Thursday, December 29, 2005 Help recruit a candidate for Congress (Ca-11) Help recruit a candidate for Congress (Ca-11)

"As chairman of the House Natural Resources committee, the incumbent, Representative Richard Pombo has fought to undermine the Endangered Species Act, to allow drilling in Alaska and off the coast of California, and to sell off national parks in the west. He is a close associate of Tom DeLay with a record of placing the interests of his family, corporate donors, and friends ahead of those of his constituents.1 Pombo, who was elected in 1992 with just 48 percent of the vote, has won with significant margins since then. However, this once reliably conservative district has become increasingly moderate since the 2001 redistricting, which added the more suburban areas of several Bay Area Counties. Pombo's extreme views on the environment and abortion and charges of corruption make him vulnerable, but it will take a strong challenger to beat him—Pombo has already raised $713,000 as of September 30th.2" (Source)

"We want to ensure that each congressional district has a strong candidate who will stand up for our values. This informal survey of MoveOn members in your congressional district asks whether we should encourage an existing candidate, urge a new candidate to enter the race, or take no action. This is not an endorsement—we'll decide later which candidates for Congress to endorse. The public rarely has an opportunity to affect who is on the ballot, but today you can send a message about which candidates you'd like a chance to vote for next November.
You can express your preference for as many candidates as you want (or for not recruiting any candidates), just by giving each candidate a score for how enthusiastic you are about them. Each member's response will only be counted once." (Source)

Mike Machado, Steve Filson, or Jerry McNerney

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

update on the dirty money...

Apparently the Cunningham money was not returned as previously reported below. The Tracy Press is reporting that, "The $2,000 from Cunningham went to the Boys & Girls Club chapter in Tracy; Abramoff’s money went to a chapter of the group working with the Red Lake Chippewa tribe of Minnesota..." ($7,000 from Abramoff)

The article also points out that "Congressman Richard Pombo has received more than $10,000 in contributions from defense contractors.”

Say No To Pombo blogged about the 'FBI Probing Pombo-Abramoff Connection' referencing a LA Times article entitled, 'FBI Follows Money in Tribe's Beltway Success - The Mashpee gave tens of thousands to lobbyist Jack Abramoff and California Rep. Pombo.'

In a press release, "Commenting on this development Democratic challenger Jerry McNerney stated, "The LA Times piece is just the latest evidence of his pattern of unethical behavior involving political contributions for legislative action.""

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Pombo passes Abramoff money along

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The evolving race to take on Pombo...

Just as Margee Ensign entered the race, it now appears she has decided to exit. Rumors began flying (see SNTP) a few days ago, then the Tracy Press's Nick Juliano reported that she was "reconsidering her candidacy" and later blogged that "Ensign abandons congressional bid". Say No To Pombo also confirmed it. The blogosphere is awaiting confirmation via her website, (the website strangely enough created by another candidate who recently dropped-out of the race in support of Ensign, Scott Chacon.) The website was down prior to publishing and didn't have any announcement up earlier in the day or evening.

Juliano's Political Notes also indicate that Jerry McNerney has hired an experienced campaign director and that Steve Filson continues to raise big money from the Washington establishment.

Filson's connections to Tauscher, the DLC (to whom he links), the DCCC, and the Washington establishment, have done wonders for his campaign war chest, but he continues to struggle to even create an appearance of real grassroots credibility and support. Filson is far from alone despite not having a lot of grassroots support.

The challenge he faces is a challenge that many of those anointed by the establishment, and particularly those aligned with the dlc on trade, labor, business, war, defense spending, corporate welfare; among other things, and typically against the principles, wishes, and interests of the democratic party grassroots, progressive's, and the working/middle class; also face.

The DLC is notorious amongst progressive's and amongst the democratic party grassroots for compromising on democratic and progressive principals, for seeking to minimize the influence of labor and liberals (unfortunately through corporate funding and attacks on other Democrats,) and for being typically unwilling to stand up to and hold power accountable (including the neo-conservatives, the radical religious right, big business, and corrupt republicans.) They do this under the claim of being somehow moderate or centrist, but when you consider the former republican operatives and the bad corporate habits they brought with them to the dlc, when you follow the money and voting records and stop wondering why some democrats started voting republican lite on trade, taxes, war, the bankruptcy bill, environmental issues, among other things; it's quite clear that this isn't about centrism, or a third way, it's about republican lite, beltway politics as usual, and corporatism-lite, and I find nothing what so ever moderate about any of that, as is evident by my angry run on sentence of a rant (hehe) and by some of what I'm hopefully bringing to light to those who didn't know.

