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Bay Area Primary Election Results

Insights from the East Bay Elections: A Conversation with Ted Lempert on "The Capstone Conversation" Podcast

This blog post is based on a conversation from "The Capstone Conversation" podcast, reflecting the analyses and perspectives of the participants. For the most comprehensive and accurate information, the original podcast episode is recommended.

In an insightful episode of "The Capstone Conversation" podcast, host Jared Asch engages Ted Lempert in a deep dive into the East Bay election results and the broader political dynamics in California. Lempert, with a multifaceted background as a former Assembly member, a UC Berkeley political science professor, and the head of Children Now, brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the discussion.

The conversation unveils the significance of unity within political factions. Lempert's insights reveal how internal divisions within labor or business groups can decisively impact election outcomes. He points to specific races where such fragmentation led to surprising results, highlighting the importance of a unified base for electoral success. This theme prompts broader reflections on political alliances and the strategic considerations essential for campaign victories.

Further, Lempert discusses the internal dynamics within the California Democratic Party, noting the tension between progressive and moderate factions. This balancing act, he suggests, has tangible implications for elections and policymaking, shaping the direction of the party and its candidates on crucial issues.

Beyond election mechanics, the episode touches on statewide issues like Proposition 1, illustrating Lempert's commitment to advocating for children and families through his work with Children Now. This part of the conversation underscores the real-world impacts of electoral outcomes on societal well-being, emphasizing the importance of informed and thoughtful participation in the democratic process.

The dialogue between Asch and Lempert offers a nuanced understanding of the complexities of California politics. It covers strategic, ideological, and personal factors that influence election outcomes. It provides listeners with valuable lessons on unity, strategy, and a vision for societal progress.


00:00:03.500 --> 00:00:14.469

Jared Asch: welcome to today's episode of the capstone conversation. I'm your host, Jared Ash, and I am joined today by former Assembly member, Ted Lempert, Ted is also a professor at Uc. Berkeley.


00:00:26.302 --> 00:00:41.389

Jared Asch: in political science, and it is that side of him more than the others that we are. Gonna hear his expertise on today. We're gonna do an analysis of the races in the East Bay. What's happening from as a result of March fifth.


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Jared Asch: how did the final counts go, and just some analysis, and have a conversation of of what really went on? So we could understand that. So thanks for joining us today, Ted.


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Ted Lempert: My pleasure. Look forward to it. Thanks, Jared.


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Jared Asch: Anything about your background that you wanna add in there to to give some insight for listeners.


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Ted Lempert: Sure. yeah. And I, I've been teaching California politics at Cal for a number of years, so happy to share some insights wearing that hat. And actually, it's a children. Now that I run, we're a statewide advocacy organization, whole child group that does work throughout the State and advocates for kids in Sacramento.


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Ted Lempert: And then certainly, my former former life as an elected official in the State Assembly, and then on the board of supervisors in San Mateo county.


et's dive into some of these election results.


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Jared Asch: So up in Senate District 3, where Senator Dodd is


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Jared Asch: is term limited, and stepping down, we've got the race covers Solano parts of Sonoma, parts of Yolo County.


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Jared Asch: and one of the things that I found interesting here is that the winner of that race


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Jared Asch: did not receive the big endorsements right. You had a candidate who came in third in the race, councilwoman Verda Aliga from Vallejo.


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Jared Asch: and she received the endorsements of Kareem, Mundy and Dodd, and the Democratic party, and others. Yet she came in third. So not even making the run off. Can you add some insights into to that.


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Ted Lempert: Sure. Yeah, I'll I'll get in that race specifically. But I I think there's a general theme with this market.


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Jared Asch: Have.


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Ted Lempert: Primary that I think relates to the races in the in in the East Bay contrast county further north and throughout the state, and that is, as you know. First it was a very small turnout and that low turnout, I think, created some


00:03:02.029 --> 00:03:23.460

Ted Lempert: surprises. And then you with top 2. You know you had that dynamic going on. And I I think in this race where Christopher Cabaldan came out on top among the Democrats. The Republican came out on top. But you know Christopher obviously is is now the almost certain winner given. It's a Democratic district, you know. I think when you have multiple


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Ted Lempert: Democrats or in a Republican district, multiple Republicans, you you might see some surprises and and so and then the other piece, and then I'll get to this. This district. Send a District 3 is clearly having this support of the Democratic party. Labor party establishment helps a ton, although in a number of these races that


00:03:45.780 --> 00:03:58.850

Ted Lempert: that support was split a little bit among labor and split among the democratic base, other groups, like environmentalists pro choice others, and that can lead to what some folks might have viewed as a surprise. So


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Ted Lempert: I say, some folks, I wasn't totally surprised by what? Instead of District 3. Yeah, even though. verta. Oliga had the had the support of the outgoing State Senator Dodd and and the party. Because Cabalden, you know, actually had support from some democratic constituencies. You know, Sierra Club equity, California planned parenthood.


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Ted Lempert: And then, as we've seen in a lot of these legislative races. You know, money unfortunately, plays a big deal. And you had


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Ted Lempert: you had significant it WAA. Just to make it simple, I'd say business dollars. That's sort of a over generalization. But some business dollars going to Cabalden, and then sort of a lot of the labor dollars being split between Ellward and and Verde. So you know, I think if if Cabalden was head to head against just one of them it might have been different, but you know he certainly had financial resources, and he had some of the democratic base, even though he did have sort of the establishment base and the


00:04:59.700 --> 00:05:10.124

Ted Lempert: party base. He had key constituencies. And then the last piece of this is you know I I this is true of my day in politics. And and just as true today.


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Ted Lempert: running for offices, you know, is really hard work and takes a lot of time. And sometimes it doesn't always work this way, but sometimes the person that literally works the hardest and is out there nonstop for a long time, you know, makes a difference, and I know you know not a knock on the other 2 Democrats. But I know Cabaldin was really scrapping worked this hard for quite a long time, and had run for assembly in past cycle. So you know he he had that going for him.


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Jared Asch: Yeah, I think


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Jared Asch: that's right in that race. He


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Jared Asch: he showed up everywhere. And he was responsive. He was responding to emails. I I heard and had had seen directly to people where other people had it staffed out or or whatnot, and and because they had other jobs and and made it difficult for them to to do it. And I think he was fortunate he had a lot of flexibility with his with his job that he was able to be everywhere.


