Tag Archives: Perez

Will Speaker John Perez Keep His Promise to Activists About Passing the California DISCLOSE Act?

Last month there was great news for AB 1648, the California DISCLOSE Act.  Speaker John Perez, who is a co-author of AB 1648, stood up in front of a couple of hundred activists at a Los Angeles County Democratic Party meeting and said, to a roaring round of cheers, that “we are going to get the DISCLOSE Act passed!”

This was fabulous news, because the California DISCLOSE Act is crucial to fighting back against Citizens United and unlimited anonymous spending in SuperPACS by making political ads in California clearly show their three largest funders.  Without it voters will be crushed by the Chevron’s and Koch Brothers of the world.

Speaker Perez really has to make it happen because unfortunately, with huge opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce and its big-money corporate allies who would rather keep voters in the dark, it doesn’t look like there’s any Republican Assemblymembers that will vote for it, denying it the 2/3 vote it needs as it currently stands.

Fortunately, Speaker Perez could amend the bill to be a majority vote bill to put it on the 2014 ballot, but he has to act quickly, because the legislative session is over August 31st and it still has to get through the Senate.

The good news is that the California Democratic Party will be fully behind him, since it just endorsed it.   As California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton said:

“The California Democratic Party strongly endorses AB 1648, the California DISCLOSE Act.  We agree with the overwhelming percentage of California voters who favor more disclosure of who is paying for political ads.  Our democracy is at risk when special interests can dominate politics while hiding their influence.”

Not to mention that AB 1648 has 44 Assembly co-authors, that over 65,000 people have signed petitions for it, and it has been endorsed by over 300 organizations and leaders, from the League of Women Voters to Courage Campaign to Sierra Club California.  Everybody knows how important it is to stop corporations and billionaires from buying elections by hiding when they pay for political ads!

Unfortunately, time is running out.  The good news is that at the CDP e-board two weekends ago, Speaker Perez told a number of Democratic activists again that he would get it passed.  One of them reported that “he said that he always gets a bill through after he promises he would do it, and that he has a good track record on doing it.”  He said DISCLOSE Act supporters “needed to concentrate on the Senate as we didn’t have to worry about the Assembly”.

It’s getting a little late, but with promises like that from Speaker Perez, I’m sure he’ll be a hero to Californians everywhere by getting it through — in which case, everybody be ready to help get it through the Senate!

In the meantime, sign the petition yourself at:  http://www.CAclean.org/petition

Carole Lutness

Member of the Legislative Committee of the California and Los Angeles Democratic Parties

Death Of The Republican Party

Often in recent history times of turmoil have been preceded by times of great jubilation and success.  The great depression for instance of this century was preceded by the roaring 20’s.  Such is the current state of the Republican Party in California.  Great joy and a sense of eager excitement have gripped Republicans everywhere in anticipation of great gains in this year’s midterm election.  While pollsters and pundits across the state and nation have predicted massive Republican gains this year, the real story of the Republican Party in California is being written in a little watched race in a place where the economic hammer has fallen the hardest.  In Imperial County, CA, where unemployment is the highest in the State, the Republicans are facing what amounts to Custard’s last stand.

The Republican nominee for the 80th District is a young up-and-coming politician by the name of Steve Sanchez.  Sanchez is a Conservative stalwart, well liked by his party base.  He served for several years under a previous Republican Assemblywoman, who termed out, as her District Director.  Sanchez is a Marine Corps Combat Veteran, active in many non-profit organizations and on the Board of Directors for two local Chambers.  In other words, the perfect pedigree for his race.  By all accounts he has run a solid campaign, the best his opponent has been able to come up with against him is some missing paperwork on a business he owns, hardly a scandal.  Steve Sanchez, a Latino candidate in a District that has been represented by a Republican for 8 of the last 10 years, in a year that is going the Republican’s way, has everything he needs to win.

Steve Sanchez will lose November 2nd.  Surprised?  Don’t be.  Here is the rest of the story.  His opponent, like Sanchez, is Latino.  But his Democratic opponent, Manuel Perez, has received nearly $500,000 in direct support from his party to try and hold this seat.  Steve Sanchez, the only Latino candidate running for State legislature in California, has received less than $50,000 according to the local paper.  That’s right, 10% of his opponents sum.  In many ways this is the story of the Republican Party in California.  In a State with a population that is increasingly Latino, the Republican Party has been completely inept when it comes to giving this important voting block positions of power.  While the complexion of the state has changed, the complexion of the party has stood stuck in suspended growth.  Perhaps the saddest part of the whole story is, they don’t seem to mind.  Even when a candidate falls in their laps, a candidate they probably could not dream up, they turn their nose.

