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June 2008 Archives

Blogs ads

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( The Daisy ad was played many times on television. But in modern times it would have been a youtube hit.)

Modern campaigns reach out to voters and highly informed people who educate voters in their circles of influence in many ways. of course, the old forms work and are at times effective. They include mailers ( expensive), radio ads, letters to the editor, editorials ( I don't see why there isn't more attempts at using this outlet.), signs in yards, bumper stickers and more.

But this is a new era and with it comes new tools. Tools like Facebook, Myspace, blogs, constant emails, youtube, and others.

( The same old Butt Man video.)

As far as blogs go Tony Strickland has already started his advertising. Blogs don't reach as many people as other media formats do but they people they do reach tend to be very passionate about what they are reading about. Blogs are also less expensive to advertise on and the campaign has the ability to micro target their audience.

Here is an example of Tony Strickland's targeting:


The Flash Report is a statewide Republican blog. By advertising there I doubt he is looking for votes. Instead he is trying to connect with conservative activists throughout the state. When Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters criticize that most of his money is from outside the area remember Tony Strickland has put in the work to cultivate relationships with conservatives across California. The total for a month on Flash Report is $350.

Do you think he will earn back his money but advertising there?

Click on continue reading to see his other online ad. Warning: It has "Earth Friend Jen" of Ohio pictured next to it wearing what she normally does which is next to nothing. But it is made out of natural fibers.

Both of the campaigns keep in contact with regular emails although Tony Strickland's campaign sends them more often. Recently he sent a copy of an editorial he placed in The Santa Barbara News-Press. Click on continue reading to see it.

This post was mostly about Tony Strickland for two reasons 1) I have written in the past about her supporters use of technology to echo their message. 20 I haven't heard back from her campaign in regards to if it was true she supported the Celtics over the Lakers.

What new tools do you think will work best in Ventura County this cycle? I am betting on social networking sites.

Lakers V Celtics = Strickland V Jackson

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( Another Kobe Bryant stunt. This time jumping over a pool of snakes with the guys from Jackass.) href="http://www.independent.com/news/2008/jun/26/republican-tony-strickland-offers-stark-alternativ/"> In a recent interview Tony Strickland hinted that Hannah-Beth Jackson supported the Celtics over the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

I have been a Lakers fan since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson played together. My fandom was reignited when Shaq came to town. I like that Phil Jackson had him read Nietzche ( Is it true that is there he got the idea for the ubermensch tattoo?). I had a great time watching Dennis Rodman rebound. I waited to hear the details to the criminal charges against Kobe Bryant.

The Bulls were great to watch also because of Pippen, Rodman, and Jordan. Bulls and Lakers games were awesome to watch.

This year's Celtics team was hard to hate. They seemed like nice enough guys. But they weren't the Lakers.

I am not much into sports overall. But I am serious about the Lakers. It is a family thing.

So, it is it true? Did Hannah-Beth Jackson support the Celtics?

Did Tony Strickland throw a loaded attack on your choice of sport's teams? If this is all an attempt by the Strickland campaign to place an unflattering rumor in that interview I understand. I suggest you strike back by asking if he likes Ventura County or Santa Barbra county beaches better.

I want a clear answer from the campaign. I will post their reply.

Until I hear a reply I will not post anything from her campaign.

But expect a Laker's fan outside your events.

Betting on the ice caps

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( North Pole swimming!)

Have you seen this story? What do you think? Will we lose the polar ice caps this summer?

Place a bet but you must say what you are betting.

I bet the ice cap at the exact North Pole will be gone. I am betting a post extolling the virtues of McCain with no mention of Barack Obama. Not much of a bet being that both of them are great candidates.

What will you bet?

Same Sex Marriage update

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( The historic day as covered by local news.)

On the front page of The Star there is an unscientific poll ( vote as much as you want!) about the upcoming proposed constitutional amendment to revoke any current same sex marriages given from the state of California and ban future weddings.

The proposed amendment is currently being defeated but it is within a few points.

Maybe with the announcement that the Mormon Church is instructing their members to get involved promoting the proposed amendment by political activism and by giving money the results might shift.

The amendment would create legal chaos for many couples. The problem for conservatives is convincing voters the damage the proposed amendment would do to individuals is worth the price of helping keep marriage between opposite sex couples. As more people celebrate the rights and responsibilities that comes with marriage the opposition to it will go down. Conservatives wanted to ban it before the court ruling because they know that the public approval of same sex marriage keeps going up. This year might be close either way but with time the public support will continue to grow.

Do you think this will be an issue in any local legislative elections? I know Hannah-Beth Jackson plans to vote no but I haven't heard where Tony Strickland stands. Have you? Does he favor amending the constitution?

Mary Pallant's speaker series featuring Robert Scheer

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( Here is Mary Pallant talking about the speaker series.)

Former candidate and current political activist Mary Pallant continues to bring in speakers to Ventura County.

Her latest is writer Robert Scheer on July 18th.

I appreciate candidates that do things locally to organize besides run for office.

Thousand Oaks outlaws smoking

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( Did you see this movie? Very funny. How long until Hannah-Beth Jackson gets a star from the movie at a fundraiser?)

Thousand Oaks outlaws smoking.

Okay, maybe not. But I figured c-razy titles would help drive traffic. Works for the wilder blogs out there.

Thousand Oaks has adopted a new anti-smoking ordinance that "that bars smokers from lighting up in outdoor gathering places, public gardens and playgrounds" according to the story.

This meeting allowed Hannah-Beth Jackson to speak out on the issue and keep the tobacco donations story going.

I wonder what the next costume will be? A man in a slot machine outfit? What costumed characters would you prefer to see outside an event? This is your chance to rail against unions, trial lawyers, oil company CEO's, tobacco companies, or casinos, including horse tracks, card rooms, Tribal gaming, or Vegas casinos! Choose your special interest today.

The story about the "fracas" has been covered by many sources now including the Sacbee, Blogabarabara , Flap's blog, Bly Space, and the Ojai Post. If you covered it from any perspective leave a link.

Does anyone have the video of Hannah-Beth Jackson speaking at the meeting or a transcript of what she said? This ordinance, while sounding popular, has some businesses very upset.

Do any other cities in the county have as comprehensive of a smoking control policy?

Drinking Liberally July Meetings

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Here is their email:

Hello Liberal Drinkers!

Here's the line up for July:

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
7:00 PM
JJ Brewsky's
2433 Ventura Boulevard
Camarillo, CA

Topic discussion: Global warming and what we can do

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
7:00 PM
JJ Brewsky's
2433 Ventura Boulevard
Camarillo, CA

Topic discussion: Media and censorship

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events in July!
Drinking Liberally

Did you see McCain recently said he would veto every "beer"?

Of course I have my opinions on candidates and issues but this blog is open to different parties. If you want to have your event listed just send me an email.

Odds and ends

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( Of all of the ads this campaign season the above Mike Huckabee spot is the funniest.)

I figured we could all use some more laughter in our lives.

I scan craigslist looking for local political events, jobs, and talk. Sometimes I find something funny.

This first entry is really funny. They are looking for someone that speaks "Mexican". Urdu and Hindi help too. If you work you can stay with them.

This next entry is looking to give away a monkey. If I had a large ranch with some llamas I might consider it. Read through the part why the woman is better then the monkey.

Do you use Craigslist? Even if you don't you should read the best of Craigslist for a laugh from time to time. If you get sick of the vitriol here stop by their rants and raves section to remind yourself the comments on this blog are very well reasoned when all things are put into perspective.

I read a blog called talkingpointsmemo.com for national politics. it is left of center but they seem pretty fair. Politicians are frequently attacked for what they say out of context but at least here there isn't a serious attempt at making it seem like this is anything than a poor choice of words:


From Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), chair of the Republicans Senate Campaign Committee ..

"Energy is actually a huge opportunity for Republicans. Energy has the opportunity to change the climate if it's done right."

