Saturday, February 25, 2006

How Did the Hayward Demos Event Go?

Does anyone know how the Hayward Demos event went? I heard, if I understood what I heard correctly, that the group voted to endorse Jerry McNerney last night. Any reports back would be appreciated. Post them in the comment section and when I get home later today I’ll re-post them in the main part of this entry.

Update: Here's the only report posted in the comment section.

You heard it right. Jerry McNerney spoke first, giving a pretty rousing speech, which was interrupted at least a half dozen times with applause. He talked about the necessity for Democratic candidates to embrace Democratic ideals instead of running away from them.

Steve Thomas was apparently taken by surprise by the 5-minute time limit and said that he was going to have to chop "what would have been a pretty eloquent speech" significantly. The result was pretty pedantic, harkening back to FDR's '44 State of the Union message. All I could think of was that this must have been what Adlai Stevenson sounded like.

Steve Filson spoke last, and started off with a string of jokes. Then he launched into stories of his military service and how, at age 26, he was responsible for the men in his squadron and how he brought them through life and death situations through his leadership ability. From there he went into why he's the only one who can win in SJ County because he's a moderate.

Finally, there was a question and answer session. There were only three questions. The first was about energy, and all three candidates spoke to the need to develop alternatives.

Second was a question about the war in Iraq. Filson responded first by saying that as a Congressman, he would demand that Bush adhere to whatever plan the Pentagon developed for withdrawal, as they were the experts. Thomas called for immediate and complete withdrawal, to pretty good audience response. McNerney likewise called for complete withdrawal on a timetable (if I recall correctly) of six months to a year.

The third question was about support for nuclear power. McNerney responded that he felt it is pretty much off the table at present because the problems it presents have not been adequately resolved and there is no public will to adopt it, but that if those limitations changed it would certainly bear looking at. Thomas said that he was opposed to it. Filson, once again, deferred to the experts, saying that, like it or not, nuclear power is already here and there's nothing we can do about it. As a Congressman, he would make it a priority to set up training programs for scientists and engineers, so that we would have the best minds at work on the subject, and then he would let them make those decisions.

Then they held the vote and endorsed McNerney.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the one thing that really stood out to me. Of course, all the candidates got in their licks against Pombo. But Filson actually referred to him as "The Prince of Darkness."

I mean, I dislike the guy as much as anyone, but SATAN??? Really???

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You heard it right.

Jerry McNerney spoke first, giving a pretty rousing speech, which was interrupted at least a half dozen times with applause. He talked about the necessity for Democratic candidates to embrace Democratic ideals instead of running away from them.

Steve Thomas was apparently taken by surprise by the 5-minute time limit and said that he was going to have to chop "what would have been a pretty eloquent speech" significantly. The result was pretty pedantic, harkening back to FDR's '44 State of the Union message. All I could think of was that this must have been what Adlai Stevenson sounded like.

Steve Filson spoke last, and started off with a string of jokes. Then he launched into stories of his military service and how, at age 26, he was responsible for the men in his squadron and how he brought them through life and death situations through his leadership ability. From there he went into why he's the only one who can win in SJ County because he's a moderate.

Finally, there was a question and answer session. There were only three questions. The first was about energy, and all three candidates spoke to the need to develop alternatives.

Second was a question about the war in Iraq. Filson responded first by saying that as a Congressman, he would demand that Bush adhere to whatever plan the Pentagon developed for withdrawal, as they were the experts. Thomas called for immediate and complete withdrawal, to pretty good audience response. McNerney likewise called for complete withdrawal on a timetable (if I recall correctly) of six months to a year.

The third question was about support for nuclear power. McNerney responded that he felt it is pretty much off the table at present because the problems it presents have not been adequately resolved and there is no public will to adopt it, but that if those limitations changed it would certainly bear looking at. Thomas said that he was opposed to it. Filson, once again, deferred to the experts, saying that, like it or not, nuclear power is already here and there's nothing we can do about it. As a Congressman, he would make it a priority to set up training programs for scientists and engineers, so that we would have the best minds at work on the subject, and then he would let them make those decisions.

Then they held the vote and endorsed McNerney.

9:45 AM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention the one thing that really stood out to me. Of course, all the candidates got in their licks against Pombo. But Filson actually referred to him as "The Prince of Darkness."

I mean, I dislike the guy as much as anyone, but SATAN??? Really???

9:50 AM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous Hayward Demo Mtg. Attendee said...

From what I understand, McNerney was actually the only candidate from the 11th district invited to this meeting. Filson and Thomas had to ask to speak at the meeting. Thus, it was really no shock that McNerney got the endorsement. However, I think it is important to note that very few members of the Hayward Demos knew who Filson or Thomas were. Yet, after meeting/hearing Filson just this one time, the endorsement vote was apparently rather close, with McNerney just barely edging out Filson. Additionally, I did notice a lot of members approaching Filson after the vote and expressing their support for him. Therefore, while McNerney and Thomas both did well and McNerney did get the endorsment, I would not consider this meeting an overwhelming success for McNerney or a failure for Filson or Thomas.

