Meta Post #1
Last night I went to the San Ramon Democratic Club meeting to see Steve Filson give a speech. I was able to speak with him a bit and I certainly will post a more complete account of what transpired, but before I do that I want to explain a couple of things about this blog. Some of the following came up last night at the meeting, but Kid Oakland also broached the subject in a comment to the previous post.
So let me be clear: this is an anti-Pombo site, not an anti-Filson site. It is not intended to be a specifically pro-McNerney site either. I do have my beliefs, biases, judgments, and my own analysis about the Democratic primary. I will not hide what I think. But the one and only aim of this site, when all is said and done, is to get Richard Pombo out of office.
I invited Babaloo and VPO to post on this site precisely because I wanted to include in this discussion those who did not necessarily share my perspective. Both of my co-authors (who admittedly have been less prolific than I) were invited based upon their ability to write compelling and thoughtful analysis about the efforts to oust Pombo from office. I was not closely acquainted with either of them, and had no reason to suspect that we would be unanimous in our assessment about the various aspects of this race. More to the point, I fully expect to invite other co-authors to join the team as promising candidates present themselves. So there ought to be a lot of divergence over points large and small as this blog develops.
Furthermore, I told Filson that I would consider posting something written by him if he would like, especially if he feels the need to respond to the substantive issues I have raised. I have definitely asked some hard questions about him and have sometimes indulged in harsh language when describing him. But I also want to be fair, and recognize the need to provide space for him to respond to my critiques and my concerns, as long as the response focuses on the underlying issues and not on me.
I admit, I am also deeply concerned with the issue of Democratic Party reform. I see this race as an opportunity to help define what we (broadly speaking the Democratic Party grassroots) want to see in a candidate. And so I will be unabashed in looking at the candidates through the prism of party reform. But regardless of how the candidates stack up under this metric, I have every confidence that any of the Democratic candidates will serve the people of the district better, by many orders of magnitude, than Richard Pombo.
Lastly, I want to simply aver that my criticisms are largely intended to be constructive. I try not to say anything that could actually aid Pombo. On the contrary, I want to raise issues that the media has not raised (sometimes quite understandably) and raise the issues in a context where they can be evaluated by people who are largely sympathetic to the efforts of the Democrats working to unseat Pombo. In this way I hope to be able to anticipate and forestall the formation of larger problems and to identify weak areas that need strengthening before Richard Pombo even enters the picture.