A few weeks back right wing bloggers were demanding that Barack Obama release his birth certificate. They said if he doesn't then maybe he is hiding that he changed his name, his mother wasn't married to his father, or that he was born in a foreign country and therefore not legally eligible to be president. The campaign released it and there was nothing interesting that wasn't already known. Contrary to the rumors his middle name wasn't Muhammad.

After Barack Obama's campaign released his birth certificate McCain released his too:


I think both candidates will be an improvement over the current administration. But it is funny how far each of their followers will go to gain power. Barack Obama is not a far left socialist and John McCain isn't a right wing fascist. Ralph Nader on the other hand is out of touch with the day to day lives of average Americans of every race. He is somehow surprised Barack Obama is going after white votes? Ralph, go away.

In Utah, Rep. Chris Cannon came up with a surprising spin to explain how he feels bout losing the nomination of his party.

And lastly a really obvious headline from the Associated Press:

Study: Many teens get alcohol from adults.

That is a government paid for study with scientists at work to determine that key fact!

Anyways, if you work a reference to Tony Strickland, tobacco, the "fracas", or Hannah-Beth Jackson into a comment on this entry I will temporarily ban you from county politics.

A letter from the former head of the Republican Party

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( Same Butt Man video as before. I add a image or video to the top to help break up the page. This video remains appropriate to the topic.)

I don't know the full background and the reasons that Bob Larkin doesn't support the Ventura County Republican Central Committee ( VCRCC ) leadership but I do remember it was motivating enough for him to run against Audra Strickland in a primary even though she was a Republican incumbent.

Did you see this letter?

If I didn't know better I would assume Democrats begged him to write this letter.

Do you think Hannah-Beth Jackson's campaign will be asking him to endorse her or to take a leadership role in a group of Republicans supporting her?

How influential is Bob Larkin? Can he help her raise money? Does his name and former title help Hannah-Beth Jackson when he is going after Tony Strickland?

Which candidate will get more elected officials from the other party to cross over and endorse them? Both candidates claim to be able to reach across the aisle to work with people but my earlier question asking if they ever worked together has not been answered yet. Are any of you able to tell us what legislation they ever worked on together being that they both represented Ventura County and they both served together?

Here is his full letter:

Tobacco exacts high toll

Re: your June 8 article, "Tobacco firm funds county GOP":
As a 30-year member and past chairman of the Ventura County Republican Party, I was disappointed to hear that after two decades of Ventura being a Republican county, Democrats now outnumber Republicans in registered voters. That wasn't too surprising though, when statewide registration this year has been 20-to-1 in favor of the Democrats -- 300,000 to 15,000. There has to be a message there if the Republicans are listening.
Just when I thought I couldn't hear worse news, I learned that 88 percent of the funds the Ventura County Republican Party has on hand came from one tobacco company, primarily to support Tony Strickland for the California Senate. Local Republicans should not accept money from the manufacturer of a product that kills upwards of a half million people in the United States every year and hundreds of millions worldwide.
I have six personal reasons why the very idea disgusts me:
-- My dad was a heavy smoker and died of a heart attack at age 53.
The 10 children in our family were born in the 1930s and '40s and grew up in the '40s and '50s. Smoking was considered healthy and glamorous. All 10 of us smoked, as did Johnny Carson, live on "The Tonight Show," and nearly everyone in the movies.
-- My oldest brother has emphysema.
-- My next older sister had throat cancer, followed by lung cancer, and died of a heart attack.
-- A younger brother had emphysema and heart trouble before he died in an accident.
-- My youngest brother died in an apartment fire that was apparently started by a cigarette.
-- Twenty-five years after I quit smoking, I lost a chunk of my tongue to mouth cancer.
The idea that the Ventura County Republican Party and the Stricklands have to beg for money from tobacco companies makes my skin crawl. I would hope they can see what that does to their image, get away from it and get back to raising money the old-fashioned way from local Republicans: by earning it.
The good news for my family is that as far as I know, not one of our children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren smokes. One generation paid a very high price for supporting the tobacco industry, and that was more than enough.
-- Bob Larkin, Westlake Village

Countywide Barack Obama events this weekend

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Have you seen this new version of the presidential seal the Barack Obama campaign has been using? Without using google how many of you translated the words that replaced out of many, one? Do you like the seal or the graphics from the Barack Obama campaign?

There are county wide events for to support Barack Obama this weekend. If you are attending any of them send in a few photos and I will post them.

The local Barack Obama supporters have jumped ahead of the McCain supporters when it comes to using technology to organize.

Are there any local grassroots events to support McCain in this area? Of course, there are many people who support him, but it doesn't seem like there is any organizing going on in Ventura County.

Recently John McCain said about his ability to use technology:

Is this lack of online organizing a sign of a digital divide between the parties, a lack of enthusiasm among Republicans for their nominee ( who would have been a much better president in my opinion than George W. Bush) , or the grassroots of the Republican Party giving up on a blue state?

( Did you see the recent sparring between the candidates when McCain modified Barack Obama's logo and slogan. Reminds me of when George W. Bush contrasted himself with McCain by calling himself a reformer with results. )

I am impressed that a presidential campaign is inspiring people to put together events across the county, all in a day, and in some cities multiple events in a day.

Let me know if you see anything from the McCain campaign.

In related news my correspondent Owen Paun, who wrote several updates about his adventures working for the McCain campaign from places like Iowa is taking a break from politics. At least for a few months. Best of luck with your current calling Owen!

You can read his blog here: Lex Libertas.

Click on continue reading to see the details for the events.


Owen Paun on the campaign trail. Can you guess where?

Statement from Hannah-Beth Jackson on the protest aftermath.

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The Hannah-Beth Jackson campaign has released a statement on what happened at the protest and what happened afterwards.

To read the full statement click on continue reading.

I haven't seen the full statement from the Strickland campaign or office but I will post it if i do.

What are the chances the story is going away? I say zero.

If your blog is writing or posting about it leave a link.

The 19th State Senate district is huge. ( Map)

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On Hannah-Beth Jackson's website it has a section called "Know the 19th senate district" which reminds me of Steven Colbert's ongoing series called "Better know a district". The seat ( currently held by Tom McClintock R-Many places) that Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland are running for is huge. It stretches across from deep into Santa Barbara through most of Ventura County and into Los Angeles County.

I mention this because I received an email from the Democratic Club of Santa Clarita about some upcoming events for Hannah-Beth Jackson in that part of the district. Before I posted them I didn't know for sure if it was an out of the area fundraiser or not because it was emailed to me by a Democratic group from the San Fernando Valley.

This district has a higher population than about 5 states.

For the candidates to communicate with many of these voters across multiple media markets they will need an energized group of supporters, an organized press office that takes advantage of earned media, the ability to make sure a story that helps them spins across several newspapers or forms of media, and last but not least a very large sum of money.

As a citizen of Simi Valley I am excited to see an election that will be generating this amount of light and heat locally.

If you see any event from any of the candidates that I haven't listed please send it in. I post events from the different candidates in many campaigns. If you don't see something from a candidate it is because it isn't being sent in.

Click on continue reading to see the details of the events.

Follow Up from a Star reporter: Strickland aide put on leave after fracas at fundraising event

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( What we were missing by attending the protest. What does the NBA and politics have in common? People shove each other and then a debate breaks out about it. Meanwhile the game continues.)

In an effort to minimize my comments I will allow the article to speak for itself. I want to back up the process by which it was written but as I have said in the past I did not witness the man being knocked to the ground and I didn't see Audra's Chief of Staff push him. I did see him stand in front of the path of people walking up the side walk but I don't know what he said as I was too far back to hear it.

I will say that The Star and reporter Teresa Rochester interviewed many people over the last couple of days to make sure the story was accurate. Reading the article you will see that The Star interviewed the key individuals directly.

Protest organizer Louis Pandolfi notified in advance the media and the police about the protest. Although the police on duty didn't know about it The Star staff including Teresa Rochester to cover the event.

