All posts by BlueBeaumontBoyz

Proposition 8 Rally Tonight in Palm Springs, Tomorrow in Beaumont

Xposted on, the online edition of the Desert Sun

Rally this afternoon in Palm Springs and tomorrow afternoon in Beaumont to protest the unconstitutional removal of ‘fundamental right to marry’ for gays and lesbians:

More below the flip…

Rally today in Palm Springs:

Who: Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, Palm Springs Mayor Pro-Tempore Ginny Foat, HRC, EQCA, and the Desert Pride Center

What: Rally against Proposition 8

Where: Palm Springs City Hall, 3200 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA

When: 5:00 p.m.

Why: Homophobes and Bigots pass Proposition 8

Rally tomorrow afternoon in Beaumont to protest the unconstitutional removal of ‘fundamental right to marry’ for gays and lesbians and to seek the censure and removal from office of homophobe and bigot Beaumont City Councilmember Roger Berg:

Who: Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D., Charles W. Conn

What: Rally against Proposition 8 and to censure Beaumont City Councilmember Roger Berg

Where: Beaumont Civic Center, 550 E. Sixth Street, Beaumont, CA

When: 12:00 p.m.

Why: Passage of Prop 8, Berg’s assault of No on Prop 8 supporter during rally

Beaumont City Councilmember Roger Berg Charged With Assault During No on Proposition 8 Rally

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Beaumont City Councilmember Roger Berg was ‘arrested’ for assault on a woman during a No on Proposition 8 demonstration in Beaumont on Monday, November 3, 2008.  In an interview on Tuesday, Betty McMillion, Riverside County Democratic Central Committee chair told BluePalmSpringsBoyz, that Berg had been placed under ‘citizen’s arrest’ by the victim and that police reports had been filed against him.  Additionally, a minor filmed and audioed the aggression and has turned copies over to Beaumont police and the District Attorney’s office for further investigation.

During Election 2008, spontaneous rallies took place around Beaumont, a city in the San Gorgonio Pass region of Riverside County, midway between Palm Springs and Redlands.  A handful of young adults and older teens would gather at major intersections and crowds would gather to protest Proposition 8.  Monday was just such a demonstration.

More below the flip…

The Record Gazette reporters, Traci Kratzer and Cindy Watson, write today:

A Beaumont woman has told police that Beaumont Councilman Roger Berg pushed her during a Proposition 8 demonstration Monday night, an incident witnessed by dozens of people and filmed with a cellphone by one of them.

The pictures of the incident that took place at the intersection of Beaumont Avenue and Oak Valley Parkway about 6 p.m. have been turned over to Beaumont police, the victim said.

Jennifer Avakian, 31, said she and other demonstrators for “No on Prop. 8” were standing in front of Walgreens while demonstrators for “Yes on Prop. 8” were on the other side of the street.  In an interview with the Record Gazette, Avakian said the demonstration was going along peacefully until a man, who she later identified as Berg, began yelling at the “No on Prop. 8” supporters.

“He was screaming and saying that we were going to go to hell and that we were an abomination.” Avakian said.  “He looked crazy, like he was going to hurt someone.”

Berg, 53, allegedly began yelling at another one of the woman (sic) who was holding up a sign, and Avakian said, she went over to intervene.  That is when Avakian said Berg made a fist and pushed it into the sign she was holding, pushing her backwards.

“I was in complete shock,” Avakian said.  “I didn’t even know he was a council member until someone told me who he was.  That just made the whole thing ten times worse.”

Attempts to reach the homophobic, bigoted Berg were unsuccessful, according to the Record Gazette.  BluePalmSpringsBoyz knows from personal experience re Berg’s erratic, temperamental behavior as when I spoke to Beaumont City Council in October in support of No on 8, Berg flailed his arms, turned beet red, and said that if Council did not support Yes on 8, then the next thing that would happen would be that men would be marrying horses.  Horses?  Horses.  Scary to think of what Berg’s and the religious extremists fantasies consist.

At the City Council meeting Tuesday, Berg became upset when resident Heather Gardner spoke and referred to the incident.  As Gardner began her comments, Berg cut her off and asked if it was appropriate to talk about any ballot item with a polling place across the hallway.

City Attorney Joe Akulfi said it was up to the council but that it was a public meeting.

Gardner said she was appalled by Berg’s behavior on Monday night and asked that he apologize…

…Sixty-fifth Assembly District candidate Carl Wood, a Democrat, said he was present during the Monday pushing incident.  He said he noticed Berg as soon as he walked up to the crowd because he looked “extremely angry and was red in the face.”

“He was getting in their face and yelling at them,” Wood said.  “Then he pushed a young woman and it was just surreal because you don’t expect to see something like that.”…

…Another witness, Amanda Pombar, said she didn’t see Avakian get pushed but did see Berg yelling at people.  “He was yelling in people’s faces and he pulled out a Bible and started waving it at the,” Pombar said.  “It was almost like he wasn’t aware anyone was there.”

Wondering here if Berg whacked Avakian with his Bible.  Hideous little creature that Berg is.

Following the incident, Beaumont police were called and a report was taken.  Avakian told police officers that she wanted to place Berg under “citizen’s arrest” for the alleged assault.  “You just don’t do that to someone,” Avakian said about the incident.

