( Raymond Cruz Simi Valley School Board candidate)
I heard that former school board candidate and current Ventura County Republican Central Committee Ray Cruz picked up papers to run again.
If elected should he resign from the central committee? I haven't thought it through all the way yet but I was curious about your input.
Ray Cruz has a long resume of helping out various causes in town. If I recall correctly he is in the financial services industry and active in his church. He also teaches a Bible Class. I only mention his church life because he has brought it in his past campaign.
UPDATE: Two people I respect went after me because I mentioned that Raymond Cruz is active in his church and that he has taught classes on the Bible .
1. I know Raymond Cruz is very much pleased to share his role in his church with the wider public.
2. In his past campaign he citied his church involvement.
3. He listed himself as an educator. His education background includes teaching people about financial services and teaching at his church. If he was running as an educator it makes sense to mention how he is involved.
4. He has brought up religious issues as part of his platform and not just creationism. About creationism he said: "We should teach creationism and give that an equal balance with evolution." Click here to read the article.
But now with all that being said the other parts of his contribution to our community should be shared more. When he starts putting out a detailed list I will post it. But off the top of my head and with an assist from Google he is also heavily involved with Rotary, The Cultural Arts Center, and the Vino Jazz Festival.
I know I am missing much more about his involvement but I will update it again as the campaign unfolds.
After all the years you have know me and my beliefs, including my religious faith, I think you should apologize for trying to make it look like I was going after him for being a Christian. That is just as unfair and uncalled for as if I actually did.
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.
( Mitt Romney talking about McCain's similarities to Bob Dole.)
The arguments over the ethics of the Ventura County Republican Central Committee taking money from a tobacco company to be used on behalf of their candidates, including primarily Tony Strickland, is not going away anytime soon.
Supporters of Hannah Beth Jackson and other groups upset with the introduction of a large amount of tobacco money into Ventura County politics will be protesting outside Tony Strickland's fundraiser next week.
(There also might be a group opposed to the idea of Mitt Romney being a candidate for VP working with them. )
They have been sending press releases to all sorts of media across the county and even into Santa Barbara County. This looks like this is just the kick off in the battle over what his opponents are attempting to show is dirty money.
I have always maintained that taking tobacco money was going to cost the Ventura County Republican Central Committee and Tony Strickland more than it was worth.
Republicans have been countering by pointing out that the State Democratic Party takes money from cigarette companies too. But this misses my analysis. I am not lecturing Republicans why it is wrong ( if they don't get why it is wrong for either party to take tobacco money they aren't going to shift their views anytime soon on it) as much as I am arguing it is going to allow many negative stories and a chance Tony Strickland to be defined as a candidate.
If the election is about campaign finance the Democrats will win. Like it or not voters hate cigarette companies more than they hate environmentalists, teachers' unions, and maybe even trial lawyers. (But tobacco company trial lawyers have got to be one step above DUI lawyers in the public's mind.)
If the election is about raising taxes on the average voter then Tony Strickland can win. This tobacco money storyline is taking away his chances to discuss his strengths as a candidate.
The VCRCC has put him on the defensive in a way that allows his opponents to define him as an ally of tobacco interests. I have watched Tony campaign many times but he has never been depicted as a tool of tobacco interests before. The VCRCC is allowing it to happen to him. Were they in need of money that bad?
Tony Strickland is favored to win. But this is going to make it harder. He is a great campaigner, he has access to large amounts of money, he has decent name ID, and his field campaign is very well organized.
He also doesn't care if his critics make fun of his GreenWave energy company, he mentions it as a part of his stump speech. The more he talks about GreenWave the better for him.
Expect Republicans to hit back with full force looking into Hannah beth Jackson's campaign finance records. But that doesn't seem like a winning tactic as it just continues the conversation over campaign finance. Is that something Tony Strickland wants? Tony is best when he is on the offensive. This donation allows Hannah Beth Jackson to bring up old charges again with a fresh appeal to it.
So, are you going to be at the fund raiser on the inside or out on the streets?
