Tag Archives: OC Democrats

Loretta Sanchez And The Defense Machine Hustle

As usual, it would be better to quote this Digby post verbatim, but let me just give you the relevant section from the article in question:

(Loretta) Sanchez, Orange County’s only Democratic member of Congress, voted in 2002 against giving President Bush authorization to invade Iraq. More recently she voted to begin pulling troops out within 90 days.

Tuesday night Sanchez said she could not support the protesters (who want to cut funding for the war) because the $145 billion in Iraq war funding was in the same bill that would provide money to build the C-17 aircraft in California.

“I never voted for this war,” she said. But “I’m not going to vote against $2.1 billion for C-17 production, which is in California. That is just not going to happen.”

Sanchez has been consistently against the war, and she cannot be fully blamed for protecting her constituents.  But she’s constrained by the fact that a major military contractor in her district has a gun to her head.  Particularly in California, but all over the country really, the massing of the war machine has a definite impact on policy.  They put their factories in all these different districts, so that shuttering an obsolete weapons system will be met with enormous resistance.  This ensures that you can never decrease military spending or even keep it the same.  And eventually, all these systems have to be justified.  Through war.

This is approximately why the nightly news has all of these ads for Lockheed Martin and Boeing on them.  I can’t buy a 757, but Boeing can keep that news network in line by threatening to drop their ads if they stray from the party line.

Here’s Digby:

It’s just another way that big money distorts our politics. Sanchez’s statement makes it quite clear that the “power of the purse” is not about stopping anything. It’s about funding all kinds of things that have been set up over many years to keep politicians like Sanchez in line. She really does have to answer to her constituents — many of whom make their living off the military industrial complex dime. You can’t blame her.

I don’t even think public financing will stop this.  You’re talking about thousands of constituents’ jobs.  And California embodies this problem as much as any state in the union.  It’s something we really have to think about.  How do we, after 60 years of massive military buildup, put this genie back in the bottle?

(This isn’t limited to defense, by the way, John Dingell’s attempt to upend CAFE standard legislation preferred by the Speaker comes from him protecting his constituents, just as resistance to gas taxes comes from legislators protecting theirs.)

CA-42: Hi, I’m Ron Shepston and I’m running for Congress

(Woo-hoo! A REAL netroots candidate in Orange County! What more could I possibly ask for? Oh yes, and you can also enjoy this at Daily Kos and The Liberal OC! ; ) – promoted by atdleft)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket(photo from Wikipedia)
I posted this over at dKos but really wanted to put it here because it’s such an important site in California netroots.

Caution is preferable to rash braverySir John Falstaff, King Henry the Fourth, Part I

Falstaff may be beloved, but he was not who you wanted leading you into battle.  Political challengers today need to be brave, brash, maybe even a little rash.

In World War II, when the gates came down in LCVPs (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel), exposing the marines and soldiers inside to uncounted barrages of fire, they didn’t sit around discussing whether it was prudent to charge ahead with the goal of defeating a formidable enemy.  No one had to order them to go to give their lives; they just did it.  They had a world to save and they gave their lives for a cause they believed in.

Today, those of us who would defend the Constitution have a new fight.  Today, as a Democrat, a veteran, and a longtime member of this community, I’m marching off to that fight.

I’m running for Congress.

My campaign manager, Major Danby says that he likes this photo of me that he took at the Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade, where I marched with the Democratic Party of Orange County, and that it has to appear near the top of the diary so people know who’s talking to them.  Here you go.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket 

Now let’s talk about my campaign.

I’m running because Congress has let the President stomp on the Constitution, balloon the deficit, and get us stuck in a misbegotten war.  Gary Miller seems to see his position in Congress mostly as a way to make money for his friends.  I swore an oath to defend the Constitution when I was in the Air Force during Viet Nam (1966-1970), and that’s why I’m going to run.  I’m going to swear another oath to defend the Constitution as a Congressman. I didn’t see combat then but that doesn’t stop me from fighting now and when I get to Congress.

