Thursday, July 10, 2008

Andal endorser can't explain Iraqi demands for withdrawal timetable

"Vets for Freedom" endorsed Dean Andal today. Coincidentally, "Vets for Freedom" representative, Pete Hegseth, spent about 10 minutes of total incoherence with MSNBC's Chris Matthews today, telling us that it a good thing the Iraqi's want us to leave while at the same time demanding we must stay with no timetable.

I wonder if Dean Andal can explain all this. Perhaps an enterprising media type can ask him.

Watch the video.

Background on what the Prime Minister of Iraq said here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dean Andal: I'm a staunch advocate of the law I violated

How nice.

Andal said he lobbied at least one Delta College board member but said he never received any confidential, closed-session information from any elected official.

“If someone had tried to give me closed-session information, I would have stopped it,” Andal said. “I am very experienced with the requirements of the Brown Act.”

Andal called himself a staunch advocate of the Brown Act
, a state law which spells out how publicly elected boards must conduct themselves in both public and closed sessions. Elected officials cannot disclose what was said in closed session and the law limits the topics under which they are permitted to hold discussions outside of the public eye.

Delta College Trustee Ted Simas, however, was quoted in a Stockton Record story of Aug. 21, 2006, saying that Andal had called him on the telephone several hours after the board concluded its Feb. 9 meeting and “had information that could have been obtained only by board members in closed session.” Simas said Andal told him that two college trustees had provided details of the closed-session negotiations to Kamilos. Andal was quoted in the same story saying that he did not remember the conversation.

So a staunch advocate of a law who claims to know its every detail just can't remember a conversation that would violate it. This is the explanation from a person who running for Congress and calling for a restoration of ethics and conduct? Weak sauce.

Friday, June 20, 2008

McNerney votes to eviscerate 4th Amendment

Short version of what McNerney voted for:

If the Executive Branch asks telecom companies to knowingly violate existing laws (FISA) to spy on American citizens without a warrant for several years after 9/11, that's OK with me.


Full explanation of this issue here.

Roll call here.

McNerney holds firm to deny Iraq war funding

McNerney voted to deny $162 Billion in unconditional funds to continue the war in Iraq. Roll call here. Make no mistake, this was no easy vote McNerney with the GI Bill included in the package.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Andal's ethics on display

One of the three grand prongs of Andal's campaign platform is Ethics. Whoops...

The San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and violated open government laws by discussing closed-session matters outside its meetings, charges a San Joaquin County civil grand jury report released Wednesday morning.

The seven-page report found the board made decisions that have "caused serious problems'' and that trustees were "ill-prepared'' to handle the Measure L funds, a $250 million school bond approved by San Joaquin County voters in 2004.


At a closed-session meeting held by the board on Feb. 9, 2006, the college's attorney and administrative team said a developer would be missing the deadline for delivery of letters of credit, resulting in a breach of contract. The board then discussed the possibility of returning to a deal offered by the city of Tracy to put the campus on the corner of 11th Street and Chrisman Road, according to the report.


The day after the closed-session meeting, the report says, phone calls and a faxed letter indicated that one or more board members had relayed confidential information about the "breach of contract'' discussion to the developer and his consultant, Dean Andal, the Republican nominee for the 11th Congressional District seat in November.

"If true, this is a violation of the Brown Act,'' the report reads. "The Grand Jury has no confidence in the Delta College Board of Trustees as they are currently constituted.''

Andal was out of the area Wednesday and unavailable for comment, a campaign spokeswoman said. Kamilos did not return calls seeking comment.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Andal to McNerney: Help! Please!

Andal requested a series of debates in every city in the district. The gerrymandered CA-11 is big district so we could be talking about 25 debates.

Andal is mostly an unknown quantity outside of Stockton and with his fundraising numbers in the toilet, he must be struggling to get his name out in the district. Naturally, he asks McNerney to help him get that done. Nice try. Na. guh. ha. pen.

I can already hear the cries of "McNerney won't debate me!". Waaaaahhh!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Jerry McNerney: Declared SuperDelegate

McNerney endorsed Obama.

He included a VP plug for HRC:
“I think Clinton would be a great choice for vice president,” McNerney said. “It would really energize the party. If I get the opportunity, I’m going to encourage Senator Obama to select her.”
Based on the timing and content of his statements alone, I would speculate that McNerney did not have a strong preference between Obama and HRC.

McNerney effectively leveraged his moment in the spotlight to underscore his sustainable energy vision. Good for him.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jerry McNerney: Undeclared SuperDelegate

So Speaker Pelosi asked all the undeclared superdelegates to make a choice by next week.

Obviously, since he has not done so already Jerry would rather not make any decision and has said previously: "I'll make a decision when I have to."

Well, McNerney "will have to" very soon. Here are his choices:

1. Pick Clinton. CA-11 went decidedly for Clinton (54% Clinton / 40% Obama) so I suspect he has not already supported her because he would rather support Obama or he thinks there would be some fallout for him politically if he supports Clinton.

2. Pick Obama. This would override the will of the Democratic voters in his district. It would speak volumes about who McNerney really is politically speaking. He would have to defend the decision on grounds of his convictions which would be nice to hear. I suspect it would gain him support with Democratic clubs/activists within the district and put him on the "right" side of history due to the liklihood of Obama eventually being the nominee.