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Ted Lempert: It's actually, you know. I tell my students, but you know, one re big reason for incumbent advantage obviously, is money and name recognition, but another is what you just said. Right? You're if you're in the legislature the way that job is set up. You know you have some flexibility in in being able to campaign a lot, you know, where. If you're a council member


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Ted Lempert: with another job.


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Ted Lempert: then on campaigning on top of that for a big office is is really tough.


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Jared Asch: Right. It's it's the time, commitment and family priorities and everything else in the middle of it all. So I wanna we're gonna come back to the East Bay races. I wanna jump to the Us Senate race because you did give an overall perspective of the statewide turnout.


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Ted Lempert: Yep.


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Jared Asch: And talked about a small turnout. This is the first competitive Senate race, right? We've seen in 30 plus years in California.


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Jared Asch: Steve Garvey is ahead in the


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Jared Asch: in, in the overall results and in the sorry in the special. He's ahead for the 6 week seat that would take place, and we're shifted ahead slightly ahead of him.


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Jared Asch: For first place there! But Porter and Lee


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Jared Asch: didn't even amount shift had more than double their total. So so let's talk about the Senate race and what you saw there, and what were some of the trends.


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Ted Lempert: Yeah, sure. Well, several things. I mean, this was like a top 2 special right? You know. I think the the question sort of brings back memories of the gubernatorial race several years ago, when there's some one the first time. Yeah. When he had a race, and and that is, you know, the the leading Democrat to state wide race


00:08:02.470 --> 00:08:26.330

Ted Lempert: so much wants the Republican a Republican to do? Well, right? Because then, you, you know, maybe this, if folks remember, you know, that was when via Ragosa was running a strong campaign for Governor. Back in how time flies. 2018, right? Yeah, 2018. And you, you know, Gavin's whole focus was hopefully a Republican would come in first or second. So then the race would be over.


00:08:26.771 --> 00:08:34.870

Ted Lempert: You know, early. And and so that was similarly, you know, shifts hope here. And and you know, there was a lot of focus on


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Ted Lempert: how he highlighted you, you know Garvey and Garvey as a a threat. And then and then, plus just with the low turnout election, the Republican vote state wide is going to be magnified a little bit. Right? So you know, Republicans did a little bit better. Conservatives did a little bit better, because with the small turnout the the Republicans were were helped by that, so all that


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Ted Lempert: led to you know, regardless of Garvey, seemingly doing so well, clearly, you know, I I don't like using the word impossible. But man, anyone who would bet Republican winning a Us. Senate race in California that needs to think that through. So you know, I think Adam's, you know, clearly headed to


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Ted Lempert: the Senate. It was, you know, actually a couple, I mean very different dynamics than the State Senate race we were just talking about. But the fact that Porter and Lee and and and shift we're all in there. There were 3 of them rather than a head to head, I think you know, helped Adam some as well. And that my guess is.


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Ted Lempert: you know Lee took some votes away from Porter vice versa. You know. So that helped Adam. And then


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Ted Lempert: it's funny to say this


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Ted Lempert: on a statewide race. You know where obviously retail campaigning, you know, person to person is tough, although you know folks will remember. You know Bill Clinton famously spending hours at the Rob line, talking to every voter running for President, but you know shit they all worked hard. But


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Ted Lempert: I I know especially Barbara Lee and Adam shift very well. I don't know Porter as well, but you, you know people call me a hard worker. I don't think I've ever met someone who works with an Adam ship and so, you know, in addition to all the things we just talked about. You know, he was just a very disciplined candidate who, you know, was in the race early, and you, you know, just


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Ted Lempert: just was at it nonstop. And you, you know, you know. And then, I thought, ran a really strategic campaign.


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Jared Asch: How did money play a role in that race? Because shift had.


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Jared Asch: I? I think, just like he had the votes. He had more a lot more money than than order. But


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Jared Asch: you know Lee barely raised any money, right? So


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Jared Asch: what was the impact of where? Well, Garvey didn't raise any money.


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Jared Asch: but was repelled, like you said, by that conservative base. So so how much did the the capital raising impact that race? If Porter had raised more, would it have changed the results, or.


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Ted Lempert: Yeah, I mean, it's, you know, there's been a lot of focus on this how and unfortunately, money matters way too much. And you know as someone who's worked for years for campaign financial form. It's it's just disgusting how much money matters in in in some kind. In some cases it doesn't matter quite as much as folks think. I mean, like, obviously, Garvey just being the, you know, the main Republican on the ballot benefited sometimes in these really high profile


00:11:38.820 --> 00:11:56.633

Ted Lempert: races us Senate races across the country, or even then, this one now coming up in November. The the amounts get so high that you know it. The the the number 2, and money has has plenty, but in this case I think the money made a difference. I mean part of my comment about a Adam being a


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Ted Lempert: a incredibly hardworking both member of Congress and candidate, you know, was he was an amazing fundraiser. Obviously Pelosi's support helped and and


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Ted Lempert: a a Anna was able to raise a lot. Porter raise some. Now, you know the the other thing is, there was attack money on porter. Right, you know. So there, you know, she raised money, but there was also mo more money against her, you, you know, independent expenditure against her, and then, you know, I think Barbara Lead was very justified in her frustration with her inability to raise more.


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Ted Lempert: you know, raise more dollars cause that really hurt her a lot, you know, especially in a statewide race where you know, a lot of this is just name recognition. And and and being on on television a lot


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Ted Lempert: button.


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Jared Asch: Yeah. So I appreciate those insights into the Senate race. And


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Jared Asch: we'll stick with one more statewide before we had local


00:12:53.460 --> 00:13:01.960

Jared Asch: prop, one we're recording this on April first. It'll probably play on April tenth. So


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Jared Asch: we're about 12 days, I think, left in the certification process here in California. We're recording it. It looks like prop, one is 28,000 votes ahead. And this is the Governor's mental health initiative.


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Jared Asch: Do you see it holding ahead and and passing, do you? And what are your thoughts? Why was this one so close.


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Ted Lempert: Yeah, no? Well, ha! So I weigh in both with my teaching. California politics at at at Cal had, but also children. I was very involved in this measure, and push for some important changes in it, and and especially in terms of protecting funding for youth, mental health. So


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Ted Lempert: I I think the general reaction among you know, the media and political folks was like, Oh, my! Gosh, this almost lost, you know. You know, even though it it looks for sure that it's you know, one. It's close margin, but it it's one, and the opponents is conceded.


