Tag Archives: California Democratic Party


Convention features a few legislative endorsement fights and two statewide

by Brian Leubitz

This year is a “platform convention”, meaning that all the policy focus will be to define our party’s general goals. You can see the 2012 platform here to get an idea of the general document and what you can expect moving forward.

On the endorsement front, there will be much hubub about the Secretary of State race, with Sen. Padilla looking to get the endorsement and the other candidates looking for a block.

The other statewide race to watch is the Controller’s race, where Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee will be facing off against Assembly Speaker John Perez as well as a Republican, David Evans, and former Green Party gubernatorial candidate Laura Wells. Perez would certainly appear to be the favorite for the party endorsement, but the 60% threshold could be an obstacle.

I’ll be watching hanging around the convention all weekend, say hi if you see me. I’ll probably be posting more to my twitter account than Calitics, so keep an eye out there.

CDP caucus results: No endorsement in the 30th Congressional District

Today, the California Democratic Party hosted a caucus to attempt to determine an endorsement in the 30th Congressional District runoff between Congressmen Brad Sherman and Howard Berman. This is a new procedure: because we no longer have Democratic nominees, revised bylaws allow for a second endorsement caucus for the November election in situations where there are two Democrats in the general election and there was either no endorsement in the primary, or the endorsed candidate did not make the runoff.

According to the offical tally, Congressman Howard Berman got 165 votes in today’s California Democratic Party endorsement caucus, compared to 66 for Brad Sherman and 51 votes for “no endorsement.” While that may seem like an overwhelming number, the result ends up being that the CDP has issued no endorsement in the race: per the bylaws, this race would have required a 60% threshold of all votes cast for either candidate to receive an endorsement. 165 out of 282 is only 58.51%, and so no endorsement will issue.

The question you should be asking yourself now is…Sherman got a similar threshold in the first endorsement conference way back in January, but the numbers flipped this time, even though Sherman came in first in the primary election by 10 points. Why? More on that whenever I get a chance to analyze the results in more detail.

Vice-Chair Of The Congressional Progressive Caucus, Judy Chu, Endorses Betsy Butler For Assembly

The campaign to re-elect Assemblymember Betsy Butler to the California State Assembly today announced the support of Congresswoman Judy Chu and former Congresswoman Diane Watson.

You can read the full release at: http://ruizari.tumblr.com/Butl…

About Betsy:

Betsy currently is a board member of Equality California and previously served as President of the National Women’s Political Caucus (LA Westside Chapter), and as the Director of Development for Consumer Attorneys of California. Assemblymember Butler also has served as an appointed member of the California Film Commission, where she worked to keep the film industry as a driver of the state’s economy.

From Blue to Green: Power to the Cities!

After the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, with its codification of imprisonment without charge or trial, I could no longer register voters for the Democratic Party – even with the hope of involving new registrants in the California Democratic Party’s popular Progressive Caucus.  If I could not ask someone to join the Democratic Party, I could not in good conscience stay in the party, even as an insurgent writing resolutions and platform planks to end our wars for oil.  

Unfortunately, too many corporate Democrats, beholden to big-money donors or to a jobs sector dependent on militarism, vote for perpetual war and the surveillance state, replete with secret wiretaps, black hole prisons, and targeted assassinations. Far too many who are fearful or bought by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee vote for legislation that relegates Palestinians to second-class citizenship and threatens to take our country to the brink of an unthinkable war on Iran.

President Obama, despite his eloquence and initial popularity, has continued, and in some cases, expanded Republican Party policies under George Bush by escalating drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia; hiring deregulators from predatory banks to craft economic policy; repeatedly putting Social Security cuts on the table; lifting a 20-year moratorium on new nuclear power plants; signing NDAA legislation that eviscerates due process; increasing U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids and arrests of undocumented workers.

As the US empire crashes on the shores of rapacious greed, as power shifts from the federal to the local level, the Green Party can play a crucial role in creating and promoting local economies, worker or consumer-owned cooperatives, model municipal policy and participatory democracy.  The time is ripe for municipal federalism with its emphasis on cities sharing expertise, policies, and strategies for community building in a sustainable world.

I want to be part of that movement to create a post-empire future that rejects perpetual war, addictive consumerism and vulture capitalism to embrace a life-affirming vision of sustainability with measurable goals for energy, water and food independence.

As more people struggle financially and the cost of energy and optional travel increases, Americans will stay closer to home to invest and recreate more intensely in their communities and neighborhoods.   Our challenge in the age of withering empire is to set a new economic course that helps us invest our resources in ourselves, rather than multinational companies that extract our wealth and labor for the 1%.  

While running Greens for federal office may help to register new Greens, to attract young people to the Party, the Greens’ resources – economic and grassroots – are best used at the local level where the Party has experienced the most success in the United States.

In 2011, 8 out of 12 California Green Party members running for local office got elected.