No one has elected me to “represent the netroots” in a run for Congress, but I think my opinions on issues reflect those of the broad community.  I want us out of Iraq and back to making the alliances with other countries that we /need/ to fight terrorism.  I want single-payer health insurance that is available to all.  I want a government that respects scientific facts – in global warming and otherwise – rather than fantasies that give them some political advantage – in making policy decisions.  But if there is one issue that motivates me above all others, it’s this:

*I want to defend the Constitution and the rule of law – while we can.*

There are forces in and out of our elected government who think that they have the right to ignore our laws and the fundamental basis for American values.  We see it with signing statements, defying subpoenas, ignoring constitutional amendments, evading Congressional oversight, and flouting federal law.  While this President and Vice-President have stomped on the Constitution, my opponent, Gary Miller, has held their coats.

I’ve been around for a long time and I have never before seen such a concerted effort on the part of a political party to subvert our precious and beloved form of government.  Not even Nixon.  At least Nixon had the honor to leave after even Republicans told him that it was that or be impeached and removed from office.  As I’ve written here, in effect Bush and his associates have been instituting something like a slow coup against our very system of government.  Their monarchical vision of our government is not how our system is supposed to work; we must restore our system to its proper form.

Democrats have control of the House – and control of the Senate when Joe Lieberman is thinking straight – which gives them a lot of power. It’s not total power, but it’s more than they use. Our party has the power to inform and rally and lead Americans. But too many members of our party convince themselves that it’s best to play it safe and wait until 2008, when they hope that things will all get better.

I think that’s wrong.  I think that we need to take the fight to the enemies of our Constitution.

Think back again to the Marines and Army storming the beaches of Normandy.  Imagine where we’d be if they stayed in their LSIs and waited for the enemy to leave!  It’s time that we metaphorically storm the beaches of government and take our country back from the enemy who would destroy it for their own purposes. 

If we storm all fronts, from the Water Board to every single Congressional District, we will overwhelm the enemies of the rule of law.  We will make America a better place and restore our values, honor and dignity in the world – and thus our public safety as well.

I want to be part of the second landing wave. The first wave consisted of Jon Tester and Jim Webb, of John Hall, Paul Hodes, Nancy Boyda, Jeremy Kalin, California’s own Jerry McNerney and others who were encouraged – some say in part put into office – by the blogosphere.  It consisted too of people like Brian Keeler who fired a shot across the bow of those who cling to power without serving the public good.  We were part of the solution in 2006.  I believe that we’re helping to foster a fundamental change in America.

I’ve been part of this community for 2-1/2 years.  I’m not a candidate coming /to/ the netroots for support; I’m a candidate coming /from/ the netroots.  I believe that I’m the first “homegrown” netroots candidate to run a viable campaign for the United States Congress.  I won’t be the last.

This is not a vanity or protest campaign. California’s 42nd district is Republican-dominated, but increasingly independent – which means that it’s full of people who think like Democrats whom we have to convince to /vote/ the way they /think/.  It’s a district I can win.  The local party establishment supports me.  My opponent, Gary Miller, has been swimming so long in the ethical cesspool of Congressional privilege that he’s grown gills.  He’s vulnerable – but no one was on the ballot against him in 2006.  No local elected politician in the district – which has too few elected Democrats – is running against him next year.  So I’ve rashly stepped up and strapped up; now I’m going to show up and make people sit up and pay attention.

Part of why my campaign will be noticed – one reason that it has captured the interest of people /outside/ of the blogosphere – is that I am from the netroots and they’ve seen what it can accomplish.  Among the netroots who have been part of an incredible brain trust so far are thereisnospoon, Hekebolos, occams hatchet, clammyc, OrangeClouds115, atdnext, Shockwave, dday, vernonlee, theKK and the many others who’ve been part of this by means of offering their support and good wishes and still keeping it a “secret”. Major Danby will be managing my campaign full-time.  You probably recognize some of those names.  You’ll be reading a lot of diaries about the campaign from them in the days to come.

