Tag Archives: California Primary

Today, I’m Running For Congress

(Welcome Marta Jorgenson to Calitics. – promoted by David Dayen)

Hi, my name is Marta Jorgensen and I’m running…

Today, I am championing my candidacy for Congress to all of you here at Calitics, because it is time the citizens of California’s 24th Congressional District had someone to fight for them, not for lobbyists and special interests.  My opponent, Elton Gallegly – R, has a long history of ignoring the views and concerns of the people in our district, and I’ve decided that enough is enough.  


The theme of our campaign is, “It is the money, stupid.” Lobbyists for powerful corporations come to Congress to block progress of better legislation for the critical issues of our time.  It’s their money.

If elected, one thing I’d like to do is reinstitution the Golden Fleece Award that the former senator from Wisconsin, William Proxmire initiated. Remember that?

We must stop paying Global Warming lip service. I am making it the number #1 Issue.

Our campaign is planning town hall meetings to discuss issues that never get covered in the MSM. We are also hoping to have the Climate Project give a presentation.

As a nurse I’ll work for a Universal Single Payer Health System. We need health insurance for everyone, a program with quality and cost controls and an emphasis on prevention. Full Medicare for everyone will save thousands of lives a year while maintaining patient choice of doctors and hospitals within a competitive private health care delivery system.

I’ll advocate for Agricultural Reforms, regarding food safety, genetic engineering, and excessive food transportation, as in long distance hauls versus local production; work to promote Healthy School Lunches,  “No nation is healthier than its children”… Harry Truman.  Good nutrition plays a critical role in healthy child development. Many kids are deprived of good nutrition at home due to poor economic conditions. As a nurse working with inner city handicapped and chronically ill kids in Los Angeles, I have seen this first hand. Unitary Executive and Signing Statements – This is a dangerous trend that could be carried on by the next President. We need to elect someone we can trust who will put this Pandora back in the box. Electoral Reform – same day registration; a voter verified paper record for electronic voting; run-off voting to insure winners receive a majority vote; binding “none-of-the-above” on the ballot. Voter Participation – It is the duty of every elected official and those running for office to rekindle the love of the democratic process and engage all people to participate in it. And that’s not easy these days.  Internet Neutrality -We must work to protect our freedom of the Netroots Nation. I don’t care who invented it just happy it’s here.

Here’s what I think…the Republicans for many years have slapped Democrats in the face with the phrase, “Tax and spend.”

We can now return the favor. It is our turn to chastise, to reprobate, the Republicans. The history of this country that the Republicans have handed us, the laws they have created in the name of fighting terrorism, and the war that we have had to endure brought to us under false pretenses, has earned them a new phrase. Listen up. Your history has earned you a new mantra. Here it is. “War and waste.” This also gets back to the Money Stupid theme.

To the demand for more money for war, we answer, “War and waste.”

To the demand for more laws that monitor our lives with government intrusion and the cost of money for more bureaucracies, and at the cost of individual freedom, we answer, “War and waste.”

To the president who demands an imperial presence that negates Congress and violates human dignity, we answer, “War and waste.”

To the demand for more lives of our sons and daughter to fight a war that people, even veterans, want to end, we answer, “War and waste.”

“War and waste” has been the behavior of the Republican Party. We now throw this phrase in their face. To those who think we are too strong in our declaration, I say, “Offend the offensive.”

Let us not think that we can meet aggression in our lives or against our land with a prayer and a cupcake. But how strong can we be if the treasury is empty?

How can we negotiate from strength if the funding for this war comes from banks and countries across the sea?  How can we guarantee unbiased negotiations for the best interests of our workers and our economy if we sit across the table from the representatives of a country to whom we owe a great financial debt?

Our campaign at present is grassroots. Until the big Endorsement manifests, we need help financially in small donations, like at our ActBlue Account. Want to help in other ways, just go to our website and sign up. The Big Blue Thermometer must hit the $15,000 mark real soon!

Imagine… one more of your own in the House of Representatives, crashing the gate.

Jorgensen For Congress,

Bringing Representation To The People, Not The Powerful…



Proud Progressive Democrats and Independents Repudiate The Desert Sun Endorsement of Barack Obama

(Xposted from www.mydesert.com, the online edition of Palm Springs’ The Desert Sun)

Well, well, well.  Proud progressive Democrats and their Independent and Republican supporters in Riverside County, and especially in the Coachella Valley, repudiated The Desert Sun endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama in the California primary by giving Sen. Hillary Clinton approximately 67% of the vote.  State-wide, Clinton appears to have won 54% of the vote while Obama has won about 39%.  Shows how relevant The Desert Sun is to the Riverside County Democratic Party, to the California Democratic Party, and to our supporters amongst the Independents and Decline to States now.

