Tag Archives: Anthony Woods

The LGBT Community Of San Joaquin County & The Progressive Movement

Hi there, Nicholas Hatten here. Ye of McNerney ’06 and ’08 campaigns and Stockton’s Drinking Liberally. First time poster but long time lurker. What’s got me so excited that I’ve decided to break my lurking streak? Well, the awesomeness that is San Joaquin County’s LGBT community.

A year ago this month I moved back to the lovely city of Stockton after a decade long love affair with the Bay Area and re-discovering the Central Valley during my time with Team McNerney. Now I was already aware of how progressive leaders like Councilmember Susan Eggman (LGBT icon), Jerry & Carol Bailey (single payer icons), Martha Gamez (uber-grassroots icon) and others had helped change the landscape of politics in the Central Valley. What I wasn’t aware of was how much the LGBT had matured and evolved into a political force during my time away.

More following the flip…

A refresher course might be in order for some. A few years back Progressive Punch’s Joshua Grossman did an excellent job explaining the potential for the progressive movement within San Joaquin County. Since that post, San Joaquin County has seen all of its federal and state elected officials carry over to the blue category with the exception of one. In 2008, Asm. Huber & Asm. Buchanan won previously Republican seats, joining Asm. Galgiani in Sacramento and leaving Asm. Bill Berryhill as the sole Republican voice. Additionally, the city of Stockton successfully swore in progressive Ann Johnston as its mayor. During this time, the Central Valley Stonewall Democratic Club joined the more established Truman Club as a top fundraising machine and helped  not only Mayor Johnston get elected but also Stonewall members and now Stockton Unified School District trustee Colleen Boardman and Lincoln Unified School District trustee Van Ha To-Cowell.  Not bad for a club only in its third year of existence.

Sadly, the 2008 election wasn’t a complete success for the progressive community in San Joaquin County. Despite the before mentioned inroads, an overwhelming victory for President Obama, the re-election of Rep. Jerry McNerney and a democratic voter registration advantage; Proposition 8 easily won in San Joaquin County with a solid 65 percent majority.

So what have teh [Central Valley] gays been up to since then? Well, in 2009 the University of Pacific formed an annual Northern California LGBT conference that invites students and the general public to discuss issues that affect the LGBT community. Elena Kelly, transgender activist organized San Joaquin’s first ever Transgender Day of Remembrance! service, a powerful and emotional evening memorializing the victims of transgender violence.   Recently, a group of energetic youths have launched the Courage Campaign San Joaquin Equality Team and are hosting a fun Mardi Gras meet and greet on April 30th.

And what about the Central Valley Stonewall Democratic Club? Some of you might remember them holding Republican and congressional candidate Mike Berryhill accountable for his homophobic comments last month. They recently  hosted their most successful fundraiser with  LGBT activist and former congressional candidate Anthony Woods as a keynote speaker, endorsed a new round of candidates and are currently hosting a successful series of community forums, like January’s LGBT youth forum, and this weekend’s Toward Harmony: A Discussion of Race, Religion and Sexuality.

After initially being mentored by the Sacramento Stonewall Club, the Stockton based CV Stonewall Club is now paying it forward and is now helping the Stanislaus LGBT community, one of the largest gay communities per capita in the nation (and a county that voted 68 percent in favor of Prop. 8) politically organize by hosting Stanislaus Stonewall Chapter planning meetings . The Central Valley Stonewall Democratic Club members are doing the hard work that Joshua Grossman suggested in his 2007 blog.

So that’s what’s got me so excited this early morning. The vibe out here reminds me of 2005 when progressives all over California joined forces with the  environmental community and sent Richard Pombo packing. With two assembly seats (Buchanan, Huber) being defended and a possible blue pick up (Berryhill), a hot state senate race in Stanislaus County and all the LGBT community outreach, it is an exciting time to be a progressive in San Joaquin County and the Central Valley.

