Click on continue reading to see the original photo and the photoshopped version.
( I am thinking of titles for this animated .gif I created. How about watch Susan Jordan's make wine appear magic trick? Please suggest others in the comments section. You don't need to register to comment but keep it classy.)
Ventura County Star Reporter Timm Herdt has already covered this story in detail but it is worth mentioning again in case you didn't see it. Susan Jordan went on on overseas trip which her opponent Das Williams is alleging was a junket paid for by tax dollars. Susan Jordan's team is countering she was representing environmental groups and it was a working trip.
To make their case Das Williams' campaign photoshopped a picture from Susan Jordan's website of what they imagined the trip looked like. Instead of showing Susan Jordan working on environmental issues they photoshopped a wine glass in her hand.
His supporters argue that a photoshopped picture is less deceptive than quotes and statements used in mailers out of context to make it appear he is a big fan of off shore oil drilling. Out of context quotes seem to be such an expected part of our politics they don't seem to shock us anymore. But are photoshopped pictures taking it too far?
Instead of getting more involved in that story I am hosting a photoshop contest. No photoshops of serious policy matters will be posted. I am thinking Das Williams hanging out with George W. Bush back in college. You get the idea. Post other ideas in the comments section. Entries will be posted after the election with a political prize valued at $10.
State Assembly candidate Susan Jordan is running against Das Williams for the Democratic nomination to replace Pedro Nava in the state assembly. Her campaign sent in a photo of Ashley her dog, a sign photoshopped in, and this quote:
Ever since I was little, I was bringing home abandoned animals. Looking
back, my mother was very tolerant considering we lived in a small
one-bedroom apartment! Ashley came to us when she was only 8 months old and had
been starved and abandoned. She has been a light in our lives ever since she
Susan Jordan and Das Williams are locked in a tight battle to win the nomination of their party. The intensity is really high because the winner of the nomination is expected to be able to easily beat the Republican nominee in this district.
Lately charges have been flying that the campaign has turned negative. Susan Jordan has been accused of violating a clean campaign pledge. Click on continue reading to see the charge against her and her response.
Susan Jordan's campaign wisely linked to her mailers so that we can judge for ourselves. Download them here ( pdf ) :
I think it would be great if all mailers were posted online so that we can see what candidates try to target to particular demographic groups. With that in mind email me any mailer that you would like to see posted.
( This was taken at last week's Democratic Convention as Susan Jordan was being interviewed.)
Susan Jordan is running in the Democratic Primary to take over for termed out State Assembly Member Pedro Nava. She has been running based on her background as an environmental activist and as a reformer that wants to change the budget process.
I asked her to be interviewed on my blog in a one on one interview. Because of that agreement I will delete all other comments until after the interview.
I know on the campaign issue she will be asked many of the typical questions over and over again. If you see that I ignore many of them know that it is not because I don't see them as valuable but because I feel confident she will have answered them many times.
I interview candidates for all sorts of offices on my blog on my Thursday Night Live feature. If you know a candidate for any office in Ventura County that would like to be interviewed send me a message. Click here and here for some past examples. I do not limit myself to people that share my ideology or party.
Thanks for your time. I know modern campaigns are time consuming and demand constant work. I appreciate you coming here to answer my questions. Click on continue reading to see my first question.
Democrat Susan Jordan has announced that State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has endorsed her. Her endorsement might not be important to voters in this area but Karen Bass can help Jordan raise money from state level interest groups. Das Williams has reported more money thus far but this should help Jordan.
Click on continue reading for the full press release.
The video above is a great program the local SEIU does of bringing in candidates to learn from their union members about the challenges of their jobs. In this video candidates for Sheriff Geoff Dean (R) and Dennis Carpenter (R) along with State Assembly Candidates Das Williams (D) and Susan Jordan (D) speak with local workers. I am glad they are doing nonpartisan outreach to inform candidates about important issues.
Das Williams (D) is running against Susan Jordan (D) for the Democratic nomination to replace Pedro Nava (D) in the State Assembly. The district is generally considered to be a safe district for Democrats but the winner will face either Mike Stoker (R) or Daniel Goldberg (R) in November. I am doubting that Daniel Goldberg will gather the necessary signatures required to get on the ballot.
