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Joe Tuman - What does he really stand for?
These days I'm focusing more on my professional career than on blogging as a Kossack but given I also happen to be involved in the Joe Tuman for Mayor of Oakland campaign, I figured I'd write this one since I've gotten to know Tuman quite a bit since I last wrote a diary on his campaign.

Over a year ago, around July 2013, I wrote a diary on Daily Kos mentioning Joe Tuman and why I believed he’s the best choice as the next Mayor of Oakland to replace Jean Quan.  This was before Tuman officially announced his second Mayoral run.  Now of course we have just a bit over two months before the election.

Since the time, several diaries later and for the last several months, I finally got reacquainted with Tuman after 14 years since I was a student in his “Issues in Free Speech” class back in the Fall 2000 semester at San Francisco State University.  I have to say, in getting to know him better, he’s smarter than I imagined.

In understanding Tuman better in the last number of months and who he is personally, I’m still very much convinced he is the real choice for Mayor of Oakland and even more so for others in general desperate for a change not just from Mayor Jean Quan but also from the Ron Dellums years and so on.

Let me first set the record straight:  For some bizarre reason, the East Bay Express depicts Joe Tuman as a moderate although I sense that perhaps in a purist sense his agenda and way of talking doesn't jive with them by-the-book:

Moreover, since taking office in 2011, Quan has gradually moved from the left toward the political center in apparent response to criticism leveled at her by moderates and pundits concerning her record on crime. In addition, many liberal activists still have not forgiven her for the police department's harsh crackdown on Occupy Oakland under her watch.  As for Schaaf, Tuman, and Parker, they're generally a bit more moderate than the mayor, although Schaaf has moved left over the past year.
Schaaf's candidacy, however, likely will make it much more difficult for Quan to win, particularly if no true progressive candidate emerges in the months ahead. Indeed, if the race comes down to Quan versus the more moderate Schaaf and Tuman, many progressives may decide to sit out next year's election.
Now East Bay Express has their own interpretation but I know about Tuman in a different sense as they do and as far I can tell, he's NOT a moderate.  He’s very much in the liberal end but not exactly the typical kind of liberal you might think.  Tuman’s got a long history in academia, thinks very much objectively, bases a lot of his arguments more from data, math and real, unfiltered information and tends to dig deeper into very difficult issues without sugarcoating the truth.  If he speaks differently than what liberals & progressives want him to, it’s just because he thinks deeply about the issues and typically looks in things beyond just simply political viewpoints or to please anyone of a political persuasion.  He just wants the truth and to fix things in the most practical way as opposed to pandering to any political persuasion.  I guess simply put, Tuman is a realist as opposed to an ideologue.  So if you think he’s “moving to the center,” “moving to the left,” or whatever as a means of appealing to voters, he’s not moving himself in any direction.  He’s just speaking his mind.

Plus, East Bay Express has some explaining to do when they endorsed Tuman in his first run for Mayor in 2010, along with Jean Quan and Rebecca Kaplan as they believed they were all great candidates (before Quan really screwed things up when she became Mayor).  As far as I know, Tuman's platform hasn't changed much since 2010, except that the situation has gotten worse in Oakland than in 2010 and his platform has adjusted accordingly.

As for Tuman, he shares many of Kaplan and Quan's best qualities. The San Francisco State political science professor and former news analyst for KPIX TV and KCBS radio is disarmingly intelligent, and like Kaplan, he's a gifted public speaker who has a positive vision for Oakland. He's also very persuasive one-on-one. And like Quan, he's extremely hardworking and tough as nails. We also like the fact that as an outsider who says he has no ambitions for higher office, he will be beholden to no one if elected and able to take the strong, courageous stances needed to turn Oakland around.
Also, there's this I just don't buy:

Until last week, it looked as if the 2014 mayor's race might include no true progressive candidate despite the fact that Oakland is one of the most liberal cities in America. Mayor Jean Quan ran as a progressive in 2010, but since then she has moved steadily toward the center of the political spectrum. And the three people who've announced that they're running against Quan this year — Councilmember Libby Schaaf, university professor Joe Tuman, and Port Commissioner Bryan Parker — are more moderate than she is.
Their claim that Dan Siegel is the “true progressive” and the one that can capture disenchanted progressives who voted for Jean Quan in 2010 is a bit stretching it.  From talking to Joe Tuman, I view him as having progressive ideas and who just happens to approach things differently than Siegel does in his campaign.

Yes, I understand why certain purists out there don't believe in say Tuman's proposal that police numbers should be increased up to 900 because "more police officers isn't the answer."  However, with the crime situation the way it is and more Oakland residents depending on private security, would we be absolutely CRAZY not to add more police officers on the streets to prevent more burglaries, gun shots and violence?