According to a city spokeswoman, Darci Carranza, the police department is working on completing the report and once it is completed it will be sent to the district attorney’s office for review.  From there, it will be up to prosecutors on whether to pursue charges against Berg.

Rumors are that the next council meeting on November 18 should be interesting with calls for suspension of Berg from council pending the investigation, for censure, and with a possible recall in the works.

It isn’t the first issue involving Berg and Prop. 8.  Last month, he expressed support for “Yes on Prop. 8,” during a council meeting.  Berg had asked city staff to put a resolution supporting Prop. 8 on the agenda for council consideration and a vote.  At the time, he said he sought council support for the measure because “this is about tradition and family values.  Marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

Course, Berg’s fantasies consist of marriage being between a man and a horse.  Berg neglects to consider the fact that gays and lesbians have family values that are just as consistent and just as strong as their heterosexual brothers and sisters.

The council declined to take a position on Prop. 8, rejecting his proposal of having the city support it.

The final vote was 4-1 in favor of tabling the homophobe’s motion.

Berg has served on the council since 1993.  His current term ends in 2010.

Election 2008: County of Riverside Runs Out of Voter Registration Forms

Xposted 9/19/2008 7:27 AM PDT on in my BluePalmSpringsBoyz blog on

As everyone knows by now, this is an historic election year.  However, the County of Riverside, and its office for voter registration, has shown incompetency beyond what we have come to expect from them.  The County has now run out of voter registration forms, according to George Zander, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club President, and John Eldridge, Julie Bornstein for 45th Congressional District staffer.

For months, the state of California and the county of Riverside have known that this would be an election of more than note.  Democratic voters’ interest increased during the primary season, especially during the race between the first major candidate of African-American descent, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), and the first major woman candidate, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY).  Voter turnout for Democratic primaries across the country eclipsed previous turnout.

More below the flip…

This was especially the case in the Democratic primary in California.  The Los Angeles Times reported that voter turnout in California reached 9 million, a record (

Voter turnout as a percentage of total voter registration was 57.71%, a noteworthy figure, however, not a record in itself, probably because Republicans failed to turnout as did Democrats.  In comparison, the record percentage was 73% in 1976, when California Gov. Jerry Brown thought that Gov. Jimmy Carter (D-GA) was too conservative and beat him in the primary.  On the Republican side, Gov. Ronald Reagan thought that Vice-President Gerald Ford was too liberal and beat him in their primary race.  In the 2004 California primary, only 37.59% of voters did their civic duty.

Given increased voter interest, along with increased voter registration, one would think that the county of Riverside would be prepared and would have sufficient voter registration forms on hand for Election 2008, following the actual turnout in the primary in February.  That is clearly not the case.

Zander reports that he needed more voter registration forms from the county for the voter registration drives conducted in the Coachella Valley, including those at the Palm Springs Village Fest on Thursdays, at Hunter’s Video Bar in Palm Springs on Fridays, at the Barracks in Cathedral City on Sundays, at both Koffi locations in Palm Springs, at the Westfield Mall in Palm Desert, at the College of the Desert, and at 25 other locations in the Valley.

Zander stated, “Our local Democratic clubs have had amazing results in our voter registration drives, particularly at the College of the Desert where we have registered over 200 new voters in only one week and at Village Fest where we registered 45 new voters last night alone!  We need more voter registration forms to meet the demand, however, as of today (Thursday), the county will only allow us one voter registration form per person per day.  This is abhorrent to the concept of universal sufferage and may result in hundreds of voters in being disenfranchised!  The Riverside County Registrar Barbara Dunmore has been remiss and is clearly deficient in this regard.”

Eldridge, staffer to the Bornstein for 45th Congressional District in her Palm Springs office reported, “I am appalled that the County of Riverside, particularly Registrar (Barbara) Dummore has been so unprepared, especially given voter interest shown during the primary season and more recently with the nomination of the first major African-American candidate nominated by the Democratic Party and with the nomination of the first woman for Vice-President by the Republicans.  I was shocked to find out that I could only pick up one registration form today when I need hundreds for our ongoing voter registration efforts in the Coachella Valley and the 45th Congressional District!”

Clearly, Dunmore needs to be held accountable for the ongoing problems at the Registrar’s office, especially for the inexcusable failure to provide enough forms in the county for Democratic and Republican voter registration efforts.

Election 2008: Churches Across California Today Enjoined Members to Vote for Proposition 8

Portions XPosted 8/3/2008 11:23 AM PDT on

According to one of my activist friends, a former deacon of a religious extremist church in Utah, who attends an evangelical megachurch in the Coachella Valley in order to monitor its adherence to the tax code as it applies to its tax exempt status, churches across America today began ‘100 Days of Prayer’ against Marriage Equality and cajolled their members and attendees to vote in favor of Proposition 8 and defeat gay marriage at the polls in November.

Proposition 8 is an amendment to the California State Constitution that would ban Marriage Equality and would dictate that marriage is only between ‘a man and a woman.’ Prop 8 is another in a long line of attempts by out-of-state religious extremist organizations that attempts to further the religious extremist agenda as a step towards fomenting theocracy rather than democracy in the United States of America:

(Proposition 8) (a)mends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: The measure would have no fiscal effect on state or local governments. This is because there would be no change to the manner in which marriages are currently recognized by the state. (Initiative 07-0068.) (Full Text)

From the pulpit of the church, directly in violation of the principles of the separation of church and state, church leaders discussed the impending vote on Prop 8 and advised members to not only ‘pray’ for the success of the proposition, but to also vote for Prop 8.  My friend advises that in churchspeak, this use of the term ‘pray’ means ‘send money.’

