|2005 Year End Campaign Reports
|The President Spends Earth Day Where?
by Andre Levesque on April 25, 2006
case you haven’t heard President Bush spent his Earth Day here in
California, in West Sacramento no less. A city that until the last few
years was always known for that Pyramid that lights up at night that”
used to be” the home of ‘The Money Store”.
West Sacramento hosting the President of the United States is a great for Yolo County and the surrounding area.
am just a little confused as to why the local media didn’t embrace the
President’s visit to the area as an opportunity for our community to
show that it is an integral part of this Nation’s future.
like the Iraq war, Immigration, and the Governor asking for more
Federal funding for California’s levee’s, shadowed the fact that the
most recognizable elected official in the world, was here to tout West
Sacramento’s involvement in leading the way to alternative fuel energy.
An energy that will reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil a
major part of the President’s agenda and a major part of our future.
The President was here to promote the California Fuel Cell Partnership
an organization that is committed to promoting the development of a
fuel cell as a means of moving towards a sustainable energy future,
increasing energy efficiency and reducing or eliminating air pollution
and greenhouse gas emissions.
I bet very few people in the
area had even heard of the California Fuel Cell Partnership before this
weekend, and I thank the president for spending the day here in West
Sacramento. Proving that California, along with our community will lead
the way as always while rushing in a new technology that will allow us
to reduce emissions forever.
Meridian Pacific helped White House
staff organize volunteers to help make this event go off smoothly, and
it did. Thank you to the White House Staff that made this
historic day for Sacramento so memorable for our volunteers. As always
the staff was very professional and expressed gratitude for every
And FYI I was able to snap that cool shot of the President as he made his depature to Palm Springs.
|Petition Gathering at Earth Day
by Tom Ross on April 22, 2006
|I took a break from work today
to take my girls to the Earth Day festival at Sacramento State. Lots of
cool stuff for the kids -- a parachute, painting, bands, booths, games
and food (more than just tofu, they had ice cream, kettle corn,
A petition gatherer had set up a table and he was making a mint like a
true capitalist -- he had four petitions to sign and not all of them
were left of center. He was pushing the Reed Hastings measure the
hardest (it pays the most), for those of you that don't know the
Hastings measure will raise your property taxes $50 a year to fund
charter schools. They are paying top dollar to get it qualified because
their timeline to get on the ballot is the middle of May and they got a
late start. As expected, this petition gatherer was also pushing the
ballot measure that would limit corporate contributions. But to my
surprise, he was also peddling the eminent domain initiative as well as
the measure that would prevent a raiding of higway money.
The clock is running out on all four of these measures to qualify for
the November ballot -- to get on the ballot they will all need to be
turned in by the middle/end of next month. Judging from the number of
signatures he had on his petitions, this guy made some coin today.
|Everyone Loves a Team Player
by Andre Levesque on April 19, 2006
loves a team player. As many of you know, in politics its a necessity.
Apparently no one has told Jim Ledford (R) Palmdale City Mayor.
I’ll have to admit I have never met Mr. Ledford, but my first impression is this guy is off his rocker.
After filing papers against two time incumbent Assembly member Sharon Runner, Ledford has been running around the 36th Assembly district criticizing Mrs. Runner for taking money from Indian gaming interests, alcohol, and tobacco companies.
motives appear simple to me. Ledford thinks he can run against Sharon
this year and rip her for being a “dirty incumbent” while boosting his
name ID across the district setting himself up to be positioned to win
when Sharon is termed out in ‘08.
There’s one problem with his strategy.
who has ever met the Runners knows that nothing can be farther from the
truth. Assemblywoman Sharon Runner is the epitome of a team player as
she continually steps up to help Republicans around this state time and
time again through her position as Assistant Republican Leader in the
I would challenge anyone to find a single instance in
which any contribution has ever affected her stance on policy. It’s
true. Mrs. Runner, like many legislators, has taken money from all of
the above, and as far as I can tell she has followed the law to the
letter in accepting every contribution and reporting it, like I know
she always has, and she has put that money to good use.
of sitting on her hands while in a safe seat Republican district
Assemblywoman Runner has gone out of her way to work hard raising funds
- Recruit Republican candidates to run in winnable seats around the state,
- Help the Governor in his special election efforts to Reform the state,
- Qualify a State Ballot initiative to protect our children from predators,
- Donate heavily to the Republican Party and its candidates.
