Sunday, October 29, 2006

Walk To End The Wars

I'd like you to meet Bill McDannell. Bill lives in Lakeside, CA...for the moment. Next Saturday, November 4, 2006, Bill will leave Lakeside on foot, and head out for Washington, DC. He's calling this a Walk to End the War. Poke around on his website a bit, sign the petition he'll be delivering, and if you can, give him a little financial love. Our friends at San Diego Veterans for Peace in Ramona will be managing donation for Bill. There's also a Walking Sale page on his site where he has some personal belongings he's selling before he sets out.

If he's passing through your town, be sure to say hello and walk with him for a bit. Keep an eye on his journal too.

From the SD Tribune: Cross-country trek to be anti-war action

Protest is Patriotism is helping out too by coordinating housing and support for Bill while he's on the road. If you can help out by giving him a place to rest his head along the route, let them know.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Annual Peace on Earth Holiday Bazaar 12/9/06

Support local peace, justice and environmental groups by buying
socially-responsible gifts this year! Featuring greeting cards,
calendars, t-shirts, books, jewelry, handicrafts, food and more!

Saturday, December 9, 2006 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 4011 Ohio St., San Diego (corner of Lincoln and Ohio)


For more information: Peace Resource Center of San Diego, 619-263-9301
or or Project YANO (Youth and
Non-Military Opportunities), 760-634-3604.

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CA 50 race

The congressional race in CA 50 between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray has warmed up a bit, and some are saying the district is in play once again. The DCCC has bumped it up from "Red to Blue". I hope so. Words Have Power regularly posts on the race, and is a good place to keep up on the usual Bilbray Baloney.

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Chevron's Huge Profits

I thought it was interesting to see the announcement of Chevron's record profits in light of their threats to cut oil production if Prop 87 passes. I thought that was an idle threat to scare voters from voting for 87, and this US News Wire release sums up my thoughts on that issue.
"Chevron's shareholders would horsewhip any Chevron executive who cut production in a fit of pique over a fee of one-tenth of one percent on its overall profits," said Judy Dugan, research director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "Chevron's threat, given that every barrel of oil the company pumps in California would still yield 63% profit after the prop 87 fee, is rubbish." See California crude oil profit chart at Under Proposition 87, the extraction fee would decline if the world price of oil fell sharply, FTCR noted.

"When Californians see the Chevron ads against Prop 87, they should remember that this summer Chevron charged Californians hundreds of millions of dollars more for gasoline than other drivers around the country--and picked our pockets to bank their largest quarterly profits," said Dugan.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Who supports the troops?

Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America have ranked our congresscritters based on their votes on legislation that affects either active duty and/or retired service members, and 86 members received either a D or an F. You can read the full ratings list right here. Bob Geiger has put the list in ranking order, and you can see a pattern that refutes the Republican talking point about who really supports the troops. All Democrats ranked at a B or above. All Republicans ranked as C or below.

Ya know, some of us knew this already, but it's nice to have facts, figures and pretty little charts to back it up. Contrary to popular belief, saying you support them and putting a little yellow magnet on your SUV is NOT supporting the troops.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Town Hall Meeting in San Diego this Wednesday


Wednesday night at the San Diego Office of Education a powerful group of citizen-activists will participate in a town hall meeting. The subject will be elections in San Diego and California and how we all can help to improve the process.


Bev Harris, Black Box Voting

Brad Friedman, election integrity journalist (

Bruce Funk, The Utah Registrar of Voter's who was fired for "whistle-blowing" on voting machine problems

Lowell Finley, California attorney known for winning Voting Integrity lawsuits

Radio Talk Show Lila Garrett will moderate the panel

Other Presenters

Ed Asner Emmy Award actor and Well-known Social Activist

Jim Lampley, well known sportscaster, actor and producer, will speak of the history of voting in California in the 21st Century.

and Melissa FitzGerald, actress, will speak on the importance of the voting process and the need to be involved.

