Timur and I were scheduled to discuss harbor issues last Thursday but I needed to reschedule for tonight. He is running for harbor commissioner and I will be asking questions about his plans and his background so we can all learn more about him.
Go this campaign site to learn more about him and then click on continue reading to see our interview.
There is a long term plan to recreate the wash in Simi Valley, sometimes called the Arroyo, into a beautiful greenway park that would stretch across much of Simi Valley. Go to the city website to see the beautiful vision for the Arroyo. Council Member Steve Sojka has stated he wants to get federal and state money to pay for it which would make this plan very popular. But I am not sure how practical it is to plan to think we won't need to spend local taxdollars to do it. I would support spending local taxes, added to any grants and other sources of money we can earn, to fully fund the project.
Before you comment in support or against the proposal look at the city's website to see what the finished project could look like.
This obsession you have with the Pirates of the Caribbean project in the Arroyo is really getting weird. Simi Valley has huge issues facing it with local business, dump expansion, Council Salary and Benefits etc. The list of higher priority items puts that project at the bottom.
It's going to be taxpayer dollars whether from the State as Sojka seemed to allude to in your interview with him, Federally or locally.
I lived next to the Arroyo for 13 years, used the paths down there when I trained for the LA marathon in 1996/1997. Time to get realistic about the Arroyo and put that project where it belongs - on the back burner.
If the city was being asked to cut the check for the entire amount needed to rebuild the Arroyo this year I wouldn't support it. But I do support the process that will likely take many years to put into place. I expect candidates for office to have a long term vision for decades to come.
This isn't the most pressing issue in Simi Valley but it is really important to me.
What issue is important to you that you don't see your local candidates for office addressing?
I don't write much about my personal life but outside of being a blogger I am a teacher at Royal High School in Simi Valley. Before that I was a teacher at a Catholic High School in Los Angeles for four years. Few issues stir a passion in me as much as education reform.
I have gone to protests against budget cuts organized by our union and I have also have been at a union meeting where almost every speaker has turned against me for supporting education reforms. I see education as a great engine for social mobility and opportunity.
The Simi Valley Education Foundation has asked me for help raising money for their programs. We all know that public education budgets have been cut which makes their grant programs even more important. Their grants fund supplies and field trips that otherwise wouldn't be available to students. If you want to see a great group of people go to their page to see who is on their board.
This blog doesn't pay much. If you appreciate at least some of my blogging I am asking for you to show your appreciation by donating as little as $5 to the education foundation.
And to show my gratitude every candidate that donates to the foundation will get recognition on the front page of my blog with a link to their campaign website. I won't publish how much you donated unless you specifically ask me to so don't worry if your budget is tight.
For those of you not running for office I will post a funny education story for every donation.
The Republican Central Committee endorsement has the potential to backfire on him but with his strong support from Democrats like Simi Valley School Board Member Rob Collins and former Chair of the Ventura County Democratic Party Hank Lacayo he is able to accurately claim he has bipartisan support.
He also has the endorsements of unions representing firefighters and police officers. The Ventura County Firefighters are among the best organized interest groups in this area. Their ability to mobilize is impressive. I have seen them to great GOTV work. I am not sure how much support either of those unions intend to give beyond their endorsements though. If you are a member of either let me know what you have been seeing.
I didn't go to Bob Huber's event today but from what I am seeing it went great for him. The true test will be to see what sort of media coverage he is able to get from it. I missed his event because a friend of mine that I greatly admire was in town. Rob, I may not have said it to you before but if you didn't know I think you are an awesome man and you have served as a role model to me. Over the years you have said things that have really stuck with me.
I doubt it but if he doesn't debate that should be an issue. If he doesn't hold townhall meetings I don't see why he would debate his opponent. Rep. Brad Sherman emails out his schedule when he has events in the district. Rep. Gallegly doesn't have a calendar online.
