Mike Chandler, the blogger behind VoteSimiValley.com, has a new entry up talking about the proposed Hummingbird resort in Simi Valley.
Click here to see his post.
Mike Chandler, the blogger behind VoteSimiValley.com, has a new entry up talking about the proposed Hummingbird resort in Simi Valley.
Click here to see his post.
( A classic video starring Bob Dole.)
I don't cover foreign policy too much but if you didn't see this story, it is very funny.
We have been supplying incentives to people in Afghanistan to help us for years. That isn't a real surprise. We give out weapons, but they can fall into the wrong hands. We give out cash, but then the sources spend it, alerting people they are working with us.
So, one of the other incentives is viagra.
Here is a relevant quote from the article:
The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.
Click here for the whole story.
Thank you to our military members for keeping up the fight against Al Queda in Afghanistan. Thank you for finding new and innovative ways to keep us safe.
But what are we going to do if they get enough computers with spam email offers for cheap Canadian or other sources of prescription drugs?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our men and women overseas.
( Rep. Barney Frank wielding the gavel.)
Do you read the letters to the editor in local papers? This letter from former Simi Valley School Board Member Greg Stratton was in The Acorn and in The Star.
What goes around comes around. So Janice DiFatta and Debbie Sandland are shocked that Debbie was passed over for president of the Simi Valley Unified School District board. Obviously, their definition of "recent memory" does not go all the way back to 2004, when they broke protocol and denied me and Carla Kurachi our turns as board president and clerk. They taught Rob Collins well that the leadership decision is purely political. I'm sure he remembers back that far.
By the protocol, Eric Lundstrom should have been clerk last year. Apparently, they forgot that part of it then, but now they conveniently remember the rules. I don't know how they each can make the statements they made without being afraid of being struck by lightning for twisting the truth.
It gives me some hope to see the board escape from the path those two have chartered. We have a good district, but it needs leadership to make it what it can be -- a great district. That means change, and the two of them have been there so long they don't even understand the need for change. They have become so embedded in the status quo that they take any suggestion for change as a personal affront. Well, times have changed, and the district needs to as well.
So, congratulations to President Lundstrom, and keep up the good work. You can now chart a new course for the district that will improve it for years to come. Good luck.
-- Greg Stratton, Simi Valley
(The writer was a board member from 2002 to 2006. -- Editor)
As a matter of disclosure I am a teacher in Simi Valley. That being said I really don't know how who is the president or clerk of the School Board influences local schools. I haven't paid attention to this issue jut as I don't normally pay attention to who the Mayor Pro Tem of a city is currently. I guess it helps people when they run for office and want a title to put by their names, but what else is there to the title?
Mayor Stratton, ( I assume, like president you get to keep the title) can you fill us in? In your letter you said : "So, congratulations to President Lundstrom, and keep up the good work. You can now chart a new course for the district that will improve it for years to come. Good luck." How does a board president chart a course for the district? Is there something in the bylaws, special committees they are assigned to, or do they become the go to person for staff?
Anyone else know the powers of a school board president and clerk? If they are running a meeting it seems they would work with the other board members on schedules and the like anyway. If the position was truly powerful, why would it be rotated anyways?
None of this should be construed to say I have a strong opinion on who the board president should be.
The California Courage Campaign produces some pretty funny and irreverent videos. Their latest is a Christmas themed video aimed at Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for the failure to bring in more
taxes revenue cash for the state.
When Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected I didn't have high expectations for his tenure as governor, mostly because of his campaign promises and platform. He pledged to open up the books and go after wasteful spending. So far there hasn't been much success there. He said he would balance the budget, not raise taxes, and not cut spending on education. That just seemed like too lofty of a goal for any politician in California. I guess because I had such low expectations it is easy for him to impress me.
I did overestimate his political appeal though. I really thought he would have long coattails and could win over state legislators who didn't want someone with his ability to attract attention campaigning against them. I am sure there are some isolated cases but I think I was wrong with that idea.
But my overall impression of his ability to govern has improved from when he was first elected. I have also been impressed with his pragmatic approach to governing. He is a member of the minority party AND that same party has been distancing themselves from him quickly, which means he has no constant base of support to depend upon.
Add to that his failed "year of reform" , voters that keep passing ballot propositions that mandate budget restrictions or money spent on particular programs, and a sudden decline in taxes because of a dramatic economic slowdown and he has serious problems to face.