And really:  When did Joe Tuman ever say more police was the answer to all the problems that ail Oakland?  Are we to assume he would just immediately add 300 or so  police officers soon after he got elected and then think that would be the end-all-be-all?  Who ever said he was insensitive to concerns of Oakland residents of all stripes?

As far as I know, Tuman's platform is more expansive than just one statement.

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When I defeated Senator Max Cleland in 2002, I helped Georgia get back on its feet and suuuuure hope Republicans keep it back.  It would be a waste if the Democrats win this seat because then, I might just have to run again!
Looks like Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Branko Radulovacki (aka Dr. Rad) has a full schedule coming up.

For any of you who want to meet Dr. Rad in Georgia, you have several opportunities to do tomorrow in Atlanta, Cumming and Marietta.  Dr. Rad is expected to be at a number of events including meeting with Cobb County Dems and the Federation of Women/Forsyth County.

Details for all three events on tomorrow are as follows:

On Thursday, Feb. 20th – Atlanta. Dr. Rad and his wife, Susan, will join Rep. John Lewis for “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds,” one of many forums being held across the country to address challenges facing working women: equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave, child care, etc. The forum begins at 8:45am and, although it is open to the public, space is limited. The address is IBEW Local 613, 501 Pulliam St, Atlanta 30312.

Also on Thursday, Feb. 20th – Marietta. Dr. Rad will join Cobb County Dems for a social hour at Delkwood Grill, 2769 Delk Rd, Marietta 30067 beginning at 6pm. This informal gathering will offer area voters a chance to discuss the Senate race with Dr. Rad one-on-one. This event is open to the public.

Also on Thursday, Feb. 20th – Cumming. The Federation of Democratic Women/Forsyth County will host Dr. Rad’s wife, Susan, for an informal presentation and discussion of the U.S. Senate race at Ridge Steak House. 1035 Turner Rd. in Cumming, 30041. This event is open to the public.


Who do you plan on supporting for U.S. Senate?

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Phone bank now a fundraiser?  Okay but if this James Cargas really thinks he can challenge me, well, he can go right ahead.  Meanwhile, I'll go see what President Bush is up to in Dallas.
In Texas 7th Congressional District, Rep. John Culberson's 2012 Democratic challenger, James Cargas, is back for another run and is already building support.  

Just recently his campaign had a phone bank event and now Cargas is going for a fundraiser tomorrow, February 20th in Houston, TX

Details below via an e-mail we received:

Dr. George and Cora Ann Blytas invite you to meet their choice for Congressional District 7, James Cargas.


Anthony Kouzounis
Dr. Christine Economides

Recommended Contributions:

Co-Hosts:  $250 minimum
Attend:  $100

Thursday, February 20, 2014
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
At the Home of Dr. George and Cora Ann Blytas
14323 Apple Tree Rd.
Houston, TX. 77079

For more information or to RSVP, please call (713) 581-0072 or e-mail

Contribute on-line at
or make checks payable to "Cargas for Congress" and mail to:

Cargas for Congress
250 Louisiana St. Suite #400-777
Houston, TX. 77066


Rep. John Culberson or James Cargas

20%2 votes
80%8 votes

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*face palm*  I just don't get it!  Maxey Scherr has a fundraiser Jan 27th, Jan 29th and now she's got another fundraiser?  Waste of time!  I've got real conservative values here!
Shut up Cornyn.  I'm not conservative than you could ever dream of.
Maxey Scherr continues to keep busy on the campaign trail and continue to hold regular fundraisers to build support for her campaign.

Next on the horizons is a fundraiser happening tomorrow evening in Scherr's hometown of El Paso, TX.  

Details of the Maxey Scherr fundraiser are as follows:

Maxey Scherr for U.S. Senate ~ El Paso Fundraising Reception

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
5:30pm until 7:00pm in MST
The Centre Court, 420 E. San Antonio, El Paso, TX 79901


Who do you plan on voting for in next months primary?

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Yeah, I know, I got a funny name but if you want to know my game plan, it's this: No game plan needed!  John Sheil, Marek Tyskiewicz and Ronny Richards, who are these guys?  I won in 2012 with 58% of the votes and I'm liking it here!  Tell me the good word and I'll get another term like "snaps* that.
Ohio's 2nd Congressional District may have a PVI of R+8 per Cook Political Report's assessment and freshman Rep. Brad Wenstrup got elected with 58% of the votes in 2012.

But that's not stopping Democratic candidate in OH-02, John Sheil, from being active on the campaign trail.

