Blogger's note: Beginning today, We would like to welcome the astute political observations of "The Milk Man" to the Mayor Sam audience. In his own words ....... The Milk Man has been making rounds in Southern California government for 25 years, with routine deliveries in City Hall and Sacramento. It shouldn't be surprising what a milkman can learn from just making drops at the doors of political power. Thus, we look forward to "The Milkman's" contributions as we near the busy 2012-2013 Political Season---Scott Johnson.
"The Milkman" on the 51st Assembly District Candidate Forum.
The race for the 51st Assembly District officially began on Sunday, January 15, 2012 with a Candidate Forum at El Arco Iris in Highland Park, hosted by the Stonewall and Northeast L.A. Democratic Clubs. Though the forum was announced on short notice, there was a sizable crowd in attendance to hear the three candidates that participated: East L.A. Planning Commissioner and community activist Luis Lopez; union political director Jimmy Gomez; and, state house staffer Arturo Chavez.
As could be expected, the forum was more of a swimsuit competition rather than a true debate of ideas. The three progressives tended to agree on the issues and basic approaches to them. Perhaps in front of a friendly crowd of political fans – including political staffers, family members, and campaign workers – so early in the race there wasn’t really a need to throw down any gauntlets that would differentiate themselves from the others.
One thing did stand out: The trend of fresh-faced candidates with little institutional baggage continues. In the spirit of Joe Buscaino in CD15 and Austin Beutner in the Mayoral race, Lopez distinguished himself from his challengers by not being tied to L.A.’s political machine. Gomez, however, appears ready to call in chips from all over organized labor in his bid for the Assembly. Chavez – Chief of Staff to termed out Assemblyman and announced candidate for L.A. City Council Gil Cedillo – is veteran of running (and losing) for state office and already has the endorsement of his boss and a few of the other usual suspects.
AD51 will be a race to watch because of the many different identity, geographic, and interest groups involved. The newly redrawn area includes Silver Lake, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, and a swathe of unincorporated East Los Angeles. The district is 71% Latino so it seems that the successful candidate will have to be able articulate what he will bring to the district other than ethnicity, the Mayor or Speaker on speed dial, and rehashed rhetoric.
The Milk Man
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