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October 2008 Archives

On California Prop 8, Debunking False Claims

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My close friend Carlos Cabrera wrote an analytical article discussing the claims of both sides of the Proposition 8 campaign. Finding the truth when most of the information comes from a side in the debate is often times very difficult, but Carlos has done a great job.

Please give his article full consideration of your thoughts and leave him some critical feedback whether you agree or disagree.

When did you make up your mind on Proposition 8? Have any of the arguments you have heard changed your mind or have they simply reinforced your prior position?

Click on continue reading to see his essay.

GOTV Last Minute Local Events For Barack Obama

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There are events locally to help Barack Obama win swing states this weekend. Don't get too confident, go out there and work for it.

Click on continue reading for details.

Republicans, are you doing anything for John McCain this weekend?

Labor Unions Working For Hannah-Beth Jackson and Against Proposition 8

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( This picture if from Halloween night at the corner of Sycamore and Cochran where a couple of my friends were rallying against Proposition 8. To the both of you, thanks for standing up for equality.)

A family member forwarded me an email from their labor union talking about the positions that their union has endorsed. To see the full email click on continue reading.

It isn't a surprise that labor unions are endorsing Hannah-Beth Jackson but I am impressed that they are against Proposition 8 which would remove the right of marriage from same sex couples.

It shouldn't be that surprising. Most of us have friend, family member, or coworker that we want the best for and believe should be treated equally under the law. Labor unions stick up for their members, including their gay members.

Click on continue reading to see the recommendations from the California Labor Federation.

With legislative staffers, labor union members, and volunteers all working to GOTV for the next few days I expect this to be the contested election season in modern Ventura County politics. Make sure to take pictures, even if you don't want them published until after election day.

GOTV Rally w/ Ferial Masry

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Click on continue reading for details.

I plan to stop by Simi Valley Democratic HQ tomorrow and see how many people are really showing up for GOTV drives from across the state. Are you going to the Ferial Masry rally?

Mark Lisagor For County School Board Final Weekend Report

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This race hasn't had the highest profile but it seems Mark Lisagor has run a very energetic and effective campaign against an incumbent. Do you think it has been enough to put Mark Lisagor into office?

The consultant for the campaign is Marc O'Hara. This will be a test case to see how effective Lisagor is in Ventura County. If O'Hara helps win this race for Lisagor he will be the hero of many of the rapid Anti-Tony Strickland activists in Ventura County.

I want Mark Lisagor to win so that he can bring nonpartisan and common sense governance to a board that has been mired in controversy after controversy since about the time I started this blog. Scandals including trying to get a federal earmark to build a facility in Indiana for Ventura County youth to announcing they were looking for a conservative Christian to join the board, to a for profit charter school being approved, to trying to get creationism taught in the very few schools they directly control and much much more. Lisagor will help end the games.

Camarillo City Council Member Mike Morgan featured in a Tony Strickland Mailer

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Camarillo City Council Member Mike Morgan's letter in support of Tony Strickland quotes extensively from a Los Angeles Times editorial ENDORSING Hannah-Beth Jackson. This shouldn't go both ways. If the Los Angeles Times had a valid editorial, then their endorsement of Hannah-Beth Jackson is significant. If it isn't a decent editorial, then it shouldn't be quoted from at all. Choose a position!

Key quote left out by the Strickland campaign:

The last thing the Legislature needs is another member who signed a no-tax pledge and simply will not engage with Democrats in the give-and-take negotiations necessary to get through the state's budget crisis.

Besides this I think it is a much better mailer than the others I have been seeing. It focuses on local issues including the Camarillo prison hospital. In this campaign I have seen Hannah-Beth Jackson doing a better job relating to local issues like the proposed landfill/dump expansion and the clean up of Rocketdyne. Have you seen anything else the candidates' have done to appeal to specific local issues to add on?

Click here to see the endorsement from The Los Angeles Times.

Click on continue reading to see the letter from Mike Morgan in support of Tony Strickland.

Two attacks for the price of one!

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The State Democratic Party has been targeting Assembly Member Audra Strickland on behalf of Ferial Masry with the added bonus of attacking Tony Strickland too. But this latest mailer goes after both of them at the same time.

I only received one mailer today from either candidate. It was a mailer touting Tony Strickland as an independent. I am not sure what he means by that being that he was a part of a group ( The Club for Growth ) that went after moderate Republicans. But if he means he is much more conservative than the governor and in that way he is independent of the elected leader of his party I guess that makes sense.

Just a few days left until going to the mailbox is boring again.

If you want campaign material from a candidate you support posted, scan them and send them in. I will post them from every candidate in Ventura County that has them sent it. Unlike other blogs, I will allow the campaigns to speak for themselves.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.

The Star endorses Hannah-Beth Jackson

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Click here for the story.

Blast From The Past: 2

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The picture that I posted here first are now on Calitics, a popular liberal blog about California politics.

But whereas I assumed they were taken after a long campaign when many signs are scattered around town, Calitics assumes that they were taken down during the campaign. Have you seen these photos before? I have a feeling that many people have seen them over the years. By the smile on Tony Strickland's face I assumed that they were taken after the election, not during the stress of an election.

The larger story should also focus on the fact that Tony Strickland is driven with years of experience running campaigns. I don't have any predictions about what is going to happen in this race at the time, but I do think it is going to go down as the most hard fought battle in Ventura County history thus far.

I expect hundreds of people across Ventura County and beyond hitting the streets and phones this weekend. Will you be among them? Send in photos afterwards. If you want me to post them after the election, let me know. Keep a history about what happened for all of us.

I found your stolen signs!

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Thursday night I hung out for a few minutes at the corner of Sycamore and Cochran talking to people rallying for their candidates and causes. They included Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters, Proposition 8 supporters, opponents and proponents of Proposition 8, a few McCain fans, the pizza guy, a sandwich guy (I think), and the Halloween store sign waiver.

I suggest this corner to anyone holding a rally. Between random skate boarders and sign wavers for businesses your rally will look big!

A protester, who I talked to in the past, had a sign falsely accusing Barack Obama of not being born in the United States. Click here to see snopes.com debunk that story. He declined having his picture taken so I honored his request, even though he was in a public place pushing a internet rumor that is false.

In almost every election each side accuses the other side of stealing their signs. But I have solved the case. A few Yes on 8 signs have actually been stolen by people trying to help your cause. Watch this video to learn more ( Warning: Offensive language) :

I kept asking about taxes because that is what the young man was talking about earlier. I guess he was talking about the potential tax savings that some people may get by being married.

I am not making a claim that these young people were representative of the Yes on 8 side. I don't respect journalists that find an interesting group of people and always try to find the most provocative person and pretend they are representative of the truth. Most of the Yes on 8 people I encounter are people serious about their faith and believe the law should follow their moral beliefs.

This weekend the Mormon Church plans to mobilize. Click on continue reading to see their plans.

There is also a rally planned at the corner of Sycamore and Cochran again by No on 8 protesters. If standing on a street corner isn't your thing, there are phonebanks happening too.

I don't know how effective phonebanks will be, but it doesn't seem like rallies are effective either. Have you ever been swayed by a political phone call? Feels better than doing nothing.

There are many phonebanks this weekend against Proposition 8. Next weekend will hopefully be restful for many of us.


This video is of a couple of my friends on Halloween night waving Boo! on 8 signs at the corner of Cochran and Sycamore. Thank you for standing up for equality.

Tonight someone stole my No on 8 sign from my yard. What did you accomplish? I am just going to work even harder as a result of your theft. And get another sign. Maybe two more.


As we were taking a few pictures these young women came up and wanted to get their pictures taken too.

City Council Member Barbra Williamson street side interview

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The video above is from VoteSimiValley.com which is put together by Mike Chandler.

After watching it I have a few questions for council member Barbra Williamson:

1. You say that candidates should just walk up and ask a business owner to place a sign ion their property. But what do you do when it is a shopping plaza? Will any store do or does it help to know the developers or managers to the plaza from your work as a council member?

2. Simi Valley hasn't had a truly competitive city council contest in many years. A few of the current members were appointed and then ran as incumbents. Do you think it is better if people have to run the first time out? If so, are you interested in rules that would put this into place?

3. When a developer has a pending approval before the city for a project do you think there is pressure for them to display the signs of the incumbents that have influence over that process?

Barbra, you are running an effective campaign. I am impressed. Your mailer about the landfill/dump expansion has people talking. Email it in and I will post it.

Mark Lisagor For County School Board Ad

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Has he run an effective campaign? Seems to me he has a focused message and the resources to communicate it. Have you seen mailers, yard signs, or been called by his campaign?

