Tag Archives: Adriel Hampton

CA-10: Yesterday’s Victory and Tomorrow’s Challenges

What a night! As you may have seen, last night I was the highest vote-getter in the 10th Congressional District special primary election and will now face Republican David Harmer in the November 3rd general election.

I want to thank our incredible team of hard working volunteers. They spent countless hours knocking on doors, making phone calls, and making their presence known at community events throughout the district. Our success would not have been possible without them, and they have my deepest gratitude. Because of their efforts, we won all four counties in the district.

I also want to take a moment to acknowledge my competitors in this election:

To David Harmer: Congratulations on your victory among Republicans. I look forward to two months of dialogue focused on the issues and solutions that matter to the people of the 10th Congressional District. I intend to make it clear that a radical right wing agenda that seeks to stop health care reform, starve the education of our children, fails to finance the transportation and infrastructure systems we need, and advocates more tax breaks for the most wealthy is not in the interests of the people of the 10th Congressional District, California, or America.

To Senator Mark DeSaulnier: Your health care town halls helped establish an important dialogue in the campaign about the need for comprehensive health care reform. You are an institution in Contra Costa County, and you have many admirers. You deserve special acknowledgement for your work seeking a constitutional convention. The two-thirds majority requirement has worsened California’s problems and I look forward to working with you to bring a working democracy and majority rule back to California.

More over the flip…

To Assemblymember Joan Buchanan: Thank you for highlighting the concerns of small businesses in your campaign. I look forward to having a conversation with you about innovative ways we can promote job growth in the region. As a former school board member, you also helped focus the debate on education policy, and I thank you for that. I think you’d agree that in the long term, a sound investment in education is the most important economic stimulus of all.

To Anthony Woods: I’m not the first person to say this and I won’t be the last: you have a bright future in politics should you choose to pursue a political career. I first joined the state legislature around your age, and I quickly fell in love with public policy. You have an intelligence, grace, and resume that is worthy of elected office. Thank you for your service to our nation; and thank you for helping to make the issues facing LGBT people a focus in this campaign. You deserve the freedom to openly serve our country, and I pledge that one of my first acts in Congress will be to co-sponsor legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

To Adriel Hampton: Thank you for highlighting the importance of online outreach. We followed your use of social networking and Web 2.0 tools, and I look forward to chatting with you about the ways we can use the Internet to better reach out to our constituents. You were an accessible and upfront candidate and have my sincere respect.

It’s been a hard fought campaign, and now that the primary is over, we Democrats must unite. We will not allow radical, regressive right-wingers, with their block-progress-at-all-costs agenda, to get a toehold here is the 10th Congressional District – this is a forward-looking, forward-thinking, progressive Democratic district and I intend to fight for every vote to keep it that way!

I look forward to working with President Obama and the Democrats in Congress to protect Social Security, fix our broken health care system, create jobs, broaden educational opportunity, protect the environment, and bring needed federal money back to the district. This election was truly a wonderful experience. I can’t wait to get to Washington, DC to represent the people of the 10th and begin to tackle the many challenges facing our nation!

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi is the Democratic nominee for California’s 10th Congressional District. He is a University of California regent, California State University trustee, chair of the California Commission for Economic Development, and chair of the California State Lands Commission. He was a twice elected State Insurance Commissioner, Deputy Interior Secretary under President Bill Clinton, and a Peace Corps volunteer. A special election will be held on November 3rd. For more information, please visit http://www.garamendi.org.

CA-10: An Interview With Adriel Hampton

We have less than 50 days until the special election in the 10th Congressional District to replace Ellen Tauscher, who resigned to take a job at the State Department.  The candidates include local members of the legislature, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, and several candidates with interesting resumes.  There’s even word that New Age guru and Oprah pal Marianne Williamson may get into the race, although she doesn’t have much time to make her decision.  The 2nd quarter fundraising totals revealed some interesting outcomes, and the campaign staffs have debated who has the most local support and the most endorsements.  There’s even a burgeoning controversy about Ellen Tauscher’s presence on Sen. Mark DeSaulnier’s mailers, which may violate the Hatch Act now that she works in the State Department.

We’ve heard a lot about strategies, funding and endorsements, but a little less so about where the candidates stand on the issues.  So I’m making an effort to interview all the Democratic candidates in the race, to discuss their views on the type of vexing problems that the country faces which they would be expected to deal with in Congress.  The first candidate to respond was Adriel Hampton, the former Political Editor at the San Francisco Examiner and an investigator in the SF City Attorney’s Office.  What follows is a paraphrased transcript of the interview I conducted last week.

