November 2008 Archives
I was reading a column at The Star that seriously made this argument:
One of the central arguments employed by the advocates is an absurdity -- that to prohibit homosexual marriage is a denial of equal rights under the law. The California court itself made that argument in a ruling in May, as if heterosexuals and homosexuals do not have exactly the same rights -- both groups are barred from marrying someone of the same sex and both are allowed to marry someone of the opposite sex.
Oh, he also invokes Nazis. If you follow Godwin's Law that means he already lost the argument.
I have a cost cutting suggestion: Stop paying him for turning in stuff like this column. He might have some valid points but they get lost in all of the junk in there.
I would rather see a bi-weekly column from the head of the Ventura County Republican Central Committee and from the head of the Ventura County Democratic Committee. That would be a true focus on local news.
Who's with me? Would you rather see regular local opinion columns at the expense of national pundits in the pages of The Star?
Click here to waste your time reading the column I am ridiculing.
It is all but officially over with Hannah-Beth Jackson conceding the race to Tony Strickland.
Tony Strickland is now the most powerful Republican in Ventura County.
Congratulations to him and his campaign.
I look forward to his legislation on alternative energy and him working with state senate Democrats on the budget as he fulfills his pledge to reach across the aisle.
As the leader of the Ventura County Republican Party, and a young leader at that, he has years to shape the local party to fit his vision.
Click on continue reading for the concession from Hannah-Beth Jackson.
( This video attempts to use Nazis as comedy, which is dfferent then bringing them up to win a debate. Invoking Nazis into a debate that doesn't warrant it usually shows that the person has a weak argument.)
I have a pretty simple comments policy. If you see something that should be deleted, send me an email. I regularly delete email that refers to family members, staff members of elected officials that don't need to be mentioned, contains personal information, or has foul language. I don't post who requested the comment to be deleted.
I have told most local candidates or their staffs this policy directly.
In the comments section you don't need to register or use your real name. But people are more likely to treat your views seriously if you post under your real name or at the very least post under the same name most of the time.
And as a general reminder. The person that brings up Nazis in a debate usually loses. Try to avoid going to extremes or name calling.
Click here for the story.
Pathetic that Ralph Nader used the same language recently to insult Barack Obama.
I have been a fan of Steve Greenberg's cartoons for years. He is tough, cutting, and fearless.
It isn't because I agree with some of his politics, but because I recognize a strong editorial cartoonist when I see their work. My other favorite is Michael Ramirez, the conservative cartoonist that used to work for The Los Angeles Times. Click here to see his recent work.
He has announced that he will no longer be a staff member for The Ventura County Star. Steve, I will miss seeing your cartoon's regularly about local politics. Thanks for a good run.
If you are a fan of Steve's work please go to his Star blog here and leave a comment. I appreciate it.
The Star should keep his blog of cartoons online even after he leaves.
The Star is reporting that Peter Foy's campaign finance reform ideas were rejected. Click here to read the story.
I have been hearing rumors Peter Foy is thinking about running for State Insurance Commissioner in 2010. Have you been hearing that same rumor?
I asked Jeff Gorell about a few questions on a previous entry and he gave me some answers. I paraphrased his responses.
1. Does Jeff Gorell support civil unions? Many conservatives, like Tony Strickland, opposed them because they thought they would lead the way for gay marriage. How would have Jeff Gorell voted on the law that created civil unions in California?
Jeff said he isn't opposed to civil unions that provide for many of the same financial and legal obligations and benefits of marriage but he did vote for Proposition 8. I took his statement to mean he would have voted in favor of creating civil unions in California. If I am wrong I am sure he will correct me.
2. Would Jeff Gorell sign Grover Norquist's no new tax pledge or is he open to raising taxes like the governor or the Democratically controlled legislature?
Jeff said he is adamantly opposed to new taxes and he has lobbied against higher taxes in the past. He isn't a big fan of pledges that bind the hands of legislators from negotiating with the other party though. He does support the efforts that Republicans in Sacramento are doing to stop tax increases because he believes they end up hurting the ability for Californians to create, attract, and keep jobs here.
Thanks Jeff. I appreciate a candidate that is open to the public to taking questions.
Click here to see his website.
( The campaign explains some of their online tools to contact voters.)
Local Barack Obama supporters are using the innovative tools that the campaign used to organize phonebanks to help a Democratic candidate in the Georgia US senate contest.
Click on continue reading for details.
I am sure that Republicans will claim they are doing similar things for their candidate, but the truth is clear. If you aren't being public about it, you aren't inviting more people to participate in your party. Let me know if you do have any phonebanks going on and I will of course post them too. The Democratic Party will likely be listing this event too and a quick look at their website will show they are planning for the future. I look forward to watching the candidate recruitment process unfold next year. Keep sending me in information in regards to candidates thinking about running.
I supported Barack Obama early on because I recognized that they were running an innovative campaign with a strategy to put states into play that weren't considered competitive by his opponents and the traditional media. In the general election he won Indiana, North Carolina, and an electoral vote in Nebraska! Barack Obama helped to build a campaign infrastructure in Ventura County outside of the official party that has lasted beyond the election and will be called upon in future contests. How is that for community organizing?
( What's your favorite cop movie of all time?
Meow My favorite is Super Troopers.)
The Star is reporting that Simi Valley Police will be getting a 7% retroactive raise. Click here for the article. In a time of budget cuts this is sure going to surprise many people. The city says it was a part of an already negotiated union contract.
The news article mentions that the union contract for the police officers had a stipulation that the city would survey other agencies to determine their salary. Does anyone know a quick way to look up the pay scale for teachers, firefighters, and police officers? What about other local government employees?
I looked at a few websites and it is not easy to determine the comparative pay for teachers, firefighters, police officers, council members, or other local government employees. Full transparency should mean we don't have to search many different websites, make phone calls, and send emails to get basic information.
Leave a comment with links if you see this information.
Your help is what makes this blog work. I appreciate your input. This isn't just about linking to an article that a reporter wrote, but going on beyond the limit of column inches and getting more input and insight into issues.
