Do you think the Republican Party is too liberal on social issues? The California Republican Party is a conservative faction in the Republican Party. They recently reorganized their Ventura County chapter with the help of State Assembly Member Scott Wilk.
I am interested in their plans to get more involved in Ventura County politics.
The Ventura County Young Republicans will be holding a mixer Tuesday night with County Supervisor Peter Foy and Thousand Oaks Planning Commissioner Mark Lunn.
Click on continue reading for details.
In related news voting remains open in the poll for who you would like to see as the nominee of the Republican Party for governor in 2010. Supervisor Peter Foy is behind Tom Campbell by just a few votes. Do you want Peter Foy to run? Vote for him and encourage him to run.
( A video from the Barack Obama campaign going after John McCain for not do father in the senate investigation of the Republican Lobbying Scandal.)
Local teachers will be protesting outside of Assembly Member Audra Strickland's office in Westlake Friday afternoon. They are pushing for action on the state budget. Click on continue reading for details.
Is the point of the protest to really push Audra Strickland to work with Democrats and the governor to pass a budget? I don't see that happening. She has signed a pledge with Grover Norquist and Tom McClintock to not raise taxes. Here is a link to see the press release about her pledge.
Talk about bad timing though. Grover Norquist's business partner and long time friend Jack Abramoff was sentenced to federal prison Thursday. Jack Abramoff was convicted of a whole series of crimes. If you haven't read the story about how he worked with Grover Norquist to hide the source of casino money that was transferred to the Christian Coalition to go after another casino you really should look it up.
John McCain was involved in the investigation and deserves credit.
Why California Republicans would be working with someone that has trashed their nominee for years doesn't make sense if they want to be the majority party in this state. Can a Republican proudly support Grover Norquist ( John McCain is delusional and a liar) and proudly support John McCain at the same time? I don't think that makes sense at all.
Democrats point out that John McCain could have gone farther in the investigation and let key figures go.
If the point of the protest is to help drive up Audra Strickland's negatives and put pressure on other legislators that makes political sense. It is part of a statewide action and I know it will be getting press coverage.
But I don't think she is open to negotiating any deal that involves any tax increases. Her Chief of Staff who was suspended by her office for some period of time ( it isn't exactly clear when the suspension is over) is out campaigning for Tony Strickland. I saw him again waving signs by a freeway off ramp this week. I don't think he is up in Sacramento talking to assembly Democrats and the governor to make a deal on the budget.
Do you think she is going to move at all on the budget?
Is there any part of my analysis you disagree with?
Oh, and before you point out that both parties have corrupt members, I agree. I am embarrassed that Democratic Rep. Jefferson is in office even after he was found with money in his fridge and someone has plead guilty to bribing him.
If you are going to the protest take some pictures and send them in.
ABC news is reporting from the parties at the Republican convention. Check out the band "Hookers and Blow" playing at party thrown by a former aide to Tom Delay. For Democrats Tom Delay has provided many chances to attack corruption or scandals.
ABC news reported that the California Delegation to the Republican convention was invited to a party featuring a pig roast and reggae music sponsored by oil companies. Anyone know if the Ventura County ( CA 24 properly) delegation mentioned in this article attended it? Do you recognize anyone in the video? The California delegation is mentioned about 1:15 in the video. You can ask Glen Becerra or Neal Andrews questions at his blog by clicking here.
I look forward to seeing them answer questions from their readers about who they met, what parties they went to, and what they think of their candidates.
I will ask Sandy Emberland if she attended any parties of interest not mentioned in the local Democratic delegation's blog. To view their blog click here. The Star took down their blog but when it is back up I will post a link.
This commentator for the conservative group "Focus on the Family" was joking about praying for rain of Biblical proportions to come down on the acceptance speech of Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention. Watch the video to see all of his joke in context.
The Simi Valley Acorn has an update about the Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters who filed a complaint against Assemblymember Audra Strickland's Chief of Staff for the trouble that happened outside of the fundraiser for Tony Strickland that Mitt Romney spoke about.
The story also mentions that Audra Strickland's suspension of her Chief of Staff was not immediate after when she announced it last month but instead started this month.
I think the most accurate quote in the article ( the portion about it being a slow process) was from Jack Phillips:
"The wheels of justice are going," Phillips said. "It's a slow process, but hopefully we'll have some justice done."
