The delegates of the California Democratic Party executive board aren't necessarily what you would call the "coolest kids in the room." Because it may be that the biggest issue at the eboard this week near San Francisco airport is a bylaws change.
The bylaws change is an attempt to stop the "borrowing" of delegates from one district to another. That is, legislators "loaning" out their appointments on the occasion of an endorsement fight. The issue rose to prominence during the Leno-Migden fight in San Franciso in 2008, when nearly a quarter of all delegates were somehow living in the district during the endorsing convention. The issue has continued to draw attention with several notable instances of one legislative house or another apppointing delegates within contested districts.
The proposed changes have included requiring legislators to appoint into their own districts, or only allowing delegates to vote on endorsements in their legislators districts. The rules committee wasn't able to come to a consensus on a change, and delayed it until next year.
However, a group of grassroots activists have opted to bring a measure to the floor instead. In short, the proposed change would be to allow legislators to appoint delegates in any district they like, but they can only vote on endorsements if they reside in their legislators district. Out of district delegates could vote on statewide endorsements.
The vote will come up in tomorrow's general session, but there will be much discussion on the vote throughout. I'll be throwing up a few tweets from the events, so make sure you follow me.
Apparently the phrase "playing with house money" has caught fire in San Diego. David Alvarez has a solid hold of a San Diego council seat and a bright future no matter what the outcome of the mayoral election. But now he is the Democratic hope to defeat the somewhat reactionary Kevin Faulconer in the February 11 runoff.
Faulconer led a field of 12 candidates in Tuesday's special election with 43.58 percent of the vote, with vote by mail ballots and all 581 precincts counted, according to figures released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.
Alvarez finished 2,638 votes ahead of former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in the race for second. He received 52,283 votes, 25.59 percent of the vote, and Fletcher 49,645, 24.3 percent. (News10)
Though there are still some early and provisional votes outstanding, it seems unlikely that Fletcher will overcome Alvarez. And with that, some are saying that this could be the end of Nathan Fletcher's political career. While it is possible to make a political comeback, the timing of this mayoral election wasn't really great for Fletcher. He kind of had to run, with his new Democratic label and high visibility. But, he never really had the time to win over the Democratic base.
And that is where Alvarez came in. He was the biggest beneficiary of attacks in many mediums against Fletcher, but now he'll be going head to head with Faulconer. At some level, maybe the Republicans were more worried about facing Fletcher in a run-off, but their personal dislike of the man than many considered a "turncloak" was very strong. And the wounds were still fresh from that switch. Maybe time will heal some wounds, but don't expect a quick turnaround of Fletcher's political fortunes.
In another race in Southern California, Democrat Matt Dababneh (and Rep. Brad Sherman's district director) is locked in a way too close race with Republican Susan Shelley. With all precincts reporting, Dababneh holds a 13,309-13,136 lead with some provisionals and early votes still out. The district is heavily Democratic, but turnout was once again very low allowing Shelley to make a strong showing. The results in this one are likely to need a while to settle out. A Dababneh win would be the 54th Democratic seat, and return the supermajority that took its most recent hit with Holly Mitchell's move to the Senate.
With about one year left until the 2014 election, the GOP field for the second spot in the top-2 governor's election seems to be a very intriguing trio.
Abel Maldonado and Tim Donnelly have more or less made their candidacies official. On the other hand, former Goldman Sachs (and TARP administrator) Neil Kashkari has been less forthcoming on official news. However, he clearly seems to be building a campaign, and a non-traditional GOP campaign at that. He's clearly trying to come at it from the middle, but Joe Garofoli of the SF Chronicle looks at some who wonder at how that will fare in the CRP.
Two of California's likely Republican candidates for governor are going to put that to the test: Are voters - particularly conservative ones - ready for GOP candidates who are pro-choice, pro-same-sex marriage rights and pro-pathway to citizenship for those in the U.S. illegally?
It is a long shot. Those positions contradict the Republican national platform, and they're deal killers to the hard-core conservatives who make up the bulk of GOP primary voters.
"This is test case nationally of what the Growth and Opportunity Project (postmortem) was suggesting," said Alex Carey, a Sausalito resident and veteran GOP strategist who was an adviser to GOP Minnesota governor and 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty.
"California could be on the leading edge of what the party wants to do," Carey said. "But some conservatives will have to look beyond what their differences are with the candidates."