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Ted Lempert: I I think a couple of things going on that didn't get enough focus was one low turnout. I mean, I know that Governor cared so much about this, and you know, wanted it singularly on the ballot. I far be it for me. To


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Ted Lempert: question his political team. They're they're amazing. But it, you know, was risky having it on this low turnout ballot, right? And maybe at the time they didn't realize how low turnout it would be. And so, you know, you're by. You're you're you're elevating the Conservative vote. And you know, I think when it was billed as Newsom's initiative, you know, I think a lot of Republican voters


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Ted Lempert: fairly or not. Just we're voting on like, oh, this is a democratic thing rather than looking at what it did right? So that built opposition. And then the other pieces. There was some opposition on the left to this, you know, and in a low turnout election


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Ted Lempert: the voters tend to be more wired in right, you know that they they tend to be slightly more.


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Ted Lempert: I don't. I don't want to say. Highly educated. They're just more politically attuned voters. So even though the opposition on the left


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Ted Lempert: a, you know, by some mental health groups not not on the kit side. We were able to address the concerns there, but more, you know, adult mental health. Some of the homeless groups who opposed it, you know. Usually that wouldn't make as much difference, but since it was small turnout, you know, some of that


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Ted Lempert: lack of support on the left, you know, made it close. So it was the combination of small turnout, you know, Republicans almost reflexively voting no cause. It was sort of like, oh, this is news, and we're gonna vote. No, I I think if it would, just if it was just on the issue, it probably would have gotten some more Republican support. And then, you know, because there was some opposition on the left. And then the final thing is, it's


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Ted Lempert: you know, I don't need to tell your


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Ted Lempert: listening audience. Homelessness is complicated. A lot of folks who listen to this are struggling with it, you know, in their, in, in, in their regions and their cities. And it was a complicated initiative, you know, and and complexity.


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Ted Lempert: doesn't do well, you know, in a statewide initiative on, I know they try to make the the pitch really simple. But you, you know folks even glanced at the


00:16:19.740 --> 00:16:34.469

Ted Lempert: valid description and started looking into it. It it wasn't, you know, more complex than usual, so you know, that made it more difficult. I mean, in general, as I tell my students, you know, initiatives fail more often than they pass.


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Ted Lempert: That you know they're more likely to have failed and path. So any initiative has a little bit of a hurdle


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Ted Lempert: regards what it is right, because the the odds are more that it fails than that it passes.


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Jared Asch: I was in Sacramento 2 weeks ago for Bay Area Council Event, and and somebody was doing an analysis on them, and he said.


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Jared Asch: I can always help you lose an initiative because more people will vote for failure. But if you really wanna, win, you have to build one a strong coalition and to spend 30 million dollars. And this didn't have that funding to it at all. I think it was 5 to 8 million dollars somewhere around there, where the the total so so very little advertising really just the governor putting some muscle behind it.


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Ted Lempert: No, and it I mean I think it goes out saying he he! This would not have passed if he had not put his reputation behind it. That's for sure, I mean as it was, it was, you know, as it was close.


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Jared Asch: And so do you think it would have had a different outcome in November? Because you'd have a higher turnaround in the Presidential.


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Ted Lempert: Yeah, I do. And this gets back to n, knowing some of them and having great respect for them, I mean, like the you know I've been involved in politics. I teach California politics, but the Governor's political looking at polls and knowing what's going on all the time. I I think their reasoning was


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Ted Lempert: well, it's complicated, and there's good, you know. There's be a bunch of measures on the ballot in November, and folks might get confused that might not come down and vote for it. And and and you know, we just don't want to get caught up, and all that. I I get that reasoning.


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Ted Lempert: That being said, I, I think it would have done much better in a high turnout election, because folks would have said, you know, Democratic party support, says Governor, supports this. It looks like this is something that Democrats are all supporting, so I'll vote for it. So you know it. It.


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Ted Lempert: It might have been a mistake, although it it's it's gonna pass, even though by a little bit so fine. But.


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Jared Asch: All you need is plus one. Right? So.


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Ted Lempert: But it it it was a little odd. Because i.


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Ted Lempert: E. Even though the November battle will be more complicated. It it will be such a higher turnout that I I I think it would have probably done a little better then.


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Jared Asch: I wonder if they thought the turnout would have been higher driven by the Senate race


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Jared Asch: on the Democratic side, and


00:19:02.880 --> 00:19:04.859

Jared Asch: maybe that was miscalculated.


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Ted Lempert: You know, this goes back. I can give you so many examples because I've been involved in this for a while. Now you know, over the last few decades where other folks made that mistake where they they went for a you know, March or June, you know a primary initiative with the like. Oh, well, turnouts gonna be higher because there's gonna be this


00:19:24.120 --> 00:19:46.160

Ted Lempert: gubernatorial primary, there's gonna be this presidential fight, and folks are going to turn out for that, and it seems like almost every time folks made that calculation they they were wrong. The the turnout was low. And you know then some cases, you know, measures have lost, and I think back to a measure now was involved with, wow! This is way back, and


00:19:46.250 --> 00:19:48.019

Ted Lempert: 2,000 and


00:19:48.260 --> 00:20:00.593

Ted Lempert: 6 long time ago, you know, but you know the thinking was, oh, this measure makes sense on the primary ballot cause. There's a primary for Governor yet, you know, against, you know, to see who would run against Schwarzenegger. And of course.


00:20:01.010 --> 00:20:04.010

Ted Lempert: gubernatorial primaries don't have that big a turnout.


00:20:05.780 --> 00:20:18.356

Jared Asch: Yeah. So let's come back local and talk about Senate District 7, which is the seat that Nancy Skinner is term limited from.


00:20:19.040 --> 00:20:20.319

Jared Asch: you've got


00:20:20.788 --> 00:20:33.540

Jared Asch: the Mayor of Berkeley, and a an Oakland councilman headed to the to the run off and what was a a very democratic race. So you have 2 Democrats moving forward.


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Ted Lempert: Yeah.


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Jared Asch: Any insights into


00:20:35.950 --> 00:20:44.369

Jared Asch: this race. I think it's 80% in la the county, maybe a little bit in parts of Contra Costa, like Hercules and and parts of Richmond.


00:20:44.652 --> 00:20:49.819

Jared Asch: Tell us a little bit more about what your thoughts are on this race, and the candidates going forward.