The fact that he remains standing with these forces aligned against him is all by itself impressive. Sure, much of this has been his own doing and he is deserves criticism for many reasons. In fact, he is starting to seem more like Gray Davis more and more.
He should have asked President Elect Barack Obama to appoint him Secretary of Energy.
To my friends on the right:
Would you have preferred Gray Davis? He has his flaws to be sure, but many of the charges against him were just partisan attempts to gain power.
Maybe you shouldn't nominate people like Bill Simon, a man that couldn't beat Gray Davis during a time of serious problems, to be your leader.
To My friends on the left:
Maybe if Cruz Bustamante wasn't our standard bearer during the recall election things might have turned out better. Cruz Bustamante didn't even beat Steve Poizner to be insurance commissioner. Sure, Poizner could self-fund his race but this California is a progressive state where most statewide Democratic candidates should have an advantage.
Beating Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 would have been tough for anyone. Phil Angelides tried his best but I wonder how Steve Westley would have done?
Was there a Democrat in California that could have beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Maybe someone needs to be crazy to run for governor of California? Are you impressed with any of the candidates for 2010?
I nominate Tom Hanks to run for the office.
Seriously, do you already know who you are going to support in your party's primary?
Remember the old School House Rocks video?
This is the updated Soulja Bill remix for younger people.
Did your teachers ever play the School House Rocks video for you?
Mike Chandler, the blogger behind VoteSimiValley.com, recently posted this video of Barbra Williamson discussing campaign finance reform and the idea of forming a committee of Simi Valley citizens to come up with ideas for them. Any nominations?
( The Simi Valley Town Center Mall, which isn't in the center of town, might have an impressive tree lighting ceremony but I appreciate the folksy display of the Sycamore Christmas house.)
A long running tradition in Simi Valley is the Christmas House on Sycamore. My Mom brought me there as a kid and now it is my turn to bring young people there. We went the other night and I plan on going back to get better pictures. The same family has been decorating the house since the 1960's and it has become a Simi Valley tradition.
If you live in Simi Valley you know what house I am referring to when I say the Christmas House on Sycamore. If you don't, please move to Thousand Oaks or something.
If you want to check out their website click here.
If you know of other cool places in Simi Valley or Ventura County to go check out Christmas lights leave a recommendation with directions. I know there is the house with the model trains and there is another house in East Simi Valley a friend of mine told me to go check out.
A top favorite tradition of mine is Christmas lights. I really like coming home with my lights on. They seem to capture the idea of the season by making our homes welcoming.
What is your favorite local Holiday tradition?
I found this video of Francis Chan, Pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, discussing the supporters of Proposition 8.
In his sermon he criticizes the hate he saw coming from the Yes on 8 protesters.
But before you think he is agreeing with you or your cause make sure to watch the whole video and listen to his comments in context.
Regardless of your theological views, church membership, or political views Pastor Chan is a compassionate man.
In related news Melissa Ethridge and Rick Warren are friends. Click here for the story.
( Barack Obama's youtube channel has ways of submitting ideas to his transition team.)
Donna Prenta, a local Simi Valley community activist and past candidate for the Ventura County Office of Education, is asking for your help advocating for services for adults with disabilities to the Barack Obama transition team.
Click on continue reading for a letter she sent out.
( This controversial and highly watched ad is one of the projects There is no spoon has worked on.)
On Sunday I met "There is no spoon", a write on Dailykos that I have read in the past, but didn't realize lives in Ventura County. There is no spoon is a skilled, young, innovative, political activist that Democratic candidates looking to run for office around here should recruit to work for them. That doesn't mean I agree with all of his politics ( I have only read a small fraction of what he has written), but I recognize that he is really talented.
Click here for his diaries on dailykos.com
Click here for an entry on the 2008 Democratic Primaries for CA 24.
There is no spoon, I expect to be added to your blogroll.
( I am a real big fan of U2 and the theological messages in their music.)
People from across Simi Valley and Ventura County have been doing significantly more to help get the poor off of the streets then in the past and much more than many of us might have realized.
In Simi Valley recent progress has been made in helping homeless people and helping others from becoming homeless. I was really inspired and proud of the people in the homeless task force when I read this story from The Star.
