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California KOs Corporate Takeover - Heathens Hold the Line

California KOs Corporate Takeover - Heathens Hold the Line

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Published by Michael Collins

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Published by: Michael Collins on Mar 21, 2011
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California KOs Corporate Takeover - Heathens Hold theLine
Michael CollinsThe Agonist
, October 25, 2010
 The corporate takeover of California is on holdaccording to the latest polls out of the nation’slargest state. Just nine days before the election,theLos Angeles Times and University of Southern Californiapoll shows a nearlyimpossible uphill battle for the big businessticket of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman andformer HP CEO Carly Fiorina.Among likely voters in the governor’s race,Brown leads Whitman 50% to 38%. In the racefor United States Senator, two term Senator Barbara Boxer maintained an 8% lead. The leads by Democrats come from a brand newconstituency, 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 betweencorporate 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 thegovernor’s mansion. She committed to spend as much of her $1.2 billion estimated networth 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 seaton the Goldman Sachs board of directors. She had to leave the board when her namecame up in a congressional probe onspinning-- "a financial maneuver, now banned, inwhich Goldman and other firms allegedly traded access to hot IPOs for bond business."Whitman has even inspired her own broadside, 
which chroniclesher corporate career which includes a $200,000 settlementfor allegedly cursing at and shoving a subordinate.Carly Fiorina's corporate career is a trail of sorrows for investors and employees. FortuneMagazine debunked her official biography which claims she became a corporate star asCEO of Lucent (formerly Bell Labs) after it spun off from ATT. Fiorina's idea of salesinvolved 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 inreturn for big bonuses and favored treatment of the company by Wall Street.Fiorina's next stop was Hewlett Packard. She immediately began acquiring companiesincluding Compaq, a giant PC manufacturer. Her timing couldn't have been worse. Whenthen Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan burst the tech bubble, Fiorina was left with her ill-advised acquisitions. She began massivelayoffsto compensate for her poor timing andstrategy. 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 HPboardhad enoughand showed Fiorina the door. HP stock went up between 7% and 10% on theannouncement.WhitmanandFiorinadon'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 topay for it, and dislike illegal immigration, unless, in Whitman's case, the immigrants areworking for her .Opposing Whitman and Fiorina are two of the most liberal politicians in the UnitedStates. Jerry Brown is California's Attorney General. He served two terms as governor from1975 through 1983 and was twice elected mayor of Oakland. His platformstresses 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 stresseskey liberal issuesand constituencies. Boxer even got anendorsement from the normally RepublicanVFW PAC for her work with veterans.
How did this happen?
Late campaign leads like those in the LA Times poll are generally insurmountable shortof massive election fraud or a candidate violating the
Edwards Law
. The former LouisianaGovernor Edwin Edwardssaid of his 1983 opponent, "The only way I can losethis 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 stateunemployment rate is 12.4%. When you add those who've simply given up looking for ajob plus the marginally employed, the figure for the state isover 20%. Officialunemployment 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 hardtimes.The unemployed need work not promises, foreclosure relief not political rhetoric, andlook to someone who shares their concerns. TheLA Times/USC pollasked respondentsto 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 doessomewhat better than Whitman at 34%. Whitman's self funding of over $100 million toher campaign and Fiorina's callous disregard for American workers are hardly endearingtraits to the electorate.
 
The growing Latino community is playing a pivotal role in this process. In 2006, millionsof California Latinos showed up to protest federal legislation that would have made it afelony to simply know of and fail to report an illegal alien. The focus of thedemonstrations and crowd size had not been seen in this country for decades.In September, Meg Whitman's former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, an undocumentedimmigrant, surfaced to tell the story of her employment and termination by Ms. Whitman.Diaz saidof 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 thisLatino 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 amongwhites and 50 points positiveamong the critical Latinocommunity. This can only helpthe Democrats, who like their opponents, have negative netapproval ratings among whites.(Data fromGreenberg QuinlanRosner Research Oct 13-20, 2010)In addition, independents are strongly in favor of both Democratic candidates. Browncomes 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 attendchurch?" If you take the sample and create a running total starting with "More than oncea week", by the time you get "Monthly or less",
total 
 
of all 
church goers are split asfollows. 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 274-5But 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

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