Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Population Up, Registration Down

I have looked at the most recent voter registration numbers from the Secretary of State. The most interesting fact is that, while the population of the district is climbin, total voter registration is down. There are about 7,000 fewer registered Republicans in January 2006 as compared to February 2005. It is similar for Democrats and DTS Registrations stayed about even.

A lot of people have moved into the district. Those people are not yet registered.

This election will turn on whoever is able to get feet on the streets and getting those voters registered. Historically, Democrats have done a better job of this. However, with the overall shift in voters to a Decline to State preference, this opens up the possibility of new voters registering Decline to State and then voting in the Republican Primary.

Time is short. Voter Registration required organization. Let's get going.


Blogger Matt said...

I already know of a couple groups interested in doing voter registration in CA-11. You're right though that it needs to be a priority.

10:08 PM, February 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again -- this just in!

Filson has a brand spanking new web site so some of that cash got spent -- take a look at and while you're at it, take a look at the punch he throws at McNerney at with a hot link to the story from the Stockton Record about McNerney's loans -- the gloves are off!

$.02 out.

2:30 PM, February 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hardly the first time punches have been thrown-- look at McNerney's "The Real Fighting Dems" blog post. (

2:56 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

The Real Fighting Dems thing doesn't even mention Filson by name. And it doesn't even imply anything per se bad about Filson.

Here are the two quotes that I believe Anon 2 is responding to:

1) "We have heard a lot about Fighting Dems from the DCCC this year. I think their use of the term "Fighting Dem" is misguided. They are trying to portray their 2006 slate as Fighting Dems because of their status as veterans.

Don't get me wrong, I respect the service of these veterans. My son, Mike, currently serves as an officer in the armed forces and I am damn proud of his service to this country. Furthermore, I am committed to supporting the men and women currently serving and our veterans at home. I know personally how dedicated these folks are to their country.

But Rahm Emanuel's main selection criteria seems to be military experience in general. In my opinion, that simply isn't enough grounds to back a candidate."

There is nothing wrong with this. It's been said time and time again on the internet. It is part of a larger controversy about the use of the term "Fighting Dem." And I for one think it's true. Being a vet is not sufficient either for one to be "electable" or for one to claim the mantle of "Fighting Dem."

2) "This time, though, I have a primary race against a DCCC/DLC-backed candidate who is a veteran and who is under the misguided impression that in order to beat Pombo, one simply needs to raise more money than him. Make no mistake, I will raise the money to be competitive with Pombo. But to beat a long-term incumbent, I also know I need to reach out personally to the voters."

At the time, Filson's message was all about money. At the Contra Costa Democratic Central Committee meeting right before the holidays, this is essentially what Filson said. (I admit that Filson never said he'd raise more money than Pombo, he just said that he'd raise enough money and more than McNerney). In any event, nobody at that meeting missed Filson's jab at McNerney about money. In such a context it's perfectly appropriate that McNerney responds that it's not about who raises the most money, it's about connecting with the voters.

Also, all of this ignores that the whole thrust of the diary was to introduce McNerney to a larger audience. Most of the diary wasn't about Filson at all.

Lastly, Filson has some nerve decrying McNerney for being "tricky." Filson has done a lot of shady stuff that I have basically kept offline in case he wins the primary.

3:42 PM, February 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly has Filson done that is "shady"? From what I've seen (and I'm not referring to the whole loan thing here), McNerney and his supporters have been the "shady" ones.

4:06 PM, February 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Friend,

The Tracy Press uncovered that Rep. Richard Pombo and his family took a two week vacation and charged the trip to the taxpayers.

I wrote a letter to the House Administration Committee urging an ethics investigation. We deserve to know if Rep. Pombo has been abusing our trust and using our tax dollars for his own personal pleasure.

Take a vacation from corruption. Demand an accounting from Richard Pombo on why he used taxpayer dollars to pay for his family vaction. Sign the petition today.

Tracy Press article:

4:11 PM, February 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot to include that the above, obviously, is from Steve Filson and is on the front page of his website right now. Interesting.

4:13 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...


I'm not going to go into some of these things in a public setting. I am not going to divulge some of Filson's activities because I do not want to damage him if he wins the primary. I know everyone thinks I'm some sort of diehard McNerney partisan, but I'm not into damaging Filson for the sake of damaging him.

One thing I can tell you is that Filson consistently went around telling people Jerry McNerney was going to drop out of the race, that he wasn't going to declare, etc. when he had no basis to be representing the McNerney Campaign in that way. I even had someone forward me an e-mail in which as recently as two weeks ago Filson told someone that McNerney was dropping out. That's just wrong in my book. There is no basis for thinking that McNerney is dropping out and there has never been a basis for thinking so. And i find it very, very shady that Filson has been saying such things without any factual basis.

On another note, I'm glad to see Filson has redesigned his website. Hopefully we'll actually see more content from him and find out more about his campaign

5:23 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Delta said...

