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August 2011 Archives

Nurses Pushing Rep. Gallegly to Support Wall Street Tax to Fund Jobs Program

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( Remember these nurses from the campaign for governor? They are rallying again.)

Ventura County nurses will be demonstrating outside Rep. Elton Gallegly's office to show support for a tax on Wall Street transactions to fund job programs.

House Republicans have pushed many ideas to cut spending but I don't see much evidence of them working closely with Barack Obama to grow the economy. Anyone can propose ideas but to work with others to implement them is a much more important task.

Labor Day Picnic Tickets Contest #1: Guess that politician

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UPDATE: Suzanne Anders won a pair of tickets to the Ventura County Labor Day BBQ. Marie also posted the correct answer but she has attended before. Congratulations Suzanne.

The person in the picture is Moorpark City Council Member and Congressional candidate David Pollock.


I have been given some tickets for my readers for the upcoming Labor Day picnic put together by The Tri-Counties Central Labor Council and the Working Blue Democratic Club.

A few conditions. The winner cannot transfer the tickets and they must not have attended the event in the past.

This year will be a great event. I would be surprised by any serious candidate for a legislative seat that does not make it.

Guests include:

U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, California Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Fiona Ma, Assemblymembers Julia Brownley and Das Williams, State Sen. Fran Pavley, and California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric Bauman.

...and fun activities.

Great food, live music, a silent auction, booths with information on local organizations, a jolly jump and face painter will round out the day.

Here is the first contest for a pair of tickets. Who is the local elected official in this childhood photograph? Post your guesses as a comment. You don't need to register to comment.

Who is David Cruz Thayne?

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With redistricting for Congressional seats settled (barring a court challenge) candidates are starting to declare for 2012. On the Republican side Rep. Elton Gallegly is adding to the rumors that often come up that he is retiring by not making his intentions known and by not holding town hall meetings. I'm sure Linda Parks, Jeff Gorell, Tony Strickland, and Buck McKeon would be very interested in his plans.

The new district is most of Ventura County, except for large parts of Simi Valley. In 2008 Barack Obama won Ventura County and that was with Simi Valley included. This new district leans Democrats.

Click here for the new State Assembly, State Senate, and House of Representatives district lines.

Democrats have two announced candidates. David Pollock and David Cruz Thayne. I will post my thoughts on David Pollock later.

David Cruz Thayne is mostly unknown by local Democratic Party officials and activists. His website says he is a former professional tennis player and has pictures of him with Democratic Party leaders including Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

Left leaning blog The Ojai Post has an entry that is critical for David Cruz Thayne being so mysterious.

With so little know about him here are my quick thoughts:


He has hired legendary and controversial political consultant Garry South. His campaign wouldn't be getting nearly as much attention if he hadn't hired a top consultant.

He doesn't have a long record of positions open to criticism.

He can run as an outsider.


He will need to put large amounts of energy into connecting with party activists to earn their support.

He hasn't been elected to any elected office.

Not sure what his ballot designation could legitimately be. If he coaches tennis is he going to go with the vague title of "educator" as many candidates do?

What are your thoughts? What candidates would you like to see run?

Ventura County Democrats Labor Day Picnic

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The American labor movement has seen better days. Many other industrialized nations have much stronger labor movements and protections for workers. Labor heroes like Woody Guthrie continue to remind union members of their greatest victories on behalf of working people.

Have you seen the original lyrics to This Land is My Land by Woody Guthrie? Labor union members have had a rough year with pushes to eliminate their ability to organize across the country. Republicans in the House even were willing to stop the FAA bill unless they could further restrict the ability of unions to organize.

Locally the Democratic Party has strong support from labor unions. That includes help in organizing events like the Labor Day picnic. This year it will be exciting because of redistricting. It will be interesting to see which candidates for the House, State Assembly, and State Senate have a booth there. I want to see David Pollock and David Cruz Thayne work the crowd.

This is a great event for candidates to practice their speeches in front of a friendly audience and to gather support from party activists. Almost every serious candidate for a legislative office will have a presence.