DD: Thanks for taking some time to talk with me.

Adriel Hampton: Thank you for contacting me, this is great.

DD: How are things going with the campaign?

AH: Things are good.  I kind of feel on the razor’s edge here, where I could either do really well or crash out.  Obviously, (Anthony) Woods and I are the underdogs, while the elected officials are duking it out.  Woods focused on fundraising and did a pretty good job, while I focused on building a volunteer organization.  I’m working on voter ID in a distributed way using volunteers, and I’ve dropped 8,000 pieces of literature, half of it myself.  I have two little kids, and I’ve been canvassing basically every night after they go to sleep since April.  I got a designer in Los Angeles to deliver sharper literature, with a better printer, and I’m starting some targeted PAC fundraising among peace groups and progressive organizations.  I think Anthony and I are running a bit to the left of the field.  And then you have the possibility of Marianne Williamson getting in, and she has a major public profile as well as having worked with Kucinich in the past.  I think she takes votes from everybody a bit, but certainly (Assemblywoman Joan) Buchanan.

I’ve just been trying to build a consistent presence on the ground, through appearances and volunteer events.  The other campaigns have big staffs, especially (Lt. Gov. John) Garamendi.  (Sen. Mark) DeSaulnier has the Democratic club circuit down, and Garamendi is kind of running an air war.  But the poll he put out showed an 80% name ID and only 24% of the vote.  I’ve been campaigning everywhere, all over the district, and we’ll see how it goes.

DD: Let’s get into the issues.  I’ve been looking at your 12 ideas to change the nation, and right at the top is economic reform.  Could you talk about that a bit?

AH: Absolutely.  I got into this race to discuss economic issues and taking on Wall Street.  In fact, I was strongly considering running a primary against Ellen Tauscher, I have been critical of her since her vote to authorize the Iraq war.  Then I learned about how she was one of Wall Street’s biggest friends.  I’m running as an economic progressive.  A big problem with the Democratic Party is that they consistently fail everyday citizens on economic issues.  In many ways, they’re just as corporate as the other party.  I was active in the grassroots against the Bush bailout.  Obama brought in some of the same people responsible for taking us down that road with Wall Street.  I supported the stimulus, and the opportunity for New Deal-type spending, but I think we need to go further and break up the political power of Wall Street.

DD: You mention supporting credit unions.  How exactly would Congress be able to do that?

AH: I think we can favor them with an FDIC guarantee, promoting them as an alternative to the global banks.  During the financial crisis, the banks outside the big national firms tended to do better.  And so I think we should encourage that more local approach.

DD: There’s been a lot of talk recently about bankslaughter, this idea that we could add a new crime to hold bank managers personally responsible for behaving recklessly or in a negligent way.  Do you support bankslaughter?

AH: I would tone down the name to enact popular support!  But you know, when you see someone like Angelo Mozilo, he certainly engaged in what I would call a dereliction of duty.  I don’t have a problem with holding bankers personally responsible for failing to hold to certain consumer protections.  What I’ve seen is that the grassroots folks who are not necessarily active in politics are very receptive to this.  They want to see some accountability.  And I don’t want to harp on Obama entirely about these issues, he needs a progressive Congress as well to push this through, it’s not all on him.

DD: OK.  Another one of your 12 issues I read kind of surprised me, it was about conscience clauses.  As it turns out, there was a federal ruling recently saying that pharmacies must dispense the Plan B pill and cannot use their religious beliefs to deny women legal medical aid that they seek.  How you do respond to that?

AH: I am not for restricting access to the morning after pill or abortion information.  All I’m saying is that there has been a robust system of jurisprudence around reasonable exemptions.  You cannot fire disabled people because they cannot perform one task in a job, you have to make an exemption.  If a pharmacist doesn’t want to provide those pills, some other pharmacist can in their place.

DD: But some people live in rural areas where they have no other choice but one pharmacist for possibly hundreds of miles.  If that person doesn’t want to provide legal services, shouldn’t he find another job?

AH: Well, I’m for reasonable accommodation, not blocking access to health care.  I believe in allowing people to exercise their individual liberties as long as they don’t infringe on others.  I’m willing to talk about the nuance of issues like this, to see if we can come to an understanding.