The Democrats of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Coachella, La Quinta, and other Desert Cities gathered tonight in a Unity Rally at Dale’s Lost Highway to celebrate our common democratic and Democratic principles.  Fiscal responsibility, universal healthcare, education, withdrawal from the Iraq morass and occupation, economic recovery, human rights, equal rights, and more.

The Democratic Unity Rally was sponsored by Richard Oberhaus, campaign manager of the Greg Pettis for 80th Assembly District, Greg Rodriguez, activist for the Clinton for President campaign, and Rob Simmons, Palm Springs Airport Commission and activist for the Barack Obama for President campaign.  A conservative estimate of the attendance at the soiree would run about 200 given the steady to-and-fro of the enthusiastic crowd.

More below the flip…

The media took special note of the event with coverage by CBS Channel 2, Channel 3, and live coverage of NBC Channel 6 on the 11:00 News.  Of interest, The Desert Sun reporters were apparently absent.  Must have been a paparazzi sighting of Brittany or Brad and Angelina in the Desert that necessitated its attention.

Electeds in attendance included Ginny Foat, City Councilwoman in Palm Springs, Rick Hutcheson, City Councilman in Palm Springs, Greg Pettis, Mayor Pro-Temp of Cathedral City and Candidate for the 80th Assembly District to replace the termed out Bonnie Garcia (R-CA), and Paul Marchand, City Councilman of Cathedral City.  Pettis discussed the progress of his campaign and reveled in the number of community activists in attendance.  Foat discussed her admiration and support for Clinton and her pleasure at the tide of events for Clinton during the evening.  Marchand focused on the excitement in Cathedral City, especially amongst the Latino community, for the Democratic candidates, especially Clinton.  In fact, Rodriguez reported that Latinos appeared to be supporting Clinton over Obama by a 6:1 margin across the country!

In additon to Pettis, other Democratic candidates in attendance included Paul Clay, Candidate for the CA 45th Congressional District, and Dave Hunsicker, Candidate for the 45th Congressional District.  Amalia Deaztlan, manager of the Manuel Perez for the CA 80th Assembly District campaign, also attended.

Local Democratic activists who attended the Democratic Unity Rally included George Zander, Chair of the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club (DSD), Bob Silverman, Treasurer of DSD, James Reynolds, Recording Secretary of DSD, and Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D., Jono Hildner, Bob Mahlowitz, and Bill Post, members of the Steering Committee of DSD.  Silverman discussed his previous support for Rep. Dennis Kucinich for President and his present support for Clinton due to her consistent support of the LGBT community.

Zander discussed his efforts as poll watcher and some of the disarray at the Mizell Senior Center due to the overwhelming number of Democratic and Independent voters who registered their votes at the precinct(s).  Seems that the several counties were ill-prepared for the numbers of voters not only in Santa Clara County but also in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties as well.

Other local party activists attending the Unity Rally included Sandy Eldridge, Co-Chair of the Palm Springs Democratic Club (PSD), Lisa Arbaelaz, co-founder of the PSD, her friend, Armando, Ruth Debra, DSD member, her friends, Tracy Turner, Vets for Peace, Deaztlan, Campaign manager for the Manuel Perez for 80th Assembly District, and many, many more.  Eldridge articulated her excitement about and plans for PSD and the November general election.  Her theme was re the local Democratic clubs working together in order to defeat John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney and those who support the ongoing, unending trampling of the U.S. Constitution, of the U.S. economy, of the Rights of the middle class and GLBT community, and of International Law.  Kudos to Eldridge and the PSD!

Bloggers in attendance included BluePalmSpringsBoyz, Fofitti, GRodriguez, and SeekTruth from www.mydesert.com, BlueBeaumontBoyz from www.Calitics.com, and others.  Observer discussed the advantages that Clinton has over Obama regarding electability and her consistent support of the Latino and LGBT communities.  SeekTruth and Fofitti discussed their concerns about the protection of our Right to Vote and the potential for voter fraud in the Republican-controlled election machinery in Riverside County. (BluePalmSpringsBoyz, Fofitti, SeekTruth and BlueBeaumontBoyz have endorsed Pettis for the 80th Assembly District.)

