• Alan Werbalowsky,  CA-26,  David Cruz Thayne,  David Pollock,  Jess Herrera,  Julia Brownley,  Linda Parks,  Tony Strickland

    CA-26: Democrat David Pollock Will NOT Run for Congress

    The Bad New Bears Star and Moorpark City Councilman has decided not to file tomorrow for a Congressional race.

    “I am writing to let you know that I have suspended my campaign for Congress,” Pollock said in prepared statement emailed to supporters. “This was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make, and I want to assure you that my campaign team and consultants considered every possible path forward.

    “Because of the way the candidate field formed, there was a strong possibility of an unfavorable outcome not only for me but the other Democrats in the race. From the beginning, this race was not about me; it was about bringing real change to our representation in Ventura County and a voice of reason to Congress.”

    Obviously, Democratic Party leaders have prevailed on Pollock to get out of the race. This is to give Democratic California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley a chance at winning a top two spot in the June primary election against two better known Ventura County politicians, Tony Strickland and Linda Parks.

    I doubt the other two remaining Democrats will withdraw since they have already stated they are in for good.

    But, you never know what the Democratic Party will offer to clear a field.

    Tomorrow night at 5 PM, the filing deadline we will be able to examine the field of candidates.

    So far, this is what we have:

    • Republican California State Senator Tony Strickland
    • Independent/No Party Preference Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks
    • Democrat California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley
    • Democrat Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jess Herrera
    • Democrat Westlake Village businessman David Cruz Thayne
    • Libertarian/Republican Akiva Werbalowsky

    Stay tuned….

  • CA-26,  David Cruz Thayne,  David Pollock,  Jess Herrera,  Julia Brownley,  Linda Parks,  Tony Strickland

    CA-26: Democrats Attacking Democrats Over Julia Brownley Carpetbagging Issue

    Well, I said it would be an issue and some of the Democrats in this congressional race cannot help themselves from piling on Democratic California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley.

    Democrats David Pollock, David Cruz Thayne, Jess Herrera and Assemblywoman Julia Brownley are all vying for the democratic vote after county supervisor and front-runner Steve Bennett backed out of the race on the verge of receiving an endorsement at the party’s state convention on Feb. 11.

    Here is the action:

    “This is about stating the facts,” said Alex Thompson, campaign manager for Thayne. “The matter is, Brownley has said she represents 50,000 people in Ventura County. The matter is, she represents them but doesn’t have an office here. She is trying to hide the fact she is from Santa Monica.” Thompson said there is “absolutely not a chance” for Thayne to pull out of the race.

    Candidate and Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Herrera said the district needs somebody who was born and raised in the area to rightly understand its constituents. The fact that Brownley recently moved here from Santa Monica doesn’t sit well with Herrera.

    “When have you seen someone from Oxnard or Camarillo represent L.A. County or Santa Barbara?” asked Herrera, who said he also has no intention of backing out of the race.

    In the meantime, Republican State Senator Tony Strickland and independent Ventura county Supervisor Linda Parks will sit back and let the numerous Democrats divide up the vote and portray the one Democrat who could possible beat them as a carpetbagger.

    The filing deadline is tomorrow at 5 PM.

    Wonder if any of these candidates will be persuaded by the Democratic Party to withdraw.

    We will see.

  • Audra Strickland,  CA-26,  Julia Brownley,  Linda Parks,  Tony Strickland

    CA-26: Is NPP – No Party Preference a Passing Fad in California Elections?

    Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks and Congressional candidate

    Allen Hoffenblum, a ling time California political consultant, pundit and author asks the question.

    But the NPP candidate that will get the closest attention is Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, who is running for Congress in an open district (CD26) where GOP state Sen. Tony Strickland and Democratic Asm. Julia Brownley are running (three other Democrats are also expected to be on the ballot).

    Parks is a moderate Republican who has long feuded with the area’s hard-core conservative activists. In her Nov. 2010 race for reelection to the Board of Supervisors, Park’s opponent was former Asm. Audra Strickland, wife of Tony. Though both were registered Republicans, the state GOP got involved, donating $50,000 to the Audra Strickland campaign. Parks, however, won, 61% – 39%.

    Statewide, independent voters – which the Secretary of State now labels as No Party Preference – comprise 21 percent of the electorate, just nine percent behind the Republican statewide registration of 30%.

    How well Parks performs in the June Primary may well determine if state voters, in sufficient numbers, are ready to cast a vote for an individual without a political party label.

    If she does well, along with continued increase in NPP registration and the continued decrease in GOP registration, the NPP label may evolve into being the serious “third party” alternative so many voters have been clamoring for.

