Tag Archives: CA65AD

(CA 65AD) It’s about jobs and tax fairness

The Riverside/San Bernardino County area, aka Inland Empire (whose Empire, I always want to know)recently beat Detroit for the dubious honor of being No. 1 in unemployment nationwide.  The Democratic challenger for the 65th Assembly District, Carl Wood, is running on job creation and tax fairness (ie, make corporations pay their fair share).  The incumbent Republican has no record whatsoever on jobs, and recently gave struggling homeowners the back of his hand on foreclosure relief.

The only hope for turning this District around is voter turnout.  A bit of local press on Wood’s odds in the extended diary.  Carl’s Act Blue page is here.

Crossposted at dKos

From Tuesday’s San Bernardino Sun:

Wood’s performance in 2008 was by far the best showing by a Democrat in the district this decade. Before 2008, Cook and Republican candidates before him had won lopsided victories – margins of victory of about 24 percentage points on average – in the 65th District, which stretches from Big Bear Lake to Hemet and from Yucaipa to Twentynine Palms.

But in 2008, Cook’s margin of victory was just 6.6 percentage points. Repeating that showing will be difficult though, as Wood was almost certainly helped by the groundswell of Democratic voter turnout that propelled President Barack Obama to victory and boosted many other otherwise-longshot Democratic candidates.

Wood knows turnout will be key this year if he hopes to build on last year’s near-success.

“That’s what makes this race so unpredictable,” he said. “It’s so heavily dependent on voter turnout. If there’s good turnout, I think I stand a good chance of winning.”

Wood had the Obama surge in 2008, but no campaign structure to speak of.  This time he has a strong volunteer base, union boots on the ground, and better name recognition.  Bill Hedrick’s excellent campaign* for the CA 44th CD is another plus for Carl, their districts overlap, and they share progressive values.   If we can pull this off, Sacramento will get a true bold progressive, one who can actually utter the word taxes without an apology, and leave his audience convinced that they’ve been had by the GOP.

*Corrected from previous version, wherein I invert the candidates and call it GOP Rep. Ken Calvert’s excellent campaign.  Ken Calvert (h/t to Howie Klein)is the incumbent we need to remove.

(CA AD65) Carl Wood – More and Better for CA

(8.15.10 Disclosure: My union, CSEA, endorsed Wood, and I volunteer on his campaign.)

Carl Wood is the Democratic candidate for the CA 65th Assembly District, the most depressed area in the nation after Detroit.  Carl is a lifelong labor guy with deep roots in the community.  As Public Utilities Commissioner, Carl Wood helped guide the state through the disastrous energy crisis, protecting the interests of workers and working class utility consumers.  

Wood is unapologetically liberal and direct, in a very pleasant way.  Here he is at the California Democratic Convention last April 2010:

Crossposted at dKos

Even if California passes Prop 25, the Majority Budget Initiative, Californians will still need a 2/3 majority to address the structural revenue deficit in the state budget.  We’ll need 2/3 to counter the Yacht Party, and we need more progressive Democrats to lend our own team a bit more moxie.

Carl Wood is not afraid to regulate. He’s not even afraid to say “regulate,” and sadly, that is saying something these days.  Too many Democrats are still self-censored captives of right wing frames.  Carl has already completed a public career, and he’s not afraid to be a one termer, if that’s the price for voting based on policy rather than politics.

Wood wrote a forward to the book Democracy and Regulation: How the Public can Govern Essential Services, by Greg Palast, Jerrold Oppenheim and Theo MacGregor (Pluto Press: 2003).  One choice bit, among many:

Arguments against democratic oversight of any aspect of the economy, exalting commercial secrecy over regulatory openness, supposed private efficiency and vigor over governmental bureaucracy and torpor, ultimately boil down to the justification used by Mussolini’s defenders: “He made the trains run on time.” But, as this book so persuasively demonstrates, it is democratic processes that make the utilities run better, cheaper, more efficiently and more reliably.

We need Democrats who can persuade voters to fight for their own interests, especially in the CA 65th, where the unemployment rate is second only to that of Detroit.  Who will boldly assert we need more jobs, more state revenue, and less genuflecting to the free market?  Carl Wood.

Carl Wood’s message from Copenhagen

Today I’m at the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee Strategic Planning Retreat.  We are 44th CD, 45th CD, 64th, 65th AD, 80th AD, and the 37th SD (election April 17th if someone gets 50+1).  Riverside County frankly deserves maximum attention from the CDP, as we have the seats that could flip.  Manuel Perez’s win in the 80th was a long time coming, and we need the rest in 2010.

Carl Wood is running again in the 65th, but couldn’t join us today as he’s just now returning from Copenhagen.  I read the following letter on his behalf to the RCDCC, and here it is for the Calitics crew:

Dear fellow Democrats,

I regret not being with you today for this important Retreat.  As many of you know, I have been in Copenhagen, Denmark for the past ten days as an official member of the U.S. labor delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference.  My flight arrangements were made months ago and could not be changed when this Retreat was scheduled.  

As the Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs for the Utility Workers Union, I serve on the AFL-CIO Energy Task Force and represent my union in international meetings on climate change and other matters.  Along with union representatives from around the world, our delegation has been working to ensure that the international agreements that will guide the transition to a low-carbon economy will include economic protections and millions of good new jobs for working people.  

 Continued over the flip.

Our U.S. union delegation has met with ambassadors, cabinet members and key Congressional leaders including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Henry Waxman and Senator John Kerry.  As I write these words, just hours after President Obama addressed the Conference, we still don’t know if the day will end with an international climate agreement.  Still, our efforts have already been rewarded with language recognizing worker rights in the working document that will form the basis of that agreement whenever it is finalized.  

Last year, as our Party’s candidate in the 65th Assembly District, I won the Riverside County portion of the district and came close to capturing the seat.  Next year, with your support, I intend to finish the job.

While the Inland Empire is seen as a Republican stronghold, that has never made sense to me.  Our region, for all its physical beauty and vast human and natural resources, is beset with daunting man-made problems: a 15% unemployment rate on top of low wages for many of those who are still employed; a devastating foreclosure crisis accompanying the collapse of our crucial home-building industry; underfunded schools attempting to educate a diverse and often disadvantaged student population; and environmental challenges ranging from poor air quality to stressed water systems to massive transportation issues.

Yet we are “represented” in Sacramento by a man whose signature legislative achievement is a bill banning registered sex offenders from driving ice cream trucks!  The working people, the children, the seniors and the veterans of our communities deserve better.

It appears that there will be a contested primary in our Party for this seat, and I believe that my record as a party activist, long-time union leader, former elected local officeholder and state Public Utilities Commissioner has prepared me to be a credible standard bearer for the progressive policies that are necessary to rescue our region from decades of Republican corruption and misrule.

While I cannot be with you today at this Retreat, I look forward to contacting each of you personally over the next few weeks to reintroduce myself, exchange views on the issues and solicit your support for our Party’s nomination for the 65th Assembly District.

In solidarity,

Carl Wood

Carl Wood for Assembly

CA65AD; Carl Wood; progressive; labor