Full disclosure, since returning to Stockton last year, despite their better judgement, I was appointed the Vice-President of the CV Stonewall Club. Please don’t hold that against them. 😀

CA-10: A Quick Post-Mortem

Just a couple random thoughts from last night’s victory for John Garamendi:

• Survey USA has been maligned by some for its robo-polling techniques, but they consistently overperformed other pollsters throughout the 2008 primaries, and they basically nailed the polling in CA-10.  The final numbers track almost precisely with the final vote tally.  Well done.

• These special elections largely come down to name ID, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about that.  The challengers certainly tried – Joan Buchanan spent $850,000 of her own money and got a whopping 12% of the vote.  But Garamendi really cruised to victory in this one.

• Katie Merrill, last seen yelling at the netroots for daring to consider a primary of Ellen Tauscher, became Mark DeSaulnier’s campaign manager, where she devised the craptacular strategy of focusing on Garamendi’s residency requirement, which approximately nobody cares about, instead of building a campaign infrastructure outside of Contra Costa County.  Despite having a minority of residents, in Solano, Alameda and Sacramento counties, Garamendi picked up over 6,000 votes on DeSaulnier, who finished well back in all those regions.  There was no way he could have ever won that back in CoCo, where he lost as well by 2,300 votes.  Maybe introducing yourself to people outside your base would have worked better than the “neener-neener, here’s this technical non-violation” nonsense that is a proven loser.

• Lisa Vorderbrueggen still doesn’t get it.

6. I thought Anthony Woods might break into double-digits. Instead, he ended up with 8.5 percent of the vote. He is a strong candidate who was probably too liberal for the moderate 10th District but he kept the elected officials on their toes. I suspect we will see Woods on a ballot again one of these days.

This “moderate district” thing really has to get flushed down a toilet somewhere.  John Garamendi was endorsed by the California Nurses Association, the most progressive organization maybe in America.  He’s a single-payer advocate.  He’s strongly liberal and far to the left of Ellen Tauscher.  And he won.  Woods’ difficulty was simply a product of name ID and a quick-strike primary.  He didn’t have labor ground troops and that was that.

• Just to reiterate, there will now be a general election between Garamendi and David Harmer on November 3.  Garamendi will be strongly favored.

CA-10: Garamendi Poised For Victory, Only Woods Has Momentum

As John Garamendi touts in a diary here, the most recent SurveyUSA poll shows the Lt. Governor with a comfortable lead in the CA-10 primary set for Tuesday.  I am surprised that another candidate hasn’t talked it up as well, however, because the only candidate showing movement from the previous SurveyUSA poll is Anthony Woods.

In fact, this new poll, from 8/26-8/27, has Garamendi at 25%, Sen. Mark DeSaulnier at 16%, Asm. Joan Buchanan at 12% and Anthony Woods at 9%, with 5% undecided.  The last poll, from 8/10-8/11 was Garamendi 26%, DeSaulnier 15%, Buchanan 12% and Woods 5%.  I don’t think there are enough undecided voters to push Woods much further, but he’s running the only race drawing undecided voters, if the polls can be believed.

Among those who have already voted, the numbers are similar: Garamendi 27%, DeSaulnier 18%, Buchanan 13% and Woods 10%.

Certainly, Garamendi looks very strong for victory, and there aren’t likely to be enough voters Tuesday to favor a late riser, but Anthony Woods is running the only race moving from no built-in support to a credible challenge.  As for the relative flatness of the two state legislators, I’d say the choice by Sen. DeSaulnier to decide on a monomaniac focus on Garamendi’s residency issue, which simply has not moved voters in numerous other instances, instead of giving voters a reason to support him, would offer some answer.  Buchanan has run a self-funded campaign focused mainly on finding female support, but not necessarily a larger message.  In an environment with three safe or fairly lackluster campaigns, the expected form is holding.  Only Woods appears to be taking in new support, but his uphill battle was perhaps too high to climb.