The process is often very deliberate and slow. I feel that the longer it takes the more confidence we should have that the police have conducted a thoughtful investigation to arrive at the truth.
But I am divided.
I also want the case to be dealt with expeditiously so that the campaign can focus on campaign finance, the state budget, the environment, education funding and other critical issues.
I am not excusing his behavior. I agree with Assemblymember Strickland that he showed poor judgment. I expect Audra Strickland to stay loyal to a long time friend, employee, and supporter. That is why I am glad she took some responsibility in admitting he displayed poor judgment. He should have been standing with the main group of people there to support Tony Strickland by the hotel, not down the street.
Nor am I saying this is not a serious issue.
Of about 100 protesters total almost all of them were peaceful. It would have been much easier if both groups stayed apart from each other and the Republican group didn't try to claim the whole sidewalk. In the future, would it be that hard to call each other? If a politician claims they will work with people across the aisle to pass major legislation how hard would it be to make a call and work it out before hand?
Thank you to everyone that came out to support their cause and stayed respectful.
I am curious if any member of the press asked the Strickland camp if the accusations about calling people Unamerican and other names is true. There was wild name calling going all around from both sides once the shoving had happened.
For all sides it would be best not to make them wait for months before announcing the results. I am sure the people that asked the police to investigate and Assemblymember Audra Strickland's Chief of Staff all want it dealt with as quickly as can be done. This whole "fracas" ( my favorite word to describe it from Star reporter Teresa Rochester) is hanging over the heads of many people waiting to see what will happen. For all of their sakes I want it resolved soon.
Anyone that feels they owe someone an apology should do it. Maybe if Tony Strickland's campaign apologized and chipped in towards the medical bills for the man that was hurt they could all move forward. It is amazing what a heart felt apology can do in this world. But if people are truly wronged it is unreasonable to expect them to forgive and move forward if you keep denying responsibility.
It would be really cool if Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland called each other to work it out on behalf of their supporters. I know the chances are slim, but they have to be better than balancing the state budget without massive tax increases or massive spending cuts, yes? When I see either of them again I won't ask what was talked about but I will ask if they picked up the phone.
Feel free to call me naive.
But if the Strickland campaign feels they did nothing wrong I guess the justice system will grind its heavy and slow gears before issuing an opinion.
Anyone agree with me? Should they call each other?
Here is the story in The Star today in PDF format ( It is not a Rick Roll). If you see it online please post the URL.
I am not biased in favor of Tony Strickland. If you told their campaign that they would likely start laughing. Off the record of course. I post statements and events from campaigns as they come in.
If your campaign has an event they want people to know about please send it to me.
It is apparent that Cameron Smyth is a team player for the Republicans but so much for his image as a moderate. Tony Strickland is a tough campaigner but I think everyone pretty much agrees he is very conservative. He doesn't support same sex marriage or civil unions. That seems pretty conservative for California or even this district.
But I guess Smyth did work for infamous State Senator Pete Knight years ago. Of all the Republican State Assembly Members Smyth is my favorite ( please don't quiz me, I admit I don't know many) because of his support for green proposals, but that Pete Knight background leaves me suspicious.
What would you ask either of these candidates if they came to your door?
Have you seen any other politicians out campaigning door to door recently?
( What we were missing by attending the protest. What does the NBA and politics have in common? People shove each other and then a debate breaks out about it. Meanwhile the game continues.)
In an effort to minimize my comments I will allow the article to speak for itself. I want to back up the process by which it was written but as I have said in the past I did not witness the man being knocked to the ground and I didn't see Audra's Chief of Staff push him. I did see him stand in front of the path of people walking up the side walk but I don't know what he said as I was too far back to hear it.
I will say that The Star and reporter Teresa Rochester interviewed many people over the last couple of days to make sure the story was accurate. Reading the article you will see that The Star interviewed the key individuals directly.
Protest organizer Louis Pandolfi notified in advance the media and the police about the protest. Although the police on duty didn't know about it The Star staff including Teresa Rochester to cover the event.
Being that there was about 50 partisans on each side their recollections wouldn't be fair to include. But Teresa Rochester was on scene and had many pictures taken as the events described took place. The Star did not publish all of the pictures.
