Steve Bennett is running for County Supervisor

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Steve Bennett has ended his campaign for Congress and announced he is running for re-election. His re-election to the Board of Supervisors is complicated by the many candidates that have declared since they thought there was an opening.

As of now there are officially 2 Republicans, 1 decline to state, and 1 Democrat running for that position. As the only Democrat in an area that has a voter registration advantage for Democrats and as an incumbent he has a strong chance of being re-elected.

Here is his official announcement:

Dear Supporter,

Yesterday, I announced the end of my Congressional run and the resumption of my efforts to be re-elected to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.
A variety of reasons were involved in my decision. Ultimately, given the circumstances, I believe I can make more of a difference working for the residents of Ventura County as a County Supervisor should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected.
If you were a financial supporter of my campaign, I will be returning all donations as soon as possible, and my wife and I will be covering all of the campaign expenses.
New candidates are now looking at the race. When this settles down I will communicate to those of you who supported me financially concerning who I believe will give us the best chance to keep Tony Strickland from winning the seat.
Thank you for your support and I will keep in touch.

Steve Bennett
Ventura County Supervisor

P.S. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions by writing to me at stephenbennett@charter.net.

He includes that new candidates are now considering joining the crowded field. Who could those candidates be? Many people have mentioned Rep. Brad Sherman as a candidate. Brad Sherman has officially denied any interest in running for the Ventura County based district. He is currently running against fellow Democrat Rep. Howard Berman.

Brad Sherman would be a formidable candidate. He has a sizable war chest and an effective campaign team. Democrats are strongly motivated to avoid a contested primary between Bard Sherman and Howard Berman. This could be their solution. Brad Sherman previously represented the Conejo Valley in Congress.

How do you think this latest announcement by Steve Bennett changes the election? Who benefits the most?

29 Comments

This announcement in no way helps me. Who am I kidding? I love this announcement!

This is a win-win for Republicans. It will virtually ensure that Tony Strickland and Linda Parks will be the top two vote-getters in the primary and then Tony will go on to win handily in November.

Now that Bennett has to run to retain his Supervisor seat there is a good chance Neal Andrews could knock him out. Even if Christy Weir or Bob "Double-Dipper" Roper wins, either of them would be far better than Bennett.

David Pollock will win and so will Bennett. Voters in this area know that Strickland and Andrews are self-serving nut jobs who need to be kicked out of office.

David Pollock may very well end up with the most Democratic votes in the primary, but Linda Parks will surpass him in total votes based on her high name recognition and wide base of support. It will then be a face-off in November between Tony Strickland and Linda Parks and Strickland will come out on top.

Bennett may well win his Supervisor's seat back, but now he will have a fight on his hands; whereas, if he had never put himself out there as a Congressional candidate, he probably wouldn't have drawn the likes of Andrews and Weir as opponents. Now he's really going to have to scramble to retain his seat.

It's so funny watching the County Dimocrat Party in these races. I guess the word "strategy" just isn't in their vocabulary. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

So funny watching the idiots on the VCRCC fall to their knees daily and kiss Phony Tony's butt while throwing other GOP candidates under the buss like they did to Gibson LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep your eye on Cruz Thayne. I know most of the activists on vcstar don't like him but he has legit appeal well beyond the small group of activists. Should be an interesting week.

"Reality" seems jealous and spiteful that Strickland has this thing locked up. And it's all due to the complete stupidity of the County Dimocrats.

They'd better take a hard look at their leadership in the next election -- especially the numskulls Richard Carter and David Atkins. These guys wouldn't know how to organize a bake sale.

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

The biggest losers in the 2012 elections so far have been the idiots in the tea party, those complete losers have lost all power! The moronic tea partiers who got elected by GOP sheep are all gonna get kicked out of office big time! Its gonna be so fun to watch that idiot Osborn at the VCRCC pour all his money into the loser Strickland while ignoring all the other GOP losers in the County! LMAO!!!!!

MY ADVICE TO DEMS: GET IN LINE AND FALL IN LOVE...QUICKLY!!

For Democrats it is politics with a new twist in that the "general" has, in effect, been moved up to June and November will be a mere run-off. I think the Dems are finally realizing that, on their present course to June, the numbers are NOT in their favor, and they are in great danger of not even being on the ballot in November unless they take some drastic and unprecedented action.

In order to be in the November run-off the Dems must, in my opinion, do two things and do it quickly.

First they must "get in line" and ALL candidates must (dare I say this word???) AGREE on ONE Dem candidate to file nomination papers. Second, they must "fall in love" and defend their choice with a vengence against Linda Parks who stands to usurp their spot on the November ballot.

