I headed across the bay to San Ramon today to do some precinct walking for Joan Buchanan. I have nothing but respect for Joan, the kind of positive race that she has run, and her dedication to the community. While I don’t share all of her positions, she speaks honestly of where she’s coming from. And I respect that.
So, despite any rain that was falling, and boy, was that drive across the bridge nuts, I was out placing door hangers for Joan. Despite big houses with big private driveways, I ran up those suckers in the rain.
This campaign has done the hard work of contacting voters. They currently estimate over 70,000 voter contacts, which is awesome. They were able to do this with some great support, with over 250 volunteers knocking doors on Saturday, and over 200 on Sunday. And you need all of the voters in this district. It’s one of the highest turnout in the state, with perhaps as high as 85% turnout this election. Over 83,000 absentee ballots have already been returned, and turnout might reach 250K. But Joan and the gang at her campaign have a handle on all of that. I’ll get some more pictures up after the election. Now, it’s time to go out again.
We have a great opportunity to ensure that California’s vital services are protected in the budget. But that means working today and tomorrow. I want to thank everybody for the work that they have done, and the work that they will do. Oh, and thanks for Staying for Change!
There are a lot of myths about Stockton’s politics. It seems there’s more than a few people from California’s coast who could use a refresher course on the nature of Stockton’s politics. It’s a secret, then it’s not.
The fact is that Stockton is preparing to give Democrats an increasing share of its vote on Tuesday. But, the groundwork has been there for a while:
Seven Democratic Clubs are active and working within San Joaquin County, as well as three more political clubs where Democrats predominate. One group, the Truman Club of Stockton, raised and distributed over $25,000 to local Democratic candidates during the last election cycle. Our Central Valley Stonewall Democratic Club is a proud champion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people’s rights here in the so-called “red” portion of California. (Anne Baird)
Through my work in the 5th Senate District I’ve become impressed with this city. It’s surprisingly politically active, lawn signs for political candidates are omnipresent as you drive throughout the city. From the working class neighborhoods to the wealthy communities, people care about the path we pursue politically. Whether I agree with them and their shiny Dean Andal signs, I do marvel at the high participation rate.
But Democrats are rising in this town. Everytime I have been here, there are always people buzzing in and around the Democratic offices. The Wolk HQ is just down the street from the Obama/Democratic campaign office, and both were hives of activity. The same cannot be said for the Republican office in Stockton. It was like a ghost town when I strolled in there on a Saturday afternoon around 2. I did get lots of paraphernalia from the helpful lady, who was very happy to tell me how important Prop 8 was. But, the fact that they had 2 people, who were quite possibly high school kids dragged there by one outside force or another.
But the funniest part of the Republican office? It was located in a former branch office of Delta Bank, a regional bank hit by the foreclosure crisis. (Editor’s Note: Delta Bank is in fine financial form, and I’ve learned they were never involved in subprime lending. I did not mean to say that the bank was in any precarious position, rather I was trying to point out the overall economic condition, including the foreclosure situation. Regional banks are generally faring better than the big guys. See this post. )
But in Stockton, you have to look hard to find something not hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. Stockton is the epicenter for California and the nation’s foreclosure crisis:
In the second quarter alone, one in 25 Stockton homes received a foreclosure notice, one of the highest rates in the nation, researcher RealtyTrac says. Some blocks have been so depopulated that even the Saturday afternoon jingle of an ice cream truck is greeted with silence. The telltale signs of homeownership gone bust? Brown lawns dying in the Central Valley heat and black lockboxes dangling from front doors. (USA Today 10/24/08)
How appropriate is it that the Yacht Party has its headquarters in a failed bank branch? Well, this city will work its way out of this crisis with the help of responsible leaders like John Eisenhut, Democratic candidate for Assembly, and Ann Johnston, the mayoral candidate endorsed by the San Joaquin DCCC.
If Props 4 & 8 and the other props aren’t enough to make you want to stay for a change, you just want a candidate to hit the streets for, check out Stockton. You can walk for the great Democratic slate, and really
If the name Pete McCloskey sounds familiar, you may remember him as a 7-term Republican congressman from California. Paul Norton “Pete” McCloskey, Jr. comes from a long line of Republicans, going back to the 1850s. He served in the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Marine Corps Reserves, and served our country in Korea.
So why’s a former Republican congressman at a rally today endorsing Democrat Debbie Cook for Congress? Because he, like millions of Americans, knows that the Republican party has lost its way. Unlike today’s breed, McCloskey has stood up for ethics and our country’s future. He protected our environment by co-authoring the 1973 Endangered Species Act. He ran for President on an anti-Vietnam war platform. And he was the first representative to call for the impeachment of Nixon after Watergate. He truly put Country before party.
