Tag Archives: Steve Pougnet

Benoit to Leave Senate for Riverside Supervisorial Gig

Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Republican State Sen. John Benoit to fill a vacancy on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. This will create yet another special election cycle, but as David Dayen reminded us, he was already equivalent to an empty chair, since he already votes “no” on budget bills.

Benoit had been lobbying Arnold hard for the job…but that wasn’t why he voted for all of the water bills. You know, that was because he’s totally down with the peripheral canal.

Earlier in the week, Benoit said there was no connection between his desire for the supervisor’s job and his support of the water package, which includes an $11.1 billion bond.

“One thing they told me is that they’re not going to do anything until after (water) is done, because it’s a critical issue facing California,” Benoit said of the governor’s office Monday. “I’m expecting nothing to happen until after this is done.

“Tying the two together is not right, no.” (P-E 11/4/09)

As for the Senate seat, SD-37 includes about half of Palm Springs, so the registration advantage isn’t that huge for Republicans at about 4 percentage points (41-37). And in fact, Obama won the district, 50-48.  As for who could take a stab at the seat, the most obvious Dem candidate would be Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet. However, he’s currently running against Mary Bono Mack. There are a slew of Republicans looking at the seat, but has anybody heard about any Democratic interest?

CA-45: Pougnet Has Big Fundraising Quarter

While candidates for state and federal office have until July 15 to announce their fundraising totals to the FEC, we’re starting to see some of the numbers trickle out.  And this is a pretty good one.  Steve Pougnet, the openly gay mayor of Palm Springs, husband and father of two, reportedly raised over $200,000 in the second quarter.  He claimed to have outraised his opponent, incumbent Mary Bono Mack, although the Republican has not yet released her numbers.

$200,000 is a better quarter than almost all Democratic challengers achieved at any point in the last Congressional cycle until the final fundraising quarter.  It’s particularly impressive this far out of the race.

With Bono Mack facing heat from her right flank over her vote for the Waxman-Markey energy bill, she may not have the kind of national backing she could need.  Bono Mack has performed impressively in this seat throughout her career and she remains heavily favored, but Pougnet will have a chance in a district that went 52-47 for Barack Obama in 2008.

CA-45: Bono Mack Being Hunted

I noted this in my June Congressional races roundup, but it deserves a little more attention.

Mary Bono Mack has in her career adeptly threaded the needle, voting mostly with the right but surprising on just enough bills every year to appear moderate to her district, which went for Barack Obama in 2008 and has a PVI of only R+3.  But her yes vote on the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill has incensed conservatives, so much so that they are waging jihad against not only Bono Mack but her Congressman husband, who by the way voted against Waxman-Markey.

So it was probably a bit of a shock to her when she saw the headline above that I captured in a screen shot from the Republican Party blog, Red State: Mary Bono Mack Should Be Burned In Effigy And Voted out Of Office. It was written by Georgia Republican Party operative Erick Erickson and something tells me Erickson isn’t about to endorse Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, who’s not just gay, but married (to another man) and happily raising their two children! Too far a stretch for Republicans who seem to always be involved with “opposite marriages,” or whatever they call the degrading situations traditional marriage sanctity defenders like Mark Sanford, David Diapers Vitter, Larry Craig and John Ensign are in.

Erickson and the fringe loons on the furthest reaches of the non-criminal right are so upset with Bono Mack that they are threatening to not just defeat her but to go after the right-wing extremist husband to boot! He demands that she vote against health care reform and against the energy bill when it comes back from the Senate– where it will probably be watered down and look more acceptable to mainstream conservatives!!!– or face the consequences.

“Otherwise, we beat her and her husband at the polls.

Yes, you heard me. We can get at Mary Bono Mack in two ways– her district and that of her husband. He should feel the heat just as much as her.”

Now, Erickson is a silly person.  And his frothing at the mouth is unlikely to result in any change in CA-45.  However, I wonder if they can entice some far-right activist to run in the primary.  Gary Jeandron, who lost to Manuel Perez convincingly in 2008, is supposedly preparing for a rematch.  But AD-80 is far less cordial to Republicans than CA-45 is.  And maybe enough foot-stomping tea partiers can persuade him – or some other teabagger – to challenge Bono Mack in the primary.  As one of only 8 Republicans to vote for the Waxman-Markey bill (and one of them, John McHugh, is about to become Barack Obama’s Secretary of the Army), the wingnuts don’t have many targets.  Bono Mack may have poked her head up on the wrong bill.

