Tag Archives: Dennis Cardoza

Rep. Dennis Cardoza resigns effective immediately

Underwater: Housing & the Recovery - Rep. Dennis CardozaWasn’t running for re-election

by Brian Leubitz

Rep. Cardoza was out of a seat after redistricting, and rather than running against Jim Costa, a fellow moderate Democrat, chose not to run for re-election.  Today he announced that he’ll be jumping ship right away.

Citing sensitive family needs, Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, has tendered his immediate resignation from the House of Representatives. The surprisingly timed departure takes effect at midnight Wednesday. (SacBee)

Given that the Republicans have a large majority as it is, I’m not sure this makes that big of a difference going forward in the House. However, the early retirement six months before his scheduled date was a bit of a surprise.

UPDATE: And right away he gets a job as a lobbyist. Awesome system.

The LGBT Community Of San Joaquin County & The Progressive Movement

Hi there, Nicholas Hatten here. Ye of McNerney ’06 and ’08 campaigns and Stockton’s Drinking Liberally. First time poster but long time lurker. What’s got me so excited that I’ve decided to break my lurking streak? Well, the awesomeness that is San Joaquin County’s LGBT community.

A year ago this month I moved back to the lovely city of Stockton after a decade long love affair with the Bay Area and re-discovering the Central Valley during my time with Team McNerney. Now I was already aware of how progressive leaders like Councilmember Susan Eggman (LGBT icon), Jerry & Carol Bailey (single payer icons), Martha Gamez (uber-grassroots icon) and others had helped change the landscape of politics in the Central Valley. What I wasn’t aware of was how much the LGBT had matured and evolved into a political force during my time away.

More following the flip…

A refresher course might be in order for some. A few years back Progressive Punch’s Joshua Grossman did an excellent job explaining the potential for the progressive movement within San Joaquin County. Since that post, San Joaquin County has seen all of its federal and state elected officials carry over to the blue category with the exception of one. In 2008, Asm. Huber & Asm. Buchanan won previously Republican seats, joining Asm. Galgiani in Sacramento and leaving Asm. Bill Berryhill as the sole Republican voice. Additionally, the city of Stockton successfully swore in progressive Ann Johnston as its mayor. During this time, the Central Valley Stonewall Democratic Club joined the more established Truman Club as a top fundraising machine and helped  not only Mayor Johnston get elected but also Stonewall members and now Stockton Unified School District trustee Colleen Boardman and Lincoln Unified School District trustee Van Ha To-Cowell.  Not bad for a club only in its third year of existence.

Sadly, the 2008 election wasn’t a complete success for the progressive community in San Joaquin County. Despite the before mentioned inroads, an overwhelming victory for President Obama, the re-election of Rep. Jerry McNerney and a democratic voter registration advantage; Proposition 8 easily won in San Joaquin County with a solid 65 percent majority.

So what have teh [Central Valley] gays been up to since then? Well, in 2009 the University of Pacific formed an annual Northern California LGBT conference that invites students and the general public to discuss issues that affect the LGBT community. Elena Kelly, transgender activist organized San Joaquin’s first ever Transgender Day of Remembrance! service, a powerful and emotional evening memorializing the victims of transgender violence.   Recently, a group of energetic youths have launched the Courage Campaign San Joaquin Equality Team and are hosting a fun Mardi Gras meet and greet on April 30th.

And what about the Central Valley Stonewall Democratic Club? Some of you might remember them holding Republican and congressional candidate Mike Berryhill accountable for his homophobic comments last month. They recently  hosted their most successful fundraiser with  LGBT activist and former congressional candidate Anthony Woods as a keynote speaker, endorsed a new round of candidates and are currently hosting a successful series of community forums, like January’s LGBT youth forum, and this weekend’s Toward Harmony: A Discussion of Race, Religion and Sexuality.

After initially being mentored by the Sacramento Stonewall Club, the Stockton based CV Stonewall Club is now paying it forward and is now helping the Stanislaus LGBT community, one of the largest gay communities per capita in the nation (and a county that voted 68 percent in favor of Prop. 8) politically organize by hosting Stanislaus Stonewall Chapter planning meetings . The Central Valley Stonewall Democratic Club members are doing the hard work that Joshua Grossman suggested in his 2007 blog.