DATE: Wednesday, October 25
TIME: 5:50 p.m.
PLACE: San Diego Office of Education,
Building 2 in the Communications Lab,
6401 Linda Vista Road, CA 92111

For more information please call (760) 500-1927 or email
P. O. Box 56, San Luis Rey, CA 92068


The Ventura County Star ran a good, thorough article on Proposition 89 today. Check it out.
Imagine a world in which politicians didn't have to sweet talk special-interest groups in order to raise money to get elected, in which the support of a waitress would be just as valuable as the support of a CEO or a union president, in which a truck driver would have as good an opportunity to run for political office as a lawyer.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Clean Elections NOW!

Tonight (10/20/06) the PBS show NOW with David Brancaccio with have a one hour special on the national Clean Elections movement with a significant focus on Proposition 89 here in California.

Find out when this program with air in your area.

In announcing the upcoming show, titled "Can Clean Elections Save Our Democracy?" PBS notes that: "The run-up to this year's midterm election smells of scandal and corruption. From the $90,000 found in Rep. Jefferson's freezer to the scandal-tied resignation and indictment of Rep. Tom Delay, a question emerges: Can anyone stop the influence of Big Money on political campaigns?" "Votes for Sale?" will spotlight the so-called Clean Elections movement. It may not only help clean up politics, but also open the door for more average Americans to run for office and win.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stop the pounding!

Here's the latest Prop 89 ad.

I'm more than ready to have our elections be about ideas rather than campaign ad dollars. How about you?

Also w/r/t Prop 89, Calitics has a good post (as usual) about the LA Times editorial board choosing not to endorse the proposition.

Veteran's Day is Nov 11

Veteran's Day is November 11, and in honor of those who've died in Iraq, the San Diego Veterans for Peace will be creating an Arlington West memorial on Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.

From Dave Patterson of the SDVFP....

The San Diego Veterans For Peace will stage Arlington West on Veterans Day, November 11, Moonlight beach Encinitas. Arlington West is a memorial designed to honor our troops that have died in Iraq in a non-political setting. The memorial will be from noon to 8PM, lighting candles at dusk. During the memorial we read the name, rank, service, age, and date of death of all 2700+ casualties. Visitors are welcome, and asked to participate.

Peace is Patriotic!

Dave Patterson
San Diego Veterans For Peace

Friday, October 13, 2006

Speak out

Progressive Democrats of America have created a page where you can send a letter telling your governor, secretary of state and election directors that you want paper ballots at the polls on November 7.

October 13, 2006

Name and Title of Your Elected Official
Address and/or State

Subject: Emergency Ballot Supply

I'm writing in support of the recent letter - sent to all Governors, Secretaries of State, and State Election Directors - urging State election authorities to provide an Emergency Paper Ballot option to all voters this November. To view the full letter, please see As you will note, the letter was signed by more than 40 vote integrity organizations representing hundreds of thousands of American voters.

As I'm sure you know, recently, many electronic voting systems have malfunctioned, suffered programming problems, or were otherwise unavailable for use at the critical time.

I urge you to please create and publicize a common-sense plan to provide Emergency Paper Ballots at every polling place this Nov. 7th, so that every election official, poll worker, and voter will be absolutely clear on the procedures for utilizing such measures.

I'm sure you agree that no legally registered voter should ever be told to "come back later," or be forced to use a provisional ballot simply because a voting system is unavailable to them at the time they are able to vote. To assure this, it is crucially important that an ample supply of Emergency Paper Ballots be made available to account for any unforeseen circumstance.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter!

Your Name
Your Address

Money Money Money

Did you know that 95% of elections are won by the candidate that spent the most money, and between 2004 and 2006, challengers NEVER raised more than the incumbent?

That's just one of the reasons we need Prop 89 to pass here in California. That playing field needs to be leveled for democracy to flourish. Elections should be about popular support and ideas. Not about who can run the greatest number of lying campaign ads. Special interest money is currently the primary factor that determines the outcome of our elections.

Prop 89 is our opportunity to reverse this anti-democratic trend, and to put politics back in the hands of the people.

