Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Supporting McCloskey to Defeat Pombo

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.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Repubs had a closed primary.

And the numbers of Democrats needed to get the W for McKloskey so large as to be unrealistic. Unless you have massive amounts of cash to undertake such a program - stop dreaming.

11:05 AM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

That's right, I am not the only one, as you will soon see about this.

And the Repubs do NOT have a closed primary. It is open to any Decline To State (that is, unaffiliated) voters.

See: http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_decline.htm

11:13 AM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...


I don't understand why you think Dems changing their registration to DS will give McCloskey the edge he needs to win. The people voting in the GOP primary are overwhelmingly GOP base voter. McCloskey would need to get literally thousands of Democrats to switch to DS and vote for him to even swing the primary a couple of percentage points. (Around 60,000 people voted in the last off-year GOP primary in CA-11).

It's exceedingly unlikely that McCloskey would pull enough GOP voters to be close enough for this type of effort to work. Even if he was going to get 40% without taking into account the new DS voters (something that is wildly optimistic), he'd still need around 6,000 Democrats (roughly 15% of the Democratic primary voters) to switch to DS and vote for him.

On the other hand, there is a significant risk that Democrats changing their registration to vote in the GOP primary would affect the Democratic primary in a way that would relevantly change the result.

Either McNerney or Filson is going to win the Dem primary. And we're all going to work for whoever wins. But that doesn't mean that the Democratic candidates will be equally capable of taking on Pombo. The Democrats in the district need to choose whichever one they think would be a better candidate. If enough Dems change their registration and vote for McCloskey, McCloskey could essentially be a spoiler for the Dem primary.

I don't want to discourage people from doing what they feel passionate about. If you really want to help McCloskey, by all means help him. But I think everyone should understand the risks that go along with working for McCloskey. It's going to affect the Democratic side of things in one way or another. And that ought to be recognized.

11:44 AM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Good points, Matt, and there is a big question of if there would ever be enough DTS voters to sway a primary, whether Dem or Repub. Usually, I think, it is the party regulars who turn out and the DTS stay home. So you are probably correct, the chances of actually having an influence in that election are pretty slim.

Still, I have heard from many people utterly disgusted with Pombo, and who want some way to act. That includes Repubs, Dems, and DTS. The Repubs have their primary where they can voice their opinion on Pombo. The DTS can also participate in that. For the Dems, many I talk with are not particularly partial to either Filson or McNerney and figure each has about an equal chance in the general election.

Therefore, if they want to express their unhappiness with having Pombo as their representative, they have their first chance in the R primary June 6, if they move temporarily to DTS status.

I would not encourage Dems who feel strongly about either McNerney or Filson to give up that race. For many Dems, as evidenced in this blog, there are strong feelings both ways. For instance, there is the chance to beat back the DCCC influence by electing the candidate they have written off. There is some value in that, and I think the pro-McNerney people are getting excited about how he is getting labor endorsements and seems to have good momentum now.

So I don't mean to say people should ignore that goal and not continue to support their favorite Dem candidate.

It is just that I see the R primary as the first real chance to vote against Pombo. For DTS and Dems willing to switch to DTS, this will an opportunity to express their unhappiness with Pombo. And as I mention in the posting, I think Pete McCloskey's campaign is exposing the district voters to the detrimental policies and actions their representative is undertaking, as well as his questionable ethics. That can only be beneficial to anyone running against Pombo after the primary.

12:44 PM, March 21, 2006  
Anonymous cgilbert said...

Plus, it means that you won't have a choice for other candidates in other Democratic races. For instance, Debra Bowen running for Secty of State. If you are really concerned about electronic voting being corporatized it sounds like she's the one to pick; a Democratic opponent has derided her concern about this issue.

5:08 PM, March 21, 2006  
Anonymous fiat lux said...

Yep, if you care about the Angelides/Westly contested primary or Garamendi/Speier/Figueroa, you better not switch parties for McCloskey... because you'll lose your opportunity to vote in those races.

McCloskey doesn't need "our" (Dems) help. He's going to be just fine given that the only way he'd beat Pombo is if Pombo went on a perp walk before June 6 -- and that's obviously highly, highly unlikely.

Matt -- you should post a counter-argument on the main page (didn't you post on this already?). Let's get the diversity of opinion on the record.

6:17 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:04 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

I am glad to hear counter arguments and welcome the differences of opinion. I think the last ones by fiat lux and cgilbert make some sense, esp. how by going with a Repub ballot, you lose the chance on the other Dem races. However, you have to consider what is more important -- and to me, getting rid of Pombo is critical. A vote against him in the primary is one way to express outrage at his cruel and destructive policies and his lack of ethics. Also, the governor and secy of state are statewide races where your vote will be diluted, whereas your vote will have more impact in the smaller 11th District vote.

I am highly motivated to see Pombo out, so that colors my view. I realize some feel strongly about certain Dem contests. I am not trying to dissuade diehard Dems from sticking with their party's primary. But for DTS in this district, they should have no problem asking for the R ballot and voting against Pombo. Dems who care more about ousting Pombo than the internal Dem races can consider switching to DTS for the primary so they also have a chance to express their distaste of this environmental wrecking ball.

My post here is about strongly encouraging DTS to choose the R ballot and also about encouraging Dems to consider the same option by re-registering. Of course, everyone makes their own decisions, and I respect that. You have to decide what is important to you, to other people, and to the planet.

For me, voting Pombo out is a matter of our country and our planet's survival, so there is no question in my mind. But "reasonable people may disagree" and that is fine also.

7:03 AM, March 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McNerney was just endorsed by the Tri-Valley Democratic Club...