So that’s what’s got me so excited this early morning. The vibe out here reminds me of 2005 when progressives all over California joined forces with the  environmental community and sent Richard Pombo packing. With two assembly seats (Buchanan, Huber) being defended and a possible blue pick up (Berryhill), a hot state senate race in Stanislaus County and all the LGBT community outreach, it is an exciting time to be a progressive in San Joaquin County and the Central Valley.

Full disclosure, since returning to Stockton last year, despite their better judgement, I was appointed the Vice-President of the CV Stonewall Club. Please don’t hold that against them. 😀

3 California Democrats Vote To Go Anti-Choice from the Public Option

Depressingly ironic, that choice is no longer part of the public option. The Stupak amendment, which bans the public option from covering any elective abortions, passed by a fairly wide margin in the House today.

Of note to us here at Calitics is that, along with the entire California Republican delegation, three California Democrats voted in favor of the Amendment. The names will hardly surprise anybody: Jim Costa, Dennis Cardoza, and Joe Baca. Our three biggest conservaDems strike again.

You can see the full vote total here.

UPDATE by Robert: All CA Dems voted for the final bill, including Baca, Cardoza, and Costa.

No Exceptions to the Endangered Species Act

It was a compelling scene: Rep Dennis Cardoza and Rep. Devin Nunes brought in a bowl of 3″ long smelt and pictures of unemployed farm workers and their families to a House Natural Resources Committee meeting.  They were hoping to provide an effective contrast and convince their colleagues to make an emergency exemption to the Endangered Species Act.

The state is in the third year of a drought and it has gotten so bad that in order to protect a federally endangered species a federal judge in 2007 ordered the state and feds to cut down on the amount of water pumped through the delta to save the smelt.

This is not simply about a species of little fish.  The smelt, as Kevin Freking at the AP writes “a bellwether for the health of the delta, the heart of California’s water-delivery system.”  More from the article:

With that, he offered to submit a fishbowl filled with nine minnows for the Congressional Record. The fish were rainbow smelt, not the endangered delta smelt, which are illegal to possess without a permit.

Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk, responded by asking him to take the plastic wrap off the bowl so the fish could get some air, which Nunes did. Napolitano served as chairwoman for Tuesday’s hearing.

I can’t just picture that scene in my head. Can’t you?

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, said some of the lawmakers were “cherry picking history” and ignoring that water has been pumped into the valley at rates that exceeded what was appropriate.

That’s one of the reasons the judge ordered state and federal wildlife agencies to revise how much water should be pumped out of the delta. Most of the pumping occurs from late spring through summer.

“The judge had no choice because the system was run right down to the margins where in fact he did kick in the protections of the Endangered Species Act,” Miller said.

We have lacked a sensible water plan for decades.  To allow more pumping risks devastating the entire ecosystem.  It is not about just a couple of little fish in a bowl.

The farm workers are devastated right now with the cutbacks to water supplies, but we need long term solutions, not short term actions that cause irreconcilable harm.

Tuesday Open Thread

You know how this works, feel free to add anything you found interesting in the comments.

• Blue dog Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Atwater) will not seek to replace Xavier Beccera as Democratic Caucus Vice-Chair if Beccera takes the trade representative post within the Obama administration. California progressive superstar Hilda Solis is still considering a run though.

• If you want your heart broken, read this story about the “Gifts for Guns” program in Compton.  The short version is that people are turning in their guns for groceries.

• It’s not just schoolkids who need subsidized lunches in this economy. Senior citizens are increasingly relying on public and non-profit programs that provide food for seniors.

• An F-18 crash in San Diego (near the Top Gun facility in Miramar) as the result of engine failure killed three yesterday.  Our condolences to the families of the victims.

• Sam Zell’s deal to buy the Tribune Company, owner of the LA Times, essentially stole from the pension funds of the Tribune employees.  The bankruptcy of the Tribune company is a sad chapter in American journalism.  One can only hope that the Times emerges stronger out of this disaster, this time without a right-wing idealogue holding them down.

Some investors are going to buy up a bunch of foreclosed homes, fix them up, and then help get qualified buyers to purchase some of the excess housing stock in the Inland Empire.

