I am going to be teaching a unit on the views people have towards different forms of media coverage of politics. I would like to use scenes from Outfoxed and from Media Malpractice.
Outfoxed is a film from a left wing perspective that is critical of Fox News. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it although it seems a little outdated now. I have access to it already because it is on Youtube.
Media Malpractice is a new documentary that is critical of the media for their coverage of the presidential campaign. Former KFI talk show host John Ziegler sets out to prove that the media wanted Barack Obama to win and they altered their coverage to help him. It isn't currently on youtube and I would like to use it. If you want to buy it I will use it and make it accessible to other educators interested in the subject. Feel free to watch it first.
Click here for the ordering information. Let me know by sending me an email or by leaving me a comment.
Listening to politicians complain over corporate jets when members of congress of both parties are known for taking "fact finding" missions to luxurious tourist locations on corporate jets is really funny to me.
I don't give much money to politicians and I am not interested in giving money directly to a political party. I'd rather make a policy and character assessment before giving money to someone, and when we give money to a party we don't know who we are indirectly giving money to or supporting. If I found out I donated money to the DCCC and it was helping incumbents in safe districts charge themselves 18% interest that would be the last check I wrote to them.
The suburban Los Angeles Democrat made the $150,000 loan in 1998, when she was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Through Dec. 31, her campaign committee has used donations to pay Napolitano $221,780 of interest while reducing the principal by just $64,727, a review of her Federal Election Commission filings shows.
Where do the rest of us sign up to loan someone money at 18% interest? Neither party has a lock on having the highest ethics, character, and holding a reputation beyond reproach. Even if the member of congress knows that it is fair and honest, the fear that it will damage the respect the public has for our government should guide them to avoid situations like this odd loan. I hope the Democrats clean up their own house when things like this happen before someone else has to do the work for them.
In other news termed out legislator Sharon Runner (R) has been nominated for one of the many boards that pay six figures and barely meet. Runner has been a critic of wasteful spending in Sacramento.
Wasn't Arnold Schwarzenegger supposed to blow up the boxes and go through the books and eliminate waste? I understand the budget is always going to be contentious, especially in tough economic times, but what happened to his drive to eliminate some of these boards and to save money by getting rid of waste?
On Friday State Senator Tony Strickland hosted an event in Camarillo at a Marie Calendar's to listen to his constituents and answer some of their questions. I posted a blog entry on it Thursday night, but some technical glitch made it disappear sometime on Friday.
Anyways, good job State Senator Strickland. I am glad when public officials make themselves open and accessible to the public by holding events like you did.
Why doesn't Rep. Gallegly hold more scheduled and open town hall type meetings?
If you see a comment you post disappear it might be the technical glitch. I might have already figured it out but I am not sure yet.
CLU Course Instructor and Republican candidate in the 2010 primary to replace Assembly Member Audra Strickland is in Sacramento this week with his class of graduate students. While there he is calling upon his connections to introduce his students to lawmakers, pundits, political writers, and more.
The above map is posted on the website SaveTheKnolls.com. To see a larger version click on the image.
In the comments section of another entry I asked local community activist Gary Selvaggio to post a map for all of us that aren't familiar with the proposed project in The Knolls that will help us understand the issue more. Thanks Gary for sending it in. I am glad that an open forum exists for us to exchange ideas and ask questions.
On the same topic local Santa Susana resident ( Santa Susana is sometimes called The Knolls, which is in unincorporated county land.) Susan Wells sent me an email to publish detailing me her frustration with the county government, a local developer, and Supervisor Peter Foy. I haven't investigated all the claims but I know this issue has simmered for years and has caused bad relations between different sides in the debate over the development. Here is her letter:
I am outraged, distressed, and deeply terrified at the news that the State of California wants to rezone our rural Santa Susana Knolls Horse Ranch to accommodate 471 housing units!! And other areas that are being proposed are on the Susan Pass Road...and area that BURNS nearly every year!!
Did the state learn nothing from the recent fires that destroyed high-density housing in fire zones? The Mobile home park that burned should have been a wakeup call...high-density housing does not belong in fire zones!
This is simply wrong. Misguided. And deadly.
First of all, we are in a high-fire zone, with a dangerous railroad track at our doorstep and no infrastructure to take care of a high-density development.
Second of all, we don't have enough water for the current residents, let alone 1,000-plus more!