More below the flip…

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has investigated churches that in violation of their tax-exempt status exhort attendees to vote particular ways.  Recently, those investigations have been suspiciously limited to more mainstream, more liberal churches.  It is not against the law for, say, a minister, priest, or rabbi to state how he or she will vote, but it is against the law to encourage attendees to vote in a particular manner.  The most extreme penalty for the latter action is removal of tax-exempt status.

In 2005, the IRS began to investigate All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA and its guest minister, George Regas.  According to National Public Radio, Regas issued a sermon from the pulpit about a hypthetical conversation between Jesus, Pres. George W. Bush, and Sen. John Kerry. For that effort, someone filed a complaint with the IRS, and the IRS threatened to remove the tax exempt status of the church, claiming that Regas’ sermon constituted an endorsement of Kerry. The IRS renewed its investigation in 2006.  However, All Saints Church refused to comply with the investigation.  Finally, in September 2007, the IRS bowed to public pressure and to the church and terminated its investigation.  In response, Rector Ed Bacon demanded that the IRS apologize and that the IRS be investigated.

In an attempt to strengthen democracy and to prevent institution of theocracy in America, more and more progressives and activists are attending religious extremist churches in order to monitor potentially illegal activities.

Americans United: for Separation of Church and State indicates that the greatest threat to the separation of church and state is the so-called ‘Religious Right:’

The single greatest threat to church-state separation in America is the movement known as the Religious Right. Organizations and leaders representing this religio-political crusade seek to impose a fundamentalist Christian viewpoint on all Americans through government action.

Americans United, as part of our educational responsibility, regularly monitors the agenda and activities of the Religious Right. We share our research with journalists, elected officials and all Americans who care about church-state separation, democracy and pluralism.

BlueBeaumontBoyz wonders how quickly the IRS will begin an investigation into churches’ endorsement of Prop 8 from pulpits across America.

Next time, my friend promises not funble his video/audio recorder and promises to provide the smoking gun.  Kudos to those who are working to preserve democracy in America!

Election 2008: Sen. Barack Obama’s Plan to Strengthen U.S. Economy

Portions XPosted on

Former-President Bill Clinton, during his initial race to the Presidency, had a saying, “It’s the economy, stupid.”  The focus on the failings of the Bush economy lead to Clinton’s election and swept the supply-side Republicans from office for eight years.  Eight years of Democratic-lead prosperity, balanced budgets, and a peace-time economic bonanza for small business and working class families.

Now, America is faced with another economic debacle thanks to another member of the Bush family and to supply-side Republican economic policies that only benefit the rich and big business.  Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), presumptive Democratic nominee for the Presidency in Election 2008, has a detailed plan to strengthen the U.S. economy and to deliver us from eight years of mismanagement.

Obama’s plan is especially needed in the Coachella Valley with California one of the states hardest hit by the housing crisis, predatory lending, and rising commodity prices, with Riverside County one of the hardest hit counties, and with the Inland Empire, the San Gorgonio Pass, and the Coachella Valley as some of the hardest hit local regions.

More below the flip…

Over the course of the next few days, I will review Obama’s plan with a focus on:

  • jumpstart the economy
  • provide middle class Americans with tax relief
  • trade
  • job creation
  • support small business
  • labor
  • protect homeownership & crackdown on mortgage fraud
  • address predatory credit card practices
  • reform bankruptcy laws
  • work/family balance

On September 17, 2007, Obama stated:

“I believe that America’s free market has been the engine of America’s great progress. It’s created a prosperity that is the envy of the world. It’s led to a standard of living unmatched in history. And it has provided great rewards to the innovators and risk-takers who have made America a beacon for science, and technology, and discovery…We are all in this together. From CEOs to shareholders, from financiers to factory workers, we all have a stake in each other’s success because the more Americans prosper, the more America prospers.”

– Barack Obama, New York, NY, September 17, 2007

Unfortunately, Obama’s Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has stated that he has little to no knowledge concerning things economic.  Lucky us if McCain is elected as President of the United States.

Election 2008: Palm Springs Village Fest With Julie Bornstein, Manuel Perez

The following was XPosted on

Made it out last night for the first time in too-long-a-time to the Palm Springs Village Fest Voter Registration & Candidates Tabling with the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club, the Palm Springs Democratic Club, and the Democrats of the Desert Democratic Club.  What changes are wrought with success and volunteer enthusiasm!

First, I espied the big tent, symbolic of the Democratic Party in Palm Springs.  Afterall, we are the party of the LGBT community, the senior community, the African-American, and the Latino communities in the Coachella Valley!  Come one, welcome all!  Thanks to Cathedral City Councilmember Greg Pettis for the loan to the cause.

The tent was festooned with colorful red, white, and blue bunting and banners announcing the various Democratic Club involvements, candidates and initiatives.  Peter East, Secretary of the Palm Springs Democratic Club, was credited with creating the amazing signage for the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club and the Palm Springs Democratic Club.  Eye-popping posters and signs for Julie Bornstein, Democratic Candidate for the 45th Congressional District, Manuel Perez, Democratic Candidate for the 80th Assembly District, and No on Prop 8 signs abounded.  Manuel Perez?  Yes, Manuel Perez!  More on that to follow.

