Friday, August 31, 2007

Calitics Q3 BlogRaiser in San Diego, Sept 19

From Lucas O'Connor at Calitics:

Please join us on September 19th for the first-of-its-kind Quarterly Fundraiser as Democrats from across the San Diego area come together to celebrate Democratic victories throughout the state of California and build momentum towards future success.

Benefiting the state and federal Calitics PACs, the evening will be a unique opportunity to bring together activists, candidates and elected officials to share drinks and exchange ideas about building an even stronger Democratic Party for California.

Just steps from the ocean at the Firehouse American Eatery and Lounge in Pacific Beach, we look forward to an evening of committed Democrats of all sorts laying the groundwork for greater innovation and cooperation as we look forward to the elections of 2008. is dedicated to building a progressive online community that provides all Californians an opportunity to discuss the issues facing the state and a platform for state and local candidates to interact with activists from their district and throughout the state. Founded in 2005, it is now run by a five-person editorial board representing San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego and sees more than 25,000 total page hits each week. Calitics has been an innovator in online fundraising at the state level and is excited to be expanding its projects for the 2008 election cycle.

Money raised for the Calitics state and federal PACs will be used to support strong Democratic candidates throughout the state and the work of the Calitics editors. Examples in the past have included coverage of the YearlyKos Convention and nationally recognized reporting from the California Democratic Convention.

Suggested donation is $10-$20 and may be made to either Calitics PAC in advance or at the event via the Calitics ActBlue page.

Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Firehouse American Eatery and Lounge, 722 Grand Avenue (map)

Please e-mail to RSVP or with any questions about the event.

So c'mon! It'll be fun! Here's a chance for grassroots activists, candidates, local officials and bloggers to informally meet to socialize, network, and to support the California netroots.

The way I see it, good things will happen when grassroots and netroots activists who often work in parallel, cross paths and work cooperatively for progressive Democratic electoral victories. So come on down to the Firehouse Restaurant on Wednesday Sept 19 at 7:00 pm and say hello. I hope to see you there.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pics from today's rally

Here are a few photos, videos and news blips about today's rally at San Diego's KLSD radion.

KUSI - Dozens Rally to Save Radio Station. Unfortunately the people at KUSI can't judge crowds very well. Over the course of the two hours, there were certainly more than "dozens". More like a few hundred. KLSD is saying 300-400. That sounds more realistic than dozens. That's all I've seen on the news though. They overwhelmingly chose to not cover a story that mobilized all these people to get out there at 7:30 this morning, and generated 900 emails to the station in four days.

Lucky for you, you've got me! ;-)

You can see the crowd in some of the other pictures and video.

by Carl Manaster.

This link is to a set of pictures on KLSD's web page.

Here's a very short video too.

Miriam Raftery's excellent post at Brad Blog.

And as always, Peter provides photos.

A few other tidbits: Jon Elliott (The Most Dangerous Liberal in America) MC'd the rally. First, civil rights attorney and author Marjorie Cohn spoke to the crowd. Then Jon read letters from a broad spectrum of supporters including La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, Senator Mike Gravel, Ambassador Joe Wilson, Aldous Tyler of NonStop Radio, and Jim Dean from Democracy for America. After the event, they also received letters of support from Senator Bernie Sanders and Bob Borosage from Campaign for America's Future.

Stay tuned to see what's next.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

I just heard KLSD is going to flip to an all sports format at 7:30 am tomorrow. It's not confirmed, but I'll let you know.

Edit - that would be a weird time of day to do it...but you never know.

7:40 am....they're still there, and Stacy Taylor says a good size crowd is building, but he wants 500 more people there. A couple of the people he mentioned that are there are City Attorney Micke Aguirre, civil rights attorney and author Marjorie Cohn, and Miriam Raftery.

Wah!!! I can't be there, but I'm there in spirit.


Friday, August 24, 2007

More radio news....


San Diego’s AM 1360 is slated to change programming direction, most likely at the start of the SDSU football season. Currently known as KLSD, the station broadcasts at 1360 AM and has applied to move the transmitter to Santee and increase the power to 50,000 watts day and night (highly directional).

They also say there are plans to keep Air America programming in the market.