And, why wasn't anyone in the Knolls notified of this before Tuesday's Board of Supervisor's meeting? What happened to notification protocol? Our Supervisor Peter Foy said nothing to us. We had to read about this in the newspaper. This is wrong.
The threat of Colton Lee Communities current proposal for 100+ manufactured home units on the site of the Knolls Horse Ranch was scary enough: Basically a fancy trailer park complete with a pool, clubhouse, and only one road in and out. Potential residents would purchase a manufactured home, choose a site in the park, and then pay rent to Colton Lee Development, oblivious to the fact that they are living on borrowed time in a high fire zone. Couple that with developer Colton Lee Communities' proposal for an ill-conceived and destructive road-widening project, and that the soil is within the contamination zone of Rocketdyne!! Why is this project even in any sort of consideration?
It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate how much more devastating and dangerous 471 units and the resulting traffic would have on this rural neighborhood. As many as 1,200 more cars could be coming and going into the Knolls, across a very busy railroad track. A very dangerous railroad track, complete with Metrolink trains and very long and noisy freight trains, day and night, seven days a week.
Now, add a catastrophic fire in the hills like the one we survived in 2005. A VERY LONG train was stopped on the tracks, because fire was surrounding the track to the east, blocking escape on Katherine Road. Susana Pass Road was shut down because of the fire blazing on the pass. In essence, Katherine Road was completely shut down on the north and the south.
Can you picture the panic? Can you picture the bottleneck of 1.200 cars trying to exit onto Katherine road from a 471-unit development? Can you picture the casualties? The body bags?
At the 4 PM News Break State Senator Tony Strickland was questioned over his opposition to removing the 2/3rds requirement to the state budget. He said something along the lines that without the 2/3rds requirement the tax increases in the state budget would have been even larger.
An Argument against the 2/3rds budget is that no party is held accountable. I would like the two parties to be competitive and offer the voters of California different visions that can create electoral coalitions. It currently seems like legislative Republicans are satisfied with their status in the legislature.
The Republicans against lowering the requirement seem to be speaking with the assumption that they are going to be in the minority. While that might currently be true, it isn't outside the realm of possibilities that they will retake the majority. If they do, they might have a different view on the 2/3rds requirement when they are trying to get a bunch of Democrats to vote for their budget when the Democrats are putting themselves out there as defenders of public safety or education.
It would be interesting to see a budget created by moderate Democrats that could attract the whole Republican caucus to cross over to support it. Most of this seems like an academic debate as the voters have expressed their preference for the 2/3rds majority vote many times. But with the frustration over the recent budget more people might be willing to listen to a convincing argument.
If you see any great arguments for or against the 2/3rds requirement leave a comment with a link. I am not convinced we need to change it, but I am willing to study the issue more. I have been reading some interesting posts on the subject over at Calitics.com.
Click on continue reading to see the provocative and controversial "Heads on a stick" graphic on John and Ken's website.
( Check out The Radiation Rangers on YouTube. I am not a marketing professional but something tells me that super hero uniforms might be needed to capture the attention of the public more.)
To the consternation of the Simi Valley Radiation Rangers the proposed project at Runkle Canyon, pejoratively named Runkledyne by critics, is coming closer to getting final approval. I wonder if the economic slow down will do more to delay the project than all of the recent hearings, meetings, and tests have done.
Local investigative environmental reporter Michael Collins isn't satisfied and continues to insist the project is unsafe and that the process of testing for unsafe chemicals has been riddled with errors.
Here is a quote from a recent article that appeared in the Ventura County Reporter:
Hirsch then zeroed in on Dade Moeller's radiation plan and on the controversial company itself, whose namesake testified back in the 1990s that money spent on cleaning up Cold War-era nuclear facilities was being wasted since there would be a cure for cancer.
Click here for the article printed in the Ventura County Reporter.
The Conjeo Valley Democratic Club is holding a luncheon with a guest speaker in honor of Cesar Chavez Day. The topic will be Cesar Chavez's work in Ventura County.
Click here for a Wikipedia page Biography of Cesar Chavez. Taking a day off from work isn't an option for most people, but reading and reflecting on the life of Cesar Chavez can help to inspire many of us. I have studied him before but the basic article on Wikipedia was thought provoking and inspiring again.
Many labor activists are calling upon the memory of Cesar Chavez to advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act.
Click here to read a basic explanation of the law.