This could be a good time to check out Steve Pougnet.

Q1 Congressional Reports

So the first quarter of fundraising for the 2010 cycle ended, and this week the reports were filed.  Swing State Project has a good roundup.  Here’s what I found interesting:

• In CA-48, Beth Krom had an unusually strong quarter, considering she entered the race in the middle of it.  She raised $63,000 for the quarter, actually beating the incumbent, John Campbell, who raised $55,000.  Now, in 2008 candidates like Nick Leibham and Debbie Cook beat their incumbent counterparts in fundraising repeatedly, but had major disadvantages in cash on hand because the incumbents had assembled war chests from prior fundraising.  And that’s the case here too – Campbell has $300,000 CoH, while Krom has $61,000, a 5-to-1 advantage.  But to beat Campbell so early in the cycle shows a lot of potential.

• Debbie Cook, Charlie Brown and Bill Durston basically raised no money in the quarter, dampening any expectation that they will run again in their respective districts.  Durston raised $9,000, but that was probably all before he hinted at dropping out due to medical troubles.

• In CA-44, Bill Hedrick may be getting national attention, but he’s not raising national numbers, and if he continues to put up $14,000 for a quarter, the D-Trip will either walk away or look for another challenger.  I respect the hell out of Hedrick but he’s got to do better than that.

• CA-37 is absolutely ripe for a primary challenge.  Noted deadbeat Laura Richardson raised a paltry $28,500, as an incumbent, and her $39,000 cash on hand is dwarfed by $363,000 in debt.  We deserve better than Laura Richardson in that very blue district.

• Jerry McNerney put up a $275,000 quarter in CA-11.

• His numbers weren’t spectacular, but Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet is drawing some attention for his challenge to Mary Bono Mack in CA-45.  This is another “Obama Republican” district, and Pougnet, a gay father of two, has an interesting profile for the district and a proven record in the community.  This one bears watching.

Proposition 8 Rally Tonight in Palm Springs, Tomorrow in Beaumont

Xposted on mydesert.com, the online edition of the Desert Sun

Rally this afternoon in Palm Springs and tomorrow afternoon in Beaumont to protest the unconstitutional removal of ‘fundamental right to marry’ for gays and lesbians:

More below the flip…

Rally today in Palm Springs:

Who: Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, Palm Springs Mayor Pro-Tempore Ginny Foat, HRC, EQCA, and the Desert Pride Center

What: Rally against Proposition 8

Where: Palm Springs City Hall, 3200 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA

When: 5:00 p.m.

Why: Homophobes and Bigots pass Proposition 8

Rally tomorrow afternoon in Beaumont to protest the unconstitutional removal of ‘fundamental right to marry’ for gays and lesbians and to seek the censure and removal from office of homophobe and bigot Beaumont City Councilmember Roger Berg:

Who: Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D., Charles W. Conn

What: Rally against Proposition 8 and to censure Beaumont City Councilmember Roger Berg

Where: Beaumont Civic Center, 550 E. Sixth Street, Beaumont, CA

When: 12:00 p.m.

Why: Passage of Prop 8, Berg’s assault of No on Prop 8 supporter during rally

Desert Sun: 80th AD Perez Special Interests ‘Hijack’ Primary

Erica Solvig, reporter for The Desert Sun, in an article entitled “Outside funding inundates primary reports that special interests outside the CA 80th Assembly District have flooded the Coachella and Imperial Valleys with hate mail on behalf of Victor Manuel Perez.  In fact, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission, Opportunity PAC has spent or plans to spend approximately $450,000 on hit pieces on behalf of Manuel Perez targeting the frontrunner Greg Pettis, Cathedral City Councilman and former Mayor Pro-Tem of Cathedral City.  One has to wonder just what Opportunity PAC hopes to get in return for its investment should Perez be elected.  One also has to wonder what the workers and their families in these AFL-CIO-labeled ‘rogue unions’ who typically make between $18,000 and $24,000 per annum might think about such expenditures by this PAC for a little-accomplished candidate on behalf of them.

