Wednesday, October 8th, 2003

An exit poll from the San Jose Mercury News confirms that young people voted for Arnie and the recall and against Prop. 54 in huge numbers. In fact, folks around my age–the so-called “Gen X”–led the voting for the recall and for Arnie. Other interesting things: 18-29 year olds led the voting for Peter Camejo, Bustamante was weakest among 30-44 year olds. The exit poll does not break down race and gender within the age brackets, unfortunately.

posted by @ 1:23 pm | 0 Comments

Tuesday, October 7th, 2003

Gray Down, California Gets Terminated

And so it comes to this. The least liked California politician since Richard Nixon gets the big Foot In His Ass. The Democrats are left in complete disarray. California suddenly becomes a swing state for Bush-Cheney-Rove 2004. There’s never been anything like this in history.

First let’s point fingers, OK? Davis fucked off 4 years of boom by pissing off everyone in sight, especially progressives, people of color, and youth. At the beginning of the recall campaign and all the way through, Davis tried to run hard to the left, the Democratic Party base. In the end, they told him to take his gray suit home.

Bustamante fucked off a fat lead by disappearing at the second debate, and then deciding to blow off the youth vote. While Arianna stumped on the campuses, and Arnold played up his cool factor on the small screen, Bustamante did zero messaging to young folks. This guy was supposed to be our future? He was saying “No recall” and “Vote for me”. Consistency and coherence, thy name is not Cruz. And he couldn’t even say the word “Negro” correctly.

(As for me, that was the shittiest-feeling vote I’ve ever cast in my entire life. One of these days when I say “No more”, I’ll really mean it.)

There may be a realignment happening here, amongst new young voters. Look at the vote for Prop 54, the beginning of the end of Ward Connerly’s gonad-grip on California. It went down in flames, by nearly the same margins as the recall. The numbers ain’t in yet, but my bet is that young folks came in and voted down Connerly’s ignorance-as-an-excuse in huge numbers—and then turned around and voted for the recall and for Arnold Schwarzenegger. There was coherence and consistency there, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to see. It was like: we don’t have patience for bullshit anymore. Here we are now, entertain us.

So now cue Arnie as Robert Redford as The Candidate: “OK, what do we do now?” Arnold immediately becomes a national playa. The Dems are left with no bench and at the top of the salary cap, kinda like George W’s Rangers or the gotdam Knicks, and they have to be staring down 2006 with a feeling of doom. I bet Martin Sheen’s phone is ringing off the hook right now. Robert Redford is only a part-time resident. And Rob Lowe’s already defected.

There will be much fallout. Californians can expect more tax inequality, huger budget deficits, steeper cuts in human services and education, softer environmental regulations, and gridlock gridlock gridlock. Schwarzenegger will be on a charm offensive, trying to fill Reagan’s shoes, but the Democratic-controlled Legislature (plus Cruz is still in office) will be holding a grudge like a mic.

Yet the biggest implication of this election is that—thanks to this groping, grinning, Germanic Kennedy in-law—Bush-Cheney-Rove could have Cali in the red column for 2004. Wow. Think about it. The whole calculus of the presidential elections is suddenly up for grabs. George W. Bush has no love lost here, but he also did not compete seriously for Cali during 2000. Imagine Arnie turning on the campaign money tap for Shrubbie. The result: non-stop commercials of Cali’s big gun and the failed Air National Guardsmen airing beginning September 11, 2004. That’s worse than gangsta, it’s horrorcore.

posted by @ 10:33 pm | 0 Comments

Tuesday, October 7th, 2003

And now for something completely different. Peep the love my man Lyrics Born is finally, deservedly getting from Robert Christgau and Peter Nicholson, then go out and cop the album. Today ain’t just election day, it’s Lyrics Born day. OK? OK!

posted by @ 9:48 am | 0 Comments

Tuesday, October 7th, 2003

NO ON 54

Just a final note from my stromie Ying Sun. For more info on the Proposition, check this out.


everybody -

sorry for the mass e-mail, but sometimes it’s like that.

i know the recall is the big news today. and with 135 candidates, anything else on the ballot might well get buried and forgotten.

but the truth is that prop 54 is more important than the recall. if the recall passes, the worst that happens is three years of the governator.

if prop 54 passes, we’ll have a retrenchment of overt government racism that could last for generations – and cost countless lives and livelihoods.