Local Democratic activist and popular Dailykos.com blogger David Atkins has a great entry up on Dailykos.com defending President Barack Obama's policies towards winning the war in Afghanistan. At last count there was close to 1,000 comments. The war in Afghanistan seems to be the forgotten war.
I will be interviewing Tom Campbell tonight starting at 6:15PM.
The interview is done. Click on continue reading to see Tom Campbell's answers to my questions. Leave a comment with your opinion on the issues I brought up, his answers, of the campaign for governor. We had originally scheduled this for another date, but something came up in Tom Campbell's schedule and he was able to do it tonight. I have a bunch of entries to catch up with but interviewing someone I admire took precedent.
I am not sure who I will support for governor in 2010. I would be inclined to support a Democrat but if none of them offer up a platform that addresses our current problems and is innovative in their solutions I might support Tom Campbell. His depth of understanding of the issues impresses me. But with so much time between now and the next election we have the luxury of sitting back and analyzing the arguments the candidates put forth.
Tom and I will be posting on the comments section of this post. To follow along click on continue reading.
Tom, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to answer questions. I have admired your distinguished career and eclectic mix of policy views for years. Your background in law, economics, and as a legislator is a background I would welcome in a governor.
Your recent editorial in Reason Magazine triggered my request for this interview. Which brings me to my first questions:
What magazines, blogs, or radio shows do you follow?
What were some of the most recent books that you have read related to economics, politics, or history?
What authors or books created such an impression on you that you want to recommend them to younger people just starting to form their political ideology?
I don't envy the State legislators that are trying to fix the state budget. The final product will likely infuriate interest groups on all different sides. A yes vote will end the political careers of some of the current legislators, and a no vote, while upholding campaign promises, doesn't mean they stopped the final budget deal from passing either.
But all of that said I have a comical idea that could save us money:
Instead of forcing Republicans to go to Sacramento we allow them to vote NO from their districts using twitter, text messaging, email, fax, or even a phonecall.
In return for being able to stay in their districts the legislators cannot collect their normal per diem for being in Sacramento.
Tonight I will be interviewing a candidate for state office at 6:15 PM. Come by and check it out. I expect they will have some better ideas.
UPDATE: Happy Birthday State Senator Strickland!
The late breaking rumor is that your party leader in the senate has been deposed and that you might be next in line to be the leader of the senate Republicans. If the mantle does fall to you good luck in reaching across the aisle and getting things done.
UPDATE: Some are reporting the new leader is State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth. Go check out his wikipedia page.
Does this mean the bargaining starts all over? Either way, Happy Birthday State Senator Strickland. I dare you to send me a video of you eating birthday cake by the senate floor. If you do it I will wear a Tony Strickland shirt for a week. Deal?
(In case you cannot read it the message at the top from DA Greg Totten says:
I am pleased to offer my strong endorsement of your campaign for State. Your infectious optimism and positive vision for California gives me hope that our best days are ahead. Indeed your independence and ability to reach across party lines to get the job done will make a difference in the partisan environment in Sacramento. )
State Senator Tony Strickland ran a campaign that included two themes that seem to be in short supply in Sacramento :
1. His ability to reach across the aisle and get things done.
2. He was going to stay true to his principles even under pressure from many groups.
I have thus far seen him defend passionately and seriously his position that taxes are already too high and that raising any taxes would be a major mistake. Here is a video from him on the floor of the State Senate:
He has stayed true to these principles and I don't think many people are surprised he hasn't voted for a budget to raise taxes. But another plank to his platform was his ability (not just his desire) to reach across the aisle and get things done.
I am thankful you made time in your schedule to come back to your alma mater and speak with our students last year. I know you have ideas on how to lessen the impact of the massive cuts that will happen to the state budget, but so far I haven't seen your ability to reach across the aisle in getting any of those ideas into the budget proposals. If there is too great of difference between you and the Democrats, just come out and say so.
Tony, it is time to either admit you can't work with the Democrats to get things done because of the vast differences in ideology between the parties or for you to find a compromise with Democrats as your campaign literature said you had the ability to do.
I don't envy State Senator Tony Strickland as he tries to reconcile those two basic promises. I fully expect him to vote NO on any budget deal, and I don't expect him to be able to attract Democrats to his position. State Senator Strickland's caucus isn't even united at this point, with Strickland hinting that there might be a coup against their caucus leader.