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Ted Lempert: Yeah, I mean, I just think, big picture a a little bit similar to what we've been talking about, and even the Cabalden race and set District 3, and that


00:21:01.020 --> 00:21:23.959

Ted Lempert: the Democratic and heavily Democratic seat, I should say. So the democratic constituencies were more split than folks for magic. So I I you know I think a lot of folks are surprised. And excuse me if I get the names wrong. That leibr didn't do better, you know, because she she had such strong


00:21:24.367 --> 00:21:48.619

Ted Lempert: labor support, you know, especially from sciu cta but it it's not like she had complete democratic support, you, you know. So there were some other democratic based groups, including labor. You know, like the school employees supported Swanson. And then you know. Jesse er Eric, good! I'm sorry I'm not pronouncing the name as well.


00:21:49.099 --> 00:22:05.509

Ted Lempert: Commit. May Berkeley, Mayor council member who came in first. You know, he had some labor support. He had the building trades. He had firefighters, and then he also had that business support similar to what kebaldin had. So you know, I think a theme here is like folks say, oh.


00:22:05.760 --> 00:22:13.639

Ted Lempert: the person with the most democratic based constituency support is gonna win. Well in a democratic seat. Well.


00:22:14.140 --> 00:22:38.560

Ted Lempert: yeah, they had all of the democratic constituency, like, if they had all of labor. And you you get, you know, all of you know the all the environmental groups. That that's one thing. But it was really split up among this race, I mean Col, who's on the Oakland City Council. You you know. He didn't make the top, too, but he had environmental support. So there was a you know. You had a lot of candidates in that race.


00:22:38.570 --> 00:23:03.780

Ted Lempert: The support among interest groups was split. A a fair amount. And so even though jesse wasn't the the the Democratic, you know, party supported candidate, you know he still did it really well. And and the other thing there, too, is the we're talking about groups that support and put money behind people.


00:23:03.990 --> 00:23:22.899

Ted Lempert: But the another unfortunate part about campaigns and politics is going after people really works, too. So part of why Leib Burger did do as well, I think, is that there was a really concentrated campaign against her right and and that a you know clearly had some impact.


00:23:23.548 --> 00:23:34.511

Ted Lempert: And and I don't. I don't know the candidates, as you can tell by how I botch some of their names. I didn't know the candidates quite as well in this race as some of the others. But I I wouldn't be surprised if just the


00:23:35.070 --> 00:23:54.620

Ted Lempert: how you ran the campaign, right, you know, played a role and and just, you know, not just a a strategy, and and how you work, but just you know how hard you worked it, and you know making sure that you had your base from the area you are from covered, and then, you know, building out from from there


00:23:55.340 --> 00:23:56.030

Ted Lempert: it.


00:23:56.360 --> 00:24:12.399

Jared Asch: You know, there's been a lot of talk in the past couple of election cycles about particularly Labor's involvement here in the Bay area where they've been pushing for more equity, driven, more labor backed candidates. Here it sounds like a couple of


00:24:12.550 --> 00:24:17.040

Jared Asch: if labor is not a hundred percent unified behind somebody?


00:24:17.462 --> 00:24:21.290

Jared Asch: It makes a difference. Or do you think it was


00:24:21.750 --> 00:24:28.709

Jared Asch: sort of give me some insight into that right labor's role versus the business groups did business, have a couple of victories.


00:24:28.710 --> 00:24:31.929

Ted Lempert: Yeah, business certainly did. And to your point, you know, it's funny I


00:24:32.180 --> 00:24:34.720

Ted Lempert: not to get off on a tangent, but


00:24:34.820 --> 00:24:40.370

Ted Lempert: part of my full time job, in addition to teaching this course. Right? So now is, I always talk about how


00:24:40.430 --> 00:24:41.470

Ted Lempert: kids


00:24:41.480 --> 00:25:00.998

Ted Lempert: issues need more concentrated advocacy. Right? You got all these people off getting for kids, it needs to be more connected. I generally use labor and business as the example of how to do it, meaning there's lots of labor groups, but they tend to stick together. There's lots of business groups, but they tend to stick together. A especially true on like the day to day


00:25:01.690 --> 00:25:04.759

Ted Lempert: policy making, you know, supporting bills and that kind of thing.


00:25:04.770 --> 00:25:06.310

Ted Lempert: But when they split


00:25:06.630 --> 00:25:36.460

Ted Lempert: it's they're a lot weaker, right? And and so labor is incredibly powerful in California and incredibly powerful in these campaigns, but in these, you know, some of these examples we talked about already. Labor was split it, you know. Yes, seu Cta are sort of the most powerful labor groups in California. But you know, building trades firefighters, you know, other labor groups are powerful, too. So absolutely, you know. I I think when folks say Oh, so and so is labor support, you know. The next question should be, do they have


00:25:36.490 --> 00:25:42.220

Ted Lempert: all of labor, or is labor divided, you know, cause that makes a big difference. And then business.


00:25:42.270 --> 00:25:54.220

Ted Lempert: you, you know, in in California they it not as powerful as labor, but still really powerful. And I think in some of these races the quote business community was a little more


00:25:54.220 --> 00:26:17.800

Ted Lempert: consolidated. Then. Labor was, if that makes sense, and you know. And so, you know, if if this you know, it's hard to generalize about the business community per se, but sort of the business folks that play in California politics and put in big money. They seem much more united. You know, behind some candidates. They wanted to get elected, and and that, you know, help make a difference.


00:26:18.520 --> 00:26:19.060

Ted Lempert: Well.


00:26:19.060 --> 00:26:19.380

Jared Asch: Think we.


00:26:19.821 --> 00:26:25.119

Ted Lempert: Keeping the base together. Right? It's it's like, it's it's true of


00:26:25.350 --> 00:26:33.139

Ted Lempert: just about any campaign or any advocacy thing you you had to start by trying to keep the base united. If the base is split, you're going to be in a little more trouble.


00:26:34.210 --> 00:26:43.849

Jared Asch: Well, and you saw that in sort of Senate District 9, where you had Tim Grayson running for the seat. That Glaser is term limited from. So we're talking 3


00:26:43.960 --> 00:27:00.040

Jared Asch: 3 term limited seats. We're gonna have 3 new fresh senators here, covering most of the East Bay. Grayson had that business support, and and the cal chamber said it was their number one priority, and wanted to unify people behind him in that race


00:27:00.565 --> 00:27:08.449

Jared Asch: overwhelmingly raise more than his opponent. The race wasn't even close. I think it was 20 plus point spread


00:27:09.520 --> 00:27:27.110

Jared Asch: a a any. I just think it was there. It shows like one candidate did get a lot of that business support. It was unified behind him. And I don't think labor really played in the race even as much, and maybe did a little bit on each side of the race to make friends.


