Saturday, June 2, 2012

Urgent Alert to Democrats: Beware of Republicans Telling You Which Democrat to Vote for!

Brian Bilbray Tips His Hand by Urging Democrats to Vote for Saldaña

San Diego – The Scott Peters for Congress campaign today issued an urgent message to Democratic voters in the 52nd Congressional District: Beware of Republicans telling you which Democrat to vote for on June 5! They will steer you away from the most formidable opponent and toward the Democrat they know they can easily trounce in a general election match up.

“This week Brian Bilbray left no room for doubt about which Democrat he most fears facing in a general election match up,” said Peters Campaign Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. “He sent an anti-Scott Peters/Pro-Lori Saldaña mailer to Democratic households using the same rhetoric the Saldaña campaign has been using for weeks.”

The Saldaña campaign’s false attacks on Scott hit mailboxes first. And then a wave of similar attack pieces from the Bilbray campaign hit Democratic households in the following weeks. Mixed in, however, was messaging to prop up Saldaña’s candidacy. In fact, the misstatements and false accusations are so identical, a local attorney and pension expert sent a letter to both campaigns pointing out that their statements “could easily be deemed libelous.”

“One could almost perceive that the two campaigns are using the same political consultant,” Pintar added. “Or, at a minimum, it has the appearance that the two campaigns are coordinating their timing and their false, inaccurate messaging to stifle support for Scott. Clearly, the Bilbray campaign has the same polling we have which shows Scott is the tougher opponent to Brian in this newly drawn district.”

The Peters campaign has created two web sites to ensure voters have accurate information about San Diego’s pension history, and Scott’s record on the issues. They are and

The new 52nd Congressional District is the result of recent redistricting, and is targeted by both national parties as a swing district. Peters has raised more money from individual donors and earned more endorsements than any other challenger in this race. Peters is also endorsed by every state and federal Democratic legislator who has served San Diego in the past 10 years, including those who served in the Assembly with Saldaña. Most recently, Peters earned the backing of 4 out of 5 media outlets who have endorsed him over Saldaña. They are the progressive San Diego CityBeat, U-T San Diego, Tierrasanta’s Tierra Times, and San Diego Jewish World.

For more information about Scott's record of accomplishments and the breadth and depth of his endorsements, go to


Friday, June 1, 2012

Mexican American Business and Professional Association Backs Peters for Congress


San Diego – The Mexican American Business and Professional Association (MABPA) has endorsed Scott Peters over Lori Saldaña and Brian Bilbray in the race for the new 52nd Congressional District. The members of MABPA add their names to the impressive list of Latino leaders who are backing Peters in his bid to unseat Bilbray.

“Scott has been a great advocate for Latinos, for small businesses, and for underserved communities. That’s why he’s earned endorsements from so many local and regional leaders who advocate on behalf of working families,” said MABPA President Josie Calderon.”

“I thank MABPA President Josie Calderon and all the members who voted to back me in this race,” said Peters. “I have spent my career in public service championing job creation, small business growth and have worked to make San Diego a great place to live and work. I’m honored to have earned the trust of these business leaders.”

The mission of the MABPA, founded in 1978, is to promote and advocate for the economic and social prosperity of underserved communities. With a membership of more than 300 members, its mission is to increase Latino participation in all sectors of the business community in order to actively address issues affecting our region’s Latino population as well as affirmatively voice our views.

Other Latino leaders backing Peters include: San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez; Larry Baza, Commission for Arts and Culture;* Chula Vista Councilmember Steve Castaneda; labor leader Lorena Gonzalez; Assemblyman Ben Hueso; former Assemblymember Mary Salas;  and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-39). The Chicano Democratic Association of San Diego has also voted to endorse Peters over Saldaña.