This election season, voters deserve a different playbook, one which offers a dialogue between candidates. From Orcutt to Oak Park, constituents of the 24th Congressional District are owed opportunities to decide their votes based upon debates and dialogue with the candidates.
My campaign will challenge Elton Gallegly to meet and debate throughout the district. We hope you will join us in this challenge and sponsor a debate in your town using your editorial board to moderate forums, Town Hall meetings or formal debates as you prefer.
The time for Elton Gallegly to appear alongside his challenger is disgracefully overdue. Every week, voters read of debates between Congressional candidates nationwide and it is my hope that this election season we can offer voters this opportunity in our district.
If the Ventura County Star would like to sponsor a debate or forum please contact Nancy Frawley at my campaign office and we will get it on the calendar.
In states within every region of this country, members of Congress afford their constituents an ongoing opportunity to be heard at seasonal Town Hall meetings. Congressman Gallegly provides no such forums. We hope you will join us this election season to give the voters the chance to hear from the candidates.
Candidate for Congress
If Rep. Gallegly doesn't respond Tim Allison would be wise to make sure the public knows he isn't willing to debate the issues. It is conventional wisdom that front runners avoid debates but we aren't required to accept it.
The Ventura County Democrats Labor Day Picnic event is coming up again and this is a reminder that any Democratic candidate can get a free table to put out materials and to talk to activists at the event.
Click on continue reading for details.
The event is open to the public and candidate for nonpartisan positions are welcome to attend. Last year Geoff Dean went and spoke to the crowd. Click here to see my coverage of last year's event. This year I wonder if Republican Bob Huber, who has endorsed by many labor unions and Democratic leaders will attend, or if Republican Steve Sojka will use the opportunity to show he plans to be a bipartisan leader. They are the only two candidates running for mayor of Simi Valley. It would be great to see the candidates for Treasurer Tax Collector, Republican Steven Hintz and Republican Don Facciano, out there too.
Last Saturday night I went to an event for Simi Valley City Council candidate Mike Judge. I know that Mike would agree that we have many differences over politics at the national level but our differences aside it was a fun event.
Mike is running a much more effective campaign this time but I am not sure he has the resources to defeat one of the incumbents. His close group of supporters though are very passionate in their support of him.
The flash on my phone wasn't strong enough to take great pictures but in the video above I talked to him about pension reform, the plans to remodel the Simi Valley Arroyo, and if the city was at fault for Farmers Insurance leaving town.
His event felt more like an gathering of old friends then a campaign event. I wasn't there for long but I strongly doubt I missed a long winded policy speech. Many of the people at the backyard party had a close connection to Mike including people in law enforcement and from his time in the military.
Ventura County Star Reporter Timm Herdt has already covered it in detail but Ferial Masry's campaign to replace Audra Strickland in the State Assembly is getting more serious. Her campaign has a new group of consultants that are more willing to directly attack her opponent Jeff Gorell. They have also sent me the HTML for a Facebook plugin as a part of their netroots campaign strategy. As of now I'd say Gorell is heavily favored to win, but I think the new team has some surprises planned.
I am going to be interviewing Jeanne Davis tonight. Email me suggestions for questions.
There are four candidates running for two open seats. Arleigh Kidd and Jeanne Davis are the only two candidates that paid to have their campaign statement in the sample ballot. There are two seats up for election and Jeanne Davis is the only incumbent running.
In the last election the union representing Simi Valley teachers, the SEA, endorsed two of her opponents and she won anyways. This time she earned their endorsement. She has also been endorsed by City Council Member Steve Sojka. A personal friend of mine has been hired to be her campaign manager. She is taking this campaign very seriously.
Adding all of that up and it is clear she is heavily favored to win. That's why I appreciate even more Jeanne Davis' willingness to answer my questions.
In the interest of full disclosure I am a teacher in SVUSD and a member of our union. I am also personal friends with her son, who is an amazing teacher. This interview is odd because in some ways I am interviewing a supervisor of mine.
But don't expect that to stop me from asking some tough questions. You can ask Jeanne Davis personally if I have hesitated to let her know my opinion on education issues before.
