The Simi Valley / Moorpark Democratic Club will be holding a gun safety discussion. I am impressed with the panel they have put together. Simi Valley School Board candidate Arleigh Kidd, Simi Valley City Council Member Mike Judge, and members of the police department will be there.
I often disagree with Mike Judge. He is too quick to repost conspiracy theories on Facebook. That said I am very impressed he is willing to speak at this meeting. He is a supporter of the local Tea Party and supports the NRA. Showing up to discuss gun safety shows he is willing to represent all of us in Simi Valley.
The local school district has been trying to address concerns of families. I am glad School Board Member Arleigh Kidd will be there. I supported him when he ran for school board. I look forward to hearing what he has to share. Arleigh Kidd is a former teacher.
Both Arleigh Kidd and Mike Judge served in our military. I am thankful for their service.
Ventura County Democratic activist Brian Leshon won an award from his political party for his use of technology. Click on continue reading for the press release.
Which local elected official do you respect for their use of technology?
Simi Valley City Council Member Mike Judge uses Facebook to report on his official duties on the council and to share his opinions on national politics. I often disagree with his posts but I like that he is accessible and responds to the comments of others. Mike, don't let your Tea Party friends know I gave you some compliments, they might think we are both funded by Moveon.org George Soros! Mike, thanks for being accessible. Now stop watching Fox News so much.
I have been watching the potential candidates for the next cycle quietly adding many activists to their friends list on Facebook. Social networks locally haven't been the focus of changing minds of voters but they sure have brought dedicated partisans together.
The 2010 Simi Valley Education Foundation Jail and Bail fundraiser is now over and I am posting entries to thank my readers that helped me reach my goal. I asked my readers to show appreciation for my blog by donating money to the Simi Valley Education Foundation and we almost doubled my goal.
Simi Valley City Council Candidate Mike Judge is running a strong campaign that in a normal year would stand out. But with a contested race for mayor it is hard for city council candidates to get their message out.
I offered to post a link to a campaign site to any candidate that donated to the Simi Valley Education Foundation as a way of showing my appreciation for helping me to raise money for local schools.
I have interviewed Mike Judge in person and on my blog before. I have always found Mike to be blunt and polite at the same time. That isn't an easy combination for most people.
I attended a fundraiser of his to find out more about his campaign and I went away from it impressed with how many people Mike has brought into local politics that might not be involved at all if it wasn't for him.
Thanks for supporting local schools. We appreciate it.
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.
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.
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.
Republican Mike Judge has declared he is running for a seat on the Simi Valley City Council.
The two current incumbents Glen Becerra (R) and Michelle Foster (R) have declared they are running again. So far that means there are four candidates running for two seats. That number includes Democrat Mitch Green.
I expect the top issues will include frequent topics like public safety and development issues but I also expect the city budget, pension reform, and the proposed expansion of the Simi Valley landfill. What other issues do you think will dominate the campaign?
In related news the Simi Valley POA claims the total compensation ( cash and benefits ) is $53,745.08 . I sent a request to the city asking for the number but I haven't heard back. Most of the council members work many more hours than is commonly expected for what is labeled a part time job. It would be great if the city posted the total costs online in an easy to access format. Same goes for other local boards.
I post the party membership of people running for nonpartisan seats. I do know the ballot won't include this information but I figure if you are reading a local political blog this is the type of information you would like to know. The candidates, activists, and interest groups all know. You should have the same knowledge. I appreciate that the internet has helped to give us the same information that only insiders used to have access to and I like the fact you can quickly support a campaign by becoming a fan.
I was driving by Alamo and Tapo Canyon, by city hall, when I saw No on Proposition 8 people waving signs and people supporting city council candidate Mike Judge. I only had time for one interview. In the interview the Mike Judge supporter calls out an incumbent and explains his support for Mike Judge.
Here is the video:
Click here to read a past question and answer entry with council candidate Mike Judge.
I expect Mike Judge will learn from his mistakes in this campaign and run again. Don't be surprised to see him joining more charities and keeping a higher profile.
Of all the candidates locally that you don't expect to win this time out which would you like to see run again? Include mostly school board, city council, and mayoral candidates.
Thanks to Mike Judge for sending in some pictures of his campaign signs around town.
Most of the signs in Simi Valley are from the two incumbents running, which is odd being that they have both said they are against campaign signs.
Here is a recent quote from Steve Sojka:
"I'd be more than happy to do away with them altogether," Sojka said.
Steve, if you really want to do away from them, why do you have what appears to be the most signs in town? If they are an effective way to communicate, why would you ban them?
Barbra Williamson also has expressed dismay about campaign signs. Barbra, if they are such a nuisance, why put them up in an election where none of the challengers are spending a serious amount of money? If they are effective, why would you want to further limit them? If I have your view about this wrong, please correct me.
