Tag Archives: Dennis Morris

SD-15: Can Dennis Morris Get on the Ballot Anyway?

Dennis Morris didn’t make the 3896 magic number to get on the general election ballot the old-fashioned write-in way. However, he thinks he has a plan to get on the ballot notwithstanding the lack of the necessary write-ins:

Pismo Beach attorney Dennis Morris believes he’s found a way to still get on tne November ballot as a Democratic opponent for 15th District State Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria).

Morris, who previously attempted to get onto the ballot through a write-in vote in the June 3 primary, said he’s found a provision of elections law that may get him there.

Section 8605(c) of the California Elections Code allows a write-in candidate’s name to be placed on the general election ballot if a party’s central committee puts the write-in candidate there to fill a vacancy, and if the candidate appeared as a write-in on the primary ballot, as Morris did.(PolitickerCA 7/1/08)

Bascially, Morris thinks that if he gets all five central committees to appoint him as the candidate, then he has to be put on the ballot.  There is some contrary caselaw, but it seems to run contrary to the state constitution:

“A political party that participated in a primary election shall not be denied the ability to place on the general election ballot the candidate who received, at the primary election, the highest vote among that party’s candidates.”

California Constitution, Article II, Section 5(b).

Stay tuned, this might not be over yet…

Abel Maldonado May Have Pulled it Off

Monterey County still hasn’t yet finished its final tally of votes from the June primary election, but from the returns it has so far, and the results from the other four counties in SD-15, the Monterey Herald is reporting that Dennis Morris’ write-in campaign will fall short of the 3,689 votes needed to qualify for the November ballot as the Democratic nominee.

Abel Maldonado, the Republican incumbent, used a loophole in state law to file as a write-in candidate to block Morris and appears to have been successful in doing so, although he didn’t get enough votes to win the Democratic nomination either:

A check by The Herald on Tuesday showed the following county-by-county tallies in the write-in race: San Luis Obispo County, Morris, 1,239-Maldonado, 485; Santa Cruz County, Morris, 188-Maldonado, 117; and Santa Barbara County, Morris, 51-Maldonado, 54…

Monterey County elections chief Linda Tulett said her office is about halfway done processing ballots with possible write-in votes. But many of them don’t have votes for valid write-in candidates, she said, so the total count will be well below the 1,200 raw ballots.

“It’s very difficult for a write-in candidate to get on the next ballot,” she said.

Maldonado’s sleazy aide Brandon Gesicki is already claiming victory, though Morris is refusing to concede. But the numbers do not look good for Morris. Gesicki claims that in Santa Clara County Maldonado has a 53-37 lead, and even if that isn’t accurate, it is clear that there aren’t enough write-in votes to even potentially give Morris a victory.

The author of this failure, Don Perata, is leaving his leadership post on August 21, which cannot come quickly enough. But Democrats need to remember the lesson. It is unconscionable to leave a seat uncontested, especially a seat where there’s a Democratic registration majority, especially when it is one of the keys to getting a 2/3 majority in the legislature.

Dems have been playing “let’s make a deal” with Republicans for a long time now, and hopefully they’re starting to realize how those deals work: Republicans demand, and Dems give in. If Democrats are to advance their agenda and finally solve this ongoing budget crisis they will need a 2/3 majority to do it. Democrats need to make that a priority, and never again repeat the failure to draft a candidate that we saw in SD-15.

Dennis Morris did a great job, stepping up when nobody else – myself included – would. But he has also shown the difficulty of a write-in campaign, and reminded us that Democrats need to be smarter about how they campaign in California.

SD-15: Update on the Dennis Morris Write-In Campaign

The campaign liaison to us blogger folks is providing us with constant updates about the write-in campaign of Dennis Morris, the legal scholar who launched a last-minute effort to step into the breach and get on the ballot to face Abel Maldonado in November in the 15th Senate District.  San Luis Obispo County, where the effort originated, now reports 2,385 write-in votes, an addition of 396 since the count on election night.  As far as the other counties, we have:

Santa Barbara: 413 write-in votes

Santa Cruz County 897 write-in votes

Which brings us to 3,701 votes, with 3,689 needed for passage.  Now, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties have not released their write-in totals, but Frank Russo is reporting that there were 1,182 write-in votes in Monterey County.  That brings us to 4,883.  And that’s without Santa Clara County:

And we don’t have any figures from Santa Clara County that supplied 24.4% of the Democratic votes in this district the last time the seat was contested in 2004. If Santa Clara County voters follow the rule of thumb of the other counties, there should be at least another thousand or more write-ins.