Union representatives in attendance included Chuck McDaniel, IBEW Local 440 and co-chair of the Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club, Tony Aidukas, Executive Committee of the SEIU United Healthcare Workers, and Juan Carlos Sanchez, Regional Political Organizer, Political Department of SEIU United Healthcare Workers.  McDaniel and Aidukas discussed the difficulty that they had in deciding for whom to vote following former-Senator John Edwards’ withdrawal from the race for the Democratic nomination.  Aidukas reported that two days following Edwards’ withdrawal, the SEIU UHW Executive Committee endorsed Obama for President.

At least one Republican attended tonight’s Democratic Unity Rally, Roger Williams.  (No, not that Roger Williams.)  Williams, heretofore a Mitt Romney supporter, reported that he recently removed Romney’s bumper sticker from his car and tonight obtained a Clinton bumper sticker as a replacement.

Obama activists attending the Unity Rally included Ed Grubman and his wife, Simmons, Debra, and many more.  Grubman and Simmons discussed Obama’s appeal to African-American and young voters and enjoyed each report of Obama’s successful run in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Utah.

Clinton activists who celebrated her wins in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Tennesee, included Grimm, Oberhaus, Rodriguez, Bond Shands, and many, many more.  Rodriguez discussed Clinton’s appeal to women, Latinos, and the LGBT community.  As in previous caucus and primary states, women and Latinos went largely and overwhelmingly, respectively, to Clinton last night.  Rodriguez was particularly gratified by the surprising ease that Clinton had in such states as California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennesee, states that as early as (Tuesday) morning were rated as toss-ups.

The delegate totals now appear to favor Clinton over Obama in both Pledged Delegates from the Democratic primaries and caucuses and the Super Delegates with Clinton now having 825 Delegates (632 Pledged Delegates and 193 Super Delegates) and Obama with 732 Delegates (626 Pledged, 106 Super Delegates).  The Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO will have a total of 4,049 convention delegates, and 2,025 needed for the Democratic nomination.

When the results of the California primary were posted on the big screen, a massive cheer arose from the Clinton camp.  Of note, those from the Obama and Clinton camp intermingled freely and provided support to each other’s members.  Many talked about a possible Clinton-Obama or Obama-Clinton ticket that might be unbeatable in November.  Simmons discussed the possiblity of an Barack Obama-Mark Warner (D-VA), Barack Obama-Tim Kaine (D-VA), Barack Obama-Jim Webb (D-VA), or Barack Obama-Joe Biden (D-DE) ticket.  Rodriquez examined the possibility of a Hillary Clinton-Bill Richardson (D-NM) or Hillary Clinton-Ted Strickland (D-OH) ticket.

In any case, Democrats rallied and celebrated tonight the victories of Clinton and Obama.  Even more, Democrats and their supporters reveled in the thought that the disastrous Bush Administration is drawing to a well-deserved close, especially with Bush’s Dead-on-Arrival 2008 Budget.  How many days can you hold your breath?

Moveon Members Vote to Endorse Today

Moveon has 575,000 California activsts:

Spurred by John Edwards’s withdrawal from the race on Wednesday, MoveOn surveyed a sample of its members to gauge endorsement interest, according to a source with knowledge of the group’s operations. Then MoveOn set a deadline of 11 am Thursday for members to back a virtual endorsement vote. If a majority support the idea, virtual balloting will run overnight, open only to the group’s 3.2 million activists, and an endorsement could be announced by Friday.

Your ballot will be hitting your inbox shortly. Looking at the movement in the Daily Kos poll, I can see Obama meeting the revised, 2/3 threshold.

UPDATE: Here’s the email, they are also doing a running phone verification sample to ensure nobody’s cheating:

Dear MoveOn Member,

We have a big decision to make. Yesterday, John Edwards left the race for president, leaving just two major Democratic candidates. And next Tuesday, over half of MoveOn's members will go to the polls in the biggest primary day in American history.

Right now, we have an opportunity to influence who our next president is-3.2 million MoveOn members together. When we surveyed over 200,000 MoveOn members yesterday to see if we should go forward with an endorsement process, a big majority said "yes."