I know that people will quibble with her story but she is part of the few eyewitnesses to the event that wasn't on a side protesting. Another would be The Star photographer.
I have heard a prominent Democrat in the past complain about her being too favorable to those in power ( Republicans ) and that she was too cautious in her writing.
I am sure people will be arguing about this article too.
Here are some more of my photos from the event:
If someone that has Audra Strickland's released letter sends it to me I will post it so you can read it for yourself.
( Same old Butt Man video. Did I successfully Rick Roll anyone earlier? Be honest.)
The Tony Strickland campaign has a new press release out touting their numbers of counter protesters and how much money they raised. It does not mention the few that took away from the many amongst the protesters on each side.
I am not vouching of the numbers of protesters on either side mentioned in the press release. I saw about 50 on each side.
Click on continue reading for the press release.
I know that I have my critics on both sides but is there any other blog that goes out of their way to post almost every event and press release by both sides?
I will continue adding more photos in the coming days but here are a few more.
These photos are from the shots taken by Greg "Flap" Cole, a conservative, center-right
blogger. Thanks. Click here to see more of his work. He comes across as bitter at times in his writing but in person he is much more charming. If you write your own blog feel free to leave comments with links back to your stuff.
( I know the photo looks bad but remember you are seeing a snapshot of a larger story. The truth is the sidewalk is narrow and people were trying to squeeze by each other. Almost every single protester kept their cool and the only attacks were typical political jabs or attempts to raise the banter up.)
( More peaceful protesters there to support Mitt Romney, Tony Strickland, and lower taxes.)
This photo is my own. It shows the police questioning a Tony Strickland supporter after an altercation between him and a few Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters. After questioning the police agreed to file a citizen's arrest on him by the Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters but he asked and was told he could do the same as he claimed they roughed him up. When the two groups agreed to not arrest each other the police let everyone go. As they didn't directly witness the confrontation they had little evidence, except forthcoming videos including a video from a Hannah-Beth Jackson that was hard to review without audio and on a camera screen, to go on at the time. I am pretty sure there is more information coming out.
I talked to Louis Pandolfi before the protest and he said he let the police know they were coming but apparently the police on the beat didn't know and were not there until people from both sides called after there was an altercation. Both Strickland and Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters admit something happened but disagree on who did what.
The event helped raise a reported quarter of a million dollars which will go a long way in a campaign that the Strickland campaign has said will cost a total of $10 million dollars when all the expenses are added up from all the different groups.
After all the debate about tobacco money Mitt Romney said it was Tony Strickland that would help limit the influence of special interests. From now on I have a new rule. When a local politician says special interest we should insert the names of the interests.
Anyways, I will post a Hannah-Beth Jackson press releases later.
Thanks for leaving comments. I want to remind everyone that if you see a comment that goes way overboard in nastiness or gets too personal send me an email so I can take it down. On a busy day there can be 50 plus comments and I don't read through them all. I know that many of you don't or can't use your real names because of the type of work that you do. I understand that. But most people give more credit to someone that uses their real name. And all of us give more respect to a reasoned post that is fair to all sides instead of a screed. before you post try to think about if you are just screaming back at someone or trying to persuade them. If you are just yelling back remember that isn't how most arguments are won.
( How much do you expect we will be seeing Butt Man following Tony Strickland around? Rumor has it he might get his own Youtube channel.)
I was at the protest ( those against tobacco money in politics and in support of Hannah-Beth Jackson and/or Barack Obama) / counter protest ( those in favor of Mitt Romney, Tony Strickland, The VCRCC, and against Hannah-Beth Jackson ) outside the Tony Strickland event tonight and I have videos and pictures to share.
( Here is a video of Butt Man explaining why he dressed up as a cigarette to protest against The VCRCC and Tony Strickland for taking tobacco money)
I first want to thank all of those on both sides who stood up for their candidates and causes in a responsible manner. Don't allow a few hot heads to take away from everything else that happened. 99% of the people there were in good moods, shared their views fairly, and were there in a peaceful manner. We had a few laughs about why everyone gets excited by "Big tobacco" but "Little Tobacco" doesn't get any mention.
( Butt Man hanging out with some young Barack Obama supporters.)