And in each of these counties there are a number of ballots not included in the initial election night sweep-vote-by-mail ballots or absentee ballots as they used to be called that were either dropped off at the polling place on election day or arrived in the mail at the registrar’s office on election day and were not opened until later. Also provisional ballots. These are thousands of ballots that will undoubtedly contain many more write-ins. In fact, Morris’ write in campaign got rolling-as much as it did-late. So a higher percentage of late voters would have been aware of it.

The caveat is that we don’t know anything about what these write-in votes say on them.  They could have Dennis Morris’ name.  They could have Abel Maldonado’s name, considering he petitioned at the last minute to file as a write-in candidate in the Democratic primary.  And they could have Mickey Mouse’s name.  We have no idea at this point.

Still, if all the votes come in at roughly the same level as they had, there’s at least theoretically a decent cushion of votes for Morris to get to the 3,689 needed.  That said, it’s not at all safe, and there’s nothing we can do but wait and see.  We’ll probably now sometime around the middle of the month, as the write-in canvass occurs after all other votes have been tabulated.

SD-15: Morris with 1,687 write-in votes

And Monterey and Santa Clara Counties have yet to report at all.  There’s a half-decent chance he’s going to make it.  And that would be just an incredible story.  A guy gets his ballot, sees no Democrat on it, decides to do something about it, and makes it on the ballot as a write-in?  To quote Joe Biden, “That’s a storybook, man.”

…as long as we’re doing Central Valley Senate races, I should mention that the Denham recall failed.  And Denham was all gloat-y about it.  Congratulations, you beat an unfunded recall.  What a big man you are.

SD-15: Media Failure In California Hits A New High… Or Low

The blogosphere has been talking a lot today, due to the release of Scott McClellan’s book, about the media whitewashes and their failures to properly inform the country in the run-up to war, due to corporate dictates or budget constraints or sheer laziness.  That has a residual effect everywhere.  The same problems we see with the media at the national level are magnified at the local level, where money is even tighter and cluelessness abounds.  I had to do a double-take when I read the LA Times’ paean “GOP maverick” Sen. Abel Maldonado, supposedly in the context of his re-election “campaign” for State Senate.

SANTA MARIA– — Sen. Abel Maldonado crouched to desk level and, with a mischievous smile, enlisted the help of sixth-grader Michelle Grahame to sweat the governor over the state’s looming budget cuts.

The 12-year-old was immersed in her computer animation project, an Earth-like blue sphere hovering behind a curiously grown-up message: “Please don’t cut Education.”

Maldonado, on a tour of Ralph Dunlap Elementary, persuaded her to tweak it to read: “Please don’t cut Education Arnold.” He left with a printout he promised to deliver to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is hashing over ways to close the state’s estimated $2-billion budget gap.

“We’re in some challenging times, but I’ve made a commitment not to cut education,” Maldonado, a Republican, told school officials and PTA members after the tour. “We’re going to have to get creative.”

It was a gentle jab at Schwarzenegger, but Maldonado has crossed the governor and his party leadership before, earning the scorn of conservatives and Republican loyalists. One party official writing on a conservative blog declared that the senator, one of the few Latino Republicans in Sacramento, “is not one of us.”

Those same maverick traits, however, have intrigued party moderates who are struggling to make the GOP more appealing to the fastest-growing segments of the California electorate: Latinos and independents.

I’m flummoxed at why you would publish this glowing profile, which reads like it came right out of Maldonado’s press office, without revealing some information that people might find helpful.  To wit:

• There is a fleeting reference to a “write-in campaign organized by Democrats,” but absolutely no mention of Dennis Morris and his quest to offer the voters in the district an actual choice to the as-of-now unopposed Senator.  Mark Buchman of the SLO County Dems is quoted blaming Don Perata for the lack of an opponent to begin with, but even though Buchman is Morris’ acting campaign chair, the story never allows him the opportunity to mention the write-in hopeful.

• There is NO MENTION AT ALL of the fact that Maldonado has crossfiled to run as a write-in candidate on the Democratic ballot in an effort to short-circuit that campaign organized by those scheming Democrats, no mention of the effort to run on both sides of the ballot.

