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AKA, "Donate to Rid California of Another Neo-Con, Please".  It worked before why not try again.

I've been posting a series of diaries about my husband, Gary Pritchard's California State Senate campaign.  He's running in the very red County of Orange and originally put his name on the ballot to merely supply the voters with an alternative to the "R".  Now the more we learn about our Republican rival, the more we want to give her a run for her money.  Literally.

The seats in Orange County are generally a given for Republicans.  They run, they win, nothing more to it really.  Doesn't that seem wrong?  Especially since the Republican Party has all but turned our Country into a third world nation (Infant Mortality up, the divide between the rich and the poor up, real wages down, you name it, it's gone badly for US).

"With her primary win, Republican Assemblywoman Mimi Walters is likely headed for the state Senate"

Sacramento Bee - Sign in required

The piece quoted above wasn't even talking about the General Election but the growing number of women in the California State Senate.  Assemblywoman Walter's win is a given.  Can you help us stop that from happening?

Our fund raising efforts have started in earnest.  The campaign has hired a Campaign Manager and now we need to pay him a salary, how is that for lighting a fire under our money gathering efforts?  And seeing as though we don't have personal wealth to sink into this campaign, we must rely on single donors.  This campaign is also making appeals to Unions, yes, PACS, we have not one bit of a chance if we don't raise enough money to compete, this is the state of our politics today.  That also means corporations and other organizations in Orange County.

California Secretary of State

This is what she has on hand, I won't tell you what we have but it's not much.  Right now we are waiting to hear back from Gary's tribe to see if they are willing to endorse and contribute to his campaign.  Gary is a member of the Fort Mojave Tribe which reside in three states, Nevada, Arizona and California.  His Grandmother was one of only a dozen pure Mojave Indians (Which makes declarations from such Neo-Cons as Pat Buchanan on Thom Hartmann's show about the dwindling number of Europeans {WHITE PEOPLE} in the world and the loss of their culture almost laughable) and his tribe is most certainly not one of the richest in California but he wants their support.  This would allow us to ask for the support from other Tribes in the State.  I think it's significant to think of a Native American in the California State Senate.  

Now as many of you are aware, the State of California made a huge step forward for marriage equality when the State Supreme Court struck down the 2000 ballot measure that banned same sex marriage.  It's a huge victory for those of us who think that same sex marriage does not in any way threaten the sanctity of all marriage.  It just doesn't.  Well, lets see what Walters had to say about the Court's ruling.

Mimi Walters Calls Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage a Travesty for Family Values

SACRAMENTO - Today, in response to the California Supreme Court ruling that struck down Proposition 22 on a 4-3 vote, Assemblywoman Mimi Walters called the decision a travesty for family values.

"The Supreme Court today blatantly disregarded the will of Californians to protect the sacred institution of marriage. The Court stated that it could not 'find that the retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest,'" Walters said.  "I could not disagree more strongly with the Court's ruling today.  Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of our society, and the Court's action is a travesty for family values."

"Today's decision completely ignores the will of over 60% of California's voters who approved Proposition 22 eight years ago," Walters continued.

The California Marriage Protection Act, an initiative in circulation that has gathered 1.5 million signatures and will appear on the November ballot, will write into the California Constitution that the only marriages recognized in this state are those between one man and one woman.

"I pledge to fight the Supreme Court's decision to allow gay marriage in California by working to ensure the passage of the California Marriage Protection Act this November," Walters concluded.  

Red County

A "travesty for family values", that's a whopper isn't it?  Assemblywoman Walters also runs her campaigns on the fear factor of "Illegal Immigration" and the use of undocumented workers as a wedge issue for her district.  Sadly, she fails to disclose that many of those workers help keep this economy going, live in her district and pay taxes.  Yes, they pay taxes.

Assemblywoman Mimi Walters Unveils Illegal Immigration Reform Legislation

SACRAMENTO - Assemblywoman Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Hills) joined other members of the Assembly Republican Caucus yesterday at a press conference unveiling the Caucus' illegal immigration legislative reform package. The legislative package included 23 bills addressing the fiscal impact of illegal immigration on the State of California as well as the impact it has on local communities.

