Friday, March 20, 2009

San Diego City Council District 8

We announce the arrival of spring with a review of potential candidates. Even though we are months away from anything official the 8th has always offered up more than 5 candidates for office. Given the disinterest of politics in the district it is no wonder that so many seek the City Council position. The vote totals are low and, with enough money, you can flood the mailboxes of the residents, bludgeoning them to support your candidate in order to stop the paper onslaught. Unless it’s a Remer campaign, in which case the mail will keep coming days after the election.

Here is what the rumor mill hath spilled forth:

Alonso Gonzalez
Currently Hueso’s Deputy Chief of Staff. He is known for his policy acumen and, rumor has it, is Ben’s choice. If he is the anointed one, Ben has a strange way of showing it. Most people in the district don’t know who Alonso is and, as of this writing, Hueso has not come out for his guy.

David Alvarez
Currently a staffer for State Senator Denise Ducheny. He has community roots and a profile, albeit low, in the district. He has connections but it remains to be seen if he can exploit them and emerge from Ducheny’s shadow.

Nick Inzunza Sr
Speaking of shadows, this name is one that weary voters may have hoped never to see again. Truth is, the family has been around for a long time, the name is recognized, and the machine still exists in a skeletal form.

BD Howard
Issues with law enforcement notwithstanding, this is not going to be easy. He knows the district having run the field campaign for Hueso and has donors and volunteers he can tap from the Whitburn campaign. However, he doesn’t have a community profile and there are not assurances that the Whitburn supporters will place their bets in the 8th.

Christian Ramirez
A community activist who runs the local American Friends Service Committee office. He can produce bodies but it remains to be seen if he can raise the money.

Raquel Marquez
San Ysidro School Board. She would be a formidable candidate, but family comes first and she is expecting. She’s going to run for higher office at some point. Keep your eyes on her.

Dan Coffey
San Ysidro resident and activist. Having been active in taking down Aguirre he knows his way around City Hall. However, he hasn’t raised his community profile beyond his neighborhood.

Alberto Velasquez
Local Democratic officer, activist and SEIU employee. He has some campaign potential with those two organizations but is unknown in the district.

Remy Bermudez
Don’t count Remy out. She may do it just to spite Ben.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SDCDP Endorsements for CDP Positions

At last night’s Central Committee meeting, the SDCDP took positions on the offices for the California Democratic Party.

As Chair Jess Durfee noted, this is the first time this many candidates have come to San Diego seeking the support of the local party

Chair: John Burton

No surprise here. Once he announced (and Nancy and Barbara began applying muscle) his opposition scattered for the Vice Chair positions. Toni Atkins spoke for him and the Central Committee politely endured the prepared remarks.

Vice Chair Male: Eric Bauman v Evan Low

Bauman easily got it. He has just about the entire party behind him. As LACDP chair, that puts him in a solid position to take this in Sacramento. Evan is 25 yrs old, a city councilmember from Northern California, and someone to watch. He received kudos for showing up.

Vice Chair Female: Alex Rooker and Alicia Wang
Rooker gets the nod. Both had moments when they didn’t answer the questions presented and Wang had a few moments of silence in a response, but her personal stories were a hit. Rooker, through filling in the SDCDP on her background, has the direct experience necessary to act as an auxiliary to the Chair.

Controller: Eric Bradley and Hillary Crosby

This has become a battleground for all the wrong reasons. There are significant groups within the CDP who are justified in their frustration at the Torres regime but throwing all that anger at the Controller is going after the wrong target. It is unfortunate for Bradley because his presentation was the better of the two. He has the experience and the relationships necessary to keep the CDP afloat but he, being the incumbent, has been tarred with everything wrong with the party even thought the Controller does not have the power to direct funds (the Chairs do). Crosby seems like an honest progressive trying to make a difference but doesn’t appear to have much experience in big time fundraising.

With significant help from her sister, who resides in San Diego County and works for Cong. Bob Filner, Hillary was able to get the SDCDP endorsement on the second ballot. The first ballot yielded no endorsement but the SDCDP Bylaws state that, in such a case, that the top vote getter runs against “No endorsement.” With the body in a state of mild confusion as to what was happening, Crosby got it.

If nothing else, the Female Vice Chair and Controller races should make up for the predictable Chair and Male Vice Chair races in Sacramento.

Monday, March 16, 2009

PAVs – A Democratic Party Success Story

I picked this up from the CDP:

The California Journal of Politics & Policy (UC Berkeley) just put out an Abstract from Field Poll’s Mark DiCamillo about Mail Ballot Voting.

It is a good summary, available at:

Both Governors George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson vetoed the PAV (Permanent Absentee Vote) bills, which gave the option to voters to sign up for a permanent mail ballot. Governor Gray Davis signed a PAV bill, as well as a Speaker Bob Hertzberg bill moving the voter registration deadline from 29 days to 15 days.

Both of these opened up the voting process to more voters and subsequently helped Democrats. Everyone knew why the Republicans were against expanding access to U.S. citizens to voting and thus the two Governor vetoes.

Republicans in California feared more Californian voters. We welcomed them.

As DiCamillo reports, 5.7 million Californians voted by mail.

We just ran the voter file of those who voted on November 4, 2008. Not every voter is coded on the voter file correctly by the counties - precinct or mail, so the voter file numbers are not 100%, but here they are:

Total PAV - 5,891,435
Total PAV Voted - 5,176,755 (87.9%)
Democratic PAV - 2,221,614 (88.6%)
Republican PAV -1,927,966 (89.4%)

Thus, Democrats beat the Republicans in the PAV “actually voting” category by 293,648 ballots.

Under the previous Registrar of Voters, LA County did not emphasize PAV so that’s why LA County has a lower percent of PAVs, but that will change and give Democrats an even bigger margin.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nationalize them Already

Headline form today New York Times:

A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout

Contractual obligations such as these provide an even greater incentive to just do it. We already own 80%. Let’s put an end to this madness.