The Ventura County has a whole section devoted to understanding the plight of homeless video that includes individual stories, videos, pictures and more.
Click here for the new section from The Star.
Click here for the Samaritan Center of Simi Valley's website. The website is currently down but I linked to a cached version of it. The center takes donations of many basics of life including white athletic socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, chapstick, and other basic grooming supplies.
Let's play the inspiration game. if you as a reader will leave a comment with your real name and pledge to make a donation of needed items to the Samaritan Center by Christmas eve I will make a pledge to do something to help for each person that takes the pledge.
The things I am willing to do is interview homeless people and post the interviews, make donations, volunteer at my church's community dinner, blog about upcoming meetings, and ask others to help. I am also open to suggestions.
Let's start inspiring each other.
UPDATE: The Star's blogs were down for awhile so I am extending the challenge. So far I am bringing more to the Samaritan Center because Kim posted that she will be bringing some of the requested items on their list. Let's keep it going.
The Conejo Recreation and Park District is accepting applications to finish the term of a member that is resigning. I am not a fan of appointing someone that will then run as an incumbent for almost any position. The advantages of incumbency are too strong. But regardless if the person runs or not there will be an appointment to the Conejo Park District Board.
Click here for the story.
Click here to see the current members.
Have you ever noticed how long some of the employees have worked at Von's when you look at the year on their name tags? This board's most recent addition was from the 1998 elections and their longest serving member was elected when Lyndon Johnson was in the White House!
If you want to get involved there aren't open seats often and there are many people on the board with experience if that is what is holding you back. If you are interested in helping out the many fine programs and parks that Conejo offers this is your chance.
I think it would be great to add a young voice to the board of someone that has an interest in the different parks and programs and hopefully has participated in a few of them. Local park districts run some great programs. Besides the soon to be opened Dog Park in Simi Valley the park district here offers classes from Judo to cooking for people of all ages.
Good luck to the district in finding a decent community member to serve.
Just by looking at the background can you identify where in Simi Valley this photo was taken?
After each political season there is always a few signs that stay up for months that are overlooked by the campaigns when they are cleaning up. This time all of the campaigns did a pretty good job of picking up their signs in Simi Valley. But what about in your neighborhood?
This sign is in Simi Valley. If Carole Lutness gives me permission I will go take it down myself.
If you see any signs that remain up, email me and I will post them.
The actual headline from The Star included the phrase:
"DARE program goes up in smoke..."
I looked for an author of the story that came up with that pun but there was no byline. Anyways...
Simi Valley has earned a reputation as a fiscally well run city, but in these budget cutting times the city council also has started their program reductions and staff cut backs.
The cut backs include the popular DARE program, increased holiday DUI enforcement ( there will be increased enforcement, but not as much as previously planned), some SWAT training, and a few staff positions.
Click here for the story from The Star.
Click here for the story from The Acorn.
A proposal the city council suggested was to have a retired officer volunteer to run the DARE program. I agree that would be ideal but if they are doing a weekly program in almost all of the elementary schools in Simi Valley then that is a significant contribution they will be asking for from retired law enforcement. It can be done, but I expect for the program to be run at the same level it will require more than a few volunteers. Luckily Mayor Paul Miller is a retired police officer and might have the connections needed to know who to ask for their time.
If the Mayor and other council members are successful in recruiting volunteers for the program I expect an attempt to connect the cut backs to the recent 7% raise won't be very meritorious and/or salient.
How or what is your city going to cut back? Do you think it will make much of a difference to the quality of life in your town?
I found this video for the Simi Valley City Council's and the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce's Shop Simi Valley First campaign on youtube.
Does your city have a campaign to get citizens to keep their sales tax revenue in town? What do you call economic nationalism on a local level? Civic pride?
Consider this blog entry a free ad for the Shop Simi Valley First Campaign.
The California Association of Political Centrists ( CAPC ) have released a scorecard on how the candidates they rated in this past election did. Click on continue reading for details.
Because their membership is made up of people from both parties they are frequently viewed with suspicion by people left and right.
When I 1st got an email from Katie Teague talking about her new group a few years ago I immediately googled her name and found out she was a Bush/Cheney volunteer and organizer for Ventura County. Needless to say I was suspicious if her new group was really a Republican front.
Katie, I was wrong.
Anyways, what are the plans for the next year? Do you see CAPC getting involved in the Venutra City elections? What about any other local elections or reforms?
