June 2009 Archives
(This map of the 24th congressional district is interactive. Click on it to explore the district.)
Add his name to a growing list of potential challengers that include Shawn Stern, Tim Allison , Marie Panec, Mary Pallant, Jill Martinez, and Marta Jorgenson. If I see candidates start spending money I will assume that we have a sharks smelling blood scenario where they either think Rep. Gallegly is going to retire or they think he is beatable. It would be great if Rep. Gallegly pledged to announce his plans far enough ahead to give candidates of both parties the time they need to assemble their campaigns.
The last time locally I saw the sharks come out is when Peter Foy and Jim Dantona ran against an incumbent county supervisor.
Jim Dantona ran a really close and contested race for county supervisor against Peter Foy, after both of them beat the incumbent in the primary. Campaigns for county supervisor are officially nonpartisan but by the end it was clear what parties they belonged to because of the many mailers that went out labeling themselves and each other.
The Simi Valley/Moorpark based 4th district has an overwhelming Republican registration advantage and Jim Dantona was able to keep the final results really close.
The 24th congressional district voted for Barack Obama for president. There is no denying that a campaign against a long term incumbent like Rep. Gallegly would normally strongly favor the incumbent. But when this becomes an open seat that is a whole different scenario.
Click here for Jim Dantona's website for his political consulting firm.
Click on continue reading for a press release from the DCCC going after Rep. Elton Gallegly.
Now for another poll:
News later today.
When I get 5 guesses I will reveal more.
( Photo courtesy of Sharon Hillbrant. Sharon serves as a volunteer on too many committees to mention but they include the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee and the California Democratic Party Rules Committee.)
The Susan Jordan for Assembly in 2010 campaign announced the endorsement of State Democratic Party Vice-Chair Eric Bauman. He has been a leader of the Los Angeles Democratic Party for years and was recently elected to a leadership position in the state party. He is also a senior staff member for Lt. Governor John Garamendi.
Click on continue reading for the press release.
Her opponent in the primary, Santa Barbara City Council Member Das Williams, announced that former State Assembly Member and former candidate for State Senate Hannah-Beth Jackson has endorsed her former staff member for state assembly.
Hannah-Beth Jackson is very well known in much of the district after serving in the State Assembly for 6 years and running unsuccessfully against Tony Strickland for the State Senate. She has the ability to help him raise money and to add credibility to his campaign.
Here is an old ad form when Das Williams was running for city council:
Republican State Assembly candidate Mike Stoker has ridiculed this endorsement with his own press release calling Hannah-Beth Jackson "Taxin' Jackson" like Strickland supporters did during the campaign.
I don't know why her critics, like Mike Stoker, don't spell her name correctly. Is it intentional?
We will see when the fundraising reports come out if local Republicans are really getting behind Mike Stoker. He was endorsed by State Senator Tony Strickland but the real sign of commitment will be if Strickland donates a substantial amount early on.
The Republican Party has already endorsed Jeff Gorell in the primary for the 37th State Assembly district nomination. Do they have the confidence to do the same to help Mike Stoker? Large donations and an early endorsement would show they are planning to seriously campaign for this office.
To all the candidates: Let me know when you have a campaign website up or would like to be interviewed.
Now that State Assembly candidate Jeff Gorell has consolidated Republican support for the nomination of his party he can focus on his next rival: The Avocado.
You should join Jeff Gorell on Facebook to see his updates. He answers questions on policy, shares photos from events, and posts his upcoming events.
Click here to join him on Facebook. There is a debate going on between his friends over the budget Democrats passed today. Facebook is the new way to directly communicate with politicians and to ask them questions.
Here is a short video of Jeff Gorell playing a Linkin Park song on the piano:
Many times when there is a vacancy on a school board or city council a person is appointed to avoid the cost of a special election. That is often a wise use of resources, especially in the current budget era.
But then the appointed person often runs for the office as an incumbent, which gives them many advantages over prospective challengers. An open seat is much more likely to be contested than running against an incumbent for many reasons.
There is a solution to this problem. Appoint someone that promises not to run again.
Moorpark did this when there was a vacancy on their city council and they just appointed someone to a vacant position on the school board.