Whatever happens, I hope that's true. It's important they (whoever "they" end up being) will also keep a local news/talk program. It's in the public interest to have local media with a diversity of opinions. It's a democracy thing.

On a related note, tonight's Bill Moyer's Journal was about radio and media consolidation. The video and podcasts will be on the website, and it's worth checking it out. The first half was about low-power, community oriented radio. The second half was an excellent discussion with FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps on the detrimental effect media consolidation is having on public discourse in general, and more specifically, on our democracy.


Rally on Monday! Are we losing progressive talk radio in San Diego?

Not if we have anything to say about it.

You may have heard by now that KLSD, San Diego's only liberal talk radio station is planning to change their format from Progressive talk to 24 hour sports. There are three other stations in San Diego that host a talk format and that feature hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Dr Laura, Michael Savage and Sean Hannity. If you define yourself as a liberal, a Democrat and/or a Progressive, the only talk radio station in town is KLSD and we're in danger of losing that lone voice. In addition to being the local outlet for Air America, KLSD provides a public service of great value by airing local radio shows such as The Stacy Taylor Show and The Rant which reports on local political issues that are covered no where else.

We are organizing a rally for Monday morning at 7:30 am, and it needs to be huge. Please join us.

There are a few things you can do to help.

1. Write to KLSD and tell them you want the current progressive talk format to remain as it is, and let them know how important KLSD is to you. (well, it would be nice if they'd add Democracy Now!)

2. Spread the word. You can print and share this flyer.

4. Contact their advertisers and tell them how much you support them for advertising on KLSD. This morning, Stacy Taylor said he would get a list of them up on their website.

5. Come to the planning meeting for Monday's rally in the KLSD parking lot on Saturday at 9 am. There will be a small rally after the meeting.

6. Most importantly, COME TO THE RALLY on Monday, August 27, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. outside the Clear Channel building at 9660 Granite Ridge Drive in San Diego.

If you're part of a business, club or organization that has a banner or sign, bring it! If not, bring a small sign. We want to show we have the support of a wide range of individuals and organizations who don't want to lose their radio voice in San Diego. Miriam Raftery guest blogged at Brad Blog about what's happening, and has includes other ways to stay informed and involved.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.

(edit)- Here's some additional information posted in the comments:
Sign the online petition to Clear Channel.

or email Kate:

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is San Diego losing progressive talk radio?

What's going on with KLSD? Is San Diego's progressive talk radio station and Air America affiliate about to disappear from San Diego's airwaves? I've heard this from FOUR different people today, and all four of them had been told that the current format of KLSD will be replaced with sports talk radio.

Say it ain't so!

Then someone forwarded this from their "What's Happening" page. It looks like they want people to pledge to listen and to ask friends to do the same. There's another ominous sign.

Hmmm. The subject just came up on Jon Elliott's show, and he says he's not heard anything from the management, but the station manager, Cliff Albert is also on vacation this week.

KLSD and Progressive talk radio have been vitally important to San Diego. I just can't overstate the role they've played here in connecting, supporting, and encouraging progressive, grassroots activism, as well as providing invaluable, clear news and views on politics and world events.

You can take action against this terrible development by Signing the pledge or contacting the station. Send Cliff Albert a note telling him how important the current format of KLSD is to you. Then this coming Saturday (8/25/07), show up at the station at 10:00 am to join San Diego's Progressive Democrats of America and many others in rallying to show support for KLSD. I'll even provide a link to the directions. On Jon Elliott's show someone mentioned a rally on Monday too. I'll update as I learn more.

EDIT - That was's an update about the rally on Monday at 7:30 am at KLSD in San Diego. The guy talking to Jon Elliott a bit ago was from NonStop Radio and he's already thrown together a flyer announcing the rally.

(edit- on Saturday there will be a planning meeting at 9 am, and a smaller rally will follow at 10:00. There will be a BIG rally on Monday morning at 7:30.)


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday in Sunny San Diego

Whew. It's kind of warm out there! Steamroomish, even.

My goal today was to go to the Encanto Street Fair to take some photos and spend some time at the San Diego Democratic Women's Club booth, then jump on the trolley to visit Fiesta del Sol in Sherman Heights.