CAPC has been a resource for data for me and I appreciate the work your members do.
Jay Kapitz is a local Democratic volunteer and campaign organizer. If you are thinking of running for local, state, or a federal office I would suggest you talk to him and other party activists early to get their support. I know Jay is tireless and dedicated to Democratic causes.
Click on continue reading to see a summary of some top moments for him in this past campaign.
I am frustrated when Democratic campaigns don't inspire local activists by challenging, engaging, inspiring, and working with them. It would be wise to get Jay's ideas on how to run a local grassroots campaign.
Santa Barbra Republicans have chosen a new leader that promises to focus their party on economic issues, not divisive social issues.
The new leadership in local parties got me thinking about the state budget and the difference between settling and serious goal setting.
Currently it takes a 2/3rds majority to pass a state budget that includes
fees tax increases, which is different than most states. Many Republicans like this because this normally guarantees their ability to shape the budget to a certain extent.
But I don't think I like things that make Republicans give up on trying to win control of the legislature, not because it makes it too hard for taxes to be increased, but because it makes some Republicans satisfied with the small influence that they have in Sacramento. Republicans seem to have given up on ever actually being in the majority again. And why shouldn't they give up? Even if they got a majority they might not be able to pass a budget either.
But if they could pass their own budget with a simple majority taking over the legislature seems like a more important goal. It might take some conservative Democrats to cross over but I don't think it is impossible for Republicans to win in California.
So, what do you say Republicans? Do you want to follow leaders with no plan to become the majority party or are you willing to take a chance on party leaders with a new vision? A vision of becoming the new majority party?
Say what you will about the ethics and personal charisma of Newt Gingrich he didn't have a loser's mentality. It took him years to do it but he organized the take over of the House by Republicans for the 1st time in 1994 since the era of Dwight Eisenhower! If you have party leaders with no plan to attract enough people to become the majority party in California, elect new leaders or run yourself.
No matter what party we support most of us recognize that competitive elections benefit all of us. When a party grows complacent corruption and special interest politics are going to grow.
Republicans: California needs you to stop settling for a few seats in the legislature and to come up with bold plans and new candidates that can attract new voters to your party. It is in all of our best interests. It isn't for me to lecture you too much about not becoming the party of Sarah Palin in California ( if you think it will work then go for it!) or what conservative principles to give up on, but if your leaders don't have a plan to change we are all in trouble.
This isn't about passing a budget this year, raising taxes this year, or any of that. What I am really interested in is knowing if Republicans are coming up with a long term plan to put control of the legislature in play.
Republicans, do you plan to be in the permanent minority or are you planning to change the game up?
Carole Lutness, past state assembly candidate and current organizer for Democrats in the 38th district, sent out an email encouraging Democrats to get involved and represent their district at the Democratic Party's state convention.
Are you interested? Click on continue reading for details.
Local Democrats are planning an Inauguration Party. I wouldn't normally post this so early but tickets are already on sell and expected to sell out before the event.
Click on continue reading for details.
You going? I haven't made my plans yet. I usually enjoy watching these things at home with family and friends.
( I found this amateur video in support of Roseann Mikos for the Moorpark City council on youtube.com )
The Moorpark City Council had a choice on what to do with the open seat on their city council. They could appoint someone who then would run for the open seat with all of the advantages of incumbency or they could do what they just did when they appointed someone to serve the term, but not run again, allowing for a more level playing field for any potential challenger.
Click here for the story.
Even if my favored candidate had a chance to be appointed I would rather them win it in an open election.
During competitive elections campaigns inform voters on local issues and their differing visions. Elections add legitimacy to government. New people are brought into the process which allows the elected official to call on their team to fill positions on committees and to volunteer on projects.
Elections can be expensive and I understand that during tough budget times calling an election for a council seat doesn't sound that appealing.
But if there is going to be an opening on the council I would prefer an appointment of someone that doesn't plan to run again.
The governors of Colorado, New York, and Delaware are expected to appoint replacements soon. Add to that whatever happens with the mess that is happening in Illinois and I would prefer that these seats from city council to the US senate were filled by elections, not appointments, and when that isn't possible by someone that isn't going to run again.
Thanks to Moorpark for setting an example.
