Why Local Politics Matters

I’m sure you’re all figuring out that you’re in for another of my crazy rants. Well if you can’t stomach it, feel free to check out the other posts on this blog. Otherwise, stick with me as I try to point out something that often gets ignored.

Local races are often overlooked, even by many of us “political junkies” that are supposed to care about all this stuff. All of us here are probably “fired up” about Barack Obama. Many of us are starting to get excited about the Congressional races heating up in our area. But when it comes to state & local races, we may not always remember to be excited about them. I know I’ve been guilty of this many times.

And why is that? After all, it’s the lack of a 2/3 supermajority that’s preventing Democrats in the State Legislature from making real progress… Or even passing a budget on time. Every once in a while, I or a family member or a politically aware friend will complain about why hardly anything ever happens in Sacramento. Well, shouldn’t we remember that thanks to a Republican Governor & the obstructionist Republicans in the legislature, nothing can get accomplished?

And what about local races even closer to home? Don’t we always get sick & tired of reading about a local school board throwing out sex education or even basic science? And don’t we get frustrated when we hear about the next city getting into a stupid debate over an “In God We Trust” motto or a proposed ban on medical marijuana dispensaries? Think about it, these matters aren’t out of our hands. We can hold our local elected officials accountable.

So are you now getting what I’m saying? National level races may be “sexy”, but state and local level races are just as important to us. After all, who keeps the roads paved? Who decides the bulk of education policy? Who determines whether or not most of our open spaces get developed?

So please, take a look at who’s running in your area. And then, help them. We must remember that in the end, all politics is local. That’s why it’s important for us to support good local Democrats who will work hard to make real change happen.

  15 comments for “Why Local Politics Matters

  1. July 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm


    But shouldn’t you guys also OPPOSE the BAD Democrats, such as the entire Santa Ana City Clowncil? Why do the bad ones get a free pass from you?

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    July 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Art – we do; perhaps you forgot all the great reporting we did in regards to the Hoa Van Tran candidacy. And we criticize Dems here all the not, not that you would notice.

    Do you really think you have any influence over Santa Ana Voters Art? Your constant name-calling, rumors and inneundo, and general bitching about but offering no solutions for your community are not getting you anywhere. With the exception of your suppport for Janet Nguyen, voters constant reject positions taken by you and the Juice.

    And you’re complaining about a decision by the City Council to ban Massage Parlors, Hookah Bars, and Tattoo Shops as a bad thing for downtown Santa Ana? Perhaps you can explain what kind of shopper these businesses attract?

  3. July 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm


    It’s not worth arguing with Art. I just view him & SMS as contrarians that like to oppose whatever we support… And vice-versa. They know very well that I’ve critiqued Democrats that I think are persuing unwise policy and/or Democrats that are working against our values. But since this is a DEMOCRATIC blog, we generally support Democrats here… I think this is why Art’s still mad at us. Since we’re not Janet Nguyen shills “admirers”, we obviously don’t make the cut for OJ. 😉

  4. July 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    You guys did do yeoman service on Hoa Van Tran, kudos there. And Andrew and I raised the battlecry on both blogs when Obama capitulated on FISA. And there are probably other good examples of you lot being critical of a Dem or two.

    But the number of times you just reprint DPOC e-mails and press releases – often without comment positive or negative – like the latest one from Vince Sarmiento, makes you appear to be a Party organ. Is Sarmiento worthy of Democratic support? What has he done that Democrats should approve of and reward? I have no idea, maybe there’s something, I don’t live in Santa Ana. All I know about the SA city council is from Art and Thomas.

    I know, the Redfaced Blog does the same thing with Republican press releases, but I’d like to think we Democrats and liberals are smarter.

    Art’s “hookah bar” comment is possibly absurd, possibly his “gilding the lily” … on a LONG LONG LIST he compiled (and I passed around) of things that should cause Democrats not to support Mayor Pulido. Cross out the hookah bar, and disregard the source if you hate Art, there’s still probably 25 good points there. This guy Pulido is possibly someone this blog should start looking at critically. Unless – who knows – there are good things about him that Art’s not mentioning? Myself as an out-of-towner, I’m getting very excited about Michele, and thinking of contributing to her.