Voters across the District also report receiving repeated live phone calls purported to be from the Pettis campaign at all hours of the day and night but that are clearly not from the Pettis campaign.  This is an apparent attempt on the part of special interests to suppress voter turnout in areas of Pettis strength in the District.’  The Pettis campaign has received ‘many’ reports on these harassing phone calls.

More below the flip…

Solvig writes:

Just a day after candidates filed their last big pre-primary campaign finance reports, Cathedral City Councilman Greg Pettis’ camp criticized Manuel Perez and what they’re calling a “special interest hijacking” of the 80th Assembly Democratic primary.

Perez late Thursday reported that he spent about $85,000 during March 18 to May 17, leaving the Coachella Valley Unified School District trustee with $39,924 cash on hand and roughly $27,000 in outstanding debt.

Less than $12,000 of his expenses are for literature, postal needs and campaign paraphernalia, according to the report he filed with the state.

Compare that to the amount of independent expenditures outside agencies (who cannot coordinate with the campaigns) are spending.

Opportunity PAC, a group of educators and health-care workers, has spent $233,335 campaigning in support of Perez and another $133,326 opposing Pettis, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

The Strengthening Our Lives through Education group has spent $31,388 touting Perez.

“Instead of being an adjunct to the camp, it has become a defacto campaign,” Pettis’ campaign consultant Michael Grossman said.

Not that Perez is immune to outside attacks. The Desert Stonewall Democrats, which has endorsed Pettis, has spent $21,437 in opposition to Perez.

From early on in the campaign, the Perez campaign has engaged in divisive, intimidating campaign practices.  Perez and his staff and bloggers have attempted to pit the East Valley and Imperial County against the West Valley.  Soyinkafan refers to the ‘West Valley elite,’ code words for the Whites and LGBT community in the West Valley versus those in the East and Imperial Valleys.  Other obvious interpretations include attempting to differentiate between the more well-to-do ‘West Valley elite’ versus the less-well-to-do East Valley residents.

Perez himself lowered the bar when in his opening remarks to local Democratic clubs he referred to himself as ‘not a member of an Alternative Lifestyle.’  Clearly code words for not being gay and an attempt to appeal to baser instincts.  After months of vacilation, Perez also finally committed to vote in favor of Marriage Equality if elected to the State Assembly, after equivocating before Democratic clubs and community groups.  However, while stating his support for ‘gay rights and gay marriage,’ in the East Valley and Imperial Valleys, more conservative portions of the District, Perez and his handlers conduct ‘whispering’ campaigns against Pettis as being openly-gay and a supporter of the ‘gay agenda’ (sources, a Republican elected and a Democrat elected in the District).

Now, the hate mailers and harassing, live calls from special interest stealth campaign that clearly support Pettis’ opposition.  Perez lacks the support in the District that would translate in boots-to-the-ground and monies from voters in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys from outside the Valleys.  Every single Democratic Club in the District voted to endorse Pettis for 80th Assembly District.  Not a single Democratic Club supports Perez campaign because of his relative lack of governmental and administrative experience, because of the derth of achievement in his area of ‘expertise,’ education, with the failures of the Coachella Valley Unified School District and the sanctions levied by the California Department of Education, and his veiled homophobia and divisive campaign.  The Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club, the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club, the Inland Stonewall Democratic Club, the Palm Springs Democratic Club, the San Diego Democratic Club, and the San Diego Democratic Women’s Club have all endorsed Pettis for 80th AD.

Perez also lacks support from electeds and activists in the District, with every single current elected in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, and Rancho Mirage who has endorsed supporting Pettis’ candidacy.  Cathedral City Councilmember and Candidate for Cathedral City Mayor Paul Marchand, Cathedral City Clerk Pat Hammers, Desert Hot Springs City Councilmember Karl Baker, Palm Springs Mayor Pro-Tem Ginny Foat, Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson, and Palm Springs Unified School District Trustee Meredy Schoenberger.

