Tag Archives: Greg Pettis

AD-80: Rapprochement Between Perez, Pettis

If you read the reader diaries column in April and May in this space, you would have noticed a somewhat antagonistic relationship between Greg Pettis supporters and Manuel Perez supporters during the Democratic primary for AD-80 in the Palm Springs area.  It was probably more pronounced on the Interwebs, but I’m told from those in the district that there wasn’t a whole lot of love there on the ground, either.  Now, with the primary over, it appears that Democrats are coming together to take back the seat in the fall.

If Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can make peace, we anticipate Greg Pettis and Manuel Perez can, too.

An olive branch was extended between the former Democrat rivals last week when Richard Oberhaus – campaign manager of Pettis’ failed bid in the 80th Assembly race – announced he was joining Perez’s camp.

“He endorses the ideals that we all hope and dream will be implemented in Sacramento,” Oberhaus said in an e-mail announcing his plans.

“I shall implement all the strategies that are necessary to make this seat turn from red to blue.”

While Pettis hasn’t publicly endorsed, this move by his campaign manager and, as the article notes, several of his volunteers suggest that Democrats district-wide are committed to working for victory.

By the way, with less than 100 days until the election I am going to start a “drive for 2/3” legislative roundup.  I was talking with some leading Dems in LA County over the weekend and they told me about some off-the-radar Assembly possibilities, particularly in the Inland Empire region.  Did you know that Democrats are now within 1,500 votes of making San Bernardino a Democratic county?  Last year that was a 35,000-vote majority.  We need to turn them out, of course, but with a favorable top of the ticket we’re going to see some surprises in the Assembly (the Senate is a tougher nut to crack).

Election 2008: Palm Springs Village Fest With Julie Bornstein, Manuel Perez

The following was XPosted on MyDesert.com

Made it out last night for the first time in too-long-a-time to the Palm Springs Village Fest Voter Registration & Candidates Tabling with the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club, the Palm Springs Democratic Club, and the Democrats of the Desert Democratic Club.  What changes are wrought with success and volunteer enthusiasm!

First, I espied the big tent, symbolic of the Democratic Party in Palm Springs.  Afterall, we are the party of the LGBT community, the senior community, the African-American, and the Latino communities in the Coachella Valley!  Come one, welcome all!  Thanks to Cathedral City Councilmember Greg Pettis for the loan to the cause.

The tent was festooned with colorful red, white, and blue bunting and banners announcing the various Democratic Club involvements, candidates and initiatives.  Peter East, Secretary of the Palm Springs Democratic Club, was credited with creating the amazing signage for the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club and the Palm Springs Democratic Club.  Eye-popping posters and signs for Julie Bornstein, Democratic Candidate for the 45th Congressional District, Manuel Perez, Democratic Candidate for the 80th Assembly District, and No on Prop 8 signs abounded.  Manuel Perez?  Yes, Manuel Perez!  More on that to follow.

More below the flip…

see picture of Julie Bornstein, Democratic Nominee for the 45th Assembly District at

Desert Stonewall Democrats were fully represented by President George Zander, Treasurer Bob Silvermen, Membership Chair Lyn Worley, Public Relations Chair Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D., Steering Committee Member Richard Oberhaus, Steering Committee Member Bob Mahlowitz, and community activist Bill Cain-Gonzales.

Palm Springs Democrats members included Secretary Peter East and partner John Eldridge, Membership Chair Mahlowitz, and others.

Democrats of the Desert were represented by Eleanor Jackson.

The Sen. Barack Obama for President table had, it seemed, lots of enthusiastic volunteers.  Among the Obama zealots, Bob Morris.  Morris graciously gave me his personal rainbow Obama button to sport during the festivities.  Visitor after visitor, gay and straight, African-American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, and White, children, adolescents, adults, and seniors, abled and disabled, took turns taking pictures with the life-sized cardboard image of Obama.  Kudos to John U. for the art!

Bornstein informed and held court with hundreds of visitors and voters.  Bornstein impresses with her knowledge of the issues and her availability.  Afterall, Bornstein has had the experience of having been the local Assemblymember, political experience in a series of progressive Democratic administrations in Sacramento, and the life experience of being a cancer survivor.  Bornstein, above her opponent, knows about the values and needs of the working class families of the Coachella Valley.  Plus, Bornstein is the only candidate to actually live in the District! (Mary Mack, R, lives in Florida with her husband, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV).

Zander, Oberhaus, and Cain-Gonzales all informed this writer that Perez was working the crowds of Village Fest.  As you might imagine, initially, I was ill-at-ease, given my earlier support of Pettis.  However, Perez glad-handed the crowds and was clearly comfortable with his role as Democratic nominee for the 80th Assembly District.  Shortly, I would discover that he was also comfortable with the issues that are extremely important to the voters of the West Valley and Palm Springs.  Teaser.  More to follow.

see Manuel Perez, Democratic Nominee for the 80th Assembly District picture at

Visitors from across the country and around the world flocked to the Democratic Club-sponsored tables.  Personally, I met two visitors from France and two different familes from The Netherlands.  Everyone was interested in Obama, Bornstein and Perez.  Much of the talk centered on Obama’s crowning achievements in the Middle East, especially, Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel, and, yesterday, in Germany.  Many talked about Obama’s success with the troops in Afghanistan where he met a rousing, standing-room-only, ovation when he entered the gymnasium.  In Iraq, videographers show Obama being swarmed by U.S. Embassy personnel and troops at his speech there.  U.S. troops clearly love Obama for his intent to return them home from Iraq as soon as feasibly possible, and most likely within 16 months.  Voters were amazed that Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki now supported Obama’s position of withdrawal of all active-duty troops within a solid time-frame.

