Same Page Coalition Endorses Brad Sherman, Steve Fox, Dan McCrory


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 California League of Latin American Citizens

C.A.L.L.A.C. – Affiliated with the National League of Latin American Citizens

P.O. Box 433 Torrance CA 90508-0433

Tel: 213.787.5476

 For Immediate Release: October 14, 2012



L to R: Cynthia Conover, Jose Luis Ramirez, Brad Sherman, Maria Cano, Jan B. Tucker, Linda Pruett, Rick Pederson

Following a thorough vetting process the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition has endorsed Representative Brad Sherman who is involved in a pivotal re-election bid against Representative Howard Berman in the California 30th Congressional District along with Assembly Candidate Steve Fox in the 36th District. The coalition is also making an early endorsement of Assembly Candidate Dan McCrory who is expected to seek election in the 40th District under the expectation that incumbent Bob Blumenfield will seek election to the Los Angeles City Council in 2013.

The Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition consists of the National League of Latin American Citizens (NLLAC), California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC), the San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles and the Los Angeles South Chapters of the National Organization for Women, the United For Education Coalition, Miss Revolutionaries, the California LULAC Institute, and Todos Unidos. The latter two organizations are 501(c)(3) non-profits and do not make endorsements but participate in the vetting process to engage in GOTV (Get Out The Vote) and voter education efforts. Additionally, the Bring Hollywood Home Foundation (BHHF) is participating in the vetting process with a supplemental questionnaire for candidates and will take it’s own action on the races later.

Steve Fox, Third from Left

The Coalition’s standard endorsement questionnaire is considered one of the most comprehensive amongst California endorsing organizations. All three of the major Los Angeles Mayoral candidates for the 2013 municipal elections are currently in the process of formulating their responses to it. The questionnaire can be downloaded from The Coalition sent invitations to nearly every candidate for President, U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and state legislature on the California ballot in the November election (with the exception of about five candidates for whom contact information was not available).

Dan McCrory, Middle

In addition to the endorsing organizations, the Coalition announced that NLLAC National President Jaime Martinez had personally endorsed Representative Brad Sherman. Martinez, is also the founder and President of the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Fund, and was the first Chicano to serve at the national level in the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE-AFL-CIO), first vice president for the Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO and served as president of the national Labor Council of Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).


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Know Your Electors–CA Electoral College Nominees


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Few Americans actually understand the origins or mechanics of the “Electoral College” which consists of the people that you actually elect in order to elect the President and Vice President of the United States.  Huh????  Elect to elect?  Yeah, that’s what I said.

When you vote for President and Vice President you’re really voting for a “slate of electors” who will gather in the State Capitol and then vote for whoever they want to for President and Vice President.  There is no law that can force these people to vote for who they pledged to vote for because the United States Constitution doesn’t specify that they can be required to vote for those to whom they are pledged.  Article II, Section 1 and the Twelfth Amendment explain how electors are to be selected and how they vote for President and Vice President.  Every so often a few electors have voted for somebody other than for whom they were pledged, but it has never affected the outcome of an election.

Usually, the names of electors are completely unknown to the public, unless they are, like those who defy their pledge are who have historically been called the “faithless electors.”  Generally speaking they wind up getting interviewed by the news media and immediately afterwards are forgotten by all except overly pedantic political scientists and other trivia geeks.  I do happen to remember that author James Michener was a member of the Pennsylvania Electoral College (and I think served as its Secretary) in 1960, simply because in High School I read his book, “Report of the County Chairman about his 1960’s experience as head of the John Kennedy for President organization in Buck’s County, Pennsylvania.

Anyway, just in case you’re curious about who the California Electors are for the various political parties fielding candidates on the California ballot this year, the Secretary of State has them listed on the office’s website and when you vote, remember that they get to vote for the candidate of their choice, so just hope that your party picked them very carefully so they vote for the candidate you voted for as well:

Here’s a little tidbit about why you have to be REALLY CAREFUL about who you put on your slate of electors.  Attorney Richard Loa of Palmdale is an elector for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  Although for years he’s been claiming to have been a “lifelong Republican,” that’s just a flat out lie.  He used to be a Marxist – Leninist and Co-President of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of La Raza Unida Party.  I wrote about his radical chic days in my blog posting:  Loa once lectured me about how my view of “natural rights” was wrong because it was inconsistent with the principles of Marxism-Leninism.

Young Radical Clemenceau

Loa is a shining example, if you follow former French Premier Georges Clemenceau, of what he was talking about when he said “A young man who isn’t a socialist hasn’t got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn’t got a head,” and “My son is 22 years old. If he had not become a Communist at 22, I would have disowned him. If he is still a Communist at 30, I will do it then.”  On the other hand, if you’re a follower of Jan B. Tucker, then you may remember the message I gave in the program for a speech I gave at an AB 540 student fundraiser at Los Angeles

Old & Conservative Clemenceau

Mission College where I said that Clemenceau is full of shit.  Aside from the fact that he was a sexist and didn’t include women in his statements, you don’t have to give up your heart just to grow a brain.

By the way, it’s possible that another of Romney’s electors is a former member of the Socialist Party USA, but it might be a case of mistaken identity just because the name and general area she lives in is the same…..but I’m still checking that out!

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Mervyn Dymally: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly


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Wikipedia says of Mervyn M. Dymally:

Mervyn Malcolm Dymally (May 12, 1926 – October 7, 2012) was a California Democratic politician. He served in the California State Assembly (1963–1966) and the California State Senate (1967–1975), as the 41st Lieutenant Governor of California (1975–1979), and in the U.S. House of Representatives (1981–1993). Dymally returned to politics a decade later to serve in the California State Assembly (2002–2008).

Dymally, of mixed Indian and Afro-Trinidadian heritage, was the first Trinidadian to serve California as State Senator and Lieutenant Governor. He was one of the first persons of African and Indian origin to serve in the U.S. Congress. In 1974 he and George L. Brown became the first two blacks elected to statewide office since Oscar Dunn did so during Reconstruction.

Mervyn Malcolm Dymally, Legislator, Congressman, Lieutenant Governor of California and…… lobbyist

Merv Dymally to be sure, did some great things in his career and when I use the term great it is neither hyperbole, exaggeration, or an attempt to be polite to the deceased.  His career was a mixed bag and you will not see in print or anywhere else in his obituaries some of the issues I’m going to raise here.  I have a unique perspective about Merv because I ran against him in 1978 for Lieutenant Governor on the California Peace & Freedom Party ticket and I also assisted my old friend Carl E. Robinson, former President of the Compton Community College Board of Trustees to litigate against a power grab orchestrated by Dymally which set the precedent for what the Michigan Republican Party would later be accused of doing to predominantly African American cities throughout that state.

1974:  A Historic Election and a Historic Debate

John L. Harmer

One thing you’ve got to give to Merv:  he was one of the savviest politicians who ever worked in the State of California.  Merv and Alan Cranston both knew one important fact about the mechanics of debates.  Most politicians, especially incumbents, shun the thought of being on a stage with third party candidates included.  Merv and Alan (whose Deputy Campaign manager was a Peace & Freedom Party member in his re-election campaign against Republican Paul Gann; not to mention that Cranston started his political career in Henry Wallace’s Independent Progressive Party) understood that if you have a Peace & Freedom Party candidate in the race during a debate, the PFP nominee would invariably make the Democratic candidate look like a moderate surrounded by the Republican extremist on the right and the PFP on the left.

In 1974, this played out perfectly for Merv when, during the PBS debate, he was flanked by appointed Republican Lieutenant Governor and former State Senator John Harmer (appointed by Governor Ronald Reagan to replace Edwin Reinecke who’d been tainted by the Watergate scandal) and PFP Candidate (later my Gubernatorial running mate in 1978, the first open Lesbian to run for statewide office in California) Marilyn Seals.  Harmer, a Morman, had been doing a tremendous job of attacking Merv’s record in the legislature, going over bill after bill that Merv had introduced and spinning them as bad legislation.  Then, Harmer went even further, characterizing Dymally as having a “socialistic voting record.”

Marilyn countered in her closing statement that the problem with Dymally was that he did not have a socialistic voting record and went on to support Feminist-Socialism over liberalism.  To understand what then transpired, you have to understand that Lieutenant Governor Harmer was a right wing fanatic.  An October 23, 1972 Time Magazine article discussed Harmer authored California Proposition 18 on the November 1972 ballot, which was so extreme that Republicans Clint Eastwood and even John Wayne campaigned against it:

As drafted by State Senator John Harmer, a Mormon and a Republican, Proposition 18 leaves no doubt as to what is considered obscene: any display in public of adult genitals, buttocks or female nipples; any explicit show of “sexual excitement,” “sexual conduct” or “sadomasochistic abuse.” Obscene words may not be used if they are descriptive, only if they are exclamations of shock or anger. Thus the dialogue of Andy Warhol movies would be forbidden, but George C. Scott could get away with his expletives in Patton.

