Tag Archives: Resolutions

Ventura County Democratic Central Committee Passes FDL Resolution for Public Option

I am proud to announce that last night, the Ventura County Central Committee became the first committee nationwide to approve the FireDogLake resolution only supporting such healthcare reform as contains at least the choice of a robust public option.  Robert Cruickshank’s Central Committee in Monterey had the resolution on the agenda, but did not get to it before the scheduled adjournment.

This is part of a national effort to get Democratic clubs and central committees nationwide to adopt similar resolutions over the coming month, and forward them on to Congressmembers whose districts are geographically aligned with the county/club making the endorsement.  My brother and fellow Calitician Dante Atkins helped rewrite the language of the resolution so that it fit with California resolution rules.

If you are a member of a Democratic or progressive club–or, better yet, a member of your Central Committee–I highly encourage you to submit the same or very similar resolution to your local club/committee as well, in order to leverage maximum pressure on your representatives.

The text of the resolution adopted by the VCDCC was as follows:

WHEREAS, the heath care system of the United States is in crisis, with almost fifty million Americans lacking any health insurance, tens of millions more lacking adequate coverage, and millions more who do have private coverage paying increasingly unaffordable premiums, resulting in inadequate access to care and premature death, illness, or financial ruin for millions of Americans; and

WHEREAS, public polls show that an overwhelming majority of Americans want health care reform to offer the choice of a robust public option similar to Medicare in order to, in the words of President Obama, “keep the insurance companies honest,” while co-ops or so-called “triggers” are inadequate in and of themselves to address the health care crisis by creating significant competition for the medical insurance industry; and

WHEREAS, Republicans and their allies in the health insurance industry have organized and funded groups of extremists to disrupt efforts on the part of the Democratic majority and administration to reasonably discuss the issue with the American people, and have demonstrated an utter unwillingness to compromise in any way to pass meaningful health care reform;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee urges Democratic members of Congress to vote for only such healthcare reform proposals as contain at least the choice for a robust public plan at all stages of the legislative process including conference and reconciliation, and encourages Democratic legislators to use any available parliamentary means to pass such reform;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee shall send a copy of this resolution to all members of Congress who represent at least a part of the geographic region of which this Committee is the officially sanctioned body of the Democratic Party.

The resolution will be forwarded on to Elton Gallegly and to Lois Capps.  Capps has not signed the FDL pledge even though she represents a D+10 district; FDL is also placing phone pressure on 106 Democratic representatives in such districts to encourage them to sign the pledge for a public option.

VICTORY: Impeachment Inquiry Into Bybee On Consent Calendar

Several weeks of hard work have paid off, and the California Democratic Party is poised to provide a major tool in the fight for justice and accountability for the Bush torture regime.  The Resolutions Committee included on their consent calendar the resolution to begin a Congressional inquiry into Judge Jay Bybee and other lawyers who wrote opinions justifying and providing the fig leaf of a rationale for torture, with all punishments allowable under the law, including impeachment.  

Without the release of the OLC memo from August 1, 2002, showing Bybee admitting that waterboarding gives the impression of imminent death and allowing it anyway, showing Bybee allowing the CIA to put detainees in a small box with bugs in a Room 101-style exploitation of phobias, I’m not sure this resolution would have passed.  But the release massed a groundswell of support from the grassroots.  My petition to urge the CDP to support the resolution gathered 4,827 signatures in about a week.  Courage Campaign hopped aboard as well and got 9,000 or so sigs on their petition.  Activists called the CDP offices and pushed for passage.  And the party got the message.

Resolutions can go flat if they aren’t picked up and used as a tool.  Today, when it passes the full party on the convention floor in a few hours, we can celebrate.  Tomorrow, we put this to work.  Thanks to everyone who put in the time and effort to get this done.