Click here to see his website.

Blast From The Past

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This photo was emailed into me. I don't know the background information about it or other details including the context of the photo. I also don't know if it was altered in any way. Do you know more about it?

Simi Valley Mormon Churches Organizing To Support Proposition 8

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This picture is from the rally at Sycamore and Cochran last weekend. There was mostly people there against Proposition 8 but then a few Yes on 8 people showed up and kept walking laps through the intersection. Both sides should call a corner and keep their distance from each other. At the least don't try to stand real close trying to block their signs. That doesn't win votes. I don't know if either side has ever convinced the other side of much by arguing on a street corner. There is plenty of room for everyone. Keep the peace by keeping distance between each other.

Local Mormon churches have been doing much of the organization to get people waving signs on the corners of Simi Valley to eliminate the right to marry for same sex couples.

Click on continue reading to see a forwarded email from them about a rally tonight in Simi Valley.

This weekend I expect to see many people from both sides out there. Be safe and bring a camera.

Yet another State Democratic Party attack on Audra Strickland

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Another trip to the mailbox and another mailer critical of Audra Strickland from the state Democratic Party for many of you.

This ad features Ferial Masry's son Omar who served in Iraq.

I consider Omar a friend of mine and I think he will make a great candidate of his own one day. A Muslim-American who served proudly in Iraq promoting American values is a storybook candidacy.

What do you think?

Omar, are you listening?

Newspaper Endorsements in 19th State Senate race

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( This video is from the Ventura County Chamber of Commerce forum between the two candidates.)

Newspaper endorsements are coming in for the State Senate candidates. So far Tony Strickland has picked up the endorsement of The Signal, Santa Clarita's newspaper. Hannah-Beth Jackson picked up the support of the Los Angeles Times.

Click on continue reading to see the press releases from the campaigns about these endorsements.

When candidates do not get endorsements they frequently spin that they didn't want them anyway, or that newspaper endorsements don't matter.

But reading these two press releases they clearly do matter to these campaigns. Who do you expect The Star to endorse? I don't know much about the process and I don't have any inside information on the subject.

But I do expect that they will endorse Hannah-Beth Jackson. Do you agree?

What endorsements are available for either candidate in the last remaining days? Anyone know who has tried to stay neutral thus far?

Gregory Gandrud calls Pedro Nava out for not debating him

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Greg Aug 2006.jpg

In a press release Greg Gandrud has called out Pedro Nava for avoiding him. Click on continue reading to see it. Do you like that I post the full press releases from most campaigns? I don't want to tell you what campaigns said as much as show you what they said.

I do feel that serious challengers should have a chance to debate their opponents. So, my question is has Greg Gandrud shown he is a serious challenger in this campaign? I don't live in that district so it is difficult to get a proper assessment.

Click here to see a Q and A with Greg Gandrud that he did on my blog.

Protect your signs

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Every election season people complain about their signs being stolen, but few do anything about it. I know this picture is difficult to see but the Unification supporter in Camarillo put their sign on their roof.

Smart thinking.

Keep sending in photos that you want posted.

Thanks again to both sides in Camarillo for having me moderate the debate. Is there any video of it posted yet?

Carole Lutness keeps going

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( This is a recent screen shot of the Lutness campaign advertising on my blog. Do you think online ads are effective in local campaigns yet? I have no control over the advertising on my blog, nor do I know the ad rates.)

I don't have much more to say about this campaign but click on continue reading for the latest update from Carole Lutness and her team.

New Registration numbers to be posted for the 19th State Senate District

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( Marie, have you seen your own ad on television? What show were you watching?)

Ventura County Star reporter Timm Herdt has a new post up that Democrats outnumber Republicans in the 19th state senate district. Click here to read the report.

The Hannah-Beth Jackson campaign held a press conference to announce their support of education leaders across the district. With all of the action in this last week or so of the campaign I didn't post about it quickly. My friend, and fellow Star blogger Marie Lakin beat me to it. Click here to read about it.

Pig Races @ Underwood Farms

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A few weeks back I went with my family to Underwood Farms in Moorpark. I was surprised at the many cool things they have there for people of all ages. Animals, a corn maze, a pile of beans for little kids, games, food, and many other attractions. If you haven't been there I highly suggest it for small kids.

They also had pig races with many pig themed jokes. This year's theme was the presidential campaign. The race was set and I was excited to find out if we could say Underwood farm's pigs could predict the outcome. The pigs didn't really race and got distracted as they went around the loop. Somehow of all the pigs, Joe Swineden won. Go figure.

So, how are you feeling about the presidential campaign?

There they go again! State Democratic Party continues going after the Stricklands

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What message are we to get about Republicans from this mailer?

Looks like the State Democratic Party is calling them nerds.

But ethical nerds that don't want tobacco money in politics.

Click on continue reading to see the full mailer.

If you want me to post a mailer, scan it and send it in. That goes for slates and newspaper ads too.

Signs of the times?

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Thanks to Mike Judge for sending in some pictures of his campaign signs around town.

Most of the signs in Simi Valley are from the two incumbents running, which is odd being that they have both said they are against campaign signs.

Here is a recent quote from Steve Sojka:

"I'd be more than happy to do away with them altogether," Sojka said.

Steve, if you really want to do away from them, why do you have what appears to be the most signs in town? If they are an effective way to communicate, why would you ban them?

Barbra Williamson also has expressed dismay about campaign signs. Barbra, if they are such a nuisance, why put them up in an election where none of the challengers are spending a serious amount of money? If they are effective, why would you want to further limit them? If I have your view about this wrong, please correct me.

Click here to see a recent story from Star Reporter Anna Bakalis on this issue.


State Democratic Party going on the offensive on behalf of State Assembly Candidate Ferial Masry

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The State Democratic Party continues to send out mail on behalf of Ferial Masry, who is challenging Audra Strickland for a seat in the state assembly. By most accounts Ferial Masry has a serious

Have you been seeing mail from her?

Click here to see my my recent post on this contest.

Mark Lisagor goes after Chris Valenzano for contracts w/ lobbyists

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I don't live in Camarillo but it seems like Mark Lisagor's campaign to remove Chris Valenzano from the Ventura County Office of Education has been very effective at getting endorsements, raising money, and putting out a consistent message.

If you live in the Camarillo area what are seeing?

Click on continue reading to see a mailer from both campaigns.

Thanks to my readers who have been scanning and sending in mailers.

If you want to see a mailer posted on my blog, send it to me quickly.


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This was taken on Saturday at the corner of Sycamore and Cochran in Simi Valley. I hesitate to call it a protest when almost everybody is polite and well behaved. But, has there been many people rallying for their side in your town?


There is a false perception that religious people agree on Prop. 8 when that isn't true.

Click here to read an editorial from Rabbi John Sherwood about his objections to Proposition 8.

It seems to be that the free exercise clause of the first amendment is being weakened by those that would not allow Rabbi Sherwood and other people that agree with him, from performing marriages for same sex couples.

If you have an enlightened argument about how the free exercise clause should not be an issue, feel free to explain it to me.

I expect people to be on corners of Simi Valley all week long. Next Saturday I expect there will be at least a hundred people standing on corners about this proposition.

The Yes on 8 side started it and No on 8 sides spontaneously emerged to rally for their side.

Everyone keep safe, and stay away from each other. You aren't convincing each other of much by arguing and there are plenty of corners for everyone!

I was wondering what you think either side would do if they lost. Would they start more lawsuits or give up the battle in California?

The State Democratic Party is spending $ to support Ferial Masry.

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Even though many people have thought Ferial Masry doesn't have much of a chance of beating Audra Strickland the California Democratic Party is spending money on her behalf.

A theory to explain it is that the attacks on Tony Strickland could hurt Audra Strickland's chances. And now, maybe spending money on going after Audra Strickland will have a benefit for Democrats of minimizing both of their chances.

Click here and scroll down to the article titled "Is county Assembly race tightening?" to see Star reporter Timm Herdt's story about the contest between Ferial Masry and Audra Strickland.

She has seemed like a longshot to me but you can't get lucky on a long shot if you don't compete I guess.

If you have mailers from a candidate that you want posted send them to me. I will post almost all mailers from candidates for almost any office.

Click on continue reading to see the rest of the mailer.

Thanks for sending this mailer in, this blog is a team effort and I appreciate it.

Hannah-Beth Jackson references 17th century literature to attack Tony Strickland

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Tilting at wind turbines?

Did you catch the reference? Click here for the answer.

If you want to have me post mailers from your preferred candidate, scan them and send them in.

Click on continue reading to see the rest of the mailer.


