Tag Archives: California Democratic Party

Cryptkeeper won’t debate Kevin de León (or at least not more than once)

Times of San Diego photo

Supporters of new blood Kevin de León and the crusty Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein appear at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego in February, where De León fell just short of winning the state party’s endorsement over Cryptkeeper, beating her 54 percent to 37 percent (a super-majority of 60 percent was necessary for the endorsement). De León later finally won the state party’s endorsement last month, beating Cryptkeeper by a vote of 65 percent to 7 percent. It should be more than enough that the state party wants to boot the incumbent Cryptkeeper, but California’s voters haven’t realized that they’ve even had another choice for the past 25 years. 

California state Sen. Kevin de León has challenged the crusty U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has held on to “her” U.S. Senate seat since 1992, to a series of three televised debates ahead of the November election, but we, the peasants of California, will be lucky if Queen Cryptkeeper deigns to “allow” us to have one.

As De León pointed out, the last time that Cryptkeeper was on a debate stage for “her” U.S. Senate seat was on “Oct. 27, 2000 … and we haven’t seen her there since.’’

Yup. Back then, Cryptkeeper faced only Repugnican challengers, and she apparently politically calculated, apparently correctly, that in a deep-blue state she could afford to refuse to participate in any debates.

Times have changed, however. Now, under California’s “top-two” or “jungle” primary system, the top two vote-getters in the primary face off in the November general election, and this time Cryptkeeper’s opponent is another Democrat, not a Repugnican.*

Thus far, Cryptkeeper’s pathetic, laughable excuse for having avoided committing to any debates with De León is that she’ll be too busy in D.C. trying to prevent Brett Kavanaugh from becoming the next U.S. Supreme Court “justice,” something that she’ll probably fail miserably to do anyway, given not only the D.C. Democrats’ failures in a whole host of battles, but also given that the Repugnicans last year cravenly reduced the vote threshold for U.S. Supreme Court confirmation in the U.S. Senate from 60 votes to only a bare majority vote.

The fact is that the addled 85-year-old Cryptkeeper and her handlers know fully well that her ever appearing on a debate stage with the 51-year-old, nimble De León offers more risks than potential rewards.

I’m confident that Cryptkeeper will agree to no debates or only one at the most, perhaps calculating that one debate couldn’t be that damaging (and maybe even calculating that refusing to participate in any debates at all could be damaging).

What might give De León at least a bit of a boost, in addition to Cryptkeeper’s refusal to debate at all or to do poorly in a debate, is that he’s listed first in the statewide voter information guide that will be mailed to every voting household in California, and that the first sentence of his candidate statement is, “I am honored to be the California Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate.”

Yup. Sleepwalking voters inclined automatically to vote for Cryptkeeper again should ask themselves why the state Democratic Party didn’t endorse Cryptkeeper for another six-year term, but instead endorsed De León.

De León is quite correct when he says that “Here in California, we hold elections — not coronations” and that “it’s profoundly disrespectful not to debate before the voters of California,” as Cryptkeeper has done for almost two decades now.

Indeed, the anti-democratic, anti-Democratic and entitled DINO Cryptkeeper reminds me much of the miserably failed DINO Billary “Coronate Me Already” Clinton, who had committed to debate Bernie Sanders (and any other Democratic challengers) 10 times but then casually reneged to debate a final time, as she had promised to do, because she politically calculated that she could get away with it.

I certainly hope that that brazenly broken promise contributed to Billary’s loss. She fucking deserved it.**

And I hope that come November, DINO Cryptkeeper will go the way of DINO Billary: consigned to the dustbin of history, where she belonged many years ago.

*Before California’s voters voted in the “top-two” primary system (known as 2010’s Proposition 14), which was championed by then-Repugnican Gov. Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger, the Repugnicans were guaranteed a spot on the California ballot for the U.S. Senate. No more.

(I’m sure that many don’t remember the history of this and stupidly mistakenly believe that the Democrats engineered shutting Repugnicans from the general-election ballot, when, in fact, it was Repugnican Baby Daddy who pushed for the change.)

**I wouldn’t have voted for or given a penny to DINO Billary anyway, but I believe in holding politicians accountable (call me old-fashioned!), and in my book, reneging on a debate that a candidate already had committed to is a direct reflection of his or her character, and is reason enough not to vote for him or her.

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California Democratic Party endorses Kevin de León, snubs Cryptkeeper

Reuters photo

Hopefully, come January 2019, these will be the two U.S. senators for the great state of California, the vanguard of national change that scares the unholy living shit out of the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, MAGA-cap-wearing teatards among us.