UPDATE: Here’s the full text of the resolution, on the flip:


Whereas, former Assistant Attorney General, and current Federal Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Jay Bybee signed the “Bybee Memo,” or “Torture Memo” of August 1, 2002, which advised the C.I.A. that “cruel, inhuman or degrading” treatment was at times allowable under U.S. law, and authored, co-authored and signed other memos on “extraordinary rendition” and “enhanced interrogation,” more of which are being currently revealed to the American public as the new Administration brings them to light; and

Whereas the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment, the supreme law of the land under Article VI of our Constitution, requires the prosecution of those who authorize torture, and it has been established that waterboarding is torture; and

Whereas, on January 15, 2009 before leaving office, President George W. Bush, in an effort to cover his culpability, and the culpability of others, had his Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice issue a memo stating that certain opinions issued in 2001-2003 with respect to “the allocation of authorities between President and Congress in matters of war and national security do not reflect the current view of this Office;”

Therefore be it resolved that the California Democratic Party supports resolution of inquiry and vigorous investigation of these and related actions by the Congress of the United States, including the full use of Congressional subpoena power authority and all appropriate remedies, to disclose completely the possible criminal actions of Judge Jay Bybee and others to the American people and to take necessary and available action with appropriate remedies and punishment allowed by law; and

Be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution with its original authorization be sent to the Office of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, and that copies of the signed resolution be sent to each Democratic member of the California delegation to the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

Resolutions for California Democrats

The Northern Solano Democratic Club has posted five resolutions on their web site that will be submitted for approval at the state convention next month.

They are:

A Resolution for Improving Higher Education Accreditation Practices

A Resolution for Relief from No Child Left Behind Expenditures

A Resolution Opposing the Open Primary in 2010

A Resolution for majority Rule Initiative Reducing the Threshold for Passing a State Budget

A Resolution on Contesting Elections

The full text of each is below the fold and can be adopted by local clubs by inserting your club name in the “Resolved” clauses at the appropriate place.  

A Resolution for Improving Higher Education Accreditation Practices

WHEREAS, under the previous administration, the Department of Education has asserted that the accrediting agencies for higher education have failed in their duties and has consequently demanded that accrediting agencies assert themselves and take action against our community colleges, and

WHEREAS, notwithstanding the fact that real and important issues do exist for our community colleges and those issues need to be resolved, it is a fact that the accrediting agency in California has acted capriciously and has issued negative findings that too often are not related to educational issues but to trivial matters that lack sufficient import to be cited as a reasons for withdrawing accreditation, and

WHEREAS the negative findings of the accreditation agency in California seem to follow a pattern that gives the appearance of selective findings repeatedly invoked in support of a predetermined outcome rather than the findings of an honest inquiry,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that [insert the name of your club here] proposes that the accreditation agencies for higher education be instructed that the time frame for compliance, currently set at two years, be defined as commencing when the educational institution receives a set of clearly stated accreditation issues to be resolved along with clearly defined criteria for the resolution of those issues,

AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [insert the name of your club here] calls upon the California Democratic Delegations to the United States Senate and House of Representatives to bring their combined influence to bear on the higher education accreditation process so that it might function in a proper manner.

A Resolution for Relief from No Child Left Behind Expenditures

WHEREAS, the California State budget reduces education funding by 7.4 Billion dollars this year and the Federal Stimulus money allotted to California to stabilize educational funding amounts to only 6 Billion dollars, leaving a deficit of 1.4 Billion dollars , and

WHEREAS the common consensus is that the sanctions imposed by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) have failed to produce positive results, and

WHEREAS it is well known that NCLB imposes requirements on schools districts and demands actions from those districts while providing no funding for those mandates, there has been no public focus on the fact that the cost to implement programs designed to bring under performing groups up to NCLB compliant standards have been estimated to be Thousands of Dollars Per Student and would require massive increases in funding,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that in these financially difficult times, with our public schools in dreadful financial straits, the [insert the name of your club here] recognizes that it is unconscionable to require our schools to continue funding NCLB compliance activities, and, for this reason, [insert the name of your club here] proposes that public schools be given relief from the mandates of NCLB for the period of one year, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the [insert the name of your club here] calls upon the California Democratic Delegations to the United States Senate and House of Representatives to introduce and to work for the passage of legislation that will suspend, for one year, all NCLB compliance activities that require the expenditure of local school or district funds.

A Resolution Opposing the Open Primary in 2010

WHEREAS passage of Senate Constitutional Amendment 4, not only lacks legitimacy, but also encourages the minority party to commit acts of political blackmail and extortion in the future, and

WHEREAS it is a fundamental right of political parties to choose their nominees for office in accordance with the constitutionally protected right of Freedom of Association, and further, the open primary clearly violates that right by forcing political parties to admit nonmembers into the nominating process and thus enabling the election of candidates who do not support their party’s philosophy or platform, and

WHEREAS the proposed open primary will increase campaign spending, strengthen the influence of special interests, weaken party cohesiveness, and expand the opportunity for manipulative and deceitful electoral practices such as concealing party affiliation, the running of stalking horse candidates, and the gaming of results through organized crossover voting,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that [insert the name of your club here] opposes approval of Senate Constitutional Amendment Four, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [insert the name of your club here] calls upon all members of the California Democratic Party, especially our elected officials, to campaign to defeat the measure at the polls.

