A Tremendous East Bay DFA Meeting: CA-10 and the Special

As I mentioned a few days ago, I attended the East Bay DFA meeting last night. It was great to hang out with some folks who are regular contributors to Calitics.

The meeting began with a recap of the CDP convention, where a member of the group, Hilary Crosby, was elected to the position of CDP Controller.  Several other members of East Bay DFA were elected to caucus positions, including Karen Weinstein to Women’s Caucus Chair.  This is really a remarkably successful club.

Once all the collective high-fives were issued and the pizza was devoured, the CA-10 candidates got up there and did their thing. You might want to check Matt Lockshin’s twitter feed for the live tweeting action.  

Joan Buchanan began, pointing out that No Child Left Behind is still vastly underfunded. But, once she finished up with her schpiel, the first question was from a supporter of Nancy Skinner. Skinner, the progressive Assembly Member from AD-14, sent her volunteers over the East Bay Hills to get Buchanan elected. It seems many of these progressive folks are a smidge bitter that she’s ready to run for another office so soon after a bitter fight to get her elected in AD-15. She handled it fairly well, saying if she won, she would do everything to ensure that AD-15 stays in Democratic hands.

John Garamendi went next, and gave a patented John Garamendi speech. It was fiery and passionate. He addressed the issues of why he is running for the seat, why he would be the most effective candidate, and all the people he knows.  He’s been in this game for a while.  Which is a contrast to…

Anthony Woods, who went next.  You could tell Woods wasn’t quite so seasoned. He spoke off of notes, which I think did him a bit of a disservice. He knew the issues, and in a small room like that, getting people to feel like you are really addressing them is more important than getting every word right.  That being said, he did get pretty much every word right. The speech was great, people liked his story and his positions.  Whether he wins this race or not, Woods is well positioned to be a leader in the area in the future.

Finally, Sen. Mark DeSaulnier mentioned how Reps. Tauscher and Miller both called him about running for the seat. How he had all the big name endorsements. He’s really quite progressive, from the Constitutional Convention bill he’s carrying in the Senate to his legislative scorecards.

In the questions, we got views on Afghanistan, the death penalty, and a range of issues. I’m sure the voters will hear quite a lot from these four going forward.

Finally, I had a little debate with Sen. DeSaulnier about the propositions.  I will grant him that it was a friendly room to me; the people in DFA strongly oppose Prop 1A and the rest of the package.  And DeSaulnier recognized that, and to his credit acknowledged that it was a result of extortion. He admitted it was not his idea of good policy, but said that it was the best deal they could get in the Legislature.  I of course disagree, but props to him for being honest about.  More props to him for pushing Prop 1C over the rest of the measures while still acknowledging that he didn’t think that there was actually $5 billion to be had in lottery liquidity.

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