omg, the description of Betsy Butler is straight out of the dark ages. no need to read further than that.
By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Duran's tantrum was caught on video, which blogger and Osborn supporter Evry posted on Vimeo. When the Huffington Post linked to it, the Duran outburst spread to major news outlets. In the video, pointing an angry finger at Osborn, Duran, a gay man, yells, "We're not going to work for you, Torie! This is bullshit! This is bullshit! You divided our community!" He stalks away yelling, "We're not all lesbians!"
Duran defends his behavior. "I'm a hot-blooded Latino with a short fuse, who loses it sometimes. ... For the most part, I keep my anger in check. I reacted to what I thought was unfair and unjust, and that's a trigger for me." He then adds, "I'd do it again, probably." He insists Osborn's move was "a very heavy-handed tactic and unnecessary."
But Sheila Kuehl says Duran was "extremely unprofessional — he was the mayor of West Hollywood."
What has to rankle establishment Democrats like Pérez is that the party leadership was forewarned by Osborn herself. She used the same audience-packing strategy weeks earlier at the Malibu Democratic Club meeting, where her backers showed up and voted to give her that club's endorsement. Malibu mayor Rosenthal wasn't pleased. "I understand that it's politics," Rosenthal says, "but endorsements should be won on the strength of her candidacy."
Republican Brad Torgan, 50, the truest of outsiders in this race, calls the battle between the two women "annoying to watch — the whole Betsy/Torie kerfuffle. When I see them at community forums, it's obvious that there's a lot of tension. Whether they admit to it or not, the vibes are that they don't like each other."
The other Democratic candidate, Bloom, 58, an affable family-law attorney with a stylish, closely cropped beard, has been keeping his head low, and perhaps wisely so. Bloom has a strong voter base inside Santa Monica, a fashionable, small city. He hopes the insular sniping will turn voters away from Butler and Osborn — and toward him.
"I have deliberately stayed clear of that," Bloom says with a smile. "As far as I'm concerned, it's not productive. This is a campaign of values and ideas, and I'm not interested in engaging on that level."
That approach could work for Bloom on June 5, says strategist Carrick, but he warns Bloom that "if he's going to run up the middle, he better have something to say."
Bloom shouldn't be underestimated. He ran three times for Santa Monica City Council until he won a special election in 1999, and he hasn't lost since. He has a laid-back vibe and likes to talk up Santa Monica's redevelopment successes.
But he has his detractors. Santa Monica Dispatch editor Peggy Clifford recently took Bloom and the City Council to task, describing him in a May 11 editorial as "the rudest and noisiest person in the [City Council] Chambers, week after month." Clifford charges that under Bloom, rather than restore a "gloriously idiosyncratic beach town," politicians have "reduced [Santa Monica] to a highly profitable product." She also writes that Santa Monica City Hall has "spent over $3 million annually on promotion, doubled the size of the City Hall staff and demoted the beach to a 'visitor-serving facility.' "
As Clifford's angry editorial suggests, battles over land use and preservation are a topmost issue in the 50th Assembly District. In Malibu, Mayor Rosenthal says the city is fighting a controversial state project to dredge and then redesign Malibu Lagoon, and Malibu boasts the strictest building codes in California. In Beverly Hills, Raffel says key concerns are stopping Metro from digging a subway tunnel under Beverly Hills High School and saving historic mansions. In Topanga Canyon, which is dotted with exclusive homes, as well as ramshackle cabins, resident Dorothy Reik says, "We want to preserve our open spaces. We don't want people to come in here and develop it."
Thirty-three miles from Topanga, in poor sections of South Los Angeles devastated by the recession, black and Latino community leaders are begging for strip malls with chain stores and minimum-wage jobs. "It's a completely different dialogue," says Robinson, the geographer. "People are talking about preserving basic services, not mansions, because programs have been cut. Public schools have been essentially abandoned in poor areas."
He adds, "It's an interesting juxtaposition, since [residents of the Westside and South Los Angeles] are solidly Democratic."
