Some notable developments along the campaign trail this week...
LATINO APPEAL: 26th Congressional District Democratic candidate David Cruz Thayne scored a coup, and perhaps tipped his hand about his strategy in the coming primary, by landing the endorsement of Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus.
Thayne, who is the son of an Uruguayan immigrant mother and was raised in a bilingual household, appears to be focusing intently on the Latino vote, which makes up about a quarter of the new district's electorate. During a trip to Washington, D.C., earlier this fall, he met with members of the Latino caucus in Congress.
"David Cruz Thayne is a bright, young, bilingual and energetic candidate who is
a great fit for the fast-changing demographics of Ventura County," Mendoza said in a statement released by the Thayne campaign. "He is the Democrats' best choice to lead the fight in November to rid the U.S.Congress of Rep. Elton Gallegly and his non-stop immigrant-bashing."
The campaign also announced that Mendoza will host an event for Thayne in Oxnard "in the near future."
In a race that includes three Democrats, any candidate who could stand out among Latino voters would significantly boost his chances, since Latinos are an even larger segment of Democratic voters in the district.
STRONG ENDORSEMENTS FOR JACKSON: There's no question that the upcoming 19th Senate District primary between Democrats Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara and Jason Hodge of Oxnard will be portrayed as a progressive-vs.-moderate battle, with Jackson being the progressive. Hodge has secured the endorsements of blue-collar unions that generally favor pro-business Democrats over those closely aligned with the environmental community, as Jackson is.
So Jackson's announcement this week of the endorsements of Supervisor Kathy Long of Camarillo and former Ventura Mayor Bill Fulton are especially big for her. No one has ever credibly accused those two of being wild-eyed liberals, and their endorsements signify the kind of mainstream support that Jackson will need, especially in the Ventura County portion of the district.
"Hannah-Beth has proven that she stands up to the special interests for her constituents," Long said in a statement released by the Jackson campaign.
CAUSE for a cause: The Ventura-based community organizaing group Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) has joined a coalition of community groups around the state backing a proposed ballot initiative that would raise state income taxes on those earning $1 million or more. The proposal would generate about $6 billion a year and would be used, as CAUSE officials say in their announcement "to restore critical funding to schools and universities, essential services for seniors, public safety, and to start rebuilding the state's crumbling roads and bridges."
Expect some hard negotiating among Democratic interest groups over that proposal in the next few weeks, as efforts will be made to try to unite groups behind a single tax proposal for next November's ballot -- either the "millionaires' tax" backed by CAUSE or a broader proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to raise income taxes by lesser amounts on those with incomes starting at $250,000 and to implement a half-cent increase in the sales tax. Brown's proposal is for a five-year temporary increase; the millionaires' tax would be permanent.