Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Jorge Campillo's winter lines

Campillo pitched in the Mexican Pacific League this winter for the Culiacan Tomato Growers (I kid you not). Here are his lines from Mariner Minors, including two playoff games:
Regular Season:
13 G (13 GS), 5-4, 3.07 ERA in 76.1 IP, 55 H (8 HR), 30 R (26 ER), 67/18 K/BB, 4 WP

Playoffs:
2 G (2 GS), 1-0, 1.42 ERA in 12.2 IP, 12 H, 2 R (2 ER), 10/3 K/BB

Monday, January 29, 2007

Its "Democratic" Party and we're all federalists

Whacky Nation proves its name:

They’re the Democrat party.

I spent many years in the news media during the 70’s and 80’s …. and I never once wrote copy that read “Democratic Party.” It was always “Democrat Party.”

Forget your new spin, liberals. There is nothing democratic about your party. There’s actually nothing democratic about our great United States of America. We’re a republic (under God to many) with a republican form of government. We elect representatives who create laws for us.

You are such losers. You must have flunked civics, if you ever took it. Must be sad to be a Democrat.

First, I don't doubt that Mark was a reporter, but I do doubt whether he was a good one. He obviously (if he's telling the truth) didn't consult his AP Stylebook very often. The stylebook, pretty much the bible of usage for reporters, takes this stand on Democratic Party:
Capitalize both the name of the party and the word party if it is customarily used as part of the organization’s proper name: the Democratic Party, the Republican Party.

Capitalize Communist, Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Republican, Socialist, etc., when they refer to a specific party or its members. Lowercase these words when they refer to political philosophy (see examples below).

Democratic when referring to the party, Democrat when you're talking about the member of the party.

On the second notion that our country is not actually a democracy, but rather a republic. I don't disagree there, but I do disagree that there is something different about the two. Democracies and republics are not exclusive of the other. You aren't one or the other.

Here's a civics/history lesson for ya: The Democratic Party began as the Democratic-Republican party, and morphed into the more current Democratic Party in the 1830s or there about. In those early days it was common for those Jeffersonians to refer to themselves as Republicans
(the current day Republican Party was formed by Whig Party activists in the 1850s).

The term "Republican" was a reference not to a system of government but rather a political philosophy that rejected monarchy and corruption.

But, if you're a stickler for systems, according to the Central Intelligence Agency, we're a "Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition" and the World Fact Book says:
The Constitution creates a federal system, in which political power is divided between the national government and the governments of each state. The national government is sometimes called the federal government. The Constitution also creates three separate branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—to share the work of creating, enforcing, and interpreting the laws of the nation. The branches are represented by Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
So, actually we're neither republican nor democratic, we're federalist.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Junkballer non-roster invitee

The best news of the day, Jorge Campillo, the 28 year old Mexican junkballer that I've been rooting for over the past two years, is going to Arizona with the Mariners. He was released last fall and I thought for some reason that was the last of him.

I like the idea of a Chris Bosio from south of the border making it to the Mariners. Maybe I'm projecting though.

The Mariners first signed him two years ago. He progressed through the farm system quickly, getting his first start in 2005, and after one inning leaving with a serious injury. After Tommy John this last year he starting pitching in the minors over the summer, and made it back to Seattle in the fall, finishing with some mediocre innings in relief.

Though the rotation looks pretty stacked (not necessarily with talent, just arms), I'm hoping he gets a chance.

Here is a hiralously translated piece from Mexico on his first year in the majors:
Campillo was the one of the sensations of the Mexican equipment last Series of the Caribbean, which was worth to him to be recruited by Sailors of Seattle. After going and coming to branches, had its great opportunity Tuesday 2 of August before Tigers of Detroit, but as soon as it completed an entrance.
And a piece from scout.com reminding me why I liked him to begin with.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The blog difference between Richardson and Edwards (its local)

Ken and I are fighting the good fight (seemingly about over now) over at Scoble's blog about why our guy is just as good, or even better, than John Edwards regarding the blogs.