Wow.

Last night the leaders of the California Democratic Party “took a step to the left, endorsing liberal state lawmaker Kevin de León for [U.S.] Senate in a stinging rebuke of Democratic [U.S.] Sen. Dianne Feinstein,” reports The Los Angeles Times.

The L.A. Times continues:

… The endorsement was an embarrassment for Feinstein, who is running for a fifth full [six-year] term, and indicates that Democratic activists in California have soured on her reputation for pragmatism and deference to bipartisanship as [“President” Pussygrabber] and a Republican-led Congress are attacking Democratic priorities on immigration, healthcare and environmental protections.

De León, a former state Senate leader from Los Angeles, received 65 percent of the vote of about 330 members of the state party’s executive board — more than the 60 percent needed to secure the endorsement. Feinstein, who pleaded with party leaders meeting in Oakland this weekend not to endorse any candidate, received 7 percent, and 28 percent voted for “no endorsement.” …

The fact that Cryptkeeper Feinstein had lobbied the state party to make no endorsement at all — because she was fearful of losing it (recall that in February, De León came just short of winning the state party’s endorsement) — speaks volumes of her rotten and rotting character. I’m sure that if she had thought she would win the endorsement, she would have had no problem with the endorsement vote at all, because she is a corrupt, craven, self-serving, anti-democratic (and, ironically, anti-Democratic) old bat.

The Times news article continues:

… “We have presented Californians with the first real alternative to the worn-out Washington playbook in a quarter-century,” De León said in a statement shortly after the endorsement was announced.

It’s not clear that the endorsement will have a significant effect on the general election. Feinstein crushed De León in the June primary, winning every county and finishing in first place with 44 percent of the overall vote. De León finished far behind with 12 percent, which was enough for a second-place finish and a ticket to the November election under the state’s top-two primary system.

The endorsement can come with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money, which the De León campaign will have to help raise, as well as party volunteers and political organizing assistance. De León needs that support to increase his odds of victory in November. Feinstein had $7 million in campaign cash socked away as of May, 10 times what De León had. …

It is true that in the June 5 California primary election, Cryptkeeper, with her superior name recognition, garnered 44.2 percent of the vote and De León garnered 12.1 percent, but there were more than 30 candidates for U.S. Senate on the ballot, at least 15 of whom garnered around 1 percent or more of the vote.

We will see how the votes for these many other candidates who were on the June 5 ballot resettle in November.

It’s true that Cryptkeeper has an advantage. She’s been around since dirt, so she’s well-known in California, and she is a multi-millionaire, so money is no object for her.

And, because she’s Repugnican Lite — among other things, she voted for the Vietraq War and believes that it’s A-OK for the federal government to perpetrate mass spying upon its own citizens, contrary to the U.S. Constitution; actually wanted to make flag-burning a crime, contrary to the U.S. Constitution; just this year for some reason flipped her position on the death penalty; and in the Senate she votes with “President” Pussygrabber’s agenda 26 percent of the time* — she might win in November if she garners enough of the center-right vote.

California’s Repugnican voters might see Cryptkeeper, quite correctly, as the more Repugnican of their two choices. That said, Cryptkeeper’s political centerpiece always has been gun control — after all, the 1978 assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone launched her political career — and I think that it would be difficult for many if not most of California’s Repugnicans to cast a vote for her, knowing how much they want to keep their home arsenals for “protection” against the supposed endless parades of freedom-hating bogeymen who are out to get them.

Kevin de León made it into the top two after the June 5 primary — and that’s all that he had to do in that election to make it to November’s election — and now that he has the formal support of the California Democratic Party, De León has a real shot at unseating Cryptkeeper, who can’t count on any help from the state party, to my knowledge.

Even if Cryptkeeper ekes out another win, she will be politically weaker than she ever has been, and no doubt she’ll get no more than one more term, not just because of her advanced age (she’s 85 years old) but also because of her rapidly declining political capital here in California. (If she were so fucking beloved here, she would have garnered a lot more than 44.2 percent in the June 5 primary — after all, she has been a U.S. senator “for” California since 1992.)

I’m proud that the California Democratic Party endorsed Kevin de León last night. It’s a step in the right direction for a state that in June 2016 voted for Billary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, 53.1 percent to 46 percent (still pretty close for someone who was supposed to have been as beloved as was Billary!).

Thing is, political change is a long, hard slog. Corrupt, craven, self-serving sellouts like Cryptkeeper Feinstein and Billary Clinton don’t just give up their power. We, the people, have to take it from them, have to relieve them of their self-imposed pressure to act like Repugnicans for their own (real and/or perceived) personal and political gain.