As I was researching candidates for school board races I found Mike Dunn's website. MIke Dunn's tenure on the CVUSD Board has seen many controversies with him being at the center of some of the most contentious debates. From being accused of violating labor law to debates over the alleged gay agenda in health textbooks Mike Dunn has been a hero to some and a villain to others. He has been a polarizing figure and a favorite for media coverage because of it.
He took questions from my readers before and he admitted he was wrong to call an applicant for a job. His willingness to speak openly about his values and agenda have made him among the most vocal school board members in Ventura County.
I thought he would continue being a polarizing figure but with this screenshot from his website I am having my doubts:
If Mike Dunn earned the endorsement of Linda Parks I am thinking I should reexamine the conventional wisdom about him.
I am writing about SVUSD Board politics later this week. But what's happening with the election for your local school board?
Do you remember last year when Simi Valley Police Officers picketed outside Council Member Glen Becerra's house and at a city event over their contract? The video of the protest outside of Becerra's house has been marked as private but this video is up:
When I saw the POA was becoming more politically organized I wondered how they were going to get involved in city elections. This election cycle they have joined with the firefighters union to endorse Bob Huber for Mayor. They have also endorsed Keith Mashburn for city council.
I am not sure how extensive their involvement is going to be but if they do things including walking precincts, making phone calls, rally on street corners, posting signs, and put together a significant IE they should be a very important part of this election. How fired up will they be against Steve Sojka and the council incumbents?
Mike Chandler, the blogger behind votesimivalley.com, is putting together a great interview and he asked me to plug it on my blog.
Here is his message:
I am working on a live candidate chat that I have scheduled for this Thursday night at 7:00pm. I was wondering if I could get you to mention it on your blog.
I have invited all four challenging City Council candidates (Council Members only, not Mayoral candidates) and all four have accepted. The forum will consist of Mike Judge, Keith Mashburn, Ken Sandberg and Mitch Green. The discussion will be streamed live on the internet on my blog. To listen in, you'll just need to point your browser to my website and follow the links that I plan to make very obvious.
This isn't a debate. It's simply an open forum where the candidates are invited to discuss their positions on various topics. Among the topics will be city employee pension reform, business challenges in Simi Valley, and Shop Simi Valley First. My hope is to introduce some worthy candidates with fresh ideas to the voting public.
If you wouldn't mind spreading the word, I'd be forever grateful. Thanks much!
Mike Chandler has also volunteered to help any of the Simi Valley City Council candidates with using social networking tools to reach voters. Read more about his offer here. I am really impressed with his contribution to local democracy. Have you asked the incumbents to be interviewed?
Bob Huber has officially filed for mayor and has sent out a press release outlining the themes of his campaign. Click on continue reading to see the full press release.
His themes include:
Requiring companies that contract with the city or do business in the city to use the e-verify system for their employees.
High power endorsements of elected officials like State Senator Tony Strickland (R), Rep. Elton Gallegly (R), and School Board Member Rob Collins (D). Rob Collins has long been Simi Valley's most prominent elected Democrat. Add to that his endorsement from former Ventura County Democratic Party Chair and Bob Huber has the most legitimate claim to running a bipartisan campaign.
Creating a volunteer ombudsman position to help businesses with city regulations instead of creating a paid position.
Monthly Townhall meetings for citizens to speak with their elected officials. If Bob Huber feels strongly about this issue he should speak to his prominent backer Rep. Elton Gallegly since Gallegly doesn't hold townhall forums. All of the other Representatives in this region, of both parties, except Gallegly hold townhall forums. Gallegly does make public appearances at Republican Party and Tea Party events but he doesn't hold town hall forums.
I'd like to know more about his thoughts on working with the school district to help public education, his position on the proposed landfill position, and if he supports the major renovations of the Arroyo.
I was invited to an upcoming Team Huber event and I told them I would attend if I can take pictures and ask Bob Huber a few questions like I did at the Team Sojka event.