More than Obama’s successes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel, where somehow he managed to meet with, support, and, more importantly, not offend, neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians, was Obama’s heroes-welcome in Berlin.  Astonishing that 200,000 people from across Europe and the world would come to see history in the making.   Mobs of people striving to see, touch, and hear the next leader of the free world.  Imagine that, a leader of whom we no longer have to be ashamed.  A leader with credentials and ability.  An achiever, rather than an over-achiever.

see Obama yesterday in Berlin, Germany at

No wonder that sixteen more people registered to vote last night, including several party changes from Republican to Democratic!  One Latina teen shamed her friends into re-registering as Democrats.  They had initially registered as Republicans to help a friend who was paid for each voter registration.  They had only registered as Republican to help their friend.  Me, I appreciate that the Republicans spent money on registering voters who will vote for Obama, Bornstein, and Perez!  Hardy-har-har.

Kudos to DSD, PSD, and DoD for staffing and delighting the burgeoning Village Fest crowds.  Extreme thanks to the progressive volunteers and candidates who are out to change the Coachella Valley and to make it once again safe for democracy.

Here is the blast email from Zander regarding last night’s VFest:

The Village Fest Democratic Table rocks!  It is colorful with tons of red white and blue and candidate yardsigns and banners. The tri-club banner is a work of art. (Thank you Peter East!) For the third week in a row we hit double digits in new voters. The national trend is sweeping into the Coachella Valley.

Hundreds of buttons and bumper stickers lept off the table. Folks lined up for three hours to take pictures with Obama….thanks again to John U. for the GREAT Obama life sized cut out picture! The DSD, DOD and PSDC sponsored table has already eclipsed the 2004 table in voter registration and excitement- and it is only July. Thanks to all, but especially Bill G, Peter E, John E and Bob Morris for the fabulous erection and design of the tent. (And to Greg Pettis for the loan of the tent).

Our candidates, Julie Bornstein and Manuel Perez spent the full three hours talking to and listening to voters and visitors.

Thank you to all of the team that set up, pulled down, designed and built our new table. Thanks to all who registered voters lead by stalwarts Bob Silverman and Eleanor Jackson.

Jasmine Waits, COO of Village Fest sat the table for a time as well. She gave us full approval for our colorful and professional new look.

The place is a great time. If you have expereinced this yet, come on down.

On to victory.  George W. Zander

Perez Supporter Wissman (CSEA) Apologizes for Email, Not for Content Dissing Bornstein, Pettis, TDS

XPosted on MyDesert.com

As I reported in an earlier blog, Dale Wissman, California School Employees Association, wrote a piece that disrespected Julie Bornstein, Democratic Nominee for the 45th Congressional District, Greg Pettis, former-Democratic Candidate for the 80th Assembly District, Pettis’ supporters and bloggers, The Desert Sun, and the TDS’ editorial staff and reporters.  Rather than focus on the Victor Manuel Perez victory Tuesday in the Democratic primary for the 80th AD and on solidifying support for Perez amongst the West Valley Democrats and Decline to States, Wissman chose to go beyond the pale, to gloat about his responsibility for the victory, and to slam all of his perceived opponents.  Wissman’s email was then published on his cousin’s blog, sending shockwaves through the Coachella Valley.  (BBBz note: blog has now deleted the offensive post.)

Wissman, in response to intense public pressure from local Democratic club leadership, including President of the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club George Zander, and to the increasing dismay of the Perez camp for the resulting alienation of local Democratic Club leadership, Democratic electeds in the West Valley, and the local Democratic activists and bloggers (soyinkafan’s “West Valley elite”), apologized for the publication of his offensive email.

More below the flip…

Although assuming responsibility for his inappropriate missive, Wissman, did not apologize for the tenor or the content of his writing.  The following is the email Wissman sent out to local Democrats:

I would like to apologize for putting everyone through this.  I can’t tell you how bad I feel about this.  It was never my intention for anyone other than CSEA staff to see this email.  Written with high spirits on the morning after election night, the email went out only to top CSEA staff.   No CSEA members received this email, and only about two dozen CSEA staff members actually received it, one of which is married to Randy Bayne, my cousin.  It was a kind of “insider baseball” email that wasn’t supposed to see the light of day, but of course it did.  

The email/blog certainly does not reflect well on me or CSEA, and as long it stays that way I’m fine with that.  But, please don’t let this reflect poorly on Manuel, who had absolutely nothing to do with this email, does not condone it, and will no doubt let me know just how pissed off he is about it.  Once again, my email to CSEA staff, in no way reflects the sentiment of Manuel Perez’s camp, which is very much focused on solidifying Democratic support in all areas of the AD80, especially in the much needed and hugely important Westside.  

