Monday, October 29, 2012

Obama Campaign Uses Email List To Direct Supporters To FEMA and The American Red Cross

With hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast, the Obama campaign is using their massive campaign email list to direct supporters to FEMA and the American Red Cross.

This is a serious storm, but we are going to do what it takes to keep people safe and secure, and make sure the communities affected get the assistance they need. FEMA is working with state and local governments to respond effectively. We all owe a debt of thanks to the first responders who will be dealing with the immediate impact of the storm.

If you live in the storm's path, please listen to state and local authorities about where and how to take shelter and stay safe -- and encourage your friends and family to do the same. If you are asked to evacuate, please take that seriously.

For more information on how to prepare for this storm, visit

And if you'd like to find out how to support relief efforts where they're needed most, please visit the Red Cross or your local relief organization:

Michelle and I are keeping everyone in the affected areas in our thoughts and prayers. Be safe.

The link listed in the email completely bypasses the Obama campaign website landing page, taking supporters directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fundraising page instead.

Although the size of Obama's email list is a closely guarded secret, it's been estimated to have between 13-15 million subscribers.

Friday, October 26, 2012

All Hands On Deck! We Need Your Help To Get Out The Vote!

Folks, this election isn't going to be decided by the polls, it's going to be decided by people who show up at the polls. Already early voting has started in critical swing states like Ohio and Nevada. So we need all hands on deck to get out the vote between now and Tuesday, November 6th.

Below, I've compiled a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities both locally and in Nevada (only an one-hour plane ride away!)

Whether it's a couple hours of phone banking for local candidates or putting the boots on the ground in Vegas for Obama GOTV weekend, we need you to do something, anything to help make sure Republicans don't take the White House and unravel every hard-earned victory from the past 4 years.

Eric Garcetti is organizing a Nevada get out the vote operation in the last weekend before the election. Free transportation to and from Las Vegas and free lodging will be provided to those who can commit the weekend before Election Day to this important effort.

Here's how it works:

Friday, November 2: Meet in Los Angeles (approx 5:30pm, location TBD) and depart in vans for Las Vegas.

Saturday, November 3: Spend the day walking precincts and calling voters. In the evening, join Eric and your fellow campaign workers for social events.

Sunday, November 4: Spend the morning doing GOTV work. Depart for Los Angeles in the afternoon.

Lodging will be provided for both Friday and Saturday nights.

Click HERE to sign up.


All the call centers listed below are open 9am-9pm Saturday and Sunday to call battleground states all over the country to ensure voters are ready for election day. Please bring cell phones and chargers if you have them.

Santa Monica OFA-CA Office
1408 Third Street, Santa Monica

Culver Studios
9336 West Washington Blvd, Culver City

Crenshaw OFA CA Office
5444 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles

Mid-City Phone Bank Rally Center
1904 5th Avenue, Los Angeles

Hawthorne Staging Location
11540 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne

Inglewood Staging Location
8467 Van Ness Avenue, Inglewood

Sunset Gower Studios
6040 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood

LA South Bay GOTV Staging Location
1810 Grant Ave #1, Redondo Beach

North Hollywood GOTV Staging Location - UAW Local 887
731 North Hollywood Way, Burbank

1167 E. Florence Av, Los Angeles

OFA California - Carson Phonebank Rally Center
603 E University Dr, Carson


Al Muratsuchi, the Democratic candidate state Assembly District 66, is facing a tough race against Tea Party Republican Craig Huey. The CA Republican Party and the Koch brothers have invested over a million dollars in this race. Let's fight back with people power!

Precinct Walk
Saturday, October 27 10am to 2pm
Muratsuchi Campaign Headquarters
1628 Cravens Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

Phone Bank
Sunday, October 28 1pm-4pm and 5pm-8:15pm & Monday - Thursday 5pm-9pm
Muratsuchi Campaign Headquarters
1628 Cravens Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

RSVP to Miguel at, or Kasey at or call Campaign Headquarters at (310) 781-3041

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Speaker John Perez Still Prioritizing Safe Incumbents Over Reaching A 2/3rds Marjority In The CA Assembly (UPDATED)

Assembly Speaker
John Perez
After an afternoon of headache-induced number-crunching I hoped I'd have better news to report today, but it appears Speaker Perez and Sacramento Democrats are still prioritizing the reelection of safe incumbents over achieving a two-thirds super majority in the California Assembly.

