“What Happened?” Why There Were Two Republican Candidates on Your Ballot

Are you wondering why Democratic Voters in the 25th Congressional District only had a choice between two Republican candidates?  Read below to find out about California’s Top-Two Primary, voter engagement, and what you can do to make sure you always have a choice at the ballot box.

Voters in California went to the polls in June to cast their ballots in the 2014 mid-term primary. Democratic candidate Lee Rogers ran a spirited campaign against Republicans Tony Strickland and Steve Knight, but came in third place in the race for the 25th Congressional District.  Under California’s new Top-Two Primary system, approved by California voters in 2010, the two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election.  With no option for a write-in candidate (it’s not allowed under the Top-Two system) this left Democratic voters in the district with two options for the general election: Choose one of the two extremely conservative Republican candidates, or not vote at all for this office.

The Top Two primary was designed to encourage parties to run more moderate candidates, encourage more independent voters to come to the polls, and increase representation for all Californians.

It has failed to do this on all counts:
  • There hasn’t been a move towards moderation in California elections so far.  The same is true in Washington State, where the Top-Two primary has been in place since 2008.[1]
  • Voter turnout among independents has not increased as a result of being able to vote in California’s Primary Elections.  Washington post columnist Harold Meyerson has called on California to dump the Top-Two Primary, writing in the L.A. Times “When the vote count in this June’s primary is completed, turnout will probably be about 25%, which would make it the lowest ever.[2]
  • In the heavily Democratic 31st Congressional District,  four Democratic candidates split their party’s vote in the 2012 primary, leaving two GOP candidates to face each other in the general election.  The eventual winner Gary Miller is choosing not to seek re-election in part because his politics we’re “so out of synch” with his constituents.[3]

Right now the Top-Two Primary is a part of our electoral system in California and, until voters push to repeal it, it’s likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.  So, what can be done to make sure you always have a viable Democratic choice in each election?  Here are two ways to get involved:

Get Registered and Go Vote:

Get Registered Permanent Vote-By-Mail:

If you aren’t registered to vote you can register online at http://registertovote.ca.gov/

Once you are registered, apply for permanent vote-by-mail status.  This will ensure you receive an absentee ballot for every election.  Fill out the request form to receive an absentee ballot, found at the link below, and check box number 8 to apply to become a permanent vote-by-mail voter:

Vote by mail application at California Secretary of State Website (pdf)


Go Vote:

  • Democratic voter turnout is significantly lower in mid-term elections than in presidential year elections.  From the Huffington Post:

“There is a partisan element as well – one that also affects which candidates reach the November ballot. According to the California Secretary of State, 28.4% of registered voters in May 2014 were Republicans, as opposed to 43.4% of registered voters as Democrat. But a Field Poll of likely primary voters in May found that 37% were Republicans.”[4]

  • Thanks to voter registration efforts in the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita the 25th Congressional District now has more registered Democrats than any other group.[5]

It’s more important than ever for Democrats to vote in all of our elections.  If Democrats across the district voted in each election we wouldn’t just have Democratic candidates on the ballot, we would have Democrats in office.

Get Involved:

There are 3 key ways we encourage all Democrats to get involved:

  • Sign up to receive Emails: By Signing up to receive emails you can stay “in the know” about local efforts to support Democratic candidates and causes.  Want to be a part of a rally for immigration, or women’s rights?  Want to know about events supporting the LGBT community?  Want to meet candidates running for local and national office?  Sign up for our email list. Emails are sent once or twice a month at most, and won’t come daily like some political organizations like to do.Emaillist-Button
  • Donate: We are a grassroots, community based organization and can only do what we do when local Democrats partner with us.  Donating is one of the key ways you can do that, if you can help us $5, $10 or $20 dollars that will go a long way to helping us represent Democratic candidates and viewpoints in our area.  In Presidential election years the Democratic Alliance for Action opens a local campaign headquarters to support both local and national races.donateBtn
  • Come to a DAA meeting:  DAA meetings are a great way to hear about local issues, meet candidates running for office, and connect with fellow Democrats.  If you have a passion for getting people registered to vote, helping candidates you care about get elected, and getting people informed about local issues we need your help!  Come to the next meeting and find out how you can be a part of the DAA.  The next meeting will be January 22nd at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall

For more information on how you can help see our “Get Involved” page.

To learn a little more about who we are as a club see “Who We Are.”


Being involved in the political process has always been an important part of being an American, and with California’s new primary system engagement is more important ever.  Vote, get involved, and make sure you always have a voice when you go to the ballot box.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up us and find out how you can volunteer.

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Hart Officials Want Public Comment On New District Maps


Hart District officials will be holding a series of public meetings to gather input on future election maps for future school board districts.  The district maps are being drawn to help bring William S. Hart Union High School District into compliance with the California Voting Rights Act.

