October 10, 2019 Newsletter from the Fresno County Democratic Party
View this email in your browser ([link removed])
Newsletter: October 10 2019
** In This Newsletter:
Local Candidates Endorsed (#LocalEndorse)
State Democratic Party Announces Pre-Endorsements (#Pre-Endorse)
Presidential Candidate Debate Watch Party (#DebateWatch)
Info Session on Gun Violence (#GunViolence)
Get Elected to the Democratic Central Committee (#ElectedCentralCommittee)
Alligators on the Border and Snakes in Washington (#Alligators)
Workshop for Candidates and Treasurers (#CandidateWorkshop)
New Public Banking for California (#PublicBanking)
Nunes’ Insanity Is America’s (#NunesInsane)
Funding Fellowship for Democratic HQ Fridge (#FridgeFunding)
Volunteer Orientation (#Volunteer)
Upcoming Activities (#Upcoming)
Save the Date! (#SaveDate)
The Fresno County Democratic Party has officially endorsed Andrew Janz for Mayor of Fresno. Janz, a prosecutor for the District Attorney’s office, will be facing down Lee Brand. Lee Brand has faced criticism for giving up city funds as tax breaks to big companies like Amazon instead of spending it on hiring local businesses for park repair and employing additional firefighters.
Janz has targeted poverty, homelessness and crime as the key priorities for the city, citing his experience as a violent crimes prosecutor. In 2016, Janz captured the national eye when he faced down Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare), Trump’s wildest conspiracy theory–focused supporter, before falling short by the slimmest margin of Nunes’ electoral career. Janz has displayed both a keen understanding of the challenges facing the majority of Central Valley residents and the ability to bring our often overlooked area into state and national focus.
The party also has endorsed Tyler Maxwell for Fresno City Council District 4. Maxwell is a career law enforcement member and former crime scene investigator. He currently serves as the Central Fresno public safety director. He has placed as priorities reducing emergency response times, removing graffiti and filling in potholes.
As the next election season rises on the horizon, the California Democratic Party has announced its first round of candidate endorsements. Incumbent Rep. TJ Cox received the preliminary statewide nod, as did State Assembly Member Joaquin Arrambula.
In Congressional District 4, Brynne Kennedy will be taking on Republican Tom McClintock. Kennedy, a business founder and former columnist for the Financial Times, has put forth her vision that would allow our state to survive the transforming global economy without completely abandoning rural communities in favor of big coastal cities.
Join us at the Democratic Party HQ on Oct. 15 for the latest of our viewing parties. The celebration will be a potluck, and everyone is invited to bring a snack or other tasty treat! The location is 1033 U St. ([link removed]) , the doors open at 4:30 p.m., and the watch party runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. We hope to see you all there.
On Oct. 29, at 6 p.m., the Democratic Party HQ ([link removed]) will host another in our series of information sessions. Moderating the discussion will be Reza Nekumanesh, director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno.
Want to be a part of the Democratic Party’s local decision-making body? Members of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee are elected by Democrats on the Primary Election ballot in Presidential election years. You may pull papers now at the Fresno County Registrar’s Office (2221 Kern St.). Contact 559-495-0606 or [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]?subject=Re%3A%20Getting%20Elected%20to%20the%20Democratic%20Central%20Committee) for more details.
Man-eating alligators, poisonous snakes, flesh-piercing spikes, superheated walls and the U.S. military gunning down any non-citizen they see: These are the “immigration solutions” Republican President Donald Trump proposed to government officials in a closed-door policy session earlier this year, as reported by the New York Times.
But don’t worry, when told that summary executions were legally problematic, the president allowed that soldiers might instead merely “shoot (migrants) in the legs to slow them down.” In the end, it was only calls from rich U.S. corporations that eventually convinced Trump to back away from his total shutdown and military occupation of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The leaked accounts of these White House meetings show that Trump’s worst rants are at any moment just a few more yes-men away from becoming U.S. policy. Apparently, the only thing that has been blunting the damage to our nation is the fact that Trump’s hand-picked staff often simply ignore his demands and orders. But with the constant firings and departures among senior Republican staff, it is only a matter of time until the top Republicans are only composed of those who are willing to shed all pretense and undertake the vileness that party has been winking at for decades of base-riling speeches.