More below the flip…

see picture of Julie Bornstein, Democratic Nominee for the 45th Assembly District at

Desert Stonewall Democrats were fully represented by President George Zander, Treasurer Bob Silvermen, Membership Chair Lyn Worley, Public Relations Chair Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D., Steering Committee Member Richard Oberhaus, Steering Committee Member Bob Mahlowitz, and community activist Bill Cain-Gonzales.

Palm Springs Democrats members included Secretary Peter East and partner John Eldridge, Membership Chair Mahlowitz, and others.

Democrats of the Desert were represented by Eleanor Jackson.

The Sen. Barack Obama for President table had, it seemed, lots of enthusiastic volunteers.  Among the Obama zealots, Bob Morris.  Morris graciously gave me his personal rainbow Obama button to sport during the festivities.  Visitor after visitor, gay and straight, African-American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, and White, children, adolescents, adults, and seniors, abled and disabled, took turns taking pictures with the life-sized cardboard image of Obama.  Kudos to John U. for the art!

Bornstein informed and held court with hundreds of visitors and voters.  Bornstein impresses with her knowledge of the issues and her availability.  Afterall, Bornstein has had the experience of having been the local Assemblymember, political experience in a series of progressive Democratic administrations in Sacramento, and the life experience of being a cancer survivor.  Bornstein, above her opponent, knows about the values and needs of the working class families of the Coachella Valley.  Plus, Bornstein is the only candidate to actually live in the District! (Mary Mack, R, lives in Florida with her husband, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV).

Zander, Oberhaus, and Cain-Gonzales all informed this writer that Perez was working the crowds of Village Fest.  As you might imagine, initially, I was ill-at-ease, given my earlier support of Pettis.  However, Perez glad-handed the crowds and was clearly comfortable with his role as Democratic nominee for the 80th Assembly District.  Shortly, I would discover that he was also comfortable with the issues that are extremely important to the voters of the West Valley and Palm Springs.  Teaser.  More to follow.

see Manuel Perez, Democratic Nominee for the 80th Assembly District picture at

Visitors from across the country and around the world flocked to the Democratic Club-sponsored tables.  Personally, I met two visitors from France and two different familes from The Netherlands.  Everyone was interested in Obama, Bornstein and Perez.  Much of the talk centered on Obama’s crowning achievements in the Middle East, especially, Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel, and, yesterday, in Germany.  Many talked about Obama’s success with the troops in Afghanistan where he met a rousing, standing-room-only, ovation when he entered the gymnasium.  In Iraq, videographers show Obama being swarmed by U.S. Embassy personnel and troops at his speech there.  U.S. troops clearly love Obama for his intent to return them home from Iraq as soon as feasibly possible, and most likely within 16 months.  Voters were amazed that Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki now supported Obama’s position of withdrawal of all active-duty troops within a solid time-frame.

More than Obama’s successes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel, where somehow he managed to meet with, support, and, more importantly, not offend, neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians, was Obama’s heroes-welcome in Berlin.  Astonishing that 200,000 people from across Europe and the world would come to see history in the making.   Mobs of people striving to see, touch, and hear the next leader of the free world.  Imagine that, a leader of whom we no longer have to be ashamed.  A leader with credentials and ability.  An achiever, rather than an over-achiever.

see Obama yesterday in Berlin, Germany at

No wonder that sixteen more people registered to vote last night, including several party changes from Republican to Democratic!  One Latina teen shamed her friends into re-registering as Democrats.  They had initially registered as Republicans to help a friend who was paid for each voter registration.  They had only registered as Republican to help their friend.  Me, I appreciate that the Republicans spent money on registering voters who will vote for Obama, Bornstein, and Perez!  Hardy-har-har.

Kudos to DSD, PSD, and DoD for staffing and delighting the burgeoning Village Fest crowds.  Extreme thanks to the progressive volunteers and candidates who are out to change the Coachella Valley and to make it once again safe for democracy.

Here is the blast email from Zander regarding last night’s VFest:

The Village Fest Democratic Table rocks!  It is colorful with tons of red white and blue and candidate yardsigns and banners. The tri-club banner is a work of art. (Thank you Peter East!) For the third week in a row we hit double digits in new voters. The national trend is sweeping into the Coachella Valley.

Hundreds of buttons and bumper stickers lept off the table. Folks lined up for three hours to take pictures with Obama….thanks again to John U. for the GREAT Obama life sized cut out picture! The DSD, DOD and PSDC sponsored table has already eclipsed the 2004 table in voter registration and excitement- and it is only July. Thanks to all, but especially Bill G, Peter E, John E and Bob Morris for the fabulous erection and design of the tent. (And to Greg Pettis for the loan of the tent).

Our candidates, Julie Bornstein and Manuel Perez spent the full three hours talking to and listening to voters and visitors.

Thank you to all of the team that set up, pulled down, designed and built our new table. Thanks to all who registered voters lead by stalwarts Bob Silverman and Eleanor Jackson.

Jasmine Waits, COO of Village Fest sat the table for a time as well. She gave us full approval for our colorful and professional new look.

The place is a great time. If you have expereinced this yet, come on down.