So, rather than traveling to other states to help Obama, McCloskey decided his time was better spent staying home for change in California – and working to get Obama the congress he needs to deal with a country in crisis and desperate for change.
Debbie Cook is an amazing candidate who’s neck and neck with Republican Dana Rohrabacher despite the tough odds in the district. People here are sick of our do-nothing representative who denies the real problems that face our country and our world. How are we to deal with the challenges of global climate change if – like Rohrabacher – we fail to acknowledge that there’s a man-made problem? How can we handle the rebuilding of our foreign policy if we – like Rohrabacher – buddy up with the Taliban? And how can we deal with our disastrous economic situation if we – like Rohrabacher – practice crony capitalism with the likes of Jack Abramoff?
Pete McCloskey knows that the way to do so is to elect better Democrats like Debbie Cook. Sarah Palin brags about her city of 6,000 – but Debbie Cook has been leading Huntington Beach’s population of 200,000 for 8 years. And unlike Palin, Debbie recognizes that our true energy future lies away from oil and gas, and in renewable, sustainable energy sources.
While at Netroots Nation, Pete got his first chance to meet this great candidate. And like many of you, he was won over. So Pete is out this weekend working to help send Debbie to Washington.
Pete knows that Californians don’t need to travel to other states to bring change to this country. If you are anywhere near Orange County or Long Beach, the Cook Campaign needs you in these closing days of the race. Give them a call at 714-842-6358 to find out how you can help turn voters out on Election Day. And if you’re not in the area, please give to help a great candidate close the deal and represent us in Congress.
(And this just in: Orange Juice Blog shares a great, convincing letter that McCloskey wrote to Republicans in the district.)
Below you will find information about GOTV efforts on behalf of Joan Buchanan in AD15 and Fran Florez in AD30. They are both terrific candidates and can use as much people power hitting the streets this GOTV weekend. If any of you can spare a couple hours to help out, it would go a long way. Thanks!
GET OUT THE VOTE for JOAN BUCHANAN
THIS IS A CLOSE ELECTION – AND YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
RSVP Today *** Bring A Friend *** Food Provided
9 AM – GOTV Precinct Walk, talk & door drop hanger
10 AM – GOTV Precinct Walk, talk & door drop hanger
Hey, at least I know somebody’s listening. Mad Props out to the presidents of California and Nevada Young Democrats, Rocky Fernandez and Heather Brown respectively. The two presidents focus on the culture warrior issues on the ballot, Props 4 and 8. Both of these propositions are in danger of passing, but we can work to make sure that these horrible things go down in flames.
I’ve been harping on Stay For Change a lot this week. Yesterday I mentioned that I’ll be in Stockton on Sunday. I neglected to mention my plans for tomorrow, and boy howdy, will it be fun!
I’m staying real local, in fact, just a ten minute stroll from the Casa de Brians. There’s going to be a big rally with leaders like SF Mayor Gavin Newsom, SF Treasurer Jose Cisneros, and SF A-R Phil Ting, as well as comedian Marga Gomez, and all around superstar Donna Sachet. Come on down, get all revved up, and then go walk some precincts and make some phone calls!
I’ve been talking a lot about Stay for Change. Well, I’ve got a chance now to put my time, gas, and energy where my mouth is. The CDP’s Rural Caucus and Take Back Red California are putting together a great event in Stockton (1825 Pacific) on Sunday morning at 10AM.
Assembly Majority Whip Fiona Ma will be there to rally the ‘roots, joining several other local elected officials. Oh, and me! Come and say hi!
Once we hear some good speechifying, we’ll break off to to do some work for Calitics favorite Alyson Huber as well as Lois Wolk (for whom I do some work) and Jerry McNerney. Details:
What: Blue Wave Action event
Who: CDP Rural Caucus, Take Back Red California, Asm. Fiona Ma, Brian Leubitz (That’s me) and tons of fun people…plus you!
A couple of days ago I wrote a diary entitled Stay for Change. I am encouraging Californians to stay in the state. Walk precincts and make calls here in California. And despite all the text messages and emails you get, please we need you here!
We need you here to defeat Prop 8, so that we retain marriage equality and we aren’t stuck with a second class citizenship. We need you here at home, so that we can defeat Proposition 4 to preserve the safety of our teens and choice in California. We need you here to help kick start the greatest public works project in a generation with California’s High Speed Rail project (Prop 1A).
And we need you here to elect More And Better Democrats. Across California we are fighting for a reasonable budget. A budget that doesn’t get defined by the race to the bottom Republicans. To do that, we need 2/3 majorities in both the Senate and the Assembly. Admittedly that will be tough, perhaps even impossible in the Senate. But the closer we get to 2/3, the easier it is to pass a reasonable budget. In the Senate, Hannah-Beth Jackson (19th) is our best shot to pick up a seat. In the Assembly we have some great candidates. You’ll find two, Alyson Huber (AD-10) and Manuel Perez (AD-80) on The Calitics ActBlue Page.