Which of the Democratic candidate from the primaries does Hannah-Beth Jackson's campaign seem similar in their strategies and tactics?

Which of the Republican candidates from the primaries does Tony Strickland's campaign seem similar in their strategies and tactics?

No title

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Timm Herdt has already written about this piece. Here is what he said:

Do voters have a sense of humor?

During a year when "Saturday Night Live" got record-breaking ratings for its Sarah Palin guest appearance, Dave Letterman made headlines for his comedic rant over being stood up by John McCain, and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are teaming up for election night coverage on Comedy Central, it appears there's a large segment of the public that has a sense of humor about politics.

If so, Democratic state Senate candidate Hannah-Beth Jackson is trying to tap into that sense of humor on the local level.

Earlier in the campaign, Jackson sent out a comic-book style mailer and aired a cartoon-style television ad about Republican opponent Tony Strickland called "Tony Strickland and friends" that features cartoon characters of gasoline pumps, cigarettes and hospital equipment to illustrate how Strickland accepted money from special interest groups and then voted in their interests.

Now Jackson is using humor as a form of defense. This week she sent out a mailer with a comic-book cover that features a woman reading a newspaper with the provocative headline, "Hannah-Beth Jackson kidnaps Elvis!!"

Open it, and the text explains how opponents have "been making some pretty wild charges" about Jackson. On the back page, poking fun at her opposition's assertion that she would support increasing taxes on everything and anything, a man is shown reading a newspaper with the headline, "Jackson voted to tax puppies!"

Given the intense competition for a voter's attention during that brief time between picking up the mail and either bringing it in the house or dropping it in the recycling, perhaps a little humor could be just the thing to make an impression.

Click here to see Timm Herdt's blog.

Click on continue reading to see the entire mailer.

If you want a mailer posted, scan it and send it in.

Also, have a suggestion for a title? I am done thinking about it. Please leave suggestions as a comment.

No on Proposition 8 Rallies

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I don't have much time but here are some photos from the rally at Sycamore and Los Angles in Simi Valley. Democratic HQ in Simi Valley has signs for candidates and against Proposition 8. Have you seen people for either side out there? Have you attended an event? My head is dizzy from the hours of honking from cars but it was inspiring to see so many young people standing up for their values.






Camarillo Unification Debate Measure U

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Tonight I moderated the debate between supporters and opponents of Measure U in Camarillo.

I want to thank the Boys and Girls club, the debaters, and the audience for giving me the chance to moderate the debate tonight. I will write more about it later, but here is an entry to discuss the debate or ask questions.

You don't need to register or use your full name to leave a comment. Tonight was respectful for the most part. Let's keep it that way.

Thanks again.

Hannah-Beth Jackson & Tony Strickland mentioned on KFI AM 640 John and Ken show

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On my way from work Wednesday I heard John and Ken discussing taxes and the budget, brought up the contest between Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland.

The conservative show, albeit with a populist bent, is a top rated drive time AM broadcast.

I wasn't writing it down but to paraphrase the hosts:

Both of them are whores that will ask the special interests what they want them to do, to get their money.

Do you listen to their show? I listen regularly, but I haven't heard them bring up this campaign before.


I know that both sides have been calling the other candidate a for special interest groups or other taunts for months. But, like I have said, if you see a comment that is over the top, send me an email. Someone did, so I erased the word from a comment. Using language like does not help to bring out the truth in a campaign.

Both sides do it and both sides are wrong.

Both sides also say that their candidate has "supporters" but the other side is controlled by special interests.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.

Measure U Debate

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I am going to be moderating a debate about Measure U ( School District Unification ) in Camarillo Thursday night.

The two sides agreed that I would be an impartial moderator and I concur with them. It is tough to get worked up about a school district reorganization debate in a town you don't work or live in.

As part of my preparations I am reading over campaign materials and newspaper reports from both sides of the debate. If you want to help me out with finding relevant information please leave it as a comment on my blog. Please don't email it to me as I want the process to be transparent.

If you live in the area, come out and say hi. After the debate I would like critical feedback to help me improve for future forums or debates. If you want to take video for me to post, leave a comment so I know I have it covered.

I am also looking for a few students from the area to assist me keep time and collect questions. If you aren't connected to either side and want to assist me, leave a comment.

Click on continue reading to see the press release about the debate.

I better be back in time for The Office.

The Battle Over Proposition 8 in Simi Valley

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The young people above showed up at the rallies last Saturday that took place on a few street corners across Simi Valley. Are there rallies happening in your town? I wanted to know more so I asked them a few questions about what got them to come out to protest against Proposition 8. They said their friends got them involved.

Many young people last week saw the people rallying in favor of Proposition 8 and starting calling their friends or sending out Myspace Bulletins to gather people against Proposition 8. The Yes on 8 side seemed to control the morning but by late afternoon many young people showed up with handmade signs.

If you were there, fill us in on the details. I arrived late so I don't know about the numbers each side had throughout the day.

I expect that both sides will be out again this weekend across Simi Valley.

Take photos and post videos for all of us to see. Send me a link after you upload your videos.

I did take video of these young people talking, but the quality because of my camera and the street noise limits its use to understand what motivated these young people. I apologize for asking them to speak on camera and not using it. They were serious, on message, and confident.


On the way home from the school board forum I saw this man and his young son on the corner of Tapo Canyon and Cochran waving McCain/Palin signs and Yes on Proposition 8 signs. We talked at length about what has motivated him to support the Republican Party ticket and Proposition 8. I have a video that I will upload later of it.

Thanks for an informative talk. I feel like I better understand where some religious conservative voters are coming from. Towards the end of our talk a man stopped by and shared his vision of a great attack ad that would use the similarities between Barack Obama and a terrorist that helped mastermind the murder of about 3,000 Americans. I unfortunately ran out of batteries before we debated how it was disgusting to equate Barack Obama with a mass murderer because they share similar sounding names.

If you are reading this I have a few more questions. You said you were a life long Democrat, but obviously support the conservative religious goals of the Republican Party. What stops you from joining the Republican Party? Do you have strong feelings about any candidates for local positions?

Thanks for your time.

Before I left I asked the McCain/Palin supporter to promise me that he would stay safe on the street corner. My suggestion to all people waving signs is to bring a camera with you for safety. There are many people that don't value freedom of speech as much as we all should.

And make sure to have a fully charged battery.

Plug for a new blog

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Someone I know has helped start a new Palin Watch blog. Click here to see it.

Do you think picking Palin has been a net gain or loss for John McCain?

I think Mitt Romney and his expertise on the economy would have made more sense.

Simi Valley City Council: Barbra Williamson's new website

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Simi Valley City Council Member Barbra Williamson has launched a new website. Click here to see it. Leave a comment with feedback about what you think could be improved and what you like.

I appreciate you taking questions from readers online. I don't always agree with you, but you are willing to speak openly and on the record with so many people it is encouraging. Your candor and accesibility are rare virtues on local politics.

Here is Mike Chandler of VoteSimiValley.com talking about why he supports Barbra Williamson:

Simi Valley School Board Debate

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( The candidates discussing an issue that doesn't seem to come up much in Simi Valley: Vouchers. The question is more of an ideological litmus test when you consider that this isn't going to be on the agenda of the board. A more pertinent question would be about expanding charter schools or relations with the Ventura County Board of Education. 4 of of the 6 candidates were clearly against vouchers. What questions do you want these candidates to answer?)

I went to the Simi Valley School Board debate tonight at city hall.

First, sorry about getting the time wrong. It was at 5PM. I apologize if I caused anybody to miss it.

On the way in I saw Ray Cruz's bus and van in the parking lot. Here is a photo:


As I got closer I snapped a photo of some Ray Cruz supporters standing outside with his signs:


Inside city hall chambers it was a pretty tame affair. Nothing too unexpected was said from the candidates.

Here is a brief run down of a few statements or ideas from each candidate:

Brad Jashinsky:

We need new technology. Schools are archaic and look like something out of the 1950's or 1960's. Brad spoke about schools using webgrades ( which some schools do ) and posting homework online ( which some schools do ) as a way of connecting schools and families. He is a strong supporter of protecting and expanding programs at Santa Su High School.

Rob Collins:

Ron said he has the experience we need and this is no time for on the job training. The current board is working together unlike it has in the past and wants to continue as a team. Really against vouchers.

Janice Difatta:

The current board has worked together on many issues and looks forward to working with them. Grimaced a few times at statements from other candidates, including Brad's comments about a "new" energy savings plan. I put new in quotes because they disputed how long the district has been doing it. I know there has been an energy czar position for a few years, but I don't know if he was talking about something else.

