While California Dreams- Weekly Update Vol.2 No. 3

A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento
For the week ending February 2, 2008

Key bills and issues we’ve been following during the
Past week and beyond
Like most of you, we here at Speak Out California have been following the Presidential election campaign very closely. We hope you’ve looked at our Voter Guide for guidance on the ballot measures that are also on the ballot this Tuesday. (Click here for that information).
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In keeping with the importance of the coming election, this update is not our typical analysis of what has been going on in Sacramento. Until now, we haven’t gotten directly involved in the exciting and exhilarating Presidential campaign that will garner large numbers of important delegate votes that the remaining candidates will need going into what might very well be a brokered national convention later this summer in Denver, Colorado.
Since the Republicans can’t even pretend to have a progressive candidate on their slate, with each of their top-tier candidates emphasizing their so-called “pro-life” pro-war records, we won’t be referring to their beauty contest in our comments at all. They can’t seem to be running right hard enough to please themselves. This is not the America we want or need. It is devoid of the values and elements that have made our country great–vision, hope and opportunity. We will, however, remember their platforms and promises in the general election, lest we start forgetting who they really are and claim to be.
Like so many of you, we’ve been impressed by both Democratic candidates that are left standing as we head into “Super Tuesday”. There are only two now, after at least eight interesting and well-qualified candidates first threw their proverbial hats in the ring. For many, there is disappointment that their candidate did not catch fire and withdrew from the debate. For John Edwards supporters, in particular, it was a stinging disappointment when he dropped out this past week, leaving only two U.S. Senators to finish the race. But the country is stronger for their various positions and qualities. There is hope that we can turn our country around and proof that there are still fine leaders willing to step forward and offer their vision of the future to the American People.
While Speak Out California has watched each of the candidates articulate his/her vision for the future, we know that the party is quite divided between the two remaining candidates. Hillary Clinton represents an array of experience and knowledge about how the system truly operates. She has articulated with clear and impressive understanding, what needs to be done to return America to its greatness, a position that has been both squandered and recklessly destroyed by the current Bush administration. She perhaps sums up her candidacy best by her remark at the recent debate, “It took a Clinton to clean up the first Bush mess and it will take a Clinton to clean up the second Bush mess.”
Barack Obama represents the next generation of political leaders. While articulate and motivational, he sounds similar themes to those of his colleague and opponent. At the same time he has captured the imagination of a generation and roused them to political interest and action unseen in many years. In his stirring Convention speech of 2004 he defined his vision with the statement, ” We are not Blue States or Red States, we are the United States.”
It is unclear who will be the winner on Tuesday. Most pundits believe there will be no clear winner–that both will amass a large number of delegates for the final battle for the nomination at the Democratic Convention in late August. The talk on Tuesday and beyond will no longer be about who won which state, but how many delegates he or she will take from each.
Regardless of which candidate ultimately emerges, the victor will be making history as the first of either his race or her gender to be the nominee for President of the United States. It is truly a groundbreaking moment in which all can be proud. So, who will it be? Who is the best candidate? Which one can win in November and take our country back for the working people and the future?
Many of you have asked us who we endorse. From a progressive’s perspective, both candidates have positives and negatives and either one would be an enormous improvement over where we are today as a nation. We suspect you’ve seen lots of opinion letters by all sorts of people including endorsements for each of the candidates from the familiar pundits and politicians as well as spin and analysis from the major papers and supporters. What Speak Out California has done, instead, is provide you with the thinking of two women who have been long-time California activists committed to advancing progressive causes and candidates. They have agreed to share their reasons for supporting their respective choices for President. We present them to you (in alphabetical order of candidate’s last name). Please note that we also welcome any comments or opinions you may have as well…..and would appreciate your posting them on our weblog so they can be shared with our readers .

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