Tag Archives: Joe Nation

Primary Watching

Tomorrow’s the big day (depending on your perspective I suppose), with local, legislative and proposition votes going on all over the state and the Montana and South Dakota primaries wrapping up the Presidential calendar.  There’s speculation that Sen. Clinton will suspend her campaign tomorrow night, plus an easy dozen congressional primaries to watch, the Leno/Migden/Nation battle royale, I’m masochistically fascinated by the San Diego mayoral race- the list goes on.

It looks like I’ll be holing up for a bit at the Obama watch party at the W Hotel here in San Diego. I’ve also heard that local Young Dems will be at The Shore Club and City Council candidate Todd Gloria will be gathering with supporters at The Local. So that’s a random and incomplete collection of spots around San Diego…What city/bar/restaurant/corner of your house will you be reporting from as we all obsess tomorrow evening?

Environmentalists Livid at Joe Nation

Disclosure, I’m proud to do some work for Mark Leno

From a press release:

Sierra Club protests deceptive Joe Nation campaign mailers

Illegal use of Sierra Club logo is trademark infringement

SAN FRANCISCO. May 31, 2008 – The Sierra Club has condemned deceptive campaign mailers for Joe Nation that falsely imply Sierra Club endorsement of Mr. Nation for State Senate District 3 in next Tuesday’s election. The Sierra Club also has protested the unauthorized, illegal use of its logo on campaign literature promoting Mr. Nation. The Sierra Club is demanding that these unethical and illegal activities cease immediately.

Resorting to deception usually belies weakness. Full release after the jump.

Sierra Club protests deceptive Joe Nation campaign mailers

Illegal use of Sierra Club logo is trademark infringement

SAN FRANCISCO. May 31, 2008 – The Sierra Club has condemned deceptive campaign mailers for Joe Nation that falsely imply Sierra Club endorsement of Mr. Nation for State Senate District 3 in next Tuesday’s election. The Sierra Club also has protested the unauthorized, illegal use of its logo on campaign literature promoting Mr. Nation. The Sierra Club is demanding that these unethical and illegal activities cease immediately.

Bay Area Political Chair John Rizzo spoke with Mr. Nation to inform him of the Sierra Club’s objections to the misleading mailer pieces.

Several of the mailers include the Sierra Club in a list of apparent endorsing organizations. They also falsely list the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) as supporting Nation. Another mailer uses the Sierra Club and LCV logos under the headline “You can’t get any greener than Joe Nation.”

Neither the Sierra Club nor the LCV has endorsed Joe Nation. The Sierra Club does not support Mr. Nation’s candidacy, and in April, presented incumbent Senator Carole Migden with the San Francisco Bay Chapter Environmental Stewardship Award. The League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Senator Migden, not Joe Nation.

The Nation campaign and several independent expenditures are putting out the deceptive material, which also falsely imply support of other organizations that have endorsed Mr. Nation’s opponents. The mailers that use the Sierra Club logo are paid for by a Sacramento-based, corporate-funded independent expenditure, Californians for Balance & Fairness in the Civil Justice System.

Mr. Nation and his supporters are sending the false messages in an attempt to deceive the public. The Sierra Club believes that such deceptive tactics violate at least the spirit of the California campaign practices laws. The Sierra Club has contacted the FPPC and is considering filing a complaint.

The Sierra Club logo is a registered trademark of the Sierra Club. The unauthorized reproduction of the Sierra Club logo is infringement on that trademark and is protected as such under the law.

The Sierra Club is America’s oldest and largest environmental group. (http://www.sierraclub.org) The San Francisco Bay Chapter represents 40,000 members in San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties. (http://sanfranciscobay.sierraclub.org/chapter/chapter_home.asp)

Last Day to Register to Vote & Bullet Points

Today is the last day to register to vote. Personally, I'd like to see same-day registration. After all, we are living in the era of cheap and tiny computers. This is a fundamental fairness issue, legal voters simply should not be turned away. Nonetheless, here's the voter reg SoS page. Other interesting stuff:

  •  Frank Russo writes about a S-USA poll in the Rumble in the Bubble (SD-03). (I do some work for Leno.) Leno leads overall 42 -22(Nation)-21(Migden). Besides the fact that Leno is the only candidate with net favorables, a number of note is the breakdown for “liberal” voters. Leno leads that category 47-21(Migden)-17(Nation).
  • The Bay Guardian has released the audio of their endorsement interviews at their 2008 spring election center. I'm a big fan of news media outlets releasing such interviews.  Good work SFBG!
  • The elected delegates met yesterday in Sacramento. They talked, chose more delegates, and generally had a good time. The media seems to want to make this some sort of bloodbath, but it seems there was more about unity than anything else.
  • Another item to be slashed in the next budget: Aid for California's disabled.  Perhaps the legislators will go and help some of these Californians themselves? Maybe set up an oxygen tank here, help in the process of dressing there.  I think Roger Niello and Mike Villines would be excellent at that. After all, they want to cut these funds, so why not provide a bit of their time in leiu of the money that is so desperately needed.  That would help, right?  Ok, not so much.
  • Skelton points out the truth: the 2/3 requirement for budgets is “ludicrous.” 

Democrat Lockyer, a former state Senate leader and attorney general, traces California's budget woes back to the 1978 passage of Proposition 13 — the historic property tax cut — and Sacramento's subsequent decision to bail out revenue-short local governments and schools.

“We've been bailing the sinking ship ever since,” he says. “This may be the year when we have to say, 'OK, we're going to make these awful cuts and voters are going to see what the consequences are.' That's kind of a scorched-earth approach, but people somehow think that the budget is going to be balanced by the tooth fairy.

“I don't like it, but there are days when I think that voters need to persuade themselves and reluctant legislators that cuts like these are unacceptable. It's time to do whatever needs to get done to escape this annual torture.”

I'd start by placing a measure on the ballot allowing budgets to be passed by a majority vote — as they are in 47 other states.

But a two-thirds vote is what's ludicrously required today. So the legislators and governor must deal with it.


SD-03: New Poll Gives Leno Big Lead

As of tonight, it looks like it is indeed a two-way race for the State Seanate District 3. A new Survey USA poll gives Mark Leno a strong lead over with Joe Nation and Carole Migden tied for a distant second place.

In a Democratic Primary today in California’s 3rd State Senate District, 18 days until votes are counted, incumbent Senator Carole Migden is defeated in her bid to keep her party’s nomination, according to this exclusive KPIX-TV pre-primary poll conducted by SurveyUSA. Today, Mark Leno, assemblyman from California’s 13th assembly district, gets 42% of the vote; Joe Nation, assemblyman from CA’s 6th district, gets 22%; Migden finishes effectively tied with Nation, at 21%. Leno leads in almost every demographic sub-population. The winner of the Democratic primary is favored to win the November general election in this heavily Democratic district.

It looks good, but Carole is campaigning hard in The City. EVery day now, we are getting calls and literature either from her campaign or an organization that supports her. If she manages to cut into his numbers, Nation could conceivably sneak in. However, this is very good news so far.

Election Roundup 5/5/08

Periodically between now and the primaries on June 3, I’ll be checking in with some brief election news.

• CA-04: Charlie Brown has released his first ad of the cycle.  It’s a bio spot, and it’s a good one.

I would have liked to have seen some specifics about the veterans care challenge, but I understand that it’s well-known inside the district so maybe the allusion to it was all that was necessary.  Certainly he’s taking an above-the-fray stance in the midst of the brutal primary on the other side.  I like it.

• AD-80: I bet you didn’t to see CNA and SEIU supporting the same candidate in virtually anything, especially at this sensitive time, but both of them have come out in favor of Manuel Perez, in addition to the California Medical Association PAC.

• At Election Track, you can follow contributions to all of California’s candidates as we head to the primary.

• CA-08: Cindy Sheehan says she has $130,000 for her challenge to Nancy Pelosi, running as an independent.

• SD-03: Here’s a Joe Nation ad (over the flip) focusing on the environment. Is this running anywhere?

Will Somebody Douse Me In Chemicals Already?

Light Brown Apple MothOk, so last week, I thought all this hubub about the Light Brown Apple Moth was much ado about nothing. I hadn't even seen one, and they didn't seem to be bugging me.  So, I didn't get what Arnold's big rush to spray pheremones or what not on to the Bay Area.

Things have changed. Last week a friend of ours was over at our house. It was a fine afternoon, the weather was nice, so we spent the time chatting outside.  We get to the conversation of this little moth. Turns out that our friend, a big shot lawyer at a video game company to remain nameless, is the patient zero of the Light Brown Apple Moth scourge upon her city.  She claimed they were all over her apartment, and sure enough, we went down there, and there they were. Sneaking around her place. I put the pieces together, she travels all over the world for work, and she has tons of them in her house.  How much more evidence do we need? Well, how much more was answered the next day when we saw some of the little buggers around our house.  Now the things are all over our house.  Apparently the've really taken to the Bay Area, and I'm pretty sure she's the vector.