I didn't get to that last part. Maybe tomorrow. I started the day with a headache and the sun and humidity didn't help, so I wandered back home earlier than expected. I didn't even get any festival food other than a big glass of sweet tea. Speaking of festival food, why would anyone fry a pickle? That's just wrong.

The San Diego Democratic Women's Club co-sponsored the Democratic Party booth with the Martin Luther King Democratic Club, and they were there talking the talk and the voter registration volunteers were there too. There were several candidates and office holders there today, including Congressman Bob Filner and Sheila Jackson from the SD Unified School District Board of Education, and Todd Gloria who is running in San Diego's 3nd council district.

Yes, I have pictures. They're still on the film inside my camera. I'm tired of the crummy pictures I get with my cheap digital camera.

So I'll finish the roll
at Fiesta del Sol.*

Last week the Obama supporters brought stickers and pins to CityFest so the Democratic Party booth had them to give out. There were a thousand people walking around Hillcrest with Obama stickers on their shirts. Today a Hillary supporter showed up with buttons, stickers and tshirts. It would be good to get some Edwards goodies to the people that work the local Democratic party booths at street festivals, etc. They said they've tried but have been unsuccessful so far. That's not good.

I'll work on that....

*in honor of Bad Poetry Day.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bad news for Blackwater...publicity!

The following report on Blackwater and their plans in San Diego county was aired on Los Angeles' KNBC last week. Well done, KNBC, and if Blackwater is as on the up and up as they claim to be, they shouldn't have a bit of trouble with the publicity, since it's all true.

From Joshua Holland at Alternet:
The video [...] is a report -- a damning one -- by a local NBC affiliate. Blackwater was none to pleased with the broadcast, and has mobilized (that usually means "hired") an "astro-turf" network to bombard the station with complaints about how the report was un-American, anti-Capitalist and whatever else.

If you want to help push back, you can. The good folks at the Courage Campaign have organized a petition, and they're collecting signatures to send to the Governator, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein asking to keep Blackwater's mercenary operations out of California. If you have a minute, consider signing the petition.

Oops...I guess they do have a problem with it. As the video report notes, and Holland mentions in his article, Blackwater much prefers to operate in secrecy. Well, I prefer that they don't, so hurrah for KNBC and all of the local activists who've worked so hard to keep this project in the public eye. Keep up the great work.

p.s. It would be nice to send KNBC a thank you note since they're getting pushed from the opposite direction. I'm the first to complain about crummy, half-assed media coverage, but I'll also say thanks when they do a good job.


Monday, August 13, 2007

The Bush Energy Policy at work in Southern California

In October of 2004, British Petroleum - Indonesia contracted with Sempra Energy for delivery of liquid natural gas to the western hemisphere. Consequently, Sempra and BP cuts deals with the Mexican government to build a LNG port and storage facility in Ensenada, Mexico on the western coast of Baja California.

Sempra will build a large scale pipeline from their storage facility that will hook up with the existing pipelines in Mexico. The pipelines will ship LPG to Mexicali, where they are constructing a large electric power generation plant. They'll send the electric power across the border on high power transmission lines which they plan to build across Imperial and San Diego counties.

The California phase of the project is called the Sunrise Powerlink. Sempra's Sunrise Powerlink is a 150-mile, 500 kilovolt, $1.4 billion transmission line that will cut across the California desert, through Anza Borrego State Park, over the mountains, and through numerous North County rural and suburban communities.

There are many who are opposed to the Sunrise Powerlink because of the reasons mentioned above. There are also concerns about environmental destruction, the defacement of state park land, and fire hazard in San Diego's arid back country. Many people question the need for this line at all, and believe that sufficient power can be generated within the county to meet San Diego's electricity needs. They see the SPL plan as nothing but a moneymaker for Sempra and San Diego Gas and Electric.

One of the primary benefits originally touted by Sempra was the financial benefit to consumers. However they have repeatedly been forced to slash their estimates of economic benefit. The $447 million in annual consumer savings was first cut to $204 million, and now more recently to $129 million.

The California Public Utilities Commission recently held hearings and extended the EIR process into next year. Sempra was hoping to be well into this project in 2008, but there's now a significant delay, mostly due to their own inaccuracies and errors, and questions about the environmental impact of the massive project.

