Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Democrats Eye Big Opportunities the General Election 


Many ballots from yesterday's election have yet to be counted, but the initial results position San Diego Democrats for rare pick-up opportunities in high-profile races this year.

"Our Democratic candidates were very competitive in this low-turnout primary, and the vast majority of them will continue to a runoff election in which turnout will be more than twice as high," said Jess Durfee, Chair of the County Democratic Party. "The more voters who participate, the more places we win, and that's what I'm looking forward to in November."

In several prominent examples, the Party's candidates have a clear path to win offices that have not been held by Democrats for a decade or more:

•    His mayoral opponents all outspent him, but a surge of support for Bob Filner carried the Democrat to within just a couple points of Republican Carl DeMaio. A costly deluge of overtures by Nathan Fletcher failed to convince enough Democratic voters to push the Republican-turned-independent into the runoff.

•    Republican Steve Danon and Democrat Dave Roberts virtually tied in the County Board of Supervisors contest in District 3. There has not been an open seat on the board -- let alone a Democratic Supervisor -- for nearly 20 years, and Dave Roberts has the support of the Republican currently serving in that seat.

•    In two unusual but little-remarked outcomes, one Republican County Board of Education member was forced into a competitive runoff with a Democrat while another may have lost outright yesterday to a Democrat, based on the returns so far. Incumbents John Witt (District 1) and Jerry Rindone (District 2) were challenged by Gregg Robinson and Lyn Neylon, respectively. A Democratic incumbent who was on the ballot, Mark Anderson (District 4), easily won re-election. 

 •    In one of the night's most closely followed contests -- and one still too close to call -- two Democratic candidates in the 52nd Congressional District showed their strength vying to compete against Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray. Combined, Scott Peters and Lori Saldaña won more votes than Bilbray in the newly redrawn district, which Barack Obama won by 13 points in 2008.

The County Democratic Party will continue to register, inform, and engage San Diego voters this summer in preparation for the presidential election.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Turn In Ballots at Any Polling Place!

In this election, voter turnout is also about turn-in. A majority of San Diego voters were sent ballots in the mail, and many have not mailed them back.

Although ballots can no longer be mailed, they can be turned in at any polling place in the county between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5.

You can look up your polling place here and view a map of all poll locations in the county here.

The success of our candidates on Tuesday will depend largely on getting those ballots in before the polls close. So please make sure the Democratic voters in your life -- neighbors, family, friends -- take part in this important election.

You can view and print the Democratic Voter Guide at And, of course, there's still time to volunteer! Sign up to help Monday or Tuesday at

If you need any assistance or information related to voting, please contact the County Democratic Party at (858) 277-3367 or

Thanks for helping us turn out voters, and turn in ballots, to elect Democrats!

Letter from Congressman Bob Filner

Dear Friends and Supporters:

In a matter of hours, voters from across San Diego will be going to the polls to elect our next Mayor – the person who will lead this great City for the next four years.

We have much to do in order to make San Diego live up to its billing as America's Finest City.  We need to elect a Mayor who will work every single day to create jobs and bring new businesses to our City by focusing on expanding our Port and making San Diego the clean energy capital and job creating hub of the country.  A Mayor who will invest in our neighborhoods and redirect City resources away from downtown and into all of the communities that make up the City we love.  And every day we need to keep in mind who we fight for -- middle class San Diegans and not the powerful downtown special interests.

Election day will also mark the point where the focus of this primary campaign shifts from the candidates to you. To all of the voters who came to our rallies, knocked on doors, called their neighbors to action, and contributed their hard-earned money, know that our work has just begun. To all those whose hopes and dreams for the future were our hopes and dreams -- our work goes on.

 If you put your trust in me by giving me your vote I will stand with all San Diegans, every day, doing what is right for all of San Diego.

Thank you, all!  It would be my honor to be your next Mayor.



Monday, June 4, 2012

Marty Block delivers the Assembly Democrats' Weekly Address


Transcript below. Audio here.
Contact: Maria Lopez 916 319 2078.

Hi, this is Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Marty Block.

This week one part - AB 1501 - of Assembly Speaker John Perez's Middle Class Scholarship Act passed with a two-thirds bipartisan vote in the California State Assembly.
This legislation seeks to make higher education accessible and affordable for every Californian by establishing the Middle Class Scholarship Program.