So it's time to ask the question: Who should MoveOn endorse in the Democratic primary? If two-thirds of MoveOn members support one candidate, we'll campaign for that candidate together. Here's your ballot-vote today:


The above link is your personal presidential endorsement ballot for the Democratic nomination-it can be used only by you. It's important to vote immediately. Voting lasts until 11 a.m. Eastern tomorrow-Friday, February 1st. Then the ballots are counted, and we'll announce whether anyone met the 2/3 threshold.

If we can agree on a candidate by tomorrow, our endorsement will give that candidate a significant boost going into Super Tuesday, just a few days away. In addition to mobilizing MoveOn members to vote, our endorsement would mean that we campaign actively, as a unified movement, to elect a candidate who will represent us.

Each week over the past year, randomly selected MoveOn members filled out a survey about which candidate they supported. For months, MoveOn members were divided among many candidates-and many of us were waiting to see who would take bold progressive positions on the issues. But with Edwards dropping out, it's down to just two major candidates. And especially with Super Tuesday right around the corner, many progressives are making up their minds. Now's the time we can band together to make a difference.

Here's how MoveOn's endorsement process works:

   * Everyone who is a MoveOn member as of noon Eastern on Wednesday, January 30th, and will be at least 18 years old by November 4th, 2008 gets one vote.

   * Voting lasts now through 11:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow-Friday, February 1st. This will allow MoveOn to make an endorsement in time to make a difference on Super Tuesday.

   * MoveOn will only endorse a candidate if more than 2/3 of our members select that candidate. These are the same rules MoveOn has applied in contested Democratic congressional primaries. If MoveOn endorses a candidate, we will immediately start campaigning for that candidate.

   * If no candidate receives more than 2/3 of the votes cast, MoveOn will encourage members to vote and play an active role in the primary process, but will not endorse at this time.

   * We are taking extra security measures to protect the integrity of the vote. A random sampling of voters will get verification phone calls after voting. We've also ensured that each ballot is unique to one MoveOn member-so forwarding links will not allow more people to vote.

Click here to vote: [link]

2008 will be an exciting year. Together, we have an opportunity to make a big difference.

Thanks for all you do,

-Eli, Wes, Joan, Justin, Adam G., Adam R., Ilyse, Karin, Nita, Noah, Marika, Laura, Peter, Anna, Matt, Daniel, Carrie, Tanya, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team

 Thursday, January 31st, 2008

P.S. If you want more information about the candidates before voting, one good source is the Democratic debate on CNN tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Election 2008: John Edwards to Withdraw From Democratic Primary Process

(XPosted 1/30/2008 10:10 AM PST on MyDesert.com as BluePalmSpringsBoyz)

The media has reported that former-Sen. John Edwards plans to withdraw as a Democratic candidate for the nomination for President.  It is a sad day as for many supporters, Edwards epitomized someone who early in the process opposed the disastrous policies of the so-called Pres. George Bush in Iraq and Iran, who was overwhelmingly supportive of LGBT issues, who spoke on behalf of the poor and working people of this country, and who set a mature tone for the Democratic campaign in general.

More below the flip…

Edwards had voted in favor of extending to Bush the power to conduct himself as he wished in Iraq.  Edwards, however, later recognized the foolishness of bestowing trust on someone who demonstrated a lack of trustworthiness.  He regretted his vote on Iraq, and withdrew his support from Bush and his poorly conceived and poorly executed occupation strategy.  When he attacked Bush, he did it on a policy level and avoided personal attacks.  He is no Bush or Karl Rove, indeed.

Edwards also espoused almost universal support for the LGBT community and for our issues.  He supported repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, supported the repeal of Pres. Bill Clinton’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, supported the ability of LGBT families to adopt, and supported fully funding HIV/AIDS research and treatment.  His only failure was in his failure to support Marriage Equality.  However, the LGBT community did have the support of Elizabeth Edwards in that regard.  It was a breath of fresh air to have the almost complete support of a Presidential candidate rather than being an object of homophobia and hatred as we were during Election 2004 with Bush and Rove.

He derived support from the poor and from unions and from middle class workers in general because Edwards spoke to their economic and employment issues.  Edwards opened his campaign in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and will apparently close his campaign there as well in order to attempt to refocus the Democratic campaign on the issues rather than on personalities.  He also received the support of many unions and locals across the country because of his stand opposing NAFTA and outsourcing jobs.  On the other hand, Bush and his corporate cronies only serve to enrich the coffers of big business, Halliburton, Blackwater, Brown, Kellogg & Root, and the Defense and Mercenary Contractors at the expense of the poor and middle class.

