Corporate Takeover Stalls in California - Healhens hold the line

Michael Collins

California's economic depression is the key campaign issue. The official state unemployment rate is 12.4%. When you add those who've simply given up looking for a job plus the marginally employed, the figure for the state is over 20%. Official unemployment in the San Joaquin Valley, a huge agribusiness region, ranges from 15% to 19%. Long the economic engine for the nation, the state is not accustomed to hard times.

The corporate takeover of California is on hold according to the latest polls out of the nation’s largest state. Just nine days before the election, the Los Angeles Times and University of Southern California poll shows a nearly impossible uphill battle for the big business ticket of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.

Among likely voters in the governor’s race, Brown leads Whitman 50% to 38%. In the race for United States Senator, two term Senator Barbara Boxer maintained an 8% lead. The leads by Democrats come from a brand new constituency, those who "never" go to church. More on that later.

The Corporate Duo versus Old Style Liberals

California’s 2010 governor and senate races present a dramatic contrast between corporate power and wealth versus traditional liberal politics in opposition to that power. Republican Meg Whitman decided she’d move on from her job as eBay CEO to the governor’s mansion. She committed to spend as much of her $1.2 billion estimated net worth as needed in order to win. To date, she’s poured in $119 million.

Whitman is a purebred member of The Money Party. While at eBay, Whitman took a seat on the Goldman Sachs board of directors. She had to leave the board when her name came up in a congressional probe on spinning -- "a financial maneuver, now banned, in which Goldman and other firms allegedly traded access to hot IPOs for bond business." Whitman has even inspired her own broadside, Wall Street Whitman, which chronicles her corporate career which includes a $200,000 settlement for allegedly cursing at and shoving a subordinate.

Carly Fiorina's corporate career is a trail of sorrows for investors and employees. Fortune Magazine debunked her official biography which claims she became a corporate star as CEO of Lucent (formerly Bell Labs) after it spun off from ATT. Fiorina's idea of sales involved loaning customers the money to buy Lucent's equipment. When she left with $65 million in bonuses, Lucent had $7 billion in shaky loans. Contrary to her lofty self portrait, Fiorina started practicing the "growth agenda" of outsized revenue growth in return for big bonuses and favored treatment of the company by Wall Street.

Fiorina's next stop was Hewlett Packard. She immediately began acquiring companies including Compaq, a giant PC manufacturer. Her timing couldn't have been worse. When then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan burst the tech bubble, Fiorina was left with her ill-advised acquisitions. She began massive layoffs to compensate for her poor timing and strategy. That led to her famous remarks in 2004: "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore. We have to compete for jobs as a nation." By 2005, the HP board had enough and showed Fiorina the door. HP stock went up between 7% and 10% on the announcement.

Whitman and Fiorina don't stand for much more than lower taxes and dumping regulations, the mantra of the current era of greed. They like education, but don't want to pay for it, and dislike illegal immigration, unless, in Whitman's case, the immigrants are working for her.

Opposing Whitman and Fiorina are two of the most liberal politicians in the United States. Jerry Brown is California's Attorney General. He served two terms as governor from1975 through 1983 and was twice elected mayor of Oakland. His platform stresses job creation, education, and prompt action on California's chaotic budget and finances. Barbara Boxer has established a record that is well to the left of her Senate colleagues. Her campaign stresses key liberal issues and constituencies. Boxer even got an endorsement from the normally Republican VFW PAC for her work with veterans.

How did this happen?

Late campaign leads like those in the LA Times poll are generally insurmountable short of massive election fraud or a candidate violating the Edwards Law. The former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards said of his 1983 opponent, "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."

California's economic depression is the key campaign issue. The official state unemployment rate is 12.4%. When you add those who've simply given up looking for a job plus the marginally employed, the figure for the state is over 20%. Official unemployment in the San Joaquin Valley, a huge agribusiness region, ranges from 15% to 19%. Long the economic engine for the nation, the state is not accustomed to hard times.

The unemployed need work not promises, foreclosure relief not political rhetoric, and look to someone who shares their concerns. The LA Times/USC poll asked respondents to name the candidate who, "Understands the problems and concerns of people like me." Brown was named by 48% with Whitman at 30%; Boxer by 43%, while Fiorina does somewhat better than Whitman at 34%. Whitman's self funding of over $100 million to her campaign and Fiorina's callous disregard for American workers are hardly endearing traits to the electorate.