Now, they don't seem to be really bothering me at this point here in SF, they're just annoying. But, I say, get some helicopters or bush planes, or whatever it takes, in the air, and let's get to dumping all sorts of chemicals on my fair city. What's a little caplet of inhaled pseudo-moth pheremones compared to some bugs in my house? What could possibly go wrong when we drop a chemical on to heavily populated urban areas? Really, I can't think of anything. Sure, some judge said the state can't spray, but whatever, let's do it anyway. 

Ok, I kid, but follow me over the flip..

The LBAM is an interesting parable of our increasingly globalized society. Bugs from other parts of the world are here. Some are annoying, and some are real problems. The problem with the LBAM isn't necessarily what it does or doesn't eat at this point, the damage totals are mere guesses.  But from most reports that I've read, it seems that the LBAM is a bad thing, but it is no MedFly. But what's more disturbing is the failure of the state and federal governments to have early warning systems and clear protocols that allow for public comment and discussion.

The LBAM was found by a retired UC-Berkeley entimoligist in his backyard, but nobody was actively looking. Nobody.  The next great super-pest could be reaching our shores today, and we likely wouldn't know for years. With the food supply getting tighter and tighter as the world's population grows, we need to learn how to better manage non-native pests. We need to be vigilant from a planning perspective at the front.  Because an ounce of prevention is worth a few tons of cure here:

The light brown apple moth, the ravenous crop-eating Australian pest detected in at least 11 California counties since mid-March, “was probably here a very long time prior to its discovery and it’s probably far more widespread than currently delineated.”


“However, once a pest has a major foothold, it’s very difficult to eradicate it,” said [UC-Davis entomologist James R. Carey]. “While state and federal agricultural officials often talk about eradicating a ‘population,’ in reality, this requires eradication of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of mini-populations/pockets. Thus, anything short of 100 percent elimination of these thousands of pockets is control, not eradication.”

From the perspective of a city-dweller, we need to be prepared to explain, and back up with hard evidence, any proposed or actual treatments for the pests. It's not that urban residents are distincty opposed to measures against these species, it's that, in the case of the LBAM, nobody bothered to explain to us what was about to be dumped on to our cities.  That's why the residents (and elected leaders) of the County of Santa Cruz and other localities fought the spray so hard. It's not that the name sounded a bit scary (which it did…Checkmate, yikes!), it's that there were no conclusive studies showing the safety and efficacy of these synthetic pheremones.  It's that nobody bothered to mention until a few days that we would soon be inhaling Checkmate into our systems. Heck, in SD-03, all three candidates, Leno, Migden, and Nation, are talking about this little moth more than you could possibly imagine.

Thus there are competing forces here, because eradication requires speed, and due process requires a deliberate, uh, process. Of course, we can gain extra time through better advance detection, but we also need to improve our preparation for future pests. So, better research, but also a streamlined system that will allow public debate over whether the ends justify the means for each insect. 

SD-03: Joe Nation’s Environmental Problems

With today being Earth Day, I thought readers would enjoy reading my article about Joe Nation’s environmental record.

Ex-Marin Assemblyman and State Senate candidate Joe Nation is working to stay above the fray between Mark Leno and Carole Migden.  Despite his moderate record on other issues, he speaks earnestly about the environment and climate change.  But why hasn’t the Sierra Club endorsed him, and why is he not popular with environmentalists in Marin County?  It may be because when Nation was on the Marin Municipal Water District in the late 1990’s, he proposed bottling water from Mount Tamalpais, voted for a pipeline to siphon water from the Russian River and supported widening the US-101.  Today, Nation is a climate change consultant for ENVIRON, where he primarily advises Coca-Cola – whose environmental record has spawned protests across the globe.  Now Coca-Cola runs a corporate green-washing campaign that pushes “water stewardship” – which is code for privatization of a natural resource, while running bottled water plants in California.

As a newcomer to the very contentious Senate race (and a relative unknown to San Francisco voters), Nation has campaigned on his environmental record in the Assembly – and touts the work that he currently does on climate change.  “I would not be in this race if it wasn’t for that issue,” he said at a candidates’ forum last month.  Therefore, it is helpful to hear what local environmentalists think about him.