Debbie Sandland:

She has been on the board for many years and would like to continue with the current board and is thankful for the opportunity it has given her. She takes many trips to see the many schools in the area. She is strongly against vouchers. Debbie also explained that she is in favor of the current options for 6th graders. She ran in an earlier campaign when that was a top priority.

A candidate that didn't get his candidate statement in:

I will put in his thoughts when he gets his candidate statement sent into me. The program for the night said he didn't submit a statement. Maybe I am being harsh, but if you want to have us take the time to discuss your policy views, then show us you are taking this seriously. I will post your candidate statement, website URL, and any videos you have as soon as you send them in. I look forward to posting them for you. You have many talents that will serve you well in life. Make sure to stay involved after the election.

Raymond Cruz:

Ray has refocused his campaign from divisive social issues like creationism that came up in the last election and is instead focusing on the drop out rate and the expulsion rate. He does support vouchers and was criticized by many of the other candidates for this position. He brochure mentions his involvement in Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley and the endorsement of the Ventura County Republican Central Committee.

I found it odd he hasn't switched the words he uses like much of the conservative movement in America. Many supporters of teaching creationism now call it "intelligent design" and many supporters of vouchers now call it "school choice".

I spoke with Ray outside the event very briefly and although we likely don't agree on very many policies, he is very friendly. His involvement in church life shows in his daily life. In his last election I took a few videos of him that I have posted below.

Ray did show up with the most supporters by far. The parking lot had a bus, a van, and more vehicles with his campaign signs on them. He looks like he is putting much more effort into his campaign this time.

I talked to a few candidates about campaign finance and they directed me to the county government website to learn more. Click here to see some of the campaign finance reports. I tried using it to look up current information but I am done with it for now. The information seems to be out of date and not organized in an easy to use way. The most recent report has been downloading for a few minutes and at this rate I will finish the entry before it is done. What's wrong with html reports? If you find anything interesting in there let me know.

There were many responses to questions I am not going to write about.
If you went to the debate and want to share what I left out, by all means post a comment. I saw a few people that post on my blog there including Mike Chandler of VoteSimiValley.com. Mike, I know your video quality is much higher than mine. I use a digital camera with a video feature whereas you actually have proper equipment. Do you have the ability to post the debate in full? I am going to leave it up to you and others to share their thoughts on the debate. My report is not meant to be conclusive.

Do you know how you are going to cast your three votes? This is a unique blog entry. Instead of a writer trying to convince you to support a cause or a candidate I am asking you to convince me.

I have my thoughts on the different candidates and I am familiar with most of the issues that they bring up. But I haven't finalized my three votes. Please leave your suggestions and picks as a comment. Make sure to explain how you are going to vote and why.

Thanks for the help.

I like to look at the bumper stickers on cars in the parking lots of debates. I don't know if they were attending the debate but I saw this Mike Judge supporter's vehicle which included a McCain/Palin sticker, a NRA sticker, and a Mike Judge sign showing his unique URL: JudgementSV.com

Mike, feel free to put up a link to the entry where you answered questions here on this blog.


Proposition 8 Rallies in Simi Valley

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( This photo was towards the end of the rally, but it contained a few people in support of Proposition 8, a sign waver for ice cream, a sign waver for a Halloween store, and a sign waver for pizza. A typical corner in Simi Valley.)

I would not use the word protest when for the most part both sides are being for the most part civil.

The morning started out with an organized rally from supporters of Proposition 8, which would remove the right to marry from same sex couples. Then, mostly young people who told me that they were frustrated by seeing people supporting Proposition 8 starting sending out myspace bulletins and text messages. It was pretty inspiring to see so many young people, on both sides getting involved. I was very impressed with the young kids out there to support equality for themselves, their friends, and their families without direction from the typical political organizers or groups.

They couldn't find many local No on 8 signs, so many of them made their own. There will be more rallies in Simi Valley in the coming weeks, so get your signs made or go and pick them up.

I don't have numbers because I stopped by at the end of the day when opponents of the measure were showing up in larger numbers and supporters of Proposition 8 had already been out there for hours.

I will write more about upcoming rallies planned for this weekend later but I wanted to post these pictures quickly.

I have been watching the ads and the campaigns from both sides and what surprises me is that both sides are avoiding talking about marriage in many of their talking points or slogans.

Supporters are coming up with ideas like churches getting sued and how it will be dealt with in schools, where are opponents are talking about equality in the abstract or government telling us what to do.

( The pictures I took are not representative of the numbers from both sides. Taking pictures across intersections doesn't always work great. If you have your own photos, send them in and I will post them. Always take cameras to protests to help keep people honest. Less stupid stuff happens when people know there are cameras around.)

How are you voting on proposition 8? Have you changed your mind recently?

Vote Simi Valley Interview w/ Brad Jashinsky

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The candidates for Simi Valley Unified School Board ( SVUSD ) will be debating at Simi Valley city hall Tuesday night at 6:30 PM.

Are you going to be there?

The above video is of Mike Chandler of Vote Simi Valley interviewing school board candidate Brad Jashinsky. Go to votesimivalley.com to see his other entires about Simi Valley politics.

Mike, are you going to be interviewing other school board candidates? Have you emailed them?

Republican Arrested In Voter Fraud Case

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Both political parties use paid staff to get signatures to put a proposition on the ballot or to register voters. Currently, Republicans are attacking ACORN, which registers voters and has had a history of supporting progressive causes. Some of their paid signature gatherers signed up fake or ineligible voters to get paid more. This isn't the first time, nor is it the last time paid signature gatherers or people being paid to register voters will commit fraud to make more money.

Both sides do it and then pretend only the other side does it.

But what is funny is that the latest person to get arrested for it is the leader of a Republican funded group that has paid people to work in Ventura County. In Ventura County they are charged with switching people to the Republican Party without their permission. Click here for a story about Ventura County voters alleging fraud.

The people that commit fraud to make more money in this way are stealing from their employers, in these cases ACORN and the Republican Party.

Next time someone brings up ACORN talk to them about two issues:

1. Are they really afraid the fake registrations is going to result in fake people voting?

2. Why is it that this arrest is not being talked about more when Republicans bring up ACORN?

Hannah-Beth Jackson attacking Tony Strickland on the economy

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I know that my readers will have diverse opinions, largely influenced by their ideology and party registration, but we should all be glad if the main issue between Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland are about taxes, the budget, and the economy.

What do you think of the Hannah-Beth Jackson's efforts to connect Tony Strickland to the subprime mortgage problem?

Have you seen Tony Strickland go after Hannah-Beth Jackson on the subprime mortgage problem?

I received three mailers from Hannah-Beth Jackson or the Democratic Party on her behalf in the same day last week. So far I have only received a single mailer from Tony Strickland. Party registration really does influence what mailers you get. What have you been seeing? If you want mailers from either candidate posted, scan them and email them in.

Ventura County Democratic Central Committee Newsletter

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democratic slate.jpg

Both parties put together slates for their candidates. But which party has been more effective at getting the information to voters?

If your club or campaign has news to share email it in. If you see a mailer you want posted, send it in too.

Click on continue reading to see the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee newsletter.

I am ___________ and I approved this message.

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The campaign for state senate is really getting serious. The Hannah-Beth Jackson campaign is accusing Tony Strickland's campaign of breaking an election law on a recent mailer.

Click on continue reading to see the press release for yourself.

I do agree that the most likely punishment would come after the election, when it will be a moot point.

Have you see the two campaigns in action recently? I have heard reports of Strickland supporters on street corners and I have heard that both sides are making a large amount of phone calls. Today I received two mailers supporting Hannah-Beth Jackson.

If you want to see a mailer from any campaign on my blog, scan it and send it in.

Ask A Candidate For City Council: Simi Valley Edition W/ Richard Paul Carter

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I caught the closing statements at the League of Women Voters' Forum for Simi Valley City Council candidates tonight. By the time I arrived there was approximately forty people there including reporters, bloggers, supporters, candidates, and maybe an undecided voter. I am not sure about that last category yet.

I am going to have a few entries in the following days about the event but the first entry is focusing on Richard Paul Carter. Click on the video above to see his cosing statement. Click here to see his website.

I talked with him and he agreed to answer questions from me and from my readers.

Here are my questions:

1. Your campaign literature says you are against the landfill/dump expansion. Could you explain why? What do you think of the arguments that it will create jobs, bring in taxes, and that Waste Management has been a strong partner of our community?

If the trash was mostly from Ventura County would that influence your opinion?

2. You say you want to help local businesses compete. Why do you see that as a function of government and more specifically as a function of the Simi Valley City Council?

3. What do you think of the Shop Simi Valley First campaign? Do you think it is a wise use of taxpayer dollars? Do you think it is effective? How did you arrive at your conclusion?