Democrats currently enjoy a majority in both the Assembly and the State Senate, but would have to pick up at least two more seats in each chamber to achieve the super-majority needed to pass revenue increases over the objections of an obstructionist Republican minority.

Yet campaign finance reports reveal that Speaker Perez, Sacramento Democratic lawmakers and state and county Democratic campaign committees have spent nearly half a million dollars more defending two safe democratic seats this election cycle than they have in defending a Los Angeles coastal district against a possible Tea Party takeover.

Mike Allen
In the 10th Assembly District (Marin, D+35) Sacramento Democrats donated $925K to Mike Allen, an incumbent Assembly member who moved into the open district when his existing district was carved up and reapportioned.  Mr. Allen's opponent is Marc Levine, a fellow Democrat.

In the 50th Assembly district (Santa Monica, D+33), Sacramento Democrats donated $601K to Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, who moved north to the Democratic stronghold after redistricting meant she'd have to run in the new, more conservative 66th Assembly district (Torrance, D+3). Like Allen, Butler is running against Democratic challenger (Santa Monica Mayor, Richard Bloom).

In the South Bay, Torrance School Board member Al Muratsuchi became the Democratic candidate for AD66 after Betsy Butler left the district.  Election experts consider the race highly competitive for Republicans, giving them the best opportunity in two decades to pick up a seat in that area.

Betsy Butler
Before the June primary, few Sacramento Democrats, including both John Perez and Betsy Butler had made any financial contributions to Muratsuchi, forcing the candidate to loan his campaign $45,000 to defend the new South Bay Assembly seat against two Tea Party candidates, Nathan Mintz, who ran and lost a close race against Butler in 2010, and Craig Huey, who ran an unsuccessful $500,000 self-financed congressional campaign against Janice Hahn last year.

After the June primary however, Sacramento finally began investing in Muratsuchi's campaign, donating $967K to help defeat opponent Craig Huey. Clearly,  a huge improvement, but is it enough? The most recent campaign finance reports show Muratsuchi and Huey have are neck and neck in the amount of cash they both have on hand.

Eric Bauman, Vice-Chair of the California Democratic Party, says the AD66 race is the party's "number one" priority. And if you compare these three races in isolation, that statement is correct.

AD66 candidate
Al Muratsuc
The bigger problem, however, is Perez and Sacramento Democrats aren't making a two-thirds majority their "number one" priority at all. Not when they're spending $500K more on two absolutely safe Democratic seats than they are to defend a competitive swing-district seat that could fall under Republican control.


Sacramento responds. Steve Maviglio is a Democratic political consultant for John Perez,  former Deputy Chief of Staff to Speakers Karen Bass and Fabian Nunez, and former press secretary to Gov. Gray Davis.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Strangest Email I've Received From A Candidate......Ever

So, a little background first.

If you read this blog - or pay attention to LA City politics at all - you know that Bill Rosendahl's decision not to run for reelection for the CD11 Council seat has created an election "vacuum" of sorts, with several candidates - most prominently Rosendahl's Chief of Staff, Mike Bonin - rushing to file before the November 10th deadline.

This is my home district. And as a political blogger, this creates an odd situation for me. See, I personally know two of the candidates, Bonin and Venice resident Marc Ryavec.

Now I like Mr. Ryavec just fine, having worked with him over the years on several issues affecting our neighborhoods, but I'm supporting Mike Bonin for the seat.

I'll post more on why I'm supporting Bonin at a later date, but for now I wanted to share something else.

After I expressed concern on a local Venice email listserve about keeping the CD11 campaign a positive one, I received a response from Mark Ryavec in the form of a press release and photos touting the endorsements of actors Ed Begley, Jr. and James Garner.