The growing Latino community is playing a pivotal role in this process. In 2006, millions of California Latinos showed up to protest federal legislation that would have made it a felony to simply know of and fail to report an illegal alien. The focus of the demonstrations and crowd size had not been seen in this country for decades.

In September, Meg Whitman's former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, an undocumented immigrant, surfaced to tell the story of her employment and termination by Ms. Whitman. Diaz said of the termination, "I felt like she was throwing me away like a piece of garbage." By the current survey, Whitman's favorability rating among Latinos is a meager 22%. Her unfavorable rating climbed to 52%. Fiorina is upside down on this Latino rating as well with 21% favorable and 34% unfavorable.

President Obama's popularity in California is another factor to consider. This chart of survey results shows the president with a net 5 points positive approval rating among whites and 50 points positive among the critical Latino community. This can only help the Democrats, who like their opponents, have negative net approval ratings among whites. (Data from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Oct 13-20, 2010)

In addition, independents are strongly in favor of both Democratic candidates. Brown comes in at 61% to Whitman's 24%. Boxer beats Fiorina by 58% to 26%.

But none of these explanations fit nearly as well numerically as the heathen hypothesis.

People who "never attend church" will elect the next Governor and Senator

There are 1501 respondents in the sample for this variable - "How often do you attend church?" If you take the sample and create a running total starting with "More than once a week", by the time you get "Monthly or less", total of all church goers are split as follows. Brown is up only 27.75% to 27.05% over Whitman, a virtual dead heat. Boxer trails Fiorina by 2.5 points, 29% to 31.5%.

Data from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Oct 10-20, 2010 pages 274-5

But when those who "Never" attend church are added to the running total, a miracle of sorts takes place. Brown ends up pulling ahead with a sizable 12% lead and Boxer surges to an 8% advantage. These margins are the same as those cited by the LA Times article on the poll.

We had to go 274 pages into the details of the poll to find out who the new powerbrokers are in California politics. Let's assume that those who "Never" go to church are secular humanists and who are sick and tired of little to nothing accomplished to relieve the depression-like conditions. I may be wrong, but regardless of the accuracy of the heathen hypothesis, there's a certain poetic justice, a conceit, so to speak, commenting on the tedium of religion in politics over the last few decades.


New University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times Poll Downloads

This article may be reproduced in whole or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.



Best negative ad on "no God given right to a job" Fiorina

Anyone technical knows all too well, Fiorina is and was on the offshore outsource everything not nailed down bandwagon. We also know HP used to be a pillar of high quality products and innovation.'s just made in China.

This is the best negative ad I've seen. Now Boxer ignores techies continually, doesn't do a damn thing for them on limiting, reforming H-1B,L-1, foreign guest worker visas or confront the labor arbitrage going against U.S. techies....that said, I believe if Fiorina could dig up the land around Silicon valley and plant it in Bangalore India, she would.



On the other hand, Democrats are nuts in California on illegal immigration. It costs the states $11 billion a year and I'm sorry, statistics are statistics. That's just the way it is and due to their special interests, they won't face those statistics. I think that pisses people off too.

Yet other hand, to me some real practical things, such as legalize Pot, are supposedly going to fail and it's just ridiculous. Demand is not going away, Pot to me is better than Alcohol and tobacco, which are legal and that would be an immediate cash crop, a huge savings.

I don't do any drugs myself so, this isn't a stoner saying this, it's the economics, the Drug Cartels and reality.

That is a great ad

Fiorina never saw a job she wouldn't consider outsourcing. It's amazing that she ever got hired at HP after her clever technique of generating sales by offering loans to customers. What a scam.

I'll take your word on the $11 billion figure for illegal immigration. But two points to keep in mind. First the immigrants are paying taxes, including FICA which is pure profit to the Social Security system. They're required to present a copy of certain ID forms, including a SS card. Everyone keeps quiet on this but the money is deposited but never collected. That's in addition to the other taxes they pay. It would be interesting to net out the $11 bil. Also, the original illegal immigrants to California are the people paying for the current population. Something to do with the US taking the state after the illegal invasion of Mexico. Just saying...