Being that there was about 50 partisans on each side their recollections wouldn't be fair to include. But Teresa Rochester was on scene and had many pictures taken as the events described took place. The Star did not publish all of the pictures.

I know that people will quibble with her story but she is part of the few eyewitnesses to the event that wasn't on a side protesting. Another would be The Star photographer.

I have heard a prominent Democrat in the past complain about her being too favorable to those in power ( Republicans ) and that she was too cautious in her writing.

I am sure people will be arguing about this article too.

Here are some more of my photos from the event:




If someone that has Audra Strickland's released letter sends it to me I will post it so you can read it for yourself.

Office Opening party for Hannah-Beth Jackson

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I went to the Grand Opening of Hannah-Beth Jackson's campaign office Wednesday night in Ventura. After the excitement outside and inside the Tony Strickland w/ Mitt Romney event I was let down. It was the standard office opening party.

When I was walking up I ran into Republican activist Steve Frank who was a lone protester outside the event. Steve was holding a Taxin' Jackson sign and keeping tabs on the amount of people or who was attending the event. I asked if he wanted to talk on a short video but he declined and had no comment as he was there for business.

Inside the event there was about 25 people total. I looked around for signs of liberalism and found this:

( Looks like the tomato crisis is over!)

I didn't find any MAC computers running Firefox, pilates mats, or Nalgene bottles.

There were local Democratic Activists ( Steve Cummings from the Ventura Democratic Club), labor union supporters, people from the education community, business people, and a few young people, and as far as I could tell no other media. But ask Steve Frank. He was keeping track of that stuff too from the outside.

For about 15 minutes Hannah-Beth Jackson spoke about the campaign thus far, her issues, and then she took questions.

She started off by expressing her shock at the shoving that happened outside the Tony Strickland fundraiser. She said she would not tolerate that from her campaign and went on about freedom of expression and the constitutional right to free speech. She even mentioned Steve Frank and his right to stand outside the meeting and talked about how that is a great part of our nation's freedoms.

At a past event I asked her if she would pledge to not take contributions from gambling interests and the prison guards' union being that she had talked about her budget priorities including funding education at a high level. She said it was wrong how much we spend on prisoners while we cut education. Hannah-Beth Jackson said she wasn't going t pledge to not take any money from them but she said her record shows that she isn't beholden to them. ( Rough paraphrase, I don't know if she used the word beholden or not).

Last night she said there was two industries that she wouldn't take direct contributions from: oil and tobacco. That reminds me of the movie Zoolander. Tobacco and Oil do not go together:

How many of you got the reference without watching the video?

On the issue of tobacco funding she said the major difference was not the money but the voting patterns. She discussed key votes where she and her opponent voted differently when they served in the state assembly together. If you want to read more about the tobacco issue click on continue reading to see her latest press releases.

She discussed the need for some regulations and the role of government in a free market economy to provide for infrastructure and an educated workforce.

The long drive back to Simi Valley gave me a chance to reflect how large this state senate district really is and how hard it is to organize events when the drive time along back and forth would be a few hours. It would be awesome if both campaigns opened offices in Simi Valley soon. Maybe they could team up with local Democratic or Republican clubs?

Trivia question: Being that Tony and Hannah-Beth served in the assembly at the same time and both represented parts of Ventura County can you name any legislation they worked on together?

If they are promising to work with members of the other party did they ever work together?

I will be very impressed with your research skills if you name the legislation or action.

Democrats hiring people to register voters

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The Democrats are putting more and more resources into Ventura County in a way I haven't seen before.

This Saturday a Barack Obama group is going to start registering voters in Moorpark once a week. Click here to get involved.

Also, a group called Work for Change is hiring many people to register voters across the county. Click on continue reading to see the details or go to the craigslist ad.

I recently posted Tony Strickland's ad to hire people too if you lean to the right more.

This campaign season is going to be the biggest battle in Ventura County history as far as I remember.

Do you remember this much intensity this long before any other election?

Camarillo about to get some more residents!

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But they are prisoners.

Looks like Camarillo will be the site of a large prison hospital because of a federal decree governing the health care of prisoners.

I guess some people are getting universal health care without paying for it.

State Assembly Member Audra Strickland will be holding a town hall forum
on the subject Thursday night. Will any of you be attending? The court appointed administrator said he would not be going nor would he be sending staff. Report back what Assembly Member Strickland has to say.

So, Camarillo citizens what do you think? Are you trying to look at the silver lining which includes construction jobs building the new hospital and staff once it is opened? What is the target date for opening?

I think the best quote in the entire article is this sentence:

Strickland cited a critical May 22 review of Kelso's plans by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, which found the need for all the proposed facilities has not been justified, that operational questions are unaddressed and that the costs appear to be overstated.

It is a rare day when a government says cost is overstated. Seems like anything government does always comes in above the quoted price.

Remember the Big Dig? What about the Medicare Bill where the Bush Administration pressured people to keep the real price from congress in an effort to ensure it passing congress?

Now imagine what happens if this project is over budget!

UPDATE: Assembly Member Audra Strickland's town hall was very well attended. Read this article to see the next phase.

The money game

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( Same old Butt Man video. Did I successfully Rick Roll anyone earlier? Be honest.)

The Tony Strickland campaign has a new press release out touting their numbers of counter protesters and how much money they raised. It does not mention the few that took away from the many amongst the protesters on each side.

I am not vouching of the numbers of protesters on either side mentioned in the press release. I saw about 50 on each side.

Click on continue reading for the press release.

I know that I have my critics on both sides but is there any other blog that goes out of their way to post almost every event and press release by both sides?

I will continue adding more photos in the coming days but here are a few more.

These photos are from the shots taken by Greg "Flap" Cole, a conservative, center-right
blogger. Thanks. Click here to see more of his work. He comes across as bitter at times in his writing but in person he is much more charming. If you write your own blog feel free to leave comments with links back to your stuff.

( I know the photo looks bad but remember you are seeing a snapshot of a larger story. The truth is the sidewalk is narrow and people were trying to squeeze by each other. Almost every single protester kept their cool and the only attacks were typical political jabs or attempts to raise the banter up.)
( More peaceful protesters there to support Mitt Romney, Tony Strickland, and lower taxes.)
Questions w: the police.jpg

This photo is my own. It shows the police questioning a Tony Strickland supporter after an altercation between him and a few Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters. After questioning the police agreed to file a citizen's arrest on him by the Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters but he asked and was told he could do the same as he claimed they roughed him up. When the two groups agreed to not arrest each other the police let everyone go. As they didn't directly witness the confrontation they had little evidence, except forthcoming videos including a video from a Hannah-Beth Jackson that was hard to review without audio and on a camera screen, to go on at the time. I am pretty sure there is more information coming out.

I talked to Louis Pandolfi before the protest and he said he let the police know they were coming but apparently the police on the beat didn't know and were not there until people from both sides called after there was an altercation. Both Strickland and Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters admit something happened but disagree on who did what.

The event helped raise a reported quarter of a million dollars which will go a long way in a campaign that the Strickland campaign has said will cost a total of $10 million dollars when all the expenses are added up from all the different groups.

After all the debate about tobacco money Mitt Romney said it was Tony Strickland that would help limit the influence of special interests. From now on I have a new rule. When a local politician says special interest we should insert the names of the interests.

Anyways, I will post a Hannah-Beth Jackson press releases later.

Thanks for leaving comments. I want to remind everyone that if you see a comment that goes way overboard in nastiness or gets too personal send me an email so I can take it down. On a busy day there can be 50 plus comments and I don't read through them all. I know that many of you don't or can't use your real names because of the type of work that you do. I understand that. But most people give more credit to someone that uses their real name. And all of us give more respect to a reasoned post that is fair to all sides instead of a screed. before you post try to think about if you are just screaming back at someone or trying to persuade them. If you are just yelling back remember that isn't how most arguments are won.

Thanks for reading and posting.

Organizational meeting for Barack Obama draws huge crowd.