On February 20th, Sheil and two other Democratic candidates running in OH-02, Ronny Richards and Marek Tyszkiewicz will be at a Anderson Newtown Winter Celebration and Democratic Fundraiser in Cincinnati, OH and any of you locals are invited to join to meet & greet the candidates.  Details on ticket registration and information of the event are as follows:

Anderson Newtown Winter Celebration and Democratic Fundraiser
February 20 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Featured Speaker: Ed Fitzgerald
Ohio Democratic Candidate for Governor

As well as a meet and greet with 3 candidates for US. House of Representatives for Ohio’s 2nd Congressional district:

John Sheil
Ronny Richards
Marek Tyszkiewicz

$25 Student, ANDC Club and Union Members
$30 General Public (advance); $35 At the Door
Advance purchases due by February 14th

Mail Check to:
800 Old Orchard Road
Cincinnati, OH 45230
Call 513-232-4154 for Additional Information


Rep. Brad Wenstrup or John Sheil

23%5 votes
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Yeah, they can have their music and their little fundraiser but I'm going back to work to give those Democrats in Congress hell.  That's what I was elected to do!
Rep. Diane Black challenger, Amos Powers, certainly seems to be active on the campaign trail.

For any of you who live in TN-06 or nearby, today Amos Powers will be at a Music and Vision Fundraiser in Gallatin, TN at 6 pm (CST).  Full details of the event below:

As if great music wasn't enough, come meet our Special guests: Us Senate Candidate Terry Adams, State House Candidate Kristopher Gore, State Senate Candidate Tony Gross, and US Congressional Candidate Amos Powers!

If you like your music with a visionary (and liberal) flair, you can't miss this! Join Nashville hit-makers Danny Flowers, James House, and Todd Sharp for Sharp-House-Flowers!

Great music for a great cause- funds raised will help put on the Statewide Democratic Vision Conference "County Parties: Getting It Done"

The Whippoorwill
118 N. Water Ave
Gallatin, Tennessee 37066


Rep. Diane Black or Amos Powers?

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WHAT THE?  Ok, I just don't get this.  With all the problems in the U.S. right now, even though I rubber stamped the Iraq War, we're still dealing with problems and these people: Maxey Scherr, Mike Fjetland, David Alameel, they're having their debate.  I just don't believe this!
*thinking to himself*  I really wish John Cornyn would just shut up.  Everyone knows I AM the genuine conservative.
Looks like tomorrow in Houston, TX there will be a forum featuring all three Democratic candidates running for the U.S. Senate (with Kesha Rogers rightfully getting the middle finger since she's really not a Democrat):

Maxey Scherr
Mike Fjetland
David Alameel

Details of the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate forum on Feb 17th are as follows:

Monday, February 17, 2014
6:30pm until 8:30pm in CST

Mark your calendars for this one!

Meyerland Area Democrats Monday February 17th meeting will be a candidate forum. We have statewide and local Harris County Democratic candidates coming by to give us better insight into why we should vote for them in the primary.

We aim to provide candidates who have no challenger in the party a bit of time to speak as well (time permitting).

Donations of a minimum of 20.14 are encouraged to help fund our GOTV effort for the general election.

Come early at 6:30pm and get dinner. 7pm SHARP the forum begins. We meet at

Fadi’s Grill, 4738 Beechnut, Houston Tx 77096.

*Note: Invite emails are going out to candidates requesting RSVP by February 1st. If you do not receive such an email for some reason please RSVP President Art Pronin at"


Which candidate do you support for the U.S. Senate?

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Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., right, adjourns a meeting of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, after passing a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2012. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member, watches at left. In a showdown with President Barack Obama’s administration, House Republicans had pressed for more Justice Department documents on the flawed gun-smuggling probe known as Operation Fast and Furious that resulted in hundreds of guns illicitly purchased in Arizona gun shops winding up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Guys, can I have your attention please?  I know you've been hard at work on these investigations but I want to let you know why I'm a Republican vs. a Democrat.  This should let you know why Lois Lerner was a bad influence on the IRS.
Should we call Darrell Issa "authentic" when he's talking about his background growing up in Cleveland and why he became a Republican vs. a Democrat?

In Issa's Op-Ed piece in the Concord Monitor (based in New Hampshire), Mr. Republican Inspector Clouseau lite himself believes he's got a genuine American success story to share for everyone on the importance of voting Republican.

Below the fold is Darrell Issa's Op-Ed in entirety along with my dissecting of it:


What did you think of Darrell Issa's Op-Ed in Concord Monitor?

2%1 votes
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This guy Buck Willis, HA!  I beat Nick Lampson a couple of years ago fair and square!  If Buck ol' guy thinks he's going to take my storm, he better think again.  I'm a genuine conservative and you can take that to the bank!
In taking over former Congressman Ron Paul's Texas 14th Congressional District, Rep. Randy Weber beat former Congressman Nick Lampson November 2012 and has since served in a district rated by the Cook Political Report as R+12.

However, Democratic Candidate Buck Willis is undeterred and continuing to be active on the campaign trail.

On February 19th in Galveston, TX, Willis and his campaign will be hosting a campaign kickoff event for any of you living in TX-14 or nearby and want to get fired up.  Details below:

Buck Willis for Congress Campaign Kickoff!