Click here to see a recent story from Star Reporter Anna Bakalis on this issue.
( The candidates discussing an issue that doesn't seem to come up much in Simi Valley: Vouchers. The question is more of an ideological litmus test when you consider that this isn't going to be on the agenda of the board. A more pertinent question would be about expanding charter schools or relations with the Ventura County Board of Education. 4 of of the 6 candidates were clearly against vouchers. What questions do you want these candidates to answer?)
I went to the Simi Valley School Board debate tonight at city hall.
First, sorry about getting the time wrong. It was at 5PM. I apologize if I caused anybody to miss it.
On the way in I saw Ray Cruz's bus and van in the parking lot. Here is a photo:
As I got closer I snapped a photo of some Ray Cruz supporters standing outside with his signs:
Inside city hall chambers it was a pretty tame affair. Nothing too unexpected was said from the candidates.
Here is a brief run down of a few statements or ideas from each candidate:
We need new technology. Schools are archaic and look like something out of the 1950's or 1960's. Brad spoke about schools using webgrades ( which some schools do ) and posting homework online ( which some schools do ) as a way of connecting schools and families. He is a strong supporter of protecting and expanding programs at Santa Su High School.
Ron said he has the experience we need and this is no time for on the job training. The current board is working together unlike it has in the past and wants to continue as a team. Really against vouchers.
The current board has worked together on many issues and looks forward to working with them. Grimaced a few times at statements from other candidates, including Brad's comments about a "new" energy savings plan. I put new in quotes because they disputed how long the district has been doing it. I know there has been an energy czar position for a few years, but I don't know if he was talking about something else.
She has been on the board for many years and would like to continue with the current board and is thankful for the opportunity it has given her. She takes many trips to see the many schools in the area. She is strongly against vouchers. Debbie also explained that she is in favor of the current options for 6th graders. She ran in an earlier campaign when that was a top priority.
A candidate that didn't get his candidate statement in:
I will put in his thoughts when he gets his candidate statement sent into me. The program for the night said he didn't submit a statement. Maybe I am being harsh, but if you want to have us take the time to discuss your policy views, then show us you are taking this seriously. I will post your candidate statement, website URL, and any videos you have as soon as you send them in. I look forward to posting them for you. You have many talents that will serve you well in life. Make sure to stay involved after the election.
Ray has refocused his campaign from divisive social issues like creationism that came up in the last election and is instead focusing on the drop out rate and the expulsion rate. He does support vouchers and was criticized by many of the other candidates for this position. He brochure mentions his involvement in Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley and the endorsement of the Ventura County Republican Central Committee.
I found it odd he hasn't switched the words he uses like much of the conservative movement in America. Many supporters of teaching creationism now call it "intelligent design" and many supporters of vouchers now call it "school choice".
I spoke with Ray outside the event very briefly and although we likely don't agree on very many policies, he is very friendly. His involvement in church life shows in his daily life. In his last election I took a few videos of him that I have posted below.
Ray did show up with the most supporters by far. The parking lot had a bus, a van, and more vehicles with his campaign signs on them. He looks like he is putting much more effort into his campaign this time.
I talked to a few candidates about campaign finance and they directed me to the county government website to learn more. Click here to see some of the campaign finance reports. I tried using it to look up current information but I am done with it for now. The information seems to be out of date and not organized in an easy to use way. The most recent report has been downloading for a few minutes and at this rate I will finish the entry before it is done. What's wrong with html reports? If you find anything interesting in there let me know.
There were many responses to questions I am not going to write about. If you went to the debate and want to share what I left out, by all means post a comment. I saw a few people that post on my blog there including Mike Chandler of VoteSimiValley.com. Mike, I know your video quality is much higher than mine. I use a digital camera with a video feature whereas you actually have proper equipment. Do you have the ability to post the debate in full? I am going to leave it up to you and others to share their thoughts on the debate. My report is not meant to be conclusive.
Do you know how you are going to cast your three votes? This is a unique blog entry. Instead of a writer trying to convince you to support a cause or a candidate I am asking you to convince me.
I have my thoughts on the different candidates and I am familiar with most of the issues that they bring up. But I haven't finalized my three votes. Please leave your suggestions and picks as a comment. Make sure to explain how you are going to vote and why.
Thanks for the help.
I like to look at the bumper stickers on cars in the parking lots of debates. I don't know if they were attending the debate but I saw this Mike Judge supporter's vehicle which included a McCain/Palin sticker, a NRA sticker, and a Mike Judge sign showing his unique URL: JudgementSV.com
Mike, feel free to put up a link to the entry where you answered questions here on this blog.