Strickland would be an interesting leader of the Republicans in the State Senate. I want him to sit down with Democrats and the governor and see if he can unite his own party and negotiate a budget that he will vote for. Republicans, what do you say? Which State Senator do you want representing your party? State Senator Abel Maldonado?
Here are some quotes from Ventura County Star Reporter Timm Herdt's recent article on the budget delays:
Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, said Strickland's strident position in office is in sharp contest to the moderate he portrayed himself to be during the campaign.
"If he would have made a speech like that when he was running against Hannah-Beth, he'd have never won," said Pavley, citing Strickland's "Valentine's Day massacre" remarks.
"A real massacre would be a budget with $42 billion in cuts," said Pavley, whose district includes Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills. "It would all be to the schools."
Strickland said he made exactly the same arguments against tax increases last fall. "I would argue that's the speech that I campaigned on," he said.
Click here for the news report from Ventura County Star reporter Timm Herdt.
In other related budget news State Senator Abel Maldonado has put out he will vote for the budget deal, including tax increases, if a few conditions are met. Click here to see his conditions. But some of his conditions could cause some legislators that already support the budget deal to back away from the earlier position.
Click here for a great story from Timm Herdt that details what State Senator Abel Maldonado wants and the projects in Ventura County scheduled to be stopped until a budget compromise is passed. Some of the projects cost money to stop and to start up again, which means if the budget proposal is passed with minimal changes it will cost the state millions of dollars more. I don't mind if legislators keep working to improve the budget more to their liking, but if they delay it without making changes we are all going to pay.
Here is a quote from Timm Herdt's article:
Among the projects on the list are some big-ticket items in Ventura County, including a $3.3 million school construction in the Mesa Union School District, a $24 million watershed restoration project and a $3 million community college library reconstruction.
Peter Foy's Anti-tax group is rumored to be planning a recall of State Senator Abel Maldonado if he votes for tax increases in a budget deal. So far all they have done that I know of is register a domain name.
I am going to bed without knowing the final result of the vote on the budget, but from every draft that has been mentioned we know that almost every legislator and interest group will be disappointed.
If you were the critical last vote needed and the budget included many incentives for your district would you vote yes or vote no to start the process over? Do you think a better budget could be passed by this legislature and this governor?
Many Republicans are upset with their leaders for negotiating a budget that included tax increases. If you are a Republican do you think your party leaders are to blame? Would you rather have State Senator Tony Strickland or State Assembly Member Audra Strickland leading your caucus in negotiations?
The easy vote seems to be a NO, with all of the problems in the budget. But there is pressure to vote YES from many groups too. Regardless of how you would vote which is a harder vote for a legislator from a contested district to vote?
Who do you think will break party ranks?
If you are a real geek that doesn't want to wait for the news what websites are you using to track the progress of the budget?
Ventura County Democratic Activist Jay Kapitz sent in a press release bringing attention to National Eating Disorders week. I know from a young woman that I respect and admire that eating disorders impact all sorts of different lives. If you are suffering from an eating disorder please tell someone you love and get help. We often think we can take care of our own problems but in reality asking for help is taking action to get better.
Here is a personal note from me to someone that is recovering from an eating disorder:
You had me worried for so long that it is a relief to know you are recovering. You are smart, talented, energetic, and you have so much to offer the world. The process will be tough, and from time to time you might even relapse. But don't give up on yourself. Your friends and family will never give up on you.
I am proud to know you are now helping other people to get help. Hopefully what you have learned we help ease the burden others might go through. I am glad you liked the sermon I sent you. We all have something we can do to help others.
Here is the press release from Jay Kapitz:
NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS AWARENESS WEEK EVENT IN VENTURA COUNTY
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, the largest eating disorders outreach effort in the country, is held the last week in every February and has helped reach millions of people with messages of prevention, hope and recovery. The mission of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses -- not choices -- and it's important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a collective effort of volunteers, eating disorder professionals, health care providers, educators, social workers, and individuals committed to raising awareness of the dangers surrounding eating disorders and the need for early intervention and treatment.
Rader Programs in Oxnard, California, has over 25 years experience in the treatment of eating disorders. As part of a national effort to support National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and raise awareness, Rader Programs will be hosting a free event for the public on Tuesday, February 24, 6:30 PM at the Thousand Oaks Library. There will be an interactive experiential presentation to help the public understand the basis of eating disorders and the devastating effects they have on both the victims and their families.