CA-10: One Week To Go

Just a rundown of events in the CA-10 race with a week until primary day:

• Late last week, fundraising reports were due, showing that over $2 million dollars has been raised by the various candidates seeking Ellen Tauscher’s old seat in Congress.  By any metric – total cash raised, cash raised in the last cycle, cash raised since June 30, cash on hand, and cash on hand less debts – John Garamendi has the lead, though much of his money comes from big donors.  Anthony Woods, and to a lesser extent Mark DeSaulnier, have found a smaller-donor base, though Woods’ is mostly out of district.  Joan Buchanan has basically not raised money at all; she has given herself as much as $750,000 in loans and is generally self-funded (and what donations she has not given herself have come from such health industry interests as Wellpoint, one of the largest insurers in America).  I would say the top four candidates probably have enough money to get out the message within their budgets, however.

• The Contra Costa Times, the main newspaper in the main population center of the district, endorsed John Garamendi for the position.  However, their criticism of Mark DeSaulnier, that he “acced(es) to the wishes of organized labor, particularly public employee unions,” gives you an indication of their orientation and whether or not you find them a trusted source.

• DeSaulnier continues to hammer on the largely irrelevant point that Garamendi doesn’t live inside the district.  Here’s a mailer to that effect.  And practically every missive from campaign staff re-emphasizes this point.  I would like their research department to find one instance of when a residency issue like this had any impact on a Congressional race.  I just really think DeSaulnier has missed his target here.  He’s better off showing his progressive bona fides on issues like health care, transportation and the environment, IMO.  This is such a critical time, and residency issues do not appear to be at the top of the minds of people who want to see this country make good on the change agenda from 2008, particularly Democratic partisans who would vote in a special election primary.

• Anthony Woods held another live chat at AmericaBlog this week.  His position in local endorsements always comes at the end and reads something like “we were very impressed with him and think he has a bright future.”

August 4 Open Thread

Some odds and ends from around the state:

• Great news that Californians Euna Lee and Laura Ling will be released from a North Korean prison camp after an intervention by former President Clinton.  I (Dave) know Euna from working with her briefly back in San Francisco, and am very pleased by this news, both for the women, their families and friends, and the tireless activists who worked for their release.  Maybe Current TV, Lee and Ling’s employers, will bother to mention their absence now, for the first time in the four-plus months since they were captured at the North Korean/Chinese border.

• Two ships from California will be heading to the Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean over the next few weeks. The Patch kills thousands of sea birds and scores of other wildlife each year as the plastic is ingested. Once swallowed, it either blocks a digestive tract or poisons the animal, and can never be digested in any meaningful form.

• CA-10 News: Anthony Woods has picked up the endorsements of Richard Clarke, the former White House Counterterrorism czar, Gino Van Gundy, a former candidate in the CA-10 race, and Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez.  The endorsements of Sanchez and Clarke are quite a boon. Along with his national appearances, Woods has been making quite the waves recently.

• News on the money race in the Democratic primary in AD-21.  Openly gay supervisor Rich Gordon holds a very slender lead over his competitors Yoriko Kishimoto, a Palo Alto City council member, Marc Berman, an attorney, and friend of Calitics, Kai Stinchcombe. Calitics has not made an endorsement in this race.

• Lots of money in the Anthony Adams recall campaign, on both sides.  Recall proponents have previously said that they are on track to recall Adams, and now have $81K to play around with. It’s not a huge sum, but likely enough to ensure that the recall will get on the ballot.  And once it’s on the ballot you have the other candidates to push it forward. One rumored candidate is CaveMan Supreme Dick Mountjoy (ya, the guy who ran for Senate in 2006). He served in that seat as it went to term limits, and still has at least one term left. He’s said he’s considering it a long time ago, but I’ve not heard anything definite.

Adams himself has raised $46K in a recall account, and another 200K+ in his own campaign account. That should give him a decent shot of defeating the recall.

• The OC Board of Supes will look at whether to appeal in the pension case involving the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. Pension increases were granted in 2001, but Sup. John Moorlach argued that the County should sue to rescind those increases. Needless to say, as there was no basis for such a change outside of the contract process, the County lost. Moorlach wants to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. His argument to do so? Most of the costs of litigation are out of the way, let’s keep appealing. Uuhhh, not so much, appellate litigation ain’t cheap. Moorlach wants to keep spending taxpayers money to make his point against the unions though. Who knows how this will turn out.