The preview for the education documentary Waiting for Superman has intrigued me and I have pledged to see the movie. I suggest you watch the preview and pledge to see the movie. The film was created by the same person behind An Inconvenient Truth and features DC Chancellor of Public Schools Michelle Rhee. I have a strong feeling it will challenge dogmas from those on different sides of education issues.
Here is what I wrote before about Michelle Rhee:
Washington DC Chancellor of Public Schools is among the most controversial educators in America. She is a staunch defender of public education but she has constantly challenged teachers and others to reform. I created a Facebook Fanpage to show support for her goals. Please read a few articles on her and consider becoming a fan. Wikipedia in often a decent starting point in your research. Also check out the WashingtonPost.com page dedicated to news involving her.
She took over as Chancellor of the urban school system rated simultaneously as among the worst academically and among the highest per student expenditures in the nation. Since taking over she has pushed to put into place high performing principals and to reform teacher tenure. Like many, she favors some changes to No Child Left Behind but she is a stalwart supporter of the law overall. She has also upset many with brash decisions and not always working well with other stake holders. All of this has upset many people, sometimes for good reasons.
She has the support of President Barack Obama and DC Mayor Adrian Fenty. Many Republicans have supported her along the way too. If you go through the fans on the Facebook page I created you will see an amazing diversity of people from across the nation. A fellow administrator of the site worked for McCain in 2000 while I was proud to support Barack Obama.
When you talk to someone running for an office that deals with education ask them if overall a law, like NCLB, has been a net benefit or negative to education.
I believe that people like Michelle Rhee are needed so much I am supporting the re-election of Anthony Fenty for another term as mayor. Change doesn't always come quick but Michelle Rhee deserves our support.
I made it a contest with the winners getting a blog post on the day of the election. For the general election I am working with The Star to do it again but this time with a more impressive prize. Here are the basic rules:
Send me a picture of a candidate, a pet, and a campaign sign. I will post them as I receive them but all entries must be emailed in by October 25th. A campaign can submit multiple photographs over the course of the campaign. So, keep sending in pictures from the campaign trail! I will have a panel of small children pick the winners. There will be multiple winners for different categories. As a reader what categories would you like to see? I am thinking of ideas like most unique animal, most on message animal, and a few more.
Mike Judge is running on a conservative and anti-incumbent platform. He is a LAPD officer and a supporter of the Tea Party agenda. Recently he held a fundraiser at a firing range. He has pledged not to take health, dental, or retirement benefits from the city government if elected.
Let me know if there are any local rallies to celebrate the court ruling.
Click on continue reading to see my videos that I filmed at rallies against Proposition 8.
Thank you to Ted Olsen. Olsen is a conservative lawyer, served as Assistant Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan, and served as Solicitor General for George W. Bush. He was a lead attorney in the case and his expertise was critical.
Steve Sojka has had his signs up since early July and yesterday Bob Huber started putting his signs up too. I expect this to be among the top political battles in Simi Valley political history. By November this town is going to have bumper stickers and signs that in so many places it will be surprising.
Signs are necessary because they help build name ID for the candidates easily. They wouldn't be as needed if voters were better informed. But until then I expect them to continue to be a focus of many campaigns.
I took a few pictures of Huber's new signs but I didn't get any great shots. Send me a better picture if you want me to post it.
Which of the signs do you like better?
( Thanks to Team Huber for sending in this picture.)
The Simi Valley Landfill has plans to expand how much trash they take and the size of their landfill. The Simi Valley Democratic Club is going to be discussing the landfill expansion again. If you want to know more about the expansion I'd suggest going to the meeting AND going to the company's website.
I'd also suggest trying to get any candidate that is running to be specific about what their views are on the expansion. The landfill has extensively worked with many local charities. They have earned goodwill with numerous politicians that don't want to alienate voters or WM. The City Council doesn't have a direct vote on the subject but they do have influence in letting WM and the county under what conditions they support expanding the landfill.
