Return of the DINOs
Solano county Democrats hold a commanding 23% advantage over Republican counterparts in registered voters. Small wonder that career pols like Bill Dodd and Tim Grayson switch their party affiliations from Republican to Democrat when they run for higher office. In Vallejo the Democratic advantage jumps to more than 45%, dramatically increasing the incentive to reach for the Party label regardless of political convictions. The Democrats In Name Only have been playing at this game in local politics for years, and the DINOs are roaring again.
In the mayor's race, Landis Graden's political consultant recognizes the potential to fool low information Democratic-leaning voters as evidenced by the subtle changes to his most recent mailer. The banner text from the earlier version with the generic campaign patter about partnership and service is gone, and now it simply proclaims Mr. Graden as "Democrat for Mayor." A county politician's prominent testimonial has been replaced by the county Democratic Central Committee and the Community Dem club logos. A relatively new or just plain busy voter who wants to vote Democratic might naturally assume that Mr. Graden is the only Democrat running for Mayor, or that the endorsements come from the mainstream Vallejo Democratic Party organizations. Not the case.
There are three Democratic clubs in Vallejo, and two of them have voted to endorse his rival Bob Sampayan for mayor in 2016 instead. The Community Club that endorsed Mr. Graden is a recent addition that welcomes social conservatives who disagree with Democratic party platform planks like support for gay marriage. The original United Democrats of Southern Solano County club endorsed Mr. Sampayan following a candidate's forum, along with the new Stonewall Democratic Club.
The county central committee majority has been allied with the JumpStart PAC in the past and endorsed Mr. Graden this cycle. They have attempted to challenge the right of our
local Democratic clubs to endorse their own candidates. As Democrats we need to support democratic process and local control. Don't be fooled. Bob Sampayan is the Democratic candidate in the mayor's race with the Democratic party endorsements that matter.
For those who need a quick orientation to local politics, we offer the Beginner's Guide to Vallejo Politics. Written by a relative newcomer who came to the 2013 election uninformed and unprepared, here is a quick readable road map through an often confusing political landscape.
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