June 2013 Message

The East County Democratic Club is proud to announce that we are now enrolled in the California Democratic Party’s Bounty Program. Under the Program, the Club can earn up to $4.50 for every Democratic voter registered by the Club. Therefore, our hard work with our Voter Registration Teams will now directly benefit our Club.


Gordon Bosma is leading the charge with the Voter Registration Teams. We schedule a variety of opportunities to serve on a Team in East County. From manning a registration table at Parkway Plaza to walking the Classic Cruise Car Show in El Cajon, we have an abundance of opportunities to register Democrats in East County.  With the Bounty Program, not only will we benefit by the additional registered Democrats in our area but our Club will benefit from the hard work we put into voter registration.


For opportunities with our Club’s Voter Registration Teams, please see our events listed on my Facebook page and on the Facebook page of the East County Democratic Club.


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April 2013 Message

The East County Democratic Club has six defined purposes listed in our bylaws. For my newsletter message, I would like to expand on one listed purpose each month.

The purpose of this Club is to:
3. To build and maintain a permanent club membership of volunteers looking for ways to support our causes

Our Club has an opportunity to grow exponentially over the next years. With a concerted effort on the part of all members, we can build a great force in East County that wields its power for the good of our communities. We can start by engaging our communities, sharing our successes and leading by example.

We must engage our communities by having a Club presence at events inside and outside of East County. We have a vast geographic area and many opportunities to attend government meetings and local community events. By engaging people in our communities, we have the opportunity to foster camaraderie and develop long-lasting friendships and volunteers for our Club. The smiling faces of our members will attract other Democrats to our group.

When you’re around town, share our successes. Brag to your friends about the development of our Regional Voter Registration Teams. Share information about our candidates and how we work to help them succeed. Liberally distribute our Club’s business cards that have information about our Club meetings. Share our website information. I’ve found that when I start a conversation about Democrats, many people indulge me but it’s a way to get the word out that we actually exist and thrive in East County. Plant the seed and watch it grow.

Being a veteran, I firmly believe in leading by example. Bring a friend to our Club meetings and show them how responsible citizens work to monitor their government. Once your friend sees our can-do attitude, they will return. Someday they may volunteer on a project or even run for office.

Spend an hour with a Regional Voter Registration Team. Brainstorm for fundraising activities, projects that promote the Party and candidate recruitment. We have a great opportunity with nowhere to go but UP!

I have boxes of our Club’s business cards. See me to get a stack. Spread the word about our great East County Democratic Club.


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March 2013 Message

2. Another of our Club’s missions is to inform the electorate regarding candidates and issues with regular meetings. To that end, our Board is working hard to encourage officeholders to attend our meetings and briefly update our members on the governmental activities within their jurisdictions.

We are painfully aware that we have very few Democratic officeholders in East County. Therefore, we are inviting those who hold nonpartisan offices to speak to our members and provide us with the unique opportunity to converse with those who represent us in our government. After all, they represent all citizens within their districts and should speak with and answer to all of us. Of course, we will provide as much notice as we can so we can prepare our lists of questions and/or concerns.

If you have a favorite representative whom you would like to see at our meeting, let us know. We will do our best to get them to a Club meeting to address our members and to answer our questions.


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February 2013 Message

The purpose of this Club is to:

1. To promote progressive causes in local, state, and national politics

Our Club has an opportunity to express itself through aggressive promotion of our issues and causes. Our causes are nothing extreme to the regular citizen of east county. Our support of workers, our insistence on a clean environment, our desires for equal opportunity… these are all things that every American values. We only need to get out there an speak to citizens in their communities. We have a vast geographic region and we have the unfortunate reality of living in a conservative area of our county. The conservative thinkers are the ones who appear to have the large presence. Although they are the most dominant, their core beliefs are not the most appealing and acceptable to the people of our area. Progressive thinking is a more realistic form for our area.

To promote our causes and our Club, we must extend our influence throughout the east county. We should have a presence at as many events as possible and schedule a few of our own. We must attend government meetings and we must invite our government representatives to speak at our meetings. We must hold them accountable to all citizens and not just those that embrace conservative beliefs.

Karen Marie Otter

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The President’s New Years Message

I hope your holidays have been ones that refreshed and invigorated you and your family and friends.  

 John Martes

As you may know, our East County Democratic Club (ECDC) has lost a co-president, John Martes.  His wife, Gloria Martes, first vice president, kindly sent an invitation to a celebration of his life on January 5, at the Elks Lodge in El Cajon.  The room was completely filled, and many had to remain outside in the hall area.  It was truly a fine celebration of John’s life.  Both family and friends made laudatory comments about his unusual record of accomplishments and generous acts of kindness.   We all miss him.