So if Mr. Ledford has an issue with California’s businesses, and
Indian Gaming laws that’s fine, but I do have a little tip for him.
everyone knows that you don’t file papers to run against a sitting
incumbent when you want to be elected to that seat. It's likely to hurt
your future attempts, and its not very sportsman like.
|AD 65 candidate Jim Ayres
by Matt Rexroad on April 18, 2006
|This editorial in the Valley Chronicle is not the way the Jim Ayres for Assembly campaign wants to start off.
most candidates are just starting to prepare for the blitz that is
about to happen in early May -- Ayres is making the editorial page for
the wrong reasons.
This is certainly not something you would expect in April.
the Valley Chronicle is complaining now -- they clearly have no idea
what is about to happen in AD 65. This race is going to be a wild
They had better be prepared to write weekly if not daily on this same issue until June.
|Does your vote count?
by Andre Levesque on April 18, 2006
|As reported by Lisa Vorderbrueggen in the Contra Costa times today, an environmental
group is upset with Congressman Richard Pombo and plans to take its
frustration out on him with a mail piece, and guess what we get to
choose which one they send out by
However, there is one catch, you have to sign up with your name address and email in order to cast your vote.
Environmental Action were really concerned with beating Congressman
Pombo, I would say that his stance on the environment is pretty
unimportant to Republican primary voters of the 11 Congressional
If they wanted to hit the Congressman where it hurts
I am sure there is all sorts of issues relating to pay to play
politics, illegal immigration, or taxes that they could use and the
primary voters in the district would actually care.
But I doubt
this group actually cares about what happens to Mr. Pombo, and I doubt
that they care what mail piece people vote for. My guess is
Environmental Action is more concerned with building a base of
potential donors, and volunteers and they are using the Congressman as
Congressman Pombo should get plenty of rest tonight
knowing that his political career is safe as long as Environmental
Action is wasting time producing hit pieces about the environment.
|Implications of SD 35
by Helen Seliverstov on April 11, 2006
|If Tom Harman indeed pulls
this elections off, and I say if because the provisional ballots have
not been counted, yet, this changes the dynamic for the election in AD
Diane Harman is facing off with Supervisor Jim Silva
to fill Tom Harman's seat. However, now you will have 2 Harman's
on the ballot: Tom Harman running against Larry Caballero in the
Special Election Round 2 for SD 35 and Diane Harman running against Jim
Silva for AD 67.
Due to the fact that no one got over 50% in
the Special Election in SD 35, Tom Harman gets to appear on the ballot
again. This will tremendously help Diane Harman. So Silva's
election just got a whole lot harder.
|SD 35 – Harman Up By 530 Votes
by Helen Seliverstov on April 11, 2006
Registration and Turnout Completed Precincts: 723 of 723
| Total Registered Voters
| Precinct Registration
| Precinct Ballots Cast
| Absentee Ballots Cast
| Total Ballots Cast
| Vote Count
| TOM HARMAN (REP)
| DIANE HARKEY (REP)
| LARRY CABALLERO (DEM)
|CD 50 Results
by Helen Seliverstov on April 11, 2006
|445/445 Precincts Reporting
Bilbray Wins by 880 votes. Provisional ballots unlikely to change the outcome.
BRIAN P. BILBRAY
VICTOR E. RAMIREZ
|Check out the new links section!!
by Andre Levesque on April 04, 2006
|Calraces has updated its links
section. If you check it out you will see that every candidate in the
state that has a website will be linked there. If I have overlooked
anyone's campaign website please email me and I will be sure to add it.
|Slate Mailer List
by Elizabeth Hansell on March 30, 2006
|Each cycle we end up
contacting numerous slate vendors througout the state for various
issues and canidates. We have developed a slate list
that you can find here Meridian Slate LIst.
let me know if any of the contact information is wrong or if I am
missing key slates. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
to those who responded with changes and additions. Use the above
link to find an updated list. I will continue to update.
|Bustamante: Will Work For Your Money
by Helen Seliverstov on March 30, 2006
a good thing Cruz Bustamante, a “veteran politician,” doesn’t have an
opponent, because even the ever so “balanced” media is writing hit
pieces on Mr. Bustamante.
