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The Skinny

It’s amazing how down-ticket races are run. We’re still not sure what the
state controller has to do with Enron (Joe Dunn), or what the controller has
to say about the gas tax (Tony Strickland). We have no idea what the
secretary of state has in terms of influence on abortion policy (Deborah
Ortiz
) or why the insurance industry is such a factor in the lieutenant
governor’s race (John Garamendi). But we do know that statewide campaigns
are one hell of an opportunity for political payback. And when stem-cell
guru Bob Klein saw the votes for secretary of state come in, he was probably
as happy as a schoolgirl. Klein and Ortiz have tangled over the senator’s
efforts to exert some state oversight over the $3 billion in state funds
that will be spent on stem-cell research over the next 10 years. So Klein
chose the night before the election to send out an e-mail missive attacking
Ortiz and praising her opponent, Debra Bowen. “Senator Don Perata, Senator
Joe Dunn, Senator Jackie Speier and Senator Debra Bowen led a highly
constructive and responsible Senate effort to improve Proposition 71 in a
joint venture with the leadership of the Board and staff of CIRM,” the
e-mail stated. “In contrast, Ortiz played a ‘grandstanding’ role, constantly
undermining and attacking the good-faith efforts of the CIRM and the
Proposition 71 sponsors.


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