For years, the media has been trying to shoehorn some level of moderation in the CRP. And for a while, maybe there was some there. Gov Schwarzenegger wasn't exactly moderate, but nor was he what you would call right-wing these days. And Duf Sundheim, a former chair of the party, worked to create a somewhat inclusive party. But in the end, if you look around at today's CRP, you don't find a lot of inclusion there. You find Tim Donnelly.
While the media likes to think that because we have a pretty progressive majority in the Legislature and our representatives, that the CRP must reflect that as well. They would be wrong. The California GOP is just as hard-core and full of true believers as any, right up there with Dixie. It turns out that the fog of progressivism doesn't really roll all the way into every California community.
Maybe Kashkari can draw enough interest to finish in second place and get to a one on one matchup with Governor Brown. But when running against Maldonado, considered to be the GOP's legislative version of a moderate, how does he carve out the votes in what will likely be a low turnout June election? Will the two "moderates" open up a path to the general election for Donnelly?
While a moderate and vigorous GOP, or any strong second party, would be of considerable value for the state, that isn't where the Republicans are headed right now. And ignoring the social issues tends to only work if you are a some sort of movie star. Kashkari might draw a fair share of interest, but I find it hard to believe that a pro-choice, pro-marriage equality candidate, who also happens to have spent a fare share of time at Goldman Sachs, can really be welcome in today's GOP.
Now, that just looks like your generic stupid person on the internet, until you realize that Tony Krvaric is the Southern Vice Chair of the California Republican Party. Fletcher is still something of a sore spot for the local Republicans, but this is a bit much even considering that fact.
Speaking of Fletcher, he's been losing steam rapidly and a new Datamar poll shows him polling third, well behind David Alvarez in second. At this point, the big question is how turnout will affect Kevin Faulconer's vote total. Datamar has him right around 44%, below the threshold to skip a February runoff. No matter who is in that runoff, expect more of the war of words over the next few months.
LA Times poll has dire warnings for the minority party
by Brian Leubitz
If you look at the composition of the legislature, or the voter registration numbers, you'll quickly see that we are in a pretty gloomy era for Republicans. But, wait, darker days are just around the corner: a LA Times poll shows just how poorly the CRP is situated in front of the demographic wave.
Already those younger and minority voters - 38% of the voter pool - are propping up Democrats in California. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has a positive job approval rating of 55% overall. Among white voters the rating is 51%. Among black voters, it is 61%, Among Latinos, it is 67%.
Other poll findings suggest no end to that imbalance. Asked their political ideology, 52% of those ages 49 and younger describe themselves as liberal, to 40% who say conservative. That is close to the opposite of those over 50, only 47% of whom say they are liberal to 58% conservative. (LA Times)
As the Times points out, there is hope for the GOP that younger voters will gradually shift to the right, a process that has occurred in previous generations. But if you look at who today's Republicans are, here is what you get: a middle aged, upper middle class, white man.
These are not the demographics for future electoral success. Minorities continue to grow as a percentage of voters, and broader participation in statewide elections could simply exacerbate these problems for the CRP.
But the CRP isn't alone, this is the same problem generally facing the entire Republican Party. And Gov. Chris Christie is an excellent example of this. He is considered a moderate Republican, and gains a strong majority of support among Northeastern Republicans. But he only gets 27% of Southern GOP support in a recent poll. And head to head against Hillary Clinton, no Republican candidate can really claim to have an electability argument in their favor.
If the Republicans are to move forward as a viable party, they need to consider whether they will stick to the ideological guns on social and immigration issues. As it stands, even a solid political tactician like Jim Brulte won't be able to swing the party's fate without a major shift in their overall goals as a party.
It's a line we hear and say a lot around Veteran's Day, especially in California, home to 1.8 million veterans, more than in any other state.
But if we really want to show gratitude for our veterans, then we need to do more than utter a simple "thank you." We need to help these brave heroes find a middle-class life when they return from serving our country.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs annual survey of veterans, jobs are the biggest concern for our returning veterans, and for good reason -- the unemployment rate for veterans of recent conflicts is an unacceptable 10 percent, and 1.5 million young veterans - many with families to support -- currently live under the poverty line.
It hasn't always been like this. According to Nick Berardino, Vietnam Veteran and General Manager of the Orange County Employees Association:
When we came back from Vietnam, they spit on us, but at least we could find a job. Today, veterans get a hand shake and a thank you, but a future that includes unemployment, low wages and no way for them to care for their families. We can and should do much better for our veterans.