BUT, as it should be expected by now, the federal government rides to the rescue of the energy industry. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 legislated that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has a right to declare Energy Corridors of National Interest, and now much of Southern California, and parts of Arizona and Nevada are under consideration to be designated as such. What this means is the US Department of Energy can step in and over-ride the states interest and jurisdiction over energy policy if they claim that it is in the national interest to do so. The law allows them to grant permits to Sempra and other local energy companies to allow them to use eminent domain to lay claim to land to be used for the construction of the Sunrise Powerlink, including state land in the Anza Borrego State Park.

The Department of Energy wants to designate 11 counties in Southern California, western Arizona and southern Nevada as one of two “national interest electric transmission corridors.” The other corridor unveiled yesterday would cover a wide portion of the Mid-Atlantic region, stretching from Maryland to New York and as far west as Ohio.

The two corridors, the first selected after months of study and comment, mark a major policy shift in which decisions on critical power lines could be approved by federal regulators over the objections of state officials.

“The parochial interests that shaped energy policy in the 20th century will no longer work,” Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said yesterday.

People rightly worry about about the federal government allowing a Bush administration favored corporation like Sempra to claim private property, and state owned park land through eminent domain. What a sweet deal for them though! They must be as happy as pigs at the trough. Once again, California gets screwed while the energy industry gets a big, wet kiss. Between this project and the energy industry's manufactured "California energy crisis", I'm sensing a trend.

There are a multitude of reasons why a close eye should be kept on this entire project. The need for this powerlink is questionable. The environmental and aesthetic impacts of this project will be significant, especially in light of circumstances surrounding the building of energy related infrastructure south of the border where environmental, health, employment and safety standards are less stringent than in the United States. And last but not least, the relationship between the energy companies and the federal government is a wee bit too cozy. The Sunrise Powerlink and it's related projects deserve the public scrutiny they're receiving, and much, much more.

On a related note, if you're interested in a weekend of music and camping while supporting a local grassroots organization that is fighting the good fight to keep Sunrise Powerlink out of their backyard, check out Ranchita Rocks, San Diego's 1st Annual "Protect Our Communities" Benefit Concert that will be held in Ranchita on September 28th, 29th & 30th. The gates will open at noon on Friday. The fundraiser is being held on private property where there's room for tent camping, RV access, and music, music, comedy and more music. There are currently over 30 bands scheduled to perform, a "comedy camp", DJs, and a no host BBQ. You can spend three days camping in the San Diego back county, and have fun with your friends and family, all while supporting a community that is working hard to keep high power transmission lines out of their backyard.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

California Speaks NOW

I'm at the California Speaks event in San Diego today, where participants are discussing the healthcare reform legislation that's currently under consideration in the state of California.

The process by which this conversation is being held is interesting in itself. Forums are being held in eight locations throughout the state today, and they're all hooked up by satellite and computer links. There are around 600 participants in San Diego, and about 3,000 total throughout California, and they are representative of the population as a whole, with some slight variation (because it depended on who showed up out of that representative sample). They're broken up into groups of ten, and each group has a facilitator with a laptop who is communicating their table discussion to a "theme team" who is compiling the most common topics, comments and remarks for the entire state.

As the discussion progresses and common themes emerge, participants use individual keypads to document their votes on a variety of opinions. At the end of the day, the statistical data and discussions will be compiled into a preliminary report which will be handed out to everyone as they leave. Eventually a final report will be written utilizing today's data, and that will be presented to Governor Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature, who have agreed to consider the opinions of Californian's as they move forward in enacting healthcare reform legislation.

Pretty cool, eh? This is big geeky fun for big geeky me.

Both the Governor and Assembly Soeaker Fabian Nunez provided opening remarks via satelitte link, the MC of the event is in Los Angeles, and I am completely digging the whole democracy via technology thing here today.

In a cruel twist, an elderly gentleman became ill early in the day during the registration. The paramedics had to be called, and I watched as the paramedics took 25 minutes to convince him that he should allow them to transport him to the ER. He was afraid of how much it was going to cost, and kept saying he couldn't afford it. Eventually, he agreed.

I helped with registration this morning, then had the opportunity to observe for a bit before moving on to the next task at hand.