4. Do you attend city council meetings? f you do share with us what you have learned from attending them.

5. Would you be in favor of higher taxes to buy open space? How else would you go about preserving open space if it belongs to private landowners?

6. What local elected official do you admire the most?

7. How are you communicating with voters? Are you walking precincts, making phone calls, sending mailers, or posting signs?

That's all of my questions for now. What questions do you have for the candidate?

Other candidate Q and A entries will be coming up this weekend.

Please give the candidates time to respond to your questions. Most of them are very busy.

Republican & Democratic Marching Orders

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democratic slate.jpg

If you don't like the title, suggest a new title. If it is better than mine I will replace the title with your suggestion.

The Ventura County Republican Central Committee is working to elect Republicans to positions from school board to state senate locally. It isn't a surprise that they are trying to elect Republicans to partisan positions because that is a central function of parties. What is surprising to many people is that they are working to elect Republicans to positions that are officially nonpartisan.

It makes sense for political parties to support candidates that share their ideology and policy preferences. It also is makes sense for them to support candidates in an effort to create future leaders for partisan positions. Leaders build up a base of supporters, media contacts, name ID, and skills they need to run for office.

It isn't an automatic disqualification that a candidate for a state or federal position hasn't served in local office. But when Democrats nominate people that most of us agree couldn't win a contested race for mayor, why should we be surprised when voters reject them? Some Democratic nominees aren't raising enough money to run a competitive school board or city council campaign. Why should the start party get involved if they aren't getting local people involved?

That's why Republicans have been successful locally in past years. They have helped to build up their leaders across the county. They have people to lean on and ask for help in future campaigns.

I don't mind that candidates get the help that is available to them from their parties. But don't tell me it is a nonpartisan campaign if you gave permission for your name to be on a partisan slate for your party. You should run like you plan to govern. If a candidate runs as a team player in their party, we expect they will be a team player for their party when elected.

When you talk to a city council, school board, or other candidate for local office they will tell you it is nonpartisan, so don't worry if you aren't in the same party as them.

But after the election they will be expected to help their party. And most of them will help their party.

This includes using their position to endorse candidates for partisan offices.

I am not writing this as an admonition to Republicans, but as advice to Democrats. Go elect some local officials! Send me your door hangers or slates when you start putting them out.

But I do have some questions for Republicans. How did this list get made? Did the candidates have to approve being on it? How did you choose to endorse candidates for a position when there are Republicans running against each other. Why isn't Republican Simi Valley school board candidate Janice DiFatta on it? Why isn't Republican Moorpark City Council candidate Keith Millhouse on it?

If you see a mailer, door hanger, or other campaigning from candidates around send them in and I will post them.

Simi Valley candidates' forum coverage from VoteSimiValley.com

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Simi Valley Candidates Forum

There are a bunch of new local blogs that have been showing up lately, but my favorite is votesimivalley.com by Mike Chandler. His stuff is irreverent, witty, very well produced, and goes into detail about city issues.

I don't know if you will take it as a compliment Mike, but you are like Simi Valley's own Michael Moore. With your puck like attitude towards design guidelines and The Shop Simi Valley First Campaign, I don't think you are going to make many friends at city hall. But I guess not many reporters should be in the business of being friends with the politicians they cover.

This isn't just for you Mike, but to all my readers. Remember, that no matter how much we disagree on policy, almost all of us are in politics because we want to make the world a better place.

There is a candidate's forum at Simi Valley City Hall put on by the League of Women Voters this Thursday night. I guess they have these going on all across Ventura County, not that many would know about them. Seriously, I didn't get a press release about it?

Click on continue reading to see their events scheduled.

If you go to an event, take a short video of your favorite candidate and I will post it for you.


Battleground: Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties

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Three quick updates regarding the state senate campaign.

1. Timm Herdt, Ventura County Star reporter, has a new story up that the Republican Party is giving up on the other contested state senate race and focusing on the 19th state senate district. Click here to read the whole story.

As a helpful reminder Timm's name has two M's in it. If you spell it wrong he becomes enraged. I wrote his name on a name tag at a luncheon wrong and he crumpled it up and threw it in my food. I mostly picked around it but the taste of avery labels made it a bit odd.

2. Tony Strickland and The Santa Barbara News Press keep going after Hannah-Beth Jackson for attending a meeting where assembly Democrats talked about holding up the state budget for tactical reasons in their budget negotiations. The meeting was accidentally sent out across the capitol building.

What the editorial and the Strickland campaign doesn't say is what, if anything, Hannah-Beth Jackson said at the meeting. Did she argue against delaying the budget? It would seem pretty odd to attack her for arguing against her own party.

I don't know what she said, but if the paper is going to make the charge, they should back it up.

Is the Santa Barbara News Press a right wing paper? They seem to be really against Hannah-Beth Jackson. Who else are they supporting this election season?

Click on continue reading to see the press release with the full article.


3. A commenter, Marie Lakin, said that the Strickland campaign sent out a mailer but didn't include, as they said was required by law, to say who it was sent from. I have uploaded the mailer so you could see for yourself. Click on continue reading to see it. Thanks to another reader that scanned it and sent it in.

If you want to see your candidate's mailers or other advertisements on my blog, scan them and send them in.

Local Democrats Go After Lobbying Contracts

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The Ventura County Board of Education has hired lobbyists to help get funding from the state and federal government. The more I find out the worse it sounds. At the state level wouldn't Assembly Woman Audra Strickland be working for us if we are asking for funding for valid and needed projects? Who exactly are we lobbying? State legislative Democrats? At the federal level the Republican board has been trying to get an earmark. Do Republicans only think earmarks are bad when other people get them?

The earmark has been held up thus far by "partisanship" according to the lobbying firm. What was the Republican dominated board thinking when they hired a lobbying company that had Republican ties to lobby a Democratically controlled congress?

The Ventura County Democratic Party is now helping county board of education candidates coordinate their attacks on the contracts for lobbyists. To read their latest press release click on continue reading. Here are some excerpts:

According to an article in the Jan. 16 edition of Roll Call, Anchor Consulting dreamed up a plan for the VCOE to partner with another one of its clients, Grace College, an evangelical Christian college in Indiana, to obtain No Child Left Behind (NCLB) money to fund a project for at-risk youth in Ventura County.

VCBE member Chris Valenzano, a former legislative aide to Tony Strickland when he served in the Assembly, proposed in September of 2006 that the board consider hiring lobbyists, according to board minutes.

"The unwarranted spending by the current board on dubious lobbyists with little or no accountability must stop. As a trustee, I will be an effective advocate for public education in Sacramento and our nation's capitol," Lisagor said.

The $396,000 contract is one of the largest expenditures for educational lobbyists in the state. Only a handful of other county offices have hired lobbyists.

Do you think it has been a wise use of resources to hire lobbyists to lobby are own elected officials?

Round three

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Did you watch the debate tonight?

What are your thoughts?

The clock is running out and Barack Obama is ahead.

What were the most memorable lines to you?

Ask A Candidate For School Board: Moorpark Edition W/ Natalie Panossian

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Natalie Panossian - 2007 picture.jpg

The Moorpark School Board elections are just another local election that is being mostly ignored because of all the other excitement this year. Natalie Ponassian agreed to answer questions from my readers, which impresses me when you see how many different groups that she works or volunteers for.

I appreciate your time Natalie. Answer my questions and questions from my readers between all of your other meetings.

To my readers: If a candidate takes a few days to answer your question, be patient. Many of them volunteer for charities, hold down full time jobs, and have other campaign related activities to do.

Here are my questions, that are similar to what I ask of most school board candidates.

1. Will you seek or accept the support of a political party for your campaign?

2. What do you think about the process to fire a poor performing teacher? Do you think it is too easy, reasonable, or too hard to fire a teacher?

3. Have you attended many school board meetings?

4. Is it a conflict of interest to get the support of teachers since you could be voting on their contract?

5. What local politician do you respect for the work they have done for our community?

Thanks for your time. What questions do my readers have for Natalie Panossian?

For more information:

Click here for her Linkedin profile.

Click here for a brief SmartVoter Guide. ( Let us know if it updated soon.)

Click here for a profile in the Moorpark Acorn.

Click here for the endorsement from The Ventura County Lincoln club. which declined to endorse another Republican, Ute Van Dam, that is also running. Ute Van Dam is a Democrat. I updated my post to reflect her registration.

Another day, another update on State Senate campaigns

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The LA Times had an article recently about the state senate race between Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland. Click here to read it for yourself.

The thesis of the article is that both sides are trying to reach out to voters who are not members of either party.