Here is the press release from the protest group:
PROTEST AGAINST $50,000 TOBACCO DONATION TO VCRCC & TONY STRICKLAND FOR
We will be protesting the Ventura County Republican Central Committee's acceptance of a $50,000 contribution from Altria (Philip Morris) on behalf of Tony Strickland. We view a contribution of this size as very significant and a further indication that the tobacco industry will continue to attempt to buy politicians in California. No other single company is responsible for more deaths of American citizens. Mitt Romney, keynote speaker at the Strickland fundraiser and on the shortlist for Republican Vice President, should speak out about tobacco and the cancer it continues to spread throughout our Nation.
Date: Tuesday, June 17, 6:00 P.M.
Place: Hyatt Westlake Plaza
880 S. Westlake Blvd.
I predicted that the Democrats under the leadership of Hannah Beth Jackson would make the Ventura County Republican Central Committee regret soliciting $50,000 from a cigarette company to help Tony Strickland in the fall campaign.
( Another defense of cigarette company donations)
Hannah Beth Jackson has sent out an email that appears to be just the opening to the attacks she will be directing at Tony Strickland. Expect months of the barrage aimed at how campaigns are financed.
In the comments section several people have pointed out that the state Democratic Party has taken tobacco money and that the state party gives money to local candidates and parties.
Is there degrees of guilt? Is there a difference between soliciting the donation and getting money from a state party that gets it from somewhere else?
There is two major problems with donations from sources the public doesn't trust as I see it.
1. It appears that the special interest group is trying to buy a legislator's vote. If this is the case it is on the person making the accusation to prove the politician altered their behavior in the way the special interest group favored. Has the California Democratic Party changed their positions after receiving tobacco money? Go do your research. What were the most important bills that the tobacco companies had an interest in?
2. The special interest group is funding a candidate that shares a policy preference. In this case we should know what the shared view is between the two. What issues does Tony Strickland or the state Democratic Party agree with tobacco companies on? Does Hannah Beth Jackson have any evidence that Tony Strickland agrees with the tobacco companies? What are the bill #'s from his days in the assembly?
Click on continue reading to see the latest email from Hannah Beth Jackson.
In other Hannah Beth Jackson news when you look at the email check out the new sophistication in Hannah Beth Jackson's campaign in her email which includes many ways to connect to the campaign.
For some Tony Strickland news Timm Herdt's top blog entry is about Mitt Romney's upcoming fundraiser for Tony Strickland that Strickland said he expects will help him raise $200,000 towards his state senate campaign.
Here is a video of Tony Strickland talking about why he supports Mitt Romeny:
( A classic Ronald Reagan ad from back when cigarettes cigarette companies were safe before the warning labels made them more dangerous for a politician to accept donations from.)
The Ventura County Republican Central Committee has solicited and accepted a large donation to fund their campaigns this fall from a tobacco company.
Do you think they will end up regretting taking this money or is it a fair way to raise the money they need to fund their programs including getting out the vote, educating members, registering voters, and helping their candidates?
I don't think this was a smart move. Tony Strickland has plenty of people that support him on the central committee. They must realize they just handed Hannah Beth Jackson and Ventura County Democrats a campaign issue and a theme that will be used over and over until November.
There is many special interest groups that offend voters but this seems like an especially noxious source of funding.
On the front page of The Star you can see the most emailed stories. This story is on the list. I don't think it is going away.
Do you agree with my political analysis?
UPDATE: This story remains on the front page of The Star under the most emailed stories.
The Star's Timm Herdt had a short piece up about analyzing the election results between Hannah Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland.
Here is his analysis:
By Timm Herdt:
June 4, 2008
Jackson-Strickland: Not head-to-head, but...
In anticipation of the most competitive partisan political campaign Ventura County has seen in more than 20 years, partisans on both sides were watching Tuesday's results to see which of two unopposed candidates got the most votes.
It is a meaningless number, since at least two and a half times as many voters will participate in November's election as voted yesterday, but still... It's something to talk about.
So here's what happened:
Republican state Senate candidate Tony Strickland pulled in 50,756 votes.