• A couple days late on this, but here’s an appreciation of California’s pride and joy and the hardest-working legislator in show business, Henry Waxman.

• If only it were this easy with the governor: Pacific Grove mayor Dan Cort is going to resign in order to avoid a recall threatened by a longtime local activist. Word is that Cort, a progressive Democrat, had grown tired of spending all his time as mayor dealing with the city’s ongoing financial crisis. The backers of the recall, angry that the city is giving raises to police while cutting other services, are targeting other progressive councilmembers. I [Robert] don’t approve of this, but it makes for interesting theater in the town a few blocks to the west.

CA-10: An Interview With Anthony Woods

The race in CA-10 for the seat vacated by Ellen Tauscher features three lawmakers with long resumes at the state level.  And then there’s Anthony Woods, a young man with no prior history in elected office, but festooned with what Benjy Sarlin of The Daily Beast called the best political resume ever.  Woods is an African-American product of a single mother who found his way to West Point and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  He is a two-time Iraq war platoon leader who returned all of his men home safely and received the Bronze Star.  He is someone who, after returning home, was dismissed from the Army for challenging its Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.  But politicians don’t vote with their resumes.  They must have the conviction to vote with their principles.  I actually conducted the first interview with Woods back in April, and since then others have taken notice.  So I thought I’d return to Woods and ask him about some of the key issues facing the Congress in the coming months.  A paraphrased transcript of the conversation, executed last Wednesday, is below.

DD: Thanks for talking to me today.

Anthony Woods: No problem, thank you.

DD: So how’s it going on the campaign trail?

AW: You know, it’s really exciting.  We’re reaching that point where we’re really building some critical mass.  As you know, I did pretty well in the last fundraising quarter, we’re going to have enough money to compete with some experienced lawmakers.  The Human Rights Campaign and the LGBT Victory Fund just endorsed me, which is very exciting and shows their commitment to this campaign.  We just had a great grand opening of our office with 50 volunteers from across the area.  I’m holding a town hall meeting in Fairfield (this already happened -ed.) coming up and we’re really starting to see a path for this to happen.  It’s great.

DD: OK, well let’s start with the biggest issue on everyone’s minds right now and that’s health care.  The way it’s looking, if you’re elected you might get a vote on this.  What are your principles for this debate, and how would you like it to go.

AW: Well, I’ve been getting more concerned every day.  At first, I was thinking that Congress gets it.  They’re going to do something to deal with the health care crisis in this country that I see talking to folks every day.  But as we get into it, they’re moving further and further away.  First of all, they should have started the conversation at single payer so that if they had to move to the center they would have been coming from a better place.  What we have are two issues: access and cost.  Clearly the system right now is broken on both fronts.  50 million people go without health insurance and the costs are skyrocketing.  And the Congressional effort looks to be falling short.  I’m very concerned that there may be no public option.

DD: OK, so will you take a stand right now and say that if the bill before you has no public option that’s available the day it’s introduced, you won’t vote for it?

AW: I don’t know if I’d exactly go that far, but here’s what I would say.  I think there has to be a public option that’s efficient and effective.  And if the Democrats have some bold leadership, they can do it and do it right.  What we need is some competition in the individual marketplace.  If people have to buy insurance, we have to give them a choice that’s affordable.  So that’s my first priority.  And if the bill before me doesn’t have that, yeah, I’d have trouble voting for it.

DD: You say it’s about bold leadership, OK.  Right now, about 90% of all private insurers offer abortion coverage as part of their health care plans.  If a public option is supposed to compete with the private insurance market, doesn’t it have to offer the same kind of baseline coverage that private insurers offer, especially if they are legal medical services?

AW: I think so.  I am pro-choice, and I don’t believe in limiting the right to choose.  And if you’re giving someone health insurance who has had trouble affording it, if they have to make the difficult choice to get an abortion, they need the same kind of resources that you could get on the private market.  So I would agree with that.