A local SRO, who has been a family friend for many years deserves credit for doing a great job. You handled that recent situation with skill. If you have had a recent run in with a police officer leave them a comment to say thanks. Do not use their names.
The vote counts aren't done yet but in the latest tally Tony Strickland continues to lead. Click here for a short news report on the subject.
In related news rumors continue to circulate that Audra Strickland is looking at what seat she can run for next.
I don't mind people people being involved with public service as a career but it is funny when the same crowd that supports new term limits keep running for different offices.
Tony Strickland is now the leader of Ventura County Republicans.
I will write more about this when the final vote count is announced.
The city of Ventura will be voting on a proposition aimed at stopping a WalMart from being built in their city. Click on continue reading for the whole story.
Marie Lakin, of the blog Making Waves, has a detailed blog post on the subject, including comments from Ventura's City Manager. Click here to see her in depth post on the subject.
This is a call for graphic designers. What do you think the yard signs and other materials for both sides should look like?
I know for comedians politicians like George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger are good for business. For us political bloggers the same goes for more elections. Especially when it is an easy to understand issue that most people have an opinion on.
Even though the election is approximately a year away do you have an opinion on it already? How will you or how would you vote?
Thanks to Moorpark City Council Member Keith Millhouse for donating the most to this blog's fundraiser earlier this year on behalf of Baghdad pups, an organization that helps bring the dogs that military members adopt while in Iraq back to America. America: We invade countries, topple dictatorships and then adopt some stray dogs. Make sure to keep our troops in mind over this holiday.
The video is of American troops dancing in Baghdad. Keep watching until you see the moves of some of the Iraqi kids. Funny stuff.
And here is an odd story from the New York Times that you shouldn't read before eating turkey:
Meet your turkey.
Is it over? What happens now?
I didn't see the news release that mentioned I was going to moderate the debate. Thanks to both sides for inviting me.
Here is a recent email from Marta Jorgensen asking for help for Pine Ridge Native Americans:
Dear Friends, Political Leaders and Activists, This is the second notice I have received on the plight of the Lakota in Pine Ridge. The first was an Op-ed in the Op Ed News. We just had an election and I ran for Congress in the 24th CD to help address the forgotten and disenfranchised. Here we have the Lakota being disenfranchised again. Where do the Native Americans fit in our great new Obama universe? There is no fancy casinos in Pine Ridge. I have been there. Leave it to Bob Banner to send out an alarm. He is my hero every time I open the email. Sure the Lakota are a sovereign nation and not part of the system but for God's sake when are we going to help this reservation out of its poverty? I wish I had won this seat. Our current congressman will just roll over and go back to sleep. There is contact info in the email. Let's show we have a heart and help them out. Thanks and keep up the good work! Pass this along to your netroots. Marta Jorgensen firstname.lastname@example.org
The Star has an update on the apparent campaign finance violations that Barbra Williamson has been receiving criticism for.
Click here or click on continue reading to see the full story.
What line stands out the most to you? Here are a few that caught my attention:
"When a local politician comes up and says 'Donate to my campaign,' I'm going to do it," Gerson said. "We make donations to have people leave us alone."
City Attorney David Hirsch has said if contributions are made by separate corporations controlled by the same contributor, it could be a violation.
It could be a violation? The campaign finance rules need to clear enough that there isn't much debate over what is and is not a violation. The article also doesn't say if Simi Valley Council Member Williamson has already returned any of the donations or is planning to return them.
Most campaign violations start by sounding very serious and end up with a minor fine long after the election. The groups that oversee them are reactive and wait for a complaint or for a newspaper story, instead of looking into the statements from each campaign.
This should be an opportunity and a catalyst for reform locally. If I was advising Barbra Williamson ( and being that she reads this blog, I guess I am ) I would suggest she leads the way on providing transparency and stronger oversight to campaigning.
Here are some of my top local political reforms:
1. Stop appointing people to open seats that then run as incumbents. Many of the people might be the best candidate around, but elections, not incumbents should make that choice.
2. On campaign finance forms I want to see the donors list the name of the business they work for or own AND the type of work they do .I don't recognize all of the names but I want to know what they want from our government and this will help.
3. A database that is web based. I want to click on a name and see how much they donated to all local candidates.
This is just a quick list. I would really admire Barbra Williamson if she used this opportunity to improve our campaigns and elections. What reforms would you like to see put into place?
We might not all agree about the seriousness of this issue, but we should all agree transparency will improve local voters confidence in the system.
In a recount both sides are allowed to come in and try their best to disqualify ballots. In Minnesota, both sides are making the most ridiculous arguments in trying to win the senate seat for their side.
Check out the ballots that both sides are arguing about in the Minnesota recount by clicking here. I promise you will laugh and get angry at the same time at what partisan hacks are trying to do. I know they are almost forced to do it since they know the other side is doing the same thing, but that doesn't remove the comedy of the arguments being made about voter intent.
Local real estate agent Ted Mackel has put together a free tech seminar for business people and others this Thursday night. Click on continue reading for details.
Ted Mackel also writes a blog mostly about real estate. Click here to read it. He has a few recent posts about politics if you scroll down the page.
Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog Ted.
I have always thought the same skills real estate agents need to be successful could easily translate into political skills. The successful real estate agent know how to build name ID, how to network, and how to market a message. It makes sense for local political activists to learn from them.
Ted, post some video of the event afterwards and I will link to it.
The Ventura County Democrats have redone their entire website. Click here to check it out.
They have a new blog that is updated. Check out what they said about the outcome of the vote counting between Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland. When is an updated tally coming out?
Ventura County Stonewall Democrats
The Ventura County Stonewall Democrats sent out an email with their December events. Click on continue reading to see it.
State Supreme Court Challenge
In related news The State Supreme Court is going to be taking up issues related to Proposition 8 including the status of the marriages for people married before the ban went into place and if Proposition 8 was a revision of the constitution or an amendment.
I favor marriage equality but I don't have an opinion yet on if it was truly a revision instead of an amendment. I look forward to reading the debates on the legal question. I do find it funny, but expected, to see partisans that haven't waited to hear the arguments take a position on a state constitutional question.