Those who serve our country in uniform risk their lives to defend and protect the freedoms we all value. That's why leaders from the California Labor movement and elected officials joined together with veterans in Sacramento today to unveil a new seven-point plan to put our state's veterans on the path to good jobs and a middle-class life.
California Labor Federation Executive-Secretary Treasurer Art Pulaski:
Far too often, our nation's veterans don't receive the support they've earned or the services they need when returning home. California's labor unions are taking the lead to change that. WWII veterans, along with their unions, helped build our nation's middle class brick by brick. Veterans and labor unions are poised once again to partner to strengthen our economy and preserve the American Dream.
The seven-point plan focuses on:
1. Creating and growing good jobs for veterans. Among states that receive grants for vets from the U.S. Department of Labor, California has one of the lowest rates of placing veterans in jobs. We must align our state resources - incentives, contracts, purchasing, hiring - to encourage and reward the hiring of veterans, who represent the best in possible employees.
2. Matching training and skills to veterans. Veterans come out of active duty with significant skills that can be translated into a variety of careers. Too often, the language used to describe military job duties doesn't match the language of those hiring in the civilian world. We support policies that capture and maximize the skills vets have acquired to gain them the best jobs in growing fields that pay living wages.
3. Protecting jobs for veterans. Workers should be rewarded, not disadvantaged, when they go into active or reserve service. Vets should have guarantees that their jobs will be there when they return, that they be able to maintain their health care coverage, and that they will have recall rights should their jobs get eliminated.
4. Streamlining veteran job services. According to multiple studies, California does not provide a coordinated, integrated system that streamlines employment-related services to veterans, and has failed to meet veteran employment goals set by federal grants. It's time to streamline the delivery of job services to veterans and that tailor services to the special needs and skill sets of veterans.
5. Providing more housing for veterans. Vets make up a disproportionate share of the homeless population and are significantly more likely than the general population to become homeless. No one should be forced to live on the street after serving our country, which is why we support policies and funding to build more housing, including rental units, for veterans.
6. Ensuring veterans receive their benefits. California lags behind other states in the amount of benefits claimed by veterans. Even though veterans are eligible for federal pensions and health benefits, many California vets rely on public state programs rather than collecting the benefits they've earned and deserve. A 2013 Little Hoover Commission report estimates that California leaves between $500 million and $1 billion in federal dollars on the table due to veterans not signing up for benefits.
7. Providing services for diverse veteran populations. Currently, 70 percent of veterans in California are age 50 or over, but at the same time, large numbers of younger veterans -- many of whom are women and minorities -- are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Different groups of veterans will need different services for their transition to civilian life, which is why we support tailoring programs and policies to the needs of the diverse veteran populations in the state.
Yvonne Walker, U.S . Marine Corps Veteran and President of SEIU Local 1000:
We owe every man and woman who goes into service for their country a debt of gratitude. But gratitude isn't enough. At the very least, they have earned the peace of mind that their jobs will be there when they return, that they be able to maintain their health care coverage, and that they will have recall rights should their jobs get eliminated.
In addition to the policy agenda, Labor groups also have identified needed projects and local opportunities where are coming together to provide service for veterans such as renovating, painting or improving the grounds at local VFW or American Legion halls; hosting food and supply donation drive to support veterans in need; and assembling care packages along with letters to be sent overseas.
Orange County unions led by the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA), along with veterans and community leaders, will hold a large Veterans Day special event to pay tribute to Veterans and their families following the "Day of Service" volunteer projects.
Embattled Senator Faces Rules Committee to Keep Committee Assignments
by Brian Leubitz
Ron Calderon's had a no-good, awful, very bad few days. But being named in an FBI investigation generally doesn't make for good times. And while Sen. Steinberg notes that he doesn't want to play judge and jury for the San Gabriel Valley senator, he would like to pull him off his committees to limit any appearances of improprieties. Sen Steinberg:
I am asking the Senate Rules Committee to temporarily remove Senator Ron Calderon as chair of the Senate Insurance Committee, pending resolution of the United States Attorney's investigation into his conduct. I will also ask the Committee to temporarily remove Senator Calderon from all other committee assignments, pending the same investigation.
I do not make this request lightly, nor do I judge the truth of the publicly reported allegations. I am concerned, however, about keeping Senator Calderon in his positions. The allegations, though yet unproven, are serious enough to cloud any interactions the Senator might have with colleagues, advocates, and the public on issues within his jurisdiction.