Already, Sen. Hillary Clinton has posted a statement on her website at HillaryClinton.com

John Edwards ended his campaign today in the same way he started it – by standing with the people who are too often left behind and nearly always left out of our national debate.

John ran with compassion and conviction and lifted this campaign with his deep concern for the daily lives of the American people. That is what this election is about – it’s about our people. And John is one of the greatest champions the American people could ask for.

“I wish John and Elizabeth all the best. They have my great personal respect and gratitude. And I know they will continue to fight passionately for the country and the people they love so deeply.”

Sen. Barack Obama released a statement concerning Edwards on his website located at BarackObama.com.  Here is Obama’s statement in its entirety:

John Edwards has spent a lifetime fighting to give voice to the voiceless and hope to the struggling, even when it wasn’t popular to do or covered in the news.  At a time when our politics is too focused on who’s up and who’s down, he made a nation focus again on who matters – the New Orleans child without a home, the West Virginia miner without a job, the families who live in that other America that is not seen or heard or talked about by our leaders in Washington.  John and Elizabeth Edwards have always believed deeply that we can change this – that two Americas can become one, and that our country can rally around this common purpose.  So while his campaign may end today, the cause of their lives endures for all of us who still believe that we can achieve that dream of one America.”

Yes, Edwards will be missed by BluePalmSpringsBoyz and BlueBeaumontBoyz and, apparently by Clinton and Obama as well.  Truth will be told in the pudding though.  We shall see if the tenor of the campaign changes and if the focus turns to the issues rather than remaining on petty squabbling.  This will determine who we support on February 5, 2008.

Edwards Drops Out – How Will It Affect CA?

AP Reports and CNN confirms:

Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters’ sympathies, The Associated Press has learned.

The two-time White House candidate notified a close circle of senior advisers that he planned to make the announcement at a 1 p.m. EST event in New Orleans that had been billed as a speech on poverty, according to two aides. The decision came after Edwards lost the four states to hold nominating contests so far to rivals who stole the spotlight from the beginning – Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

The former North Carolina senator will not immediately endorse either candidate in what is now a two-person race for the Democratic nomination, said one adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement. Both candidates would welcome Edwards’ backing and the support of the 56 delegates he had collected.

Obviously the big question is how his votes will get redistributed. For us in California it’s especially interesting, because if Obama can peel off enough of the Edwards supporters, we’re going to have one dramatic night next week.

An added wrinkle is the votes already cast. Edwards’ supporters have been among the most dedicated and loyal in this campaign, and many of his California supporters have already mailed in their ballots. As Brian pointed out yesterday, the VBM return rates are “low” overall so there may be a significant chunk of Edwards backers who haven’t voted and could decide the outcome here.

So what will they do? Or, if you’re an Edwards supporter, what do you plan to do?

Election 2008: John Edwards Supports the Rights of the LGBT Community

“LGBT Americans are entitled to equal respect and dignity under our laws. Discrimination is morally wrong. All Americans should have the same freedoms and the same responsibilities.”

John Edwards

John Edwards has been a consistent supporter of the LGBT community, unlike most of the other candidates.  And, as we know, Elizabeth Edwards is an even bigger supporter.

Edwards supports the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities for LGBT couples and supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act which was enacted under Pres. Bill Clinton.  Elizabeth Edwards goes even further, supporting Marriage Equality.

Edwards also opposes workplace discrimination against the LGBT community and, while still in the Senate, co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Edwards supports the rights and privileges of the LGBT community to serve in the Armed Forces and opposes the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policies of the Pres. Bill Clinton Administration.

Edwards also believes that same-sex couples should enjoy the same adoption and family privileges as opposite-sex couples.

Edwards supports additional Hate Crimes legislation and while in the Senate, co-sponsored legislation providing law enforcement with tools to investigate and prosecute hate crimes based on perceived and actual sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Finally, Edwards supports full funding for research and treatment of HIV/AIDS.  Edwards was the first Presidential candidate to propose a comprehensive program regarding HIV/AIDS.

More below the flip…

The following are Edwards’ positions on the major issues challenging the LGBT community:

Equal Rights for Same-Sex Couples

Edwards believes that all couples in committed, long-term relationships should have the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities, whether they are straight couples or same-sex couples. He supports civil unions to guarantee gay and lesbian couples the same rights as straight couples, including inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, equal pension and health care benefits, and all of the 1,100 other legal protections government affords married couples. Edwards supports the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. He also believes same-sex families should be treated in the same manner as other families by our immigration laws. Edwards believes the right president could lead the country toward consensus around equal rights and benefits for all couples in committed, long-term relationships and he opposes divisive Constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriages.