The moderators were in LA, and they first educated the group a little bit about what's currently under active consideration in CA. They didn't go very much into the ideas put forward by Villines because there's no active legislation. They did talk about the concepts behind SB 238 (Runner), but since it won't go forward this year, it wasn't a major focus. The primary goal create some discussion that would enable the presentation of suggestions to the Governor and the Legislature by August 21, so they can be considered when they discuss healthcare reform before the September recess.

Assuming that happens, with the budget situation.

The greatest focus was on SB 840 (Kuehl), AB 8 (Nunez/Perata), and the Governor's Plan.

The discussion began with participants talking about the values they believe should guide deliberations. The common values that emerged were:

1. Healthcare should be affordable.
2. Everyone should have access.
3. Put people before profit.
4. Make wellness and prevention a priority.

The way they guided the following discussion was interesting. One by one, they broke it down into the roles and responsibility of the healthcare providers, individuals, government, insurers, and employers.

I thought it was telling that there were a suprising number of voices for single payer in the crowd, but at the same time another very dominant theme was that people don't trust the government to run it well. Whether it be true or not, the suggestion came up repeatedly that the government shouldn't be trusted to run anything "more complicated than a lemonade stand"...but at the same time only 7% of the crowd said they wouldn't support single payer under any circumstances.


Additionally 18% said they would not under any condition support the changes proposed by the Governor requiring employers to spend a minimum amount on employee healthcare. However 48% would support it if there were also cost caps on healthcare, and 54% would support it if we also addressed insurance coverage for part-time, seasonal and the self employed.

As you can see, a whole lot of statistical data was compiled today. If you're interested in more, the preliminary report is now available online, and the final report should be at the CaliforniaSpeaks website within a few days.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Preseason Training, Pizza and Beer

On Thursday, August 23rd at 7:30 p.m., the San Diego for John Edwards One Corps chapter will hold "nuts and bolts" Get Out The Vote (GOTV) training.

It will be held at Giovanni's Pizza at 9353 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92123. Let's meet on the patio for dinner and some precinct training.

Please RSVP by Monday, August 13th. This is a very important San Diego for John Edwards meeting so we are hoping you will be able to join us!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Why can't I stop using exclamation points in my titles!


Now that you're here, I just thought I'd mention that I really like Steve Earle.

I was in DC the day this was filmed, but missed the concert, and I ran across this on You Tube so I thought I'd share.

Let us pay taxes!

Found by way of Calitics:

In response to California's perennial budget troubles, The Marijuana Producers and Distributors of California Ask: Let Us Pay Taxes!

If marijuana were legalized in California, between the tax income and the reduced spending California would be awash in cash. It would neuter the criminal underground associated with growing and selling pot. It would save millions (at least) in the criminal justice system. They'd have the money to treat the people with real drug problems. As a bonus, it would be legal to grow hemp which would be an excellent, renewable crop with the potential to be manufactured into more than tens of thousands of environmentally friendly products. Hemp farming is environmentally and economically a no-brainer. The benefits beat the tar out of the drawbacks. Not that I can think of any significant drawbacks.

California has some smart, patriotic stoners. I'll have some of what they're smoking.


California Speaks!

This coming Saturday, August 11, thousands of Californians will gather across the state to participate in a 21st century version of a town hall meeting on healthcare reform in California.

CaliforniaSpeaks is a project of AmericaSpeaks, a non-profit organization that facilitates meaningful conversation and the means for direct citizen participation in decision making. On Saturday, randomly selected participants will gather in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside-San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland-San Francisco, and Humboldt County to talk about the major healthcare proposals in California. Technology will allow this large group to share ideas, and ultimately come up with a proposal to present to the Governor and state Legislature. The different venues will be connected by video links. Watch the video below for a great overview of how the system of wireless laptops, video technology and trained facilitators will work to give all participants a voice in the process.

The discussions will be broadcast on The California Channel beginning at 9am on Saturday. This $4.2 million dollar project is being underwritten by the California Endowment, the California Wellness Foundation and the Blue Shield of California Foundation. If you're interested in facilitating or volunteering this weekend, go to CaliforniaSpeaks and sign up to help.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bye Candace!