I've made the point that not only are Richardson's supporters the only group using an independent tool to organize themselves in the real world, but that Richardson has met with bloggers in Iowa, South Carolina and Washington.

The main difference between Edwards (especially his blog powered tour a few weeks ago) and Richardson is that one has focussed on the national blogosphere, while the other has focussed on smaller, regional blog networks. Edwards is the national guy, Richardson has focussed his attention on the regional blogosphere.

This may seem like a difference in time and money, that Richardson can only attract small fish, but the three instances above were when he was acting as chair of the Democratic Governors Association, when focusing locally was important. It also shows a different understanding of why blogs and the netroots are important.

Matt Stoller on the local blogosphere (and here):
You'll notice that on the netroots page almost every candidate has a local blog or set of blogs that are covering the race. That's because it's the local bloggers that are going to keep tabs on the races and the campaigns, and create the buzz and the excitement necessary to win. Local blogs and netroots communities don't just channel money, they channel volunteers, energy, intelligence, and news coverage. And sometimes, lightning strikes. A really effective local blog can shape a race the way the Ohio 2nd blog shaped the Hackett special election.
At least in how Richardson has approached the netroots, he seems to understand that local matters. It doesn't matter really what national bloggers pay attention to you, it matters what the bloggers are getting locally.

Richardson's "for governor" site last year also kind of proves this point. "The Plaza," (which you can't see anymore, was a scoop based community site. Open diaries, the whole schmere. I'm pretty sure it was the first open community blog in New Mexico.

His upbringing as a politician, which has included thousands of local town hall meetings and regular "open door" sessions, extends this point. I've said that Richardson was a blogger before AOL was around. By that, I mean, he has had the kind of open, up front, conversations that bloggers want, without actually blogging himself.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Win free tuition at Evergreen State

I just heard that the Athletic Director is paying for this himself:

from "Weber, Dave (Staff)"
to Tesc Community Announcements
date Jan 26, 2007 10:45 AM
subject [tesccrier] Students: Win big at tonight's game with some luck and some skill!

Tonight, Friday, January 26
Evergreen basketball takes on Eastern Oregon University
Women's Game: 5:30 pm. Men's Game: 7:30 pm.

This evening marks the beginning of the Spring 2007 Tuition Shot Contest, sponsored by Evergreen Athletics!

At each remaining men's home game, two students names will be drawn and the first one to make a shot from the half court "hot spot," will have their Spring 2007 in-state tuition paid in full!

RULES:

1. There will be no more than one winner for the season -- first successful shot wins the contest and ends it!

2. Students wishing to participate must sign up in the gym lobby BEFORE the start of the men's game at 7:30 p.m. Two names will be drawn during the first media timeout of the second half and each selected student will take one shot from the midcourt "hot spot" during the second media timeout of the second half.

3. No current or former student-athletes may participate.

4. Open to all currently enrolled Evergreen students but the winner will receive the amount of in-state tuition only, even if they are not a Washington resident. Have your student ID with you to enter.

GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Last Monday and roles of PCOs provided by statute

During the county central committee meeting on Monday we introduced the bylaw change that would allow participation by "paid members" in local Democratic affairs. Right now, the only people who vote on what our local party does are PCOs, who are elected or appointed.

This change, that would allow pretty much anyone who is interested into the process, is important to me because it recognizes how things have changed in the past 100 years. Neighborhood political organizations are reflected in the PCO idea (only one representative for a geographic area). But, we don't live in an era of neighborhood connections, we live in an era of much more flexible social connections.