Once again, I would like to apologize..  It was never my intention that Greg, or anyone outside of CSEA staff, see that correspondence.

Dale Wissman

Labor Relations Representative

California School Employees Association

(760) 564-1141 office

(760) 564-2241 fax

Fallout from the offensive blog continues as apparently one of the unions linked to Wissman is not at all amused by the email, by the blog posting, or by its impact on local Democratic leaders.

Perez Campaign’s Wissman Disses Bornstein, Pettis, The Desert Sun: Trifecta Wissman-Style

As the Perez and Pettis campaigns began to kiss and make up, Dale Wissman, CSEA, posted a blog that brought the detente to an abrupt, and quite possibley, permenant, halt.  Wissman disrespected Julie Bornstein, Democratic Candidate for the 45th Congressional District, Greg Pettis, Cathedral City Councilmember and former-Candidate for the 80th AD, Pettis’ supporters and bloggers, the Democratic Clubs that supported Pettis, the unions that supported Pettis, The Desert Sun which endorsed Pettis over Perez, and the Desert Sun editorial staff and reporters.

Wissman could not have alienated potential support in the West Valley any more than he just did in his mydesert.com blog.

Wissman has apparently not been heeding the role modeling enacted by the Sen. Barack Obama campaign with Sen. Hillary Clinton and her supporters.  Then again, the Obama and Clinton campaigns involve veteran staffers who do know how to ‘kiss and make up.’

The response of George Zander, President of the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club and Wissman’s original blog are all posted below.

Wissman’s blog posting that may cost Perez and Democrats the 80th AD:

First of all, Manuel Perez would like me to thank all of you for your participation in his AD80 Primary win last night. Manuel Perez recognizes the central roll that CSEA [California School Employees Association] made in this victory, and he said to a crowd of about 150 last night that CSEA “was there from the beginning, never wavered, and made all the difference when it counted.” Perez, the grassroots underdog. won by an overwhelming margin last night over Greg Pettis, the Cathedral City Councilman. Pettis, narrowly avoided a third place finish against Rick Gonzales, who ran a strong campaign in Imperial County.

Major thanks and kudos to the RCFO [Rancho Cucamonga Field Office] members and staff who came out and sweated through four weekends of precinct walking for Perez, including the 30-40 CSEA faithful on the ground in Coachella each day for the big push leading up to the Primary Election yesterday. We were the most organized, most dedicated, and most numerous union members on the ground by far engaged with the Perez campaign. This is an undeniable fact commented on by everyone in the Perez camp, not the least of which was the candidate, Manuel Perez.

Major thanks and kudos to the SDFO [San Diego Field Office] members and staff who came out to work the Perez Campaign in Imperial County. Perez’s success in Imperial County was due in large part to Ruth Duarte-Vasquez, who worked the Imperial side of the AD80 equation with a small, but very dedicated group of member release timers. Ruth’s deep knowledge of the community, and personal relationships with CSEA members and the community was part and parcel to our success in Imperial County. We had just a few short weeks to weld together a Riverside/Imperial coalition of the CSEA faithful, and although it wasn’t easy, we found a way to break down the barriers that have kept us from success for so long in the AD80. I can confidently say CSEA was most likely responsible for as many as one-quarter to one-third of the 2,200 Perez votes in Imperial County and maybe even more. Without a doubt, CSEA’s efforts in Imperial County put our guy over the top. Once again, MAJOR KUDOS to Ruth Duarte-VasQuez for her work on this campaign in Imperial County.

Major thanks and kudos to Government Relations, which in working through Opportunity Pac, helped sort out a difficult primary when the Speaker’s Office didn’t have the will or the way to do so. I’m understating it when I say we dodged a bullet down here. Had Greg Pettis won last night, we would have already lost the General Election to Gary Jeandron, the Republican in the race. In addition, all of the ground organization and momentum in the Perez Campaign that other candidates have been feeding off and plugging into (such as our DSUSD [Desert Sands Unified School District] school Board candidate, John Mendoza, and Julie Bornstein, the CD45 candidate) would have simply evaporated.

For those of you who weren’t on the ground yesterday, or who left after a hard day of GOTV activities, I want to share with you some of the events of last night. The voter turnout was abysmal, but those voting were overwhelmingly Perez votes. Still, at about 7 p.m. last night, it was gut check time. Were there enough actual Perez voters to overcome the Palm Springs voters, who traditionally vote at a much, much higher turnout rate? And what about the absentee ballots? We knew they’d to go to Greg Pettis, but when Riverside and Imperial posted their first numbers would Perez be down by 1,000 votes or 3,000? That was the mood of the campaign at 7 p.m.

When the Victory Celebration Party began in earnest at 8:30 p.m., we had little information from Imperial, and only the VBM information posted on the Riverside Co. website. We were down over a 1,000 votes and losing 45% to 30%. Keith Matheny, the outstanding reporter from the Desert Sun was in the room in Coachella reporting the events. Matheny, you may recall, was the reporter who did the “Bonnie’s Bed” story in 2006, and most recently the Mosquito District exposé. His co-worker, Marcel Honore, was camped out at the Pettis’ camp’s party, and Marcel and Kieth were communicating every 5-10 minutes by cell phone.

