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

    CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland

    Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks (NP) and California State Senator Tony Strickland (R)

    My friend Scott Lay over at Around The Capitol has his thoughts about the Democrats, Republicans and Linda Parks (No Party Preference) in the 26th California Congressional district.

    Remember the 26th CD has the following party registration numbers:

    • Dem: 40.9%
    • Rep: 35.2%
    • NPP: 19.0%

    CD26 is the kind of race that gives us political geeks the tingles. Republican State Senator Tony Strickland brings his patented Republican credentials into the district to face off against equally Democratic west side Assemblymember Julia Brownley. At least, that’s the way the DCCC and NRCC see the race. However, on the Democratic side, expect to hear Brownley labeled a “carpetbagger” by Garry South-advised David Cruz Thayne. However, with harbor commissioner Jess Herrera also playing for the anti-Brownley and Latino vote, expect them to split that vote and roll out the carpet for Brownley to reach November. Both, however, will probably take a share of the 19% indie vote.

    On the Republican side, moderate Republican and Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks decided to not try to out-Republican Strickland, and dropped her party registration and thus was allowed to file as “No Party Preference.” To reach the top-two among the six-candidates in the race, I would set the bar for Parks at around 35%, which will be extraordinaily difficult to achieve. In 2010, 40% of this district cast votes for Tony Strickland against John Chiang for Controller. The Democrats will get between 40-50% of the vote here, with the top candidate likely landing at around 30%.  If Strickland gets 30% and any Democrat hits 30%, which I see as likely, there just isn’t room for Parks in November.

    I agree in part, but Linda Parks is a dogged campaigner and will put her environmentally charged up foot soldiers to work. Her major problem is that there a lot of voters out of the “Green” Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village area. And, these other voters will be split between constituencies – the Democrats and Latino voters.

    California State Senator Tony Strickland will have the money and the organization from the GOP to easily survive the June Primary election. He appears to be raising money and coasting at present.

    But, Tony had better hope that Linda Park’s reluctance to pledge her Congressional organizational vote to Rep Nancy Pelosi will motivate enough Democrats to fund and organize for Democrat California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley.

    I do think Strickland would have a more difficult general election race against Parks than the Democrat, Brownley.

    If Linda Parks had re-registered as a Democrat, which she had been before moving to Thousand Oaks, I wonder if Julia Brownley would have entered the race? Oh well…..

  • CA-26,  Linda Parks

    CA-26: Linda Parks Avoids Question Who She Will Support for House Speaker

    Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks and Congressional candidate

    It is not really a question you can dodge when running for Congress as a no party preference candidate, but Linda Parks did – multiple times.

    This audience, it seems, really wanted Linda Parks to answer the question: Who would she vote for to be speaker of the House?

    Parks, who is running as an independent in the 26th Congressional District U.S. House race, would have none of it.

    She repeated what she’s been saying since dropping her GOP affiliation last month and re-registered as having no party preference: She rejects the emphasis on party domination; partisanship is keeping the country from dealing with real issues; it’s what’s wrong with the country.

    David Maron, a League of Women Voters of Ventura County member who moderated a forum Friday afternoon for candidates for the House seat, tried again. Seven question cards had been submitted by audience members with some variation of the question, he told her.

    “I am going without the baggage of a party label,” Parks said, and began to elaborate again.

    Maron interrupted her midsentence, saying he needed to move on.

    “I just wanted to give you one more chance,” he said.

    Ventura County voters are not going to be satisfied with avoiding the question. It is simply answered either Republican Speaker John Boehner or former Speaker Democrat Nancy Pelosi or abstention.

    But, you see, Supervisor Parks wants to appeal to voters of both parties and independents.

    You cannot have your cake and eat it too, Linda.

    Boehner or Pelosi?

    I have embedded video of the League of Women Voters’ forum below.

    Video streaming by Ustream

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

    CA-26 Poll Watch: Linda Parks Beating Democrats in June Primary AND Tony Strickland in November

    Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks (NP) and California State Senator Tony Strickland (R)

    According to a new poll released by Timm Herdt at the Ventura County Star.

    There’s a very long way to go between here and there, but as the campaign season gets under way, Supervisor Linda Parks of Thousand Oaks has a very good chance of making history this year as independent running for Congress. Which is another way of saying that she could actually win.

