The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—9:00 am: Representative Dick Gephardt meets with supporters to talk about the economy, Portsmouth, N.H.

—10:30 am: Senator Bob Graham attends the National Balloon Classic, Indianola, Iowa

—12:00 pm: Senator Joe Lieberman meets with employees of Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Manchester, N.H.

—12:45 pm: Senator Bob Graham has lunch with Warren County Democrats, Indianola, Iowa

—1:00 pm: Representative Dick Gephardt meets with supporters to talk about the economy, Concord, N.H.

—1:00 pm: Senator John Kerry goes on a downtown walk, Derry, N.H.

—1:15 pm: Senator Joe Lieberman meets with employees of Delta Education, Nashua, N.H.

—2:30 pm: Senator Bob Graham tours the John L. Lewis Museum of Labor and Mining, Lucas, Iowa

—3:00 pm: Arnold Schwarzenegger expected to attend 11th Annual Inner-City Games, Bellflower, Calif.

—4:30 pm: Senator John Edwards meets with Beaufort County Democrats, Hilton Head, S.C.

—4:30 pm: Hearing scheduled for lawsuit filed by supporters of Governor Davis who allege recall signatures were collected fraudulently, Central Civil West Court, Los Angeles

—5:30 pm: Senator John Kerry has dinner with firefighters, Salem, N.H.

—6:00 pm: Representative Dick Gephardt meets with supporters to talk about the economy, Claremont, N.H.


-- The California Supreme Court's refusal to act in all five recall-related lawsuits means the recall election — or gubernatorial circus, as some call it — moves forward full steam ahead with its October date, barring intervention by the federal courts.

-- The final deadline for filing is less than 48 hours away.

-- Schwarzenegger hit all the morning shows today, talking — nearly without interruption — about the need for leadership in California. He has 3 pm ET photo op today.

-- Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan is endorsing Schwarzenegger in the race.

-- Former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth may get into the race today. At this point, that is the only potential major entry we are tracking.

-- Senator Barbara Boxer is expected to weigh in on the recall and a Democratic candidate.

-- Questioning Schwarzenegger — not merely through opposition research, but on what he actually thinks and plans to do about the issues — is beginning in earnest.

-- How quickly and how big will conservative opposition to Schwarzenegger build? What kind of endorsements (political and business) will he roll out to shield himself?

Schwarzenegger is expected to attend the 11th Annual Inner-City Games in Bellflower, California, this afternoon, and the media throng will be HUGE.

Peter Ueberroth, former commissioner of Major League Baseball and Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1984, is expected to make an announcement about his possible California gubernatorial candidacy some time today.

On Saturday, Bill Simon will hold a rally at the Norwalk Marriott Hotel in Norwalk, California at 2:00 pm ET. After the rally, he'll head to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's office to file his declaration of candidacy.

At some point on Saturday, Schwarzenegger is expected at the same location to file his paperwork, and the media throng will be HUGE.

At 11:00 pm ET Saturday night, Simon will speak at the California Republican Assembly's dinner at the Burbank Hilton. Simon will appear on Fox News Sunday on, uhh, Sunday.

The local television coverage of Arnold (at least as seen in the Los Angeles hotel suite we have packed with monitors and Googling monkeys to watch … ) is over-the-top favorable, with lots of "Arnold to the rescue" thematics.

Matt Lauer couldn't get an answer to the question of whether Arnold will follow the "usual" practice of California gubernatorial candidates to release their tax returns because Arnold's IFB conveniently stopped working. More on this to come .

President Bush will meet with Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld in Crawford today. There is an expected press availability with the president and Rumsfeld some time around 12:30 pm ET. On Monday, the president travels to Denver and Arizona.

Senator Kerry is in New Hampshire today and tomorrow. He does a downtown walk in Derry this afternoon. He'll have dinner with firefighters in Salem tonight and then attend a house party in Nashua. On Saturday, Kerry participates in a door-to-door canvassing kickoff in Manchester.

Around lunchtime, he heads to another house party in Hopkinton. The Note was unable to confirm whether Kid 'N Play are expected to attend either of those house parties.

Senator Graham continues on the Graham Family Vacation today and through the weekend in Iowa. The gang heads to the National Balloon Classic in Indianola this morning and there's a full day of activity in which the two RVs will split up for a little bit, with Graham family members touring the bridges of Madison County and going to an ice cream social in Osceola.

