Sunday, January 15, 2006

Jerry McNerney in Stockton

The following was written by Nicholas Hatten, who is a major volunteer for Jerry McNerney (and also an occasional Say No to Pombo commenter). It represents Nicholas’ own personal opinion only, and may not represent the opinion of the McNerney Campaign. I’m posting it because there has been a demand for positive posts that describe how any of the Democratic candidates will help the district. I think this fits the bill.

Yesterday, Jerry & I attended a Stop The Violence Forum that was hosted by the NAACP and I must say that I walked away from the event very saddened. Saddened that Richard Pombo has ignored the majority of the problems that our African American community faces. I was saddened to be reminded that the number 1 death for African American men in Stockton is murder. But most importantly I walked away saddened to find out that AIDS amongst our youngest Stocktonians (age 18-24) has increased over 40% from the previous year. These statistics are disgusting.

After our day was over Jerry shared with me how dedicated he was to winning this election in order to address these issues. And you know what? I believe him. I believe him because he is already out there trying to help the future of our African American community. During a faith-based community forum Jerry was informed by Council Member Rebecca Nabors that the city of Stockton currently receives grants to assist South Stockton (a predominantly African American community) yet some of these resources are being shifted to other areas of the city. Why? Well, Jerry, Council Member Nabors, Pastor Pamilton and Pastor Wise (who hosted this forum at The Church of the Living God) were in agreement that its because the south-side community is not vocal enough in demanding improvements to their community. So all parties in attendance agreed on an action plan to help improve their neighborhood. They agreed to organize and reach out to other leaders of faith and meet up in March to discuss progress and additional action needed. That's how dedicated Jerry is to improving the future of our district. He is already out there working with community members and local leaders and making a difference for the future of our district.

In the past you have brought attention to some of the challenges the Central Valley faces. From our economic disparity to the plight of the farming community you are bringing much needed attention to some very important issues and for that I applaud you. I look forward to debating with Republicans, Democrats, Green, Libertarian and Independents who the best candidate is to help solve these problems.

And improve our future.

Nicholas Hatten


Blogger VPO said...

Thanks for the post. I totally agree that now is the time to start posting what positive actions the candidates will take to better this district. We can keep trashing Pombo, and that is all well and good, since there is so much scandal and controversy swirling around him, but in the long run, there needs to be an acceptable alternative.

Those Pombo-trashing posts of course will continue - he certainly deserves them with his outrageous and unethical actions -but I think it is time for more positive posts to start appearing also. The one like Nicholas' above is really great, showing what the community needs and how one of the candidates, at least, is addressing it.

The bottom line with Pombo is he has been in office 14 years. It is not like he can say he has not had the chance to work for the people of this district. We have seen what he has done (not much) and where he directs his energy (attempting to overturn every environmental law ever written). He can't very well hide from his dismal record.

People need to see an alternative to the status quo (Pombo) -- that is, a candidate working hard for the people of the district, not the corporate campaign donors.

8:13 PM, January 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congressman Pombo and Moon

In an unrelated matter, at an event in San Francisco at the San Francisco Hilton on September 29, titled "God's Ideal family: The Model for World Peace," sponsored by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church (now called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification), an article about the event noted that the group received several letters of "commendation" including one from Rep. Pombo.

The organization boasted that it had "secured" the letters "in one week, and also in the face of the great deal of controversy and criticism over the last year after the Crown of Peace ceremony on Capitol Hill." The article went on to claim that things had changed, "and the majority of leaders have come to understand that Father is a peace king, a spiritual leader that does not seek any secular power or authority but simply wants to give the inspiration from God that allows people to build true families and true nations."

10:51 PM, January 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I am a resident of the Valley and I already knew these problems existed. I guess the McNerney campaign and his people, isolated from the real world over there in Pleasanton needed a Stop the Violence forum to "learn" of this.

However it is not just an African-American problem, the population of the central valley, indeed San Joaquin County, suffers from high rates of HIV infection, high murder rates, health problems, high infant mortality, etc. We are poor here in the valley. Our education system is in shambles and I haven't heard anything but rehetoric from the McNerney campaign about it. I sorry, idealism and theory only go so far. I have choosen not to drink the kool-aid and am still waiting for some real world solutions from the McNerney campaign.

8:48 AM, January 16, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...


You have every right to withhold your support from a politician you do not think offers "real world solutions." Furthermore, I can understand why you would be turned off by someone you view as out of touch with the needs of San Joaquin County. But I am curious about the tone of your comment and what your comment seems to imply.

To me it sounds like you are very skeptical that you will get anything more than rhetoric from McNerney. Are you? And if you are, why do you feel like that? Is it something McNerney himself has said or done? And does McNerney suffer acutely from this more than any of the other candidates in the race (including Pombo)?

I know that if I felt like a candidate did not know the issues of my part of the district, I would applaud his outreach efforts to my area and the things he did to familiarize himself with the issues that I cared about.

I read your comment as putting McNerney in a lose-lose situation. On one hand you say he doesn't know the district sufficiently, which is bad. But if he tries to learn, he is also faulted for not already knowing the district. So what is he supposed to do?