    Linda Parks has been really a Democrat cloaked in a Republican registration for many years. Parks supporters have always been from a anti-business, slow-growth populist constituency. She never before has run for a partisan office, nor one based out of her geographical base of Thousand Oaks.

    When Parks beat former GOP Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, she beat a carpetbagger POL who had to move into the Ventura County Supervisorial District to challenge Parks. And, the incumbent supervisor had the overwhelming support of the Democrats and the Ventura County Public Employee Unions in the district.

    A smaller (smaller than a Congressional District) Supervisorial District, a challenger who was absent from the district most of the time and who was from Moorpark (not Thousand Oaks, where all of the voters are) aided Parks in her re-election effort.

    The top two and partisan June Primary election will be a whole different type of election.

    The Democrats will have a candidate in Assemblywoman Julia Brownley and will throw resources behind her.

    The Ventura County Employee Unions, a Democratic supporting constituency will have to stay either neutral or support both of them.

    Campaign contributions for Parks will be harder to obtain ( Democrats and Republicans should tap more sources of special interest money) and she will need to communicate to other areas of the Congressional District – stretching campaign resources, especially to respond to attacks from the Dems and GOP.

    I think Linda Parks will be lucky to be in the top two in June and go forward to the November general election.

    But, she has surprised before….

  • CA-26,  Julia Brownley,  Linda Parks,  Tony Strickland

    CA-26: Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks Re-Registers as Decline to State from Republican

    Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks and Congressional candidate

    Today, Linda Parks re-registered her voting affiliation from Republican to Declined to State.

    Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, who is running for Congress in California’s 26th District, was expected at noon Wednesday to re-register at the county’s elections division and “decline to state” a party affiliation, which in Californa is the same as being independent.

    Parks said in a written statement that she identifies more with the center of American life than with the far left or right and that she’s taking this step to give her more flexibility in bringing partisan interests together.

    “I believe Republicans and Democrats need to work together and, if elected, I will work with fellow Congressional members regardless of party,” she said. ““Congress is broken and we need to end the partisan extremism to effectively govern, fix the economy and create jobs.”

    Parks has also pledged to not accept money from PACs, unions, parties or major corporations.

    I just saw a tweet, broadcasting that she is now “independent.” Well, actually, she is partially correct.

    Parks has declined to state a political party preference and can use that to list herself on the congressional ballot as “no party preference.” Otherwise, she would have to be designated as a Republican.

    So, here are the candidates in the race (filing ends on March 9):

    • Republican California State Senator Tony Strickland
    • No Party Preference Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks
    • Democrat Moorpark Councilman David Pollock
    • Democrat Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jess Herrera
    • Democrat Westlake Village businessman David Cruz Thayne
    • Libertarian/Republican Akiva Werbalowsky
    • Democrat Assemblywoman Julia Brownley

    Will Park’s registration move, make any difference in this race?

    Probably not, since the Democratic Party who has backed Parks in non-partisan races for Thousand Oaks City Council and Ventura County Supervisors will have their own “establishment” candidate in Julia Brownley. Also, with Parks declaration that she will not accept PAC or political party campaign cash, she will be hampered as to the amount of advertising that will be purchased by both Brownley and Strickland.

    Linda Parks will try to portray herself as an “independent” to try to win a “top two” spot in the June primary election. But, she will be up against two “oiled” political machines.

    Who will attack Parks first?

    The Democrats or the Republicans?

    Stay tuned…..

  • CA-26,  David Cruz Thayne,  Julia Brownley,  Tony Strickland

    CA-26: Democrat David Cruz Thayne Mocks Assemblywoman Julia Brownley – Imported From Santa Monica

    California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley’s residence in Santa Monica, California

    In a little Democrat upon Democrat warfare. Congressional candidate David Cruz Thayne mocks Assemblywoman Julia Brownley as being an import from Santa Monica.

    Democrats, let’s think this one through carefully.  In the 2008 Ventura County-based state Senate race, right-wing Tony Strickland beat former Assemblymember Hannah Beth Jackson in a race that Democrats should have won given the millions that were poured into the campaign on her behalf.  How did he do it?  Partly by painting Jackson as a creature of Santa Barbara, where she has long lived, and which her voting record in the Assembly reflected, and making her out to be out of touch with Ventura County.

    Strickland, the GOP’s endorsed candidate for Congress and its most likely run-off candidate, already has the playbook on a race like this one.  Do we really want to watch a replay of that movie by serving up a Santa Monica Democrat to him and the national Republican attack machine?

