My name, my photo, my specific city of residence -- pretty much most everything I've ever tried to keep confidential on Daily Kos is below the fold. As you might suspect, something is up.
I am the California Democratic Party endorsed candidate for State Senate in California's 29th District. I'm endorsed by the California Democratic Council, by the Orange County Labor Federation, by COPE, and others. I'm an attorney, a member of my county Democratic Party's Executive Board -- lots of things (not including independently wealthy, alas) that one would want in a traditional Democratic candidate. I'm also non-traditional in some ways -- for that, you can click on the video below.
I'm running against the union-hating fake semi-moderate Senate Minority Leader of California, a man named Bob Huff. My job, if you will, is to make him miserable with constant attacks on Republican obstruction -- all valid and well earned -- put him on the defensive (also well-earned) and to tie him down in the race if I can.
I look forward to it. This is a chance to significantly affect our state's policy debates. by changing California (and ideally helping it emerge from its economic hole, which would affect the nation) I can "win" even without winning.
(Of course I'd also like to win. I do have a chance -- as I discuss below. It involves Occupy.)
I've already announced my candidacy here in Orange County; I'm finally announcing here on Daily Kos because I want your help. If a flicker of anxiety crosses your face as you wonder whether I'm asking you for money, you can relax -- if you are even the slightest bit anxious about donating money, then I don't want yours. I'm not being coy here: DO NOT "give until it hurts." Those who can afford to give and want to do so can pick up the slack. (Or, no one can -- in which event this will be a pretty quiet campaign! I'm betting, though, that I'll do OK.) A token $5 donation from someone who has to be sure to mark it in their checkbook ledger is precious to me -- and if that's too much, then please, not a dime.
Here's what I do want from each of you: I want you to care about and have some emotional stake in my candidacy. I come from Daily Kos -- active since September 2005 (then as "Major Danby") and from Eschaton for a couple of years before that. You can click on the "People" link up there and see how active I've been. Those of you who have ever argued with me -- meaning pretty much everyone on the front page and about half of the rest of you -- know that I'm stubborn, progressive, tenacious, incisive, dedicated -- and I know how to bring it and make it hurt. I'm a "Crashing the Gates" Democrat and I think I'm who you want to unleash on a Republican Leader.
If you're taken up with the Obama campaign or others, that's fine -- go for it! But if you are looking for a hobby -- for something to do with your netroots friends -- then I want to make use of you as best I can. I want to turn people from DKos into my own research and messaging machine. I want people to help me go after Bob Huff's record with a fine-toothed comb and come up with ways to identify and explain the depravity of it to even low-information voters.
And once we've built that machine -- I want to share what it can do with progressive candidates everywhere. I want to help kick-start the netroots into action in 2012. I want to do something worth emulating.
And yes, I do want you to be part of that.
I''d just as soon that you continue to call me "Seneca" if you'd like; it reminds me of where I am. I like the name; I'm a fan of both the Roman orator and of the radical lawyer of that name from Babbitt -- but my real name is Greg Diamond.
I live in Brea, CA, in the foothills separating Orange County from the San Gabriel Valley, and when I'm wearing a suit I look like this:
I had never expected to run for office before I became involved with the Occupy movement as the primary Civic Liaison for Occupy Orange County. By mid-January, I had decided that I probably should run -- because some people from the Occupy movement should use electoral politics as another way to get out our message. And so I am -- with the blessing of a lot of people who aren't even Democrats.
I haven't tried to structure my life in a way that leads to elective office. (If you get the Facebook feeds of real politicians and compare it to mine, you'll see what I mean.) I have not curried favor with the powers that be around me (much as is the case here in Daily Kos, where I consider myself among friends and colleagues.) In real life, as here, I'm a reformer, I'm a scrapper, I don't limit myself to "respectable" mainstream friends, and while I'm generally a kind and sweet guy I'm also someone willing to criticize even establishment Democrats to their face in public. (This goes over about as well as you'd expect -- but someone's got to do it and I know how.)
As I mention in the video below, I'm running because I'm part of the Occupy movement. This year, our political culture needs people in Occupy to take advantage of the spotlight that comes with running for office. This isn't done for self-aggrandizement and I'm not trying to take advantage of Occupy in because I think it makes me more likely to win. (I'm my district, I expect that most people would say it would be more likely to hurt me -- but we'll see!) I'm doing it because tying my political fate closely to Occupy and fighting like hell is the best way I can think of to advance the Occupy critique.
After I sounded a general call for lawyers to get involved in their local movements, I gave over five months of my life as an almost full-time volunteer for Occupy Orange County and its successful 3773 consecutive hours of occupation -- in Irvine, Fullerton, and Huntington Beach -- without a break. Now I'm doing more work with Occupy Santa Ana (though, finally, not as a leader!) This is what I care about. I don't think we are facing politics as usual. I think that now is the year for us, as activists, to take seriously the opportunity that Occupy gives us to make a difference and run with it.
And so I am running with it. I promised you a video -- here it is.
The video is silent -- but now it's time to make noise. Let's fight for what we believe in.
6:05 PM PT: Thank you, my sweet friends and colleagues. You'll be hearing a lot more about this campaign. Knowing myself as I do, I intentionally timed publishing it for a day and time when I knew that I would have to leave for an appointment -- a speech at DFA about 40 minutes away -- rather than hang out here all night. So, I'm off. I've already realized that I won't be able to reply to everyone individually tonight, much as I'd like to, but I expect to do so before long.
This is a great place and I am running as a member of this site as much as I am as a Democrat and an Occupier. This site kept me going many times --and I am looking forward to putting into action the lessons I once learned in Crashing the Gate. I hope we'll see others from here running as well.
And Facebook: Greg Diamond for California State Senate
And Twitter: @GregDiamond2012