At the Lamorinda Club (Part 1)
I’m going to Los Angeles today but before I left I want to give a brief report back from the Lamorinda Democratic Club’s candidate forum last night. I’m going to discuss how the candidates did in my next piece, but I want to mention two things before that.
First, I was approached by a number of people at the meeting who wanted to discuss the blog post I put up yesterday. Almost none of them actually read my blog. Instead one reader (or I know of one at least) had read my post and e-mailed it to some of the more active members of the Lamorinda Club. Everyone who spoke to me about it validated my belief that the optics of the Contra Costa County Central Labor Council’s endorsement of Filson were bad. It just did not look kosher to anyone. And even folks who are not very involved in the anti-Pombo effort, including people who are not supporters of Jerry McNerney, told me that what had happened was deeply disturbing to them.
Also, and I’m still considering this part of the first item, I was told that the spin from the pro-Filson camp in the CCC-CLC was that Filson was not present in the room when the vote was taken. If anyone had thought that my objection was to his presence when the vote was taken, consider yourself disabused of that notion.
The problem was that the vote was taken right after a meeting with Filson that excluded the other candidates. The problem was that the normal endorsement process was not followed. And because of that, the process that was undertaken had an in-built bias for Filson. On top of that, there was never any transparency (in fact, there was an active attempt to dissemble) about the process that the CLC was actually going to follow. So the endorsement process was rigged in Filson’s favor and an attempt was made to hide that it was so rigged.
The upshot of all of this was that a candidate with significant support from allies of Labor was treated unfairly and disrespectfully, which will be taken by some of those allies in the Democratic Party grassroots as a statement about Labor’s respect (or lack thereof) for the grassroots. And consequently, the very base of support in Contra Costa County upon which any successful anti-Pombo effort will be waged, has been undermined. And to my mind, all of this was needless as inviting Jerry McNerney and Steve Thomas would have most likely led to the same end result (the CLC endorsing Filson) without raising the type of problems that have been caused by what happened on Wednesday night.
Second, and on a completely different topic, an announcement was made that Pete McCloskey will be participating in an anti-war march and rally on March 18th. Somewhat ironically, that’s the same weekend as the DFA grassroots training in Stockton, so a lot of anti-Pombo activists aren’t going to be able to see McCloskey speak. But I have heard McCloskey be very eloquent about the disaster that is our policy in Iraq. So I bet we’ll see another round of media pieces on McCloskey around that event. And I assume he’ll be able to pick up some more support from folks who attend the rally and realize that he’s running against Pombo.