Other electeds and candidates supporting Pettis based on his ability to deliver, his experience, and his ‘go-to’ abilities include Candidate for the 45th Congressional District Paul Clay, Candidate for the 45th Congressional District Dave Hunsicker, former Brawley Mayor Orbie Hanks, former Cathedral City Councilmember Sarah Digradi, former Coachella Mayor Juan DeLara, Juliet DeLara, and Olivia DeLara, Coachella City Councilmember Gilbert Ramirez, Jr., El Centro Councilmember Sedalia Sanders, El Centro School Board Trustee Diane Newton, Office of Neighborhood Involvement Boardmember and former-Candidate for the Palm Springs City Council John Williams, Candidate for Palm Springs Unified School District Greg Rodriguez, former Rancho Mirage Councilmember Jeanne Parrish, co-founder of the Palm Springs Democratic Club Lisa Arbelaez, Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club President Will Pieper, Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club Vice-President Chuck McDaniel, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club President George Zander, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Vice-President Roger Tansey, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Treasurer Bob Silverman, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Secretary James Reynolds, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Steering Committee Members Ruth Debra, Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D., Hono Hildner, Bob Mahlowitz, Robert Lee Thomas, and Lynn Worley, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club activist Bill Cain-Gonzalez, Palm Springs Democratic Club Co-Chair Sandy Eldridge, Palm Springs Democratic Club Co-Chair David Pye, Palm Springs Democratic Club Secretary Peter East, Pass Democratic Club President Jacqueline Atwood, Pass Democratic Club Vice-President Betty McMillion, Pass Democratic Club Treasurer Robert Atwood, Pass Democratic Club Recording Secretary David Knight, Riverside County Democratic Central Committee Alternate and former-Candidate for Palm Springs Unified School District Trustee Kira Klatchko, and Sun City Democratic Club President Arnie Kaminsky.

Perez also has little support amongst the tribes with Pettis having the endorsements of Morongo Band of Mission Indians Vice Chair and former-Candidate for the 80th AD Mary Ann Andreas and Pechanga Band of Lisueno Mission Indians Vice Chairman Andrew Maisel.  Pettis’ support with the local tribes is especially remarkable since Pettis has been able to bring together into one campaign the local unions as well as the tribes.  The tribes particularly despise the AFL-CIO-labeled ‘roge union’ providing a vast majority of Perez grey monies.

Race, class, and sexual orientation have dominated the subtext of the Perez campaign, especially in the blogosphere, creating division between communities that Pettis has worked hard over the course of more than 13 years to eliminate.  Pettis has been able to bring together the Latino and LGBT communities as evidenced by his endorsements and his support amongst the ‘West Valley elite’ and the East Valley and Imperial County working class families.  His ability to unify peoples is greatly evidenced in his ability to run for and win three times as Councilmember in Cathedral City, a city with a population including 58% ethnic and racial minorities.  Pettis three times was able to win with overwhelming support in the local Latino, Asian, and African-American communities as well as in the LGBT communities in Cathedral City.

It is time for the Perez campaign to cease its hate speech and innuendos.  It is time for the Opportunity PAC hit pieces to cease.  It is time for the 80th AD campaign to focus on the issues: the economy, the environment, and education.  Unfortunately for the Perez campaign, these are all issues where Pettis has demonstrated strength and success and where Perez either has little or no experience or has failed miserably (e.g., education and the State sanctions against his CVUSD).

U.S. Representative Barney Frank: Spurs Crowd to Work for Pettis for 80th Assembly District

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), dean of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and Congressmember from the Massachusetts 4th CD, gave a stirring speech early this evening to spur local Progressive Democratic activists to action on behalf of Cathedral City Councilmember Greg Pettis in his bid to replace the termed-out Bonnie Garcia (R) in the CA 80th Assembly District.  Pettis is in his 14th year as Cathedral City Councilmember and has served as Cathedral City Mayor Pro-Tem.  Frank noted in his talk that State government always benefits from having someone of Pettis’ caliber move from local government to the State Assembly.