But while the need for money is omnipresent, we need boots on the ground. So, Stay for Change so that California can be the first state to stand up for equality. Stay for Change. Let’s tell the Republicans that they can’t just cut and cut and cut into the heart of our budget, and expect to find a solution.
This is California. We have the people right here in this state to defeat these terrible props, and accomplish our goals. But we need some progressives to stay here in California.
Democratic gains of even a couple of seats on Nov. 4 could ease California’s annual struggle to match spending with revenue. Eight Republican votes are now needed to pass a budget by the required two-thirds majority of lawmakers. If voters reject Republican candidates in some districts, Democrats may have a smaller anti-tax bloc to battle and fewer arms to twist to pass a budget.
This is something we at Calitics have known for years, but the media typically resists speaking this particular truth to the public. Instead they prefer to blame “partisanship” or some unknown budget god for creating this crisis. Of course the budget problems are a direct cause of Republicans, whether it was Prop 13, or their reckless 1998 tax cuts, or Arnold’s VLF and budget balancing bonds, or recent Yacht Party-induced budget delays.
The solution has always been obvious: elect more Democrats and punish Republicans like Mimi Walters and Tom McClintock who don’t vote for budgets at all.
Yet another reason for California progressives to Stay for Change – don’t travel to swing states, travel instead to the key swing districts in the Assembly and the Senate, races that will be the difference between a sane and fair budget and another crippling Republican-induced delay.
UPDATE by Brian: This should be paired with the Dan Walters article I put into the Open Thread yesterday. Walters points out that after November 4:
As a practical matter, then, it will be easier, perhaps much easier, to enact the new taxes that Schwarzenegger, Democrats and groups such as the Education Coalition want when a new Legislature begins its session in December.
I have nothing but respect for the Obama campaign, its staffers, and the many, many volunteers that have given their blood, sweat, and tears to this campaign. It is because of their hard work that we are in a position to win the White House. We should never let off the gas pedal in following through on this election. While the nominee must attend to his personal affairs, we must pick up the slack.
That all being said, I can’t say that I agree with this email that I just got (and video):
With only 15 days left and early voting already beginning, you can make a big difference by Driving for Change. Watch this video and sign up now to let us know you’re coming to Colorado:
I understand this perspective from the Obama campaign. After all, their job isn’t to fight for Democratic principles or anything high-minded like that. It’s to win the presidential election for their guy, Barack Obama. And that’s great. But this election is more than just one race. It’s about more than just Barack Obama. A couple of weeks ago, Robert said something similar over at Big Orange. He spoke of an election that’s slipping away from us, right here at home. A historic chance that we are squandering.
So these next two weeks, why don’t you consider just Staying for Change. Now that doesn’t mean staying for change and spending two hours into a phone bank and that’s it.
Really stay for change. Stay for change by traveling to a new county for Change. You’re in LA? WHy don’t you help Debbie Cook, who is running in a district that starts in Southern LA County and extends into coastal Orange County. She’s got a debate, well, very soon. It’s her only shot at Dana in person, because he’s been skittish to be seen in person with her. Or if you’d like to go further, how about helping Marty Block in AD-78 or Manuel Perez in AD-80.
Want to really Stay for Change in the Bay Area? Why don’t you head up to the Sacramento area. They have several races that you can spend your weekend working on. You can walk and doors for Alyson Huber (AD-10) and Bill Durston (CA-03) and help out two great candidates at the same time. You can drive a few miles east and help out Charlie Brown (CA-04) as he seeks to defeat the carpet-bagging Tom McClintock. Or if you want to stay closer to home, Joan Buchanan (AD-15could use some help in the Contra Costa County area.
And then there are our propositions. We are in very tight races on some of the most important issues of our day: Propositions 4 & 8. Both are slightly ahead in the polls. While turnout is likely to be high this year, we need to ensure that people follow the ballot down the many, many pages and make those important votes against Prop 4 & 8. And on the Yes side? Well, in Prop 1A, we have a tremendous opportunity to steer development in our strength in the right direction.
So, while I don’t frequently suggest ignoring emails from Barack Obama, I’m going to do it this time. Don’t leave the state, but dedicate your time to ensuring that California makes the right decisions this November. And if you want to help Barack Obama, you can make calls right here from the Golden State without pumping all those carbon emissions into the atmosphere. It’s easy and simple to start, just click here and you’ll be making calls for Obama in no time. Your local county committee can also help you get set up to both make phone calls for Obama as well as Staying for Change.