UNITY! The other campaign fuel.

UmbergThere has been a lot of buzz, and even a little bit of Republican grumbling about the speed at which the Democratic Party of Orange County and organized labor have managed to unify their efforts behind a single candidate, Tom Umberg, in the First District Board of Supervisor’s Special Election on February 6th. Filing for the contest closed on December 26th, the Orange County Central Labor Council endorsed Umberg on the 27th, followed by The Democratic Party of Orange County, Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs and Orange County Professional Firefighters later in the day. The Orange County Employees Association announced its endorsement on December 28th. In very short order the last candidate to pull papers to enter the race, had wrapped up the endorsements of organized labor and the Democratic Party in Orange County. While the Republican leadership was busy engaging in a massive pissing contest, the democrats and labor unified in two short days and started to get down to work.

Fighting DemsThe OC Democrats have hired several staff members to strengthen and guide a field operation and developed the infrastructure to launch a well coordinated campaign for the voice they believe should speak for the 1st District. Organized labor has developed its plan of action and divided the work up among its coalition members, focusing primarily on getting union members and their voting family members out to vote for Umberg.

There has been a lot of talk about who takes votes, from whom. Do the three Vietnamese candidates split their votes and weaken their influence? Does Benny Diaz take more votes away from Bustamante or Umberg, does Lupe Moreno hurt Bustamante more than Diaz, will Brett Franklin take votes away from Umberg and Bustamante, or for that matter what is the impact of having several well funded Republicans (6 out of 7) do to the Republican vote? What impact will Kermit Marsh have on all of this, he believes, he’ll make a very strong showing in Westminster and Midway City. For that matter, will Mark Rosen be able to garner enough votes to squeak out a win, or will he keep just enough votes to prevent Umberg from winning.

Does your head hurt yet? Mine Does.

These are all great academic questions that political junkies, like many of use are, just love to debate till we’re blue in the face. But the fact is that it doesn’t matter who takes votes from whom, but rather who gets the most votes. It really won’t matter how much mail fills up the 1st District mail boxes over the next few weeks. What will matter is whose voters turn in their absentee ballots and who turns out their voters to the polls.

There are two things that make getting out the vote happen; organization and boots (on the phones and on the ground). Given the organization and people (boots) that the Democrats and organized labor have focused on one candidate, I believe this contest leans strongly in Umberg’s favor. What Tom Umberg has, in addition to the Democratic and labor support is name ID coupled with a core base of supporters larger than any of the other candidates

So to my fellow Liberals and Democrats I have to warn you…



Contact the Democratic Party of Orange County and Join the Fighting Dems in supporting TOM UMBERG for SUPERVISOR. Your help is needed to work the phones and walk precincts to get out the vote for Tom. To volunteer call the Orange County Democratic Party HQ at (714) 835-5158 or send an email to info@ocdemocrats.com. If you’ve got a few bucks to toss Tom’s way that is appreciated too. To contribute to Tom’s campaign, visit the Umberg for Supervisor website at www.umberg4supervisor.com.

  16 comments for “UNITY! The other campaign fuel.

  1. One with a memory
    January 7, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Would this be the same Tom Umberg who abstained from voting on the gay marriage bill the first time around in the Assembly? Sorry, Chris, some of us are not as quick to forgive and forget. We’re sitting this one out for a reason. I say abstain on Umberg. He deserves no more from me.

  2. January 7, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    One With A Memory:

    Tom Umberg did indeed abstain from voting on AB19, the first of the TWO Marriage Equality bills to reach the Assembly in 2005.

    The second time, on AB849 Assemblyman Umberg voted YES. only to have that fact used against him by Lou Correa in the 34th Senate Primary.

    Assemblyman Umberg said in his floor statement:

    “This is one of those times when history looks up on us to see where we are. Ten years from now very few of us will recall even those who we served with. Ten years from now even fewer of us will recall the bills that were voted upon. But ten years from now there are a hand full of issues that history will record where we stood. And this is one of those issues. The constituency I’m concerned about is a very small one, that’s the constituency of my three children, should they decide to look back on my record and look back and reflect on where I was when I could have made a difference. Where I stood when I could make a difference. If I stood with those who sought to take a leadership roll in terms of tolerance, equity, and fairness. And I’ll be proud to say I did.”

    You can sit this one out if you like, but if equality for the lgbt community is an important issue for you, then your vote should go to the only candidate who can win, that also supports lgbt equality.

  3. Bob Tucker
    January 7, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    I think the multitude of candidates may have a vote bleeding effect on each other especially in low turn-out elections like this one will probably be. Some of these elections, as we have seen, are determined by very few votes indeed. While union organizations have endorsed Tom, that does not automatically mean he will get a lot of union volunteers. Not all union members are thrilled with his alleged character flaws.

    As for the Vietnamese candidates, I would watch Trung Nguyen. He is currently a school board member for Garden Grove Unified. Aside from having the Van Tran machine behind him, he has reached out agressively to other less conservative groups and individuals for early endorsements including some union supported Westminster School Board members. So, who will get the 53K Vietnamese votes? That was the number recently reported as actual voters in the Vietnamese community in the last election, and most of those were absentee.
    As Chris said, “What will matter is whose voters turn in their absentee ballots and who turns out their voters to the polls.”

  4. One with a memory
    January 7, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    But Chris, how did Tom vote when he could have stood to make a difference the FIRST time?
    Floor statements are meaningless, voting records are what matters.
    Tom sat it out when he could have made a difference to me. AFTER telling many LGBT leaders not to worry, that he’d be with them.
    I know I will NEVER go out of my way to continue his rather selfish political career.