More councils and school boards should follow their example. It gives voters a chance for their votes to matter more. People appointed to serve are often highly qualified and do a great job. But voters should be the judge of who is the most qualified in a contested election.
Click here for the article on the appointment to the Moorpark School Board.
Ventura County Star reporter Timm Herdt has an interesting article that lists which State Senators are taking a pay cut.
Click here to read his blog.
The Geoff Dean for Sheriff campaign sent me in a press release for their press conference next week. I am thinking of going to it but I need some questions I should ask. What should I ask him?
Click on continue reading to see the whole press release.
Polls on a political blog are not scientific but that doesn't mean they don't offer us information. This poll has been the most popular poll I have ever posted. That tells me this campaign has the potential to really energize people.
Have you seen "The Most interesting Man In The World" ads by Dos Equis?
The latest ad has at least two scenes filmed in Simi Valley.
The first scene starting at :07 seconds in looks like the hills on the east end of Simi Valley.
The second scene starting at :14 seconds in was filmed at Corriganville Park also on the east end.
Question: If we want to support The Shop Simi Valley Campaign does that mean if we drink beer we should switch to Dos Equis?
There is a new blog that centers on the Conejo Valley. Here is an email from Janna Orkney:
Hi Brian, I enjoy reading Brian Dennert Here to find out the latest of what is going on in politics in the VC. Thank you for the blog! Also, I liked the program that you were in about working with media, that was at the Thousand Oaks Library a month or so ago. I have a background in p.r. and advertising, and I still learned some new things. Marc O'Hara was good, and so were you and the panel you moderated. I wanted to let you know that I have just started a news and opinion blog, ConejoPost.com. The web designer is still finishing up, but I have been posting for a few weeks anyway, and am wanting to get the word out about it. Please take a look at it, and I would be so thrilled if you could let your readers know about it. Incidentally, I am also an elected board member of a special district. In Nov. 2006, I was elected to the Triunfo Sanitation District that provides wastewater treatment for appx. 30,000 people in east Ventura County. Triunfo also owns Oak Park Water Service. I am currently serving as chair of Triunfo and also chair of the Joint Powers Authority partnership between Triunfo and Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. Democracy is a lot of work, isn't it? I think it takes all of us together to keep folks informed about what is going on. A post you might be interested in is one of my first, about a photo a David Bagwell in the Moorpark election coverage. Take care, Janna Orkney
Thanks Janna. When you leave a comment type your blog's address in the box that says URL to drive traffic back to it.
Click here to check it out.
The next local Tea Party event is coming up soon and the organizers are inviting the public to join them. Click on continue reading to see their whole press release and find out how you can get involved.
This group is also a part of Fox News and Glen Beck's 9/12 Project. If you have been watching Glenn Beck you might know he made the phrase "We surround them" a part of our current political lexicon. Or maybe the lexicon of people like me that read blogs too much. Either way click here for Glenn Beck explaining his quote.
The group running the local event is working with nationwide groups but they are a grassroots organization. If you want to get involved post a comment here or send them an email. You don't need to register or use your real name to comment but keep it classy. I frequently delete comments for getting too personal, foul language, and disruptive behavior.
( The sign in his hand says "One Big @$$ Mistake America" All pictures from the STOMP website.)
The videos I took are from the Tea Party rally at the corner of Alamo and Tapo Canyon. Although many of the same people attended both they were organized by different people.
A new group is trying to find common ground between the political parties. If you are bored of the progressives at Calitics.com and the conservatives at Flashreport.org this might be the group for you.
Check out California Forward.
I am going to be posting their newsletters that they send out infrequently. Look over their website and let me know what you think.
This random Video not directly connected to this blog entry:
The Ventura County Democratic Party is on the move with many events scheduled in the next few weeks. Click on continue reading for their update.
Click here for the website of the Ventura County Democrats.
The people of Iran are rising up to overthrow a dictatorship. There is no guarantee the next government will end up being better, but there are many reasons to think this revolt can be good news for the people of Iran, the region, and the world.