Frank, as usual, a combination entertainer, progressive Democratic rabble-rouser, and spiritual leader to thousands in the 80th AD, spoke about the failures of the Bush Administration in the areas of the environment, the economy, and education.  Sometimes self-deprecating, sometimes assertive, and oftentimes Barney Frank, he delighted his audience with stories of Washington, D.C., and hopes for California and the 80th AD.  Frank attacked the incompetence of the Bush Administration and the ambivalence of the Republicans towards freedom of speech.  Frank noted that the monies wantonly spent during election campaigns is necessary and is protected under ‘Freedom of Speech.’  However, according to Frank, the financing of campaigns is one of the few areas where Republicans seem interested in protecting Freedom of Speech.  Frank exhorted the attendees to help to fund Pettis’ bid for the 80th AD, especially in light of the appalling amounts of monies being spent by the AFL-CIO-labeled rogue union and associations on behalf of the pretender to the Democratic nomination.

More below the flip…

Frank was introduced to the almost 200 attendees by Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, co-host to the event.  Pougnet discussed Franks’ leadership in the LGBT community and his recent work as Chair of the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representative to help those severely affected by the mismanagement of the Bush Administration’ housing and financial policies.  Frank noted that Pres. Ronald Reagan spoke about a ‘rising tide lifting all ships.’  However, according to Frank, if one could not afford a ship, then one is face with certain difficulty in a rising tide, standing on tippy-toe.

The Barney Frank fundraiser was hosted by Andy Linsky, boardmember of the Human Rights Campaign, and his partner, in their Little Tuscany home in Palm Springs overlooking the Coachella Valley.  This is the type of home and living situation that certain bloggers from the Victor Manuel Perez campaign derides as ‘the West Valley elite.’  Perhaps the blogger forgets for what the American dreams stands.

Following Franks’ strong endrosement of  Pettis as a leader in the local community, a man of extensive governmental experience and expertise, and a stellar representative of the LGBT community, Frank turned the ‘podium’ over to Pettis.  Frank also noted that the results for LGBT candidates in the California June primary will affect the results of the November proposition banning Marriage Equality.  For sure, he indicated, the California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Desert Sun, will report that the success of LGBT candidates bodes poorly for the proposition should the LGBT candidates fare well across the state.  However, should LGBT candidates fare less than expected or surprisingly poorly, then the media will report that that bodes poorly for the November proposition from the LGBT perspective.

Pettis discussed his start in politics with his experience forty years ago next week with attendance at a Bobby Kennedy rally in California, a week prior to his assassination.  Pettis took his lead from Kennedy’s commitment to government as a response to peoples’ needs and began his quest to improve people’s economic situations, to protect the environment, and to improve their schools.  The attendees responded with resounding applause and cheers.

With the focus on improving the State and local eocnomies, protecting the environment, and improving the local schools and protecting them from the proposed budget cuts, Pettis held true to the central themes of his Progressive Democratic campaign.

Palm Springs City Councilmember Ginny Foat followed Pettis with a discussion about recent events of the campaign.  She discussed Pettis’ consistent support for the families of the Coachella Valley, for the CA National Organization for Women and freedom of choice, and for Marriage Equality and LGBT issues.  Foat indicated that the Coachella and Imperial Valleys could not afford to have someone inexperienced and with less-than-adequate success as State Assemblymember.  The 80th AD has had enough of that with Garcia.  This writer’s thinking is that although a janitor might be a good representative in theory, an ill-equipped maintenance engineer is not up to the job of helping the Coachella and Imperial Valleys with the economic, environmental, and educational challenges of the 21st Century.

Foat focused on the appalling amount of money that the AFL-CIO-labled rogue union is spending on independent expenditures thus far:  $450,000.  This writer wonders how the SEUI member who typically makes $18,000 to $24,000 per annum would respond to finding out that his/her union is spending his/her union dues in this manner.  And, just what might the ‘rogue union’ expect in return from Perez should he win the nomination?  Foat extolled the fundraiser attendees to meet the challenge.  She noted that with the problems that Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley communities face, they are unable to approach State Assemblymember Garcia to assist given her poor legislative skills and reputation in Sacramento.  Foat discussed the need for someone like Pettis with his experience and legislative skills in order to work for the peoples of the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.

Following Foat’s cajolling, Linsky again took the ‘podium’ and discussed the fact that he was reminded that he himself was at the Ambassador Hotel in the second ballroom when Kennedy was assassinated 40 years ago.  This experience also set him on his path to public service.  He enjoined attendees to join him in supporting Pettis and the campaign.

