Thursday, October 4, 2007

Dirty Gary Offers Blackwater a License To Kill

The House passed a bill today that would hold private military contractors in war zones accountable for any crimes they might have committed. This removes the legal loophole that allowed companies like Blackwater to ship their personnel suspected of indiscriminate murder back to the US without charges.

The bill passed 389-30. Reps. Doolitte, Miller, Hunter, and Rohrabacher don't think Blackwater personnel should be held to any standard. They would rather offer them a license to kill at will. Not only do private military contractors operate with impunity, they hurt the actual efforts by the military to carry out the mission.

Here's one example of what Rep. Miller sanctioned through his vote today:

A Blackwater USA employee under investigation in the killing last December of an Iraqi bodyguard in an off-duty confrontation was so drunk after fleeing the shooting that another group of guards took away the loaded pistol he was fumbling with, a report to a House committee said Monday.

The guards, employees of Triple Canopy, another private military contractor, returned the weapon to the Blackwater employee, who smelled of alcohol, and escorted him away from their guard post in the fortified Green Zone, the report said. Shortly afterward, the police detained the man, a 26-year-old firearms technician whom the report did not name, at the Blackwater camp inside the Green Zone, but determined he was too intoxicated to be interviewed.

Within 36 hours, the report said, Blackwater fired the man for possessing a firearm while drunk and arranged with the State Department to fly him back to the United States, angering Iraqi officials who said the Christmas Eve shooting was murder.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

CA-42: The Weekly Dirt on Dirty Gary

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

It's been quite a wild week in the 42nd Congressional District. Ever since Ron Shepston announced that he's running against Dirty Gary Miller, there have been quite some interesting developments that have occurred in the race to replace Dirty Gary. We've had the bloggers talk about going offline. We've had the California Democratic Party go online to announce its new website targeting Dirty Gary. We've heard rumors that a former Republican politician might reemerge to challenge Dirty Gary in the primary. Oh yes, and what did Ron say about John Kerry?

Follow me after the flip for all the latest dirt on Dirty Gary...

Part One: The Bloggers

The bloggers are coming out of the computer room. OK, so how do I know? The call has been made on Daily Kos. A few of my Kossack friends joined me at DFA Training last month, and they are ready to get the netroots involved in grassroots politics.

So what will come out of this? Hopefully, a whole lot of good work! I encourage our online friends, especially those of them in Southern California, to help us local activists in kicking some Dirty Gary arse and bringing some integrity back to the 42nd District!

Part Two: The Party

Nothing really prepared me for this. The California Democratic Party is actually doing something in the 42nd... And the 44th, as well as the 41st! It's started the "Triangle of Corruption", a web site that will keep track of all the dirty wrongdoings of Gary Miller, Ken Calvert, and Jerry Lewis. Way to go, CDP!

Part Three: The Other Challenger?

Oh my goodness, you just have to see this bit of salacious gossip that Art Pedroza included in this week's "OC Political Chismes"! Apparently, there's word out here that Lynn Daucher may run against Dirty Gary in the Republican Primary next June. Yes, you heard me right... Lynn Daucher!

So will Miss "Shopping for the Right District" end up running where she actually lives? I don't know. Still, it would be nice to see Lynn run for office representing a place where she actually resides.

Part Four: The Candidate

Oh yes, and take a look at this, why dont you? No, Ron isn't trying to take a jab at John Kerry. He's just talking about how much the Daily Kos community contributes to Democratic victory. Go ahead and take another look at Ron's latest Daily Kos diary... You might start thinking differently about "those crazy bloggers".

Part Five: And Finally...

Here's another rule that Dirty Gary broke! Cheese louise, he wore a hawaiian shirt inside the halls of Congress?! Not only does he have no respect for decorum, but he doesn't even have any good taste! ; )

Monday, July 30, 2007

Dirty Gary Makes the "Triangle of Corruption"

Hot off the presses from the California Democratic Party, via The Liberal OC:


Sacramento – The California Democratic Party today unveiled its new website feature “Triangle of Corruption” to remind voters that unfortunately, in the three Southern California congressional districts of Jerry Lewis, Gary Miller, and Ken Calvert, the GOP “Culture of Corruption” is alive and well.

The site features news coverage, commentary, blog items and additional information related to the three Southland Republicans, each of whom is under Federal investigation – Lewis, for his role in the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal; Miller, for several questionable land deals among other issues; and Calvert, also for his role in dubious land sales.

“Last November, voters across the United States resoundingly rejected the Republican Culture of Corruption,” said Senator Art Torres (Ret.), Chairman of the California Democratic Party. “Sadly, that message of reform seems to have gone in one ear and out the other of Representatives Lewis, Miller and Calvert. We’re here to make sure that the voice of the voters is heard loud and clear.”

The website will be continuously updated with new information and developments leading up to the 2008 congressional elections.

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dirty Gary is too cool for Congress

Apparently, five terms in Congress isn't quite enough for Dirty Gary miller to know Congress' dress code. From Roll Call (subscription):

Granted, it is summer, when dress codes tend to get a little looser in the face of Washington's starched-shirt- wilting heat. But a slipper-clad Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) apparently took the summer casual look a little too far and he got a dressing down for, well, dressing down!

ROLL CALL reports: During a House vote at about 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Miller strode onto the floor wearing a look better suited to a backyard cookout than the House chamber: a loose-fitting Hawaiian shirt, linen pants and slippers.

The sartorial faux pas even prompted Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who was presiding over the chamber at the time, to weigh in: "The chair must remind Members that the proper standard of dress in the chamber is business attire, which includes both coat and tie for gentlemen."

Time for Ron Shepston to provide decent representation to the voters of the 42nd.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Take This Final Chance for DFA Campaign Academy This Weekend!

Something amazing is happening tomorrow. DFA Campaign Academy is coming to Southern California! Tomorrow, progressive activists from all over Southern California will be coming to Orange County to learn how to win next year and in future elections. And guess what? All of us activists will be learning from the experts who know a thing or two on how to win.

Oh, and here's some more good news. Even though registration for attendance is already at 160 people, DFA is still accepting sign-ups for tomorrow! That's right, even if you haven't signed up yet, you can still come to DFA Training!

So what's happening at DFA Training? Follow me down below for more...

(Cross-posted at Calitics and The Liberal OC, and Daily Kos)

So what's in store for this weekend? Well, why not look at the curriculum to find out?! Learn how to fundraise! Learn how to target voters in your neighborhood with new and imporved online tools ready for you to start using! Learn how to use communicate your message better in your local area! Take advantage of this opportunity to learn all this and more this weekend!

OK, so why exactly is this important? Why should we learn all these campaign stuff, especially if we're not in an area where progressives can win? Actually, that's why we need to all go to the training this weekend! For far too long, many Democrats have written off areas like Orange County and the Inland Empire as "hopelessly Republican". But you know what? We can change this!

Ron Shepston may already be doing this as he's getting his campaign started in the 42nd Congressional District. Now what could possibly be a better way for all of us in Southern California to help Ron out than to go to DFA Campaign Academy and learn how we can convince our neighbors in CA-42 to support Ron? Ron will need people to can take a progressive message, and communicate it in a way that catches the attention of people who may not know much about politics. Ron will need people to help him raise money. Ron will need plenty of help from us if we want to see him win next year, so let's learn how we can make that happen this weekend!

OK, so you're nowhere near Orange County? And you don't live near the 42nd District? That's fine. Please come anyways, as it's also important that you learn how to get Democrats elected and promote the progressive agenda in your neighborhood! Perhaps if you sign up now, you can also still catch a hotel room available if you need one. It's important that we build up Democratic infrastructure everywhere, so let's get started this weekend! Let's go to the training and learn what we need to know to gegin building that infrastructure we need to win!

