Does the uniform look familiar? Click on the image. Click here for the details of State Senator Tony Strickland's upcoming basketball season. Click here for a recent story of him playing basketball against a radio DJ.
Rescheduling A Meeting with Education Leaders
Before the vote on the state budget Ventura County school district Superintendents held a meeting to discuss the impacts of different proposals on local schools. State Senator Tony Strickland, State Senator George Runner, and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland did not attend. State Senator Tony Strickland was at a card table event meeting constituents, State Senator George Runner didn't release a statement on why he didn't attend, and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland had to deal with a family emergency. None of them sent staff to sit in the audience and take notes.
Local Democrats have been calling on State Senator Tony Strickland (R), State Senator George Runner (R) and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland (R) to reschedule a meeting. Democratic elected officials that represent Ventura County in the legislature attended the last meeting .
Click on continue reading for the latest email from the Ventura County Democratic Party on the issue. Their website uses new techniques to help organize grassroots activists. Even if you aren't interested in this story the technology they are using is very promising for online organizing.
Obviously the Superintendents are advocates for public education but their goals and policy priorities don't always line up with those of the California Teachers Association (CTA). Meeting with the local superintendents would allow them to listen to what exactly is going to be cut in local schools under different budget proposals, including the impacts of the May ballot propositions. I spoke with State Senator Tony Strickland's Chief of Staff and he said he was against Proposition 1A and is split on the rest of the proposals. He supports taking money from mental health for the general fund but hasn't announced his position on the lottery proposal yet. I expect we will see his opinion on all of the proposals soon.
Not going to meetings like this reinforces the public perception that Republicans aren't concerned with public education as much as Democrats are concerned. The trio should take this opportunity to bring their ideas for education funding and reforms and see if they can convince some local education leaders to support them.
I don't know why Assembly Member Cameron Smyth was not included in the email blast even though he represents a major portion of Simi Valley.
Tony Strickland's Chief of Staff said they were in the process of scheduling another meeting with the Ventura County Superintendents that State Senator Tony Strickland will be attending. One goal of such meetings is to inform elected officials of the impacts of their choices. With that in mind it would be best before he announced his position on all of the May ballot propositions.
Click here for a past entry from Making Waves blogger Marie Lakin explaining in detail the frustration from many over the failure for local Republicans to schedule a meeting. Marie Lakin is a progressive Democrat that supported Hannah-Beth Jackson in the last election. But she is also a leader and fundraiser for local education causes.
I didn't call and ask Assembly Member Audra Strickland's office but I assume the meeting will include other area elected officials like the last meeting did.
I reported here that Audra Strickland opened an account to run against Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Thanks to Timm Herdt for giving credit to me for breaking the story .
I don't expect her to run as Debra Bowen is a popular elected official without much controversy in the office of Secretary of State.
State Senator Tony Strickland does have time to ready his alternative energy proposals but the cynic in me wonders if they are going to go anywhere in the state legislature. If they are good ideas and can gain enough support to pass wouldn't the Democrats put up a slightly different version and pass theirs instead? Add to that highly limited budgetary options and the chances of passage don't seem strong. Am I too cynical?
Here is a video of State Senator Tony Strickland briefly explaining his legislation:
Speaking and tweeting at a Tea Party w/ Tammy Bruce in Santa Barbara
Tony Strickland spoke at a recent Tea Party protest where people were encouraged to send tea bags to their elected officials to complain over government spending and taxation. To see his Twitter page click on the images below.
The Santa Barbara Independent write a recap of the event. Here are a few key quotes:
"...believes the protest's aims should be seen without party bias. "It's the elites versus the masses," he said, articulating his reasons for protesting on Saturday. "It's not a partisan issue."
Among the speakers on Saturday were California State Senators Tony Strickland and George Runner; Carpinteria City Councilmember and head of Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association Joe Armendariz; Andrew Caldwell of COLAB (Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business); Lompoc Mayor Dick DeWees; screenwriter Andrew Klavan; and UCSB student Gabriela Murillo. Political singer Lloyd Marcus also contributed to the protest, singing songs attacking President Obama. "Mr. Obama," sang Marcus, "don't talk down to us!"