    Well, this is a weak argument, since there is no federal law requirement that a Congressional candidate live in the Congressional District which they represent. Plus, Brownley presently represents Oak Park, Westlake Village, Oxnard and Port Hueneme in the California Assembly. But, as I said it is an issue.

    But, what distinguishes candidate Thayne from Brownley? I have been involved in Ventura County politics for decades and have never seen him involved in any issue or race. At least Brownley, who presumably has moved to Oak Park, since that is what she said she was going to do, represents part of CA-26 as an elected office holder.

    The carpetbagger argument is not one Republican Tony Strickland will use against Brownley. Her liberal voting record on the Santa Monica School Board and in the California Assembly and being out of touch with the majority of voters in the more conservative Ventura County will be sufficient enough.

    Tony Strickland will allow the Democrats to beat up on one another. As the front-runner who will command most all of the Republican voters in CA-26, he can sit back and watch the Dems attack each other.

    Have fun.

  • CA-26,  Julia Brownley,  Linda Parks,  Tony Strickland

    CA-26: Democrat Rep Brad Sherman is OUT and Assemblywoman Julia Brownley Is IN

    California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley

    Well, the rumors have born some fruit with California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley announcing over the long President’s Holiday weekend that she will run for Congress. Rep. Brad Sherman had coincidentally announced that he was remaining in CA-30 to duke it out with fellow Democrat Rep. Howard Berman for that Congressional seat.

    Brownley lives in Santa Monica, but told Timm Herdt of the Ventura County Star that she would rent an apartment in Oak Park (unincorporated, Ventura County, but in CA-26) yesterday.

    Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, stepping in after Supervisor Steve Bennett dropped out last week, said Sunday she will be a Democratic candidate in Ventura County’s new 26th Congressional District.

    Brownley, who lives in Santa Monica, has represented much of Ventura County in the Assembly for the past five years. Her district includes Port Hueneme, about half of Oxnard, Westlake Village and Oak Park — areas that make up about 16 percent of the congressional district.

    Brownley said she will move to an apartment in Oak Park this week.

    Most, if not all of CA-26 is in Ventura County and Democrat Brownley, while she represented Oxnard and Port Hueneme in the California Assembly is from Santa Monica in Los Angeles County. Her carpetbagger status (renting an apartment, in order to run for office in the Congressional District – although federal law allows non-resident candidacy, in any case) will be an issue.

    With Ventura County Supervisor Steve benefit precipitously withdrawing from the race, there was a Democratic Party void (i.e. a well known Democratic POL candidate) and apparently Brownley will fill it.

    Now, whether Brownley can beat Thousand Oaks based Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks and/or Republican California State Senator Tony Strickland in the June primary election (remember the top two advance to the November general election) is another story. Plus, there are other Democrats in the race which may dilute the Democratic vote.

    Here are all of the candidates – so far (filing opened Monday, February 13 and will close on March 9):

    • Republican California State Senator Tony Strickland
    • Independent/Republican Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks
    • Democrat Moorpark Councilman David Pollock
    • Democrat Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jess Herrera
    • Democrat Westlake Village businessman David Cruz Thayne
    • Libertarian/Republican Akiva Werbalowsky
    • Democrat California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley

    Tony Strickland remains the front-runner in this race.

  • CA-26,  Julia Brownley,  Linda Parks,  Steve Bennett,  Tony Strickland

    CA-26: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett Out as Candidate for Congress

    No big surprise to me since Bennett was rumored to be getting an inordinate amount of pressure from the Ventura County Public Employee Unions to stay in his safe Ventura county Supervisor District. Filing today for Congress, I believe opens today.

    A top Democratic recruit for the swing 26th Congressional District shocked supporters Saturday by dropping out of the race, one day after party leaders touted his race as a top pick-up opportunity.

    Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett, who was the top candidate for a pre-primary endorsement recommendation, announced during the state Democratic Party Convention in San Diego that he will drop his congressional candidacy to run for re-election to the Board of Supervisors.

    So, now will Rep. Brad Sherman jump into this race?

    Or, will Democrats coalesce around Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks? Might Parks re-register as a Democrat?

    My bet is that Rep. Brad Sherman takes a real hard look at this race.

    The remaining announced candidates are Republican California State Senator Tony Strickland, Independent/Republican Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, Democrat Moorpark Councilman David Pollock, Democrat Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jess Herrera, Democrat Westlake Village businessman David Cruz Thayne and Libertarian/Republican Akiva Werbalowsky.

    There is also a rumor that California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, a Democrat, who represents most of Oxnard and Port Hueneme is also looking at the race.

    Filing closes March 9, so stay tuned.