The pot initiative may well pass. I figured out the problem with the polls being all over the place. Answering 'Yes, I favor Prop 19'is harder than answering no or don't know (reluctance to endorse currently illegal activities to a stranger on the phone, little 'paranoia', etc.). All questions should be equally easy to answer. So it may pass.

Brown is exceptionally intelligent and he's able to think outside the box. I'm sure there will be a number of interesting proposals that are people friendly, with a focus on the middle class.

It's a great race out there and the deciding factor may well be those "Never" attend church folks - 28% of the electorate who overwhelmingly support Brown and Boxer.

that's net, just so you know

that's not gross, that's net costs, taking into account any taxes. Not true on SS, there is an international agreement with Mexico on SS and they can obtain benefits through that agreement. On this issue, more than all others, there is so much B.S. out there. One of the EP rules is no economic fiction and pulling stuff from their lobbyist papers, which isn't actually true is one of those fictions. Believe me, they even try to set labor economics variables to zero, they are so intense on getting their agenda, and for me, the numbers are what they are and one cannot try to spin facts, figures theory for some political agenda.

Here is what I know for sure

It's first hand from a builder not a lobbyist. In the DC metro area, there was a huge housing shortage and prices were through the roof. There was also a shortage of workers to build houses. The area has no smokestacks and is very heavy with knowledge workers. Couldn't get enough workers by a long shot. Through the miracle of stealth government policy, lots of able workers showed up from Mexico and Central America, workers without any entry papers.

In order to employ someone here, you need a copy of your ID. How convenient. Undocumented workers would get a copy of a Social Security card with a name and a number. They'd be hired and then enrolled in the state system for disability coverage. If they were injured, the state would pay them, no problem (which is fair since they paid in). Who knows what happened to the Social Security money but it was paid and it's somewhere.

The workers would never have given a Mexican or any other national social security equivalent program number. To do so would have been an outright admission that they were foreign workers and that would have triggered a checking process. I don't know how it worked in West but that was the deal here.

When the homes were built and the recession hit, the workers returned home. It was pure economics of labor. The politics was revolting. Those who campaigned against the workers, Republicans mostly but not exclusively, were caught taking beau coup donations from builders who were the biggest employers of these workers. Go figure.

right, they recruited illegal labor across the border

There have been recruiters for illegal labor since the 1980's. A U.S. lobbyist Miller thought this up and it was all about breaking the farm workers union. So, the entire human trafficking system was started by business. You should say "at what price" he could not find union construction, for the bay area had workers, they were out to reduce labor costs for a lot of this. i.e. there are workers from other areas they would have had to pay living costs and so on to get them to work in that location...

Another example is Katrina, refused to hire local, Bush removed a prevailing wage law, they bused in illegals, unsafe, unsanitary living conditions, and on top of it many got stiffed.

On the SS, there is a Mexico/U.S. totalization agreement. So, even though illegals routinely get stolen, fake SS numbers and still to this day you can buy one for less than $140, there is a way to claim that SS benefit from Mexico even with a fake SS number, by showing pay stubs and so on.

If you're wondering why the unions suddenly said "amnesty" the illegals undermined their numbers so much, plus illegal labor erodes worker rights, workplace safety....which is the entire point. So, the unions now they want to get those illegals themselves into their unions to get their numbers up and also get a vote political "block"...

Which is why I don't think Hispanics are voting as this monolithic block, despite what the special interests claim. If that were so, those AZ laws could not have passed and I saw the voter ethnicity breakdown, a lot of those Americans of Hispanic ethnicity voted for them. It wasn't as high as other demographics but close.

We'll see the breakdown after this election but the GOP candidates in CA are all rah rah open borders de facto as well, both Fiorina and Whitman love cheap labor of all this thinking someone "cannot alienate the Hispanics"....well, is that assumption of a bunch of people who share the same ethnic heritage, this is their #1 voting issue even valid?