In Richmond, California, the working class city’s Green Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, representing more than 100,000 residents, took on Chevron, resulting in a 115-million dollar pollution settlement, enacted a waiver on residential solar power fee installation; and spearheaded one of the nation’s toughest anti-foreclosure ordinances that exacts a $1,000 a day fine on banks who fail to maintain foreclosed property. McLaughlin was one of several Green Mayors to publicly oppose the dirty tar sands project, signing on to a letter to President Obama urging him to reject, as he recently announced, the XL pipeline that would carry the dirtiest crude from Canada across the United States to the Gulf of Mexico.

In the city of Fairfax in Marin County, Green Mayor Pam  Hartwell-Herrero and a majority Green city council has banned intrusive Smart Meters, and authored successful ballot initiatives to ban plastic bags and the cultivation of genetically modified organisms. Fairfax is the third California city to have a Green majority on its town council, joining Sebastopol in Sonoma County from 2000 to 2008 and Arcata in Humboldt County, which had the world’s first Green majority on any legislative body between 1996 and 1998 and then again from 2000 to 2002.

While water board races are not often high-profile races, water board seats may be the front line defense against corporate privatization of our increasingly-scarce water supply. Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, President of the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, understands this. The youngest Green elected to local office,  Soppoci-Belknap is working to stop the sale of the county’s watershed to keep water in the public domain.

In Los Angeles, LA Community College District (LACCD) trustee Nancy Pearlman, elected first as a  Green before becoming a Democrat (something that happens too often to avoid Democratic Party rival candidates), advocated for tough sustainability standards which resulted  in the LACCD becoming the first community college district in the nation to adopt a LEED environmental building certification standards.  Under Pearlman’s Green leadership, all nine LA community colleges developed green jobs training programs.

Nationally, Greens are leading the “Move to Amend” effort calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish “Corporate Personhood,” or as former Green Presidential candidate David Cobb describes, “the legal doctrine that allows corporations to overturn democratically enacted laws seeking to protect citizens from corporate harm and abuse.”  Cobb is now the National Projects Director for Democracy Unlimited, a coalition of Greens, Progressive Democrats, libertarians, and Declined-to-States organizing forums and rallies to challenge unlimited independent political expenditures by corporations.

Greens are also spearheading efforts to pass city ordinances embracing a Sustainability Bill of Rights, which would set measurable goals for energy independence, local food production, and clean air, land, and water. While Pittsburgh became the first city in the nation to pass a law protecting the rights of nature against corporate exploitation, Santa Monica could be next in line, thanks to the work of a coalition called Santa Monica Neighbors Unite! led by urban gardener Cris Gutierrez and Green Party urban forest advocate Linda Piera-Avila. Greens in the city of Santa Monica, which previously elected one of the first Green mayors – Michael Feinstein, a co-founder of the Green Party in the U.S. – are in the forefront of this effort to pass a Sustainability Bill of Rights ordinance that would recognize “the fundament rights of natural communities and ecosystems to exist, thrive, and evolve” – and set a goal of 100% local water use by 2020.

Throughout the US, Greens and allies are at the fulcrum of the occupy movement, defending homeowners facing foreclosure, practicing participatory democracy in the street, and successfully altering the national discourse from deficits and taxes to wealth inequality and privilege. In Oakland, Green Samsarah Morgan helped start the Children’s Village at Occupy Oakland, where children can play and protest peacefully. Former LA County Council Co-Chair of the Green Party Rachel Brunkhe mobilizes marches on Bank of America in San Pedro, home to the largest port in the country; former Green assembly candidate Peter Thottam organizes thousands at Occupy the Rose Parade, where Wells Fargo, one of the most notorious banks for robo-siging illegal foreclosures, was one of the parade’s chief sponsors; Al Shantz, Green Vice President of Napa Valley College’s Student Senate, launches Occupy rallies downtown and on the Napa Valley College campus; Harrison Wills, a Green President of the Santa Monica College Associated Student Body tells an Occupy crowd at his campus, “There’s socialism for corporations and capitalism for the rest of us.”

Rather than running candidates for every state and federal office, Greens can invest their energy in campaigning for local non-partisan offices, in electing Greens to neighborhood councils  and city councils; union leadership positions, pension and credit union boards, associated student bodies – and to movement-building and media messaging that injects and accentuates a Green anti-consumerist pro-sustainability vision into the economic discourse.

Power to the cities!

Though our emphasis should be local, our scope global as we solidify relationships with Green Party members across the world.  Let us hold the Greens from Europe to Africa close to our hearts as we reject nationalism – its attendant racism, xenophobia, and scapegoating – and embrace global citizenry  and planetary-caretaking.

Let us look to the German Green Party, the first to enjoy national prominence and the catalyst behind Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022.  Encouraged by the German Greens, we must challenge billions in U.S. federal subsidies for new nuclear power plants and demand plant closures from California to New York.  With a void in leadership in the U.S. anti-nuclear movement, the Green Party can play a key role in re-invoking the moratorium lifted under the Obama administration.