    (And again, what’s with “Barbaro” as an anti-spam word? I’d rather have to type out “Wellstone” or “Boxer” or “Cook” or even “Agran” … anyway, your blog…)

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    July 21, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Vern —
    Does that apply to the Debbie Cook emails and press releases we post without comment to?

  6. July 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Always the “gotcha” with you and Matt. And the “bring up Debbie if it’s Vern” with you and NCS. I hope you read my whole comment, I took several minutes on it, and tried hard to be uncharacteristically polite.

  7. July 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    OK, fine. Look at the ten or so posts I’ve done for Debbie since I’ve been blogging. Only one was a press release, and it started with my commentary. But there you go, you’ve got me sidetracked on something stupid….

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    July 21, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Yep Vern. I read every word.

    When you say you’re doing to contribute to Michelle’s campaign, does it mean you will be writing her a check?

    An don’t get me wrong Vern, I want Debbie to crush Dana in November.
    But look at what you wrote:
    **Art’s “hookah bar” comment is possibly absurd, possibly his “gilding the lily” … on a LONG LONG LIST he compiled (and I passed around) of things that should cause Democrats not to support Mayor Pulido. Cross out the hookah bar, and disregard the source if you hate Art, there’s still probably 25 good points there**

    Art is in NO position to tell Democrats what to do, especially when he punctuates the “joke” that the DPOC is. Pulido hasn’t even pulled papers yet Vern, and Art has his panties in a bunch over this.

    We are not a Party organ. We do generally support Democrats for office. Are Democrats always the best candidate for the job? Of course not. But despite your recognition of our coverage of Hoa Van Tran and Obama/FISA, you still make the assertation that we look like a party organ. And you’re wrong Vern.

    Vern, I’d like you to take your own advice. I read your whole comment; but perhaps you should read our blog posts more carefully before you make the assertations of our blog that you do.

  9. July 21, 2008 at 6:06 pm


    I know you mean no harm. I know you’re our friend (and probably our favorite OJ blogger… You’re certainly mine!). Just watch out on repeating here what Art says on OJ. As you can see, his ugly & dishonest potshots at us & at Democrats in general have hurt his credibility… And NOT just here!


    Don’t be too tough on Vern. I really don’t think he believes everything Art says. He’s really one of the only voices of reason left on OJ, and I’ve come to appreciate that. 🙂

  10. July 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    It’s all good… See you at 7 Andrew? (Debbie Cook’s Pizza & Progressive Politics)

  11. Dan Chmielewski
    July 21, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    I think Vern does a nice job over there. Especially with his well-researched, issued-based pieces.

  12. July 21, 2008 at 10:20 pm


    I agree. Vern is an awesome blogger! I am glad he is part of our team.

    BTW, if you go to the Melrose shopping district, which Pulido and company tried to emulate with their Artists Village, you will see several hookah bars. And massage parlors. And tattoo shops.

    Why start an Artists Village and then outlaw the sort of businesses such a district is SUPPOSED to attract? It makes no sense.

    But it does reflect the values of Republican City Manager Dave Ream, doesn’t it?

    I would be happy to give kudos to the SA City Clowncil if they ever did anything right. But they don’t. Ever.

    I will however back your fellow Democrat Ann Valencia Verdin against Carlos Bustamante. He really needs to go. I am sure we can all agree on that one.

  13. Dan Chmielewski
    July 22, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Art — How many tattoos do you have? How often do you hit the Hookah Bars? Get a massage lately? Certain types of businesses attract a certain type of clientele. Imagine a downtown with more professional services, interesting retail, or classier bars and eateries. Keeping these sort of businesses out of downtown means the City Council is looking for a different sort of happy ending.

  14. jose s.
    July 22, 2008 at 10:08 am

    art doesnt have time for hookah bars, tattoos, or massages he’s too busy censoring posts on his “cyber kingdom” where janet nguyen is like the virgin mary.

  15. Kevin
    September 3, 2008 at 10:38 am

    This is a liberal blog, of course it will be biased. Even the bad democrats are better than the good republicans. That’s the party line. It works that way on both sides so there’s no need to deny it or get worked up over it.
    I wish you’d get more readership though. Debbie Cook is not attractive or exciting to those of us who don’t live in Huntington Beach and share her one issue, extremist attitudes. I’m a dem who likes to support dems, but I won’t in this case. Sorry.

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