New York, Oregon, Georgia, there are a host of other states with high percentages of people with Hispanic ethnicity, and in some of these areas, it's a shocking GOP sweep...but on the other hand, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and I just wrote about the offshore outsourcers too, are targeting certain Congress reps to be defeated...
because....they want to stop/curtail offshore outsourcing and have introduced and/or voted for legislation to do so.

My point being there is some amazing spin on this as of late, trying to claim flooding a labor market or using the well known techniques about to labor arbitrage, wage repress, is somehow "good for the economy", of course it isn't and the theory backs this up.

Few also realize the ones behind this "unlimited global migration" agenda are corporations, business, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and it's all about worker displacement, control, wage repression. There is GATS mode 4 via the WTO which is all about "trading people". Categorizing people as commodities to be traded, under the heading "services". So far it hasn't been enacted but huge pressures to do so, again by various business interests and I should also mention remittances come into play in some of these other nation's economies.

From the BLS data there are some increasingly bizarre stats. First Hispanic unemployment is much greater, yet "foreign born" unemployment is dramatically less. On social services, "immigrants" are the majority recipients. The BLS refuses to break down by immigration status, country of origin, so my guess is those incongruous numbers are because the BLS counts foreign guest workers in their statistics.

That's another issue, we need better data, especially on labor markets and I swear they won't change the metrics because of the political bombshell of it all.

Robert, you might want to

Robert, you might want to re-check your comment about the cost of illegal immigrants- try Don't know where you got that number but I've seen similar figures thrown around, all attributable to assertions made by serial liar Lou Dobbs way back in 2006. I find it interesting that even the Congressional Budget Office said "no agreement exists as to the size of, or even the best way of measuring, that cost on a national level." Most assertions I've seen only tally the cost of government services and NEVER tally tax revenue generated by illegal immigrants or the increased profit made by the US companies hiring these folks. But, other than the immigration thing, I'm with you.

"immigration thing"

Because there is so much bullshit on "immigration thing", what I do is read the actual agreement. Then, 98% of the time, I find the GAO is be damn accurate.

GAO, Proposed Totalization
Agreement with
Mexico Presents
Unique Challenges , Sept. 2003:

The proposed agreement will likely increase the number of unauthorized
Mexican workers and family members eligible for social security benefits.
Mexican workers who ordinarily could not receive social security retirement
benefits because they lack the required 40 coverage credits for U.S. earnings
could qualify for partial social security benefits with as few as 6 coverage
credits. In addition, under the proposed agreement, more family members of
covered Mexican workers would become newly entitled because the
agreements usually waive rules that prevent payments to noncitizens’
dependents and survivors living outside the United States.

In 2006, supposedly SS was changing the way it issued SS numbers, a key element to guaranteeing the totalization agreement for Mexicans, i.e. the SS link:

But on the Mexico side, I believe it still "counts" with other types of documentation, basically working to "match" to some SS number, not sure the latest.

On costs, even sites like "fact check" "fact check" from spin papers so here too, I personally try to read the gov. database sources directly and if I'm reading any sort of Academic paper, white paper, I check the math.

There is no issue like this one which is massive bullshit, so whether you heard it from Lou Dobbs or some conservative politician or Keith Olbermann, frankly one needs to check the sources, the real ones.

Sometimes they get it right actually.

I honestly don't know what the big deal is here, the U.S. has tons of totalization me the huge problem is they SUCK for Americans working abroad!

They are great for foreign workers but for Americans, frankly they get the shaft, the benefits don't get pulled over unless you work there forever, very tough to get SS credits when working abroad, very lopsided.

(not referring to Mexico totalization agreement here, talking about ones even with great "social safety net" nations such as Sweden, Finland, illegal alien status involved in this ocomment).

On "tax revenues", from what I know a lot of cash under the table. Businesses write off labor costs, even as 1099-misc, which I believe if they report, they are using 1099-misc to get around paying FICA, workman's comp, that would be interesting stat to look at generally, the increase of 1099-misc to wage repress, screw workers, plus the % of illegals...

But bottom line businesses write off, so I've never seen any business profit increases and "tax estimates" for cheap labor either, but I have seen where the taxes paid into the system were calculated into net state costs.

