In the afterglow of the Democratic National Convention last week the El Dorado County Democratic Party held an opening celebration on Saturday morning, Sept. 8, for its west-county campaign office located in El Dorado Hills Town Center Marketplace, just east of the now-vacant CVS drugstore location.
The sparsely furnished office, the former Bark Avenue location with paw prints still painted on the cement floor, was informally opened several weeks prior to the convention and has already become a gathering place for local Dems.
An estimated 85 of them wandered in Thursday night, still buzzing over the first lady’s “subtle but devastating,” according to Washington Post columnist Jena McGregor, attack on Mitt Romney Tuesday and Bill Clinton’s “brilliantly wonky” defense of Obama’s first term on Wednesday.
“I don’t think I’ve seen 85 Democrats in one room in El Dorado Hills in the eight years I’ve lived here,” said Bob Dobrich, the local Democratic Party chair. He also chairs the El Dorado County Campaign Coalition, which funds the office.
The Saturday morning turnout was well shy of Thursday, with a couple dozen Democrats noshing fresh fruit and pastries. Staven Noble is responsible for day-to-day operations in the office.
His next event is a town hall meeting this Thursday, Sept 13, at 6:30, titled “You don’t know Jack!”
Democratic challenger Jack Uppal is running for California’s 4th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The town hall format is a favorite of Uppal’s opponent, two-term Republican Congressman Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove.
In addition to gatherings like the upcoming town hall, the office will host phone banking and meet-and-greets, as well as provide a clearinghouse for information on Democratic candidates up and down the ticket.
There are 12,000 registered Democrats in El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park, said Dobrich. “Most people have no idea there are that many of us, and there’s also 14,000 ‘decline to states,’ most of whom lean Democratic.”
Taking a page from the president’s book on oratory, Dobrich concluded, “It’s time for us to stand up, show them we’re here and be proud we’re here,” then relinquished the floor to Uppal, who attended with his wife Kate.
Uppal is an M.I.T. PhD who spent most of his career at Intel managing international equipment procurement. New to politics, he demonstrated on Saturday that he’s a quick study.
“Politics isn’t a spectator sport,” he said. “I appreciate all your good wishes, but the only way to remove Tom McClintock is if people like you get involved.”
He asked the eager Dems to take a shift on the phones at the new headquarters or volunteer to host a house party. “I will show up if you do,” he promised.
He implored them to talk about the issues with independent and moderate Republican friends and neighbors. Moderate Republicans, especially, need to understand that they don’t have to vote for the extremists in their party, Uppal said. “Invite them to our Town Hall here on Thursday. Challenge them to come and hear what we have to say.”
Moderates, “and there are a lot of them out there,” will decide the presidential and congressional elections, he predicted. “The right wing may control the Republican Party, but it does not represent the majority of people in this district.”
Nor does it represent the majority of Republican elected officials, who are, in fact, moderates, he added. “But they’re afraid. They know their own party will come after them if they speak out or question the right wing ideology. They’ve seen it. They need to understand that they don’t have to live that way.”
The office also has information on propositions, most notably Proposition 32, the so-called “Paycheck Protection Initiative,” which blocks the use of payroll deductions for political purposes, but has no such restriction on corporate profits. The result, according to Dobrich and a sizable list of non-Republicans, would be the defunding of the Democratic party, while corporate contributions to Republicans would continue unabated.
To get involved stop by campaign headquarters at 4540 Post St. or call (916) 933-0071.