Rep. Joe Baca is having a Holiday Open House for his constituents in San Bernadino next week. Sounds like fun!

2010 – The Year of Primaries

Kos has an important post on 2010 marking a pivot for the grassroots and netroots from trying to take back the federal government from Republicans to reforming our Party and holding Democrats accountable.

If your local congresscritter is one of the bad apples, start organizing locally. Plug into existing networks or start your own. Begin looking for primary challengers. Do the groundwork. Don’t expect help from the local party establishment, they’ll close ranks. So tap into alternate infrastructures. Find allies in the progressive movement. If your local shitty Democrat is anti-union, approach the unions. They’d love to send this kind of message. If the Democrat is anti-choice, work with the women’s groups. If the Democrat is anti-environment … you get the idea. If you have access to professional networks and money, start organizing those.

Of course, this takes more than just bitching about your frustrations on a blog, damning a whole party for the actions of a minority more scared of Mr. 28% than of protecting the Constitution they swore to protect. This takes hard work. But now is the time to start.

Indeed. The activists that meet campaigning this fall will form the core of next cycle’s primary efforts. Kos suggests looking at The Capitulation Caucus with emphasis on those who are also Blue Dogs. In California, that means:

Joe Baca, Dennis Cardoza, Jim Costa, Jane Harman, and Adam Schiff

Kos also praises Loretta Sanchez as one of only four Blue Dogs who didn’t cave on defending the Constitution from retroactive immunity. And remember, Ellen Tauscher was a member of the Blue Dogs until she saw the successful primarying of Joe Lieberman and occupies a district designed for a challenge from the left (and west).

California’s Capitulation Caucus

The following California Democrats caved on retroactive immunity and disregarded their oath to, “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic”:

Joe Baca, Howard Berman, Dennis Cardoza, Jim Costa, Jane Harman, Jerry McNerney, Nancy Pelosi, Brad Sherman, Adam Schiff, Ellen Tauscher

Pete Stark did not vote. This is the list of those who are potential targets of the Blue America PAC vs Retroactive Immunity which as of now has raised $310,673 to, “fund accountability for congressmembers supporting retroactive immunity and warrantless wiretaps.” This money isn’t going to send thank you cards to the members who did defend the constitution, this is primary money and cold cash to dump Steny Hoyer from leadership (Rahm Emanuel also capitulated).

As the battle moves to the Senate, all eyes are on Barack Obama nationally and Dianne Feinstein locally [(202) 224-3841].

As for 2010 primaries, it will be interesting to see what comes out of this. Carole Migden’s 3rd place finish showed that entrenched politics matters less in a modern media environment. Ellen Tauscher is again practically begging to be primaried and in that district she’s walking on thin ice. Joe Baca deserves particular scorn as the only Californian to sign the Blue Dog letter to Pelosi pushing capitulation (and a primary of Baca could probably receive significant institutional support from former members of the Hispanic Caucus). McNerney has outdone himself in contracting a full-blown case of Potomic Fever during his first term, every time he makes a move I think about asking for a refund. And Harman and Berman voting to cover-up warrantless wiretapping isn’t going to do much to quell the rumors that they are pushing this because they are worried about their own culpability on the issue.

If you live in one of this districts, please call your member and ask them why. Comments and diaries with responses are highly encouraged.

“The Cardoza 40” and the End of the Primary

Al Giordano at The Field is now reporting that the Cardoza switch to Obama (he was previously a Clinton superdelegate) is the beginning of a major exodus of 40 Clinton superdelegates to Obama (Update: as noted in the blockquote, the 40 number includes pledged delegates as well):

The Field has learned that Cardoza is the first of a group of at least 40 Clinton delegates, many of them from California, that through talking among themselves came to a joint decision that all of them would vote for Obama at the convention. They have informed Senator Clinton that it’s time to unite around Obama, and that they will be coming out, one or two at a time, and announcing their switch between now and the convention if Senator Clinton doesn’t do the same.

Cardoza is one of the leaders of this effort (which includes not only superdelegates, but here’s something that should set off some paranoia in Camp Clinton: there are pledged Clinton delegates in “The Cardoza 40,” too). One Field Hand reports that during a recent Cardoza fundraising event in California the effort was discussed openly in front of other Democrats. Cardoza’s announcement, today, sent the message that the effort is serious and for real.

