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October 14, 2010

"Where Do Your Representatives Stand On Pot?"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable local story out of San Diego, which gets started this way:

Elected officials in San Diego are either opposed to Proposition 19 or don’t want to make their position public, according to the results of a KPBS survey.

KPBS News surveyed 146 elected and appointed officials in the county - among them mayors, council members, city attorneys and police chiefs – on whether they support the ballot initiative that would regulate and tax marijuana just like alcohol.

Of the 146 people polled, 41 were opposed to Prop 19, three declined to state, and two had no opinion. The remainder did not respond to our survey.

Proposition 19 not only legalizes growing and possessing small amounts of recreational marijuana, it allows cities and counties to regulate and tax the commercial production and sale of marijuana. That means if the proposition passes, the same officials KPBS surveyed will decide whether their respective cities will allow pot sales and collect tax revenue from those sales.

October 14, 2010 at 06:08 PM | Permalink

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Schwarzenegger, Boxer, Fiorina, Feinstein, Brown and Whitman have all publicly opposed Prop 19. The notion that all six of them have misread majority sentiment in the state is preposterous. You don't get to where they are by not knowing your electorate.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 14, 2010 7:36:39 PM

It's something the way Bill gleefully embraces "majority sentiments"...regardless of whether they're even barely rational...let alone informed or well-reasoned or wise.

The survey provides yet another redundant reminder politicians live in fear of waking the demagogues.

Posted by: John K | Oct 15, 2010 11:32:17 AM

John K --

What's amazing is that you so breezily dismiss the opinions of the majority of your fellow citizens and, on this issue and others, annoint yourself as the Person Who Is Informed and Well-Reasoned and Wise.

As for demagoguery, what did you make of Obama's accsuing the Chamber of Commerce of using foreign money to run campaign ads (a felony) while refusing to adduce even a smidgen of evidence? (Of course there was no evidence to adduce, the accusation being fabricated, as even the New York Times acknowledged).

Would you say that's demagoguery?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 15, 2010 1:33:43 PM

Bill--

Here's Obama's Oct. 7 statement: "Just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations. So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won’t tell you where the money for their ads comes from."

...and this from Factcheck.org: "U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue has declared that his group will spend $75 million in connection with the upcoming midterm election. But the chamber won’t say specifically where that money is coming from, which gives corporations a conduit for funding attack ads anonymously."

Factcheck confirmed the Chamber co-mingles money from its U.S.-based and foreign members. And while the Chamber swears it segregates the foreign money it refuses to say how.

So Obama's words seem measured, carefully chosen and, best of all, true.

Beyond that, lots of U.S. companies that ply members of Congress with big donations and pay Chamber dues might as well be foreign. They're here for the relatively low tax structure and the stability the military provides. Yet they've exported jobs to slave-labor countries and left the American workforce for dead...largely with the blessings of the Congress they bought and paid for.

Posted by: John K | Oct 15, 2010 6:12:58 PM

John K --

I will simply quote the following long entry from last Sunday's PowerLine. I will add only that, when CBS anchor Bob Schieffer was unable to extract from Obama's hatchet man, David Axelrod, a single item of evidence that Obama's charge was true -- not one -- and got instead the answer that it was up to the Chamber to prove it was NOT true -- an incredulous Shieffer blurtted out the words that are the epitath for the entire Democratic low-ball campaign this year: "Is that the best you can do?"

Here's the PowerLine analysis:

The Democrats speculate that the Chamber might be funneling money received from overseas into its political spending during this election cycle. The Chamber raises hardly any money in foreign countries and vociferously denies that any such money has gone toward its political spending, and the Democrats have no evidence to the contrary.

Today David Axelrod asserted on CBS that it is up to the Chamber to disprove the Democrats' charge:

White House senior adviser David Axelrod said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has the burden of proving false the charge by Democrats that the business group is funneling foreign money to Republican campaigns.

Axelrod was pressed by CBS' Bob Schieffer on Sunday for evidence that the foreign campaign contributions benefiting the GOP is more than "peanuts."

"Do you have any evidence that it's not, Bob?" Axelrod said on "Face the Nation." "The fact is that the Chamber has asserted that, but they won't release any information about where their campaign money is coming from. And that's at the core of the problem."

Axelrod's remarkable claim is of a piece with a new DNC ad that alleges the Chamber and other conservative-leaning groups are "stealing our democracy," and with similar charges lodged (without any supporting evidence, of course) by President Obama himself.