What most voters do not realize yet is that, if there are two Dems or even one Dem and a viable "progressive" independent on the ballot for the 26th Congressional District, putting either Parks or Strickland in the 3rd place spot will be almost impossible.

In my opinion, it doesn't really matter at this point which Democrat is the ONE candidate on the ballot...as long as there is only one. In other words, the "best" candidate is the one that ALL the others agree to drop out for.

And, it would not hurt for that "best" candidate to be someone who has not been involved in the public relations "situation" of last week. What would make that person even more "best" would for the candidate to have lots of money or at least lots of connections with money, and strong links to Sacramento or Washington D.C.

So, if Pollock wants to be the "one", he is going to have to really dazzle the other candidates and quickly convince them that he CAN beat Linda Parks and get everyone to rally around him. But the bigger question is whether Pollock, if he is not "chosen", would agree to step down for "the good of the party" if a stronger candidate comes along.

Also, under the new Voter Nominated Primary, there is nothing stopping any candidate from changing their party, or becoming an independent, as long as they do it just before they file their nomination papers.

Maybe, David Thayne has been wise to stay in the background and just keep on raising money, solidifying his DC connections and keeping out of the recent dust-up between Pollock and Bennett.

But now there is Brad Sherman...and also Julia Brownley...Democrats with impressive resumes, connections with the District AND widespread support beyond local politics. Maybe an "outside" last minute entry is what will unify the Party and convince the others to NOT file.

And, do not forget that once the filing period opens on February 23, if a candidate files their Nomination papers they can NOT withdraw them under any circumstances. The ONLY way to have your name removed from the ballot (as Elton Gallegly learned in 2006) is to DIE and if you are going to do that, you must do it before the ballots are printed!

So, Democrats, are you ready to do something "different" and come together NOW and agree to ONE candidate to rally behind in the 26th Congressional race? Or is it going to be a case of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting (but not getting) a different result?

I hope it is the former...because Dems DO have a chance to be on the ballot in November and in a one-on-one with Tony Strickland, a Dem with a competitive campaign chest could beat him handily. BUT they must make a unanimous decision to all get behind ONE candidate NOW, and work together to make sure that Linda Parks does NOT take the Dems spot on the ballot.

So, Democrats and candidates of the 26th Congressional District, it's time to "get in line" AND "fall in love" but please do it QUICKLY!

And, to my way of thinking, tomorrow, Valentines Day, would be as good a day as any!

Who else agrees that the person who made the previous comments is an escapee from Atascadero State Hospital?

To the nameless poster who made the previous comment:

Thank you for assuring me that I was right on the money. I have found that when the only response some one can make is to call me "crazy" then I must have hit a nerve.

Why do you feel so threatened?

Also, I do not expect you to actually identify yourself, instead of using a phony nickname. However, I would like to know exactly who you are a "surrogate" for...Strickland, Pollock, Mullins, Parks...or just another scared and angry member of the VCRCC.

I think I'll just let you keep talking. You're doing an excellent job of proving my previous point all by your self.

There's one announced candidate that bests represents us all in Congress, and it's not the career politician, party conflict junky, or campaign finance/sales manipulator. You may have only one chance this year to support someone not beholden to any dysfunctional power, foreign or domestic. Tick tock...

Thank you-
Akiva Werbalowsky

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Akiva-for-US-Congress/226180334136018

http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/feb/13/26th-congressional-candidate-plans-to-run-as/?partner=RSS

Again, to the person who self-identifies as "looney tunes"...

Just wondering what your point is...and what part of my post you find so threatening? Is it the fact that I have identified a strategy that would work for the Dems which, it now appears they are in the process of following, with the entrance of Julia Brownley?

Is this a personal attack, or just an attack against the Democratic Party in general? Do you think it is "crazy" for someone to think that there is a possibility for the Dems to beat Strickland...or is it Linda Parks you are afraid of?

Again, your name-calling about me, is just a form of entertainment for the rest of us...but out of curiousity I am just trying to figure out which candidate is your favorite?

Eileen:

Having never met you, nor knowing who Loony Tunes is, it is difficult for me to discern whether the blogging-blood sport demonstrated recently between the two of you is primarily political or personal.

And, at the risk of getting caught in the blogging cross-fire being exchanged between the two of you, if for no other than a sporting interest, I think your analysis of current electoral dynamics in the 26th CD is about right.

First, since the June 2012 Primary will be the first election in which the top-two vote-getting candidates advance to the November 2012 General, regardless of their registration, nobody knows for sure how this will play out. Especially, since the 26th CD is a new geopolitical entity, created through the fruits of the labor expended by the voter-approved California Redistricting Commission members.