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( A man that used to support Republicans explained why he is supporting Barack Obama. I missed his name. If you know him please post his name so I can give him credit. The place was really crowded. Look as the camera pans the room. )

Last night after the protest outside of the Tony Strickland fundraiser I went to the organizational meeting for Barack Obama supporters in CA 24 ( Most of Ventura County) with a few friends.

BarackBike.jpg ( The BarackBike w/ Jameson)

I was expecting maybe 20 people but when I walked in the room I was very surprised. There was row upon row of people that packed the UFCW hall. I would guess more than 100 people were there. The group was made up of people from across Venutra County of different ages and races. Reflecting upon it the most surprising aspect of it was how many people I didn't recognize from previous political events. The organizers turned out a huge crowd of people that are not the Democratic Party activists of the area. But this election is different.

This area is about to see the most organized, most inspired, and most energetic group of people pushing for change that it has seen in at least a generation.


The campaigns across Ventura County will keep all of us busy for the next several months. I planned to read the The Brothers Karamazov as a friend insists it is the finest work of literature of the last few centuries. It takes effort to read nonficiton when there is so much to study in our world. But at this point I am about 5 blog posts from being caught up so the Brothers will wait until next week. Have any of you read it? Is it overhyped? Should it be required reading at any grade level?

If you see any John McCain organizational meetings let me know. I will post them and post your pictures afterwards if I do not attend. I know in politics people joke about picking the lesser of two evils but this year I don't feel that way. Do you? in 2000 I supported John McCain in the Republican primaries. I helped out a bit on my college campus. I felt that if he won the nomination that either way America would have a good president with sound judgment in the White House. Times have brought us new challenges and Barack Obama has presented a clear choice on why and how we will arise to meet them as Americans have in the past.

I don't agree with some key policies that McCain is pushing for but overall I think he would be a improvement over President Bush. Most people, regardless of party I feel agree with me. Do you? Even Barack Obama has said John McCain would be an improvement.

I feel like this is a special time in our nation's history. We have two different and competing visions of our future but at the same time they agree on global warming, closing Gitmo, and more. Both men are decent people at heart and have inspired me. But in elections we make choices that have important consequences far beyond a few issues. After I watched many debates, read about the issues from a variety of sources, and listened to friends, family members, and young people I made my choice and I am proud of it.

I support Barack Obama for president.

Outside the Tony Strickland event

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Butt man_Dennert.jpg
( How much do you expect we will be seeing Butt Man following Tony Strickland around? Rumor has it he might get his own Youtube channel.)

I was at the protest ( those against tobacco money in politics and in support of Hannah-Beth Jackson and/or Barack Obama) / counter protest ( those in favor of Mitt Romney, Tony Strickland, The VCRCC, and against Hannah-Beth Jackson ) outside the Tony Strickland event tonight and I have videos and pictures to share.

( Here is a video of Butt Man explaining why he dressed up as a cigarette to protest against The VCRCC and Tony Strickland for taking tobacco money)

I first want to thank all of those on both sides who stood up for their candidates and causes in a responsible manner. Don't allow a few hot heads to take away from everything else that happened. 99% of the people there were in good moods, shared their views fairly, and were there in a peaceful manner. We had a few laughs about why everyone gets excited by "Big tobacco" but "Little Tobacco" doesn't get any mention.

( Butt Man hanging out with some young Barack Obama supporters.)

When I pulled off of the freeway there was people already gathered to support Mitt Romney, Tony Strickland, and attacking "Taxin' Jackson" for also taking tobacco money through taking donations from those that have accepted donations from other people. Tony Strickland's group was rather large. I would estimate it was about 50 people outside the event but on the narrow sidewalk it was hard to get a good number. If you were there do you think I have the numbers right? I didn't get many pictures of them as they arrived earlier than I did and left earlier then the Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters.

The protesters assembled and walked up to the front of the hotel and that is when trouble started. One of Tony Strickland's supporters tried to stop the crowd that was about 30 strong at that point by claiming they had already called the entire sidewalk in front of the hotel. At least that's what I think he was trying to explain. I was in the back trying to get my new memory chip put in to my camera. Then allegedly the Tony Strickland supporter pushed / bumped into an older gentleman and a young lady. There exists multiple copies of either video of photos of the incident that I will be putting up over the next few weeks so you can decide for yourself what happened.

The Police were called as the older gentlemen was injured ( enough to be concerned but not serious enough for an ambulance) and the younger woman had a slight scratch from a nearby shrub.

The Police took witness statements for pretty much the rest of the protest from anyone and everyone involved or standing near. My friend Brian Mack gave the police a video copy of the incident after the police requested it and told him he could get it back in about a week . The police said they were going to arrest the Tony Strickland supporter for pushing people but the Tony Strickland supporter said it was in fact he who was the victim. He said the Democrats came after him. As the police did not witness the incident they said they could arrest both parties but cooler heads prevailed as organizers ( A campaign manager from Tony Strickland's side *I didn't catch the name. Email it to me and I will add his name in* and Louis Pandolfi who supports Hannah-Beth Jackson) from both sides agreed to save the police hours of paperwork and everyone was free to go back to waving their signs.


( The two sides work together to let the police get on with their shift.)

This is how The Star put a different incident with the same Tony Strickland supporter but a different protester:

The demonstrations outside the hotel drew Ventura County sheriff's deputies after a scuffle involving the chief of staff for Strickland's wife, Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, R-Moorpark. Joel Angeles was involved in a dispute with an opponent waving placards chiding Tony Strickland for accepting campaign contributions from tobacco companies. A heated verbal argument broke out between Angeles and Strickland opponents, which escalated to a physical tussle between Angeles and some of the protesters. Louis Pandolfi of Simi Valley, who organized the opposition demonstration, said he expected run-ins with supporters, but not as soon as they arrived.

This is the photo in The Star's story but it is not the same incident that drew the Police to file a report.

(Photo caption from The Star reporter's story: Dana Rene Bowler / Star staff Joel Angeles, center, the chief of staff for Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, gets into a tussle Tuesday night with Charles Harrington, right, of Simi Valley during a protest outside the Hyatt Westlake Hotel.

By the end of the protest I would guess there was about 50 people on each side.
Is that about right? I was too busy arguing that the chances of someone being arrested when the crowd is filled only with partisan witnesses was pretty slim.

The protesters waved signs calling out Tony Strickland for taking tobacco money with a variety of lines on them. They also waved many Barack Obama signs too. I would guess that the average person driving up Westlake Blvd. hasn't been following the politics of tobacco money in Ventura politics but they recognize Barack Obama signs and gave a variety of responses as they drove by. The protesters were organized by a Hannah-Beth Jackson supporter, Louis Pandolfi, from Simi Valley and included people from across Ventura County including Democratic activists, college students, and others. The young Republicans were convinced that people were paid to be there to protest against them. I didn't see any of that and I am pretty sure that the only form of exchange was maybe Butt Man getting a free meal for dressing up.


( Is there an online resource for cigarette based puns? )

Once the police were called and they were notified of the problems with their supporter Tony Strickland's campaign staff ( you know who you are!) did a great job of keeping their side away from the other side.

For anyone organizing any sort of protest one suggestion I have is to keep the two sides separate and out of each others' faces. You aren't there to argue with the other side. Don't have someone walk through the other side for fun and not expect weeks of arguing about who started it or who did what first. How about next time the organizers call each other and divide the areas so as to keep people away from each other? If your candidates are promising to work across the aisle I am sure your staff members or supporters can call each other and work something out. What do you say? One group of protesters on each side of the street sounds fair.

campaign manager_web.jpg

( A Strickland supporter explaining his side of the story as he is questioned by the police.)

I didn't see it and neither did most of you. So, don't assume to know what happened without seeing proof. I will post the tapes as they come into me.

