Republicans should listen to Kevin McCarthy

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Republicans meet this weekend at their State Convention in Sacramento to discuss their nominations process in the aftermath of Proposition 14. Some may think it’s an inside baseball debate. The truth is that what happens this weekend will have a tremendous impact on the Republican Party, its candidates and their ability to win future elections.

California’s highest ranking Congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy has become active in this debate. He is co-sponsoring a measure with State Senate Leader Bob Dutton and Assembly Leader Connie Conway. The plan focuses on the principle that Republican voters should decide who their nominees are – not party insiders.

McCarthy addressed California Republican Party delegates via teleconference this week contrasting the differences between the process for party endorsements that he and a vast majority of Members of Congress, State Senators and Assembly Members support and the one proposed by the current party chairman.

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Virginia, there might be a Santa Clause: Judge Strikes Health Care Mandate

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Yesterday, Virginia Judge Henry Hudson found the individual health care mandate – a key part of national health care reform proposed by President Obama – unconstitutional. Putting the kibosh on this mandate, namely the provision that says Americans without health coverage must purchase their own insurance starting in 2014, may be the first in a line of rulings on the constitutionality of the Obama-care law and its impact on states.

A proud Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s Attorney General, claimed victory saying the ruling was the right thing for Virginians who now won’t be forced to buy health insurance. He said Congress had gone too far and that it was unfair to require individuals to purchase a product from a private entity – in this case – an insurance company.

Judge Hudson agreed, ruling that the health care mandate exceeds the federal government’s authority under the “Commerce Clause” and that it was beyond Congressional power under the Constitution.

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“Should I Stay or Should I Go Now” – Pelosi Probably Prevails

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

The San Francisco Business Times is currently conducting its “Business Pulse” Survey.

The question: “Should Nancy Pelosi step down as leader of the House Democrats?

Readers of the publication are largely business owners and entrepreneurs. The results as of 9:30 PM on Tuesday are posted below where an astonishing 65% of readers of the San Francisco publication believe Pelosi should step down. A mere 32% say she should stay. Keep in mind this is the San Francisco Business Times – not a national online poll.

Anyone who knows Washington, D.C. knows how popular North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler is. After all, this man was the Quarterback of the Washington Redskins. It’s not a far stretch. Washington loves him.

Check Congressman Heath Shuler out here.

If Democrats don’t have the good sense to choose him as the “face” of the party against likely Speaker John Boehner, then God help them (they’ll need it) in 2012.

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“Don’t Stop Believing” – The San Francisco Giants Won the World Series Championship. Will Democrats rule on Tuesday?

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Glory goes to the San
Francisco Giants whose manager, organization, spirit and clutch players made
this World Series so spectacular.  The
celebration continues tonight at San Francisco’s Civic Plaza and at countless
bars in the Bay Area.  Will Democrats
rule tomorrow as the City by the Bay Celebrates?

Most historical observers agree
that when the Giants made the World Series, they saw the unreachable star with
nostalgia reminiscent of the last time the New York Giants won the Series.  That was during President Eisenhower’s
tenure.  Only people old enough remember know
that it more than 50 years ago.  I happen
to be one of them.  While I grew up a New
York Yankees’ fan (I was born there when President Eisenhower was President), I’ve
been reminded of this countless times this week by baseball fans and relatives
back east who held out hope that one day the Giants would win again, keeping
the old dynasty alive.  It kind of
reminds me of those of us who knew Reagan. 
It’s the same "believing" feeling.

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Pre-Labor Day Snapshots Offer a Glimpse of California’s Future

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Summer in California is usually quiet with no real interest in politics.  This year is different – and it’s not just the summer heat that’s making people delirious.  They want change – and it’s not in the form of Barak Obama.

I was part of an incredible team that helped Sam Blakeslee prevail in not just one election, but two in two months.  When I started, few were aware of the Special Primary Election on June 22nd where Blakeslee nearly won the race outright in an 8 point Democrat district.  Sam had help from Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Governor Schwarzenegger. 