In addition, if your answer to the previous question is "offer real world solutions" or something similar, could you please flesh that out more so that everyone would understand what you mean by that?

As much as I do not want to invalidate your perception (I am appreciative of the fact that you have the right to think whatever you want) I still must say that I find it curious that you are so uncharitable to not only McNerney, but also his campaign. The author of the piece is a long-time (and possibly lifelong) resident of Stockton. If you read the comments of the reader poll you will see McNerney has active supporters from San Joaquin County. You write-off this piece as if McNerney's campaign is full of people sequestered in Pleasanton, cut off from what you call "the real world." Are we to believe that where McNerney lives affects the ability of his supporters to understand the issues in San Joaquin County?

I could understand your comment more if the author of this piece also came from Pleasanton. But Nicholas is very much a part of the African American community in Stockton (he called it "our African American community" for a reason), so whatever you think about his perceptions, they are must be granted some degree of authenticity. But you seem unwilling to grant him that.

Lastly, I am just wondering if you are AceKing from the San Joaquin Blog? I ask because you seem to be articulating a similar demand.

9:48 AM, January 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I am not AceKing from the San Joaquin Blog, nor was I aware that any such blog existed.

I will have more to say later, however my post was sum what generated by a general response to this blog's seemingly blind faith in McNerney. I have met the man many times and have read carefully through his campaign material and find it and him full of academic and ideolistic jargon that for a moderate Democrat who has spent almost his entire life in the Central Valley rings very hollow.

As solid as McNerney is with his base on the far left, the man and his ideas have absolutely no chance. I don't mean that because of numbers, I mean it because I don't see, hear, or feel how he is in touch with the majority of voters, Democrat and Republican of this district.

Is Filson the answer? Is Thomas or Machado. I don't know. Although you can add me to the sources who say that Machado will not run.

Again, more later.

10:58 AM, January 16, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...


I really appreciate your thoughtful response. I hope that you continue to post comments as your are able, although I would ask that you choose a name to comment under so that we can better understand your perspective on the race. (For those who may not know, instead of clicking "Anonymous" under the "Choose an identity" heading on the right half of the screen, you can click "Other," and then type in any name or pseudonym you want).

Also, I hope we can engage in a dialogue so that I can understand in more concrete terms what you're looking for.

For myself, I do not believe I have faith in McNerney, blind or otherwise, except insofar as I believe him to be a man of integrity (and so have faith in his motivations). But I am still not sure what chance he has in this race, and I have not declared any sort of allegiance to him as a candidate. I am very aware, for example, that McNerney's chances depend on whether he can win the primary, and whether he can win the primary is heavily dependent on how much money Filson can raise.

Perhaps the most obvious premise that we do not share involves McNerney's base of support. You seem to think he does not have sufficient support from moderates. I have met enough moderates who support McNerney to believe that he has the potential to win enough moderate votes. But I don't mind you challenging this belief of mine.

Some Filson supporters have challenged the same belief in a way that has led to some amount of confrontation on this blog. For me, it was not their disagreement per se that I found troublesome. Rather, it was the fact that they posited this huge ideological gap between Filson and McNerney that was supposed to explain why Filson would be able to woo moderates where McNerney wouldn't be able to, but then were unable to explain how Filson's ideology was substantively to the right of McNerney's, or provide any independent evidence for why we ought to believe that Filson is more amenable to moderates than McNerney.

For me, the question I want to pose to you becomes: Do you simply believe that McNerney has simply been unsuccessful at connecting with the center, or do you believe that McNerney has done something to actually alienate the center?

Also, would you agree that Pombo has alienated the center?

12:05 PM, January 16, 2006  
Anonymous nicholas said...

I'd like to know a couple things from mr./mrs. anon.

1) why did you use the same tag "I will have more to say later" that jesse (another filson supporter) used? is this a campaign theme? "more to say later"?

2) where in my post did i ever indicate that Jerry was not aware of these plight of the central valley? i have been attending meetings with jerry (and local stockton groups) for over six months now and jerry was aware of the issues then and he was aware of them prior to the Stop The Violence forum.

Im going to post a part of my letter to Matt that he did not publically post:

"Hi Matt, as I reflect on the issues and causes that Martin Luther King's Birthday celebrations honor I find myself frustrated at not having an
outlet to publicly share with people something I experienced. Do you mind
posting this for discussion?"

3) I have a 14 year old brother, a 14 year old niece and a 15 year old nephew currently growing up in Stockton. I support Jerry because he has already displayed an interest in improving our community and thus improving their chances of being successful adults. What has Filson said or done to convince you that he is the one that can solve their problems? Please direct us to a link on his site..or an article online where Filson has even addressed the issues that affect them. Stop throwing out empty rhetoric and start discussing actual issues.

Jerry's energy vision would provide a viable economic stimulas for our much needed community. By meeting with local leaders he is gaining a deep understanding of how this vision can improve peoples lives. Have ya checked out Filson's site lately? The last time I checked it out all I saw and heard were crickets chirping.