To obtain more information about this event, call 800-841-1515 or visit www.raderprograms.com.
UPDATE: Click on continue reading for details for the walk this weekend.
( I am writing a series of reflections on living in Simi Valley. If you have a better title, please let me know.)
Simi Valley is a great place to raise a family. Recently we went to feed a variety of birds by the Duck Pond at Rancho Park. Many people bring bread crumbs but for $.59 a pound Theresa's Country Feed Store has a seed mix that is a great deal.
The park offers pigeons and ducks for the timid, but for the braver people get them to feed a goose directly from their hands. Bring some kids and a camera with you. My Dad took a picture when I was really young standing on a bench trying to get away from a flock of birds at Rancho Park. The photos of children feeding animals comes out great.
Click here for Theresa's Feed Store. I suggest bringing a few sandwich bags to divide the seeds up.
What local elected official or city staff would you like to write a blog to add transparency and insight into what they do would you like to read? If I get any serious nominations I will forward your ideas to them.
The battle over the budget might soon be over if the big 5 ( The Governor, and the leaders of both parties in the State Assembly and State Senate) announce their compromise budget as expected within the next few days. But the interest groups, activists, unions, talk radio host and others are putting pressure on legislators to pass a budget of their liking. The plan as of now is to release the compromise budget and then vote on it before too much pressure could be brought against our legislators to abandon the compromise and to stick by their respective constituencies.
Locally, a group of educators, Democratic activists, and PTA leaders rallied outside of State Senator Tony Strickland's office asking him to compromise and help pass a budget. To see pictures sent in to me from that event click on continue reading. Opponents of State Senator Tony Strickland's have begun to circulate "Phony Tony Bucks" in an effort to blame him for the lack of progress on the state budget. State Senator Tony Strickland has not given any sign that he would compromise his no new taxes pledge, even with all of the pressure from different groups and his own governor.
But if State Senator Tony Strickland was thinking of going along with any compromise that raised taxes he would have to deal with conservatives on his side and the outrage breaking his pledge not to raise taxes would cause. So far if the contest between the two sides is over who has the most over the top graphics The John and Ken show has a pretty wild page showing Republican legislators heads on sticks and other objects for considering raising taxes.
If there is a compromise I don't expect State Senator Tony Strickland will be voting for it. But I am curious to see which Republicans vote for the compromise.
Click here for the website of John and Ken of KFI AM 640 Talk Radio.
( the latest video from the California Courage campaign. Click here to see their YouTube channel.)
Local supporters of Marriage Equality will be rallying this Friday to protect the rights of the roughly 18,000 couples who were married in California before the Proposition 8 ban went into effect. The lawyer arguing in favor of eliminating their right to keep their marriage is Pepperdine law professor Ken Starr. I support Marriage Equality and I find it very mean spirited to go after people that were married before the ban went into effect. I don't see a legitimate argument that their marriages are related to the primary arguments put forth by Proposition 8 supporters. I hope the California State Supreme Court rules in favor of protecting their civil rights.
I won't be able to make it but if any of the people at the rally send me video or pictures I will post them.
Click on continue reading for the details.
Click on continue reading for some of my past videos on Proposition 8.
I have been very impressed that many of the Democratic clubs haven't taken time off after the campaign but instead are holding events with guest speakers, helping local charities and making future plans. With the change in registration numbers and the better organizations locally Democrats should continue to make gains in Ventura County.
In the last week I received campaign updates from all three major Republican candidates for governor and nothing from any of the Democratic candidates. Why are the Democrats, with the exception of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom who is running an exceptional campaign on Facebook, off to such a slow start?
Today Meg Whitman, former fundraiser for Mitt Romney and John McCain announced she is running for governor and Steve Poizner countered by having someone file a FPPC complaint against her alleging she has already been running and therefore should have been filing FPPC forms.
Meg Whitman also announced some of her supporters which includes State Assembly member Audra Strickland, who opened an account to run for Secretary of State, and State Senator Tony Strickland, who is the leader of the Ventura County Republican Party.
Meanwhile from the Democrats I don't see much campaigning.
Jerry Brown was in Southern California for a fundraiser recently and has been building up goodwill for opposing the state being forced to build luxurious prison hospitals but I haven't seen much from the others.
I am interested in supporting a campaign in the primaries but I haven't seen them campaign enough to get me interested thus far.