However, notwithstanding the above, in politics, first, last and always, the operative numerical operation is "addition," not "subtraction or division." Ipso facto, winning candidates are those who have a strong electoral base to begin with; retain, strengthen and grow that base; and then figure-out how best to knock the other candidate(s) on their heels by peeling off key constituencies from their political base(s).

Using that self-evident political truth as a probability of success filtration factor, it is very obvious that in the 26th CD, both Linda Parks and Tony Strickland start-off with distinct advantages, since they both have strong, East-county, candidate-centric, and enthusiastic voting bases.

It is a truism in war and politics, that victory is not automatically granted to those with greater registration numbers, but more so to those candidates who energize their base-voters to actually show-up at their polling places, (or increasingly, mail-in) and cast ballots for their candidate. As Napoleon was fond of saying, “Morale is to numbers as three is to one!”

Up until today, Linda Parks, as the only female candidate in the race, had dibs on the obvious gender-centric voting base, regardless of party. And with Steve Bennett out of the race, Linda can and will make a move to mobilize and capture SOAR-supporting Democrats, Republicans and Independents behind her candidacy. Whether she will describe herself on the ballot as a Republican, RINO, or with no party affiliation whatsoever remains to be seen.

Similarly, Tony, with strong, lock-step partisan support of the local VCRCC, the State Republican power-brokers, and a demonstrated track-record as a prodigious political fund-raiser ($300K+ in a very short period of time), has solid conservative Republican ground on which to grow his electoral base.

And, one must not forget that during the 2008 State Senate Election, while Obama was decisively winning the areas of the then 24th CD that remain in the new 26th CD, Tony Strickland decisively crushed Democrat Hannah Beth Jackson in the East County cities of Thousand Oaks and Camarillo. In fact, it was in those East County 26th communities, along with Moorpark and Simi Valley now outside of the 26th CD, where Tony collectively obtained margins of victory sufficiently large enough to erase nearly ALL of HBJ’s winning margin in her Santa Barbara County, home blue-base!

And there is of course the recent entry of a third Republican in the race, Akiva Werbalowsky, from Ojai. An interesting and eclectic example of a Republican Congressional candidate who’s published comments seem to describe a man who’s thinking has been influenced by the likes of Ludwig von Mises, John Muir, Theodor Herzel, Al Gore, Ron Paul and Yvonne Chounaird. This one will be fascinating to watch!

Now on to the Democratic side of the aisle, this presents a more complex electoral problem. First of all, your Cassandra-like warning to the Democrats in the race was a good-one. With apologies to Abraham Lincoln, “..A Democratic 26th CD Candidate House far too divided against itself in June will not stand together in November!.”

In fact, the Democrats 26th CD multi-candidate race could quickly degenerate into a serious problem of MADR (i.e. mutually assured destructive rancor), that is not unlike what the Republican Presidential Primary voters are experiencing currently. Namely, Too many candidates, too many self-inflicted wounds, and too little time!

Let’s begin with the obvious developments since your February 15th post.

First, we now know that Fran Pavley is not running for Congress, but rather for the newly created 27th State Senate districted seat. Further, Brad Sherman’s recent announcement that he will battle long-time Democratic Congressional icon Howard Berman to the political death for the newly created 30th, San Fernando Valley-based seat confirms that Mr. Sherman is out of the 26th CD Primary wars. And that will surely be the Mother of all Democratic identity politics Battles in CA!

Next, we have the recent Hamlet-like “..to run or not to run,” performance by Supervisor Steve Bennett. Tim Herdt has written some interesting things about why the man who was given the appellation of “Democratic-front runner,” by local Democratic cognoscenti and self-selected media pundits, bowed-out of the 26th CD race. Only two people truly know the reasons why Mr. Bennett chose to bow-out, God and Mr. Bennett.

And of those two, only Mr. Bennett has spoken. Those who were present at the Democratic State Convention, or read his press release, have either heard and/or seen Supervisor Bennett’s published account. Whether one chooses to believe such an account, is a matter of faith, or some would say, leap of faith.

However, it seems highly odd and politically discordant that a candidate seemingly as strong as Mr. Bennett, with local official endorsements galore, and one-quarter of a million dollars in his campaign bank, chose to bow-out of this race solely for his stated reasons. Could it be that the results of his polls showed something unpredictably uncertain and unsettling concerning the permutation of possible candidate match-ups, emerging demographic trends, hot-button issues, and/or voter preferences in the 26th CD?

