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Dan Walters: Sharp Dem shootouts loom in '08
Sacramento Bee ^ | 12/17/7 | Dan Walters

Posted on 12/17/2007 8:43:47 PM PST by SmithL

As sharp as partisan political battles can be, nothing surpasses a full-blown shootout between members of the same party for sheer nastiness. Their ideological differences tend to be small and, therefore, their intraparty duels often turn personal.

The increasingly shrill level of personal invective being thrown in the multi-candidate tussles for next year's presidential nominations of both parties illustrates the point. But in California, the syndrome is most evident in the overwhelmingly Democratic San Francisco Bay Area, which is renowned for sharp-elbow politics, and in Los Angeles.

Bay Area voters may experience two nasty clashes next year as state Sen. Carole Migden and Rep. Tom Lantos try to stave off challenges from fellow Democrats.

San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno has been gunning for Migden, whose district includes portions of both San Francisco and Marin County, but since both are liberals and members of San Francisco's large and influential gay community, it's been almost entirely a personality contest, and those personalities could hardly be more disparate.

Leno is mild-mannered to a fault, while Migden has displayed a take-no-prisoners attitude that often grates on those with whom she deals. But she has been on good behavior recently after crashing her state-supplied car into another vehicle near Fairfield, pleading no contest to reckless driving and having her license suspended.

The Leno-Migden duel could become a free-for-all if Joe Nation, a former Marin County assemblyman, jumps in. Whether his entry would hurt Migden by cutting into her Marin County support or help her by splitting anti-Migden voters is still uncertain, as is the effect of a fourth potential candidate, San Francisco Police Commission member Joe Alioto Veronese, son of longtime San Francisco politician Angela Alioto and grandson of former Mayor Joseph Alioto.

A three-way Democratic battle may develop in Lantos' district...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: joenation; markleno; migden; rats; tomlantos
Lantos, like the other Bay-Area congresscritters, is an unabashed liberal. Unlike the others, he clearly understands the War-on-Terror, and is an ardent supporter of Israel.
1 posted on 12/17/2007 8:43:48 PM PST by SmithL
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