By Doug Porter
Are you sick and tired of elected Democrats who don’t act like Democrats? Does the phrase “herding cats” come to mind when assemblypersons in Sacramento can’t even get it together on things like climate change? Are you tired of voting for lesser of two evils? Can I get an “Amen?”
Well, you’re in luck. With a small investment of time this weekend Democrats in San Diego can help select delegates to the state party convention, the body that makes endorsements ( a critical step in our top-two primary system) and writes the state party platform, among other things.
Today’s column will start off by telling you how to participate and where to get information on some of the choices available. Mind you, this election won’t fix everything wrong with the party of FDR, but it’s a start.
One of my favorite year end listicles is City Beat’s Turds and Blossoms, whereby their editorial staff is challenged to come up up scatological synonyms to award various entities for misdeeds.
The San Diego County Democratic Party made the City Beat list this year:
The local Dems get 22,644 tiny, ballot-bubble-size poopies. That’s the combined number of votes that the Republicans got over and above what the Dems got in three crucial elections this year: the February special election for mayor in which Kevin Faulconer beat David Alvarez, the June District 2 City Council election in which Lorie Zapf beat Sarah Boot and the November District 6 City Council election in which Chris Cate beat Carol Kim. The slaughter resulted not only in a Republican in the Mayor’s office, but also the loss of Todd Gloria as City Council President.
Here’s the Process
If you are tired of reading this kind of crap, here’s what you need to do, via Daily Kos:
If you’re a registered Democratic voter in California as of the last election, here’s how to participate:
- Go to the state legislature’s district finder and punch in your address to get your state Assembly district. (While you’re at it, bookmark your state Assembly member and Senator’s websites.* C’mon, I know you’ve been meaning to.)
- Find your election place, time, and list of candidates with statements: 2015 ASSEMBLY DISTRICT ELECTION MEETINGS (ADEMS). Now’s the time to check. Don’t wait ’til mid-day Saturday and possibly get surprised that your district’s election has already passed.
- Choose up to seven women and seven men to vote for.
- Show up—be sure to be on time—and vote!
Heck, bring a few friends to vote too, and become an instant power bloc.
Here’s what you’re voting for the delegates to do, as members of the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC):
- Attend the 2015 and 2016 conventions
- Elect Party officers
- Decide to endorse candidates for statewide, legislative, and congressional office
- Decide to endorse resolutions and ballot measures
Though it’s not required, you can stick around and listen to the candidates give their in-person statements before deciding how to vote. Don’t be surprised if it seems like most people there swoop in, vote for the same fourteen candidates, and leave. That’s “machine politics” at work: the power brokers pick their slate and turn their people out. But you can help thwart that, if some of the spots are close enough for a contest… or you can be a part of a good “machine” and join with others to vote for a slate of liberal, reform-minded candidates.
Note that the complete population of delegates includes more than those elected this weekend. To round out the remaining delegate spots, county party committees elect some, and Democratic elected government officeholders and nominees appoint others. As for the California Republican Party (don’t laugh… or, rather, go ahead and laugh!), so far as I can tell, all of their delegates are appointed. Guess elections are too democratic for them.
Where to Vote
(Assembly Representatives are listed so you know what district to vote in. Clicking on the Candidate List link will also provide you with a map to your voting place)
Assembly District 80, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez
1/10/2015 10:00 AM Chula Vista Public Library, Civic Center Branch, 365 F Street, Chula Vista CA 91910,
Candidate List (With Statements), more info: email@example.com
Assembly District 79, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber
1/11/2015 12:30 PM Malcom X Library, 5148 Market Street, San Diego CA 92114
Candidate List (With Statements), more info: mike@TheThallers.com
Assembly District 78, Assemblywoman Toni Atkins
1/10/2015 10:00 AM Marina Village Conference Center, 1960 Quivara Way, Rm. 3-1, San Diego CA 92109
Candidate List (With Statements) more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assembly District 77, Assemblyman Brian Maienschein
1/10/2015 12:00 Noon Mainstreet Bar and Grill, 13385 Poway Road, Poway CA 91064
Candidate List (With Statements), more info: President@PowayDemocraticClub.org
Assembly District 76, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez
1/10/2015 10:00 AM Oceanside Library Community Rm., 330 North Coast HighwayOceanside CA 92054
Candidate List (With Statements) more info: email@example.com
Assembly District 75, Assemblywoman Marie Waldron
1/10/2015 10:00 AM Park Avenue Community Center, 210 Park Avenue, Escondido CA 92025
Candidate List (With Statements) more info:firstname.lastname@example.org
Who to Vote For:
Several area Democratic clubs have put together endorsements. The Point Loma/Ocean Beach club has a dream slate for the 78th Assembly District.