SAVE THE DATE! Join us at the fabulous El Gusto del Pueblo restaurant to kickoff the campaign! Delicious eats, great people, fun times. What could be better!

El Gusto Del Pueblo Restaurant
3714 Broadway St, Galveston, Texas 77550


Rep. Randy Weber or Buck Willis?

16%1 votes
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Credo Amouzouvik, Democratic Candidate running in Tennessee's 7th Congressional District
Earlier this week we interviewed one of the Democratic candidates running against Rep. Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee's 7th Congressional District, Dan Cramer.  Now we are interviewing the other Democratic candidate in the race, Credo Amouzouvik.

Just to point out:  This isn't Amouzouvik's first run for Congress.  He first ran in 2012 and received 24% of the votes vs. Rep. Blackburn who was re-elected by 71% of the votes.  Obviously Amouzouvik's task of unseating Blackburn in 2012 was an uphill battle given the district's R+18 rating and the fact that Blackburn has never had a serious challenger before.

However, with Credo Amouzouvik making another run for Congress, both he and Dan Cramer (both Iraq War veterans) give the Tennessee Democratic Party an additional opportunity to increase its presence across the state given TN-07 is one of the more conservative regions in the state.  Regardless of who wins the Democratic primary, the fact that both of them are campaigning gives TN-07 residents the chance to be more active in the Democratic primary process if they believe they're concerned for the state of the district and the direction of the U.S. at large.  That depends on the approval ratings for Rep. Blackburn although many political analysts are likely to write off TN-07 as a competitive race.

Still, an important point that seems to be evident in interviewing both Dan Cramer and Credo Amouzouvik is that quite a number of residents in TN-07 are being neglected and not served by Rep. Marsha Blackburn so needless to say, whoever ends up being the Democratic nominee, will need to build enough support to make the case that TN-07 is in need for a change.  After all, Blackburn rubber stamped the Iraq War and did no oversight on it so while her vote was just a vote, many others Republicans in the House of Representatives during President Bush's two terms (Blackburn's been in Congress since 2003) voted the same way she did so TN-07 may well be a district, where there's a lot of veterans from the military, but at the same time one that has not recovered well from the Great Recession and the debt incurred from Iraq War has made it harder for additional stimulus to apply in districts in the U.S. such as TN-07.

Our interview with Credo Amouzouvik is below the fold:


Rep. Marsha Blackburn or Credo Amouzouvik?

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First Dave Peiser, now Drew Leavens?  Yes, I know there are two Democrats challenging me but I'm getting plenty of fundraising from my investigations so I know I'm covered just fine.
Drew Leavens, a marriage and family therapist who is the second Democratic candidate running to unseat Darrell Issa (besides Dave Peiser), is working to shore up support for his campaign.

On February 16th, Drew Leavens will be making an appearance at the La Jolla Democratic Club from 2 pm - 3 pm.  This should give you a chance meet Leavens himself and ask questions.  Details of the event are as follows:

Join Drew at the La Jolla Democratic Club

Community Room, AMC Theatres La Jolla 12
8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, San Diego, CA 92037
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
February 16, 2014

Website of the La Jolla Democratic Club here:

Who do you prefer? Darrell Issa or Drew Leavens?

26%5 votes
10%2 votes
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Look, just so you understand, I AM the Representative of Texas 7th Congressional District.  Whatever this James Cargas guy wants to do with this phone bank, that's fine but just because Tom DeLay isn't House Majority Leader anymore, doesn't mean I can't be in my prime.
Rep. John Culberson isn't an ideal target by the DCCC nor is the Texas 7th Congressional District as opposed to other races in the country.  TX-07 is rated R+13 per the Cook Political Report and Culberson beat 2012 Democratic challenger with 60% of the votes.

However, Rep. Culberson's 2012 Democratic challenger, James Cargas, is back for another run and is already working to shore up support for his campaign.  Democracy for America in Houston has endorsed him, as well as the Houston Black American Democrats, Texas AFL-CIO, Harris County AFL-CIO, etc.

On Saturday, Feb 15th, if you are looking to get involved and spend a day phone banking, James Cargas and his campaign are hosting a phone bank at 11 am in Houston, TX.  Details below via an e-mail we received:

Join us for a Phone Bank

We are reaching out to our friends and neighbors using the newest technology to make sure they know that early voting begins next week, and that James Cargas is our choice for U.S. Congress.

When:   Saturday, February 15
Time:     11:00am to 2:00pm
Place:    La Madeleine Cafe
              10001 Westheimer Rd.
              Houston, TX  77042
Bring:     Cell phone and
              Wifi capable laptop or tablet

Can you donate a few hours to help get the vote out?  Please RSVP to Shekira Dennis or call (713) 581-0072.


Rep. John Culberson or James Cargas?

14%2 votes
85%12 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results

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