Elected attendees at the Frank fundraiser included Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, Palm Springs Mayor Pro-Tem Ginny Foat, Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson, Desert Water Agency Trustee Craig Ewing, Candidate for Palm Springs Unified School District Greg Rodriguez, Cathedral City Councilmember and Candidate for Cathedral City Mayor Paul Marchand, and Desert Hot Springs Councilmember Karl Baker.

Other local Progressive Democratic activists in attendance included Desert Hot Springs Vice-President Chuck McDaniel, Central Labor Council AFL-CIO of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties Executive Secretary-Treasurer Laurie Stalnaker, City of Riverside Arts & Cultural Affairs Manager Jonathan Yorba, Ph.D., Pass Democratic Club President and Riverside County Democratic Central Committeemember Jaqueline Atwood, Pass Democratic Club Treasurer and Vets for Peace Boardmember Robert Atwood, Pass Democratic Club Recording Secretary David Knight, Palm Springs Democratic Club Co-Chair Sandy Eldridge, Palm Springs Democratic Club Secretary Peter East, Democratic Women of the Desert Member Nikki Stone, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club President George Zander, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Treasurer Bob Silverman, and Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Steering Committee Members Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D., Richard Oberhaus, Greg Rodriguez, Robert Lee Thomas, and Lynn Worley.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the United Healthcare Workers, and the Central Labor Council AFL-CIO of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties amongst other unions had various members in attendance including Chuck McDaniel, IBEW Local 440, Laurie Stalnaker, Central Labor Council AFL-CIO of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, Joe Duffle, and others.  Having been a union member of District Council 37, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, New York City’s largest municipal employee’s union and having had to walk a picket line when necessary, these Progressive Democratic leaders and activists hold a special place in this gay boyz’ heart.

Vets for Peace activists attending included Robert Atwood, Tom Swann, and Tracy Turner.  In addition, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Co-Leaders Mike and Carol Balassa cajolled their friends and fully embraced the spirit of the event.  Carol spoke of the need to continue to work to protect the newly-sanctioned Marriage Equality especially in the face of ongoing fanatacism of the fringe-right and their fellow travellers in the Coachella Valley.

All-in-all, a good day for democracy and the progressive Democratic movement in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.  More on the doings at the Frank fundraiser and pictures to follow in the blog of BluePalmSpringsBoyz on the online ediation of the Desert Sun, mydesert.com.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) May 24 Fundraiser for Progressive Pettis for CA 80th Assembly District

XPosted 5/9/2008 2:53 PM PDT on MyDesert.com

Andy Linsky

HRC Board of Directors*

and co-hosts

Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet

Palm Springs City Councilmember Ginny Foat

Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund

Equality California

The Bottom Line Magazine

Palm Springs Democratic Club

Desert Stonewall Democratic Club

Invite you to meet

U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)

and to join him in supporting

Greg Pettis

For California State Assembly (80th AD)

Saturday May 24, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.

Location for the Cocktail Reception at the home of Andy Linsky will be provided with a confirmed reservation

Suggested minimum contribution: $100 per person

Sponsor: $500 ~ Co-Host: $1000

Computer Generated; Labor Donated. © 2008 | Pettis for Assembly 2008 | P.O. Box 2692 Cathedral City, CA 92235-2692 | FPPC ID# 1285158

Contributions are not tax deductible for income tax purposes.

Limits to this campaign are $3600 per person, company or PAC

Reservations: [email protected] or (760) 841-3189

For more information, or to contribute online:


CA Lt. Gov. John Garamendi Endorses Pettis, Joins All Local Democratic Clubs Who Endorsed (80th AD)

Xposted 5/20/2008 8:58 PM PDT on MyDesert.com by BluePalmSpringsBoyz

The Greg Pettis for 80th Assembly District campaign announced earlier that Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, the highest-ranking Democratic elected official in California endorsed Pettis for the 80th AD to replace the termed-out, thank God, Bonnie Garcia (R).  The campaign Press Release is as follows:

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, the highest-ranking Democratic official in state government, has endorsed Greg Pettis in the open 80th Assembly District race.

“While Democrats in the 80th AD are fortunate to have a wealth of choices this year, I’m getting behind Greg Pettis because he has a long record of results that matter to families throughout the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, and the experience to deliver on the promise of creating a healthier California,” Garamendi said.