A Resolution for Majority Rule Initiative Reducing the Threshold for Passing a State Budget

WHEREAS the State of California has adopted a budget that neither fulfills the needs of the people of California nor reflects the values of a majority of the people and their representatives in the state legislature and,

WHEREAS the approval of the state budget was inexcusably delayed in the State Senate for more than seven months by a few members who chose loyalty to ideology over a commitment to common sense, the good of the State, and the needs of their constituents, and

WHEREAS this inexcusable travesty was due solely to the current state constitutional requirement that two-thirds of the members of the state legislature are required to approve a budget,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that [insert the name of your club here] supports lowering the threshold for passing the state budget to 50-percent-plus-one, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [insert the name of your club here] calls upon all members of the California Democratic Party, especially our elected officials, to campaign actively for the adoption of the 50-percent-plus-one threshold for budget passage.

A Resolution on Contesting Elections

WHEREAS State Senator Abel Maldonado, the leading hold-out in the budget impasse, was reelected without a Democratic opponent in 2008, and his seat was one of six Congressional, State Senate, and Assembly district seats that were uncontested by Democratic candidates, and

WHEREAS it gives the appearance of “back room deal making” when Republican held districts remain unchallenged, as has occurred on more than one occasion, and

WHEREAS it is un-American to discourage any qualified citizen from seeking elected office and irresponsible of Democratic leaders to let any seat go uncontested,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that [insert the name of your club here] strongly condemns any and all efforts, past, present, or future, to discourage Democratic candidates from challenging Republican incumbents, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [insert the name of your club here] demands that no Democratic Party member or elected official ever discourage a qualified Democrat from seeking elected office and insists that the California Democratic Party vigorously contest every office by recruiting and supporting qualified Democratic candidates.

A resolution on a State Constitutional Convention?

The deadline for submitting resolutions to be considered at the State Party Convention is late April quickly approaches.  I’m interested in what resolutions people are hearing about — particularly at the Progressive Caucus gathering later today, which unfortunately it looks like I will have to skip.

Most critically, I’m interested in whether anyone has heard of a resolution calling for a state Constitutional convention.  Such a convention could eliminate the 2/3 “Percentage of the Beast” Rule for the state budgets, limit initiatives (say, ones that encroach on civil rights and liberties), etc.  From conversations I’ve been having, it sounds like it may be the most likely route to get rid of the supermajority requirement for budgets.  I’d like to assume that someone is drafting and submitting one — but is it happening?

If it isn’t, would anyone like to collaborate in writing one — really quickly?

The CDP November 2007 Resolutions

They are now available here at cadem.org. They’re posted on the front page of cadem.org, but they won’t always be so easy to find, so I recommend bookmarking or something like that. Here’s a TinyURL.

Anyway, the resolutions run the gamut from removing the National Guard from Iraq to supporting LED lighting. Over the flip, you’ll find the complete list with links to each resolution. Anything of interest to you? Comments appreciated.

  • Bring California National Guard Home From Iraq
  • Commending Heroic Efforts Of CA Firefighters In Battling The San Diego & So. CA Wildfires
  • Expediting The Issuance Of Visas To Iraqi Refugees
  • Full Equality For Transgender Americans
  • Housing Crisis
  • In Recognition Of Claudette Colvin
  • In Support Of HPV Vaccination
  • In Support Of LED Lighting
  • In Support Of The State Building & Construction Trades Council Of California, AFL-CIO
  • In Support Of Writers Guild Of America
  • Increasing Transparency Of Campaign And Non-Profit Expenditures
  • Justice In Jena
  • No Military Action Against Iran
  • Not For Profit Ownership Of Water
  • Pre-Existing Mental Condition
  • Promote Universal Single-Payer Health Care
  • Provide Tuition Assistance For The California National Guard
  • Public Hearings On The Safety And Economic Impact Of Mexican Cargo Trucks On U.S. Public Roadways
  • Regarding Age Discrimination Against U.S. Commercial Pilots
  • Restricting Corporate Charters For Private Military Contractors
  • Stop California Law Enforcement Complicity In Federal Medical Marijuana Raids
  • Stop The Power Grab
  • Striking Workers At Valley Power Systems North, Inc.
  • Support Gov’t Adherence To Contractual Obligations To U.S. Soldiers And End “Stop Loss” Procedures
  • Support Of Workers Who Have Been Victims Of Wage Discrimination
  • Support Organizations’ Right To Free Speech
  • Supporting California Clean Car Discount Programs
  • Supporting Sec. of State Debra Bowen’s Efforts to Strengthen Voter Confidence in Electronic Voting
  • Supporting Shared Governance Of The University Of California Retirement Plan
  • Valid Claims
  • My state Democratic Party is afraid of its own shadow.

