn’t said a word about running.

—Reach syndicated columnist Tom Elias at [email protected]

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Coroner confirms West Davis deaths were murder-suicide

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Special playground dedication slated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Solo crash kills Woodland man, 22

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Officials say Iran nuke talks will continue in new phase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Police: Missing athlete died on freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

French eye cockpit entry rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Wrap your head around our MRAP need

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
‘Old Autos’ at Hattie Weber Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Camp Shakespeare begins Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis tops list of best schools for the buck

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

Lenten giving project highlights climate justice

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
DCCNS plans open house April 8

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Parent-child open house previews new Waldorf classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Summer garden alert!

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Davis FFA and ag students host plant sale

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Poker tourney benefits DMTC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Neighbors invited to adopt Willow Creek Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Yolo animal shelter seeks donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

RSVP for Gerber Young Community Leader reception

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Pence Gallery recruiting volunteers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Move over, Muggles

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A5

 
Tour de Cluck has selected its coops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

CBH hosts Passover Community Potluck Seder

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
City extends nomination period for Huynh Awards

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Parenting class meets Tuesdays

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Meeting examines Northstar Pond priorities

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

Forum

Maybe he loves the outdoors …

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Why can’t we be friends?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

A California comeback for gerrymandering?

By Tom Elias | From Page: A8

 
César Chávez’s peaceful civil disobedience forged a great legacy

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

A conversation about power

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Over the years, The Show has been a reach for Davis

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UC Davis opens hopeful spring football camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

A very palpable hit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Sleiffer seals Aggie tennis victory over Montana

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Grizzlies beat Kings to end three-game skid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Snubbed Temple, returning Stanford highlight NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Features

.

Arts

30 years of dance in Davis with Pamela Trokanski

By Chloe Lessard | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hear some April Fool’s night jazz

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Dance the night away at house party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

‘A Year with Frog and Toad’ a delightful family show

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Mischief to play at Picnic in the Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Yolo Mambo will play at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Thursday Live! plans a blues party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Jane Lynch performance rescheduled to August

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7