The Ventura County Star's Timm Herdt wrote an article about the contest for nomination to take on Assembly Woman Audra Strickland that prompted me to ask what my readers think about this campaign.
Pluses: On the one hand we have a Saudi born woman that draws worldwide attention to the virtues of American democracy. Ferial Masry, as a high school teacher and immigrant, has a important story to tell about our nation and our values. In addition, her son Omar ( full disclosure: I have known Omar for a few years) served in Iraq and helped to show this wasn't a crusader war for conquest but instead a war designed in part to help the people of Iraq. Ferial Masry, just by running, strengthens America's democracy and broadens the base of the Democratic Party. Click on continue reading to read an update from her campaign.
Negatives: Ferial Masry stands very little chance of winning. She has already lost twice to Audra Strickland and I don't see any real reason to see a fundamental shift. In the last two campaigns she hasn't shown the ability to raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would take to make this a competitive contest.
There was a debate over the fairness of a mailer her campaign was using. Click here to see the mailer and read the discussion.
A campaign supporter that sends me updates responded to my requests for clarification with this statement:
Ferial made those flyers for this cycle BEFORE Hare was in the race. He got in very late... sorry for your confusion... Renee
Pluses: With a strong connection to the local agricultural community David could reach out to groups not currently connected very well to the Democratic Party. David owns his own small business and could campaign on his experience battling against bureaucracies when trying to get a business off of the ground. David is also a strong environmentalist which seems a natural fit for parts of the district. He also has done a better job raising money.
Negatives: David is being attacked for the legal hoops that he has had to jump through in the process of running his business. I don't know the level of infractions he has against him but most business people will tell you that almost any business has a history of some sort of warnings, violations, lawsuits, complaints, or financial disputes. It is up to voters to see if the charges are serious or frivolous. From what I have seen the complaints seem rather minor. I am interested to see how good of a campaign Hare puts together in anticipation of the open seat in about two years when from the looks of it Jeff Gorell will be running on the Republican side.
So, what do you think? How are you or did you make up your mind in this campaign? Is asking how much money each candidate raised a decent question?
Has CAPC rated the candidates in the primary?
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For Immediate release:
Thousand Oaks, CA. Ferial Masry, candidate for California's 37th Assembly District will sponsor a free public program Wednesday May 28, 2008 7:00PM to 8:30PM presenting "The Audacity of Peace: Ordinary People do Extraordinary Work for Peace in the Middle East at the Thousand Oaks Public Library at 1401 E. Janss Road.
Guest speakers will be Ilan Migdali of Project TRIUMPH and Shepha Schneirsohn Vainstein of Salaam Shalom. Masry says that the theme of the event is based on a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, "Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has the right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth".
Ferial Masry, the grassroots progressive high school teacher, is a charismatic democratic candidate and moderate for the 37th Assembly district which includes representation for the following cities: Acton, Agua Dulce, Camarillo, Canoga Park, Castaic, Chatsworth, Fillmore, Los Angeles, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Oak View, Ojai, Piru, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Somis, Thousand Oaks, Val Verde, and West Hills. Masry's campaign says that she is the "new voice, new vision for California's future."
Masry as co-chair of the California Democratic Party Platform Committee, appointed by retired Senator Art Torres, Chair of the CDP, Masry is involved in helping set the 2008 State Agenda. She is a member of the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party and a member of the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee. She was recently endorsed by: The Democratic Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, The Confederation of Teachers, United Auto Workers, SEIU, and The Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley to name a few. As a high school American history and civic teacher she understands that bipartisan participation is required to represent all LA and Ventura County residents. Masry believes that it is imperative that California also has a fair and balanced budget that is not balanced at the expense of children and the elderly. She supports all efforts to establish affordable, accessible universal healthcare and maintain Medi-Cal for the young and the elderly. Masry strongly advocates for no teacher layoffs, reduced class sizes, affordable college tuition and keeping schools open.
Ferial Masry, a Saudi-Arabian born woman has also been a successful Ventura business owner. She knows that developing our infrastructure before growth will require improved sewage, roads, traffic and ports. Even though Ventura County is noted for great air quality she believes continued efforts are needed to keep air pollution low. She says fiscal responsibility, closing tax loopholes and taxing oil companies for off-shore drilling policies need to be revisited. For other local leaders, educators, and private citizens endorsing her see www.ferialmasryforassembly.com.
∗ Ilan Migdali, a native of Israel now living in Newbury Park, proposed and helped the Rotary Club create Project TRIUMPH (Today's Revolution is Understanding: Make Peace Happen). Now in its 3rd year, Project TRIUMPH brings 20 Arab and Jewish teenagers from Israel to Ventura County each year for two weeks of team building, learning to work together toward a cooperative and peaceful future. Migdali will discuss successes and frustrations of Project TRIUMPH's work towards positive change in relationship between Jews and Arabs.
∗ Shepha Schneirsohn Vainstein who is president and founder of Salaam Shalom Education Foundation for Jewish and Arab students in Galilee, is a psychotherapist practicing in Agoura, Vainstein co-developed a High School Peace Leadership Program that promotes pro-social development, community participation and matriculation into university for both Jewish and Arab students. She recently returned from Israel after attending an intensive study-tour sponsored by the Interagency Task Force on Israel-Arab issues formed by 70 American Jewish organizations.
Parking is free. Refreshment will be served. The four sponsors can be reached as follows:
The Project Triumph Organizing Committee contact Frances Fujii, MA, Committee chair at (805) 529-5694 office; (805) 558-7302 cell or website: www.projecttriumph.org. GlobalExchangeVCS@yahoo.com or call Joanie at (805) 300-7226; the third organization GXventuraTO@aol.com phone: (805) 241-0928 or Fax (805) 241-0928.
This event is also co-sponsored by Friends of Ferial Masry, 2008 Committee, Post Office Box # 213, Newbury Park, California 91320-0213. 805-498-7608. All donations for the Ferial Masry campaign can be sent to: Kinde Durkee, Candidate ID # 1300148, 1212 South Victory, Burbank, CA 91502 (818) 260-0669
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I am impressed when I see candidates working hard to reach out to voters. Which candidate have you seen working harder?