If the four candidates for the 50th district have done much to reach out to Latino, Asian and black voters, it isn't readily apparent. Only Republican Torgan, who was inspired politically by Goldwater's book The Conscience of a Conservative, complains to the Weekly that no candidate forums have been held east of Beverly Hills, where several middle-class and even a few working-class areas can be found.
In truth, there's no real need for the candidates to build a coalition of blacks, Latinos and white liberals. Assembly District 50 is "an area of California that's not seeing the ethnic changes that the rest of the state has been going through," says redistricting expert Douglas Johnson.
omg, the description of Betsy Butler is straight out of the dark ages. no need to read further than that.
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The voters are smarter then the average bear and they chose the two best candidates in incumbent Betsy Butler and longtime Santa Monica Councilman & Mayor Richard Bloom. Clearly the most articulate, thoughtful and experienced of the pack, Bloom's inclusion in the the top two only confirms his status as a top tier candidate. The bluster and static of other candidates was finally ignored and the delusion that Speaker John Perez is a political boss wasn't even believable. Either Butler or Bloom will serve the district well.
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Honestly, Los Angeles seems to have become one giant insane asylum.
The economy is in ruins, suffering is exploding in the city, and the Hollywood-types mouth liberal platitudes while acting in more elitist ways than slaveholders did at the height of slavery in the south.
What is utterly amazing is that the people who are suffering, the tiny sliver of non-government-employed middle class and the lower class people ALSO mouth the same idiotic liberal platitudes, and keep voting for the same liberal morons who have destroyed what was America's greatest state.
And please, let's note something here: with all the discussion of the gay credentials of the various people, less than 2 percent of the U.S. population is gay. (http://www.theatlantic.com/pol...
When what the rest of us are going through catches up with this crowd, they are going to think they've died and gone to hell. They have no clue that their money is going to dry up like a water plant in the desert.
I'm sorry but why isn't anyone talking the fact that Torie Osborn is backed by the LA City Hall Machine?
Interesting that you bring up Senator Fran Pavley. Let me quote her comment on Betsy Butler:
"Betsy's unmatched tenacity and commitment has ensured that California children will finally be adequately protected from dangerous chemicals. Betsy Butler is among our most effective fighters for consumers, our environment and our children."
Now even Torrie Osborn can't argue with those wise words from Senator Pavely.
If Sen. Pavley felt so strongly about Butler, why didn't she endorse her? Because she didn't. Instead, Butler has to resort to using quotes made years ago for a different election.
Au contraire, Ed, the fact that Pavley explicitly did not endorse in this race is a testament to the strength of Torie Osborn.
None of them are or have been Fran Pavley, who you all lost with this crazy redistricting, and who is now confronted with over 60% of her new district never having elected a Democrat. This mind-boggling new State Senate District 27 stretches from Magic Mountain through Simi Valley to the Santa Monica Mountains to Malibu, with little ole Topanga --- not rich, but mostly white -- at its eastern edge. As a longtime Topanga resident and actively involved, I have a suggestion to Westsiders: sure, pick one of the 3 Dems who will ultimately win in the 50th, but send money and support Fran's way ASAP! What happens in this race will have far greater impact for years to come on all of us who care about the health of our environment, the welfare of children and the future of public education. It's a race none of us can afford to lose.
If A.D. 50 is a new district, then it has no incumbent, and no candidate should be able to claim incumbency. Just sayin', Ed Buck.
Whatever the name of the district, Butler didn't live here until she decided to run here. Torie Osborn lives here and is a part of the political fabric in this district. I've been an active member of the Santa Monica Democratic Club for 28 years, and I wouldn't recognize Butler if she knocked on my door. I've worked with Torie Osborn in the women's movement, the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the peace with justice movement here in Los Angeles over the years. We encouraged her to run before the lines were even drawn. The Speaker is trying to slap down a grassroots movement, and the people will win in the end. Torie Osborn for Assembly!