At 8:30 p.m. things started to get strange. Perez’s camp was subdued, but the energy was hopeful and it was building. At about 8:40 p.m, with no real data yet from either county, Greg Pettis puts out a press release and states to the Desert Sun that he is “looking forward to Lincoln-Douglas style debates with Gary Jeandron.” AT 8:40 p.m. with BASICALLY NO RETURNS OTHER THAN VBMs. PETTIS ALL BUT DECLARES VICTORY!!! What arrogance! What stupidity. Since the Dems have lost the 80th three times in a row due to Imperial County voters, making any statement about winning to the press before Imperial County votes have been counted (much less Indio and Coachella) shows an abject lack of judgment, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding about the structure of the 80th Assembly District.

As the returns started coming in from Imperial County, we began to close the gap. The Pettis camp put out another press release changing their tune saying that voter turnout was going to be the “X-factor.” By 10:30 p.m., we were running 3-1 over Pettis in Imperial County and actually winning the county narrowly over Gonzalez. A surge due to advertising blitzes by Gutierrez never materialized for the Dentist, and it became a two man race in Imperial County. Most significantly, Pettis had only some hundreds of votes in Imperial at that time. Manuel Perez was speaking to the crowd of supporters when the next Imperial County update hit. Perez had picked up nearly 600 more votes, while Pettis got about 80! For the first time, Perez took the lead, a lead he did not relinquish. A roar erupted from the area where the computers were, and everyone in that room started to feel that Perez was going to win. There is no way to explain the energy in that room. People had just poured themselves into that campaign, and for most of the time, they didn’t believe they were going to win. So. when the win started to materialize. it was pandemonium.

At about 10:45 p.m., the Pettis camp stated that they were confident of a Pettis win, and their numbers “based on the 2006 model” showed Pettis winning the primary by “186 votes.” Marcel Honore, the Desert reporter, is a bit of a wag. He asked, the Pettis spokesman, if he was sure Pettis would win by “186 votes” and not 182, or maybe 189. In any case, the Pettis camp left a few minutes, later. It was crickets in Palm Springs. Meanwhile, in Coachella at the Perez Victory Party, the Mariachi Band (really!) was kicking up a storm. It turned into a landslide victory for Perez.

For months, Pettis’ camp has attacked CSEA as a “rogue” union. The Riverside/San Bernardino CLC initially did not even bother to interview the other AD80 candidates before making a decision to back Greg Pettis. CSEA delegates to the Democratic Convention were attacked as “racist, homophobic bigots” multiple times in the Desert Sun for standing up to Pettis and vacating his Democratic Party endorsement at the Convention in San Jose. The Desert Sun did everything possible to slight Manuel: they left his picture out in one column, omitted his name in another, got his job and employer wrong in another, slammed him in another, printed other candidates press negative press releases verbatim, and built up Pettis as the straw man the whole way, ultimately endorsing Pettis in the very real hopes that the Republican would mow him down in the primary.

My wife and I were slammed in the Desert Sun and on the on-line blogs for daring to write an editoral that suggested that “democrats ignore Imperial County at their own peril,” while questioning Pettis’ insider clambake of the Democratic Party endorsement through Democratic Club votes. And then there was the initial difficulties of CSEA unifying Riverside/RCFO [Rancho Cucamonga Field Office] and Imperial/SDFO, [San Diego Field Office] which almost didn’t happen. It was touch and go there for a little while, especially for a Labor Relations Representative from the Coachella Valley who appreciates and respects, more than anyone will ever know, the capacity of the members and staff in Imperial County, which is perhaps the single most difficult place in California to represent CSEA members.

All of that was going against us.

We won anyhow.

We’ll win in November.


There was something absolutely magical happening in Coachella yesterday, and I just “got it” on an emotional level. RCFO staff may recall Manuel Perez, while doing the big “rah-rah” yesterday, got a bit emotional introducing his mother. Perez’s mother worked in the fields as a laborer for 27 years. She is a first generation immigrant from Mexico, and her son was on the precipice of becoming the Democratic candidate for the General Election. She was in tears, as were many others. It was certainly a loving moment between a mother and her son, but it was something much, much more. It was something so uniquely American, and yet something so rare, that it overwhelmed some of the Perez volunteers, not to mention the CSEA staff and members in attendance. It was the shared success of an immigrant family in America. It was hope. It was the validation that a poor kid from Coachella, who went to underfunded, hard-scrabble schools, who struggled to learn English, who had little resources, and only hope that America could provide him opportunity for his dreams: the opportunity to go to college, even to go to Harvard if he worked hard enough; and to run for an Assembly seat, and actually win – all of this came to the forefront for a few moments. It was generations of work and sacrifice, and decades of hope distilled into one moment.

The whole fact that the Perez family’s story is possible in America, and yet still not very probable, is why we must do everything possible to help him win in November.