Printed matter without pictures is left alone, but even that is vulnerable to attack. As sweeping as the initiative is, it also allows local communities to add to the law if they want to. Private citizens, if they are so inclined, are permitted to make citizen’s arrests of pornographers and confiscate materials, though they face the risk of a civil suit if they go too far. An aide to Senator Harmer explains: “As a practical matter, we think the initiative covers everything. But we want to protect people five or ten years down the line. We don’t know what the creative pornographers might think up.”

Harmer’s Proposition 18, which to this day the LDS church laments its defeat, was so far out off the deep-end that it would have made it a misdemeanor for a male to walk around in public, even fully clothed, with a visibly turgid phallus in his pants!  Many of the world’s major works of art would be illegal to display anywhere but the middle of the Mojave desert because you were not allowed to display nudity within a certain radius of a church, or school or park where children might be present.

John Harmer’s vision of socialism, maybe?

So, what does Harmer do after Marilyn Seals supports socialism and feminism and denounces Dymally for not being a socialist?  He goes bonkers.  He blows his entire closing statement attacking Marilyn and the Peace & Freedom Party instead of Dymally.  He explains that “When I was a missionary for my church in England, I saw the people oppressed under the socialist yoke…”  If you thought that Michelle Bachmann’s rhetoric was extreme these days, you ain’t seen nothin’ if you never heard John Harmer talk.

Merv Dymally was happier’n a pig in shit.  He just continued sounding sane and very moderate compared to Marilyn and Harmer.  You could see in his face at the end of the PBS debate just how happy he was.  Dymally won the race:

Mervyn M. Dymally (D)        John L. Harmer (R)              Marilyn Seals (PFP)

2,986,537 (49.19%) 2,812,636 (46.32%) 154,332 (2.54%)

Now for background on what happened in 1978, when I was the PFP nominee for Lieutenant Governor as running mate to Marilyn Seals running for Governor against incumbent Jerry Brown and Republican Attorney General Evelle Younger, Merv moved so far to the right it was frankly, downright despicable, and the election proved him wrong to do so.  See the details at:

Republican Mike Curb & Democrat Merv Dymally, or Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum; or, Tweedle Dumb & Tweedle Dumber?

Announcing his candidacy for re-election at a press conference in January 1978, Dymally came out with the statement that he agreed “with what the most conservative Republican newspapers stand for…” and specified his support for (1) the proposed SOHIO oil terminal project for San Pedro Harbor, which would have placed then-British government owned (through BP, British Petroleum) SOHIO (Standard Oil of Ohio) in charge of about half the Alaskan oil reserves, the proposed largest super-tanker port on the West Coast, and an extensive oil pipeline network); (2) repeal of California’s Unitary Tax (check the above link on Obama’s current championing of re-instating Unitary tax rules); and (3) repeal of the federal water subsidy limitation of 180 acres (for up to three family members) for farms, so that corporate agribusiness could continue to receive subsidized cheap water instead of only small family farmers (the law had been violated with impunity for decades until a recent court decision which finally enforced exclusion of agribusiness from receiving subsidized water).  Dymally and Republican nominee Mike Curb wound up with identical positions on all three issues. 

Aside from these issues, Curb was able to exploit a raid on Dymally’s attorney’s office by the State Attorney General, an action that led California to enact a law requiring court appointment of a neutral special master to supervise execution of search warrants on offices of lawyers, clergy, and physicians.

The only candidate you could vote for who didn’t agree with them on all major issues in the campaign was me.

Jan B. Tucker, Peace & Freedom Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor, 1978

During the campaign I forced former Mayor Sam Yorty’s show to give me an “equal time” appearance to respond to the appearance of Dymally and Curb.  His then producer, Wally George was furious that I forced them into it under the old FCC regulations and Mayor Sam tried to red-bait me, but I so deftly laid out the major issues and why they were simply bad policy on the part of Dymally and Curb that I got a real shock later over the kind of support I attracted.  One of the grand old founders of PFP, Carol Weston (ex-wife of famous black & white photographer Edward Henry Weston) approached me at the next PFP County Central Committee meeting in Los Angeles.  She asked me if I had appeared on the Sam Yorty show.  When I told her that I had, she informed me that her neighbor, a member of the John Birch society, with whom she’d been arguing about politics for the past 20 years had seen my performance and come to the conclusion that “this fine young gentleman” who she’d seen on the Sam Yorty Show had been “so intelligent and so patriotic” that she was going to join Carol that year in “voting the straight Peace and Freedom Party ticket.”  Go figure….  The election results:

                Mike Curb (R)                     Merv Dymally (D)                    Jan Tucker (PFP)

3,493,980 (51.64%) 2,928,329 (43.28%) 162,341 (2.40%)

Fast Forward:  When Merv Made McClintock Seem Moderate

Since the Republican 2010 election sweep that enabled Michigan Republicans to ram through an “Emergency Financial Manager” law through the legislature, Democrats have been running around like chickens with their heads cut off because the law has enabled dictatorial control over Michigan cities, especially African American majority cities.  Too bad the Democrats didn’t have the gumption to oppose the same kind of law when Merv Dymally authored it to destroy the authority of Compton – Carson voters to control their own community college district.  The only nay vote in the California legislature at the time was then Assembly member Tom McClintock, arguably at the time the most right wing member of the legislature, in some ways, the John Harmer of his time.  The Michigan law illustrates what happens when election officials are rendered impotent by dictators in the name of freedom:

An outsider’s first visit to Pontiac, Mich., feels a bit like Alice’s first glance at Wonderland. Everything seems upside down. City Council meetings last for hours, but there is nothing on the agenda. The city has a mayor, but he doesn’t have any authority. There are workers inside City Hall, but they aren’t employed by the city. And the man at the head of the table is an exceedingly charming 74-year-old who might be destroying his hometown, or who might be the only person willing to save it.

Thanks to a law championed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and passed by the Michigan Legislature early last year, that man, Lou Schimmel, has almost unilateral authority to run the government in this city of 60,000 that state leaders have deemed to be in the midst of a fiscal emergency. That law, known as Public Act 4 (PA4), is the same one that state leaders held over Detroit officials as they threatened a state takeover (the two sides eventually agreed to a more limited type of oversight).

In Pontiac, Schimmel oversees the city’s day-to-day operations. He hires and fires employees. He forces major changes to labor contracts. He sets the budget. He creates ordinances. He sells city property. His critics call the policy that put him in power the “dictator law.” []

Merv Dymally authored AB 61 in 2004 of which the question was asked:

Is AB 61 a Preview of Coming Attractions?

 On July 14, 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 61 by Assembly Member Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton). The bill authorizes the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges to appoint a special trustee to administer and oversee the Compton Community College District’s operations. Specifically the bill states, �The Legislature finds and declares that the information collected by appropriate officials of the California Community Colleges clearly indicates that the Compton Community College District has failed to maintain fiscal integrity and warrants a conclusion that the district is unable to manage its own recovery.�

The bill remains in effect only until January 1, 2008, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute is passed before January 1, 2008, that deletes or extends the date. The bill is an urgency act that takes effect immediately.

 State intervention of this magnitude for K-12 school districts has been accompanied by a state loan, which is not yet the case for the Compton Community College District. Could this preemptive action by the state be a preview for what K-12 school districts can expect if they do not keep their fiscal houses in order?  [The Fiscal Report, Volume 24 For Publication Date: July 16, 2004 No. 14,]

It sure did portend things to come, in Michigan…..

Now here’s the background.  The Wikipedia article on Compton College explains that:

In May 2004, the State Chancellor’s Office issued an Executive Order 2004-01, and installed Arthur Tyler, Jr. as Special Trustee to assist the Compton Community College District toward achieving fiscal stability and integrity. Subsequently, in August, the State Chancellor issued another Executive Order (2004-02) authorizing the continuing authority of the Special Trustee to manage the College, and to suspend, for up to one year, the powers of the governing board of the College, or of any members of that board, and to exercise any powers or responsibilities or to take any official action with respect to the management of the College.

Front & Left: Marshall Drummond

The Chancellor referred to was Marshall Drummond who served two terms as Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD).  In the interim between the two terms he was the California Community Colleges Chancellor who issued the above mentioned Executive Orders that were enabled by Mervyn Dymally’s AB 61.  Drummond, now the Provost of the United Arab Emirates Higher Colleges of Technology, was brought back for his second term in office with LACCD following a secret meeting of that district’s board which had gone into executive session after Norma Ramirez of the United For Education (UFE) Coalition and I, accompanied by district students, had put the General Counsel Camille Goulet on the spot over her office’s failure to respond (for months) to my California Public Records Act (CPRA) request concerning the policies, procedures, rules, regulations and guidelines governing the process of selection of the new Chancellor.  I flat out told the board that it was unfair of them to go ahead with the scheduled Chancellor selection that day without having complied with my CPRA request.  Norma had also pointed out that technically, they hadn’t complied with the Brown Act meeting notice requirements either (we had to find out about the meeting through the proverbial grapevine through a leak from a whistle blowing clerical worker in the district).

Prior to the selection of Drummond, the grapevine had predicted that the fix was in to bring in a new Chancellor from Chicago, who’d been sought out and vetted by a Ventura County based head-hunting firm that also just happened to be the employer of a member of the Board of Trustees who would have to vote on the appointment, Sylvia Scott-Hayes.

Drummond would go on according to my sources, to create and foster the pay to play culture in the LACCD that was later exposed by the mainstream press of permeating certain contracting practices for bond money construction.  As pointed out by the “Van De Kamp’s Coalition:”

 In 2009, District administrators such as former Chancellor Marshall
Drummond and recently fired Facilities Director Larry Eisenberg began moves to divert the
$72 million Northeast LA campus at the former Van de Kamps Bakery into the hands of a
charter high school overseen in part by Richard Riordan and Eli Broad, and unemployment
programs funded through the office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  These actions,
unauthorized in law, are depriving the young adults of Northeast LA of community college
educational opportunities promised to voters by the Board – especially trustees Mona
Field, Sylvia Scott Hayes, and Kelly Candaele who reside in Northeast LA. []

Why do I bring up this little episode?  Because in his first term as Chancellor, Drummond had gotten his good buddy Merv hired as a lobbyist/consultant to garner federal funding for the LACCD.  Merv had retired from his term as a member of the House of Representatives in 1993 and promptly began utilizing his connections and political savvy to effectively get plenty of dollars for LACCD projects and programs.

At the same time as he held this position with LACCD, he wangled his way into a deal with the Compton Community College District wherein he was paid $5,000 per month along with an office, a cell phone (not as in vogue as they are now in, back then), and a vehicle, to do the exact same job, getting federal funds for the Compton District.  Some might see this as a slight conflict of interest, especially in light of the fact that Merv never got a dime for Compton, since he was effectively in the position of having both districts competing against each other for federal funding.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Carl E. Robinson, former President of the Compton Community College District Board of Trustees

My friend Carl E. Robinson had a rocky career.  He was frequently controversial.  Rumors abound to this day about his supposedly being dishonest.  The L.A. County District Attorney’s office knowingly framed him (not just my opinion, it was the opinion of the jury that acquitted him after less than an hour of deliberations) for supposedly accepting a bribe.  The District Attorney’s informer got him on tape supposedly accepting the bribe…but the tape itself so effectively demonstrated that Carl was innocent that the District Attorney refused to play it in court and the defense had to introduce and play it for the jury.  While the D.A.’s office vilified Carl with the trial, he lost his seat on the Compton Board of Trustees by 3 votes to a prick named Carter who’d publicly accused him of being guilty of the charges.  We later sued Carter for slander and he settled the case, paying Carl and effectively admitting Carl had been innocent all along.  I knew Carl to be so honest that when he’d been in a traffic accident, he described a chiropractor he’d gone to as a “crook” for jacking up his fees (and he refused to go along with it) even though it would have meant that he’d personally receive more money from the eventual insurance settlement.

During the criminal case against Carl in the bribery frame up, the District Attorney’s office offered him a walk, complete dismissal of the charges, if he’d testify against Merv Dymally.   Carl told them he didn’t know anything crooked about Merv Dymally.  Carl told me that the District Attorney’s office didn’t care whether he knew anything or not that was real and told him that they didn’t really care whether he made stuff up about Dymally.  Carl didn’t mince words:  he told them to go fuck themselves and went straight to Dymally to warn him that the District Attorney’s office was going to try to frame him just like they’d framed Carl.

Did Dymally reward Carl for his good deed?  No, he adhered to the Ferengi 285th Law of Acquisition that “No good deed ever goes unpunished.”  When Carl found out that Dymally was double dipping with holding down the same job with the same assignment in both the LACCD and the Compton District, performing for LACCD but not performing for Compton, he spearheaded the effort to can Dymally on the Compton Board.  Dymally never forgave Carl for being honest and for safeguarding the people of Compton and Carson that he represented on the board.

Alexandra Gallardo Rooker with Willie Brown

In 2002, my friend Alex Gallardo Rooker seemed to be the heir apparent for the Compton area Assembly District that was being left vacant as the demographics had shifted to a Latino advantage.  However there was a huge BUT in that equation.  Alex had been a longtime delegate to the County Federation of Labor representative for Local 9400 of the Communications Workers of America, the local into which my Newspaper Guild Local (69) would later be absorbed.  In a debate that ensued about political issues dealing with Native American casinos, Local 9400 found itself on the opposite side of the HERE union (Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees, now part of the merged UNITE-HERE which includes needle trades workers).  Alex defended her local as was her job, forcefully and forthrightly.  It was a vociferous debate and she majorly pissed off powerful people on the other side of the equation.  In hindsight, my guess is that Local 9400 was in the wrong, as they were later majorly in the wrong in a dispute with the Graphic Communications Union-Teamsters over local money spent to buy a print shop and go into competition with their own members, but that is a story for another day.

In any event, when the Compton Assembly District became vacant, those Latino labor leaders whom she had pissed off within the labor movement and the Los Angeles County Fed, came out of the woodwork with a deal to keep that district in African American hands, and the only way they could orchestrate that with the Legislative Black Caucus was to bring back Merv Dymally from retirement to re-take the district he’d represented back in the 60s.  Dymally, with his greater name recognition and the support of those Latino labor leaders, won hands down.

So what was the pay-back to Carl Robinson that came out of all these machinations?  Drummond accused the Compton District of being in the red financially to the tune of millions of dollars.  Dymally orchestrated AB 61’s passage with the sole dissenting vote of Tom McClintock.  Drummond issued his executive orders which later emasculated the Compton District’s elected board, just the way that the Republican Party would later emasculate the elected officials of Michigan municipalities….and then in spite of an audit which later showed that the Compton District was a million dollars in the black and not in the red, the District was run into the ground by its Drummond appointed Czars, it lost its accreditation, and was eventually forcibly absorbed into the El Camino District (Drummond tried to orchestrate a takeover of Compton by the LACCD, but was faced with a revolt by College Presidents who were aghast at the prospect of their own budgets being cut to bail out Compton to get its accreditation back).  Drummond and Dymally not only adhered to the Ferengi Laws of Acquisition in taking over the District, they did so in adherence to the Borg’s dicta of “you shall be assimilated” and proved that “resistance is futile.”  I helped Carl fight back with a lawsuit against the constitutionality of AB 61, but the stress he was put through caused him to suffer a stroke which left him unable to speak.  At a introductory meeting with UFE in San Fernando downstairs from the Pueblo y Salud headquarters, Drummond would despicably claim that Carl would have been indicted if he hadn’t suffered a stroke (my CPRA request to the California Community Colleges would later uncover not a shred of evidence against Carl to justify Drummond’s claims).

What Goes Around Comes Around

Drummond at least got his comeuppance.  During his tenure as Chancellor in his second term with LACCD, he continued a practice we’d heard about of lessening the burden of his multiple alimony awards from his multiple ex-wives.  It seemed that conveniently his ex-wives kept getting hired where he was working.  In at least one case in LACCD that one of my informants indicated was common knowledge at the campus, one of Drummond’s ex’s got hired without meeting the minimal requirements for the job (like she didn’t have at least two years of classroom instruction experience, not exactly a minor or technical detail), with the General Counsel’s office conveniently looking the other way and behind the backs of the Trustees.  I’m also told that two of his mistresses effectively slept their way to the top with him, and now have gone on to serve in top positions in colleges and districts.  Then of course are the other accusations of nepotism, like the son of a certain LACCD college president getting hired for a job that he was utterly incompetent to perform……well, I could go on ad nauseum with these stories.

My sources tell me that these rumors had started percolating up to the Board to the point where even the General Counsel could not ignore them.  Eventually, when Drummond simply stopped coming in to work, some little birdies tell me that the General Counsel herself showed up at Drummond’s apartment and found that another rumor about him was also apparently true:  he was an alcoholic and was found in flagrante dilecto, not sexually but reportedly drunk out of his mind.  As quietly as possible, they let him go instead of just firing him as would have been his just reward if these rumors were true.  I have been led to understand that in fact, instead of firing him for cause, they gave him a severance package, paying out the remainder of his contract to  the tune of $1.2 million of taxpayer funds, in part so that he’d keep quiet about how the District’s representatives purportedly obtained the key to his apartment from management to enter and find him drunk without a shred of legality [if true, it’s called trespassing and invasion of privacy].  Are they true or were people just shoveling me a ration of shit?  I don’t know, but one has to wonder why Drummond had to wind up in the United Arab Emirates to find a new job…..