In Simi Valley rumors have been swirling for months that two of the council members will be running against each other for mayor. If either of them wins that will leave an open spot on the council that could be filled by an appointment.
If you are interested in helping me convince the Simi Valley City Council to set up an alternative to appointing someone that will then run again as an incumbent, let me know and let's work on the policy before we know who any of the personalities might be.
None of this should be construed to say that appointed politicians that then run as incumbents aren't decent elected officials or that they wouldn't win on their own merits. I just think they should have to work for it.
( This video of Steve Sojka at a recent meeting talking about campaign finance reform was filmed by Mike Chandler.)
Mike Chandler, the blogger behind votesimivalley.com, is calling on Barbra Williamson to return some donations from her last campaign that have been at the center of some recent news stories to put the story behind her.
To see Mike's take on the story click here.
Both Paul Miller and Steve Sojka have already returned money that was bundled to their campaigns from an unrelated source that has directed criticism towards them.
Click here for a recent post that goes into more details on the money returned from Paul Miller and Steve Sojka recently.
Other writers will have more profound things to say but my first reaction when I actually watched the video is that George W. Bush really moved fast.
Glad he kept his sense of humor.
The Ventura County Republican Central Committee has selected their new leaders. Click on continue reading for the list.
I don't recognize all of the names but it looks like Tony Strickland and his allies have the most members on the board. Tony Strickland is clearly the leader of the local Republican Party.
Click here for the VCRCC website. Looks like in the largest city in the district they could only find one Republican to serve. Maybe they should ask a high school student to help out.
Wouldn't it send a strong signal if Barack Obama promoted US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to a higher position?
Fitzgerald is the attorney that has been going after political corruption successfully and is in the process of taking down the Governor of Illinois.
The cold weather is said to be coming from the Gulf of Alaska.
Click here for the story.
This is an open topic entry. What's on your mind? Keep it civil.
The duo that snatched a few Elton Gallegly signs have been sentenced.
Now, if I could find out who took my No on 8 sign.
Being that signs get stolen all the time I am surprised more people don't get caught. I spoke to someone that said I should call the sheriffs to see how many reported thefts were from each side to determine which side steals more signs. I didn't waste my time because I think it is wasting police resources to call in a stolen yard sign. Have any of your signs ever been stolen?
Click here for the story.
Mike Chandler of votesimivalley.com posted this video of Steve Sojka speaking about campaign finance regulations at Monday night's city council meeting.
I don't remember the complete story behind the $5,000 donation from Texas in 2004, but if you can fill all of us in, please do so.
Steve Sojka is clearly referencing the recent stories about donations to Barbra Williamson from the owners, employees, and related companies to CandleLight/The Vineyards that appear to some to violate the cap of $1,000 from an individual or business.
What seems strange to me is that looking at Steve Sojka's campaign finance disclosure forms ( click here to download them from the city's website ) a group of related people that appear to be from Texas also donated a large sum of money to him during this election cycle. It doesn't seem like a great idea to complain about Texas money and then have money that looks to be from the same source. If I am wrong about some of the facts here I am sure I will be corrected. Maybe they do live in Simi Valley.
On October 25th David Saperstein, Hillevi Saperstein, Alexis Saperstein, and Jonathan Saperstein all donated the maximum $1,000 to Steve Sojka's campaign.
But in a new article about campaign finance today it is reported that Steve Sojka has decided to give the money back and the mayor also agreed now that there is a project in front of the city for the property is also giving the money back. It shows smart judgment to help restore or maintain the publics' trust in our elected officials.
David Saperstein seems to really care about Ventura County elections giving money to County school board candidates, city council candidates, and others. It is clear that Republican Party leader and Dean Kunicki, who works with Saperstein, is helping to raise the money for the candidates and that's why Paul Miller gave his money back too.
The Acorn is also now reporting on campaign finance with an article out tomorrow about donations to Barbra Williamson's campaign.
Click here for that story. In the article Barbra Williamson complains about the damage to her name when newspaper articles talk about her being investigated. Because of that I think the city should move quickly to show what she did was either wrong or within the rules.
In the article she said:
"The code is written so poorly that they don't know what they wrote," she said. "How can they say I have done something wrong when they can't even decipher their own code?"