On many core issues the two Democrats agree with each other although the major distinction is their positions on an offshore oil drilling agreement that other sources have explained with much more detail. They largely agree upon issues that are important to groups like The California Organization of Women (NOW) support. I am impressed Das Williams was able to secure the endorsement from NOW when he is running against a woman. Obviously his involvement in NOW greatly contributed to this endorsement but that doesn't diminish how it will look on his mailers.
What important endorsements aren't claimed yet for these candidates? Do any of the remaining groups or individuals matter to you?
Tim Allison is running for the Democratic nomination to take on Rep. Elton Gallegly. His primary opponents are Marie Panec and Shawn Stern. He has just announced yet more endorsements. His newest supporters are Das Williams and Susan Jordan. What is surprising about this announcement is that Williams and Jordan are currently running against each other for the Democratic nomination to replace Assembly Member Pedro Nava in the 35th District.
Often candidates running for higher office don't want to get involved in other campaigns at the risk of alienating a group of supporters. But with Tim Allison doing so much better than the other candidates at raising money and getting endorsements they must have calculated it was worth it.
The first week I asked the candidates to share who some of their most influential teachers have been in their lives. Here was this week's question:
Does your favorite music tell us anything about your worldview or ideology? Please share with us a few of your favorite groups or musicians.
Das Williams (D)
Moby's "And God Moved Across the Face of the Waters", Gus Gus "Believe", The Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There", a Christian song "I Could Sing of Your Love", and lately Sade's "Soldier of Love". It means that I feel a deep faith in God using us as an instrument for a better world. I think I could sing of your love is the most genuine and true Christian rock tune ever.
I listen to a wide range of music. While driving around I like to hear top 40 because it keeps me going. At home though, I really like to listen to more mellow music, maybe classic rock or jazz. To go to bed I enjoy symphony music.
What my music selection says about me is that I am always adapting to my circumstances and that I like to hear from everyone because everyone is different. I don't limit my possibilities because if I did, I would only be selling myself short.
Susan Jordan's campaign team is having a fundraising party in Oxnard this weekend and she has an impressive list of supporters from the area to support her. Click on continue reading for the event details and for the list of supporters.
Two of her supporters were recently featured in news stories.
Rev. Edgar Mohorko was featured in a story about how he is helping the fight against gangs and hopelessness.
Lupe Anguiano, a tireless labor organizer and advocate for women, was featured in a news story for winning an award.
Many of the people on the list are more easily recognizable to politicians but it is a boon to have two supporters that have been featured in the local paper for their work outside of electoral politics.
In related news I heard her top applause line at the recent debate came when she was defending herself from nepotism charges and after explaining her professional background said " My name isn't Audra Strickland." Even though Audra Strickland doesn't represent that area ( her husband's district does overlap with parts of the 35th State Assembly District) it is interesting that Audra Strickland brings up such passion from Democratic activists.
What will Democrats do if Audra Strickland retires from politics? Something tells me we won't find out soon.
In an earlier post I was critical of Democratic State Assembly Candidate Susan Jordan for an answer she gave in a recent debate between her and Das Williams. She seemed dismissive of charter schools whereas Das Williams, who serves on the board of a charter school, was more supportive.
The quote seemed pretty clear but her campaign emailed me her extended remarks which provides a deeper understanding of her concerns regarding charter schools.
Read it yourself:
"Good intentions but lots of potential pitfalls and dangers, mostly for
public education. I understand that charter schools were designed to give
greater flexibility and parental input but as I watch what is happening in
California right now and the way the governor has pushed through the ARRA
funding and the way he tied teacher performance to student test scores I
have to wonder what he's up to as he is systematically defunding education.
"My biggest concern about charter schools is I believe what the governor's
agenda is here is to privatize public education and I believe when that
happens, our children lose and I don't feel we have the protections in place
that will stop undermining public education."
Her extended remarks are more nuanced and although it is clear she wouldn't likely support more charter schools under the present rules she isn't as dogmatic as the quote in the news story depicted her.
Thanks to her campaign for responding so quickly. I am sure the rapid response team will serve her well as the primary gets closer.
I am curious what education reform ideas my readers would like to see State Assembly candidates champion. I want elected leaders to first start with the premise that the status quo is not good enough anymore.
I am asking the 4 candidates vying for the 35th District State Assembly Seat a question a week from now until the June primaries.