The constant cruelty of the Republican Party’s treatment of non-White immigrants would be stomach-churning on its own if it did not also come with a baffling level of hypocrisy. Predominantly rural regions such as the Central Valley, tent-poled by rich farmers and massive agricultural companies, are utterly dependent on the below market-price labor of undocumented immigrants.
Still, farmers and agriculturalists consistently vote anti-immigrant and pro-Republican, so in return Washington provides them with billions of taxpayer dollars in the form of ongoing subsidies. In California, while climate change makes our water supplies more unreliable and the agricultural industry continues to contaminate our drinking aquifers, the Republican-led federal government consistently undercuts “states’ rights” in favor of rich dry-land farmers.
Republican farmers appear to prefer government handouts and racial animosity to security in their labor supply or export markets. Their Orwellian double-think decision has a stranglehold on Republican politicians as they are holding our collective economy and government hostage.
The warlike atmosphere of U.S. immigration policy started long before Trump and likely will continue long after. As a country that was created and expanded by mass illegal immigration into the nations that occupied this land before, we above all other countries must approach the issue of borders with a delicate and mindful touch. However, we can still hope for a better future. We can never let up the fight to fend off our brutal past, and indeed our brutal present.
On Oct. 17, the California Fair Political Practices Commission and the Fresno County Registrar’s office will hold a free workshop for candidates and treasurers. FPPC presenters will explain how to get started, how to handle advertisements and disclosures, and how to draft campaign reports. The session will also cover bank account rules, contributions, expenditures, post-election responsibilities and other tools and resources.
The workshop will be held at the Fresno County Elections Facility, 4525 E. Hamilton Ave ([link removed]) ., in Fresno. To register, contact Chrystal Babcock at or 559-600-3044.
Recently, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 857, which newly allows California cities and counties to establish publicly run banks. Such institutions will be able to steer new investment to places our state needs it at interest rates lower than what profit-driven banks are willing to offer. With the banking-driven crisis of 2008 still clear in our memory, this new measure is hoped to provide a greater level of precision and moderation in our state’s financial landscape.
Just after the bill was signed, the Los Angeles City Council put forth a proposal to create California’s first public bank. With the city calling on the state government to declare a state of emergency on the topic of homelessness, public banks are seen as a potential tool to direct more investment toward low-rent housing developments. However, that proposal is just step one, as opponents of the new law inserted many levels of oversight and bureaucratic approval before any bank can come into existence, far more than are required for private banks to operate. These protections are meant to sway worries of government corruption.
This law is not a new experiment in America. North Dakota has had a statewide public bank for 100 years. Back at its founding, the heavily agricultural state was at the mercy of financial institutions in Chicago or Minneapolis, which could hike up farmers’ loan rates or undercut crop prices without fear of any organized reprisal. A statewide political movement arose from this discontent, adopting most of the Socialist Party’s platform while avoiding the word “socialist” itself and succeeded in establishing the Bank of North Dakota. In 2018, the state bank posted net earnings of $159 million on top of its existing holdings, while at the same time providing loans to necessary areas that might otherwise be seen as too risky.
Critics of California’s new law claim that our state’s distinct character means the success of public banks elsewhere does not mean they would help us. However, for us in the Central Valley the success of a state-run bank as both a protector and an incubator of new industry in a heavily agricultural area could point toward a rosy future under the new public regime.
Devin Nunes spent many of his early years in Congress as a single issue representative: Valley agriculture and its ever-voracious desire for water. In that at least he is still on brand, signing on for billions of taxpayer subsidies to big agricultural producers who have been both voting for and suffering from Trump’s attention-deficient trade war with China. However, from the moment Trump first nailed his red hat on the head of the Republican elephant, Nunes has found a new love in the swirling chaotic world of conservative conspiracy theories and the lies that build them.