    (from my DailyKos diary this morning–it’s important for me to try to bring CA issues to the national spotlight.)

    And by that, I refer to the California Democratic Party.

    As you may know by now, the resolution authored by progressive activists to censure Senator Dianne Feinstein was not heard by the CDP Resolutions Committee.  If you read my previous diary on the subject, you’ll realize just how contentious this issue was, and that the end result was exactly as expected.

    There will be a lot of complaints about the result, and understandably so.  Nevertheless, an official censure is a huge step, and the end result is no surprise, given the momentous nature of the struggle in question.

    But I’d like to share another story with you that might even better exemplify just how much change and reform we still need in the California Democratic Party, as well as give you some insight into how the party machinery works.

    It all starts with a news item you may or may not be familiar with: the Speaker of the California State Assembly, Democrat Fabian Nunez, came under fire last month for reports of using campaign funds to pay for lavish expenses at luxurious destinations in Europe and California:

    The spending, listed in mandatory filings with the state, includes $47,412 on United, Lufthansa and Air France airlines this year; $8,745 at the exclusive Hotel Arts in Barcelona, Spain; $5,149 for a “meeting” at Cave L’Avant Garde, a wine seller in the Bordeaux region of France; a total of $2,562 for two “office expenses” at Vuitton, two years apart; and $1,795 for a “meeting” at Le Grand Colbert, a venerable Parisian restaurant.

    You know, the type of thing that it’s really, really hard to justify using a campaign account, even if you’re Steve Maviglio from Speaker Nunez’ office (whose previous foibles I have mentioned before).

    I, and many other activists, were disturbed at these reports–though admittedly, even more disturbed by Speaker Nunez’ claims to be “middle-class”:

    There’s not too big a difference,” he said, “between how I live and how most middle-class people live.”

    Because I can tell you, I’m racking up those $10,000 hotel bills at luxury resorts in Europe all the time!  It’s just part of the middle-class lifestyle.

    Regardless, I decided submit a resolution concerning transparency for travel expenses to the Resolutions Committee for consideration at the Executive Board meeting in Anaheim this weekend.  Now, originally, I wrote my resolution specifically calling for Speaker Nunez to fully account for the legislative or fact-finding purpose behind his travel expenses.  I was assured, however, that such a targeted resolution would have no chance of passing the Resolutions Committee, so I rewrote it to be more general, especially since there have been many, many Republicans who have been guilty of the same type of thing on perhaps a much worse scale in recent years (paging Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff, anyone?), and resolutions are supposed to be statements of “philosophical intent” regardless.  So here’s the text of my resolution:


    WHEREAS, in recent years, officeholders of both major political parties at both the federal and state levels have been accused of using campaign-paid travel expenses to enrich their personal lifestyles;

    And WHEREAS, travel expenses to more exclusive locales paid for by lobbyists or other special interests create the appearance of and possibility for conflicts of interest in the legislative process, especially for officeholders with higher stature in legislative bodies;

    And WHEREAS, California law requires that travel expenses for members of the State legislature have a legislative purpose;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party, in the interests of accountability, transparency and good governance, calls upon all federal and state legislators to fully disclose the legislative or fact-finding purpose behind all travel and accommodations expenses paid with campaign funds;

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Party encourages all federal and state legislators to use campaign funds to pay only for travel and accommodations expenses regarding a transparent, easily understandable legislative or fact-finding purpose, and supports investigations into use of campaign funds that do not meet this criterion.

    Now, to my mind, that’s just about as harmless as you can get for a resolution on this issue.  It’s bipartisan, mentions no names, and calls for the easily shared values of transparency, accountability, and good governance.