The San Diego Democrats for Equality have partnered with the California Young Democrats South State Region, the UCSD College Democrats, the College Democrats of SDSU and the City Heights Democratic Club to recommend a slate of candidates for the 78th Assembly District.
I will gladly add slates from other Democratic clubs to this story. Email me via email@example.com.
If you take the time to read the candidate statements, your better choices should be easier. The more bland the statement is, the less likely the candidate is to be of the progressive persuasion.
Note: You may be asked for a $5 donation at the polling place. This money is intended to cover the costs of running the election. And it’s a donation, not a poll tax, so it’s voluntary.
A Deadly Attack in Paris
The offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were attacked earlier today. Four prominent cartoonists and eight other persons, including one police officer, along with publisher Stéphane Charbonnier, and Charbonnier’s police bodyguard, were killed by masked gunmen toting Kalashnikovs.
From the New York Times:
In 2011, the Charlie Hebdo office was badly damaged by a firebomb after it published a spoof issue “guest edited” by the Prophet Muhammad to salute the victory of an Islamist party in Tunisian elections. It had announced plans to publish a special issue renamed “Charia Hebdo,” a play on the word in French for Shariah law.
A lawyer for the newspaper said that a number of prominent editors and cartoonists had been killed on Wednesday, including Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb, and Jean Cabut, who signs his work Cabu. He said that the cartoonists Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac were also among the victims.
House GOP Starts Off: Cut Social Security
Day One. House Republicans took aim at the part of Social Security for disabled people. It’s long been their contention that many disabled persons are just faking it to scam the government, despite a lack of evidence to back up the point.
From Talking Points Memo:
With a little-noticed proposal, Republicans took aim at Social Security on the very first day of the 114th Congress.
The incoming GOP majority approved late Tuesday a new rule that experts say could provoke an unprecedented crisis that conservatives could use as leverage in upcoming debates over entitlement reform.
The largely overlooked change puts a new restriction on the routine transfer of tax revenues between the traditional Social Security retirement trust fund and the Social Security disability program. The transfers, known as reallocation, had historically been routine; the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said Tuesday that they had been made 11 times. The CBPP added that the disability insurance program “isn’t broken,” but the program has been strained by demographic trends that the reallocations are intended to address.
Another High Tech Boondoggle: Border Drones
A new report from the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General says the $443 million funding the drones used to patrol the US-Mexico border over the past eight years is a waste of money. Less than two percent of the apprehensions of people illegally crossing the border were attributable to the drone patrols.
Inspector General John Roth concluded that with these findings, the $443 million funding the program would be best moved elsewhere.
“Notwithstanding the significant investment, we see no evidence that the drones contribute to a more secure border, and there is no reason to invest additional taxpayer funds at this time,” Roth said.
In the report, the OIG found that the average hourly cost of operating a drone was $12,255, a significant jump from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine’s original estimated cost of $2,468 per hour.
Modern Day Crucifixions as Protest
Workers in Paraguay are being nailed to crosses for weeks at time as a form of protest in wage disputes, according to the Los Angeles Times:
Four men and a woman have been nailed to crosses for several weeks and a sixth person planned to join them Tuesday until Paraguay’s Work Ministry agreed to meet with the protesters Jan. 26.
“With this news, we will cancel the sixth crucifixion,” said organizer Carlos Gonzalez, but he added that the five people would remain on the crosses.
The workers claim they are owed several thousand dollars for work many years ago on the Itaipu Dam, which is on the Parana River shared by Paraguay and Brazil. The dam, one of the world’s biggest hydroelectric projects, is jointly administered by the two countries.
On This Day: 1892 -An explosion at Osage Coal and Mining Company’s Mine Number 11 near Krebs, Okla., killed 100, injured 150 when an untrained worker accidentally set off a stash of explosives. 1929 – The newspapers around the country debuted “Buck Rogers 2429 A.D.” The title of the comic strip was later changed to “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” 1953 – President Harry Truman announced the development of the hydrogen bomb.
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