Anyway, there is some confusion about what roles PCOs are afforded under state law. Some think that PCOs are the only ones allowed to vote in our affairs, but that isn't actually true. There are very specific roles for PCOs:

What Roles are Provided for Precinct Committee Officers by statute?
  • Electing a chair and vice chair of opposite sexes during a county party reorganization (29A.80.030)
  • Electing a state committeeman and state committeewoman to the state central committee. (RCW 29A.80.020)
  • Electing a chair of a legislative district chair (RCW 29A.80.061)
  • Fill a vacancy on a major party ticket (RCW 29A.28.011)
  • Nominating qualified polling place workers (RCW 29A.44.430)
Beyond the above, votes on who to endorse, our budget, resolutions, etc..., our affairs can be open to all comers.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Edwards not all that netrooty compared to Richardson

Over at Scoble's blog, he gives too much credit to the netroots outreach of John Edwards:

One thing I just saw over at TechMeme is that USA Presidential campaigns now are conversations?

Really? So far only one Democratic candidate has met with bloggers who aren’t avowed supporters of his (and has had live chats on DailyKos), that I can see. Only one candidate has invited a blogger behind the press lines.

Yes, its a great thing that Edwards is doing, but he's not the only one doing it. He's the only one that is going way out of his way to take credit for it.

Bill Richardson has had two sit downs with bloggers, that I know about. Both happened well before Edwards' well publicized tripping with bloggers and both were with groups that didn't necessarily support him.

The first, I'd admit, was put together by a couple of pro Richardson guys (me and Ken Camp), but it was attended by now seriously pro-Edwards Will.

This wasn't a high powered group of folks, but rather some regular folks that Richardson wanted to reach out to because he recognizes something in the netroots that I think he likes. Twice during the meeting his handlers tried to move him on to the next meeting, and twice he brushed them off so everyone could have a chance to get their answers.

You can find the audio of that meeting here. Also attending were Jimmy and Goldy, among several others.

He also met with some bloggers in South Carolina.

Also, if you check out the blog from Richardson's 2006 race, you'll notice its a community blog.

Richardson's netroots coolness

I've been on the internet off an on all morning, watching the reaction to my guy announcing his candidacy. One of the neatest things is this post (not directly related to Richardson for President) but rather on the difference between campaign controlled "house parties" and less formal "meetups" (from Joho):
But campaigns generally are not re-creating MeetUp. They're replacing meetups with house parties. That's what the Kerry campaign did, and I could never convince Zack Exley (who's also civic-minded, bless him), who was in charge of Kerry's Internet campaign, that house parties are fundamentally different than the Meetups that fueled the Dean campaign.

First, and most obviously, house parties traditionally are traditionally fund raisers. Dean Meetups were not. The house party message is clear: Have a nice chat while you take out your checkbook.

Second, campaigns generally assume more ownership of house parties than Meetups. At times, the Dean campaign provided some topic they thought the group might want to talk about. A couple of times, Dean addressed the Meetups via TV. But there's a real difference in feeling between that and arriving at a friend's house and being dealt the official house party "kit" materials.

Third, and most important, house parties are in private spaces. Meetups were in public spaces. A house party is put on for the attendees. The host has an obligation to make sure it goes well. But a Meetup in a bar or a restaurant is an empty space within which we are trusted to figure out what to do...what to do during the Meetup and what to do to take our country back (as Deaniacs put it). House parties are parties with guests. Meetups are meetings among citizens.
On the Richardson for President website, they're linking to the several dozen zanby groups that have been started by Richardson supporters this last year.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Progressive Spirits, like Drinking Liberally, but not

I'm going to start a "Democratic Drunks" one of these days, but for now, we have enough drinking lefties in Olympia. Here is the link to DL.
WHAT is Progressive Spirits!? It's an informal get together where people meet with like minded folks and have a beer, glass of wine and get aquainted ... no program, no speeches, no announcements, no being talked at.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 23d, 5:30-7:00 pm

WHERE: Fish Bowl Brew Pub

WHO: Open to anyone who considers themselves liberal, progressive, or whatever, but Sponsored by TC Pro-Net.

WHY: Because you owe yourself a beer with friends after all those meetings you attend

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Other counties and their membership

You'd be surprised by how many county Democratic organizations don't post their bylaws on the internet. Though here are some examples of Washington county organizations that don't follow the strict PCO-only rule.