So who's with me on this? I've already signed up for the training. Have you? Well then, you can still sign up! The training's only $70... That includes lunch for both days and all the workshops you want inside! Oh yes, and this is your chance to meet some of the finest progressive Democrats in the entire region. So what are you waiting for? Sign up to come tomorrow and join the fun! ;-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CA-42: I'm Ron Shepston and I'm running for Congress

(Also found at Daily Kos and The Liberal OC)

Today, something truly amazing is happening. A blogger is announcing that he's running for Congress. And oh yes, his campaign is growing organically from the world of blogs. This is something that we've never seen before, but hopefully something that we won't ever see again.

And on this note, I'd like for you to see this announcement from a good friend of mine named Ron Shepston. He's a long-time blogger, brave military veteran, and trusted Orange County Democrat who's challenging ethically challenged Republican incumbent Rep. Gary Miller in the 42nd District. And today, he's come here to The Liberal OC to share with you why he's making this announcement today that he's running.

So without further adieu, here's Ron Shepston:

Caution is preferable to rash bravery - Sir John Falstaff, King Henry the Fourth, Part I

Falstaff may be beloved, but he was not who you wanted leading you into battle. Political challengers today need to be brave, brash, maybe even a little rash.

In World War II, when the gates came down in LCVPs (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel), exposing the marines and soldiers inside to uncounted barrages of fire, they didn't sit around discussing whether it was prudent to charge ahead with the goal of defeating a formidable enemy. No one had to order them to go to give their lives; they just did it. They had a world to save and they gave their lives for a cause they believed in.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket(Wikipedia)

Today, those of us who would defend the Constitution have a new fight. Today, as a Democrat, a veteran, and a longtime member of the internet grassroots (or netroots) community, I’m marching off to that fight.

I’m running for Congress.

My campaign manager, Greg Diamond says that he likes this photo of me that he took at the Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade, where I marched with the Democratic Party of Orange County, and that it has to appear near the top of the diary so people know who’s talking to them. Here you go.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Now let’s talk about my campaign.

I'm running because Congress has let the President stomp on the Constitution, balloon the deficit, and get us stuck in a misbegotten war. Gary Miller seems to see his position in Congress mostly as a way to make money for his friends. I swore an oath to defend the Constitution when I was in the Air Force during Viet Nam (1966-1970), and that's why I'm going to run. I'm going to swear another oath to defend the Constitution as a Congressman. I didn't see combat then, but that doesn't stop me from fighting now and when I get to Congress.

No one has elected me to “represent the netroots” in a run for Congress, but I think my opinions on issues reflect those of the broad community. I want us out of Iraq and back to making the alliances with other countries that we /need/ to fight terrorism. I want single-payer health insurance that is available to all. I want a government that respects scientific facts – in global warming and otherwise – rather than fantasies that give them some political advantage – in making policy decisions. But if there is one issue that motivates me above all others, it’s this:

I want to defend the Constitution and the rule of law – while we can.

There are forces in and out of our elected government who think that they have the right to ignore our laws and the fundamental basis for American values. We see it with signing statements, defying subpoenas, ignoring constitutional amendments, evading Congressional oversight, and flouting federal law. While this President and Vice-President have stomped on the Constitution, my opponent, Gary Miller, has held their coats.

I’ve been around for a long time and I have never before seen such a concerted effort on the part of a political party to subvert our precious and beloved form of government. Not even Nixon. At least Nixon had the honor to leave after even Republicans told him that it was that or be impeached and removed from office. As I've written here, in effect Bush and his associates have been instituting something like a slow coup against our very system of government. Their monarchical vision of our government is not how our system is supposed to work; we must restore our system to its proper form.

Democrats have control of the House – and control of the Senate when Joe Lieberman is thinking straight – which gives them a lot of power. It’s not total power, but it’s more than they use. Our party has the power to inform and rally and lead Americans. But too many members of our party convince themselves that it’s best to play it safe and wait until 2008, when they hope that things will all get better.

I think that's wrong. I think that we need to take the fight to the enemies of our Constitution.

Think back again to the Marines and Army storming the beaches of Normandy. Imagine where we'd be if they stayed in their LSIs and waited for the enemy to leave! It's time that we metaphorically storm the beaches of government and take our country back from the enemy who would destroy it for their own purposes.

If we storm all fronts, from the Water Board to every single Congressional District, we will overwhelm the enemies of the rule of law. We will make America a better place and restore our values, honor and dignity in the world – and thus our public safety as well.

I want to part of the second landing wave. The first wave consisted of Jon Tester and Jim Webb, of John Hall, Paul Hodes, Nancy Boyda, Jeremy Kalin, California's own Jerry McNerney and others who were encouraged – some say in part put into office – by the blogosphere. It consisted too of people like Daily Kos blogger Brian Keeler, who fired a shot across the bow of those who cling to power without serving the public good. We were part of the solution in 2006. I believe that we’re helping to foster a fundamental change in America.

I've been part of the netroots community for 2-1/2 years. I'm not a candidate coming to the netroots for support; I’m a candidate coming from the netroots. I believe that I’m the first “homegrown” netroots candidate to run a viable campaign for the United States Congress. I won't be the last.

This is not a vanity or protest campaign. California’s 42nd district is Republican-dominated, but increasingly independent – which means that it’s full of people who think like Democrats whom we have to convince to vote the way they think. It’s a district I can win. The local party establishment supports me. My opponent, Gary Miller, has been swimming so long in the ethical cesspool of Congressional privilege that he’s grown gills. He’s vulnerable – but no one was on the ballot against him in 2006. No local elected politician in the district – which has too few elected Democrats – is running against him next year. So I’ve rashly stepped up and strapped up; now I’m going to show up and make people sit up and pay attention.

Part of why my campaign will be noticed – one reason that it has captured the interest of people outside of the blogosphere – is that I am from the netroots and they’ve seen what it can accomplish. There has been a group of longtime netroots activists, dare I say "blog celebrities", who have been part of an incredible brain trust so far, and there are many others who've been part of this by means of offering their support and good wishes and still keeping it a "secret". Long-time "Kossack" (as Daily Kos members are often referred to as) Major Danby (aka Greg Diamond) will be managing my campaign full-time. You’ll be reading a lot of stories about the campaign from them in the days to come on places like Daily Kos, Calitics, The Liberal OC, and right here.

My aim in this campaign is to bring the netroots to the many wonderful people I’ve been meeting in the grassroots, and to bring back to the netroots some of what they have to offer. With the spirit and broad expertise of the netroots and the local knowledge and drive of the grassroots, I think we can create something different and new.

I will come here looking for money like other candidates do; for the netroots to come out strongly for my campaign will get attention throughout the political world. But today, having just announced, is not the day for a hard sell. I’ll just say this: if you’d like to be among the first to contribute to my campaign, please go to my ActBlue page. The amount of money that people donate, and the number of people donating, will for better or worse dictate much of the reaction that the world beyond the netroots will have towards my campaign. To show them that we have a chance, we need to show them that we have a base.

This is not just about one candidate or one campaign, but about building a movement. It's about the netroots making connections with the grassroots, and with the voting public. The future of our movement is everywhere in the country, in whatever races we choose to focus our efforts. It's about re-establishing the rule of law. It's about defending America and American ideals. Are we ready to do that together?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CA-42: The Campaign Manager Reveals Himself

I am so honored to present something VERY special here at The Liberal OC. A friend of mine from that Big Orange place, Major Danby, has a important announcement that he'd like to share with all of us at The Liberal OC... He will be managing the historic netroots-grassroots campaign against Dirty Gary Miller in the 42nd Congressional District! Wow, is that amazing or what??!!

So without further adieu, here's Major Danby, making his BIG announcement at Daily Kos. : )

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Case Against Dirty Gary Miller

Gary Miller is corrupt. We know that. But why should we be working to unseat him? Why should we invest our resources in a "safe red district" and try to turn it blue next year? Why should we think we have a chance to win in the 42nd Congressional District?

