Simon’s Stumbles Unleash Onset of Forecasts for 2006
by Howard Fine
The 2002 gubernatorial election may be only nine weeks away, but with many in Sacramento figuring that race is all but over, attention now turns to the 2006 race.
Last week, the Sacramento Bee ran a lengthy article handicapping the leading candidates for governor in 2006. These include Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, the once and possibly future Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi (running for his old office again this November), U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and two possible candidates from Hollywood: Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat Rob Reiner.
The speculation doesn’t end there. The Field Poll plans to ask for “image ratings” of Reiner, Schwarzenegger and other leading 2006 gubernatorial candidates in its next poll, due out in the next couple weeks.
“We’re asking whether respondents have favorable or unfavorable views of these potential gubernatorial candidates,” said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo. “It’s based solely on name recognition.”
DiCamillo said that advance polling is routine, but he could not recall an instance where it had been done for a gubernatorial race four years out. “We’re supported in large part by the media and this is one question that kept coming up,” he said.
The Secession 101 series airing weekly on Los Angeles City Channel 36 may be informative, but it hardly made for gripping viewing until last week, when it turned into a shouting match worthy of “The McLaughlin Group.”
The topic was whether various L.A. city ordinances, including rent control, would carry over to the new Valley and Hollywood cities after the 120-day transition period ends. In the secessionist camp was activist and (Hollywood) city council candidate Joe Shea. Among panelists representing the anti-secession side was former L.A. City Councilman Mike Feuer.
Shea got things rolling with an allegation that the city had allowed developers to build “100,000 rat-infested apartments.”
Then, in a separate allegation, he said that “greedy developers” are funding the anti-secession movement, reeling off names like (Kaufman & Broad co-founder) Eli Broad, Majestic Realty Chairman Ed Roski and Beverly Hills-based apartment developer Alan Casden.
Feuer responded that Shea was slandering the names of these former and current builders by linking them to apartment slums.
But Shea, his voice rising, said he never meant to imply that Broad, Roski and Casden were in any way linked to rat-infested apartments. Then Shea really exploded at Feuer and the anti-secessionist camp.
“Your taking tons of money from developers who for years have made Hollywood poor and the Valley poor, and what you’re telling us today is simply a lot of baloney,” he shouted.
Feuer, while remaining outwardly calm, retorted: “It’s so typical of secessionists that they want to drown out a few facts, like the fact that the city has set up an affordable housing trust fund to improve that very housing you’re talking about.”
Staff reporter Howard Fine can be reached by phone at (323) 549-5225, ext. 227, or by e-mail at