Dale Wissman Dale Wissman is a Labor Relations Representative with the California School Employees Association. He represents classified school employees in Coachella Valley and surrounding area. He is also an appointed delegate to the DSCC from the 80th Assembly District, and is my cousin. This article was originally written as a thank you to CSEA members and others who volunteered on the Manuel Perez Assembly campaign and is reprinted with the author’s permission.

Zander’s response:

Nice. Just when I was about to offer my services to help MP win the west valley, which we could have done togeter- this.  My reaction is let the pompous arrogant Wissman – die in November.

Manny doesn’t deserve this rant. Manny is better than this. He is gracious in winning and so is Amalia. My not very sainted mother told me not to be a bad winner..this is beyond the pale.  Wissman’s mom failed him in that lesson.

Just when we were going to start the Kum bay a oh well …I have better things to do….sorry Manny.  What a jerk is Mr Wissman, and we could have won in November by joining together.  Not now.

Obama, Bornstein, and the hate initiative are priorities.  Thank you sooo much.

George Zander

Victor Manuel Perez: Creative Resume Writing Redux

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Well, well, well.  Just when I thought that the Victor Manuel Perez for 80th Assembly District campaign was intimately involved with the current sleeze campaign being waged against Greg Pettis, Democratic Candidate for 80th Assembly District, they just might have proved me wrong.  The recent mailings by Opportunity PAC to voters in Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, and Imperial County have voters alternatively scratching their heads and guffawing in uncontrollable laughter.

For the past two days, I have been blogging about Perez’, shall we say, creative resume.

More below the flip…

Perez and his campaign sent out fact sheets to the voters of the Coachella Valley and Imperial County stating that he is ‘Director of Community Health & Advocacy’ at his place of employment.   Perez ‘sold’ this idea that he was a ‘healthcare’ worker’ to the California Nurses Association in seeking and obtaining their endorsement for the 80th AD.

When I placed calls to Perez place of employment in order to speak with Perez re his resume and credentials for Assembly, employees at the Borrego Community Health Foundation informed me that Perez was in fact ‘Facilities and Maintenance Manager.’  Seems a far step from Director of Community Health & Advocacy.

Check out the Borrego Community Health Foundation website.  Now, they have changed Perez’ job title at the Centro Medico Mobile Unit as “Director of Community Health and Advocacy/Site Manager.”   From the description of the mobile unit, it really sounds like Perez merely drives the mobile unit around town delivering services to the community.  A far cry from “Director of Community Health and Advocacy.”  Just what does Perez really do for a living?  What are his responsibilities at Borrego, really?

It seems more and more likely that Perez has seriously embellished his resume.

Much to the chagrin, I am sure, of the Perez campaign, the shadow campaign against Pettis being conducted by Opportunity Pac and its $450,000 treasure chest, at the expense of the working families of the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, has now inadvertantly highlighted Perez’ creative resume writing.

As every Democrat with a mailing address in the 80th Assembly District now knows, Opportunity PAC is deluging voters with hit pieces and slander against Pettis and his campaign.  Mind you, Pettis has been Cathedral City Councilmember for more than 13 years, is former-Mayor Pro-Tem of Cathedral City, has been elected to Cathedral City Council three times in a city that is 58% ethnic and racial minority, has been endorsed by The Desert Sun, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, State Controller John Chiang, Board of Equalization Member Judy Chu, the entire LGBT Caucus in Sacramento, all of the local Democratic Clubs, and sits on various boards and organizations that meet the the healthcare, environmental, and education needs of the voters and families of the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.  In contrast, Perez has been the Vice-President of the failed Coachella Valley Unified School District that is now in State Trusteeship and now holds a job that is anyone’s guess as to what the job title is or what its responsibilities might be.

Now on to the Opportunity PAC inopportune mailings.  One of the first hit pieces, approximately eight more to follow according to the Fair Political Practices Commission filing by Opportunity PAC, has a Latina woman on the cover slamming Pettis.  Today’s mailing has another hit piece with a Latina who appears to be the same woman on the cover slamming Pettis again.

Same woman, but a different job title.   Perhaps she communtes between her healthcare position at Desert Regional to her teaching position in Thermal.

It conjures up the creative resume writing of Perez, his campaign, and his employer, Borrego: same man, same name, different job titles.

In any case, last night at 7:00 p.m., Opportunity PAC filed intent with FPPC to spend another 44K on the anti-Pettis hit piece, ‘field,’ and phone banking expenses.  Thus far, Opportunity PAC has filed intent with FPPC to spend more than $500,000, extraordinary in an Assembly race, in hit pieces against Greg Pettis.  Again, one just has to wonder what Opportunity PAC, its AFL-CIO-labeled ‘rogue unions,’ and their ilk expects in return from a lowly Assemblymember if elected.

BTW, if this were a Republican campaign, expecially that of McCain, Schwarzenegger, or Bush, the blogosphere would be all over this outrageous activity.  These are Rovian tactics applied in a Democratic campaign for State Assembly.  Seems that certain bloggers have turned a blind eye to the doings of Opportunity PAC and the Perez campaign.  Makes one also wonder.

More hilarity to come on this tomorrow regarding Perez’ creative resume writing and changing job titles!!!!

