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Archive for the 'Democratic politics' Category

California Dems to elect party delegates

The deadline to file as a delegate candidate to the California Democratic Party’s 2009 state convention is Dec. 31 at noon. Click here for an online application.

Party members will gather at caucuses to elect 12 representatives per each of the state’s 80 Assembly districts on Jan. 10-11. Click here for the caucus schedule.

The party will select its platform, elect its leaders, vote on other party issues and generally gloat about its 2008 election successes on April 24-26, 2009, in Sacramento.

Sans the gloating, the state Republican Party will also hold a convention in Sacramento this spring — Feb. 20-22. Click here for the GOP convention web site.

Posted on Monday, December 29th, 2008
Under: Democratic politics, Political conventions, Republican politics | No Comments »

Contra Costa Dems release endorsement list

For those who follow these things, the Contra Costa County Democratic Party Central Committee has released its endorsement list of local candidates here.

Or read below for the list as of 9/20/08.

Office Candidate Name
Antioch City Council Brian Kalinowski
Antioch City Council Mary Rocha
Antioch Treasurer Bob Kalafate
Contra Costa Community College Jo Ann Cookman
County Supervisor Federal Glover
Director- Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District Chris Peeples
EBMUD Lesa McIntosh
Hercules City Council Ed Balico
Hercules City Council John Delgado
John Swett School Board Norma Clerici
John Swett School Board Jim Delgadillo
Kensington Police Protection District Charles Toombs
Martinez City Council Janet Kennedy
Martinez City Council Mark Ross
MDUSD Gary Eberhart
MDUSD Sherry Whitmarsh
Moraga Town Council Karen Mendonca
Orinda City Council Steven Glazer
Orinda City Council Victoria Smith
Pinole City Council Maria Allegria
Pleasant Hill City Council Karen Mitchoff
Pleasant Hill City Council David Durant
Richmond City Council Harpreet Sandhu
Richmond City Council Nat Bates
Richmond City Council John Marquez
San Pablo City Council Arturo Cruz
San Pablo City Council Cecilia Valdez
School Board, West Contra Costa Unified School District Tony Thurmond
School Board, West Contra Costa Unified School District Antonio Medrano
Walnut Creek City Council Kish Rajan

Posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Under: 2008 November election, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics, Democratic politics | No Comments »

Post-convention update: Local bloggers

I somehow missed these emails about local blogs amongst the many I received while I was on the road at the two political conventions.

Jeff Nibert, an Obama delegate from Pleasanton, blogged on his convention experiences at

You can also read Obama delegate and Tracy resident Lea Austin’s blog at

If I had it to do over again – dare we even think about 2012? — I would definitely do a better job of promoting the local bloggers. I also suspect that a lot more people will be blogging in four years as the technology becomes more familiar to more people.

Posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
Under: 2008 presidential election, Democratic politics, Political conventions | No Comments »

Dem convention: The ‘Super Bowl’ of politics

It feels like a football game and rock concert mashed together only without the beer.

I’m sitting in Mile High stadium in Denver, home of the Denver Broncos, and Jennifer Hudson just sang the national anthem and fireworks just exploded. (At 4:15 in the afternoon? It was just a puff of smoke.)

The place is only about three-quarters full as people with brains opted to wait until the sun droipped a little lower in the horizon before they brave the traffic, long lines and plastic stadium seats.

Security is incredibly tight. Guards checked our press badges at least five times and I had to dump out my water lest it contain some unwelcome substance.

It’s hard to describe the sheer scale of this scene.

This stadium holds 75,000 people and that may not include the thousands of delegates on the field. I count six television platforms, including CNN. I can see Wolf Blitzer on-air right in front of me.

I’m learning what “laptop” really means, too.  This is by far the most challenging blogging conditions I have ever worked in. It’s unbearably loud. It’s 90 degrees and I’m in the sun. I can’t hear anything on the phone; thank goodness for texting on my new Blackberry.

There’s been a lot of talk about the stage. I can’t see it terribly well from here but it does have a certain temple quality to it with its Greek-style columns. I suspect the party planners wanted to evoke a sense of the birth of democracy allthough the Republicans put out a pretty funny email detailing recommended toga styles for conventioneers.

Some critics say this large stadium was a mistake for Obama, that it is too big and too grand for an America in a near recession. Some of the Californians expressed concern about the delegates’ ability to withstand so many hours sitting in folding chairs on a football field in the sun. This event started at 3:15 and won’t finish until 9.

Was it really necessary to have a six-hour floor session? There had been 90 speeches after three days. By the fouth day, what more could be said?

But tonight is what these delegates have been waiting for and given the heavy demand for tickets, this promises to be quite an interesting evening … if we don’t all melt first.

Posted on Thursday, August 28th, 2008
Under: 2008 presidential election, Democratic politics, Political conventions | No Comments »

Dem convention: Obama makes surprise visit

Barack Obama is in the house. He just came out as a “surprise” to cap the acceptance speech from this vice presidential running mate Joe Biden.