According to the article in the San Francisco Chronicle
today, the Lieutenant Governor has taken thousands of dollars of
contributions from the insurance industry he seeks to regulate as well
as received gifts that he failed to disclose.
“veteran politician,” Mr. Cruz should know better than to tempt the
public with bad campaign finance behavior since the voters are never on
the politicians’ side. Also, the article reminds us of Chuck
Quackenbush who was ousted from office for unethical behavior.
And of course, it is ironic that Bustamante would flirt with taking bad
money, considering he became radioactive in the 2003 Recall when he
took $10 million from casinos and thus sank himself.
|Homelessness – Not in My Backyard
by Helen Seliverstov on March 24, 2006
|Homelessness is a huge problem
in Los Angeles. I personally love the idea of a vibrant downtown,
however, it is impossible to accomplish with the presence of skid row
where there are rows and rows of people living in boxes.
Angeles County officials have proposed establishing five regional
homeless centers in an effort to reduce “dumping:” by hospitals and
police agencies in the skid row, while spreading out the burden of
providing care for homeless people beyond downtown.” You can read the whole article here.
residents are expressing concern about having to deal with the burden
of a lower income community in their district. They believe that
crime rates will go up and housing prices will go down.
if we break up this population into smaller chunks and make individual
communities responsible for rehabilitation of people, wouldn’t it be
easier? Isn’t the best progress made by small communities as
opposed to the one glove fits all approach? And while this
article says it is regionalizing the problem, I think it’s actually
localizing it in a sense. And it’s worth a thought.
I don’t want homeless people in my backyard anymore than the next
person. Having said that, isn’t it part of the social contract
for the society to take care of people who cannot take care of
themselves? And when I say that, I mean that we should have work
programs, accountability in drug rehabilitation (unlike the joke that
Proposition 36 is), and a plan of how to get people healthy and back
into the work force. I just don’t think that we can continue
throwing people out on the street because hospitals have no space for
I wonder though, if ACLU will see this as counties
“forcing” people into shelters by requiring police officers to drop
people off in shelters as opposed to on the street? Are we now
violating these people’s rights? Do we as a responsible society
force our help on people or do we have to wait for them to want help
(which many will never ask for)? And what is the solution for
people who do not want to go into shelters and prefer the street?
I look forward to following this discussion between cities, ACLU, and the county.
|Corbett Wins FPPC Ruling
by Matt Rexroad on March 14, 2006
CORBETT WINS FPPC HEARING
Will be allowed to transfer funds to Senate account
March 9, 2006
Contact: Parke Skelton
Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) today ordered their staff to
draft a resolution to allow State Senate candidate Ellen Corbett to
transfer the $80,000 remaining in her State Assembly 2004 account into
her State Senate account. On a 3 to 1 vote, the FPPC determined
that the transfer was in the interest of fairness.
FPPC made it clear that the failure to transfer the funds was the
result of an error made by Corbett’s treasurer who misread a provision
of the state’s campaign reform law. Corbett had repeatedly asked
the Treasurer to transfer the funds and had acted in complete good
faith in the matter.
“We are obviously pleased that the
FPPC has upheld our position in this matter,” stated Corbett’s
consultant Parke Skelton. “When Ellen discovered that the funds
had not been transferred she did the right thing, she went to the FPPC
to ask for a ruling on whether or not the funds could be moved.”