The allegation that an elected official accepted money and other favors in exchange for official acts is perhaps the most serious breach of the public trust and the institution in which they serve. In other highly sensitive public situations that do not involve proven allegations of misconduct, public employers take similar actions. The public and the Senate deserve no less protection in the current situation.
Calderon has made no comment, and seems unlikely to fight the "temporary" changes. He'll likely need to save his energy for a prospective prosecution and general fight for the future of the Calderon political dynasty. But George Skelton points out a little something about our political system: there is far too fine of a line between bribery and legal contributions.
In politics, there's sleaze that can send a slimeball to prison. There also is legal bribery. Lots of it.... And I'm not saying that legal bribery is as odorous as smelly sleaze. But it does tend to emit a stench. Campaign money actually gets a bad rap, to one degree. It costs a fair amount to run a competitive race.
If the public is unwilling to finance the campaigns of state politicians - and public financing has become impractical anyway, because of U.S. Supreme Court rulings - then the political funds must come from some other source. A very wealthy candidate might be willing to finance his own campaign, but normally the funding is supplied by favor-seeking special interests.(George Skelton / LA Times)
Skelton goes on to list a few of the many ways rich donors can curry favor with cash, and how those politicians can then spend it. Of course there is a stench, but this is the system that we chose, or at least the system that the Supreme Court has chosen for us. It is a system that is dominated by those with the most readily available cash.
We should do everything in our power to root out corruption, but we have to do as much as possible to clean up the system that makes corruption, legal and illegal, so readily available.
Photo credit: Sen. Ron Calderon's office. Caption: "Senator Calderon, accompanied by his older brother, Assemblymember Charles Calderon, and the Senator's nephew, Ian Calderon, as they prepare to begin giving the turkeys to the local community organizations that participated in Operation Gobble."
SB City Councilwoman Wendy McCammack Finishes First in Mayoral Vote, Gets Recalled
by Brian Leubitz
Recalls generally come in waves, and the wave in San Bernardino is no different. While the last 24 hours featured more Calitics coverage of the city than the previous year, it certainly has been an interesting year. City Attorney James F Penman's long tenure in office, over 25 years, has come to an end after his recall last night. But that isn't even the most interesting part of all this. The recall supporters also recalled two of his allies, Wendy McCammack and John Valdivia.
Valdivia was ultimately able to fend off the challenge in a very poor turnout election. Epicly poor, really. As of the latest tallies last night, which hopefully will go up a lot by the next update tomorrow afternoon, turnout in the San Bernardino election was standing at 7.75%. Yes, well under 10%, which seems like a hopeful target for the final tally. How low? Well, that's substantially less than the 15% of voters needed to get the recall on the ballot. This is an odd situation: More people signed the recall petition than voted in the recall election.
But I digress, Valdivia is leading at (609-343) to keep his job. On the other hand, Wendy McCammack is looking like she is in trouble at 1,256-944 in favor of recall. The irony of that is the fact that McCammack is now leading the mayoral vote, and appears set for a runoff with businessman Carey Davis:
Councilwoman Wendy McCammack led all mayoral candidates and will face accountant Carey Davis in a February run-off, even as voters in McCammack's 7th Ward decided to recall her from the council.
With all precincts reporting in unnofficial results Tuesday night, McCammack led Davis by 136 votes, with candidates Rick Avila and Rikke Van Johnson trailing by more than a 1,000 votes and others in the 10-person field further behind. (SB Sun / Ryan Hagen)
The tumult and odd results in this election shouldn't really be a huge surprise, as the city is going through bankruptcy. And perhaps voters were simply turned off by the whole process, but really, people, now is the time to engage, not ignore your local government. But hey, maybe we can make some trivia questions out of this.
Former self-proclaimed vigilante looks to finish off the CA Republican Party
by Brian Leubitz
Sometimes when you are swimming, or surfing, or generally playing in the ocean, you can be surprised by a big wave. Other times, you can see them building for miles. Asm. Tim Donnelly's gubernatorial campaign is the latter. He's the wave that is building miles away, ready to crash down upon California's GOP, making the long-term fallout of Prop 187 look quaint. But, he's in, for whatever reason:
Donnelly plans to make the announcement at a Los Angeles manufacturing facility. ... The conservative Southern California Assemblyman, who earlier had announced an exploratory committee for the run, will challenge moderate former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado for the GOP nomination. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who has not made an official announcement but is widely expected to seek a fourth term, is not expected to be challenged for his party's nomination.