Click here to read the story about Proposition 8 going to the State Supreme Court.
People upset at the ban are organizing events and getting together a movement to repeal the ban. It of course would have been great if they did this BEFORE the election!
Locally they have been targeting a Lassen's grocery store for donating a large sum to the Yes on 8 campaign.
Click here about the ongoing protests against Lassen's in Ventura for donating money to ban gay marriage.
This quote stands out from the article:
"We have a lot of gay and lesbian customers. We have nothing against them," said Endecott, who manages the Lassen's store in Camarillo, which is owned by her father, John Lassen. "To us, it (same-sex marriage) is a moral issue, not a civil issue."
I guess she means nothing against their gay customers except not wanting them to be able to get married .
The checks were from Lassen's the business, not the individuals. Wouldn't it have been easier if the owners donated themselves, instead of having their company do it?
We all acknowledge that individuals have every legal right to donate to campaigns but any company that donates to a campaign like this risks threats of boycotts and the potential loss of business. The Yes on 8 side has their own lists of businesses that they threatened to expose for donation money against Proposition 8, so the danger goes both ways for people that get involved in the process.
I think many of us assumed that Lassen's was a liberal company because of the products they sell. Have you ever made a choice about using a company's goods or services because of the money they gave to a political candidate or cause?
Many people are claiming that Barack Obama's election is indirectly responsilble for the passage of Proposition 8. Click here to read an article from polling expert Nate Silver of 538 fame that counters that conventional wisdom being pushed by pundits.
I was a critic of Peter Foy's when he ran for office and I don't like his wacky politics ( denying global warming, supporting Alan Keyes etc.) but he seems to be doing a fine job lately. His term limit amendment passed which is funny because the ultimate term limit, the voters, just denied John Flynn another term of office. He has also been decent on bringing more services to East County. I haven't been following the board of supervisors for the past few months much.
Is there anything I am missing?
Here is a quote:
I can't help but wonder if the Radiation Rangers are hysterical, or if they're just trying to be overly sensational to prevent a developer from building homes in their backyards. The presentation started with Radiation Ranger Patty Coryell, considered the founder of the Radiation Rangers. She introduced Michael Collins, a reporter who hardly comes off as objective. He spoke of mysterious white substances, unknown tar like substances, and "suspicious looking water." Interesting stuff. But none of it proves contamination.
For the Stop Runkledyne website click here to see their latest news including about the Simi Valley city council meeting last Monday night.
Is it just me or is it boring checking the mailbox since there is no more political mail? I keep thinking it would be funny to find a mailer that got lost on the way. But no luck thus far.
Am I alone or was checking for the latest mailers entertaining?
Jeff Gorell is wasting no time getting ready to run for termed out State Assembly Member Audra Strickland's seat in 2010. I don't know enough about him yet but if he can show he can compromise in the state legislature and get bills passed that will show to many people he is a break with the current crop of Ventura County Republican leaders. Have you seen the articles about Audra Strickland's and Tom McClintock's inability to get anything done in the state legislature?
His reason in starting his campaign so early is that:
Organizing an effective campaign now will enable Jeff to "clear the field" so he can avoid a divisive, contested June primary election and focus his resources on winning the all-important November 2010 election.
So far it seemed like the safe bet as he already has endorsements from Simi Valley city council members and many others that want to help in discouraging anyone to challenge him in the primary.
I have plenty of questions for Jeff Gorell to understand what type of Republican he is more.
With about two years to go we have the time. I remember from his last run against Audra Strickland that he seemed to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger type Republican.
1. Does Jeff Gorell support civil unions? Many conservatives, like Tony Strickland, opposed them because they thought they would lead the way for gay marriage. How would have Jeff Gorell voted on the law that created civil unions in California?
2. Would Jeff Gorell sign Grover Norquist's no new tax pledge or is he open to raising taxes like the governor or the Democratically controlled legislature?
3. Who, if anyone, did he support in the Republican primaries for president this year?
If you know the answer to these questions, please let us all know.
Who are your favorite national opinion writers? This election season I have really appreciated Peggy Noonan. I don't know if that makes her more liberal than she thought she was, me more conservative than I think of myself at times, or just that she really captures the national zeitgeist at times.
Click here for a recent column from her.
Anyways, who are your favorites?
My fellow blogger Mike Chandler has started writing about the proposed landfill/dump expansion close to Simi Valley. Click here to read his blog entry on the subject. Here is the introduction:
"I've been in contact with the Simi Valley Landfill and I'm pleased to say that I have a tour scheduled for November 24th. I'm excited and that's no joke. Unlike most people, I like landfills. The reason is because I produce trash and I'm pleased that as a producer of trash there's a place for me to put it when my trash cans are full. Plus, I'm well aware of the benefits of a landfill. There are some... I swear."
Mike has scheduled a tour of the landfill and he is asking readers to leave him a comment with questions he should ask. Leave a comment here for him or go to his blog and leave him a comment.
Mike, will you be making video?
Click here to read some past entries I wrote on the subject.
People interested in the proposed expansion should take a tour. The staff is very professional and is ready to discuss the many programs. I took the tour and I feel I have a more fully developed opinion because of it. Click here to read my thoughts after taking their tour. You don't need to be a writer, elected official, or involved in a group to take the tour. Just give them a call.
The latest total shows the difference in the vote totals at 3 votes!
Click here for the full story.
There are more rallies planed this weekend, but this time across America in response to the vote on Proposition 8 in California.
For more information click here for details or to put together your own local rally.
If you are going to a rally, always bring a camera. It keeps people on their best behavior and helps you record the day. If you send me pictures or videos I will post them. Don't feel bad about calling people to their best behavior. If you see a rude sign, volunteer to give them a new sign. If you see people behaving poorly, call them on it. Of all the No on 8 rallies I went to ranging from a few kids to about 50 people almost everyone was pleasant and having a fun time.
Remember what Emma Goldman said:
"If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution"
The battle over gay marriage isn't going to end anytime soon, nor should it. Think about what each side believes they are arguing over and then try to convince them to compromise or stop pushing their cause.
