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Campaigns use software, data to woo voters

Candidates still walk neighborhood streets and knock on doors for votes.  But more of them these days are like Steve Hansen, a Sacramento city council candidate who knows a lot about his would-be constituents ... before he ever meets them.

"When we walk up and ask a question," Hansen says, "we may already have some answers."

The nuggets of information, and even the technology, are not that revolutionary.  But what may be is the way all of it is being used, especially for campaigns on the local level.

"Campaigns are always more successful if they're able to target messages to voters that really resonate with those voters," said Democratic political consultant Paul Mitchell.

PHOTOS: 'Rally and Day of Action' event brings star power

SACRAMENTO, CA - City Council candidate Allen 'Wayne' Warren gathered some major star power for his rally in Higginwood Park Saturday.

PHOTOS: Star power at rally

Those in attendance were Mayor Kevin Johnson, actor Danny Glover, and former Fairfield Mayor Chuck Hammond as well as other local and neighborhood leaders.

Glover declared his support of Warren because of his commitment to the community.

A precinct walk and barbecue was scheduled after the rally.

Candidates face new landscape in Calif. primary

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California's June 5 primary features plenty of uncertainty, as voters confront a new top-two primary system and new legislative and congressional districts drawn for the first time by an independent citizens panel.

The changes are meant to lessen the influence of the two major political parties and favor moderate candidates more in line with the growing number of unaffiliated voters.

Some candidates have been forced to search for new districts, move, or face challengers from their own party.

And many voters will see ballots that are much different than typical primary ballots, including a long roster of candidates.

There are also two initiatives to consider: a proposal to modify state lawmakers' term limits and one to add a $1-a-pack cigarette tax for cancer research, backed by cycling champion Lance Armstrong.

Poll: Majority supports Brown's tax hike

It's never bad to have a majority of voters on your side in a public opinion poll.  But as the latest statewide poll shows on Governor Jerry Brown's tax increase initiative, he's still likely to face a tough sell this coming summer and fall to voters... and there won't be much room for error.

The new poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California finds 54 percent of likely voters say they support Brown's temporary income/sales tax increase -- a proposal which his allies hope to soon qualify for the November statewide ballot.

City Council: a TV news reporter's *worst* nightmare

City Council: a TV news reporter's *worst* nightmare

Last Tuesday (April 17th) was troublesome for myself and News10 reporter Cornell Barnard (featured in the picture above) for two reasons:

1. we got assigned to report on a City Council meeting

2. our focus was the botched arena deal

These are two things that reporters and photojournalists get tired of fast... anything to do with city politics and anything to do with a story that never dies such as the downtown entertainment/sports complex.

Just look at Cornell's expression as we painfully waited through the public comments portion of the meeting... I couldn't help but be reminded of Marlon Brando's last words as he portrayed Col. Walter E. Kurtz at the end of Francis Ford Coppola's epic movie "Apocalypse Now."

"Man up," Governor Brown tells legislators

Governor Jerry Brown has never been one to hold back saying what he thinks, and in a Friday morning radio interview, told legislators to get going on the tough proposals he's offered to help balance the state budget.

"The Legislature has to man up, make the cuts," Brown said in an interview on KGO Radio in San Francisco.

The Q&A with host Ronn Owens touched on everything from Brown's November tax increase initiative to Indian gaming, presidential politics, and beyond. And the quip about legislative action - buzzworthy as it will no doubt be - seems to offer perhaps the first real sign of frustration from the governor about the pace of budget action this year under the state Capitol dome.