4)What did the other candidates do today to honor Martin Luther King Jr's birthday? Attend events? Make a public statement? Pombo was nowhere to be found. I know where Jerry was. He attended two MLK prayers (Tracy & Stockton). Can someone from the Filson camp share with us what Filson did? Convence those voters who have yet to make up their mind why folks should vote for Filson. I BEG OF YOU!!!

5)Is this the tone and attitude that we are to expect from the Filson camp until the end of the primary? Is this the type of campaigning that is going to inspire people to get out there and vote for him? Whats going on here? I post my thoughts about a weekend that affected me pesonally and the responce to it is this? Damn, at least use campaigning 101 and respond with some meat about what your candidate will do as an alternative. Its called PIVOTING the discussing in favor of your candidate. Who is his coalition of supporters? What are they doing to educate Filson on the problems that Stockton faces? Cause Stockton is much more then the cleaning of "SWAMP COOLERS" and thats all we have heard from Filson thus far...

Come on now. This campaign should be much smarter then this.

-Nicholas Hatten
ps..which part of the valley do you call home? i've leaved in this district all but the last two ears of my life and I have never heard someone say "we are poor". you sure your from the valley? could you be from the same "poorer" parts of stockton as jesse?

anyone notice a pattern here?

2:05 PM, January 16, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...


I think your comment assumes that Anon IS a Filson supporter. I saw nothing to indicate that in Anon's comments themselves. Certainly, I can see the parallels you drew between Anon and Jesse. But Jesse did actually post a comment under his own name the other day (on the reader poll thread). And Jesse, to his credit, has always identified himself as a Filson supporter.

I suggest you reconsider your comment in light of the possibility that Anon is simply a Democrat who hasn't taken sides yet. Even if he is supporting Filson, everything on this thread has been perfectly reasonable insofar as it goes. Therefore, it might equally have been said by someone who hasn't taken sides yet.

Personally, I think (as you noted) that McNerney's energy plan is one of the most interesting parts of his campaign, and represents a "real world solution" (at least as I understand the term). But you and your campaign will need to convince people of its value on its own merits, without relation to what Steve Filson, his campaign, or his supporters have said or done.

Lastly, I just want to say that I'm intrigued by your comment about more than six months of meetings and outreach in Stockton. I'd like to hear more about what McNerney did last year during the lull after the election and before this one.

2:26 PM, January 16, 2006  
Anonymous Used-to-b-anon said...

Nicholas, chill.

I like how you create a strawman arguement by saying I am part of the Filson campaign. Nice try! I'm not.

Like Matt, I am trying to be civil and just wanted to voice my frustrations and observations. I guess I can take from your comments that the McNerney campaign is not interested in civility and discussion, since you protray to speak on his behalf.

You need to look deep inside yourself and ask why a simple opinion from a simple man on a blog, which 90% of voters don't know or care about (Sorry Matt, it's the truth even though I am a blog fan), has gotten you so angry.

There is a reason why everyday people don't connect with politics. If all they here about from any of the campaigns is conspiracy theories and hatred of other candidates, they won't know how you will solve their problems.

So Nicholas, take a pill, or a drink, and calm down. Stop trying to read into the world things that don't exist. I work for no one, represent no one, except myself.

Have a great day and good luck to you.

2:35 PM, January 16, 2006  
Anonymous nicholas said...

1) im not upset..

2) im frustrated because you misintepreted and bent my intitial statements in attempt to portray mcnerney as out of touch. you did this without knowing the facts and when matt gave the you the facts (that I am a stocktonian) you conveniently ignored that issue.

further more, sorry buddy...i've been moderating websites for a very long time now and and my bs meter has been fine tuned because of it. theres a style of "baiting" that is pretty prevelent throughout the online community and thats my take on anon's post. i could be wrong, i'll conceed that. but its my gut impression that thats whats going on here. look at the last post by anon..he turned the discussion personal rather then addressing my questions or even responding to why i feel the way i do. thats not baiting? i calls it as i see it.

and even if anon isnt a filson statement stand. someone who is a filson supporter please share with us what he has said or done that indicates that he is the right candidate for this election...anyone? anyone? bueller? bueller?

bashing jerry doesnt do anyone any good hear. and i cant see any true blue democrat doing just that. notice i am not attacking simply asking for those who support him to stand up and speak. and not just when they want to bash mcnerney.

in regards to what jerry has been doing? he's been doing what every candidate should be doing..getting to know his constituency. one voter at a time. neighborhood by by ciy.

2:54 PM, January 16, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Used-to-b, you said:

"Like Matt, I am trying to be civil and just wanted to voice my frustrations and observations. I guess I can take from your comments that the McNerney campaign is not interested in civility and discussion, since you protray [sic] to speak on his behalf."

This is a cheap shot and when I see it I'm tempted to agree with Nicholas that you're baiting him. Nicholas is not commenting here as a spokesperson for the McNerney Campaign, as I made clear in my introduction to the piece.

Also, you grossly overestimated how many people I think know or care about this blog. I'd be ecstatic if I thought 10% of the voters in CA-11 knew about Say No to Pombo, much less cared what I said.


I encourage you to view Use-to-b's comments not as a criticism of McNerney, but as an articulation of the challenges facing McNerney in the upcoming race.

4:03 PM, January 16, 2006  

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