1. One side believes that gay people are different and that if we legalize gay marriage again this will teach children that being gay is normal. They also are afraid of churches being sued or gay marriage being taught in schools. For some of them, their religion has given them clear direction and they want that reflected in civil law. For them it isn't about civil rights but about the state recognizing something they don't want it to sanction.
2. Those in favor of gay marriage believe it is a question of basic civil rights. They believe separate is inherently unequal. They believe that marriage is much more than a set of legal protections and that is exactly why civil unions are not enough. They don't see any nonsense slippery slope where polygamy will become legal. They are tired of their family members and friends being treated differently under the law. They want the children to grow up and get married, regardless if they are gay or straight. The are tired of reading articles like this about discrimination that isn't based on reason.
Did I miss a core part of either sides' arguments?
Why would people believe either of these groups will give up anytime soon?
I don't support all of the tactics that other advocates use in pushing their cause, but who does? I know most of us disagree with the tactics are favored candidates or causes use from time to time.
I support marriage equality even though I know it is likely a long path to victory.
If you are planning any local political events, send them to me and I will post them.
When are the next updates scheduled to be posted? Post links as you see them.
My friend Owen Paun worked for the McCain campaign in the DC area. During the early parts of the campaign he kept us updated with reports from across the country. Now that the McCain campaign is over, he will be sharing more with Ventura County Star readers hopefully soon.
Click here to read his current blog. In his latest entry he comes out against perestroika.
Owen, can't wait to renew our debates. Please don't use too many obscure references to literature.
I am brainstorming giving out awards for this campaign season. I am asking for help with two tasks immediately.
This entry is for suggestions for categories. Here are some of my quick thoughts so far:
1. Best Campaign website
2. Best Mailer
3. Best 30 second commercial
4. Hardest working staff member
5. Most Valuable volunteer
6. Most precincts walked
7. Most calls made
8. Hardest working candidate
What other ideas do you have? I am thinking of giving an award to a Republican campaign and a Democratic campaign in each category to avoid partisanship charges and to give out more awards. If you want to volunteer to help judge send me an email. I envision an informal gathering over lunch or something.
We might not agree with each others' candidates but most of us agree on effective politics when we see it.
If you don't want to leave a comment with a suggestion you can also email them to me.
1. There was a strange story in The Star about a local man that is writing about a purported relic of Jesus. Click here to read the story. I am impressed that Professor Fecht of Moorpark College has been so influential on so many lives. I used to ditch a math class to catch a lecture of his when my grade could afford it.
2. Andrew Sullivan is a married gay Catholic conservative (so much for stereotypes!) who writes one of the most popular political blogs in the world. Recently he had this picture up which points out that most of us don't think anymore being gay is a choice. Do you think it is a choice? The debate has shifted in the last few years with less and less people holding that opinion.
3. My comments policy has remained the same for the last few years. If you see a comment that goes over the top send me an email to have it removed. I delete trash comments regularly it isn't a big deal. I have told almost all of the candidates and/or campaigns this same information in person. I don't post who asked the comments to be removed. I do this to encourage a somewhat civil discussion and to keep things that are grossly unfair because they go after family members, give away personal information, or use detestable language.
You don't need to register or use your full name to comment. But if you don't use your real name, most of us will take that into consideration when we read your comments.
The election season is over and I expect the intensity that some people use when writing their comments will decrease.
Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.
After each election there are a few signs that seem to stay up for months in some places. In Ventura County I have used this blog to encourage candidates to take down their signs. If you see a sign still up, send me a photo and I will post it.
Make sure to include the location and if you want credit for the photo.
Click on continue reading for a contest that Carole Lutness, former candidate for state assembly, is running to encourage people to take down her signs.
Let the games begin.
The Strickland campaign is now up by 540 votes. Click here for the latest article from Timm Herdt on the subject.
The Simi Valley Unified School District is looking for members for the Measure c4 oversite committee.
Click here for the story on The Star's website.
Click here for the School District's website.
Click here for the Measure C4 Committee website.
This committee would be a great way for future candidates to get a better understanding of school finances and oversight of the budget. I recommend anyone that thinks they can help to join. I know a few of my readers have thoughts to share about the committee.
Back when I started this blog, Tim Keaney had a local education themed blog for The Star. Even though we seemed to disagree more than we agreed Tim was always a worthy intellectual sparing partner. I read his blog often to understand a different perspective. Tim, why would you recommend people get involved with committees like this oversight board?
As a way of saying thanks to Tim Keaney click here for a link to an education magazine that would be a great gift for the conservative pundit in your family. I pick it up from time to time to look read innovative education ideas. It skews to the right in almost every discussion but it is always well reasoned and argued.
To all my readers, what local citizens do you want to nominate for this committee?
I nominate Mike Chandler, Bruce Witkin, Ray Cruz, and Brad Jashinsky. All of them could potentially learn more about our local schools while serving.
Click here for a full listing.
Thank you to our veterans for the honorable way they have worked to extend human rights around the globe.
Do you know what local elected leaders have served in our military? Post a thank you to them and all veterans. Better yet, show up to a local event if you have the time.
There is a local Republican activist that annoys me that I want to thank for their service. I disagree with the way you push for your causes, but thank you for your service back in Vietnam. Don't think for a minute the younger generation doesn't appreciate what your generation did.
I took the above video in Simi Valley at the corner of Cochran and Sycamore before the election. I recommend that people attending any protest or rally bring cameras with them. People tend to behave better when they know there are cameras nearby.
This weekend there are more protests planned across California, including in Ventura.
Click on continue reading for details.
Did you see the Ventura County Star article about the protest outside a Mormon church? It has over 400 comments last time I checked. I try to keep it cleaner in my comments section than many of the news stories on The Star's main site. If you ever see a comment that goes over the top, email me and I will delete it. I do not post who requests that a comment gets deleted. I have used this same policy for years and I have told every major campaign in person about my views on deleting comments.
Click here for the story about the protest outside the Mormon Church.