Victor Manuel Perez’ Changing Resume: Voters Ask What He Really Does

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Victor Manuel Perez, his campaign for 80th Assembly District, and his employer cannot seem to agree on his job title.  Wondering here why the major discrepancies.

Perez and his campaign sent out fact sheets and fliers to the voters of the Coachella Valley and Imperial County stating that Perez was ‘Director of Community Health & Advocacy’ at his place of employment, the Borrego Community Health Foundation.  Perez also ‘sold’ the idea that he was a ‘healthcare worker’ to the California Nurses Association in seeking and obtaining their endorsement for the 80th AD.

However, when I placed calls to the Borrego Centro Medico Mobile Unit where Perez works, employees informed me that Perez was in fact ‘Facilities and Maintenance Manager.’  Seems a far step from Director of Community Health & Advocacy and healthcare worker.

More below the flip…

Check out the Borrego Community Health Foundation website to see a picture of the Centro Medico Mobile Unit where Perez is either ‘Facilities Maintenance Manager’ or Director of Community Health & Advocacy,’ depending on whether you believe the campaign literature or the employees of Borrego.

Now, Borrego recently changed Perez’ job title at the Centro Medico Mobile Unit to ‘Director of Community Health and Advocacy/Site Manager.’  What a success this candidate is, he just keeps climbing that corporate ladder.

Just what does Perez really do for a living?  What are his responsibilities at Borrego, really?

It seems more and more likely that Perez, his campaign, and his employer have colluded to seriously embellished his resume.

Centro Medico Mobile Unit

“Health Care to You” Outreach Program


55557 Campus Road

Thermal, CA  92274

Phone: (760) 399-4526

Fax: (760) 399-4421

As a major part of the Borrego Community Health Foundation’s outreach program, the mobile unit improves access to health services by transporting medical care to the homes and workplaces of Coachella Valley residents.  The Mobile Clinic “Health Care to You” program travels throughout the Coachella Valley and visits Thermal, Mecca, Oasis, east Indio, Desert Hot Springs, and other areas.  The Mobile Unit focuses on primary care, well children, youth and preventive health and education services.  Se Habla Español.

Centro Medico Mobile Unit promotes environmental and community health by extending health services to local residents through health fairs, community sites, churches, schools, farm worker sites and residences.  The Centro Medico Mobile Unit operates on weekdays, weekends, early morning hours, and evening hours.

The Community We Serve

Although we provide medical care to people from all walks of life, our programs are specifically tailored to low-income, underserved, and hard-to-reach communities as well as migrant farm-worker sites.  The “Healthcare to You” program also serves local school districts and indigent populations with quality medical services at low or no cost.

Clinic Hours of Operation

Clinic hours and schedule vary depending on season (BluePalmSpringsBoyz note: and depending on Perez’ campaign schedule)…

…Director of Community Health and Advocacy/Site Manager

Manuel Perez, ED. M. has over 15 years experience in farm worker health issues and 5 years in community health and advocacy in a community clinic setting.  He was born and raised in the Coachella area and is currently a Coachella Valley Unified School Board Trustee.

Interesting that Perez is 35 years old according to his biography and yet he has over 15 years of experience in farm worker health issues as well as 5 years in community health and advocacy in a community clinic setting.   Seems that he has been working in the healthcare field since he was 15 years old.  (Seems that Perez went to the Hillary Clinton resume building school for success.)  Wondering how he was able to fit in his Bachelor’s degree as well as the Ed.M., another 5 years to account for.

Add to this the fact that Perez touts his background as including being raised in Imperial County.  This is news to the Rick Gonzales and Richard Gutierrez campaigns. Gonzales and Gutierrez were born and raised, for real, in Imperial County.  Locals, in a small town society, know that Perez was not raised in Imperial County.

Will check out his website and do some more fact checking.  More to follow.

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).

Palm Springs’ The Desert Sun Newspaper Endorses Democrat Greg Pettis for the CA 80th AD Primary

XPosted 5/18/2008 10:40 AM PDT on DailyKos in blog by BlueBeaumontBoyz and on MyDesert.com in blog by BluePalmSpringsBoyz

Greg Pettis, Cathedral City Councilmember for more than 13 years, former Mayor Pro-Tem of Cathedral City, and Progressive Democratic Candidate for the 80th Assembly District obtained the endorsement of The Desert Sun on May 4, 2008, for the November Democratic primary for the CA 80th AD due to his years of remarkable service, his involvement in the local Coachella and Imperial Valley communities, and his accomplishments and plans during his terms of office.  Pettis obtained the solid endorsement of The Desert Sun.

More below the flip…

Pettis is the leading Democratic candidate in the 80th AD, raising and spending more monies than all of his Democratic opponents combined, obtaining endorsements from all of the Democratic Clubs who have endorsed in the race, from most of the Democratic electeds, from all of the Democratic electeds who have endorsed in the West Valley (Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, and Palm Desert), and from the most active unions and locals in the district.  In addition, Pettis has raised more money in each of the last electronic reporting periods than all three of his primary opponents combined.  Pettis has also spent more money during each reporting than all of his opponents combined.  Finally, Pettis has also raised more money during the last electronic reporting period, February, than his the presumptive Republican nominee, Gary Jeandron.