Torie Osborn IS Assembly District 50. She's the ideal person to represent our beliefs and interests in Sacramento. Betsy Butler jumped in the race late and underestimated the free thinking of District 50's residents. We have a track record of electing leaders to the Assembly -- Julia Brownley, Sheila, Tom Hayden, etc. -- and we're not going to budge just because John Pérez thought Betsy would have a safer election here. In other words, AD50 just isn't that into Betsy.
Regarding Richard Bloom:
His Santa Monica support in this race is overestimated. He has a few signs up, but no one expects him to place in the top two. The fact that he has won reelection to the council is a non-issue. Incumbent city council members in SM are virtually guaranteed reelection and are notoriously difficult to unseat. Ask anyone in Santa Monica; it's common knowledge here that his candidacy for the Assembly is an effort to raise his profile and rise up out of the council, as his options (politically and professionally) becoming increasingly slim.Most important, Bloom failed to capture even a respectable percentage of votes at the Santa Monica Democratic Club endorsement meeting. Bloom, the audience's mayor, garnered only 9% of the 65-odd voting members, leading me to believe his only votes were his wife, his campaign manager and perhaps one or two friends. I, along with 77% of the membership, voted for Torie, who won the endorsement on the first vote. Keep in mind, this club has been endorsing Richard for the better part of two decades, and it dumped him because Torie's performance in the prior discussion was stellar and Richard tentatively supported the death penalty in certain circumstances (a petition to end the capital punishment was signed by almost everyone in the room before the meeting began).
PS AD50's influence will outlive that of the Speaker. Something to keep in mind.
RE: Dem Clubs
Torie Osborn bought 40 votes in EVERY SINGLE CLUB to secure the endorsement. Give me a break kid, you're new to politics and Torie seems the cool thing, I get it. But this district deserves someone like Betsy who has the experience.
PS. Can you pick up Torie's non-recyclable 16 page mailer?
Westladem, you should know what you're talking about before you post. You can't buy memberships to the Santa Monica Democratic Club for other people. The rules forbid it. Same with SMRR. Same with the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley, where the membership is fixed. The vote at the Stonewall Democratic Club was 154-55. Let me repeat that: 154-55. The vote at the Malibu Democratic club was 41-5. Butler has little support among grassroots Democrats. You can only go blaming that on Torie for so long.
Look, you're supporting Butler. Fair enough--there are plenty of good reasons for doing that. But that doesn't mean you should go spreading falsehoods about the support that Torie has received--which is also for very good reasons.
It is interesting how you speak about assembly district 50, as though it has existed since time began. It is brand new, just months old. So all of your crap about "We" in the 50th AD is bunk. Brownley, Shelia, Tom Hayden etc, never represented the 50-th AD. That said, I live in the new AD50. I am a gay progressive Democrat with a long history of activism and involvement. I'm voting for Betsy Butler. She is supported by the entire LGBT caucus, the Democratic party, and most of the LGBT community.
I'll take toxic free baby bottles over reams of wasted glossy paper any day. I'm voting for Betsy Butler because she has kept it all positive and focused on working for the public good while Torie has tried to divide progressive democrats.
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Great post about Torie: http://www.democraticundergrou...
Can someone explain to me those odd photos that are supposedly meant to compliment this article? WTF? And don't give me that art school confidential jive: Because it's art, you don't necessarily have to get it.
Wow. Leave it up to the LA Weekly to distill complicated issues in the race to a "catfight" between two women.
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It's funny, when I interview with Patrick for this article, it was clear from talking with him that he had a very specific narrative he wanted to write. It appears a month, and I don't know how many interviews later, that narrative didn't change one bit - that this race is just a cat fight between Betsy and Torie over a district full of over-privileged white people.
Here's an article that does a much better job of seeing the forest for the trees: http://www.thenation.com/artic...
The top-two primary is not an “an experimental election reform.” It’s in the California Constitution and it’s not scheduled to expire.
I'm voting for Betsy Butler because of what she has done. The other candidates tell you what they hope to do.
Honestly this is the saddest state of affairs for this race.
But honestly, can Torie Osborn stop sending me so much mail? I feel so sorry for the trees