Interesting fact for me is that anonymous here is posting the same material at PomboWatch with the email address of Now, I don't know if that is real or not, but at least they left an address.

I am not sure why they picked on PomboWatch because that is more about Pombo and most political comments are on McCloskey - Pombo - Benigno.

7:45 PM, February 09, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

Registration is cyclical. Typically, the ROV drops inactive voters if they don't participate in any election between two consecutive presidential elections. However, registration tends to increase dramatically in the months before a general election. Thus, registration figures can fluctuate dramatically.

Regardless, registration efforts tend to have little impact on the outcome. People who haven't registered or don't know if they're registered could hardly be described as likely voters. It's an absolute waste of time and money to think that you can count on these folks come election day.

8:35 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

Anon 3 --
You say "From what I've seen (and I'm not referring to the whole loan thing here), McNerney and his supporters have been the 'shady' ones."

Do you care to elucidate?

11:34 PM, February 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anon 3 said...

"Do you care to elucidate?"

My understanding is that McNerney's campaign is basically being run by volunteers, right? It seems like the campaign is perhaps not keeping very good tabs on its workers (so there is some room here for the possibility that the campaign itself is not aware of these "shady" activities).

A couple of examples that I will throw out there:

1) recruiting out-of-district supporters to attend events and asked planted questions

2) I got a call from yesterday (I am signed up as a volunteer for them) - the caller said she was also a volunteer with MoveOn. She then asked me if I was interested in the Pombo race and said MoveOn was very interested in seeing Pombo ousted. She then recruited me to do some precicnt walking....for McNerney! MoveOn has NOT endorsed a candidate (at least yet). This person never identified herself as a McNerney volunteer and acted as if this was an official MoveOn thing.

3) A co-worker of mine attended a McNerney precinct walk. Problem is, he was recruited to do some walking for the Tracy Democratic Club. At the gathering location, he found out it was specifically for McNerney. The only democratic club I know of in Tracy has NOT endorsed McNerney or any other candidate.

Something is just not right here.

12:32 AM, February 10, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Anon 3,

First of all, thank you for responding as "Anon 3" instead of just anonymous. It makes things a lot easier.

Second of all, it's not true McNerney's campaign is run by volunteers, although there is a significant volunteer component. But even though some volunteers have a big role in the campaign, that does not somehow imply that the McNerney Campaign, as a campaign, has direct responsibility for the actions of everyone who supports McNerney or volunteers for him.

Third, I'm not sure anything you mentioned would rise to the level I'd describe as shady, although the first thing might or might not be depending on the context.

There has been one report about such behavior and the person who reported it seemed to either not know or not care that a lot of the McNerney supporters were from the Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley and were from the district. But I could imagine a scenario in which something like what you described looked bad.

That said, the other two scenarios seem to be clearly cases of miscommunication, as opposed to cases in which any deception was intended. Now I do not doubt that the miscommunications could have been startling, but that's not what I mean when I say something is "shady." There does not appear to be any trickery involved or any intent to deceive. In fact, the explanation for these last two scenarios is pretty innocuous.

The MoveOn volunteer who called you identified herself, by your own admission, as a MoveOn volunteer. I think your perception that it was an official MoveOn thing was belied by the fact that she said that she is volunteer.

Furthermore, through MoveOn's Operation Democracy, MoveOn encouraged people to form small activists groups and do their own thing. Two of those groups merged in Berkeley to help McNerney. And I know one of the biggest MoveOn volunteers/volunteer organizers in Northern CA lives in Santa Cruz and is a big McNerney supporter.

I assume you know that MoveOn sent out a survey about CA-11. To a lot of people that survey suggested that the MoveOn leadership is interested in fighting Pombo. So if MoveOn wants its members to self-organize and if the leaders of MoveOn have indicated that they want to see Pombo gone, it's not unreasonable for the volunteer organizers to fight Pombo. So far so good I assume.

You take exception to the fact that the volunteer wanted to recruit you to work for McNerney. Well first of all, almost anyone canvassing at this point in the game is going to be canvassing for one candidate or another. And it's a pretty reasonable assumption that MoveOn volunteers would rather walk for Jerry McNerney than Steve Filson, who is not even running a canvassing operation at this point as far as I know. Plus, one of MoveOn's big issues is the war, and Filson has hardly staked out a progressive position on the war.

But in any event, the woman called you, accurately told you who she was (a MoveOn volunteer), told you what the problem was (Pombo), provided you with a reason to fight Pombo (MoveOn doesn't like him), and then gave you an opportunity to help solve the problem (walk for McNerney). In broad strokes, this is a standard phone rap.

