In my Congressional District, CA-11, the difference between the good guy and the bad guy is pretty clear. Incumbent Jerry McNerney (D) wears the white hat. His opponent, Dean Andal (R) is often called Pombo-light and we got rid of the real Pombo last election. For all of that, the race is taking some interesting turns which I will explain further.
Dean Andal is very well connected to the same real estate developer cabal that has turned San Joaquin County and particularly Stockton, into the home repossession capital of California. He works for developer Gary Kamilos, another of the Greek Developers who seem to have their finger in every project. (The others are A. G. Spanos and Angelo Tsakopoulos. )
How deeply is Andal involved in real estate development? Well, I will let him tell the story. According to that story in the Tracy Press,
Republican congressional candidate Dean Andal denied this week that he played any part in San Joaquin Delta College trustees’ alleged violation of open government laws.
The surprise here is that Real Estate interests are backing McNerney in this election. The National Association of REALTORS PAC has put $510,000 into this campaign on behalf of McNerney. According to Lisa Vorderbrueggen in the Contra Costa Times, the $500 K support for McNerney is part of a national pattern, some Republicans and some Democrats. It seems to be in the form of mailers, as I have gotten 2 in the last week. Here is the front page of one of them. They are all glossy, 8.5 x 11 in. and have 4 - 6 pages of content. This one deals with McNerney's support for housing aid for returning vets.
The real question I have is this. How do we get Greens elected when even the good guys can get $ 0.5 Mil in outside support? Bill Moyers suggested that The only answer to organized money is organized people. Just how many people have to be organized to counter $500,000 in advertising? Where do we get them in the first place and how do we keep them focused on the task.
I sometimes fantasize that someday people will just see that that glossy six pagers represented a whole bunch of clearcut virgin forests, the bright inks were destined to be highly toxic leechate from landfills (the heavy metals that make bright reds and yellows possible are trouble in the making), and the whole thing has nothing to do with grass roots neighbor to neighbor outreach. Once everybody can see beyond the appeal of the gloss and the focus group tested headlines half the work of bringing them around will be done. Then all we'll need is a few qualified candidates to "beet the system!"
Nader suggested a million people donating two hours a week and two dollars a week. That totals a hundred million dollars and a hundred million hours.
How to make it so, I've no idea, but as the old saw goes. to eat an elephant the first step is to cut it into bite sized pieces.
First you have to convince a million people that doing so will make a difference. So far, I don't see either Nader or McKinney accomplishing that.
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