    Apparently, however, the values of transparency, accountability and good governance aren’t shared by certain members of the Resolutions Committee.  Either that, or this resolution was still so dicey for the people at the highest echelons that they couldn’t even take this amount of heat.

    Now, I originally got a call on Saturday from my friend Brian Leubitz, founded Calitics and who sits on the Resolutions Committee, that they wanted to insert language into the resolution concerning accountability for the fact that some of Schwarzenegger’s travel expenses were picked up by a nonprofit group.  I told Brian to assure the rest of the Resolutions Committee that I had no objection to inserting “accountability for Arnold” language into the resolution if the main thrust of my language remained unchanged.  But then later that afternoon, this was the text I got back from the Committee:

    Whereas, in recent years candidates at the federal and state levels
    have been accused of not fully disclosing how they raise and spend
    funds and of misusing campaign funds; and

    Whereas, in recent years some officeholders have paid for expenses
    through the use of non-profit organizations, eliminating virtually all
    disclosure of which individuals and interest groups are actually
    paying for the expenses of the officeholders; and

    Whereas, California and federal finance rules require that expenses
    paid with campaign funds have a campaign, governmental, or political

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party, in the
    interests of accountability, transparency, and good governance,
    supports modifications in state and federal law that would require
    non-profit organizations who pay for officeholder expenses to fully
    disclose the sources and amount of funds the organization has obtained
    and the purpose behind all activity paid for by the organizations in a
    manner similar to that required for campaign committees; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party supports
    state and federal legislative and regulatory changes to facilitate and
    require that candidates and officeholders fully disclose in a
    transparent manner the campaign, governmental or political purpose
    behind all activity.

    Notice a problem here?  Well, I certainly do: All references to travel expenses were excised from the resolution.  I called Brian to tell him that the Resolutions Committee had voided the entire point of my resolution and that I wanted to see the phrase “travel expenses” actually appear in my resolution about travel expenses.

    But alas, it was not to be.  The Resolutions Committee took their new anti-Arnold resolution and moved it to the consent calendar.  Now, I wasn’t at the general session of the meeting on Sunday because of work obligations, but I could have still called one of the e-board members I know to have them pull it from the consent calendar for the purposes of amending it according to my specifications, but I decided not to bother, especially since everyone was so preoccupied with Feinstein and the amendments would have likely failed on a floor vote regardless.

    The only thing it proves, though, is that when all is said and done, it’s the elected officials that control what the party does, rather than the party trying to keep the elected officials in line with party values.

    And this doesn’t just manifest itself in a reticence to acquiesce to large-scale significant actions like censuring Dianne Feinstein.  The craven desire to kowtow to elected officials and not dare to acknowledge their wrongdoing is so pervasive that a resolution whose language focused primarily on a Republican can’t even be passed if it dares to mention an issue on which a prominent Democratic elected official has been lacking.

    And that, my friends, is a sad situation that calls for action and reform.  Am I antagonized? Certainly.  But am I forlorn?  Not at all.  (Do I sound like Donald Rumsfeld when I ask rhetorical questions and provide the answers? Yes.  Is it fun? absolutely.)

    You see, the worst possible thing we would do is give up and operate on the assumption that the system is impermeable–because it isn’t, and we’ve already made significant strides in California.  But there’s more work to be done.

    And let me ask you something: do you know how your state party would act in a similar situation?  If you don’t, why not find out?

    And most of all–keep fighting for good governance that’s accountable to the people.

    Confrontation at the Resolutions Committee Meeting

    (cross-posted from Courage Campaign)

    Things took a pretty nasty turn, unfortunately.

    I entered the California Democratic Party Resolutions Committee  meeting room with Eden James, Courage Campaign’s Managing Director, bearing our sign and easel.  We found a free space at the front of the room and set up the sign.

    Almost immediately, Resolutions Chair John Hanna approached us, demanding that we remove the sign.  Eden politely asked if there “was a rule” against signs in the meeting rooms.  Hanna replied “yes.”

    Kathy Bowler, CDP Executive Director, then calmly approached me, stating that the sign should be removed because the room was getting full and she had staff she needed to get into the room.

    John then grabbed ahold of one side of the sign, attempting to remove it from Eden’s hands. Eden, maintaining his hold on to the other side, repeated the question to John about whether a rule existed against signs inside the meeting room. John said “yes”again and Eden asked to see the rule, saying that if there was an actual rule against signs inside the room — he would respect it.