Republicans, if the election was held today who would you vote for? Peter Foy, Steve Poizner, Meg Whitman, or Tom Campbell?
Click on continue reading for the campaign updates from the Republicans.
Democrats are targeting Rep. Elton Gallegly in a new radio ad for voting against President Barack Obama's stimulus plan.
Rep. Elton Gallegly likely made the list because he represents a district that voted for President Barack Obama. It is clear that voters chose him in part because of his status as an incumbent and because Democrats did not put forth a serious candidate or competitive challenge against him.
There are more districts with higher historic or current Partisan Voting Indicators( PVI ) than CA 24 represented in the House by Democrats. That means it isn't impossible for Rep. Elton Gallegly to be defeated if the Democratic Party finds a great candidate.
I would guess that ads like this are designed to make Rep. Gallegly consider retiring at the end of this term in congress. He is in the minority party and I have heard he doesn't have a good relationship with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Even if he chooses to run again his district could be turned much more blue or eliminated altogether in the redistricting that comes after the 2010 census.
The national party is helping local Democrats out. If a great candidate is recruited for what might become an open seat in the next few cycles can you imagine how much energy, money, and attention our candidate would get if President Barack Obama helped us?
The contest to replaces Rep. Elton Gallegly has already started. He has served Ventura County a long time but it seems like he represents values that many of us have moved away from. I wonder if there was a generic ballot with just issues on it which vision for the future would be more appealing to voters? He remains popular with many people but local voters in a contested election when presented with information from both sides chose to support the vision put forth for our future by Barack Obama.
If you have any nominations post why you think they would be a great candidate and I will forward them onto local Democratic leaders.
Fox News Commentator Bill O'Reilly will be speaking at The Reagan Library in Simi Valley next Sunday. Click on continue reading for details. I might try to find some tickets for young conservative students I know. If you would like to sponsor one or more young conservatives send me an email and I will help make it happen. Sometimes going to an exciting event is enough to get them involved for many years in politics. I got a few students in to see the Republican Party primary debate and one of them liked it enough that he has already gotten tickets for this event.
Do you watch Bill O'Reilly often?
I watch Bill O'Reilly from time to time but I am not much into his politics. He is a better entertainer than Rush Limbaugh, but between his war on Christmas , making up new enemies ( Are you afraid of the SP movement? Take the test and post the results if you dare!), complaining about the level of political discourse in the country while dragging it down himself I don't get much from his show. He isn't wrong or doctrine conservative on every issue but his routine gets old quick. But with all of that said he is a better entertainer then many people on channels or stations like PBS.
What are the odds local Democrats will be greeting him by the driveway to The Reagan Library?
This picture was taken outside the Reagan Library and taken from The Moorpark-Simi Valley Democratic Party website. I don't remember what the event was that drew people there. Don't call any small group of people waving signs a protest, I prefer the word rally myself.
Real estate professional Ted Mackel hosted a tech night for local business people recently that I posted the announcement for on my blog. I wasn't able to make it but Mike Chandler, the blogger behind The Simi Show and VoteSimiValley.com, went with his camera. The above video is mostly a summary but after watching it if you are interested in attending the next session leave a comment to help Ted Mackel gauge the demand for his seminars.
Ted, my sister went and said she was going to use many of the ideas you explained. Thanks for offering the free seminar.
On a related note both of you owe me at least 10 comments for all the free plugs I have posted linked to your blogs. You have 7 days or I will Google b-o-m-b you. Just kidding guys. Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.
Simi Valley blogger Mike Chandler created the first Barack Obama themed image for me and now I am addicted. Let's make this the official photo of Mayor Paul Miller. Do me a favor and post it on your blog or post links on other blogs linking back to this entry.
Now, back to serious news. Mayor Paul Miller will be giving his annual State of the City address to the Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $55 for the public. If you don't want to pay or don't have the time I will try to find the text of the speech and post it.
Mike, are you going to go? Any chance you can video it for everyone that wants to see it?
Thanks for debating Dailykos.com blogger David Atkins in my first Thursday night Live event. As a way of saying thank you here is your campaign announcement for the Ventura City Council elections. When you get a chance send me in a photo to use for the upcoming election season.
Here is the announcement:
Not to take any of the wind out of Peter's sails, but another exciting announcement (a little closer to home for me) is on the verge of being made.