• There is no mention of Maldonado’s actual record on anything but the 2007 budget, like his vote against the Global Warming Solutions Act, for example.

• There is a mention of Maldonado’s signing on to a plan even more far-reaching than the Governor’s, to SELL the California Lottery, a shortsighted and ridiculously stupid idea that amounts to borrowing against the future yet again, but there is no independent analysis of that proposal; it’s just stuck in there as the midpoint between two supposed extremes and therefore teh awesome.

This is just an abandonment of actual reporting in exchange for a gauzy personal profile.  And considering there’s an election coming up in less than a week, it’s an abdication of responsibility.

Now, the LA Times doesn’t have much of a presence in the 15th Senate District, they don’t have many full-time reporters covering California politics, so they stumble into these half-hearted attempts to inform before election time, and this is what they come up with – a hagiography of a guy who’s running as a Democrat and a Republican to shut down any efforts to challenge him.

This is the media we have in 2008.

Dennis Morris Introduces Himself to California

Last night I met Dennis Morris here in Monterey, as he visited the Democratic Central Committee after introducing himself to voters at the busy farmer’s market downtown. He asked me to post this here – when he wins the write-in vote next Tuesday he’ll have more time to put up a proper website and, hopefully, visit Calitics himself. In the meantime the Monterey County Democrats have more info on this race. -Robert

From Dennis Morris:

I am an attorney and small winery owner seeking the Democratic Nomination for the California State Senate race in the 15th District, a District that comprises five counties spanning from Santa Maria to Santa Cruz.

I am running because I believe every political race should have at least two candidates so that the freer and broader flow of ideas and perspectives are afforded to the People.  Seeing there was no Democratic contender for this race, I immediately contacted my local Democratic Party, filed the necessary papers, and formally announced my intention to become California’s next State Senator for the 15th District on May 22, 2008.

I am running on a platform of change.  I believe government is not sufficiently responsive to constructive changes, and that such changes are needed in this State to balance the budget, improve our economy, ensure our children receive a proper education and reduce the problems of congestion, pollution and overcrowded prisons.  I am a strong advocate of fully funding education, which will provide Californians with both short-term and long-term benefits.  I believe the State budget can be balanced by making government do its job more efficiently and effectively, rather than by making significant cuts to the State’s education and healthcare budget.  I am opposed to the current proposal of balancing the budget by gambling on the possible success of the State lottery.

In line with his position of a more efficient government, I believe taxes should be more fair and simpler to calculate.  I am staunchly opposed to laws that foster loopholes which lends to a spirit of game-playing by the more savy taxpayers and corporate executives.  In my opinion, laws should be simpler, easier to follow and fewer in number.  I believe this more streamlined approach to government will greatly benefit the People, allowing those less privileged to become more legally self-sufficient and more understanding of our responsibilities as Citizens.

To that end, I find the recent decision of the current, incumbent Republican State Senator, Abel Maldonado, to enter the Democratic Primary as a write in  candidate astonishing.  Although apparently legal, it is precisely this type of loophole that I believe must be closed in order to renew and recapture the faith of the People in their government, and in this particular case, to ensure Californians have a choice come November (this reason I decided to run in the first place).

Please join me on June 3rd and write “DENNIS MORRIS” on the ballot as the  Democratic Candidate for the State Senate race, 15th District. I am hoping to garner the required 3689 votes and overcome Senator Maldonado’s last-minute tactic to be put on the ballot in November, which will provide Californians with a choice we may not otherwise meaningfully have at General Election time.

I thank you for your interest in this campaign, and to the principles and ideas expressed herein.

Very truly yours,

Dennis Morris

Why Doesn’t Abel Maldonado Want Voters to Have a Choice?

(Updated with some important quotes below. – promoted by Robert in Monterey)

Earlier this week we brought you the news that Democrat Dennis Morris is running a write-in campaign to get on the November ballot in SD-15, as no other Democrat had stepped up to challenge Republican Abel Maldonado.

Today we learn that the rumors were true – in order to prevent voters from having a choice in November, and so that he doesn’t have to defend his right-wing voting record, Abel Maldonado has filed as a write-in candidate in the Democratic primary in an attempt to keep Dennis Morris off the November ballot. If Maldonado gets more write-in votes than Morris, Abel Maldonado will be both the Republican AND the Democratic nominee in November – even though Maldonado is a self-identified Republican, even though local Democrats have endorsed Morris.