I am a proud coauthor of the Middle Class Scholarship Act.

The Middle Class Scholarship Act, has two parts: AB 1500 and AB 1501. The Act cuts college fees by 2/3 for students with family incomes less than $150,000 who do not already have fees covered by other financial aid.

The cost of the Middle Class Scholarship will be covered by closing a billion dollar tax loophole that only benefits out-of-state corporations.

Over the past decade, we have seen an enormous increase in the cost of higher education in California. Student fees at the UC have risen by 145 percent. Fees at the CSU have increased even more - by 191 percent.

Many middle income families turn to increased use of student loans to cover the thousands of dollars in fee hikes, resulting in a mountain of debt for graduates.

Even worse, some students give up on their dream and the state's promise of higher education altogether - about the most damaging thing possible for the long term health of our economy.
This situation is inconsistent with California's historic commitment to ensure that every student who is willing to work hard in high school would have the opportunity to attend a CSU or UC.
That commitment, made in the 1960's, has generated enormous prosperity and opportunity for Californians.

Enacting the Middle Class Scholarship will take a lot of work. But with enough support from students, parents, and all Californians who depend on an educated workforce, it can become a reality.

Under AB 1501, CSU students will save $4,000 per year or $16,000 over a four-year period.
UC students will save about $8,200 per year or nearly $33,000 over a four-year period. And Community College students will also see their costs reduced significantly.

We need the Middle Class Scholarship Act now more than ever, to help students with family incomes less than $150,000 cut their college fees.

The Middle Class Scholarship Act seeks to keep California's promise to our young people and restore the aspirations and opportunities for middle class families who have been hard hit by the recession.
So please, log onto

Sign the petition. Share your story. Help make sure California keeps its promise of affordable higher education.

I'm Marty Block. Thank you for listening.

Vargas Campaign Uses Taxpayer Money to Send Mailers


"State Senator Juan Vargas is under fire again, this time in an article from The Press Enterprise, published [Wednesday]. The article catalogued the actions of Vargas and his Senate office, who stand accused of using taxpayer dollars to fund mail pieces aimed at helping his candidacy [in CD 51]. The article found that 96% of mail sent from Vargas' Senate office went to constituents who live in the 51st Congressional District and largely ignored his constituents in Riverside County. In total, Vargas has spent nearly $50,000 of taxpayer money sending out 159,397 mailers almost exclusively to voters in the 51st Congressional District, where he is campaigning.

When the citrus industry in Riverside County's Coachella Valley faced a serious threat from the Asian Citrus Psyllid, Senator Vargas sent out nearly 40,000 letters warning people about the pest. However, these mailers arrived in mailboxes in San Diego and Imperial counties, where he is running for Congress, not Riverside County where the problem was also rampant.

Rodolfo Pinon, a Riverside resident in the 40th Senate District, expressed his outrage at Vargas, saying his lack of presence in the county goes beyond mailers. 'I'm really upset. Since Denise Ducheny left office I feel like we have had no representation at the State Senate level. People here don't even know who Juan Vargas is. We don't need politicians like that.' Pinon believes Vargas' absence stems from the fact that Riverside County is outside of Vargas' desired district. 'There are a lot of angry people in Blythe and Coachella because they have never seen him. He is ignoring us to pursue his personal ambitions.'

 'When Denise represented us, she was here in the district often and could always be counted on to listen to her constituents," Pinon went on to say. 'You knew how to get a hold of her and knew she would listen.'" Ducheny, a Democrat, served six years in the Assembly beginning in 1994 and eight years in the Senate beginning in 2002.

Contact: Bill Wachob 619 823 4093.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dems to Meet at Stout Public House After Polls Close 

Hundreds of volunteers throughout San Diego are continuing to make phone calls and knock on doors to turn out Democratic voters until the polls close Tuesday night. Afterward, the Democratic Election Night Party will be held at Stout Public House, a pub in Downtown San Diego just three blocks east of Golden Hall:

WHAT:  San Diego Democratic Election Night Reception

WHEN:  Tuesday, June 5, from 8 to 11 p.m.

WHERE: Stout, 1125 6th Ave. (between B and C Streets)