Here are some notable lines:

To partisans, they are "Phony Tony" and "Taxin' Jackson."

( About Tony Strickland's company ) The company doesn't have any employees, services or products because it's still waiting for its permit to be approved, he said.
But Strickland says his change of heart is real. Like T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oil man now advocating cleaner energy sources, he has decided that America must "get off foreign oil," Strickland said.
And Hannah-Beth Jackson? The 58-year-old Democrat is so liberal that she's never seen a tax she didn't like, according to Strickland's supporters. Voters couldn't have a clearer choice, both sides say.

I am curious. If elected, would Tony Strickland be expected to sell off his interest in his alternative energy company being that he would be voting on issues related to it very often, or would he be expected to abstain on votes concerning energy policy?

Maybe he would be more effective in the private sector if he isn't going to be voting on the policies that are really important to him. I would expect he would sell his portion of the company to another willing investor.

Tell me if you think my analysis is missing something.

Runkle Canyon Update w/ Barbra Williamson

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Check out this new video about the proposed development nicknamed by opponents as Runkledyne.

With such an important issue are any of the groups opposed to the development getting involved in local elections? If incumbents are being responsive they should be supported and if they are not they should be challenged for it.

So, how have the current city leaders worked with you? What about other local elected officials.

I respect Barbra Williamson for agreeing to talk, on camera, about an issue that is seen as being politically toxic.

Click here for more information from enviroreporter.com.

Click here to see the "Runkledyne" website.

Click runklecanyon.com to see the website of the developer.

California Association Of Political Centrists Releases Their Ratings Of Local Candidates

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( State Assembly candidate Ferial Masry w/ CAPC Leader Leslie Cornejo. Photo from Ferial Masry's website.)

The California Association of Political Centrists has released their ratings of candidates ranging from school board to state senate.

CAPC members, which candidate took the longest or was the hardest to rate? Are you going to do the same for Simi Valley school board? What about Simi Valley city council?

Click on continue reading to see their ratings.

Mark Lisagor for County School Board Campaign Update

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Mark Lisagor has been sending out great updates that show his thoughts behind different campaign moves he is making. I like transparency as it makes me think he might be more transparent then the current board has been in the past.

Click on continue reading for his latest campaign update.

Does Lutness have the quickness needed?

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The 38th Assembly District is currently represented by Cameron Smyth and likely will be after this election. He is young, dynamic, and has connections from many different groups. Cameron Smyth worked for former State Senator Pete Knight and was a member of the Santa Clarita City Council.

He is heavily favored to win and it would be a stunning upset for his opponent Carole Lutness to pull out a victory.

But this hasn't slowed her down. Unlike other campaigns I have seen that say they are going to run hard and then don't do much of anything, she is giving it her all. She sends out constant emails, host public events regularly, and gives the perception that there is energy behind her campaign.

Anyways, like I said, Cameron Smyth is the favored candidate at this point. But click on continue reading to see all the different activities that her campaign has going on in the last few weeks.

Carole, thanks for challenging an incumbent and making him defend his position.

Keep sending in the updates. I appreciate it.

Paul Miller, Hannah-Beth jackson, and Don Waunch advertising online

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I thought about online advertising after seeing this story about the Barack Obama campaign putting up spots in the online video game Burnout Paradise. The ads could be targeted by state to deliver a local message. This is a new era of campaign tactics.

Have you been noticing the advertising the different political campaigns have been paying for on The Star's various pages? I have seen ads for Barack Obama, Paul Miller, and Hannah-Beth Jackson on my page.

What do you think about the ads as far as reaching voters?

I would think that most people that read newspapers are usually highly informed and less likely to be persuaded by an ad, but I could be wrong.

They seem like they would be highly effective at driving a narrative. Have you clicked on the ads? The Hannah-Beth Jackson ad has a powerful charge that attempts to connect Tony Strickland to the current housing crisis.

Would you advise a candidate to use online advertising? I would if it was cheap and showed up in google search results.

Simi Valley School Board: Brad Jashinsky Goes On The Offensive

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armored_vehicle .jpg

This graphic appeared at the top of a recent flyer being distributed in Simi Valley. For the rest of the flyer click on continue reading.

Brad Jashinsky is going on the offensive in his campaign to get elected to the school board. His is targeting the incumbents for what he sees as a lack of progress with the bond money.

Here are two upcoming events for voters:

Chamber of Commerce event
Lost Canyons Golf Course 11am to 1pm.

School Board Candidates' Forum from 5pm to 6:30pm.
Simi Valley City Council Chambers

Are any of you going to either event? I plan to go and submit some questions. I will also be asking candidate's to do short interviews. Any specific questions you want me to ask?

Brad, I saw this on your website:

This led to other issues coming my way including gay rights, school safety problems, overly aggressive teacher policies, and the false promises made by the school board about when the projects would be completed across the district.

What was your involvement with gay rights and what are your thoughts about tolerance in Simi Valley schools? Do you think there is dramatically more that teachers, administrators, and the school board could do to increase an atmosphere of respect and safety for all? There is room for improvement in every school, but do you see gay rights, tolerance, and respect as a priority if you are elected?

Also, does your URL indicate you are a Batman fan?

For more information:

Click here to see Brad Jashinsky's website.

Click here to see his "Ask a candidate entry" where he answered many questions from readers.

If you have information about any other school board candidate, a mailer or flyer they are using, or a photo of a campaign sign send it in and I will post it.

Santa Barbara Independent Endorses Hannah-Beth Jackson

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( A few videos from SBTV21 in Santa Barbara showing Tony Strickland and Hannah-Beth Jackson. Have you seen either of these on television? Click here to see more videos about other candidates.)

The Santa Barbara Independent has endorsed Hannah-Beth Jackson for state senate.

Click here for the endorsements from the Santa Barbara Independent.

I don't read the Santa Barbara Independent much because I live in Simi Valley. What is the reputation of the paper? Many alternative weekly papers lean far to the left. The Independent endorsements clearly favor Democrats ( They endorsed Marta Jorgenson, Pedro Nava, and Lois Capps.) but their news coverage seems to be equitable. If you live in a community that reads the Independent, what do you think of their reputation with readers?

Anyways, in the coming weeks more newspapers are going to make endorsements. What do you think they are worth? Feel free to preemptively spin if you don't think your candidate will earn a particular paper's endorsement.

In a campaign with low name ID they would seem helpful. I would be curious what % of district voters are following this campaign. If they didn't mean anything at all or it was already obvious who they were going to endorse. rival candidates wouldn't waste their time trying to explain themselves to the community advisory group that The Star puts in charge of their endorsements.

Click here for their recent articles about this campaign.

Click here to see Ventura County Star Editor Joe Howry's explanation of the endorsement process.

An Animated Attack Ad From Hannah-Beth Jackson

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The video is an animated version of the mailer that I have already written about. Click here to see the printed version. What do you think? Does it cut through the media clutter? Have you see it on television. Leave a comment with what channel you saw it on and how often have you seen it.

I think it is odd enough to draw in attention. Again, connecting the donations from tobacco money to votes is powerful, but the other issues seem not as clear cut to me. What do you think about the other issues? Have you heard about the car buyer's bill of rights before this advertisement ? I must have missed this issue entirely. I know there are certain laws that protect car buyers but I don't know much about how they have been altered in recent years.

Click here for the DMV's page on the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights.

Am I expected to care about a car buyer's bill of rights when the economy is in crisis and the state budget is in deficit even though it was only passed a few weeks ago?

I know she has talked about economic issues on her website, at debates, and in other places too, but it should be the major focus of both campaigns.

This part of her recent mailer, tying Tony Strickland to the subprime mortgage disaster, seems to be a very effective criticism of his record:


Tony Strickland's support ( even though he is very vague about actual policies ) for alternative energy allows him to talk about national security, the environment, and jobs all at the same time. Has Hannah-Beth Jackson's campaign sent anything out attacking what his critics call his greenwashing about his actual policies?

The above ad attacks his environmental record. Have you seen it on the air or only online? Click here to see all of Hannah-Beth Jackson's ads on her youtube channel. It doesn't include IE's of course. I know there are many ads from both campaigns I miss. Feel free to send them to me or leave a comment describing them.

If you see any mailer, video, or other campaigning you want me to post all you need to do is send me an email.

If you scan a mailer and send it to me I will post it.

UPDATED: I altered some of the writing here to reflect the accurate criticisms from my readers, that were both posted and emailed in. Especially pointing out the earlier mailer I had already posted! Thanks for the feedback.

Lie Detector Tests To Be Used In Political Debates?

