VPO endorses Republican Pete McCloskey for June 6th Primary, encourages Dems to re-register as Decline to State and vote in the Republican primary
I am encouraging 11th District Democrats to consider re-registering as Decline to State (no party affiliation) in time for the June 6th Primary so that they can vote in the Republican primary for Pete McCloskey and against Rep. Richard Pombo. The re-registration process is free and easy to do, and party affiliation can easily be changed back to Democrat after the primary. This will be the first real chance to vote against Pombo. Yours can be an important vote that could lead to his defeat in June.
It is easy to change party affiliations, from Democrat to Decline To State (and back again after the primary). All that is required is to re-register to vote. That can be done online or with any voter registration form: http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm There is no cost to re-registering and it is simple and easy to do. Once you are listed as Decline to State, you can ask for either party's ballot for the June 6th Primary. By asking at the voting booth for the Republican ballot, you can vote for McCloskey and against Pombo.
It is clear to me that supporting Pete McCloskey is the best way we have from now until the June 6th primary to damage, and even possibly oust, Pombo. Look at it this way: in any case, one of the Democrats will win the primary. Then, for the general election, it would be Filson or McNerney versus Pombo (if he wins his primary) and that will be a long, hard battle, and obviously, all of us will be on the Democratic side. But supporting McCloskey now is where the most damage can be done to Pombo. There is even the possibility that if enough voters switch to Decline to State and vote against Pombo in the primary, McCloskey could take him out in the first round. McCloskey is putting out killer press releases that hit Pombo's corruption, negligence, lies, and ties to the Jack Abramoff/Tom DeLay lobbyist scandal. He is getting lots of free press. He is barnstorming the district, showing up at many events, and raising the overall awareness of Pombo's nefarious activities. He can make the case against Pombo as a fellow Republican who has a clear and compelling record of service to this country. McCloskey is addressing real issues and real people in the district. I believe he will make a significant difference in this race, even if he only has until June.
Also, McCloskey's platform is not all that far from what a moderate would like: ethics, honesty, and integrity in government, support for veterans, protection of the environment, smaller and more effective government, balanced budgets. However, the important point is that by voting for McCloskey you are not giving up your opportunity to vote Democratic in the general election in November. There is absolutely no obligation to stick with McCloskey after the primary if you do not want to.
As far as the oddity of voting for a Republican, it is more a case of voting against Pombo. Voting for McCloskey in the primary does not harm the Democratic candidates or party in any way. In fact, it helps them. If Pombo can be seen as weaker than expected in the primary, that will give Democrats hope and encourage them to mount a more vigorous campaign for the general election. It will also shake the money tree, as people will give more generously if they can see that their candidate has a true chance of winning.
Supporting McCloskey's campaign against Pombo is, in my mind, a very sensible course of action in these unusual circumstances, and I encourage all Democrats to consider switching to Decline to State so they can have their say in the June 6th Republican primary.
(Note: this is not an endorsement of McCloskey for the General Election. After June 6, there will be a Republican and Democrat running against each other. At that time, VPO will choose which candidate to support. Hint: It will most certainly NOT be Pombo.)