Elsewhere in Europe, Greens have launched a Green New Deal (GND) aimed at “reducing inequalities within and between societies, and reconciling our lifestyles – the way we live, produce and consume – with the physical limits of our planet” through progressive taxation, tax incentives for green initiatives, and new economic indicators beyond the Gross Domestic Product. For example, in Vienna, Austria, a GND initiative built “bike city” – a housing project that includes bike rental and maintenance, a compressed air station, 300 bicycle parking spaces, and extra large elevators for bike transport.

Let us build a new American landscape of bike cities, urban gardens, municipal credit unions, barter economies, and city-owned utilities with Greens organizing a new power-sharing worker-member-owner paradigm a la the Mondragon Cooperatives Cooperation in northern Spain. Based in Basque region, the Mondragon is a federation of worker cooperatives employing 84,000 people in four critical sectors: finance; industry; retail; knowledge.

Electorally, I envision a fusion approach – whereby Greens support progressive Democrats, just as Los Angeles Green Party members recommended my candidacy when I challenged war profiteer Jane Harman for Congress, and just as Green Party activists in northern California support PDA’s Norman Solmon to fill retiring Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey’s seat.  Endorsing progressive Democrats  – a la Congress Members Kucinich, Lee, Grijalva – on the national level – and Assemblyman Bill Monning and Senator Fran Pavley on the California state legislative level – makes sense until the Green Party is ready and able to successfully elect statewide and federal candidates of its own, either because the Party has exponentially multiplied its current voter registration, estimated at 300,000 in the nation; 110,000 in California, or because enough cities like Oakland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Portland have instituted instant run-off or ranked-choice voting to increase the likelihood that voters will not simply cast their ballots for pre-ordained winners or lessers-of-evil but instead choose a candidate who truly represents their vision of peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability.  

Ranked choice voting must be a strategic priority for the Green Party in the U.S., with Greens in every leadership position – be it a partisan office or a non-partisan environmental organization – introducing ranked-choice voting into their respective organization. Strategically, Greens might organize a coalition of third parties – Greens, Peace and Freedom, Libertarians, and the well-funded centrist Americans Elect – to institute proportional representation through state ballot initiatives for ranked choice voting.  Such initiatives would appeal to voters who want to save budget-starved states, counties or cities millions of dollars wasted on run-off elections.

In the meantime, until widespread adoption of ranked choice voting, the Green Party might leverage its power by becoming a fusion party, regardless of state laws like the one in California that prohibit candidates from becoming the nominee of more than one party.  On the grassroots level, endorsing Democratic Party candidates active in Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) would address the “spoiler” charge and position Greens as a swing voting constituency, much as a swing state can decide a Presidential election. Let the Greens be wooed; let every candidate running for city, state, or federal office feel compelled to address the priorities of the Green Party, and let our party learn the lessons of the Swedes and Norwegians who successfully challenged the 1% by building strong coalition governments and coalition movements behind those coalition governments.

While it’s true that California Democratic Party delegates can be stripped of their delegate status for endorsing Greens in elections, there is nothing stopping non-delegates active in PDA from participating in a blue-green coalition that endorses and works to elect local Greens. In fact, that should be the call to action, watering the Green seeds for the next generation.

In LA County, where there are 23,000 registered Greens, and over 900,000 Declined to States, the Party will participate in an aggressive voter registration campaign before the November 2012 election when a Green Party Presidential candidate, perhaps  pioneering environmental health advocate Dr. Jill Stein,  will likely enjoy ballot status in at least 17 states, including the largest state, California, with its 55 electoral votes, and swing states Ohio, Florida and Colorado. Other Green Party ballot access states or districts include Arkansas, Arizona, DC, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. Though Green Party strengths lies in bottom-up organizing, running a Presidential candidate can provide a strategic stage for the left to critique and challenge the status quo, while attracting “millennials” or younger voters to a party platform that refuses all corporate contributions, supports single-payer health care, advocates zero-waste, calls for a tax on the rich, and opposes not only pre-emptive wars for empire, but weapons sales to other countries.

With strategic planning and a shift in focus, those newly registered Greens can rock the world of monopoly capitalism with a sturdy footing in city soil and municipal radicalism.

I will proudly stand with them.

## ##

Marcy Winograd, a former congressional peace candidate, mobilized 41% of the Democratic Party primary vote in her challenge to war profiteer Jane Harman.  Presently, Winograd serves as as a board member of the Ocean Park Association in Santa Monica and is a member of Santa Monica Greens.Winograd, a public school English and history teacher, helped organize OccupyLAUSD to protest education cuts in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Email Marcy at [email protected]

Follow Marcy on twitter: marcywinograd

Friend Marcy on fb: Marcy Winograd II

Anatomy of a CDP Endorsement: How Sacramento Insiders Rig The System Against Grassroots Candidates

Grassroots activists in Assembly District 50 received a hard lesson in “Incumbent-Protection 101” this weekend. Despite losing every Democratic Club endorsement in the district, candidate (and current 53rd AD Assembly member) Betsy Butler managed to get 57% of the vote at yesterday’s California Democratic Party “pre-endorsement” caucus, beating her opponent, Torie Osborn, who had won the support of every local club who voted to endorse, often by overwhelming margins.

