I am really glad to see that Jeff Gorell (R), Brad Sherman (D), and Tony Strickland (R) continue to hold public meetings where their constituents can come and ask them questions.
Maybe they will inspire Rep. Elton Gallegly to start joining them. Gallegly did advertise an event recently but it was a fundraiser. Citizens shouldn't have to pay to ask questions of their politicians. He also appears to Tea Party or Republican Party events.
I like the example set by politicians that will take questions from the public at free and scheduled events. State Senator Tony Strickland has a larger district and he had a great townhall event yesterday in Thousand Oaks. I heard from a local progressive he was very reasonable.
Click on continue reading to see the press release from Jeff Gorell.
Ventura County Star reporter Timm Herdt has already reported on this story but since then State Senator Tony Strickland's legislation to ban politicians from paying their spouses for working on their campaigns has come closer to becoming state law.
Tony and Audra Strickland used to pay each other for working on each others' campaigns, but under this legislation that would be banned.
The argument for some is that allowing a spouse to be paid with campaign funds means politicians are able to transform campaign contributions into money they can deposit in their personal accounts.
This law won't apply to federal office holders like Rep. Gallegly, who pays his wife to work on his campaigns.
Elected officials often argue their spouses put in work that should be compensated and that they are hiring someone they trust.
What do you think? Do you support State Senator Tony Strickland's legislation?
I support his legislation. The appearance of a conflict of interest undermines our system, even if no conflict actually exists. I am glad he has changed his mind and now is the leading the push for this reform.
Here is a run down of some recent events he has attended, media coverage, and policy proposals from State Senator Tony Strickland.
Does the uniform look familiar? Click on the image. Click here for the details of State Senator Tony Strickland's upcoming basketball season. Click here for a recent story of him playing basketball against a radio DJ.
Rescheduling A Meeting with Education Leaders
Before the vote on the state budget Ventura County school district Superintendents held a meeting to discuss the impacts of different proposals on local schools. State Senator Tony Strickland, State Senator George Runner, and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland did not attend. State Senator Tony Strickland was at a card table event meeting constituents, State Senator George Runner didn't release a statement on why he didn't attend, and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland had to deal with a family emergency. None of them sent staff to sit in the audience and take notes.
Local Democrats have been calling on State Senator Tony Strickland (R), State Senator George Runner (R) and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland (R) to reschedule a meeting. Democratic elected officials that represent Ventura County in the legislature attended the last meeting .
Click on continue reading for the latest email from the Ventura County Democratic Party on the issue. Their website uses new techniques to help organize grassroots activists. Even if you aren't interested in this story the technology they are using is very promising for online organizing.
Obviously the Superintendents are advocates for public education but their goals and policy priorities don't always line up with those of the California Teachers Association (CTA). Meeting with the local superintendents would allow them to listen to what exactly is going to be cut in local schools under different budget proposals, including the impacts of the May ballot propositions. I spoke with State Senator Tony Strickland's Chief of Staff and he said he was against Proposition 1A and is split on the rest of the proposals. He supports taking money from mental health for the general fund but hasn't announced his position on the lottery proposal yet. I expect we will see his opinion on all of the proposals soon.
Not going to meetings like this reinforces the public perception that Republicans aren't concerned with public education as much as Democrats are concerned. The trio should take this opportunity to bring their ideas for education funding and reforms and see if they can convince some local education leaders to support them.
I don't know why Assembly Member Cameron Smyth was not included in the email blast even though he represents a major portion of Simi Valley.
Tony Strickland's Chief of Staff said they were in the process of scheduling another meeting with the Ventura County Superintendents that State Senator Tony Strickland will be attending. One goal of such meetings is to inform elected officials of the impacts of their choices. With that in mind it would be best before he announced his position on all of the May ballot propositions.
Click here for a past entry from Making Waves blogger Marie Lakin explaining in detail the frustration from many over the failure for local Republicans to schedule a meeting. Marie Lakin is a progressive Democrat that supported Hannah-Beth Jackson in the last election. But she is also a leader and fundraiser for local education causes.
I didn't call and ask Assembly Member Audra Strickland's office but I assume the meeting will include other area elected officials like the last meeting did.
I reported here that Audra Strickland opened an account to run against Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Thanks to Timm Herdt for giving credit to me for breaking the story .
I don't expect her to run as Debra Bowen is a popular elected official without much controversy in the office of Secretary of State.
State Senator Tony Strickland does have time to ready his alternative energy proposals but the cynic in me wonders if they are going to go anywhere in the state legislature. If they are good ideas and can gain enough support to pass wouldn't the Democrats put up a slightly different version and pass theirs instead? Add to that highly limited budgetary options and the chances of passage don't seem strong. Am I too cynical?
Here is a video of State Senator Tony Strickland briefly explaining his legislation:
Speaking and tweeting at a Tea Party w/ Tammy Bruce in Santa Barbara
Tony Strickland spoke at a recent Tea Party protest where people were encouraged to send tea bags to their elected officials to complain over government spending and taxation. To see his Twitter page click on the images below.
The Santa Barbara Independent write a recap of the event. Here are a few key quotes:
"...believes the protest's aims should be seen without party bias. "It's the elites versus the masses," he said, articulating his reasons for protesting on Saturday. "It's not a partisan issue."
Among the speakers on Saturday were California State Senators Tony Strickland and George Runner; Carpinteria City Councilmember and head of Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association Joe Armendariz; Andrew Caldwell of COLAB (Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business); Lompoc Mayor Dick DeWees; screenwriter Andrew Klavan; and UCSB student Gabriela Murillo. Political singer Lloyd Marcus also contributed to the protest, singing songs attacking President Obama. "Mr. Obama," sang Marcus, "don't talk down to us!"
