Mixer: Cashing in on political popularity

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friday mixer bannerPresident Obama exited Los Angeles just as he came in: making money for Democrats, and migraines for West LA drivers.

In his 24 hours here, the president toured a business in Santa Monica, speaking about an economic recovery for millennials, designated as national monument 340,000 acres of San Gabriel Mountains land and attended two separate fundraisers.

One of which was at actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s home.

Obama has attended 30 fundraisers in Los Angeles County since taking office.

KQED Politics Editor John Myers and Zocalo Public Square columnist Joe Mathews joined us to talk about political expedience in a state that has a lot of Democratic cash and ears.

Mathews wrote a column called “President Obama, please stay out of California.” An ode to what he calls a relatively progressive president that takes a lot, but hasn’t given much back.

Obama is by no means the first president to use LA as an ATM. Bill Clinton conducted 36 fundraisers here, and George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan eight each.

Shouldn’t we be used to this by now?

And with less than a month to go before Election Day, Governor Jerry Brown is enjoying a comfortable 15 to 20 point lead over his challenger, Republican Neel Kashkari.

Not surprisingly, Brown has been running television ads – but not for his re-election efforts.

The 30 second spots instead feature Brown talking about Propositions 1 and 2, those measures relating to a $7.5 billion water bond and the restructuring of the state’s rainy day fund, respectively.

Brown has championed both, trying to make it a simple sell: save water during the historic drought, and save state money for a rainy day.

The most recent Public Policy Institute of California poll shows 58 percent of likely voters support Prop 1, while just 43 percent support Prop 2.

Kashkari has an uphill climb these next few weeks. He’s already pulled several stunts: pretending to be homeless in Fresno for a week and smashing toy trains to show he’s against the state’s high speed rail plan that would connect LA and San Francisco with a route through the Central Valley.

Will those stunts help him in any way?