Welcome to the myopic world of hard-ball Sacramento politics.

Every year, CDP delegates meet a few weeks before their yearly state convention to “pre-endorse” (aka recommend) Democratic candidates they believe are worthy of their party’s institutional support.

Candidates who received between 50% and 70% of the votes at their local weekend meeting are now eligible for, but not guaranteed of, the state Democratic party’s seal of approval at the February convention. And if no one received at least 50% of the votes, Dems won’t offer any endorsement in that legislative or congressional primary.

(And don’t even ask me the rules for how Democrats in these local party meetings gained eligibility to vote. Instructions from IKEA make more sense.)

Again, these meetings and subsequent endorsements are notable because of the brave new world of party primaries, ushered in by 2010’s Proposition 14 top-two system. It’s a world unsettled, too, by new district maps that have left more open seats than at any time in recent history.

As such, a number of Democratic candidates are scrambling for an advantage. And the gold standard is thought (by many) to be the official “Democratic Party candidate” come June.

The CDP endorsement is particularly important to Butler, who has little name recognition in AD50, having moved from the South Bay to avoid running against Tea Party candidates in her home district.

Theoretically at least, the delegates voting in these caucuses are supposed to be from the home district of the candidate they’re voting to endorse. And actually, the delegates themselves are. However, the politicians who “own” these delegates don’t have to be.

Only about a third of CDP delegates are elected by popular vote. The other two-thirds are appointed by politicians or elected by Central Committees. And in contested races like the one for the 50th Assembly District, delegates can be traded amongst politicians like playing cards.

That’s exactly what happened yesterday in the AD50 pre-endorsement caucus.

Of the 64 votes Butler received, 5 of those came from delegates she herself appointed. Forty-two delegates were assigned by Assembly Speaker John Perez, who pulled them from assembly members in districts as far away as San Francisco and Riverside.

Torie Osborn, on the other hand, not being an elected official, could not assign herself delegates. The numerous Democratic club endorsements she secured weren’t particularly helpful either, since party rules severely limited the number of delegates they’re allotted. Some endorsing clubs weren’t eligible to send delegates at all.

Dorothy Reik, President of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains – one of the clubs endorsing Osborn – attended the pre-endorsement caucus.

“John Heaner, the chair of the 13th District who was running the meeting, tried to claim that other electeds had a stong interest in our district and had sent the delegates on their own.” said Reik,”That is ridiculous. Those delegates were not even in the room for the most part. What should have been an example of local democracy in action turned into a farce.”

Butler failed to get the 70% needed for unanimous consent at the CDP convention, so she’ll have to wait until February for another endorsement vote at the convention to seal the deal. It’s entirely possible grassroots activists won’t let this go without a fight, and could organize to block Butler’s endorsement.

But such moves are rare, success rarer still. The grassroots are woefully underrepresented at the State Convention, the delegation an almost perfect microcosm of Sacramento itself – insular, inclined to protect the status quo and resistant to overcoming institutional inertia.

But in the age of “occupy”, grassroots activists seem less willing than ever to put up with the status quo. As one young Osborn supporter put it, “Folks in Sacramento should take note that AD50 supports Torie Osborn without a doubt,and will fight to make her voice heard”

Fasten your seat belts, kids, this could be a bumpy ride.

Why You Should Vote for Me as a 70th AD Democratic Delegate

Crossposted from the OC Progressive

Being a delegate is important to the Democratic Party of California for many reasons.  It’s not just about picking who is going to be the Candidate for your party, in local and Statewide elections.  It’s not just about going to the State Convention.

It’s about helping chart the direction of the party and representing the people in your district.  And I have very strong opinions about where the party is going and what it needs to do.

California is facing a crisis, a crisis like its never seen before.  Our financial future is on the brink and we are going to see a brand new Jerry Brown as Governor in 2011.  We need delegates who understand what is at stake, what Jerry Brown is going to do with our budget and how to mobilize Progressives to support his plan.  It’s not going to be an easy one.

Calitics has written extensively about the budget battles over the years and the many issues facing the State, from the failing Prison system, the Education system, Environmental issues to the Economy of California and has done so in a pitch perfect manner.  I consider them to be my source for what is happening in California.  They rely on sources like the Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times and many other commentators on what’s happening in Sacramento and then actually cut through the BS.

And yes, I read the Orange County Register.  It’s important to understand exactly how our Republican representatives have contributed to what happens in Sacramento.  It’s a huge piece to this puzzle.

Another important part of being a delegate is understanding what it means to caucus for your causes.  Being involved in particular causes is important, it helps push the party to support issues important to certain segments of the party (such as coming out more strongly to support marriage equality), from women’s issues, environmental issues to educational issues. It helps shape the Party’s platform and it helps push Candidates to support very important issues.  If you’ve been to a Convention, you will know that any serious candidate comes and speaks to the various caucuses and speaks directly to their issues.

