OPEN LETTERS- CA-24: BRETT WAGNER, MARY PALLANT
California's 24th District, basically Ventura County, just north of L.A. (with a tiny bit of L.A. County and a tiny bit of Santa Barbara County) seems like such a nice area. But the dirty filthy politics makes you think of turn of the century NYC or Philly or, more recently, Chicago or Texas or even, worst of all, Ohio and Florida! All the maneuvering and withdrawing is still being sorted out and at some point (soon) we'll know what exactly is going on. Meanwhile, here's a letter from Brett Wagner, who ran in 2004 and withdrew 2 weeks ago-- to which he has appended a letter from Mary Pallant, another Democrat who has withdrawn. I wonder if we'll ever know the extent of the hand in the DCCC in all this.
Many of you will remember the vicious, slanderous, and occasionally
homophobic attacks against me late last year. Fortunately, my name was
cleared of all that nasty, mean-spirited mudslinging. . .
. . . and I've been able to move on with my life with a renewed dedication
to "fighting the good fight" and with a greater appreciation for living
life to its fullest.
Sunday evening, however, I was deeply saddened when I received a mass
email from Mary Pallant, my former competitor for the 2006 Democratic
congressional nomination in CA-24. Mary was apparently also an innocent
victim of the same types of vicious attacks from the same "darker
corners" of our local party. I have enclosed Mary's message "I have
decided not to file" at the bottom of this email for all to read.
Mary has decided to withdraw from the congressional race because of the
traumatizing effects those attacks were having on her family, including
her two young daughters.
--Suffice it to say, I had absolutely no idea this was going on. And
suffice it to say, our country and our party deserve better.
Had I known about the vicious attacks against Mary-- and had I known
that my longtime sources had been correct in saying that Gallegly was
not planning to run again for Congress-- I would have likely stayed in
the race to provide Democrats with a real alternative.
In short, we were duped. Gallegly filed to run for office in February--
a decision which, according to law, cannot be reversed. Gallegly's name
will appear on the June 6 ballot (a date which when spelled in shorthand
coincidentally reads "6-6-6"), and many in his party are urging him to
change his mind.
Many people have alleged that Gallegly's last minute decision to try and
pull out of the race was directly linked to my decision to withdraw from
the race in order to help lead the recall effort against Santa Barbara
County Supervisor Brooks Firestone, a moderate-turned-archconservative
who is beginning to pose a dire and immediate threat to the environment
in my home county.
After all, Gallegly's announcement did not reach the public until after
4pm on Friday, just minutes before the 5pm deadline. It would have
taken me at least 2 or 3 hours to pay the filing fee, pull nomination
papers, and call 40 supporters to meet me at the county building to sign
those papers before the deadline.
Something in my gut tells me that had I not withdrawn from the
congressional race, Gallegly would have never made that announcement on
I am truly sorry that the registered Democrats of the 24th district will
not be represented in the 2006 election by a bona fide national security
expert, former Naval War College professor, internationally acclaimed
op-ed writer, and local think tank president.
But maybe-- just maybe-- Gallegly will follow the advice of his party,
begin actively re-seeking his party's nomination (as the Ventura County
Star hinted on this morning's front page), and decide to step down at some
future date so that the voters of the 24th district will have more
qualified candidates from which to choose their elected representative.
In the meantime, I will be putting all of my time, energy, and
life-force in the recall effort to help ensure that Santa Barbara
County's environment, open spaces and quality of life will be protected
and preserved for ourselves and future generations.
In closing, I wish you all the very best and I would like to share with
all of my friends and fellow Democrats in the 24th congressional
district the same message that Gen. MacArthur shared with the American
troops who he was forced to leave behind in the Philippines while he
amassed the resources necessary for eventual victory: "I shall return!"
2004 Democratic Nominee for U.S. Congress, CA-24
Subject: Mary Withdraws from Race
From: "Mary Pallant"
Date: Sun, March 12, 2006 6:02 pm
I have decided not to file.
I have decided not to file. The decision has been cumulative over the past
few weeks and I felt that it was not right to file with the possibility of
pulling out at some future date. I have a passion for change and community
and a love for my country, but all of that is superseded by my family.
The campaign minefield that my opponent's campaign laid out was blowing up
around my kids and husband. Shame on all of you responsible. The sleazy
lies and attacks have been progressively getting worse and I now see will
only continue. And, will probably pick up again by my new opponent in the
general. While I would like to tell them where to go, and move on, my
family was getting too traumatized with each lie and attack. It is
sometimes a problem with being so clean - I have no convictions, no
felonies, no DUI's, good credit ratings, no claims against my business -
and on top of that, I pose a threat to them because I stood strong and
stayed on the issues. They, on the other hand, have to make up attacks
that are absurd, create false rumors and spread lies. This is not politics
for me. For me, politics is about improving people's lives and about
honoring the process of campaigning and honoring the office. For the
Reverend and many from her staff and support base, it is not about honor
or integrity. It is about being vicious, cruel and sleazy. I want no part
of that. How can we fight to end the "culture of corruption" when it has
spread like cancer through our political matrix?
While it is easy for them to compromise their ethics and morals, I cannot
and will not. And, for this reason, I will not support or endorse
Reverend Jill. I will abstain from voting for a congressional
representative in the 24th. At least with Gallegly, we know where he
stands. Furthermore, false
rumors that were spread pertaining to my campaign manager, were just that,
false. He and I had an oral agreement that I would pay "X" amount of
dollars for services and that he would be paid as funds came in. However,
he failed to perform over and over, failed to move up here and hence, I
had to let him go.
On a lighter note, I would like to take a moment here to thank all of my
supporters, endorsers and contributors. I appreciate all of your work,
effort and support. And, please keep speaking out against this unjust war.
I will be taking some time off from my political activities and spending
it with my daughters.
I hope that all of you keep the progressive voice loud and strong. And, I
hope the pendulum that has swung so far right will swing back before it is
too late. America can be great again. I hope 'we the people' wake up in