The best way to answer this question is to answer two other questions. Why should we allow such a corrupt individual to stay in office? And what has Gary Miller done for his constituents that has earned him the privilege of earning our votes for reelection? Once we figure out these answers, we can answer those other questions.

You may be surprised by these answers, so follow me down below for more...

(Cross-posted at Calitics and The Liberal OC)

Well, let's start by answering the corruption question. He'll skirt the law and evade paying his taxes in order to enrich himself on the taxpayers' dime. Now how's that for someone who's supposed to be such a better patriot than those "America-hating Defeatocrats"?

Oh, and who is Gary Miller really working for in Congress? Looking at all the earmarks he's put into legislation and where he's directing these federal funds, the answer is quite clear. He's bought and paid for by the Lewis Group, a real estate development company in Upland. Whatever the Lewis Group wants, Gary Miller delivers... Even if it calls for money spent in Victorville, which is nowhere near the district! Now why would Gary Miller direct federal funds to one interchange in Victorville? Oh yes, that's right... The Lewis Group had a new development right off the 15 in Victorville!

And oh my, look how rewarding all this work has been for Dirty Gary Miller! Look how the Lewis Group has paid him back for all his service. How precious. But you know what? Gary Miller may focus on what's best for his bottom line and the Lewis Group's bottom line, but he's not taking care of what's best for the voters of his own district.

So when did Dirty Gary Miller forget why he's supposed to be in Congress? Doesn't he remember that he's supposed to serve the voters who send him to Washington to represent their interests? Now is it in their interest that Gary Miller abuse "eminent domain land sales" in order to avoid paying the taxes that provide for our national security, our transportation infrastructure, our schools, our parks, and so much more? Is it in their interest that Gary Miller ignore the local needs of the district in order to deliver the desires of out-of-district developers?

What about traffic relief on our freeways? What about helping out our schools in a way that doesn't allow the federal government to take over our schools? What about doing something about the coming climate catastrophe that may not only hurt our businesses, but threaten our very lives? What about ending this failed war in Iraq that has claimed so many of our brave soldiers' lives, and all for our troops to be caught in the midst of someone else's civil war? These are issues that the people in the 42nd District care about, yet these are the issues that Gary Miller ignores as he misuses his power to enrich himself and his developer friends.

So what can be done about this? We can tell all our family, friends, and neighbors about how Gary Miller isn't serving us. I'm doing my part on Trash Dirty Gary, a local blog dedicated to exposing Gary Miller's dirty record AND letting local voters know that we have a better option. Oh yes, and I'll also be uncovering Gary Miller's dirt AND talking about this better option over at The Liberal OC.

OK, so what is this better option that voters have in the 42nd? We can replace Gary Miller with someone who actually wants to serve us! There's an election next year, and Dirty Gary thinks he'll get an easy ride, as he's in a "Safe Republican District". But Gary Miller has offended Republicans, Democrats, AND Independents in the district by ignoring our local needs while he enriches himself at taxpayers' expense. And if the Democrats in Washington think that Dirty Gary can't get away with his high crimes against the voters of the 42nd Congressional District, why should we?

And guess what! That's where YOU come in. Yesterday, you found out that a blogger will be challenging Dirty Gary in the 42nd. Tomorrow, you'll meet the campaign manager for this special candidate. And on Wednesday, you'll meet this very candidate. And right now, all I can tell you is that this candidate lives in the district, and this candidate actually cares about what's best for the people in this district.

So until then, I rest my case. Gary Miller is guilty of being a corrupt crook who has failed the voters of the 42nd District. And I think we can all take care of his sentence by doing what we can to help this campaign to restore honor and integrity to our Congressional Office! : )

Sunday, July 15, 2007

CA-42: A Blogger Runs for Congress

In case you haven't done so already, go see this story on Calitics! Apparently, we may finally have a candidate to take on Dirty Gary Miller in the 42nd Congressional District. Oh yes, and this candidate is a blogger on Daily Kos! How wild is that?!

OK, OK, so my friends and I have some big surprises to share with you this week. All I can tell you right now is this: By Wednesday, you'll know who will be challenging Gary Miller AND the person managing this campaign! Now is that exciting, or what?

And is it just me, or should Dirty Gary start worrying about where he'll find a new job in 2009? ; )

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Take This Last Chance for DFA Training!

What are you looking to do over the next year or so? Want to organize for universal health care? Want to campaign for your favorite Democratic Presidential Candidate? Want to manage your best friend's campaign for Congress? Want to just know what all your friends at DFA are talking about whenever election time approaches? Whatever you plan to do in politics, you need to learn how to be better at it by joining us at DFA Training Academy on July 21-22 in Irvine!

Oh yes, and I should say this. If you haven't registered yet, this is your last chance to sign up to attend! We're nearing our maximum attendance limit of 150, and the actual training is barely more than a week away. If you're in Southern California and you haven't yet signed up, take this last opportunity to learn how progressives can win, and how YOU can be a part of it!

Follow me down below to find out why you shouldn't pass up on this last chance to learn how to be a force for change in your community...

(Cross-posted at Ditch Crazy Dana and Obama OC)

So what will we be learning about at DFA Training Academy? Take a look at the curriculum! Learn how to fund raise! Learn how to target voters! Learn how to use the media to your advantage! Find out all the new organizing tools available that are easier than ever to use! And find it all at the training academy!

OK, so there's plenty of serious stuff to learn. How much fun can one have here? Well, plenty! We have a very special social night ready for you on Saturday, the 21st. What do we have planned? Well, sign up for the training and get ready for a pleasant surprise! And oh yes, don't forget how much fun you'll have in meeting new progressive pals from all over Southern California! Who knows? Maybe you'll meet some neighbors who you never thought were also Democrats. ; )

So we have a great curriculum and a great chance to meet fellow local activists. Where the heck can one stay for the night? And what about food? Don't worry. If you're coming in from some far away location like Santa Barbara or San Bernardino or San Diego, there's a hotel room reserved just for you. And lunch is provided for Saturday AND Sunday. But again, this is only available for a limited time!

So what more can you ask for? You have a hotel room (if you need one). You have lunch plans. You have trainers ready to help you become a campaign rock star. And you have a whole lot of progressive activists who want to meet you. What more can you ask for? Take this last chance to sign up for DFA Training!

Trust me, you won't regret it. ; )

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Another Groovy Surf City Independence Day!

(Cross-posted at Obama OC, Ditch Crazy Dana, and Calitics)

History was made again yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Huntington Beach once again for the Fourth of July Parade. And once again, the OC Democrats had a fantastic time being a part of the largest Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi River. And the party didn't stop when the parade ended, as local activists pitched up tent by the pier to wake up the neighbors, and let them know about the importance of next year's election. All in all, we all had a great time!

Follow me after the flip as I take you on a tour of the biggest and best party one could be at on the Fourth of July!

For twenty-five years, the Democratic Party of Orange County has been a part of the parade. And every year, we continue to delight the crowds with our rockin' music and jubilant marchers. This year's theme of our float was "Opportunity, Diversity, & Freedom", and boy could everyone see all that and more yesterday! We had young Democrats and long-time Democrats who are still young at heart. We had gay Democrats and straight Democrats. We had black Democrats, brown Democrats, and white Democrats. We had Democrats supporting Barack Obama, Democrats supporting John Edwards, Democrats supporting Hillary Clinton, and Democrats supporting other Democratic Candidates for President. And what brought all us Democrats together yesterday was that we're all part of the Democratic Party of Orange County, and that we all stand for the right of working families in Orange County to have that opportunity to succeed.

So who was there yesterday? Here I am (left to right) with our newest OC Democrat Mitch Star, the one & only Mike Lawson of The Liberal OC, and Elizabeth and Jason of Orange County Young Democrats (OCYD).

