CDP Convention - On The Way
Headed out the door for a nice, leisurely six-hour drive through the Central Valley to Sacramento for another California Democratic Party Convention. Calitics will have full coverage, of course - many of our writers will be on hand, both as delegates and as plain old media. There's a lot to cover, from party elections to endorsements on the May 19 election to the resolution to impeach Jay Bybee from the 9th Circuit to the unofficial opening of the 2010 election.
The early pre-convention news is that Antonio Villaraigosa won't be making the trip with me (although there's still room in the car, so you never know). It's a confusing development, considering all the high-profile events other gubernatorial hopefuls Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown are holding (Jerry's got a kegger at the old Governor's Mansion, while Gavin is part of an outdoor block party featuring Wyclef Jean). But that may be the reason, as Villaraigosa wasn't able to compete.
Villaraigosa’s press office sent out a release announcing: “Mayor Villaraigosa today announced that he will convene emergency weekend meetings with union leaders to tackle the city's budget crisis.
“Talks will focus on ways to close a $530 million budget deficit through shared sacrifice and shared responsibility. The Mayor will begin meetings in City Hall with labor leaders on Friday evening and will continue through the weekend.” [...]
Calbuzz asked Tony V spokesman Sean Clegg if the emergency budget session was "just a lame, bullshit excuse" to skip the convention. “It’s exactly the opposite of that," Clegg said. "The city of Los Angeles and most cities across California are facing an unprecedented economic crisis and jobs come first.”
Clegg said Villaraigosa is putting the needs of his city before his personal political fortunes by trying to pull together an agreement that would require labor unions to give back some hard-earned gains in order to save jobs and services in Los Angeles.
“This is a leadership moment. Antonio Villaraigosa is not going to Twitter while Rome burns,” Clegg said -- a clear shot at the other mayor who would be governor: San Francisco's Gavin Newsom.
At the same time, a Tulchin Research/Acosta|Salazar pre-convention poll (which is three weeks out, but released on convention eve) shows Villaraigosa slipping. The poll had Garamendi in the race at the time.
Tulchin Research/Acosta|Salazar +/- 4.5% (Mar. 31-Apr. 2)
Obviously, that top-line support is soft, with 1 in 5 undecided. But I'm frankly surprised how quickly this is turning into a two-horse race, which could actually open the door for a progressive movement candidate, if one existed. But alas...
Anyway, those are just a couple of the issues we'll see unfold. Stay with us throughout the weekend.
(I've teed up a few posts while I'm on the ride, but it'll be a light post day until late afternoon)