This could be an opportunity for us to get more diverse selection of candidates elected to the board as well as an opportunity for qualified Democrats to represent our views in relation to students, teachers, administrators and staff at our middle schools and high schools.\

Please try to attend.

For more information see this story on SCVtv.com:
Hart Officials to Discuss Election Maps at Public Meetings

The schedule for the meetings is as follows:
November 6, 6-7:30 pm @ at Sierra Vista Junior High
November 17, 6-7:30 pm @ at Placerita Junior High
November 20, 6-7:30 pm @ at Arroyo Seco Junior High
December. 2, 6-7:30 pm @  Rio Norte Junior High
December. 3, 6-7:30 pm @ at Castaic Middle School

Climate Change Minute – October 2014

The driving force of religion is faith; the driving force of science is doubt. In religion, doubt is bad. In science, doubt is necessary. The peer review process depends on challenging the stated ideas (theories) of scientists by other scientists, and, especially, scientists challenging their own ideas. Doubt circles around science like flies around dead meat. It is doubt that gave us antibiotics, television, airplanes, a man on the moon and spam (both kinds.)

But doubt, in science, must be rigorous, methodical, and based on facts. Facts are data that can be tested by observation. If you drop a rock from the edge of your roof, it will fall down. Try it. Complex theories are tested thru predictions that are then compared to observations or experimental results. If you try to use faith in science you get ideas like the Piltdown man and Lamarckian theory of evolution. These two ideas were eventually discredited; but, note, Lamarck’s theory persisted in the Soviet Union because it became an article of faith.

Theories (and computer models) of global warming are good science, and, as such, are, and have been, subject to rigorous peer review. Any good theory in science must have predictions that are testable by (repeatable) experiment and/or observation. You cannot refute a scientific theory by argument or debate. This is the power and limitation of science. Knowing how to refute or create a complex scientific theory requires intelligence and years of learning in specialized fields. We depend on the Climate scientists to review climate theories and predictions, just as we depend on the Aeronautical engineer to build planes that are safe to fly. We, as a society, have a right and a duty to prepare for the consequences we must face. Global warming predicts some consequences that appear to be quite dire. Preparing for them will adversely affect some more than others. Doing nothing or doing something, both have their costs. Deciding what to do is a question of policy not science. The policy we decide will have economic consequences. Some consequences will effect some much more than others. The arguments (I will not call it debate.) about that policy are going on all around us and we are involved in the consequences. We have a right and a duty to pay attention to and take part in that argument. We should, as citizens, inform ourselves as best we can.

Beware your sources. Any source on any side may have an hidden agenda. An example: “GlobalWarming.org is a project of the Cooler Heads Coalition, formerly a sub-group of the National Consumer Coalition, but now run as an informal and ad-hoc group focused on dispelling the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis. Coalition members will also follow the progress of the international Global Climate Change Treaty negotiations. This website is paid for and maintained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.” Funders of CEI include Exxon-Mobil, Amoco, Texaco, both Koch brothers and other foundations based on Oil money.

Here are some websites to visit:

1) http://climate.nasa.gov/
2) http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/2014/09/2014-climate-change-summary-chairs-summary/
3) http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/september/drought-climate-change-092914.html
4) http://www.theguardian.com/environment/series/the-ultimate-climate-change-faq
5) http://www.theguardian.com/environment/interactive/2011/aug/15/everything-know-climate-change
6) http://www.globalwarming.org/
7) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooler_Heads_Coalition
8) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competitive_Enterprise_Institute
9) http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Global_warming_denialism
10) http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Main_Page
11) http://climatecrocks.com/

Voter Guide from the Democratic Alliance For Action

electionVoterGuideWebThe Democratic Alliance for Action encourages you to vote in the November 4 General Election.  As citizens and Democrats our voices are only heard if we are willing to show to vote up on election day or cast an absentee ballot.

This election is a little different from previous elections as the DAA has endorsed a position of abstention for the 25 Congressional District between Republicans Tony Strickland and Steve Knight.  We believe that it would be against the best interests of the electorate as well as the Democratic party to vote for either of the candidates running for the 25 Congressional District.  We also believe that by abstaining we join a growing consensus that feels that the Top-Two Primary system isn’t working and needs to be repealed.

We strongly encourage Democrats to vote in the other elections on the ballot.

The Democratic Alliance For Action of Santa Clarita has made the following endorsements:

36th Assembly District – Steve Fox
38th Assembly District – Jorge Fuentes

25 Congressional District – Abstain

Castaic Lake Water Agency Board:
Division 1 – Steve Brooks
Division 2 – Stephen Daniels
Member-at-large – Stacy Fortner

Proposition 45 – Yes
Proposition 47 – Yes

Measure EE – Yes
Measure S – No

Governor – Jerry Brown
Lt. Governor – Gavin Newsom
Secretary of State – Alex Padilla
Attorney General – Kamala Harris
State Treasurer – John Chiang
State Controller – Betty Yee
Insurance Commissioner – Dave Jones
Superintendent of Public Instruction – Tom Torlakson

Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 4.

