How Wrong Can You Be?

According to this morning's FlashReport (author Jon Fleischman)

California Congressmen John Doolittle [for whom I used to work in the State Senate] and Henry Waxman are going before the FEC to try and get 'permission' to raise unlimited sums to battle Proposition 77.

The last time John Doolittle tried to sell us out on redistricting, the left - right and center of the California Republican Party joined together to amend the state party bylaws to allow a pre-primary endorsement of the opponent of any incumbent who joined with the Dems to protect his own safe district at the expense of the party. It passed overwhelmingly. I think it was Greg Martin of the California Young Republicans and Carl Davis, then Chair of the LA County GOP who led the floor fight assisted by Jon Fleischman and myself among many others.

I think it was called the Unity Amendment and the handouts used the slogan Hold Their Feet to the Fire. At the time, the rumor was that Congressman John Doolittle and then Assemblyman Bill Baker were the ones meeting with Willie Brown to carve themselves some safe seats. The threat of a pre-primary endorsement for their opponent was enough to scare them straight. Maybe we need to renew the amendment.

UPDATE: My pal Sherilee just sent me the following email. Apparently, the FEC ruled against the good guys.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE FEC: Calif. Lawmakers Can Exceed Limits In Remap Fight The
FEC ruled unanimously today that Reps. John Doolittle, R-Calif., and Howard
Berman, D-Calif., do not have to comply with federal campaign contribution
limits when raising money for ballot measures in November's special
election, including a measure that would change the way the state draws
congressional districts. But commissioners rejected, on a party-line 3-3
vote, a motion by Republican Michael Toner that would have exempted
campaigns connected with ballot initiatives from federal election law in all
cases. Toner argued that Congress never intended the law to extend to ballot
measures. He said in examining the legislative history of the Bipartisan
Campaign Reform Act of 2002, "I'm not aware of any floor discussion where
initiatives and referendums were mentioned." Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, a
Democrat, said she agreed in this case that federal officeholders would not
further their re-election efforts by raising money for the ballot
initiatives. But she noted, "I don't know if I'd be willing to say that
there are never any circumstances where [ballot initiatives] are connected
to a federal election." Commissioners compromised by issuing a narrowly
tailored opinion that would allow Doolittle and Berman to disregard federal
limits. In doing so, the panel rejected a draft staff recommendation to deny
Berman and Doolittle's request. The commissioners, including Toner,
indicated they might reconsider a sweeping exception for ballot initiatives
at a later date. A commission spokesman said several lawmakers, including
House Minority Leader Pelosi of California, called to urge the FEC to allow
Berman and Doolittle to raise funds without having to comply with federal
limits. In an interview, Toner explained that the FEC has always assumed
that redistricting is "so far removed from voting" that it would not be
covered by the law. But he also noted that as a state officeholder,
Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, could raise unlimited soft money to
support initiatives he sponsored, including the redistricting measure, while
his congressional opponents would be restricted to hard money. The FEC also
ruled unanimously that Andy Mayberry, a Republican running in the 2nd
District in Arkansas, can continue publishing two newspapers he co-owns
while running for office. The commissioners said Mayberry can print opinion
pieces on election issues, as long as he does not include his own name or
picture -- or his opponent's -- 120 days before the election. Although the
commissioners agreed that the decision was consistent with regulations, some
expressed misgivings about the rules governing candidates who also are media
owners. Weintraub noted the opinion pieces could "look like they're coming
from some neutral source who is in complete agreement with the candidate."
The FEC also voted unanimously to allow Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., to
use campaign funds for his children's travel expenses, as long as it is for
events connected with his status as a federal officeholder. -- by Alyson

As Sean Connery would say, "What are you prepared to do?"

Birthday Blogging

Here's One thing I want to do for my upcoming birthday ...

Listen To The Music
-Doobie Brothers
-written by Tom Johnston

Don't you feel it growin', day by day
People gettin' ready for the news
Some are happy, some are sad
Oh, we got to let the music play
What the people need
Is a way to make 'em smile
It ain't so hard to do if you know how
Gotta get a message
Get it on through
Oh now mama, don't you ask me why

Oh, oh, listen to the music
Oh, oh, listen to the music
Oh, oh, listen to the music
All the time

Well I know, you know better
Everything I say
Meet me in the country for a day
We'll be happy
And we'll dance
Oh, we're gonna dance our blues away
And if I'm feelin' good to you
And you're feelin' good to me
There ain't nothin' we can't do or say
Feelin' good, feeling fine
Oh, baby, let the music play

Tickets are on sale now for the 19th Annual B.R. Cohn Charity Fall Music Festival will be held Saturday, October 1st at the B.R. Cohn Winery Amphitheater featuring the Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, the Turtles, Lisa Loeb and other special surprise guests. This year, the annual B.R. Cohn Winery charity event is dedicated to the late Doobie Brother drummer Keith Knudsen, who passed away in February. The concert and golf tournament has raised nearly a million dollars over the years for youth related charities!

Tickets for the concert are $60.00 in advance (special VIP seats at $200 are only available through the winery tasting room) and $65.00 day of show. They are on-sale now at the winery and all Ticketmaster outlets. The winery ticket number is (707) 938-4064 ext. 24.

Cohn's annual celebrity golf tournament will be held this year on Friday, September 30 at the beautiful Chardonnay Club in Napa. This year's golf price is $275.00 and includes dinner. This is the tournament's third year at the popular course. Tee-off is at 10:00 am. >> CLICK HERE TO PRINT YOUR GOLF REGISTRATION FORM <<, fill it out and fax it to B.R. Cohn Winery at (707) 938-4585. You may also contact the Winery Tasting Room regarding invitations to the tournament and auction at (800) 330-4064 ext. 24 or email charityevents@brcohn.com.

The charity auction and dinner will be held following the golf tournament and will feature an auction of collectables, exciting trips, and hard-to-get wine. This year's main beneficiaries are the Valley of the Moon Children's Home, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance and new beneficiary for 2005, the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation.

"With VH1 Classic on board again this year as a sponsor, and very worthy charities in place and we are hoping to raise even more money than last year," commented Bruce Cohn. "This is an incredible line-up and promises to be a great day and it’s all in memory of Keith Knudsen."

Parking for this year's show will again be off-site at the Sonoma Developmental Center soccer field, with shuttles moving crowds in and out. The show will start at 12:00 noon with doors opening at 11:00 am. Please watch for and follow parking signs at the approach to the B.R. Cohn Winery on Highway 12. Parking and shuttle are included in the price of the ticket. No beverages, food, or lawn furniture will be allowed onto the grounds. Concessions and lawn seating are available.

The B.R. Cohn Winery is located at 15000 Sonoma Highway 12 in Glen Ellen. Founded in 1984 by Bruce Cohn, the estate winery is known for its critically acclaimed, world-class, ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. For more concert information please call 1-800-330-4064 ext. 24 or other information www.brcohn.com.