Democratic state Senate candidate Hannah-Beth Jackson got 47,825.
Republican Central Committee Chairman Mike Osborn thinks so. "Last night sends a message," Osborn told me this afternoon. "Tony's showing yesterday is going to cut off some of the money Hannah-Beth was expecting."
What it shows is that turnout ran about according to registration, but -- as is typically the case in low-turnout elections, Republicans voted a little more reliably than Democrats. Republicans hold a 2 percentage-point edge in the district, and Strickland got about 3 percent more of the combined Republican and Democratic votes.
In November, there will be a lot more Republicans and Democrats casting ballots -- and a whole lot more independents.
"You saw her strong support, you saw our strong support," Osborn said. "I think my guy will win over more independents."
For comparison, consider that in 2004 -- a higher turnout primary -- 169,765 votes were cast in the district in June. That November -- likely a lower turnout general election that this year's will be -- 384,450 ballots were cast.
Before you comment you should know something. Timm is spelled with two M's. If you spell it wrong he gets angry. I spelled it wrong early in my blogging career and he broke my keyboard over his knee and threw it at an educator and an alternative energy executive.
For legal reasons I am required to tell you that was a joke. But really, it is two M's.
Timm, seriously why didn't you quote somebody from Hannah Beth Jackson's campaign? Did they not call you back before the deadline for the story?
I think the night shows an advantage to Tony Strickland but at this point he is the front runner. He is the strongest campaigner in this area. But I expect Hannah Beth Jackson is readying some great tactics. Her campaign includes veterans that have worked successfully to defeat him before.
What do you think? Should anything be read from the results?
UPDATE: The Hannah Beth Jackson team has emailed me final numbers from Santa Barabra County and if these are the final numbers they have reason to celebrate.
Here is their email:
Santa Barbara just released its final vote tally which has increased my vote count in SB to 25870 to 18943 for Strickland.In other words, Hannah-Beth received 6927 more votes in SB than he did.... (previously the figure was just about a 6,000 differential.So the final tally (per the Secty of State's website this morning shows:
Strickland 53,655Jackson 51,513
Differential of only 2,142 or just about 1,000 less than the previous calculation......
You may want to update your post on the primary turnout.
Does this mean the people that made a point out of the primary results admit Hannah Beth Jackson has an advantage?
( The California Association of Political Centrists sees itself as a middle of the road political group in the mold of Dr. Keith Richman. )
The CAPC has announced the formation of their advisory council for the upcoming elections. With Romper Room in mind let me tell you who I see out there that stands out:
Leslie Cornejo ( Former GOP chair before Mike Osbourn and his insurgents overthrew her.)
Frank Dantona ( Hmm..the last name sounds familiar...)
Donna Prenta ( Looks like she has some new partners...)
Katie Teague ( Will she ever run against one of the Stricklands for something? That would an explosive race)
Barbra Williamson ( Of the famous Ask Barbra column on this website.)
It has been reported several times that Elton Gallegly is NOT retiring. And although anything that has to do with Elton Gallegly and future plans must be held with suspicion I am still amazed that even after I sent Brett Wagner an e-mail with a link to Roll Call magazine his new website still talks about this open seat.
Is he going to try to make an issue out of Gallegly's In and Out campaign plans? Is he pretending Gallegly is retiring because that was Gallegly's last public statement to local media? Did I miss another announcement?
Why does the DC media get more information out of Gallegly than The Star?
( Thanks to Brian Mack for another great photoshop. If you want him to 'shop a local figure e-mail me with suggestions. In the meantime check out the website for his new play he wrote.
Here is your chance to help Peter Foy reform county government. He wants you to apply for a variety of volunteer positions with the county government. If you plan on applying leave a comment what position you are applying for.
If you end up working with Peter Foy you can always blog here on the front page of your efforts and meetings.
Today The Star reported that robocalls are being launched against Steve Bennett although The VCRCC and their Chairman Mike Osbourn denied involvement. Osbourn is correct when he says it could be the work of a single person.
If it isn't a partisan Republican who else could it be?