Tag Archives: Bonnie Garcia

Victor Manuel Perez: Creative Resume Writing Redux

XPosted on MyDesert.com

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!!!!

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.

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

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

Andy Linsky

HRC Board of Directors*

and co-hosts

Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet

Palm Springs City Councilmember Ginny Foat

Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund

Equality California

The Bottom Line Magazine

Palm Springs Democratic Club

Desert Stonewall Democratic Club

Invite you to meet

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

and to join him in supporting

Greg Pettis

For California State Assembly (80th AD)

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

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

Suggested minimum contribution: $100 per person

Sponsor: $500 ~ Co-Host: $1000

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

Contributions are not tax deductible for income tax purposes.

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

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

For more information, or to contribute online:


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

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

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

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

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

More below the flip…

Continuing the Press Release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More below the flip…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marriage Equality: Press Releases from National Stonewall, Sacramento Stonewall, Barney Frank

I received Press Releases from National Stonewall Democrats, the Sacramento Stonewall Democratic Club, and U.S. Representative Barney Frank regarding the decision by the Republican-dominated California Supreme Court overturning the ban on Marriage Equality in the State.

National Stonewall Democrats, co-founded by U.S. Representative Frank (D-MA), is the National voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Democrats.  The Desert Stonewall Democratic Club is the official local Democratic Club for LGBT Democrats, sanctioned by both the National Stonewall Democrats as well as the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee.  Zander, Vice-President Roger Tansey, Treasurer Bob Silverman, and Secretary James Reynolds are amongst the leaders of the local club.

More below the flip…

Sacramento Stonewall Press Release concerning the historic decision by the California Supreme Court is as follows:

Sacramento Stonewall joins in the celebration of today’s historic verdict.  The Supreme Court of California has decided in favor of equality.  Legal marriage is now the law of this state!  In just 30 days, gay and lesbian couples will be able to apply for marriage licenses.  

Bennett, President of Sacramento Stonewall said, “Full and equal recognition of our relationships means that we have crossed a final barrier toward full and equal citizenship, at least in California.  This day has been years in the making.  But we know we can’t celebrate for long.”

Bennett went on to describe the efforts of a small, vocal minority that has been organizing all Spring to deny us this basic human right.  According to Bennett, they spent some $2 million dollars to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to limit marriage.

Bennett said, “Today we celebrate.  Today we savor the full and equal recognition of our relationships, our families… and all the responsibilities that come with it.  But tomorrow we organize.   Our equality did not come easily.  We will not let it go.”

The official press release from the National Stonewall Democrats focuses on the freedom for all of California’s couples to marry regardless the sex of the partner.

National Stonewall Democrats is the only national organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Democrats, incorporating more than 90 local chapters across the Nation.  National Stonewall Democrats is committed to working through the Democratic Party to advance the rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity:

Legal Recognition of Marriage in CA

(Thursday, May 15, 2008)

Washington, DC – Today, the National Stonewall Democrats expressed the organization’s support for a ruling today by the California Supreme Court which recognized the freedom of all California couples to marry.

“Stonewall Democrats welcomes the ruling of the California Supreme Court to legally recognize the freedom to marry. California voters have twice supported this position through their elected officials,” said Jon Hoadley, Executive Director. “In 2005 and 2007, Democratic control ensured that marriage legislation was successfully approved and passed to the Governor’s desk. Thanks to the tireless work of Stonewall Democrats chapters and other advocates across the state, the California Democrats strongly support the freedom of all California couples to marry. We must now turn our attention to protecting this landmark victory.”

In a ruling today, the California Supreme Court recognized that all California couples, including same-sex couples, are entitled to the legal recognition of marriage.

“Throughout California, Stonewall Democrats have strategically worked to build support for pro-equality positions among Democratic candidates, party officials and elected leaders,” said Laurie McBride (Sacramento, CA), Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of National Stonewall Democrats. “This ruling reflects the values of our Party and the will of California voters as already expressed twice by the state legislature. Democrats are working to support this court ruling and to defeat any proposed anti-marriage initiative.”

The efforts of Stonewall Democrats chapters across California ensured that the California Democratic Party first voiced its support for legislation recognizing the freedom to marry in 2005, with the party permanently ratified that position in its platform earlier this year. Their work created a political climate which included more pro-equality legislators, stronger advocates and diverse partnership opportunities for the crucial work of statewide groups.

In 2005 and 2007, the California legislature successfully passed the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act” which would have recognized the freedom of all California couples to enter into civil marriage. Stonewall Democrats throughout California worked through their chapters to build support for the legislation among local Democratic bodies and the state party. Their efforts supported the work of partners like Equality California who successfully built a majority of support for the legislation in both the California Assembly and Senate. Although the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act” was twice vetoed by the Republican Governor, chapters of the Stonewall Democrats continued to build Democratic support for the freedom of all Californians to marry.