Councilmember Marti Emerald Questions Prop A Impact on City Parks, Public Safety


San Diego, CA – “San Diegans do love their parks, but our parks could be at risk if Prop A passes,” begins District 7 Councilmember Marti Emerald in a taped statement released today by the No on Proposition A campaign. Emerald cautions San Diego voters against voting for the measure, which State Controller John Chiang, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, San Diego’s Independent Budget Analyst and Fitch Ratings Company have all stated will cost the City of San Diego hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Emerald questions the impact of these lost state grant monies on both public safety and recreation projects around the city, as well as other vital services. Her comments come on the heels of a statement released earlier this week by Fitch Ratings that indicated Prop A’s approval would expose the City’s General Fund and “place downward pressure on the city's bond ratings,” hampering its ability to complete projects of all kinds.

“Protect our quality of life. Protect public safety. Vote no on Prop A,” Emerald concludes.

View Marti Emerald’s full video statement at


Why I’m supporting Lori by Donna Frye

Lori and Donna Frye at Mission Bay Park

I am writing so you know why I support Lori Saldaña for Congress and why I believe she deserves your support, too.

I first met Lori in 1994. We worked together on a variety of issues, but primarily focused on environmental, quality of life and open government issues. We got a lot done because we identified the problem, did our homework, engaged the public and then provided a workable solution to the problem.

Our work always focused on the belief that we had a responsibility to protect and preserve our quality of life and to make things better for the next generation. But we also knew that some issues would never get addressed in a meaningful way unless the elected officials cared about them as much as we did and were willing to take action.

In the early 2000s we both ran for office and were fortunate enough to be elected to serve the public.

During her six years in the state Assembly, Lori passed landmark legislation and stood up to powerful special interests who threatened the health, prosperity, and safety of her constituents. Lori earned 100% ratings from the Sierra Club, the Congress of California Seniors, Planned Parenthood, and Equality California.

She also rose to the post of Speaker Pro Tempore (the number two post in the Assembly) and used that post to support and pass legislation that benefited all San Diegans.

Today, Lori is running for Congress and I am endorsing her because I know that I can count on her to go to Washington and not forget the people who helped elect her. I do not have to worry that she will say one thing to get elected and then forget what she said when she goes to Congress.

Lori stands up for what she believes, even when it is not politically popular. She has strong core beliefs and values, and knows firsthand what it’s like to work on community issues as a grassroots activist. And she has never forgotten that.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Progressive Caucus Chair Endorses Saldaña


WASHINGTON DC – Congressman Raul Grijalva, Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has endorsed Lori Saldaña for Congress.

“I've been following progressive congressional candidates throughout the country and Lori's race caught my attention,” Grijalva said. “She’s a genuine progressive with a proven commitment to improving the lives of her constituents.”

Grijalva praised Saldaña’s accomplishments as a public servant.

“Ms. Saldaña is a skilled policymaker who has demonstrated leadership translating progressive values into public policy, “Grijalva said. “And she is definitely not afraid to stand up to moneyed special interests.”

“This is why I've given Ms. Saldaña my endorsement and this is why I look forward to working with her in the Progressive Caucus."

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, consists of one United States Senator, Bernie Sanders, and seventy five members of the United States House of Representatives.

Saldaña said she is honored by Chairman Grijalva’s endorsement and eager to get to work.

“The Progressive Caucus will be the engine for change in Congress,” Saldaña said. “I look forward to working with Chairman Grijalva, my former colleagues Karen Bass and Judy Chu, and the other caucus members on policies that will put Americans back to work and restore a healthy and expanding middle class.”

Saldaña’s growing list of progressive endorsements includes:
• The Progressive Change Campaign Committee

• Governor Howard Dean and Jim Dean

• Democracy for America

• San Diego Chapter of Democracy for America
• Former City Councilmember Donna Frye

• City Councilmember Marti Emerald

• Progressive San Diego

• School Board Trustee Richard Barrera

• Former President of the San Diego Democratic Club Stephen Whitburn

• Former President of the San Diego Democratic Club Andrea Villa

• Former San Diego Democratic Party Chair Kennan  Kaeder

• School Board President John Lee Evans


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Website -


SAN DIEGO - The Democratic frontrunner for the 52nd Congressional district, Lori Saldaña, has released a new website informing voters of Scott Peter's extensive personal loans to his campaign. The website,, is a response to Peters recently loaning his campaign $1.25 million. also contrasts Scott Peters' self-funded campaign with Saldana's grassroots fundraising, which has raised over $300,000 from more than 10,000 small-dollar supporters.