State Assembly candidate Ferial Masry was in attendance. I know her son Omar Masry on a personal level so when she told me someone called her a terrorist ( Ferial is Muslim and was born in Saudi Arabia) I took it pretty serious as calling a Muslim a terrorist sounds like a racial slur to me. I walked up w/ video and asked Ferial to ask him to say what he said again and make it a leading question like " say what you said again, please" but by then another Strickland supporter caught wind and said they had no comment. I wanted to allow the man a chance to clarify himself, admit it, or deny it so it wouldn't become another incident without proof. Later, someone else said they were called a terrorist too but they were of European descent so it sounds like over heated political talk and not much else. But I wasn't a witness to it so I don't want to make too much out of it or vouch for exactly what was said.

The protests ended peacefully with both sides making their point. Tony Strickland's supporters, many of which were dressed in suits, and Hannah-Beth Jackson's supporters chanted in support of their candidate and against tobacco money or hypocrisy.


And last but not least the best video of the night can be found by clicking here. Turn on your speakers loud as it is hard to hear.

RollThe Tape.jpg
( Police officers viewing one of the tapes of the shoving incident. I will post the tape if I can get a copy when the police give it back to the owner of it. Will it be the biggest let down since Al Capone's vault or a little more exciting? )

I maintain my earlier argument that the campaign money from tobacco, because it is so unpopular, isn't worth giving your opponents a campaign issue.

So, did you attend the event inside? How was it? I haven't seen many reports but this is what The Star said why Mitt Romney explained he supports Tony Strickland:

"I believe Tony Strickland can cut back on wasteful spending and can remove the interest of special interests and bring new ideas to Sacramento," Romney said in an interview before the event.

Is there any mistakes in my report you think I should correct? Let me know by email or by leaving a comment and I will look into it. I am sure there are many things that I missed. I tried to report as much as I could and be as fair as possible to both sides. If there is more to include to reach that goal give me some feedback.

The event was expected to raise up to $200,000 for Tony Strickland's campaign.

Judging by the early returns in the news cycle who won the media battle outside?

Moorpark Mayor not running again. Janice Parvin announces her campaign to replace him.

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Moorpark city politics just got more interesting with the announced retirement of current Mayor Patrick Hunter. I don't know enough about the issues in Moorpark to give a fair assessment of his leadership but I would like to nominate City Council Member Keith Millhouse as a potential replacement. Keith Millhouse is a Republican, lawyer, and environmentalist. He is also a great friend of this blog. He donated the most to a charity drive that I had recently and he has taken questions from readers. He even backs a dog park in Moorpark, something I strongly support.

Keith, I make a motion to nominate you for mayor. Do I see a second?

A few weeks back someone asked me if there was any Republican that I would vote for over a Democrat locally. There are more but Keith is at the top of my list.


UPDATE: Janice Parvin has announced she is running for mayor.

Click here to read The Star article.

Simi Valley School Board elections

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( Past candidate Thurlow Partridge (R) speaking about his campaign. To see more candidates videos click on continue reading.)

I don't know if any challengers will appear but SEA ( Simi Valley Educators' Association) which is the union that represents Simi Valley teachers has endorsed all three incumbents for reelection.

Unions have their own reasons for doing things and an endorsement this early surprised me. I personally like to wait to see who all the candidates are before I choose who I am going to support. Their goal was likely to encourage them all to run again and do make any potential challenger think again. Will it work or will we see a contested school board election?

I assume that means Janice DiFatta (R), Rob Collins (D), and Debbie Sandland (D) are all planning on running again.

What are the top priorities for you when voting for school board?

I want candidates that have a background in business or education. Someone that has helped local schools in a variety of ways. I want someone that will go to campuses not just for big events but to check out how things are being run. What I don't like is political activists that are there for their own reasons. A school board mixed with people from different parts of our community including education, business, and other places seems like a good fit.

Ventura Office opening for Hannah-Beth Jackson

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The Hannah- Beth Jackson campaign will be holding a party for the grand opening of their Ventura office this Wednesday night. Click on continue reading for details.

Marie, are you going? Do you know if there any local elected officials expected to be there? You should have someone recored her speech and put it on youtube.

A reader of my blog keeps spelling Hannah- Beth Jackson's name wrong. He keeps leaving out an H. So, to remind him I am putting the H that he misses in Hannah -Beth Jackson in bold.

Are you tired of wall to wall Hannah- Beth Jackson V Tony Strickland coverage? Send me in some unrelated news tip. Please.

Big day in Ventura County

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1. Tony Strickland Fund Raiser w/ Mitt Romeny.
I have said it many times but Tony Strickland is a great campaigner. Choosing to support Mitt Romney has paid off for him. Imagine if Hannah-Beth Jackson would have supported Barack Obama before California voted.

2. Same Sex Marriages will be taking place at the county court house.
The news coverage of people that have loved in each other for many years finally being able to marry will change some minds. As this quote in a George Skelton article sums it up:

"...Particularly compelling was a speech by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who talked about marriage "reinforcing traditional values: accountability, monogamy, commitment, the rule of law. . . . " Society should be encouraging that, he asserted, whether heterosexual or same sex.

3. There is a Barack Obama organizing event at the UFCW Hall in Camarillo from 7 to 9 PM. I will post any events from McCain supporters when I see them.

If at the end of the day you have any pictures that you want me to post, send them in. If you want to write a summary of the Tony Strickland event from the inside I will post it without any edits to your work.

I will have some video to post but if you have videos send me a link and I will post them too. I don't care what event or what side you are on I will post it so others can learn more about what is going on. To show I post information from many different sides here is an amazing ad for John McCain.

Luckily for Barack Obama not many people will get the historical references. In a recent poll about a quarter of British people thought Winston Churchill was a myth.

Fundraiser for Tony Strickland w/ guest Mitt Romney

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If you read this blog often you don't need a reminder but Tony Strickland sent out an email to remind people about his event tomorrow night with Mitt Romney. Click on continue reading for details.

There will be a protest outside the event to bring more attention on charges of unethical campaign finance.
Are you going? I will be there and I will make sure to get some video to post on youtube for those that cannot make it.

I figured we should look at the campaign finance reports of both candidates and do some research. Who are their largest contributers and what are their interests?

Click here for Hannah Beth Jackson.

Click here for Tony Strickland.

What surprises did you find?

I am also hearing rumors that Audra Strickland has been talking to people about what office she might run for when she is termed out in 2010. What have you heard?

UPDATE: The Star's editorial cartoonist Stan Greenberg made this cartoon that points out the folly of trying to track campaign contributions. Tony Strickland supporters: Did it accurately capture your thoughts on the manner?


UPDATE: Another local group sent out an email. Here it is word for word:

Although it's not official, Tuesday evening sure looks like the beginning of the general election. Tony Strickland, Big Tobacco's best friend in Ventura County is holding a fundraiser with Mitt Romney in Westlake. You can join the welcoming committee. Then you can go just down the Conejo Grade to the UFCW building and help kick off the local Barak Obama campaign. How much more fun can you have on a Tuesday night?

Up In Smoke

Tony Strickland, Republican candidate for SD 19, is having a fundraiser in Westlake with a special celebrity guest.

We've found a celebrity of our own to greet them. Join Butt Man the human cigarette to welcome Mitt Romney to the Conejo Valley and protest the Ventura County Republican Central Committee's acceptance of a $50,000 contribution from Altria (Philip Morris) on behalf of Tony Strickland.

Date: Tuesday, June 17
6 p.m. sharp. The VIP reception starts at 6:30 p.m.

Hyatt Westlake Plaza
880 S. Westlake Blvd.
Westlake Village
Make a sign, bring it to wave.

If we stay on the sidewalk, our actions are protected under the First Amendment. We won't go into the hotel, the parking lot or block access to the facility

Obama Meetup/New Volunteer Welcome

Ventura County / 24th CD - OBAMA Meetup
Obama Logo

On Tuesday, June 17, 7-9 PM at the UFCW Orchid Room in Camarillo, please join fellow Obama supporters for a meetup / new volunteer welcome.

We will be joined by Deborah Dent, CD 24 Coordinator, Obama for America.

Time to get fired up and ready to go!