The Sierra Club has not endorsed in the race – which is interesting, because Joe Nation has made climate change such a top priority in his campaign.  Nobody on their Board would talk to me on the record (the Club is still deciding what to do), but it was clear from learning about Nation’s history in Marin that he is not well liked among many environmentalists.

After losing an open Congressional race in June 1992, Nation was elected later that year to the Marin Municipal Water District – a very powerful stepping stone for higher office.  Three of Marin’s last 4 Assembly members have served on that board, including Nation – who ran for an open Assembly seat in March 2000.  The Sierra Club did not endorse him in that race, and when two progressive opponents split their votes, Nation eked out a victory.

In 1999, Nation angered environmentalists by sponsoring a proposal that the Marin Water District sell bottled water from Mount Tamalpais.  Activists opposed it because draining water from Redwood Creek (which flows from Mount Tam) would endanger a salmon run.  At a time when Marin residents were being asked to conserve water, they opposed having the District sell off such natural resources.  Bottled water, they said, is also a very wasteful practice – as it consumes large amounts of plastic.

After much community opposition, the Marin Water District shot down Nation’s idea.  Shortly afterwards, they passed an ordinance prohibiting such a proposal in the future.

In 2000, the Marin Water District (with Nation’s support) agreed to move ahead with plans for a new multimillion-dollar pipeline to siphon water from the Russian River.  Again, environmentalists opposed the idea – as it involved extracting natural resources when they urged the need for more conservation.  As he ran for the Assembly that same year, Nation supported widening the US-101 to relax gridlock – a reason why the Sierra Club did not endorse him (as their chosen candidate opposed it.)

Nation did get support from the League of Conservation Voters in his initial Assembly bid – prompting environmental legend David Brower to write an angry press release.  “Industry and pro-development politicians grow increasingly skilled at adopting green camouflage,” said Brower, as he accused Nation of being “the candidate favored by developers.”  At the time, Nation replied that he was a “realist” – not a “purist.”

In the Assembly, Nation’s voting record was solidly pro-environment (the Sierra Club endorsed him when he faced token opposition) – but some complained that he was more of a follower than a leader.  His signature bill was AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed – which capped carbon emissions, but most environmentalists agree is not enough.

Since leaving the Assembly in 2006 (after a second bid for Congress against Lynn Woolsey), Nation now works as a Climate Change Consultant for ENVIRON — which has a global staff of over 1,000 and helps corporations become more environmentally sound.  Most of Nation’s consulting work at ENVIRON, he says, is on behalf of Coca-Cola.

“We do a range of work for Coke,” he said, “and have lots of very smart people who count carbon molecules and do carbon footprints.  We’ll go in their facility and measure their energy use (CO2), and look at ways on how they can reduce it.  We give them recommendations on alternative technologies that they can use.  My expertise is in the area of off-sets and carbon emissions trading.”

Coca-Cola does not have the best environmental record.   The company manages bottling plants throughout the world – and its water-pumping in India has drained the wells of the country’s most impoverished villages.  Students on over 20 college campuses in the U.S. and Great Britain have succeeded in getting their schools to divest from Coke due to its repeated violations of environmental law.

Of course, Nation can argue that he’s helping Coke fix its environmental problems.  But even the company’s “green” improvements are under scrutiny.  “Coca-Cola has done a lot to greenwash their corporate image,” said Nick Guroff of Corporate Accountability, a non-profit organization that monitors corporate violations.  On its website, Coca-Cola features an environmental report that touts its “water stewardship” plan – which critics say is really just an effort to privatize a natural resource that people need in order to survive.

Coca-Cola says it’s doing what it can to reduce waste – as it makes less wasteful plastic bottles and plans to build a plant that will recycle 100 million pounds of plastic every year.  But activists – including Rev. Renee Rico from San Anselmo in Marin County – aren’t buying it.  “Don’t make the [water] bottles in the first place, and you won’t have to waste even more energy to recycle them,” she said.

An online campaign by Corporate Accountability is currently underway – urging consumers to drink tap water rather than buy bottled water from Coca-Cola and other companies.  The group recently convinced S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsom to ban plastic water bottles in all City government buildings.

Nation’s work for Coca-Cola is consistent with his advocacy for bottled water nine years ago on the Marin Municipal Water District.  Today, bottled water is a growing industry – and Coke runs a plant near Mount Shasta despite opposition from the environmental community.  It would help Coke to have someone like Joe Nation in the California State Senate – especially a Democrat who touts his green credentials.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As a private citizen, Paul Hogarth has endorsed Mark Leno for State Senate. He plays no role for the Leno campaign, nor did anyone on that campaign assist in  this story.