Monthly DAA Meeting – October 23, 2014

Vincenzo’s Pizza
24504 1/2 Lyons Ave, Newhall, CA

Please Order Food and Schmooze before 7:00 pm (doors open 5:45 pm).
Make sure to sign in at the check-in table.

The DAA is a warm and welcoming group where Democrats meet, make friends and make a difference in the Santa Clarita Valley, California and our country.


November General Election Endorsements

For Immediate Release
September 26, 2014


The Democratic Alliance for Action officially endorsed three Castaic Lake Water Agency candidates on September 18th. Stances were also issued on Santa Clarita’s Measure S, the Saugus School Bond Proposition EE, and California’s Proposition 1.

(Santa Clarita, CA) – The Democratic Alliance for Action (DAA), Santa Clarita’s only chartered Democratic club, voted at their most recent monthly meeting to officially endorse three candidates for the Castaic Lake Water Agency Board—Steve Brooks for District 1, Stephen Daniels for District 2, and Stacy Fortner for Member-at-Large.

The DAA issued the following statement: “It is the belief of the members of the DAA that these candidates represent what is needed for the Castaic Lake Water Agency Board. We are proud to issue our endorsement for each of them.”

The DAA also issued a “vote no” recommendation on Santa Clarita’s Measure S, the digital billboard referendum, as well a positive endorsement for Proposition EE, the Saugus school bond proposition. A neutral stance was chosen regarding Proposition 1, the California Water Bond.

“This is an election year filled with great Democratic candidates and important issues,” said Kristin Ingram-Worthman, President, DAA. “We encourage everyone to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 4th.”
The DAA is a chartered club of the Los Angeles Democratic Party and strives to advance a positive public image for the principles and platforms of the Democratic Party.


Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner – October 19, 2014

The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner Honoring the Democrats of the Year is coming up October 19, 2014 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at LAX.

Join the LA County Democratic Party and Democrats from all over the area as we celebrate and honor grassroots activists from each Assembly District as the Democrats of the Year. This year DAA member Lynne Plambeck and Dr. Lee Rogers have been selected as AD38’s Democrats of the Year. We encourage you to come out and show your support.

Tickets are currently available through ActBlue, early bird pricing ends September 29, 2014


September DAA Meeting

Kristin Ingram-Worthman, Johnathon Ervin, and Mark Archuleta at September's DAA Meeting

Kristin Ingram-Worthman, Johnathon Ervin, and Mark Archuleta at September’s DAA Meeting

At September’s DAA meeting members heard Noah Snyder from the League of Conservation Voters speak about the Government By The People Act (HR20), which would combat the influence of big money in politics.

Washington Post Opinion Article about HR20:
Nancy Pelosi and John Sarbanes: Reversing the grievous error of Citizens United

Govtrack page for HR20 (with text of the bill):

Candidates for Castaic Lake Water Agency Board spoke to members as well. DAA members voted to endorse all 3 candidates:

Steve Brooks for Division 1
Stephen Daniels for Division 2
Stacy Fortner for member-at-large

DAA members also heard about Proposition 1 and, after expressing some concern, voted to take a position of no position on the ballot measure and encourage voters to make their own decision.  Julie Olsen got up and spoke regarding local bond measure EE which would provide funds to Saugus Union School District for repair and maintenance and Patti Sulpizio informed members regarding the progress made on the No on Measure S campaign. Members voted for a yes endorsement on EE and a no endorsement on Measure S.

Ballotpedia page for Proposition 1:

Citizens Against Billboard Blight in Santa Clarita

SFV Democratic Campaign HQ Grand Opening – September 20, 2014

The Democratic Party of The San Fernando Valley (DPSFV) will be having its 2014 Campaign Headquarters Grand Opening tomorrow from 1:00PM – 3:00PM. Join elected officials and local Democrats as we kick off the fall campaign season.

The headquarters is located at:
14545 Victory Blvd,
Van Nuys, CA 91411

Just west of Van Nuys Blvd in the US Bank building
Same location as the 2012 HQ
Park in the city lot behind the building on Gilmore

Regular office hours starting September 22:
Monday-Friday 2:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday Noon – 5:00 pm

Come out and see how you can help Democrats get elected in the San Fernando Valley.


Monthly DAA Meeting – September 18, 2014

Vincenzo’s Pizza
24504 1/2 Lyons Ave, Newhall, CA

At this month’s meeting, we will be voting on endorsements for races that will be voted on in the November 4th general election.  Please note that we are holding this meeting earlier in the month in respect of the Jewish Holy Days.

Please Order Food and Schmooze before 7:00 pm (doors open 5:45 pm).
Make sure to sign in at the check-in table.

The DAA is a warm and welcoming group where Democrats meet, make friends and make a difference in the Santa Clarita Valley, California and our country.