Visit the website at:

SD Janitors March Through Downtown San Diego, SD Labor Council Poised to Aid Janitors’ Strike

San Diego - On Thursday, May 31, 2012, unions representing more than 192,000 working men and women throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties are expected to pledge their support for San Diego’s United Service Workers West janitors in the event of a strike.  A vote to sanction the strike would mean honoring the picket line if building owners and their contractors do not reach an agreement with the janitors’ union by June 2, 2012.

“For the past couple of months, we have negotiated with contractors representing building owners for a contract that includes a modest wage increase and health care for our families,” said María Aldama, member of the Bargaining Committee and janitor for five years.  “If our employers can afford to give janitors in Los Angeles, Orange County, and in Northern California a raise and are able to provide health care for workers and their families, why can’t they do the same for San Diego janitors?”

For the past eight weeks, janitors have been working hard to negotiate a dignified contract.  Unfortunately, contractors and building owners have offered to freeze workers’ wages and cut their health benefits. If building owners are unwilling to meet workers’ demands by June 2, 2012, janitors throughout San Diego will strike.

"The bottom line is janitors work hard, often in the cover of night, for extremely wealthy companies. They deserve the dignity of being able to provide for their families, to take their kids to the doctor when they are sick and to make ends meet,” said Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.  “The companies whose buildings are being cleaned can afford this very modest increase in cost, and it is time they provide it."

In 2012, 30,000 of USWW’s 40,000 members’ collective bargaining contracts expire, including the 1,800 office, tech and biotech janitors from San Diego and Inland Empire counties which are set to expire on May 31st.

Janitor Protest March & Rally; San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council Press Conference pledging not to cross picket line if janitors go on strike.

Thursday, May 31, 2012 | 12:00 P.M., March & Rally; Labor Unions to sanction potential janitor strike at 12:30 P.M. at Civic Center Plaza.

March starts at 8th Avenue & B Street; Press Conference led by Lorena Gonzalez and labor unions at 12:30 P.M. at Civic Center Plaza.

WHO: Lorena Gonzalez and union leaders, San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council; hundreds of janitors and community groups.


Competitive races - 6 days left

Californians for Small Business are push polling against Filner. The automated survey asks Democrats "if you knew ______, would it change your opinion." The blanks are about missed votes, pushing his way onto an airplane and being found guilty of trespassing, and that he voted against DOMA. Voter suppression is a time-honored tactic when you want to keep your opponent's base at home because you can bring out enough of your voters. With a three-way (on paper) Republican division of their electorate, the fewer Democrats they can keep from casting votes the better for DeMaio and Fletcher. Dumanis, even with the support of the Mayor, is irrelevant at this point. It looks like the three men will battle it out for the top two positions.

Ellis has yet to make a case for removing Lightner and she hasn't done anything wrong, by her district, to warrant removal. UFCW has mailed against her for her position on Wal-Mart but there are not many union voters in D1. Lightner and Ellis settle this in the fall.

Kostrinsky has a higher bar to hurdle (registration numbers) but he should squeak by to make it in November. After that, this race becomes a death-match.

CD 51
Vargas has gone after Ducheny from day one (eliminating her position on a state board) and has not let up. His latest hit on her deals with payments to her husband for campaign management which is being spun as using donor money to fund their personal lives. The Ducheny campaign has hit back, pointing out that "she has "outraised her opponent for the second time since she's entered the race." The campaign says it has "raised over $52,780 dollars, while her main opponent raised only $46,344." The campaign adds, "almost 85%" of the money raised has come from individuals, most of whom live in the district, and "just under half of Vargas' contributions have come from Political Action Committees, like the Insurance and Banking lobbies." It looks like this will be settled in November.

CD 52
The Peters campaign has put out his "final" TV ad while the Saldaña campaign has just begun their on-airoperation that is to "run during the closing week of the Saldaña's June 5th Primary contest." As this is happening, Bilbray continues his assault (4 mailings as of today with more expected) through the mail at Peters.