00:27:27.110 --> 00:27:40.259

Ted Lempert: Yeah, yeah, you had this situation then, which is rare now with our term limit world, where, an assembly members moving to the Senate. Usually people just stay put, you know, so that that made a difference, too. But yeah, I mean, I I think


00:27:40.903 --> 00:27:45.489

Ted Lempert: you know, in California especially, although


00:27:45.560 --> 00:27:46.870

Ted Lempert: if I was


00:27:47.000 --> 00:28:10.119

Ted Lempert: running the business community, I do this more in the national level, too. But in California I think the business community says, Well, you know the Republicans, at least, for now, at least for the foreseeable future. Aren't major players right? I mean, only the Democratic party which I'm a member of could could mess this up. But it's like, you know, for the foreseeable future, maybe forever. The the Democrats are so in control. The business community is saying, Okay.


00:28:10.120 --> 00:28:19.529

Ted Lempert: you you know, we're gonna really engage with Democrats, right? We're, gonna you know, work with Democrats and and find folks who we think we can work with the best, and you know they've had.


00:28:19.530 --> 00:28:24.069

Ted Lempert: you know, a pretty big impact in doing that. My my comment about nationally is, I just


00:28:24.712 --> 00:28:26.160

Ted Lempert: you you would


00:28:26.430 --> 00:28:44.539

Ted Lempert: think, maybe hope, that the national business world would say, wow! Republicans are, you know, sort of a a off the grid here a little bit. Let's support more Democrats. But but in California the business community plays, you know, a a significant role, because they really engage in these democratic races.


00:28:45.475 --> 00:29:04.225

Jared Asch: You know, I remember just learning some of the lessons about Bill Clinton's election. It and the Democrats running at local levels, the ones who were winning were pro business Democrats going back to the mid nineties. Right they were then they call themselves the New Deal Democrats,


00:29:04.890 --> 00:29:13.770

Jared Asch: and and they supported business and entrepreneurs and Internet and technology. And that helped, you know.


00:29:13.840 --> 00:29:17.560

Jared Asch: steer Clinton into and and moderates at that time


00:29:18.020 --> 00:29:21.169

Jared Asch: makes sense. Democrats have moved away from that.


00:29:21.170 --> 00:29:38.333

Ted Lempert: Yeah. And then what's fascinating is like, you know. On the one hand, the progressive movement is so much stronger. And you know, I talked with my students a lot about this, who sort of overwhelmingly, are not overwhelming, but to you far more progressive than you know, quote moderate, and I think in some cases


00:29:38.860 --> 00:29:42.749

Ted Lempert: you see the power of that increased


00:29:43.456 --> 00:29:50.630

Ted Lempert: progressivism as you see it in some races like a little further east to Mayor Sacramento's race. Right? The the top


00:29:51.089 --> 00:30:20.559

Ted Lempert: polling candidate, Doctor Flow, was you know, a really strong progressive, not, you know, didn't get any business part was not established in sport. So you see, progressives doing well in some races, and th that said especially when things are split and the progressive community split like with lee and porter. A a. And the business community is really focused. And there's that money, you know, mo moderates can still do well. So it's sort of a


00:30:21.290 --> 00:30:32.519

Ted Lempert: it. It seems contradictory, you know, because the Democratic parties and the and the voters are certainly more progressive today than they were back in Clinton's day, but in terms of


00:30:32.550 --> 00:30:45.110

Ted Lempert: funding campaigns and and and you know campaign dynamics, especially if you have multiple candidates splitting that more progressive vote. You, you know, a moderate can do very well, and the business community can play a big role.


00:30:46.790 --> 00:30:55.199

Jared Asch: That's interesting. And you sort of see that dynamic in Assembly District 15, which is all in contrast. The county where?


00:30:56.222 --> 00:31:02.980

Jared Asch: You have Grayson, who you talked about earlier, moved up from the assembly to the Senate.


00:31:03.420 --> 00:31:06.219

Jared Asch: or is looking to and


00:31:07.090 --> 00:31:14.079

Jared Asch: Here you have a race where Monica Wilson, who was a councilwoman from Antioch.


00:31:14.620 --> 00:31:17.300

Jared Asch: got very early support, and


00:31:17.580 --> 00:31:23.739

Jared Asch: pretty much, I think, all very unified support from labor, who dumped in more than a million dollars into the race.


00:31:23.970 --> 00:31:46.070

Jared Asch: You have. Karen Mitchoff, who was a county supervisor for 1216 years, recently retired, so she was out of office for 2 years, but had the name recognition. Had unions knew her so they weren't necessarily opposed to her. She was a Union employee, I think, a member of sciu for a long time herself.


00:31:46.240 --> 00:31:48.809

Jared Asch: but they all went for Wilson.


00:31:49.320 --> 00:31:51.289

Jared Asch: Well, neither one of them made the runoff.


00:31:52.570 --> 00:31:52.890

Ted Lempert: Yeah.


00:31:52.890 --> 00:31:56.850

Jared Asch: Talk about that race and and what happened there.


00:31:57.570 --> 00:32:14.999

Ted Lempert: Well, so first of all, that you can always get surprises. This think was a surprise, as you're suggesting. And you know. First I'd go back to a couple of themes. We've talked about low turnout, right? So if this is a much higher turnout election, I think


00:32:15.000 --> 00:32:42.710

Ted Lempert: Wilson would have done better, and you know that she was close. I I I think where Wilson had, you know, much more unified support. It wasn't, you know, complete? I I think. A a vila Faris had you know, some law enforcement unions and and stuff which helped her. And you know I was looking at this race, cause it was a surprise, and you know it's possible, like you know, via ferry has got some.


00:32:42.710 --> 00:33:04.300

Ted Lempert: Got a lot of free media you know about, you know, like that whole Fourth of July boycott thing, you know. Got a lot that, you know. Had she had been involved with, and there was a lot of it issues. And then I think you know her being a Latina played a role. The one other thing with this race, and you know, and I know Mitch up had been in office a long time, but


00:33:04.710 --> 00:33:12.213

Ted Lempert: and and you know, was well respected in the in the county. But once you're out of office and I can


00:33:12.630 --> 00:33:42.360

Ted Lempert: I? I I know this from personal experience. Once you're out of office and try to run to go back. It's difficult. You know, because you you lose, you know, as a council member, as a county supervisor, certainly as a legislator when you're running you you know you it. It gives you a a real advantage because you're in office. You have the connections. People might not want to piss you off. Where, when you're out, it's just a lot more difficult. So I think.