When I pulled off of the freeway there was people already gathered to support Mitt Romney, Tony Strickland, and attacking "Taxin' Jackson" for also taking tobacco money through taking donations from those that have accepted donations from other people. Tony Strickland's group was rather large. I would estimate it was about 50 people outside the event but on the narrow sidewalk it was hard to get a good number. If you were there do you think I have the numbers right? I didn't get many pictures of them as they arrived earlier than I did and left earlier then the Hannah-Beth Jackson supporters.
The protesters assembled and walked up to the front of the hotel and that is when trouble started. One of Tony Strickland's supporters tried to stop the crowd that was about 30 strong at that point by claiming they had already called the entire sidewalk in front of the hotel. At least that's what I think he was trying to explain. I was in the back trying to get my new memory chip put in to my camera. Then allegedly the Tony Strickland supporter pushed / bumped into an older gentleman and a young lady. There exists multiple copies of either video of photos of the incident that I will be putting up over the next few weeks so you can decide for yourself what happened.
The Police were called as the older gentlemen was injured ( enough to be concerned but not serious enough for an ambulance) and the younger woman had a slight scratch from a nearby shrub.
The Police took witness statements for pretty much the rest of the protest from anyone and everyone involved or standing near. My friend Brian Mack gave the police a video copy of the incident after the police requested it and told him he could get it back in about a week . The police said they were going to arrest the Tony Strickland supporter for pushing people but the Tony Strickland supporter said it was in fact he who was the victim. He said the Democrats came after him. As the police did not witness the incident they said they could arrest both parties but cooler heads prevailed as organizers ( A campaign manager from Tony Strickland's side *I didn't catch the name. Email it to me and I will add his name in* and Louis Pandolfi who supports Hannah-Beth Jackson) from both sides agreed to save the police hours of paperwork and everyone was free to go back to waving their signs.
( The two sides work together to let the police get on with their shift.)
The demonstrations outside the hotel drew Ventura County sheriff's deputies after a scuffle involving the chief of staff for Strickland's wife, Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, R-Moorpark. Joel Angeles was involved in a dispute with an opponent waving placards chiding Tony Strickland for accepting campaign contributions from tobacco companies. A heated verbal argument broke out between Angeles and Strickland opponents, which escalated to a physical tussle between Angeles and some of the protesters. Louis Pandolfi of Simi Valley, who organized the opposition demonstration, said he expected run-ins with supporters, but not as soon as they arrived.
This is the photo in The Star's story but it is not the same incident that drew the Police to file a report.
The protesters waved signs calling out Tony Strickland for taking tobacco money with a variety of lines on them. They also waved many Barack Obama signs too. I would guess that the average person driving up Westlake Blvd. hasn't been following the politics of tobacco money in Ventura politics but they recognize Barack Obama signs and gave a variety of responses as they drove by. The protesters were organized by a Hannah-Beth Jackson supporter, Louis Pandolfi, from Simi Valley and included people from across Ventura County including Democratic activists, college students, and others. The young Republicans were convinced that people were paid to be there to protest against them. I didn't see any of that and I am pretty sure that the only form of exchange was maybe Butt Man getting a free meal for dressing up.
( Is there an online resource for cigarette based puns? )
Once the police were called and they were notified of the problems with their supporter Tony Strickland's campaign staff ( you know who you are!) did a great job of keeping their side away from the other side.
For anyone organizing any sort of protest one suggestion I have is to keep the two sides separate and out of each others' faces. You aren't there to argue with the other side. Don't have someone walk through the other side for fun and not expect weeks of arguing about who started it or who did what first. How about next time the organizers call each other and divide the areas so as to keep people away from each other? If your candidates are promising to work across the aisle I am sure your staff members or supporters can call each other and work something out. What do you say? One group of protesters on each side of the street sounds fair.
( A Strickland supporter explaining his side of the story as he is questioned by the police.)
I didn't see it and neither did most of you. So, don't assume to know what happened without seeing proof. I will post the tapes as they come into me.