More below the flip…

Continuing the Press Release:

“We need to put this seat in the hands of someone who will be ready from the first day in office to make our health care system more affordable and accessible, to improve our economy by reducing the achievement gap in our schools and keeping college affordable for more students and to take the lead in combating global climate change,” Garamendi added.

Garamendi specifically lauded Pettis for his work expanding CSUSB campus in Palm Desert to accommodate more students, negotiating the Multi-Species Habitat Act to manage growth and conserve water and for creating over 1,000 new jobs in Cathedral City through the downtown revitalization project.

Pettis welcomed Garamendi’s endorsement and said he looked forward to working with him on a host of issues including creating a universal health care system, growing CSU’s branch campus in the Imperial Valley and increasing the use of renewable fuels to reduce carbon emissions.

Garamendi joins a long list of elected officials supporting Pettis including State Controller John Chiang; former State Controller Steve Westly; State Board of Equalization Member Judy Chu; incoming State Senate pro-tem Darrell Steinberg; State Senators Carol Migden, Christine Kehoe and Sheila Kuehl; and State Assemblymembers Mike Eng, John Laird, Lloyd Levine, Mark Leno and Ted Lieu.

Garamendi thus follows suit with every local Democratic Club which has chosen to endorse, including the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club, the Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club, the Palm Springs Democratic Club, the Pass Democratic Club, the San Diego Democratic Club, and the San Diego Democratic Women’s Club, as well as most progressive Democratic-leaning organizations.

Pettis was also endorsed by the California National Organization for Women, Equality California, Victory Fund, Progressive Majority, and HONOR PAC.  California NOW endorsed Pettis, not providing dual endorsement, as his prime competitor, Victor Manuel Perez, was unable to articulate a coherent position on Women’s Rights and freedom of choice.  That Perez as a candidate is unable to state unequivocally that he supports a woman’s right to choose is patently unprogressive.  Equality California (EQCA) endorsed Pettis for his consistent and openly-stated support for Marriage Equality, unlike his Democratic challengers such as Rick Gonzales and Richard Gutierrez in public Democratic forums opposed Marriage Equality.  Perez equivocated, stating general support for Civil Rights for LGBT community members, but refused to state unequivocally that he would vote for Marriage Equality in the State Assembly.  In addition, at the Sun City Democratic Club Candidate’s forum, Perez stated in his opening statement that he was not a member of ‘an alternative lifestyle.’  Anyone in the LGBT community knows that this is code.  Not speaking of the DaVinci variety.

The Desert Sun in its editorial endorsement of Pettis for the 80th AD specifically spoke of Pettis’ ability to ‘hit the ground running’ if elected as well as his extensive local administrative and legislative experience.  The endorsement inferred that his Democratic opponents lacked similar administrative skills and experience, troubling to the voters of the West Valley, East Valley, and Imperial Valley.

(CA 80th AD) Pettis, Desert Business Association Member, Attends Mixer at Desert AIDS Project

Based on an XPost 5/19/2008 12:00 AM PDT on MyDesert.com in BluePalmSpringsBoyz blog

Greg Pettis, Cathedral City Councilmember for more than 13 years, former Cathedral City Mayor Pro-Tem, and Democratic Candidate for the CA 80th Assembly District has again and again shown his ongoing and indefatigable support for the issues that are important to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities.  As indicated in earlier posts, Pettis is the only Candidate for the 80th AD, Democratic or Republican, to consistently and openly support Marriage Equality and Civil Rights for all members of the LGBT community.  His opponent Rick Gonzales and Richard Guttierez have stated in public forums such as Democratic Club Candidates’ forums that each would vote ‘nay’ on Marriage Equality.  Victor Manuel Perez has refused to indicate in public whether or not he would vote for Marriage Equality if elected and shied away from answering directly at the same forums (his surrogates say that Perez supports ‘gay marriage,’ but Perez has not indicated that he would ever vote ‘yea’ on Marriage Equality in the Assembly.  When his Campaign Director ‘informed’ members of the Desert Stonewall Democrats that Perez supported ‘gay marriage,’ members erupted in incredulity).