With Ms. Brownley’s announcement that she has thrown her Democratic hat into the 26th CD ring, along with Supervisor Bennett’s endorsement of her candidacy, we may have seen the real answer to the question why Mr. Bennett backed-out of the race. Further, Ms. Brownley’s entry certainly complicates Ms. Parks’ ability to play the gender-vote card, unilaterally.

Finally, the remaining three known male Democratic contenders: Mssrs. Pollock, Herrera and Thayne. Each appear to be honorable men, have demonstrated track records of distinguished public service and/or business experience, and appear to have strong, candidate-centric political bases from which to build winning Democratic coalitions.

However, the challenge for them all, much like the proverbial camel; is to thread the 2012 Primary voting needle so deftly, diplomatically, and dispositively that they ensure a seamless Democratic quilt of support during the November 2012 General election. That will be quite the test!

And further, while doing so, it will be important for each of them, and Democratic operatives in the 26th CD in general, to ensure that none of their irrationally exuberant supporters fall into the trap of being a Madame Lafarge, whose penchant for cheering loudly as she watched the guillotine slicing-off the heads-off less than true believers and disciples during the French Revolution hastened the period of self-destructive, internecine terror among the Sans-Culottes, not defused it.

For another well-thought out analysis of the 26th CD race, check out the URL above for a CalWatchdog blog post by John Hrabe.

In the interest of attribution fairness and full-disclosure, I do not know Mr. Hrabe, nor have ever met him. But the CalWatchdog the blog-post above identifies him as having worked for Tony Strickland in the past.

Well, that about raps-up the known-unknowns. But it still leaves open the possibility of unknown –unknowns. Namely, a late candidate! Isn’t politics fascinating, Eileen?

As Niels Bohr once observed, “Prediction is very difficult. Especially about the future! “

I think we might have to add someone to the list...

To: NostreDemus

First, I would not raise the exchange between the unknown "loony tunes" to the level of either a "sport" or "blood-letting". I do not even find him (or it could be a her) as annoying as a paper-cut.

I was merely curious because I am trying to ascertain which political camp feels threatened by my analysis, which is why I wrote it in the first place.

However, I have a number of reasons for analysing the current situation in the 26th CD, and only one of them is to draw out response from those either in the Strickland camp or the Parks camp to gauge their reactions to the current situation in the Dem Party.

Another reason is based on my real concern that Dems still have not grasped the reality that for all intents and purposes the GENERAL is in June, and the run-off in November will not have a Democrat on it unless they act decisively and surgically to eliminate all but one candidate.

And now, as you have so cogently pointed out, the entrance of Ms. Brownley is either going to resolve it one way or the other.

I also have another reason for making the case for Democrats to start making things happen instead of just letting things happen, and it goes beyond the 26th CD contest.

I have watched the East County Dems, encumbered with a self-defeating attitude, lay down in the road and be "speed bumps" to be run over by the GOP,for decades. There is finally an opportunity to get behind a strong and dynamic candidate and defeat the extreme right wing of Gallegly, the Stricklands, and Jeff Gorrell.

Our new 44th CA Assembly District should be an even easier, in my opinion, race to win than the 26th CD, IF the Dems had, instead of going for another "default speed-bump", had spent some time looking for someone new with a winning personal story and a dynamic strategy.

Instead, as you can read (and either weep or laugh, depending on your political leanings) in the January 20th edition of the VC Star, long-time Dem Club Of the Conejo member, Tom Mullins, announced his candidacy, allegedly because no one else was interested. In fact Mullins stated to Tim Hurdt, "...nobody expects me to win".

However, despite the IMMEDIATE reaction of another Dem candidate, the Party ignored the newcomer, and plodded ahead in endorsing Mullins, and for the most part continue to tell anyone who asks, that there is no reason to think anyone, especially the endorsed candidate can defeat Jeff Gorrell.

(My comment continued)

I believe, unlike Tom Mullins, (the "endorsed" Dem candidate, and all the other "speed bumps" in the East County) that there IS a path to defeat the ultra-right wing Jeff Gorrell.

And with the GOP self-destructing amd imploding on a daily basis, why should it be so hard for an intelligent and motivated candidate to come up with a strategy which would resonate with all Dems, "independents" and even most moderate Republicans?

What woman, or man for that matter, in East Ventura County wants to vote for a candidate whose party and personal beliefs are identical to Rick Santorum or who have the elitist and out of touch world view of Mitt Romney? Well, that is what you will get with Jeff Gorrell.

And if you then look for an "alternative" to Gorrell, (an incumbent who couldn't even be honest with the voters about which "oath" he was going to be faithful to) why would anyone feel confident about voting for a candidate who is endorsed by the "official" party machine, even though both he AND they are convinced he is a losing candidate with no chance of winning????