My issues?  Education, the Environment and the Economy.  All these are connected.  They each have much to do with social justice issues, from women’s issues, to health care issues to the current mortgage crisis, I believe that everything we are dealing with is connected and that the very web that we rely upon is being undone by a general feeling of distrust that our Government does not work for us.  We must fight this meme and we need to prove otherwise.

Right now, the Government is working, it’s working very well for big banks and others who are showing record profits while the State still posts record unemployment.  It needs to work for the rest of us.  The budget battle will come down to saving Education, our public spaces and making sure that the most vulnerable of us is not completely left without a safety net.

And lastly, being a delegate will mean trying to bring resources down to Orange County for our candidates, that means when we have a Melissa Fox running for Assembly, she gets what she needs to run.  Regardless if she can win, we need the resources so she can do Democratic outreach and to build a larger base of Democratic support so that we can continue to change the color of this County.  It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about giving people a viable choice in a County that historically, for many years, there was no choice.  With over 500,000 registered Democrats, there needs to be Democratic candidates that can get out and do outreach, have volunteers, have phone banking, etc.  We need not just local support, but we need support from the State party that all races matter.  Think of it as the Howard Dean 50 State policy at the California level.  Orange County deserves that attention.

So, this is why I should be a delegate, I understand the things I will need to do and what I need to fight for.  I understand the issues the State is facing, I understand how to lobby the party for progressive issues and I know where our priorities should be.  Without education, there is no future for California, it is a huge part of what made this State golden.   Environmental issues have always been important to me, from sustainable food production to protecting the State’s parks and resources (The water issue is huge and so few people actually understand what it is about, it’s not a fish vs. jobs, that’s for sure).  And the economy is important too of course, it makes everything else run.  It’s far too complicated to put in one sentence, but it does come down to making it work more fairly for all, not just very large corporations (Small businesses in California are struggling).

I ask for your vote and I encourage you to write to me.  [email protected] if you have any questions.  Thank you.

The 70th AD includes the following cities: Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin, Lake Forest, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods.  Even if you are not in the 70th, if you know Democrats who are there, I ask that you encourage them to be involved in the Delegate voting process and vote for me!

Here are the details of when, where and how to vote.  

Date: Saturday, January 8

Time: 12:30pm

Location: University Hills Community Center

Address: 1083 California Avenue, Irvine, CA 92617

Cross-street: Gabrielino

Onsite Phone: (949) 824-7345 (sales)

Convener: Steve Young

(949) 640-4400

[email protected]

Who can vote? Here is a FAQ on the process: http://www.cadem.org/admin/mis…

A person may participate in the ADEM if he/she:

A. Is a Democrat residing in and registered to vote in the Assembly District (by the

October 18, 2010 deadline, unless the person turned 18 or was naturalized after

deadline, and is registered or registers onsite);

B. Pays a $5 donation to defray the cost of the ADEM or signs a form declaring that to pay the fee would constitute an economic hardship;

C. Signs in on a form (to be provided by the CDP) indicating his or her willingness to

assume an organizational responsibility for one or more precincts within the district or to assume another specified organizational responsibility for the Party. The form will note that the person signing agrees that their contact information will be shared by the CDP with other chartered Democratic organizations. An indication by a person signing the form that they are not willing to take such responsibility shall not be grounds for disqualifying that person from participating in the ADEM.

HOT: Be The Change: Be A Delegate-California Democratic Party: Put YOURSELF In The Driver’s Seat!

Having been a 2008 Obama National Delegate and attended recent California State Conventions first as an observer in San Jose and then as an alternate, in Sacramento, I can tell you that there is nothing quite like being in a convention center or, in my case, a National Democratic Convention at Mile High Stadium in Denver with “50 Thousand” or so like minded folks. You CAN be the change, you really can make a difference, on your street, zip code, town, city, State and National levels. Plus make many new friends in the process. The following notice showed up in my inbox and I am passing along. Good Luck! California Democratic Party needs as many Progressive Voices as can possibly be elected. TAG, as Thom Hartmann would say, YOU ARE IT.

In 2010 California Democrats bucked a national trend and won eight of nine statewide offices, with the race for Attorney General still being counted.

A huge part of our success was because California Democrats from up and down the state volunteered their time, made phone calls, donated money, knocked on doors, and participated in our biggest Get out the Vote effort ever.

If you were part of our team and you want to stay involved, a great way to do that is by running to be a delegate to our 2011 and 2012 state conventions

The California Democratic Party will hold elections in each of California’s 80 Assembly Districts on January 8 & 9, 2011.  At these meetings, registered Democrats will elect 12 delegates from each Assembly District to be members of the California Democratic Party State Central Committee.

Now is your opportunity to help direct the future of Democrats in California! Delegates approve the platform of the Party, elect Party officers and endorse candidates for congress, state legislature, and executive office.

If elected, you will automatically become a delegate to the California Democratic Party’s state convention, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2011 in Sacramento, as well as the convention in 2012.

If you are interested in running you must file with the State Party by 12:00 noon, Thursday, December 9, 2010.

Why be a Delegate?

