It's yours truly, the mastermind behind all the pro-Jerry Tetalman diaries.
I haven't seen the results coming in for Jerry Tetalman vs. Darrell Issa and I do want to win but I want to let you guys know that it's been a great ride in providing information, analysis and additional information for others to get to know Tetalman the man and his candidacy. Regardless of what happens tonight, it's been great hearing your stories and sentiments.
Back in September, I was just getting started to understand the House races going on throughout the countries and initially I just wanted to post a whole bunch of races on the Daily Kos blog so people could be aware of them and fight for whoever they saw fit.
However, it was an anti-Darrell Issa diary I made where I was really fed up and outraged at Issa's antics in the House Oversight & Government Committee that I decided to find out who Issa's Democratic challenger was. I fired, you know what, I'll just announce on Kos about this just so people could be aware.
Little did I know that after reading more about Jerry Tetalman was that he offered a hell of a lot more in his background and his candidacy than I even imagined. I just thought he was another challenger. I was wrong.
Instead, I took a closer look at Jerry Tetalman and recognized here is a person who has been a nurse, run his own mental health facility, a successful real estate salesman who has run his own business, an anti-war protester since the Vietnam War, a motivational speaker, a big time union supporter, an extremely Green and pro-environment Democrat who is more Green than most Democrats in Congress and the best of all, an active person in peace conference efforts around the world. When you've got someone who can interact with Desmond Tutu and be on the same page as he is, you know you've got someone who can be very diplomatic when it comes to foreign policy and world peace efforts. Tetalman, like Dennis Kucinich, is a pro-peace person who may even have accomplished raising dialog even further than Kucinich has. For that, he's been great.
A number of weeks ago, I interviewed Jerry Tetalman in what I felt was a necessary and important interview because I felt that Tetalman not only was the most progressive Democrat running for Congress, I believed he could offer additional dialog than most Democrats seldomly seem to have: humility and a sense of respect for another person's point of view. A lot of hyper politization is happening in Congress and it's dangerous, VERY dangerous given the Congress' rating is at an all-time low.
In interviewing Tetalman, I found his answers to be more sincere, open, truthful and unfiltered than pretty much 85% of the Democrats I've paid attention to since I became a Democrat in 2004. I'm 33 years old now and still feel like I'm a kid.
In the interview, Tetalman answered a range of softball to hardball questions and not once hesitated to answer any of them. There were even questions I asked him about third parties, the Aurora Colorado shooting/gun control, whether or not he'd be a Joseph Lieberman clone or what he had to say to those Republicans who say he's a tax-and-spend liberal. Not only did Tetalman answer all of these questions without even taking a moment to think, he approached all of the answers with humility and even went further into detail than most Democrats went. I kept thinking to myself, "This man is REALLY a genuine, thoughtful Democrat."
The bottom line is this: I am not a voter in California's 49th Congressional District. I'm a Berkeley, California resident who works in the IT/tech industry, is going to an MBA program in San Francisco, studying for a certificate at UC Berkeley Extension and getting certification by the International Institute of Business Analysis and am planning on developing an innovative company at some point in the Bay Area. I did not need to get involved in this race. My plate was already full.
However, I saw my calling in raising awareness about Jerry Tetalman and his candidacy important. It wasn't so much I felt Tetalman should beat Darrell Issa or that the race was about Issa and Democrats. In interviewing Tetalman, I saw the opportunity to raise important dialog that's vital if the Democratic Party is to consider being a party that retains a majority in the House and Senate, keeps the White House while the Republican Party expires or at least boots the far-right conservatives and Tea Party bozos out of their way.
The way to accomplish this is: Be a strong progressive but with the ability to be non-ideological at the same time. Tetalman is the rare breed of Democrats that has this ability. His persona is about knowledge more than it is about ideology. Granted there are a lot of Democrats who have knowledge and progressive credentials, Tetalman right now should be the go-to guy for guidance because he knows how to be a Democrat yet not piss off those who disagree with him at the same time.
How does Tetalman do this? He's calm, open, non-threatening, and diplomatic. He opens his door to ANYONE and he doesn't pander to voters at the same time. He believes knowledge is power and so is the truth. You don't have to be a blunt Chris Christie or a servely blunt Jesse Ventura to at least try to be honest. You can be honest without compromising knowledge.
This is why I believe in Jerry Tetalman. At this point, I'm optimistic about the future regardless of whether Tetalman wins tonight. I want him to win. I can't stand Darrell Issa and his Darth Vader antics for the life of me. I'm saying this and I don't even live in the 49th district. I even want Tetalman to STRONGLY consider running again in 2014 because this country needs him, VERY badly. He has a lot to offer that most Democrats on liberal/progressives and even a number of Daily Kos people (including you Markos) don't know about.
The bottom line is: Never, ever, EVER let anyone on Kos or elsewhere tell you a race is not worth fighting for, no matter how red the district your candidate is in. If you believe in booting Darrell Issa or others out of office because they are doing wrongdoing or seriously abusing their office of power, you get every single person possible to shake everything up so that the right candidate stop the bleeding and controversy. This isn't simply about Democrats. This is about our counrty!
Every person holding office should NOT make an ass out of themselves and be partisan to the point where it's damaging the reputation of government. We deserve people who offer open dialog and allow anyone with concerns to be able to get their needs addressed.
Anyway, I want to congradulate Jerry Tetalman for running for Congress. Regardless of what happens with the election results, all those who have put their time and souls into this campaign deserve recognition. You all should be proud for firing up this campaign. Darrell Issa's days are numbered, whether it be in 2012 or 2014.