In a statement released Monday, Donnelly said he will stress three key issues in the campaign: jobs, civil liberties, and "leaving California a better place for the next generation." (SF Gate / Carla Marinucci)
The CRP has two options next June, and neither of them are all that stunning. Maldonado's campaign has already been through some tough times, firing campaign staffers and other such shenanigans. He's not that great of a candidate, having already lost statewide and for Congress. But, he's not going to offend anybody, he has a good personal narrative, and (probably) won't embarrass the party.
Donnelly, as you can see from the Colbert Report story to the right, is a different story. His placing in the Top-2 could radically change the face of the state party. While I've not seen any polls, a one-on-one matchup with the Governor would be a landslide of epic proportions, and turn minorities away from the CRP for several elections to come.
Perhaps it would be hard to resist the shadenfreude, but a complete lack of an honest opposition could raise problems. Like the Calderons or other such nonsense. But, as the headline for the above post says, it should be interesting.
Here in San Francisco, the ballot is, shall we say, not all that interesting to many voters. As I was on the street last night passing out slate cards, I heard several "there's an election?" and flat out "I'm not planning on voting." But, in many ways, you can't blame them for the apathy, as three of the the four candidate elections are unopposed. But throughout the state, there are some interesting elections, including several important ballot measures.
In San Bernardino, voters will choose a new mayor to help the city recover from its current bankrupt state:
Despite the problems, 10 candidates are vying for votes Tuesday to replace two-term Mayor Patrick J. Morris.
Aside from Korner, the candidates are: developer and former two-time candidate Rick Avila; retired high school coach Richard Castro; city public works employee Draymond Crawford; accountant Carey Davis; City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson; City Councilwoman Wendy McCammack; rail analyst Henry Nickel; and real estate broker Karmel Roe. There's also a write-in candidate: Concepcion Powell, a business development consultant and founder of the San Bernardino-based U.S. Hispanic Women Grocers Assn. (LA Times)
And there are other problems in San Bernardino, as two of the candidates had to step out because of corruption issues. (And one apparently regularly speaks to her deity) But the big issues facing the city aren't going away. A runoff seems likely given the big pack of candidates, so there will be more time to consider the issues. Republican Councilwoman Wendy McCammack and Businessman Carey Davis seem to be slight favorites to be in that runoff.
Well, welcome to the world of dark money, a bizarro land where people get to say and do very different things. Reports released by state investigators show a complex money laundering scheme involving several shady right-wing money movers and organizations, all to help hide the donors of about $25 million intended to fight against Gov. Brown's tax measure, Prop 30, and for the anti-labor measure, Prop 32. While many of the names will be unfamiliar, some of them are pretty much household names. But these are people that don't really want the attention, they just want to get their way. Because they are rich and that is what happens.
So, a pair of Republican consultants, Tony Russo and Jeff Miller, went about laundering the money through a vast network of Koch brother connected organizations in order to hide the true source of the money. Just to be clear, there is a word for that here in California: illegal.
The Fisher family, of the clothing firm Gap Inc., contributed more than $9 million. San Francisco investor Charles Schwab gave $6.4 million, and Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad sent $1 million.
The money went to a Virginia nonprofit that would use it to pay for the ad blitz and be allowed to keep the contributors secret. Nonprofits, unlike political action committees, are not required to identify their donors under federal law. ... But things went from bad to worse. Although Russo handed over $25 million, only about $15 million ended up back in California. And when the money surfaced, it sparked an investigation by state authorities, who last month levied $16 million in penalties against the Arizona group and three others.(LA Times
Somewhere along the line, Sean Noble, a Koch-affiliated operative, decided that he actually wasn't into sending the last $10 million back to California through their little washing machine. The attention had gotten to be too much. The fact that Russo claims he still doesn't know what happens to that cash is something of a funny post script.
But the real fight is over the large penalty handed down to the Small Business Action Committee(SBAC), the California PAC that spent the money attacking Prop 30 and supporting Prop 32. The FPPC levied a "disgorgement" penalty that requires the group to pay to the state an amount of money equal to the dark money that they accepted. Of course, the SBAC is fighting the fine, and the result of that fight could mean a lot for how ballot measures are run over the next few years.