The surprising aspect of the endorsement of The Desert Sun is that not once have they previously endorsed Pettis during any of his Cathedral City Council races.  The Desert Sun went beyond a bland endorsement and emphasized Pettis’ ties to the Coachella Valley communities, his organizational skills, his constituent service record, and his potential ability to ‘hit the ground running’ in Sacramento following the November elections.

Highlights of the TDS endorsement follow:

The Democratic candidates for the 80th Assembly District don’t differ widely on the issues, but Cathedral City Councilman Greg Pettis stands out because of his ties to the Coachella Valley.

Pettis, 52, is a strong political tactician.  His strong suit is organization.  He communicates well with his constituents.  Navigating the state capitol scene will be critical to his – and the valley’s – success, but we believe he understands Sacramento and can hit the ground running there and that is what we need.

We also are confident Pettis would be visible in the district after being elected (BlueBeaumontBoyz note: unlike absentee Congresswoman Mary Bono Baxely Mack) – and that is an important part of the job.

Pettis is one of four Democrats vying for the 80th Assembly District seat in the upcoming June 3 primary…

…Pettis has been in office 14 years as a Cathedral City councilman.  He knows the Coachella Valley best.  He has strong relationships with local officials and understands local issues.

He has built a solid record of achievement while on the council, and we believe he is electable and will be effective in Sacramento…

…he does understand our issues and, of all Democratic candidates, he is (the) best choice to represent the needs of the Coachella Valley.

He plans to focus on bringing needed transportation infrastructure to our valley, as (well) as more jobs to the Coachella and Imperial valleys, better school funding and expanding incentives for green and renewable energy sources.

Pettis said he also will work on health insurance coverage for all Californians.  He wants all children younger than 18 to be covered by expanding programs.  He would push to expand tax credit programs to create more affordable housing and work to stabilize interest rates to fend off more foreclosures…

Pettis’ ties to the Coachella Valley are solid and complete.  According to the Pettis for Assembly website Pettis was born and raised in Duarte, California and has lived in Cathedral City since 1979.  After nearly 15 years in the hospitality industry, Greg ran for and won his seat on the Cathedral City Council in 1994.

Over the last 14 years, Greg has been instrumental in creating an economically vibrant community in Cathedral City with strong neighborhoods and a thriving downtown to attract good paying jobs as well as union jobs to Cathedral City.

The fact that Pettis has strong relationships with local officials is a given.  Pettis works well with both Democrats and Republicans on Cathedral City Council and in his other community activities as well.  Pettis has been endorsed for the 80th AD by Palm Springs City Councilmember Ginny Foat, Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson, Desert Hot Springs City Councilmember Karl Baker, Cathedral City Councilmember Paul Marchand, former-Cathedral City Councilmember Sarah Digradi, Cathedral City Clerk Pat Hammers, former-Rancho Mirage City Councilmember Jeanne Parrish, former-Coachella Mayor Juan DeLara, El Centro City Councilmember Sedalia Saunders, and Coachella City Councilmember and former-Candidate for the 80th AD Gilbert Ramirez, demonstrating the depth and breadth of his support amongst electeds in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.

Pettis has also obtained the endorsement of every Democratic Club which has thus far endorsed in the 80th AD, including the Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club, the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club, the Inland Stonewall Democratic Club, the Palm Springs Democratic Club, the Pass Democratic Club, the San Diego Democratic Club, and the San Diego Democratic Women’s Club.  None of the local Democratic clubs has endorsed any of Pettis’ rivals for the Democratic nomination.

Pettis has also worked well with the local Democratic club leadership and has received the endorsements of the President of the Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club Will Pieper, the Vice-President of the Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club Chuck McDaniel, the Treasurer of the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Bob Silverman, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Steering Committee Member Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D., the Co-Chair of the Palm Springs Democratic Club Sandy Eldridge, the Co-Chair of the Palm Springs Democratic Club David Pye, co-founder of the Palm Springs Democratic Club Lisa Arbalaez, former co-chair of the Palm Springs Democratic Club Robert Lee Thomas, the President of the Pass Democratic Club Jacqueline Atwood, the Vice-President of the Pass Democratic Club Betty McMillion, Riverside County Democratic Central Committee Alternate Kira Klatchko, and former candidate for the 80th AD Mary Ann Andreas.

At the pre-convention endorsement proceedings in Moreno Valley prior to the California Democratic Party convention in San Jose, Pettis obtain more than 70% of the votes of the local party leaders to obtain the endorsement for the 80th AD race.  It was only due to a parliamentary procedure backed by literally only a relative few recalcitrants that revoked that endorsement.  Nevertheless, that action only served to strengthen the resolve of the Pettis campaign and his support amongs good Democratic activists in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.

The Pettis campaign has also received endorsements from most of the local progressive unions and their leadership because of his strong support for union and labor rights.  Pettis has the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Building Trades of California, the California AFL-CIO, Cathedral City Professional Firefighters, San Bernardino/Riverside Counties Central Labor Council, San Diego/Imperial Counties Central Labor Council, Teamsters, Joint Council 42, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 440.  These are the unions who put progressive Democratic activist boots to the ground during local election campaigns.

