Political Fix (21 January, 2016)

What Does It Take to Elect a Mexican Around Here?

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said during a recent SPOT meeting that Tulare County is 63% Hispanic and that the sheriff’s department is 43% Hispanic. The sheriff’s goal is to reflect the community, so he was pretty content with the department’s progress.

Compared to where Tulare County is in terms of elected officials, Sheriff Boudreaux is an absolute visionary. The voters’ commitment to having their elected officials reflect the community is 1%.The only elected Hispanic official in Tulare County right now is Virginia Gurrola, a Porterville City Council member.

Tulare County voters have elected a grand total of two Hispanics in recent history to county wide offices and the three largest cities, Jesus Gamboa for Visalia City Council and Ms. Gurrola. Lali Moheno was appointed by Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors and then lost to Supervisor Phil Cox when faced with an election.

With Hispanics comprising two thirds of the population, all we can show for it is two elected officials over the last 30 years?

In the 2014 election, the race for Assembly District 26 gave Tulare County a wide range of diversity that was quite refreshing. In the race there were two Hispanics, two African Americans, one Filipina and one White guy,and it looked like Rudy Mendoza was going to win. Three guesses on who won? Yep,the White guy, Devon Mathis.

Then the excuses started rolling in: Voters didn’t realize there were two Republicans running and checked off the guy at the top of the ballot.Voters got Devon confused with Devin (Nunes) and voted for him. The moon was in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligned with Mars.

Let’s just be honest. Mr. Mendoza lost because his last name is Mendoza.

That leads us to the 2016 election. Ruben Macareno, chair of the Democratic Central Committee for Tulare County, is a glutton for punishment and is throwing his hat into the ring again. He pulled papers the first week of January to again run for Assembly District 26, challenging now incumbent Mr. Mathis.

We put on the Valley Voice Facebook page his press release, which read, “This is an exploratory effort until my final set of signatures and fees are paid at which time I would be a declared candidate.” He says he would be the ideal candidate because of his familiarity with the issues, the incumbent, and the districthe acquired during his 2014 attempt for the same seat. He points out what is most important is his ability to network and work with the legislative members of the majority party.”

Mr. Macareno goes on to point out that “he has a long history of political activity, has ran in, and volunteered in, several campaigns ranging from local to national elections. He was a student leader in Farmersville and Exeter, and when he attended college in southern California. He was the vice-chair of the state party’s Chicano Latino Caucus. In 2012, he attended the Democratic National Convention as a district delegate….He formally worked as a newsroom administrator and public relations coordinator at the Los Angeles Times; the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Washington DC; Proteus Training and Employment in Visalia; and the Visalia Times-Delta and Mineral King Publishing Company as a sports writer.”

So what did all this experience get him? In 2014, I naively predicted that Mr.Macareno would easily come in second and go on to the general November election. Mr.Macareno ended up coming in a distant fourth in the June primary, temporarily ending his chances of holding a state office.

Is it possible that Mr. Macareno and other Hispanics could do a little better in 2016?

There are quite a few Hispanics running for office in 2016, and more will probably be filing papers. Besides Mr. Macareno, Loius Campos, former president of the Visalia Democratic Club, and Alberto Zuniga Santiago, a Tea Partier, have pulled papers to challenge Congressman Devin Nunes. Vincent Salinas, former Visalia City Planner and Angel Galvez, county worker, are running for Tulare County Supervisor District One. There are other Hispanic candidates but they are too young or unknown to make an impact.

The two that have the best chance of winning office are Mr. Salinas and Mr. Macareno. But both have also have experienced pretty bad electoral losses in the past.

So what to do? It just so happens that I have the answer.

First they both need to start praying that Donald Trump wins the Republican Presidential Nomination. With Mr. Trump at the top of the ticket, normally lazy Democrats will be coming out of the woodwork to go to the ballot box.

This will help all down-ballot Democrats and/or Hispanics. While praying, Mr. Macareno and Mr. Salinas need to start a serious voter registration drive–not just talk about it, like they do at all Hispanic rallies. While praying and registering voters, they should probably tell a couple of jokes such as:

“What is Donald Trump telling Barack Obama supporters? Orange Is the New Black” and “Donald Trump is giving narcissism a bad name.” They should encourage the Hispanics they meet to share their own jokes about Donald Trump, because all of them have received a few on Facebook or texts after Mr. Trump’s announcement speech that he was running for president.