But from labor economics theory (and I'm sorry, no we're not taking Miami exception (Card) where other elements were not static, in fact the entire boom was fueled by drug money, see Cocaine Cowboys for the documentary on the drug money fueling construction, other businesses in Miami during the 1980's), it will show increase supply has downward sloping demand curves, it's labor econ 101.

"Latinos" overplayed

I think this claim that legal residents of Latino ethnicity, vote lock step to promote unlimited migration is wrong. There are powerful special interests who want that and of course the illegals want to stay.

If Latinos could swing so many elections, we wouldn't be seeing a GOP tidal wave. And the polls on immigration are strong that most of the country wants the current laws enforced, especially checking on legal status for a job and securing the border, on those two the polling hits over 70%, way high.

So, using the illegal immigrant it's more the classic GOP thing. Whitman had no problem using illegal labor and then dismissing that illegal labor when it became politically expedient to do so. That's their thing, to exploit labor.

Whitman is also a huge promoter of H-1B, L-1 guest worker Visas, which labor arbitrage American professionals and she loves offshore outsourcing too.

Back to illegal immigration, bottom line, the U.S. needs to control the Population, the size of the workforce, so exploitation or not, that job should be going to an American, a legal worker in the first place. Yes wages will go up if that was done but anyone believe these millionaires cannot afford to pay a little more for their help?

Not so sure about the...

...GOP tidal wave in CA. Jerry is kicking Corporate Scumbat Whitman's fat bejesus...

See all here:

Check those favorable vs. unfavorables for Jerry and NutMeg. We here in CA are looking at a resurgence of real progressivism, yep Jerry is the real deal, as opposed to the FAUX NOISE kind O'Blather has tried to sell to the sheeple.

Sorry Mr. President.... sale.

'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'

No GOP wave in California

You're right and Brown and Boxer are from a generation of politicians who had no problem saying that they were liberal and taking on corporate greed. They actually fight back when attacked, which means they believe in what they stand for. Neither are perfect and Brown has some rough sledding ahead of him. But after 8 years of Warren Buffett's hand (s)elected governor, it is time for a major change. (ps. Good advise to Obama)

Why is Nancy Pelosi under attack, fundamental question

Here's something I do not get, beyond misogyny. Nancy Pelosi is being demonized, intensively and has approval ratings of 20%. But! The reality is the House is where a host of good bills were passed and it was the Senate who turned bills into corporate lobbyists pig fest, wish list. The house wasn't ideal, but in terms of rating the two by quality legislation, it was miles above the Senate.

So, why is it Nancy Pelosi is getting attacked? Why would it not be Harry Reid and then Barney Frank in the House Financial Services committee?

This election cycle makes zero sense to me, except to say we have just a massive flood, including the point I just made about offshore outsourcers buying our election, of corporate generated attacks and media campaigns against anyone who dares tries to pass laws they do not write and like.

It's just psycho, one of the best representatives, a true blue Populist, not bought and paid for, that all flavors of the political spectrum can like and who normally wins his district > 70% is Peter Defazio, OR-4th (D). and believe this or not, he's in jeopardy. He's the one who said TARP was "bullshit" on the House floor, fought against the corporate special interests on stimulus, came up with transaction taxes to curtail flash trading....

I mean a host of policies and votes that any "Tea partier" should love....

yet Wu, also Oregon is supposedly going to win and he's a classic Democrat corrupt legislator.

This seems to be controlled by these secret funded corporations running brazen "lie ads" 24/7 on TV.

That's my only conclusion for even coming from a conservative "vote" think, Pelosi wouldn't even bring to the floor some of those they abhor...

so she's frankly the better leader on the Democratic side, in comparison to Reid...

I mean I'm not in love with Pelosi, there were some things, but to me, it just doesn't compare to that corrupt cess pool called the Senate.

I'm waiting for a horse to get appointed Senator

We're at that low point with the United States Senate. It is beyond redemption.

DeFazio in trouble. I heard that and it stunned me. He's been great. Somebody knows but I don't.

Pelosi failed at two key junctures. She wouldn't allow Reps to go after the Bush crew for egregious violations of the Constitution. And she didn't go populist on Wall Street. She should have gone after Geithner and Summers with a big stick and the bailout process, as well. She is much better than Reid but that's like saying a broken leg is better than a broken back. It sure is but it hurts a great deal.