Workplace Discrimination

Workers should be judged by the quality of their performance, not their sexual orientation or gender identity. While in the Senate, Edwards cosponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He also believes that stronger enforcement is necessary to prevent employment discrimination by federal agencies.

Military Service

Edwards opposes the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays and lesbians serving in our military. The military ought to treat all service members equally and in a way that promotes national security, without regard to their sexual orientation.


Edwards believes that gay and lesbian parents should be able to adopt children just like any other parents. There are over 120,000 children waiting for homes in our nation’s foster care system. Adoption placements should be decided by judges and adoption agencies based upon the best interests of the children. Both members of a same-sex couple raising children together should be able to form a legal relationship with their children.

Hate Crimes

Everyone is entitled to live in dignity without fear of violence. We should strengthen the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute hate crimes based on race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity. While in the Senate, Edwards cosponsored legislation to give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.


The loss from HIV/AIDS is almost beyond understanding. Edwards believes we have a moral imperative to do much more, and do it much better. He is the first presidential candidate — Democratic or Republican — to propose a comprehensive strategy this year to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic at home and around the world, building on his plan for true universal health care with specific proposals to expand Medicaid to cover HIV-positive individuals before they reach later stages of disabilities and AIDS and increase support for the Ryan White CARE Act and HOPWA programs. He will also fight the disease in the African-American and Latino communities where the harm is now greatest and employ science-based prevention strategies — including comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education and harm-reduction programs that provide high-risk individuals with access to clean syringes.

Election 2008 Delegate Race: Clinton, Romney Continue to Lead as of January 26, 2008

(xposted as BluePalmSpringsBoyz on mydesert.com)

The National and local news media usually only focus on who ‘wins’ the caucus or primary race.  They provide little information on election night regarding the important race, that for delegates.

This is interesting stuff from CNN.com for the Republican totals and CNN.com for the Democratic totals (kudos to grodriguez for providing the link in his blog).

The magic number of delegates for the Democratic nominee is 2,025.  Thus far, 443 Democratic delegates have been chosen, including those from today’s South Carolina Democratic primary as well as the so-called Super Delegates (e.g., governors, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives).  This means that only 10.94% of the Democratic delegates are committed to date.  

More below the flip…

Hillary Clinton leads the field far and away (I have deleted the Democratic candidates who have thus far dropped out of the race).  The results are as follows:

Hillary Clinton:  230

Barack Obama:  152

John Edwards:  61

Mike Gravel:  0

Clinton still has more delegates committed to her than all of her challengers combined.  And, kudos to Obama and to his Election 2008 team for today’s win in the South Carolina primary.  The challenge for Obama is clearly to increase his appeal to the White voters as he apparently only won 24% of the White vote in the SC primary.  Obama follows Clinton with 152 delegates, while Edwards has 61 delegates.  Edwards has his own challenge: win a primary or caucus state!

The magic number of delegates on the Republican side is 1,191.  Thus far, 148 Republican delegates have been chosen including the Super Delegates.  This means that only 6.22% of the Republican delegates are committed thus far.  Mitt Romney leads the Republican candidates, but John McCain has moved from third place in the delegate count into second primarily because of his primary win in the South Carolina last week.  The totals are as follows:

Mitt Romney:  73

John McCain:  38

John McCain:  29

Ron Paul:  6

Rudy Guiliani:  2

Very few Republican delegates have been chosen, but Romney has almost as many delegates as his challengers combined.  The pressure will be on Rudy Guiliani next week in Florida’s primary as he has put all of his 9/11 eggs into that one basket.

February 5, 2008, looms on the horizon when another 22 states hold their primaries and caucuses.  The picture will be much clearer then, when over 50% of the delegates on both the Democratic and the Republican sides will have been chosen by the end of that day’s primaries and caucuses.

So How Are The Votes-By-Mail Doing?

This year’s California primary was intended to be unusual for several reasons, not just the move to February 5. It was a common assumption that more voters would choose to vote by mail, and that those voters would be sending in their ballots early, forcing the presidential campaigns to shift their tactics accordingly.

