Steve Filson Speaks
It has been one of the few rules of this site, from its inception, that we try never to say anything about the Democratic challengers that Richard Pombo could use later on to impugn them.
So I want to be abundantly clear that I am merely passing on information made public by Steve Filson. Filson addressed the Morgan Hill Democratic Club recently (if I’m not mistaken, the event occurred on January 21). His comments were recorded, and he has posted audio of the speech on his MySpace profile. For those of you who haven’t had an opportunity to hear Steve Filson speak, SNTP has prepared a transcript of the speech. Feel free to listen along!
[Update, 11:05 pm: The audio has been pulled down from both the MySpace site and the site that Matt linked to in the Comments section. SNTP has saved an MP3 version of the speech, but for the time being, we've decided not to publish a link to it.]
STEVE FILSON: Thanks, Mark, for inviting us down here to the Democratic club. And to be at a Democratic club, what a better place. By the way, I'm a converted Democrat. Anybody a naturalized citizen out here? Naturalized citizen? What did you have to do to get -- become a citizen, take a test? Take a test, right?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: No, I didn't because I came when I was very young.
STEVE FILSON: Okay. But those who came and immigrated here, take a big test, a test that you couldn't pass and I couldn't pass. And their devotion to this country is huge. Converted Democrat. I've been on the dark side; I came out of the primordial soup into the sunlight. And I'm a Democrat.
Health, education, energy, taxes, security. If anyone has any doubt about my strong adherence to Democratic positions on those issues, please see me after this demonstration. Universal health care, energy independence in oil. We need to get the taxes realigned away from the rich for the break and into the middle class where it belongs. I will go on to those other issues. Please talk to me; please ask me. There are some people who have a doubt about my devotion to Democratic principles. I want to dispel that today and this point forward.
Well, let's have a little fun. Jeff Foxworthy -- "You might be a redneck if" -- you've seen the comedian? A Pombo supporter is a Pombo-ite in my book.
Let's have a little fun. If you think universal health care is to just walk it off when you're sick, you might be a Pombo-ite. If you think dental care, comprehensive dental care, is to chew on the other side, you might be a Pombo-ite. And if you've ever tried to cure a wart with the use of a firearm, you might be a Pombo-ite.
Now, we know this guy to be a bad guy. All of us in this room are well-educated, well-read; we all drink from the fountain of knowledge. Mr. Pombo? He just gargles.
We know this guy needs to be unseated, and we know he's vulnerable. You know what? The word “vulnerable,” in this election and every election prior to this, is now like a broken record. He's been vulnerable for a decade. Why haven't we picked him off? You need to answer that question. The vulnerability thing has been said. "This is the great year," we say. "This is the great year; this is the year." You know what? We've always had years to do this. And I'll guarantee you, we won't do it based on vulnerability.
We have to do it by switching voters. We have to switch 200,000 centrist voters to vote for Democrats. We already have the hard-core Republicans; we have the loyal Democrats; they're going to be there. That's about 50 percent of the votes. We've got 50 percent of the center that are leaners. They have voted for Bush; they have voted for Barbara Boxer; and tens of thousands of Democrats in the 11th district have voted for Richard Pombo. We cannot let that happen. And so the issue is the strong candidate, not the vulnerability. It's the strong candidate.
I'm going to say a few numbers here. If you've got the number -- (inaudible). 205, 4, 12, 5, 99. What are those numbers?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Freeways.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Highways.
STEVE FILSON: Exactly. And where do most of those exist? San Joaquin County. If you don't know the issues for that, you don't belong in this race.
Mark Lewis, the million-dollar man. Anybody know who that is? Mark Lewis is the city manager of Stockton, just got fired. The million-dollar man, Neil Diamond, they booked him into the new arena up there; they only sold $600,000 in tickets; the city just took a bath for $400,000. If you don't know issues like that, you don't belong in the race.
Morgan Hill, Jerry mentioned good issues for Morgan Hill. You have to know the local issues; that's how you get voters to switch. We here in the clubs, we strong Democrats, we talk about health care; we're for universal health care. I'll guarantee you, that's not going to switch a centrist voter. We care about that passionately; we have to lead them and pull them. But I'll guarantee you, what they care about is they're stuck on the highway, paying 3 bucks a gallon a gas. That's what they care about, and that's how we have to reach them; that's how I plan to reach them. It's a moderate group; I'm a moderate. I plan to connect with those two, and that's how I'm going to win this race.
I'm asking for your endorsement. This is very, very important. Your endorsement is critical. Morgan Hill, in my view, could be the swing. Four percent of the vote's down here. Sounds small, but you have power down here to do that. This club has power through your endorsement. Very, very critical to us to defeat Richard Pombo.
You have to make a tough call. You may have to go against a friend, a loyal friend who's been dedicated to this process. You may have to choose somebody else and hurt their feelings. But politics with Mr. Richard Pombo is tough. This is tough ground. I know in your heart -- uppermost in your head and deep in your heart, you want to defeat Richard Pombo over advancing your own personal agendas. Think about that. And I'm asking for your endorsement; I need this endorsement. It's very important to defeat Richard Pombo.
I thank you for your time. And remember one thing: the rich are different; they pay less taxes.
I am left speechless. What do you think?