DD: The biggest issue in Congress right now is health care.  Where do you stand?

AH: Well, I’m for single payer.  Pete Stark, up here in the Bay Area, decided to vote against that cap and trade bill because it was too weak, and conservatives now love him for it.  But I don’t think that should come into account, and I don’t think the grassroots should give up.  Some of my opponents say we should get what we can get, but we might lose the momentum for reform if we do that.  But I understand that we have to treat those millions of people who are suffering right now without health insurance.

DD: Let me ask you this, would you agree to refuse to sign any bill without a robust public option that is available immediately and can use Medicare bargaining rates to drive down costs?

AH: You know what, I would.  I would not vote for anything that didn’t severely change the insurance system.  I’m not a violent person, but the system is so violent right now that I feel the need to do violence to it.  And the same with war funding efforts without drawdowns and timelines, I couldn’t vote for that.  I know that the ads would kill me, defying the President.  But I think it’s important to talk about the issues, meeting as many people as I can, going right to them and explaining myself.  There have to be lines in the sand.  We have a radical right-wing party in this country that is almost insane.  And the Democrats are playing down the center.  We need some organizing from the left.  Just imagine someone like me, a regular guy, expressing the beliefs of Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee.  I’m not afraid of the word socialist in certain respects.  I think there’s a role for government in equalization, to provide an economic bulwark against death, disease, and poverty.  And I get that regular people in the insurance industry may suffer, but are they worth the struggle of 47 million uninsured?  At least we can start these debates on the left, I think it would result in a better outcome.

DD: Obviously at Calitics we’re focused on the budget issues.  What help do you think the federal government could provide to help get some systemic reform here?

AH: Well, I voted all No on May 19, because I didn’t see any serious reform efforts in there.  One benefit of the problems now in California, which are tragic, is that I hope people are waking up.  There’s such a right-wing influence in the media and the popular consciousness.  As it turns out, California’s taxes are not progressive.  I just think there’s a rage on the populist level that can be tapped by progressives.  Everyone in this race is a strong liberal, but I think I’m the only progressive, fighting for progressive taxation and labor rights.

DD: So what reforms can we get out of Congress?  Some want the Feds to provide loan guarantees to the states, or they can condition a second stimulus to real budget reform, or even take Medicaid out of a state/federal partnership and into the realm of a purely federal program to smooth out outcomes throughout the country.  Where do you fall?

AH: Probably along the lines of more extreme reforms.  I appreciate Calitics’ reporting on this.  The loan guarantees sound like a good idea.  I could live with centralized funding of Medicaid with local administration.  And I’m for carrots and sticks in any stimulus funding, the idea that if you bail out a state, they have to have additional guarantees.  Overall, I’m for structural reform.  One of my opponents, Sen. DeSaulnier, is pushing a Constitutional convention.  But we all need to stay on top of that.

DD: One final question, with respect to Iran.  You wrote in your 12 points to change the nation that “I will oppose, by any means necessary, Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon.”  Obviously, a lot has happened since you wrote that.  Are you revisiting this, and how can we engage with Iran now given the scenes of repression?

AH: Iran is one of the most difficult issues we have right now.  We shouldn’t forget the amazing turnout in their election, almost 85%.  What did we have for the special election, 25%?  We shouldn’t really be in the position of telling Iran what to do.  And you cannot give a state democracy, the people have to want it for themselves, things have to happen.  Military intervention in Iran right now would be terrible.  And we have to be careful, because the students over there are already being scapegoated as US puppets.  It’s also an open question whether Mousavi has clean hands, or if he’s just an outlet valve for the current system.  But I still believe we have to have negotiations.  I think Woods and I are the only two who said that at our last forum.  Garamendi was talking about banning the import of refined oil.  That would only hurt everyday people in Iran.  So I think we need diplomatic relations and a strategic dialogue.  I’m not happy about dealing with Ahmadienjad, but you have to play the hand you’re dealt.

DD: OK, thanks-

AH: Can I add one final issue?  I am the only candidate in the race who supports the full legalization of marijuana, I think Woods supports decriminalization.  We’re seeing a modern prohibition movement, and that leads to inefficient and dangerous outcomes.  We have a highly regulated alcohol industry, and I think we could do the same thing with marijuana.  I don’t smoke, but people like me, squares, need to say, “what is the policy benefit of continuing the drug war?”