I could be wrong, but even though staff wrote it the whole council voted on the rules. If it was unclear it should have been dealt with long before the election. The council should have made sure they agreed on what it did before they voted for it. Of course, with the complexity of campaign finance and corporate structure I could see that they didn't expect an issue to come up about the clarity of the rules.
But to all the candidates, their supporters, and my other readers, let me be clear:
It is not inherently wrong to give or take money for a political campaign. Most of the candidates here are not independently wealthy and couldn't spend only their own money if that was the alternative. Looking through donations records there are a few special interests listed. But there is decent community members who want nothing more than to support their friends and elect people they support.
Besides the appearance of a conflict of interest, which in itself is a reason to avoid questionable money, I have no evidence that any council member has ever done anything unethical because of a donation. I don't see any questionable appointments or votes tied to money for any of the candidates.
Try not to rush to judgment when so many alleged campaign finance issues start as seemingly major scandals and end up with either little or no action taken.
Those in the public eye take criticism all of the time, some of it warranted and some of it not. Before you start making accusations make sure you get all of your facts in order. And like always, if you see an over the top comment that us unfair, send me an email. When I delete emails I don't say who requested to have them removed.
All of these issues are even more in focus because of the many rumors that both Barbra Williamson and Steve Sojka are thinking about running for mayor in 2 years if Paul Miller retires.
Oh, and to add more confusion here is an article about another ethics issue.
Joe the Plumber, who has a book coming out, recently started talking more about his thoughts on John McCain, Barack Obama, and Sarah Palin. He said about John McCain and McCain's campaign:
"Appalled Me," Made Me Feel "Dirty"
Click here for the full story.
He is a fan of Sarah Palin though which confirms my belief that Sarah Palin was effective at motivating and inspiring the base of the Republican Party but wasn't able to do much to win over independents and Democrats. The idea that Joe the Plumber was an independent voter truly thinking about all of the candidates is foolish and political spin. He is a proud conservative and a Republican.
Anyone going to buy his book? I thought with the campaign over people would stop saying I looked like Joe the Plumber but at this rate he is going to try to stay in the news.
McCain should have picked Romney.
As you have likely already heard, the soon to be former governor of Illonois was arrested for trying to sell an appointment to the US senate to replace Barack Obama. Click here for the story from Newsweek.
Jeffery Toobin said that Barack Obama is "fortunate with his enemies" because Balgojevich said that Barack Obama's team refused to play ball and offered him nothing of value if he appointed their pick to the senate.
This scandal is is getting more and more funny/sad as the details come out. Somehow a governor already under investigation for corruption didn't think that prosecutors would be tapping his phones. In the recordings he even talked about running for president himself. Other recordings discuss him attempting to blackmail a newspaper to fire their editorial staff and other assorted scandals.
Watch as Republicans try to gain political traction out of this even though the recordings so far have clearly shown Barack Obama refused to give him anything and the soon to be former governor is recorded calling him M@%^#$ F*&^%# for it and saying F$%^ him.
In fact, indirectly Barack Obama helped to bring about the arrest. Barack Obama a few months back helped push a ethics reform bill that the governor, obliviously not sensing any need to protect his reputation, vetoed. But Barack Obama made some phone calls and helped override the veto. In response, the governor started trying to outrace the new laws by raising money under the old rules before the law went into effect. When prosecutors were made aware of potential violations in his efforts they wiretapped him. So, in effect, Barack Obama was indirectly connected to the governor's downfall. Click here to read the story about the ethics bill.
On the Democratic blog Dailykos, which is devoted to electing more and better Democrats, they have been cheering for his downfall and calling him corrupt for at least months before the arrest.
This story is only going to get better and more ridiculous.
Thanks to Republican Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for stopping an appointment from happening from Governor Balgojevich.
In other corruption news Republicans finally did what Democrats were unable to do by removing soon to be former Rep. William Jefferson from office. If you remember Jefferson was the member that was indicted for taking bribes after the FBI discovered a bag of money in his freezer.
Thanks for removing him from office Republicans! Even though it is a heavily Democratic district, enough people were disgusted by his actions to finally vote against him.
In other corruption news Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York is being investigated by the House Ethics committee for for several issues. Click here to read the story. Do you think he will end up facing any serious legal or political penalties?
The email below came in from Brad Jashinsky, former School Board candidate, regarding a problem he is facing in his neighborhood. He lives a few blocks away from a nightclub in Simi Valley along the route of an exit from the place. He is going to speak to the Simi Valley City Council this Tuesday night. I have not investigated the accuracy of the claims, nor do I know the full story. But I am look forward to hearing from all sides in this case.