Vacation goers will lunch with the Warren County Democrats and tour the John L. Lewis Labor Museum in Lucas. Everybody meets back together in Appanoose County for another night of grillin'. On Saturday, Graham heads to Ottumwa, West Point, Fort Madison and Burlington. On Sunday, it's off to Mount Pleasant and Eldridge.

Senator Lieberman campaigns today in Nashua and Merrimack, New Hampshire. He'll meet with employees of Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield in at noon, and later on he'll meet with employees of Delta Education in Nashua. He'll visit Manchester, Rollinsford, Concord and Londonderry on Sunday and Monday.

On Sunday, Hadassah Lieberman campaigns in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She'll go to a couple of receptions and the Iowa State Fair.

Congressman Gephardt campaigns in New Hampshire today, making stops to talk about the economy in Portsmouth, Concord and Claremont.

Tomorrow is his big endorsement day with the Teamsters. The day begins with an announcement with Teamsters President James Hoffa in Detroit at 10:00 am ET. Next, Gephardt heads to Des Moines for a Teamsters endorsement rally at 2:00 pm. And then it's back to New Hampshire for another endorsement rally in Manchester at 6:00 pm ET.

Also on Saturday, Jane Gephardt and Representative Patrick Kennedy will canvass in New Hampshire.

Senator Edwards campaigns in South Carolina today and tomorrow. He meets with Beaufort County Democrats today in Hilton Head. Tomorrow, he's in St. Helena, Walterboro, Summerville and North Charleston.

On Saturday, Congressman Kucinich will speak at the Veterans for Peace annual convention in San Francisco in the morning and head to Austin, Texas, to attend a "Super Rally" for progressives on Saturday night.

Reverend Sharpton campaigns today in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tonight, he heads to Martha's Vineyard for a fundraiser at Spike Lee's house. That's not to be confused with any Spike TV parties happening on Martha's Vineyard tonight. On Saturday, Reverend Sharpton is in Chicago for the Bud Billiken Parade. On Sunday, he heads to Johnsonville, South Carolina, for services at the Chapel Holiness Church.

Governor Dean and Ambassador Braun have no public events announced for today or the weekend.

On Monday, the Sheet Metal Workers union holds a presidential candidate forum at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center. All Democratic candidates except Senator Edwards have confirmed their attendance. CNN's Bill Press will moderate.

The rest of the political world, in other news:

1. Huge 527 News: "Labor, environmental and women's organizations, with strong backing from international financier George Soros, have joined forces behind a new political group that plans to spend an unprecedented $75 million to mobilize voters to defeat President Bush in 2004." LINK It's called "America Coming Together(ACT)."

The New York Times 's story lists several prominent Dem. activists as founders. LINK. Steve Rosenthal will be the CEO. This is separate from — but will coordinate with — "America Votes," which will do TV ads.

ACT Spokesman Gretchen Wright tells ABC News: "They're putting staff together now, so, by mid-September, they'll be ready to go into field." Look for a big fundraising drive in September, too.

The two big stories of this election cycle may well be the unprecedented message coordination among Dems (if it works) and the enormous fundraising machine of President Bush.

2. The Dean folks, who claim not care about ticks in the polls, are un-self-consciously touting the USA Today /Gallup numbers showing them tied with Gephardt for second place — behind Lieberman but ahead of Kerry. LINK; the campaign picked up Democratic strategist Andi Pringle yesterday.

She'll serve as deputy campaign manager; aside from her raw political talents, which the Dean campaign touts, in the blunt calculus of Democratic identity politics, Pringle may help the Dean campaign overcome a perception that it's too white.

Pringle has worked as the NAACP's communications director; served as Carol Moseley Braun's campaign manager; and has lots of experience working with grassroots minority/liberal coalitions. Meanwhile, Congressman Dennis Kucinich joined on the Dean's-a-centrist bandwagon. LINK

3. The Washington Post 's Connolly says Kerry may have puffed up the health care rating given to him by National Journal's health care experts. But "Kerry aides … say the claim results from simple math. They took a set of scores compiled by National Journal magazine on July 19 and tallied them." "Kerry policy adviser Sarah Bianchi noted that Gephardt has bragged about the categories in which he scored well. 'We're both showing the data in a way that makes our best case,' she said." LINK

Kerry spokesman Robert Gibbs told us, "The 10 experts representing the full range of political viewpoints rated the plans in a series of issues that have made health care a crisis in America. The scores ranged from 1 to 5 — 5 being 'the best.'"

The Kerry campaign just added the scores, Gibbs said in an e-mail. "There is simply no mention in the piece about weighting things differently."