  5. January 7, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    One With A Memory:

    Just so that the “Record is Clear”…

    Tom Umberg consistently told the LGBT leaders that he supported achieving equality through the mechanism of Domestic Partnerships or Civil Unions. He had made it quite clear that he felt his district was not ready for same gender marriage. His vote the first time around was consistent with that sentiment. In the 2004 campaign, which is the time I believe you are referring to, support for full marriage equality was not the litmus test for support from the LGBT community political leadership. That is evidenced by their full support of Tom in 2004. Further, Tom Umberg’s record of support for the LGBT community has been higher than all but one elected official from Orange County, throughout his career. The only official with a higher record of support for our legislative initiatives is Joe Dunn.

    Tom ultimately changed his mind and voted his conscience in support of Marriage Equality against the best interests of his political career. That level of courage and core commitment to the values of equality resulted in significant and almost unanimous support from LGBT political leadership in his primary race against Lou Correa.

    It seems to me that you may be confusing Tom Umberg with Lou Correa, who did say he would be with us, and was there for us only 60% of the time. And before you bring up Correa’s vote in support of Domestic Partnerships, he voted no before he voted yes the second time around.

  6. January 7, 2007 at 3:20 pm


    I will concede that there may be some union members who will not support Tom Umberg. However, based upon the turnout in volunteers that I have seen, that appears to not be the case. Union members are volunteering in significant numbers, even greater than their leadership anticipated, to support Tom Umberg in this election.

  7. One with a memory
    January 7, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Believe what you want, Chris. I think Tom SOLD US OUT with his abstention on AB19. To me that was a big F-YOU to me and to you and to Bob and to Mike and many of my closest friends.
    When given the opportunity to grant me the full status of every heterosexual citizen of California and validate our relationships as equal to theirs, he wimped out under pressure from the Sheldons and the Traditional Values Coalition.
    Perhaps this plea for votes, volunteers and contributions should be addressed to the Reverend Lou and the TVC.
    And before you ask, I am not supporting or assisting any of the other candidates. I just resent being asked to do ANYTHING to help Tom.

  8. January 7, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Suit yourself, One With a Memory. It is however dishonest to claim that someone sold you out , when they did exactly what they said they would do when they asked for your vote. If you want to then dismiss the fact that the changed their mind and voted the way you wanted them to, that is your choice too. I just think you’re missing the fact that ultimitlely, Tom stood with us, not against us.

  9. One with a memory
    January 7, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    I think for you to completely ignore the AB19 vote is a terrible mistake. With that initial vote, Tom proved that he is not a friend of the LGBT community. To claim otherwise is simply dishonest.
    Funny, I was a part of one of those meetings with Umberg and Urch before the Gay Marriage vote. You weren’t present, Chris. So how could you possibly know what was said?
    In all my years working in politics, only one elected official has ever lied to me. I don’t give liars a second chance.

  10. January 7, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Just because I wasn’t in the same meetingd you were does not mean I was not in any meetings. Since you do not have the courage to stand behind your claims, it is difficult to argue with you.

    If you want the factual data that demonstrates Tom Umbergs support for LGBT issues, I can provide it. But in reality LGBT issues are not in play in this election, as they are State issues.

    If you want to sit this one out, more power to you.

  11. One with a memory
    January 7, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    There is a reason we sometimes call our elected officials “leaders.” On occasion, we ask them to rise above their own careers, put public opinion polls, focus groups, personal discomfort, and political expediency aside and actually LEAD. Lead us to a place many are not yet willing to go.
    On this issue, as far as I’m concerned, Tom failed as a leader.

    “The fact that the executive branch can, with the flourish of a pen, desegregate the armed forces as Harry Truman and check the majority will; or that the judiciary in Brown v. Board of Education could recognize the equal rights of minority citizens over and against the will of the majority; this ability of the separation of powers to unilaterally, when necessary, make sure that majority rule does not impose a tyranny on the minority – this is what is best about the American system.”
    — Stephen Schloesser, Professor of History Boston College, Letter on Marriage with a History of Marriage to Senator Marian Walsh of MA.

  12. Dan Chmielewski
    January 8, 2007 at 8:49 am

    So, you’d not vote for Tom but would instead allow a Republican with whom you’d have no prayer of getting any gay marriage legislation supported, get elected instead. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Email the Umberg campaign for their current stance of these issues.

  13. One with a memory
    January 8, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Thankfully, Dan, the gay marriage issue will not be decided at the county supervisor level. Instead, this election is simply about continuing Umberg’s political career.
    Like Tom, I don’t reside in that district. But if I did I’d likely decide between Benny Diaz and Mark Rosen. There are other options!
    I was making the point that I will not spend my precious time or a part of my political budget to support Mr. Umberg when he hasn’t supported me.

  14. Dan Chmielewski
    January 8, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    IN all due respect, if you don’t live in the district and can’t vote there, why even bother bringing this up?

  15. John C Holmes
    January 8, 2007 at 10:37 pm


    You kinda sound like your saying if you don’t live in the district, you shouldn’t be running for office in the district. Interesting thought…

    Nevertheless this is about further the political career of Umberg who turned his back on all of us. We can’t send a message that we support representatives who support us by giving Umberg a pass. His election will mean nothing for our movement, but we now that the Unions will have their advocate.

    Don’t sell out! Umberg had his opportunity and he trashed our issues. Benny Diaz is somone who would never turn his back on what he’s states he will fight for.

  16. Dan Chmielewski
    January 8, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Well, George W. Bush sure ain’t from Texas. New Haven, CT is his hometown.

    If Tom is legally barred from running, that’s a matter of law and the law will be clear. Chris’ defense of Tom’s stance is pretty clear.

    I don’t care who wins this race. I don’t understand why you should.

Comments are closed.