Bonnie Price

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The June Co-President’s Message from John and Bonnie

We need to find a way to help our fellow democratic even though their problem is not in our back yard. We have to work to build unity in our Party and community. We can help other communities to achieve results for the people by our activism and leadership. Local government needs to be watched and call on to do the right thing, and we need to step up.
Our club was opposed to proposition “D” for the city of El Cajon. We had only six volunteers to make calls to our base. Bonnie Price paid for bumper stickers. We didn’t have  enough people to make the calls and walk precincts. Even with this small group of people we were able to get 42% of the voters to vote against proposition “D.” It makes me wonder if “D” would have passed if we could have found twelve volunteers. I called everyone in my precinct and when they answered their phone I was able to get a 99% to vote no on “D.” You don’t have to commit a large amount of time to any project, just commit a reasonable amount of time that you can live with and do some work.

I will be asking you to contribute some effort to our GOTV team to make a difference in the November election. The best definition of getting Democrats to vote and work together is, “it is like herding cats”. However, this herding is very necessary to keep the 1% from stealing the election. Remember the only thing that the 1% doesn’t have is the truth, and they will tell lies in the media repeatedly. They believe that if you hear it enough time you will believe it as the truth. Volunteerism is the only weapon that we have against those lies. We need your support and effort to get the job done.


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The March Co-President’s Message from John and Bonnie

We need to work very hard on getting new candidates elected this November. We have to get rid of the corporate Congress office holders who only work for the wealthy top one percent. We have to overcome the huge amount of money that the rich are willing to spend to keep control of us, the ninety -nine percent of the country. We have to teach the wealthy that it takes more than money to control us. When we demonstrate our ability to vote in our best interest for a better country, and world is when we can show them it takes more than money, it takes heart.
Let’s take a current event gasoline. First, Republicans started making remarks about Iran and how they have atomic bomb capability, and then they start swords rattling for war. In Iran which is very concerned about the sword rattling and an attack by Israel and the west, decides to stop shipping oil to Europe. At the same time, Oil traders on Wall Street start
speculating on oil futures and drive up the price. Next the oil companies raise prices be-cause oil futures are up and shut down several refineries and create a shortage of gasoline. There isn’t any shortage of crude oil in the world at this time because other crude oil producers have picked up the supply shortage because of the oil futures drives up their profit. Oil Companies are raking in the cash; the Oil Traders and Wall Street are making huge profit on their futures, and the Republicans are still rattling the swords because fear is how they win elections. Now our corporate-owned Congress throws up their hands and says, “What can we do about this.” They could do a lot more. Open up an investigation on the oil companies profiteering. Next open an investigation on Wall Street oil speculators. Write a law that would control those crooks and tax their profits that would be unbelievable achieve-ment. Finally, we need our Democratic leaders speak up about this artificial shortage and point out what are the causes, namely the Republicans, but they do not have the fortitude to do such a thing.
This is one reason why we need a change and Duncan Hunter Jr. would be at the top of my list.
We need to change the world and get the big money out of government and return to a government for the people and by the people, not just the one per-cent. It is your money that they have stolen and they are using against you. So wake up before they take what little you have left. JAM

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The December & January Co-President’s Message from John and Bonnie

As Democrats and progressives we have our work cut out for us. This is a critical time in our history when many of our elected senators, congressmen and even our President have strayed from our core beliefs. They have fallen for the one percent who is the big money donor. They only need us to vote for them at election time and accept whatever they do for the rest of their term in office. With big money, they can produce a message full of lies and half-truths that will make us believe that they are doing the right thing for us, to get our vote. Those politicians will do anything to get re-elected to hold on to the power and prestige that are afforded to that office. We have Democrats, who are willing to destroy social security and medicare just to continue getting campaign money from the One Percent. I know how difficult it is to raise campaign funds to get your message out. I have been a candidate more than once. Without money, you cannot print flyers, advertise or send out mailers. Preparing signs and getting them out is another big campaign expense and the expense list goes on and on. So as Democrats and progressives of the 99% we do not have unlimited funds to give to good candidates. However, we can contribute more in many ways that don’t require large cash donations. We can give a small donation and volunteer to help to get good candidates elected. We can volunteer to walk precincts, hand out flyers, put up yard signs, send out postcards to a neighbor, and print out flyers on your own printer. Furthermore, you can become a campaign manager by taking campaign classes. Every candidate needs a campaign manager to guide them throughout the campaign. And finally, we can work with our Get Out The Vote (GOTV) team to inform Democrats and Decline To State voters of the best candidates and issues, so that they can make informed voting decisions. Building a strong precinct network to work with Democrats will yield benefits for many years to come. We have to find a way to become united and throw out the non believers. This could be a good starting point to take back our country from the One Percent.. JAM

