The Scan - June 12, 2013

National Journal
See more stories about...
June 11, 2013, 4:45 p.m.

Ex-eBay CEO Meg Whit­man (R) and AG/ex-Gov. Jerry Brown (D) “have agreed to a single de­bate” in the GOV race, with Brown “push­ing for more.” Both have ac­cep­ted in­vit­a­tions from Domin­ic­an Univ. for a de­bate in Oct. Brown an­nounced 6/27 “that it was one of 10 in­vit­a­tions he’d ac­cep­ted.” Brown: “I am call­ing on Meg Whit­man to treat voters with the re­spect they de­serve, It’s time to step out from be­hind con­sult­ant-scrip­ted com­mer­cials full of false­hoods and dis­tor­tions and de­bate.”

Want More On This Race? Check out the Hot­line Dash­board for a com­pre­hens­ive run­down of this race, in­clud­ing stor­ies, polls, ads, FEC num­bers, and more!

The Whit­man camp “said it an­ti­cip­ated par­ti­cip­at­ing in ad­di­tion­al de­bates, but did not com­mit to a num­ber.” Whit­man spokes­per­son Sarah Pom­pei: “The fact is there will be plenty of time for de­bates, and we are com­mit­ted to hav­ing strong sub­stant­ive de­bates, but we’re run­ning out of time to hear what Jerry Brown plans to do about job cre­ation, taxes, pen­sion re­form, gov­ern­ment spend­ing, and so many oth­er is­sues” (Wis­ck­ol, “Total Buzz,” Or­ange County Re­gister, 6/29).

No VaCa Yet

Whit­man as­ser­ted at a camp stop in Ro­seville 6/28 “law­makers shouldn’t leave Sac­ra­mento” dur­ing the hol­i­day break dur­ing a $19B budget crisis. Whit­man: “What I would do is take this Le­gis­lature and say, OK, 10 of you go find money here, 10 go find money here. I mean, we could use all hands on deck to solve this budget crisis.”

Sen­ate Pres. Pro Tem Dar­rell Stein­berg spokes­per­son Alicia Trost “said key play­ers were con­tinu­ing to work on a budget solu­tion.” Trost: “We have a budget com­mit­tee and a joint con­fer­ence com­mit­tee that are work­ing very hard to meld all the dif­fer­ent pro­pos­als out there, and we con­tin­ue to meet every day.”

Gov. Arnold Schwar­zeneg­ger (R) spokes­per­son Aaron McLear “said Whit­man has not offered any spe­cif­ic pro­pos­als to close the cur­rent budget gap.” McLear: “Un­til Ms. Whit­man of­fers real solu­tions, she does not de­serve to be taken ser­i­ously on this is­sue.” Brown “said he would start even earli­er on the budget than Whit­man.” Brown: “I’m go­ing to call all 120 in, and we’re go­ing to start deal­ing with the budget hon­estly,” he said. “We’re go­ing to tell the people the truth. It’s very dif­fi­cult to do that” (AP, 6/29).

Mean­while, dur­ing the stop Whit­man ac­know­ledged “that much of the de­fi­cit left be­hind” from Brown as due to Prop. 13, but “said his re­ac­tion to the tax-lim­it­ing voter ini­ti­at­ive should have been to cut spend­ing.” Whit­man: “When you’re gov­ernor, if the people in Cali­for­nia vote for Prop. 13 and you see that rev­en­ues are go­ing to de­cline, then what is your ob­lig­a­tion as the gov­ernor? Your ob­lig­a­tion is to get the budget in line with what the people have asked to be done. He did not man­age the budgets, giv­en what the people of Cali­for­nia wanted” (Siders, Sac­ra­mento Bee, 6/30).


Dur­ing a camp stop 6/28 Whit­man “ad­ded a hedge” to her pledge nev­er to raise taxes sug­gest­ing “she might con­sider a tax hike in the event of an ex­treme nat­ur­al dis­aster.” Whit­man, when asked wheth­er she would con­sider rais­ing taxes if a nat­ur­al dis­aster: “In a nat­ur­al dis­aster, gosh, that’s hard to pre­dict. I mean if there was lit­er­ally an 8.0 earth­quake here and we had no way out, gosh, cer­tainly, I wouldn’t want to ne­ces­sar­ily rule that out. But un­der nor­mal set of cir­cum­stances, I think rais­ing taxes on busi­nesses and in­di­vidu­als is ex­actly the wrong thing to do.”

Amer­ic­ans For Tax Re­form Pres. Grover Nor­quist: “The pledge is clear.” He said Whit­man’s words as a “mis­un­der­stand­ing.” Nor­quist: “I un­der­stand get­ting caught flat-footed. This hap­pens from time to time if someone asks what if the Rus­si­ans in­vade Min­nesota… or if the Mar­tians came and blow up Kan­sas” (Gold­mach­er, Los Angeles Times, 6/30).