Often, we don’t win the first time.

Case in point: Bernie Sanders started running for office in the 1970s, running for governor of Vermont and for the U.S. Senate for Vermont — and losing badly — and he didn’t win an election until he lowered his sights and became mayor of Burlington, Vermont, by a mere 10 votes in 1981.

Bernie finally made it to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, and then made it to the U.S. Senate in 2006. And then, as I’ve noted many times, he came impressively close to Billary “Crown Me Already” Clinton in 2016 when he ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, and had it been a fair process, he probably would have won the nomination.

Bernie’s electoral history suggests that he persists and that eventually he wins.

That’s what all of us progressives must do.

Even if Kevin de León doesn’t win in November — at this point, now that he has the state party’s endorsement, I give him at least about a 40-60 chance of winning — he has accomplished something significant, something to build upon.

P.S. I support Kevin de León primarily because he’s progressive (he’s not perfect, but he’s progressive), but it’s an added bonus that if he were elected in November, the largest racial/ethnic group in California, Latinos, who outnumber whites in the state, finally would be represented in the U.S. Senate.

Latinos have been underrepresented in California and elsewhere for years and years.

 

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Kevin de León denies Sen. Cryptkeeper state Democratic Party endorsement

Image result for Kevin De Leon Dianne Feinstein

California State Sen. President Kevin de León (pictured above left) yesterday won 54 percent of the vote of the delegates at the annual state Democratic Party convention in San Diego, a crushing blow to Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein (above right), whose name depressingly and oppressively has been on the ballot for the past 25 years. Cryptkeeper won only 37 percent of the delegates’ votes — 485 fewer votes than de León won.

Wow. For a little while I was a little worried about Kevin de León’s bravely insurgent campaign for the U.S. Senate seat for California that the ancient, Democrat-in-name-only Dianne Feinstein — whom I lovingly think of as “Cryptkeeper” — has held with a death grip since 1992.

No more.

Not only did de León recently win the endorsement of the nation’s largest state’s largest public-sector union, the Service Employees International Union (for once the Billary-Clinton-loving union to which I belong got a political endorsement right), but yesterday at the annual state Democratic Party convention, de León handily denied Cryptkeeper the state party’s endorsement.

It’s a high bar to win the state party’s endorsement — a vote of at least 60 percent of the delegates to the convention — but not only did de León deny Cryptkeeper that 60 percent, but he blew her out of the water: De León won 54 percent of the delegates’ votes to Cryptkeeper’s 37 percent.

Again: Wow.

The Los Angeles Times calls it “an embarrassing rebuke of” Cryptkeeper and notes that “Though de León did not get the endorsement, his success in blocking Feinstein from receiving it shows that his calls for generational change and a more aggressively liberal path have resonated with some of the party’s most passionate activists.”

Of course multi-millionaire Cryptkeeper, one of the wealthiest U.S. senators, has more campaign cash in the bank (including at least a cool $5 million that she gave herself) than does de León, and of course because of her name recognition (she has been around longer than has God), Cryptkeeper is polling better right now than is the much-less-known de León, but de León’s big wins — such as winning the majority of the state party delegates’ votes and winning not only SEIU’s endorsement but also the California Nurses Association’s — demonstrate that not only is de León a serious contender, but that plenty of Californians have had it with the plutocratic Cryptkeeper’s center-right bullshit and wish her gone.

I expect de León’s coffers to fill soon, and I expect his poll numbers to climb the more that Californians realize what a winner he is. And I expect more labor unions to endorse him, and without labor unions’ help, I can’t see Cryptkeeper winning. Her big money alone won’t be enough; she’ll have to actually earn enough votes.

The 84-year-old Cryptkeeper could have saved herself this embarrassment and stepped down, but she’s been tone-deaf to her constituency, who is to the left of her on many if not most issues, for years. The only reason that they’ve been re-electing her is that this is the first time that a viable alternative has emerged.

Cryptkeeper is no longer inevitable, and that’s great news not only for the people of California, but for all Americans who are affected by Cryptkeeper’s center-right votes in the U.S. Senate.

P.S. Also yesterday, California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom (who also has been endorsed by SEIU) garnered more votes for a state party endorsement than did any other candidate, with 39 percent.

While DINO Antonio Villaraigosa and Newsom have been in the top two in polling, yesterday Villaraigosa came in at fourth place in the endorsement vote, garnering only 9 percent. (The second-place winner garnered 30 percent and the third-place winner garnered 20 percent, and because there are so many Democratic gubernatorial candidates, it wasn’t expected that any one of them would reach the 60-percent mark necessary for an endorsement from the state party.)