On to victory.  George W. Zander

Perez Supporter Wissman (CSEA) Apologizes for Email, Not for Content Dissing Bornstein, Pettis, TDS

XPosted on

As I reported in an earlier blog, Dale Wissman, California School Employees Association, wrote a piece that disrespected Julie Bornstein, Democratic Nominee for the 45th Congressional District, Greg Pettis, former-Democratic Candidate for the 80th Assembly District, Pettis’ supporters and bloggers, The Desert Sun, and the TDS’ editorial staff and reporters.  Rather than focus on the Victor Manuel Perez victory Tuesday in the Democratic primary for the 80th AD and on solidifying support for Perez amongst the West Valley Democrats and Decline to States, Wissman chose to go beyond the pale, to gloat about his responsibility for the victory, and to slam all of his perceived opponents.  Wissman’s email was then published on his cousin’s blog, sending shockwaves through the Coachella Valley.  (BBBz note: blog has now deleted the offensive post.)

Wissman, in response to intense public pressure from local Democratic club leadership, including President of the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club George Zander, and to the increasing dismay of the Perez camp for the resulting alienation of local Democratic Club leadership, Democratic electeds in the West Valley, and the local Democratic activists and bloggers (soyinkafan’s “West Valley elite”), apologized for the publication of his offensive email.

More below the flip…

Although assuming responsibility for his inappropriate missive, Wissman, did not apologize for the tenor or the content of his writing.  The following is the email Wissman sent out to local Democrats:

I would like to apologize for putting everyone through this.  I can’t tell you how bad I feel about this.  It was never my intention for anyone other than CSEA staff to see this email.  Written with high spirits on the morning after election night, the email went out only to top CSEA staff.   No CSEA members received this email, and only about two dozen CSEA staff members actually received it, one of which is married to Randy Bayne, my cousin.  It was a kind of “insider baseball” email that wasn’t supposed to see the light of day, but of course it did.  

The email/blog certainly does not reflect well on me or CSEA, and as long it stays that way I’m fine with that.  But, please don’t let this reflect poorly on Manuel, who had absolutely nothing to do with this email, does not condone it, and will no doubt let me know just how pissed off he is about it.  Once again, my email to CSEA staff, in no way reflects the sentiment of Manuel Perez’s camp, which is very much focused on solidifying Democratic support in all areas of the AD80, especially in the much needed and hugely important Westside.  

Once again, I would like to apologize..  It was never my intention that Greg, or anyone outside of CSEA staff, see that correspondence.

Dale Wissman

Labor Relations Representative

California School Employees Association

(760) 564-1141 office

(760) 564-2241 fax

Fallout from the offensive blog continues as apparently one of the unions linked to Wissman is not at all amused by the email, by the blog posting, or by its impact on local Democratic leaders.

Perez Campaign’s Wissman Disses Bornstein, Pettis, The Desert Sun: Trifecta Wissman-Style

As the Perez and Pettis campaigns began to kiss and make up, Dale Wissman, CSEA, posted a blog that brought the detente to an abrupt, and quite possibley, permenant, halt.  Wissman disrespected Julie Bornstein, Democratic Candidate for the 45th Congressional District, Greg Pettis, Cathedral City Councilmember and former-Candidate for the 80th AD, Pettis’ supporters and bloggers, the Democratic Clubs that supported Pettis, the unions that supported Pettis, The Desert Sun which endorsed Pettis over Perez, and the Desert Sun editorial staff and reporters.

Wissman could not have alienated potential support in the West Valley any more than he just did in his blog.

Wissman has apparently not been heeding the role modeling enacted by the Sen. Barack Obama campaign with Sen. Hillary Clinton and her supporters.  Then again, the Obama and Clinton campaigns involve veteran staffers who do know how to ‘kiss and make up.’

The response of George Zander, President of the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club and Wissman’s original blog are all posted below.

Wissman’s blog posting that may cost Perez and Democrats the 80th AD:

First of all, Manuel Perez would like me to thank all of you for your participation in his AD80 Primary win last night. Manuel Perez recognizes the central roll that CSEA [California School Employees Association] made in this victory, and he said to a crowd of about 150 last night that CSEA “was there from the beginning, never wavered, and made all the difference when it counted.” Perez, the grassroots underdog. won by an overwhelming margin last night over Greg Pettis, the Cathedral City Councilman. Pettis, narrowly avoided a third place finish against Rick Gonzales, who ran a strong campaign in Imperial County.

Major thanks and kudos to the RCFO [Rancho Cucamonga Field Office] members and staff who came out and sweated through four weekends of precinct walking for Perez, including the 30-40 CSEA faithful on the ground in Coachella each day for the big push leading up to the Primary Election yesterday. We were the most organized, most dedicated, and most numerous union members on the ground by far engaged with the Perez campaign. This is an undeniable fact commented on by everyone in the Perez camp, not the least of which was the candidate, Manuel Perez.

Major thanks and kudos to the SDFO [San Diego Field Office] members and staff who came out to work the Perez Campaign in Imperial County. Perez’s success in Imperial County was due in large part to Ruth Duarte-Vasquez, who worked the Imperial side of the AD80 equation with a small, but very dedicated group of member release timers. Ruth’s deep knowledge of the community, and personal relationships with CSEA members and the community was part and parcel to our success in Imperial County. We had just a few short weeks to weld together a Riverside/Imperial coalition of the CSEA faithful, and although it wasn’t easy, we found a way to break down the barriers that have kept us from success for so long in the AD80. I can confidently say CSEA was most likely responsible for as many as one-quarter to one-third of the 2,200 Perez votes in Imperial County and maybe even more. Without a doubt, CSEA’s efforts in Imperial County put our guy over the top. Once again, MAJOR KUDOS to Ruth Duarte-VasQuez for her work on this campaign in Imperial County.