Regarding potential work as a State Assemblyman in Sacramento, Pettis demonstrates that he already has strong ties to that body with his endorsements from State Assembly Speaker Pro-Tem Sally Lieper, State Assemblyman Mike Eng, State Assemblyman John Laird, State Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, State Assemblyman Mark Leno, State Assemblyman Ted Lieu, former-State Assemblyman Paul Koretz, and former-State Assemblyman Fran Pavley.  Given his relationships in the State Assembly, Pettis is poised to ‘hit the ground running,’ not having to learn either the ropes of the Assembly or the politics of Sacramento.

The Desert Sun is also accurate in portraying Pettis as ‘knowing our issues.’  Pettis makes it clear that he will work diligently to improve the quality of life of not only residents of the District, but also all Californians by working to bring healthcare and benefits to all children under the age of 18, by working to improve the local and state economies, and by protecting the enviroment.  More specifically, according to his website, Pettis has been a regional leader throughout the Coachella Valley, working on issues that impact the Inland Empire and all of California including:

(1) Negotiating the Multi-Species Habitat Plan to guide sustainable growth

(2) Serving on the Salton Sea Authority

(3) Conducting Town Hall forums on the future of health care in California

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.

Coachella City Councilmember Gilbert Ramirez, Jr, Endorses Greg Pettis for 80th AD

XPosted 5/23/2008 6:21 PM PDT on MyDesert.com in blog of BluePalmSpringsBoyz

Coachella City Councilmember Gilbert Ramirez, Jr., former Candidate for the 80th Assembly District seat being vacated by the termed-out Bonnie Garcia (R), has endorsed Greg Pettis, Cathedral City Councilmember for more than 13 years and former-Mayor Pro-Tem of Cathedral City, for the 80th AD.  Ramirez joins former-Mayor of Coachella Juan DeLara in endorsing Pettis’s bid for the 80th AD.

Pettis widespread support for his candidacy in the Latino/Latina communities is also apparent in his endorsements by Co-founder of the Palm Springs Democratic Club Lisa Arbelaez, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club activist Bill Cain-Gonzales, Candidate for the Palm Springs Unified School District Greg Rodriguez, and Candidate for the 41st Congressional District Dr. Rita Ramirez-Dean.  Pettis has also received endorsements from such Latino/Latina community activists as Christopher Arellano, Larry Baza, Juliet DeLara, Olivia DeLara. Tony Escobedo, Sylvia Escobedo, Maylon Gonzales, Jose Lemus, Christina Marquez, Rodolfo Martinez, David Membrez, Sylvia Preciado, Leticia Quezada, Nicole Ramirez, Dan Ruiz, Anthony Tapia, Ed Torres, and Joe Velasquez.

More below the flip…

(Given that Rick Gonzales, a Wells Fargo investment manager, has obtained the endorsement of three Coachella Valley Unified School District Trustees, Gloria Maldonado, Anna Rodriguez, and Maria Elvia Rios. it seems that fellow Trustee Victor Manuel Perez’ campaign in his home base of Coachella is unraveling.  It begs the question “Just where is Perez’ support in Coachella?”)

In comparison, Pettis has the endorsements of every single Democratic elected who has endorsed in the West Valley except for former-Palm Springs Mayor Ron Oden who endorsed Gonzales.  Cathedral City Councilmember Paul Marchand, Cathedral City Clerk Pat Hammers, Desert Hot Springs City Councilmember Karl Baker, Palm Springs City Councilmember Ginny Foat, Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson, Palm Springs Unified School District Trustee Meredy Schoenberger, and Candidate for Palm Springs Unified School District Greg Rodriguez have all endorsed Pettis’ candidacy.  Although Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet has not made an endorsement, he is co-hosting the U.S. Representative Barney Frank fundraiser for Pettis tomorrow, May 24, 2008, at the home of Andy Lindsky, Human Rights Campaign Boardmember.

In addition, Pettis obtained the endorsements of every single Democratic Club that endorsed thus far in the campaign, including 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.

Ramirez was conducting a campaign for the 80th AD until his signatures were invalidated by Riverside County in March 2008 (see The Desert Sun):

A former Democratic rival endorsed Greg Pettis in his bid for the 80th Assembly District seat, his campaign announced today.

Coachella City Councilman Gilbert Ramirez Jr., who was knocked out of the race for the Democratic nomination in March, threw his support behind the Cathedral City Councilman vying to replace outgoing Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City.

Garcia cannot run again because of term limits.

“With our economy in recession and our kids facing budget cuts from Sacramento, we want leaders with a successful track record of showing up day in an day out and protecting vital services,” Ramirez said in a campaign press release.

“Greg not only has a track record of success creating jobs in Cathedral City, but also a sensible plan to cover every child with health care and to invest in our public schools. That’s the kind of tested and trusted leadership we need in Sacramento to turn our state in the right direction.”

Ramirez did not qualify for the race because he failed to get 40 Democratic nominating signatures. Only 33 of 68 of his signatures counted.