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This story is funny. Apparently two congressional candidates have agreed to wear lie detectors during their upcoming debate with each other. Click here to read the whole story. What questions would you ask a politician of either party if they were wearing a lie detector?

As always, if you see an over the top comment, send me an email to have it deleted.

Voter Registration Battles Continue

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With Democrats outnumbering Republicans in Ventura County and other GOP strongholds about to fall, the tensions are running high between the paid staff people in the streets that are getting paid per signature or registration for their party they collect.

Recently, there has been more allegations that Republicans have been using subterfuge to trick people into becoming Republicans. There have been stories of lying to voters or changing forms after they have been turned in. Click here to read more about that.

The Republicans are now claiming that Democrats are the group behind dirty ticks across Southern California. They have sent out a threatening letter to the Democrats to get them to back off.

Because of the contested senate campaign both parties are using paid staff to register voters. This use of party resources doesn't appear on the state senate candidates' campaign finance disclosure forms, so we don't really know how many people are working across the district or how much money is being spent.

If you see a signature gatherer they are bound by law to tell you if they are getting paid for signature. Ask them who is paying them and post here the details.

How much to watch a debate locally?

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( A video investigation of the use of stone and towers in Simi Valley.)

I have enjoyed the reporting and videos that Mike over at votesimivalley.com has been doing. Go over to his blog and leave a comment as feedback for him. His stuff is edgy and detailed. I am sure he is going to upset many people, but he does it with such detail. Have you heard of almost any blogger discuss the "design elements" of buildings in town and the impact they have on businesses?

Anyways, here is an excerpt from a recent entry:

If you're as fascinated with local issues as I am, you definitely want an opportunity to hear what the local candidates have to say before the November 4th election. If you're NOT a member of the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, then DON'T COUNT ON getting that opportunity. What follows is from the member e-newsletter:

The Candidates Forum will be held at the Lost Canyons Golf Club at 11:30 a.m.; admission is $20 for Chamber members and $50 for non-members.

Pay careful attention to times and entry fees... No doubt, this is NOT a forum meant for the average, working class Simi Valley voter. If any non-Chamber members plan to take the afternoon off of work and pay $50 to attend a moderated forum, I'd very much like to hear about it.

Go to votesimivalley.com for the full entry and other original reporting.

The Latest Attacks From Hannah-Beth Jackson And Her Supporters

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This is from a long comic book style mailer sent to a DTS voter from the Hannah-Beth Jackson campaign. To see the full mailer click on continue reading. Thanks to my reader that scanned it and emailed it to me. I appreciate you trying to get more information out to voters.

A Few Quick thoughts:

1. Why is Tony Strickland so short? You consultants must know he is really tall and played Basketball for Royal High School.
2. Is this a collector's edition, or will there be more coming out?
3. For both campaigns: if you are proud of all your campaign mailers, why not post them on your own website? It will also be helpful if there was bill numbers on them to make it easier to do our own research. Without bill numbers I am not going to back up the veracity of the claims in this. or most ads.
4. People always complain about "big" tobacco and "big" oil but what about medium and small tobacco or oil?
5. I don't have a number 5 but 4 seems like an odd place to end.

Overall, it is an effective add. The most hard hitting part for me is the tobacco donations. Say what you want about tobacco companies being a legal industry, but voters tend to have many reasons to distrust them. Any of my readers want tobacco companies to have more influence on the legislature?

This appears to be the next attack from an IE directed at Tony Strickland. Check out the funders of it at the end. I don't know if it has been officially released or if it is on television but someone found it and leaked me the URL. Thanks!

If you see a mailer you want posted, please scan it at high quality and save it is a .jpeg file. Then email it to me to post. It doesn't matter if it is a major or minor candidate, send them in and create some coverage for your candidates.

As an added bonus mention if it was sent to a Republican, Democratic, DTS, or other party voter.

If you have photos of signs around your town you want me to post, send in those photos too.

Presidential Debate: Focus On Economics

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( What are Barack Obama supporters doing now? When will these supporters know these videos are "creepy"?)

What did you think of the debate tonight? The most important issue that we haven't heard enough from the candidates about is how they would handle the immediate financial problems. Both candidates have spoken out at length about their foreign policy visions. I was most interested in the economic issues. What about you?

Both candidates have put forth plans for long term economic growth including health care reform, their views on taxes, and energy independence ( including alternative energy ) but as far as handling the immediate financial crisis I think most of us want to know more or be assured more that they have plans to handle it.

As far as Barack Obama goes, knowing Warren Buffet is supporting him assures me that he has some smart economic advisers that he will be listening too. I want to know more about his economic advisers. I don't need a specific plan, that might not fit the problems we face by the time the next president takes over, but I want to see who might be on the team.

I agree with the call for more regulations, especially if it includes a limit on variable rate APR's or other loans that seem to have not only caused people to make poor decisions, but to also continuously bid up the price of homes in the last few years. Home prices are tied to the ability to get a loan. It seems that the feedback loop was going to cause a major problem at some point. I am waiting to see if we are doing anything to avoid starting the loop back up again.

John McCain introduced a new plan to bail out individual homeowners that are in difficult circumstances, including being upside down in their homes. I found a short explanation of his plan here and it looks like it might be the topic of conversation of the next few days. Read up on it and let me know what you think. I am especially curious what my friends and readers that understand these issues deeply think about it. Is the goal to hold up the market for homes, help individual struggling families or both?

I have a few questions about the proposed bail out of homeowners but I will reserve judgment until more details come out. My first reaction isn't to support a bail out that isn't about helping just those that are most in need.

1. is there no home value cap on the bill? Are we really going to bail out very wealthy people who could just downsize to a more reasonably sized home?

2. Is there any way this idea is going to be supported by congress? It seems antithetical to basic free market principals. Not that the free market has stopped many ideas lately.

3. Is this just another McCain campaign stunt or is he serious? If Barack Obama agrees to support the bill McCain will claim a victory. It seems doomed to be lost in the middle of a campaign season. Why didn't he push for the idea during the meeting that took place when he suspended his campaign? is this a new idea?

4. Would it work? Would the plan really do much to help the market recover?

5. If it is going to cut the amount people are upside down in their homes by this would disproportionately be a wealth transfer to homewoners and especially those in very expensive homes. If it was means tested, what is the proposal to balance it by real estate markets. A $500,000 to $800,000 home in Simi Valley doesn't make someone very rich, but in N. Dakota that might be a whole different story.

Let me know what you think of the debate and of their economic proposals. It seems like we must do something dramatic, but I am yet convinced that the current proposals will be worth the long term consequences. Private briefings from the Secretary of The Treasury seemed to have worked on enough members of congress, but the last time we were told the government knows more than they are telling us we were sold a war based off of faulty intelligence. Do you have confidence in the Secretary of the Treasury? Maybe we should all have been paying more attention to him since he was appointed.

The whole economic question is being summed up not by competing proposals but by who do you trust on the issue.

Arguing who won on a blog that attracts partisans seems futile. But I am open to hearing from all sides about the homeowner bail out or your reactions to what surprised you about the debate.

CAPC President Katie Teague releases their ratings of State Senate Candidates

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It won't surprise many of my regular readers but The California Association of Political Centrists ( CAPC ) leadership isn't exactly huge fans of Tony Strickland and his politics. They released their ratings for the most contested election happening in Ventura County this season.

Katie Teague or Leslie Cornejo, could you or other CAPC members answer a few questions?

1. How did you come to this decision? Did you meet in person? Vote on it? Was it more of a consensus?

2. How has former State Assemblymember Dr. Keith Richman been involved in the group lately? Do you think that his past political positions as a moderate have made it harder on your group? He has upset people on the left and the right locally.

3. What other positions do you plan on rating this election season?

4. I am surprised that Neal Andrews hasn't spoken out about this election. I know he is a leader for McCain in Ventura County. He must have something to say about the state senate campaign.

5. How would the group rate the governor's tenure thus far? If you want, speak for yourself instead of the group.

More Law Enforcement Endorsements For Hannah-Beth Jackson

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(Republican Sheriff Bill Brown w/ Hannah-Beth Jackson)

The Hannah-Beth Jackson campaign announced some more law enforcement endorsements to show that she is tough on crime. The latest is from The Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.

Click on continue reading for more details.

Here in Simi Valley our police chief stays neutral during partisan campaigns as far as I remember. Am I wrong? I think I like it this way. I do think they should speak out about issues, policies, and the like but there is something to be said for neutrality. I haven't thought of the ramifications or issues involved much on this and I am open to your arguments. Should police chiefs endorse candidates?

I guess if it was an occasional campaign, something that is really important, I get it.

What important endorsements are left in the district?

