All posts by David in Burbank

Notes from the Adam SChiff Town Hall

(More info the better… – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

I wasn’t able to attend myself, but some early feed back from those who did shows just how hollow the opposition to reform really is:

“I’m still amazed at the people who are believing the lies and mis-truths….I’m still trying to wrap my head around all this.  The LaRouche group of young people astounds me especially carrying around pictures of Obama as Hitler.”


“My neighbor engaged a young moron carrying a sign comparing Obama to Hitler and she told him that his sign was an insult to the Holocaust and the people affected.  The moron told my neighbor that he has spoken with Holocaust survivors.  My neighbor retorted by saying, you are in your 20s and YOU spoke with Holocaust survivors?  You are a liar!!!

Another moron was carrying a sign showing a violent act of a person beating another.  [She] asked the lady about her sign and her response was that an SEIU member beat up a black  pastor (I think).  When [she] asked her for the name of the black pastor, she walked away.”


“Last night, I asked every person who approached me, “who paid for the printing”, “who are you advocating for”, “what corporation sponsored this?”  What everyone should know is that it’s being paid for and disseminated by the Lyndon Larouche PAC!  I asked every person I saw who was carrying any nazi regalia, and they all (almost proudly) admitted that it was paid for by the Larouche organization.  Most of the people handing out the nazi info were boys in their 20s, and several admitted that they were being paid to be there and distribute fliers.

The booklets they were distributing had a cover that was an extremely expensive glossy photo of the Nazi High Command, with Obama’s face imposed into the picture and standing in discussions with Hitler.  The fliers were high quality, and they had thousands of them to distribute.  The printing costs-for that event alone-had to be enormous.”

Yes on 8 ads teaching kids about gay marriage.

My son (9) likes to watch the Simpsons on DVR.  Yes on 8 ads have blanketed that time slot.  So the “Yes on 8” campaign ad has told my kid many times that Men can Marry men.!!!!

Not that I care.  My son has a very good friend with two dads so it’s not like he’s even shocked.  And we’ve had some discussion about it as elementary school kids still use “Gay” as an insult and so I’ve had to have that discussion – you know, about what it means and why it’s not bad and how some people think it is…etc..etc..etc.

But what about all those millions of parent’s who aren’t necessarily anti-gay or even anti-gay marriage, but weren’t ready to have that conversation with their kids?  And if the anti-gay marriage types let their kids watch the Simpsons, they ought to be pretty pissed off.

And finally, the hypocrisy of it strikes me as particularly egregious…I mean the whole reason they are given to be opposed to Gay Marriage is that your kids might find out about it – and yet they are blanketing the air waves, during a show that kids love to watch, with ads informing kids that men can marry men and woman can marry woman.  

That’s all I have to say about that.

The Big Bang Theory of Politcal Reform in California

(Some interesting ideas – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

I am convinced that we will never fix the problems of our non-responsive California government though piecemeal changes. Term limits, which I voted for, have failed to produce the changes we wanted and have made it easier for money to dictate policy. All the measures we’ve passed to demand that money collected from certain taxes go only to certain projects have failed as well (and we face yet anther one of those in February.) Prop 13 has starved our treasury, but I can’t afford to see it repealed. And all of these efforts have been an expression of our distrust in our government and were sold as the way to check their power.  For instance, no State run health care plan can ever pass public muster until we trust the politicians not to treat us badly as the insurance companies do.

Well, the solution is pretty obvious, but nearly impossible to achieve. We must be able to trust our government (and the public must perceive them as trustworthy.)  If we trusted them, we wouldn’t need a super majority to increase taxes because we would be assured they would be spending it on something we needed. We could let our representatives have a career in their positions if the voters returned them to office and then benefit from their years of experience. And I am convinced that the only way to achieved that is to make a lot of changes all at once and have it sold by the people we trust most – ourselves!


Some of the things we need to push include public financing of campaigns to reduce the effect of money on our elections;  making mail in voting and instant runoff voting standard to increase voter turn out and participation (and reduce the turnout decline associated with run off elections;) reforming our redistricting process with a goal to make the districts MORE competitive rather than less so people feel like their views are getting a fair airring even in districts where they are the minority; reforming lobbying rules so that nothing takes place outside of public scrutiny; and so on and so one.  There are a lot of good ideas out there and each one is getting run by a separate special group and that is all well and good, but I don’t think any of them will work alone and that’s presuming they can each garner enough support to pass on their own.

But what might work is if all those ideas were presented to the public as one gargantuan effort to reform our system all at once.  I think that appeals to the California sensibility and reduces all the various campaigns into one simple campaign – fix it all now.  Of course no one is going to really believe it can all be fixed all at once, but it is an easier sell and and better plan to pass as much  reform all at once with that caveat that we need to keep working at it (i.e. not letting our elected officials change it back to a system that responds to money rather than votes.)

And there is no better place to start this effort than in the California Blogosphere and among the Democratic clubs.  First we need to identify all the areas of change that are needed, then find a solution out there that looks like it will work, then put them all together in one list and figure out how to make that a ballot initiative and find a unique way to get it the signatures to qualify it.  And starting immediately after identify existing plans, start to push those plans, link to their sites, attend their events, talk about those plans…etc.  Perhaps someone who knows about Wiki’s can start one.  Sadly this will happen without much support from the democratic party power structure, though there will be democratic politicians who will support it, and I doubt the republican party will support it either, though some republican politicians might (this is really a NON-partisan effort) and in fact the lack of institutional support would lend creditability to the effort.

If we work really hard, we might get this on a ballot sometime in 2010, just in time for the new census and the next scheduled redistricting.  But I’m not sure exactly what need to be done next…’cause I’m just a guy who spends most of his time working to support his family.