State Assembly candidate Ferial Masry was in attendance. I know her son Omar Masry on a personal level so when she told me someone called her a terrorist ( Ferial is Muslim and was born in Saudi Arabia) I took it pretty serious as calling a Muslim a terrorist sounds like a racial slur to me. I walked up w/ video and asked Ferial to ask him to say what he said again and make it a leading question like " say what you said again, please" but by then another Strickland supporter caught wind and said they had no comment. I wanted to allow the man a chance to clarify himself, admit it, or deny it so it wouldn't become another incident without proof. Later, someone else said they were called a terrorist too but they were of European descent so it sounds like over heated political talk and not much else. But I wasn't a witness to it so I don't want to make too much out of it or vouch for exactly what was said.
The protests ended peacefully with both sides making their point. Tony Strickland's supporters, many of which were dressed in suits, and Hannah-Beth Jackson's supporters chanted in support of their candidate and against tobacco money or hypocrisy.
And last but not least the best video of the night can be found by clicking here. Turn on your speakers loud as it is hard to hear.
( Police officers viewing one of the tapes of the shoving incident. I will post the tape if I can get a copy when the police give it back to the owner of it. Will it be the biggest let down since Al Capone's vault or a little more exciting? )
I maintain my earlier argument that the campaign money from tobacco, because it is so unpopular, isn't worth giving your opponents a campaign issue.
So, did you attend the event inside? How was it? I haven't seen many reports but this is what The Star said why Mitt Romney explained he supports Tony Strickland:
Is there any mistakes in my report you think I should correct? Let me know by email or by leaving a comment and I will look into it. I am sure there are many things that I missed. I tried to report as much as I could and be as fair as possible to both sides. If there is more to include to reach that goal give me some feedback.
The event was expected to raise up to $200,000 for Tony Strickland's campaign.
Judging by the early returns in the news cycle who won the media battle outside?
Looks like they plan to campaign across the entire district. They are even providing housing!
In the past Tony Strickland has done an impressive job training young people how to work in politics. It doesn't appear this election cycle will be much different in that regard. The pay is listed at $1500 a month.
Will Hannah Beth Jackson also be hiring field workers early? I haven't seen anything about applying for jobs fro her campaign.
The ad says they will be polling. Has anyone heard their poll questions?
It seems John McCain is anxious over Barack Obama's ability to connect with voters and make news. Check out these events from the last few days:
Here is Barack Obama, in church on Father's Day, calling on fathers, especially African American fathers, to be there for their children.
( it already has close to 40,000 views on Youtube.)
Here is Barack Obama calling for help on behalf of the victims of the midwest funding. He also flew in, helped out , and used his campaign organization to get people to help:
And on his front page you see this:
And what is John McCain up to? On his front page it has a long list of Finance Events. He is also hosting town hall Meetings with the campaign helping to select audience members, which isn't what they were claiming it was going to be. Even Fox News called them on it.
So, is it in Barack Obama's best interest to be at every meeting that John McCain wants to hold? Most likely not. But it might be in our nation's best interest to watch them debate each other many times.
I think both campaigns should compromise. Barack Obama's campaign has already agreed to a total of 5 events between here and the election in November. Maybe he should add in one or two more events. Having a weekly event over this summer is a little too much and it is an attempt to get Barack Obama out of the type of campaigning he has been very effective at thus far.
Now that I have said all of that let's take this to the local level.
Of course Rep. Elton Gallegly is the heavy favorite to win. But wouldn't it be great if he participated in at least 1 event with his opponent that was focused just on their race this summer? A town hall forum where the audience could ask questions of them and a recording would be broadcast on cable?
What about Hannah Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland? What excuse do they have for not meeting at least once a month to answer questions from the audience or a panel? Do you think it would be good for democracy to watch them debate their different visions across our district?
To make the events fair I don't care who they ask to moderate them. The Acorn? The Star? League Of Women Voters? A Rotary Club? What about other elected officials? Maybe even no moderator at all but instead a Lincoln Douglas type event where each candidate gets a few minutes to talk and they switch back and forth for an hour?
If enough people show their interest I will invite both campaigns to debate and report back which campaign refuses to debate.
I like the no host format so neither campaign can argue they don't think the moderator in unfair.
I haven't seen Hannah Beth Jackson in a debate or speak before a large audience but I have seen Tony Strickland do it a few times and he seems well practiced at it. I know his critics doubt him but his public speaking skills are pretty good. He can read an audience better than many local politicians.
What do you think? Should they do monthly debates across the district?