This is a practice known as “crossfiling” and used to be common in California from 1911 until it was outlawed in 1954. Republicans like Earl Warren used to file as a candidate in both party primaries, win both the nominations, and face no November opposition. But when the practice was outlawed in 1954, a loophole remained that allowed an incumbent from one party to file as a write-in candidate from the other. It has been rarely used, but Abel Maldonado, in a Soviet Politburo style move, has employed it to deny Central Coast voters a choice in the November election.

What is Maldonado afraid of? Why doesn’t he want to defend his record in a general election campaign? Is he worried that voters might discover he voted against AB 32? Or that his “moderate” reputation is a sham, as he rated a conservative 20 on the Capitol Weekly’s legislator scorecard?

Whatever the reason, the result is clear – Abel Maldonado is trying to deny his constituents a choice in the November election. It may be a legal loophole, but it is an undemocratic practice. Maldonado should be ashamed of himself, and his effort to block democracy on the Central Coast is an outrage.

It should also motivate Democrats across the state to stand up for Dennis Morris. If we are serious about a 58-county strategy, about making a push for 2/3, we need to help Dennis Morris fend off this undemocratic attack. Contact the Monterey County Democrats or the San Luis Obispo County Democrats to learn more about how you can help Dennis Morris defeat Maldonado’s dirty trick, and give voters a real choice in November.

[UPDATE by Robert] Shane Goldmacher picks up on this at the Capitol Alert and adds some key quotes, showing how important it is that Morris become the Democratic nominee:

Jim Battin, a Republican colleague of Maldonado’s in the state Senate, also saw a “strategic reason” to avoid having a Democrat on the ballot: saving money in the fall.

Maldonado represents the most Democratic-leaning Senate seat held by a Republican, with Democrats holding a four-point registration advantage (40 percent to 36 percent).

That means Morris’ simple presence on the November ballot with the label “Democrat” next to his name would likely force Maldonado to actively campaign in a district that includes all or parts of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

Maldonado is sitting on nearly a million dollars in his campaign account, and the more of that we force him to spend here on the Central Coast, the better off other Democratic challengers will be. If there is anyone in California who thought this was just a fight on the Central Coast, they’re now quite mistaken. It’s now part of the  statewide battle for control of the legislature – and hopefully Dems in other parts of the state will be willing to step up to help.

Also, Goldmacher notes that this write-in crossfiling tactic has been employed before, including by Democrats such as Jack O’Connell. Speaking only for myself, I do not support the practice, and believe the law should be changed to prevent it from happening in the future. Unless, that is, Republicans now support open primaries…

June 2008 State Senate Endorsements

Before we get into the next round of endorsements, we have a few comments in here about how we envision this working.   The endorsements are the opinion of the board, not the community as a whole – we would hope they generate a good discussion about the various candidates in every district.

Furthermore, these are primary endorsements, so somebody is not going to be happy about them. We apologize for that, but if you don't like our opinions, you should let us know that.  Write a comment here. Post a diary about the candidate of your choice.  Let the community know why you think your preferred candidate is the best choice in the Democratic Primary.  Unlike newspapers, this is a two-way medium. We not only accept comments on these endorsements, we encourage it. So, feel free to tell us how wrong we really are.  

And with that said, here are the State Senate Endorsements. Explanations over the flip.

SD-03: Mark Leno
SD-05: Lois Wolk (UPDATED)
SD-09: Loni Hancock & Wilma Chan
SD-12: Simon Salinas / Yes on Recall
SD-15: Dennis Morris
SD-19: Hannah-Beth Jackson
SD-23: Lloyd Levine and Fran Pavley
SD-25: No Endorsement
SD-33: Gary Pritchard

SD-03: Mark Leno
Brian Leubitz works for the Mark Leno campaign, but his vote was not counted.

Mark Leno has been a friend of the netroots from Day One. While his net neutrality bill ultimately died a swift death, on cannot underestimate his willingness to fight for sometimes unpopular issues.  That is not to say that Leno himself is not popular around the Capitol.  He has managed to maintain a presence of collegiality in the Assembly, and it will be valuable in the Senate.

Joe Nation is a good guy, but he's just too moderate for this district.  While we might be willing to support him for, say, McClintock's old seat, SD-03 is not the seat for him.  Carole Migden's blatant disregard for campaign finance rules is troubling, despite her record of fighting for progressive causes. Mark Leno will be the best representative for the district in the Senate.