Corbett, who made every good faith effort to comply with the
regulation, should not be harmed because of an inadvertent error by her
Treasurer,” Skelton continued. “This ruling is fair and
|Builds Sites Reservior Now!!!
by Justin Matheson on March 14, 2006
hard to think that California will not have adequate water supplies to
support our growing population, faming, and environment by 2020—but
it’s true. Why we’re all focused on flooding after the Katrina
aftermath, fresh water continues to flow down our rivers and is dumped
into the ocean and wasted. Although, I know I’ll never see an
on-stream dam built in my lifetime, off-stream storage helps provide
for better water quality and has been noted as one of the most
environmentally friendly ways to store surplus water.
Over 12 years ago, I wrote a paper about the proposed Sites Reservoir
Colusa County for a political science class at University of the
Pacific. Except from the over 10 years of hearings,
reports, studies, etc.—nothing has changed. The Governor’s
original bond proposal included $1.25 billion to provide for the 1.9
million acre feet project. The original proposal was axed and now
a mere $500 million is being proposed to fund studies and minimal
construction costs for Sites and two other major water projects--see article
Note: the last water bond voters approved also gave money to study Sites. Building
Sites may be a pipe dream and in 12 more years I may repeat this blog
with again nothing changed. Republicans should stand strong on
water storage and construct Sites Reservoir!!!!
|SD 10 - Ellen Corbett has an FPPC problem
by Matt Rexroad on March 11, 2006
Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett is facing a bit of a fight. She has
Assemblyman Johan Klehs sharing a similar base and former Assemblyman
John Dutra with more money. In that case everything has to work
just right on your campaign in order to get to the finish line in front.
Well, it does not seem to be working out that way for her.
Please check out this opinion from the FPPC that basically takes $80,000 right out of her pocket.
Two things --
campaign treasurer is probably the most important person in a campaign
organization. This kind of thing is avoidable. Good example
for campaign schools.
With all the factors that go into a
poltiical campaign it is often difficult to show causation between a
simple little administrative action and the loss. This would be an
exception to that rule. If Corbett loses by less than a few
hundred votes I would think this would clearly be a major factor.
|Senator Roy Ashburn - Class act this week
by Matt Rexroad on March 10, 2006
Roy Ashburn must have had a tough week. For more than a decade he
and dozens of others of political insiders have been gearing up for a
race against Kevin McCarthy and the Thomas Machine. When
Congressman Thomas decided not to run this week I'm sure he was tempted
to go with the plan that had been in place for years...run for Congress.
made the right decision to run for re-election to the Senate. It
was crystal clear to me, based on a ton of evidence that he would have
been beaten by McCarthy for Congress...and then he would have been out
of elective office in December.
Picking an office to run
for was the tough political decision that was probably very
painful for Ashburn. Surely that had to hurt. That wasn't
the amazing part of the week.
The part thatt Ashburn
deserves credit for is the endorsement of McCarthy for Congress.
He didn't have to do that. Considering the circumstances and the
emotion involved I'm not sure I would have advised him to do it.
But he did it and he deserved credit for it. Lots of credit.
my opinion it was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen in
politics. Every political junky reading this post would have
understood if he had simply announced his candidacy for re-election and
left it at that.
It took a lot of guts to do that.....and he deserves to be recognized for it.
|What you need to win in California
by Matt Rexroad on March 09, 2006
|Several times in the last
couple days I've heard people say that the Governor just needs 50% + 1
to be re-elected Governor. This is simply not true. In fact, if
he was offered 47% of the vote right now he should take it. He
would win. If he gets 50% +1 it should be considered a landslide.
you look at the down ticket partisan races in 1998 and 2002 only 5 of
the 12 candidates got an actual majority of the vote. in 2002, only
Lockyer was able to get a majority although Bustamante and Angelides
52.69 Bustamante 49.40
52.60 Angelides 49.40
Quackenbush 49.86 Garamendi 46.50
The other thing i
would point out about these numbers is the with 3rd Party candidates
getting a higher percentage of the vote the 47% win number may actually
drop to 45% this year.