President Barack Obama has understandably stayed back so far to deprive the dictatorship of an excuse that the uprising against them is an American plot. That hasn't stopped Mitt Romney from saying bitter partisan statements.
The best coverage of tweets, videos, pictures, and more coming out of Iran I have seen are posted on AndrewSullivan.com.
Click here for AndrewSullivan's blog.
To show solidarity for the Iranian people fighting against repression from a totalitarian government please use the image above as your default photo on your social networks. Please also consider calling your federal legislators and asking them to not recognize the results of the election.
This could be the end of the reign of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a new era in Middle East politics. Iran has been hindered by a leader who has denied the holocaust and been confrontational with other world leaders. The chances of progress for Iran, the region, and the world are limited if he isn't driven from power.
Click here for a link to a chart on how Iran is currently ruled.
Click here for an interview with Mir-Hossein Mousavi by Time Magazine's Joe Klein.
The next few days will be fascinating. Might be a good time to watch the film Persepolis.
Here is a video of a protest against the demotion of a principal in Camarillo:
I wonder if there is a connection between the quality of a school district and contentious school board politics. That's a study I would like to see. Once adjusted for demographics are school districts with highly contested elections and politically charged meetings better or worse performing?
It would seem that at times the competition of ideas and the passion of the participants would promote innovation.
Simi Valley School Board politics are very calm in comparison to Conejo Valley or Camarillo area schools. I sometimes hesitate to write anything about them because I cannot keep track of the years long disputes and what side is plotting what next.
The latest catalyst in the Pleasant Valley School District seems to be the firing of a popular principal. There has been a public protest, confrontational public comments at a school board meeting, letters to the editor, and now critics of the school board have launched a blog to publish their grievances and to push for a recall election.
I make no claims that I am an expert on what is happening in Camarillo area schools. Read the articles from the Ventura County Star and other sources to make up your own mind. Best of luck to the parents, educators, school board members, and most of all, the students as this is all sorted out.
Click here for their recall website.
Click here for a recent article in The Ventura County Star on the demotion of the principal.
Now that the Moorpark City election is over the next big local race I am going to cover in depth is the campaign for the next sheriff.
Click here to see the recent article from Ventura County Star Reporter Timm Herdt on the upcoming races.
The first candidate I see campaigning for Ventura County Sheriff is Geoff Dean. His campaign. Click here to check out his website. What do you think? It looks very professional to me although the issues page is lacking at this time.
Send me in the official photo of your candidate and campaign logo you want me to use when you get the chance.
I will repost this poll whenever I write updates on the candidates running for sheriff.
To share this blog entry on a social network like Facebook click on the appropriate button below. This could be a quick way of letting your supporters know they can come here and vote in my unscientific poll.
I am going to be posting the comment of the week often on Sunday Nights. If you see a comment that made you laugh, was charitable towards someone that the writer disagrees with, elevated the conversation, or added to your understanding of politics nominate them for comment of the week either by emailing me or by posting a comment.
You don't need to register or use your real name to post. But keep it classy or your comments might get deleted.
Ventura County Star Reporter and political analyst Timm Herdt had asked before if a contested primary between two Santa Barbara based candidates would motivate a Ventura County candidate to jump in. An often mentioned possibility was Council Member for the City of Ventura Bill Fulton.
That isn't going to happen this time as Bill Fulton has announced he isn't running, although he did mention he would consider running for higher office in the future.
Click here for his blog.
Check out what they are chanting in the streets:
Mr. Moussavi and his supporters seem unbowed by these sorts of accusations though. Chants of "Death to America" at rallies for Mr. Ahmadinejad this week were answered by chants of "Death to the Taliban -- in Kabul and Tehran" at a rally for Mr. Moussavi.
For a good laugh watch this propaganda video produced by the Iranian government.
Looks like Iran might want someone that is willing to work with the rest of the world.
I look forward to reading thoughts from my reader Scott.
Scott, do you see Moussavi as an improvement?
Check out this video of Paul Moomjean eating some of a hat:
Former candidate for Mayor of Simi Valley Paul Moomjeam is writing editorials for the VC Reporter on politics. His recent editorial brings up the proposed memorial to the victims of the Metrolink crash.