4. Al Gore will endorse a candidate at some point in the cycle; we got press releases from Dean, Lieberman and Edwards, in that order, praising Gore.

The Washington Post says a White House aide brushed off Gore's criticism. LINK. The New York Times Notes that some Democrats questioned the timing of the speech; Gore aides insist they didn't mean to suck any oxygen from the '04 race. LINK

More than one Democrat wistfully asked why Gore won't run … .

Dean thanked Gore for his "integrity" in the speech: "He should be applauded for that by all who seek a return to truth, integrity, and compassion in our government," he said in a statement.

Edwards said, "Al Gore continues to be an important voice in our national debate and is uniquely positioned to critique" the Bush Administration.

Lieberman: "Today, [Gore] offered yet another reminder of why the ticket he led got more votes than any Democratic ticket in history."

Senator Bob Graham Graham talked about his "astute voice," saying, "I look forward to following Al Gore's lead and beating George Bush again in 2004."

The AP's Nedra Pickler writes about Gore and the Clintons sorta overshadowing the candidates. LINK

5. Says the New York Times of the Democrats: "The party is perilously out of touch with a large swath of black voters — those 18 to 35 years old who grew up after the groundbreaking years of the civil rights movement. It is a group too important and complex to ignore, many strategists caution, when analysts are predicting another close election. LINK; Will Lester on Democratic disaffection: "Six in 10 Democrats are dissatisfied with the party's performance on core issues such as helping the poor and aiding the average worker, according to a poll that also found Democrats noticing the presidential candidate who often rails against Washington — Howard Dean." … "Just 38 percent of Democrats said their party is doing an excellent or good job in protecting the interests of minorities, aiding the needy and representing working Americans, down from 47 percent in May 2001, according to the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released Thursday." LINK

Please also read:

--Paul Krugman's next column before it's written. LINK

--The New York Times on Pataki and Bloomberg. LINK

--John DiStaso's entire MUL column, including his rare-on-the-record interview with Nick Baldick about Edwards' new ads; and this teasing line: "Gephardt consultants will film pieces of the ads during his weekend trip to the state, which begins tomorrow." Also: Ed Gillespie will visit NH on Aug 27. LINK

-- David Lightman on Joe and Labor LINK

-- Edwards meets with black Baptists. LINK; and meets with North Carolina textile workers. LINK

--Bob Graham's quirky summer tour. LINK

--James Pindell on new office openings in New Hampshire. LINK

California recall, what the insiders are talking about:

1. Where will the candidates get their money from?

2. Who will do IEs? (That's "independent expenditures, for those of you who just stumbled into The Note today … )

3. The Walsh vs. Schnur dream/death match that will make Leslie and Kathleen giddy with excitement.

4. Just how big a role is Bill Clinton going to play as Butch to Gray Davis' Sundance?

5. And, as the AP's Scott "California Dreamin'" Lindlaw reports, 41 might come on out for Arnold, to pay him back for his past help (Note to PAs: pull the '88 and '92 tape!)

6. Who will attack whom, intra-party, cross-party, and otherwise? And for what?

7. Who the heck is actually going to turn out to vote in this thing?

California recall, Arnold:

On the Today show this morning, Schwarzenegger blew off yesterday's stories that Riordan didn't know he was running, saying, "Riordan called [me] the night before, and said, 'Arnold you're the best candidate. You should run. I don't have the fire in the belly, you have the fire in the belly."

In an interview in which Matt Lauer struggled to squeeze in his questions, Schwarzenegger declined to talk specifics about his plans to "overhaul the economic engine" of California, emphasizing the need for his leadership. Lauer ran out of time to press Schwarzenegger on the business-opposed paid family leave law in California when technical difficulties evidently kept Schwarzenegger from hearing the question.

Schwarzenegger told ABC's Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America that he's running for governor to clean up the mess in California. He wants to create a vision, he said, and is "assembling a problem solving team that's being put together as we speak."

On Ted Kennedy: "If we don't see eye to eye [politically] that's fine with me, but no one can divide this family."

On a Washington Post report that a Schwarzenegger aide hinted he may be open to raising taxes: "First of all I cannot imagine that anyone on my team said that. …

Let's bring businesses back to California."

On whether he blames President Bush for the national deficit as he blames Governor Davis for the state deficit: "I don't mix apples and oranges, I look at the state."

On criticism from Rush Limbaugh and gay marriage: "I don't want to get into that right now. As we go on with our campaign we'll get into those issues."