Here I am with (left to right) Garden Grove City Council Candidate Paul Lucas, Mitch, and Mike.

Here's Former State Senator & Current California Medical Association CEO Joe Dunn with some young Democrats as they prepare for the moment of truth.

Here I am with the great Vern Nelson, the fearless Orange County organizer for Healthcare for All California.

And here's the float in action!

Now all these great Democrats were a part of the parade, but they weren't the only Democrats busy in Surf City! Obama OC laid out some blankets on the beach by the pier, put up a canopy, and got to work registering new voters and letting others in the 'hood know about Barack Obama and the 2008 Election. We had over 30 new registrations yesterday, including a Republican and a Green who switched to Democrat because they've been inspired by Obama. And of course, we had dozens more come on over to our beach party, just to talk to us about the election and show their appreciation of us being out in the community.

OK, so a few of us Obama Girls did manage to get in the parade! ; )

And here's our great booth!

Oh yeah, and could we have possibly held a beach party at a better location than this? : )

Yep, I'd say that yesterday was a huge success for OC Democrats! At the parade, we let the community know that we're 454,000 voters strong and we're making a difference for working families in this county. At the beach party, Obama OC showed the folks by the pier that there are progressives who care enough about changing the same old politics of despair and destruction that we get out in the community and let them know that hope is still here. Now what could be more American than this?

Perhaps a terrific fireworks show? What the heck, why not! ; )

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another Reason to Go to the Surf City Fourth of July Parade

I've heard that one of the candidates looking to challenge Dirty Gary Miller will be a part of the parade. Hmmm, I wonder what this means. Well, there's only one way to find out. Go to Huntington Beach on Wednesday and find out what all the buzz is about! : )

March With the Democrats at the Surf City Fourth of July Parade!

(Cross-posted at Ditch Crazy Dana and Obama OC)

What do you think of when you think "Fourth of July"? The American flag, perhaps? Fireworks? Independence? Apple pie? Ice cream? The beach? A parade? Well, what if I told you that you can experience all of that AND MORE on Wednesday?!

Yes, my friends, this Wednesday is July 4th. And yes, this means it's time for the Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade, THE LARGEST INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER! And guess what? The Democratic Party of Orange County will once again have a fantastic float in the parade! Oh yes, and our fabulous Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez will be marching with us! Oh yes, and we need more people to march with us in the parade. Come on now, don't YOU want to be a part of the parade?

So would YOU like to be a part of this world-famous All-American celebration? Follow me down below for more...

For the past 28 years, OC Democrats have been a part of this VERY OC tradition. We've had local elected officials like Former State Senator Joe Dunn and current State Senator Lou Correa join us in the parade. We always have the Young Democrats dancing on the float. Oh yes, and how about that float? Live music. Festive decorations. The American Spirit. What more could you possibly want?

So why NOT go? Join in on the fun. Just remember to COME EARLY TO FIND PARKING. Here are some details on what will be happening, courtesy of The Liberal OC:

The parade begins at 10:00 A.M. and ends at 12:30 P.M. Democrats begin gathering at 7:30 A.M. to march. We will have shuttle cars to take you to the staging area or to the handicap cheering section.

Shuttle Starts: 7:00 A.M.
Last Shuttle: 9:00 A.M.

Please come early, the traffic gets very busy and we cannot transport everyone at the last minute.

For parking and shuttling, drive to Seacliff Village, located at Goldenwest and Yorktown. Look for the Del Taco fast food restaurant. Then look for the signs saying “Democratic Parking.”

Oh yes, and before I forget, we should all remember that all marchers with the Democratic Party of Orange County entry must wear red T-shirts or polo shirts and blue jean or dark/navy blue shorts or pants. Get it? Got it? Good.

Well, I'm picking out my red shirt and blue jean shorts. How about you? The Fourth of July Parade may only be once a year, but it's something that give us great memories to last us all year long. Why not be a part of these great memories?

To participate, simply show up!

If you have any questions, please contact Caren Bolinger at 310-293-8320 or email her at
: )

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"Ask a Mexican" at Canyon Democrats!

OK, how many of you know "The Mexican"? Well, do you want a chance to meet one of the greatest writers to ever emerge from "Behind the Orange Curtain"? Then go to Canyon Democrats on Tuesday to see him!

The speaker for this meeting will be The Mexican himself, Gustavo Arellano.

Though best known for his syndicated weekly "Ask a Mexican" column appearing in the OC Weekly, Arellano also writes investigative articles and restaurant reviews for the OC Weekly and opinion pieces for the Los Angeles Times and other publications. An Orange County native, he is a frequent guest on KCRW's "Which Way LA?" and has appeared on the Colbert Report, Nightline, and other television programs.

Arellano will be signing copies of his new book of "Ask a Mexican" essays.

Come on, now! You know you want to see "The Mexican"! You know you want all your "spicy questions" answered. Go to Canyon Democrats on Tuesday, get local, and have a little fun while doing it! ; )

Monday, June 11, 2007

Missed Us on the Radio? Catch the Podcast, And Tune in Next Week!

Were you able to listen to the premiere of "Red, White, & Burke" yesterday? Did you have a chance to call into the show? Did you get to listen to the person who may be challenging Dirty Gary Miller next year?

Well, you can still listen to the show! Yesterday's show is now in the online archives. Go ahead and listen now, or download the podcast and play it in whatever you use to play mp3 files later.

So would you like a little sneak peek as to what we talked about on the air yesterday? And would you like to know who will be coming on to Ken Burke's radio show soon? Well then, follow me down below for more...

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

So what did we talk about yesterday? Well, we talked about some of things that have been happening here at Trash Dirty Gary. We talked about the infamous Monrovia land deal. We talked about Gary Miller's rather special relationship with the Lewis Group.

Oh yes, and we talked with that special candidate who may be challenging Gary Miller next year. And what did he say? Well, you'll have to listen to the program to find that out! ; )

But wait, it gets better! If you thought the premiere week was good, then you'll just have to keep listening to the show! Next week, none other than Congressional Candidate Steve Young will be appearing on the program! Steve ran in Orange County's 48th District last year, and he'll likely be giving John Campbell another run for his money next year. He'll be talking about our need to bring our troops home from Bush's occupation of Iraq soon, and of our need to care for the troops once they're home.

Oh yes, and I'm sure he'll also be talking about that Victory Politics Institute.

And yes, I'm sure there will be plenty more good guests to come. Keep on listening to the show. Keep on calling, and telling Ken Burke what's on your mind. And I'll keep you in the know on who will be on the show soon. : )

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Are Republicans Having Enough of the Scandal?

"When your seat is so safe that you're not concerned about perception, you become too wedded to Washington and you lose touch with your constituency, and you lose touch with your real purpose."

Want to guess who said that? Believe it or not, that was Karen Hanretty, a Republican strategist and former California Republican Party spokeswoman. And she was talking to the AP (via The Guardian [UK]) about the lovely Republican Congresscritters like John Doolittle and Gary Miller who
have been caught up in some naughty behavior lately. So what's happening? Are even Republicans starting to desert these crooked cons?

Follow me down below for more...

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

So what's happening? Are the Republicans finally waking up and smelling the strychnine? Is the culture of corruption finally too much for them?

The ethics cloud is discouraging the party faithful who've already watched the GOP shrink to minority status in California. And they add to the dilemmas of Republican strategists aiming to retake Congress next year following election losses blamed partly on GOP ethics problems.

``There is a sort of feeling among Republican activists who work hard to elect Republicans of, 'What the heck is going on here?''' said Los Angeles GOP analyst Allan Hoffenblum.

So I guess they're finally asking the questions that we've been asking all along. What the heck is going on here?

