Friday, January 20, 2006

Campaign Events (Jan 21-23)

This is going to be a busy weekend for me and there is going to be a ton of things happening. For those of you who live in and near the district, there are a lot of opportunities to see the candidates in the next couple of days. The following list is pretty heavy on McNerney events, but it includes every relevant campaign event I know about, including a candidates forum for all the Democratic challengers and Pete McCloskey’s announcement of his own candidacy on Monday. If anyone knows about any other events, particularly ones that include Steve Filson, please post them in the comment section or let me know via e-mail. Also, the details of all events besides the last one can be found here.

Saturday January 21, 2006

Tomorrow Jerry McNerney is having a big campaign kick-off in Tracy. I’ll probably attend it and will report back on how it went and what happened while I was there. I’m especially interested in seeing how many people show up and from where. Hopefully I’ll meet some people who can provide their perspective on the San Joaquin County aspect of the race.

But before the Tracy event, McNerney and Steve Thomas (and possibly Filson) are going to attend the South County Democratic Club candidates forum in Morgan Hill (Santa Clara County). If anyone attends, please send me a note telling me what you thought of the candidates and their performances at the event. I would like to attend myself but I cannot make it to both events and have decided that checking out San Joaquin County needs to take priority. Still, this will be as far as I can tell Steve Thomas’ first campaign appearance. So I do hope that I can get a report on how he does and what he says.

After the Tracy Event, McNerney is heading to San Francisco to attend the San Francisco for Democracy meeting. McNerney was just endorsed by East Bay for Democracy (and was earlier endorsed by the Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley), and I assume that San Francisco for Democracy will be similarly welcoming to him. If any of my San Francisco readers are interested in the race, I encourage you to attend the meeting. Not only will you get a chance to suss out Jerry McNerney and make up your own mind about him, you will also get a chance to meet and interact with the SF for Democracy folks. I know that SF4D does a lot of good work in the city, and I imagine that some of the SF4D members will do some work on this race, even if it is only through the blogosphere.

Sunday January 22, 2005

On Sunday, the only event I know about that bears on this race is a meeting in Berkeley for volunteers for Jerry McNerney. A group of MoveOn volunteers on their own initiative (that is, without coordination with either MoveOn or the McNerney Campaign) planned a meeting to figure out how to help McNerney. At some point after the meeting was planned, McNerney’s campaign found out about it and so now it looks like McNerney himself will show up at the meeting. There might be five people at the meeting and there might be fifty. I’m not sure exactly what it will be like. But it will be a good chance for people in the Berkeley and Oakland area to see McNerney in person without heading all the way to the district.

It will also be interesting to see how the McNerney Campaign will be able to make use of volunteers from Berkeley, and whether the volunteers will feel like they can constructively add something to his campaign. I know a lot of people (myself included) who headed to swing states for the 2004 election. I know that some felt they made a huge impact and some felt like they made almost no appreciable difference. There is a certain logistical challenge in organizing the volunteers from Berkeley, getting them to the district, and deploying them constructively within the district. It will be interesting to see how the McNerney Campaign deals with this challenge, and whether his volunteers come back to Berkeley inspired or worn-down. If it’s the former, there is tremendous growth potential for something like this, especially if the logistical apparatus proves sufficiently scalable. There are a lot of Democrats in the Bay Area who are looking for ways of helping the Democrats in the redder parts of the state. So in some way McNerney is not only providing a test case for his own district, he is doing so for a lot of races in the future.

Monday January 23, 2005

Lastly, it looks like Pete McCloskey will announce his own candidacy for the Republican primary on Monday in Lodi. I look forward to him entering the race, although certain developments have tempered my enthusiasm for him somewhat. I’ll come back to this later, perhaps when I report back on what happened at his Monday announcement. But, regardless, I foresee McCloskey taking Pombo to task on a number of issues that Democrats would like to talk about, but which would be easily written off by Pombo as partisan attacks. Issues like environmental conservation are not inherently partisan issues, and I think a lot of Republicans will be more open to hearing about these issues from a fellow Republican than from a Democrat. And though Pombo has already telegraphed his intention to paint McCloskey as a Republican in name only (RINO), I’m hoping that McCloskey will be supported by a number of honest-to-goodness, relatively mainstream Republicans who are fed up with Pombo. At the very least, McCloskey’s campaign will provide a bell-weather for how Republicans feel about Pombo, and will give us a better sense for how uphill the battle to oust Pombo will be.


Blogger Dan Spomer said...