Here is the email from Brad Jashinsky:
At 2am on Saturday November 29th I heard a loud explosive noise, and ran outside to see what had happened. I came out to see my sister's car in the condition above with the obvious drunk driver getting away up the street. Since the accident my anger has turned to outrage as I learned of more neighbors who had their driveways blocked, a brick wall hit by a driver, and a driver go across their lawn. Despite all of these accidents the CandleLight Night Club, where we assume these drunk drivers are coming from, has refused to help with the investigation. We found parts from the other car and tracked them down by serial number to belonging to a Mercedes c230, but CandleLight refuses to hand over surveillance tapes or drivers license records they have from that night. This information would almost certainly lead to an arrest, criminal prosecution, and civil prosecution. Without their help a presumed drunk driver continues to drive the Simi Valley streets believing that they won't be caught, and we have to foot the bill for a few thousand dollars of repairs. Going beyond this one incident our city and citizens are in danger from being more serious cases. This Tuesday, December 8th, I will be speaking to the city council, and I hope if you have a similar concern to share you will be there to show the city council that Simi Valley Citizens will not stand for this behavior by a business in our community
Brad, I know you obviously spoke to the police at the scene, but who else have you spoken to at the city, the police station, or the nightclub? What response have you been given?
The Moorpark City Council is going to interview applicants for a position on the council that was vacated by a council member becoming mayor.
I am in favor of appointing someone that won't run as an incumbent, to be fair to everyone interested in running. Incumbents appointing people that turn around and run as incumbents is among the serious criticisms I have over local elections. Given the many advantages and the election rate of incumbents appointing someone that runs for the seat isn't creating a level playing field.
Click here to read the story.
I do have a favorite on the list but I would prefer they win their seat in an election.
Newly elected Moorpark School Board Member Ute Van Dam has been declared the winner by 94 votes in Moorpark.
Click on continue reading to see her message to supporters.
Click here to see a Question and Answer session she did with readers.
Ute Van Dam, thanks for taking questions from my readers and congratulations on your victory. The transparency you added by taking questions is appreciated. After a few months I plan to ask you to answer questions about the new job.
But for now, is there any formal training for newly elected school board members or have any of the current members offered to show you around?
While much of the state is worried about the impacts of the economy on their paycheck, the state legislature raised the salaries of some of their employees.
Click here for the full story.
There are many decent reasons given in the story but at a time when the governor is declaring a fiscal emergency we can all agree it looks bad. I know many staff members deserve the increased pay but with the threat of rising taxes, rising unemployment, and spending cuts the approval of the state legislature this is going to give more fodder to the many critics of the state legislature.
I suggest that elected officials cut their own salaries and expenses, including overhauling the per diem and other expenses that have been abused. If the state legislature cut their own pay it would be a good gesture to all of the programs and agencies they are going to cut spending to in the emergency session the governor has called.
If they aren't willing to cut their own pay any, at least until the economy recovers, how serious can they be?
In an earlier post I asked for information on average police officer pay, teacher pay, and now I would like to add state legislative employee pay. If you see a website that gives details about government employee pay, including average pay, please leave a comment and a link.
The Simi Valley Democratic Club will me meeting December 17th to celebrate and start planning for 2010.
In other news Joe the Plumber has released his favorite books for the holidays. Any surprises? Click here to see the list.
What books are you currently reading? I just started Spice: The History of a Temptation.
It would be cool if the Simi Valley Democratic Club held a book exchange. I know I have many political books around the house I wouldn't mind exchanging.
Who do you think the most powerful Ventura County politician title belongs to now that the elections are over? Make your case.
You can divide your vote by party.
Tony Strickland ( My pick )
Cameron Smyth ( Click here for a recent article about Smyth from Timm Herdt )
Those are just examples. feel free to make your own arguments.
Remember this moment back in the primaries?
Now that it is official what do you think of Barack Obama picking Hillary Clinton to be our next Secretary of State? Are you tired of the Team of Rivals reference yet? The term will mean more when he appoints more Republicans to important positions.
This video was brought to my attention by Andrew Sullivan's blog. I enjoy his unique perspective on issues and suggest you check it out.