Why has Gary Miller been mixing his personal real estate business with his duty as a member of Congress to serve his constituents? Why has he put the desires of a developer in Upland over the needs of the people in his own district? And why the heck did he lie about "eminent domain" regarding that Monrovia land deal?

But of course, Gary Miller isn't the only crooked GOPer here. We also have Jerry Lewis. And John Doolittle. And Ken Calvert. Well, you get the picture. Thanks to all the sleazebags in Congress, California Republicans are in crisis mode.

No wonder why they're such a liability. Even Mr. FlashReport has to admit it:

But their problems make them less valuable allies for Republican presidential candidates looking to compete in California's primary, newly advanced to February. And the ethics clouds discourage a GOP base already chafing at moderate Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's constant compromises with Democrats.

``This is presenting a huge distraction from the debate over ideas that really needs to happen in terms of who's going to control Congress,'' said Jon Fleischman, a GOP activist in Orange County. ``It creates a degree of cynicism that is certainly real.''

Well, I wouldn't consider it a distraction, Mr. Fleischman. If anything, it shows the true colors of these so-called "conservatives". They're more interested in conserving and expanding their personal wealth and power than they are in serving the voters in their districts. That actually plays a huge part in the debate of ideas. It just so happens that all of their "ideas" are just business deals that benefit themselves and are a rip-off to the people they're supposed to serve.

No wonder why even Republicans are starting to have enough of these crooks.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Calitics Blogger and Special Candidate (?) To Be Guests on New Radio Show

Hey, have you heard the big news? We have a new progressive radio show in Southern California! The Liberal OC reported yesterday that longtime Orange County Democratic activist Ken Burke now has his own radio show on Sundays at a local radio station in the Inland Empire.

Now today, I have some more good news for all of you. One of our very own local bloggers at Calitics and Trash Dirty Gary will be among the guests on the very first "Red, White, and Burke" show. Yes, I will be on the radio to talk about Orange County/Inland Empire Congressman Gary Miller (R-Culture of Corruption), his many scandals, and why we need new representation in the 42nd Congressional District.

But wait, that's not all! I hear that there will be another special guest on Ken's radio show at noon on Sunday. I've heard that someone who'd like to challenge Gary Miller next year will also be on the air on Sunday. This might be a chance for all of us to learn more about just how serious of a challenge Dirty Gary might get next year. I know I'm looking forward to it!

But wait, there's more! Follow me down below to find out how YOU can participate in this very special radio show on Sunday...

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

So would you like to be a part of Ken Burke's first radio show? Do you have a question that you'd like to ask this candidate looking to challenge Gary Miller should this candidate come on the air? Would you just like to say hi to me, and tell us that you just love reading the blog? Well, call into the radio show, and let Ken know that you're listening!

Call (909) 888-5222 to talk to us on the show!

And oh yes, if you're in the Inland Empire, you can listen to the show on KCAA at 1050 on the AM dial. The show is now on every Sunday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. Perhaps you can even get the signal from Los Angeles or Orange County if you try.

But if you don't live in the signal area, then don't worry. You can listen to the radio show online! And if you can't listen on Sunday, then get the podcast later. This just might be a program that you won't want to miss! : )

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It's a Strange, Strange World in Mission Viejo

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

Strange things happen here in the Land of the OC, behind "The Orange Curtain". I got an email from a friend today. And I just couldn't believe what was in it. Gila from The Liberal OC also got the email, and I'll let her tell you the rest as I'm still a little shocked...

“Today I saw a guy driving down the street in Mission Viejo with two bumper stickers. On the right was one for Earth First and on the left was one for Jim Gilchrist.”

That wasn’t the entire email, but the remainder can be summed up as “WTF?”

What do you think, readers? What causes these two disparate ideas to be adhered to a single OC automobile bumper? Is it the result of confusion, multiple personality disorder, or parking lot vandalism?

Yes, my dear Trash Dirty Gary readers, how can one exactly explain this? Are the far-right Minutemen fans now waking up and smelling the climate crisis? Is environmental consciousness now something that no one can really ignore? Or is this the result of confusion, multiple personality disorder, and/or vandalism, as Gila suggested?

Please help us understand! ; )

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Miller Playing the Blame Game

(cross-posted at D-Day)

My friends at the D-Trip passed this along to me:

Congressman Gary Miller (R-CA-42), under scrutiny for a shady land deal and introduction of legislation that benefited campaign supporters and business partners, is now attempting to the blame the cities and counties he represents for his legal and ethical problems.

In a letter sent to newspapers in his district, Gary Miller stated that he was implementing a new office policy: cities and counties seeking federal funding must submit documentation stating that the community would be the sole beneficiary of the project.

This is positively Orwellian. Miller brokers all sorts of side deals with cities and counties in his district which end up personally benefiting him. Then, when he gets caught, he tries to blame the cities and counties which were forced to play ball with him in the first place. Miller forced the city of Monrovia to sell his parcel of land and then claimed eminent domain status to save himself millions in taxes. Changing office policy won't impact that in the least. The cities aren't the problem - Miller is.

More from the Whittier Daily News:

Reacting to what he calls "unfounded allegations in the press that I have used my office to benefit certain individuals or private business," Rep. Gary Miller said Thursday he has adopted a strict new rule for cities or counties who come to him seeking federal aid.

"From this point forward," he wrote in a letter to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, "any city or county submitting an appropriations request to my office will be required to certify in writing that the request is for the benefit of the community and not the specific benefit of any individual, organization or business entity."

In early 2005, the San Dimas Republican recommended adding three provisions to a transportation bill that would have benefited projects proposed by real estate developer Lewis Operating Corp.

In those same months, Miller, who ran for re-election unopposed, took $8,100 in campaign contributions from top executives at Lewis.

How dare these cities and counties force Miller to enrich his friends! I'm sure this new directive will put a stop to that!

This is my favorite part:

"To avoid even the appearance of impropriety," he wrote, "I have added this new certification requirement to the rigorous review process that is already in place in my office.

"If you have any suggestions as to how these certification requirements might be strengthened or improved, I would certainly appreciate your thoughts."

Who wants to send him some ideas?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Again with the “illegal hero” thing

(via Gila Jones. Cross-posted at The Liberal OC.)

In his weekly newsletter, FBI investigation subject and OC Congressman Gary Miller (R-Sleaze) writes,

“Currently, babies born on U.S. soil to illegal aliens automatically become U.S. citizens. Congressman Miller has joined more than 40 of his colleagues in again cosponsoring the Birthright Citizenship Act, which would deny citizenship at birth to children born in the United States to parents who are not citizens or legal permanent resident aliens. Specifically, this bill requires a child to have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident alien, or an alien performing active service in our armed forces in order to gain birthright citizenship.”

So once again we have a Republican who doesn’t think we should “reward” illegal entrants with amnesty, but takes the opposite approach for those willing to enlist in the service. Legally, however, only citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) can join our military. To enlist without meeting this criterion requires the commission of a fraud. Is Miller saying fraud should be sanctioned and rewarded?

And if Miller agrees with those who assert illegal immigrants are horrible people who we should harass, shout at, and deport immediately, why does he advocate accepting them in our military and allowing their children citizenship?

There are other problems with Miller’s proposal. It’s likely to cause pregnant women who are illegal immigrants to lie about who their babies’ fathers are, and possibly create a cottage industry of men who will willingly claim fatherhood for a small fee. And what happens to abandoned infants whose parentage is unknown?

Furthermore, Miller’s proposal doesn’t address the issue of refugees and others who are in the U.S. legally but are not permanent residents. There are a large variety of legal immigration statuses, and “permanent resident” is only one.

But most tragically, the “Birthright Citizenship Act” will worsen a problem the UN’s High Commissioner on Human Rights has been working on for decades: Statelessness.