My aim in this campaign is to bring the netroots to the many wonderful people I’ve been meeting in the grassroots, and to bring back here some of what they have to offer.  With the spirit and broad expertise of the netroots and the local knowledge and drive of the grassroots, I think we can create something different and new.

I will come here looking for money like other candidates do; for the netroots to come out strongly for my campaign will get attention throughout the political world.  But today, having just announced, is not the day for a hard sell.  I’ll just say this: if you’d like to be among the first to contribute to my campaign, please go to my ActBlue page.  The amount of money that people donate, and the number of people donating, will for better or worse dictate much of the reaction that the world beyond the netroots will have towards my campaign.  To show them that we have a chance, we need to show them that we have a base.

This is not just about one candidate or one campaign, but about building a movement.  It’s about the netroots making connections with the grassroots, and with the voting public. The future of our movement is everywhere in the country, in whatever races we choose to focus our efforts.  It’s about re-establishing the rule of law.  It’s about defending America and American ideals. Are we ready to do that together?

March with the Democrats at the Surf City Fourth of July Parade!

(Cross-posted at Ditch Crazy Dana and Trash Dirty Gary)

What do you think of when you think “Fourth of July”? The American flag, perhaps? Fireworks? Independence? Apple pie? Ice cream? The beach? A parade? Well, what if I told you that you can experience all of that AND MORE on Wednesday?!

Yes, my friends, this Wednesday is July 4th. And yes, this means it’s time for the Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade, THE LARGEST INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER! And guess what? The Democratic Party of Orange County will once again have a fantastic float in the parade! Oh yes, and our fabulous Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez will be marching with us! Oh yes, and we need more people to march with us in the parade. Come on now, don’t YOU want to be a part of the parade?

So would YOU like to be a part of this world-famous All-American celebration? Follow me after the flip for more…

For the past 28 years, OC Democrats have been a part of this VERY OC tradition. We’ve had local elected officials like Former State Senator Joe Dunn and current State Senator Lou Correa join us in the parade. We always have the Young Democrats dancing on the float. Oh yes, and how about that float? Live music. Festive decorations. The American Spirit. What more could you possibly want?

So why NOT go? Join in on the fun. Just remember to COME EARLY TO FIND PARKING. Here are some details on what will be happening, courtesy of The Liberal OC:

The parade begins at 10:00 A.M. and ends at 12:30 P.M. Democrats begin gathering at 7:30 A.M. to march. We will have shuttle cars to take you to the staging area or to the handicap cheering section.

Shuttle Starts: 7:00 A.M.
Last Shuttle: 9:00 A.M.

Please come early, the traffic gets very busy and we cannot transport everyone at the last minute.

For parking and shuttling, drive to Seacliff Village, located at Goldenwest and Yorktown. Look for the Del Taco fast food restaurant. Then look for the signs saying “Democratic Parking.”

Oh yes, and before I forget, we should all remember that all marchers with the Democratic Party of Orange County entry must wear red T-shirts or polo shirts and blue jean or dark/navy blue shorts or pants. Get it? Got it? Good.

Well, I’m picking out my red shirt and blue jean shorts. How about you? The Fourth of July Parade may only be once a year, but it’s something that give us great memories to last us all year long. Why not be a part of these great memories?

To participate, simply show up!

If you have any questions, please contact Caren Bolinger at 310-293-8320 or email her at [email protected]

: )

Missed Us on the Radio? Catch the Podcast, And Tune in Next Week!

(Cross-posted at Trash Dirty Gary)

Were you able to listen to the premiere of “Red, White, & Burke” yesterday? Did you have a chance to call into the show? Did you get to listen to the person who may be challenging Dirty Gary Miller next year?

Well, you can still listen to the show! Yesterday’s show is now in the online archives. Go ahead and listen now, or download the podcast and play it in whatever you use to play mp3 files later.