Here are excerpts from his opinion article:
What do you think? Paul Moomjean has agreed to answer your questions.
My first question:
Paul will you join me in helping to raise money for the memorial?
Click here for the full editorial.
Click here for a past interview I did with candidate Paul Moomjean on my blog.
State Assembly Candidate for the 35th District Susan Jordan joins a rally against cuts to health care funding.
Here is a photo of State Assembly candidate Susan Jordan with other area leaders at the rally:
There was a rally to protest cuts to health care programs in Oxnard today.
Click here for the story from The Ventura County Star.
I expect to see many groups organizing rallies in the coming weeks as Sacramento debates how to fix the budget.
What do you think the chances are that the state will pass a new budget in the next few weeks? It seems that many groups has some sort of veto power over proposals that are being discussed.
Firefighter Nathan Sweet earned 2nd place in the Moorpark City City Council Elections, losing to long time school board member David Pollock.
Nathan Sweet ran a great campaign and was really close to being elected. I expect he will stay involved in politics and keep volunteering in his community. Maybe with a few more years experience and community involvement he will run again.
Anyways, this mailer was targeted at Democratic households. He ran as a proud Democrat in a Republican dominated city against a business person endorsed by conservatives Peter Foy and Tony Strickland.
How did running as a proud Democrat work out for him? Well he beat the Republican but ended up losing to another Democrat!
City council races are nonpartisan officially, but with many voters get their cues from their political parties and other elected officials on how to vote their values.
So, how do I explain the success of David Pollock? The most likely answer is that he was familiar to voters because he has served on the Moorpark School Board for many years.
But without any data to prove my argument I would also like to throw out there that David Pollock might have earned his most critical endorsement when Larry Jones, coach of the US Championship Academic Decathlon Team endorsed him.
Politicians like Tony Strickland and Peter Foy might help a candidate with some voters but hinder them with others. Same goes for mentioning your political party.
But Larry Jones is a legendary Academic Decathlon coach, long time Moorpark High School teacher, and has been in the newspapers frequently for bringing pride based on student achievement to the community.
I am glad Moorpark put the position on the ballot instead of appointing someone that then ran as an incumbent. I am also impressed so many community members including David Bagwell, David Pollock, and Nathan Sweet put their names forward for consideration. All of the candidates deserve our respect for running.
Next big local campaign:
Here are more pictures from the annual Ventura County Democratic Party spring fling event. Keep sending in photos you want me to post.
CA 24 congressional candidate Tim Allison campaigns for the Democratic nomination. Check out how many people are wearing his stickers in the photos from the event.
Click here for past entries that mention him. Tim, when you have a website up I will link to it when you are mentioned on my blog. When is the website going up?
Santa Barbara City Council Member and Labor Union Organizer Das Williams was among the many candidates at the event meeting other elected officials and Democratic Party activists.
Das Williams and Susan Jordan are both running to earn the nomination of the Democratic Party for the 35th State Assembly District.
Click here for past entries that mention him.
Susan Jordan has her photo taken with John Ziv ,a leader of the local The Sierra Club. I have heard her campaign was very successful at rounding up endorsements at the event. I expect to see a list in a few weeks.
Click here for past entries that mention her.
In the background is Shawn Stern, a candidate for congress ( CA 24). Shawn, any news from the campaign trail to report?
Click here for past entries that mention Shawn Stern.
I am going to be interviewing a candidate for state assembly soon. Obviously the budget is the most important issue but I also want to know the positions of the candidates on education reform. Any specific questions you want me to ask?
Ever get the idea that advertisers are reading your email or website to target their message? My latest advertiser on this blog is the CIA. Something I wrote might mean that my readers are targets for recruitment into our clandestine intelligence services. For this week when you are coming up with screen names try to see if you can reference spies from history or fiction.
I thought the ad placement next to this event listed online was really funny:
Remember when some liberals were saying they were going to leave if Bush won? I guess some Canadians are now trying to recruit Republicans!
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Republican Mike Sroker has entered the race for 35th Assembly District. The 35th Assembly District is thought to be a safe Democratic district but he is hoping to change that in the 2010 election.