I expect Newsom, who is my imperfect-but-preferred candidate, to become California’s next governor.

Some are saying that these votes for state party endorsements reflect only the wishes of party insiders, but these so-called party insiders are dispersed throughout the state and they are opinion leaders. These state party endorsement votes aren’t meaningless, even though both de León and Newsom fell short of 60 percent (which, in my opinion, should be reduced to anything above 50 percent).

P.P.S. I should note that under California’s top-two primary system, the top-two vote-getters (regardless of party) in the state’s June 5 primary will move on to the November general election, and I expect the top two to be Kevin de León and Cryptkeeper. (In 2016, there were only two Democrats on the ballot for U.S. Senator for California, Kamala Harris and a nut job who didn’t stand a chance against Harris.)

Some have posited that because Cryptkeeper is center-right — that is, Repugnican Lite — the state’s Repugnicans will vote for her, figuring (correctly) that she’s closer to their political orientation than is de León.

But I don’t know about that. I’d have to see a poll or polls of registered Repugnicans that asks whether or not in a de León-vs.-Cryptkeeper race they’d vote for Cryptkeeper or not vote at all. I surmise that most of the state’s Repugs wouldn’t vote for a Dem, not even DINO Cryptkeeper.

In any event, for de León to win, it’s going to take grassroots support. He doesn’t need as much money as Cryptkeeper does, but he does need those of us who are left of center to vote.

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Brown could blow it

Jerry Brown

Associated Press photo

“We are confident that the Brown campaign is doing the things that need to be done and we’re in the position we want to be in,” Jerry Brown gubernatorial campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford has said of anxiety that Team Brown is doing too little too late against Repugnican billionaire Megalomaniac Whitman’s multi-million-dollar onslaught. (Brown is shown above in Los Angeles last month.) I’d love to take comfort in Sterling’s words of assurance, but then I recall the 2003 gubernatorial recall election and the gubernatorial election of 2006 – and how well the state’s Democratic “leaders” strategized in those

You would think that California’s Democratic Party “leaders” would have learned their lesson by now.

First, the state’s party “leaders” underestimated the chances of the wooden and woefully uncharismatic Gov. Gray Davis losing the gubernatorial recall election of 2003.

To recap, Repugnicans were able to get enough signatures on petitions to make the recall election happen, in no small part because Repugnican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, who had his own eye on the governor’s seat, gave $2  million of his own funds to the signature-collection effort – only to see Hollywood action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger become the Repugnican frontrunner in the gubernatorial recall race.

The state’s Democratic Party “leaders” either truly believed that the unpopular Davis would survive the recall election or they were in deep denial. Therefore, they refused to front a candidate for the recall election (and Davis was not allowed to run as a candidate in the election*), apparently believing that to do so would be to admit Davis’ defeat before the recall election even took place.

When then-Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, decided to run in the recall election (in which I voted for him), he was viewed by the calcified state Democratic Party “leaders” as a heretic, and the state party did not throw its support behind Bustamante, who therefore pretty much was on his own.

The top three vote-getters of the gubernatorial recall election were Schwarzenegger, with 48.6 percent of the vote, Bustamante, with 31.5 percent, and another Repugnican candidate, Tom McClintock, with 13 percent. (More than one individual from each of the two major parties was allowed to run in the recall race.)

Davis was the state’s first governor ever to be recalled and only the second governor to be recalled in the nation’s history. (Eighteen states, including California, allow for gubernatorial recall elections.)

Running against Schwarzenegger in the 2006 gubernatorial election was uber-geek Democrat Phil Angelides, then the state’s treasurer. Polls had shown consistently that the dynamic, youthful, John-Edwards-(before-his-mistress-came-to-light)-like Democrat Steve Westly, the state’s controller, could have defeated Schwarzenegger in November 2006 — and that Angelides could not – but in April 2006 the state’s Democratic Party “leaders” stupidly endorsed the charismatically challenged Angelides anyfuckingway, apparently not having learned a fucking thing from the Davis debacle just a few years before. The state party’s endorsement helped Angelides beat Westly in the June 2006 primary election, but by only 5 percent.

I knew that it was over for boner-shrinker Angelides when I was attending the annual Greek cultural festival here in Sacramento in August 2006, and Angelides, a Greek-American, made a surprise appearance at the festival — and no one there seemed to give a shit. If a Greek-American political candidate can’t wow ’em at a fucking Greek festival, he’s fucking toast. (Do the Greeks have their own kind of toast, I wonder?)

