What’s up, doc?

K.J. gets Michael Moore’d.

K.J. gets Michael Moore’d.

If you bumped into Mayor Kevin Johnson last Friday, perhaps you noticed the video-camera entourage shadowing his every move? Turns out, this wasn’t some amateur project for YouTube; filmmaker Mark Obenhaus had picked the mayor as one of 12 subjects in his forthcoming documentary California Dreamland.

The filmmaker, whom SN&R reached in Los Angeles, explained that crews trailed a dozen individuals throughout the state on the same day, November 19, for a “day in the life” doc that will air this fall. “All were shot simultaneously, starting as early as 5 o’clock, which is when I believe Mayor Johnson began his day with a morning run,” said Obenhaus, who oversaw the productions from Southern California.

The film’s other subjects include a woman surfer and chemistry doctorate student at UC Santa Cruz, a redwoods ecologist, vintners in Napa, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, the founder of Patagonia clothing company, chef Susan Feniger, musician Liz Phair and skateboarder Bob Burnquist. “We were looking for exceptional people who have come to prominence or realized their ambitions in California,” Obenhaus explained.

The director notes that many of the subjects’ days “did not go as planned”—including K.J.’s. That morning, at his monthly Greenwise Sacramento event, guest lecturer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s flight was late, and the mayor was forced to improvise for nearly a half-hour.

The doc is part of the Emmy-winning Documentary Group (www.thedocumentarygroup.com), which produces films for ABC and PBS. Obenhaus shared few details—he’d only viewed snippets of footage—but while K.J. didn’t showcase his basketball skills, the mayor did assist a Sacramento Kings radio broadcast, alongside Gary Gerould and Fat Lever, this past Sunday. (Nick Miller)

Tea party price tag

Tea party candidates are drawing fire for costing the Republican Party the U.S. Senate majority. And while there was a dearth of T.P. candidates in Sacramento this past midterm election, if tea partiers Ken Buck in Colorado, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Sharron Angle in neighboring Nevada had won, the GOP would have taken the Senate.

Still, as The Washington Post observed, does losing really make you a “bad candidate”? The Post does note that in no state did any tea party candidate run significantly ahead of another statewide Republican.

Still, while losing worse than other GOP candidates, the tea partiers spent more money than Republican kin. Angle and her supporters spent $97 for every vote, which was the most expensive congressional contest nationwide on a per-vote basis. Angle opponent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spent $69 per vote.

The price tag of a vote in neighboring Nevada apparently outweighs the cost of a gubernatorial vote in California, even though Meg Whitman spent significantly more ($160 million total) than her approximately $39-a-vote by comparison. (Dennis Myers)