Founder's Long-Shot Governor Campaign

Peter Schurman is an unlikely contender in California's Democratic primary

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California Attorney General Jerry Brown is facing a surprising new challenger in the Democratic primary for the governorship: co-founder Peter Schurman. The prominent liberal advocacy group has been a player in Democratic politics since its 1998 founding (the name references a desire to "move on" from President Clinton's impeachment controversy). MoveOn, which Schurman led from 2001 to 2005, has at times attracted criticism, as it did with a 2007 New York Times ad calling General David Petraeus "General Betray Us," which provoked angry congressional hearings. Does Schurman have a shot?

  • What's His Platform? The Associate Press' Juliet Williams reports, "He says the Democratic nominee must take bold stands, such as forcing corporations and the rich to pay their fair share. He supports raising taxes and ending the two-thirds vote requirement to pass budgets."
  • Why It's a 'Poison Pill' Long Shot The San Francisco Weekly's Peter Jamison doubts this will work. "Schurman will face long odds against Brown, who with his name recognition and fund-raising prowess has long been considered the prohibitive front-runner in the Democratic primary for governor, forcing San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, an early contender, to withdraw from the race. And while MoveOn rose to prominence through its stance against the Iraq War, the Internet-based political movement has long since jumped the shark," he writes. "But don't count this poison pill of a gubernatorial candidate out just yet -- these are the Democrats, after all."
  • Schurman's Candidacy Not Serious  The Los Angeles Times' Anthony York sees the Democratic primary as little more than a technicality. "It may appear that Democrat Jerry Brown has an unfettered path to the November election. But technically, that's not true." This is basically down to Brown and the two Republican candidates. "The only candidate outside the Big Three to open a campaign account is Democrat Richard Aguirre, who reports just over $14,000 in the bank."
  • Brown Isn't Sweating This  CNN's Paul Steinhauser profiles the attorney general's cool confidence. "Brown, California's attorney general and former two-term governor from 1975-1983, is currently the only major candidate in the running for the Democratic nomination. Brown campaign press secretary Sterling Clifford tells CNN that the campaign remains very confident that Brown will be his party's nominee for governor."
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