The practice of conferring citizenship on native-born individuals, regardless of their parentage, is not universal. However, many of the countries who don’t follow this practice are those with a generally poor attitude toward civil and human rights. Among these are North Korea, Jordan, China, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Bahrain, Cambodia, Egypt, Serbia, Iran, Armenia, Liberia, Croatia, Syria, South Africa, Vietnam, and Bulgaria.

Who among us wants this country to be associated with the practices of those on the above list?

I guess Gary Miller does.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Why Doesn't Gary Miller Want to End This War?

How many of you get the "Capitol Connection"? It's Gary Miller's weekly newsletter. You can sign up to have it delivered in your email inbox every Friday at Gary Miller's official Congressional web site.

But anyways, in his latest newsletter Miller tries to explain his latest vote to continue George W. Bush's failed war in Iraq through the summer:

After more than a hundred days of delay, the House on Thursday finally passed a responsible troop funding bill to meet the needs of our men and women in uniform. The measure funds ongoing combat operations in the War on Terror and protects members of our military from harm by providing added funds for body armor and mine resistant vehicles. Congressman Miller was proud to support this bill because, unlike previous legislation, it does not tie the hands of our commanders on the ground or set a date for surrender. Following passage by the Senate, the bill now heads to the President’s desk where it is expected to be signed into law shortly.

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

Meet the needs of our men and women in uniform? Added funds for body armor and mine resistant vehicles? Tie the hands of commanders on the ground? Bush didn't provide for ANY of that until the Democrats in Congress offered legislation that fully supported the troops. But of course, Bush could not sign that legislation because that legislation also included provisions that would redeploy our troops out of Bush's failed war in Iraq and refocus our resources on actually combating terrorism.

Bush's stubbornness, which was enabled by members of Congress like Gary Miller who sustained Bush's veto of this important legislation, has resulted in this final legislation. And while it does provide for better equipment for our troops than Bush initially wanted, it still keeps them stuck in the midst of a civil war that our troops shouldn't be involved in. Thanks to Miller and all his colleagues who sustained Bush's veto, more of our brave soldiers will be dying for a failed state that George Bush created.

So why doesn't Gary Miller want to end this war? Why does he want to waste more of our tax dollars on George Bush's misguided attempt to promote "democracy" on the Middle East by gunpoint? Why does he want any more of our brave troops to die for a cause that we can't even determine any more? Why doesn't Gary Miller want to end this war?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Why Care About Corruption?

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

OK, so perhaps people in Southern California are finally starting to notice the immense corruption of members of Congress like Gary Miller, Ken Calvert, and Dana Rohrabacher. However, these everyday citizens and typical voters wonder how all this corruption applies to their typical everyday lives.

Why should they care about whatever Gary Miller did with some Lewis Group company in Upland? Why should they care about some land that Ken Calvert owned near March Air Force Base that just happened to benefit from Ken Calvert's earmarks? Why should they care about Dana Rohrabacher's Hollywood deals? How does any of this matter to people's everyday lives?

When all else fails, voters often choose the party of their choice by default. And though the Republican Party is becoming less attractive nationwide, a good plurality of voters in this area still identify themselves as Republican. They still think the GOP is the party of low taxes and fiscal responsibility. They pretty much set their political compass to autopilot, and they just don't have time to think too much about some silly politics in Washington.

And after all, who has the time to pay attention to these crazy political scandals? Who has time to drop everything in between the PTA meeting and the kids' soccer game, after a hard day of work and before that fancy dinner that's supposed to impress the new client, just to learn more about politics? Why does any of this matter?

That's the challenge here. In order for us to defeat these corrupt Republicans, we have to get our family, friends, and neighbors to realize how all of this corruption is personally affecting them. We have to let them know that all these earmarks that go to these pet projects that just happen to be near their real estate holdings mean money that's NOT being spent on real efforts to relieve traffic, such as improving local freeways and federal aid for commuter rail. We have to let them know that when these members of Congress try to weaken environmental laws, they are just taking away the parks and open space that we all love to hike through, bike through, and camp at, just so that they can make a little more money on their development projects. We have to make that personal connection, and make these folks realize that all that corruption in Washington really is making life more difficult for them at home in Fountain Valley and Mission Viejo and San Clemente.

That's the key here. We have to show to them that all this federal money being spent on these shady earmarks is money that's NOT being spent on the things that we care about. That money should go to our schools. That money should go to our parks. That money should go to our roads. Basically, that money should actually be spent toward helping our communities. These members of Congress should NOT spend that money, OUR MONEY, on projects solely meant to enrich themselves. They're wasting our time, and they're wasting our money. That's why we need to kick them out of Congress!

If we want to defeat Dirty Gary and Crazy Dana and Creepy Ken next year, we need to get these voters in these districts out of their comfort zone of apathy, and force them to see the futility of sending these scumbags back to Congress. We need to get these voters to start caring again. After all, what we don't like about politics will never go away if we never do anything to change it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It's Award Season!

So when you rip off city governments and the IRS, threaten to destroy neighborhoods to blackmail them into paying you off, and generally run roughshod over the laws governing fair business practices in this country, what does that get you? An award, of course!

MILLER HONORED: The National Association of Manufacturers has given its Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence to Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea.

The award, which was presented by a delegation of property managers visiting from Orange County, recognized Miller's efforts to provide tax relief for small businesses, reduce regulatory barriers to community development, and bolster the nation's housing market.

Yes, if there's ANYTHING that's bolstered the nation's housing market, a bubble now bursting at a real estate office near you, it's Republican policies.

Who are the National Association of Manufacturers, by the way? A right-wing lobbying outfit headed by former Michigan Governor John Engler. NAM's executive vice president is a guy named Michael Baroody, who the President wants to make the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That's right - a guy who helps run a lobbying group for manufacturers is going to be put in charge of regulating product safety for manufacturers! That's life in Brownie's America! And then there's this:

Amid growing scrutiny of the government's consumer safety record, lawmakers are focusing their fire on President Bush's nominee to run the Consumer Product Safety Commission: A Washington-based lobbyist for the nation's biggest manufacturers' association, whose members produce many of the items the commission regulates.

That criticism intensified Wednesday with news that Michael Baroody, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, will collect $150,000 in severance pay from the association if he accepts the new government regulatory post.

That is not a bribe and how dare you think so.

So this is the "ethically pure" organization that sees fit to give a corrupt sleazebag like Gary Miller an award. Birds of a feather...

Sunday, May 6, 2007

How to Turn This "Red District" Blue

Why should we be going after Gary Miller? Why should we bother with Dana Rohrabacher? Why should we be investing in building Democratic infrastructure in such "hopelessly red places" like South Orange County? Why should we be growing the progressive grassroots in such "strongly Republican towns" as Yorba Linda and Huntington Beach? Why should we even be talking about organizing in such "red counties" as Orange County?

Perhaps we should be organizing in these "red counties" because they are not actually as "hopelessly Republican" as we think they are. Perhaps we should take a second look at these red areas because they are fast turning purple, and have the potential to turn blue. Perhaps we should look at these areas because their populations are growing as the populations of such "safe blue areas" as San Francisco and Los Angeles are stagnating. Perhaps we should do something in these "red areas" because these regions are the key to keeping California blue.

So what can we do?

How about conversing with voters about environmental protection instead of talking down to them about it? Perhaps instead of simply lecturing voters in these regions on why we must protect our environment, talk with them about how environmental protection enhances our quality of life. Talk about preserving all those lovely ocean views, and about how a balanced climate is ultimately good for business. Believe me, people will listen. Huntington Beach has signed onto the US Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement. Brea has embraced the principles of "smart growth". And of course, Laguna Beach has always been a leader on environmental preservation. People here do value their quality of life. They appreciate clean beaches, clean water, pretty parks, and plenty of open space... And so do Democrats. We can make a connection here.