00:33:42.360 --> 00:34:05.170

Ted Lempert: you know, you look at mitchhouse phone and go. Wow, 12, it? What? What I think was around 12%. I know that it's not finalized. But she's like, Wow, that's surprising, you know, cause she would have been in office so long, and should have been more popular. Yes, but you know she was out of office during this campaign, and I I'm guessing that hurt some you know, in in terms of it. People you know, name, recognition, stay somewhat, but


00:34:05.260 --> 00:34:17.111

Ted Lempert: it it's in terms of people lining up and supporting folks. It, you know, it helps if you're in office. And this gets back to just the advantage of incumbency. And and


00:34:17.659 --> 00:34:19.840

Ted Lempert: yeah, and and plus why people work. So


00:34:19.940 --> 00:34:27.900

Ted Lempert: I shouldn't say this. Why people work so hard to stay in office, because it's if you're not in. It's it's harder to get back in.


00:34:29.030 --> 00:34:38.509

Jared Asch: Hey? Well, I I saw that in Indiana I used to work back in the day for Senator Evan by, and he was a


00:34:38.590 --> 00:34:58.520

Jared Asch: Secretary of State, a 2 term Governor in a Democrat. New Democrat in a red State, served 3 terms in the Us. Senate stepped stepped aside, and I think it was 2, maybe 4 years later he decided to come back and run for an open Senate seat


00:34:58.850 --> 00:35:01.350

Jared Asch: and got clobbered, but


00:35:01.570 --> 00:35:10.239

Jared Asch: they used against him. He had always lived in DC. Because he had young kids when he was elected to the Senate, elected to


00:35:10.460 --> 00:35:22.530

Jared Asch: elected to Governor, and is, I, I think at 30. So we're only talking like 50 55 when he was running, you know, and his his kids were young. He went. They went to school in DC.


00:35:22.940 --> 00:35:26.580

Jared Asch: But he had sort of left his roots from Indiana, and I think


00:35:27.120 --> 00:35:36.799

Jared Asch: people were willing to forgive that when you were the Senator for so long and continue to vote across party line. But then


00:35:37.120 --> 00:35:39.050

Jared Asch: they didn't right.


00:35:39.380 --> 00:35:40.010

Ted Lempert: Yep.


00:35:40.080 --> 00:35:56.569

Ted Lempert: no, absolutely. I mean there's th. There's, you know, examples of where folks have come back, not in office. But you know I I I do think it makes it a a difference. And and obviously I was. I was surprised by these results, and you, you know, by several things. But including mitch off, not


00:35:56.570 --> 00:36:20.899

Ted Lempert: doing better. But but the other thing you said actually, when you asked the question originally, it it goes back to splitting the base. I don't wanna sound like a broken record here, but you know, when the base is split. And so you're comment about how Mitch up was well liked by labor as well and well like by a lot of Democrats. So it it, you know, if it had been a one on one race, you know. We'll, you know, among Key Democrats, I'm sure.


00:36:21.197 --> 00:36:27.439

Ted Lempert: Wilson would have done better. But you know, I think you know, Mitch up drained some some boats in that sense.


00:36:28.040 --> 00:36:29.849

Jared Asch: So so how did


00:36:30.828 --> 00:36:35.619

Jared Asch: Ann Marie Avilia Ferris? How did she sneak


00:36:36.350 --> 00:36:37.210

Jared Asch: in?


00:36:38.480 --> 00:36:47.054

Jared Asch: you know she had a tenth of the money. Is the the others. She was a former vice Mayor of Martinez, but I don't think she was currently serving.


00:36:48.127 --> 00:36:57.350

Jared Asch: How how did she gain the momentum? I know you mentioned the Free Press. But what are some other things she did right, or the demographics that worked in her favor.


00:36:57.350 --> 00:37:01.695

Ted Lempert: Yeah, I think the demographics helped. And again, I mean, you know, there's


00:37:02.420 --> 00:37:03.469

Ted Lempert: hey? Hey?


00:37:03.630 --> 00:37:07.840

Ted Lempert: I I always smile when I say political science the science part.


00:37:08.695 --> 00:37:29.329

Ted Lempert: because, it's it's hard to predict, I mean, the. This was a surprise. So it's it's hard to piece together. Exactly. But yeah, you know, the the demographics, I think, made difference. Maybe even though other candidates had more money there, you know. Maybe their name recognition wasn't quite as high as folks thought.


00:37:29.706 --> 00:37:51.179

Ted Lempert: You know which w, which which W, you know, was an issue. And it was close, right? Yeah. And you know again the small turnout. I think there were just some surprises across the State. And you, you know the the smaller turnout, you know, Ca contributed contributed to that, although.


00:37:51.350 --> 00:37:56.130

Ted Lempert: you know, I'm going to contradict myself here because you could have sort of argued, the smaller turnout would have helped.


00:37:56.420 --> 00:38:13.500

Ted Lempert: you know, a mitch offer, you know, Wilson, because they were, you know, known and had a lot more established to support. So it was a bit of a surprise. But you, you know I I think the demographic, I think. You know, being on the only Latina in the race, the Free Press, and then


00:38:13.910 --> 00:38:21.409

Ted Lempert: what? I don't know. I know some of these candidates, but I I wasn't following the race closely. You, you know, don't discount


00:38:21.440 --> 00:38:30.658

Ted Lempert: campaign strategy. How hard the candidate worked! You know how they piece things together, I mean, I don't know the details there, but you you know I'm


00:38:33.350 --> 00:38:39.539

Ted Lempert: This might not be accurate in this race, but some candidates work harder than others, and it can make a big difference.


00:38:39.910 --> 00:39:00.120

Jared Asch: Some sometimes that's the the stuff the candidate can sneak through and while the others, while the others battle it out. So so this one the Democrat came in second to Republican. Is this sort of the same thing as Senate District 3. We we anticipate a Democrat to overwhelm. We win come November.