But how is it actually working out? The answer depends on where you are. In Santa Clara County, where more voters (56%) are registered as vote-by-mail than any other high-population county, it seems to be business as usual. From the Mercury News:

Historically, about 25 percent of absentee ballots are dropped at polling places or the registrar’s office on Election Day. And so far, there doesn’t appear to be a lag in votes already cast in Santa Clara County or statewide, officials say. Weir said some counties are even seeing a bigger early vote count than normal, while Santa Clara County officials say the flow is about normal at roughly 4,000 a day.

While down here in Monterey County, most folks seem to be waiting. From the Monterey Herald:

Despite requesting a record number of absentee ballots for California’s Feb. 5 presidential primary, most Monterey County voters are hanging onto them, apparently still undecided whom they will choose as their party’s nominee.

As of Friday, county Registrar of Voters Linda Tulett said fewer than 11,000 absentee ballots had been returned out of 81,000 issued, with a little more than two weeks to go until the state’s primary.

What these articles suggest is that the  assumption that vote-by-mail people would send in their votes early as they committed to a candidate just isn’t happening. Instead a larger number of voters seem to be waiting to see what happens in the earlier states, their votes driven by media perceptions of who is “viable” and who is not. Although California’s votes may help determine the outcome, California voters are still depending on the earlier contests, and we may still act merely as a coronation.

The hope that the earlier primary date would get candidates to pay more attention to Californians and Californian issues doesn’t seem to be paying off either. Leon Panetta, former Clinton Chief of Staff and director of the Panetta Institute at Cal State Monterey Bay, expects campaigns to conduct less expensive but high targeted campaigns:

Leon Panetta said he believes the candidates in both parties have already spent so much money trying to build momentum in the early states that they’re starting to watch their budgets and focusing their campaign efforts on the areas of maximum return, both in terms of votes and money….

“I think they’re beginning to watch their dollars and cents,” Panetta said. “This is probably going to be the most targeted campaigning that we’ll see until the general presidential election (in November).”  [From the Monterey Herald article]

While the candidates will be spending more time in California over the next two weeks, they’re also going to have to spread their attention to other important states like Ohio, Illinois, New York, and other places. Meaning that we can expect the CA primary to be won through a combination of GOTV and media buzz.

Edwards comes to California to set the rest of the Country in the right direction, his!

On a union rooftop in downtown LA, I stood and waited for John Edwards.  I took day off from work to drive from Irvine to LA.  The traffic was bearable and I managed some parking as well.  I ran into other local Edwards supporters from Orange County who were volunteering through the Progressive Democrats of America.  It was nice to see some friendly faces and I was eager to hear John Speak, as was the rest of the crowd.  They broke into changing “John Edwards” and their enthusiasm gave me the chills.

It seemed like people were paying attention, that they knew we had to give him a chance to speak and I really hope more than the people on the rooftop will have a chance to hear what he said, it’s for all of us.

Go here, to Brad Blog for the entire speech, it is well worth the listen and it was amazing.


John made an important point about why California mattered this year.  Are you reading this California? If you support Edwards, it is imparative that you not only vote for him, but that you make your presence known, let people know John is still in the race, not just for you or me, but from them too.

“I am an underdog campaign, but this is where you come in,” he said in closing, his voice rising. “You can help us here in California, help a grassroots movement that spreads across this state, that spreads across this country. When that tidal wave of change is finished, we will be able to look our children in eye and say, ‘We did for our you what our parents did for us.'”

Edwards took the time to criticize Arnold for his massive spending cuts to Education, Health Care, etc.   The state is losing revenue from guess what?  That’s right, the housing crisis.  The last thing we need to cut are services that help families that are on the verge of losing their homes or are upside down on their mortgages due to the huge decline in housing values.  My home has lost 10% of it’s value in one year, what if I have a major illness?  What if I lose my job?  I would be that much closer to losing my home when it’s not even worth what I bought for a year ago.

He fired up the crowd by ripping into California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed education and state health care budget cuts. “The last thing that needs to happen in the state of California is to have any of the funding that is that is necessary to provide health care for Californians cut,” he said, adding: “Who in the world in America thinks we have too much money invested in public education? This makes absolutely no sense.”


Above are three of the people who helped introduce Edwards to the LA Crowd in the downtown headquarters of a local SEIU Union Hall.  I really enjoyed Annelle Grajeda’s introduction the most, she really focussed on why Edwards is the candidate not just for union families, but working families.

