Tracy Candidates Forum, Wes Clark, Filson, McNerney...
I thought Jerry McNerney did very well. He brought his A game to Tracy and seemed very passionate, comfortable, and focused. I'm sure it helped him that he had plenty of supporters in the audience who certainly gave him his share of applause and support.
Regardless of having support and being comfortable there was a widely noticed improvement in McNerney's delivery and speaking in general. He's improving in what had been considered his weak area. It never discourage me (or many others for that matter) from supporting him because I saw a public servant and not a politician in him but it's certainly nice to see him improve so dramatically in public speaking and at such an important event.
He came across as having vision, as being genuine, and as a strong candidate. He did especially well with his Energy Plan and on energy policy, his area of expertise and an issue discussed at the forum in terms of energy policy and dependence on foreign oil. An issue has repercussions on national security, foreign policy, the environment, health, gas prices, jobs, the economy, etc. In fact it's what is highlited in both the Tracy Press and the Record on Mcnerney.
Steve Thomas gave intelligent and in many cases witty responses to many questions and addressed many important issues such as jobs, immigration reform, and the war in Iraq very well.
Steve Filson criticized the grassroots group's that have endorsed Jerry McNerney for Congress as being "extreme." He in particular focused his attack on Bay Area progressive's at the forum in Richard Pombo's home town of Tracy, Ca. After I get a transcript or recording to get the specific words I will post them later.
No mention was there of the fact that he (and his staff) campaigned for most of the very same endorsements. Mr. Filson should have told these progressive grassroots groups how he really felt before he sought and lost their endorsement's to Jerry McNerney.
He should also consider that whoever wins the primary is going to need help from bay area and surrounding Democrats, liberals, progressives, environmentalists, and so on; alienating our allies with typical DLC rhetoric is a sure way to make sure you have no outside support.
In my opinion, the DLC is almost as "extreme" as the GOP. There is nothing moderate nor conservative about selling out the middle class, seniors, the youth, workers, Americans and America to the big business. There is nothing moderate or conservative about the corrosive effect of corporate money on democracy and the GOP and DLC's embracement of such money and of such a culture is much more "extreme" then any grassroots democratic or progressive organization. Corporatism does not equal moderatism, centrism, or free trade.
Filson's comments also were a slap in the face to local labor, grassroots, and progressive organizations that do support and have endorsed McNerney.
More then anything I interpret it as a sign of weakness and a lack of a real and positive agenda. This is obviously not the first time we've heard these cheap shot attacks from Filson, it's just another disappointing example. Need another? Just read the next article on Steve Filson's and Wes Clark's veterans forum... (More on the Tracy Forum below)
"Stockton's Chuck Mechling, a retired Marine and a registered Republican, was outraged when he heard that his son - also a Marine infantryman - had to spend his whole paycheck to buy the ammunition pouches and holster he'd need to head off to war in Iraq.
"I was not happy with that," he said at a veterans' forum in Stockton on Monday. So he told Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, about it in March.
Since then, "I've heard nothing," Mechling said.
Clark endorsed Filson earlier this year, although Clark's supporters in the East Bay were instrumental in helping McNerney's campaign against Pombo in 2004."
I'm not sure whether or not Steve Filson considers the progressive Clark supporters from the East Bay who supported Jerry McNerney in 2004 and many of who'm support him today and were upset by the endorsement in the first place -as "extreme"?
All 3 candidate did their share of attacking Congressman Pombo and his destructive policies and ties to corruption and special interests but one candidate in particular and in the opinion of several folks that I talked to -shined yesterday. McNerney supporters were and should be very pleased yesterday by the performance of Jerry McNerney at the forum.
For the 17th CD, Cathleen Galgiani did a great job communicating and dominating on the issues as far as that race goes. It should be noted though that William Sweet, the underdog in that race and a veteran, made a heart-felt appeal to the audience to (regardless of who wins) work to support veterans and veterans benefits, which was greeted by applause by virtually everybody in the building and agreement from Galgiani.
From the Record:
"Rising energy prices, immigration and transportation topped the list of topics, with the candidates criticizing President Bush and incumbent Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy.
McNerney touted his experience working with renewable-energy providers and said power from sources such as windmills along the Altamont Pass could help the nation move from its reliance on fossil fuels.
"This district could be the Silicon Valley of the new energy-technology industry," McNerney said.
McNerney said creating more jobs in San Joaquin County also would ease transportation issues as fewer commuters head to the Bay Area for jobs every day." (More-At-Source)