Major thanks and kudos to Government Relations, which in working through Opportunity Pac, helped sort out a difficult primary when the Speaker’s Office didn’t have the will or the way to do so. I’m understating it when I say we dodged a bullet down here. Had Greg Pettis won last night, we would have already lost the General Election to Gary Jeandron, the Republican in the race. In addition, all of the ground organization and momentum in the Perez Campaign that other candidates have been feeding off and plugging into (such as our DSUSD [Desert Sands Unified School District] school Board candidate, John Mendoza, and Julie Bornstein, the CD45 candidate) would have simply evaporated.

For those of you who weren’t on the ground yesterday, or who left after a hard day of GOTV activities, I want to share with you some of the events of last night. The voter turnout was abysmal, but those voting were overwhelmingly Perez votes. Still, at about 7 p.m. last night, it was gut check time. Were there enough actual Perez voters to overcome the Palm Springs voters, who traditionally vote at a much, much higher turnout rate? And what about the absentee ballots? We knew they’d to go to Greg Pettis, but when Riverside and Imperial posted their first numbers would Perez be down by 1,000 votes or 3,000? That was the mood of the campaign at 7 p.m.

When the Victory Celebration Party began in earnest at 8:30 p.m., we had little information from Imperial, and only the VBM information posted on the Riverside Co. website. We were down over a 1,000 votes and losing 45% to 30%. Keith Matheny, the outstanding reporter from the Desert Sun was in the room in Coachella reporting the events. Matheny, you may recall, was the reporter who did the “Bonnie’s Bed” story in 2006, and most recently the Mosquito District exposé. His co-worker, Marcel Honore, was camped out at the Pettis’ camp’s party, and Marcel and Kieth were communicating every 5-10 minutes by cell phone.

At 8:30 p.m. things started to get strange. Perez’s camp was subdued, but the energy was hopeful and it was building. At about 8:40 p.m, with no real data yet from either county, Greg Pettis puts out a press release and states to the Desert Sun that he is “looking forward to Lincoln-Douglas style debates with Gary Jeandron.” AT 8:40 p.m. with BASICALLY NO RETURNS OTHER THAN VBMs. PETTIS ALL BUT DECLARES VICTORY!!! What arrogance! What stupidity. Since the Dems have lost the 80th three times in a row due to Imperial County voters, making any statement about winning to the press before Imperial County votes have been counted (much less Indio and Coachella) shows an abject lack of judgment, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding about the structure of the 80th Assembly District.

As the returns started coming in from Imperial County, we began to close the gap. The Pettis camp put out another press release changing their tune saying that voter turnout was going to be the “X-factor.” By 10:30 p.m., we were running 3-1 over Pettis in Imperial County and actually winning the county narrowly over Gonzalez. A surge due to advertising blitzes by Gutierrez never materialized for the Dentist, and it became a two man race in Imperial County. Most significantly, Pettis had only some hundreds of votes in Imperial at that time. Manuel Perez was speaking to the crowd of supporters when the next Imperial County update hit. Perez had picked up nearly 600 more votes, while Pettis got about 80! For the first time, Perez took the lead, a lead he did not relinquish. A roar erupted from the area where the computers were, and everyone in that room started to feel that Perez was going to win. There is no way to explain the energy in that room. People had just poured themselves into that campaign, and for most of the time, they didn’t believe they were going to win. So. when the win started to materialize. it was pandemonium.

At about 10:45 p.m., the Pettis camp stated that they were confident of a Pettis win, and their numbers “based on the 2006 model” showed Pettis winning the primary by “186 votes.” Marcel Honore, the Desert reporter, is a bit of a wag. He asked, the Pettis spokesman, if he was sure Pettis would win by “186 votes” and not 182, or maybe 189. In any case, the Pettis camp left a few minutes, later. It was crickets in Palm Springs. Meanwhile, in Coachella at the Perez Victory Party, the Mariachi Band (really!) was kicking up a storm. It turned into a landslide victory for Perez.

For months, Pettis’ camp has attacked CSEA as a “rogue” union. The Riverside/San Bernardino CLC initially did not even bother to interview the other AD80 candidates before making a decision to back Greg Pettis. CSEA delegates to the Democratic Convention were attacked as “racist, homophobic bigots” multiple times in the Desert Sun for standing up to Pettis and vacating his Democratic Party endorsement at the Convention in San Jose. The Desert Sun did everything possible to slight Manuel: they left his picture out in one column, omitted his name in another, got his job and employer wrong in another, slammed him in another, printed other candidates press negative press releases verbatim, and built up Pettis as the straw man the whole way, ultimately endorsing Pettis in the very real hopes that the Republican would mow him down in the primary.