The Amer­ic­an Dream

Brown “de­fen­ded his own­er­ship” of a $1.8M home 6/28 as­sert­ing “it does not un­der­mine” his camp’s “mes­sage of frugal­ity,” but in­stead “is con­sist­ent with his philo­sophy.” Brown: “Were we get­ting a no-down pay­ment loan and buy­ing a house that you can’t af­ford, that would be a re­flec­tion on how the can­did­ate spends money. But when a couple buy their dream house with their life sav­ings, I think that’s the Amer­ic­an dream and I’m very proud that I can do that.”

Brown “told re­port­ers that he has been sav­ing his whole life and can now af­ford such a prop­erty.” Brown: “My wife found the house and it was a very beau­ti­ful house, and I think in the Bay Area it’s re­l­at­ively mod­est.” Brown also “said the real ques­tion is how he spends tax­pay­ers’ money.” Brown: “So we’re very frugal with the people’s money, with our cam­paign con­trib­ut­ors’ money. And that’s the way I would be were I the gov­ernor” (Don­ald, AP, 6/29).

Your Can­did­ate Is So Old…

CA Dem Chair John Bur­ton “traded barbs” with CA GOP Chair Ron Nehring 6/28 at a Sac­ra­mento Press Club lunch­eon de­bate. Nehring as­ser­ted Brown’s “ori­gin­al re­gis­tra­tion card was done in Ro­man nu­mer­als.” Nehring: “When Box­er was first elec­ted to Con­gress in 1982, ‘The A-Team’ was a TV show and not in a movie, and I think Jerry Brown’s re­gis­tra­tion card was in Ro­man nu­mer­als. This is not the team that’s go­ing to be able to cred­ibly say they’re the team that’s go­ing to be about change and mov­ing in a dif­fer­ent dir­ec­tion.”

Bur­ton: “When you’ve got her kind of money and you’ve got that kind of repu­ta­tion, you’re able to push or slap some­body that didn’t do something right for you. … I think they’re just afraid to let Meg be Meg be­cause they would rather cre­ate Meg than have people see Meg” (Har­mon, Con­tra Costa Times, 6/29).

Hol­ly­wood Is A-Knock­ing

Los Angeles TimesGold­stein writes that “the real shock­er” in Whit­man’s camp dona­tions comes with the news that Whit­man “is get­ting a little ex­tra dough from Hol­ly­wood — and not just from con­ser­vat­ives.” Whit­man camp dona­tions in­clude money from Sony’s Mi­chael Lyn­ton, who gave $15.9K and $25.9K from Ya­hoo! co-founder Jerry Yang. “I’m not sure how that ex­plains the big money that Whit­man is get­ting from both lib­er­als and con­ser­vat­ives — or why plenty of top Hol­ly­wood con­ser­vat­ives have donated money in the past to a num­ber of Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates. I just think con­ser­vat­ives en­joy the cloak and dag­ger fris­son of secret meet­ings” (6/29).

Di­vide And Con­quer

Los Angeles TimesMe­hta writes that “in re­cent days, in a fight with the Cali­for­nia Nurses’ Assn.” Whit­man “has un­veiled an un­usu­al strategy: try­ing to di­vide rank-and-file mem­bers from their uni­on bosses. It’s either a shrewd cal­cu­la­tion that could move tra­di­tion­ally Demo­crat­ic voters in­to her column, es­sen­tial to her ef­fort in the fall — or a risky move that could gal­van­ize a uni­on whose sup­port is vi­tal for Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee Jerry Brown’s pro­spects, and whose ef­forts have been pivotal in past elec­tions” (6/30).

What We're Following See More »
Clinton to Receive Classified Briefing on Saturday
51 minutes ago
Judge: Freddie Mac Doesn’t Have to Open Its Books
2 hours ago

"Freddie Mac shareholders cannot force the mortgage finance company to allow them to inspect its records, a federal court ruled Tuesday." A shareholder had asked the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to allow him to inspect its books and records, as Virginia law allows him to do. "The court held that Freddie shareholders no longer possess a right to inspect the company’s records because those rights had been transferred to the Federal Housing Finance Agency when the company entered into conservatorship in 2008."

Pentagon Can’t Account for 750k Guns Provided to Iraq, Afghanistan
2 hours ago

The Pentagon has "provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns." Trouble is, it can only account for about 700,000 of those guns. The rest are part of a vast arms trading network in the Middle East. "Taken together, the weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses."

Baltimore Is Spying on Its Residents from the Air
5 hours ago

"Since the beginning of the year, the Baltimore Police Department" has been using a Cessna airplane armed with sophisticated camera equipment "to investigate all sorts of crimes, from property thefts to shootings." The public hasn't been notified about the system, funded by a private citizen.

EpiPen Prices Draw Scrutiny from Congress
6 hours ago

The cost of EpiPens have risen 400% since 2007, and members of Congress increasingly want to know why. Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to Mylan, which makes the allergy injection devices, on Monday. “Many of the children who are prescribed EpiPens are covered by Medicaid, and therefore, the taxpayers are picking up the tab for this medication," he wrote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) "called earlier for a Judiciary Committee inquiry into the pricing and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission."