Thursday, January 20, 2005

Progressive Agenda

Happy Inaugural Day All.

George Bush is promising us freedom and liberty at home and abroad. Hallelujah to that!

I'm not engaging in no spending day. I'm spending my lunch money at the local bistro. I'm supporting Mom and Pop stores and I'm giving to my favorite progressive causes.

Not one Dime for Corporate America.

I'd like to get started on a progressive agenda. A populist agenda. A Forefront Agenda.

I have two suggestions for our first programs:

1. Let's talk health care. How about the progressive Caucus or PROActive or whatever we are calling ourselves takes on the support of Sheila Kuehl's single payer Health Care proposal in California? She introduced this before and she's baaack. And so should we be. Read about it in the LA Times:,1,5731510.story?coll=la-headlines-california&ctrack=1&cset=true

2. How about seeking legislative support for what I'm calling "No Vote Left Behind," a modest proposal to make California keep pace with 21 other states that have a mandatory recount in races where the difference is less than a certain percentage, most often .5%.

In those states with such a provision, the State, County or local municipality pays the freight for the recount. In other states, you can have a recount, but you pay. If you end up winning, they pay you back, but still, the cost is prohibitive for most candidates.

It happened here in Marin County in the Marin Health Care District race this November. The anti-Sutter (corporate) candidate was .31% behind at the end of the day. He would have had to pay between $30,000 - $180,000 by County estimates for a hand recount. We balked. We sued. We lost.

We need legislative action. What if Christine Gregoire wasn't able to raise the $750,000 for the recount in the Washington Governor's race?

Comments on these proposals?

I have secured sample Bylaws to use for our California Democratic Progressive Caucus. These will outline the nuts and bolts of operations, and must conform to the California State Democratic Party rules, so they are pretty standard. The real work is going into a mission statement. I have some thoughts I'll be sharing soon. Let me know what you'd like to see in such a document, positions taken, issues championed, etc.

Thanks. To the Forefront!