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The October 2011 Co-Presidents Message, Bonnie & John

Unfortunately, the failings of corporations and governments alike are so abundant that it places a premium on one’s time and energy to learn enough to make informed remarks and formulate recommendations for action on any one of them. Having said that, I will make a quick foray into one issue that affects all of us. This one deals with the United States Postal Service (USPS), an independent governmental corporation, functioning under the laws and regulations of our federal government. At one time the post office was considered to be so important that its establishment was recognized as an explicit power granted to Congress in our United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8); the Congress specifically has the power to “establish Post Offices and post Roads,” but the current situation appears to be one where the Congress appears to be acting to the contrary.

The USPS is facing financial obstacles that are mostly not of its own making, but, nonetheless, threaten its existence. While USPS mail service has declined because of the use of alternative communication methods, such as email, as well as private package delivery businesses, such as FedEx, the laws under which the system has been required to function have substantially hampered the ability of the USPS to operate in a financially responsible manner. Postmaster Patrick R. Donahoe said, on a recent PBS NewsHour program, that a major reason for the postal service’s financial crisis is a 2006 law requiring it to pay about $5.5 billion per year for 10 years to underwrite 75 years of health coverage for future employees. In addition, according to actuarial reports, the USPS has overpaid about $57 billion into two federal pension plans, which it is attempting to retrieve to meet current and future obligations. Layoffs of 120,000 workers, closure of post offices, and elimination of Saturday mail service and overnight delivery of first class mail have been proposed to prevent imminent shutdown of the entire USPS. Naturally, Cliff Guffey, president of the American Postal Workers Union, opposes proposals that would place his members at risk of job loss (New York Times, September 6, 2011).

As Democrats, we should join Guffey in opposing these job losses. We should pressure our Congress and President Obama to change laws that make the USPS make huge payments into health care benefits, as well as other laws that prevent the USPS from operating more effectively in a competitive marketplace. Private businesses, such as FedEx and UPS, don’t fund employee health care benefits 75 years forward! Why should the law put the USPS at such a competitive disadvantage to private operators?

Perhaps an investigation into campaign donations from FedEx and UPS to members of Congress might reveal the real reason for restrictions on the ability of the USPS to operate as it should. Is it possible that Congress is trying to put the USPS out of business, so FedEx and UPS can overcharge us for privatized service? Are the FedEx drop boxes at the post offices harbingers of this? If so, consider what has happened when other government services have been privatized to contractors; Blackwater, Halliburton, and their ilk immediately come to mind. They’ve made billions in no-bid contracts. Think about it! Do you want small businesses to be put out of business because they are forced to rely on expensive parcel delivery services instead of the less costly USPS? Do you want rural post offices that are the center of regional communities to go out of business because they are not profitable for the private parcel delivery services? Do you want to pay high cost, nonunion, private contractors $10 to deliver a letter because it’s being sent to a rural area?

If you don’t want the USPS to be strangled by laws and regulations that give private providers unfair advantages, send messages to your Congress members and president, to unshackle the USPS from laws that are pushing it to the brink of insolvency. We need the USPS.


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The September 2011 Co-Presidents Message, Bonnie & John

Is democracy as we know it on its way out? According to the Pew Research Center, the proportion of the U.S. public expressing trust in the federal government has fallen from just under 80% in the late 1960s to barely 20% today. Another poll by the European Union in September, found that only 29% of voters in its 27 member-states trust their own national governments. Fewer than 20% believe that their elected representatives are capable of successful action against financial empires.

An example that supports the European view is the Murdock affair. In this case, British governmental officials did not do their jobs for over five years, allowing Murdoch’s media empire to make millions through information obtained by phone hacking. It was a clear betrayal of trust for greed, not only by Murdoch but also by governmental officials who were complicit in the crime.

In the United States, the rich corporations lobby legislators to secure changes in the laws to help them create more jobs; then, they outsource the jobs to other countries! They also steal our taxpayer-funded research and build plants in Asia to make the products cheaply and sell them back to us! Then, they want us to give them a free pass to repatriate those dollars tax free that they have accumulated in foreign countries. Our workers walk the streets looking for jobs that have been taken to other countries, while the rich get richer by siphoning profits and taxes into their own pockets.

When are we going to stop this? When are we going to get rid of the lying corporate CEOs, and the lying politicians who use corporate funds to get reelected? When are we going to stand up and shout: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH? 2012 elections are just ahead. It’s time for us to act!

Politics is not a spectator sport!


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