The Democrats' smear campaign prompted indignation from a number of Republicans, including Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove:

Ed Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chairman and one of the GOP operatives named in the DNC ad, noted that President Obama benefited from millions in undisclosed contributions in 2008 and that Republicans are now using the same rules.

"Don't accuse those who are playing by the rules of somehow doing something that is unethical or illegal," Gillespie said on "Face the Nation."

Gillespie added that it was "an unbelievable mentality" for Axelrod to assert charges about foreign contributions without backing them up.

Here is what Rove had to say:

"Have these people no shame? Does the president of the United States have such little regard for the office that he holds that he goes out there and makes these kind of baseless charges against his political enemies?"

"They have not one shred of evidence to back up that baseless lie. This is a desperate and I think disturbing trend by the president of the United States to tar his political adversaries with some kind of, you know, enemies list unrestrained by any facts or evidence whatsoever," Rove said.

Obama's lies are particularly reprehensible, given that his 2008 Presidential campaign represents the gold standard for accepting contributions illegally from foreign sources, with no disclosure whatsoever, as Scott [Johnson] pointed out. Every time you think the Democratic Party can't sink any lower, it does.

UPDATE: The Daily Caller reports that the Democrats, in disarray, are backing off their charge against the Chamber of Commerce:

President Obama on Sunday stepped back from categorical charges he made earlier this week that foreign money was funding conservative TV campaign ads, telling a rally in Philadelphia only that such a scenario was "possible."

The softening of Obama's language reflects the impact of a Saturday report on the issue by the New York Times, which concluded that charges originally made by a blog run by a Democratic-aligned think tank were baseless. ...

[O]n Sunday, speaking to several thousand supporters in Philadelphia, he said that donors to groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce "could even be foreign-owned companies."

"You don't know because they don't have to disclose," Obama said.

Well, Obama knows all about that. Non-disclosure was the hallmark of his Presidential campaign.

Obama's backtracking on the issue follows several days of intense debate on the subject, following the posting Tuesday of the charges at ThinkProgress.org, the blog that is operated under the umbrella of the Center for American Progress.

The Center for American Progress doesn't disclose its donors, either. It is financed by left-wing fat cats; whether they are Americans or not, we don't know.

White House officials, who took up the charges and ran with them for a few days, admitted Saturday to the New York Times that they had no evidence of foreign money being used by the Chamber for any of its estimated $75 million in ads this cycle.

How low can the Democrats go? When the solidly-Democratic New York Times calls them out, you know they are in uncharted territory. ###

I might add that the length of the current White House Enemies List would make Richard Nixon blush. Who've we got? Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin's daughter, Sarah Palin's daughter's ex-boyfriend, Rush Limbaugh, insurance companies, John Boehner, Glenn Beck, Joe the Plumber...gads, it's hard to keep track.

Where's Mr. Hope and Change? Where's Mr. Post-Partisan? Where's Mr. President-of-all-the-People?

The guy is out campaigning like a Chicago ward heeler, not the President of the United States. He also makes explicily racial pitches while he's out there. I guess he was listening to Rev. Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright after all (even after throwing his preacher of 20 years under the bus when the campaign polling headed south).

President of all the people my foot.

The basic reason he's going to take a thumping in 18 days is that he lied about being a moderate, and the country -- independents especially -- have found out.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 15, 2010 9:20:45 PM

what cracked me up was the title!

""Where Do Your Representatives Stand On Pot?"

Hate to be the one to give you the bad news but they stopped being OUR REPS about 50 YEARS AGO!

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 17, 2010 1:02:43 AM

What cracked me up was Bill's choice of Karl Rove as an authoritative voice on the topic of scruples.

Posted by: John K | Oct 17, 2010 8:26:29 AM

John K --

To quote Bob Schieffer, responding to Axelrod's refusal on national TV to provide any evidence whatever to support Obama's sleazy accusation, "Is that the best you can do?"

P.S. Glad I helped provide some amusement for your day, though. In about two weeks, the electorate will provide you with yet more.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 17, 2010 8:36:27 AM

oh i agree bill gonna be a lot of crying in mudville nov 1's i just hope it's BOTH the dem's and republicans who are crying as lots of independents take their seats! MAYBE just MAYBE that would wake them up as to how disconnected to what their bosses THE PUBLIC really want.

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 17, 2010 7:49:28 PM

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