DD: All right.  Thanks for your time.

AH: Great, thanks.

CA-10: Quick Sprint To September 1

The primary election in California’s 10th Congressional District is set for September 1, with the general election on November 3.  If nobody gets 50%+1 on September 1, the top vote-getters in each party advance to the general election, and given the orientation of the district, the top Democrat on September 1 will be the next Congressmember from CA-10.

The New York Times read off the conventional wisdom yesterday:

The lieutenant governor, John Garamendi, is considered the early favorite to replace Ms. Tauscher. Mr. Garamendi, a Democrat who had considered running for governor next year, said he opted instead for Congress in large part because of the abbreviated campaign […]

Mr. Garamendi’s principal challengers among the Democrats, some polls show, are State Senator Mark James DeSaulnier and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan. Both were elected to their current posts last fall […]

The rest of the Democratic field is not as well known, though one candidate has attracted some national attention: Anthony Woods, a 28-year-old graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a veteran of the Iraq war who was awarded the Bronze Star for two tours of duty. Shortly after his return from combat, while at Harvard working toward his master’s degree, Captain Woods told military superiors that he is gay, resulting in an honorable discharge […]

Others in the Democratic field include Tiffany Attwood, a local planning commissioner and self-described “mom who plays soccer” – do not call her a soccer mom – and Adriel Hampton, a former reporter for The San Francisco Examiner who said he was entering politics because of a “Howard Beale moment,” referring to the fictional insane anchorman from the 1976 film “Network.”

We’re slowly starting to learn further details.  While candidates don’t need to announce fundraising totals until July 15, Anthony Woods got the jump by announcing that he raised over $100,000 from 800 donors, which his campaign reports as twice as many as the number of donors John Garamendi announced a week earlier.  He’s pushing his online efforts:

Woods’ campaign is also leading his CD 10 competitors in online fundraising and online organizing. According to ActBlue.com, Woods is far outpacing the two other Sacramento politicians in the race-State Senator Mark Desaulnier and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan-in internet fundraising, and Woods has organized more supporters on Facebook (more than 4,700) than every other CD 10 candidate combined.

Woods has captured some national attention, particularly in the blogosphere, and we’ll see if that translates to a quick-sprint campaign.  John Garamendi seems not to think so:

Garamendi said it’s a three-way race, and he’s not counting Woods as a top-tier candidate: “He’s a serious young man that’s capable, and he’s got a national issue and a good story to go with it. And that’s to his benefit.”

But he said Woods is similar to the half-dozen or so other confirmed or prospective candidates who lack a natural base for their campaigns: “Everybody regards me as the front-runner.”

To that end, Garamendi secured a local labor endorsement, from the Alameda County Central Labor Council.  There’s a small patch of Alameda County in the district, particularly around Livermore.  But the dynamic in the race thus far has been that Mark DeSaulnier locked up all the early local support, including Contra Costa County’s Labor Council, and Garamendi had roped in the national labor groups.  The Lt. Governor getting local labor support helps him with manpower.

I hope to have much more on this race as it moves forward, including some discussions on the issues currently facing Congress.

…couple updates.  I hadn’t realized that Garamendi announced a $300,000 haul for the last quarter about a week ago.  Also, per babaloo in comments, the Alameda County Central Labor Council made a dual endorsement of Garamendi and DeSaulnier.

CA-10: First Major Candidate Forum In Walnut Creek

Given the relative ambivalence in recent special elections in California, where members of Congress have been elected with 10,000 votes or less, I’d consider it an accomplishment that hundreds of people flocked to the Walnut Creek Jewish Community Center last night, on a Friday night, to hear from six of the Democratic candidates who will seek to replace Ellen Tauscher in CA-10, once she is confirmed to an appointment at the State Department and resigns her seat.  Reader dslc has a short on-site commentary here, and Lisa Vorderbrueggen has provided lots of multimedia over at Political Blotter.  The audio recording doesn’t seem to be working right now, but she had videos of every candidate’s closing statement.  In case you’re just tuning in, those candidates include:

Lt. Governor John Garamendi

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan

Adriel Hampton

Anthony Woods

Tony Bothwell

(Bothwell is a San Francisco-area attorney who doesn’t yet have a campaign website, but here’s his law office site.)