In fact, nearly every notable Republican offered some form of assistance.  They backed him wholeheartedly not just because he’s a Republican.  Sam represents a new California – he’s an innovator and researcher with a deep understanding of budgets and how to rally people towards a common cause.  His impressive record of bi-partisan legislative accomplishments gave voters confidence.

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Bay Area Buzz – Is the Republican ‘Rising Tide’ reality or just more Republican Rhetoric?

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

On Saturday night, a crowd of 400 or so GOP stalwarts gathered in Atherton at "The Rising Tide" to see Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Damon Dunn and Abram Wilson.  This event, an annual ritual for many years, brings together GOP stalwarts and elite for a fun night of barbecue, dancing, and fun.  For years, the event has been short on real politics and long on fun, largely due to a lack of serious, viable candidates for key positions.

This year was different.  Republicans have two women business icons in Silicon Valley running as heads of their ticket.  Adding flair and common sense were are two amazingly competent African Americans running for Secretary of State and Assembly in the 15th District.  For once, this event wasn’t about a bunch of white guy career politicians – instead it focused on achievers who are different, who have solved problems, and who can win.

I know it sounds weird to most progressive Democrats.  It’s not like Republicans have shined in California elections with women and minorities.  But – here’s the thing.  It’s a new California and Republicans somehow seem ready to embrace this change:

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Protests at the Party – Labor’s Attempt Falls Short

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Last week, Meg Whitman made an appearance on behalf of Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, the Republican candidate in Senate District 15’s Special Election on Tuesday.

The event for Sam was a fundraiser featuring Meg in what I believe may be her first appearance on behalf of a partisan candidate since becoming the Republican nominee for Governor of California.

It took place at the lovely gardens of Peter and Dennise Carter in Los Gatos.  Their home, built in the 1890s, is a lovely old Victorian that they have refurbished. Their neighbor, Mayor Mike Wasserman came by to greet guests and was part of the program.  State Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth was on hand as well as a number of local elected officials and candidates.

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If the U.S. Economy Added 431,000 jobs in May, why are only 41,000 in the Private Sector?

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Today, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the addition of new jobs "at the fastest pace in a decade" with "the largest gain since March 2000".  

The reality is that the May jobs figure was only boosted by hiring 411,000 temporary public sector government workers for the 10-year count of the U.S. population by the U.S. Census Bureau. The private sector added only 41,000 jobs.  

From 2002 to 2006, I served as the U.S. Labor Department’s Regional Representative for California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and Guam, and learned a lot about labor laws and high growth sectors of the economy in our state as well as our neighbors.

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Will the Mood for ‘Change’ Strike California?

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

As we focus on primaries in California, it appears across the country that voters – sick of politics as usual and career politicians – are staking their claim by voting for newcomers.  

California has always prided itself on its independence.  When you look at the drama that has unfolded in primaries and special elections across the country, it makes you wonder if California Republicans will stake their own independence by voting for new leaders – the likes of Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina – or stick with tried and true career politicians – like Tom Campbell, Chuck DeVore and Steve Poizner.

While you were sleeping on the way to California’s June 8th primary, here’s what happened:

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Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way – Why Whitman Will Win

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Meg Whitman hosted a fundraiser in Silicon Valley with some of the most influential political leaders in America on Friday night. Whether you agree with them or not, it is no small task to get former Secretary of State George Schultz, former MA Governor’s Mitt Romney, former FL Governor Jeb Bush, and U.S. Senator John McCain in the same room to talk to titans of technology like Bill Draper, John Chambers, Ray Lane, and John Chen. This is not a passing fancy. Meg is the real deal.

Superstars who have played important roles in past Presidential Administrations from Ford to the current regime were on hand. More than 550 attendees came out on a Friday night to raise another $1.5 million plus to support Meg Whitman.

Secretary of State George Schultz, who served under Reagan, only sang a few bars of “California Here I Come” but reminisced about how Governor Ronald Reagan loved that song as well as the California State song. (What is the CA state song again?) Many may not remember that Schultz was the Secretary of Labor under Ford but I do – I saw his rendering in the U.S. Department of Labor when I was the west coast labor rep. Schultz represents Reagan more than any other national figure I can think of. He fought the evil empire and won. He is a living legacy and he is supporting Meg Whitman.

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