The LA Times has been running a daily tally of the money being contributed in CA during this election season. Yesterday (10-12-06) ALONE $7,491,042 was contributed. Yes that's right. Seven million four hundred ninety one thousand forty two dollars. Yesterday. One day. ONE DAY. How crazy is that? The total so far this election season is rapidly approaching half a BILLION dollars.

The year to date total: $443,071,021.

The return on this investment by large corporations is significant. It gives them the political clout to shape our laws to best protect their bottom line. Southern CA homeowners wanted help with the insurance nightmares they experienced after the devestating wildfires. Insurance companies won, and people burned out of their homes lost. The levees in Northern CA are desperately in need of repair, but after a half a million dollars in donations by developers, the pending legislation was shelved.

We need people in government that are ONLY there to act for the greater good of the people of California. Not to protect the profits of large corporations.

We must take our government back from these big money corporate interests, and that is the intent of Prop 89. Sanity needs to be restored in our political process, and our government must be returned to the public.

Now is the time for 89!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hurrah for paper ballots!

Good news! I just love to share good news.

The CA Secretary of State has sent a memo to the county Registrar's offices directing them to provide a sufficient number of paper ballots at the polls this coming November. We can now choose to use paper ballots instead of DREs. In addition, these ballots are not (NOT!) to be treated as provisional ballots.

Woo and hoo!

The man who wasn't there

Looks like others have picked up on the Bilbray residency thing. Not the Union Trib, of course, but I've seen mentioned now at Kos, Calitics and Words Have Power.

There was a letter published on the issue at the Trib a few days ago, but I've not seen mention of his carpetbagger status in an article for months.

I think it's interesting to note how there is next to nothing visibly happening in the CA-50 race. I certainly hope Busby can step up and get more visible over the next couple weeks. Bilbray sure isn't around. Maybe he's back in DC voting himself another raise.

Update: Democrats claim grand jury investigating Bilbray's residency

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bilbray Grand Jury?

I'm hearing talk that a Grand Jury is being convened to investigate Brian Bilbray's residency claims. It's about time. Who does this guy really really represent? It's common knowledge that he's always lived in the southern part of the county. He has a home in Imperial Beach where he was mayor. For tax purposes he claims that as his primary residence. Except when he's claiming his primary residence is in Virginia, as he did when he sued CA so his daughters didn't have to pay out of state tuition rates to go to school in CA. His mother lives in CA-50, and he registered to vote there claiming he was living with her to take care of her after she had a fall.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Prop 89 Rap

Hey all. I want to share this because I think it is clever and catchy and I have never seen a music video for a Proposition before!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Back in April/May of 2006 the RNCC ran some extraordinarily nasty and downright false ads smearing Francine Busby with a soft on child molesters theme. They were terrible ads that linked her with a teacher in her school district that was under investigation for having child porn. Busby had absolutely nothing to do with it, and the teacher was stripped of his credentials and resigned rather than face the school board to be terminated.

I didn't realize the link until I saw the post at Calitics that says Representative Tom Reynolds (NY-26) was behind the ad campaign for the RNCC.

Yes, the same Tom Reynolds who was told about Mark Foley behaving inappropriately with the pages, yet he didn't investigate.

Hypocrite. Lying hypocrite. Lying snake of a hypocrite. I'm submitting his name to Buzzflash as the GOP Hypocrite of the Week.



I've not posted much lately due to health reasons, and I might be spotty for a while. Bear with me.

Peace is Patriotic

I got an email from Jerry at Peace is Patriotic with a link to their website. I wanted to share it because they have a listing of all the peace candidates. You can see who's running in your district that has met their criteria of a "peace candidate".

So their process is somewhat subjective, but I think they've done a good job of researching positions and picking out candidates that have made a statement about getting the heck out of Iraq. It's a good resource.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Election integrity legislation update

Back in August I posted about several election reform bills that were making their way through the CA legislature, and we've got some resolution now. These were all introduced by Debra Bowen, the state Senator that's running for Secretary of State. Once again, Bowen proves she gets it!