My husband, Mike Gibson, will be throwing his hat in the ring for another run at Ventura City Council this November. Our whole family and many in the community we've spoken with are absolutely thrilled that Mike is going to run again and we will be supporting him 1000%. We are all looking forward to an exciting, tough, and engaging race. One that is going to rely heavily on input from the community at large and will be a an opportunity to lend voice to a community that is growing more dissatisfied and disillusioned by the day with our current City Council who have made some horrendous decisions over the past couple of years, some of which have made our collective heads spin:
The 911 fee fiasco; losing $10 million in bad investments of taxpayer dollars; raising utility rates on seniors and the poor by 14%, with no regard for the consequences of this action on these poor folks and their personal finances during an economic recession; enhanced retirement benefits for city firefighters while the rest of the folks in the community are barely hanging onto their jobs; doing their best to discourage Walmart from coming to town, which would have brought in an extra $1 million a year in new tax revenue; scaring off potential businesses and retailers by the ill-conceived, anti-economic growth Victora Corridor Plan (which they are scheduled to approve on Feb 23rd); wasting untold taxpayer dollars on unneeded consultants, like the $110,000 they approved for "technical assistance" the view task force (a task force that wasn't needed in the first place).
This is just a partial list of the bungling efforts and gross mismanagement that has been carried out by these so-called City leaders the past few years.
As a family, we will be committing all the personnel, consulting, and financial resources necessary this time to ensure that Mike does a great job in this race. He was a bit disappointed at his showing last time, but has vowed to make a much stronger go of it this time, including much more precinct-walking, getting out to all the events to meet people in the community first-hand, producing and direct-mailing many, many more flyers to get his message out to the community, and airing several radio ads to reach every area of the community possible.
Mike's nephew (an IT whiz at Chapman College) is already developing an interactive web site, modeled after the one Barack Obama used so effectively in his election to solicit donations and volunteers.
As I said before, no expenses will be spared as we are prepared to put up a significant amount of our own personal resources towards this effort. It is that important to Mike and, as he put himself, extremely important to the future of this community that he loves and cares about so nuch. We have already spoken to quite a few friends in the business community who have committed to making donations to his campaign and will be looking towards many of our colleagues in the Ventura County Republican Central Committee for financial contributions and other support. We have estimated that this effort will take at least $50,000 to do right.
Let me tell you, that he was not very excited about the prospects of running another campaign until recently. We had a heart-to-heart, serious family meeting at the end of last week, based on the issues that have been festering in this community over the last two years, based on the continued failed policies of this City Council and the City administration. Myself, and my three grown children looked him straight in the eye and asked him if he could possibly sit by and let this continue unabated without at least trying to initiate some changes in the elected body of our City to get things moving again in the right direction.
He looked and us and shook his head slowly. "You're right. I can't sit it out," he responded. "I've got to try and do something to get our City back on track."
I think he's getting used to the idea already. He's even roped me into being his campaign treasurer already!
Feel free to pass on any thoughts or comments to Mike's e-mail address at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy is said to be thinking of running for governor according to a recent article from Ventura County Star report Timm Herdt and other sources. He has a few people mentioned as opponents in recent polls including Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, former US House of Representative Member and State Controller Tom Campbell, former Ebay CEO and Mitt Romney/John McCain campaigns leader Meg Whitman.
Do you think he will run? I think there is a chance he is leaving it as a possibility to build up his name recognition and attract attention. I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up endorsing another candidate and then ran with their endorsement of him for State Insurance Commissioner. Even though in the past Peter Foy has used "farmer" as a ballot designation I would think that with his background in insurance he could run with that experience as a major issue. If he ran for governor I would expect his past support for very conservative candidates and policies out of the mainstream to be the center of any strategy against him. But with all of the problems in the state voters might not be interested in discussions over the wild things Alan Keyes has said over the years on topics from gay people, to the Democratic Party, to personal attacks on Barack Obama.
Click here for a more detailed post about his support for former Presidential candidate Alan Keyes.
Whatever he runs for would leave an open seat on the County Board of Supervisors representing Simi Valley, Moorpark, and some surrounding areas. Peter Foy has said int he past he wasn't planning to make a career out of being on the Board of Supervisors and there has been discussion he would only serve one term. A possible candidate to replace him is termed out State Assembly Member Audra Strickland. While that is a likely scenario she did open up an account to run for Secretary of State recently.