Besides Mickey Jones of course. Hannah-Beth Jackson should reach out to him soon. If she got that endorsement I would be impressed.

Any word on what issues are important to him?

Hannah-Beth Jackson called out for attending meeting about the budget.

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Tony Strickland's campaign is going after Hannah-Beth Jackson for attending a meeting where some Democrats debated holding up the budget in an effort to make political gain from a stand off. Oh, and someone forgot to turn off a microphone that broadcast the meeting across the capitol building.

The first time I heard the charge I thought it was in reference to this year's budget. I knew that the entire budget wasn't being held up to benefit Hannah-Beth Jackson.

But the charge was that while she was in the state assembly she attended a meeting where holding up the budget was discussed. It would be interesting to know what she said at the meeting. Was she against the ploy? Did she speak out in support of it? Was she picking up some free snacks at the meeting or trying to lobby someone for a bill?

Click on continue reading for the press release with newspaper clippings from the Tony Strickland Campaign. The original version including mast heads that showed what paper they were from. It looked really sharp, but importing the graphics was taking too long.

Marta Jorgenson Fundraiser in Simi Valley

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( As a test of your political geek skill, who is the woman standing next to Marta Jorgenson?)

Marta Jorgenson is having a fundraiser in Simi Valley in her effort to take on Elton Gallegly.

Click on continue reading for details.

Bumper Stickers

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What bumper stickers have you been seeing around your town?

I have seen more Barack Obama stickers than any other. I have also seen a few anti-Barack Obama stickers. Seems conservatives aren't motivated by their support of McCain as much as they are their opposition of the Democrats. After Barack Obama bumper stickers I have seen some McCain stickers, especially in the last few weeks.

But the biggest surprise could be Ron Paul. I have seen a few bumper stickers for him in the last few weeks. His supporters are very intense about their candidate, and it takes a measure of political seriousness to be open and proud about your beliefs.

The odd part though is that the vote of the politically ambivalent counts just as much as people that volunteer, donate money, put bumper stickers on their cars, watch the debates, and post comments to blogs.

When the pollsters report the undecided vote I wonder exactly who these voters are, exactly. I understand if someone is trying to figure out what to do because they don't like either candidate, but beyond that how could someone be undecided at this point?

So, what bumper stickers have you been seeing the most of in your town?

SImi Valley Democrats To Discuss Ballot Propositions

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( An odd video for Proposition 2, which deals with farm animals.)

The Simi Valley Democrats will be discussing some ballot propositions at their next meeting. Here is the announcement:

The Simi Valley/Moorpark Democratic club will be discussing the propositions that will appear on the November ballot, including initiatives on parental notification, redistricting, alternative energy and others.

The meeting will be held 7pm, Wed., Oct, 15 at the Simi Valley Library community room, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road.

For more info, call 805-582-2234. Refreshments will be served.

If you would like to write a guest blog entry on any of the ballot propositions let me know.

I was thinking we could get different people that frequently leave comments to do a 1 on 1 debate.

GS and Flamo, do you two want to be first up? What ballot proposition do you disagree with each other on?

CAPC Editorial: Forum shopping a disservice to voters

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The leaders of The California Association of Political Centrists call out a few local politicians and the Ventura County Republican Central Committee over missing forums or debates in an editorial in The Star.

Why is it that Ventura County doesn't have more town hall forums during an election season or after?

Click on continue reading to see the editorial.

Mark Lisagor For County School Board Update

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This is refreshing. Mark Lisagor, who is running for County School Board, sent out an email to remind his supporters that he intends to keep the office nonpartisan. Here is his email:

Dear Friends, As you know, I am very grateful for the endorsements this campaign has received from Republican, Democratic and Independent supporters. We have been focused on appealing to voters from all parties by demonstrating my experience, judgment and commitment to education. I have learned that the Ventura County Democratic party has decided to include my name on a slate that will probably be published in the VC Star. This was a decision they made on their own and separate from our campaign committee. Under election laws, the local Democratic committee is an IEC or Independent Expenditure Committee which means they can spend their money however they want as long as they do not coordinate with candidates. If we had been consulted, we would have preferred to receive a cash donation and not be included on a partisan slate. I'm sharing this with you, my supporters, so you'll know this was not something we sought. I'm very respectful of the support from my Republican friends and want you to know that I'm 100% committed to respecting that this is a non-partisan office. Thank you for your support. Mark Lisagor

State Senate Quick Updates Including More Tobacco Money

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( Funny how tobacco companies have an interest in who we elect here in Ventura County. What exactly do they want?)

Three new stories on the State Senate Campaign.

1. Criminal complaint being referred to the state attorney general. Local DA might have a conflict of interest. Maybe it is time to get DA's to stay out of more elections?

Key quotes:
"Certainly someone could say there is an appearance of a conflict," said Chief Assistant District Attorney Jim Ellison.

Ellison said law enforcement agencies typically do not send files to his office unless they believe charges should be filed.

2. There was a debate last night between the two candidates. I wasn't there. Did you go? Click here to read an article about it.

After months of talking about alternative energy:

Strickland said he would like to have incentives, rewards and credits for people who promote and use alternative energy, while his opponent "wants fees, fines and penalties."

3. Lots of money flowing into the campaigns, including more tobacco money. Have fun arguing about cigarette company money again. Maybe Mr. Butt will be making more appearances ? Click here to read the story.

Guest Blog W/ Marie Lakin : After 35 years, he's still my guy

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If you are interested in writing a guest blog entry let me know.

I know that Marie Lakin, who write the blog Making Waves, has been a long time fan of Joe Biden, so I asked her to write about the debate tonight.

My quick thoughts was that Palin doesn't answer questions. What exactly are we to do about global warming if it isn't influenced by humans? Should we cut down on emissions if it is natural cycle? Question after question she said the exact same things with an attempt to sound down home, but little attempt to answer questions. She even told the moderator she wasn't going to answer questions that were asked in response to a question about deregulation she didn't answer. What branch does she think the VP is in? She wouldn't answer.

They need a Chris Matthews or a Tim Russert to ask more follow ups and get answers out of them.

I respect McCain, but I do not respect her.

Anyways, enough of me. Here is Marie Lakin:

Much was made of the fact that Sarah Palin fluffed few of her lines during the debate with Joe Biden Thursday night. She's been trained well in the past few weeks. As a former sportscaster, she understands how to project to the camera. No doubt she went through expert preparation with the best debate coaches Republican money can buy.

The cutesy "You betchas" and reference to "Joe Sixpack" probably played well to some part of the populace. We heard a lot about her kitchen table.

But sorry, Palin, underneath that style of yours there is no substance. I don't want somebody who's been coached on being a Senate leader, I want a real one.

Joe Biden was my first choice for president. He's a straight-shooting, savvy bipartisan dealmaker with 35 years in Washington under his belt. There's nobody in the Senate more well versed in foreign policy. Admittedly he's been known to put his foot in his mouth a few times. But that's part of his charm.

Biden's strengths, coupled with Obama's experience on the national stage and great skills as a communicator and leader, make the Democratic presidential ticket the best it's been in my lifetime.

Biden's the real deal. A working-class childhood coupled with personal tragedy have kept him grounded. His mentor in the Senate, Mike Mansfield, showed him the way to diplomacy. And he's passed groundbreaking legislation and pushed a solution to end the strife in the Balkans.

I often think about how different our world might have been had Al Gore won in 2000. It's difficult to imagine how a single presidential administration could have done any more damage than Bush-Cheney has.

In this Democratic ticket I have found hope once again, a word that is in danger of becoming overused this campaign season, but still has not become trite. Some days I feel it is all we have left.

Polls In State Senate Campaign

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I have confirmed that a PAC with local connections has polled the State Senate campaign and has determined it is within the margin of error. They are raising money and are expected to spend a sizable amount on behalf of their favored candidate.

If you have information on polling of this campaign, please send it in.

Tom McClintock Coming Home?

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( This ad against Tom McClintock was filmed in Thousand Oaks. To read more about that campaign trip click here to see my entry on it.)

I don't write much about Tom McClintock because he doesn't represent us, talk to our leaders, hang out often in Ventura County, do town hall forums here, or live here.

There has been two recent polls that show Tom McClintock withing the margin of error of his opponent.

The first poll was paid for by Dailykos.com but done by a reputable company. Click here to not only see the results, but to see the data behind the poll. It shows Tom McClintock losing.

The second poll was done by Tom McClintock's campaign. Not surprisingly it shows him winning. That poll isn't open with their questions or background data like the dailykos poll.

Could a conservative with money and name recognition like Tom McClintock really lose a race in a Republican district this year?

Any other polls out there on this campaign?

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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