I had the distinct privilege of attending an (open?) meeting of the Torrance Democratic Club on Monday, March 30.
No one prevented me from attending, and I was free to sit in back and enjoy the show.
State Senator Ben Allen was the featured guest.
I had confronted him a few times during his campaign for the 26th State Senate district in 2014. The choice of candidates were not ideal, considering that no Republican made the final ballot, and the Independent, Seth Stodder, had neither the money nor the name recognition to reach key voters. Besides, his political ideology did not rest well with conservatives, and liberal independents probably settled for one of the Democratic candidates.
Lesson learned for political operatives: Independents cannot bank on Republicans voting for them just because they are not registered Democrats.
At any rate, Senator Allen was not ready for me, apparently, and Torrance Democratic Club President Jimmy Gow reminded everyone that I was a blogger.
One can never know what I may write about! (Henry Waxman. . . .)
At any rate, it was quite an eventful evening, and I found a little common ground with some of the Democrats in the room, including a Hermosa Beach resident, Mr. Brown, who had told me that he would have voted for Measure O, if the safeguards against oil spills were secure enough. It was good to meet up with him again.
I told him that conservatives have green hearts, too, and many of them believe in climate change. They just respect the long historical data on the subject, and refuse to concede to climate alarmism.
|State Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica/South Bay|
The meeting began a little late, which is normal for many gatherings, especially when knew people show up. Torrance Democratic Club President Jimmy Gow introduced Senator Allen, then other Democratic officials in the audience: Torrance School Board member Terry Ragins and former assemblymember Steven Bradford, who is also running for State Senate. "Cousin Steve" is looking to replace Uncle "Izzy" Isadore , who is itching to replace "Aunt Janice" Hahn.
Another office seeker identified herself: Leilani Kimmel-Dagostino. At that point, I was content to sit back and enjoy the meeting, respecting the wishes of the club's leadership that I should be seen and not heard.
That was not to be, and I was ultimately glad it worked out that way. Gow indicated that I was attending, a "right-wing, GOP blogger", and he even referenced one of my posts on the evening's agenda. Impressive!
Senator Allen spoke to a group of twenty people. The Beach Cities Republican club usually has twice as many in attendance, although elected officials are few and far between. At least the South Bay has a Republican Assemblyman for the first time in twenty-two years.
Allen was very informative on key issues, I did not agree on much of what he discussed, Because Gow had identified me with the audience, and then Allen called on me specifically when he discussed exceptions for homeschooled children from vaccinations.
At that point, I decided to ask some questions, and make some key points.
First, why didn't Senator Allen discuss the causes of the growing outbreak in communicable diseases in the state of California? He had a chance to identify these concerns during his guest spot on "New Conference with Conan Nolan". Because very few had heard of that program, I commended that state senator for appearing.
Other topics emerged, and members of the audience began asking their questions. Because of concerns that all the inquiries were taking away time from the senator, Gow asked members of the audience to wait until Allen finished his remarks. The senator disagreed, and opened up the meeting to questions.
I was glad he chose to do that.
|Bradford talked too much|
Unfortunately, there were some members of the meeting more intent on talking about what they knew and cared about instead of listening to the senator and responding to his points of interest. Bradford got into an extended argument with another member of the audience about energy efficiency, a number of times. It was frustrating, because I was interested in listening and learning about Senator Allen's stance on key issues, and what he was working on in Sacramento.
At the end of the meeting, I spoke with Allen about Assemblyman Hadley (R-Torrance!) bill to allow communities of interest an easier pathway to establishing their own school districts. He agreed with the idea, although he had not yet heard about this legislative proposal. As a School Board trustee for Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Allen saw the dissonance of two competing cities for resources. He supports Malibu separating into its own district, and was very interested in the legislation.
After the meeting, I sent him the text of the bill, too. Who says that two distinct partisans cannot find points of agreement?
All in all, I was glad to attend. The caterer for the meeting, himself a Democrat, appreciated my presence there and the work I was doing to hold all elected officials accountable.
I look forward to attending the next meeting (if the Torrance Democratic Club lets me).