Perhaps if voters had easy access to more information, they could simply vote against any initiative campaign that was using the shady money. But in the real world, cash is still king. If the fine is upheld, dark money could stall at the state border. If it is overturned, expect the secretive cash to become an even bigger (yet still overwhelmingly shady) tool in initiative campaigns.
Calderons and corruption? Well, shocking as it may be, Sen. Ron Calderon is currently involved in an undercover corruption sting.
State Sen. Ronald Calderon accepted bribes from a Southern California hospital executive who ran an alleged workers' compensation scheme that brought the executive tens of millions of dollars, according to a sealed FBI affidavit obtained by Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit.
In exchange for payments to family members, Calderon, a Democrat who represents a suburban district here, protected the interests in Sacramento of Michael Drobot, who ran a busy spinal surgery clinic in Long Beach, Calif., the affidavit says. The document says Calderon ensured that changes to state law would not injure Drobot's lucrative business of providing spinal fusion surgery, which joins two or more vertebrae. (Al Jazeera America)
The article reads like an old school political hack job, but Al Jazeera says they got the material from the FBI affidavit. Stay classy Calderons!
Jeff Denham has made some waves over the past 36 hours as he became the first Republican Congress member to sign on to the House Democrats immigration reform proposal.
A Republican congressman from a heavily Hispanic district is breaking ranks from his party to join Democrats in an eleventh-hour push for a broad immigration overhaul before the end of the year. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) plans to sign on as the lone GOP member with 185 Democrats to co-sponsor a plan that would give millions of unauthorized immigrants the chance to attain citizenship.
A handful of House Republicans have expressed support for citizenship legislation similar to the bipartisan bill that passed the Senate over the summer. But Denham is taking the additional - and politically provocative - step of locking arms with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other Democrats trying to neutralize opposition from House conservatives and shake up a polarized immigration debate.(WaPo)
Denham has a strong challenger in Michael Eggman and some lagging poll numbers after the shutdown. He needs a change in the conversation from the disaster that the Republicans brought down upon the country. Immigration is a pivotal issue in a district with a strong Latino voter base, and Denham has never been a true believer in the rightwing on this front, so this is something of a fit. But it is a fit that was almost preordained by the politics.
But, at this point, a lot is still needed to make immigration reform actually happen. And even if there is some political cynicism at work, at least it is going the right direction.
Faces criticism (and praise) for exchange roll out
by Brian Leubitz
Tracy Seipel of the San Jose Mercury News has a profile well worth reading of Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California:
His grandfather helped start the Palo Alto Medical Clinic in 1930, when the idea of a physicians' group was so revolutionary that critics called it anti-competitive, even "communist." And decades later, the Johnson administration recruited his uncle to help roll out Medicare, prompting new attacks from fellow doctors opposed to any slide into "socialized medicine."
Now, Peter V. Lee, as executive director of Covered California, the state's new health exchange, has the daunting task of executing a key part of the new federal health care law in the nation's most populous state. And if the law succeeds here, many health care experts agree, it will likely succeed in other states. (SJ Merc)
Now, let's just say that the California website rollout has been much smoother than the HealthCare.gov site that had another glitch last night. But there are still a few minor hiccups. But the key here is that it mostly works. It is no mystery why that happened, our lawmakers supported the system and gave it the resources it needed rather than fighting it. And sure, Lee has played a huge role in getting this up and going.
Former self-proclaimed vigilante joins "Free California" movement in attempt to recall Pomona senator
by Brian Leubitz
Sure, I could have posted the video from the Bee of Donnelly talking about the recall campaign. But, let's face it, this is about Tim Donnelly, so the ColbertReport video was far more appropriate. The former MinuteMan state leader is pretending to run for Governor next year, and even Abel Maldonado is getting more and better press coverage.
So, he needs some sort of stunt, kind of like the fence stunt in the video. And attempting to recall a State Senator that has been in office for about six months seems to fit the bill:
Having failed to persuade Gov. Jerry Brown to reject a wide-ranging package of gun control bills, pro-gun advocates announced on Thursday they will seek to punish Democrats who supported the measures at the ballot box.
"Every single assemblyman and state senator swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution," Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, told reporters before speaking at the conference. "And when they violate that oath by trying to erase the Second Amendment, then I think we have a duty" to "remove that threat."(SacBee)
This is of course from a man who claims to be a vigilante and carried a gun into the airport. Torres seems to be merely a name he chose from a list of Democrats, perhaps one with a slightly less Democratic seat. But the underlying fact is that Torres won the special election this spring, and deserves to server out her term.