On why he announced on the Tonight Show: "I do things in an odd way, in a very unusual way. … There's nothing unusual about it for the people who know me really well."

On CBS, Arnold took the lead in listing, again, "womanizing" and "steroids" as things that will be thrown at him.

Now that reporters have had a chance to catch their collective breaths and think, questions about Schwarzenegger's readiness to be governor are coming out of the woodwork.

The New York Post 's Deborah Orin writes about the chances of the best-known candidate in the race. LINK So does USA Today 's Martin Kasindorf. LINK

And the Los Angeles Times' Peter Nicholas and Megan Garvey. LINK

And the New York Post 's Howard Breuer and William Gorta. LINK The New York Post 's Todd Venezia takes a quick look at the starring points of the oppo books … . LINK … and at Schwarzenegger's business dealings over the years. LINK Schwarzenegger's trip to pick up his papers yesterday had the feel of a movie premiere. So say the New York Daily News' Helen Kennedy. LINK; the Los Angeles Times' Joe Mathews and Jia-Rui Chong. LINK; and San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci. LINK.

That'll teach us to read the tabloids first. The New York Times ' Dean Murphy leads with a lay-of-the-land piece explaining the Democrats' intraparty struggles to deal with breaking ranks, finding a candidate, and gearing up to try to defeat the Terminator. LINK

The New York Times ' Bernard Weinraub looks at Hollywood's thoughts on the campaign. LINK The New York Times ' Charlie LeDuff quotes new Washingtonian and Orioles watcher Sheri Annis, who advised Schwarzenegger on last fall's Proposition 49. LINK "'The media, the scrutiny, it's going to be a new world for him.'"

"'He's extraordinarily smart, and extremely savvy, but he has to be careful,' Ms. Annis said in an interview before Mr. Schwarzenegger entered the race. 'When the press looks at an actor in Hollywood who doesn't do Shakespeare, they don't think there is a lot upstairs. So if he's protected too much from the political media, he'll have trouble.'"

And lots wonder what he really thinks about the issues.

New York Times 's Bernard Weinraub. LINK; the New York Times editorial board. LINK; the Washington Post 's Rene Sanchez. LINK; the Washington Post 's editorial board. LINK; the San Francisco Chronicle's Robert Salladay. LINK; and the Sacramento Bee's Gary Delsohn LINK. The Orange County Register's John Gittelsohn constructs a timeline of how Schwarzenegger made his decision. LINK

Including a comment from media adviser Don Sipple: "'We were all caught flat footed. Nobody knew what he was going to do except him.'"

The Washington Post 's Ann Gerhart looks at Schwarzenegger's relationship with the Kennedys. LINK And describes a wedding gift Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver that we really want to see.

"Former U.N. secretary general Kurt Waldheim presented the couple with a larger-than-life sculpture of themselves, featuring Arnold smiling in lederhosen, hoisting a dirndl-skirted Maria into the air."

Photos? Anyone? Larger-than-life!!!!????

The New York Times editorial board isn't taking kindly to the Schwarzenegger candidacy. LINK And the Washington Post editorial board makes a case for the politicking to be left to the politicians. LINK One of the more interesting angles emerging is the stance of social conservatives who aren't rallying behind a Schwarzenegger candidacy.

James Lafferty, spokesman for Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), which was founded in California, told The Note that his group is "going to be in contact with religious leaders throughout California and start a dialog" to see whether Arnold Schwarzenegger is a social conservative as well as an economic conservative. Chief among the issues his folks care about: abortion and same-sex marriage.

Says Lafferty, "We get a bad vibe about him based on some of the veiled things he has said in the past. We are going to try to create some pressure on this."

What else bothers them? "His close association with Riordan, who is exactly the sort of Republican we don't want to see in any office."

California recall, Davis:

"A trio of powerful San Francisco Democrats — Senator Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Mayor Willie Brown — all either criticized Davis or went frosty in their support. California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D) and Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi (D), both proven statewide vote-getters, put their names on the ballot to replace Davis should he lose the recall, foiling Davis's plan to survive by giving Democratic voters no alternative to keeping him in office," the Washington Post wraps. LINK

Pelosi told the Los Angeles Times: ""I think Davis faces a very big challenge." LINK

"Davis, in Anaheim to speak to the California School Employees Assn. annual convention, expressed 'wonderment' over the frenzied activity of the last few days."

"'People are parachuting in, people are parachuting out. People are changing their mind almost hourly,' he said."