Thomas Mullens

Democratic Club of the Conejo Valley

Tony Strickland hiring staff members

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I found this ad on Craigslist advertising for a job working for Tony Strickland's state senate campaign.

Looks like they plan to campaign across the entire district. They are even providing housing!

In the past Tony Strickland has done an impressive job training young people how to work in politics. It doesn't appear this election cycle will be much different in that regard. The pay is listed at $1500 a month.

Will Hannah Beth Jackson also be hiring field workers early? I haven't seen anything about applying for jobs fro her campaign.

The ad says they will be polling. Has anyone heard their poll questions?

Mayor Paul Miller running again

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The Mayor of Simi Valley, Paul Miller, is running again. You can read the whole Acorn story here at this link.

I have spoken to the mayor a few times but something I hope to explore more with him is the impact his degree in religion from UCLA had upon his career as a police officer and an elected official.

Here is Paul Miller's website.
By looking at it do you think he anticipates having to campaign hard?


What about the city council races in Simi Valley? What have you heard? Do you think Barbra Williamson and Steve Sojka will run again? Do you think there will be anybody else running?

I have heard many rumors that local Republican activists were going to go after Barbra Williamson for supporting Jim Dantona over Judy Mikels and Peter Foy but I doubt they will be successful. Beating an incumbent is always difficult to do. Besides Peter Foy might be too busy with his new antitax and anti doing something about climate change group.

Do you see any need for a change in Simi Valley city government? What are your top issues?

If you were going to nominate someone who would you nominate?

The debate over debates.

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It seems John McCain is anxious over Barack Obama's ability to connect with voters and make news. Check out these events from the last few days:

Here is Barack Obama, in church on Father's Day, calling on fathers, especially African American fathers, to be there for their children.

( it already has close to 40,000 views on Youtube.)

Here is Barack Obama calling for help on behalf of the victims of the midwest funding. He also flew in, helped out , and used his campaign organization to get people to help:

And on his front page you see this:


And what is John McCain up to? On his front page it has a long list of Finance Events. He is also hosting town hall Meetings with the campaign helping to select audience members, which isn't what they were claiming it was going to be. Even Fox News called them on it.

So, is it in Barack Obama's best interest to be at every meeting that John McCain wants to hold? Most likely not. But it might be in our nation's best interest to watch them debate each other many times.

I think both campaigns should compromise. Barack Obama's campaign has already agreed to a total of 5 events between here and the election in November. Maybe he should add in one or two more events. Having a weekly event over this summer is a little too much and it is an attempt to get Barack Obama out of the type of campaigning he has been very effective at thus far.

Now that I have said all of that let's take this to the local level.

Of course Rep. Elton Gallegly is the heavy favorite to win. But wouldn't it be great if he participated in at least 1 event with his opponent that was focused just on their race this summer? A town hall forum where the audience could ask questions of them and a recording would be broadcast on cable?

What about Hannah Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland? What excuse do they have for not meeting at least once a month to answer questions from the audience or a panel? Do you think it would be good for democracy to watch them debate their different visions across our district?

To make the events fair I don't care who they ask to moderate them. The Acorn? The Star? League Of Women Voters? A Rotary Club? What about other elected officials? Maybe even no moderator at all but instead a Lincoln Douglas type event where each candidate gets a few minutes to talk and they switch back and forth for an hour?

If enough people show their interest I will invite both campaigns to debate and report back which campaign refuses to debate.

I like the no host format so neither campaign can argue they don't think the moderator in unfair.

I haven't seen Hannah Beth Jackson in a debate or speak before a large audience but I have seen Tony Strickland do it a few times and he seems well practiced at it. I know his critics doubt him but his public speaking skills are pretty good. He can read an audience better than many local politicians.

What do you think? Should they do monthly debates across the district?

Terrorist Fist Jab? News network or Tabloid?

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Why would Fox News equate something that millions of Americans do every day with terrorism?

Calling a hand gesture that Barack Obama does with this wife a terrorist fist jab shows their bias against him and it shows they aren't even a news gathering organization. Why?

1. They said others were calling it a terrorist fist jab but they never said who. ( Can you use google and find the answer?)
2. They somehow didn't know it was a basic hand gesture that millions of people do.
3. They thought it was important enough to talk about in the intro to the segment but not important enough to talk about during the rest of the segment. Is that because they couldn't back it up?
4. They thought that of all the news in the world this was an important news item to discuss. Not the troops in Iraq, not the differences in policy between McCain and Obama and not the status of our economy. But a hand gesture.
5. They apologized but in so dong they continued to claim other people were calling it a terrorist fist jab. Who were the other people?

Have you ever terrorist fist jabbed someone? I plan on getting it on youtube when a local politician does it.

Her is her "apology"

Here is a picture of many famous Americans
sympathizing with the terrorists according to Fox News. It includes Lieberman and Bush Sr.

The host has already been fired or demoted.

Which network do you like best? CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News?

Gallegly's congressional newsletter taking signups.

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( An old video of Rep. Gallegly talking about his support for the troop surge and a long term presence of US troops in Iraq.)

I am pleased that Rep. Elton Gallegly will be sending out a newsletter to keep us updated on what he is doing in congress. I want it to be more specific then his print edition newsletters. Maybe he can put in links to a bill tracker that allows us to see where his legislation currently is being considered?

Anyways, sign up by clicking here.

Make sure to use a fun name. Make it esoteric so that you get added. Maybe Russian authors? Disgraced colleagues of his ( You can be bipartisan)? 19th century Vice Presidents?

Let me know when you get your newsletters.

The person with the best name that Gallegly sends a newsletter too wins a prize. Prize not actually worth almost anything.

Former Sup. Charles Weis in the news

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( Here is a video of Timm Herdt in case he tries to sneak into your events.)

I haven't written much about Charles Weis in the past because it doesn't seem to draw people in unlike other actions by the county board of education. Here are some recent stories about him.

1. He was offered a home loan as part of his compensation package from his new employer.

I heard about this but I didn't write about it because he is no longer a county elected official. For the same reason I haven't been posting about Tom McClintock's victory in the Republican Primary for congress in Northern California. It is a close call. They both have connections here but it seems they are losing news value for local voters.

2. Timm Herdt wrote a blog entry pointing out that Weis was the only county wide elected Democrat. With Democrats having a registration edge in Ventura County what office will they make a serious attempt at first?

3. The process of replacing him is ongoing. Has anyone heard something new about it? Even though it is a nonpartisan position I bet they somehow end up with a Republican. That's what happens when two board members are also members of the Ventura County Republican Central Committee. The new person might be highly qualified but the pool seems like it will only be open to Republicans. Do you agree?

On a side note here is a partisan break down of most offices in Ventura County. I am sure there are a few updates to it but it is close to accurate.

Protest called against Tony Strickland and Mitt Romney for tobacco money

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( Mitt Romney talking about McCain's similarities to Bob Dole.)

The arguments over the ethics of the Ventura County Republican Central Committee taking money from a tobacco company to be used on behalf of their candidates, including primarily Tony Strickland, is not going away anytime soon.

Supporters of Hannah Beth Jackson and other groups upset with the introduction of a large amount of tobacco money into Ventura County politics will be protesting outside Tony Strickland's fundraiser next week.

(There also might be a group opposed to the idea of Mitt Romney being a candidate for VP working with them. )

They have been sending press releases to all sorts of media across the county and even into Santa Barbara County. This looks like this is just the kick off in the battle over what his opponents are attempting to show is dirty money.

I have always maintained that taking tobacco money was going to cost the Ventura County Republican Central Committee and Tony Strickland more than it was worth.

Republicans have been countering by pointing out that the State Democratic Party takes money from cigarette companies too. But this misses my analysis. I am not lecturing Republicans why it is wrong ( if they don't get why it is wrong for either party to take tobacco money they aren't going to shift their views anytime soon on it) as much as I am arguing it is going to allow many negative stories and a chance Tony Strickland to be defined as a candidate.

