September 23, 2005

Political Notes:

Schwarzenegger Losing Hispanic Votes!

Schwarzenegger drew 31 percent of the Latino vote in the recall election, and following his announcement last week that he will run for re-election in 2006, the Governor’s support among Hispanics has fallen to just 17 percent of Latino residents, according to a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.

How did he do this? Schwarzenegger has supported the Minutemen; Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s decision to finish building a 14-mile “security fence” along the border between California and Mexico. (The decision also outraged environmentalists concerned about damage to rare birds and foliage in the Tijuana estuary.); And in what many perceived as a symbolic snubbing, a reporter from La Opinión, California’s largest Spanish-language newspaper, was barred last week from a Schwarzenegger event to which two English-language journalists were admitted.

Perhaps most damaging, however, was the open letter some California Republicans issued last week denouncing the Governor’s dismal record on placing Latinos in key posts and calling the state G.O.P. “morally wrong and politically stupid” for its shoddy treatment of Latino candidates.

San Diego County Mexican American Political Association Endorses Filner Over Vargas!

The San Diego County Mexican American Political Association announced today that they have granted an early endorsement to Congressman Bob Filner’s (Democrat, CA-51) 2006 primary bid for re-election over Assemblyman Juan Vargas.

“I am grateful and honored for this recognition of my record on behalf of all people in Imperial and San Diego Counties,” Congressman Filner said.  “From expanding economic opportunities, to fighting for civil rights, to protecting our families’ security, I have a proven record that has been recognized by an overwhelming number of business, political and community leaders including the San Diego County Mexican American Political Association.”

San Diego Democratic Central Committee Votes to Endorse Gonzalez and Bermudez for San Diego City Council Races

The San Diego Democratic Central Committee (SDDCC) voted to endorse in the upcoming San Diego City Council races on November 8, 2005. Candidates Lorena Gonzalez in District Two and Remigia “Remy” Bermudez in District Eight earned the endorsement.

Westly Blasts Governor’s Attacks Upon Teachers, Launches ‘Great Teachers’ Project

In a message on his website, California State Controller and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly today blasted Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest attack on California teachers. Westly also launched an online “Great Teachers” pro-ject to counter the Governor’s divisive message.

Yesterday, following a media inquiry, the governor’s political operatives removed a web form they had posted in the search for stories of “bad teachers.”

“Instead of focusing on firing teachers, we should focus on recruiting, retaining, and inspiring them,” said Controller Westly, a former educator who last weekend participated in one of more than 200 education-themed house parties held across California.

“Last week in Long Beach I called for a bold new program to support new teachers navigating the tough first year of teaching. Over half of new teachers leave the profession in their first five years, so we need training, mentoring, and partnership programs to keep them on the job and give every new teacher a chance to be a great teacher,” Westly added.

Continuing an innovative online strategy, Controller Westly also devoted a page on his website to “Great Teachers.” This site features an interactive way for visitors to share stories about teachers who changed their lives — California’s “Great Teachers.”

In an e-mail to supporters, Westly remarked, “We all know great teachers who have touched our lives. Now, I’m asking for your stories about them. Submit your stories about great teachers to our website and we’ll show the governor that teachers are the real heroes in this state.”

Westly also shared his own “Great Teacher” story as his campaign launched the new project. To read Steve’s “Great Teacher” story, check out our website:

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