So would you like a little sneak peek as to what we talked about on the air yesterday? And would you like to know who will be coming on to Ken Burke’s radio show soon? Well then, follow me after the flip for more…

So what did we talk about yesterday? Well, we talked about some of things that have been happening at Trash Dirty Gary. We talked about the infamous Monrovia land deal. We talked about Gary Miller’s rather special relationship with the Lewis Group.

Oh yes, and we talked with that special candidate who may be challenging Gary Miller next year. And what did he say? Well, you’ll have to listen to the program to find that out! ; )

But wait, it gets better! If you thought the premiere week was good, then you’ll just have to keep listening to the show! Next week, none other than Congressional Candidate Steve Young will be appearing on the program! Steve ran in Orange County’s 48th District last year, and he’ll likely be giving John Campbell another run for his money next year. He’ll be talking about our need to bring our troops home from Bush’s occupation of Iraq soon, and of our need to care for the troops once they’re home.

Oh yes, and I’m sure he’ll also be talking about that Victory Politics Institute.

And yes, I’m sure there will be plenty more good guests to come. Keep on listening to the show. Keep on calling, and telling Ken Burke what’s on your mind. And I’ll keep you in the know on who will be on the show soon. : )

Calitics Blogger and CA-42 Candidate (?) To Be Guests on New Radio Show

(Cross-posted at Trash Dirty Gary)

Hey, have you heard the big news? We have a new progressive radio show in Southern California! The Liberal OC reported yesterday that longtime Orange County Democratic activist Ken Burke now has his own radio show on Sundays at a local radio station in the Inland Empire.

Now today, I have some more good news for all of you. One of our very own local bloggers at Calitics and Trash Dirty Gary will be among the guests on the very first “Red, White, and Burke” show. Yes, I will be on the radio to talk about Orange County/Inland Empire Congressman Gary Miller (R-Culture of Corruption), his many scandals, and why we need new representation in the 42nd Congressional District.

But wait, that’s not all! I hear that there will be another special guest on Ken’s radio show at noon on Sunday. I’ve heard that someone who’d like to challenge Gary Miller next year will also be on the air on Sunday. This might be a chance for all of us to learn more about just how serious of a challenge Dirty Gary might get next year. I know I’m looking forward to it!

But wait, there’s more! Follow me after the flip to find out how YOU can participate in this very special radio show on Sunday…

So would you like to be a part of Ken Burke’s first radio show? Do you have a question that you’d like to ask this candidate looking to challenge Gary Miller should this candidate come on the air? Would you just like to say hi to me, and tell us that you just love reading the blog? Well, call into the radio show, and let Ken know that you’re listening!

Call (909) 888-5222 to talk to us on the show!

And oh yes, if you’re in the Inland Empire, you can listen to the show on KCAA at 1050 on the AM dial. The show is now on every Sunday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. Perhaps you can even get the signal from Los Angeles or Orange County if you try.

But if you don’t live in the signal area, then don’t worry. You can listen to the radio show online! And if you can’t listen on Sunday, then get the podcast later. This just might be a program that you won’t want to miss! : )

CA-47: The Truth About Loretta Sanchez & That Fundraiser

OK, so you’ve probably seen this by now. Or perhaps, you’ve seen this. Wherever you saw Matt Cunningham’s post about the cancelled Nancy Pelosi fundraiser in Orange County, don’t believe it.

Yes, the fundraiser was cancelled. But no, Loretta Sanchez didn’t “put the kibosh” on a chance to raise money for the Democratic Party of Orange County. No, Loretta Sanchez isn’t against a stronger, better-funded DPOC. No, the Democratic Party is not weak and incompetent.

Follow me after the flip to get to the truth of this matter…

Here’s what Matt Cunningham said on OC Blog and FlashReport

… Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s ego got in the way.