SD 39
Marty and George walk in June to wrestle in November

AD 77
This ground has been cursed for Democrats and this cycle doesn't appear to be an exception. Maienschein will be the Republican in the top two but the second place, like in CD 52, is where the action is. Hernandez, the endorsed Democrat, is being crowded out by Laskaris, a DTS that is being pushed by the local AFT union. It is possible that this will be a race where the Republican will be running against a union-candidate that is not a Democrat.

AD 79
Dr. Shirley Weber should be the favorite but fate has not been kind to her campaign. There was the very expensive IE "misfire" by her allies that mailed to the wrong district on the critical weekend before absentee ballots were mailed. Then there is the Betsy Butler race in AD 50 that has the Assembly Speaker ordering asking staffers of current members to spend time in LA instead of helping the campaigns that their bosses have endorsed. She does have an experienced campaign manger and name recognition in a nice portion of the new AD.

She doesn't have to buy name ID like Rudy Ramirez. Coming from Chula Vista to represent a district that takes in SDSU, S.E. San Diego, and parts of La Mesa and Lemon Grove his money has purchased a number of signs in Mission Valley (?). He has been selling himself as the "business friendly" Democrat and had gained the largess of business PACs spending in the district for him. His ground operation may not stray from the predictable but this phoning and voter contact operations are to be commended if he makes it through.

Sid Voorakkara has money and a heavy ground campaign. Like Ramirez, he's had to buy name ID but unlike Ramirez his signs are in laws and not on light posts.  His mailings are good, he is unafraid of voter contact, and has built a solid foundation. It remains to be seen if it will be enough to make the top two. The district is so Balkanized that it is difficult to call it for anyone.

Dr. Pat Washington is a community fixture with the unfortunate luck to be competing for the same votes as Dr. Weber.  Washington's campaign is a volunteer driven community effort running against Weber's professional community driven campaign. I don't think Washington makes it but she may pull enough votes from Weber to allow Ramirez and/or Voorakkara to make it.

Of the two Republicans, only Mary English has a shot of making it. She's a known vote getter and can easily unify the Republicans as the only viable one in the race.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Third TV Ad of the Peters for Congress Campaign Begins Airing Tonight

San Diego – The third and final television advertisement of the Scott Peters for Congress campaign begins airing on local network affiliate and cable stations tonight. The 30-second ad is upbeat and positive and will continue airing until late on June 5.

“We are proud of the campaign we’ve run and very pleased with the response to our first two ads,” said Campaign Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. “Out at events all weekend, people were stopping Scott to say ‘I saw your ads and I’m voting for you’,” she said.

The campaign also is very pleased with how things look going into the final week, she said, adding that “our plan is working and we get to end our television campaign in an upbeat, positive way.”

The first half of the spot, called “Values,” highlights themes of the campaign’s first two ads – Scott’s record of job creation  and his public safety accomplishments and backing. The second half reinforces his commitment to protecting Social Security and Medicare, states that he opposes cuts to these benefits. It also touts the depth and breadth of the endorsements he’s earned. It ends with a visual of three newspapers who have endorsed in this race, which all back Scott. The voice-over says, “San Diego newspapers, teachers, and firefighters have endorsed Scott Peters. He’ll get things done.” 

In addition to television and mail, the Peters campaign has hundreds of volunteer callers and walkers who fill its phone banks and the neighborhoods of CD 52 every day. Dozens of endorsing elected officials and organizations also are helping with voter contact every weekend by bringing their staffs, supporters and members out to help us walk and call voters.  For example, earlier this month 80 members of LIUNA (Laborers International Union of North America) showed up in their bright orange t-shirts to knock on doors for Scott, and elected officials from throughout the region will be making calls on Scott’s behalf in the campaign's final days.

For more information about how you can help, go to


Props. A and B: Bad for San Diego

Conservative and corporate interests like to load their pet propositions onto primary election ballots, and 2012 is no exception. In the City of San Diego, the Democratic Party urges a "no" vote on Props. A and B, both shameless political ploys that would only harm our city.