How about talking with voters about government's duty to protect the public good, and NOT to meddle in people's private lives? Many so-called "conservatives" in places like Orange County are really libertarian-minded people who just don't want government making decisions regarding their personal lives. Look at all the places in Orange County where Prop 85 lost. Many people here really are pro-choice, and they don't appreciate government involving itself in women's private medical decisions. People here really don't mind the gay and lesbian couples living in the neighborhood. However, they DO MIND government snooping in people's sex lives. People here appreciate safe neighborhoods, but they don't appreciate government searching their homes and businesses without any court warrant. People here want government to focus on such basic matters as keeping the neighborhoods safe, paving the roads, and beautifying the parks. They don't want government to intrude upon private personal matters. People in these "red counties" value freedom and civil liberties, and so do Democrats. We can make a connection here.

How about talking to voters about how tough it is for small businesses to make it these days? There are many small business owners in "red counties" like Orange County, and there are many things on their minds. These folks are concerned about providing health care for their workers, and they are concerned about their own health care. These folks are concerned about big-box stores like Wal-Mart moving into the community, and they don't know if they can compete with these big box stores and all their government subsidies. They are wondering how to stay competitive in such a tough business environment. These small business owners are concerned, and so are Democrats.

So why can't we connect better? Well, we haven't really tried before. Our state and national parties have never really bothered before to take another look at the "red counties", and see the purple inside. All too often, many Democratic leaders would rather just ignore places like Orange County while they continue to chase after a narrower and narrower set of "swing voters" in "swing regions". Well, how about expnading our base for once? How about investing in new areas, like Orange County, the Inland Empire, and San Diego County, where there are new opportunities for Democrats. Times are changing, and so are these communities. Let's start working here, and perhaps we change these corners of the map from red to blue. : )

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Why We Fight

Some people have wondered why we would focus on a Republicrook Congressman in the heart of red California, a district with a +13 PVI (Partisan Voting Index). Let me give you a textbook, big-picture example that shows you how everything is connected in politics, and that progressives can leave no voter behind.

Gary Miller faced no opposition in 2006. Despite that, he managed to rack up some campaign expenditures. Of course, a lot of them were for other campaigns.

Miller's expenditures are listed at OpenSecrets, and you can see that he spent his money enriching the coffers of Republican candidates in close races all over the country. He didn't need the ill-begotten money for himself, so he gave it to his most endangered colleagues. A list:

Anne Northrup $1,000
Barbara Cubin $1,000
Deborah Pryce $1,000
Dave Reichert $1,000
Geoff Davis $1,000
JD Hayworth $1,000
Jim Gerlach $1,000
Keith Butler (MI Senate challenger) $1,000
Joe Knollenberg $2,000
Mary Bono $1,000
Mike Fitzpatrick $1,000
Mike Sodrel $1,000
Rob Simmons $1,000
Thelma Drake $1,000

That's 14 candidates to the tune of $15,000. A lot of those Republicans lost, but the recipient of the biggest expenditure from Miller's campaign was the NRCC, the committee dedicated to re-electing Congressional Republicans, which sent mailers and put up attack ads and made robocalls all over the country. They benefited from $112,000 from one Gary Miller. All of the sleazy developer money he's received over the years helped re-elect some of the worst Congressmen in the country by the skin of their teeth. That's $112,000 we wouldn't be likely to see in the NRCC's coffers if Miller were actually challenged and forced to run a campaign.

Here are some other interesting expenditures:

Signatures (Jack Abramoff's restaurant) $1,550
GMiller Development $43,306
Cathleen Miller $2,632
Gary Miller $5,743

Those last three total over $50,000 in campaign funds. Did they in fact go to Gary Miller and his wife and his business?

Here's the point. There is not an unlimited amount of money for Republican candidates out there. It may seem like it sometimes, but there isn't. When every race is challenged, incumbents can no longer expect their colleagues to shower them with gifts in the form of campaign dollars. That is why you run a 435-district strategy. And that is why you try and get rid of an obviously corrupt Congressman like Gary Miller, no matter what district he's from.

Just When You Thought Gary Miller Couldn't Get Any Dirtier...

(cross-posted from Calitics with author permission)

In 2005, Rep. Gary Miller was the only California Republican on the House panel that shaped the 2005 transportation bill. It would be expected, therefore, that Miller would do everything he could to maximize the amount of money the bill steered to California. But The Hill newspaper is reporting that several of the earmarks he attained benefitted not just his state, but were also quite a boon to his business partner and top campaign donor Lewis Operating Corp.

So how tight are Miller and Lewis Operating exactly? Well, how much time do you have?

The year before the transportation bill passed, Miller borrowed $7.5 million from Lewis Operating to purchase land from it. Lewis Operating Corp. is also one of Miller's top campaign contributors; employees of the company have donated $22,150 to Miller's campaign committee since his election to Congress in 1998.

Miller also has partnered or been involved with a number of real-estate transactions with the company in the past five years, making $1.1 million to $6 million in profits from deals involving Lewis Operating in some part of the transaction, according to the lawmaker's financial disclosure reports.

In addition, you'll recall the infamous 2002 Monrovia deal that has piqued the FBI's interest. Well guess who else was involved.

[Miller] has faced scrutiny for avoiding paying capital gains taxes on the land by telling the IRS that the city had threatened to seize the land through eminent domain, and subsequently reinvesting the profit into land purchased from Lewis Operating.

Now check out the ridiculously long list of ways in which Lewis Operating benefitted from the 2005 transportation bill.

• Miller helped secure several earmarks for the town of Fontana, where he has recently bought land owned by Lewis Operating and sold it to the city's redevelopment agency. Fontana also is home to one of Lewis Operating's largest planned communities, Sierra Lakes, encompassing 700 acres that includes 1,850 homes surrounding an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, a 62-acre shopping center and a 20-acre park.

• Sierra Lakes is just over a mile away from the former Rialto Municipal Airport, which Miller helped close through a provision in the same transportation bill, the first time an airport was closed by an act of Congress. Before the provision closed the airport, the city of Rialto - where the airport is located - already had granted Lewis Operating an exclusive agreement to develop the airport land into Renaissance, a community consisting of 2,500 homes, parks and 80 acres of retail space on the former airport property and adjacent land.

• $6.8 million for Pine Avenue extension from Route 71 to Euclid Ave. in the city of Chino. The extension is less than a mile from the Preserve, a Lewis Operating planned community, and less than two miles from Parkside, another Lewis Operating planned community.

• $1.2 million to establish an Interstate 15 interchange at Nisqualli and Mojave River Crossing in Victorville, Calif. The interchange is about a half a mile from Parkview, a Lewis Operating planned community.

• $400,000 to widen and realign U.S. 395 in the city of Hesperia. Lewis Operating lists The Promontory as one of its planned communities on its website. A city official said the company has not submitted a formal application for the project.

What does Lewis Operating have to say for itself?

In a written statement, Randall Lewis, the executive vice president for Lewis Operating Corp., defended the company's relationship with Miller and other government officials: "For three generations, Lewis Group has been committed to acting according to the highest and strictest ethical standards."

Yeah right. If that were true, you wouldn't be joined at the hip with Dirty Gary, would ya now?

And as for Miller...

A spokesmen for Miller did not return a call seeking comment.

Gee, shocker.

Miller is feeling the heat and this Hill article just further solidifies the momentum developing against him. As Andrew wrote at Trash Dirty Gary, there was a good amount of buzz about this race down in San Diego. As more reports of Milller's corruption are brought to light, the more the DCCC is likely to invest in an emerging people-powered candidate to turn this particular red district of CA blue.

No, gets worse.

I know that doesn't seem possible--I really do. But it is. From The Hill:

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) helped secure several earmarks in the 2005 transportation bill that would benefit projects of his business partner, Lewis Operating, according to House sources and an analysis of the bill’s earmarks and San Bernardino County, Calif., land records.