As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes wielded what legislative power he had to defend Trump and lash out viciously at any threat, real or imagined. Most recently, he has moved onto Trump’s favorite lie-of-the-day, which claims the Democratic Party conspired with Ukraine to rig the 2016 presidential election, presumably against themselves.
Nunes’ denials of the Russian campaign to benefit the Republican Party stand out even in today’s era of bold-faced Republican lies. Much like with Trump, it is hard to imagine what Nunes’ foreign policy goals might be other than the advancement of Russian interests. One can only imagine that the land near Joseph McCarthy’s grave is now an earthquake zone from the late Russophobe’s rolling.
Nunes has grown ever more like the reality-show actor in the Oval Office. The thin-skinned California Congressional member currently has an ongoing lawsuit in Virginia against the California-based company Twitter. Nunes contends that Twitter allowed Republican strategist Liz Mair to operate several satirical Twitter accounts, including “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and Devin Nunes’ Cow,” which he contends are illegal defamation.
It is rightly nearly impossible for public figures such as politicians to win defamation cases, but today there is a dangerous movement growing within the Republican Party to undo that pillar of free society. Nunes is also suing in Virginia the California-based company McClatchy, which owns the Fresno Bee, this time for reporting on a sexual harassment accusation against a winery of which Nunes is a part owner. Again, the accusation is defamation.
Other Nunes lawsuits, nearly all in Virginia despite not including any Virginia-based defendants, include lashing out against a Valley farmer who protested the politician naming his occupation as “farmer” on ballots, Esquire magazine for an article describing the area around Nunes’ parents’ Iowa farm and contrast between the agricultural dependency on illegal immigrant labor and its anti-immigrant voting record, and the company Fusion GPS for taking money from the Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton campaigns to create the first investigative dossier on Russian interest in Trump’s presidential campaign. Worryingly, some judges are letting these clearly frivolous lawsuits move forward. The conservative tilt of our current judicial branch seems to be steering toward Trump’s world where whistleblowers are spies deserving of execution.
The Republican Party, led by Trump, has become the enemy of truth and democracy. A republic such as ours depends on the concept of an informed electorate, which can judge the performance of their chosen representatives. The Republican approach of sowing distrust in all sources, lying without repercussion and presenting reporting on their actions as treachery is as dangerous to the soul of our country as any act of civil war.
It is exhausting to face this never-ending onslaught of gross and petty lies, but we must. We must stand against the attempts of authoritarians such as Trump and Nunes at every single turn.
Time is the ruination of all things, man and refrigerator alike. Today, we are saying goodbye to an appliance of such antique provenance that it was found to have pot stuffed into the back grate when it was donated to us. We’ve come a long way.
So, in hopes of more and bigger endeavors in our new and expanded HQ, we bought a bigger used one, minus the pot. It was delivered recently at a cost of $800. Any who are inclined to help affray these costs in favor of grander Democratic work this season, please donate today. Donate online at [link removed]. Checks made out to “FCDCC” (drop off at the Democratic Party HQ or mail to Fresno County Democratic Party, P.O. Box 5795, Fresno, CA 93755) are also accepted.
The Fresno County Democratic Party is always looking for volunteers, and we have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in volunteering, the party provides orientation sessions at the HQ. The upcoming schedule is as follows:
Oct. 18: Noon
Democratic Party HQ, 1033 U St. (downtown Fresno) ([link removed])
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 5795, Fresno CA, 93755
Add us to your address book - [link removed]
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences ([link removed])
or ** unsubscribe from this list ([link removed])
Paid for by the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee. FEC ID # C00518605, FPPC ID # 743910.
1033 U Street, Fresno, CA 93721. Not authorized by any candidate or committee.