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.