My wife and I were slammed in the Desert Sun and on the on-line blogs for daring to write an editoral that suggested that “democrats ignore Imperial County at their own peril,” while questioning Pettis’ insider clambake of the Democratic Party endorsement through Democratic Club votes. And then there was the initial difficulties of CSEA unifying Riverside/RCFO [Rancho Cucamonga Field Office] and Imperial/SDFO, [San Diego Field Office] which almost didn’t happen. It was touch and go there for a little while, especially for a Labor Relations Representative from the Coachella Valley who appreciates and respects, more than anyone will ever know, the capacity of the members and staff in Imperial County, which is perhaps the single most difficult place in California to represent CSEA members.

All of that was going against us.

We won anyhow.

We’ll win in November.


There was something absolutely magical happening in Coachella yesterday, and I just “got it” on an emotional level. RCFO staff may recall Manuel Perez, while doing the big “rah-rah” yesterday, got a bit emotional introducing his mother. Perez’s mother worked in the fields as a laborer for 27 years. She is a first generation immigrant from Mexico, and her son was on the precipice of becoming the Democratic candidate for the General Election. She was in tears, as were many others. It was certainly a loving moment between a mother and her son, but it was something much, much more. It was something so uniquely American, and yet something so rare, that it overwhelmed some of the Perez volunteers, not to mention the CSEA staff and members in attendance. It was the shared success of an immigrant family in America. It was hope. It was the validation that a poor kid from Coachella, who went to underfunded, hard-scrabble schools, who struggled to learn English, who had little resources, and only hope that America could provide him opportunity for his dreams: the opportunity to go to college, even to go to Harvard if he worked hard enough; and to run for an Assembly seat, and actually win – all of this came to the forefront for a few moments. It was generations of work and sacrifice, and decades of hope distilled into one moment.

The whole fact that the Perez family’s story is possible in America, and yet still not very probable, is why we must do everything possible to help him win in November.

Dale Wissman Dale Wissman is a Labor Relations Representative with the California School Employees Association. He represents classified school employees in Coachella Valley and surrounding area. He is also an appointed delegate to the DSCC from the 80th Assembly District, and is my cousin. This article was originally written as a thank you to CSEA members and others who volunteered on the Manuel Perez Assembly campaign and is reprinted with the author’s permission.

Zander’s response:

Nice. Just when I was about to offer my services to help MP win the west valley, which we could have done togeter- this.  My reaction is let the pompous arrogant Wissman – die in November.

Manny doesn’t deserve this rant. Manny is better than this. He is gracious in winning and so is Amalia. My not very sainted mother told me not to be a bad winner..this is beyond the pale.  Wissman’s mom failed him in that lesson.

Just when we were going to start the Kum bay a oh well …I have better things to do….sorry Manny.  What a jerk is Mr Wissman, and we could have won in November by joining together.  Not now.

Obama, Bornstein, and the hate initiative are priorities.  Thank you sooo much.

George Zander

Victor Manuel Perez: Creative Resume Writing Redux

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Well, well, well.  Just when I thought that the Victor Manuel Perez for 80th Assembly District campaign was intimately involved with the current sleeze campaign being waged against Greg Pettis, Democratic Candidate for 80th Assembly District, they just might have proved me wrong.  The recent mailings by Opportunity PAC to voters in Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, and Imperial County have voters alternatively scratching their heads and guffawing in uncontrollable laughter.

For the past two days, I have been blogging about Perez’, shall we say, creative resume.

More below the flip…

Perez and his campaign sent out fact sheets to the voters of the Coachella Valley and Imperial County stating that he is ‘Director of Community Health & Advocacy’ at his place of employment.   Perez ‘sold’ this idea that he was a ‘healthcare’ worker’ to the California Nurses Association in seeking and obtaining their endorsement for the 80th AD.

When I placed calls to Perez place of employment in order to speak with Perez re his resume and credentials for Assembly, employees at the Borrego Community Health Foundation informed me that Perez was in fact ‘Facilities and Maintenance Manager.’  Seems a far step from Director of Community Health & Advocacy.

Check out the Borrego Community Health Foundation website.  Now, they have changed Perez’ job title at the Centro Medico Mobile Unit as “Director of Community Health and Advocacy/Site Manager.”   From the description of the mobile unit, it really sounds like Perez merely drives the mobile unit around town delivering services to the community.  A far cry from “Director of Community Health and Advocacy.”  Just what does Perez really do for a living?  What are his responsibilities at Borrego, really?

It seems more and more likely that Perez has seriously embellished his resume.

Much to the chagrin, I am sure, of the Perez campaign, the shadow campaign against Pettis being conducted by Opportunity Pac and its $450,000 treasure chest, at the expense of the working families of the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, has now inadvertantly highlighted Perez’ creative resume writing.

As every Democrat with a mailing address in the 80th Assembly District now knows, Opportunity PAC is deluging voters with hit pieces and slander against Pettis and his campaign.  Mind you, Pettis has been Cathedral City Councilmember for more than 13 years, is former-Mayor Pro-Tem of Cathedral City, has been elected to Cathedral City Council three times in a city that is 58% ethnic and racial minority, has been endorsed by The Desert Sun, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, State Controller John Chiang, Board of Equalization Member Judy Chu, the entire LGBT Caucus in Sacramento, all of the local Democratic Clubs, and sits on various boards and organizations that meet the the healthcare, environmental, and education needs of the voters and families of the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.  In contrast, Perez has been the Vice-President of the failed Coachella Valley Unified School District that is now in State Trusteeship and now holds a job that is anyone’s guess as to what the job title is or what its responsibilities might be.