I've mentioned in the past that there are a lot of people that are never recognized nor acknowldged, that nonetheless put their blood, sweat and tears into bringing attention to the dreadful blunders of the Bush administration, and have done so since long before it was a popular national past-time. Candace Ross is one of those people. Candace has been the coordinator of San Diego's Code Pink chapter since 2003. She's moving to Nevada in a few days, so the current incarnation of the SD chapter is at it's end. If anyone is interested in taking a leadership role, let me know and I will hook you up.

But back to Candace....

I will miss her terribly. She is a wonderful friend. Candace has the courage of her deeply held convictions, a loving heart, and a generous nature. It seems that she knows everyone in the San Diego peace and social justice community, and she's been a pivotal, inspiring force in my own activism. I'll miss her, but I'm thrilled she has a opportunity to turn her peace activism into a full time vocation. How many people get the chance to turn their passion into a job!? You have to grab that when it comes along.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Adventures in public television

The San Diego for John Edwards women volunteered to take pledge phone calls at the local public broadcasting station this evening, and believe it or not, it was fun. (note: pretty soon we're going to have a little talk about how the majority of volunteer and political events I attend are run by women.)

I do try to live by the philosophy that at least some degree of fun can be found in most anything. We won't talk about all the trouble that philosophy can lead to, but usually it's a good thing.

The programs were live here, and will be used later elsewhere in pledge breaks in different cities. We did the pledge break for a kids show, but I suddenly can't remember the name. I'd never heard of it before. Then we did a Glen Campbell program about his variety show in the 60s.

Bonus: They fed us very good chicken cacciatore and a nice salad for dinner that was provided by an Italian deli in the neighborhood.

The phone calls were hysterical. Lots of pledges, but also lots of calls like the woman who was mad that we pre-empted Lawrence Welk (well that's a crummy deal! I'm 87 years old!) and the one who didn't want the current pledge gift but preferred the "tickets to see the guy with the violin". Incredibly, we managed to figure out what she wanted. Someone else called and said "ask the nice lady that's on the air where Huell Howser is from, because he sounds like he's from the South." It was a hoot.

He's from Tennessee. I asked the nice lady when we were off the air.

In other on/off the air news, during one of the breaks we were all chatting, but some one in another room accidentally turned on the audio to the live radio feed, and they heard the regular on-air talent say she wished she had beer in her fridge, and my friend replying that we should go out for shots of tequila afterwards. It made everyone feel a lot better when a still laughing man called, and pledged $100 because of it.

But, oops.

Much to my amazement, we're been invited to return. However I'm sure that I could have personally said something much worse than that.

BUT it wasn't all good news. I found out that Full Focus was cancelled. I hadn't heard that, but it's really unfortunate because that was one local media news program that would have local politicians, peace and social justice activists, and grassroots groups on to talk about their issues. Over the past year I've watched Gloria Penner host segements about Blackwater West, the electronic voting machines sleepovers in CA-50, ocean water quality at the border, and the WalMart Superstore issue. Not just 30 bites, but comprehensive and generally well balanced coverage of important local news stories.

Quel bummer.

Otherwise, it was all good.

California SOS orders increased security in voting machines

On Friday August 3, 2007 CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified and then recertified some of the electronic voting machines in California. The recertifications come with conditions requiring improvements in security, and requires DRE systems provide a paper ballot. It also limits the number of DREs at a polling place, completely decertifies systems that refused to cooperate with her review (ES&S), and requires a HAND COUNT of ballots generated by Sequoia and Diebold systems.

Most excellent. It does my heart good to know that some people really truly keep their campaign pledges. California's Secretary of State Debra Bowen, was elected by the people of California to investigate the voting systems and that's precisely what she's doing. Vendors and County Registrars can holler all they want (because we already know they're on the same side of this issue), but Bowen's review is NOT causing distrust of the system. The vendors and registrars had already done a bang up job of showing the public that transparency, accuracy and integrity in our elections are not their primary goals. That is OUR goal as voters and citizens, so hip hip hoorey for Bowen for standing up to what is sure to become a firestorm against her by people who want money and power at the expense of the people's vote.

There are still some big issues to address. The "sleepovers" that render voting equipment insecure, the software being allowed to come from the "federal labs" which are really neither federal nor labs, and we need to do more work on allowing transparency at the local level. But that said, woo and hoo....Bowen gave us ten giant steps in the right directions.

