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Contra Costa political legend John A. Nejedly dies

Former state sen. and World War II veteran John A. Nejedly, a Republican with an impressive environmental record, died early this morning in a Walnut Creek hospital after suffering a massive stroke over the weekend. He was 91.

Click here to submit your memories of Nejedly on the Times’ on-line memorial page.

Nejedly was a former Walnut Creek City Attorney, Contra Costa District Attorney, the first president of the John Muir Hospital Board of Directors and a state senator.

He will be remembered for authoring a number of key environmental laws, such as the Forest Practice Act of 1973, the Wilderness Act of 1974 and the California Parklands Act.

Poor health forced him to retire from public office in 1980.

But he continued to volunteer in his retirement years. Nejedly raised money and spearheaded efforts to upgrade campground facilites in Livermore and open a wilderness campground near Sunol for disabled children.

Nejedly is survived by two sons, John T., a member of the Contra Costa Community College Board, and James, member of the Contra Costa Central Sanitary District board; and a daughter, Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho.

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Would-be politicians, here’s your casting call

Los Angeles-based radio personality Terrence McNally and digital community web site LiveDigital.com unveil today CampaignUSA. It’s your chance to submit a two- to three-minute video addressing the three important issues you would tackle if you ran the country.

After the video is posted to the site, online voters will rate the clips through Oct 9. The winner will receive $1,000 for his or her favorite cause and an on-air interview with McNally.

Contestants won’t get away with rants about the state of the union, says McNally.

“They must offer potential solutions to real issues facing our country,” McNally says. “We want to get people excited and informed so they can enter the voting booth with confidence that they are making a positive, intelligent choice for the future of America.”

Click here for a direct link to a video on the campaign.

The idea for Campaign USA, says LiveDigital spokesman Landon Cowan, came about when McNally happened to be in the building for another news event and joined a staff brainstorming session. LiveDigital already hosts several online events, such as online battle rapping and virtual fashion shows.

And what’s LiveDigital? It’s a social-networking site with extras or, as Cowan describes it, it’s MySpace, YouTube and Xanga all in one place.

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Clash of the 527s looms

A conservative counter-part to the liberal Moveon.Org has unveiled plans to raise and spend $1 million in an effort to fight the Democrats’ quest to take majority control of Congress.

The site of Stopmoveon.org, a product of the conservative Free Enterprise Fund, says it is running ads in Indiana and plans to roll them out in Virginia and Pennsylvania soon. But the group needs money to expand into other states where Democrats and progressive groups have focused their mid-term election efforts.

The site reads, in part, “Radical billionaire George Soros has poured millions into the liberal attack machine Moveon.org. They now say that they own the Democrat(ic) Party.”

The Free Enterprise Fund is a conservative think tank coupled with a political action committee and an institute, all committed to the promotion of the free market, according to its site.

This potentially brings millions more dollars into play. The question now, is how long will it take before these ads make into California where liberals are taking on incumbent Reps. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, and John Doolittle, R-Granite Bay.

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Campaign advertising moves to cable

Capitol Weekly News has a fascinating article today about how campaigns are beginning to spend more money on cable television advertising.

Traditionally, television advertising has been used to reach broad audiences. But cable TV allows the campaign to target specific groups, such as those that watch Fox, sports or programming targeted specifically to women or minorities.

Check out the story at http://www.capitolweekly.net/news/article.html?article_id=977.

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Christine Pelosi in Orinda tonight

I’m headed to Orinda tonight to hear Christine Pelosi’s assessment of the mid-term elections.

Pelosi is the daughter of House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and a Democratic and labor organizer.

Several members of the Bay Area’s Democratic congressional delegation say they can easily see the Democrats winning 12 of the 15 seats needed to take majority control of the House. It will be interesting to hear Pelosi’s take on the Democratic Party’s chances.

Pelosi is speaking to the Lamorinda Democratic Club at 7:30 p.m., at the Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way. The cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Students are free.

To follow Christine Pelosi’s work throughout the country, visit her blog at www.challengernet.com/Home/TrailMix/tabid/721/BlogID/11/Default.aspx.