Sadly, this is pretty much the extent of major media coverage that exists of yesterday’s event, despite several hundred residents and a Congressional race that impacts hundreds of thousands.  Our dwindling press corps is definitely a problem.  But based on the closing statements, you can decide for yourself who performed well last night.  I’ll just throw around some other links as the race really kicks into gear.  As a side note, apparently Garamendi brought out the giant golden bear clearly planned as his mascot for a gubernatorial race.

Luke Thomas interviews Joan Buchanan for the Fog City Journal, and Buchanan comes of as pretty knowledgeable about the challenges we face.  She foregrounded her support of mass transit and BART expansion, health care reform (she supports single payer but wouldn’t commit to supporting HR 676, and thinks that a plan currently moving through the House with a robust public option could be a “stepping stone” to single payer) and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (she generally supports Obama’s position).

• Also in the Fog City Journal, Harold Brown has an op-ed about Adriel Hampton, claiming that “SF lefties are missing an opportunity” by not rallying to his campaign.

• Anthony Woods is getting a fair amount of attention on the blogs.  AR Dem profiled him in this MyDD user diary, and today, Woods took questions at Firedoglake in a live chat session with Howie Klein.  I thought he served himself well.

• There’s another Democratic forum scheduled for July 2 in Antioch (Antioch City Hall, Second and H streets).

A couple updates:

• Lisa V. fixed the audio feed, which you can find here.  Her story on the forum is here.

In the first central Contra Costa County showdown of Democratic candidates vying for the chance to replace Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a packed room Friday night heard little in the way of substantive policy differences but saw vastly disparate approaches.

Relative youngsters Adriel Hampton and Anthony Woods, 30 and 28 respectively, emphasized their lack of ties to the establishment […]

The high-profile candidates with decades of political experience – Lt. Governor John Garamendi; Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo; and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord – stressed their individual policy strengths.

Also, there’s actually another forum this Tuesday, June 23, sponsored by the El Cerrito Democratic Club.  It starts at 6:30 p.m. at Fellowship Hall, El Cerrito United Methodist Church, 6830 Stockton Avenue (at Richmond Avenue), El Cerrito.

…additional analysis of the forum from Halfway to Concord.

In SF and the East Bay, Honoring the Fallen

San Francisco’s Presidio will host a tribute to fallen soldiers, Monday, with a parade beginning 10:30 a.m. at the Main Parade Ground, Sheridan Ave. and Montgomery St., followed by an 11 a.m. program with special tributes to Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the Buffalo Soldiers. That night, I’ll join Sen. Mark DeSaulnier at the vigil at the Lafayette Crosses.

Guests for the Presidio memorial include Congresswoman Jackie Speier, State Sen. Leland Yee, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Daly City Councilman David Canepa and Buffalo Soldiers Museum and Library Director Ulysses Moore. Raymond Wong will perform the duties of master of ceremonies, coordinated by San Francisco Veteran Affairs Commission President Wallace Levin. Following the program, the Presidio Main Post Chapel will host a 1 p.m. interfaith service, 130 Fisher Loop at Sheridan Ave.

In the evening, Monday, the East Bay will gather at the Lafayette Crosses, Deerhill Rd. across from the Lafayette BART station, for a vigil honoring the nearly 5,000 servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program will focus on ending the nation’s dependence on oil and support for alternative energy. Guest speakers include Sen. DeSaulnier and me.

I hope you will join the San Francisco program, coordinated by my friend and colleague Wally Levin, for an impressive tribute to the African American horsemen who patrolled the west following the Civil War, 450 of whom rest in the Presidio.

In the evening, we will again honor the dedicated soldiers who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. I earnestly pray for the day when we are able to honor their sacrifice with shovels in the ground, as more Americans willingly put their lives at risk to rebuild our war-torn world.

Adriel Hampton is a journalist, Gov 2.0 and new media strategist, public servant, and licensed private investigator. He is running for U.S. Congress in the 2009 special election for California’s 10th District.

Meeting the Diablo Valley Dems

First, kudos to Brian Leubitz, out tonight talking blogs to a more traditional crowd who hopefully will take opportunity to get more involved in self-publishing. It’s so easy to preach to the choir when it comes to social media, and Brian is expanding the base for the progressive blogosphere. You can check out some of my live tweets from Brian’s discussion with the Diablo Valley Democratic Club over at @adriel4congress.

