President’s Message by Lee Sanders, March 2014


State Senator Ted Lieu is running for Henry Waxman’s District 33 seat in Congress, opposed by about 8 other Democrats and 5 from other parties. Senator Lieu won 73% of the votes in a Democratic Party pre- endorsement meeting. For a good example of his work in Sacramento, he has authored SB 1272, which would put on the statewide ballot for November 2014 the following proposition:

“Shall the Voters adopt a resolution that there should be limits on political campaign spending and that corporations should not have the constitutional rights of human beings and instruct California elected officials and legislative representatives to promote that policy through amendments to the United States Constitution?”

This has already been endorsed by the Los Angeles City Council. The argument for it will be presented to our March 12 meeting by Michele Sutter, co- founder of M.O.V.I. (Money Out, Voters In)

Our meeting agenda will also include discussion of the California Democratic Party Convention, held March 7 to 9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the Bonaventure Hotel. I expect our members who attend shall bring back to our meeting copies of endorsement lists of candidates and propositions and resolutions, as well as personal reminiscences of the meeting and listening to our party leaders. We can use that information to help us make our Club’s endorsements.

For more help with our choices for the June 3rd Primary Election, our neighbors in the West L.A. Democratic Club have invited us to two candidates’ forums, at a location TBD near Culver City. On Saturday, April 5th, from 10 am to 3 pm, we can hear candidates for Congressional District 33 (Waxman’s seat), State Senate District 26 (Ted Lieu’s seat), and Los Angeles County Supervisor (Zev Yaroslavsky’s seat). On Saturday, May 3rd, from 10 am to 3 pm, there will be appearances by candidates for California state offices, and Los Angeles County (Assessor, Sheriff, and some Judgeships).

After hearing the above, and studying the Propositions, our Culver City Club may choose to make endorsements at our meetings on April 9th and May 14th. I expect the choices will be easy for most State offices, except Secretary of State (Derek Cressman, Alex Padilla, Leland Yee), Controller (John A. Perez, Betty Yee), and Supervisor of Public Instruction (Tom Torlakson, Marshall Tuck). The County offices will be hotly contested, since no incumbents are running. Other contested primaries will include Congressional Districts 31 (to replace Republican Gary G. Miller) and 35 (to replace Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod), and Assembly District 62 (six Democrats are running to replace Steven Bradford).

There has been much written lately about Democrats losing their 2/3 majority in the State Senate, because Ron Calderon and Rod Wright will be absent from voting. This will not be nearly as big a problem as when a 1/3 minority blocked the Democrats’ state budget, and they had to make a deal with Abel Maldonado, who was then hounded out of office by furious Republicans. The deal was to put before the voters the winning Proposition that the top two vote- getters advance to the run-off election, regardless of party affiliation. I think that makes parties weaker, which is not good. Our Club should discuss the practical effect of this on elections, and also the effect of the new process for redistricting.

I also remember that Calderon and Wright were among the six Democratic Senators who chose to kill S.B. 810 (Leno), a single- payer healthcare bill that would save the state billions, while providing every Californian with guaranteed, quality healthcare. The other Democratic Senators who didn’t vote for this were: Lou Correa, Alex Padilla, Michael Rubio and Juan Vargas. All received big contributions from insurance companies and “Big Pharma”.