From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
78% Turnout!

August 11, 2003 5:31 PM

A new MSNBC poll shows that 78% of registered voters will actually vote on October 7th - the largest turnout for a U.S. election ever (or at least since 1960, as far back as I can find statistics).

I take back everything I said about this being bad for democracy.

Current rankings:

  • Schwarzenegger: 31%
  • Bustamante: 18%
  • Simon: 6%
  • Ueberroth: 6%
  • McClintock: 4%
  • Huffington: 4%
  • Other: 3%
  • Not voting: 3%
  • Not sure: 26%

More from the archive in California, Elections.

78% Turnout! (08.11.2003)

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Read the 15 comments.


I'll go out on a limb, the election will never take place. Davis will resign as more democrats jump into the race and Bustamante will become governor. I really don't see the democrat party allowing this to go to a vote if it becomes obvious Davis has no chance of holding onto his office.

Tue Aug 12 2003 2:26 PM

Jim GIlliam:

Even if Davis resigns (which is extremely unlikely), the election will still go on. That's the law - as soon as the Secretary of State certifies the recall signatures, there's no turning back.

If Davis does resign, then Bustamante will become governor, but he still has to win the election to stay governor.

Tue Aug 12 2003 9:31 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Here's Weintraub speculating on what might happen if Davis resigns.

Tue Aug 12 2003 10:00 PM


I'm behind the game, I thought Davis could still hand off the governorship once he knew he was going down.

Wed Aug 13 2003 5:34 AM

Paul in OC:

I think that may have worked before the recall was certified.

Wed Aug 13 2003 1:37 PM


I just don't see Davis holding onto his job unless the ballot is so confusing that no one can understand it. Bustamante (anybody remember his only nationally famous speech and his reference to blacks?) doesn't have a chance of being elected either. Are the democrats really going to give up the governorship of California without even mounting a coordinated fight? On the plus side they will extricate themselves from the budget mess and handed it off to Arnold.

Wed Aug 13 2003 3:07 PM

Paul in OC:

Bustamante's use of the word "nigger" was apparently accidental. It didn't seem to stem from bigotry, so I think people let it go. He meant to say "negro" in the context of naming an early turn of the century black labor organization.

Years ago, I had a black girlfriend (technically mixed-race), and I referred to her using that word, because I thought I was being cute. She was not amused.

Like myself, I'm sure that Bustamante will not repeat that mistake. I think that blacks say "nigger" just so they can trip white people up into thinking that it's OK to say it, and then when we do -- WHAMMO! --

Wed Aug 13 2003 6:20 PM

the mighty jimbo:

it's official. politics IS entertainment.

Wed Aug 13 2003 10:40 PM


mighty jimbo:

Best line I have heard is how everyone is describing this as a circus, a side show, zoo, ect, ect, but unlike politics as usual, all those things are fun.

Paul in OC:

You don't use the word "nigger" in place of negro unless thats your usually MO, especially in a speech to a black crowd! And if you where dumb enough to call a girl a nigger, lack of amusement was the least of your worries.

Thu Aug 14 2003 5:25 AM

Paul in OC:


I've never considered myself to be a racist. It always made me cringe whenever anyone told black jokes or gay jokes, although I usually would keep it inside, rather than speak up. I really had no clue the hurt which was wrapped in that word, and the reason was because black people on television and in movies use that word *all the time*.

The thing is, it doesn't matter your intentions in using that word either. The only rule is that black people can use the word, and non-black people cannot. Once you know the rule, you're fine.

The funny thing about this girlfriend is that she *was* a racist. After the L.A. riots, she said the Korean shopkeepers got what they deserved.

A side story, we actually went up to South Central L.A. the weekend after the riots, ostensibly to help clean up. We didn't actually help any, but we somehow ended up at a church, I think it was the First AME church, and saw Reverend Jesse Jackson speak.

I was one of maybe 20 white faces in this very large church. Not only that, I was also an atheist. Finally, to top it all off, we were all dressed to help clean up, whereas everybody else in the building was dressed in their Sunday best. But, you know what? I felt like I was welcome there.

