Lib-Dem blogger and Capo Recall wife Heather leaves Daily Kos, wants to “work with Republicans.”




Heather and her daughter

These are highly partisan times in Washington, Sacramento, and the rest of the nation, with national Republicans especially following a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, just-say-NO approach to politics.  Sometimes it seems bipartisanship is dead for the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, as I pointed out last month, the two greatest progressive victories in Orange County this year involved co-operation by Democrats, honest Republicans and independents against the extremism and corruption of establishment Republicans.  That would be the Capo Recall, the victories of Joe Shaw and Connie Boardman in Huntington Beach, and hopefully we can add a third local bipartisan victory soon – the Derailment of the Great Fairgrounds Swindle, if we succeed in that.

Heather Pritchard, a liberal Democrat blogger whose thorough and passionate pieces earlier this year on the problems at the Capistrano School Board were invaluable and influential (and inspired me to get involved in the issue) is married to Gary Pritchard, who ran successfully against recalled trustee Ken Lopez-Maddox-Lopez.  Her positive experience working on local issues with local Republicans of good will has caused her to want to (at least temporarily) leave the highly partisan hotbed of the Daily Kos.  I’ll let her speak for herself below.  But I think she should come to the Orange Juice Blog, don’t you?  It just makes sense – from “The Great Orange Satan” to the Great Orange Santa!  Plus we need more women to balance off what Gabriel calls the “Sausagefest.”  Think on it, Heather…

I need a break from this place (Daily Kos) …

I want to work with Republicans.  You read that right.  If it were not for Republicans, my husband would not be scheduled to be sworn in as a Capistrano USD School Board trustee this coming up Tuesday evening.  There is no way that he could have won without support from Republicans.

And yet I still find that being a proud Democrat is not a conflict with this wish.  Local Governments find ways to work together all the time without the vitriol that we see Nationally and on this very site on a daily basis.  I just don’t see how me writing here can help me work in my community.  It feels futile.

I am running to be a Democratic Delegate my  Assembly district.  I want to continue to write at my local blog about issues that are important to me.  I want to support the work my husband is doing and being a part of this site is counter productive to that.

Sure, it gets ugly in Orange County, Ca, we have vicious partisanship when the election cycle comes around and when people are grandstanding on the wedge issues but that certainly doesn’t mean that I have to indulge.

And the Republican party is actually even more extreme than the National party, or so it seems.  They are the original party of ‘no’.  But when it comes to budget time, they may sell a couple of their own down the river to pass a budget that is not going to fix any long term issues and does nothing at all to make California a better place.  It really comes down to making it until the next election and that is not Governing at its best.

And I want to see more Democrats elected in partisan races, in those legislative seats in Orange County that traditionally go to Republicans and often are seen as having not a chance in hell going to Democrats.  I’d like to see the gridloack in Sacramento come to end because the 2/3’rds hostage crisis has gone on long enough.

I want to work on fixing the State as a delegate and trying to do what I can do to bring some rational discussion to the table for the party.  I want to see resources brought to Orange County that goes past Irvine to help elect more Dems to more seats.  I want a lot.

I want to see more cooperation in non-partisan races, in City Council Governments such as my own (Which is possible since there was a Republican/Democratic ticket that won in Aliso Viejo for their re-election race). We need more community gardens and local agriculture.  Our local City Council is attacking the issue of Global Warming on a local basis and is asking for public input for ways to help cut our carbon footprint.  It’s not about whether it exists or not, but WHAT DO WE DO as a community?

Then you have School Boards, which for some here may seem like small potatoes but for me, I’ve realized just how important they are.  Education is one of the most important issues facing this Country if we want to see jobs in the future.  Sure, we need to fight to keep them here but we also need people who can fill those jobs.  We need to make sure all kids access to education, healthy lunches and try to keep as many young girls and women interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math for as long as possible.

I just don’t think I can do it here.

And it is possible to find common ground with people who I don’t agree with while sticking to my values.  It’s called not making it about myself.  I can be a liberal, a progressive and still find a way to work in my community with people who are in absolute disagreement with my ideas.  That’s where I want my energy to go.

Most people belong in the middle, as much as people don’t want to believe that.  And as I wrote yesterday, I think that’s why concentrating on the issues can be more effective.  Yes, this is my “I” voice.  The issues reach across party lines and it can be a way to bring people together despite their differences at the ballot box.

That is my goal.  Health care for all is not a party issue, nor should it be.  And there is more than way to get to that goal, maybe we haven’t found the answer yet.  Environmental issues should not be just a Democratic value.  There are many Republicans in Souther Orange County who care deeply about the health of our oceans, about the health of our bays, native plants and animals and about how important these ecosystems are not only to our economy but for the future of our communities.

We cannot move people right or left but we can certainly argue for the validity of the issue and move it to the center.

I still continue to believe that my values are not radical, many people believe that!  So now it is up to me to prove that.  But we cannot do it by arguing with each other online.  I want to go out there and show the value of my issues and how they can be relevant to more people in the middle than just pipe dreams on the left or as a tool to frighten and confuse on the right.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me here, I am not gone, I don’t do GBCW*, I can be found on facebook, twitter and at

[Ed. note:  I believe “GBCW” is left-blogosphere-speak for the infamous “Good Bye Cruel World” post.]

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.