We should have known when the ushers started handing out “Obama-Biden” signs.

Obama shook hands to “The Risin’ ” by Bruce Springstein, who is reportedly not going to show up tomorrow night at Mile High stadium. Speculation about The Boss has run rampant here all week. (I’ll be disappointed; one of the things I want to do before I die is go to a Bruce Springstein concert.)

Now, we’re listening to “We Are Family,” which has been one of the Democrats’ key themes this week at this convention.

Here’s a video clip of Obama’s first few minutes on stage with Biden.

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: Democratic politics, Political conventions | No Comments »

Dem convention: Bill Clinton feels the love

Former President Bill Clinton strode onto the stage tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Denver to his familiar campaign tune, “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.”

The Democrats went crazy.

No doubt about it. The Democrats love Bill Clinton.

And once again, Clinton proved he can electrify the room. And like his wife, Hillary, did on Tuesday night, he swiftly declared his wholehearted support for nominee Barack Obama. All is forgiven after the nasty primary campaign, or so it would seem in the Pepsi Center tonight.

“Last night, (Hillary Clinton) made it clear she will do everything she possibly can to elect Barack Obama,” Clinton said. “That makes two of us. Actually, that makes 18 million of us.”

Clinton refers, of course, to the 18 million votes cast for his wife in the primary election.

“I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November,” Clinton said.

There’s nothing ambiguous about that statement.

Here’s a video clip of a portion of the welcome the Democrats gave Clinton about an hour ago in the Pepsi Center in Denver.


Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: 2008 presidential election, Democratic politics, Political conventions | No Comments »

Dem convention: Sights and sounds of the CA delegation

Here are some video clips I shot of the California delegation section about a half-hour after the Democratic Party nominated Barack Obama as its nominee at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

You’ll see a lot of familiar faces including former California Gov. Gray Davis, California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres, Callifornia Reps. Mike Honda and Mike Thompson and former state official Steve Westly.

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: Democratic politics, Political conventions | No Comments »

Dem convention: Why California passed

My San Jose Mercury News colleague Mary Anne Ostrom just blogged this explanation about why California passed on the roll call vote:

State Democratic Party Chair Art Torres said he had to declare “pass” in the roll call of states, because, well, he wasn’t ready.

In the end, the California delegates voted 273 to 166 for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. He said by the time he rounded up all the votes of the massive 441-member delegation, made more difficult because alternates had to fill in for state legislators called back to Sacramento, the roll call was well under way. He counted 439 votes. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (broken foot) and State Sen. Carole Migden (in Sacramento because there is no state budget) were absent, and because they are superdelegates, alternates cannot vote in their place.

And by the time he called the convention secretary to report California’s vote, he was informed it was too late. They were moving on to Illinois in a choreographed dance that ended up allowing Clinton to “declare together right here, right now Barack Obama our next candidate.”

“I missed my day in the sun,” Torres feigned. He denied California’s pass was part of any plan not to announce the California vote. For what started as a pro-Clinton delegation, he said Obama’s large majority vote tally from the delegation was a “strong showing.”

In what appeared to be stage craft designed for East Coast television viewers. Clinton took over the microphone just after the start of the East Coast broadcasts of the network news.

The roll call was halted and Obama was nominated by acclamation after an agreement was reached between the Obama and Clinton camps.

Hillary Clinton herself moved that the roll call be stopped and that the convention nominate Barack Obama.

“With eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity and with the goal of victory…let’s declare together right here, right now Barack Obama our next candidate.”

And Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi informed the convention, Obama has accepted the nomination.

And then “Love Train” was blasted through the hall.

“Don’t you know that it’s time to get on board
And let this train keep on riding, riding on through”

Yes, the third night of the convention is a good time to get on board.

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: Democratic politics, Political conventions | No Comments »

Dem convention: Obama nominated

Democrats have just nominated Barack Obama as the party’s nominee for president of the United States.

It may have been confusing to those watching to see California pass when its turn came to voice the results of its 440 delegate vote during the roll call. (I don’t have the California results yet, but I’m working on it.)

The roll call is one of the enduring traditions of political conventions, a time when every state has a few minutes in the spotlight.

But it’s all part of the plan. Nothing in a modern convention happens by accident, or so it seems.

California, Illinois and other big states passed in order to avoid tipping Obama over the requisite number of 2,025 votes until New York Sen. Hillary Clinton could stand up before the roaring crowd. In a deal apparently finalized today, Clinton moved that the party suspend the roll call and nominate Obama by acclamation.

Here’s a short clip of California’s response to the roll call.

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: Democratic politics, Political conventions | No Comments »

Dem convention: Young people flock to Denver

California delegates under the age of 30

California delegates under the age of 30

The California delegation to the Democratic National Convention includes 49 people under the age of 30, the largest contingent of young people in the nation.

Organized by the California Young Democrats, the delegates gathered for a group picture at the California delegate breakfast.

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: 2008 presidential election, Democratic politics, Political conventions | No Comments »