Thu Aug 14 2003 4:51 PM

Kenny O:

Calif. Gov. Candidate Huffington Defends Taxes
Thu Aug 14, 8:35 PM ET

By Gina Keating

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) - Millionaire author Arianna Huffington kicked her campaign for California governor into high gear on Thursday, criticizing front-runner Arnold Schwarzenegger (news) while defending herself against a disclosure that she avoided paying income taxes.

Huffington called a news conference at a park near the Beverly Hills Hotel to publicly challenge Schwarzenegger to reveal why he attended a "secret meeting" at the tony hotel with former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay and other Republicans.

"Given the billions of dollars Lay, Enron and other crooked energy companies ended up looting from the people of this state, there are a few questions about that meeting and the state's energy fiasco I'd like to ask Arnold -- if he ever agrees to take questions," Huffington told reporters.

She criticized the "Terminator" movie actor for portraying himself as "the People's governor" while "cozying up to the likes of Ken Lay."

She also hammered President Bush (news - web sites) for providing "tax breaks for the wealthy" and said the recall effort in California was led by "an embittered cult of right-wing radicals who have overdosed on tax-cut Kool-Aid."

The statewide recall election is set for Oct. 7.

But Huffington, 53, a self-described independent and populist who has promised to close loopholes that allow corporations to dodge their "fair share of taxes" conceded that over the past two years she has paid no income tax to the state and less than $800 to the federal government.

She said, however, that she had not used any loopholes herself and had avoided paying taxes through legal means.

"I'm sure you know there is a difference between loopholes and tax deductions -- they are part of our system, they are perfectly legal and perfectly normal," Huffington said, adding that she paid about $150,000 in property and payroll taxes over the same period.

She fended off questions about why her two daughters attend private school instead of Los Angeles' beleaguered public schools, saying: "I'm not going to use my children as guinea pigs. I'm going to give them the best education possible."

Huffington said she obtained her multimillion-dollar,

8,000 square-foot home in the upscale Brentwood section of Los Angeles in a divorce settlement with former congressman Michael Huffington. She added that her ex-husband also pays "generous" child support for their two daughters.

She said, however, that she did not use the child support funds to pay for her business, which was run out of the home and posted $2.5 million in losses in the past two years.

"During these two years as a writer I had writing and research expenses that were greater than my income," she said.

Her attorney, Gary Bostwick, told Reuters that Huffington borrowed against her home to pump money into her corporation, Christabella Inc., and deducted the interest from those loans.

Huffington said she expects to earn over $1 million in 2003 from a book deal and from sales of her bestseller "Pigs at the Trough."

When questioned about the apparent disconnect between her personal fortune and her attempts to connect with voters as a populist, Huffington said: "I think it's very important for people who are blessed with a lot of privileges to take up the causes of people who need a greater voice in our democracy."

Huffington acknowledged on Thursday that she and Green Party candidate Peter Camejo had agreed to endorse whichever of them was ahead in the polls as the election neared.


Fri Aug 15 2003 4:21 AM


A turnout of 78%? In this state? In any state? I'll believe it when I see it. Someone once remarked that two people meeting each other on the street is what constitutes a political rally in Calif. Still, voter registration is apparently up, in Orange County at least.

Mon Aug 18 2003 4:00 PM


With Schartzenegger's alleged molestion charges its going to be pretty hard for him to win, where I tend to think Bustamante will win. Camejo did a great job on the PBS debates, but he is just too much of a socialist. He said some of the things the Republican candidates should have said, like criticism to the Patriot act. The Republican party just may be in trouble, where they have a pretty big libertarian wing, and religious wing. Putting up Arnold will turn the religious people away from the party, and they were already defecting over the war.

Sun Oct 5 2003 1:32 AM


If if there is a 78 per cent turn out it is not many. I have heard that only 30 per cent of the population of California are registered to vote. Tells one that people have given up hope. This is why they are always trying to get people to registar and vote.

Sun Oct 5 2003 1:40 AM


The registration rate should be higher, due to the motor voter law, especially now that you can register to vote without proving your an American.

Also sounds like Davis has some actions to answer for also. His sound more like assaults on coworkers-subordants where as Arnold's sounds like boorish behavior at worst.

Mon Oct 6 2003 5:27 AM

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