Okay, so much for the Bad and the Ugly

Merv Dymally trail-blazed for African American politicians.  He was a pioneer member of the Congressional Black Caucus as well as the first African American State Senator in California, the first African American Lieutenant Governor in America as well as sporting a high achieving record of legislation passed. Just one example I’ll always remember, a tidbit of feminist history in California, was on the use of “Ms” by women.  As a student activist at CSU Northridge I began registering voters in my women’s studies class, Woman as a Rhetorical Force in the Speech Communication Department, as “Ms” which was not a legal option on the voter registration form.  In those days, men did not have to disclose their marital status to register to vote but women were required to designate Miss or Mrs.  In 1972, now-current LACCD Trustee Nancy Pearlman sued for the right of women to register as “Ms” and was turned down by none other than racist-sexist Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert A. Wenke (who was later overturned 9-0 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark 14th Amendment case, Lubin vs Panish on another issue).

Merv Dymally came to the rescue when nobody else in the legislature dared.  He introduced and passed legislation that now enables millions of women in California to designate themselves as “Ms” if they so choose.

During his career, he mentored generations of new African American politicians, including my friend Isadore Hall III who inherited Dymally’s Assembly seat when Dymally himself was defeated by Rod Wright in his attempt to move up once again to the State Senate.  As Isadore Hall tweeted upon Dymally’s demise, “Prayers to family and friends of Hon. Mervyn Dymally. My revered mentor. 52AD thanks you for your lifetime service.”

Merv may have been a mixed bag, but having a dedicated, honest, and effective legislator like Isadore Hall in office is a blessing, and if we have Dymally to thank for that and so many others that he mentored and inspired, so be it.

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Blythe thinks it’s Skokie Illinois when it comes to Civil Rights


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For background, see my past postings:

Today, a claim was filed with the City of Blythe under the California Tort Claims Act because the city is trying to force us to take out an insurance policy just in case a riot takes place at our peaceful demonstration in support of women’s and immigrants’ rights.  In other words, the City is unwilling to enforce our rights under the California Constitution to safety and liberty against people who might want to violently interfere with those rights unless we pay for those rights.  THAT’S NOT THE WAY THE LAW WORKS!

Here’s what several California courts have had to say about the legal and constitutional issues at stake here:

Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride, Inc. v. City of Long Beach (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 312, 17 Cal.Rptr.2d 861:

FN9: The last case bears quoting: “[T]he burdensome effect of the insurance requirement itself has not been shown to be necessary. The government may impose financial burdens on the exercise of First Amendment rights, such as permit fees, only when the amount involved is reasonable and directly related to the accomplishment of legitimate governmental purposes. [Citations.] In this case, defendants have presented no evidence whatsoever of the … need for such a burdensome insurance requirement. Nothing in the record shows that Skokie or any comparable municipality has ever been threatened with damage by a public assembly which would have been prevented or alleviated by an insurance requirement of this type.” (Collin v. Smith, supra, 447 F. Supp. at p. 685.)

 Concerned Dog Owners of California v. City of Los Angeles 2011 WL 1601919  194 Cal.App.4th 1219

“[A] law subjecting the exercise of First Amendment freedoms to the prior restraint of a license, without narrow, objective, and definite standards to guide the licensing authority, is unconstitutional.” (Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham (1969) 394 U.S. 147, 150–151 [89 S.Ct. 935, 22 L.Ed.2d 162].) The prior-restraint rule in Shuttlesworth was designed to safeguard against the content-based, discriminatory enforcement of laws by officials who may use their unfettered discretion as a means of censoring a particular viewpoint. (Ibid.) The rule is generally applied to cases which involve censured forms of speech or expression, such as gay rights or antiwar parades. (Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride, Inc. v. City of Long Beach (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 312, 325; Dillon, supra, 4 Cal.3d at p. 864.)

 Aguilar v. Avis Rent A Car System, Inc. (1999) 21 Cal.4th 121, 87 Cal.Rptr.2d 132; 980 P.2d 846

When we leave our homes, we enter a hurly-burly world where we are sometimes required to endure the unpleasant and undesirable opinions and entreaties of others. Unfortunately, such unwelcome speech sometimes attacks us on the basis of our race, gender or ethnic heritage. (See, e.g., Brandenburg v. Ohio , supra , 395 U.S. 444 [Ku Klux Klan leader made derogatory remarks about African-Americans]; Contento v. Mitchell (1972) [21 Cal.4th 169] 28 Cal.App.3d 356 [104 Cal.Rptr. 591] [defendant called plaintiff a “bitch” and a “whore”]; National Socialist Party v. Skokie (1977) 432 U.S. 43 [97 S.Ct. 2205, 53 L.Ed.2d 96] ( per curiam ) [American Nazis wishing to stage parade in predominantly Jewish village].) Ensuring proper breathing room for the airing of diverse views generally requires that we simply close our ears, avert our eyes and move on. The freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment “presupposes that right conclusions are more likely to be gathered out of a multitude of tongues, than through any kind of authoritative selection. To many this is, and always will be, folly; but we have staked upon it our all.” ( United States v. Associated Press (S.D.N.Y. 1943) 52 F.Supp. 362, 372 (opn. of Hand, J.), affd. sub nom . Associated Press v. United States (1945) 326 U.S. 1 [65 S.Ct. 1416, 89 L.Ed. 2013].)

To Protect and Serve or what?

There are of course different opinions on the role of the police when it comes to demonstrations.  For instance, because so many corporate board meetings wind up getting picketed in Beverly Hills, the Beverly Hills Police Department get kudos from me on being reasonable and doing their utmost to protect everybody’s civil liberties with courtesy and professionalism.  Every time I’ve dealt with them they knew what to do and how to do it.

Then there was the opinion of Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago who made a brilliant statement by accident, that “The police man isn’t there to create disorder.  He’s there to preserve disorder.”  From an anarchist perspective that actually makes sense.

We pay taxes to have law enforcement protect and serve us.  They deserve to be well compensated for that frequently dangerous and difficult work.  They deserve to have collective bargaining rights just like other workers.  A chief of police however and a city government does not get to charge you money for exercising your constitutional rights or make you pay for an insurance policy just in case somebody else wants to break the law by denying you the right to exercise your constitutional rights by force, violence, or threats.

The late great Assembly Member Leon Ralph, author of the Ralph Civil Rights Act, Sections 51.7 and 52 of the California Civil Code

In California we have a couple of really good laws on the books:  the (Leon) Ralph Civil Rights Act and the (Tom) Bane Civil Rights Act.  By effectively threatening us with arrest because we want to engage in Guerrilla Theater and give some speeches, distribute voter registration forms and encourage people to vote, we are being threatened with violence for exercising rights that are guaranteed to us by Constitutions and laws….and that is why I filed this tort claim today:

October 4, 2012

 Mallory Sutterfield, City Clerk, Oscar Galvan, Mayor; 235 N. Broadway Blythe CA 92225  By Fax: (760) 922-4938

 Christian L. Bettenhausen Jones & Mayer 3777 N Harbor Blvd Fullerton CA 92835

 By Fax: (714) 446-1448 By Email:

 Honorable Mayor Galvan, City Clerk Sutterfield, and City Attorney Bettenhausen:

 The following is a claim in compliance with the California Tort Claims Act, Section 910 of the California Government Code.

 Sectio 910. A claim shall be presented by the claimant or by a person acting on his or her behalf and shall show all of the following:

 (a) The name and post office address of the claimant.

L: President Bill Clinton; R: Jan B. Tucker

Jan B. Tucker individually and on behalf of Miss Revolutionaries, an unincorporated association; California League of Latin American Citizens, a non-profit California Corporation; National League of Latin American Citizens, a non-profit Nevada Corporation, Independent Voices, an Arizona unincorporated association, and all others similarly situated. P.O. Box 433 Torrance CA 90508-0433.

 (b) The post office address to which the person presenting the claim desires notices to be sent.

 P.O. Box 433 Torrance CA 90508-0433

 The date, place and other circumstances of the occurrence or transaction which gave rise to the claim asserted.

 The City of Blythe has stated its intention to impose an insurance policy requirement on a peaceful political event in which First Amendment rights and rights protected by the Federal Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1973–1973aa-6, including but not limited to voter registration and planning for Get Out The Vote (GOTV) actions will be done, for the use of Queshan Park. The City of Blythe knows or should know that it is violating the United States Supreme Court decision in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977) by attempting to impose such a requirement. Because this requirement was communicated by the Chief of Police of the City of Blythe, the requirement inherently implies the threat of arrest for non-compliance with this unconstitutional act, in violation of the Ralph Civil Rights Act, Sections 51.7 and 52 of the California Civil Code and the Bane Civil Rights Act, Section 52.1 of the California Civil Code.

 The City’s conduct further violates 18 USC 241 and 242, criminal conspiracy to violate civil rights and violation of civil rights under color of authority and is civilly actionable under 42 USC 1983 and 42 USC 1985.

 If other City officials fail to put a stop to this behavior, they will be personally liable under 42 USC 1986.

 Further, the City of Blythe is collaterally estopped from reneging on information that was initially supplied by the Parks Department to the organizers of the event prior to its being scheduled by the participants.

 (d) A general description of the indebtedness, obligation, injury, damage or loss incurred so far as it may be known at the time of presentation of the claim.

 As stated in response to (c), above, and, the City of Blythe has made clear its intention to violate the rights of the Claimants under:

  1. Article I, Sections 1, 2, 3, and 7 of the California Constitution;
  2. The First, Ninth, and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution;

  3. Articles 3, 4, 5, 9, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 26 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights.

  4. Voting Rights Act of 1965 as amended, specifically, 42 USC 1973i(b) and 1973j(c).

 (e) The name or names of the public employee or employees causing the injury, damage, or loss, if known.

Blythe Police Chief Steve Smith

 The Blythe Chief of Police, Steve Smith and other potential Doe defendants.

 (f) The amount claimed if it totals less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) as of the date of presentation of the claim, including the estimated amount of any prospective injury, damage, or loss, insofar as it may be known at the time of the presentation of the claim, together with the basis of computation of the amount claimed. If the amount claimed exceeds ten thousand dollars ($10,000), no dollar amount shall be included in the claim. However, it shall indicate whether the claim would be a limited civil case.

 This case is within the jurisdictional level of the unlimited Superior Court and/or the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. The civil penalties associated with the Bane and Ralph Civil Rights Acts alone place any legal action within the jurisdiction of the unlimited Superior Court or the United States District Court.

Respectfully Yours,

 Jan B. Tucker,   State Director, California League of Latin American Citizens



Email the City of Blythe and tell the powers that be what you think.  Speak truth to power, to Mayor Oscar Galvan of Blythe:

Feedback in the press:–1004.html

[emailpetition id=”0″] [signaturelist id=”0″]

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Blythe Here We Come for Arizona Freedom


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For background, see my last post on this event:

CA Contacts: Nanette Harrison (323) 376-9871

Sherry Anne Lear (310) 303-7950

AZ Contact: Karen Lillis Bravo (480) 946-5467

 The Wall: California/Arizona Action Protest!

Documentary Filming


Joe Arpaio & Jan Brewer

On Saturday, October 6, 2012, people from California and Arizona will gather at Quechan Park in Blythe, CA to stand together to protest Governor Jan Brewer and her extreme, right-wing legislators who have stripped Arizona women’s rights to fair health care and reproductive services, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his neglect in failing to investigate over 400 sexual abuse cases against women and girls, and the recent implementation of the controversial anti-immigrant “show your papers” law, SB1070, requiring police to check the immigration status of people detained even for routine traffic stops.

Confirmed speakers include Paula Pennypacker, Republican Advocate and Writer for AZ Republic, Arizona attorneys Dianne Post and Kathy Zatari – both board member from NOW, and Californian Jan B. Tucker [ME], State Director of the California League of Latin American Citizens, Co-President of SFV/NELA NOW, and a member of Miss Revolutionaries.   I will be speaking on the history of the Southwest, the legacy of the pro-slavery rebellion of Texas against Mexico, the ensuing Mexican American War, and why the saying “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us” is not just a sound-bite.

Starting at 12:00 p.m., California women and men will descend upon the California-Arizona border town to offer their solidarity with their Arizona brothers and sisters who are suffering abuses at the hands of these extremists. The California delegation will build a cardboard wall representing their aversion to Arizona’s non-progressive policies. In a metaphorical “saving of our sisters,” the California delegation will then bring the Arizona participants “over” to the safer, progressive side of the wall. Together, Arizona and California participants will then tear down the wall in a symbol of their commitment to work together to stop human rights abuses in Arizona. The event will include a series of speakers from both states and will be filmed and made into a short documentary for Internet distribution before the upcoming November elections.

This event is being co-organized and co-hosted by Miss R*EVOLutionaries, a California based grassroots women’s political awareness and direct action group, and Independent Voices, an Arizona based grassroots group working to bring common sense and reasonable leadership back to our communities.

The public, including children, are welcome. Participants are advised to bring water, a source of shade and extra food in case of extreme heat.

The Facebook Organizing Page for the California delegation is!/events/154432491363061/;

For Arizona, it is!/events/370924506317994/.

Follow Miss R*EVOLutionaries at:

Follow Independent Voices at:

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Rudy Acuna on Jerry Brown and Liberal Betrayal


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Cultural Nationalism



Take Your Pick

  By Dr. Rudy Acuna

Rudy Acuna, Center

One of the advantages of growing old is that, if you look back in time, you see patterns in behavior and events. You can anticipate that the boulder that Sisyphus is pushing up the hill will roll back.

  This morning I clicked on to the Los Angeles Times and read that Gov. Jerry Brown — who signed the Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 1975 — vetoed the Farm Worker Safety Act, legislation. 

L to R: Jerry Brown, Angel Luevano, Jan B. Tucker: Jerry Brown confronted at the National Latino Congreso about why his (Attorney General) administration was persecuting Chicano activist organizations

  Many supporters were disillusioned. It was the 50th year anniversary of the United Farm Workers’ struggle to get farmworkers the same protections that many animals enjoy. Moreover, Jerry Brown was a favorite among Latino voters.  I remember two years ago a left-leaning Mexican American attorney saying that his priority was to get Brown elected and he would not contribute to anyother cause.

  In the context of history, Brown’s flip flopping is no surprise. I remember in 1978 his opposition to Proposition 13 which contributed to destruction of California’s education system, only to join the sponsors once the initiative passed. Brown offered no moral leadership.  Brown also recently vetoed the Trust Act that would have limited the state’s law enforcement’s interactions with federal immigration enforcement efforts.  It would have been a bold answer to Arizona’s nullification of federal powers.

  The adage to never trust a gringo or a liberal who comes speaking Spanish rings true.  Brown knows that the United Farm Workers do not have the same cache among liberals that they did in the 1960s and 70s so he relies on Mexicans and Latinos having a short memory and on liberals not caring enough about farmworkers and immigrants.  How many voters are there who care?

  Some will rationalize, well Brown signed the state Dream Act and he is pushing Proposition 30 that will raise sales and income taxes and save California’s public schools and colleges. They are really important. They don’t say Latinos are not important but the inference is that they are not as important.

In the past fifty years we have seen almost every reform passed in the sixties roll back on us. The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education is unenforced, the Civil Rights and Voters Rights Acts have been dismantled, bilingual education, affirmative act and the 14th Amendment have all joined the fishes. Conservative Ann Coulter has publicly said what many Republicans say behind closed doors — that civil rights is a black issue and does not apply to other groups or women.

  All of this is not new. The history of the 14th Amendment is constantly in the courts. Passed originally to secure equal rights for blacks it has over the years been widened to include all residents of this country regardless of color or gender. However, depending on the power of the Robber Barons it has also been abused to push a laissez-faire elite agenda.

  During the Gilded Age the Supreme Court interpreted laws not based on the intent of Congress but on what was good for corporations.  To protect corporations from the states it made them corporations. This encouraged rampant corruption and the Court in the 20th Century moderated this until the ruling of Citizens United (2010) where corporations have once more become persons.

If it were just a case of “Them and Us” it would be easier to deal with the protection of the rights of Mexican Americans and Latinos.  Who is on whose side would be clear. But this is like when you were a youth and you got into a fight and most of your supposed friends stood by while you got jumped. “Poor Rudy, I don’t want to see him beat up but there are other fights.”

  Ideologically, I am clearly a radical. I share the concerns of the progressive community on human rights. However, I have always been put off by the liberals “Anything But Mexican” approach to issue.


Texas Rangers–Mexicans need not apply

Historically, this not new, it dates back to the Mexican American War. Not much was said about the Texas Rangers who were latter day storm troopers.  A multitude of historically incorrect movies and TV series were produced — making them the good guys. Even a baseball team is named after the Rangers; I wonder what the reaction would be if Mexican Americans called a team the “Hitler All-Stars.” 

  The progressive left media is in part to blame for this, it is complicit by its silence.  Just look at the editorial boards, the columnists and number of articles on Latino issues.  Univision is more interested in showing cleavages than in exploring the issues. The Huffington Post features articles on actors you didn’t know are part Latino or Latina – like anyone gives a damn or it makes any difference.  

  An interesting study would be the rationalizations used by the progressive left to justify not jumping in to help Latinas/os while they are being mugged. In my study of Arizona miners I kept reading from progressive unions such as the Western Federation of Miners that all Mexicans were scabs, siding with the American Federation of Labor’s racist policies that limited immigration. It did not occur to them that perhaps racism played a role in their crossing picket lines.  Mexicans were not only segregated and the WFM condoned a double wage system. Once allowed equality Mexicans were the most militant sector of labor.


Armchair Radicalism

Since the 1960s a common excuse among armchair radicals has been that Mexican Americans are cultural nationalists thus playing into the ultraconservative argument of reverse discrimination.  Armchair radicals want to define what id good and bad nationalism. At the same time, they  applaud the Vietcong and the Cuban Revolutions.   

  This wrongheaded reasoning is played out Arizona where I have heard white progressives say that they are for civil rights but that the defense of Mexican American Studies is regressive because it is cultural nationalist.  In the sixties and seventies this same wrongheaded logic was used to dismantle many of the more political Black Studies programs that were labeled Afrocentric.

  How different is this wrongheaded logic to calling Mexicans scabs because they do not agree with the racist policies of the white leadership? 

  If progressives do not want to join the fight and protect the rights of Mexican Americans and Latinos let them at least be honest. They either don’t care about them or they are afraid. This is the case in Arizona where the silence is deafening.

  I have white friends who say well I am supporting the Dream Act like President Obama, I am doing my part. The truth be told, supporting the dreamers is a no brainer. These students are the best students in the community, students who are not necessarily active in community or campus affairs. Unlike many of us, they are not critical of the United States and want to become part of it.  Hopefully, once they study history, their interests will become more political.

  I am interested in human and labor rights for all and I should be willing to jump into the fray to help every group. I work hard on Chicana/o issues but this support automatically extends to Central America and opposition to American Imperialism throughout the world. When I was asked whether an organization I am involved in would be willing to write an amicus brief in support of Mumia I said yes because capital punishment affects us all – it is wrong.

  I don’t believe that it is too much to ask that people I have gone to jail with to support Mexican American Studies and their making statements about things that they don’t know anything about insults me.  

The fight for equal education, the fight to desegregate our schools, the fight against the horrendous dropout of Mexican Americans, the right to study one’s heritage, the censorship of books, the firing of whistle blowers, fraud in the appointment of school board members, the brutalizing and intimidation of a community, the Democratic Party selling out, labor leaders selling out, and the nullification of the Constitution for starters should concern all of us.

  Jerry Brown betrayed us and we should be mad as hell. Everyone should jump into this fight, it ain’t fair.

  So those who come to us whispering sweet nothings in our ears, telling us how much they love Mexican food and mariachis I say they should have the decency not to ask us for support for their causes.

Depositions begin this week in the case against HB 2281. You can donate by clicking on to  . We are run entirely by volunteers; however, depositions are expensive. Please donate at least $5 a month.

  Depositions have started in the case against Sean Arce and José González. Four hours of depositions were taken of both Arce and Gonzalez. Our side deposed Ward this past week. Please donate: 

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Barry Commoner in 1980


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Barry Commoner seeking PFP nomination in 1980

I met Barry Commoner only once, in 1980 when he was running for President on the Citizens Party ticket.  At the time he was seeking the Peace & Freedom Party’s nomination for President in California and he wound up debating Angela Davis (Soul Sister #1, then running for Vice President with Gus Hall on the Communist Party ticket), David McReynolds (the first openly Gay candidate for President, head of the War Resisters League, running on the Socialist Party ticket), Deirdre Griswold (Workers World Party candidate), and Tom Condit who was advocating that PFP nominate Ben Spock, who’d run for President on the PFP/Peoples Party ticket in 1972 and Vice President in 1976.  It was an incredible exchange of ideas in the “Alphabet Group Soup” of the left, e.g., PFP, CP (Citizens Party), CP (Communist Party), SP, WWP…….

David McReynolds at 1980 Peace & Freedom Party convention

Along with Casey Peters I was convention co-floor leader for David McReynolds.  Dave is one of the really dynamic, committed and courageous people on the left, having been arrested everywhere from Washington to Moscow during the Cold War campaigning for peace.  Dave gave one of the best — and I really mean BEST — speeches I’ve ever heard in my life, and the speeches I’ve heard from true orators that I consider the BEST I can count on the fingers of one hand.

Earlier in the 70s, I’d worked with Dave and the War Resisters League (although I was not a member) helping Mandy Carter, who had been dispatched to Los Angeles as a field organizer to get together logistics for a coast to coast march against war led by Buddhist monks.  I was very impressed with Dave and his leadership of pacifist resistance to war (even though I’m not a pacifist).

Soul Sister Number One: Angela Davis

Angela Davis was not yet out of the closet (she didn’t out herself until 1997) inasmuch as in those days, the Communist Party was still defending the Soviet Union’s persecution of LGBTI people and there was still considerable personal homophobia within the party.  It was of some left-historical note that in this debate between the first openly Gay candidate for President, Dave McReynolds, that he wound up debating a closeted Lesbian.  Eventually of course not only would Angela come out, she broke with the Communist Party and wound up with the Committees of Correspondence (COC), a group that essentially represents what used to be the “Euro-communist” philosophy that promoted democratic means of taking power and a commitment to democratization of society rather than implementation of Soviet style authoritarian rule.  I saw her some years ago in San Francisco at a COC conference which entailed fascinating discussions of the profound challenges facing leftists in America and throughout the world.

As an aside, one of the semi-humorous aspects of Angela’s sexual orientation is that for years, both the right and the left made points about her supposed relationship with George Jackson.  Jackson was a Black Panther, reputedly one of the founders of the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF), and one of the “Soledad Brothers” who was killed August 21, 1971 (while I was just shy of 16 and attending my first PFP State Convention) during a San Quentin escape attempt.  The right tried to portray Angela as being involved with Jackson as a purported motive for her to have assisted the escape attempt (she was acquitted at trial).  The left would say weird stuff like ‘they killed her man.’  For those of us who knew of her orientation before she came out, it was all completely ridiculous.

Deirdre Griswold, Workers World Party presidential candidate

Deirdre Griswold of the Workers World Party was, for a purported Trotskyist, more Stalinist than the Communist Party.  While the WWP was ostensibly Trotskyist in orientation, it has supported everything from the 1956 Russian suppression of Hungary to the repression of what it called the “counter-revolutionary rebellion” in Tiananmen Square in the Peoples Republic of China.  When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, they did criticize the Soviet Union….for not putting enough troops into the country.

During the Cold War the various communist regimes around the world maintained franchises throughout the world, effectively as lobbying groups for their national interests.  The Soviet Union would always have an official Communist Party, a People to People “Friendship Association,” and it would always maintain an unofficial pro-Soviet party just in case the official party got taken over by “Euro-Communists.”  In that eventuality, the unofficial party would take over the role of supporting its interests in whatever country it was needed.  In the case of the United States, my take is that the WWP fulfilled this role for the USSR.

L: Lewis B. McCammon III; R: Ben Spock in 1976

Ben Spock really did not want to run again.  He hadn’t wanted to run in 1976 either (he told me so while I was in New York prior to the PFP/Peoples Party convention in St. Louis in 1975; but Ben was a real trooper.  He would never say that publicly.  He understood his role as a media star was important to the party and would not exploit his fame to try to influence the rank and file or the leadership decisions.  If the party wanted him to run, he’d do his duty.  Ben had his faults, but like a few others I’ve known, he was the closest thing to a hero I’ve ever met in politics).

In spite of his extreme reluctance, Tom Condit nominated Ben Spock at the 1980 convention, but in spite of a lot of expectations and strategies, it was just not in the cards for him to run that year and I’m sure Ben thanked his lucky stars.

Strategies and Tactics

L to R: David McReynolds, Angela Davis, Deirdre Griswold, Barry Commoner, Tom Condit

So there you have it:  The choices for the PFP in 1980 were Barry Commoner, Gus Hall-Angela Davis, Deirdre Griswold, Ben Spock, and David McReynolds all vying for the nomination.  The thinking we went into in the McReynolds camp was that Dave would probably be eliminated on the first ballot and that Commoner would wow the convention with his celebrity and we’d fall in line behind him.  If anything went wrong, our Plan B was to go for Ben Spock, as the other candidates were just hopelessly and patently unacceptable to us.  The convention rule was that the candidate with the least votes was eliminated on the next ballot until somebody received a majority vote of the delegates.

Well, as they say, “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.”

First, Barry Commoner goes into the convention having skipped running in the primary election and gives a completely false version of why he skipped, citing a non-existent ruling by the California Secretary of State’s office.  Then he left the convention after speaking, thinking he had the nomination in the bag.  The problem was, after he left, Lew McCammon, who wasn’t committed to any candidate at that point that I recall, explained the truth of what had been going on with the Secretary State to the convention and there was documentary evidence to prove Commoner’s prevarication.

Commoner was eliminated on the first ballot.

The other major factor was that David McReynolds gave this absolutely astounding speech.  As I’ve pointed out, it was one of the best I’ve every heard in my life.  All of a sudden his candidacy drew a new breath of life.  Lots of uncommitted delegates were all of a sudden gravitating to McReynolds.

Ben Spock was eliminated on the second ballot.  The Commoner and Spock delegates started lining up for McReynolds.