Now on to the Opportunity PAC inopportune mailings.  One of the first hit pieces, approximately eight more to follow according to the Fair Political Practices Commission filing by Opportunity PAC, has a Latina woman on the cover slamming Pettis.  Today’s mailing has another hit piece with a Latina who appears to be the same woman on the cover slamming Pettis again.

Same woman, but a different job title.   Perhaps she communtes between her healthcare position at Desert Regional to her teaching position in Thermal.

It conjures up the creative resume writing of Perez, his campaign, and his employer, Borrego: same man, same name, different job titles.

In any case, last night at 7:00 p.m., Opportunity PAC filed intent with FPPC to spend another 44K on the anti-Pettis hit piece, ‘field,’ and phone banking expenses.  Thus far, Opportunity PAC has filed intent with FPPC to spend more than $500,000, extraordinary in an Assembly race, in hit pieces against Greg Pettis.  Again, one just has to wonder what Opportunity PAC, its AFL-CIO-labeled ‘rogue unions,’ and their ilk expects in return from a lowly Assemblymember if elected.

BTW, if this were a Republican campaign, expecially that of McCain, Schwarzenegger, or Bush, the blogosphere would be all over this outrageous activity.  These are Rovian tactics applied in a Democratic campaign for State Assembly.  Seems that certain bloggers have turned a blind eye to the doings of Opportunity PAC and the Perez campaign.  Makes one also wonder.

More hilarity to come on this tomorrow regarding Perez’ creative resume writing and changing job titles!!!!

Victor Manuel Perez’ Changing Resume: Voters Ask What He Really Does

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Victor Manuel Perez, his campaign for 80th Assembly District, and his employer cannot seem to agree on his job title.  Wondering here why the major discrepancies.

Perez and his campaign sent out fact sheets and fliers to the voters of the Coachella Valley and Imperial County stating that Perez was ‘Director of Community Health & Advocacy’ at his place of employment, the Borrego Community Health Foundation.  Perez also ‘sold’ the idea that he was a ‘healthcare worker’ to the California Nurses Association in seeking and obtaining their endorsement for the 80th AD.

However, when I placed calls to the Borrego Centro Medico Mobile Unit where Perez works, employees informed me that Perez was in fact ‘Facilities and Maintenance Manager.’  Seems a far step from Director of Community Health & Advocacy and healthcare worker.

More below the flip…

Check out the Borrego Community Health Foundation website to see a picture of the Centro Medico Mobile Unit where Perez is either ‘Facilities Maintenance Manager’ or Director of Community Health & Advocacy,’ depending on whether you believe the campaign literature or the employees of Borrego.

Now, Borrego recently changed Perez’ job title at the Centro Medico Mobile Unit to ‘Director of Community Health and Advocacy/Site Manager.’  What a success this candidate is, he just keeps climbing that corporate ladder.

Just what does Perez really do for a living?  What are his responsibilities at Borrego, really?

It seems more and more likely that Perez, his campaign, and his employer have colluded to seriously embellished his resume.

Centro Medico Mobile Unit

“Health Care to You” Outreach Program


55557 Campus Road

Thermal, CA  92274

Phone: (760) 399-4526

Fax: (760) 399-4421

As a major part of the Borrego Community Health Foundation’s outreach program, the mobile unit improves access to health services by transporting medical care to the homes and workplaces of Coachella Valley residents.  The Mobile Clinic “Health Care to You” program travels throughout the Coachella Valley and visits Thermal, Mecca, Oasis, east Indio, Desert Hot Springs, and other areas.  The Mobile Unit focuses on primary care, well children, youth and preventive health and education services.  Se Habla Español.

Centro Medico Mobile Unit promotes environmental and community health by extending health services to local residents through health fairs, community sites, churches, schools, farm worker sites and residences.  The Centro Medico Mobile Unit operates on weekdays, weekends, early morning hours, and evening hours.

The Community We Serve

Although we provide medical care to people from all walks of life, our programs are specifically tailored to low-income, underserved, and hard-to-reach communities as well as migrant farm-worker sites.  The “Healthcare to You” program also serves local school districts and indigent populations with quality medical services at low or no cost.

Clinic Hours of Operation

Clinic hours and schedule vary depending on season (BluePalmSpringsBoyz note: and depending on Perez’ campaign schedule)…

…Director of Community Health and Advocacy/Site Manager

Manuel Perez, ED. M. has over 15 years experience in farm worker health issues and 5 years in community health and advocacy in a community clinic setting.  He was born and raised in the Coachella area and is currently a Coachella Valley Unified School Board Trustee.

Interesting that Perez is 35 years old according to his biography and yet he has over 15 years of experience in farm worker health issues as well as 5 years in community health and advocacy in a community clinic setting.   Seems that he has been working in the healthcare field since he was 15 years old.  (Seems that Perez went to the Hillary Clinton resume building school for success.)  Wondering how he was able to fit in his Bachelor’s degree as well as the Ed.M., another 5 years to account for.

Add to this the fact that Perez touts his background as including being raised in Imperial County.  This is news to the Rick Gonzales and Richard Gutierrez campaigns. Gonzales and Gutierrez were born and raised, for real, in Imperial County.  Locals, in a small town society, know that Perez was not raised in Imperial County.

Will check out his website and do some more fact checking.  More to follow.