I don't see how the Governor gets less
than 43% of the vote even in a bad year. His ceiling is probably
around 53%. The range of ten points is what the campaign is all
|A cold-blooded killer lives another day
by Josiah Keane on February 21, 2006
|So the execution of Michael Morales is now delayed indefinitely after the state was unable to comply with a judge’s order that it find someone who could confirm Morales wouldn’t suffer any pain during the three stage lethal injection process.
the judge’s order gave the state a second choice. Prison
officials could have simply given Morales an overdose of
sedative. Why didn’t prison officials go with the second
It is ridiculous that in 25 years, the state
couldn’t carry out this execution. And the argument that lethal
injection violates the Eighth Amendment falls flat for me when hanging,
firing squad and electrocutions are still legal in several
states. Besides, if lethal injection is the most humane method
for ending the lives of our beloved pets, then it is certainly good
enough for condemned killers.
This is extremely sad and
unfortunate for the victim’s family who has had to wait 25 years for
justice and now will have to wait even longer.
be interesting to see how this plays out as well as the political
ramification that will develop from it. After all, capital
punishment remains favorable among voters.
|Why another warning will be ignored
by Josiah Keane on February 21, 2006
|The LAO released a report on Friday on the growing cost to taxpayers of state government retiree’s health care benefits (LAO report).
The report states the cost of providing health care to retired state
employees and their dependents is approaching $1 billion a year and
increasing significantly. In fact the LAO predicts that the
state’s unfunded liability will eventually reach between $40 billion to
$70 billion. The burden to pay this will fall on taxpayers.
So, why won’t state lawmakers heed the LAO warning and attempt reform? Teachers, Cops, and Firefighters.
achieve meaningful reform that will reduce the liability to a
manageable amount, the reform would need to include a reduction in
government retiree’s health benefits. Any attempt to work with this
coalition to come up with a solution that involves a hint of a
reduction would be a non-starter. After the Special Election,
there simply isn’t the political will to work with or take on this
coalition. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said it best in the Sac Bee,
“(Anyone) who seeks to use this report to abandon the teachers, cops
and firefighters who have worked their lives for the people of this
state will be disappointed.”
Why stick your neck out if you are
an elected official? Governor Schwarzenegger did with the pension
reform initiative last year and was nearly decapitated for it.
The news media is inclined to ignore the issue. And, Californians
either just don’t know or fully understand that there is a looming
crisis. So again, why would any thoughtful politician risk their
political future for reform?
Well, one reason may be the issue
has legs for anyone who will have to pay for their own health care
after retirement — the vast majority of California’s workers.
2001 survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting reports only 27 percent
of large employers offer retiree health benefits and a mere eight
percent of small businesses offer health benefits. That leaves
most of California’s workforce to fend for themselves when it comes to
health care after retirement.
For private sector employees, who
just like “teachers, cops and firefighters” work their entire lives for
the people of this state and whose hard work fuels the economic engine
of California, the growing cost of government retiree’s health care
benefits may become a cause of angst and frustration. While they
plan and save for their own future medical needs, they will be asked to
pay an ever increasing amount for the health care benefits of
government retirees. Throw in the pension crisis and there is a
recipe for a taxpayer revolt.
So it goes, the LAO report will be ignored and the opportunity to overt a fiscal crisis will pass…or will it?
|Senator Jon Kyl, Great American
by John Peschong on February 17, 2006
This week I received an e-mail from the re-election campaign of U.S. Senator Jon Kyl. The Junior Senator from Arizona
has an American Conservative Union rating of 100 and American Civil
Liberties Union rating of 0. This last week he has been working
to pass a permanent repeal of the death tax. In other words a
invited me as a Kyl Captain to support the Senator by helping the
campaign collect 75 signatures for his re-election nomination
papers. He needs a total of 6,000 signatures to make it on the
ballot, which should not be a problem for the campaign. The
Senator is running against former Arizona Democrat Party Chairman Jim Pederson who spent $1.8 million of his own money rebuilding his party and helped elect Arizona’s Democrat Governor Janet Napolitano.