Attend annual convention

Network with other Democrats

Represent your constituency

Elect Party officers

Promote the California Democratic Party agenda

Endorse candidates for statewide, legislative and congressional office

Vote to endorse resolutions and ballot measures

Reorganization of the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) begins at the end of 2010 and goes through February 7, 2011. Members of the DSCC (also known as “Delegates”) come from the following sources:

Elected through County Committees

Appointed by Democratic Elected Officials / Nominees

Elected through Assembly District

The Assembly District Delegates (ADDs) and Assembly District Executive Board representatives (“EBd Reps”) are elected at Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEMs) held in each of the 80 Assembly Districts. The California Democratic Party is convening ADEMs on January 8 and 9, 2011, where 12 people (6 men / 6 women) from each Assembly District will be elected to represent their district for both the 2011 and 2012 State Conventions.

Online filing for ADD will begin on November 9 and will run through December 9, 2010.  

CLICK HERE TO BEGIN THE APPLICATION PROCESS (Link likely does not work-see below)

Key Dates / Deadlines

November 9 Application for ADD available online (This means Get BUSY)

November 22 Weekly online posting of candidates begins

December 3 Notification of ADEM meeting and post on website

December 9 Deadline for ADD application

December 10 ADEM Locations posted on website

January 8, 9, 2011 ADEM elections

Cross-Posted From FreeFlightNewMedia.TypePad.Com. Visit for more in today’s mostly hottest National and Regional Political News and Views.

Link to THIS POST, in the event links embedded do not work: http://bit.ly/94l0Nw Copy and paste may be necessary.

Budget Rescue: Jeff Denham Edition

Since members of the CDP’s Budget Rescue Team started picking up their phones to ask Republican legislators where they stand on the Democrats’ sensible budget proposals last month, we’ve started getting some interesting responses.

Volunteer dbunn contacted Senator Jeff Denham (R-Merced-Modesto-Salinas)’s office, where a staffer reportedly said, “Sen. Denham is opposed to the Dem budget proposals” — and went on to defend this anti-democratic “superminority” rule!

This kind of statement shows what we’ve been saying all along: that Republicans would rather hold the state hostage than work with Democrats to govern effectively, We have to continue to put the pressure on budget extremists like Jeff Denham and get all of his colleagues on the record to make sure they know people are watching them if they try to hold the state hostage again.

See our easy instructions, and our progress, below and get started today!

Will you call a Republican legislator today and urge them to tell us where they stand on the Democratic budget proposals? You can call any Republican in any district — see below for a grid of our progress and instructions for how to make your call.  When you have their statement, report it by leaving a message in the comments to this thread or emailing [email protected]

There’s a lot working against us getting a fair budget deal, like the rule that lets a “superminority” of 1/3 plus one legislators veto any budget the majority approves.  But there are some very concrete ways these calls help:

1. Maybe California can end up with a better budget. By getting Republicans on the record early, Democrats can be proactive in building our budget strategy and get Democrats and progressives the negotiating leverage we need.

With Democratic budget proposals that add revenue to avoid cuts to poverty protections, and a Schwarzenegger cuts-only budget that would put an additional 430,000 people out of work, the more progress we can make here the better.

2. We can definitely build a strong case against Republicans. The past few years, Republicans have held our state hostage to their extreme anti-revenue ideology by holding up the budget.  But right now, many Californians just think “the legislature” is to blame for our annual budget problems: They don’t realize the central role Republicans play

That’s not an accurate picture, and these statements will help us make the case that the budget is late again because Republicans are holding us hostage, not “because both sides couldn’t agree.”

3. We can definitely change things this fall. If we can educate the public on the reason our budget problems get worse every year (Republicans) and the conditions that enable it (a minority can veto the majority’s budget), we can take a Republican seat or two and pass Proposition 25 — the majority vote budget initiative.

See our easy instructions, and our progress, below and get started today!

Get a Republican On the Record About the Budget

&#160 1. Select any Republican who hasn’t given a statement yet from one of the grids below.

&#160 2. Call the Republican’s office and say something like this:

You: Hi, my name is [your name], and I’m calling to ask if [Republican’s name] is planning on supporting the budget Democrats have released in [Republican’s chamber — Assembly or Senate].

Them: No.

You: Can you tell me why [Republican] would rather hold out than support the Democrats’ budget?

Them: [Explanation]

&#160 3. Post a comment below reporting who you called and what they said.

That’s it!