I don’t quite understand the logic of dribbling out the endorsements between now and the friggin’ convention – better to come out as a bloc and have done with it – but no matter how they do this it’s clear that the Democratic primary process is over and Barack Obama is the nominee. Yes, that’s been the case for some time, but with this shift it finally seems over.

And the timing of the announcement may be related to Hillary’s Calvinball approach to the MI and FL delegations, as Cardoza explained (quoted at The Field):

I am deeply concerned about the contentious primary campaign and controversy surrounding the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan – two states Democrats need to win in November. I will not support changing the rules in the fourth quarter of this contest through some convoluted DNC rules committee process. Yet, we must find a resolution to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates so these states’ voters are represented at the Convention. I believe we need to avoid this potentially divisive situation by uniting behind one nominee and bringing the party together immediately. Therefore, I have made the decision to support Senator Obama at the Democratic Convention in my role as a super delegate.

One of the fascinating things about this campaign is that since the week before South Carolina, everything she did to try and win voters has wound up backfiring and driving more Democrats – particularly electeds, but also African Americans – into Obama’s camp. That’s not to deny Obama’s appeal to voters and his amazing organizational power – but Hillary rarely helped her own cause, and her ridiculous comments about MI and FL seem to have finally ended her last, dim chances at winning the nomination.

Reduced to pleading for the vice presidential post, the Clinton campaign had better start figuring out the best way to concede the nomination to Obama if they are to have any hope of salvaging her reputation.

Progressive Punch: Jerry McNerney ranks 195th of 232

Woohoo! Jerry did it! Jerry McNerney has managed to become the most un-progressive Democrat of the entire California congressional delegation. For those keeping score at home, Jerry’s 82.45 was about a half point lower than the next CA Dem, Jim Costa, that progressive stalwart, at 82.97. And for all the talk of Harman changing her ways, she’s still worse than even Joe Baca, almost 7 points worse from a very safe Dem seat.

For all of you CA-45 fans, “moderate” Mary Bono came in with a stellar 4.42 Chips are Down score. So, for all the bluster of the SCHIP vote, she’s still dancing the same jig as the rest of her party.

On thing must be said, the Speaker has done an excellent job at preserving unity amongst the caucus. Whether that means she’s being too incremental and/or ineffective, or just laying down the law is the big question. The reason her approval rating, and the Congress in general, is down has a whole lot to do with the fact that little has changed on the Iraq front. So, would it be better to have a speaker who is more willing to take risks? Perhaps, but the impediment of the president always lingers over her head, veto pen in hand. So, whether the unity is really there, is an open question. Full data over the flip.