UPDATE: SD-05: Lois Wolk

We missed this seat in our original endorsment list, but thhis will be one of the big battle grounds come November, despite a strong Democratic registartion advantage.  In 2004, Mike Machado won re-election by oly 1.4%. Asm.  Lois Wolk of Davis will be trying to keep this seat blue. Here challenger in the primary, C. Jennet Stebbens, while a leader in the African-American agriculture community, does not appear to have the resources to wage what will be a tough campaign against presumptive Republican nominee Asm. Greg Aghzarian.  Wolk's been a fine legislator in the 8th Assembly District, and would make the 5th SD proud in the Senate.

SD-09: Loni Hancock & Wilma Chan

The district should be proud that they have two strong candidates like this form which to choose.  Hancock's work for clean money has been exceptional.  Wilma Chan was a wonderful advocate for children and education while she was in the Assembly, and would continue her fine record in the Senate.  The IEs have been somewhat annoying in this seat, but progressives win either way. 

SD-12: Yes on the Recall/ Simon Salinas

While outgoing Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata has “dropped” the recall bid against Jeff Denham, Simon Salinas isn't planning on dropping the campaign.  This district should be a Democratic seat, and Simon Salinas, while not a perfect progressive, would be a far better representative for this district than Republican Jeff Denham.

SD-15: Dennis Morris

This is a marginal district without a Democratic candidate.  Dennis Morris agreed to step up and try to get on the ballot.  He's a non-politician, an intellectual property lawyer to be exact. We hope he can get on the November ballot and give Maldanado at least a reason to spend some money in his own district.

SD-19: Hannah-Beth Jackson

Hannah-Beth Jackson has no primary challenge, as Jim Dantona dropped out a few months ago. However, Hannah-Beth has long been a friend of the netroots through SpeakOut California. She will be a champion of education and environmental issues, and there is no doubt that she will be a better Senator than termed-out Tom McClintock or her own likely opponent, Tony Strickland.

SD-23: Dual Endorsement of Lloyd Levine & Fran Pavley

We liked both Asm. Levine and former Asm. Pavley's appearances on the Calitics Show a few weeks back.  Both are strong leaders on the environment and education.  Levine seemed to understand the long-term issues of the budget a little better, and Pavley's resume of work on the environment was a bit longer.  We do wish that the IEs would cut it out with the lame mailers though.  Whomever wins, the district wins.

SD-25: No endorsement

Asm. Mervyn Dymally and former Asm. Rod Wright are running for the seat of termed-out Ed Vincent. Dymally, who has a tremendous history of leadership in this state, had some problems with handing out badges and could be better on a wealth of issues. Wright is a moderate Democrat courting business interests. We couldn't bring ourselves to endorse either.

SD-33: Gary Pritchard

This is the district of the termed-out Dick Ackerman.  Mr. Pritchard does not have a primary opponent, but he will be a heavy underdog to whichever far-right Republican that emerges from the battle of Harry Sidhu and Mimi Walters. We wholeheartedly support Pritchard's run.  We certainly can't defeat the Republicans if nobody is running against them.

Dennis Morris and the Renewed Opportunity for 2/3

With the announcement yesterday of Dennis Morris’ write-in candidacy for the Democratic nomination in SD-15, alongside four other candidacies which I’ll discuss in a moment, we now have a renewed opportunity to win a 2/3 majority in the State Senate this fall.

Democrats in California have been slow to recognize this opportunity and to take full advantage of it. Don Perata is partly to blame for this, as he blew two priceless chances to help accomplish 2/3 by not finding a challenger to Abel Maldonado here in SD-15, and by prematurely abandoning his backing of the Denham recall a few weeks ago. But despite the lack of support from Sacramento, grassroots activists across the state have mobilized and even put forth candidates to challenge Republicans, in districts both purple and red.

The 2/3 goal is one of the most important tasks facing California Democrats this year. As the state budget requires a 2/3 majority to pass, Republicans are able to leverage their greater-than-a-third minority to hold the budget and therefore the entire state hostage to their ridiculous and reckless demands for spending cuts that hurt the economy and most Californians.

