Skip to comments.Interest groups square off in critical special election
Posted on 06/21/2010 7:46:33 AM PDT by SmithL
SACRAMENTO The stakes are high and contrasts stark in Tuesday's special election to fill a vacant state Senate seat for a district that stretches from San Jose to Santa Maria, in Santa Barbara County.
Democrats can inch closer to a two-thirds majority in the Senate with a victory, a prospect that has pitted powerful interests against each other in a bruising and costly battle over who controls the Capitol.
The race features two candidates who represent the opposite ends of the partisan spectrum: former Assemblyman John Laird, an openly gay and liberal Democrat who is backed by labor unions and environmentalists, and Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, the former GOP leader and ex-oil company executive who has the backing of oil, insurance and other major industries.
"This race really puts the differences between the parties into sharp relief," said Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College. "It gives you a clear indication which economic interests stand to benefit from which sides' victory."
Big guns big business on one side and labor unions on the other have poured millions of dollars into the 15th District race. And, if neither candidate picks up more than 50 percent of the vote, more millions will be spent for an Aug. 17 runoff. Two other candidates are running, including Jim Fitzgerald, a conservative independent expected to take away some support from Blakeslee.
Republicans are seeking to keep the seat, which came into play in April after Abel Maldonado was confirmed as lieutenant governor, helping to hold onto their relevancy regarding spending and taxes.
If Laird wins, Democrats would have possession of 26 seats in the 40-seat Senate, moving to within one vote of a two-thirds majority in the Senate,
(Excerpt) Read more at contracostatimes.com ...
All so that the RINOs can run a Latino. Despicable.