for those who aren’t familiar, prop 54 is an attempt by the same folks who eradicated affirmative action in california to go even further and make it illegal for the government to collect racial or ethnic data.

under prop 54, there would be no way to investigate charges of discrimination, no way to track special medical or educational needs of different communities, no way to escape the ignorance that reinforces structural racism.

in short, prop 54 would allow massive racism without a paper trail.

please, please, please – fight back this racist assault on third world people throughout california. vote no on prop 54.

in solidarity,


posted by @ 8:49 am | 0 Comments

Monday, October 6th, 2003


With the race narrowing and all polls show the recall election becoming a virtual toss-up, voting officials are all reporting they expect a huge turnout tomorrow. Pollster Mark DiCamillo said today that where in the past elections 50% of the electorate has been over the age of 50, this time, it looks like 55% of the electorate will be under the age of 50. The high interest in the campaign leads many to believe that turnout in communities of color and among young adults may actually be very high. Whether that happens remains to be seen.


In the last gubernatorial election, I voted for Peter Camejo. I felt Gray Davis had squandered all kinds of opportunities with communities of color and young people, and indeed that his pro-prisons agenda was only going to take us backward. So when the recall first surfaced, I was ready to vote for it.

I’ve been tired of doing the pragmatic thing. The Democrats’ rightward drift, and its open hostility many times toward progressives since the end of Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign, has been profoundly alienating.

I was in Florida to cover the fiasco in November 2000, and decided then, after seeing how many Democrats actively suppressed calls for voting reform and thus sabotaged Gore’s best chances to become president, that it was not worth my time to give away my vote any longer.

But the Republican-funded effort to recall Davis is, above all, an example of how big money can hijack true democracy.

The Dems have tried to turn this into a partisan issue, that it’s a vast right-wing conspiracy. It is. But partisanship is meaningless when there are barely any differences between the two parties on issues that matter to us.

The fact that pro-death penalty Davis has mobilized the right to launch this recall and that Bustamante, the Democratic alternative, has been, from the start, pro-prisons and anti-youth points to the lack of progressive voices in this state.

But voting for the recall is agreeing that it is OK for the rich to hijack democracy anytime its interests are not being served. This recall did not come from us. It came from those who are against us and what we believe in.

I’m voting No on the Recall.

posted by @ 9:55 am | 0 Comments

Monday, October 6th, 2003

Just got back from Chicago, and the Hip-Hop and Social Change Conference. It was a great experience and lots of plans are being laid for future work and networking. Thanks to Raymond Codrington and the staff of the Field Museum for being great hosts.

You may have also heard that the keynote speech by Mos Def and Talib Kweli ended in chaos as the artists debated with an audience member, a local activist and recent Death Row pardonee who challenged them on their responsibility as artists to the community, and threw the crowd into an uproar. It’s a lot to get into and I’ll try to do so in the future. What folks there may not know is that Kweli was meeting Sunday with Chicago activists behind closed doors to come to a meeting of the minds.

Also want to send a big big shout to Robert Karimi, who is holding it down out there as the Artistic Director of the Guild Complex and doing amazing theater work on his own also. Looking forward to coming back to work with all the great folks in Chicago next year!

posted by @ 9:24 am | 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 1st, 2003

It’s official. Arianna Huffington has dropped out of the race. She made the announcement on Larry King, assuring the highest possible audience. The question: did she get anything for it?

In the meantime, Arnie’s numbers do appear to have surged. I’m sure Davis’ camp will be mad that Gray was not included in the Sac State debate, which in retrospect is where Arnie’s numbers turned around. The Reep strategy was to hold him back and do as much retail work as possible, keeping him in the local nightly news without much of anything to say, while prepping him for the debate. The canned lines should have backfired, but Bustamante’s strategy of laying back made him look like he didn’t have answers for Arnie.

At the same time, do not count out a Dem surge in the final days. The troops are on the ground. What the polls are unable to measure is how committed people are to their choice. Polls always function as snapshots, not prophecies. There has been so much volatility in the numbers in the space of just a few weeks that it’s dumb for anyone to put too much faith in them.

posted by @ 7:14 am | 0 Comments

Previous Posts

Feed Me!






Come follow me now...


We work with the Creative Commons license and exercise a "Some Rights Reserved" policy. Feel free to link, distribute, and share written material from for non-commercial uses.

Requests for commercial uses of any content here are welcome: come correct.

Creative Commons License