3. Do Nothing. This is not an option in my opinion. McNerney would risk much more than any fallout from his choice which is: intra-party war. This would be a clear failing to exercise the leadership the superdels are charged with.

I hope McNerney sees his way clear to make a decision next week. And since we know about Dean Andal's unhinged, fanatical support for John McCain his decision will get us one step closer to get this primary behind us and begin the real business at hand.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

McNerney votes to de-fund Iraq war

McNerney cast a very important vote today. He voted to deny $163 Billion for the purpose of continuing the Iraq war.

I have been very critical of McNerney's past statements and votes on Iraq. I stand by what I've said but this is a huge step in the right direction for McNerney.

Roll call here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

McNerney on Iraq: More in line with Obama, Clinton, or McCain?

You decide...

April 2008 ABC Democratic debate:

GIBSON: [...]So, if the military commanders in Iraq came to you on day one, and said, this kind of withdrawal would destabilize Iraq, it would set back all of the gains that we have made, no matter what, you're going to order those troops to come home?

CLINTON: Yes, I am, Charlie. And here's why. Thankfully, we have a system in our country, of civilian control of the military. And our professional military are the best in the world. They give their best advice. And then they execute the policies of the president.


But I have been convinced and very clear that I will begin to withdraw troops within 60 days. And we've had other instances in our history where some military commanders have been very publicly opposed to what a president was proposing to do. But I think it's important that this decision be made. And I intend to make it.
GIBSON: [...]So you'd give the same rock-hard pledge, that no matter what the military commanders said, you would give the order to bring them home?

OBAMA: Because the commander-in-chief sets the mission, Charlie.

That's not the role of the generals.

And one of the things that's been interesting about the president's approach lately has been to say, "Well, I'm just taking cues from General Petraeus."

Well, the president sets the mission. The general and our troops carry out that mission. And, unfortunately, we have had a bad mission set by our civilian leadership, which our military has performed brilliantly. But it is time for us to set a strategy that is going to make the American people safer.
McNerney, August 2007, Washington Post:
"I am firmly in favor of withdrawing troops on a timeline that includes both a definite start date and a definite end date," he wrote on his Web site.

But in an interview yesterday, McNerney made clear his views have shifted since returning from Iraq. He said Democrats should be willing to negotiate with the generals in Iraq over just how much more time they might need. And, he said, Democrats should move beyond their confrontational approach, away from tough-minded, partisan withdrawal resolutions, to be more conciliatory with Republicans who might also be looking for a way out of the war.
McCain, March 2008, Associated Press
Despite all that, McCain told reporters: "I don't think I would change the strategy now unless General Petraeus recommended it. I think he's trusted by the American people, the president and by me. And General Petraeus again showed me facts on the ground where the surge is succeeding."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Andal wants to privatize Social Security

At least that is one of the logical conclusions from his acceptance of $13,500 from the Club for Growth this cycle (10% of his overall fundraising number).

Another conclusion is that Andal favors destroying public education through "school choice".

Learn more here, and here.

Perhaps McNerney can look forward to an attack ad like this one sponsored by the Club for Growth against Howard Dean.

h/t to Hank Shaw

Monday, April 07, 2008

Deep Thought

If history was different and the '08 race pitted McNerney against Pombo, is there any doubt that McNerney would be a member of this group?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

McNerney's bipartisanship on Iraq

Here is a Danville Weekly story that got me reminiscing about McNerney's stance on the Iraq war.
Criticism rained on U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney last week at Faz restaurant for his support of setting a timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq.

"I can't forgive you for setting a timetable," said Bill Baker, a former Republican congressman who lives in Danville. "It's unrealistic."

"We are seeing progress," he added. "I hope you reconsider your position. We should not have a debate about that."

Listeners surrounding Baker gave him a round of applause and cheers.
Then McNerney (D., 11th District) responded.

"Thanks for your comments, Bill," McNerney said. "The war is hurting our country. We need to hold the Iraqis accountable. They need to take steps in (keeping) their responsibilities."
I can only think McNerney's stance on Iraq was designed to prevent such things and give him an aura of bi-partisanship. Granted, the folks at this meeting were obviously partisan - Bill Baker is helping Jerry's opponent, Dean Andal - but I suspect many GOP'ers would have the same reaction.

I'm reminded of something Jerry said not too long ago when the blogosphere was hopping mad about McNerney's post-Iraq trip comments. Here's Jerry talking about Iraq in August 2007
I truly believe that the best and soonest way to end this tragic war is to work with open-minded Republicans to find an acceptable end date. That’s what I believe, and that’s what I will fight for.
I can only hope such outbursts from bloodthirsty GOP'ers will serve to inform Jerry about how they operate.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

McNerney votes for spending bill to end Iraq War

HR.4156 would:
-set goal of withdrawal by Dec 2008.
-only provide funds for redeployment (not expanding war)
-mandate redeployment beginning 30 days from passage of bill.
-ban torture.
-require all troops sent to Iraq to be "fully mission capable".

If McNerney holds to his stated position of "we don't have the votes to end the war", his vote on this bill is meaningless. The Democratic leadership has given McNerney cover to break from that position. I hope he does.

In related news, I am glad to see McNerney is aware of the terrible human costs of this unnecessary war as he advocates for a PTSD clinic in Livermore. Then again, I understand Bush is also aware of the terrible costs.