Whatcom County:

Section 1: Open Membership
The Central Committee shall be open to all who support the party and wish to be known as Democrats. All members shall enjoy equal rights, protections and opportunities in all proceedings. Discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age (except where state or federal law precludes participation), religion, sexual orientation, economic status or ethnic origin is prohibited in the conduct of Central Committee business.

Section 2: Membership
The membership of the Central Committee shall consist of:
  1. Precinct committee officers (hereinafter referred to as PCOs), elected or appointed, who are duly certified by the County Auditor in accordance with RCW 29A.80.040.
  2. General members, who are registered voters, residents of Whatcom County and have paid their membership dues to the Central Committee.
  3. Associate members, who are not registered to vote in Whatcom County but have paid their membership dues to the Central Committee.
Clallam County has a Democratic Club, a parallel organization that meets separately from the county central committee, which might be something to consider if this membership idea fails. Or even if it doesn't, I don't know.

The Grays Harbor County Democrats mix the Club idea with membership. Central Committee meetings are limited to what is actually outlined in law, and everything else is at the club level:
3.2 All citizens who wish to declare themselves Democrats are eligible, upon payment of a $5.00 annual dues, to be members of the Grays Harbor Democratic Club. Democratic Club members will be eligible to vote on all matters not restricted by law at the next GHCDCC meeting following the meeting at which their yearly fee was received.

3.3 The right to vote in all matters not specifically restricted by state law to Democratic precinct committee persons is granted to Democratic elected officials and members of the Grays Harbor Democratic Club with legal voting residence in Grays Harbor County.

Membership debate to go on one more month

The vote on whether to allow earned voting membership in the Thurston County Democrats won't happen next Monday, but rather at February's central committee meeting. We'll certainly discuss the idea, but not vote on it. There is a requirement for ten day notice for any bylaw change, which wasn't met this month. Anyway, gives us more time to sharpen the idea.

Currently only Precinct Committee Officers can vote for anything in the central committee, the governing body. State law only requires them to vote for a limited amount of positions on the executive committee, making all other decisions by the central committee (like how to spend money and what positions to take on policy issues) open to a vote by a membership, if there is a membership. My idea was to give a vote on the central committee to folks who have "earned" it.
The debate on our PCO email list is continuing, with a handful of folks criticizing the idea by explaining how the PCO system is supposed to work. Neighborhood based organizations, with PCOs door belling and organizing their neighbors. Though, people hate answering the doors to strangers and neighborhoods ain't what they used to be.

That's not to say that people aren't organized socially, in the way that neighborhoods were once the strongest of peoples' social ties. We just have to recognize the more organic way people are organizing themselves nowadays, and it isn't by neighborhood. It is through interests, social circles or any number of social ties.

Baird helps us live down our soft serve hamburger machine failure

Our man in the 3rd, Baird on Colbert:



No more plans for "West Field" mine in Centralia

The silver lining of the closure of Transalta's Centralia mine had been that they'd expected in about five years to have another mine open:

TransAlta is one of Canada's biggest private power producers with coal, natural gas and hydroelectric plants in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Australia. The company said the Centralia mine was too expensive to maintain.

TransAlta officials have said they will seek approval for coal mining nearby at a site known as West Field, but that process could take up to five years.

According to Paul Hirsch at Environmental Law in Washington State blog, that isn't going to happen either. As of yesterday, when the Corps of Engineers filed a notice in the federal register, Transalta is no longer working to open another mind down there.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Right wing netroots=impotent

This graph displays the impotence of the right wing netroots.

They don't really exist. They talk a big game, but when it comes down to it, they don't matter.

After the President crowned Sen. Mel Martinez as RNC "general chairman" in November, the right wing netroots exploded. Most of all, they were mad that Martinez was a pro-amnesty guy, but it also seemed like there was an impression that we'd entered an era where publically voted positions would no longer be anointed from above.