Two of the bills unveiled in the legislative package were authored by Assemblywoman Walters. Assembly Bill 2102 (Walters) will require that after hiring an employee, every state agency electronically verifies the employment eligibility of that employee by using the E-Verify system. Assembly Bill 2317 (Walters) requires proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

"The impact that illegal immigration has on our State - especially Southern California - is devastating. It is devastating for our schools, our roads, our hospitals, and our communities. It even harms our system of democracy." Walters said at the press conference.

"Too often, people say that illegal immigration is strictly a Federal issue," Walters continued. "However, there are measures we can take at the state level to make California a less attractive destination for those who come to this country illegally. It is about time that we take steps to protect our State from the fiscal impact of illegal immigration and the danger it poses to our national security."

Walters was joined at yesterday's press conference by ten other Members of the Assembly Republican Caucus, including Assemblyman Bob Huff, Assemblyman Jim Silva, and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.

Red County

Emphasis is mine and it shows just how shrill her criticism is of "illegal immigration".  And does she cite any evidence that undocumented workers wreak such havoc on our society?  At all?  

Mimi Walters runs so far to right it's astounding and it most certainly does not represent the majority of the district she represents now and wishes to represent in the State Senate.  There is a small minority of people who trend so right and it leaves many moderate Republican, independents and Democrats out of her rule of law.  Don't they deserve representation as well?  

I wrote a diary entitled, Democratic candidates are expected to lose and included a bit about how Walters voted yes 5 out of 127 times in the Assembly in the past two years.  3.9% of the time she voted yes.  Staunch I get but unmovable to the point of obstructionist?  How does this help run Government?  How does this help teachers in California keep their jobs?

So with this I ask that lightning strike twice and just maybe, maybe we can get another diary on the rec list.  Want to know more about Gary, I will include his DFA questionnaire answers.

I’m a 37 year old California native who was born in the Central Valley town of Bakersfield and raised near the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park.

I now live in Aliso Viejo with Heather my supportive spouse of 10 years; Charlotte our exuberant five year old daughter; and Sophie our
family’s high-strung weimaraner.

I am a dedicated educator in the public school system. I completed college in Southern California where I attended Chapman University, the Claremont Graduate School, UCLA, and UCI. I hold a Ph.D. in the Social Sciences and am a tenured professor in the Fine Arts and Communication Division of Cerritos College where I have taught since 1999. In the summer, I am also a lecturer at UCI.

As a tested leader in the California Community College system, I have served as a department chair, sat on curriculum and program review committees, co-authored grants for the National Endowment of the Humanities and federal vocational education programs. I have chaired tenure committees, reviewed textbooks, authored new curriculum including distance education courses, and have participated in a variety of local and national conferences and symposia.

* Why are you running? What are your goals in office?:

My first reason for running was to just get a "D" on the ballot, but then I decided that if I was going to run, I was going to do my best.  The only way to make progress in red areas in the Country is to run.  Democrats can’t win if they don’t run and every contest contributes to Governor Dean’s vision of the fifty state strategy.

* How are you socially progressive and fiscally responsible?:

I support civil unions for same sex couples as well as adoption rights and protection from discrimination.  I would include transgender and transsexuals in equal protection laws as well.  I support a woman’s right to choose.

Most importantly I believe in the idea of the common good, that we are all in this together and that Government should provide a safety net for when we fall on hard times.   This would include universal health care in the form of a single payer system (universal health insurance really) as one of the most important socially progressive issues of our time.

I would demand Fiscal Responsibility that would allow a surplus so that in the boom times we sock away money for the lean times, such as now, and the state would not have to sacrifice such things as funding for education.  

As Democrats, we have a responsibility to redefine how Americans perceive taxes.  They serve a purpose and they provide for many of the things that we need as citizens.  It’s time to stop demonizing them and to also emphasize that spending should also be prudent and balanced.  It should also be transparent, taxpayers should have the ability to easily find out where their money is going through the local, State and Federal level.

And most importantly is the need to change the perception of Government by redefining it as something that works for the people again and not special interests and corporations.

  1. What are the top three issues that you are running on? Please explain your stances and provide any personal background and experience that you consider important for implementing, if elected.