Eventually voters will have to change that rule, but until then, our only option is to do something about it – seek 2/3 majorities in both houses. A 2/3 majority, even if it just lasts two years, would be transformative for California. Democrats could govern without Republican obstruction, and could even govern without Arnold (since 2/3 is also the figure needed to override a veto). Dems could push through structural budget reforms and go to voters in 2010 with a record of accomplishment, instead of having to explain to voters why it’s not their fault nothing gets done in Sacramento.

We are closer to 2/3 in the Senate than we are in the Assembly, as just TWO seats will produce the 2/3 majority that we need. The best chances at this are SD-12 (currently represented by Republican Jeff Denham), SD-15 We have a +3 registration advantage in SD-15, +5 in SD-12, and are only – 2 in SD-19, where we are closing the gap fast (Ventura County gained a Democratic registration majority in the most recent numbers).

The numbers and the budget fight are two compelling arguments for a serious 2/3 strategy by California Democrats. So is the incoming leadership in the Legislature. Karen Bass and Darrell Steinberg are two good progressives, but for their terms in office to have maximum effect, they need bigger majorities. Steinberg in particular can benefit from a push for 2/3, as it will strengthen his hand in budget negotiations for Republican Senators to know that Dems are gunning hard for their seats.

For those reasons we need to give the Democratic Senate challengers as much support as possible over the coming months. We need to start here on the Central Coast – Simón Salinas in SD-12 and Dennis Morris in SD-15 need votes for June 3, which is do-or-die for them both. If the Denham recall fails, Salinas will not have the chance to replace him. And if Dennis Morris does not get the 3,698 write-in votes he needs on June 3, he won’t be the Democratic nominee on the November ballot.

But there are other challengers who deserve our support. Hannah-Beth Jackson is running in SD-19, currently represented by the odious Tom McClintock. This is a seat we can win and Jackson is one of the state’s leading progressives, as seen through her Speak Out CA site. Jackson will be the Democratic nominee for November, and has an excellent chance of winning – but without either SD-12 or SD-15 as well, we won’t have a 2/3 majority.

Finally there are two Southern California Democrats making a bold yet difficult challenge to some of California’s most far-right legislators. Gary Pritchard is running in SD-33 in Orange County, likely against Howard Jarvis acolyte Mimi Walters. In SD-17 Bruce McFarland is taking on Sharon Runner. Although these seats are going to be harder to win, these candidacies show that the California Democratic grassroots is stepping up to fight Republicans and win the 2/3 majority needed to fix California.

Will Sacramento Democrats step up to the plate and help these challengers?

BREAKING: Dennis Morris To Run As A Write-In Candidate In SD-15

A few months ago, observers were shocked when no Democrat filed to run in the 15th Senate District against Abel Maldonado, despite the fact that the district is plurality Democratic.  One such observer was Dennis Morris, a local resident who got his ballot in the mail and saw that he had no Democrat for which to vote.  Instead of shaking his head and moving on, Morris decided to do something about it.  And so today he is mounting a last-minute write-in campaign to get his name on the November Ballot.  From the SLO County Dems:

The San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party endorsed Dennis Morris on May 14th in his write-in bid to run against Republican Abel Maldonado for the 15th Senatorial District which includes all of San Luis Obispo County as well as parts of several neighboring counties. The Party is urging all Democrats in San Luis Obispo County and elsewhere in the 15th Senatorial District to WRITE-IN “Dennis Morris” for that office on their JUNE 3rd BALLOT.

There are TWO steps to the process. First, the bubble to the left of the write-in line MUST be darkened. Second, the name “Dennis Morris” without quotes, must be written in on the write-in line provided on the ballot.

If enough Democrats write-in on their June 3rd ballot, Dennis Morris will be able to appear on the November ballot as the Democratic Party candidate for the 15th District Senatorial Seat.

This is crucially important.  With the possible demise of the Denham recall and an unopposed Maldonado seat, Democrats were missing out on two of their best opportunities to achieve a 2/3 majority in the State Senate.  Morris’ bid at least provides the opportunity for a real race in one of them.  Don Perata allegedly prevented top local Dems from running in this race.  But this is a people-powered action that could actually be more impactful.

My spies tell me that Morris would make a good candidate.  He’s a non-politician, a former legal scholar who retired to grow grapes on his vineyard.  There are parallels to Jerry McNerney’s first candidacy, accomplished through a write-in ballot in 2004.  That ended well.  Maybe this will too.

I’m scrambling to get more information from Morris and hopefully set up an interview.