The race for chair of the Democratic National Committee is a perfect example of how the netroots can influence an election like this. This post from two years ago on MyDD is a perfect example of what was going on at the time. There is no parallel on the right wing netroots today.

By the beginning of December of 2006, though, all wind was out of their sails of the right wing bloggers who didn't like Martinez. No umbrella organization was created, no altnerative candidate floated.

The rebellion against Martinez isn't coming from your wired everyman (like the support for Dean in 2005), its coming from inside the RNC. An insider rebellion, even if it is succesful, will be much different than the organized opposition that came from online Democrats in 2005.

Martinez will have a fight, it will most likely be too little, too late, and it didn't come from the netroots.

Membership compromise discussion

When I first starting talking about some sort of compromise in terms of a rank and file membership in Thurston County, I was hoping there would be a healthy discussion on this blog, our county Democratic blog, or somewhere else. That didn't happen, but after we discussed the idea last week at the county executive committee, I emailed the idea out again.

Since then, there has been a more than healthy email conversation. Not as public as I would have liked, but there have been some changes in how I'd propose the compromise now. Those changes are reflected here.

The nut of the compromise is that someone can't just show up one day, pay their $20 and be a member. They have to prove their commitment through a series of options, such as being a member of a TCD committee. One of the changes to the propose bylaw outlines who decides when someone has been active enough to become a voting member. In the current draft, it would be the Executive Committee, in a manner similar to how they approve unelected PCOs.

While most of the emails discussing the change have been supportive, not all have, including Guy Hoyle-Dodson's from this morning:
This is asinine. Are you deliberately trying to drive away involvement by rank and file democrats? This kind of strident money grubbing, pedantic exclusiveness, and distain for keeping the county party a truly open public institution will only end in the total irrelevance of the TCD. It is just the outcome that was feared when dues were thrust upon us two years ago. Then as now, it is not well thought out.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Drinking Liberally in Olympia

The local DL Chapter will be a the the Tumwater Bar and Grill this Monday at 7 pm:
There is lots to talk about. With the new Congress finally in session, the debate now is "will they or won't they?" Will the new congress have the guts to de-fund the Iraq war? Will they do the "Kahuna Katrina Dance" and start an investigation into the inept (and most likely illegal) federal response?

Hope to see you there for a fascinating Drinking Liberally discussion of "Will they or won't they?"

Friday, January 12, 2007

Orbusmax is full of Sh*t

This morning Orbusmax, the Drudge Report knock-off of the Northwest, added the following headline to their rotation:


'BLUE WAVE' POWER ENTRENCHMENT IN OLYMPIA? STATE HOUSE SEEKS EXPANSION OF TERMS TO 4 YEARS:

If you follow the link, you'll learn that HJR 4203 is not actually a Democratic bill, but rather one of the few bi-partisan bills introduced this year, hardly evidence of "Blue Wave" excess.

Hey Orb, for the record, Rep. Tom Campbell of Roy? He's a Republican.

This week in Olympia

The Police Department is putting their daily reports online.

The city council is thinking about raising parking fees. When it gets to this point, its usually a sure thing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Legislative session blogs

A handful of new and old blogs that I'm going to be reading over the next few months.

Rep. Kirk Person is blogging at "Session Notes." No comments enabled (crap-oh), but he seems to know what he's doing.

Paul Shinn's legislative assistant, Jim Freeburg, is blogging at "Forever Flippant." Mostly looks like a personal blog, but he's writing a bit about his job in a general sense. Should be good reading.

Jim does give a pretty good peak into an LAs life:
In 2 days, nearly a dozen lobbyists met with my boss. Not all were from big business: some represented "special interest" groups such as the environmental community, municipalities and education groups. Time is scarce however, 15 minutes max for meetings, scheduled back to back to back to back. We also got some big news, my boss will be the chair of the new Senator Higher Education Committee. Democrats, as the majority party, have the power to choose committee structure so they decided to split the Early Learning, K-12, and Higher Education committee into two. This is done by Democrat leadership in the form of a Committee on Committees. This is a group of powerful Senators who decide who will head up each committee, rewarding loyal friends, and leaving independent Democrats out of positions of power.