On Thursday, May 15, 2008, Frank issued his own Press Release regarding the decision of California to join his home state of Massachusetts in formally and legally allowing Marriage Equality:

News release from Barney Frank


Congressman, 4th District, Massachusetts

2252 Rayburn Building · Washington, D.C. 20515 · (202) 225-5931

Thursday, May 15, 2008


CONTACT:  Steven Adamske 202-225-7141

Joe Racalto 202-225-5931


I want to offer to my friends in California both congratulations and reassurance:  I congratulate California’s Supreme Court for recognizing that all of California’s citizens are entitled to basic civil rights; and I can assure the people of the state that the result of this decision will be to improve the quality of life of tens of thousands of Californians who will now be able legally to express their love for each other, while having no negative effect whatsoever on the overwhelming majority of Californians who will choose not to marry someone of the same sex.  

As in California, Massachusetts’ experience with same sex marriage began with a 4-3 decision of our highest court.  There was initially some controversy.  Subsequently, after reality banished the concerns that many had expressed about the impact of this decision, our State Legislature voted by more than 3-1 to ratify the decision, and today, most people find it hard to remember that there was ever any serious fear about it.

80th Assembly District: Victor Manuel Perez Fires, Rehires Campaign Director

News from the Palm Springs Village Fest Voter Registration and Democratic Candidate Tabling last night: Victor Manuel Perez fired his Campaign Director, Amalia Deaztlan, then rehired her this week.

Interesting that since the electronic filing deadline is approaching and the primary is less than 30 days away.

Deaztlan was similarly fired and rehired by the campaign of David Roth, Candidate for the 45th Congressional District during Election 2006.

80th Assembly District: Greg Pettis Releases Plan to Protect Schools From Budget Cuts

Yesterday, I received a Press Release from the Greg Pettis for 80th Assembly District” campaign that summarizes Pettis’ plan to protect the schools and the students from impending budget cuts.

Pettis has already garnered the support of parents, teachers, and staff across Riverside and Imperial Counties in his run to replace the termed out Bonnie Garcia (R).  His plan also proposes solutions to the education crisis in the District resulting from failed decisions on the parts of leaders of the Boards of Trustees of the Coachella Valley Unified School District and the Palm Springs Unified School District.

Pettis’ support in the education community includes Palm Springs Unified School District Trustee Meredy Schoenberger, El Centro Unified School District Trustee Diane Newton, and State Assemblymember Mike Eng (49th AD, member of the Education Committee).

More below the flip…

For Immediate Release:            May 14, 2008

For More Information:            Richard Oberhaus 760-413-7938


Palm Springs-Calling it the “top issue that threatens the health and future of California’s children,” Cathedral City Councilman and Democratic candidate for the 80th Assembly District, Greg Pettis released his plan to solve California’s budget crisis.

“I’m running for the California Assembly because we need experienced leadership to change the way Sacramento does business and reclaim our heritage as the place where children can live their dreams,” Pettis said.

Pettis called the $4.4 billion in education cuts proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger “unacceptable” because of the links between quality education, opportunity and future job growth.

“We can’t balance this budget on the backs of our children, nor can we tell them they are only entitled to a quality education during good economic times,” Pettis said. “It is at precisely these times when we most need to keep our commitment to our kids.”

“Over the last 14 years, I’ve dealt with budget shortfalls in Cathedral City without the option of raising taxes, yet we were still able to protect core services like public safety. We succeeded because we created 1,000 new jobs and targeted key investments like the expansion of Cal State San Bernardino-Palm Desert,” Pettis said.

“We need to take that same approach in Sacramento to protect our public schools, invest in our children and cover every child with health care,” he said.

Among the highlights of Pettis’ plan include:

(1)  Closing billions in tax loopholes and giveaways that are less critical to the state’s well being than its public education system.

(2)  Cracking down on tax fraud by hiring 100 new auditors to go after companies that  are ‘cooking their books’ to show no net profit.

(3)  Creating 100,000 new jobs through micro targeting of loans to distressed communities and investing in green jobs that already bookend the 80th AD.

(4)  Reducing legislator’s salaries by 10 percent until the budget crisis is over to show the public that Sacramento is willing to sacrifice in the name of our kids.

Pettis was joined at the unveiling of his budget plan by numerous teachers throughout Riverside and Imperial Counties who praised his willingness to offer the public specifics rather than relying on 30-second sound bites and empty promises.

“Greg Pettis has made increased funding for K-12 and investment in higher education a centerpiece of his campaign,” said retired teacher Jess Stoddart. “He’s the one candidate who has the experience and the specific ideas to turn those promises into reality.”

The Pettis Plan to Protect Our Kids can be read at www.gregpettis.com/issues.php.