Most importantly, while out campaigning and registering voters, they need remind Hispanics that, if they do not vote, President Trump might deport their abuelita. I realize that Vincent Salinas is a Republican, but Mr. Trump will deport the relatives of Republicans also.

So what is it going to take to get an Hispanic elected in Tulare County? Some prayer, laughter and a lot of hard work.

Who Knew?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic-Socialist Bernie Sanders have an amazing amount in common, even an overlapping constituency. Listening to their debate performances this may not seem plausible, but it’s true.

Let us start with the obvious. They both have crazy hair. Mr. Sanders looks like one of the sarcastic judges on Sesame Street who throws out one-liners throughout their movies, and Trump looks like his closest relative is an orangutan.

Let us state the second obvious. They are both old angry, white men. That’s how they have a partial overlap in one of their constituencies, which is–uneducated, middle-aged white men. What a shocker.

The constituency overlap comes from the fact that both Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders connect to this group. The types of good paying jobs for blue collar men are disappearing and these two candidates put those fears into words and give them a platform. Also both men yell a lot about the current condition of the United States, and they yell about the loss of these jobs.

Next, neither was seen as having a chance when their respective campaigns began. Now they have become populist heroes within their own parties and draw the largest crowds of any of the candidates. When the news covers their events, it isn’t so much to report on what they said, well maybe in Mr. Trump’s case it is, but to gawk over how 10,000 people show up.

The commonality may also stem from the fact that it wasn’t so long ago that Mr. Trump was a pro-choice Democrat. A pro-choice Democrat may not seem to be close philosophically to a Socialist Democrat, like Mr. Sanders, but appearances can be deceiving. Republicans and Democrats are in many ways both socialist.

Our police, firefighters, schools, roads, sewer systems, electrical grid, bridges, military, post office, buses, subways, passports, drivers license, social security, Medi-care, just to name a few services, make the United States almost as socialist as Sweden.

The only thing that is not socialist about our country is that Americans do not have the right to see a doctor. I’d like to say that you do have the right to die, but ironically you don’t have that either. Americans have a right to slowly die of Mesothelioma or brain cancer, but assisted suicide is punishable by 20 to life.

But I digress.

Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders were against the Iraq War, support upper income tax hikes, are against super Pacs, support campaign finance reform, and are against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade deal.

Are the billionaire and anti-billionaire different? Of course. Their main difference is that Bernie Sanders wants to change the world using the world’s highest platform. Mr. Trump is just trying to close the biggest deal of his life.

And Finally……….

James Ward, editor of the Visalia Times-Delta’s Choices, said in a tweet that he was looking forward to my next article on the Nordstrom debate between Visalia and Fresno saying, “I’m sure it will be heavy on feral cats and psychic mediums.”

I find Mr. Ward’s comments particularly offensive because, one, I am in mourning over the closing of my favorite store in Hanford, the Cosmic Corral, and two, I am not into psychic mediums but have evolved to numerology. Please take note.

We are in a “nine” vibration year and it’s important to know what 2016 holds in storefor us when we take a look at it from a numerological perspective.

It’s the end of an era or nine-year cycle. We are going back to claim our future.

For those uneducated in the ways of numerology, 2016 adds up to nine.This nine year is particularly potent in my case because my birthday is on April 9. Not only does my birthday land on a “9” but I will be turning 54, which adds up to nine. But it doesn’t stop there. I was born in 1962, which adds up to 18, which is divisible by nine. Then if you add up the ages of my five kids, whose ages will not change until after my birthday, they add up to 117. Yep, that adds up to nine.

I need to include here a couple more coincidences. My mom and dad’s birthdays are 11 days apart and so are my husband and my birthdays.

Then, my first born child was born 12 days after my birthday and my mom gave birth to her first born child 12 days after her birthday. That made us exactly the same age down to the day, 25 years and 12 days old when we gave birth to our first child. Both were sons.

What does this have to do with being a “9” vibration year? Nothing. But isn’t it interesting?

I asked my husband, who is part German, if he believes this is a 9 vibration year.

His response was Nein.

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