You can post pictures of the event of the event on my Facebook page for this blog. Speaking of which if you want to discuss local politics but don't like the level of discourse of anonymous people on blogs join the discussion on the Facebook page. It is much more civil.

Thanks Mayor Bob Huber

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( I didn't attend the meeting. This video I took during the campaign.)

I am glad that Mayor Bob Huber is governing in a nonpartisan way. His campaign had support from local Tea Party people and from Rep. Elton Gallegly. During the campaign both he and his opponent Steve Sojka, also a Republican, spoke at the Simi Valley Democratic Club. I was glad both of them saw the value in campaigning at a Democratic Club meeting when no Democrat was running for Mayor.

When he won I didn't expect he would be return so soon but this past week he came back to speak to the group and update them on city issues including the landfill expansion.

Elected officials in nonpartisan offices impress me when they speak to a wide variety of civic groups.

Democratic Singles Group Meeting

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The Ventura County Democratic Party has a singles group for people to go and meet others with a passion for politics. Click on continue reading for more details.

I am glad this group is helping people meet.

Flashback Blog Entry: Better Know a District Beach Edition

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With all of the new districts for us to start remembering this past blog entry seems appropriate.

Eric Ingemunson Versus Newsweek

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My fellow Ventura County Star blogger Eric Ingemunson believes that this picture of Michele Bachmann is evidence of media bias. He isn't alone in criticism of their photo choice.

In response to the critics Newsweek has released more photographs of hers to prove that she often has that crazy eyes look.

I don't think their photo choice is based on political ideology as much as it reinforces the narrative that Michele Bachmann is an unelectable true believer that has a record of making crazy statements.

Review their photographs and tell us what you think. Is this media bias?


Please don't defend Rush Limbaugh. He isn't worth your effort after the very offensive statements he has said many times including this line:

You put your kids on a school bus you expect safety but in Obama's America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering 'yeah, right on, right on, right on.' Of course everybody said the white kid deserved it he was born a racist, he's white.

You are much more thoughtful than Rush Limbaugh. Why conservatives want to claim him as a leader I don't know.

I am interested if you think this story is an example of bias at Fox News or just an example of inaccurate reporting:


Van Jones and Moveon.org Team Up To Push Gallegly On Jobs Instead of Cuts

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Local Moveon.org members are pushing an economic agenda focused on job creation instead of cuts alone. Click on continue reading for their announcement.

I do find it odd that so many are more concerned with reducing the debt through immediate spending cuts instead of job creation. Obviously both can be related problems but creating new jobs would help us with our debt. The debt deal didn't do much for job creation.

What would you prefer Congress prioritize?

If you go to the rallies please post pictures to my Facebook page for this blog.

Young Democrats Throwing A Beach Party Fundraiser

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The Ventura County Young Democrats are having a beach party fundraiser. Here is their announcement:

Celebrate summer with the Ventura County Young Democrats

Beach Party Luau, Saturday, Aug. 13

Come enjoy the beach, sunset, barbeque, volleyball, bonfire and more on Saturday, Aug. 13 starting at 5 p.m. at a private residence on Mandalay Beach in Oxnard.

Tickets: $30 general with RSVP, $35 at door; $15 student with RSVP, $20 at door. Dinner and drinks included with ticket.

For more information or to RSVP contact us at vcyoungdems@gmail.com.

You can also join them on Facebook.

Quick question for Young Democrats organizer Nilufar Boloorchi,

Can you share with us a few local elected Democrats have been great advocates for young people?

Thank you Alan Turing

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Do you know the story of legendary code breaker Alan Turing? If you see someone collecting signatures for a deceptive ballot proposal asking to ban the inclusion of the full story of gay people in history ask them who should decide if what happened to Alan Turing should be included in history classes.

Equality California has a hotline to call if you see people collecting signatures for misleading petitions. If you call their hotline they can send out someone to make sure the people considering signing the petition have heard both sides of the argument.

Click on continue reading for details.