If I were to win, I would forward the very important goals of Universal Single Payer Health Care in the state of California.   Everyone should have health care access where people are put before corporate profits.  People are starting to understand the importance of single payer as well as eliminating such issues as pre-existing conditions as a means to exclude people from coverage.  It would also eliminate the connection of employment to health care meaning people would not have to worry about losing their health care when they lose a job or change their profession, it would also take the burden of health care costs away from employers.

Another goal would be promoting green jobs, protecting our water supply and promoting different ways for our communities to lower their consumption of water and other limited natural resources (gas).  It would also include attempting again to reclassify hemp as a legal sustainable crop, more incentives for electric cars, solar power on individual homes and other areas and more uniform and consistent recycling programs throughout the state.

Education is the largest part of our State’s budget, as it should be. It is what allows California to lead the way in technology, keep business thriving and maintain our high quality of life. Education is a lifetime process from K-12 to our State’s public Colleges and Universities. Parents should be able to expect a quality public education for their children and for themselves, learning is a lifetime pursuit.

More money per student does not mean better teaching but funds for the classroom, teacher pay and school improvements are important for a quality public education. Bureaucracy and endless paperwork takes time away from the classroom and we have to not only fully fund our schools but make it possible for teachers to spend more time doing what they are there to do, teach!

2. What is your strategy for a viable plan to win this race? Please include considerations of grassroots organizing and support, obtaining finances needed and how DFA's support will help in your race.

We plan on raising money through reaching out to our community with house parties and fund raisers at local gathering spots (We plan on having a fund raiser at Steamers Café in Fullerton).  I am seeking the endorsement of as many unions as possible and hope to garner their support as a union member myself.  

Grass roots organization by getting people registered as Democrats and speaking to as many independents and Republicans as possible.  We plan on using any money we raise to hire one person for the summer so that he can learn how to run a campaign (A politics student who interns with DPOC) and have a chance to work towards the goal of turning Orange County blue.  Our goal is also to raise enough for four pieces for mailers and walk pieces to hand out during canvassing.  We would also like to have enough to get a statement on the ballot.  All of this is realistic and important to building on a future run for other Democrats in the County.

  1. To the extent that you have not covered the issues below in your answers to question I, please address your stances/proposed solutions for each. The particular order in which you address these categories is up to you. There is an overarching theme that runs through these categories, i.e., how to ameliorate the disproportionate control by corporate big money interests in all aspects of the functioning of our government. Please address that theme, where you can, in each category.

a. Restoring the Constitution, the rule of law, Civil Liberties/Rights,
Congressional checks and balances and meaningful oversight functions.

All signing statements and activities leading up to the war in Iraq should be reviewed by the incoming President.  All torture and war crime activities should be investigated as well as the immediate closure of Guantanamo Bay.  There should also be the restoration of Habeas Corpus and no immunity to the telecommunications companies for their involvement with the illegal wire tapping of American citizens.

On the local level, California needs to force for the funding of the 9/11 Commission recommendations from our airports to our ports.  

b. Economic Justice
America has experienced the largest redistribution of wealth in its history in the last eight years.  The rich have literally gotten richer under the current tax structure and many more people have become poorer.  The top one half of one percent has amassed the same amount of wealth as the bottom 40 percent which has driven down the quality of life for so many in our Country.

Things must change from raising the capital gains tax to closing unfair loopholes that only benefit the wealthy (such as the yacht tax loophole in California).  But our tax code should be fair.

Economic justice also includes access to loans based on credit score not zip code.  Many minorities are subject to higher interest rates and unfair practices by predatory lenders.  Payday loan shops should be closed and access to banking accounts, savings and checking accounts should be more readily available.

There should also be a living wage in California and our minimum wage should increase with the rate of inflation.  California also needs to deal with the pay inequity that still exists between men and women.

c. Health Care
Universal single payer is the only way to go when it comes to health care.  Health Care coverage should not be connected to employment and should cover every single person.  We need to eradicate the term "pre-existing condition" as no one should be denied coverage.