More below the flip…

Pettis again showed his thorough support for the LGBT community by attending the Desert Business Association Mixer at the Desert AIDS Project tonight.  Pettis’ street cred in the LGBT community includes his long-standing membership in the Desert Business Association (http://www.dbaps.org/about_us.asp), the

Coachella Valley’s gay chamber of commerce, a network of gay and gay-friendly businesses, which have joined together to promote and support each other and to educate the community about the many services and products available through our gay-friendly stores, hotels, restaurants and other business ventures. The organization began in 1979, and over time, the DBA connected with mainstream Chambers of Commerce in the many business-oriented communities throughout the Coachella Valley.

Today, the DBA serves as a valley-wide business organization and new businesses are eager to affiliate, to participate in the m! any benefits of membership and to share in their responsibilities for networking with other business organizations and associations across the valley.

His support for universal healthcare includes support for the full funding for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention.  Thus Pettis’ interest in attending the Desert AIDS Project Mixer tonight, including the extensive tour of their facilities lead by David Brinkman, Executive Director of the Desert AIDS Project.  Pettis is the only Democratic candidate for the 80th AD to attend this Mixer and to visit and tour the Desert AIDS Project facilities.

The Desert AIDS Project (http://www.desertaidsproject.org/)

provides medical care and comprehensive support services to people living with HIV/AIDS in the desert community.  Free, confidential, rapid-result HIV testing is available, as well as counseling, home health services, legal assistance and assistance with housing, medications, food, re-employment and more.  Prevention and education outreach is available to any group.  As a fundraiser, D.A.P. operates its five Revivals resale marts…

Desert AIDS Project meets the evolving medical and social service needs of people living with HIV/AIDS by providing direct services and advocacy, while working to prevent new infections through education and outreach.

Desert AIDS Project has earned a national reputation as one of the most comprehensive HIV/AIDS services providers in the U.S. We are one of only a handful of AIDS agencies operating an on-site medical clinic, a full range of client support services, and a comprehensive HIV education and prevention program, including anonymous HIV testing.

Since our founding in 1984, Desert AIDS Project has grown to become the primary provider of direct medical and support services to HIV-affected men, women, and children throughout the desert region.

Pettis is also a business member as Cathedral City Councilmember of Desert Women for Equality, a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt organization which provides free mobile mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women in the Coachella Valley.  Desert Women for Equality’s (http://www.desertwomenforequality.com/)

mission is to improve the health and welfare of Lesbians and all women in the Coachella Valley through education and philanthropic activities.

In his commitment to DWE and the Lesbians and all women of the Coachella Valley, Pettis has worked assiduously with Cathedral City Mayor Cathy DeRosa (R) and Cathedral City Councilmember Chuck Vasquez (R) to obtain funding from Cathedral City to finance free mobile mammogram clinics in Cathedral City.  (Pettis also has the endorsement for State Assembly of the California-National Organization of Women because of his support for a woman’s right to choose, unlike his opponents who are again equivocal in support of women’s rights).

Because of Pettis’ support for the LGBT community, his experience in office, and his ability to deliver for the community, Pettis has the support of most openly-gay and openly-lesbian electeds and activists in the West Valley, East Valley, and Imperial Valley.  His supporters include Palm Springs City Councilmember Ginny Foat, Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson, Desert Hot Springs City Councilmember Karl Baker, Candidate for Palm Springs Unified School District Greg Rodriguez, Cathedral City Councilmember and Candidate for Cathedral City Mayor Paul Marchand, the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Treasurer Bob Silverman, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Activist Bill Cain-Gonzales, Palm Springs Democratic Club Co-Chair Sandy Eldridge, Palm Springs Democratic Club Co-Chair David Pye, Palm Springs Democratic Club Secretary Peter East, and many others.

Pettis also has the endorsements of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and Equality California (EQCA) due to his consistent and steadfast support of the LGBT communities and their issues.  Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, with a history of not endorsing in primary elections, is co-hosting Pettis’ fundraising event with Foat and Hutcheson later this month with U.S. Rep. Barney Frank as headliner.  Former-Palm Springs Mayor Ron Oden is the only openly-gay elected to not endorse or support Pettis’ candidacy.

Again, kudos to Pettis for his ongoing, open, and steadfast commitment to not only the LGBT community and to their values and issues, but also to the vast numbers of men and women in the Coachella Valley who do not benefit from having health insurance.