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                                       politics + culture

Sunday, November 05, 2006

an open letter to my fellow Californians

{I wrote this piece on dKos three nights ago. It still holds.}

Tonight is an exciting night. As I write this diary, President Clinton is making a stop in Stockton California on behalf of Democrat Jerry McNerney...a candiates who stands a solid shot at winning an upset victory on November 7th.

Even those of us who were confident that the race in CA-11 would be close this election cycle, even those of us who fought early and hard for Jerry, would have been hard pressed to predict the "Clinton Seal of Approval" at this point in the campaign...

but here we are.

As hopeful as this moment is for all Californians, however, I'd like take one moment and ask all of us here in the Golden State to do a five minute gut check.

There's so much more to do this election, and going forward.

We California Democrats have our work cut our for us.


You see, as I write this tonight there's also not a political prognosticator in the country who gives Democrat Phil Angelides a bat's chance in hell of defeating Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor of the Golden State.

Phil's been written off, blown off, sold down the river and ignored.  Phil's campaign has wounds that are self-inflicted and senseless...and wounds that are the product of willful neglect, misprision and cynical calculation by some who should have known better.

And, you know what? Either way, whomever's to blame for this state of affairs, I think we all can agree that it's a crying shame.

We can debate the myriad reasons for the situation California Democrats find ourselves in after the election, and we should, but for now I'd like to make three simple points for every Californian for the home stretch:

#1. The Ballot Initiatives are important this year.  Learn them well enough that you can teach your friends.

Here's a simple mnemonic to guide you if you seek to cast a vote for the "progressive position":

Learn the Core Four

No! on 85 (Teen Safety/Parental Notification)

Yes! on 87 (Alternative Energy)

Yes! on 89 (Campaign Financing)

No! on 90 (Eminent Domain)

If you want to know more about all of the intiatives and use the guide that I'll be following this election follow this link: Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club and download their pdf.

And finally, if there's one proposition that you should focus your attention on, one that stands a chance of winning and making US ALL REGRET IT, it's the one davej wrote so persuasively about the other day:

NO on 90!!

2. Learn about Debra Bowen, running for Secretary of State and John Garamendi, running for Lieutenant Governor.  Tell your friends about these two Democrats, you won't regret it.

These two candidates are extraordinarily capable, well-liked Democrats.  We could use both of them in office for their talents and their leadership.  On top of that, both of their Republican opponents stink.  No "moderate" Arnold-style fakery from Tom McClintock or Bruce McPherson.  These guys are Cheney-style Republicans.

Let me put it this way. Garamendi and Bowen = Democrats wearing white hats running for important state-wide positions.  McClintock and McPherson = Republicans wearing black hats. You will deeply regret if McClintock and McPherson get elected on the 7th and you didn't do all you could to stop them. Trust me.

3. Finally, Voting is a Muscle.

Phil Angelides may be like the skinny kid from the Charles Atlas ad.  But the only way to stand up to a bully like Arnold Schwarzenegger is to USE the mucles we got.

That takes Democratic votes.  That takes Democratic GOTV. That takes turning out voters this year knowing we might lose because we will need them the next time around...and the time after that.

Let me put it this way.  If the core Democratic counties in L.A. and the S.F. Bay Area do not turn out this election...regardless of whether Phil wins or loses...we will have lost so much.

The Party that votes together, stays together.  If we vote, we flex our Democratic muscles.  We work out, we keep toned, win or lose.

If we slack off and let things slide, we will only have ourselves to blame when that bully Arnold Schwarzenegger kicks sand in our face for four years.

And trust me, given the chance, he will.

So that's it:

The Core Four: NO on 90!!

Bowen and Garamendi

Flex your voting Muscles

Yeah, we California Democrats have a tough road ahead.  Hopefully Jerry and Charlie and Debra and John...and Phil...will give us reason to celebrate on election night.

But take nothing for granted, friends.  There's nothing more bitter than a mouthful of sand from a bully.  And that's what's going down if we don't stand up soon and do something about it.


  • Thanks for everything you say here, kid.

    It's funny, I still run into people who don't take voting seriously -- assuming that they vote at all. There is a legacy of past decades' disdain for both of the major parties, dismissed as tweedle-dee/tweedle-dum "agents of the ruling class" -- a phrase leftists used to wield so cavalierly, as if it answered all questions.

    I'm gratified that even here in the East Bay, hotbed of radicalism, there are many folks who have come to their senses and are working day and night to advance humane causes within the Democratic Party. That means, among other things, electing progressive Democrats. In fact, if the opponent is a Republican, I'll settle for a moderate Democrat any day.

    Best wishes to us all on the day after tomorrow!

    By Blogger Raymond Barglow, at 4:55 PM  

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