DD: OK.  I want to talk about the F-22.  As you know, the Senate just voted down funding for additional funding for F-22 fighters that were designed for the Cold War and have never been used in Iraq or Afghanistan and are apparently vulnerable to rain.  What’s your reaction to that, and then I want to get into the military budget more generally.

AW: I support stripping the funding.  My view is that if the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the President all say we don’t need them, we probably don’t.  And regardless of the impact on jobs, we should listen to that.  I think we need in procurement a short-term view and a long-term view.  We should obviously be prepared to defend the country, but we should be prudent with those funds, because it is real money.

DD: The F-22 funding and some other funding may stop, but the military budget will increase this year.  And we still spend more on military activities than any other country on Earth combined.  How can we continue to do that, isn’t it unsustainable?

AW: My deployments in Iraq taught me that the military cannot be the solution to all of our problems overseas.  Because we have this mindset currently, we’ve created a situation where the military is providing resources that other agencies could provide.  We shouldn’t have the Defense Department doing the work of the State Department or NGOs or US AID.  I think if we shift some of that burden, it will actually make the troops safer, because we can focus resources on protecting them and providing them the equipment they need, instead of making the military the sole solution to every problem overseas.

DD: I want to tell you about a story I saw in the Wall Street Journal.  It showed that the top 1% of wage earners in this country, the executives, the wealthy, are now earning 35% of all compensation.  How do you react to that?

AW: Wow.  That says a lot.  You know, these are tough times, and when you see a tiny fraction like that benefiting from the resources of this county, I think it says that they need to sacrifice.  We’re in a situation where we implemented tax cuts in the middle of a war.  We’re trying to figure out how to pay for health care.  And the top 1%, they’re doing pretty well.  I think we need some shared sacrifice.

DD: Why do you think it’s so difficult for Democrats to simply say what you just said in that way?  Even the surtax they’ve come up with in the House to pay for health care is getting dismissed.  Why can’t we just make the case that America is worth paying for, especially for those who use the public commons so much?

AW: I really think it starts with people who are willing to say that.  And it’s why I want to be there representing this community in Washington.  My opponents are mostly the same politicians who we keep sending to Washington again and again, and I think we need someone who isn’t afraid to say that, you know, the country has provided a lot to a small group of people, and they should give a little bit back.

DD: OK, let’s move on.  The foreclosure crisis is still hitting California hard, and so far the solutions that have come from Congress hasn’t worked.  What are some of your ideas to keep people in their homes?

AW: This is something I hear about from people every day when I’m campaigning.  In California, we had a moratorium on foreclosures for a while, and I think that’s part of the equation, but if you don’t provide loan modifications for people, eventually that’s not going to be enough.  The immediate crisis we have is that people are losing their homes, so we need to make the necessary adjustments to allow people to refinance.  After that immediate crisis, I think we have to clean up the regulatory environment, both in the mortgage market and also in banking.

DD: I’ve heard an interesting proposal called “right-to-rent,” where people facing foreclosure can pay rent on the home for a number of years, they get to stay where they are, the banks have a revenue stream and don’t have to deal with a blighted property, and the community gains from not having foreclosed properties on their block.  What do you think of that?

AW: Sounds good.  A lot of people are suffering right now.  And it’s traumatic to uproot yourself and have to leave your community, to have your kids leave schools.  So anything that keeps folks in homes and communities sounds like a smart idea to me.  It’s certainly better than what we’re doing.

DD: But how do we institute something like that when the banks, in the words of Dick Durbin, “own the place”?

AW: That’s a tough problem.  You know, the healthiest banks right now are the ones who separated investment and lending.  And I think that most people I meet are frustrated to see the banks get us to this point.  They want common-sense regulatory solutions to change that environment.  I think the banks will have a real problem on their hands if they keep pushing and pushing, and people don’t see a change in their daily lives while the banks rake in tons of money.