No big deal, except......well........the note he sent with the press release is the weirdest email I've ever received from any candidate running for any elected office......ever.

Without further comment, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mark Ryavec, candidate for CD11.

photo of Jim Garner that Mark Ryavec sent
Hi Marta,

I couldn't resist.  Is this positive enough for you?

I'll take Ed Begley and James Garner over Mark Gold
[Heal the Bay] any day. They're even better than Herb Wesson and Karen Bass.  Compare their "Qs".  You're in the industry and you know that most of Mike's endorsers don't rate - compared to a legendary Hollywood star like James Garner, who is especially popular with older voters, and an environmental hero like Ed Begley.

Ed and Jim will look great on the mail.  Maybe Ed will do robo calls.

I'm having so much fun with this, meeting so many people, learning so much, Mike could raise a million dollars and I wouldn't drop out.  I have the strong incentive to stay in the race to represent those residents to whom Mike (and Bill) have perennially turned their backs.  For example, he knows what we want done on the Boardwalk and on 3rd Avenue, but he won't do it.  Residents can't sleep at night, the bike thefts, car break-ins and the vandalism just go on and on, and Mike takes the side of the crustie punks. (BTW, there's a website by that name and that's who makes up the bulk of the campers on the Boardwalk and on 3rd Avenue these days.)

You're doing a credible job of spinning for Mike; I'm sorry you're not on my side.



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Venice For Change California Voting Guide Is Here!

OK, folks, it's that time of year again! Remember, if you don't vote, you can't bitch :) But first, a bit of housekeeping.

You are registered to vote at your current address, aren't you? AREN'T YOU!?

If not, you're in luck! You have until Monday, October 22nd to register to vote. And thanks to our amazing CA Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, you can now register to vote ONLINE!

Just go to this link and fill out your information:

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get on with the show, shall we?


Vice President:
US Senator:

US Representative:

CA State Assembly: 

CA State Senate: 

                                                             LA County District Attorney


PROP 30 - YES 
PROP 31 - NO 
PROP 32 - BIG FAT NO!!!!!! 
PROP 33 - NO 
PROP 34 - YES 
PROP 35 - YES 
PROP 36 - YES 
PROP 37 - YES 
PROP 38 - NO 
PROP 39 - YES 
PROP 40 - YES 


For other endorsement sources, click on the links below

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

BREAKING: Mike Bonin, Rosendahl's Chief-of-Staff, Formally Announces He's Running For LA City Council

Coming on the heels of Bill Rosendahl's announcement he would not be seeking reelection for the LA City Council due to health issues, Mike Bonin, Rosendahl's chief-of-staff, formally entered the race to replace him today.

“It has been my honor to work with Bill Rosendahl as he fought for our Westside neighborhoods and for positive change for Los Angeles,” Bonin said in a press release.  “I am determined to continue Bill's tradition of community empowerment and creative problem-solving.”

“Bill is a friend, a mentor, and an inspiration,” Bonin said. “His conscience, his boundless optimism, and his passion for serving our neighborhoods has set a gold standard for what it means to be a servant of the people.”

Rosendahl endorsed Bonin yesterday when he made the announcement to bow out of the race.

“On every issue that is important to this district, Mike has been a leader,” Rosendahl said.  “On police hiring, modernizing LAX, and building mass transit, Mike was there and engaged.  When it came to improving our parks, balancing the budget, and housing the homeless, Mike was involved at every step.  Mike Bonin has the heart, the smarts, and the guts to be the voice of this district on the City Council.”

Bonin's campaign also announced endorsements from LA City Councleman Herb Wesson and UNITE HERE Local 11. Former State Senator Sheila Kuehl and Steve Soboroff were named as campaign co-chairs.

In making the announcement, Bonin listed his priorities for the district: job creation, mass transit, affordable housing, making neighborhoods more liveable through increased green space and alternative transportation; and using technology to help reform city government.

“Los Angeles is a city of unparalleled talent, vision, and resources,” Bonin said.  “Our city government needs to be as smart and as creative as our people.  Working together, we can grow our economy, green our environment, keep our streets safe and clean, and make Los Angeles a city of vital neighborhoods.” 