Last Week I asked the candidates to discuss some of their favorite teachers. Susan Jordan, Das Williams, and Daniel Goldberg were all kind enough to reply. Das sent his answer in a little later but I have now included it.
There are many policy questions I could ask but between debates, news interviews, questionnaires from interest groups and editorial board interviews I feel confident most of them will be asked. That's why I am asking a mix of traditional and more quirky questions.
Here is this week's question:
Does your favorite music tell us anything about your worldview or ideology? Please share with us a few of your favorite groups or musicians.
Send in your answers by Wednesday if you can. I don't want to take too much of your time so feel free to keep your answers short.
Republican State Assembly candidate Mike Stoker is the first to put out a press release with his latest fundraising numbers. Click on continue reading for the full statement. In his email he also relates how much he expects to see Democrats Susan Jordan and Das Williams report that they raised.
What do you think? Is this enough money to convince people he is seriously contesting a seat that was assumed to be a safe Democratic district? I will be convinced he is serious if I see that State Senator Tony Strickland donated a large amount of money.
It is time for a few weeks of the different campaigns spinning their numbers and fact checking their opponents.
UPDATED: Das Williams sent in his reply several days ago and I have now included it.
I am starting a new weekly feature where I ask the candidates for the 35th State Assembly District a question and then I post their replies.
This week I asked them to name some of the most influential teachers in their lives. Susan Jordan and Daniel Goldberg replied to my questions. Please read through their replies and then leave a comment with your thoughts. You don't need to register to comment but keep it classy.
Das Williams and Mike Stoker have not replied yet but I will add their thoughts if they send them in.
I appreciate the time of the candidates that sent in their replies. Please show them your appreciation by checking out their platforms, becoming a fan on Facebook, voting in the poll, or posting a comment. Show some appreciation for their time, especially for Susan Jordan's extended answer , and I am sure they will be back again.
I would have to start with the nuns at the St. Lawrence School in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, starting with the Mother Superior, Sister Mary Nazareth and Sister Theresa. As the only child in my Catholic school who was being raised by a divorced working mother, my early years in Catholic School provided a strong framework for my work ethic and self-discipline. I became responsible at a very early age for tracking and completing my school assignments which was an important early lesson in independence and follow through. Also, the Mother Superior selected me as the student who would clean her office. Being selected for such a responsibility was a high honor and I felt empowered knowing that she had such tremendous confidence in me.
In undergraduate school, I was most influenced by the poet Robert Creeley and literature professor Art Efron. I was an admirer of Creeley's poetry and when I learned that he was teaching at the State University of New York at Buffalo, I chose that campus to complete my undergraduate liberal arts degree. His classes, held in a freezing trailer, consisted mostly of graduate students. I was inspired by his honesty and his dedication to fostering creativity in his students. We were not expected to accept the status quo but encouraged to test our boundaries and create our own interpretations of important works of literature regardless of the critics. I was also very lucky to be accepted into Dr. Efron's graduate literature class that met at his home. The debate was lively and though I was the lone undergraduate, I felt that my views and interpretations were valued on an equal basis. The exploration of a range of themes - political, social, historical in literature gave my literature studies their first strong sense of the important role that politics plays in literature and every day life.
Finally, at graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, I was most inspired by the woman who headed the University's Student Health Center. I regret that I cannot recall her name. What I do recall is the confidence she demonstrated in my judgment and her commitment to providing the students that used the Student Health Center the best information and treatment available. Under her supervision of my internship for my Master's in Social Work, I was allowed to create and teach the Student Health Center's first programs on reproduction, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases to my fellow students. I understood the importance of access to medical information early on and it informs my goals to this day. Access is power.
I have several teachers that influenced me at my time at Santa Barbara City College. I was 17 and it was the year I moved out of my volkswagon bus into an apartment, first started in politics and became a Christian. Dr. Craig Fusaro (who now leads efforts to restore local fish species) taught me Environmental Science with an emphasis on the SCIENCE, Dr. John Kay taught me the basics of government, Dr. Peter Haslund international relations and Dr. Manou Eskandari taught me how to teach. I also did not graduate high school and had no money, so the three poly sci professors I just named helped me get a modest scholarship to go to UC Berkeley.
I wouldn't say I have an influential teacher. If anyone really was influential, it was my Dad. He's a business owner and good man. He always taught me to be a good person and follow the law. He always taught me that you get what you want by working hard. He would be the most influential person in my life.