If the election is about campaign finance the Democrats will win. Like it or not voters hate cigarette companies more than they hate environmentalists, teachers' unions, and maybe even trial lawyers. (But tobacco company trial lawyers have got to be one step above DUI lawyers in the public's mind.)

If the election is about raising taxes on the average voter then Tony Strickland can win. This tobacco money storyline is taking away his chances to discuss his strengths as a candidate.

The VCRCC has put him on the defensive in a way that allows his opponents to define him as an ally of tobacco interests. I have watched Tony campaign many times but he has never been depicted as a tool of tobacco interests before. The VCRCC is allowing it to happen to him. Were they in need of money that bad?

Tony Strickland is favored to win.
But this is going to make it harder. He is a great campaigner, he has access to large amounts of money, he has decent name ID, and his field campaign is very well organized.

He also doesn't care if his critics make fun of his GreenWave energy company, he mentions it as a part of his stump speech. The more he talks about GreenWave the better for him.

Expect Republicans to hit back with full force looking into Hannah beth Jackson's campaign finance records. But that doesn't seem like a winning tactic as it just continues the conversation over campaign finance. Is that something Tony Strickland wants? Tony is best when he is on the offensive. This donation allows Hannah Beth Jackson to bring up old charges again with a fresh appeal to it.

So, are you going to be at the fund raiser on the inside or out on the streets?

Here is the press release from the protest group:



We will be protesting the Ventura County Republican Central Committee's acceptance of a $50,000 contribution from Altria (Philip Morris) on behalf of Tony Strickland. We view a contribution of this size as very significant and a further indication that the tobacco industry will continue to attempt to buy politicians in California. No other single company is responsible for more deaths of American citizens. Mitt Romney, keynote speaker at the Strickland fundraiser and on the shortlist for Republican Vice President, should speak out about tobacco and the cancer it continues to spread throughout our Nation.

Date: Tuesday, June 17, 6:00 P.M.

Place: Hyatt Westlake Plaza
880 S. Westlake Blvd.
Westlake Village


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I figured we would take a break from Tony Strickland V Hannah Beth Jackson and discuss something else.

Watch the video above. It appears the Bush Administration has plans to spy on World of WarCraft and other online games. I never trusted Horde players. Any of you or your kids play WoW? Watch out for the NeoCon Orcs.

I bet the lag from Osama Bin Laden's cave really sucks.

Anyways, besides politics what other interests do you have?

I like to grow heirloom tomatoes.


Surprise us.

I am guessing Flamo likes to collect stamps. Am I right?

GreenWave Energy wins an award

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On John McCain's website there is a section of campaign gear you can purchase that have an environmentalist theme to them. Even though some far right critics attacked him for it and said he would not earn green votes for his efforts ( I do know one young environmental activist that is a Republican but the environment is her focus. Being Green keeps people like her from shifting their support to candidates like Barack Obama.) I believe it is a major change in American politics.

It appears as though George W. Bush will be the last anti-environmental president. Republican and Democratic leaders agree that climate change is real and human influenced. They also agree that actions needs to be taken.

( Tony Strickland and Hannah Beth Jackson agree climate change is real and human influenced. Kind of reminds me of this odd couple.)

In our area Tony Strickland is trying to show that he is an environmentally friendly candidate. He has spoken many times about his company, GreenWave Energy Solutions, and their effort and exploring more alternative energy sources.

His critics will attempt to claim the whole thing is a greenwash attempt. That he voted against the policy preferences of all the prominent environmental groups while he was int he state assembly. They also ridicule his company because it doesn't have a product, a profit, or even revenue beyond investment capital.

All of that may or may not be true.

But what is true is more important. The day when environmental protections only came from one party are over. To be an anti-environmentalist isn't going to be effective any longer.

The new debate is over what party has better ideas on the ways in which we provide for our energy security and protect our environment. The battle of ideas has shifted over. Republicans are quickly trying to get green as many of them distance themselves from past policies and statements.

Remember this one from Ronald Regan?

Republicans will not go back to Ronald Reagan's statements that show him at odds with environmentalists, but instead they will argue that their free market solutions will be a better way of protecting the environment.

Democrats will have to make the case that Republicans are not serious in their new found devotion and that their policies will be ineffective. But the middle has shifted and the new debate has been set.

The campaigns locally have already started adapting to this new world. Tony Strickland's campaign sent out a press release touting an award from a political wing apparently of The United Chamber of Commerce to his energy company.

Expect Hannah Beth Jackson's campaign to be critical of his voting record, his plans, and his company. Expect them to be critical of the award. But don't expect the environment to be an issue that only one party attempts to win votes off anymore.

For the Republican Party as a whole it will take more than an election cycle or set of candidates to gain voter trust but they won't be giving up.

Click on continue reading to see the press release about Tony Strickland's Award.

I know Moorpark city council member Keith Millhouse has been a strong advocate of working together to address climate change but has anyone seen a statement that shows where Elton Gallegly stands on the issue?

County Supervisor Peter Foy ( Peter, if you want to clarify and extend your remarks I will post them on the front page) is isolated as a part of the old guard that denies the earth is heating up at all. In the future there will be more Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger ( check out the Green theme to his website as he moves beyond the Republican Party), John McCain, Newt Gingrich, and if he is successful Tony Strickland.

Put another point on the scoreboard for Team Strickland.

Hannah Beth Jackson attacks Tony Strickland for cigarette company money

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I predicted that the Democrats under the leadership of Hannah Beth Jackson would make the Ventura County Republican Central Committee regret soliciting $50,000 from a cigarette company to help Tony Strickland in the fall campaign.

( Another defense of cigarette company donations)

Hannah Beth Jackson has sent out an email that appears to be just the opening to the attacks she will be directing at Tony Strickland. Expect months of the barrage aimed at how campaigns are financed.

In the comments section several people have pointed out that the state Democratic Party has taken tobacco money and that the state party gives money to local candidates and parties.

Is there degrees of guilt? Is there a difference between soliciting the donation and getting money from a state party that gets it from somewhere else?

There is two major problems with donations from sources the public doesn't trust as I see it.

1. It appears that the special interest group is trying to buy a legislator's vote. If this is the case it is on the person making the accusation to prove the politician altered their behavior in the way the special interest group favored. Has the California Democratic Party changed their positions after receiving tobacco money? Go do your research. What were the most important bills that the tobacco companies had an interest in?

2. The special interest group is funding a candidate that shares a policy preference. In this case we should know what the shared view is between the two. What issues does Tony Strickland or the state Democratic Party agree with tobacco companies on? Does Hannah Beth Jackson have any evidence that Tony Strickland agrees with the tobacco companies? What are the bill #'s from his days in the assembly?

Click on continue reading to see the latest email from Hannah Beth Jackson.

In other Hannah Beth Jackson news when you look at the email check out the new sophistication in Hannah Beth Jackson's campaign in her email which includes many ways to connect to the campaign.

For some Tony Strickland news Timm Herdt's top blog entry is about Mitt Romney's upcoming fundraiser for Tony Strickland that Strickland said he expects will help him raise $200,000 towards his state senate campaign.

Here is a video of Tony Strickland talking about why he supports Mitt Romeny:

Mary Pallant leading an impeachment rally

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( A video of Rep. Gallegly explaining his support for the surge and maintaining a commitment of troops in Iraq.)

Former candidate for the Democratic nomination Mary Pallant emailed me this message about a rally outside of Rep. Gallegly's office this Wednesday.

I post information from candidates as it comes in. If your campaign is having an event email it to me and it will be posted.

Here is the message from Mary Pallant:

Emergency Rally in support of Rep. Dennis Kucinich's Resolution presented to Congress on June 9th, at 8:40pm Eastern time, asking for the Impeachment of George W. Bush and listing 35 articles of Impeachable offenses.

For the love of our Country and Constitution let us show support and solidarity for this resolution. Impeachment is not a partisan issue, but a fundamental constitutional issue. The charges described in the Resolution clearly represent what our Founding Fathers intended in addressing acts of treason, high crimes and misdemeanors. It is time for our legislatures to take a stand, stand up for the rule of law and stand firm with upholding their constitutional oath "to preserve and protect." Thank you to Rep. Kucinich. These charges are now a part of the Congressional record.