Bonin has served in senior posts with Rosendahl, U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, and Councilmember Ruth Galanter. He currently serves as an alternate member of the Board of Directors of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority.  He is also co-founder of Camp Courage, a training program for community organizers seeking the freedom to marry for the LGBT community.

A longtime resident of Venice, Mike lives in Mar Vista with his partner, Sean Arian, a policy expert in economic development and green jobs creation. 

At least two other candidates have announced they'll run to fill the open seat - Westchester teacher Odysseus Bostick and Venice resident Mark Ryavec.

"I'm looking forward to a vigorous debate," said Ryavec. "Mike and I have been on opposite sides of several of the issues. We'll have plenty of time to explore those as the campaign goes forward."

Monday, October 8, 2012

BREAKING: LA Councilman Bill Rosendahl Announces He Won't Run For Reelection

I'm sad to have to report today that LA Councilman Bill Rosendahl will not be running for a third term.

In a statement to be sent out to constituents tomorrow, Rosendahl said it was time to "pass the baton", then endorsed his longtime Chief of Staff, Mike Bonin  as the candidate he hoped would succeed him in next June's election.

"With Mike ready to fill my shoes, I can step aside with confidence." Rosendahl, 67, stated.

Rosendahl has stage IV bone cancer, and although is reportedly responding well to treatment, has appeared recently in public using a walker, significantly thinner than he was in July when first diagnosed.

Since August, Mike Bonin has been the public face of Rosendahl's office, and was recently named as the alternate for Rosendahl on the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority board

Bonin told the LA Times he plans to officially declare his candidacy Tuesday.

Westchester teacher Odysseus Bostick and Venice resident Mark Ryavec have also announced their candidacy for Council District 11.


Here is Rosendahl's full statement:

Dear Friends,

As most of you have heard, a few months back I received the difficult news that I have cancer.  It was a shock but, like every challenge I have faced during my lifetime, I decided to meet it head on.  Right now, I’m receiving treatment and I’m determined to beat this thing and join the ranks of millions of other cancer survivors!

What I discovered in the days that followed my diagnosis is the reassuring fact that I’m not fighting this health crisis alone. Thousands of you have showered me with well wishes, prayers, phone calls, letters, visits, emails, Facebook posts, and more. I feel the love and support in every message that comes my way.  Those loving wishes have meant the world to me, and have given me strength.

When I took my oath of office on July 1st, 2005, I gave you my heartfelt commitment that I would fight the good fights with you.  Together, we made Los Angeles stronger and our communities safer by putting people first.  We jump-started modernization at LAX, creating thousands of jobs for our city, while protecting local residents from excessive airport impacts.  We laid the groundwork for a 21stCentury public transit system that will end historic LA gridlock by getting us out of our cars and reconnected to our neighbors in other parts of the city.  We funded and built permanent supportive housing and moved more than 100 people from streets to homes.  That’s real progress!

There is no question that we still face plenty of big issues, but we are doing better by thinking outside of the box and coming up with new approaches to tackle difficult problems. I promise you that I won’t stop getting things accomplished for you, for our neighborhoods, and for our city as long as I remain in office.

It is because of these accomplishments and the promise of many more to be realized that I have decided not to seek a third term as your councilman.

When I first ran for office my goal was to rebuild our local democracy by putting the PEOPLE back at the forefront of local government, and raising the voices of community residents above the big bucks of lobbyists and special interests.  I sought to empower neighborhoods by returning control over local decisions.  For seven and a half years, that philosophy has been the cornerstone of how I approach my responsibility as your councilman.

While this style of leadership isn’t nearly as common as it should be, I know that I share it with my dear friend and top adviser – Mike Bonin.  Mike has served as my chief deputy from the day I took office.  He has been a loyal public servant to the residents and businesses in CD 11 for over 16 years. That is why I’m endorsing Mike Bonin as Council District 11’s next Los Angeles City Councilmember.