Now she could have said more explicitly "I am working for Jerry McNerney because he is the best thing since sliced bread and the most swell Democrat in the primary, which includes two other candidate, and nobody had been endorsed by MoveOn" but given the reasonableness of the assumption that MoveOn folks would tend to support McNerney over Filson, I think the pitch sounded pretty reasonable. Also, unless MoveOn had endorsed AGAINST McNerney, I doubt most people would decide to not walk for McNerney based on his lack of endorsement from MoveOn.

If the person had said that McNerney was endorsed by MoveOn or something like that, it would have been shady. Or if the person had said something that naturally and obviously implied that McNerney had MoveOn's endorsement, that too would have been shady. But it doesn't appear that either happened.

Your third example is similar. The Tracy Democratic Club, as I have heard it, completely owes its existence to the McNerney Campaign. Before McNerney's 2004 run, it wasn't around. And currently the members are huge McNerney supporters. So if they're going to organize a volunteer canvassing day, it stands to reason they'd want to help McNerney.

The fact that they haven't officially endorsed McNerney is beside the point. It's a bit like saying that a couple cannot live together because they aren't married.

The Tracy Democratic Club has plainly not officially endorsed McNerney. Just as plainly they have decided to help him unofficially. Why you think formal endorsement is a prerequisite for this type of thing is beyond me.

And in any event, I don't imagine that your co-worker inquired into whether they had endorsed McNerney or not or otherwise based his decision based on his perception of McNerney's endorsement status. And though I hesitate to blame your co-worker, I note that nowhere in your description do you provide any context for what he was told about the purpose of the precinct-walking before he showed up. I mean clubs do not typically canvass in a vacuum. I'm sure your co-worker was surprised by the fact that the club was working for McNerney. But his surprise does not imply any shadiness on the part of the club members, who might have perfectly well thought that a big purpose of the Tracy Democratic Club is supporting McNerney.

Now I am perfectly happy to cut Steve Filson some slack for the actions people who support him, especially if there seems to be a benign explanation. But Steve Filson and his supporters have done things that have been downright deceptive. I mean really, there is no excuse for spreading rumors that McNerney will be dropping out of the race. There is no innocent explanation for that.

And to me there is a world of difference between the type of thing you said McNerney and/or his volunteers did and something like Filson telling people McNerney is dropping out of the race.

3:45 AM, February 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anon 3 said...

Is there no possibility that Filson and his supporters suggesting that McNerney is dropping out of the race is also a miscommunication or exaggeration?

And how exactly is that more "shady" than anything I described? We can quibble over the degrees of possible wrongness or shadiness or misrepresentation, but regardless either way, it is still people misleading and lying to other people.

As for MoveOn, every call I have gotten from MoveOn has been from a volunteer - that is how their "tree" works as far as passing down information. What I found to be incredibly misleading is that she never said that she was associated with the McNerney campaign or a McNerney volunteer or that this was not a sanctioned MoveOm activity and that it was something some MoveOn members were doing on their own. Maybe it's just me, but I felt misled and it struck me as "shady". And I can't help but wonder how you would feel if the candidates were reversed in this situation.

As for the Tracy Democratic Club, I was not there. Perhaps your assessment is correct. However as I understand it, it would be wrong for the members to use the name of the club to do such an activity. They could do the activity on their own certainly, but using the name of the club in conjunction with the activity is not ok and definitely implies official endorsement.

As for the volunteers, I was simply wondering if perhaps they were not acting in an official capacity. I understand that it is not possible keep close tabs on everything that volunteers do. However, it should be absolutely possible to keep close tabs on the things paid staff do. If McNerney staff were involved in any such activities, it would be a major story as far as I'm concerned.

I just prefer that everything be kept above the line and kosher, know what I mean? I'm disappointed with McNerney and his supporters. If what you alledge about Filson is true, I am disappointed with him and his supporters too. I want a completely clean campaign.

10:18 AM, February 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would think that candidates and supporters on either team have in the past expressed the *hope* that the other guy would leave the race -- it seems to me this could easily be misunderstood or exaggerated. I don't think Filson could honestly think that McNerney is going to drop out or that anyone would believe him if he did say that. Also, there was plenty of chatter about candidates dropping out in the context of Mike Machado back in January, when rumors were at a fever pitch that he would enter the race.

No use quibbling about things like this anyway, supporters especially are going to push the line sometimes in favor of their guy. Hopefully not to the point where it involves tearing down posters and whatnot. But I'm fairly confident it all evens out in the end.

- Anon #2234234

12:12 PM, February 10, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

If we sit here all day arguing about whether McNerney wore a red hat or a blue hat, but Filson asked him not to wear any hats, and one of his supporters claimed the hat was green ---

But meanwhile, the Pombo pig keeps feeding at the trough, getting that slop all over everybody. There is a wild animal in the barnyard, ruining the farm, and we sit here arguing about whether the fork should be on the left or right side of the plate.

Let's focus on skewering Pombo...

12:29 PM, February 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:29 PM, February 10, 2006  

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