My reward for doing my duty to help Senator Kyl is an opportunity to attend the February 23rd
fundraising dinner at the Arizona Biltmore that will feature our own
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as the headliner. If I collect 75
signatures, I can get in to the event for the cost of the meal which is
$75. From the campaign’s political perspective the signature
gathering drive could add 80 new volunteers to their grassroots
efforts; however the campaign finance staff most likely hates the idea
of filling those seats with grassroots types and not $1,000
donors. In California, the last campaign I can remember that collected signatures in lieu of a filling fee was Darrell Issa’s 1998 U.S. Senate run.
The real issue here is the direction of the conservative movement in the West. Some conservatives in California
are angry at Governor Schwarzenegger and conservatives in Barry
Goldwater country are having him campaign and help out with fundraising.
I tried to sign up to gather my signatures and then I read the fine print that only a resident of Arizona
can witness the signature being written. I guess I will have to
wait until Congressman Issa runs again for U.S. Senate so I can get in
on a $75 ticket to see the Governor.
|Softening the Battlefield
by Tom Ross on February 16, 2006
|Three weeks ago Karl Rove,
President Bush's top political strategist layed out the Republican
strategy for the midterm elections.
Here it is spelled out in the Washington Post on January 21st:
House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove offered a biting preview of the
2006 midterm elections yesterday, drawing sharp distinctions with the
Democrats over the campaign against terrorism, tax cuts and judicial
philosophy, and describing the opposition party as backward-looking and
bereft of ideas.
"At the core, we are dealing with two parties
that have fundamentally different views on national security," Rove
said. "Republicans have a post-9/11 worldview and many Democrats have a
pre-9/11 worldview. That doesn't make them unpatriotic -- not at all.
But it does make them wrong -- deeply and profoundly and consistently
Rove isn't afraid to broadcast his strategy to
the Democrats because he is confident that the Republicans will be
better at implementing and he knows that Howard Dean and the Democrats
can't agree on unified message that they will run over the next 8
Fast forward three weeks from the Washington Post story, Progress For America, a rightward leaning non-profit /issue advocacy/grassroots organization, releases two new tv ads focusing on the US mission in Iraq and the progress we are making against terrorism.
I'm not the military expert at Meridian Pacific, but I think they call this "softening the battlefield".
|Bam!!! Internet Slams are Becoming the Norm
by Justin Matheson on February 15, 2006
It’s incredible how the internet is continually changing how campaigns are run. The trend
now is to establish an attack website on your opponent. Check out
the new website set up to slam 68th Assembly candidate Jim Righeimer --
often then not, these websites are set up with complete
anonymity. I have no problems with the new trend of negative
campaigning if the information is truthful, but have the integrity to
associate your name or organization with the accusations.
|Flying Upside Down
by Tom Ross on February 12, 2006
two years about this time, I start to get a lot of calls from solid
Republican candidates that I just don't have the time to take on as
clients but would love to help with their campaigns. I usually
give them an hour or so of time talking about the basics and then send
them into the exciting world of political campaigning with a copy of
Joe Gaylord's book Flying Upside Down (its less than 100 pages and Gaylord encourages passing it along to fellow Republicans).
book isn't another "how-to" manual that is handed out at campaign
school. Joe Gaylord (former Chief Strategist for House Speaker
Newt Gingrich) analyzed successful challenge campaigns and
discovered they all had similar characteristics -- confidence,
creativity, contrast, controversy and capital.
many of our candidates fall short in every area because they are too
busy checking boxes on a campaign to do list (which I also keep on hand
and I'm happy to share) that they actually forget to try and persuade
voters to vote for them on Election Day.
Email me your address
for a copy of Gaylord's book, you need to credential yourself as a
Republican because he specifically asks that we keep it in the GOP
|Where are they now? -- Former Senator Maurice Johannessen
by Justin Matheson on February 12, 2006
Remember Senator Maurice Johannessen? As a Republican State Senator he broke with party ranks in 2002 to support Governor Gray Davis’ Budget. After the vote, it wasn’t clear what he received from the deal. He soon was appointed as Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the details of the deal became evident.
After Johannessen was ousted as Secretary by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, he returned back to
Redding to focus on his roller rink business – read article here.