If Prop. A were to pass -- banning Project Labor Agreements in San Diego -- no state funds could be used for any construction project in the city. More than $100 million annually would be lost, according to the Independent Budget Analyst's estimate. The absence of those funds would further harm the city's ability to service its debt.

Prop. B would immediately impose a $56 million cost on taxpayers by converting city workers' pensions to 401k plans in a legally dubious way. By overturning good-faith bargaining at the ballot box, this measure would be devastating for city employees, who gave up Social Security as part of their contracts.

Democrats are also opposing Prop. D., an effort in El Cajon to establish a city charter that would make it easier to outsource jobs to lower-paid, out-of-town workers. In Oceanside the Party is fighting Props. E and F, which would, respectively, increase rent for residents of mobile home parks and manipulate the city's electoral system.

For a complete list of the County Democratic Party's endorsements and ballot measure positions, go to

Ducheny's campaign for CD 51 announces several endorsements


Former Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny's campaign for CD 51 has announced several endorsements, including the Women's Campaign Fund; Americans for Democratic Action (Southern California Chapter); Martin Luther King Jr Democratic Club; San Diego City Beat; National Organization for Women (NOW PAC); US Rep. Grace Napolitano. Full list here. Ducheny, a Democrat, served six years in the Assembly beginning in 1994 and eight years in the Senate beginning in 2002.

Saldaña launches first ad of the CA-52 primary Tuesday


SAN DIEGO - The Democratic frontrunner for the 52nd Congressional District, Lori Saldaña, will launch her first ad Tuesday. The ad campaign will use voter-targeting technology to deliver online video ads and traditional flash ads to deliver ads to likely voters.

The total ad buy is expected to be in the tens of thousands of dollars and run during the closing week of the Saldaña's June 5th Primary contest.

VIEW VIDEO AD on YouTube here:

Facts about the Saldaña-Peters race

•Lori Saldaña is a grassroots progressive who is focused on restoring the middle class and fighting to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. She was endorsed by the PCCC late last month.

•Saldaña was one of the original members of the Dean Dozen in her successful race for the CA State Assembly in 2004 and thanks to her grassroots base successfully ran for reelection two times before she was term-limited out of office in 2010.

•Scott Peters is a businessman and San Diego City Councilman and, as depicted in this ad, has publicly supported cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

•Peters, facing a serious headwind from Saldaña's strong grassroots effort, recently dumped over $1.25 million of his own money into the race in attempt to buy the House seat.


Rudy Ramirez for 79th Assembly video

‘Occupy OUR Arts’ Family Celebration


Women Occupy San Diego will host a family-friendly arts Celebration on the site of bitter clashes between San Diego police and Members of the Occupy Movement a few months ago.

‘Occupy OUR Arts’ Family Celebration
10 am - 6 pm, Saturday, June 9
Civic Center Plaza, 3rd Avenue between ‘B’ and ‘C’ streets

The one-day event will share another side of the Occupy movement, the Art of We The People, with the larger San Diego community, focusing on creative arts and diverse culture and bringing together families from all walks of life, the 99%.

The celebration will feature two stages showcasing music, dance, acrobatics, street theater, comedy and spoken word performances. Displays by local visual artists will include sculpture, photography, painting, spray art and sidewalk chalk drawing. There will also be workshops, ‘Teach Ins’ and interactive art areas for attendees. Participants include artists from the Art of Pride, the Art Academy of San Diego, Ballet Folklorico, Sophia Isadora Academy of Circus Arts, and many more.

Children can participate in crafts, music and dance, ecological projects, face painting, a special parade and a children’s peace area.

The event will follow a proclamation by the San Diego City Council supporting Free Speech and Freedom of Expression activities in the Civic Center Plaza. The organizers have obtained all necessary permits for the event.

Women Occupy San Diego ( is an independent organization of San Diego County women dedicated to creating an equitable economic system and restoring government for and by the people rather than for corporations and the wealthy. Through nonviolent, inclusive action and outreach, we support the goals and values of Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement.