On every issue that is important to this district, Mike has been a leader.  On police hiring, modernizing LAX, and building mass transit, Mike was there.  When it came to improving our parks, balancing the budget, and housing the homeless, Mike was there.  Mike Bonin has the heart, the smarts, and the guts to be the voice of this district on the City Council.

With Mike ready to fill my shoes, I can step aside with confidence, knowing the issues we have worked on and the vision that we share in rebuilding our local democracy will move forward without interruption, without hesitation, and with a genuine appreciation for the needs of this district and it's amazing constituency.

Please know that I don’t plan to fade away.  On the contrary, once I have beaten this cancer I plan to return to public affairs broadcasting on television or radio.  I want to create a space for honest and open dialogue on the important issues facing our city, our state, and our country; a space where people can finish their sentences, share their thoughts, and contribute in a positive way to the public discourse.

I am eternally thankful for the trust you have given me in electing me to represent you on issues that directly impact your lives, and the lives of your loved ones.  I look forward to serving you and the public for many more years to come.

Councilmember, 11th District

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Debate Reality Check: "This Election Is A Matter Of Life Or Death For Me"

The wake up call came at 2am last night, arriving in my email inbox long after the cool kids on Twitter were done snarking on Obama "sucking ass" or Romney's "zingers".
"I'm not sure if this will do any good..... I am terrified right now," The letter began. "The media has decided that Romney won the debate. And now the spin will happen. And no one seems concerned that this election is a matter of life or death for me.  I am in remission from a rare cancer."
Deborah, the writer, is part of the 47% conspicuously absent from last night's debate.

Living in a tiny Del Rey apartment with her husband Jonathan, the couple barely gets by now on $28,000 a year - their income cut by a third in 2009 when Deborah was fired following her cancer diagnosis.

"My only income is Social Security Disability. My only hope against anything going wrong again is Medicare. Without them, I will be homeless at best within a month. At worst, I die. I can't think right now. I can't sleep. I need to know that someone has a plan to not let a smirking, smug man who cannot put himself in my shoes run the country. I need to know that my only prospect isn't burdening my 76 year old father just to keep breathing."
Deborah and her husband used to have catastrophic health insurance through their employer. But it cost them $600 a month with deductibles so high they could never hope to pay them off.  So they dropped it.

Then Deborah was diagnosed with a one-in-a-milion cancer of the appendix. A cancer so rare few doctors have even heard of it, let alone know how to treat it. But Deborah was one of the lucky ones. She sought treatment at the Venice Family Clinic, and a social worker with LA County USC hooked her up with the one doctor at the UCLA Medical Center who knew how to treat her cancer.

She's been in remission for two years. But the chemo attacked her joints, her nervous system. It killed the cancer but left her permanently disabled. And the cancer, of course, is out their lurking. Waiting.
I feel like there is no point in trying to survive, because all I'm seeing are games.

Perhaps it is unfair to put all of this on one man when the world is so complicated, but I am simply terrified -- fair or not.

I need to know that someone is listening......

I called Deborah this morning and asked if I could share her story. Because her story is a story that wasn't told last night at the debates. Her story is the inconvenient truth swept under the rug. And it should be a wake up call for all of us.

                                                                      Getty Images
But Deborah (she asked that I not use her or her husband's last name) doesn't think of herself as a victim. In fact, she thinks she's lucky. She beat back cancer, she has a roof over her head and food on the table. Her husband, Jonathan, found another job, although part-time and for less pay than he used to make. They're hopeful Jonathan might be able to get a flu shot and basic physical this year.

But Deborah is terrified for the future. She's 52, Jonathan 49 - they have no savings, no margins for error. No employer will hire her with her medical issues, and while Jonathan can buy new health insurance from his employer for $200 a month, they can't buy coverage for Deborah. She relies on Medicare to literally keep her alive.

Debrorah's story is my wake up call, my reality check about what's at stake in this election. And now, I hope it will be yours.

Before I hung up with Deborah, I asked her if there was anything she would tell Mitt Romney and Barack Obama if she could.

"It's not about numbers on a ledger," Deborah told me. "It's about people trying to survive."