Protesting against Mormon's because of their involvement in eliminating same sex marriage from California doesn't seem like the best idea to me. Churches have the legal right to get involved in political issues as long as they aren't endorsing candidates or parties. Marriage equality is about religious freedom. To win this long term argument people need to know that their churches won't be forced to accept gay marriage and won't be sued if they don't perform gay marriages. Protesting outside of churches is counterproductive to that message.
There is also going to be picketing in front of Lassen's grocery stores because they donated money to amend the state constitution to ban same sex marriages. Is there a Lassen's in your town? This would have been more effective months ago to convince companies not to donate to Yes on 8 when they were raising money. Now it seems too vindicative.
The governor is urging on supporters of marriage equality. Recently he said:
"I learned that you should never ever give up. . . . They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done."
Click here to read the full article.
Too bad the governor didn't do more about this before the election. His ability to raise money would have been very helpful. He could have cut a quick commercial with Democratic leaders to show that No on 8 had bipartisan support. instead, he is urging on protesters and encouraging the courts to get involved again.
I don't know if proposition 8 rises to the level of a major revision of the state constitution, which would have required it to go through the legislature, but I am interested in watching arguments from both sides on that specific topic as this makes its way slowly through the court system.
I support marriage equality, but you won't see me in front of a church of in front of Lassen's anytime soon.
Keep sending in your events and I will post them.
A friend of mine has written about his experience phone banking against Proposition 8. Click on continue reading to learn more.
Did you make many phone calls during this election cycle? Are they effective? It seems all the winning campaigns in a contested election do them, yet most of us consider them annoying.
A liberal activist group put together this ad that singles out the Mormon Church, without mentioning other religious groups, for supporting Proposition 8.
Do you think it goes too far or is it just humor? Either way it doesn't seem like it would be an effective tactic to win over voters. But maybe that is the part of me that grew up in Simi Valley, where there are many Mormons.
Click on continue reading for the statement.
I wasn't surprised he won, but I didn't expect it to be such a large margin. Did you?
The Simi Valley Democratic Club will be playing the movie Bob Roberts at their upcoming movie. Have you seen it? What did you think about it? I haven't seen it so i am looking for reviews before I decide if I am going or not.
In this election cycle that just ended which presidential candidate reminded you the most of Bob Roberts?
What are your all time favorite political movies? If I get a serious list I will post my top favorites.
I will post meeting dates and other information from local political clubs if you send them in. Send them in!
The Star is reporting that Hannah-Beth Jackson is back in the lead again over Tony Strickland. Click here or on continue reading for details.
The Hannah-Beth Jackson campaign sent out an email explaining the situation that explains they expect the lead to go back and forth until the final count is declared.
Click on continue reading to see their email.
I don't have a prediction on the final outcome. If you have something to add, leave a comment. But cheering or spinning for your side seems futile when all the votes have already been cast.
The Flash Report, a statewide conservative blog, also has a story up about the counting of the votes. Click here to read it. They say:
...Well, let's just say I would rather be Strickland than Jackson...
( Mike Chandler interviewing former school board candidate Brad Jashinsky. Mike, do you think he should run again next time?)
From time to time I like to plug other local bloggers who add to our understanding or present something new to us. Here are three that might interest you:
1. Mark Eggertsen's Progressive Blog:
He is in a contest to earn college money. He earns points for getting traffic and comments left. I guess it is like American Idol but for tuition money. Maybe if we leave him enough comments he will promise to take a class from a top rate conservative professor. Is it a deal Mark? If my readers leave you 100 hundred comments can we get you to seek out a professor who is the opposite of you politically?
Click here to read Mark Eggertsen's blog.
UPDATE: Mark has accepted the challenge. Leave him more comments and he will take a course from a conservative professor!
2. Daniel Goldberg's Propaganda blog:
I don't get Daniel Goldberg. Is he left or right? He endorsed Barack Obama AND Tony Strickland, while defending Fox News. Whatever he is thinking it is often a surprise to me when I click on his blog.
Click here to read Daniel Goldberg's blog.
Daniel, you owe me twenty comments for plugging you again. Get to work!
3. Mike Chandler's VoteSimiValley.com:
Mike's does more in depth stuff than I do including longer interviews with much better equipment and actual editing of his videos. He has a sense of humor and an honest desire to understand Simi Valley politics more. Keep watching his blog, as I think it will be a serious force if he wants it to in future elections.
Click here to read Mike Chandler's blog.
When you leave a comment on my blog put a website in the URL box. It helps drive traffic to your favorite causes or candidates. I encourage all of my readers to do it. Here is a list of local charities or causes you can use instead of a candidate in the URL box:
1. The Amanda McPherson Foundation.
2. Simi Valley Education Foundation.
3. The Simi Valley Samaritian Center.
4. One Life to Live ( 1L2L ) which raises money for Habitat for Humanity.
5. What other local charities do you want to recommend for people to use in the URL box to drive traffic to some worthy causes?
What's the latest you have heard? Post what you know as a comment.
Reminder: if you ever see a comment that goes over the top and needs to be deleted, send me an email. I delete comments all the time and I don't post who requested them deleted.
Now that the voters of California have banned gay marriage what's next for advocates of marriage equality? I know political winners will tell the political losers to give up. That's expected but not really going to happen. I think it is a matter of time before gay marriage becomes legal in California. Banning it in the constitution delays it for at least a few years it would seem. Do you agree?
I support marriage equality but I have many questions and views on the aftermath of the vote.
1. What happens to the reported 18,000 people that were married in the time same sex marriage was legal?
2. There are pending lawsuits arguing that Proposition 8 was a revision of the constitution, not a simple amendment. Revisions have to go through the legislature, whereas amendments can be put on the ballot by petition. This attempt failed in court when opponents of Proposition 8 tried to eliminate it from the ballot.
I don't have an opinion yet on if it is really a revision or an amendment. I am going to wait to read from some of the best legal minds around. I think many people will just decide to support whatever legal reasoning supports their position.
Click here to read an article about the lawsuits and the revision versus amendment argument.
3. I think the state legislature should pass a series of laws that clarify and strengthen the arguments against Proposition 8. Laws could be passed that update and empower parents to increase their ability to opt out of lesson plans they disagree about. Religious liberty laws could be made more clear. A whole series of laws that would have wide based appeal could be implemented.