A bit disappointing tonight in that we expected to have a brief candidates forum, but it was called off due to the apolitical library venue. Chris Buchanan was again subbing for his mother, Joan, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi was a no-show. I got some good advice on weaknesses in my first forum from a local delegate.

This looks to be a real fight, no quarter asked, none given.

CA-10 Candidates Forum at the Tri-Valley Democratic Club

Just wanted to drop a note about the great candidate’s forum in Dublin tonight. It was my first time seeing Anthony Woods speak and I join in the assessment that he’s got a great future in political leadership. Sean Mykael McMullen of Bear Flag Blue and the DeSaulnier campaign did some great live tweeting, and my friend Kaushal Khalla took a bunch of photos (OK, most of them are of me) and posted to Facebook.



#CA10 : Online Organization

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

That is the day that Ellen Tauscher announced that she would be accepting the job as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. For all intents & purposes, that is also the day the campaign for California’s 10th district got under way.

First there was Adriel Hampton, and then Mark DeSaulnier, soon after Joan Buchanan jumped into the fray, and then Anthony Woods, and most recently, after abandoning his flailing gubernatorial campaign, John Garmendi decided he would run in the 10th as well.

So how are their respective campaigns going so far?

Adriel Hampton has been out on nights and weekends shaking hands with the locals in Walnut Creek, Livermore & elsewhere. I’ve run into him at both the Netroots Nation New Media summit and the CDP State Convention, handing out pens & literature. He’s got up a few websites to spread his message, and has his facebook site, as well as a weekly radio show on blogtalk radio. When it comes to Twitter, Adriel is the reigning king, often posting dozens of messages in a day.

When it comes to campaign websites, Anthony Woods’ team clearly understands the importance of an online presence. Woods has one of the slickest sites I’ve seen for any campaign, let alone amongst those in the 10th CD. While he has set up his Twitter account and sent out a few tweets, the clear focus has been on Facebook & ActBlue. In less than a week’s time, Anthony has been able to accumulate over 1500 supporters and has already collected $15,000 dollars. He’s also been spreading his message through my.barackobama. Pretty impressive, especially when you consider the fact that he spent the last week on the road, driving cross-country from the East Coast.

I’m not sure where he stands in the money game as he transitions from his gubernatorial run, but even John Garamendi really seems to be getting it when it comes to online operations. While his current campaign website may still be a bit disjointed between his current position as Lt Gov, a run for Governor, and his campaign for Congress, he is clearly filling in the gaps elsewhere. Garamendi makes a habit of posting a couple tweets through the day and has taken to personally thanking individuals that join his facebook group or add him as a friend. It’s a classy touch. Garamendi has also been posting diaries on various issues at Calitics & DailyKos and has taken to posting his campaign videos to YouTube. He also just released a poll which has gotten some play, showing that his name recognition & favorability ratings make him a clear frontrunner.

Joan Buchanan was the first to put out polling that showed her with a marginal lead over DeSaulnier in the district. She hasn’t really taken the jump into the online game yet, although she has set up a place holder website for her congressional run, and started a facebook group. Her ActBlue page is nicely integrated into her website and she’s already managed to collect over $5000 dollars. I get the impression that her campaign is doing a lot of preparatory work behind the scenes before she makes her big push.

That leaves us with Mark DeSaulnier…

I’m not exactly sure what the hell these folks are up too. Before Garamendi entered the race, DeSaulnier had locked up the endorsements of the democratic establishment as well as grabbing the endorsements of local labor, making him the early favorite. That was weeks ago and since then they seem content to rest on those laurels. Endorsements are nice and all, but they don’t really mean squat if the candidate isn’t getting his message out, and as of yet, the DeSaulnier camp is clearly not getting it. They have a Twitter account, but the problem is that they aren’t using it, and they wouldn’t even be that far along had Adriel Hampton not taken it upon himself to register the thing. They may want to think about reclaiming their name and getting to it. There is a Facebook group, but there isn’t really a whole lot going on there, and whoever is in charge of setting up the Facebook events has the problem of setting up meetings that look like they’re ongoing through the month, rather than taking place on a specific evening, which has led to some confusion. The DeSaulnier camp does have a basic website, but once again, the focus seems to be on endorsements, less on outreach. Even the ActBlue page isn’t very well integrated, and has only managed to bring in about $1000 dollars. Why they didn’t just make some simple edits to DeSaulniers regular website, until they could roll out something better rounded is beyond me. Last week the DeSaulnier campaign held three major kick-off events, but you wouldn’t know it, unless you happened to be there. Nevermind the traditional media, there is absolutely no presence in the blogs. Like a tree falling in the woods, there hasn’t been a peep about them. After renting space & equipment and having food catered in, I’m guessing that was one expensive tree, which did nothing but to offer some warm fuzzies to folks who were already planning on supporting Mark in the first place. Between the three events, I understand they managed to come up with maybe a dozen people to do phonebanking, so they weren’t a total loss I guess. Certainly didn’t offer the splash they could have though. It’s been a month and a half since this campaign started and from my eyes they are no further along than the day they locked up their endorsements. DeSaulnier does realize he’s running for Congress here right? It’s kind of a big deal. Get it together man.