Anyway, in November 2006, Schwarzenegger trounced Angelides. True, it was the jock vs. the geek, and in such a matchup the geek almost never wins, but Angelides’ lackluster-at-best campaign didn’t fucking help things. Schwarzenegger won 56 percent of the vote to the Greek geekboy’s pathetic 39 percent.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor — it took me years to get used to that — could have been prevented had the state’s Democratic “leaders” fronted a strong candidate (Bustamante or someone else) in the 2003 gubernatorial recall election instead of petulantly acted as though Gray Davis, who is as exciting as is the shade of gray, couldn’t possibly have been recalled.

Schwarzenegger getting a sequel as governor of California in 2006 could have been prevented had the state’s clueless Democratic “leaders” gone with the more popular Westly instead of the nerdy Angelides, whom they apparently wanted to reward for his past years of work for the state party — even though polls showed that he couldn’t take out the “Terminator.”

So now it’s year 2010, and two-time California Gov. Jerry Brown is running for a third term. He has my support. I even have a campaign T-shirt already.

But Democrat Brown is running against billionaire Repugnican Megalomaniac Whitman, whose millions and millions of dollars of her own money (more than $90 million thus far) that she’s pumped into her campaign have allowed her to advertise ubiquitously.

Some pundits have surmised that Nutmeg’s advertising overkill actually will work against her, that it will turn off voters and send them to Brown’s camp. I hope that’s true, but we can’t fucking count on that being the case.

Polls have shown Brown’s lead over Nutmeg deteriorating to the point that the latest poll (a Field Poll) puts Brown at 44 percent and Nutmeg at 43 percent – with almost four full months of campaigning to go.

Yes, the majority of California’s voters should go with the frugal candidate who already knows how to do the state’s top job because he’s already done it.

But times have changed. The “independent” or “swing” vote — which I like to refer to as the “dumbfuck vote” — decides way too many elections these days, and the members of the dumbfuck voting bloc, by definition, don’t make their decisions based upon facts, but based upon their gut. And the gut’s main source of “information” is the tay-vay.

And it’s Megalomaniac who’s all over the tay-vay like stink all over dog shit.

Team Brown, on the other hand, truly appears to believe that Jerry Brown’s name recognition is enough. Brown’s name recognition is considerable, but Megalomaniac Whitman, come November, might just show us that everything has its price if one is only willing to pay it.

“If you’re going to run for governor, you have to do what it takes. You can’t tell yourself or tell everyone else there is some special way for you to do this that is completely outside the norms that apply to everyone else,” the Los Angeles Times has quoted veteran state Democratic strategist Garry South of having said recently of the Brown campaign. (South was a strategist for Westly in the 2006 gubernatorial race and he strategized for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s bid for the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. [Newsom now is running for lieutenant governor instead.])

I have to agree with South, and although South probably would put it differently, I think that Team Brown woefully has misunderstimated (as former “President” George W. Bush might put it) the power of the dumbfuck vote that Team Nutmeg seemed to realize long ago: Yes, tell the easily duped dipshits the same lies enough, and they’ll believe them. This tactic of propaganda worked wonders for the unelected Bush regime (and the Hitler regime** before it…).

Memo to Team Brown:

Times have changed. We no longer live in the age of the statesman (or stateswoman). Intellectual ability is seen as a fault by as many voters who view it as a strength, it seems to me. (Hell, maybe even more voters view intelligence as a fault than as a strength.)

We live now in the age of Sarah Palin-Quayle – Twittering and on Facebook.

And billionaire Megalomaniac Whitman — to make up for that pony that she never got, or to make up for the fact that she never was made prom queen, perhaps – is dangerously close to purchasing for herself the most powerful post in the state government of the nation’s most populous state. 

It’s past time to fight fire with fire.

*The recall-election ballot had two parts: First was the question as to whether Davis should remain in office or be removed from office. The second question on the ballot was who should replace Davis should he be removed. (Those who voted to retain Davis in office still were allowed to vote for a candidate to replace him as governor in case he was recalled.)

**Brown’s having called Team Nutmeg Nazi-like in its propaganda techniques is not wholly unfounded, and I wholly agree with sexy gay blogger Glenn Greenwald’s recent argument that we can’t make all references and comparisons to Nazis verboten, because sometimes these references and comparisons have some substance to them. (Not that Greenwald would agree with Brown’s having called Team Nutmeg Nazi-like. [But he might…])

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