The Simi Valley Fair and Music Festival is this weekend. The fair this year is bigger than in the past. This is a great opportunity for candidates to meet people. The parade was this morning and had many politicians in it.
You can post pictures on the Facebook page for my blog. The best pictures I will post on this page. The debates there are usually better because it is not anonymous.
The Simi Valley teachers union was there to support their endorsed candidates. They also support Proposition 30 and are against Proposition 32. What do you think of the propositions?
This picture was posted by Simi Valley School Board candidate Josie Hirsch on her Facebook page.
This picture was posted by a Keith Mashburn supporter on their own page. Photograph by Peter Andelman .
Simi Valley Democrats will be debating if labor unions are effective at their next meeting.
Click on continue reading for details.
Labor unions, like businesses, are often effective at many tasks but at times don't serve the best interest of the wider public.
Unions primarily exist to serve their members, and frequently their goals often help our wider society.Unions representing teachers have been instrumental in bringing more funding to education in California.
But too often they take it too far by supporting policies that harm their reputations and damages the trust people have in public education.
I grow frustrated when I see unions react in reactionary ways to changes that can help the state and their members.
All of that said I am glad that unions were successful in many of the struggles for working people in America. Unions helped to enlarge the middle class and they continue to serve a vital purpose for many in the modern workforce.
In other news:
I am now using Twitter. Click on the Twitter link on the right hand side of this page to see my recent posts. If you use Twitter I appreciate you following me. My 500th follower will be featured on my front page. That is a prize for all of you real estate agents using Twitter!
Dennis Carpenter has officially declared he is running for sheriff. Click on the logo above to go to his website. This is from an article covering his press conference:
Flanked by Sheriff Bob Brooks and his top aides, Chief Deputy Dennis Carpenter started his campaign for sheriff Thursday by promising a "seamless, efficient transition" if he's elected to Brooks' post.
Click here for the rest of the news story from Ventura County Star Reporter Tony Biasotti.
Now that both candidates have declared they are running the campaign has officially started. I would think that Geoff Dean has the momentum of endorsements behind him for the time being but there are many that haven't endorsed either candidate yet.
I have not closely watched an election for sheriff before so I don't totally know what to expect. Will the candidates try to get endorsements from the local political parties? How influential are endorsements from elected officials outside of law enforcement on voters?
There should be a few forums between the candidates scheduled across Ventura County early on before the money, momentum, and endorsements are all determined. We need a robust debate that moves beyond bland slogans and into specifics.
This poll is really a test of the energy and organization of the campaigns and not an accurate sample of the voters. I will keep reposting it when I post new entries on the campaign.
( 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.
The campaign for state senate is getting more exciting.
State Senate candidate Hannah-Beth Jackson is hosting a BBQ to thank local firefighters for their recent service. Click on continue reading for details.
She also has a free event in Simi Valley this weekend. I have heard that flyers have been distributed to a very wide area. I plan to be there. I will post photos and maybe some video afterward. Click here for details.
The contest is getting more press attention. Blogger Nick Welsh has something in the in his post to upset pretty much all sides of this election. Click here to read a funny and irreverent look at the candidates.
Here are some of the less colorful quotes:
"Angeles was also involved in Tony Strickland's feeble efforts to green wash his outspokenly anti-environmental voting record while in the Assembly."
Before leaving, McClintock anointed Strickland as his hand-picked successor. If Jackson hasn't sent Tom a handwritten thank-you note on perfumed stationary, then she's either an idiot or an ingrate.
( 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 have known Brian for a few years and I can tell you he has some of the best graphic design talent around. His company is just starting out but I expect it to be a major player in local political website design. He also is certified to use union labor on his other projects like campaign buttons.
If you need something done and you need it quick, Brian is your man.
Do you know of any cool new political websites? Send them in!