Johannessen started making news again by hinting he was going to run
for Shasta County Supervisor. In a recent article in the Record
Searchlight he declared that he will not seek the office. However,
he has built a house in the small community of Shingletown (30 miles
east of Redding) and it seems he is still positioning him self for a
race. I’m sure Senator Jim Brulte and the other
Republicans that felt betrayed by Johannessen in the past may become
involved in this small supervisor race if he runs.
|Marian Bergeson Leadership Series
by Elizabeth Hansell on January 28, 2006
|In 2004 the Marian Bergeson Excellence in Public Service Leadership Series
was started here in California. It was the brain child of Emmy
Day and Kate Keena who saw an opportunity to build a program that would
help Republican women get elected to public office. This program
generally referred to as simply the "Bergeson Series" is going to
change the Republican Party in California.
application/interview process a diverse class is selected each year
from across the state. Participants attend monthly trainings(thru
July) with trips to both Sacramento and Washington DC. I'm
honored to be a member of the class of 2006 and am currently attending
our first training held in Orange County.
The importance of this program is best reflected by its namesake -- Marian Bergeson. She has over 50 years of public service(appointed
at age 79 to the CA Transportation Committee) and has focused on
opening doors and providing opportunities for women across the
state. In her comments to us today she noted that women, in
comparison to when she was first serving in the Assembly in 1978, have
more access, more education, and more opportunities.....yet there are
no Republican women in the State Senate. A case in point that the
Bergeson Series is needed now more than ever before, not just to train
women, but to build a network that can put them into office.
|Dr. Bill Filante Would Always Get My Vote in CD 6
by Tom Ross on January 25, 2006
is a good analysis of the personalities in CD 6. I thought it
might be helpful to share the story of how Woolsey was first elected
because I have a little 'history' here.
Back in 1992 when
Woolsey first won this seat, I worked for the late Assemblyman Bill
Filante. Dr. Filante was a unique breed of Republican who was
able to represent this extremely liberal part of the state (his
district actually had a portion of San Francisco at the time) --
partially because he was a moderate on social issues but mostly because
he worked his tail off. My job was to pick Bill up every
afternoon at 1:00pm from the State Capitol, we would drive to the
district, walk precincts (Bill actually had this weird running thing he
did between houses), stand in front of a local grocery store, we would
then attend 2 or 3 events -- everything from Eagle Scouts ceremonies to
city council meetings and I would drop him off at home at midnight and
then do the same thing the next day. There was a saying in the
district, if more than 2 people were getting together in the district,
Bill Filante would be there.
Filante was well positioned to win
this seat, Democrats were battling it out in a bitter primary, I can't
remember all the candidates but there were two or three men on the
Democrat side (including Nation and the wealthy son of a Louisiana US
Senator). Remember, 1992 was the "Year of the Woman" -- so
Woolsey slipped through the primary on her story as a former welfare
mother who had worked hard to get off public assistance and out of
poverty. This was a great human interest story that the media ate
Then came the general election match up. The
Republican Congressional Committee was targeting the seat, high level
Bush appointments were flying into the district for fundraisers and the
campaign was beginning to ramp up.
Then came one of the most
difficult days I've ever had. I drove Bill to a doctors
appointment because he had been dizzy and was having difficulty keeping
his balance. He was diagnosed with brain cancer and referred to
one of the best brain surgeons in the country at UC San
Francisco, where I admitted him into the hospital under a fake name
(didn't want the media to know what was happening). We stayed the
night at the hospital for observation and then he basically discharged
himself in the morning.
Before the general election campaign
even got started, it was over. Bill wasn't going to be able to
campaign and it was very clear that he wasn't going to be with us much
longer, there was a small group of extremely loyal staffers that did an
incredible job keeping the campaign operation in place -- Cindy
Laubacher, Tanya Graham, Rene Croce, Pam Simpson and Beau Biller, but
it was clear that Woolsey was going to walk into the congressional seat
without a challenge.
The point to the story is this, Woolsey has
never faced stiffed competition from a candidate who is willing to take
out the opposition research binder and go after her. Defeating
and incumbent is almost impossible, but If Nation takes off the gloves
and attacks Woolsey hard, he might pull an upset.
|Now Political Bloggers Have a Convention
by Justin Matheson on January 25, 2006
|Get ready for a historic event in the new media revolution!