To learn more about Occupy OUR Arts or sign up to participate, please contact Wendy Sue Biegeleisen, Mark your calendar for June 9!



Keene, CA – In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, the United Farm Workers (UFW) announce the Kris Kristofferson & Friends Concert Series beginning June 15 thru June 22 in cities across California.  The Concert Series will join singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson with renowned Latin artists in the various markets to raise money in advancing the work of the UFW.  Joining Kristofferson in donating their respective performances are: Los Lobos, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Mariachi Divas, Nydia Rojas with Trio Ellas, and Los Tex-Maniacs featuring Mingo Saldivar.  Concert Series tickets are on sale now through each venue’s box office. A select number of VIP Artist's Circle seats will be available. The Artist's Circle seats include premium seating within the first eight rows, a limited edition commemorative concert poster, and a meet and greet opportunity with Kris Kristofferson & Friends after the show.  The Concert Series will be produced by LatinPointe and Road Work Entertainment and is sponsored by Southwest Airlines.

The California Concert Series artist line-up and scheduled concert stops include:

Friday, June 15 - San Diego, CA - Spreckels Theatre
8:00 pm, Kris Kristofferson & Mariachi Divas

Saturday, June 16 - Fresno, CA - Warnors Center for the Performing Arts
8:00 pm, 
Kris Kristofferson & Nydia Rojas with Trio Ellas

Monday, June 18 - Stockton, CA - The Bob Hope Theatre,
7:30 pm, Kris Kristofferson & TBD

June 19 - Bakersfield, CA - The Fox Theater,
 8:00 pm, 
Kris Kristofferson & Los Lobos

Thursday, June 21 - Oxnard, CA - Oxnard Performing Arts & Convention Center
7:30 pm, Kris Kristofferson & Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano

Friday, June 22 - San Jose, CA - San Jose Civic,
8:00 pm, Kris Kristofferson & Los Tex-Maniacs featuring Mingo Saldivar

The 73-year-old Kristofferson has had a distinguished career that has encompassed the authorship of such classic American songs as “Me and BobbyMcGee,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night”; stardom in such feature films as Lonestar, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and A Star is Born; honors including three Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe Award; and years of outspoken political and social activism.  “It’s an honor for me to share my talent with an organization such as the UFW and its cause of advancing the lives of thousands of workers that put food on all of our tables,” said Kristofferson.  “Joining forces with renowned Latino performers through these special performances offer fans great music with a great cause!”

The UFW is the oldest Latino organization to come out of the 1960’s civil rights movement and the largest farm worker organization in America.  The group continues to be at the forefront of protecting America’s farm workers, ensuring a safe and just food supply and a safe working environment, free from intimidation and threats to achieve a higher standard of living for them and their families.  

Other scheduled UFW 50th Anniversary events include the UFW Awards (May 17th) and the UFW 50th Anniversary convention (May 18-20).  Both events will be held in Bakersfield, CA.  A distinguished group of entertainers, public officials, dignitaries and Hispanic national leaders lead by Helen Chavez, wife of founder Cesar Chavez, is co-chairing the 50th Anniversary celebration.

For more information on the Concert Series and all UFW 50th events contact UFW contact Teresa Romero,  (661) 823-6105 or Sarah Ruiz Chavez,  (913) 660-6515.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

CD 52: 10 days left

 This isn't the U-T. Proofreading is allowed.

There was a rumor a few weeks ago that the Peters campaign was hiring people for a paid walk and phone program. In doing the back of the envelope calculations, he would need as least half a million to make it happen.

This is what has happened and more. According to the latest FEC filings, Scott Peters has loaned his campaign 1.25 million dollars to defeat Lori Saldaña and secure a place in the general election against Brian Bilbray.

That kind of money could fund three campaigns for San Diego City Council. It could revitalize the county Democratic Party. It could be seed money to launch a new generation of progressive operatives through out the county.

Instead, it is going to secure a likely number two position in an open primary. The race between Peters and Saldaña is seen as an inter-party one with Republicans coming home to Bilbray. The chances of a Democratic candidate coming in first with a split Democratic electorate are slim.