That way when the vote comes up again, which seems like it will, the focus could be on gay marriage and not the other issues that were brought into the debate.
4. Somebody asked me if I thought people that voted Yes on Proposition 8 were bigots. Before I answer click here to read the dictionary definition of bigot by clicking here.
I do think that some of the people that voted yes on proposition 8 were bigots. But I also believe that many of the people that voted Yes on 8 were not bigots. I would treat them as individuals and not groups to answer the question.
But that goes for both sides. I argued with No on 8 people that had become bigots against Christianity in part because they saw some Christians as the people leading the movement to remove their basic rights. As a Christian I was offended to stand next to anyone, from either side, displaying bigotry towards others.
Both sides had people that stole signs, yelled hateful language, and likely turned off more voters than they convinced to support their cause.
So, what do you think is next?
None of the options looks great at this moment in time.
Did you vote for McCain? Ever wonder if Obama supporters really had a secret hand signal?
Trust me. This video will make you laugh.
When do candidates start announcing for 2009 city council seats in Ventura? Do other cities have odd year elections?
Sorry for headline. I am running out of ideas for them.
Anyways, local Democrats are putting together a pretty cool sounding party this Saturday night. Click on continue reading for details. Join them on Facebook by searching for VCDCC to get updates directly.
I related news I have extra Barack Obama signs. If you want a sign, send me an email. $3 each.
Jeff Gorell already has a website up in anticipation of his run for the Republican nomination for termed out State Assembly woman Audra Strickland.
Click here to see it.
Jeff Gorell is a veteran, lobbyist, adjunct professor, and lawyer. He also helped Tony Strickland in his state senate campaign. He ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary against Audra Strickland in 2004 but since then has obviously become closer to Audra and Tony Strickland.
Have you heard any rumors of other candidates for 2010?
Who would you like to nominate to be a candidate?
What candidate that didn't win this time would you like to see run again?
If my readers suggest 5 candidates they would like to see run again I will update this entry with my thoughts on future candidates.
Yes, I know everyone else is reporting that Hannah-Beth Jackson is ahead of Tony Strickland by 108 votes but a friend of mine cast a provisional ballot because someone had already voted in his name!
I don't have any predictions to add or other insider information.
Timm Herdt has details about what to expect next that you can read by clicking here.
Did any of you think the race was going to be this close?
After the campaign is over I have a serious of photos taken over the last few weeks to share.
What have you heard from either campaign? Did you attend the election night parties?
I attended the No on 8 party held at Paul's Italian Villa in Simi Valley. It was heartwarming to see so many young political activists in Simi Valley.
What did you do last night?
The blame game for the defeat of McCain-Palin is continuing.
John McCain's insiders are saying Sarah Palin didn't know Africa is a continent and that she didn't know what countries are in NAFTA. This would sound like a made up story because it uses anoynomous sources, but this is from Fox news!
Do you think Sarah Palin was a net drag or a net help for the Republican ticket? Being that I voted for Barack Obama I don't know the answer to that question.
For such a great clip I want to give a Fox News host serious credit for reporting possibly the most racist thing said by a major political figure in this election. It might be surprised by who said it:
Click here to see local Ventura County election results.
Click here to see local Santa Barbara election results.
Click here to see local Los Angeles election results.
Click here to see State wide election results.
Consider this an open entry to discuss election results as they come in tonight.
Make sure to make your predictions before all the polls close on the other entries below.
( This video is from Ray Cruz's last run for school board.)
I received a slate mailer titled "The Team For Democratic Voters" with pictures of famous Democrats on it.
The slate mailer has endorsements that they include for free and paid positions on their card.
It isn't uncommon for members of the opposite party to pay to appear to be on them but it is unusual which Republicans paid to be on it.
Ray Cruz, candidate for Simi Valley school board and Chris Valenzano, candidate for the county board of education both paid to be listed on the slate.
And both of them are past members of the Ventura County Republican Central Committee. What does it say about a party when even their leaders are paying to advertise themselves as something that they are not?
Ray Cruz even mentions on his own ads that he is endorsed by the Ventura County Republican Central Committee!
If you want me to post any mailers, even though the election is over, email them to me.
What do you think the greatest surprise is going to be tomorrow night for a campaign that doesn't have its own prediction entry?
Will it be between Ferial Masry and Audra Strickland?
What about Mark Lisagor and Chris Valenzano?
Will John Flynn win reelection?
What about Measure T ( Term Limits for county supervisors) ?
Is there going to be a surprise in a city council campaign or school district campaign?
Post a comment with what you think will be the biggest surprise. Make sure to explain why you think it qualifies as a surprise.
I will be the final judge.
Good luck. There are prizes, the cash value isn't much but the glory could be yours!
Help us all out. If you know the details to any election night parties please post them.
I will update this entry with more details later.
The No on 8 campaign is having an event at Paul's at 8pm.
Ferial Masry is having an event too. I am waiting to see if they want me to post it. If you know about it, post the details.
Hannah-Beth Jackson is having events in Santa Barbara and Ventura. Too far for me, but post the details please.
What other events are going on?
What are you going to do tomorrow night? Staying in or going out?
Moorpark City Council Member Keith Millhouse is running for reelection. If you live in Moorpark please seriously consider voting for him.
You know I don't endorse many local candidates, but Keith has shown himself many times to be an innovative policy maker.
Earlier in the year I held a fundraiser to help military members bring back their adopted dogs from Iraq. Keith came through with a very generous donation. Also contributing was long time reader and commenter NostraDemus.
I have been impressed with Keith Millhouse over environmental issues. Unlike some Republicans that talk a good game, Keith is serious about our environmental future. If he runs for higher office I am going to seriously consider volunteering for his campaign.
Keith, your prize to write about any topic you want awaits you when you have the time.
( This mailer from Hannah-Beth Jackson was sent in by a reader. During this entire campaign season I have posted almost every mailer sent in by my readers. Thanks for your input! If you don't see much from your favorite candidate, that is because people were sending it in! To see many of the mailers from the candidates for the 19th state senate district go to the archives.)