Sanchez adopted a proprietary view of the dollars the Pelosi/DPOC event would raise. Rather than seeing a stronger, better-funded DPOC as a benefit to her continued representation of the 47th Congressional District, in Loretta’s view the fund raiser would take money away from her.

And here’s why this is completely wrong. The fundraiser actually was for the DCCC, not the DPOC. The fundraiser was on April 29 in Newport Beach, even though many OC Democrats were still in San Diego for the state Democratic Convention. And even though the individuals that scheduled the dinner promised that Loretta Sanchez was already on board with the fundraiser, they did NOT contact her to make sure that she was actually available for this fundraiser.

Basically, this fundraiser was just a disaster waiting to happen. So you don’t believe me? Believe Wylie Aitken. He knows what he’s talking about when he talks about Loretta. Wylie Aitken has been with her since the beginning as a campaign adviser to Loretta. But of course, he also knows what he’s talking about when he talks about the Democratic Party. He has always been a good friend of the DPOC. Read what he said to Total Buzz about that fundraiser.

The cancellation of the event had little or nothing to do with Loretta Sanchez.

The event would have been primarily for the DCCC. Well-intentioned individuals scheduled the evening without making sure Loretta would be available as well as many others within the Democratic donor community.

Loretta did what she should do — in addition to scheduling problems, to give her honest assessment to the Speaker, as to whether the event was properly planned and would be a success.

So there you have it! OK, so you’re still not believing me? Believe Mike Lawson at The Liberal OC. Here’s what he was told about that fundraiser:

The DPOC (with the help of “local Democratic insider”) solicited Pelosi for this dinner. One of the selling points was that Loretta was already onboard.

After Pelosi accepted the invitation she spoke with Sanchez, who hadn’t heard of the event. Once Loretta looked into the benefit, she noticed that there were some people (like the friend of “local Democratic insider”) that were angling to make some good money off of the event; Sanchez, who was never officially onboard with this benefit, backed out. And so did Pelosi.

Maybe Matt Cunningham was right when he said that “ego” stood in the way of this event, but it wasn’t Loretta’s this time. Perhaps the “local Democratic insider” shouldn’t have guaranteed Loretta’s attendance.

So do you believe us now? Oh yes, and look who’s supporting that fundraiser for Loretta this month. So, there! Loretta still cares about us in Orange County. The Democratic Party here is doing a great job in building the party in Orange County. Everyone is doing great, and we’re all looking forward to that fundraiser at Joe Dunn’s house on the 16th.

So much for that rumor! Cheese louise, the OC Republican insiders at OC Blog can’t even come up with a credible runor against us! I guess if this is the worst they can throw at us, then we’re doing a great job here! : )

A BERRY Special Sunday Open Thread

OK, I’m on my way back to Garden Grove for the Strawberry Festival. I can hardly get enough of that delectable strawberry shortcake! Oh yes, and I will also on duty tonight at the OC Democratic Party booth!

Last night, we registered SEVEN NEW DEMOCRATS! And yes, four of them switched from Republican. I’m sure that even more people have registered at our booth today. I think the lovely Loretta Sanchez sign and the beautifully colored “Proud to be a Democrat” donkey pictures (for the little ones to color) make our booth so inviting!

So what are you planning to do tonight? How do you plan to honor our brave soldiers tomorrow? Would you like some strawberry shortcake? What’s your Democratic club up to in your neighborhood? Oh yes, and would you like a strawberry milkshake to go with your shortcake?

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away! : )

A BERRY Wonderful Weekend Open Thread

I’m at the Strawberry Festival today, and boy am I having a BERRY good time! I just finished my strawberry SUPREME sundae, so I think I’ll have enough of a sugar rush tonight to survive the night shift at the OC Democratic Party booth. This is one of the largest street fairs in the Western US, and we Orange County Democrats are here to show some blue pride in the County of Orange!

So what’s on your mind tonight? Do you want some of my sundae? Do you have plans for Memorial Day? Do you like street fairs? Do you think the Democratic Party is doing a good job in connecting with the community? Oh yeah, and do you want a bite of my sundae?