So while the Republican Party may celebrate in great glee on November 3rd, the true story of this election and future elections to come lay in a sad story of abandonment in a County that knows what it is like to be forgotten.  And one day soon the Republican Party will look back and wonder why they ignored Latino’s and their candidates.  Standing in their own unemployment line, they will have time to ponder.

Assembly Democrats Put Up a Budget Worth Fighting For

Finally, there’s a budget proposal worth fighting for, and it couldn’t have come at a more critical time.

On Tuesday, Assembly Democrats, led by new Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez, proposed an innovative budget plan, that closes the nearly $18 billion budget gap while focusing on jobs, as an alternative to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s job killing, all-cuts budget.  

This proposal takes the economic high road by saving hundreds of thousands of jobs for teachers, police, firefighters and other workers, and creating jobs in the private sector that will spur economic growth and new revenues for the state without raising taxes on working families.

Speaker Pérez:

California has to produce a budget that promotes job creation and makes economic sense. We shouldn’t make budget decisions that cut jobs and short-change our overall recovery and long-term growth. The California Jobs Budget will protect and create 465,000 jobs in the private sector and local communities, while also protecting funding for schools, public safety, and a basic safety net.

The proposal would ease California through the worst budget deficit of a generation.  It protects working families from devastating cuts in service like home care and child care, and saves jobs for teachers, police, firefighters and others who provide vital services at the state and local levels.  It proposes only half of the Governor’s fee increase for UC and CSU students, and rejects his proposed $4.3 billion cut in education.  

This package would mitigate deep budget cuts by choosing working families over Big Oil and large multinational corporations.  A new oil severance fee will help fund a private sector job creation program.  And delaying unnecessary corporate tax breaks will save $2 billion that can be invested in job creation, child care, health care, and job services for the working poor.  

The Speaker’s office detailed the proposal in a release yesterday:

The California Jobs Budget closes the state’s $17.9 billion General Fund shortfall and ends the year with a $1 billion final reserve. The centerpiece of the California Jobs Budget is a $10.1 billion Jobs and Economic Stability Fund that will protect against the loss of 430,000 private sector, local community and school jobs in the Governor’s May Budget Revision, and which will also generate tens of thousands of new jobs.  The California Jobs Budget provides $1.5 billion for targeted Jobs Initiatives, repays debts to local governments and schools to avoid massive local government layoffs, and maintains critical employment services and training programs that get people back to work and keep them on payrolls and off government aid.

Predictably, Republicans and the Governor are already attacking the proposal in an effort to try to score some cheap political points as they enter negotiations.

Assembly Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield (D- San Fernando Valley) responded to those attacks yesterday:

The California Jobs Budget protects the private sector job growth we’ve begun to see and it prevents massive layoffs of teachers and cops.  Assembly Republican Leader Martin Garrick is saying he’d rather kill 430,000 jobs in a time of record unemployment than have California join other states in charging oil companies a fee for the oil they take, a fee that experts agree won’t impact consumers.  The irresponsible rejection of jobs and federal funds Mr. Garrick’s position represents is not what Californians want – and it’s not what California’s economic recovery needs.

By unleashing their attack machine without even considering the merits of this proposal and its potential benefits to our economy and middle class, Republicans have once again shown they aren’t interested in meaningful solutions to the budget crisis that will actually get our economy back on track. Instead, the Governor and his Republican allies continue their scorched earth campaign that would eviscerate the state as we know it. We simply can’t let them win. Not this time.  

As progressives and advocates for working families, this is the proposal we’ve been waiting for. And this is precisely the kind of proposal the people of California want. Recent polls show that Californians are seeking a fair budget solution that won’t destroy what we value most: education, public safety, our safety net and other important programs. The Assembly Democrats have stepped up to offer a budget that delivers.

This proposal is a bold and creative step forward that, frankly, we haven’t seen in prior budget fights. But it can’t pass on its own. We need to fight for it. It’s time for everyone who cares about our state’s future to rally around this proposal so that we can achieve where the Governor has repeatedly failed: delivering a budget that protects jobs, education the safety net and finally puts California on the road to economic recovery.

Angie Wei is legislative director at the California Labor Federation, which represents 2.1 million workers in 1,200 unions across the state.


California Forward pushes for final action on budget reform

Nonpartisan reform group asks leaders to make reform part of budget talks

SACRAMENTO-California Forward’s non-partisan leaders today asked legislative leaders to address the long-neglected need for lasting and fundamental budget reform as part of this year’s negotiations over the state budget.

Robert Hertzberg and Thomas McKernan, co-chairs of the reform organization, sent the following letter to the four legislative leaders:

May 12, 2010

The Honorable Darrell Steinberg

President pro Tempore of the Senate

The Honorable John Pérez

Speaker of the Assembly

The Honorable Dennis Hollingsworth

Senate Republican Leader

The Honorable Martin Garrick

Assembly Republican Leader

Dear Legislative Leaders:

California Forward recognizes and deeply appreciates the significant commitment of time and energy that you and the other legislative leaders – as well as individual Assembly members and Senators and your staffs – have devoted to thoughtfully examining our non-partisan plan for comprehensive budget reform.