00:39:00.120 --> 00:39:01.792

Ted Lempert: Yeah, I mean, you know, with


00:39:02.560 --> 00:39:25.049

Ted Lempert: w, with the independent redistricting commission it, that the politicians don't draw the seats anymore. The independent Commission does does a pretty good job. But California is so overwhelmingly Democrat that even though you can argue, it's better for the process to have a lot of competitive seats. A lot of these seats are competitive, right? And and especially if it's a demo on rape, you you already know.


00:39:25.461 --> 00:39:32.130

Ted Lempert: what the results gonna be. Now, you could, you know, I tell my students you it's impossible to have


00:39:32.220 --> 00:39:55.059

Ted Lempert: a whole lot of competitive seats because they, the seats need to be compact, right? You can't draw squiggles throughout the State. So you know, at best, you're gonna get 20 that maybe a quarter of seats are even somewhat competitive, but that's that's being pretty generous. So you know, so many of these districts are pretty set, and if it's a if it's a demo on reap


00:39:55.353 --> 00:39:59.410

Ted Lempert: in a lot of these races, you almost know, for sure who's gonna win in November.


00:40:01.070 --> 00:40:15.819

Jared Asch: Yeah, and let's let's go back to DC. But keep it local. We have Barbara le Seat is open for the first time in a very long time what happened there, and and I think it was surprising for me at least, to see one.


00:40:15.940 --> 00:40:21.929

Jared Asch: What seemingly like a very clear winner in a in a very competitive race. In Brian.


00:40:21.930 --> 00:40:22.990

Ted Lempert: Yeah. So what


00:40:23.070 --> 00:40:37.548

Ted Lempert: did happen in that district that didn't happen in any of the ones we've talked about is a really strong candidate came forward and cleared the field of other major candidates. So it's not that it wasn't crowded, but you know a lot of the


00:40:37.870 --> 00:40:55.650

Ted Lempert: A big names that had been thought of to run for that Congressional district decided not to. And Lateef Simon, who's very well respected, you know, not just from our service on the Bart board, but and involved in philanthropy involved in you know, very well known in Oakland. And and through her work


00:40:56.121 --> 00:40:59.889

Ted Lempert: was able to clear the field of significant


00:41:00.520 --> 00:41:02.080

Ted Lempert: competition. So


00:41:02.230 --> 00:41:07.651

Ted Lempert: she had competition. But a lot of the folks that folks were asking about like


00:41:08.357 --> 00:41:32.979

Ted Lempert: ae of former mayor of Oakland, you know Nancy Skinner, you know, for a a legislator, you know, with a a bigger, higher profile. Democrat, enter that race, and Simon was able to clear the field. So she had opposition, but none of her opponents were at the, you know, level that could you know, to defeat her and plus the folks.


00:41:32.980 --> 00:41:48.860

Ted Lempert: When I say she cleared the field of significant opponents, those significant potential opponents all endorsed her. And so, you know, she really did unify the sort of democratic establishment support pretty early on.


00:41:53.581 --> 00:42:00.448

Jared Asch: No, that's helpful. And let's talk about one other Congressional race, the one in San Jose and Silicon Valley


00:42:01.880 --> 00:42:13.290

Jared Asch: you have former Mayor of San Jose did fairly well in the primary. It's a clearly democratic race. You're gonna have 2 Democrats win, no matter, and and go on to November


00:42:14.108 --> 00:42:26.361

Jared Asch: last I saw it was a. It was a 2 vote margin for submitting over the Supervisor over Evan Lowe and Assembly Member. But that's gone back and forth.


00:42:26.780 --> 00:42:30.880

Jared Asch: What even happens? Is it gonna get decided by 2 votes in the end? And


00:42:31.120 --> 00:42:32.629

Jared Asch: what are your? What are your thoughts on this.


00:42:32.630 --> 00:42:39.740

Ted Lempert: Yeah. Well, so I I'm a lecturer in political science. At Berkeley I lecture my students a lot about


00:42:40.180 --> 00:42:54.659

Ted Lempert: the poor voting rates of 18 to 24 years. Right? You know they're voting. Voting rates are terrible among young people, and you know, one of the things you hear from young people among many others, is when my vote doesn't make a difference. Well.


00:42:54.900 --> 00:43:00.490

Ted Lempert: this race shows that every boat


00:43:00.740 --> 00:43:10.289

Ted Lempert: can make a big difference. So you know, whoever comes in second, and advances to November between so many and love. Can you imagine if you were a a friend?


00:43:10.410 --> 00:43:36.469

Ted Lempert: Oh, God forbid! A family member loves and didn't vote, and it was decided by one vote. So this is extremely close. There! I wouldn't be surprised if whoever comes in third asked for a recount cause it. It's probably gonna be within a few votes. I actually learned something I didn't know as a result of this. And that is what happens. If they, what happens if low, and submit and tie


00:43:36.754 --> 00:43:44.160

Ted Lempert: how does that work with top? 2? And the answer is which I had not realized. Is State law said that it would be top 3


00:43:44.837 --> 00:43:58.902

Ted Lempert: and so if it's actually tied literally tied, then the 3 of them have been out. The chances that are really obviously slim. But who knows? Right? It's so close. Yeah, it's an interesting race again. A crowded race, and not just


00:43:59.460 --> 00:44:07.531

Ted Lempert: licardo low and semidia, but there was a lot of other strong candidates in that race as well. So you had a lot of folks.


00:44:08.177 --> 00:44:29.740

Ted Lempert: and and you know, lots of big bases being split. I you know. I think Mayor San Jose. You know San Jose is the largest city in the Bay Area folks tend to sometimes forget that the being mayors a big deal and so he had a lot of name recognition, and he's a very strong candidate.


00:44:30.090 --> 00:44:49.020

Ted Lempert: And then, yo, you know, low being in the assembly submitting supervisor long time fixture, you know. We're really strong as well. So they're still counting the votes. And again, they're very well could be a recount. I'm I'm guessing that all this helps Licardo right? Cause he came in first.


00:44:49.090 --> 00:44:54.649

Ted Lempert: And now all the focus is like who comes in second, and whoever comes in second will have


00:44:54.960 --> 00:44:57.399

Ted Lempert: it will be very high profile that they


00:44:57.420 --> 00:45:12.269

Ted Lempert: just made it into into second. But you know, who knows? You know definitely a a a democratic seat and you know one that, you know, gets a lot of attention, especially because it's right in the heart of Silicon Valley.