Pete Stark started off the evening with a speech and taking a few questions from the crowd. One of the things Pete had to say about the 11th district was that he couldn't win there with his views on the issues - that someone more "moderate" was needed.

I would also like to clarify Filson's answer on nuclear power. Filson did not say that there was nothing we could do about it. He did say that it is here, that there are already numerous nuclear power plants and that those plants aren't going anywhere. And that, therefore, it is important to address the issues with these nuclear power plants - that we cannot simply ignore the plants and the problems with them, that we must work towards a solution. He did not support adding any new nuclear power plants.

2:13 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous Jimbo said...

Second was a question about the war in Iraq. Filson responded first by saying that as a Congressman, he would demand that Bush adhere to whatever plan the Pentagon developed for withdrawal, as they were the experts.

You have GOT TO BE KIDDING!?!

Has Filson been living in a fucking bubble for the last week -- or hadn't he noticed that Iraq is devolving into a calamitous civil war in which our American soldiers are caught in the crossfire?

2,290 dead. Who is going to be last man to die for this horrible mistake?

Filson --- be a LEADER or get out of the way. Stop listening to Bob Shrum-like political hacks and find your spine.

Leadership. That's what your DEMOCRATIC constituents crave and what your REPUBLICAN supporters expect. Not some lilly-livered "I don't know enough to tell you what we should do" crap.

In the eyes of history, John Murtha will be a hero to the soldiers now sacrificing their lives in this horrible and unnecessary conflict. Steve Filson? Just another politically expedient flip-flopper sticking his finger in the wind as good men and women come home in body bags.

What? Does Filson think the DEMOCRATIC voters (he has to win the primary to beat Pombo, after all) in the district are deaf and mute to the unfolding disaster halfway around the world? Not likely. DEMOCRATIC support for staying in Iraq (or listening to the goddamn Pentagon and SecDef DONALD RUMSFELD) is near zero.

If Filson continues to dodge the war in DEMOCRATIC settings, folks who might otherwise be open to Filson are going to get turned off. And pissed off. These are folks that could help Filson between June and November --- if they thought Filson could find his spine on the war.

I guess Filson is following the Rahm Emanuel DCCC game plan. For a reality check on how that resonates with DEMOCRATIC voters, read this Chicago Tribune article about a recent appearance by Emanuel:

"Don't dodge security, Democrats told"


UPSHOT: If you are going to command the respect (and time) of the grassroots, you have to start by listening to what they are saying. And they keep coming back to the war. Again and again. Rahm Emanuel doesn't get it. And it appears that neither does Filson.

How utterly disappointing.

2:41 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous jimbo said...

I guess a Filson staffer thought it necessary to "correct the record" above. Good to get some balance.

So, since you're reading and posting here, do have any reaction to Filson's dodge on Iraq?

I'll assume silence equals further dodging. So please try to articulate why your candidate is playing footsy with Rumsfeld instead of bringing our troops home pronto?

2:54 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous Hayward Demo Mtg. Attendee said...

Let me clarify another of Filson's anwers - his response to the Iraq war was not simply to get Bush to adhere to the Pentagon plan. He did acknowledge that the Pentagon is comprised of military officials who are supposed to know what is best. He did, though, also point out that what the Pentagon wants with regards to Iraq is different from what Bush is doing. He also stated that Rumsfeld was not doing a good job. Filson called for a withdrawl and stated that he would work with Pentagon officials to have the best plan to do just that.

2:58 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous jimbo said...

Hayward Attendee,

"Filson also stated that Rumsfeld is not doing a good job"

Wow. Now there's a newsflash. Way to go out on a limb.

The only people who think Rumsfeld is doing a good job are the Beltway sycophants angling for face time on Fox News.

Here's another newsflash: John Murtha has already consulted with his vast network of military connections and determined that the faster we get out of Iraq, the better. That's good enough for me and many of my more moderate friends.

Filson calling for some kind of withdrawal APPROVED by the potentates at the Pentagon sounds like the same spinelessness that prolonged Vietnam.

It's NOT a position -- it's dodging the issue so that someone ELSE can take the heat. That's not leadership.

After all, who is NOT calling for some kind of withdrawal at this point? Hell, even the White House tried to ironically plagiarize Joe Biden's plan:

The Definition of Plagiarism

Be careful, Hayward Attendee, or folks are going to start calling your campaign the "Danville Dodgers".

3:25 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous Hayward Demo Mtg. Attendee said...

jimbo.... Way to spin everything out of proportion. I am just a recent Filson supporter posting what I can recall from the meeting. My comments are not Filson's exact words and barely qualify as a good summary. I just wanted to add a few things to some of his Q & A repsonses as the anonymous poster failed to fully summarize all the comments from the candidates. I respect your comments with regards to Iraq, but I urge you to not base your assumptions about Filson on just the recall of a couple of people who were there. Sorry I'm not a more elegant commentor with a better memory. All I can say is that Filson's answer to the Iraq question was not as it is being played out here.

3:35 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous fiat lux said...

