Wes Rolley on the Democratic Primary
Wes of Pombo Watch just posted a comment in the previous thread that includes a message he sent to the Vote Pombo Out Yahoo Group. I think the message deserves greater visibility so I’m treating it as a guest post and reposting it on the main page. I am reposting it with minor typographical corrections. Besides those minor edits, everything after the dashed line is Wes’.
As you might be able to tell from my posts to this list, I have some partiality to several of the opponents of Richard Pombo. Maybe it is time that I follow Scott's lead and make my thinking clear.
It is very important that we take both opportunities to Vote Pombo Out. The primary choice is clear. In the Republican Primary, it must be Pete McCloskey. I enthusiastically endorse his candidacy and will providewhatever support I can to aid it.
If the primary follows normal patterns, there will be a low turn out affair and that means even relatively small numbers mean a lot. Matt and I have both called attention to the comparisons between the Illinois 6th CD primary and the ones in California. What neither of us stressed strongly enough is that even with all of the national attention and the strong infighting between Duckworth and Cegelis, the total turnout was low.
In the June 6 election, there are very few local contests in San Joaquin County that will draw out people. The most interesting one is the Republican Primary between Gerry Machado and Susan Tucker in Tracy (17th AD). This underscores that importance of getting everyone possible out to vote. If anyone is currently registered as Decline to State (DTS), we need to get them to the polls to vote for McCloskey.
I also agree with Scott that, if McCloskey can not knock Pombo out of the race, people will work for whoever wins the Democratic Primary. Still I think that it is extremely important that the right person win that primary. The right person will have to be someone who will motivate the Latino Community to get out and vote. I think that they will be more enthusiastic about McNerney than Filson or Thomas.
I do not believe that it is possible to ensure a victory against Pombo without a large turnout of Latino voters. In the past, they have not voted in relationship to their percentage of the population. The work has to be to register Latino's and to make sure that they are at the polls. Pete McCloskey recognized this. That is why he was at the head of the rally in Stockton this week. Jerry McNerney recognizes this, even though I personally think that he should have been at the March and had A.J. represent him at the endorsement meeting in Morgan Hill.
I have seen no evidence that Filson understand the importance of this group to his chances. He has ignored the issue from what I seen. I truly believe that the time to make that up passed when there was no evidence of his presence in Stockton this weekend.
I believe that McNerney has developed the rapport with a number of different communities, including the Latinos, but he has reached out to many others. I believe that this ability to reach out, to care, and to bring more people into the mix clearly separates McNerney from Filson as a candidate. I even understand the McNerney has talked with the California Farm Bureau, just to let them know that he is concerned, even though they have always backed Pombo.
If you follow this, it will give some people a problem, because there are very good reasons to register as DTS and vote for McCloskey in the Republican Primary and also very good reasons to make sure that McNerney wins the Democratic Primary. I won't tell you how to act. It is your choice.
However, at the beginning of this race I heard a lot of talk about the fact that Filson could raise so much money that there would be pressure for McNerney to drop out. Maybe the time has come for the powers that be in Democratic circles to realize that McNerney can bring more voters from more constituencies into the fight and that just maybe it is time for Filson, whose campaign seems to be sputtering, to drop out and save you all a little angst.