00:45:13.330 --> 00:45:41.689

Jared Asch: Yeah, I would imagine, if I were the Mayor, that I would be actively raising money off of it. Hey? You know I'm here and my opponents aren't, you know? And and it right, especially if there's a recount. That's gonna take another. What? 30 days? So it you know, it's they could raise money, but I think everybody's gonna wait to to give it to us right? They might make pledges and say, Well, if you're in it. I'll give you a check which is very different.


00:45:41.700 --> 00:45:46.190

Jared Asch: Then somebody else who can have multiple fundraisers underway.


00:45:46.430 --> 00:45:49.836

Ted Lempert: Yeah. One other point to just if if cause I know you have a


00:45:50.130 --> 00:45:58.610

Ted Lempert: very politically, knowledgeable audience, you know, folks might say, oh, well, Licarta was out of office. So I thought you had said earlier. That's really tough. Well.


00:46:00.820 --> 00:46:03.800

Ted Lempert: if you're a county supervisor or city council member.


00:46:03.850 --> 00:46:16.150

Ted Lempert: your name. Recognition isn't as high as you think it is, especially in a larger race. If if you're Mayor of San Jose or Mayor of San Francisco or mayor of La, or you know.


00:46:16.150 --> 00:46:40.130

Ted Lempert: former Governor, you know you th, that's at a different level. So your name recognition, you know, stays more and your cloud stays more. So I just wanna clarify you, you know, at at that level. You know, May or San Jose is a pretty high profile position where you got a lot of press and a lot of focus. So being out for a little bit hurts less than you know in general. For.


00:46:40.130 --> 00:46:49.469

Ted Lempert: quote, you know lower level race, or where your name, recognition, and your connections, where, you know, fade a lot more quickly once you're out of office.


00:46:50.580 --> 00:46:56.600

Jared Asch: Sure. And and just because it was a big city and and had a larger stake in the the media market.


00:46:56.640 --> 00:47:08.050

Jared Asch: it could go outside of his district, where other people are very limited to what was their old district compared to this new district? And where is their base? Right? It's he had a much bigger base outside of his own city, even.


00:47:08.050 --> 00:47:31.199

Ted Lempert: No, that's a great point to like, you know. I'm sure all your listeners I mean, probably we know more about San Francisco politics, even though it's a real. It's not that big a city, just because of the media market, right? We get bombarded with San Francisco political news. And so, San Jose a little less, but certainly far more than you know, an another city, and you know, even you know more than Oakland, because given how big San Jose is.


00:47:33.100 --> 00:47:46.191

Jared Asch: Yeah, that makes sense in 2 very different parts of those those Congressional races. One, you you talked about clearing the field of big names, and one, you had a lot of big names, and just interesting to see how the impact on those 2 races were.


00:47:46.470 --> 00:47:47.900

Ted Lempert: Yeah, no. Absolutely.


00:47:47.900 --> 00:47:54.330

Jared Asch: So be before we leave. Thanks for your analysis on the election. Tell us a little bit more about


00:47:54.590 --> 00:48:03.419

Jared Asch: children now, and how people can get more information about it. What what does the organization do? What's its purpose? How does it help our communities.


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Ted Lempert: Oh, I appreciate that. Yeah, I urge folks to go to our And and basically what we're trying to do is give power to kids issues. I I mean, there's a lot more support to make for making sure every kid gets a great education, great healthcare, all the things that kid needs then, is we sometimes recognize. And you know, what we're doing with children now is is really


00:48:29.960 --> 00:48:56.932

Ted Lempert: bringing together that support. We. We lead what's called the children's movement of California. Believe it or not, we have over 5,400 organizations. We're like business groups, labor, community parent, where what we're doing is is getting folks to speak out at the same time on behalf of of huge kids issues really important. So really giving advocacy behind kids issues a lot more strength. And we work from early childhood all the way through.


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Ted Lempert: a h 26 and just real quick, I mean one. We were really instrumental in getting more funding for childcare last year and improving prop one just to protect youth, mental health. And then here's a staddle


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Ted Lempert: leave folks with, you know where you know education has been poorly funded in California since Prop. 13. So if you look at state and local taxes, we rank around tenth in the country. Maybe. Ninth, we're relatively high tax state, right? If you put all the taxes together. Property taxes are lower. Income tax is very high sales tax.


00:49:31.210 --> 00:49:52.470

Ted Lempert: But yet we're far from being top 10 in education, you know. Right now we're around middle of the States probably gonna drop down with this surplus. So like you, you know, one of the things that drives me is like we we need to be doing our advocacy better. Because how could we be a high tech state, that's, you know, below average in education funding that


00:49:52.590 --> 00:50:04.129

Ted Lempert: that makes no sense. I I don't know anyone who agrees with that. So you know, there, there's a lot to be done to improve our education system, our health systems and our early childhood systems for kids.


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Jared Asch: Well, and I wanna come back to a key point. There is. It's a you're building a coalition of getting everybody, whether it's a a large business, or an environmental group, or a a in a


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Jared Asch: equity group. But you're bringing them all together to talk about priorities for children now, and I hence the name, and


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Jared Asch: you know that that's a lot of respect, cause it's not easy to wield so many people with so many different opinions, but the the seems like the the mantra is, hey? We all want to think about the future of California right? And making sure we bring the next level of of people up to the highest potential caliber.


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Ted Lempert: Yeah, and that. And to your point on that childcare campaign that we organized last year. We had over 1,100 groups sign on that. I mean diverse groups. Not all of you know, one, not all environmentalist or business folks or labor folks, but diverse groups. And among the groups that sign onto our letter were the State Chamber of Commerce


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Ted Lempert: and scu. How often does that happen? And it? It shows that like there's so much more support for kids. But it doesn't get demonstrated enough, you know, it's almost like, Oh, yeah, kids. And so what we're doing. And I've literally heard people in Sacramento. Tell me both when I was in the legislature and says, Oh, yeah, kids like, of course, kids. Well, no, not, of course, like.


00:51:29.260 --> 00:51:49.870

Ted Lempert: let's really do it right? And so that's what we do with children now, to really put together and demonstrate the support and and push really hard for the needs of kits because you know, I I think we give it lip service. But there's a lot of other important issues out there, but I don't think there's anything more important than the the you know future of our kids.


00:51:50.910 --> 00:52:09.249

Jared Asch: Great. Well, thank you for joining me today. Ted Lumber, a former supervisor state legislator head of children's now, and a professor at Berkeley and political science. So I appreciate all your insights on this elections and thanks for your time today.


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Ted Lempert: Fletcher. Thanks a lot. Jared appreciate it.

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