The question remains if this will be enough money to make it happen. If you subtract his personal contribution, Saldaña raised more money than Peters in the most recent FEC filings. She is burning her money at a rapid rate and doesn’t have much of a cushion to fall back on but she has made this race close enough to force Peters to dump a ton of cash for a primary.

With 10 days to go, the campaigns have settled on their basic strategies: Saldaña’s campaign is playing to the base, touting progressive endorsements and working the field while Peters’s campaign has launched a paid walk and phone program, television buys, and at least 20 pieces of mail so far with more to come.

What’s working so far:

Peters – The firefighter robo-call and overall mail strategy. The call about Saldaña and public safety by the firefighters was one of the few instances when a robo-call was a good investment. It amplified Peters’s public safety record and his mail campaign about the same subject. The odd thing is that public safety polls very well with Republican women. Primary elections tend to skew partisan so this gamble at Republicans may not be enough if that is their strategy. As for his mail, there is a lot of it so his name ID has risen.

Saldaña – The hand written letters and her hits on Peters. The hand written letters are very labor intensive but they did the trick. Arriving in mailboxes just as the first batch of campaign literature began dropping they cut through the clutter and reinforced her message as a community-based campaign. Her Enron-by-the-Sea hits on Peters are successful but maybe too successful because Bilbray has begun mailing voters about the same thing.

What’s not working:

Peters –Mail and social media. Mail cuts both ways. The Peters campaign is running too close to having a Meg Whitman-like effect with voters. They are mailing so much that, with the competitive mayoral race in the mix, voters may just toss any mail from any of them into the recycling bin without looking. And Peters’s mail doesn’t stand out amongst the clutter that it must compete with. As for social media, there was a sustained attempt by campaign staffers and volunteers to convince voters on Facebook and Twitter that Saldaña was crazy, a liar, and not to be trusted. They received responses but, as this campaign went on, the same 20 people were talking to the same 20 people. There wasn’t any noticeable traction with this two-month “whisper” campaign and all it did was make the posters look crazy, like liars, and not to be trusted.

Saldaña – Mail and candidate missteps with the media. Having just stated that Peters may be putting out too much mail, Saldaña may not be putting out enough. What she has mailed out has been creative and seems to work but it may be buried in the avalanche of Peters mail and whatever the mayoral candidates are sending. And Saldaña has not had the best of relationships with some media outlets (CityBeat) and they are not afraid to let their readers know. Saldaña’s roughness around the edges when it comes to the media has cost her and campaigns this close don’t need self-inflicted wounds.


1)   Unifying the Democrats behind either one of these candidates won’t be easy and may not be possible. 
       This race has ripped open a divide within the Democratic base between the “activists” and the “establishment.” Should Peters win, the activist core that has been the backbone of the Saldaña campaign and made this race competitive may not come out to staff Peters’s operation. Should Saldaña win, Democrats in power may not lift a finger to prevent the 52nd from going Republican. Labor is behind Peters, the state party is staying out and the local party is divided. A union of sorts can be cobbled together but it will take great diplomacy and require a number of people to eat nice slabs of humble pie for it to happen.

2)   D.C.’s influence should be minimized. 
       When D.C. operatives fly in and take over a campaign, they will run the kinds of campaigns they know, hire people they know, and pay lip service to anything the locals may know. The Busby campaign is a great example of this churn and burn. D.C. campaigns are predictable and these are the campaigns that Republicans love to run against because they know the playbook. Either Scott or Lori needs to win and on their terms.

3)   Be ready to roll the day after the primary. 
       There will be all kinds of fence mending to be had. Get to it ASAP because there won’t be time when the Republicans kick into high gear.

4)   The winner between Peters and Saldaña does so by 2-4% points
The polling around the race indicates that, since he began mailing, Peters has cut Saldaña’s lead to within the margin of error but has not overtaken her. His support appears broad but soft while her supporters are solidly behind her and aren’t moving to another candidate. Expect some last minute hits from either or both campaigns because it is that close. This race will likely be decided by their respective ground operations.