Valley club endorses local Democrats for office
By Rebecca F. Johnson, STAFF WRITER
Tri-Valley Herald

DUBLIN — While touting their respective qualifications, candidates vying for Democratic primary election nominations underscored the need to shift from the Republican influence in Washington and Sacramento while speaking before the Tri-Valley Democratic Club's supportive audience.

Slightly more than 100 people attended the forum Monday night to hear from candidates for the 11th Congressional District, state Senate District 10 and Assembly District 18.

Club President Ian Seldensaid he was pleased with the turnout. The club decided this year to endorse candidates, and members had the chance to vote for their favorites following the forum.

Steve Filson, a Danville airline pilot, Steve Thomas, a Danville electrician, and alternative energy consultant Jerry McNerney are seeking the 11th Congressional District nomination.

The district covers parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Santa Clara counties, including a majority of Valley cities that largely lean Republican.

McNerney did not attend the event because of a death in the family, so campaign manager A.J. Carrillo spoke on his behalf. Nevertheless, McNerney, a Pleasanton resident who ran against Pombo in 2004, earned the club's endorsement.

Carrillo promoted McNerney's desire to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, ensure adequate health care availability, retain critical environmental habitats and withdraw from Iraq within a year.

Meanwhile, Filson discussed working to protect the environment, ensuring a strong defense and creating a balanced federal budget. A former Navy pilot, Filson underscored the need for transportation and road improvements in the district and electing a Democrat to replace Pombo.

"I plan to take Mr. Pombo to task for the incredible neglect that has happened in this district, whether you're talking transportation or anything," he said. "This is the time. We have to make the right choices to move this forward, to win this race."

Thomas, calling himself a "true progressive," said he supports a woman's right to choose, gay rights, human rights and marriage equality.

Thomas addressed his desire to make government work for the people rather than corporate interests, implement a public campaign finance program and push Democratic reform.

"This election is not just about throwing Mr. Pombo back to Tracy and making him stay there," he said. "It's a battle against a Republican agenda which has been ruining our country. It's also a battle for the heart and soul for our party."

In addition to Pombo, former congressman and attorney Pete McCloskey Jr. and former farmer and businessman Tom Benigno will be on the Republican ballot...

2:12 PM, March 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think all you irrelevant liberals ought to switch to decline to state. That should be your ballot title this election, "decline to state any op pinion that Pelosi disagrees with". Hell, maybe Tauscher's influence on you is to heavy. maybe you feel like her influence is suffocating. While you continue to tell voters In the 11th district how they should think from your perches in San Francisco and Maryland, (home of the dis functional in-bread liberal family), Pombo and the rest of his conservative brethren are taking a stand on issues. in the end voters will have a choice;
Pombo - Conservative Republican who has the guts to tell people the truth about where their country is heading, and his ideas for improving it.
McClosky - If you catch him before noon - will tell you how great things were in the 70's - Energy crisis, The real corrupt congress, ( what did you do with all those "speaking fee's Pete" When you were sober occasionally and not running around with Jane Fonda"
Filson - So your flying Planes again Huh?
Beneanwhat? Tom. Check in now. save yourself the ambulance ride.
you have more personalities than Cybil. (and not as likable)
I love this site!! keep it up please! its more entertaining than watching Tauscher try to appear relevant.

yes. I'm a Republican. From the district. that makes me a double minority. good luck over there in the hinderlands!

1:04 AM, March 23, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:06 AM, March 23, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Well, the above poster certainly staggers my mind with his insightful comments. Thanks anon for letting us know how you think. It sure was enlightening.

The only problem is you are wrong on just about everything. Believe it or not, there actually are "liberals" in this District. They may even be your neighbors! Scared? Well, turn up your Rush Limbaugh, and maybe you can drown them out.

Another surprise for you: we think for ourselves. I know you are not used to that, since you get all your directives straight from Karl Rove and the Republican "talking points", but that's okay. We have something known as "independent thought" and we most certainly do not agree with Pelosi or Tauscher or whatever other names you come up with (didn't you forget to throw in Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy?).

Sorry to disappoint you, but the people you call liberals, that is, in your mind, anyone left of the John Birch Society, are not following anyone from Berkeley or Maryland or whatever places you think. We think for ourselves about the issues important to us.

Next, it is funny how you rag on all the other candidates, but not Pombo. I guess you missed his big RV driving through town, paid for by your tax dollars. Or how about the Lincoln, rented with our money? Or perhaps you have not heard the name "Jack Abramoff", that good buddy of Pombo. Oops, sorry, he's been indicted. Well, there is Pombo's best friend, Tom DeLay. Oops again, he also has been indicted. How long before Pombo is doing the perp walk?

I have to laugh at your comment that Pombo "has the guts" to tell people the truth. I must have missed his speech on how Bush lied to get us into Iraq and how that has turned into a civil war, while costing us hundreds of billions of dollars. I must have missed the speech where he warns us about global warming. I must have missed the one about how SJ has the worst air, water pollution, traffic jams, asthma rates, failing levees, and rampant poverty. I guess we will all be hearing this very soon from Pombo, since you claim he is not afraid to "tell the truth".

9:09 AM, March 23, 2006  
Blogger Dyre42 said...

I always thought that McCloskey was the perfect moderate candidate to run against Pombo. His only real negative is his age IMO. I'm not sure if he can win but he's going to be either one heck of a spoiler or a great candidate. And I'm pretty certain Pombo has a picture of McCloskey on his dartboard.

7:52 PM, March 23, 2006  
Blogger janinsanfran said...

I love this. Fuck with 'em. Also, take a look at McCloskey who certainly knows how to be a candidate -- probably better than anyone else in this.

But it sure would be nice if you folks could get a Dem in there in November.

4:09 PM, March 24, 2006  

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