I asked candidate for city council Mike Judge the following question:
The landfill wants to expand their business. Would you be more likely to support expanding the landfill if they added a shooting range open to police officers?
I do not think the Range if there is to be one should be given with any pre-conditions. I do think the Landfill is the 2ton gorilla in the room this election everyone is trying to ignore especially the incumbents. Good, Bad or indifferent my Opinion would be just that an opinion because right now the City will not have a say in what happens. But I believe our City should have a say and the expansion should be predicated on certain favorable conditions to the City of Simi Valley. This all goes back to one of the main premises of my Candidacy the lack of credible leadership among the incumbents and our need now more than ever for that leadership.
Here are the details of the club meeting to discuss the expansion:
The Simi Valley/Moorpark Democratic club has scheduled a meeting 7pm, Wednesday, August l8 to discuss the proposed expansion of the landfill at the Simi Valley Library community room, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road.
Guest speaker is Lou Pandolfi, member of the Simi Valley Landfill Expansion Task Force.
Do you remember this news item from outside a Democratic Club Meeting last summer?
Three Ventura County sheriff's deputies wrestled a man to the ground and led him away in handcuffs outside a Democratic healthcare forum Wednesday evening at the Thousand Oaks Main Library.
A man identifying himself as Grant Markus, 50, of Ventura allegedly shoved one of three doctors speaking at an impromptu gathering outside the healthcare forum.
His shirt, apparently ripped open by the struggle, hung from his shoulders as he was led away, his hands locked behind his back.
"All I wanted to do was speak!" Markus protested. "I did not raise a hand to anyone!"
Soon after the incident a Youtube video was posted that showed the incident in question. The video is great because the viewer can see most of what happened and draw their own conclusions. It appears to me that Grant Markus jumps up on the bench to debate with the other people but I don't see a crime committed or any shoving. Watch it for yourself and decide.
A friend of Grant Markus' sent me an email saying the charges have been dismissed. As I understand it this Youtube video helped him to avoid charges that he purposefully shoved someone. This should serve as a reminder that you should always bring a video camera, even if it is a digital camera with a video feature, with you to political gatherings.
I will post videos sent to me by my readers. bring your cameras with you!
VC Star Reporter Timm Herdt reported that Jeff Gorell has been endorsed by a major labor union group. Add that to his endorsements from conservative groups and I am not seeing many options for Ferial Masry to beat him in November.
What suggestions would you have for her campaign team? You don't need to register to comment but keep it classy.
Team Huber has sent out a press release touting their endorsement by former Ventura County Democratic Central Committee Chair Hank Lacayo. I knew it was coming because Lacayo attended a fundraiser by Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly for Bob Huber but this makes it official.
Hank Lacayo has been a union organizer, party leader, and is now a senior citizen advocate. Lacayo did not wait to see if a Democrat ran for mayor to support Bob Huber. Hank Lacayo does cross party lines in his endorsements as demonstrated in the June Primary when he endorsed Republican Tea Party backed Mark Lunn for County Clerk against Democrat Jim Dantona.
Bob Huber also has the support of the highest elected office holder Democrat in Simi Valley, School Board Member Rob Collins. Team Huber has the start of a mailer targeting Democratic households being put together with these endorsements.
A turning point in this campaign could be who can reach out to earn support from prominent Republicans and Democrats. The Simi Valley School Board has three Democratic Party Members, The Water Board has a Democratic Party member and the Park Board has at least one Democratic Party member.
At the Sojka fundraiser I spoke with many liberal people that are supporting him but I haven't seen him reach out yet at a Democratic Party meeting or to prominent Democrats like new VCDCC Chair Richard Carter.
The Simi Valley Democratic Club is open to candidates running for nonpartisan positions to talk at their meetings. Before the June Primary both Republican candidates for Sheriff spoke at club meetings for Democrats and were well-received. Candidates for Mayor, City Council, School Board, and Park Board should send an email and ask for a few minutes to share their platform. A Mayor needs to be the Mayor of all of Simi Valley, regardless of party.