Click here for an article on the subject from Ventura County Star Reporter Timm Herdt.
Timm, what is a district consultant? How much does that job pay?
He has already been endorsed by State Senator Tony Strickland, which should help to clear the primary field. I will hesitate to say State Senator Tony Strickland is supporting him until I see campaign finance reports showing he has actually donated money. As of now I don't know if Republican leaders are really going to be supporting Mike Stoker with their wallets.
Mr. Stoker said he would run on a platform to reduce the state workforce, while protecting police and fire and increasing education funding.
So, he wants to reduce the state work force but police, fire, and education funding won't be cut? Does he include prisons as part of police protection? Maybe he means he will increase funding but cut positions? Does that mean he wants less teachers but higher pay?
For starters, Stoker said, there must be major layoffs of government employees--in the ballpark of 20 percent of the workforce--to bring spending in line with revenues. Noting substantial growth in the budget and the number of state workers under Schwarzenegger, he said he would fight to break the power of public employee unions in Sacramento.
Click here for the Santa Barbara Independent story on his campaign announcement.
Does that 20% include local law enforcement? Prison workers? Teachers? Does he mean only state government employees?
When he sets up a website with clear policy positions I will post another entry.
I don't live in the district but I will support the candidate that has the most serious positions on moving forward out of our current problems.
Mr. Stoker, send me any campaign updates you want me to post.
I posted this entry in a rush getting out the door because I said I would by the end of the week. If you see any mistakes please correct me. Thanks!
Go to DailyKos.com to check out local Democratic Party activist David Atkins' reaction to President Barack Obama's speech in Egypt.
David Atkins blogs at DailyKos.com, Calitics.com, VenturaCountyDemocrats.com and other sites. In the past he debated Mike Gibson for my blog on the topic of Is America a liberal or conservative nation. Click here to see that debate.
This summer I plan on hosting more Thursday Night Live debates or interviews. If you have suggestions for interviews or debate participants post them as a comment.
Did you watch the speech? What reactions do you have to President Barack Obama's speech so far? Many times events like this cannot be accurately judged for some time after the event. I haven't seen the speech yet but maybe I will have time this weekend.
Registration is not necessary to comment on my blog but we all appreciate if you keep it classy. Calling names and insulting people instead of their ideas doesn't make for a convincing argument for most of us.
Thanks for reading my blog.
( I took this video during the rallies before the vote on Proposition 8. Click on continue reading to see the other videos I took at various rallies.)
Six states will soon allow gay couples to marry with the latest being New Hampshire.
You would think that groups opposed to same sex marriage would have been pleased with the recent court ruling upholding Proposition 8 but "Save California" is very upset that the judges allowed the state to recognize the marriages of gay couples married before Proposition 8 was passed.
Click here for the press release or click on continue reading and scroll down past my videos from Proposition 8 rallies.
Supporters of gay marriage are planning on how best to bring the question to voters again. I expect it will be on the ballot again in 2010 but this time those supporting gay marriage are expected to learn from past mistakes.
I want the proposition to include clear protections for religious liberty and I want the campaign to include more gay families in their ads. If these concerns are addressed I think the momentum of more states legalizing gay marriage combined with changing views from younger generations only make this a matter of time in California.
The religious liberty issue has been interesting because so much of it is intuitive. The government is not mandating churches marry nonmembers or members of their churches that they don't want to marry. But even if the protections really only address the unwarranted concerns of some people it is worthy of including.
The Simi Valley / Moorpark Democratic Club will be debating Gay Marriage at their next meeting. Here is their announcement:
Light refreshments will be served, and a question and answer period will follow.
Please call 805-582-2234.
President Barack Obama signed a bill this week that Rep. Elton Gallegly ( Check out Elton Gallegly in the background of the video above) pushed to celebrate Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. During the ceremony Former First Lady Nancy Reagan commented that President Barack Obama was a lefty as he signed the bill.
Watch the video to see it for yourself.
Click here and check out all of the recent candidates that were left handed.
Some sources suggest Ronald Reagan started his life as a lefty and become more right handed as he aged. Kind of like his politics.