"The governor refrained from talking about his opponents, saying he wouldn't engage in any 'back and forth' until the field was set Saturday."

"Even when the candidates are known, he said, he'll focus on urging voters to defeat the recall instead of attacking candidates. 'I'm not a slasher and burner,' he said. 'Everyone thinks my team is, but I'm a nice guy.'"

(The Note pauses while you all ponder that one.)

The non-vacationing David Doak does his best "glass is half full" work in several papers.

"'If you go back two weeks and look where we were and compare it to where we are now, we're not in bad shape,' said David Doak, the governor's media strategist. "'We were worried, number one, about Dianne Feinstein. She was the only Democrat well-known enough and popular enough that she could've caused people to vote no on Davis just to get her in. Now she's out."

"Mr. Davis and his supporters were also dealt a sweeping legal setback late in the day, when the State Supreme Court refused to intervene in the recall. The seven-member court rejected five legal challenges, including one filed by Mr. Davis on Monday that would have delayed the vote until March and would have let him run as a possible successor to himself," the New York Times reports. LINK

The anti-recall effort's success depends in part on whether organized labor in California gets their members to vote against Question 1.

The California Federation of Labor, which last week voted to marshal their considerable political resources behind Governor Davis, has released a somewhat equivocal statement. It strongly condemns the recall effort, but does NOT take Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante to task for entering the race.

The House of Labor, it would appear is, if not a House divided, at least a House of soft Waffles.

From Art Pulaski, its president: "Last week, after thoughtful deliberation, our executive council — representing over two million union members — reached consensus about organized labor's position on the recall. We unanimously decided to discourage this expensive and destabilizing recall, and we unanimously

decided to discourage all candidates from entering the race."

"We are confident that the voters who show up at the polls to support Cruz Bustamante will also vote against the recall, because they know that right-wing sponsors of the recall are really trying to recall paid family leave, overtime pay, a woman's right to choose, and environmental protection. And we are confident that Cruz Bustamante will urge his supporters to vote against the recall."

The federation — the umbrella group for most California unions — still plans to use its political resources to defeat Question 1, according to a senior member of the staff there.

But, as the statement indicates, whether the tenor of that support is directed to help Governor Davis — or whether it impersonally decries the recall — remains to be seen.

On background, another California labor operative says that on the 26h of this month the state federation will convene a massive anti-recall convention and rally in Los Angeles.

Several members of the labor federation, like the powerful California Teachers Association, are officially neutral about other candidates entering the race.

Others, like state's big firefighters union and the SEIU state council, plan to support Governor Davis more directly, as will a few correctional/law enforcement office unions.

Yet others remain undecided.

Two national labor leaders told ABC News the same thing: "wait until Saturday."

California recall, the courts:

The California Supreme Court yesterday dismissed all cases filed against the recall election. LINK

The Los Angeles Times reports that federal lawsuits — including a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court by the Davis campaign — are likely to continue to surround the recall elections, and that "more lawsuits could come after the voting." In the meantime, though, the recall is plowing ahead with no state-level lawsuits to impede it.

The AP's David Kravets writes, "The court was responding to five petitions. Two asked to block challengers' names from appearing on the ballot. One asked to move two unrelated ballot initiatives to the March primary election." LINK

Another lawsuit, filed by Davis tried to delay the election until March because of issues with the mechanics of the vote. Another involved the requirements to get on the ballot — $3,500 and 65 signatures of registered voters. The court would not deal with petitions saying that Bustamante automatically succeeds Davis if voters approve the recall. In addition, the court would not let Davis be listed as a candidate on the ballot. It also refused to move two ballot initiatives — including University of California Regent Ward Connerly's measure to bar all California governments from tracking race in schools and the workplace — to March.

California recall, the other Democrats:

The Washington Wire's Jackie Calmes has Democratic polling data that shows: "some 60% of likely Oct. 7 voters backing (Davis') recall."

She also Notes the significance of Garamendi's entrance into the race: "Party's hopes of rallying around Lt. Gov. Bustamante should Davis be ousted are dashed when insurance Commissioner Garamendi jumps in."