President Ronald Reagan was remembered and missed again and again as speakers cited him as the greatest president in memory. Reagan was quoted at the rally more than any other figure from American history.
So much for nonpartisan and aimed at bringing in people from across different political ideologies.
Click here for the rest of the story from the Santa Barbara Independent.
The Santa Barbara event was emceed by Tammy Bruce. Recently Tammy Bruce called Michelle Obama trash as she was ranting over Michelle Obama telling young African-Americans that she was ridiculed when she was young for trying hard in school.
Listen to the audio:
Sharing a stage with someone doesn't mean you agree with everything they have ever said. But that isn't the type of person he should associate with if he is serious on fulfilling his campaign platform of reaching across the aisle and working with the majority party to pass legislation. Bruce is bitter and will twist anything to make a nasty personal attack to sell a few more books or stay in the public spotlight for a few more minutes. Her appearance at this Tea Party shows that it really was a gathering of conservatives and far right activists, instead of the grassroots groups from all walks of life like they tried to pretend.
I remember people for the last eight years demanding civility and respect for President Bush because he was our president. Somehow many of those that demanded a high level of respect have lost their voices in less than a hundred days of a new presidency.
Tony, to show that you strongly disagree with the lack of class Tammy Bruce showed for the President you could let people know your feelings on this type of gutter politics. A press release, blog post, or news story might be too much, but could we get a Tweet on your Twitter account? If your basketball practice schedule is included I am sure you could find the time and room for a few supportive words for the first family.
You have more class than Tammy Bruce. Your Twitter update will be posted on my front page and will stay at the top for a week if you take me up on the offer.
Did any of my readers attend the Tea Party in Santa Barbara? How was it? Did you see mythical ACORN protesters? Who did you enjoy listening to the most?
This email went out weeks ago, before a new meeting was scheduled:
Tell Local Republicans to Meet With County School Superintendents
It is time to demand Republican Ventura County legislators Senator Tony Strickland (SD 19), Senator George Runner (SD 17), and Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (AD 35) attend a local meeting with all 19 Ventura County School Superintendents. Despite multiple attempts to get these three Republicans to meet and discuss urgent educational issues, all have so far refused.
Our local state legislators were invited many weeks in advance to attend a January 23rd, 2009 meeting. Senator Tony Strickland, and Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, both Republicans, claimed they were too busy to attend. The only three who did attend were Democrats Senator Fran Pavley, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, and Assemblyman Pedro Nava.
Instead of doing their jobs by meeting with the School Superintendents, Senator Tony Strickland instead held a card table meeting outside of the Goleta Borders bookstore, in the rain, to an almost non-existent audience. He sent out a press release announcing the event only one day beforehand. Assemblywoman Audra Strickland said she would attend the meeting, but canceled the same day claiming she had a family emergency. Clearly both are avoiding doing their public duty and jobs.
Republican Tony Strickland has no time to meet with educators, yet he finds plenty to sit behind card tables around his district, and to practice and play basketball with the Los Angeles lightnings - a B league team, owned by a supporter. Republican Assemblywoman Strickland also has time to sit in restaurants around her district. Yet she had found time to introduce three separate laws to regulate transfers of high school student athletes, but no time for the much more serious public-education issues her constituents demand she address.
Republican Senator Runner believes California schools are over-funded, and simply has no interest in discussing anything related to public education.
In lieu of meeting with all the Superintendents together, in their districts, where it would be both efficient and cost effective, both of the Stricklands asked to meet in Sacramento with each Superintendent, one-by-one, over a few months - a deliberate attempt to avoid the meetings. This wastes everyone's valuable time and costs the taxpayers dearly - the trips up north aren't free, and it takes our Superintendents away from their jobs unnecessarily.
The invitation to meet with all the Ventura County Superintendents in the district is still open. The Stricklands and Runner all still refuse. Write them and tell them you know they are avoiding their duty, and costing the taxpayers extra money.
You can use the message below, or write your own.
Click here to write your message.