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Phil “Hugo Chavez” Angelides’ Last Gasp

Sep
26
2006

Struggling to keep Phil Angelides’ campaign for Governor on life support, the candidate and the Democratic Party are digging deep—pulling out campaign tricks which appear to be extra-constitutional and possibly illegal—in hopes of duping voters between now and November.
Now, I know that just one week ago, I wrote, “Angelides is so far behind in public perception of the race that just discussing California’s gubernatorial race is piling on,” but some things are just begging for discussion.
Over the weekend, Angelides entrenched himself even further into the one campaign theme he thinks will work—running against George W. Bush, not Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has promised that, if elected, he will pull California’s National Guard Troops out of Iraq.
That’s one campaign promise that is guaranteed to be broken, since, as noted journalist Bill Bradley points out, “A state governor has no authority over either the U.S. Army or the U.S. Air Force. He or she is not in the chain of command. California guard members serving with the Army in Iraq are receiving regular U.S. military service medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal, not state awards.”
Yet Angelides persists. Why don’t we just move the State Captiol to Caracas while we’re at it, because the Democratic candidate for Governor of California is starting to sound like Hugo Chavez speaking to the United Nations—attacking “American militarism and capitalism” with this and his proposals to raise tens of billions of dollars in new taxes. And the two seem to hold the U.S. Constitution in equal regard.
Phil Angelides has genuine differences with Governor Schwarzenegger. For example, he wants to raise taxes and regulate businesses while Schwarzenegger does not. Why not run a campaign focused on the issues which will affect Californians in the next four years?
Meanwhile, the State Democratic Party, in an absolutely in-no-way-whatsoever-coordinated move, launched a new “issue ad” this week linking Governor Schwarzenegger and President Bush.
As of last Saturday, however, it is illegal to use “soft money” to run television ads for candidates in California under voter-approved Proposition 34. Republicans have cried foul of the new ads which include the URL to the Angelides-laden California Democratic Party website, but as political blogger Robert Salladay points out, the ads fall on the margins of what may be legal since they only attack Governor Schwarzenegger and do not mention the candidate they intend to support..
Whether these campaign promises and political hardball fall within the law or not, I have to wonder, as Angelides struggles to save his campaign, whether it’s smart to go hyper-partisan at a time when the fastest-growing group of voters are those who reject either party?

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 12:04 PM | Permalink

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