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Where Would You Put Your Next Political Dollar?

by: Brian Leubitz

Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 13:30:12 PM PST


If you were spending a few bucks in California politics, where would you put it?

by Brian Leubitz

I was recently asked by a Democratic donor where I would recommend giving money in state politics. Well, that is certainly a challenging question.  Like the national Dems, the state dems have quite the bit of dysfunction.

I think there are a few different priorities, which occasionally come into conflict. First, in order to really break the deadlock in Sac, you need to get to 2/3 in each house. The absolute hard and fast anti-tax pledges from the Republicans mean that you can't really accomplish any larger goals w/o 2/3. And that goal is very doable, at least in the Senate, this year. The Assembly is less likely, but not impossible. So, if that's the goal, then there are a few races where you would want to contribute: Cathleen Galgiani in SD-05, Russ Warner in AD-40 and a number of other.  You can  find more swing seats at AroundTheCapitol.

The other question is about better Democrats.  As you get to the end of each session, you always see good bills die because some "moderate" Democrat came up with some reason to walk out on the vote or just plain voted against it. There are more than a few examples of a Democrat that runs as somebody who won't raise your taxes, or will cut regulations, or something similarly anti-progressive that feeds into Republican talking points. That is more than a single campaign issue, more than just one race, whether that be in Santa Barbara or the Central Valley, we need to work on developing candidates that will work to get the state on the right track through progressive economic growth.

In that we are fortunate to have the party lead by a strong progressive like John Burton, and they can do some of that work. However, ultimately that has to come through training and cultivation that may or may not be the right place for the party. It is somewhat conflicted in this matter, as they represent both sides of the intraparty fight. Term limits make it all that much more difficult as you have to keep looking for new candidates.

This June there will be a measure on the ballot to at least fix that one small part, moving term limits to 12 years total. And in November there will be a number of Dem-on-Dem races where we need to ensure that a progressive wins, while also picking up those swing districts? These are somewhat competing interests, and as a donor, you have to choose your priorities?

So, any thoughts?

Brian Leubitz :: Where Would You Put Your Next Political Dollar?
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Great question! (6.50 / 2)
Without a doubt, my dollars are going towards CA candidates (and I say this as someone who maxed out on Barack Obama in 2008). Besides the candidates you named, I recommend giving your $$$$$ to the Democratic candidate in AD66  - Al Muratsuchi. He's getting zero help from Sacramento even though he's in a swing district running against two teap party Republicans. Here's his ACT Blue link: https://secure.actblue.com/ent...

I'm fishing for AD60th candidates (0.00 / 0)
thanks to some prompting from ProgressiveKick.  There's the 42nd AD, my new AD thanks to the new lines.  That's a long shot.

My bucks, what few I'll have, will go to the 66th & Osborn in the 50th, and the like.  Leaders who represent the Dems I need to see.

I'm union staff, but not a spokesperson for my union - all posts represent my views solely.


Great Question (6.50 / 2)
As usual in politics, follow the money. If the establishment in Sacramento is pumping endorsements and money into a dem campaign, then there is reason to question who that dem represents. If they are running a grassroots campaign, and calling for change in Sacramento, then maybe they deserve a look. And certainly if no money is coming from establishment sources into races that a dem should win over a rep challenger, then we need to question why. Two races that seem to offer the right kind of progressive candidate is the 50th--Torie Osborn--and the 51st--Luis Lopez. Both are running against a Sacramento backed candidate with the usual backroom deals in play.

About (0.00 / 0)
The only reasons I don't run for anything, is:

1. My family name is barely known these days and only in Culver City CA, Where My Grandpa was a City Councilman & a Police Chief and owner(according to the City) of the Bobier Garage(Auto repair, lone gone now) back in the 1920's-1930's, I'm neither. He's mentioned on the City Fire Departments webpages Here(Look for Earl), My Uncle Joe was the Fire Chief back then.
2. I'm not rich.
3. I don't live Culver City CA, nor could I afford to.
4. I really don't want to.


Oh (0.00 / 0)
And My family has Grandpas Gold Badge, It says Culver City on It.

[ Parent ]
My (0.00 / 0)
Older Brother told Me that My Uncle was the Fire Chief of Culver City at one time, but not when or much else, most of this sketchy, but then I'm not able to ask Him for more details as He's been deceased since 2005. Descendants of Uncle Joe who died in 1958 would know for sure, one way or the other and such.

[ Parent ]
Giving Nancy Pelosi back the speaker's gavel (0.00 / 0)
There are some new, newly vacant, and newly competitive congressional districts that I'd like to see Democrats pick up in California. I don't know if they'd be enough to overcome the partisan gerrymandering in GOP states like Texas and Ohio. But I'd love to see Nancy Pelosi back as speaker of the House. She was sooooo much better than John Boehner.

Priority races (5.00 / 1)
State Assembly: Here are three Democratic seats where there is a clear choice of a liberal-progressive Democrat running against a decidedly moderate Democrat.  
 AD 39 - Richard ALARCON over Raul Bocanegra
 AD 47 - Cheryl BROWN over Joe Baca jr.
 AD 57 - Rudy BERMUDEZ over Ian Calderon

State Senate:
 SD 27 - Fran PAVLEY vs. yet to-be-determined Republican
 SD 31 - Richard ROTH over Steve Clute

U.S. Congress:
 CD  7 - BERA vs. Lungren
 CD 10 - HERNANDEZ vs. Denham
 CD 24 - CAPPS vs. Maldonado


Takano in CD 41 (0.00 / 0)
Mark Takano, current RCC Board Member, is getting attention at the national level for his race in CD 41.  He is doing a great job fundraising and has a shot.  Tough competition against current Supervisor John Tavaglione, but Mark can win it with some support.  This could be a close one.

[ Parent ]
CD-47, Al Lowenthal (0.00 / 0)
CD-47 is the closest Congressional district in the state by registration, if memory serves.  Lowenthal will be up against Gary DeLong of Long Beach and former Rep. Steve Kuykendall.

I like AD-69, Julio Perez, as well, a progressive labor leader probably up against Blue Doggish Tom Daly.

Also, keep your eyes on AD-65.  Closest Assembly district by registration, with largely unplowed Democratic areas.

Modesty prevents me from mentioning SD-29.


Winnable Races in the IE (0.00 / 0)
SD-31: Roth can beat the Republican in the general.
AD-61: Medina can win this one with some support.  Registration favors Dems.

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