I interviewed Al Adam last week as part of my ongoing Thursday Night Live series. This week he sent a press release out that he is teaming up with incumbent Claudia Bill-de la Peña to run together for city council.
Al Adam has put together an initiative that would bring term limits to the Thousand Oaks City Council. Running for office with what appears to be a popular ballot initiative might be the formula he needs to bring attention to his issues. Read my interview with him about his ballot initiative and then vote in my poll:
Challengers for city races are usually at a disadvantage but running as a slate and his initiative might just be what he needs to win. Term limits might not be a great policy idea as even Rep. Tom McClintock now says they were a mistake but they remain popular with voters.
In other Thousand Oaks City Council news I like the format in posting campaign finance forms. Go to their website and check it out.
Rep. Elton Gallegly's signs have started going up around town recently. A reader sent in this photograph of a Steve Sojka for Mayor sign along with the Gallegly sign. I thought it was interesting how many design elements they share with each other.
Bob Huber, who is running for mayor, hasn't started putting up his signs yet because as he said in a recent post on his website:
Thank you to all of you that have inquired on the status of our campaign signs. We are extremely grateful for your continued support and interest in our campaign. While the City ordinance allows for 120 days prior to the election to display political signs we are concerned the citizens of Simi Valley would resent looking at them for four (4) full months prior to the election.
The opinion section of the July 9 Acorn states "We hope future candidates will have the courage to just say no to these billboards of blight and instead focus on the issues, not on name recognition".
While we will not be able to ignore the significance of putting up signs in the near future we hope you share our view of keeping our City free of extra signs as long as possible out of respect for the feelings of our citizens.
Does Rep. Gallegly really need the name identification provided by posting signs by this point in his career as a politician? He was first elected to Congress in 1986 back when Ronald Reagan was president. He has served in Congress while Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Barack Obama have been president. Before that he served as mayor and a council member in Simi Valley.
I don't fault him for putting up campaign signs but does the direct criticism candidate Bob Huber posted against Sojka's signs also apply to his most prominent backer?
Rep. Gallegly recently said that he is supporting Bob Huber because Huber is the only candidate that has as their only agenda the city of Simi Valley. My readers have been guessing what he was implying being that there are only two candidates so obviously he meant Sojka has another agenda.
Here is the video from Team Huber with Rep. Gallegly's comments at the very end:
So far the consensus of my readers is that Rep. Gallegly was implying that Sojka was planning to run for higher office after running for mayor. That would be really funny because Gallegly served as mayor of Simi Valley before he ran for congress. What do you think Gallegly was implying about Steve Sojka?
And as always whenever I mention Rep. Elton Gallegly I try to remind everyone that he is the only member of The House of Representatives, of either party, in the region that doesn't hold town hall forums.
Last Saturday night I attended Steve Sojka's fundraiser as a guest to take videos and pictures. I am going to be posting photographs that Don Norris and I took plus videos in the coming days. Team Sojka put together a great event.
Casino night was a much more entertaining than most political fundraisers I have attended. Players win chips and at the end raffle tickets were given out according to how many chips a player earned. I was lucky in a few hands and I ended up winning a Steve Sojka for Mayor tshirt and a gift certificate for a Sushi restaurant. Steve Sojka might have just earned my wife's vote.
A campaign issue that I care for is the proposal to turn the Arroyo ( what many of you derisively call the wash) into an amazing trail and park that goes across Simi Valley. You can read more about the proposal here and here. At the end of a long night for Steve Sojka he agreed to make a short video discussing this project. Watch the video and let me know what you think. You don't need to register to comment but keep it classy.
The proposal will have many challenges to get it done but I am more interested in how a candidate plans to get it built instead of what details they don't like about the idea. The Arroyo can become a great resource from our community and it is among my top issues in this campaign.