The governor signed four of the six into law, and here's a summary:

SB 1235 requires absentee ballots to be included in the mandatory audit of election results. Before this passed the absentee ballots were not required to be counted in the audit, but now that approximately half of all votes are cast absentee or prior to the election, they should be included in the audit procedures. Now they will be. Excellent. It also requires the audited precincts be selected randomly, requires the audit be open to the public, and that the audit results be public, complete with explanation of how any descrepancies be resolved. Again, excellent.

“Nearly half of California ’s voters use an absentee ballot to vote and thousands of others take advantage of in-person early voting opportunities before every election, so the fact that some of these votes aren’t included in the auditing process undermines the integrity of the audit and the election itself,” said Bowen. “The 1% manual audit is designed to ensure that that electronic voting machines and ballot counters tallied the results correctly, but there’s no way to conduct a meaningful review if nearly half of the ballots cast aren’t subject to the 1% audit requirement.”

SB 1235 requires the accessible voter-verified paper audit trail (AVVPAT) be used to count audits and recounts. No, you can not rerun the process on the voting machine to come up with the same result and call that your audit.

SB 1519, requires the Secretary of State to establish recount procedures for every voting system in the state and requires each county to follow these statewide procedures. This is also very good, because as we saw here in the CA-50 race, it's unfair for the local Registrar of Voters to arbitrarily set recount costs and standards. Recount procedures shouldn't be arbitrary, and set by individuals that have a vested interest in covering their butts or electing specific candidates.

SB 1725 requires each county to develop either an online system or a phone system so absentee voters can confirm their ballots were received by the Registrar. When nearly half the population is voting absentee, people need to be assured their votes are counted.

“Nearly 47% of the people who voted in the June primary did so by absentee ballot, yet unless they dropped their ballot off in person, they have no idea if it arrived by the 8:00 p.m. Election Day deadline,” noted Bowen. “Nearly every county already puts bar codes on absentee ballot envelopes so they can sort and track them more easily, so using that existing system to let voters find out if their ballot arrived in time to be counted is a cost-effective way to keep voters involved and informed.”

SB 1747 Currently, the only people who can observe testing of voting equipment before an election are engineers and data processing specialists employed by county political party central committees. SB 1747 allows any political party, bona fide citizens association or media organization to send a representative to observe this testing and other phases of the election. You no longer have to be an "expert" employed by a party to observe pre-election testing of voting machines and tabulators.

“At a time when 52% of voters aren’t confident that people’s votes are counted accurately, we shouldn’t be limiting who can examine this piece of the elections process to engineers or data processing specialists employed by the Democratic or Republican parties,” said Bowen. “If we want people to believe in the system, we need to invite them in and show them how it works, instead of slamming the door in their faces and telling them they can’t see how the wheels of democracy actually turn.”

The other two election reform items vetoed by Governor Schwartzenegger were SB 1193 and SB 1598. SB 1193 would have allowed high school students to work at the polls on election day without penalizing the schools by taking away their "average daily attendance" money. It would have classified a day working at the polls as an "independent study" day. Arnold says no to that, but I really don't know why. That seemed like a no-brainer to me.

SB 1598 would have required people circulating initiative petitions to disclose the measure’s five largest contributors and to update that list of contributors within 14 days of any change. It also would have required an initiative petition to state whether it’s being circulated by a paid signature gatherer or a volunteer. Again, this was one that seemed like a no-brainer to me, but Arnold says it places an unfair financial burden on those poor corporations that spend bazillions of dollars on initiatives.

Personally, I almost never sign petitions that are being lugged around by petition gatherers. They're overwhelmingly dishonest. It would be a much more honest and open system if they had to say if their getting signatures because they believe in the ideas they're espousing, or if they're getting a buck for badgering you into signing their piece of paper. I think this is one of the things that needs to happen if we're going to clean up the initiative process and clean up elections, but Arnold sez no. He loooooooves his big campaign donors and protecting them is more important than openness in government.

That said, I'm very glad he signed the others, but quite disappointed he rejected SB 1598. He's all about shielding donors from public scrutiny.