President Ronald Reagan was remembered and missed again and again as speakers cited him as the greatest president in memory. Reagan was quoted at the rally more than any other figure from American history.
So much for nonpartisan and aimed at bringing in people from across different political ideologies.
Click here for the rest of the story from the Santa Barbara Independent.
The Santa Barbara event was emceed by Tammy Bruce. Recently Tammy Bruce called Michelle Obama trash as she was ranting over Michelle Obama telling young African-Americans that she was ridiculed when she was young for trying hard in school.
Listen to the audio:
Sharing a stage with someone doesn't mean you agree with everything they have ever said. But that isn't the type of person he should associate with if he is serious on fulfilling his campaign platform of reaching across the aisle and working with the majority party to pass legislation. Bruce is bitter and will twist anything to make a nasty personal attack to sell a few more books or stay in the public spotlight for a few more minutes. Her appearance at this Tea Party shows that it really was a gathering of conservatives and far right activists, instead of the grassroots groups from all walks of life like they tried to pretend.
I remember people for the last eight years demanding civility and respect for President Bush because he was our president. Somehow many of those that demanded a high level of respect have lost their voices in less than a hundred days of a new presidency.
Tony, to show that you strongly disagree with the lack of class Tammy Bruce showed for the President you could let people know your feelings on this type of gutter politics. A press release, blog post, or news story might be too much, but could we get a Tweet on your Twitter account? If your basketball practice schedule is included I am sure you could find the time and room for a few supportive words for the first family.
You have more class than Tammy Bruce. Your Twitter update will be posted on my front page and will stay at the top for a week if you take me up on the offer.
Did any of my readers attend the Tea Party in Santa Barbara? How was it? Did you see mythical ACORN protesters? Who did you enjoy listening to the most?
At the 4 PM News Break State Senator Tony Strickland was questioned over his opposition to removing the 2/3rds requirement to the state budget. He said something along the lines that without the 2/3rds requirement the tax increases in the state budget would have been even larger.
An Argument against the 2/3rds budget is that no party is held accountable. I would like the two parties to be competitive and offer the voters of California different visions that can create electoral coalitions. It currently seems like legislative Republicans are satisfied with their status in the legislature.
The Republicans against lowering the requirement seem to be speaking with the assumption that they are going to be in the minority. While that might currently be true, it isn't outside the realm of possibilities that they will retake the majority. If they do, they might have a different view on the 2/3rds requirement when they are trying to get a bunch of Democrats to vote for their budget when the Democrats are putting themselves out there as defenders of public safety or education.
It would be interesting to see a budget created by moderate Democrats that could attract the whole Republican caucus to cross over to support it. Most of this seems like an academic debate as the voters have expressed their preference for the 2/3rds majority vote many times. But with the frustration over the recent budget more people might be willing to listen to a convincing argument.
If you see any great arguments for or against the 2/3rds requirement leave a comment with a link. I am not convinced we need to change it, but I am willing to study the issue more. I have been reading some interesting posts on the subject over at Calitics.com.
Click on continue reading to see the provocative and controversial "Heads on a stick" graphic on John and Ken's website.
The battle over the budget might soon be over if the big 5 ( The Governor, and the leaders of both parties in the State Assembly and State Senate) announce their compromise budget as expected within the next few days. But the interest groups, activists, unions, talk radio host and others are putting pressure on legislators to pass a budget of their liking. The plan as of now is to release the compromise budget and then vote on it before too much pressure could be brought against our legislators to abandon the compromise and to stick by their respective constituencies.
Locally, a group of educators, Democratic activists, and PTA leaders rallied outside of State Senator Tony Strickland's office asking him to compromise and help pass a budget. To see pictures sent in to me from that event click on continue reading. Opponents of State Senator Tony Strickland's have begun to circulate "Phony Tony Bucks" in an effort to blame him for the lack of progress on the state budget. State Senator Tony Strickland has not given any sign that he would compromise his no new taxes pledge, even with all of the pressure from different groups and his own governor.
But if State Senator Tony Strickland was thinking of going along with any compromise that raised taxes he would have to deal with conservatives on his side and the outrage breaking his pledge not to raise taxes would cause. So far if the contest between the two sides is over who has the most over the top graphics The John and Ken show has a pretty wild page showing Republican legislators heads on sticks and other objects for considering raising taxes.
If there is a compromise I don't expect State Senator Tony Strickland will be voting for it. But I am curious to see which Republicans vote for the compromise.
Click here for the website of John and Ken of KFI AM 640 Talk Radio.
( This mailer from Hannah-Beth Jackson was sent in by a reader. During this entire campaign season I have posted almost every mailer sent in by my readers. Thanks for your input! If you don't see much from your favorite candidate, that is because people were sending it in! To see many of the mailers from the candidates for the 19th state senate district go to the archives.)
The most expensive campaign in Ventura County history is almost over.
There is a final Get Out The Vote Drive ( GOTV ) across the district.
Contact your local office or just show up to help. Both sides will have things you could help with all day. The Hannah-Beth Jackson campaign has firefighters helping out in Simi Valley.
I left the Jackson campaign office in Simi Valley past 9PM and people were still working.
What do you think is going to happen tomorrow night?
Put your predictions in the following format:
Hannah-Beth Jackson/Tony Strickland wins by ______%.