Republican Assembly Member District Phone number Plans to vote yes or no? Statement they gave you
Anthony Adams 59th District – Claremont (916) 319-2059    
Joel Anderson 77th District – El Cajon (916) 319-2077    
Bill Berryhill 26th District – Stockton (916) 319-2026    
Tom Berryhill 25th District – Modesto (916) 319-2025    
Sam Blakeslee 33rd District – San Luis Obispo (916) 319-2033    
Connie Conway 34th District – Visalia (916) 319-2034 Hasn’t decided yet Needs follow-up
Paul Cook 65th District – Yucaipa (916) 319-2065    
Chuck DeVore 70th District – Irvine (916) 319-2070    
Nathan Fletcher 75th District – San Diego (916) 319-2075 Hasn’t decided yet “Will probably suggest changes.” Needs follow-up
Jean Fuller 32nd District – Bakersfield (916) 319-2032    
Ted Gaines 4th District – Roseville (916) 319-2004    
Martin Garrick 74th District – Carlsbad (916) 319-2074    
Danny D. Gilmore 30th District – Hanford (916) 319-2030    
Curt Hagman 60th District – Chino Hills (916) 319-2060    
Diane L. Harkey 73rd District – Oceanside (916) 319-2073    
Kevin Jeffries 66th District – Murrieta (916) 319-2066    
Steve Knight 36th District – Palmdale (916) 319-2036    
Dan Logue 3rd District – Chico (916) 319-2003    
Jeff Miller 71st District – Mission Viejo (916) 319-2071    
Brian Nestande 64th District – Riverside (916) 319-2064    
Roger Niello 5th District – Sacramento (916) 319-2005 No From a mailer: “there will not be votes amongst legislative Republicans for new taxes [on oil companies extracting oil in California]”
Jim Nielsen 2nd District – Redding (916) 319-2002    
Chris Norby 72nd District – Brea (916) 319-2072    
Jim Silva 67th District – Huntington Beach (916) 319-2067    
Cameron Smyth 38th District – Santa Clarita (916) 319-2038 Hasn’t decided yet “We don’t want to hold up the budget again this year.” Needs follow-up.
Audra Strickland 37th District – Westlake Village (916) 319-2037    
Van Tran 68th District – Costa Mesa (916) 319-2068    
Michael N. Villines 29th District – Fresno (916) 319-2029    
Republican Senator District Phone number Plans to vote yes or no? Statement they gave you
Dennis Hollingsworth 36th District – Temecula, El Cajon (916) 651-4036    
Sam Aanestad 4th District – Nevada City, Chico, Redding (916) 651-4004    
Roy Ashburn 18th District – Bakersfield (916) 651-4018    
Dave Cogdill 14th District – Fresno, Ripon (916) 651-4014    
Dave Cox 1st District – Roseville, Jackson, Quincy (916) 651-4001 Doubtful “Dave does not support raising any taxes or fees,” but his staffer could not specifically say which programs he would cut. (from Budget Rescue Team member Gina M. via email)
Update: Since this information was reported, Dave Cox has passed away. Our condolences to his family.
Jeff Denham 12th District – Merced, Modesto, Salinas (916) 651-4012 Qualified no “Sen. Denham is opposed to the Dem budget proposals.” Likes the 1/3 rule.
Robert Dutton 31st District – Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside (916) 651-4031    
Bill Emmerson 37th District – Riverside, Palm Desert (916) 651-4037    
Tom Harman 35th District – Costa Mesa (916) 651-4035    
Bob Huff 29th District – Walnut (916) 651-4029    
George Runner 17th District – Antelope Valley, Victorville, Santa Clarita (916) 651-4017    
Tony Strickland 19th District – Simi Valley, Santa Barbara (916) 651-4019    
Mimi Walters 33rd District – Laguna Hills (916) 651-4033    
Mark Wyland 38th District – San Juan Capistrano, Carlsbad (916) 651-4038    

California Democratic Party Fails California & Democrats

In the month of June, with the Constitutional Deadline to pass a budget, the CDP did one move on the budget. And it was pathetic. There was no Theory of Change, no path for what they were doing to result in passing a budget quicker, or passing a more just budget. It was quite honestly one of the most pathetic online moves I have ever seen by a state party — anywhere in the country.

And then they got defensive. They started censoring comments at Calitics, giving a ‘0’ rating to disappear any criticism. They censored, again and again and again and again.

I’m trying to figure out how the California Democratic Party could have failed so completely, I think it might have gone something like this:

California Democrats deserve at least basic competence. There was nothing of the sort with a stone’s throw of this whole fiasco. First, there was the sin of omission, by not engaging in any actions that could have helped pass a just budget. Next, there was this pathetic move, that just made the CDP look incompetent (phone calls to 4 legislators is all they accomplished during the last week before the budget ran out, with half those calls coming from consultants or their mothers?). Third, any preteen can explain to you that trying to censor online just results in more people seeing what is trying to be hid. Forth, they didn’t quickly realize that their move was a blunder of epic proportions and react with something that would have helped.

And this isn’t just about the budget, with the CDP lacking basic competence online, how are they going to help Jerry Brown or Barbara Boxer or Gavin Newsom or Kamala Harris?

California Democrats deserve better.

Marcy Winograd for Congress: Marcy Winograd’s Open Letter to CDP Delegates

CA-36 congressional candidate Marcy Winograd’s March 14, 2010 open letter to delegates follows:

Delegates, Floor Fight? You Bet!

Winograd vs. Harman: Choose Our Street over Wall Street

Delegates, I need your support to block the endorsement of Blue Dog Jane Harman on the floor of the California Democratic Party convention this weekend. Harman is a formidable opponent, particularly with her campaign consultant Harvey Englander, the man who engineered the passage of Howard Jarvis’ Prop 13.