The name derives from the “Burning Man” event, but the newly formed
blogger conference called “Blogging Man 2007” will be no naked dance in
the desert. “Blogging Man 2007” is well on its way to becoming
the top annual convention for political bloggers. When the
“Blogging Man” website went live on January 20, 2006 it received 5,000
hits in the first week and continues to grow. The convention to
be held in Reno, Nevada in October 2007 will consist of blogging
workshops as well as speeches from top bloggers. The first 500
registrants receive a copy of Hugh Hewitt’s book “Blog”. For more
information about “Blogging Man” visit www.bloggingman.org.
by Elizabeth Hansell on January 23, 2006
|I traveled to my home state of
Oregon this past weekend to check out and attend the Oregon Campaign
Institute(OCI) held in Portland. What a great program the Oregon
Republican Party has going. OCI was first held in 1988 and has been
going bi-annually ever since with the majority of all candidates
running for office in the state attending. This training, organized by Adams and Company, has played a key role in Republicans holding a majority in the lower house.
two day institute provided candidates a fountain of information ranging
from how to give a 3,5,or 7 minute stump speech to fundraising to
was thoroughly impressed with the amount of involvement by currently
elected members of the legislature. The current House Majority leader
started his speech by acknowledging that he had been in attendance a
mere 4 years earlier as a candidate. Two members not only gave a
presentation (Door-to-Door: The Best Techniques) complete with a "real"
door and role play, but STAYED all day, sitting next to the newbies and
listening. Apparently both had cleared their schedules and made
attending OCI their priority -- one that will most likely pay off as
they help train the next Republican leaders.
|Rep. Doolittle Speaks Out on Abramoff Scandal
by Josiah Keane on January 23, 2006
|At 2pm pst today Congressman
John Doolittle will speak out on the Abramoff Congressional bribe
scandal on KFBK 1530. It is a prerecorded interview with Tom Sullivan,
which Doolittle had the opportunity to approve before being broadcast.
Doolittle has been mum on the subject and unlike many other Republicans
he has refused to return contributions from Abramoff so it should be
interesting to hear what he has to say.
You can listen to it here.
|Willie Brown and Karen Hanretty -- Oil and Water
by Tom Ross on January 17, 2006
|I'm cross posting this blog with the flashreport because I think it ties in nicely with our focus on podcasts.
I came across Willie Brown's podcast website
today. The top interview on the site is Willie trading barbs with GOP
spinner extraordinaire Karen Hanretty. This is a "must listen"
discussion because I'm not sure who has a quicker wit.
Further down the page, Da Mayor conducts another quality interview with John Herrington -- the former Secretary of Energy under Ronald Reagan. Herrington was also chairman of the California Republican Party in the early 1990s.
I'm subscribing to this podcast via iTunes -- Willie is pure entertainment.
|A Great Article on Race Politics
by John Peschong on January 16, 2006
Reflecting on equality on this Martin Luther King holiday, I found this article by Peter Kirsanow from the June 2005 National Review
. Political campaigns are won by building coalitions and bringing
new people into the process and empowering them. Democrat
National Committee Chairman Howard Dean appears to believe that if you
can't pass his narrow litmus test you have no home in the democrat
party. So much for the politics of equality.
The “White Christian” party.
By Peter Kirsanow
During a discussion with minority leaders and journalists on Monday,
Howard Dean declared that Republicans are “a pretty monolithic party.
They all believe the same. They all look the same. It’s pretty much a
white Christian party.” He further stated that “the Republicans are not
very friendly to different kinds of people” and Democrats are “more
welcoming to different folks, because that’s the type of people we
are.” Dean continued to defend his remarks as recently as Thursday.
Dean’s comments clearly suggest that the GOP is, if not hostile to a
demographic broader than white Christians, at least cool toward
including non-whites and non-Christians in the party. If Dean truly
believes these statements, then he needs to both review his history
texts and spend some time on current events.