Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Stateside with Rosalea: The Fog Of Elections

Stateside with Rosalea Barker

The Fog Of Elections

San Francisco’s famous fog stretched all the way across SF Bay to Oakland this morning. Overnight, every fence near where I lived sprouted a Yes on 87 sign. California’s Proposition 87 pitted Clinton asking you to say Yes to taxing oil companies and using the taxes to promote alternative sources of energy vs a fireman telling us to vote No because if the proposition passed it would raise the price of gas and lead to cities and counties running out of money to fund firefighters and other emergency services. Ironically, this sign is attached to the fence enclosing a long-closed gas station and is opposite a fire station.

Click for big version

The fire station is also a polling place, and Lisa Curry was there even before the doors opened, to cast her vote. She was disappointed to discover that although she’d asked the county registrar of voters to correct the voter list so it showed her name, the list posted outside the fire station still showed her daughter’s name instead. She exited the polling place just as my bus was arriving and said she was able to vote, but I didn’t have time to find out if she’d had to cast a provisional ballot.

I find it incredible that campaigning goes on even on polling day. Besides the signs posted near polling places, television and Internet ads run all day. This shot of the San Francisco Chronicle’s website taken at 5pm Pacific Standard time features the Clinton TV ad for Prop 87 and a banner ad for a woman running for San Francisco supervisor. To even see this page, I had to click through a full-screen campaign ad for the same person.

Click for big version

When I emerged from BART in Oakland on my way home, someone was handing out Yes on 89 leaflets. California’s State Proposition 89 is a campaign finance reform measure supported by the California Nurses Association but not many other groups, largely because it is badly written. The CNA, like all the major unions, supports Democratic challenger Phil Angelides.

And when I got in my door at home and turned on the TV at 6.30—still an hour and a half before the polls closed in California—the local ABC news was airing a live shot of Nancy Pelosi in Washington DC being optimistic about a Democratic majority in the 110th Congress, but also urging voters in states where the polls hadn’t yet closed to get out and vote.

Results for California’s state propositions are here:

and for the 53 California seats in the US House of Representatives, here:

Results for both the statewide and local elections are slow coming in. Monterey County has zero precincts reporting at the CA Secretary of State website as at midnight, and the polls closed at 8pm.

No need to wait till all the votes are in when it comes to the California Governor’s race, of course. The irony is that, if you look at the photos I took in East Oakland this morning, you’ll see that parts of California have benefited little from Schwarzenegger’s policies.

So little, in fact, that the Angelides campaign had no trouble whatsoever getting people like Lisa to work on getting out the vote for $100 a day plus breakfast, lunch and all the soda and snacks they could eat.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Dunne Speaks: Robertson's Budget Gamble On Treasury
The popular test of the success or failure of Grant Robertson’s fifth Budget will be its impact on the soaring cost of living. In today’s climate little else matters. Because governments come and governments go – about every six to seven years on average since 1945 – getting too focused on their long-term fiscal aspirations is often pointless... More>>

Keith Rankin: Liberal Democracy In The New Neonationalist Era: The Three 'O's
The proposed ‘New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme’ (‘the scheme’) has attracted strong debate among the more left-wing and liberal groupings, within New Zealand-Aotearoa. This debate should be seen as a positive rather than negative tension because of the opportunity to consider and learn from the implications and sharpen advocacy... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Words Matter, Prime Minister
Words matter, especially when uttered by politicians. History is littered with examples of careless or injudicious words uttered by politicians coming back to haunt them, often at the most awkward of times. During the 1987 election campaign, when electoral reform was a hot issue, Prime Minister David Lange promised to have a referendum on the electoral system... More>>

Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>

The Conversation: Cheaper food comes with other costs – why cutting GST isn't the answer

As New Zealand considers the removal of the goods and services tax (GST) from food to reduce costs for low income households, advocates need to consider the impact cheap food has on the environment and whether there are better options to help struggling families... More>>