Migden Gets Injunction Against FPPC

Campaign finance reform has been bubbling as an issue for a number of years.  And any time someone manages even a small step forward, you know you’re going to have the big money corporations, the Club for Growth, and all other manner of rich righties lining up to defend their right to freely spend their money on as much questionable propaganda as they can muster.  Normally the battle lines are pretty clear on this, ideologically speaking.  That is, of course, unless you subscribe to Sen. Carole Migden’s particular brand of “progressivism”.

After the Fair Political Practices Commission barred her from accessing more than $640,000 from an old campaign account because, well…she didn’t transfer it out of her Assembly campaign account before she left the Assembly (whoops), she sued to get it back.  Free political speech, her argument goes, trumps playing by the rules.

And today, a District Court judge agreed.  U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Brennan granted a temporary injunction against the FPPC’s locking of the account:

“I think serious questions have been demonstrated here as to the constitutionality, as to the manner in which the statute is being applied” by the FPPC, Brennan said at the end of an hour-long hearing.

Migden’s attorneys claim the regulation is to prevent termed-out legislators from plundering their campaign funds for personal use, saying “Migden ‘is not here asking the court, ‘Please allow me to use campaign funds on a new car.'”  (Nevermind that you never know when she might need a new car)

The FPPC claims that she still won’t get her mitts on the money because she’s violated other regulations too (specifically, multiple bank accounts for one campaign committee).  Migden’s lawyers shot back that they’ll just keep suing until they get the money, a plan which, I’m sure, won’t add any motivation to the FPPC’s $9 million countersuit against Migden for assorted sketchy (and allegedly not allowed) finance issues.

So our saga continues.  After getting her CDP endorsement shot down convincingly (71.3% of the floor) on Sunday, Migden has a brief glimpse of a recovery thanks to throwing campaign finance regulation under the bus for her personal benefit.  One thing that struck me about her, ahem, perplexing implosion over the weekend was that it was the worst possible time for it.  2,000 delegates trapped together in San Jose for two days is not the time to give people something to talk about.  Right after being repudiated by those same people seems an odd time to throw progressive principles by the wayside in the name of political survival.

Liveblogging SD-3 Regional Endorsement Meeting

(The only live line in the room – promoted by Lucas O’Connor)

(Cross-posted on California Majority Report).

I’ll be liveblogging the SD-3 regional endorsement battle between Senator Carole Migden, Assemblymember Mark Leno, and former Assemblymember Joe Nation. Stay tuned! This should be fun, horrifying, or a fascinating drama depending on your perspective.

[Update by Lucas] Leno campaign is reporting more than 50 Leno supporter ballots are missing.  “Disenfranchisement” is running through the room.

5:41 — Sorry for the delay. I had connection issues. One of the moderators assured the crowd that “this is a fair and open process, and we will wait for all ballots to be counted.” Around 5:30 or so, Leno spoke followed by Migden. Both touted their records as one would expect. Said Leno, “Without choice, there is no accountability. Without accountability, there is no responsibility.” Meanwhile, Migden emphasized the gender imbalance in the Senate, concluding her speech with “I am a woman. I am a woman. And let me just say, I still am a woman.” Voting officially closed at 5:41, and they say results will be coming in 20 minutes or so.  

6:29 — Counting now. Attention Adam Borelli. You’re wanted in room. Currently 15-9 Migden ahead.

6:38 — Currently 46-27. About 270 in total.

6:47 — Some dispute over a vote by Migden’s folks. It would be a “fair and open process” if the moderators articulated into the microphone a little more! Seriously, I have no clue what that was about. Anyway, we’re up to 75-57. Migden still ahead.

7:05 — 128-97. Migden ahead.

7:13 — Vote is 149-115 with 2 for Nation, 2 without endorsement, 1 challenge against Leno, 1 questionable, and 2 unmarked. That leaves the unofficial but close enough for this famished soul tally at 55% Migden and 42% Leno. The next step: once the vote is finalized, Leno folks are going to try and gather enough signatures (300) of delegates to remove the endorsement from the consent calendar. If they succeed, the endorsement vote will happen during a general session with all delegates able to vote. The Leno folks have until 11 pm to gather the signatures. Obviously, the missing ballot issue earlier delayed this process a bit. I suspect this isn’t the last we’ve heard of that incident from the Leno campaign.