The third ballot was critical.  The Communist Party had also come into the convention with a lot of strength as had the WWP.  If we got eliminated, we had no place to go but there was no telling where the independents supporting McReynolds would go for what would be a fourth and final ballot.  Blowing our minds, McReynolds came in second to the Gus Hall/Angela Davis ticket on the third ballot, eliminating the WWP.

The Compromise and a New Precedent

L: Elizabeth Cervantes Barron; R: Maureen Smith; accepting the nomination of the Peace & Freedom Party for President and Vice President

Nobody had ever expected this outcome.  The SP vs the CP on the final ballot.  Historically divided political tendencies, sometimes aligned in Europe but in America almost invariably at each others’ throats.  We worked out a compromise.  Since the CP had come in first, with a plurality, on the third ballot, they got to choose one of their supporters within PFP for President.  The McReynolds camp as number two got to chose one of our supporters for Vice President.  So we wound up with the first all female ticket on the California ballot, Maureen Smith for President and Elizabeth Cervantes Barron for Vice President.

Maureen Smith, 1976

Maureen O’Flaherty Smith was one of the founders of the Peace & Freedom Party and has been, to this day, a stalwart of activism in the peace, civil rights, and environmental movements.  She still active to this day, along with her husband Mike.

Elizabeth Cervantes Barron speaking with a Bakersfield Californian Reporter on a campaign swing with me in Kern County and the Central Valley, 1980

Elizabeth Cervantes Barron was my running mate in 1978 when she ran for State Controller and I for Lieutenant Governor, and again in 1994 when she ran for U.S. Senate and I for State Treasurer.  In 1978 she set the all time high PFP vote in the runoff (I hold the record for the highest primary election vote ever for PFP) garnering an amazing 5% of the vote.




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State Dept Does the Right Thing–Finally!


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For background on this issue, see my past blog postings concerning Mujahedeen E Khalq (MEK), the Peoples Mujahedeen Of Iran:

As if I didn’t need any more incentive to blog about the State Department’s recent decision to take the MEK off its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), I got an email a little while ago from Ralph Fertig, one of the really tremendous activists for many, many, many years in civil rights/human rights activism.  He had his ribs broken in Selma Alabama in 1961 while jailed for opposing white supremacy and has served most recently as President of the Humanitarian Law Project (HLP).  The HLP which challenged the extremist position asserted by the Departments of State and Justice on applying the Patriot Act against attorneys who want to assist so-called FTO members to assert their legal rights (by filing legal briefs) when engaging in completely peaceful endeavors.  One of these lawsuits was Humanitarian Law Project vs. Holder, 130 S. Ct. 2705 (2010) regarding alleged Kurdish and Tamil terrorists (of course one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter).

As I pointed out in my blog about Elena Kagan’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court:

In order to be listed as an FTO, the group has to have committed at least one of a whole list of violations of federal law, with some nexus to having harmed America or Americans.  I did Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act requests to the Justice Department, Department of Defense, FBI, CIA, and State Department to try to elicit any evidence they had that MEK had EVER violated one of those laws.  Their response:  NADA, NOTHING, ZIP.

So, the U.S. Department of State finally woke up and smelled the coffee.  There never was any evidence to have classified MEK as an FTO in the first place (either that or the government lied in response to my FOIA and PA requests).  Now the State Department has made official that it’s not a terrorist organization as defined in law.  Very convenient that this was done just before the election, perhaps to get the Iranian-American vote, but if the government wants to really do the right thing, President Obama should now commute the sentences of every person convicted of having given material aide to MEK that was based solely on their purported affiliation with MEK as an FTO.  He should then pardon all those released from sentence and everybody who has already served their sentence.

What’s really crazy and hypocritical about this whole episode in U.S. diplomatic, military and security policy is that from 2005-2009, the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command in Nevada was training MEK operatives in intelligence skills so that they could assist the United States in spying on Iranian nuclear developments and other sleuthing tasks.  All of course while MEK was supposedly an FTO that was a threat to America and Americans…..

Visa of an accused Iranian spy

People may wonder and speculate and debate whether the development of nuclear weaponry is real or not; whether it is another case of non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.  But one thing that is real is Iranian espionage in the United States targeting America’s missile defense program.  I know that from personal experience because I came across such a case in an otherwise unrelated private investigation, turned the information over to FBI Counter Intelligence, and assisted CI in its follow up investigation.  Enough said for the sake of propriety……maybe in a decade or so I’ll give details when its safe.

Maryam Rajavi, leader of MEK and NCRI

MEK is part of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and it’s leader, Maryam Rajavi, is the President-elect of NCRI.  This is the NCRI’s “Ten Point Program for the Future of Iran” as announced by Ms. Rajavai:

1. From our point of view, the ballot box is the only criterion for legitimacy. Accordingly, we seek a republic based on popular vote.

2. We want a pluralist system, freedom of parties and assembly. In Iran of tomorrow, we will respect all individual freedoms. Expression of opinion, speech and the media are completely free and any censorship or inquisition is banned.

3. In the free Iran of tomorrow, we support and are committed to the abolition of death penalty.

4. The Iranian Resistance will establish the separation of the church and the State. Any form of discrimination against the followers of all religions and denominations will be prohibited.

5. We believe in complete gender equality in political and social rights. We also committed to equal participation of women in political leadership. Any form of discrimination against women will be abolished. They will enjoy the right to freely choose their clothing.

6. We want to set up a modern legal system based on the principles of presumption of innocence, the right to defense, and the right to be tried in a public court. We also seek the total independence of judges. Cruel and degrading punishments will have no place in the future Iran.

7. We are committed to the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights, and international covenants and conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture, and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of discrimination Against Women.

8. We recognize private property, private investment and the market economy.

9. Our foreign policy will be based on peaceful coexistence, international and regional peace and cooperation, as well as respect for the United Nations Charter. We will establish relations will all countries.

10. We want the free Iran of tomorrow to be devoid of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

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Roseanne Barr for President


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Jan B. Tucker & Roseanne Barr conferring about her support for Freedom for Chicano Political Prisoner Ramsey Muniz: Roseanne signed the official petition to President Obama demanding that he meet with the Muniz committee to discuss commutation of sentence and/or pardon for Muniz.

I’m voting for Roseanne Barr for President in California.

The Huffington Post election map shows 271 votes as “strong Obama.” Unless something dramatically changes, even if Romney takes every state that is strong Romney, leans Romney, tossup (only North Carolina at this point where Obama is shown ahead by 2%) and every state leaning Obama (61 electoral votes) and Obama simply maintains his lead in his strong Obama states, Obama wins, because it takes 270 electoral votes. In California, Obama leads Romney 58%-36%. THIS MEANS I’M VOTING FOR ROSEANNE BARR IN CALIFORNIA. I’M VOTING MY CONSCIENCE!

Why is a Vote for Roseanne a Vote for Conscience?

Monday in West Hollywood, I heard Roseanne on stage in public (at The Abbey) come out of the closet as a Lesbian.  The crowd went wild….given that we were in WeHo probably 90% of the audience was LGBTI and young….Gen X, Y, and Z types.  On election night 2008 I was in Compton at Assembly Member Isadore Hall’s victory party watching with lots of African American folks watching the national election results.  Imagine being in Compton when they called Virginia and North Carolina for Barack Obama…imagine being in that room when Obama got his 270th electoral vote and was called the winner!

Well that’s the same kind of energy that I witnessed and participated in with the crowd gathered there to hear Roseanne Barr talk about why she’s running for President on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket.  Young people need heroes and heroines.  They need role models to be motivated to be politically active.  Roseanne gives them that kind of energy and hope.

LGBTI Issues are NOT Trivial

In 1970, the California Peace & Freedom Party made history by calling for an end to discrimination against LGBT people, well before any other political party even recognized the categories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people as being oppressed and discriminated against. At its 1970 Long Beach State Convention, PFP went on record for:

  • abolishing all laws against consenting adult sex (young people may not realize that until 1974 California had criminal laws against consenting adult same-sex couples)

  • eliminating all political and social discrimination against LGBT people

  • requiring that LGBT lifestyles be taught in schools in mandatory sex-education classes as legitimate alternative lifestyles.

Morris Kight (L), Don Kilhefner (R), leaders of the Gay Liberation Front

 At that time, PFP and the Gay Liberation Front shared an office and GLF West Coast founder Morris Kight pledged in his notorious campaign to take over Alpine County that it would have been a victory for PFP along with the GLF (the inside story of that campaign is one to be told over drinks…).

 I still stand by the ideals expressed in that platform to this day, but I didn’t wait for decades – as many liberal Democrats did – to get around to publicly espousing or implementing those precepts. As a young junior high school student activist at Pacoima Junior High, we organized a debate club. I espoused getting rid of the oppressive laws against LGBT people and their social stigmatization.