Despite Panetta's statements to The Washington Post and to Nightline that he will not enter the race, Calmes keeps speculation alive about a Panetta candidacy by reporting in The Wall Street Journal that a Democratic poll shows Schwarzenegger "behind both Democratic former Rep. Panetta and Republican ex-Mayor Riordan in polls." (The Note thinks that poll is whack; Panetta's famous in Washington, not so much in the Golden State … )

"Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who announced Wednesday that he will run in the recall election to replace Gov. Gray Davis, has long been a major recipient of money from Indian tribes with casinos, and could receive significant sums from them in his campaign," the Los Angeles Times reports. LINK

"Since first winning an Assembly seat in 1993, Bustamante has accepted more than $1.5 million in direct donations from tribes with casinos. Since he took office as lieutenant governor in 1999, tribes have accounted for 12% of his total contributions."

The Sacramento Bee remembers that Bustamante and Davis really dislike each other.

"'When Bustamante did not call the election for the most immediate date and created a 16-day filing period, rather than a one-day filing period, he sealed Gray Davis' fate,' said Republican strategist Kevin Spillane. 'He created a period of time for Gray Davis to twist in the wind and allow Democratic unity to crumble.'" LINK

"Spillane recalled the time Davis removed some parking spaces from Bustamante's control."

"'The parking spaces that Gray Davis took away from Bustamante's office in 1999 are going to go down as the most valuable parking spaces in California political history,' Spillane said. 'Someone should build a monument by those parking spaces: 'On this spot Gray Davis ultimately lost his political career.'"

The Orange County Register Noted on Thursday that Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez "has secured a legal opinion saying she can use her congressional campaign money to run for governor." LINK

Today, the Orange County Register has Sanchez supportive of Bustamante but still playing coy: "'My intention is that we support heavily one prominent Democrat,' Sanchez said before a conference call Thursday with fellow House Democrats. 'If Cruz can be that Democrat, then I'll be willing to say, 'Go for it, Cruz.'" LINK

The Bee Notes that state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi "managed to read his own announcement speech without ever referring to Davis or to the recall effort."

"Garamendi said Thursday night that party leaders were trying to dissuade him from running, but he said he plans to stay in the race," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Times has thumbnail sketches of Bustamante, Garamendi and other declared candidates: LINK

California recall, the chaos:

The Los Angeles Times' editorial page does the business side of the operation no favor by directly attacking its readers:

"The root of California's problems is not its governor. It is in large part the voters themselves." LINK

While the Sacramento Bee's Weintraub tries to calm his fellow Californians.

"But as tempting as it might be to conclude that California is going over the edge, we are not. We are on our way toward holding an election to decide whether to keep the governor or dismiss him, just as the state constitution has allowed since 1911. And if we decide to dismiss Davis, we will then decide who should replace him. It's not that complicated." LINK

Another silver-lining story from the Bee: "More than one in four Californians, nearly 9 million of us, was born in another country."

"Yet this land of immigrants has never elected an immigrant as governor. Nor can historians recall the last time a major gubernatorial candidate was born in another country."

"The recall election, which already has spawned a bevy of firsts, may change that."

The Bee's editorial page warns of looming problems. Those killjoys.

"The state's workers' compensation system is on the verge of collapse. Any solution to this problem will be tough to craft, given the political clout of the interested parties — labor unions and trial lawyers on one side, business interests on the other. In this case, it will be doubly tough because the Legislature needs to come up with some solution before it adjourns on Sept. 12 — only 35 days from now. In order to make next year's patchwork budget work, the state needs to negotiate new labor agreements with a number of unions — the same unions whose political support helped Gray Davis win two terms as governor." LINK

The Los Angeles Times says that [o]fficials are scrambling to find new ballot formats that can accommodate dozens of candidates' names — more than they have ever seen in a single contest. Some, who once expected this to be a quiet season, are rushing to implement untested, high-tech voting systems for which their employees have not been trained." LINK

California recall, the Invisible Primary:

Return of The Notepad???

Not quite, but we asked leading representatives of the Democratic presidential campaigns to send us a description of what has happened to the level of press calls/press interest in their campaigns since Arnold hit big.

Here are some of their answers:

Jano Cabrera for Joe Lieberman: ""There's definitely been a Gigli-like drop off in business. Since Ahr-nold announced, reporters have totally redefined what passes for news. But we're adjusting; from this point forward Lieberman will only speak in corny one-liners and appear at all public events bare-chested and glistening in oil."

Jennifer Palmieri for John Edwards: ""Arnold … is he the son of a mill worker? To date, Wagner has not found Total Recall worthy of his attention. My life remains the same. Please (!) send any overlooked angles to Maybe Arnold and Clay Aiken as a ticket?"

Robert Gibbs (via his spokesgal) for John Kerry: " … .it's so quiet that Lehane went on vacation and nobody noticed."