With the new committee assignment, I'll be having a whole new challenge: trying to figure out how to properly fund our institutions of higher learning while also coming up with funding to get a new 4-year college in Snohomish County.
And, of course, there is the great Uptheblog by Rep. Dave Upthegrove. I'll let Noemie at Washblog tell you about this one. Its pretty sweet. You have to like a guy who can make fun of his own pretty silly sounding name.
Upthegrove is Chair of the House Select Committee on Puget Sound, and here he is quoted in a recent Seattle Times article on the legislative agenda for the environment. Here's his My Space page. I subscribe to it and occasionally follow the links to the blog entries, which tend to detail days packed with meetings with teachers, environmentalists, journalists, lobbyists, business people, other legislators and government officials, etc. He notes meeting blogger, Andrew Villeneuve, founder of Northwest Progressive Institute at a recent event. One of the entries not too long ago recounted a triathlon he completed: running, biking, swimming. Then he dried off and went to a meeting or panel or something. How cool is that!
Here's an old post of mine where I reflect on how important it is that he posts at MySpace.

Brendan Williams is in the House leadership

There was something I heard about the person with the longest title...

Anyhoo, Brendan is now "Majority External Relations Leader," which at 13 syllables, bests Rep. Joe McDermott's "Caucus Education Policy Leader" at 11 syllables.

Couple of (Baird and Library) updates

My fears where not realized. The march for peace will not target Rep. Brian Baird.

On the library front, the meeting to figure this out will be on hold for a bit, there were some sick people.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Don't tread on Brian Baird



There is going to be a peace march on January 27 in Olympia, and some folks involved in the planning want to make a short detour and involved Rep. Brian Baird's Olympia office. That Baird has voted for funding the Iraq War after voting against authorizing it seems to be the issue.

Protesting in front of, inside of, or occupying the office of Rep. Baird is a bad idea. Its about as a bad idea as I've ever heard.

I'm convinced the only reason its being considered is because his office is directly on the parade route. Had the parade gone a different direction or had Baird's office been up on the west side or even down on Plum St., no one would be talking about involving his office in the protest.

Baird is a target of convenience, not conscious.

Baird voted no on authorizing the war.

It is also bad politics. The WSDCC is also meeting in Olympia that day (several of the members are taking time out of the meetings to participate in the march) and several local Dems are helping organize the march. Including a protest of a Democratic elected official, you put the Dems, at least in Thurston County, in a bad place.

Apparently, the desire to include Baird's Olympia office in the protest is coming from the national level of one of the organizations that is also helping put together the march. This just may be an example of something that may seem like a good idea thousands of miles away, but when you look at it close up, isn't that good of an idea at all.

There will be a meeting on Monday where this will all be hashed out, hopefully in favor of not treading on Brian.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

"Libraries aren't quiet anymore"

Seattle Times:

"Libraries aren't quiet anymore," said Chapple Langemack, managing librarian at the Bellevue library.

Indeed, today's libraries are morphing into the new town halls. It's a change spurred by technology and the need to stay relevant.

The King County Library System and Seattle Public Library are embracing this change and pursuing, within most of their branches, the "Third Place" concept — an idea that people like to hang out at a location other than work or home.

Its almost a mistake of history that libraries ever became about "books on shelves." Libraries in America came about in the early 1800s when books were the most important way of conveying information, while at the same time being mostly unavailable to most Americans. In the interest of democracy and an informed citizenry, libraries were established.

So, libraries were about books only in that books led to a healthy community. Now, it is about more than books. So now, a libraries role as a "Third Place" is just as important as the availability of books.

This sort of thinking is what I'm hoping comes out of the conversations I've been having with my local branch library and the Friends group.