Sunday, December 29, 2019

• Local Politics: 67th Assembly Seat: The Butterfly Effect

By now I'm assuming that most of you are familiar with "The Butterfly Effect". It's a chaos theory take on cause and effect, along with the ripple effect.  

We all know how a pebble thrown into a still body of water will cause ripples to continue well past the point the stone hit the surface. The butterfly effect takes the idea to an exaggerated level.
The Butterfly Effect (with reference to chaos theory) is the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.
Ok, so now you're saying, "What's Wildomar Rap mumbling about this time?"

The butterfly in this scenario is former State Senator Jeff Stone stepping down from his seat in the 28th State Senate District to accept a presidential appointment. (link to blog covering it)

That created a vacuum that took very little time to fill (the effect).

In fact, about half an hour after [then] Senator Stone's office issued a press release with the details his office issued a second press release stating that he'd endorsed Temecula City Councilman Matt Rahn in the race for the newly vacated seat (that's also in the blog linked above).

You're still wondering where the butterfly effect comes in... 

Well, to quote the Scots' favorite poet, Robbie Burns, "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley". In other words, things don't always work out the way you'd hoped.

Before the ink was dry on the digital endorsement from Senator Stone, 67th District Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez turned her head askance and thought, "Hmmm, perhaps someone should have checked with me first."

After a short time of giving the idea of running in a special election for the 28th State Senate seat serious consideration, she opted to put her name in the hat. It wasn't too long after that that both Jeff Stone and Matt Rahn endorsed her.
From Melissa Melendez's facebook page.
Which was a good idea because Melissa Melendez is well loved in this area, and anyone getting into a race against her would get their head pounded (just my opinion, sort of like saying the sidewalk is hot at 3pm on an August afternoon is just an opinion too).


Now, this is where the butterfly effect really hits the local political scene. With Melissa's decision to run for the State Senate seat, that left her Assembly seat open.

Such things are fairly commonplace, a politician being termed out or simply choosing not to run again. What isn't so commonplace is a seat opening up with no real advance warning. 
Over 450,000 residents
• Registered voters 238,846
• 42.26% Republican
• 29.21% Democratic
• 22.67% No party preference.
Here's where our butterfly flapped its little wings like it was trying to lift a 747

First to raise their hand in the [then] wide opened 67th District race was Lake Elsinore city councilman Steve Manos. Concurrently there were rumors that Canyon Lake city councilman Jeremy Smith was interested in running too... which was confirmed a couple of weeks later.

I was called by Jeremy, asking me for an endorsement, I happily said yes. Who wouldn't want to be asked, even if only having been elected a year earlier, and from one of the smaller cities in the region? I was actually talking about me... but that pretty much describes him too. We both got elected in 2018.
Jeremy is smart, very engaging and a good guy.
Being asked to endorse him made me feel like I was in high school again.
Ok, not really, but you get the point... don't you? ☺
Then I heard low rumblings that another local elected might be interested in the seat, and around the filing deadline it was confirmed. Murrieta city councilman Kelly Seyarto announced that he was running for the 67th too.
Great, now there are three splendid candidates that I know and respect.
Honestly, I would have said "yes" to any of the three in the image below. Jeremy reached out first, and he got the nod.
I arranged the candidates based on when they announced their intentions.
Now here's where I had to slam on the brakes and come to a skidding stop. 

I know and like all three of the candidates, I'll be happy if any of them win... I'm aware that there is a fourth candidate, but I don't know him and he's from the existing ruling party and won't be vying for votes from the same pool as the three mentioned above. (I did a google search on Jerry Carlos and found that he lost in a 2012 attempt to get onto the Lake Elsinore city council. Other than that, nothing. No mention of a campaign for the assembly. Interesting strategy... laying very low when everyone else is trying to get their name out there.)

To conclude, what could've been a 5000 word nightmare, let me say that I'm happy to endorse Jeremy Smith as I had already committed, though next time something like this occurs I'll be VERY slow to endorse, if at all. 

Whichever of the three of the Republicans (did I mention that they are all of the GOP?) will attempt to give some balance to the lopsided, one party rule up in Sacramento. Can you imagine if we were to elect, yet another Democrat to make their top heavy majority even more extreme? 

The election for the 67th will be a two parter

First up is the primary, which this year is early: March 3rd, 2020, with the absentee ballots being mailed about a month ahead of that.
This will be here sooner than you think.
Seeing that well over 50% of the registered voters in the area use absentee ballots, that really only leaves about five to six weeks for campaigning.


The top two vote getters, which I believe will consist of the Democrat (I've read that it's Jerry Carlos) and the one of the three mentioned above. I see it as highly unlikely that the top two vote-getters will be from the same party in this contest.

The election to determine the ultimate winner of Assembly District 67 will come November 3rd during our national elections. 


I bet you're salivating at the thought of 11 long months of partisan blather about how the other party will ruin the USA, and that this will be the most important election in the history of the union. Which is the same thing we've heard every four years since the beginning of time. 
To sum this mess up: I like all three of the candidates and have offered all three a Better Know a Candidate Blog. All three have shown interest (I'll also be offering such a blog opportunity to Jerry Carlos if he asks for one). 

The key question(s) I have ready for them is: Knowing that you'll be a rookie on, what equates to a perennial last place team (no offense, just look at the box score), and we already know that you will be voting the party line, what will your presence in the district be? What will you do that the other candidates won't be doing?
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, candidate for State Senate Dist 28.
Melissa Melendez has set the bar very high with her twice monthly town hall meetings. She also responds to all her mail personally. She is at many local functions, all over her vast district when she's in town (take another look at that map up above)

Not that she'll need a Better Know a Candidate blog, but I'd be happy to write one on her and her opponent too (if I'm asked)
•                •                •

Man is the only animal who will inflict pain on himself, needlessly. Who will torture himself with the remorseless workings of his own mind.
– EG Marshall



Wildomar Rap is all too familiar with the remorseless workings of his own mind... and it can be relentless.

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