The most expensive campaign in Ventura County history is almost over.
There is a final Get Out The Vote Drive ( GOTV ) across the district.
Contact your local office or just show up to help. Both sides will have things you could help with all day. The Hannah-Beth Jackson campaign has firefighters helping out in Simi Valley.
I left the Jackson campaign office in Simi Valley past 9PM and people were still working.
What do you think is going to happen tomorrow night?
Put your predictions in the following format:
Hannah-Beth Jackson/Tony Strickland wins by ______%.
There are prizes. But they aren't worth much.
I took this picture at a phonebank Sunday in Simi Valley. The place was packed and the technological sophistication of the campaign is amazing. We would dial into a number and then it would connect us with voters at a rapid pace. At the end of each call we would enter data about the call including if they were going to support Barack Obama, if they needed help finding their polling location, and if they wanted to volunteer.
The volunteers were able to walk around in the backyard or sit in the house and not worry about keeping track of paper much. But the most important aspect of the phonebank was what motivated people to be there. Unlike previous elections it wasn't about anger or attacking an opponent but instead the crowd was full of hope. Hope that we can play a role in changing our path as a nation. Hope that this election will be different.
Barack Obama represents the American dream. It doesn't matter where you start off at, but what you make out of yourself. To quote Barack Obama:
"I will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible"
This picture was taken by a Democrat doing walking a precinct in Thousand Oaks and emailed to me. There are a few more viewable by clicking on continue reading.
But I am not going to focus on them much when that no longer represents a major force in our nation.
Tuesday night it looks like hope, not fear is going to win.
What are your predictions?
Post them in the following format:
1. Popular vote
Barack Obama/ John McCain by ________%.
Example: Barack Obama by 7%
2. Electoral Vote
There are prizes sponsored by The Star ( I probably shouldn't do that since I haven't cleared it with them yet.) of likely very little value.
To comment you don't need to use your real or full name, nor do you need to register or use your real email address.
Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.
I will have news about traffic numbers and the new directions I am going in next week.
I appreciate your support and your comments.
I met these young people out rallying Monday night at the corner of Alamo and Tapo Canyon about 9:30PM. I drove by earlier but didn't have time to stop about 5PM at the place was packed with Yes on 8 supporters.
Anyways, this is your official predictions entry for Proposition 8.
Post your predictions in the following format:
Proposition 8 will pass/not pass by _____ points.
I think the polls are unreliable in some ways on this proposition. I don't know what to expect.
The Election Night No On Proposition 8 party
At the Villa @ Paul's
10' X 10' screen
After polls close
Limited to 250 people
Keep working until the polls close! To help Get Out The Vote ( GOTV) go to Democratic HQ at the corner of Sequoia and Los Angeles behind the Medcenter and 7-11.
The Star published a news report about Barbra Williamson's campaign donations last Saturday. Click here to read the story.
Barbra Williamson has explained some of the issues on a past entry. Click here to see that entry.
Now, she has issued a press release with more information. Click on continue reading to see it.
For the best interest of our communities it is good the election is almost here. Most of the campaigns and causes are pretty mild but Proposition 8 has been fraying the patience of many people.
Both sides have been stealing each others' signs. I have no way of verifying or knowing which side is more likely to steal signs. A Yes on 8 supporter suggest I call the Sheriff and ask. I don't think that would prove much except people shouldn't be calling the sheriff over a stolen yard sign.
My No on 8 sign was stolen Friday night. My Mom's and her neighbor's signs were stolen WHILE I WAS THERE Saturday night. They did leave behind the Barack Obama signs though. If you are like me when you look in your front yard you are somewhat surprised your sign is still there. I am going to check on my sign now. Alright, I am back and my sign is in my lawn.
At the rallies and around town people are getting angrier and angrier at each other. It isn't normally the people waving signs, but people driving by. Here are a few examples:
1. Lots of name calling on both sides. From people trying to promote equality or promote their version of family values the language doesn't always makes sense. Besides, yelling something from a car doesn't often elicit a thoughtful response. F$#@ me? Well then F%# you!
2. A young woman I know had a bottle thrown at her for holding a No on 8 sign last week.
3. The Star reported a knife being brandished at a Thousand Oaks rally. Click here to read the story. Sidenote: If you think the comments on my blog get heated or don't make sense I urge you to go read the comments on many of the news stories. They make CAP, Flamo, and the gang here look like a poetry recital!
4. Today at the corner of Los Angeles and First street I came across a ugly scene.
I saw a young man getting pushed into the street so I pulled over. I got my camera out and starting filming.
The Yes on 8 people from Sonrise Christian Church said that the young man got out of a car and tried to take away a sign from a woman supporting proposition 8. Somehow she had trash thrown on her, they started wrestling and the young man went back to his car. By then another person had pulled over and was standing in front of the alleged attempted sign thief and was blocking his vehicle and traffic from moving. That's when I showed up.
I didn't interview the person that allegedly tried to steal the sign, as he was in his car with someone yelling at him in a threatening way to get out, but I did interview the Yes on 8 people and I did watch what happened next.
The man blocking traffic was yelling at the young man to get out of the car and the young man in the car was blowing his horn constantly. Eventually the car, that was in the turn lane left and the man that was blocking it lashed out with some R rated words including a common insult for gay people.
I did get the license plate numbers of the people involved on video.
I then interviewed the Yes on 8 people who told me their side of what happened. I waited with them for the police to show up in case they needed to see any of the video.
The police were there quickly and after talking with me and the Yes on 8 people for about 5 minutes they said there wasn't anything for them to do as the woman wasn't injured. I offered to let them see the video but they declined. I did direct them to my blog if they wanted to contact me later. I don't think they got the phone numbers or names of the Yes on 8 people that were there, although I might have missed that.
I am not posting the video at this time because it contains the license plate numbers of people from both sides that were involved. I do not want to give the information away to anyone reading my blog to go after each other. But if law enforcement or another person has a legitimate need for it, let me know. When I have the time I might get a friend to edit out some of the video for us.
