Friday, April 28, 2006

Elect - ability

Ok, here I go again. It seems to me that all of this discussion has really bought in to the Filson "I am electable" argument. It is all about who is electable and on what basis to they make that claim, grassroots vs. anointing from on high.

If you take away all of those claims and look at the issues, the one Democratic candidate who stands out as having a clear understanding of and an intelligent position on a wide range of issues is Steve Thomas. Were I member of PDA, that is who I would be working for. I'm not, so I will continue to talk about McCloskey, but I think you Democrats are missing something here, again. All I konw is that the more I hear of Thomas, the more attractive he seems.


Blogger VPO said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:59 PM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

What happens is that when someone with virtually no name recognition or known experience runs for office, there is an enormous deficit to overcome in terms of getting the needed publicity. The person may have great ideas and very capable of doing the job, but without the recognition, it is very hard to get eleccted.

The name recognition and respect comes from A) being a celebrity; B) being rich; C) being a rich celebrity; or D) the more common, by working your way up through the ranks.

In politics, this means not aiming for Congress when first out of the gate. Perhaps Filson, Thomas, and McNerney can run for local or even state office before trying to win a Congressional seat.

I did a review of a bunch of Congress people from our area, and almost all were on a city or county board, or in the state legislature, before running for Congress.

If not in government, they were well-known professors at places like Stanford or had held high-level government advisory roles.

It is very, very unusual for someone with no political experience, no celebrity status, no money, and no name recognition to go right to Congress. In fact, I would say it almost never happens.

Here are stats on some local Congress members:

Zoe Lofgren, CA-16
Lawyer, 13 years as County Supervisor
Served as Staff Assistant to her predecessor, Congressman Don Edwards, 1970-1978. Worked on impeachment proceedings, the Equal Rights Amendment, and creation of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge in the South San Francisco Bay.
Practiced immigration law as a partner in the firm of Webber & Lofgren, 1978-1980.
Taught immigration law at University of Santa Clara School of Law, 1981-1994.
Served on Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, 1981-1994.
Elected in 1994 as only freshman Democrat from west of the Rocky Mountains.

Mike Honda, CA-15
6 years as County Supervisor, 4 years in State Assembly
In 1971, Mike was appointed by San Jose Mayor Norm Mineta to San Jose's Planning Commission.
In 1981, Mike won his first election, gaining a seat on the San Jose Unified School Board.
In 1990, Mike was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. As a Supervisor, Mike led efforts to establish the Open Space Authority, whose mission is the preservation of open space. He also took the lead in women's health care issues such as raising awareness of breast cancer, and convening a women's health conference. He passed landmark welfare reforms that have saved millions of dollars for the county.
In 1996, Mike was elected to the California Assembly in 1996 and was re-elected in 1998. As an Assemblymember, Mike worked with Governor Gray Davis to draft landmark education reforms - including smaller class size and increases in teachers' benefits. As Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Mike worked to pass sensible gun safety legislation to keep guns out of the hands of juveniles and voted to ban assault weapons. Mike was awarded "High-Tech Legislator of the Year" by the American Electronics Association for his strong advocacy for the high-tech economy. He fought for legislation to augment the research and development tax credit and worked to eliminate taxes on graduate school tuition paid by employers.
In 2000, Mike was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Barbara Lee, CA-9
6 years in State Assembly, 2 years in State Senate
began her political career working in the office of her predecessor, Congressman Ron Dellums, where she eventually became his Chief of Staff
From 1990 to 1996, served in the California State Assembly
From 1996 to 1998, served in the California State Senate

Nancy Pelosi, CA-8
6 chair of North Cal and Statewide Democratic Party, 2 Years finance chair of national Democratic Committee, Daughter of Congressman and Mayor of Baltimore
Chair, Northern California Democratic Party, 1977-1981
State Chair, California Democratic Party, 1981-1983
Finance chairman, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, 1985-1986
1987 - elected as a Democrat to the One Hundredth Congress, by special election, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Sala Burton

Tom Lantos, CA-12
PhD, over 20 years as professor of economics, adviser to US Senate
Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
1950 - 1980: professor of economics, an international affairs analyst for public television, and a consultant to a number of businesses. He also served as an economic and foreign policy adviser to members of the United States Senate.