While I feel that all of the candidates could be using online social media tools more effectively, its nice to see that the majority of the candidates running in California’s 10th seem to get the importance of an online dialogue with their constituents. It’s disappointing that the two candidates that don’t seem to be getting it happen to be my local legislators. I’m especially frustrated to see Mark DeSaulnier, who is considered by many to be the local favorite, making no attempts at getting further involved with the online progressive community.

X-Posted @ BearFlagBlue

CA-10: Garamendi Leads Among Likely Voters

That’s the verdict according to a J. Moore Methods poll that dropped over the weekend and that found its way into my hands this afternoon. Remember that this is an open primary – if someone gets more than 50% they win; if not then the top candidates from each party go to a runoff. According to the poll, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi leads among likely voters (36% have no opinion):

Garamendi Rupf DeSaulnier Buchanan
Support: 24 17 13 10
Known: 80 20 39 45
Favorable: 35 9 16 17
Unfavorable: 12 9 13 12

(Rupf is Republican Warren Rupf, Sheriff of CoCo County)

The personal ratings are included, which show that Garamendi also has a big name ID and favorability advantage over all his challengers. Voter turnout is projected to be 30%, with 55% Dem, 33% Rep, and 12% DTS.

Of course, Garamendi doesn’t have a 50% lead here, and the election hasn’t even been scheduled yet. There’s time for either DeSaulnier or Buchanan to try and catch up, but it’s going to be a difficult climb. Garamendi’s high public profile and ability to raise money for this campaign will be significant advantages. DeSaulnier, a solid progressive who would also make an excellent member of Congress, can counter with strong on-the-ground support, but it’s unclear if that can trump Garamendi’s built-in advantages.

This leads me to wonder if Buchanan plans to stick around in the race – I can’t see her getting very far against this kind of opposition. Or perhaps DeSaulnier might step back and let Garamendi take it. So far as I can tell, however, both fully intend to continue their run.

Neither Anthony Woods nor Adriel Hampton were included in this poll, but I can’t imagine either one would meaningfully impact the outcome.

So as far as I can tell this is Garamendi’s to lose. We’ll see if this poll shifts the landscape at all.

Winning Means Issue-Based Coalitions

At Netroots Nation’s New Media Summit last night, my staff and I ran into a couple of folks who seemed to have formed impressions of my platform based on my discussion of the April 15 tea party events. These erroneous assumptions about my platform and my campaign highlight a problem in the modern progressive movement – especially online – that I believe has stopped us from succeeding on issues such as the Patriot Act, FISA and big bank bailouts. To succeed, the progressive movement must be willing to coalition build and to act magnanimously in power.

I am a well-known government reform advocate (under the auspices of Government 2.0 – a move to increase transparency and collaboration between officials and the governed) and a far-left progressive with a track record of advocating for neighborhood-focused politics and progressive candidates. My platform is public, my cell phone number is public, my home phone number is public, my blog is public, my radio show is public, my tax returns are public.

I know how to coalition build to make positive change in our communities and in the federal government. When people are angry about taxes, bailouts and a government disconnected with the lives of everyday folks, you don’t mock them with sexual innuendo and other name-calling. You reach out to them and convince them that your ideas and policies are better. You work with them if your interests align, and you make clear just where you stand on issues you don’t agree on. That’s what I’m doing every day in my run for Congress, advocating progressive economic reform, equal rights for all citizens, an end to the drug war, and a responsive and responsible government.  

If you’d like to help, or if you’ve got a question about something I’m doing or that’s been written about me, just give me a call. The cell is 925-895-3744.

Thanks. To change.