    That conclusion is based on a poll conducted by Parks’ campaign team of Gorton Blair Biggs International, headed by former Pete Wilson strategist George Gorton, whose storied career in political consulting includes a tie-in with Watergate as a youth-vote adviser to President Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign (he paid someone to spy on anti-war protesters) and a major role in helping to elect Boris Yeltsin as president of the Russian Federation (the film “Spinning Boris” was based on that, with Jeff Goldblum playing the role of Gorton).

    Parks’ team yesterday shared with me a polling memo in the 26th Congressional District. Although short on details of the actual poll, the memo makes three things clear: Parks is now running in a strong second place in the primary, none of the four Democratic candidates is particularly well known, and that the Thousand Oaks supervisor has a statistically significant lead in a hypothetical November matchup against Republican Tony Strickland.

    Some details: The poll surveyed 361 likely primary voters from Feb. 26-28 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent. The results, according to the memo, show Parks in a “strong second place” in the primary. If she were to finish second, the polling results (weighted to reflect the expected partisan makeup of a general election turnout) show her leading Strickland 42.6 percent to 35.5 percent in a head-to-head race in November.

    Granted the race is in the early stages and this is a proprietary poll.

    But, there are some lessons here for Republicans and Democrats.

    If the Democrats wish to have a nominee in the general election, they had better coalesce around one candidate and that candidate is likely California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley. Why there are four democrats running in this race and why a democrat incumbent in Congress, namely Rep Brad Sherman, did not run in this marginally Democratic Congressional District is anyone’s guess.

    For the Republicans to hold retiring Rep Elton Gallegly’s seat, they will have to broaden their base and campaign heavily in Latino-centric Oxnard. Tony Strickland cannot allow the Ventura County Public Employee Unions and other unions to run rough-shod over him in Republican voter deficit City of Oxnard and to some degree Ventura.

    Linda Parks will win some Republican votes in Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village, Strickland cannot rely on large margins there – which he ahs enjoyed in the past.

    But, again, this race is early and the Democrats will surely start attacking Parks soon.

    If not, then Strickland better get a new pair of shoes and start walking the streets of Oxnard and Ventura early.

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

    CA-26: Final Candidates Set for Congressional Race – 4 Democrats, 1 Republican and 1 No Party Preference

    California Congressional District 26 Map from Around the Capitol

    Here is the final cast of candidates for the primarily Ventura County based 26th Congressional District:

    • Julia Brownley, Democrat and current member of the 41st California Assembly District
    • Albert Maxwell Goldberg, Democrat and realtor from Ventura
    • Jess Herrera, Democrat and current Oxnard Harbor District commissioner
    • Linda Parks, independent (no party preference) and current Ventura County supervisor
    • Tony Strickland, Republican and current California State Senator
    • David Cruz Thayne, Democratic businessman from Westlake Village

    This will be a very competitive race with the Primary election in June where the top two vote getters moving on to face off in the general election in November.

    According to the Ventura County recorder’s office, as of Jan. 3, 40.85 percent of voters in the 26th Congressional District are registered as Democrats, 35.22 percent are registered Republican and 2.3 percent are independent. The rest are registered with parties other than Democratic or Republican.

  • Abortion,  CA-26,  EMILY's List,  Julia Brownley,  Linda Parks,  Tony Strickland

    CA-26: Julia Brownley Supported by Pro-Abortion EMILY’s List

    California Democrat Assemblywoman Julia Brownley

    Julia Brownley is now on the LIST.

    Four more female House candidates have grabbed the attention of EMILY’s List, a Democratic political action committee (PAC) that supports women who favor abortion rights.

    Democrats Jessica Ehrlich in Florida, Shelley Adler in New Jersey, Julia Brownley in California and Joyce Healy-Abrams in Ohio have been put “On the List,” one stop short of a full endorsement. The designation will give the four candidates access to the PAC’s fundraising base while they work to meet additional benchmarks.

    “From Republican efforts to put your boss in charge of your healthcare coverage to Rush Limbaugh’s vile attacks on women who dare to speak up for themselves, the GOP is waging an all-out war on women,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in a statement. “Now more than ever, we need strong leaders like Shelley, Julia, Jessica and Joyce in Congress in order to make Washington work for women and families.”

    This will provide significant resources for Brownley in this race who is running against four other Democrats, one independent, Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks and a Republican, California State Senator Tony Strickland.

    Filing closes for this race tomorrow at 5 PM.

  • 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,  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.