The meeting of the DemOC Pac and the Canyon Dems was on the same night. The Canyon meeting speaker was Mike Levin (candidate for the 49th vs. Issa), who I had heard and who is very good. I would like to have heard his take on Charlottesville, but I'm sure that will come up again.
At the DemOC Pac meeting, there were 3 speakers:
Dr. Hans Keirstead running in the 48th against Rohrabacher. He is a neurosurgeon, stem cell researcher, medical entrepreneur, and Professor at UCI School of Medicine. He was born in Canada, and has been here for 17 years, living in Laguna Beach with his wife and 8 year old son. His expertise is in health care, and he has invented and marketed numerous successful biotech devices.
Here are some of his talking points:
The FDA is overworked and under-staffed. Now Trump wants to cut the budget even more.
NIH, where he is a charter member, only funds 4% of new ideas.
He has a deep understanding of the health care system and helped develop policies.
His goal is to create jobs and cures.
Keirstead sees himself as a problem-solver. He knows that getting to a single-payer system must be incremental. And he has a plan for the first stages. He wants to fix what we have now, but sees that all paths lead toward single-payer.
He supports LGBT rights, education and tuition assistance by reducing loan interest, and Planned Parenthood.
He is a very attractive candidate (as are all the candidates I've seen so far). He is extremely smart and successful.
Congressman Rohrabacher is very vulnerable. Regarding Charlottesville, Rohrabacher said "Trump said the right thing." The 48th district has been changed from "Leaning Republican" to "Toss-up" (very good news).
Next to speak was David Min running in the 45th against Mimi Walters. I have heard him before, but he was much more polished, relaxed, and charismatic. He is a much stronger speaker than the first time I saw him. He reiterated that Trump's America is not his America. He wants to invest in education, health care and long-term growth. He supports LGBT and women's rights. He wants to move from ideology politics to evidenced-based policy. As for health care, he supports affordable universal coverage, but he is not yet on board for single payer. His plan includes expanding Medicare to 55 and including coverage for children. He also wants to give a Medicare buy-in option.
David has raised the most individual contributions. Though Mimi has raised more, her contributions have come from Big Pharma and Energy companies.
The last speaker was Phil Janowicz, running in the 39th against Ed Royce. He is a graduate of MIT with a PhD in Chemistry from Illinois. He is on leave from teaching at Cal State Fullerton. Few of us live in the 39th, but share his bio with your friends in Brea and LaHabra. He is new to politics, but committed to a progressive agenda. His passion is improving education.
So -- again, we have inspiring candidates in OC. We may need to whittle down the field to focus on defeating the Republican, but that should happen by January.
A note: there will be an Alt-Right march in Laguna Beach on Sunday. The Southern Poverty Law Center has encouraged protests to take place on a different day to avoid direct conflict. Keep listening to the news for more. There are protest marches all over, and I'll try to keep you posted for those I know of.