Rank Name 07-08 All-time ChipsAreDown Party State
1 Pelosi, Nancy 100.00 93.58 100.00 D CA
3 Sánchez, Linda T. 98.97 96.45 98.43 D CA
6 Lee, Barbara 98.45 96.99 97.18 D CA
9 Capps, Lois 98.28 88.95 97.49 D CA
13 Solis, Hilda L. 97.94 95.77 96.24 D CA
18 Richardson, Laura 97.83 97.83 96.43 D CA
23 Woolsey, Lynn C. 97.57 94.69 95.92 D CA
24 Filner, Bob 97.55 94.02 95.91 D CA
25 Matsui, Doris O. 97.42 94.46 95.30 D CA
26 Becerra, Xavier 97.33 92.41 95.19 D CA
37 Farr, Sam 96.72 90.66 94.98 D CA
39 Honda, Michael M. 96.63 94.39 94.67 D CA
51 Roybal-Allard, Lucille 96.39 92.79 94.03 D CA
55 Lofgren, Zoe 96.34 87.42 94.65 D CA
56 Tauscher, Ellen O. 96.23 83.14 93.10 D CA
58 Napolitano, Grace F. 96.17 90.68 93.42 D CA
63 Schiff, Adam B. 95.88 86.79 92.45 D CA
68 Waters, Maxine 95.77 93.38 93.31 D CA
71 Miller, George 95.72 93.67 93.20 D CA
73 Davis, Susan A. 95.70 87.53 93.10 D CA
77 Eshoo, Anna G. 95.64 88.63 93.38 D CA
82 Sherman, Brad 95.52 84.99 92.79 D CA
88 Berman, Howard L. 95.28 87.56 92.38 D CA
88 Watson, Diane E. 95.28 92.71 91.80 D CA
97 Thompson, Mike 95.01 85.33 93.42 D CA
102 Lantos, Tom 94.74 87.73 90.51 D CA
104 Sanchez, Loretta 94.49 84.58 90.19 D CA
114 Baca, Joe 94.16 82.91 90.28 D CA
127 Waxman, Henry A. 93.63 91.96 89.49 D CA
153 Stark, Fortney Pete 92.02 93.12 87.74 D CA
178 Cardoza, Dennis A. 90.09 77.80 84.86 D CA
179 Harman, Jane 89.82 76.91 83.86 D CA
187 Costa, Jim 89.22 78.46 82.97 D CA
195 McNerney, Jerry 87.63 87.63 82.45 D CA
274 Lewis, Jerry 18.40 10.68 4.73 R CA
283 Bono, Mary 16.01 11.32 4.42 R CA
295 Doolittle, John T. 12.72 4.44 1.57 R CA
313 Calvert, Ken 10.39 5.41 0.95 R CA
322 Hunter, Duncan 8.85 5.38 1.32 R CA
330 Gallegly, Elton 7.60 5.89 1.89 R CA
342 Rohrabacher, Dana 6.67 7.73 4.08 R CA
346 Dreier, David 6.38 5.19 2.51 R CA
352 Bilbray, Brian P. 6.07 13.85 3.77 R CA
356 McKeon, Howard P. “Buck” 5.91 3.87 1.27 R CA
370 Herger, Wally 4.92 3.30 0.95 R CA
373 Lungren, Daniel E. 4.81 4.43 1.25 R CA
376 Radanovich, George 4.60 3.65 1.27 R CA
378 Issa, Darrell E. 4.36 4.52 1.27 R CA
380 Miller, Gary G. 4.18 2.45 1.25 R CA
384 Nunes, Devin 4.01 3.30 0.31 R CA
385 McCarthy, Kevin 3.97 3.97 0.63 R CA
388 Royce, Edward R. 3.49 6.55 1.26 R CA
394 Campbell, John 3.12 3.77 2.85 R CA

Chips are down scorecard

(I was working on a similar post, but I’ll still post my own, with all CA data and some other miscellany. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

The problem with most scorecards is that they are written by lobbyists concerned with always getting the votes of potential supporters. Thus, there is an equal weighting while in the real world not all votes are equal. In fact, regardless of everything else, some votes are dealbreakers and when they show up on scorecards as one of 12 votes or something, it looks silly. However, Progressive Punch has a new “when the chips are down” scorecard. After the flip is the ratings of CA’s congressional delegation, in descending order.


92.86 Boxer, Barbara
90.45 Feinstein, Dianne


100.00 Pelosi, Nancy
98.43 Sánchez, Linda T.
97.49 Capps, Lois
97.18 Lee, Barbara
96.43 Richardson, Laura
96.24 Solis, Hilda L.
95.92 Woolsey, Lynn C.
95.91 Filner, Bob
95.30 Matsui, Doris O.
95.19 Becerra, Xavier
94.98 Farr, Sam
94.67 Honda, Michael M.
94.65 Lofgren, Zoe
94.03 Roybal-Allard, Lucille
93.42 Napolitano, Grace F.
93.42 Thompson, Mike
93.38 Eshoo, Anna G.
93.31 Waters, Maxine
93.20 Miller, George
93.10 Davis, Susan A.
93.10 Tauscher, Ellen O.
92.79 Sherman, Brad
92.45 Schiff, Adam B.
92.38 Berman, Howard L.
91.80 Watson, Diane E.
90.51 Lantos, Tom
90.28 Baca, Joe
90.19 Sanchez, Loretta
89.49 Waxman, Henry A.
87.74 Stark, Fortney Pete
84.86 Cardoza, Dennis A.
83.86 Harman, Jane
82.97 Costa, Jim
82.45 McNerney, Jerry