 When a girl wanted to join our then all-male debate club, I insisted that she be allowed in and defended her when other boys in the club Lesbian-baited her. I made clear that I couldn’t care less if she was or was not a Lesbian (she wasn’t out of the closet at that point and was denying it), she had a right to be a member (this was before laws were implemented banning discrimination in campus clubs). Years later, when I was campaigning for Lieutenant Governor in 1978 I ran into her at U.C. San Diego. She was now out of the closet and reminded me of the incident where I stood up for her all those years ago. It’s one of the things I’ve done of which I am proudest.

Van Nuys based Oxwood Inn, where my PFP slate held its major fundraiser in 1998 when I ran for State Treasurer along with my Lesbian-Feminist running mate for Lieutenant Governor, Regina Lark

 In 1998, I was endorsed for State Treasurer by the Northern California based Lesbian Voter Action Caucus. They called to quiz me on the issues they were concerned with and when they asked me about how I stood on same sex marriage, I replied, “Are you kidding? My running mate for Lieutenant Governor is a Lesbian.”

 The person questioning me wasn’t satisfied. She insisted, “But you still have to answer the question.” So I continued, “Okay, let me put it this way. Our slate held it’s major fundraiser in a Lesbian bar.”

 She still wanted to know specifically where I stood on the issue, so finally I said, “Let me put it this way: I am the only candidate who has ever PERFORMED a same sex marriage. I performed the ceremony for Lisa and Paula, the co-presidents of the West Hollywood NOW Chapter, in front of the Federal Building in Van Nuys to protest DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act]. Does that answer the question?”

 She was satisfied with that answer.

With friends like the Democrats, who needs enemies?

 During that campaign, our slate also produced a leaflet which explained why, with the Democrats as friends, LGBT people might not need enemies. The Democratic Party was extolling the virtues of their having made discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace unlawful. The problem was that discrimination against them was already deemed illegal by a State Supreme Court decision which had actually criminalized discrimination against LGBT people (Gay Law Students vs Pacific Bell). The Democrats in the legislature codified but decriminalized discrimination when they passed their law. Previously, employers who discriminated against LGBT people could have gotten six months in jail.

With all due respect to my friends in the Stonewall Club, if it wasn’t for organized LGBTI activity in the Democratic Party precisely of the kind that Stonewall promotes, the Democratic Party would never have given the movement the time of day.  If PFP and the GLF hadn’t pressured from the outside, could Morris Kight have later gone on to switch tactics and pressure from the inside?

 The solution to codifying a law against on-the-job discrimination against LGBTI people should have been to extend the criminalization of discrimination in the workplace to protect all people on the basis of race, creed, color, political belief, national origin, sex, gender orientation, and all other arbitrary bases. By doing what they did, the Democrats left the only kind of discrimination that is punishable by jail as discrimination by an employer on the basis of political belief, activity, and affiliation. We need to re-criminalize intentional discrimination on a state basis and extend that protection on a national basis.

 Aside from my record in fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation, I have more than average experience at combating discrimination on the basis of gender orientation, i.e., Transgender issues. As a private investigator, I have worked on:

  •  An insurance discrimination case involving bad-faith failure to pay a death claim on a transvestite who listed herself as female
  • The gang rape of a transsexual (MTF) intentionally placed in a male-only cell by a Wackenhut security guard at a privatized San Diego County jail in violation of policy

  • The harassment of and physical attack on an L.A. County Mental Health worker (MTF) by her co-workers after a fellow employee illegally accessed her medical file and out-ed her at work.

 My work on these kinds of issues and cases has convinced me over and over again of the need to both criminalize intentional workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation. We must also legislate the Model Policy on Workplace Harassment which I authored and which has been nationally adopted as policy by the Latino Civil Rights organizations. That policy was originated by SFV/NELA NOW and introduced by then-Assembly Member Cindy Montanez in the 2002-3 California legislative term as AB 1617.

If for no other issue…

Soon I’ll be blogging about other issues I have with President Obama and why I think the proper thing to do in California is to vote for Roseanne Barr…..but if for no other issue I’m voting for Roseanne because of Obama’s record of dragging his feet on LGBTI issues.  What could he have done differently as President:

  • Not waiting until Vice President Joe Biden forced his hand on deciding that ‘oh yeah, I’ve thought about it long enough and I finally realize that marriage equality is the right thing to do,’ as if I believe that he wasn’t just a coward before and simply afraid to tell the American people what he really thought.
  • He should have forced the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell issue from day one in the White House by publicly announcing that he would pardon any service member who was found guilty in a court martial of being LGBTI so that the military would realize it was useless to try throwing people out of the service.

So please join me in voting for Roseanne Barr for President, and registering to vote as a member of the Peace & Freedom Party.

Jan B. Tucker

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Professor Emilio Zamora on Freedom for Ramsey Muniz


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The Campaign to Free Ramsey Muñiz

By Emilio Zamora, Professor

Department of History, University of Texas at Austin


University of Texas Professor Emilio Zamora

I write this note to remind everyone that Ramsey Muñiz, the Raza Unida Party (RUP) Gubernatorial candidate during the 1972 and 1974 Texas elections is still imprisoned, at the Beaumont Correctional Institute. I also take the opportunity to announce that a growing number of people are supporting the National Committee to Free Ramsey Muñiz and that supporters should write letters to public officials requesting that his sentence be commuted. A sample letter to President Barack Obama, a letter from Irma Muñiz, Ramsey’s wife, and other information is available at and Persons who are interested in reading on the history of the RUP, should consult the article by Teresa Palomo Acosta that appears in the Handbook of Texas Online,

Ramsey has served enough time and deserves to be free. He has been incarcerated for over eighteen years. Ramsey is one of the first persons in Texas to have been imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole as a result of the state’s strict sentencing law that kicks in after a third felony conviction. Although legal irregularities and political claims could be used to challenge his incarceration, the moral argument that he has served enough time to warrant a commutation of his sentence is potentially the most effective case that the public can make at this time.

I decided to join the Committee to Free Ramsey Muñiz when I heard Irma Muñiz speak at the recent Raza Unida Party Reunion in Austin, Texas (July 6 and 7, 2012). Her moving appeal for help and the thought that she has reached out to us for so many years are just impossible to resist. Other former RUP members and sympathizers have done their own soul-searching and are joining the campaign. Like many others, I am proud to say that I participated in the letter-writing campaign that placed the RUP on the ballot in 1972, registered as a RUP candidate for State Representative in 1972, and served as the chair for the party in Travis County in 1977 and 1978. Over the years, however, I have limited my concern and compassion for Ramsey and his family to simple laments over his bad fortune. All along, Irma’s unflagging spirit of love, courage, and defiance has reminded anyone who cares to notice that she stands much like we once stood, steadfast in service to our communities.

I joined the Committee to Free Ramsey Muñiz on September 15, 2012 during one of its meetings at Houston’s Sociedad Mutualista Obrera Mexicana. The speakers were inspiring and informative, but my visit with Ramsey on September 16 was one of the most moving experiences in my life. Pablo Avila, former judge from Crystal City, Alicia Perez, a former RUP activist, Irma Muñiz, and I visited Ramsey. He is now 69 years old and suffering from a fracture in his hip. Although Ramsey walks with a cane and occasionally moves around in a wheel chair, he looked well and his spirit is strong.

We talked about the presidential elections, the troubles in the Middle East, his difficulties while in prison, his court trials, RUP history, and the campaign to gain his release. Pablo agreed to lead a team of attorneys in examining the court records for possible legal arguments in the letter-writing campaign. I expressed regret for not offering to help earlier but promised to do so now. Ramsey graciously asked that we put aside such regrets and to focus our energies on the work that has to be done on his campaign and in our communities.

When you write a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a commutation of Ramsey’s sentence, please inform Irma Muñiz (, the Chairperson of the National Committee to Free Ramsey Muñiz, since she is keeping a record of this correspondence. Her contact information is as follows: PMB216 5403 Everhart Road, Corpus Christi, Texas 78411 (409 363-1878).

 I received a letter and the following poem from Ramsey this week:

 All my worldly possessions can fit into a small box,

Yet I have too much.

All my worldly savings can be spent in one second,

Yet I desire to own nothing.

All my nights are filled with dreams of love,

Yet I sleep alone.

All my plans are full of success and glory,

Yet I do not fear failure.

All my days are counted and checked by others,

Yet none know my heart.

All my world is caged and confined,

Yet my soul runs free.

There is nothing I want, so I cannot be bought.

There is nothing I need that I do not already possess,

So I cannot be fooled.

There is nothing to wish for,

So there is nothing to hope for.

I am free when all others feel caged.

I am strong when all

Others are weak.

I am alive when all others feel dead.

But I am Death

For all who fear life.

I am the Warrior Mexicano of the sixth Sun awakened

From the slumber of 500 years of enslavement.

I am all that I will, I am all that was, I am all

That will be,

Yo soy Mex’i Ka

 Ramsey R. Muñiz


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