Open Letter to Rep. Gallegly
Now that you have earned a legislative victory will you post your schedule since you insist travel back to your district every weekend? I am sure that you do often as I see you around town ( Applebee's, The Hat, Home Depot) and I see you in the paper at charity events, but what I don't see is you attending events that are scheduled for you to appear where voters can ask you questions. I think it would be great if you held these type of events more often. I don't remember the last time I saw the details on your website or in a newspaper.
If you agree with me here are his phone numbers to ask his staff to post his schedule and to hold town hall forums:
Here are the phone number's for his offices: 2829 Townsgate Road, Suite 315 ♦ Thousand Oaks, CA 91361-3018 485 Alisal Road, Unit 144 ♦ Solvang, CA 93463
2309 Rayburn HOB ♦ Washington, DC 20515-0523
(805) 497-2224 ♦ Toll Free: (800) 423-0023
2829 Townsgate Road, Suite 315 ♦ Thousand Oaks, CA 91361-3018
485 Alisal Road, Unit 144 ♦ Solvang, CA 93463
Give him a call and post your results. Will they tell you when the next open forum event is scheduled for? Ask them to post their calendar of events. State Senator Tony Strickland posts his events. Click here to see State Senator Tony Strickland's public schedule.
If Rep. Gallegly is getting ready to retire and not run again it would be fair of him to announce it long before so that the potential candidates have a reasonable time to plan and campaign.
Click here for more coverage of CA 24 from the Pack Herd Blog.
(This image is from State Senator Tony Strickland's Twitter page.)
Coming after Conservative writer George Will ridiculed Republican Secretary of Transportation ( Click on the graph for an article that shows he doesn't appear to have researched his article enough.) for supporting more ways to convince people to ride their bikes to work State Senator Tony Strickland celebrated ride your bike to work month by setting an example.
State Senator Tony Strickland is effective at using technology to keep his constituents updated on what he is doing, including radio appearances, public events, and other routine legislative schedules.
That is unlike Rep. Elton Gallegly, who brags he is in the district every weekend but doesn't hold public events where people can go for free and ask questions that often.
When was the last time any of you saw Rep. Elton Gallegly holding a public forum that was free to attend and scheduled for him to appear at? I have called his local office but they always tell me they don't have access to his schedule.
Here is what he said in a recent article:
Rep. Gallegly, if you are really around every weekend to meet with the public why not have your staff post it on your website?
Click here for a page on a new blog that follows congressional elections with details on CA 24 that a reader sent in for me to post.
I didn't go to the Ventura County Democratic Spring Fling but I am posting pictures that are being sent in. Send me any photos from the event you want posted.
Did you go? What's the buzz? From early reports the place was packed with activists and elected officials.
State Senator Fran Pavley back from meeting with President Barack Obama speaks to elected officials, candidates, and party activists. Fran Pavely, a former Moorpark teacher, is really popular with environmentalists for her leadership on pushing for new regulations on cars and trucks.
State Assembly candidate Susan Jordan met with many elected officials and party activists at the event. My early reports say her staff was really successful and getting endorsements at the event.
In this photo she is standing next to Ventura County Firefighter Jason Hodge. Jason is a party activist and union leader. He posted guest blog entries from DC when he attended the inauguration. Click here to see his guest blog entries. Jason, my first instinct is to tease you for your new beach bum hair but with the little hair I have I am not going to start something.
Did you go to the event? Which speakers impressed you? What elected officials did you see?
1. I will post a Michael Stoker for State Assembly entry this week. Thanks for the links to his campaign announcement.
2. The comments have become increasingly nasty in the last week. Please keep it classy. If you see something that goes over the top send me an email. I don't post which readers asked for a comment to be removed.
3. There are many profound issues of our time that I don't write blog entries on. That doesn't mean I am not interested in them. Oftentimes there are better outlets with more resources to cover them. This includes the stimulus, Afghanistan, Iraq, terrorism, religion, elections in other states, Israeli/Palestinian relations, the assassination in Kansas, details of the state budget and more. I started this blog because I wanted to learn more about our local politics, and I imagine that is why you read it.
Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.
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