Based on the SIGTARP report this week, Geithner should be fired. He's not.

I just saw Obama on Steward. I kept quiet and let my wife do the commenting. She's not that involved but half way through she said, 'What a narcissist. He won't take credit for any failure. He's just apologizing for not doing anything.' That's what I call transparency.

The Democrats do what they're doing because they have to. Otherwise they lose their funding and they're being paid to keep things as they are. The article by Numerian just posted at the top of the blog makes clear that Ben B and the boys are doing everything to assure that there's a return to securitization and the old ways. Nobody is calling him on that except 'we the rabble' and that's not going to stop them.

It's a collusion by the 'crazies' and the 'sleepwalkers' to keep it all under control.

no love lost for Pelosi

But they are harping on the "Stimulus" which was seriously flawed and "Obamacare", not the bail outs. It's the bail outs, the no financial reform that the entire country is enraged about. It's the health insurance industry, the reform with no costs reform on health care, no socialized anything, it's "Romneycare".

I think these corporations with their secret money are spinning the Wall Street bail out outrage and channeling it to their agenda...

To me, picking Reid vs. Pelosi, there is no question who is the more corrupt one and that's Reid. The Senate generally is more corrupt, no surprise, since they are there for 6 years, hard to get 'em out and there is only 2 per state.

But I think, just like Glenn Beck, we have these corporations, channeling Populist outrage and twisting it to their agenda.

They would go after DeFazio because he is not a "bought and paid for"..I cannot believe it's working!

The GOP and women

After years of attacks against Hillary Clinton to the point of obsession, the GOP realized it had lost the "women vote". First they adopted Palin thinking women were so dumb they would vote for another woman regardless. There were experienced, intelligent GOP women, but they were told to shill for Palin. Now we have Whitman and Fiorina who are the GOP version of Arnie. Notice the media choice for the GOP is now a beautiful black woman. To the base they give up Nancy Pelosi as their current attack object and it seems to work. Their idiot base have no idea what Pelosi has done, but they know they are supposed to hate her and "take back the house".

Misogyny alive and well

I see misogyny alive and well in politics. Firstly there was the '08 primaries and I saw serious misogyny from Democrats against Hillary. Then on Palin. She just prattles off nice sounding sound bytes and clearly has no clue as to what she is talking about. That said, it's obvious most tea partiers have no idea what they are talking about. They claim "free trade principles" and they don't see to get there is no such animal firstly, secondly that means trade policy controlled by corporations, their own jobs will be lost.

So we get sound byte prattles, which are corporate lobbyist generated and most of these people do not know what they mean.

Fiorina is a clear lobbyist front man if there ever was one, out to offshore outsource more jobs, same with Whitman odds on...

That said, the "witch candidate" I think they clearly get more crap than males, for there have been many a male, including this election season, which have said more insanity crap than any of these women.

That's what I see here.

The Polar Shift in American Politics

Palin, the NeoCons are gradually alienating the Old Guard and Libertarian wings of the Republican Party. Eventually there will be an actual or de facto re-alignment of the 2 parties. The labor and some progressive Democrats will increasingly form an alliance with libertarians and Old Guard Republicans. The multicultural wing of the Democrats will form a coalition with the NeoCons.

Conversely, the Democrats have succeeded in alienating traditional labor and independents to the point where they vote Republican, even while they hate Republicans. So labor/independendents/populists need a new party or a remake of the existing parties.

The Polar Shift may happen through votes at first, and then through realignment of the 2 parties. On social issues the Libertarian/Labor Party will not take national positions but devolve these to the States. Conversely,the NeoCon/Multicultural party will try to nationalize social issues, and group and identity politics.

Burton Leed

Hispanic vote on Brown/Whitman

I saw on CNN the breakdown was 65% Brown, 31% Whitman (or something like that), so I guess in CA at least this matters. I don't know the rest. That said, firing someone after 9 years, acting like she didn't know she was illegal, I mean that shows more the callousness towards working people.

On the other hand a Hispanic GOP for New Mexico who is strongly "no amnesty" and a woman won that race.

I'd say at minimum thinking the CA Hispanic vote says how the rest of the states will go isn't valid. (from AZ/NM).