I also want to be clear this is NOT about left versus right despite any attempts to frame the debate as such on the part of the dlc. In fact, 'new' Democrat, Simon Rosenberg of the New Democratic Network to whom the DLC links to, has gone as far as to say that even he's 'joined the insurgency,' in an article on the growing divide between the pro-business DLC and the pro-labor/progressivism Democratic Party grassroots (I'll see if I can track down this quote/article), and pointed out that it's more about 'insiders' and 'outsiders' in another article.

For anyone that wants a decent history lesson on the dlc here's one article and another.

It's obviously early and anything is possible, but I tend to think that a grassroots and volunteers are not things you can easily buy or build. Grassroots support is truly priceless, don't forget who walks precincts, makes phone calls, and vote in the primaries. We are not to be taken for granted. When faced with option of supporting people powered and funded candidates or establishment anointed and funded candidates, for me at least, the choice is fairly easy.

If you'd like to help counter the influence of the DLC and the Washington establishment in the selection of the Democratic candidate for the 11th Congressional District, right now is a perfect time to take action;

I initially posted regarding a matching donor offer over at Say No To Pombo: "Say No To Pombo's ActBlue fundraising page through 12/29 will be matched up to $1,000." -HOWEVER, it has come to my attention that they have "generated $1,535 in contributions from new donors since last Thursday." That is truly a milestone, and hopefully only the beginning of what the netroots, blogs, and online fundraising will bring to the race to unseat Pombo. Congratulations Say No To Pombo!

Feel free still to make a grassroots contribution via Say No To Pombo or Progressive11th ActBlue Funds in support of Jerry McNerney.

Also, a blogger suggested Here that McNerney supporters ask House Minority Leader Pelosi to also contribute $2,000 to McNerney for Congress, since she's decided to give Filson $2,000 despite no formal endorsement. I think it's a great idea considering that Pelosi typically is pretty progressive Democrat, is much more ideologically aligned with McNerney and hasn't been above doing battle with the DLC aspect of the party in the past and even in recent months, her self. Contact Pelosi Here.

Also, Jerry McNerney aside from a recent labor endorsement has also recently been endorsed by the Dean Democrat Club of Silicon Valley. Congratulations!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

An Update...

Lots of recent news if you've been following things... Obviously this isn't the most up-to-date resource for the 11th cd-race in general, For that I strongly reccomend Say No To Pombo, Vote Pombo Out, and the other blogs and websites to which this blog links.

Jerry McNerney has put forward a New - Clean Energy Innovation Plan. He's also very recently been endorsed by the "San Joaquin Central Labor Council a member of the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO", as is up on his website.

The Tracy Press ran an article entitled The power of the blog in which they briefly cover the emergence of the blogosphere in the race to unseat Pombo. They highlight Say No To Pombo, Pombo Watch, and Jerry McNerney's Blog. (All 3 worth checking out) You can read the follow up as well from Say No To Pombo, Here.

Margee Ensign has also entered the race, and has a New website and blog up, designed by Scott Chacon (who was running against Pombo as well but hasn't raised money.) It's unclear whether Chacon has given up to support Ensign.

Another candidate, by the name of Steve Thomas has also entered the race. He's got a webpage up as well (which seems to be a work in progress) and has done and interview with Say No To Pombo, Here. Thomas has been endorsed by the San Francisco based "International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 6", to which he is also a member (SNTP.)

Steve Filson has been endorsed by Zoe Lofgren, Ellen Tauscher, and others.

As far as pombo news, aside from the usual and consistent attacks on the environment, he's also recieved an endorsement of sorts; Richard Pombo was named one of The 13 Most Corrupt Members Of Congress (Beyond Tom Delay) by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) along with republican superstars such as Bill Frist, Roy Blunt, Rick Santorum, and Duke Cunningham. I'm not sure if Pombo has returned Delay or Abramoff's dirty contributions yet, but it appears he will be returning the money he recieved from now addmittedly corrupt Republican congressman, Duke Cunningham. (The guy who took over 2 million bribes from defense contractors... what culture of corruption?)

Also, Pete McCloskey is still looking for someone to take Pombo on in the primaries (so he doesn't have to do it himself and apparently Mark Connolly is thinking about it, according to the Tracy Press article which can be found Here.