To see more of the photographs from the event or to upload your own go to:
Former State Assembly Member Dr. Keith Richman has passed away. I asked Leslie Cornejo to write a guest blog entry remembering his political legacy because I know she has a deep admiration for him. Here is her entry:
Remembering Dr. Keith Richman
By Leslie Cornejo
As I reflect on the life of Keith Richman, both a friend and political mentor, I cannot help but wish that there were more legislators and political activists like him. He left his daily work as a physician to venture into politics and advocate for better government. He, like most Californians, had suffered far too long under an inefficient, over-reaching, job-killing government, and decided that complaining was not enough. He was going to do something about it. I remember one of his first political speeches as he ran for an Assembly seat in 2000. It was at a Republican BBQ at Camarillo Grove Park. He was a little clumsy, as he was not a practiced political speaker - yet, but he was passionate and articulate when he spoke about going to Sacramento and trying to make a difference.
After he won his election and started commuting to Sacramento, he immediately stood out as a dedicated public servant. I remember when he was named Rookie of the Year amongst the newly electeds. He told me that he had been appointed to the Utilities and Commerce Committee, and he had jumped right in to learn everything he could about the energy policies. He said his bedstand was piled high with books and papers and he was regularly reading far into the night. He was serious and studious, and worked tirelessly for more efficient and practical options for Californians. As he delved deeper into policy and state budget issues, he started giving speeches warning about the impending budget crisis that was going to hit once the mandated pension contracts that had been awarded throughout all levels of state and local governments took hold. This, being the political third rail, was not a popular subject, and most legislators avoided even talking about it. But Keith Richman knew that with every year that it was not addressed, it would only make future budgets unsustainable.
Keith Richman worked tirelessly to find ways to provide better health care to the underprivileged and uninsured, including a proposal where the state would pay the deductible for the uninsured, therefore qualifying many more people for federal health care programs. In doing so, he was trying to free up emergency rooms for the real emergencies. He viewed government as an institution with problems to be fixed and he never gave up trying to solve them with practical answers. He was smart and he was reasonable. Therefore, he threatened the uber-political, status-quo. This was forever his challenge. He tried to work with moderate Democrats ("reach across the aisle") to find solutions to our problems, and formed a political alliance with Democrat Joe Canciamilla to do so. The parties on either side of the aisle would not have it.
When asked, Keith Richman served as an adviser to the California Association of Political Centrists. He helped our organization focus on doing what is right, not what is easy. He encouraged us not to give up, and reminded us that working for the public good, whether you win or lose a battle, was the right thing to do. He counseled me personally, to stay strong and focus on the big picture when I was taking arrows from my own party and from even those I thought were friends. He was an inspiration to many and his passing is a loss to us all.
I didn't sign up for email updates from a candidate for Congress in Orange County that I don't support. But if they are going to send me spam I am going to ridicule it.
Do you remember the news story of the spokesperson for the Tea Party Express resigning over writing a fictional letter that many argued was racist? In the letter the character says he calls the head of the NAACP an Uncle Tom. He was intending to use humor to argue it is actually the NAACP that was racist. At another time he argued the name of the group made the NAACP racist against black people. You really need to read the whole letter to start to understand the controversy.
Anyways, the Tea Party Express has distanced their group from their former spokesperson because of his letter and other statements.
That brings us to Van Tran. He is running in a district that has more Democrats than Republicans and that voted for Barack Obama. You would think he would be spending his efforts trying to show the people of that district he supports their views. Instead he has proudly announced he has the support of the Tea Party Express group. The groups politics alone would make them a poor choice to celebrate in a general election contest in a Democratic district but combine that with bad timing and it becomes obvious this isn't going to be a competitive election.
Tim Allison's campaign manager is looking for suggestions of community events he should be attending across the district between now and November. If you have an idea you can call them or post a comment here.
I would strongly suggest getting a dedicated booth at Simi Valley Days. What's your suggestion?
Click on continue reading to see her message and for the contact information to suggest ideas.