What other candidates do you think are possible in this game of musical chairs? Any chance Jim Dantona will run again if it was an open seat? What about former Supervisor Judy Mikels? City Council Member Barbra Williamson ran before and might be interested. I also see Moorpark City Council Member Keith Millhouse as an intriguing candidate. What candidates would you like to see on your ballot?
Click here for Timm Herdt's article and here for his blog post.
Click here for an entry on State Assembly member Audra Strickland opening an account to run for Secretary of State.
There is a rally called for tomorrow ( Thursday ) afternoon outside State Senator Tony Strickland's office calling on him to compromise to help get a budget passed. I don't know how effective it is to rally outside the office of a State Senator that was too busy to meet with local superintendents recently ( Marie Lakin also pointed out he didn't send a staff member in his place to take notes ) and has already said he isn't going to compromise on anything that would involve raising taxes. But PTSA members including teachers plan to rally to put pressure on him to compromise.
Here is the press release:
Republicans Need to Stop Blocking the Budget
The Conejo Teachers' Union, Conejo PTA Council and the Ventura County Democratic Party will protest massive cuts to education funding this Thursday. Please show up with signs AND forward this message to anyone who does not want the Republicans to cut the education budget.
When: Thursday, February 5, 2009, 4:00 PM
Where: Senator Tony Strickland's Office
Address: 223 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Directions from North: 101 (south), Moorpark Road exit, Thousand Oaks Blvd (right)
Directions from South: 101 (north), to Hampshire Road exit, Hampshire Road (right),Thousand Oaks Blvd. (left)
PARK ON THE STREET. DO NOT PARK IN THE LOT.
Join the parents, teachers, administrators and friends of public education in calling for California State Senator Tony Strickland to pass a budget. Senator Tony Strickland's negligence and desire to push a political agenda threatens our children's future!
Spread the word. Please try to get at least 10 people from each school in Ventura County. It is important that you bring your children. Kids count! We cannot stand silently by and let our Senator, Governor and Legislators think the proposed cuts are okay with us!
( Not interested in a club meeting? Than check out this new video with the former governor of Illinois. It is really funny. )
The Conejo Valley Democrats are hosting local writer and CLU professor Beverly Clearly who will be discussing "What would happen if Washington and Lincoln ran for president today?"
Click on continue reading for details.
The local Democratic Clubs have really been visible and active after this election. I know many Republican Women Federated Clubs have been holding their regular meetings but I don't know how effective they have been at reaching out to new members.
Send in your club meetings if you want me to post them.
Even though the primary to replace State Assembly Member Audra Strickland doesn't happen until June 2010 Jeff Gorell so far has been able to clear the field by raising money, getting endorsements, and putting a campaign team in place.
He has been sending out email for months. For the most current email click on continue reading.
In his recent email he is touting the endorsement of State Assembly Member Audra Strickland, who has opened a fundraising account to run for Secretary of State, an other Republican leaders.
(Side note: Audra Strickland's Chief of Staff has a trial set for later this month related to charges he pushed people outside a fundraiser for Senator Tony Strickland.)
He also is promising to run a transparent race without tricks to hide the sources of money funding his campaign. In the beginning this is easy for politicians but as a campaign raises more and more money it becomes increasingly challenging to hold true to a commitment to be transparent. I will be following Jeff Gorell's campaign to hold him to ideals.
Jeff Gorell, will you accept direct contributions from tobacco companies?
I know that you will be given donations from people that accept money from tobacco companies, like Hannah-Beth Jackson did in her state senate campaign, but it should be easy to announce you will not solicit or accept direct contributions from tobacco companies or their lobbyists.
Let me know and I will post your response.
I was invited to speak to Jeff Gorell's graduate level advocacy class at California Lutheran University (CLU) in Thousand Oaks and I know Jeff is a talented candidate with a background ( prosecutor, military member, business owner) that will make him a formidable opponent even if Democrats recruit a great candidate.
The best chance Democrats have is to tag him as a lobbyist and repeat it over and over. But with his service as a member of the military and as a former prosecutor the battle might be over message repetition.
With the close results in the last campaign for the 37th assembly seat, even though Democrats didn't put serious money in until very late, plus redistricting coming up this very well could be a true contest.
But that's if Democrats find a strong candidate.
Now, a barely related question: How come Republicans seem to always use Assemblyman and Assemblywoman but Democrats use the easier to use Assembly Member?
Seems like firemen are now firefighters and policemen are now police officers. Why is the Republican caucus behind the times?