It seems clear from the scene I arrived at that the Yes on 8 people were the victims of someone going after them for their political views.
I don't agree with their views, but their freedom of speech should be protected. I feel law enforcement didn't spend enough time on this situation, but I don't know what other calls they needed to respond to next. People should feel safe waving a political sign on a street corner in Simi Valley.
If you were there, add any details that I missed. There was about 5 to 6 Yes on 8 people I think.
5. To end on a more uplifting note the other day at the Corner of Sycamore and Cochran there were many No on 8 people and just a few Yes on 8 people.
A sign twirler, not a No on 8 person, started getting in a Yes on 8 person's face and trying to intimidate him. My brother, who was there waving a No on 8 sign, got between them and stopped the sign twirler from harassing the Yes on 8 supporter.
Brother, thanks for defending freedom of speech, even of those that disagree with you!
Everyone else, bring a camera with you! People tend to be on the better behavior when there is a camera pointed at them. If you go to a rally without getting someone to bring a camera, then you aren't prepared.
Sunday afternoon at the corner of Alamo and Tapo Canyon I was lucky enough that two rallies were happening in the same place. One group was there for city council candidate Mike Judge and another group was there because they are against Proposition 8.
I took a short video with one of the people that was there with her family and friends.
Here is the video:
On youtube I have many videos that you might have missed. Click here to see the collection.
I was driving by Alamo and Tapo Canyon, by city hall, when I saw No on Proposition 8 people waving signs and people supporting city council candidate Mike Judge. I only had time for one interview. In the interview the Mike Judge supporter calls out an incumbent and explains his support for Mike Judge.
Here is the video:
Click here to read a past question and answer entry with council candidate Mike Judge.
I expect Mike Judge will learn from his mistakes in this campaign and run again. Don't be surprised to see him joining more charities and keeping a higher profile.
Of all the candidates locally that you don't expect to win this time out which would you like to see run again? Include mostly school board, city council, and mayoral candidates.
Let's be honest.
Hannah-Beth Jackson is a liberal Democrat and Tony Strickland is a conservative Republican.
In a state senate district that is close to evenly matched Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland have been sending mail according to the registration of the voters in the household.
Hannah-Beth Jackson is proud to be a progressive Democrat and proud to stand with Barack Obama. Have you seen other candidates do that this cycle?
Barack Obama is so popular that members of the Republican Central Committee are paying to be on slate mailers with him that say they are part of the Democratic team!
Any guesses which candidates? If you have seen the slate please scan it for me. I would do it but I am going to a phonebank for Barack Obama. Have you been calling swing states for your candidate?
I have also heard Paul Miller was a part of a mailer for Tony Strickland. If you have seen that mailer please scan it and send it in.
Click on continue reading to see them.
Do you think we will be seeing mail about local campaigns on Monday?
Another day, another rally.
Click on continue reading for more pictures, videos, and comments.
1. For a rainy day there was many people at the rally.
2. The age demographic went up a few years.
3. Both sides agreed that they were all getting along peacefully and debating respectfully.
4. There wasn't that many Yes on 8 people, they were out hanging flyers on doors across town.
5. Most of the gays and lesbians there are from Simi Valley and said they felt they were treated with respect living here.
6. If you are making videos or taking photos of almost any local political events that you want posted, send me an email.
7. Phonebanks at Democratic HQ in Simi Valley and across the county continue tomorrow.
8. There will be a rally again tomorrow.
9. I need a better camera. Bruce at The Star, are you reading this? Maybe as a holiday bonus?
10. To my new readers, thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. If you ever see a comment that needs to be deleted please email me.
My vote on Proposition 2 won't surprise people I know very much. I wear a St. Francis necklace and I quote him often. Are you going to join me in voting for Proposition 2?
I haven't finalized how I am going to vote on all of the spending propositions although I am inclined to vote against them all. If there is a moving reason for a particular proposition, leave a comment and try to convince me and others.
Have you made up your mind on all of the ballot propositions?
12 seems like a large number of propositions. Anyone know what the record in modern California history is for the the most ballot propositions?
Be honest. In all of your years of politics have you ever stolen a few signs? Have you done it recently? Do you feel bad about it or would you do it again?
Include as many details as you want.
I mention this because my No on 8 sign was stolen last night. Then tonight when I was at my Mom's house her No on 8 sign AND her neighbor's were stolen. They thieves did leave their Barack Obama signs though! We all had replacements so it wasn't a big deal. I know both sides do it, but I want to hear more.
So, how long has it been since your last confession?
Talk to us.
The hits just keep coming into mailboxes even though so many people have already voted. I haven't followed enough contested legislative races to know but is it typical for the party or IE's to wait so long to act?
The polls are supposedly showing a very close race. Click here for a story about the polls from a left leaning blog.
Unlike many people I am not making predictions nor do I have enough information to make an informed bet on what is going to happen in this campaign. Whatever side wins I know that they will look brilliant for winning and the other side will be ridiculed for the poor choices.
That just goes with the field. Try not to brag too much or kick a team when they are down too much either. Both sides should try to be gracious.
( This video is from Mike Chandler of votesimivalley.com )
Simi Valley City Council Member Barbra Williamson was the focus of a critical story in The Star because of fundraising issues.
Click here to read the article.
Click here to see the financial reports for candidates on the city's website.
There are many policies and issues that I disagree with Barbra Williamson on but she has always been open to debating, discussing, and explaining herself. Her candor and enthusiasm for open dialogue has served her and our community well. I expect she will use those attributes in dealing with this issue.
I am not defending her, she can do that herself as she always has before. Barbra, thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.
Going through the fundraising of different candidates is there anything you think deserves more attention?
I have been hearing rumors that Hummingbird Ranch has been mulling over developing a resort in Simi Valley by Smiley Face Hill. Does that explain why people involved with Hummingbird Ranch are involved with local city politics in a year that hasn't seen much competition?
If I missed any of your events for the Sunday or Monday feel free to post them here.
What's going on? Consider this an open discussion forum. Are there any last minute stories you think should be covered?
This blog is dedicated to Ventura County politics. Send in ideas for posts to email@example.com
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