You will hear Harman’s appointees argue that we should not usurp the local caucus’s power to endorse. Delegates are aware that incumbents enjoy institutional support and as such, many are unwilling to expend political capital or perceived accessibility to incumbents even though those incumbents may vote against core Democratic values. Our Party’s bylaws however, provide for exactly this type of challenge because when a candidate is endorsed, that endorsement reflects the will of the entire statewide Party, not just local delegates. Moreover, when a corporate Democrat, funded by military contractors and personally invested in those same contractors, takes us to war without exercising her oversight responsibility, all of us pay the price.

You may hear that we must respect what Party activists in the 36th congressional district want. Please know that I am proud to be endorsed by the majority of grassroots Democratic clubs in my district, including the San Pedro Democratic Club; Torrance Democratic Club; Progressive Democratic Club (Harbor); Gardena Valley Democratic Club; Progressive Democrats of America-36th District.

Our efforts begin on Friday night when many progressive delegates convene with national radio broadcaster Jim Hightower at the Palm Restaurant, 1100 Flower Street, across from the Marriott Hotel, where the convention will be held. All are welcome. At that time, I will ask you to commit yourself to gathering signatures for my petition to overturn Harman’s endorsement in the local caucus Saturday evening.

That local caucus, comprised of many elected officials and their appointed delegates, will undoubtedly endorse Harman, the candidate who once introduced herself to convention delegates as “the best Republican in the Democratic Party.”

Following her local caucus endorsement, we need to collect 300 delegate signatures within a few hours on Saturday night to overturn the endorsement and push this fight to the floor on Sunday morning. Dozens of Winograd for Congress supporters will circulate with clipboards, fanning out to collect the required petition signatures.

To block Harman’s endorsement on the floor, I will need 50% plus 1 delegate to reject her candidacy.

Winograd vs. Harman: What’s the Difference?

I am a proud progressive, a public school teacher on leave from Crenshaw HS in South Los Angeles, and an organizer of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party.

This is not a contest between two corporate Democrats.

It’s between Our Street vs. Wall Street.

Homes vs. Banks.

Jobs vs. Wars.

At stake are the values and soul of the Democratic Party.

Who are we? What do we stand for?

As a co-founder of Progressive Democrats of America’s Los Angeles chapter, I helped write, along with author Norman Solomon and Progressive Caucus Chair Karen Bernal, the resolutions putting our Party on record calling for an end to the US air and ground wars in Afghanistan. I also put our party on record calling for a cap on usurious bank interest rates, parole and sentencing reform, and an end to unfair trade agreements.

As a leader in the anti-war movement, I organized a 1,000-strong town hall with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and then led a delegation to Washington to introduce
our representatives to wounded veterans with Iraq Veterans Against the War. On the election protection front, I worked hard to elect SOS Deborah Bowen and to make sure she stayed in office to enforce her ban on most touch screen machines. In the labor movement, I organized with Cesar Chavez and became active in my own union: United Teachers of Los Angeles.

I support clean money, both in word and in deed. I am not taking a dime of corporate
contributions because I am the People’s Candidate for the People’s House.

My opponent is smart and tough. Unfortunately, she has used her strengths in the service of:

* big banks and military contractors

* supporting a bankruptcy bill that makes it easier for banks to hike your credit card rates

* punish you for medical bankruptcy

* foreclose on your home

* voting to deny you affordable generic medications for breast and brain cancer, HIV, and Parkinson’s disease

* defying a majority of House Democrats to take us to war in Iraq, then escalate in Afghanistan

* working to re-elect George Bush by pressuring the New York Times to suppress the story of Bush’s massive illegal wiretapping program

* finally, becoming the subject of an FBI investigation after being caught in an NSA wiretap allegedly offering to use her influence on the House Intelligence Committee to get spying charges dropped against AIPAC analysts – this in return for their reported promise to defund House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party if Pelosi refused to make Harman Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.


I am not in the pocket of any lobby group – and am deeply committed to the pursuit of peace with justice in the Middle East.

It’s time for a change – and a commitment at home to transforming our war economy into a new Green economy. We need a Green New Deal along the lines of the Works Progress Administration. Together, we can put Americans back to work repairing our infrastructure, strengthening our public school system, developing new energy, and building mass transit.

Enough of perpetual wars and occupations that create greater instability and rob our treasury of trillions needed for health care, education, and housing.

The ILWU Southern California District Council, University of California AFT, Mexican American Bar Association, Progressive Democrats of American, and the Armenian National Committee are among my endorsers.

I ask all delegates to the California Democratic Party to help me challenge Jane Harman to a floor fight at the California Democratic Party convention. Thus far, my opponent has refused to debate me, but rumor has it she will make a rare appearance at the annual convention.

I look forward to the challenge — and to the moment on the floor when delegates will have an opportunity to stand tall.

Thank you,

Marcy Winograd

36th Congressional District Candidate