George Miller, CA-7
5 years as lawyer and aide for State Senate Majority Leader

Attorney, California Senate Majority Leader Don Moscone, 1972-1974
Legislative Aide, California Senate Majority Leader, 1969-1974.

Ellen Tauscher, CA-10
At age 25, she became one of the first women to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
Served as an officer of the American Stock Exchange.
Founded the first national research service to help parents verify the background of childcare workers when she was looking for childcare for her daughter.
Published a book to help working parents make informed decisions about their own childcare needs.

Dennis Cardoza, CA-18
Six years in the State Assembly
Chaired the powerful Rules Committee and helped forge the Moderate Democratic Caucus.
Named Legislator of the Year for his efforts to cut taxes, help family farms, and promote education and children’s safety.

John Doolittle, CA-4
Senator, California State Senate, 1980-1990

Richard Pombo, CA-11 (Ugh!)
Two years on the Tracy City Council

3:00 PM, April 28, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

You've pointed out the glaring flaw all of the Democratic challengers face: None of these guys had held elected office. Of course, this is because no current elected office holders opted to challenge Pombo, which is a good indication of what they thought about their chances of winning.

I'll be blunt: Barring an indictment or some major scandal, it will be tremendous challenge to defeat Pombo. However, Pombo's agenda is out of step with the priorities of his constituents and, if the Democratic nominee plays his cards right, he will have an opportunity to turn a lot of Pombo voters to the "D" column.

But, if Pombo gets indicted, this race is wide open.

8:48 PM, April 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon Rick-

You are missing VPO's point, or twisting it around because your own lame choice has never shown any interest in public service til now.

Pombo has not kept anyone from running for office, either Congressional or city/local. Esp in the tri-valley area. Pombo didn't even have the tr-valley area til recently, so tell me how he blocked or intimidated anyone (e.g. Filson) from running?

VPO is right - you can't be expected to play well as a big-leaguer (Congress) without learning the ropes on the sandlots and in the minor leagues (local elected office). Filson's inexperience and many gaffes are all the mistakes one should expect of an amateur. Not that McNerney and Thomas are all that different in this area, but you are the one dismissing VPO's comment with a totally lame excuse.

Regardless, its validity stands. If you think the bloggers on this site are nasty and unfair, wait til Pombo and Wayne Johnson eat Filson for lunch and spit him out - should he be "lucky" enough to take the primary.

10:38 AM, April 29, 2006  
Anonymous rick said...

Huh? His point was that political neophytes rarely, if ever, win Congressional election, which I concurred with. Thus, it's quite a stretch to claim that I was shilling for Filson in that post, given that I acknowledged that all of the Democrats share this weakness.

I know you relish in staking out the contrarian position to what ever I post, but you can do better than that.

9:24 PM, April 29, 2006  
Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

The grassroots of the Democratic Party of California knows who is electable and who is a Beltway shill and today they overwhelmingly endorsed Jerry McNerney as the Democrat who can beat Pombo.

5:04 PM, April 30, 2006  
Anonymous SOGDT said...

I'm weary of the state party endorsements. How many of the delegates actually voted in the CD11 endorsement? I was under the impression that only half did. Additionally, I find it odd that Angelides got the endorsement over Westly. Westly is far ahead in the polls and I really can't see Angelides winning. I guess we'll if these endorsements really mean anything.

9:30 PM, April 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sogdt is trying to minimize the significance of the California Democratic Party endorsement. I wonder why?

It's not that odd that after Westley (D-LC) is leading in the polls either. Ever heard of name recognition? Westley spent all kinds of money including a bunch of his own on advertising. Angelides made a decision to wait untill the week of the convetion to to do ads in order to save money.

It's especially not odd of you've been in any way involved with the Democratic Party grassroots in California considering that Angelides had the early support from the roots and from party big wigs including Feinstein, Pelosi, Boxer and others and maintained the level of support until the convention. Westley bussed supporters in to the convention to create the appearance of having support. They weren't delegates.

10:12 PM, April 30, 2006  

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