Date: Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
Location: Corner of Westlake Blvd. and Townsgate in Westlake Village (near Rep. Gallegly's office, member of the House Judiciary Committee)
Time: 6pm to 7pm

Please forward this notice to your email lists.

Regardless of Mary Pallant's positions you must admit she is in this for a cause larger than herself. I expect her to keep organizing locally and run again in the future.

UPDATE: Mary Pallant also emailed out an end of campaign season message. Click on continue reading to read it.

Thanks SVPD + other law enforcement

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A classic.

Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks are in the top ten for safety nation wide.*

Maybe it is a combination of luck, police work, good citizenship, and good parenting.

But if you are feeling generous here is the website for The Simi Valley Police Foundation.

If this post gets to 100 comments without one example of name calling or poor behavior ( that includes being off topic!) I will join too.

Who else will take the pledge?

Do you put credit into these surveys?

Spring Fling this weekend

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( Any of my readers planning to poke in this weekend for at least a few minutes?)

The annual Democratic Spring Fling is this weekend.

It is a great event to find out who is planning on running for office in the future.

I plan on going and taking pictures.

What questions should I ask State Superintendent of Public Education Jack O'Connell?

If you give me a decent question I will ask it and post it using youtube.

I am curious if the Democratic Party will be selling Barack Obama gear at this event. Anyone know?

Is Hannah Beth Jackson going to be selling signs?

Any Democrat running for a partisan office ( congress, assembly, state senate etc.) in a contested election that isn't there is already giving up.

Ventura County Republicans take tobacco money. Smart move or bad politics?

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( A classic Ronald Reagan ad from back when cigarettes cigarette companies were safe before the warning labels made them more dangerous for a politician to accept donations from.)

The Ventura County Republican Central Committee has solicited and accepted a large donation to fund their campaigns this fall from a tobacco company.

Do you think they will end up regretting taking this money or is it a fair way to raise the money they need to fund their programs including getting out the vote, educating members, registering voters, and helping their candidates?

I don't think this was a smart move. Tony Strickland has plenty of people that support him on the central committee. They must realize they just handed Hannah Beth Jackson and Ventura County Democrats a campaign issue and a theme that will be used over and over until November.

There is many special interest groups that offend voters but this seems like an especially noxious source of funding.

On the front page of The Star you can see the most emailed stories. This story is on the list. I don't think it is going away.

Do you agree with my political analysis?

UPDATE: This story remains on the front page of The Star under the most emailed stories.

VP selections

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Seems the whole nation is discussing VP picks so I figured I would share some names I have been thinking might help each ticket.

Barack Obama
Al Gore.
Imagine. Ready day one. Knows his way around. Has plenty of experience. Really good at being VP.

Hillary Clinton could polarize the electorate but she has shown her ability to raise money and turn out votes.

But maybe an outside the box pick like Michael Bloomberg ( executive experience in business and as a mayor plus financial experience to bring confidence in unsure times) or Senator Chuck Hagel ( a Republican who has turned against the war)?

She wasn't my pick for president but I see why some want her on the ticket.

John McCain
I don't see him picking Crist or Huckabee.
But Mitt Romney could help him. Mitt helps McCain on economic issues. McCain doesn't connect on economic issues as well as he does on other issues. But Mitt Romney does show confidence when he explains economics.

Do you remember this clip:

Mitt Romney would bring expertise, regardless if you agree with him, on what will be one of the top issues in the campaign.

So, what are your thoughts on the VP choices for both candidates?

Timm Herdt on HBJ V TS

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( See the bottom of this vote for the update.)


The Star's Timm Herdt had a short piece up about analyzing the election results between Hannah Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland.

Here is his analysis:

By Timm Herdt:

June 4, 2008
Jackson-Strickland: Not head-to-head, but...

In anticipation of the most competitive partisan political campaign Ventura County has seen in more than 20 years, partisans on both sides were watching Tuesday's results to see which of two unopposed candidates got the most votes.

It is a meaningless number, since at least two and a half times as many voters will participate in November's election as voted yesterday, but still... It's something to talk about.

So here's what happened:

Republican state Senate candidate Tony Strickland pulled in 50,756 votes.
Democratic state Senate candidate Hannah-Beth Jackson got 47,825.

Advantage Strickland?

Republican Central Committee Chairman Mike Osborn thinks so. "Last night sends a message," Osborn told me this afternoon. "Tony's showing yesterday is going to cut off some of the money Hannah-Beth was expecting."

What it shows is that turnout ran about according to registration, but -- as is typically the case in low-turnout elections, Republicans voted a little more reliably than Democrats. Republicans hold a 2 percentage-point edge in the district, and Strickland got about 3 percent more of the combined Republican and Democratic votes.

In November, there will be a lot more Republicans and Democrats casting ballots -- and a whole lot more independents.

"You saw her strong support, you saw our strong support," Osborn said. "I think my guy will win over more independents."

For comparison, consider that in 2004 -- a higher turnout primary -- 169,765 votes were cast in the district in June. That November -- likely a lower turnout general election that this year's will be -- 384,450 ballots were cast.

Before you comment you should know something. Timm is spelled with two M's. If you spell it wrong he gets angry. I spelled it wrong early in my blogging career and he broke my keyboard over his knee and threw it at an educator and an alternative energy executive.

For legal reasons I am required to tell you that was a joke. But really, it is two M's.

Timm, seriously why didn't you quote somebody from Hannah Beth Jackson's campaign? Did they not call you back before the deadline for the story?

I think the night shows an advantage to Tony Strickland but at this point he is the front runner. He is the strongest campaigner in this area. But I expect Hannah Beth Jackson is readying some great tactics. Her campaign includes veterans that have worked successfully to defeat him before.

What do you think? Should anything be read from the results?


UPDATE: The Hannah Beth Jackson team has emailed me final numbers from Santa Barabra County and if these are the final numbers they have reason to celebrate.

Here is their email:

Santa Barbara just released its final vote tally which has increased my vote count in SB to 25870 to 18943 for Strickland.In other words, Hannah-Beth received 6927 more votes in SB than he did.... (previously the figure was just about a 6,000 differential.So the final tally (per the Secty of State's website this morning shows:

Strickland 53,655Jackson 51,513
Differential of only 2,142 or just about 1,000 less than the previous calculation......
You may want to update your post on the primary turnout.

Does this mean the people that made a point out of the primary results admit Hannah Beth Jackson has an advantage?

Same Sex Marriage Poll*

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( This video featuring John McCain talking about his support and then him clarifying his remarks doesn't fully explain his view. If you have a link to a concise and fair explanation of the candidates views please post it.)

The front page of The Star currently has an unscientific poll about Same Sex Marriage.

Here is the wording and the results last I checked:

Would you favor a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as only involving a man and a woman?

Yes 42% 220 votes
No 57% 297 votes
517 total votes

Have you polled about any local or state politics in the past? I was once polled about Proposition 5 which expanded tribal gaming. I expressed my concern that it would cause a massive expansion of gaming in California, although I supported the tribes being able to life themselves up. The pollster said I didn't know what I was talking about.

Go vote and update us on the results!

If you want to write up a guest editorial about any local candidates positions on gay rights I will post it on the front page under your name. Leave a comment on who you are researching. It expect it will include your opinion but please also include facts, links, and a voting record.

Anyone want to research the following candidates and get back to us? Choose just one.

Hannah Beth Jackson
Elton Gallegly
Tony Strickland
Marta Jorgensen

And any others.

Brian Dennert here

This blog is dedicated to Ventura County politics. Send in ideas for posts to briandennert@gmail.com
Follow me on Twitter Twitter.com/dennert The Facebook page for this blog is facebook.com/briandennerthere You do not need to register to comment but keep it classy. Report abusive language to me at my email address.

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