Planking w/ Moorpark City Council Member Mark Van Dam

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I cover Ventura County politics from Park Boards to School Boards. Sometimes I am serious but sometimes I want to use my blog for local politicians and activists to have a good time. Besides being fun I want the fun contests to remind all of us that what we have in common is bigger than what divides us. Maybe when we laugh with each other we can focus on our policy differences more than personality clashes. That's the plan anyway.

Do you remember the cutest dog competition? I am proud of how many people participated by sending in pictures.

What about the video contest Team Sojka won? Kyle Quiroz told me he is actually getting paid a very small amount by Youtube for that video.

This time I am sponsoring a Planking Competition.

Awards will be given for a variety of categories including most creative, most on message, and best picture. Elected officials, activists, and others can enter by emailing me their pictures. You can have us guess where the picture was taken or include that information for me to post.

Here is the first entry:


Moorpark City Council Member Mark Van Dam is planking in a mysterious spot. Any guesses where he is at?

State Assembly Member Jeff Gorell teased me that he might send in a picture of him planking in Afghanistan. Would you like him to send in a picture? Vote in my online poll.

I unlocked the poll so you can vote as many times as you want.

I will buy you lunch...

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The Ventura County Fair is coming up and as usual I expect both parties will be there registering new voters, sharing party gear, and discussing issues with the public.

Here is the announcement from the Democratic Party:

Visit the Ventura County Democrats at the Fair, Aug. 3-14

Come visit with local activists from our Democratic Clubs and pick up great Democratic campaign buttons and other items at our booth in the Commercial Building of the Ventura County Fair Aug. 3-14.

Regular readers of my blog will know I have often been critical of Rep. Elton Gallegly for not having townhall meetings. Members of Congress representing both parties from this entire region, except Gallegly, all have townhall meetings.

I think it is a time honored tradition to go to a public meeting and ask a question of our elected officials. Rep. Gallegly did advertise for an event where people could ask questions but it was at a fundraiser.

Just because he won't hold open and scheduled townhall meetings doesn't stop him from meeting with the public. He sometimes meets with voters at the Ventura County Fair. If you see him at the fair ask him to hold scheduled and open to the public townhall meetings.

If you send me the video I will buy you lunch. Offer good for the first couple of videos.

Readers sometimes ask why I care so much that Gallegly doesn't hold scheduled and open townhall meetings. Some have accused me of partisanship.

It is true I would rather have a good Democrat representing my city. But as Simi Valley for the time being is a Republican leaning city that isn't likely to happen soon. Redistricting actually puts Simi Valley into a district that could be even more Republican leaning. This minor issue for most isn't likely to diminish his chances of re-election.

Then why do I keep bringing it up? Maybe I am naive at times but I honestly feel that if politicians had to listen to well-reasoned arguments and to defend their positions in public they might be willing to change their opinions. And if they didn't change their positions in response to strong arguments the other citizens would know what to do in upcoming elections.

Call it what you will but that is a foundation of our system.

Try to get a video. Together we can pressure Gallegly to hold open and scheduled townhall meetings.

Protest Outside Of Rep. Elton Gallegly's Office Tuesday

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Here is the announcement sent to me by the Ventura County Democratic Party:

Tuesday Aug. 2, noon, at U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly's Camarillo office, 5051 Verdugo Way, Suite 120. Bring or wear pink slips (as appropriate) and carry signs denouncing Gallegly's voting record on job creation and immigrant workers. Directions: Santa Rosa Rd. north from 101, right on Verdugo Way. Gallegy's office shares a parking lot with the Roxy Stadium Theater.

If you attend please post pictures to my Facebook blog page or send me videos to post.

Both parties should now focus on jobs creation bills.

Brian Dennert here

This blog is dedicated to Ventura County politics. Send in ideas for posts to briandennert@gmail.com
Follow me on Twitter Twitter.com/dennert The Facebook page for this blog is facebook.com/briandennerthere You do not need to register to comment but keep it classy. Report abusive language to me at my email address.

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