Give her your thanks and keep giving her support. She's doing what we elected her to do, and she's going to take a a lot of political and MSM hits on this. Now would be a great time to write a letter to the editor hailing Bowen's decision to support democractic values!

More info at Bradblog
Documents regarding the Top to Bottom Review
LA Times: "State decides to secure electronic voting machines".

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Yikes! Help Greg Palast Now.

Occasionally I will toss up a post about an organization that, in my opinion, deserves support, either by way of volunteering or donations. I figure if I share these things, someone else might find something that appeals to them. I truly hope this appeals to a whole bunch of folks. Check out the August 1 post from Greg Palast, Busted and Crimes of the Times.

Cutely buried in the 18th paragraph in a story about Alberto Gonzales on Sunday was a slyly-worded updated confession by the New York Times that, in 2004, the Bush Administration leaned on its editors to spike a story about illegal invasions of citizens’ private records (”data mining”). The Times editors smothered the story. They finally ran it - a year later - after Bush was safely re-elected.

As a journalist, this makes me want to throw up.

For two reasons: First, while The Times was covering up Bush’s KGB-style data-mining operation, the Palast team was revealing its secrets. We published confidential FBI memos detailing horrific schemes for illegal spying using Bush’s favored contractor, a company called ChoicePoint Inc.

The second reason The Times ‘confession’ makes me ill: While the publishers at the Paper of Record were counting their millions, the Palast Investigative Fund was slowly going broke.

Well, we’ve made it: Last Friday, the main-stream US media, through the venerable PBS program ‘NOW’, finally broadcast our reportage on the “caging” of voters, a story we first broke 3 years ago. BEFORE the 2004 election.

We’ve made it in another way: Friday was also the day I was informed that the Palast Investigative Fund was dead broke, technically bankrupt, with way less than zero in the account.

Bluntly: if we don’t get some help, and fast, we’re sunk. We are throwing staff overboard and halting some operations while we seek funds to keep afloat.

Whoa. Somebody quick go buy that man's book! Seriously. If you don't already know Greg Palast, you should. There's a link at his site where you can make a donation to the Palast Investigative Fund, and get a signed book(s) in return. I already have the books, so he can save the postage. He can just sign my copy of Armed Madhouse next time he's in San Diego. :-)

I've met his mama. I told her she done good. I sounded like a star struck girl. I'm so embarrassed.

Palast is so damn far ahead of the MSM curve that it's pitiful. He first reported on the voter "caging" lists years ago, and the megabucks news folks are just NOW starting to pick up the story. All the while, Palast has to ask for support.

He was also an early truth-teller in regards to the Bush "energy policy", the plans for Iraq's oil, and the aftermath of Katrina.

So really the link...I know you want to. Read the whole post and/or make a donation to a very worthy cause; some of the best investigative journalism around, and the god's honest truth, by way of Greg Palast.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sign up for the San Diego County Democratic Club Convention

I'm just going to share the email from the San Diego Democratic Party. It says it all, and sometimes I'm just lazy that way.

Get ready for skill-building workshops, a presidential straw poll, and visits with local candidates and elected officials.

The 2007 San Diego County Democratic Clubs Convention -- coming up on Saturday, September 8, in Point Loma -- will feature all that and more.

Our inaugural Convention last year filled up quickly, so I encourage you to sign up today. Registration is just $20 ($10 for students) and includes morning and afternoon sessions, a continental breakfast, and a box lunch.

You can register and pay online at:

With the Presidential Primary election just six months away, San Diego Democrats are already organizing for victories in 2008. This year’s Convention will focus on building our dynamic Democratic Clubs, but everyone in our Party is welcome.

The event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the historic Naval Training Center Promenade (2801 Rosecrans Street). Highlights will include:

  • A debate featuring representatives of Democratic presidential candidates, moderated by journalist and public advocate Bree Walker. A straw poll of attendees will follow.

  • Workshops on political action, club development, and key political issues, like military outsourcing, healthcare, and immigration reform.

  • A full day of informative and social events with Democratic activists, voters, candidates, elected officials, and special guests.

For more information, please call (858) 277-3367 or e-mail

Thanks for supporting our Democratic organizations in San Diego County! We hope to see you soon.