In both the Senate and the Assembly, members of both parties have been engaged in good-faith discussions and deliberations about how to refine the principles we have identified as key to restoring public confidence in the state’s fiscal operations.  It is particularly noteworthy that these discussions have proceeded even as our proposals have drawn criticism from partisan special interests invested in the status quo and opposed to reform.

As each of you know all too well, another difficult budget season is now upon us.  In our judgment, it is critical that long-term budget reform become part of this year’s budget deliberations.

In the next few days and weeks, each of you will have to grapple with hard choices, and set priorities about the spending of limited public dollars at a time when needs are great and California’s economy remains fragile.

There are no easy answers.  But the current crisis does provide California with the opportunity to finally address the long-neglected need for lasting and fundamental budget reform, and we urge you to take it.

Thanks in no small part to your efforts, this goal is in sight.  In both the Senate and Assembly, real progress has been made in crafting non-partisan reforms based on the best practices of successful businesses and other states, including improved accountability and oversight, better long-term forecasting, setting unexpected windfalls aside, and adopting a pay-as-you-go mechanism for both legislation and initiatives.

Furthermore, our plan provides the first step in rethinking the relationship between state and local government, providing new incentives and resources for communities to start working together to address priorities and bring government closer to the people.

We understand that this work is not yet complete – and that significant hurdles remain before the principles we’ve outlined can garner the bipartisan support necessary to place them before voters in November.

We believe, however, that reform remains our best hope for forestalling future difficulties, and that failing to enact significant reforms this year would only hasten the advent of the next fiscal crisis.

That’s why we ask you to continue to work together to achieve this elusive goal, and urge you to place the reforms we’ve proposed on the ballot.  As always, we stand ready to provide any and all assistance we can in this endeavor, and we would welcome any suggestions you have about other steps we can take to move this process forward.

Very truly yours,

Robert Hertzberg, Co-Chair

California Forward

Thomas V. McKernan, Co-Chair

California Forward

cc:  All Senators and Assembly members

(CA80AD): More than that, at least for now, I cannot promise….

Ethics, honesty, fair play, honor, common sense, intelligence and truthfulness. Some, or all, of these were missing from several of the various campaigns leading up to the June 3rd primary election. Has politics always been a nasty business? Sorry, there are no answers in this blog.


More than that, at least for now, I cannot promise….

    I consider myself a Yellow Dog Democrat and 80th Assembly District candidate Manuel Perez will have my vote in November. More than that, at least for now, I cannot promise.

News of events surrounding the 80th Assembly District Democratic primary continue to surface and some reports have proved troubling. Serious concerns have been aroused by recent revelations of CSEA labor relations representative Dale Wissman’s role as a campaign strategist in the Manuel Perez primary election campaign. It’s now clear that without him some $500 thousand in outside PAC money would not have been available. Wissman’s efforts were responsible for the influx of paid staff and volunteers from San Diego, Rancho Cucamonga and elsewhere outside the district who walked on Perez’s behalf. In an in-your-face victory blog address to those volunteers, while slamming the opposition, Wissman also rightfully claimed credit for the Perez victory and there’s little reason for doubt. Manuel Perez owes his primary win to Dale Wissman! Of the four candidates competing in the Democratic primary, Manuel Perez was the only one so beholden to the support of a single individual. The money, the out-of-district volunteers, and, let’s not forget, the nasty campaign mailings smearing candidate Greg Pettis, were made possible through Dale Wissman’s participation. It’s probably a bit much to classify Wissman as Perez’s Svengali, but the “alter ego” title certainly seems to fit.

Will Dale Wissman continue as a key adviser to an elected Assemblyman Manuel Perez? If so, what will be the affect of his involvement and what will it mean to the constituents in this district? These are questions similar to those one could ask about George Bush or Hillary Clinton. Would one have done a better job had it not been for the presence of a Cheney, Rove or Rumsfeld? Would Hillary Clinton have been a more effective candidate without Bill? The relationship of these principals to their alter egos was such that the latter seemed to exercise positions of undue significance and influence. That’s certainly basis for similar concern over the candidacy of Manuel Perez and his alter ego, Dale Wissman.

These are issues and questions that are troublesome. As for answers, I think both time and further reflection will be needed before I’ve reached conclusions appropriate for me. Until then, I’ll have to stand aside and watch the parade form up and move off without me, for I’m not yet ready. So, “More than that, at least for now, I cannot promise.”

Bond Shands

Palm Springs

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!!!!