Definition Of Cheap Shot:

"I look forward to him entering the race, although certain developments have tempered my enthusiasm for him somewhat."

Say what you have to say, but don't post teasers. Irresponsible blogging does not become you, and does nothing but alienate those who might come here for factual info.

8:49 PM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Just want to mention that in California, any independent can vote in a primary. When they go to the voting booth, they can request a ballot of either party (not both, of course). That means that not only moderate Republicans, but also independent/unaffiliated voters can vote for McCloskey.

And as far as tempering enthusiasm, the only thing you have to remember is that a McCloskey win ousts Pombo. That can only be seens as a "good thing". Give it up on the "tempered my enthusiasm", no one is perfect, and McCloskey towers over Pombo in so many ways (ethics, environment, social issues, honesty, fiscal responsibility, etc).

Now, if McCloskey wins and faces, say McNerney, then let's talk about who you like better and why. There will be plenty of time for that later.

But in the primary, are you kidding? This is a golden chance to hit Pombo hard. Take some advice -- go get an enthusiasm infusion: McCloskey entering the race is an amazingly fortunate event in the fight to oust Pombo. A bruising primary will hurt Pombo badly, if not actually see him defeated. That is something to get excited -- and enthusiastic -- about.

9:38 PM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Perhaps my choice of words was poor. All I meant to suggest is that my thinking has changed a bit recently. I'll write more about this later, as this is obviously a cause of some concern to a number of you. But I have by no means taken my eyes off of the prize. I still understand that Pombo needs to go and that McCloskey's candidacy is a development that will increase the chance that Pombo will be ousted from office. Don't worry about that.

10:00 PM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger Dan Spomer said...

You see your task. VPO is absolutely, completely correct. Leave the Dem infighting for later.

10:38 PM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

For those interested in the when and where of the McCloskey Press conference, I just saw this in the Lodi News-Sentinel:

"The press conference will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Lodi Beer Co., 106 S. School St. It is open to the public."

11:02 PM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Matt, I know no one covers the Pombozilla phenomena as well as you do, but we just posted an update at Down With Tyranny and we did some artwork for it that I'm sure you and your readers would get a kick out of, especially the tattoo we discovered on Pombo's ass!

9:20 PM, January 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VPO - You wrote...
"no one is perfect, and McCloskey towers over Pombo in so many ways (ethics, environment, social issues, honesty, fiscal responsibility, etc)."
Really.... What do you really know about the Petester? Is he honest? how ethical is he?what do you really know about this former member who left the spotlight 30 plus years ago?

10:24 PM, January 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a "blogger", but I stumbled upon this site and thought I would add some of my thoughts. I was actually at the South County Democratic Club meeting on Saturday. With all three candidates in attendance, it was a great opportunity to measure them side-by-side. I must say that I was "won over" by Steve Filson. In my opinion, he far outshined the other candidates. His candor, vigor, and charisma were quite evident. I was also impressed with Filson's leadership qualifications. My biggest dismay with Jerry McNerney actually came from my interactions with his supporters. He had several supporters at the meeting, but none of them were actually from the area (or even the district). Additionally, when it came time for the Q & A portion of the meeting, the McNerney supporters all raised their hands and asked "planted" questions that McNerney was overly prepared to answer. Steve Thomas was a really nice guy, but kinda crazy and "out there". I'm still undecided about this race, but I am no longer leaning toward McNerney and will definitely be paying a lot more attention to Filson.

11:45 PM, January 22, 2006  
Anonymous nicholas said...

hey, anon...thanks for sharing your take on the event..

None were from the district? All the guys from the Dean club (who endorsed Jerry) are from the district..and i thought attended the meeting...thats strange. And yeah, Saturday was a busy one for McNerney supporters. There were many folks who were walking precincts that morning and many more of us preparing for the rally. So, I can see how that could have led you to think that only "out of the area people" attended the meeting..but like i said earlier, i thought the Dean club members (who are from your area and from within the district) were in attendance.

Also..real quick:

You said:" I was also impressed with Filson's leadership qualifications."

Could you expand on that a bit? Flesh it out so we all know what your talking about....thanks!!

Have a qood week and goodluck in your research on all the the end, this race will only make our party stronger!!!

4:23 AM, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...


I want to echo Nicholas in welcoming your input about the South County Democratic Club forum.

I am also interested in hearing more from you. Specifically, I would appreciate knowing if you heard the three candidates articulate substantive differences in policy or differences on the issues. Also, did Filson announce any further public engagements?

7:52 AM, January 23, 2006  

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