DD: OK, but what’s the theory of change?  How do we get all this done?  When you have a situation where special interests rule and campaign contribution money means more than constituents, how can we fight for progressive outcomes in a Congress that appears to care more about the next election?

AW: Well, I think we have to elect people who are accountable to the ones who sent them.  For me, I will give as much access to everyday people as possible, and let them shape my agenda rather than special interests and lobbyists.  And I think we need to elect more people who have this philosophy.  We’re going to have to do it one representative at a time.  And I think that’s one of the reasons why my campaign is taking off.  We cannot expect different results with the same politicians dealing with the same problems year after year.  So I don’t know if we can deal with everything at once, but we’ll have to do it one representative at a time.

DD: OK, last question.  Obviously, here in California, we’re looking at a terrible budget and lots of structural problems.  What can be done at the federal level to perhaps help the state out of this mess?

AW: Well, just looking at the state budget deal, it’s basically more of the same.  There’s a crisis of leadership in Sacramento, and it produced a budget full of accounting tricks that just kick the can down the road.  It’s clear that the system is broken, and that’s why I’d prefer a Constitutional convention and at the least getting rid of the 2/3 rule for budgets.  California is such an important economy, it’s a big chunk of the country, and when we aren’t doing well, the country suffers.  At the federal level, I think we need smart investment.  The state is a donor state, it doesn’t get back in funds what it pays in taxes.  So I’d like to help reduce that.  And also, we can take advantage of the resources and opportunities in California.  This state has the chance to be a new energy leader, through wind and solar.  And so I’d like to see those kinds of smart investments in California.

DD: Do you support a second stimulus, focused on state fiscal stabilization funds to save those jobs that rely on state spending?

AW: I think we’re having a hard time distributing the funds from the first stimulus.  So I think we have to give it some time to work.  But we are definitely at a crisis point in this state, I see it every day, so I think we need to monitor the situation.  And we have to make sure there’s a safety net in place for the people of California.

DD: OK, great, thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

AW: Thank you.

CA-10: Woods nabs VoteVets.org endorsement

Not that VoteVets.org is likely to be a huge player in the September 1 election, but this could be a useful quote in some mail:

“Anthony Woods is a historic candidate for a critical point in history,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran, and Chairman of VoteVets.org.  “Anthony is fresh, eager, and has an incredible track record of service.  His military record is incredibly impressive.  And, he’ll bring vigorous leadership to Congress that will benefit his district.  We urge voters in his district to send him to Congress.”

As we’ve noted around here before, the endorsements have been breaking mostly for Sen. DeSaulnier (local labor) and Garamendi (big labor orgs).  Woods will need a few more of these big name endorsements to keep the momentum and credibility from a $100K+ fundraising quarter. However, if he is able to nab a few more like this, he could very well end up as something of an outside wildcard come next month as the ballots go out.

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: Woods in WaPo

(A quick reminder for folks in the Bay Area, Tony Woods is having a fundraiser at 6:30 tonight at Pisco Lounge. Deats/tickets here. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

With Ellen Taushcer officially out of Congress, Gov. Schwarzenegger can now choose the election date.  But with several strong candidates, the campaign has already been on for a while now. UPDATE by Brian: See the flip for more.

 Anthony Woods was interviewed in the Washington Post on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York for his perspective on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, running for Congress as an openly gay man, and more. Here’s his take on the reality of DADT in today’s military:

Q) When it was first implemented, the policy was allegedly supposed to preserve morale and unit cohesion. How does that fit in with your experience in Iraq?

A) The thing that soldiers care about is, is their leader competent and does he or she care about them. And if they had a choice between a straight superior who was not very good at their job or a gay superior who was very good at their job, I think they would choose the one who’s going to help ensure that they come home to their families.(WaPo 6/28/09)

Incidentally, if you are in San Francisco, you should consider coming to a fundraiser with Tony and Lt. Dan Choi, two outspoken young leaders pushing hard against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  Even if you aren’t in SF, you can still free to drop a few dimes on the Woods Campaign here. Note that the Calitics Editorial Board has taken no position on this campaign as of yet.