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away! : )

Get Ready, OC! Obama Is Coming (And He Wants Big Bucks)!

Were you inspired by what Barack Obama had to say to Democrats in San Diego last month? Have you been amazed by all the grassroots energy behind the Obama campaign in California? Are you captivated by the Illinois Senator and what he’s accomplished?

Well, if you happen to be in Orange County on Monday, June 11, (and you have $2,300 to spare!) you can have breakfast with Barack Obama!

Follow me after the flip for all the details…

Here’s what just arrived in my email inbox from Frank Barbaro, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County:

In this Presidential primary we have several outstanding Democratic candidates. Earlier this year I promised to invite you to join me at events for all of these candidates. The next exciting event is a breakfast with Sen. Obama.

I am delighted to welcome you to Newport Coast on Monday, June 11th, for a very special breakfast with Senator Barack Obama.
Monday, June 11th, 2007
8:30 am to 10:30 am
The home of Michael & Shohleh Chegini
Address provided upon RSVP
$2,300 Per Person
$4,600 Maximum Contribution

Please RSVP to Melahat Rafiei at [email protected] or 949-350-7733 by June 6, 2007.

Please join me in welcoming Senator Obama to Orange County!

*This is not an official endorsement of the Democratic Party of Orange County


Frank Barbaro

Ah, if only I had $2,300 to spare right now… Do you? Well if you do, you can have this special breakfast on Saturday! At least I’m sure the pastries will be yummy, and consider who you’ll be sharing them with… ; )

Farewell, Mike Levin.

I just saw this on Total Buzz. Now I have a feeling that this would be better as a “Quickie“, but I wanted a little more space to give my heartfelt thanks to Mike Levin. Mike Levin took over as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Orange County about eight months ago. Back then, the party headquarters was in complete shambles. The office was cluttered with old boxes filled with old papers, and the dust was literally covering the original paint color of the walls. Mike Levin came in, and he cleaned shop. The first time I walked in the office after he took over, I was literally astounded that the office was actually clean and orderly!

But of course, Mike did much more than just clean the office. He helped give this party a clean bill of health again. Thanks to Mike’s fantastic leadership, Democrats held the 34th State Senate District by helping Lou Correa win that historically close election last year. Thanks to Mike, OC Democrats fought hard like never before in the effort to fill the County Board of Supervisors vacancy (left by Lou when he became a Senator) with Tom Umberg. And overall, Mike has been a part of this successful effort to make the Democratic Party relevant in Orange County again.

And now, it’s time for him to move on from here. Follow me after the flip for more on where Mike Levin is going from here…

Well, I guess Martin Wisckol’s question has now been answered:

County Democrat boss Frank Barbaro displayed his sincerity in cranking up the party’s local activity level when he hired Mike Levin in September. The young Stanford graduate took the reins as executive director and immediately proved himself to be sharp, responsive and energetic. At one point I think I ask Barbaro how long he’d be able to keep him.

I got the answer today. Levin is leaving next month for the Bay Area and a job with Better Energy Systems, whose first product, the Solio, is a solar charger for small electronics.

But hey, there’s no reason for us to fear. Current Political Director Melahat Rafiei will likely take over as Interim Executive Director of the party. And boy is this a good thing! Melahat has done great things for DFA Orange County, and she fought hard in the 46th Congressional District as Jim Brandt’s campaign manager. I’m very confident that she’ll do a great job for our party, and that she will only help the Democratic Party continue to strengthen in Orange County.

But still, I’ll miss Mike. I’ll miss his shrewd political sensibility, and I’ll miss his pragmatic approach to idealism (or is that idealistic approach to pragmatism?). I’ll miss his sunny smile, and I’ll miss that take-charge attitude he brought to the party office. We’ll all miss Mike here in OC, but that shouldn’t stop us from wishing him the best of luck up in the Bay Area! : )