Why Are So Many Dems Holding Their Noses?

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Corlyss_D
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Why Are So Many Dems Holding Their Noses?

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:32 pm

With party members like these . . .

Why Are So Many Dems Holding Their Noses?

Phil Angelides has become the Rodney Dangerfield of California politics. First, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown dissed him by telling a columnist that his party's nominee for governor "doesn't look good on TV and doesn't sound good on radio." Then Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez didn't even bother to deny that he wants Arnold Schwarzenegger to win re-election this year so that he can run for Mayor of Los Angeles when the current occupant of that post, Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, runs for governor in 2010 (by then, Mr. Schwarzenegger would be term-limited out of office). None of this works if Mr. Angelides wins this November.

All this became painfully clear on Saturday when Mayor Villaraigosa wouldn't answer a direct question about whether he backed his own party's candidate over Arnold the Republican. "I'm a Democrat, as you all know, but I've not made any endorsements at this time," Mr. Villaraigosa told reporters. "At some point, I would campaign for [Mr. Angelides], should I endorse him."

After that obvious non-endorsement, Mr. Angelides responded by declining to take a position on the mayor's plan to assume control over the troubled Los Angeles Unified School District, a move fiercely opposed by teachers' unions that have backed Mr. Angelides' candidacy.

Governor Schwarzenegger, of course, is lapping all this up. As an added incentive to keep Mr. Villaraigosa on the sidelines, he has just appointed Mary Lou Villar, the mayor's sister, to the Los Angeles Superior Court. Conservative commentator Steve Frank calls this "a brilliant move on the part of the Governor. He appoints a woman, a Hispanic, a Democrat, and the sister of a major Democrat leader! A four-fer!!!"

Mr. Angelides trudges on. He may not be getting any respect from big-name Democrats, but don't count him out. He has friends in very high places -- the heads of the public employee unions who just last November spent $140 million to defeat Mr. Schwarzenegger's entire slate of reformist ballot initiatives. If Mr. Angelides can convince them to pour that kind of money into his race against his Republican opponent, it may not matter how much sand big-name Democrats kick in his face.
-- John Fund
Corlyss
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