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Sometimes, I find my political perch as a mainstream liberal Democrat in Orange County amazing and amusing. On the one hand, I get grief from the Oh-So-Leftists Duane Roberts and Gabriel San Roman and Libertarian Anti-Democrat Gustavo Arellano for trying to promote progressive interests in Anaheim through the Democratic Party. On the other hand, I get abuse from from the “Business Democrats” within the Democratic Party, who have never given up their long-term chokehold on the party, for praising wise stewardship on corporate subsidy issues. (Add Jose Solorio and Miguel Pulido to those three highlighted names in the Eastman endorsers graphic — of course meaning Daly, Correa, and Brandman, not Duane, GSR, and Gustavo — and you have the full list of Democrats who represent “the future of our party” that was repeatedly drummed into Democratic ears at Central Committee meetings in previous years.) I think that this may be because I’m one of the relatively few people who is actually in routine communication, fraught as it may be, with both groups.
Duane and Gabriel say that the Democratic Party stands for nothing — or at least for nothing good. I don’t see them as providing much of a solution — when you’re crowing because your movement elected one person nationwide to a City Council race in a left-wing city, that’s a sign that you’re not really hitting for power. I disagree with Duane and Gabriel that the Democratic Party is an inherently impossible vehicle for promoting the interests of the public — for all of its problems, it still seems to me to be the best hope — but some days it’s harder to make that argument than others.
This day, when the above pitch for Eastman came out, is one of those days.
And if you’re keeping track, at left you’ll see the flyer from Kris Murray’s re-election event from late June. The third name listed on the Host Committee: Jordan Brandman. The retiring Lion of the Building Trades, Jim Adams, is a bit further down the list.
It seems to me that there is going to be a big constituency available next year for opposing Anaheim’s gigantic tax (or tax receipt, if you want to be precise) giveaways to big corporate interests. One current question is whether any viable Democratic candidates will be in the race to take advantage of it. (Republican candidates may well be running on such a platform. In much of the country, and even in much of our own county, this would be considered ironic.) At least Sen. Correa and Asmb. Daly are apparently open to the prospect of supporting one Democrat against Murray; unless the size of the Council is expanded next June, Brandman’s dance card is full.
The other question, of course, is whom these three Democrats will support in the race for Mayor. One would think that it would be Galloway — but does it really make sense to support Eastman and Murray, on the one hand, and Galloway on the other?
And what if Galloway does end up running for Council, if the system remains at-large, rather than for Mayor? Would they support Kring over Tait? (Yeah, one would think so, wouldn’t one?)
From the perspective of Anaheim voters, my suspicion is that all of the names on Eastman’s flyer seem to come from one party. After all, they’re all supporting the same one candidate — the candidate of OC TAX PAC, which is ironically (or maybe not so ironically, given that that future General Fund revenue might go largely to funding Social Services in what is expected to become a less wealthy city) supporting a candidate from the “loot the City Treasury” faction. Surely, there is another faction — the “wise stewardship” faction — but is there a party willing to be behind it?
Part of the Republican Party — Tait and his many supporters from there — is behind it. The only City Council-level leader among Democrats that is behind it is Galloway. Failing to keep up with the Republican faction — for the sake of a bunch of campaign contributions but at the cost of muddling our fundamental message — seems like an immensely stupid move for Democrats. Are we really betting that people won’t catch on?
Perhaps we are — but if so, it’s going to be over some raucous internal dissension. That may not be much, but it’s the best that some of us in the party can do.
And do you know what some within the party call us for that dissension? ”Bad Democrats.” (Oh well — at least it can give Duane and Gabriel a good laugh.)
We can all look forward to seeing Kring’s list of endorsers, when it comes out. This will be interesting.