As followers of my column know, I rarely directly discuss politics, much less local politics but something has just crossed my desk that is worth a second (and third) look. On March 3, 2020 there will be a special primary election for the California State Senate, 28th District seat vacated (none too soon I might add) by a scallywag if there ever was one, Jeff Stone.  He left the position of trust placed in him by the good constituents of the 28th mid-term for a job in the Trump administration. I told you this was good. And that is just the start.

One of the reasons I feel the necessity to comment upon all things in the 28th, a district that is roughly the size of and, in fact, looks like Tennessee is that I was the Democratic candidate for the position in 2014. In the traditionally ruby red district I ran against three very well-funded and well-known Republican opponents. Everyone told me I would be lucky if I got 5% of the vote. It was a fool’s errand if there ever was one. So, of course I was perfect for the job and for the record, although I did not win, I was the Democratic candidate who received the most total votes, garnering 17,635 votes for a 18.56% of the total votes cast. I missed getting into the general election by 1,500 votes in an election that, in the end, took a little over 40,000 to win.  So, I believe I did my time and earned my right to a say in this year’s election.

Concerning the 28th, as in all matters politics, I am not the type who votes a straight party or anything else) line. I certainly do not adhere to the policy of voting for the “best” candidate. I vote for the best person. How do I judge who is the best person? I start with a simple proposition. Are they who they “appear” to be? Or, are you asking me to vote for a façade hiding a different, often ugly reality? If you claim to be a Democrat, are you for the people you wish to represent? Or, are you for the special interests, big (often dark) money and government besieged at all levels by lobbyists? Are you for responsible social programs for those in need? Do you believe in clean water and clean air? Do you believe in government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Or do you believe in government by consent? Or, do you believe in rule by a monarch. Speaking of which, do you believe in the rule of law?

It is unfortunate we are in an era of smoke and mirrors, infighting and gas lighting, mob rule and the rule of fools. But it is what it is. And whether it was John Philpot Curran, Wendell Phillips or Thomas Jefferson (nobody knows) who once said;

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Its timeless words are of no less value today regardless of when or in what context they were originally spoken.

as·​tro·​turf·​ing | \ ˈa-strə-ˌtər-fiŋ , -ˌstrō- \
: organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of or in opposition to something (such as a political policy) but that is in reality initiated and controlled by a concealed group or organization (such as a corporation). Source

So, who’s surfing or, in this case, smurfing (it may look blue on the outside…) the turf?

As a spectator and amateur historian to the Nixon Presidency, including the Watergate scandal and subsequent resignation-in-shame of the crook-in-chief, I can tell you of no better way of ascertaining the truth than:

“Follow the money” –Deep Throat, played by Hal Holbrook

Ever since it’s appearance in the 1976 film All the President’s Men these sage words have guided the investigative process of many a reporter into the halls of truth. A quick check of the Internet is all that is needed to get your “follow the money” on.

Elizabeth Romero, “Democratic” candidate for the 28th has a problem. An astroturf problem.

Just so we are clear, I do not begrudge any person, group or thing the right to support the candidate of their choice. The Chandi, and his, let’s call it “Collective” (in addition to the person, it has quite a few moving parts- see the now defunct Integrity PAC) builds things. This is good. “They” also support Trump. That is bad. It’s only my opinion, but I smell astroturfing.

Of course, there will be more. There is always more. And when it comes to money and last minute negative television ads, well, let’s call it business as usual.

In conclusion, let me give you another few words of possible wisdom to live by. Big money = little justice. I will not vote for the candidate of little justice. I will not vote for a “Democratic” candidate that takes an endorsement from a Chandi. Oh, and by the way, Astroturfing sucks.

In the interest of disclosure, I have already publicly (where such a thing should be done) chosen to endorse Joy Silver (D) as our next State Senator from the 28th.  Check out her Facebook page. It’s kinda cool.–VZnSI2kpv0JQtQT5ga_OsfjxonEjGm47ED9_YNuoYdOeEAQXlxNzlzBRCC


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