In the years leading up to the bill’s passage, Miller’s financial ties to the company, one of the largest privately held real-estate development companies in the country, have grown. The year before the transportation bill passed, Miller borrowed $7.5 million from Lewis Operating to purchase land from it. Lewis Operating Corp. is also one of Miller’s top campaign contributors; employees of the company have donated $22,150 to Miller’s campaign committee since his election to Congress in 1998.

It just gets worse and worse. To make a long story short, Miller specifically earmarked federal money for highway expansion projects in areas of the Inland Empire that, it turns out, will end up serving planned development projects of Lewis Operating--the company in which he reinvested his millions of dollars worth of profit from the land sale in Monrovia which he falsely claimed was due to eminent domain so he could avoid paying capital gains taxes on it.

The corruption in CA-42 knows no limits.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

We Have the Buzz... But Do We Have the Candidate?

There seemed to be plenty of buzz about taking down Dirty Gary Miller at the Democratic Convention in San Diego this past weekend. California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres specifically mentioned Miller and the 42nd as one of the party's targets for 2008. Activists from throughout Southern California seemed energized at the prospect of taking out one of the sleaziest members left in Congress. At this point, even the DCCC is noticing just how vulnerable Gary Miller has made himself. Everything seems to be falling in place for the perfect storm to rock Dirty Gary's world...

Including a strong candidate to take him on next year? Follow me down below for more on what I've been hearing about one good candidate who may be ready to knock the socks off of Dirty Gary...

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

Remember when Art Pedroza dropped this juicy tidbit in his "Chismes" column in Orange Juice about two weeks ago?

Last but not least, I hear that a very successful aerospace engineer is going to run against corrupt Reep Congressman Gary Miller. Talk about ending on a positive note!

Well, apparently there were sightings of this mysterious candidate at the convention over the weekend. And many folks were excited about possibly finding a good candidate to take on the not-so-good Congressman. Oh yes, people are really starting to take notice of what's happening in the 42nd. And I guess now that this successful aerospace engineer from Orange County might be stepping in to take on Gary Miller, this race might finally be taken seriously.

Let's face it: Dirty Gary doesn't serve us anymore. He's just serving himself at our expense. He's using and abusing his position to enrich himself, and that doesn't help us when we need someone who will work for practical solutions to end this failed war in Iraq, balance the federal budget, fix our traffic woes on our freeways, and protect the open space that makes living in the 42nd so darn enjoyable. We're just thirsting for real change, and perhaps this "mystery candidate" might be the right person to serve us in Congress.

I guess before I jump to conclusions about this "mystery candidate", there are some things that I need to know. Will this person reach out and work with local community activists to fight for what's best for our neighborhoods? Will this person have what it takes to fight back against Dirty Gary and his very loaded campaign war chest? Will this person be able to truly connect with ALL THE VOTERS in the district, from La Habra Heights to Chino Hills to Rancho Santa Margarita? And finally, will this "mystery candidate" truly work for us, and not just a few special interests?

If this "mystery candidate" can answer these questions to our satisfaction, then maybe we should pay more attention to this individual. : )

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Miller on the CDP Radar Screen?

I'm pleased at Art Torres' answer to this question.

CMR: What is the 58-County Strategy and how is it going to help us be successful in 2008?

AT: Howard Dean and I worked together on the 50-State Strategy when he was running for Chair of the Democratic National Committee. I was part of an effort to make sure he was elected chair because I felt he would be the most progressive and effective chair, which has proven to be right. It's taken a little time for us here in California to establish a 58-County Strategy, which I announced in December of 2006, and we're going to be more incremental given the resources that we have available. But the most important priority for me is a Jerry McNerney seat, the Charlie Brown seat - which will be his seat once he defeats Doolittle - and Gary Miller in Southern California. We're going to reach out to those communities where we can coordinate with counties with the resources we have available for voter registration and finally to make a mark on those counties that were up to this point considered red, that are now purple or turning blue.

The CDP may put its full force behind an effort to beat Miller?

Hurt me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Doolittle's in Deep Doo-Doo... So When Will Gary's Time Come?

This just in from Roll Call:

The FBI has raided the Northern Virginia home of Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), according to Congressional sources. No details are publicly available yet about the circumstances of the raid, but Doolittle and his wife, Julie, have been under federal investigation for their ties to the scandal surrounding imprisoned former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

So John Doolittle (R-Roseville) might finally be held accountable for all his dirty work...
Now when can we expect the same of Dirty Gary Miller?

Is Gary Miller Failing Us on Iraq?

For quite a while now, the nation has been turning against Bush's failed war in Iraq. Americans have had enough of gruesome, nasty stories like this: (From The Guardian)

At least 160 people have been killed in four major bomb blasts around Baghdad today - the bloodiest violence since a US troop "surge" and crackdown on insurgents began in February.
The deadliest attack happened at the Sadriyah market, in central Baghdad, where at least 118 people died, according to Iraqi police, Reuters said.

Police said a total of 139 people were injured in the blast, which was thought to have been caused by a bomb left on a bus.

Construction workers helping to rebuild the predominantly Shia market area following an attack shortly before the February crackdown, when a suicide truck bomber killed 135 people, were among the victims.

An hour before the market blast, a suicide bomber crashed an explosives-laden car into a checkpoint at an entrance to Sadr City, Baghdad's biggest Shia area, killing at least 30 people.

And oh yes, I don't think they appreciate this, either: (Also from The Guardian)

Iraqi civilians are experiencing "immense suffering" because of a "disastrous" security situation, deepening poverty and a worsening humanitarian crisis, according to a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The ICRC also sees no sign that the American-led security "surge" in Baghdad is bringing relief to the capital, while hospitals struggle to cope with mass casualties as malnutrition as well as power and water shortages become more frequent across the country.

"The suffering Iraqi men, women and children are enduring today is unbearable and unacceptable," Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations for the organisation, said at the group's Geneva headquarters.

The report, Civilians without Protection, provides a grim snapshot of the situation in Iraq but will carry special weight thanks to the ICRC's reputation as the scrupulously neutral "silent service" of international humanitarian work. It maintains a presence in Baghdad despite the bombing of its offices in 2003, and works closely with the Iraqi Red Crescent.

The report says that more than 100,000 families have been forced to leave their homes in the past year because of the shootings, bombings, abductions, murders and military operations.

And yes, I don't think they'd like to see any more of this.

Americans want out of Iraq... So why would Gary Miller say this?

As we cannot – and must not – turn back, we need a fresh approach to move forward. The President, along with his generals on the ground, has proposed a way forward. He has put forth a strategy to suppress the sectarian violence in Iraq to allow democratic reforms to take hold and economic institutions to flourish.

His plan is the only plan that provides for a way forward in Iraq. While the majority party proposes to stand still and do nothing, the President’s plan aims to allow American forces to stand down as the Iraqi people stand up.

For us in Congress, it is not our job to become involved in the tactical decisions that will lead to success in our mission. It is our responsibility to help shape the parameters of our mission and to conduct oversight on our progress in achieving the mission.

Oh yes, it looks like Bush really knows "the way forward in Iraq"...
Well, maybe if we consider a failed state to be "the way forward".

Let's face it: There's nothing left that we can do to save this war. And there's nothing that we can do to "force" Iraq to be a stable, Jeffersonian democratic republic. George Bush and Gary Miller may warn us that Iraq would descend into total chaos if we leave. However, I don't know how much worse it could become since Iraq has already descended into complete chaos. And now, it just seems like the longer we stay there, the worse it gets.

Can we really afford to allow Bush to "stay the course" of showing us "the way forward" into CIVIL WAR? And can we allow members of Congress like Gary Miller to just sit by and continue to allow Bush to waste resources in pursuing the wrong military mission that is just creating a failed state? Can we really afford more of the same failure?