The biggest challenge to UHC is changing the talking points from "socialized medicine" to single payer insurance.  People need to understand how much time doctors spend in paperwork and bureaucracy rather than in treating patients and by having single payer it will in no way affect our quality of care.

d. Environmental Issues (global warming; environmental protection and conservation)

California needs to invest in green technology (Solar and wind, no nuclear) and green collar jobs.  Our infrastructure is sorely in need of repair and improvement and it offers us the opportunity to change things for a more green option.

There should also be the encouragement and incentives on the local level for homeowners and businesses to move to green alternatives.  All residents should be encouraged to do away with their lawns for more water saving alternatives.  We should also encourage the purchasing of local produce.

California cannot wait for the Federal Government to cap green house gas emissions, we need to institute our own standards and enforce them by incentives rather than punitive means.  We also need to raise gas mileage standards so that other states can follow.  

Hemp should be legalized as an industrial crop to serve as a sustainable option for paper products and other things commonly made from trees and cotton.  Hemp is also environmentally friendly because it requires no pesticides.  Currently hemp is imported for use in products and it could easily become a crop in areas where other things are not viable.

The US must sign the Kyoto accord.

e. The war/occupation of Iraq, the Middle East, and care of military personnel

Our government has a responsibility to provide life time health care for our veterans and a guaranteed free education as well (The first GI Bill following WWII is credited with creating the middle class).  The tour of duties by our active soldiers should be returned to sane lengths and those who do serve should be protected from losing their jobs, their homes and their families due to their long absence.

There also has to be something done about our 200,000 plus homeless veterans with accessible mental health care and low cost housing.  They should also have access to job training and employment opportunities by encouraging small and large businesses to hire and invest time and money in our veterans.

And although I am running for a State position, I feel that is the responsibility for all elected officials to put pressure on their federally elected representatives to begin the immediate and safe withdrawal of troops from Iraq.  The US has to restore its moral authority in the world by complying with international law.  We must demand that the Iraqi Government take over in its own rule and protection and ask the surrounding nations who have a more vested interest in a stable middle east to participate in rebuilding Iraq.  We also should implore other industrialized nations to help rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure.  All contracted military personnel should also be removed from Iraq, such as Blackwater and the Government must stop employing them.

f. Election Integrity (public financing; election protection; voter intimidation)
A large part of election integrity is linked to the consolidation of our media and the lack of real information regarding many important issues facing our Country and the world.  Any election reform must be accompanied by the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine.

There also must be a paper trail to any election so that in the need of a recount there is a means to verify the actual vote.  Everyone should have safe access to voting as well as time off in order to do so.  There also needs to be more uniform election law in national contests, such as a Presidential Election.

All candidates should have access to the airwaves as well as publically funded campaigns.  The influence of lobbyists and corporations on our elections have skewed the agenda in the wrong direction for far too long.

There is also a huge need to outlaw the thirty second campaign ad and the use of robo calls to unfairly influence voters (They should at least say who is funding and supporting the call).

g. Media Reform
Restore the Fairness Doctrine to allow real fair and balanced coverage on radio, TV, print and internet news by ensuring the change from corporate media that is concentrated to a small number of owners to a more unconsolidated media system.  We should find a means to encourage all media to return news to being non-profit driven and ratings driven entities that have a responsibility to cover events rather than sensationalizing them.

So lets see if you can get my fund raising page to $5,000, please.  I will write more and keep updating as we move forward.  The funny thing about campaigns is that they start to move on their own and now that we have "staff" we HAVE to raise money.  And we have to try to win.

Gary went to the Young Democrats of Orange County meeting Thursday night and spoke before those who had gathered there.  Gary did well, Gary did GREAT.  And we've heard nothing but positive feedback, something that has buoyed our spirits and helped keep us running.  It's a lot of work but it doesn't compare to the overwhelming need to raise money.  It's just how things work now, hopefully we can change that too.

Goal Thermometer

Thank you!  I have to confess, I don't see this as "official" campaign work but a means for me to talk about something that I'm going through as the candidate's wife.  This is hard stuff for us, it's not easy to take up such a fight and I think it's okay to admit that.  The most important things we do in life are rarely easy.

Originally posted to Ellinorianne on Sat Jun 14, 2008 at 07:14 PM PDT.

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