    Increasingly angry, John threatened to call security. Eden, surprised, calmly responded that John “should go ahead if that’s what you want to do.”

    Suddenly, Hanna then shoved his side of the sign and Eden at the same time, forcibly pushing Eden backwards. Eden held on. John shoved again, then pushed Eden’s shoulder back with the palm of his hand.

    Stunned, Eden let go of the sign as John ripped it from his hands and threw it to the floor. An unknown person then picked up the sign and sprinted it out of the room, taking it to the staff room (according to Kathy Bowler).

    More below

    damagedposter2This is the Last thing that we wanted to happen. And Eden is one of the most peaceful, non-aggressive people that I have ever met. It was shocking to see his calm, determined words met by violence.

    The goal of bringing the sign into the room was to provide a visual representation of the large number of people, clubs and groups supporting the resolution to censure the Senator.

    Our purpose in continuing to discuss moving the sign was to get a clear reason and clarification of the rules surrounding bringing in signs. If a rule was presented against posting signs, we would have respected it without question. And indeed, we would have entertained a discussion about its removal due to space issues.

    We are shocked and shaken by this turn of events and so are many others. It is extremely disappointing that something as simple as trying to bring a sign into a room (that lists organizations supporting a resolution) can escalate into physical violence.

    Eden and I want to commend Kathy Bowler for her professionalism throughout this incident. John Hanna’s conduct, on the other hand is shocking, upsetting, and completely inappropriate.

    This resolution should be addressed on its merits. No matter what side you are on, this discussion does not deserve to be marred by physical violence.

    Resolution re Private Military Contractors

    Now that Blackwater is back in the news and CCR (Center for Constitutional Rights) is filing a lawsuit in DC Federal Court this morning on behalf of 3 of the recent shooting victims, it’s time to dust off my resolution. My first draft was last June. Please feel free to make changes within your own club or central committee, bearing in mind the idea is to get this to the EBoard Resolutions Committee where they will certainly make their own changes. It’s a resolution, not legislation. It needs to go to the EBoard with broad support if they are going to consider it at all. The power to apply deadly force needs to reside within our government and not be outsourced to private entities.
    Stevan Thomas
    Candidate AD15

    DRAFT 10.11.07

    Resolution Regarding Private Military Contractors Operating Within California

    Whereas, The Constitution of the State of California, under Declaration of Rights, Article 1, Section 5 reads: “The military is subordinate to civil power. A standing army may not be maintained in peacetime.”

    Whereas, Private Military Contactors (P.M.C., a.k.a. mercenaries or private armies) are NOT under civil control OR military chain-of-command AND can be looked upon as a “standing private army maintained in peacetime” if allowed to operate within California:

    Whereas, Private Military Contractors, using military weapons, were used in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina to keep peace and order and were actively disarming law abiding citizens of their lawfully owned weapons, and were outside of civil control:

    Resolved by the Democratic Party of California that we support the urgent need for legislation stating that NO Private Military Contractor, mercenary corporation acting as a paramilitary or private military entity, or any subsidiary of same, be granted a corporate charter to operate in the State of California unless fully and completely under civil control and within the civil or military chain-of-command, subject to civil control and that there be a prohibition against any and all private corporate armies being formed.

    Be it further resolved that the Posse Comitatus Act be enforced within the State of California and that it be amended so that no Private Military Contractor may be employed against the civilian population in times of civil unrest.

    Check Out the Recent CDP Resolutions

    (crossposted from The Liberal OC. Always a hot topic of conversation around these parts…the CDP Resolution Process. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

    The resolutions passed by the California Democratic Party at the July e-board meeting are now on the CDP’s website. The fact that there are a very large number of them is due to the quorum call at the April meeting that shut down all business. Check out some examples over the flip.

    A lot of people bag on the CDP for various reasons, but I don’t think they can realistically be faulted for failing to take principled (and progressive) positions. Assure That Parents Know Their Right to Opt-Out Of the Military Recruitment Requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)

    Calling For the Closing of the Prison Facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    Censure of the Commander-In-Chief for Dereliction of Duty

    End the War, Stop Funding Military Operations in Iraq, Revoke the Original Authorization and Assert the War Powers Act

    Opposing Blackwater West and Mercenary Training in California

    And several others.