“John Edwards is the change candidate in this campaign — the candidate with not only the boldest ideas for change, but the candidate who can win in November, strengthen Democratic majorities in Congress and at the state level, and make his ideas a reality,” said SEIU CA State Council President Annelle Grajeda. “John Edwards can go to any part of the country and help Democrats down-ballot. With John Edwards as our nominee, we can get the change we need.”

“I’m proud to support John Edwards because he understands, better than any other candidate, the challenges facing working Americans,” said L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcón. “Whether it’s truly universal health care, fixing America’s trade policy or ending America’s involvement in Iraq, John Edwards has offered real solutions to the challenges Americans face, and he’s determined to be a voice for regular people. I truly believe we need his leadership in the White House.”

“After eight years of George Bush, it is critical that we have a Democrat in the White House,” said L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson. “We need a candidate who can bring real change to America and who can win. That candidate is John Edwards. He can compete and win in every part of the country, including red states and battleground states because Americans identify with who he is and what he stands for – fairness and opportunity and making sure everyone has a chance.”


Alercon made a great point, why are we paying so much attention to New Hampshire and Iowa?  Californians need to change the tone of the race and really send the most important message of all, well monied campaigns are great, but it doesn’t mean they have to win, even in big states like California.

“I’m asking you, California, are you going to follow Iowa? Are you going to follow New Hampshire? Or are you going to stand alone as Californians and also send a message across America?”



John addressed an issue that is so important to Californians, alternative sources of power.  I came across this on youtube from yesterday’s rally and wanted to add it.


Didn’t take this one, it was from the opposite side of the rooftop.

The comments that hit me the most are the ones about comparing the the wages and bonuses of CEO’s (Health care CEO makes 200 million) and the profits of large corporations (Oil company rakes in 40 BILLION in profits as families struggle to pay for heating oil!) to the millions of Americans who are lacking Health Care, housing, food and education.  

John Edwards does not want to cut profits and wages, he wants to insure that no one is left behind while the people on top profit to excess.  It’s the disparity that’s troublesome to me, to John and to many others.  At what point is it okay to make a profit while denying coverage to people who pay their benefits?  And John is standing his ground on Mandates, he’s proud to say his plan requires that people get health care and that pre-existing conditions will be a thing of the past.  Your health care should go with you, where ever you work and what ever you do.  Imagine that?


You could tell how much he loved the crowd and how happy he was to be there, his energy level was amazing as was his candor, his honesty and his ability to bring it down to just a few important points.  The system is broken and when it does work, it’s working for far too few and leaving so many out, mostly working families and single household families with working mothers.  (Personal rant, why the hell can’t we help those women who stick, who stay to raise their children?  Why must shelters turn away women with children to go back to the streets?  How is this okay in any society?  I ask this as a child of a single mother, who lived in dingy apartments, relatives basements and other conditions to escape an abusive relationship.  This was a bold move for my mother to make in 1972 and it’s not any easier 35 years later?)


“To get real change, we need a president who will stand up against the big corporations and powerful interests who control Washington,” said Edwards. “The American people – whether they live in rural areas or urban areas, red states or blue states – need a President who will stand up for them. As President, I will make sure the voices of all Americans are heard in Washington. If we fight together, we can get the change we need and America will rise.”

And there were a few times where John had to stop talking because th cheering was just not going to quit.  He loved it, he knew his message was getting to the right people.  


The photo I took as I tried to get closer and talk to John. Ha!  Right.



This is where I was, in the back, happy to see all the media and news vans, thank God.

At the end John was swarmed by so many people and I had chosen to be far back rather than up front where I started.  I regret not being a bit closer, just so I could at least tell him one thing, I’m proud that I support him, I’m proud of the campaign he’s running and I don’t regret being such a vocal supporter of his, he’s really proven to me that I made the right choice.  He’s still fighting, so I too will continue.


This woman and her son were waiting to say hi to John, but she didn’t dare try to push forward, so I asked if I could take their photo.  Her son was so happy to be there too, he was bouncing, he was giggling and he was joyful.  It made my day!

And here are some photos of the rally that other people took, which are so much better than mine.  I need a nicer camera!




I voted for John yesterday as did my Mother.  She was happy too.


I saved this from our kick off meeting, Orange County for Edwards.  It’s Stephanie, my cousin and some kid I found hanging out at my house 🙂

Here is a local report of Edwards’ visit.

And last but not least, please don’t foget today is the day.  Edwards can raise money, please donate!


I waited until today to donate $100.  I don’t have it really but I’m still doing it because I think it’s that important.