Hayward Demo Mtg Attendee --

Actually, I heard Filson give the SAME response at the Lamorinda Dem Club event last week.

It appears to be his stock answer, in front of Democratic groups, no less.

3:38 PM, February 26, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

1) With respect to nuclear energy, I'm still confused on Filson's position. He seemed to articulate his position fairly extensively here, where he says in part:

Much like HR-6, the Democratic alternative to the Republican energy bill, we need production and research incentives in the form of tax credits, subsidies, loan guarantees, and grants injected into the mix. (Even extending daylight savings time would save 100,000 barrels a day). Renewables should be expanded exponentially. Coal must be cleaned and gasified. Natural gas production must increase. Hydrogen, fuel cells, fusion, and even "green nuclear" technologies must be pursued.

Good or bad, nuclear is with us and its drawbacks are real. We must address them for the simple reason that the rest of the world is aggressively passing us by in that capacity. For example, China plans to install 25 plants by 2025 and I for one would like to make sure that we have a part in making the technology safe. We must attack these challenges full speed ahead. America does not shrink from challenge.


Calling for "green nuclear technology" whatever the hell that is, does not seem as categorical a stand again new nuke plants. In fact, it seems to accept nuclear energy as a productive avenue to explore. Has he backed off such a stance?

2) With respect to Iraq, I think it is disingenuous for you to claim that Filson is calling for a withdrawal from Iraq. He has repeatedly stated that he's against any sort of timeline for withdrawal and has called advocating for such a timeline "irresponsible." So at best he's saying that the war is a big mess but that we should muddle through the quagmire some more while people die in the asinine hope that we can get George W. Bush to "listen to the military."

And your rhetoric aside, that's all your "clarification" amounts to. Saying we need to listen to the military brass without explicitly acknowledging the politicize nature of the military brass AND Bush successful attempt to silence dissent among the military brass with respect to Iraq is tantamount to saying that it's okay for this disaster to continue as long as Bush and the GOP reap the political fallout from it.

Steve Filson still thinks we can "win" this war in Iraq. Look what he says on his webiste:

In Congress, I will:

Campaign for a critical and honest assessment of the realities on the ground in Iraq and a plan that includes critical guidelines: a functional, inclusive, non-sectarian Iraqi government with an Iraqi military force able to quell domestic threats.


Iraq is degenerating into a sectarian civil war and Filson want to have a study done sometime after the next Congress convenes in order to figure out how we can stabilize Iraq. It would be farcical if it weren't so tragic.

3:39 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous Hayward Demo Mtg. Attendee said...

"With respect to Iraq, I think it is disingenuous for you to claim that Filson is calling for a withdrawal from Iraq."

Matt, Filson did clearly state that he is for withdrawl. Being against a timetable does not equate being against a withdrawl. You may see it differently and that is fine. Personally, his repsonse made sense to me and I support him.

3:46 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous jimbo said...

Filson did clearly state that he is for withdrawl. Being against a timetable does not equate being against a withdrawl.

Name someone who is NOT for withdrawal!

Bush: "We'll stand down when Iraqis stand up".

Sounds like Filson's platform, as Matt just posted.

The question is not IF -- it's HOW and WHEN.

We've got Murtha's plan and the Korb Plan (Murtha for moderates) being supported by many veteran Dems like Paul Hackett. Dems who have actually seen combat and know what it's like to get shot at.

THOSE are the leaders I listen to --- not the silent, spineless bureaucrats at the Pentagon.

Face it, Hayward Attendee; until Filson stops dodging and weaving on Iraq, he's got zero credibility on the issue. And zero credibility with a lot of Democrats who might otherwise listen to him.

I know --- I'm one of them. :-(

3:56 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous Another Hayward Attendee said...

What I found interesting, perhaps telling was that at the meeting Filson was now unequivocally for National Health Care. At the Lamorinda Club event he was for the more ambiguous "affordable health care." That didn't go over to well there. If you look at his website - again it has platitudes about affordability, but no concrete stances.

People want leadership, he needs to stand for something other than being a moderate, whatever that means. First he was a Republican, and then he became a Democrat. First he was for "affordable healthcare" now he's for National Healthcare. The Gray Davis playbook doesn’t work.

Soon I bet we will see his website updated to reflect Steve Filson v2.0

4:06 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: "Soon I bet we will see his website updated to reflect Steve Filson v2.0"

One can only hope. It would be great if Filson changed his "stance" on Iraq to an actual timeline for withdrawal, whether or not it was sincere.

The sooner politicians like Filson realize that setting a timeline for withdrawal is a winning issue (not just a moral imperative), the sooner our boys can come home. Until then, Bush, Cheney, Lieberman and yep, Filson, will have the blood of our troops on their hands.

6:58 PM, February 26, 2006  
Anonymous Fiat Lux said...

An illuminating article in the Financial Times on the Dems' disunity on the War:

The worsening situation in Iraq has highlighted an uncomfortable fact for Democrats: they have failed to hammer out a unified strategy for what the US should do next...

Disunity on Iraq could hit Democrat poll hopes

9:13 PM, February 26, 2006  

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