    What Happened at the Convention, Once and for All

    Two weeks may have passed between the Democratic Convention and today, but that hasn’t stopped us from speculating over what actually happened during that weekend. During these two weeks, everyone seems to have developed a theory on who knew what ahead of time, who was conspiring to silence the progressives, and who was really behind the mysterious quorum call. Two weeks have passed since then, and I’d like to do my part to end all the speculation NOW.

    Last Thursday, I hopped on over to OC Drinking Liberally. John Hanna, Co-chair of the Resolutions Committee, also happened to be there. Pretty soon, hekebolos showed up, and we all went to the back room of Memphis to discuss what really happened at the convention. Later on, we also talked about what we can do better next time, but I’ll talk about that part of the discussion another time.

    Right now, I’m inviting you to follow me after the flip to find out WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO ALL THOSE RESOLUTIONS. I have been collecting information from a few brave individuals for quite some time now, and my meeting with John Hanna on Thursday put an end to my own speculation on all these rumors. So why not join me after the flip, so that you can also toss the speculation and just find out what happened?

    OK, let’s start out by going through all those wild rumors. Here’s what true, and here’s what’s just wild.

    Rumor #1: There was a deal made between PDA and party leadership on impeachment- TRUE! Yes, PDA did meet with party leaders before and during the convention. A friend of mine involved in PDA told me that the party leaders knew about PDA’s plans for San Diego, and they did not want the convention to turn ugly. PDA agreed to soften the language on impeachment of Bush, the leaders agreed to tough language on Cheney, and everyone agreed to fold all the resolutions into one.

    Rumor #2: There was a grand conspiracy among the party leaders to “appoint” a delegate to make the quorum call- FALSE (well, kinda sorta)! Neither John Hanna NOR Art Torres had any advance knowledge of the quorum call. This makes sense, as Torres really did look bewildered and genuinely frustrated at the podium. However, other folks that I spoke with earlier did drop me a hint. They’ve called Bob Mulholland a “street fighter”, and they have suggested that he wouldn’t hesitate to pull a stunt like this. Hmmm, so does this mean we have a culprit?

    Rumor #3: John Hanna conspired to silence the true antiwar voices who wanted to “stengthen” Don Perata’s Out of Iraq Resolution- FALSE! He wanted the Perata Resolution clean, but he didn’t block the amendments by Karen Bernall (deauthorize the war) and the Hull-Richters (defund the war). John Hanna wanted to ensure that the Perata’s Out of Iraq Resolution ended up looking like what Perata wants to put on the ballot next February. However Garry Shay, of the Rules Committee, urged him to come up with a way to allow Bernall and the others (even the Hull-Richters) to be heard. So they worked out a deal. The rules would be temporarily suspended, so that the amendments could be split off from the Perata measure, and they could become their own resolutions. All the delegates can then vote on each proposal separately, and all sides can get a fair shake. John seemed sincere when he said that he thought the perfect deal had been struck, and everyone could get what he/she wanted… Until Karen Wingard stepped in.

    Rumor #4: John Hanna conspired with AT&T and CWA to kill the net neutrality resolution- ABSOLUTELY FALSE! Unfortunately, John Hanna and the party leaders weren’t as familiar with net neutrality then as they are now. So out of good faith that Jim Gordon would work out a fair agreement with CWA and AT&T on net neutrality, the Resolutions Committee agreed to refer it to the Labor Caucus. But now, John Hanna regrets taking Jim Gordon’s word when he promised John that he’d come up with a resolution in the Labor Caucus that “the net neutrality folks will like”. John told us that he didn’t know about the CWA/AT&T deep hostility toward net neutrality. And yes, he wants our forgiveness, and he wants to make it up to us. That’s why he’s willing to give us another chance to get net neutrality passed. (And I’ll talk more about this in a future story.)

    Basically, John Hanna regrets what happened with many of the resolutions. He now says that he should have just allowed Karen Bernall to do a petition drive for her own “Out of Iraq” resolution, even though her resolution had been “gutted and amended” to make way for Perata. He says that he might change the rules to allow for this next time. He has also said that we weren’t given a fair chance to clarify what was about to happen to net neutrality. And yes, this might inspire some changes in the rules as well. I know that we were all let down by what happened two weeks ago, but let’s not allow these disappointments to stop us from doing better next time.

    Now we know how the internal politics are played. And now, we have a better grasp of the rules that we need to follow. So let’s follow the rules (including whatever new ones that might actually make our jobs easier), and let’s get our agenda accomplished. And now that we have made amends with the past, let’s get back to making a better future. : )