But, that is, unfortunately, the "speed bump" mentality of the Democratic Party which, although it may have finally been shaken loose in the 26th CD, has not yet filtered down to the 44th Assembly race.

However, there is hope...and that is why I am that "other" candidate who will be on the June ballot. And, although without the endorsement of the official Dem Party, it is not as easy to come up with the $3,000 filing fees (I am not independently wealthy) I believe I CAN win and that is translating into the support I need.

If you want more information contact me at EileenMacEnery@gmail.com

(My comment continued)

I believe, unlike Tom Mullins, (the "endorsed" Dem candidate, and all the other "speed bumps" in the East County) that there IS a path to defeat the ultra-right wing Jeff Gorrell.

And with the GOP self-destructing amd imploding on a daily basis, why should it be so hard for an intelligent and motivated candidate to come up with a strategy which would resonate with all Dems, "independents" and even most moderate Republicans?

What woman, or man for that matter, in East Ventura County wants to vote for a candidate whose party and personal beliefs are identical to Rick Santorum or who have the elitist and out of touch world view of Mitt Romney? Well, that is what you will get with Jeff Gorrell.

And if you then look for an "alternative" to Gorrell, (an incumbent who couldn't even be honest with the voters about which "oath" he was going to be faithful to) why would anyone feel confident about voting for a candidate who is endorsed by the "official" party machine, even though both he AND they are convinced he is a losing candidate with no chance of winning????

But, that is, unfortunately, the "speed bump" mentality of the Democratic Party which, although it may have finally been shaken loose in the 26th CD, has not yet filtered down to the 44th Assembly race.

However, there is hope...and that is why I am that "other" candidate who will be on the June ballot. And, although without the endorsement of the official Dem Party, it is not as easy to come up with the $3,000 filing fees (I am not independently wealthy) I believe I CAN win and that is translating into the support I need.

If you want more information contact me at EileenMacEnery@gmail.com

OK, Loony Tunes just posted her comments in duplicate. This should reinforce what I said about her earlier.

Now she's announcing that she's running for State Assembly against Jeff Gorell? Lotsa luck there, lady. Jeff is not the ultra-right wing person that Loony Tunes portrays him to be. Actually, he's quite moderate on most issues and has a broad base of support in his District, including significant number of Democrats who voted for him in 2010.

Jeff Gorell is also a military hero who serves as a Lt. Commander in the United States Navy Reserve. Within days of the September 11 attacks in 2001, he was recalled to active duty to support Operation Enduring Freedom and served for one year forward deployed to the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.

Like I said, Loony, lotsa luck!

Parks 26%, Pollock 24%, Brownley 15%, Strickland 15%, Herrera 10%, Thayne 10%. Hodge 41%, Jackson 40%, Stoker 19%. McKeon 50% Rogers 50%. Bennett 61%, Weir 29%, Andrews 10%.

Strickland - 28%; Parks - 24%; Brownley - 19%; Pollock - 14%; Thayne - 9%; Herrera - 6%

Stoker - 38%; Jackson - 34%; Hodge - 28%

McKeon - 58%; Rogers - 42%

Andrews - 28%; Bennett - 27%; Roper - 23%; Weir - 22%

Race for Village Idiot, Tea Party Tom 50% Strickland 50%.

Strickland - 28%; Parks - 24%; Brownley - 19%; Pollock - 14%; Thayne - 9%; Herrera - 6%

Stoker - 38%; Jackson - 34%; Hodge - 28%

McKeon - 58%; Rogers - 42%

Andrews - 28%; Bennett - 27%; Roper - 23%; Weir - 22%

Read 'em and weep, loser!!!

Brian Dennert please reveal the name of this person you continue to allow call people names and use profanity on a regular basis or block this person's IP address. What level of stupidity does this person have to reach for you to do something. If not you can pretty much write off this blog and move to Texas with the rest of the douchebags that work here

Brian, could you please either reveal the name or block this idiot, "nobody" (and his 10 other fake names) from your blog for continuing to use profanity, such as douchebags, and continuing to make fun of overweight people, like Governor Chris Christie?

Of course, I'm just being facetious. I wouldn't have you block him for the world. It's much too fun to poke at him and watch him squeal.

I agree with Nobody, time to kick this profanity using loser who hates Jesus and America off of this blog forever!

It's good to see "Block Him!" agrees with "nobody" (his alter ego). Unless your schizophrenic, it's always a good thing to agree with yourself.

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Loony Tunes: OK, Loony Tunes just posted her comments in duplicate. This read more