The Biggest-Promising Political Party You Haven’t Heard Of

In 2014, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez cruised to victory uncontested when she ran for her first reelection after a year and a half in office. In 2016, her most visible opponent appears to be one of the most interesting candidates in recent history.

Louis J. Marinelli, is running as a candidate for the California National Party, which advocates California leaving the US to form a new nation. It appears that the party has a Twitter account but is not (according to the Secretary of State’s website) actually trying to qualify for ballot status.

Marinelli has made a number of, what can only be described as significant and creative campaign pledges, including seceding from the United States, moving the UN headquarters to San Francisco, and building solar panel roadways in Southern California.


Marinelli has also taken to Twitter to share his opinions on a number of very hot political topics in a more direct manner than we’re used to hearing. The day of the San Bernardino shooting, while California law enforcement was being hailed for successfully stopping the shooters, Marinelli suggested that it might be dangerous to employ military veterans as police officers because “They’re trained killers” and “many have PTSD” and calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment because Americans can no longer be “trusted with guns”. What followed was a fascinating… um… dialogue between Marinelli and former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher.


Marinelli also tweeted that the blame for Wednesday’s attack in San Bernardino might fall on “a half century of American imperialism/foreign policy.”


Finally, Marinelli has announced that he will be soon release a detailed plan, which I can’t wait to read.CNP7

16 Things to Watch on Election Night

As the 2014 election wraps up, here are some statistics and historical facts to watch for when you see the results.



TENURE: Jerry Brown is already the longest-serving Governor in State history (his tenure surpassed Earl Warren’s in October 2013). With all other living former Governors term limited to eight years (except George Deukmejian, who also left office before term limits), it’s unlikely that we will see a longer-serving Governor anytime in the near future.

Also worth noting is the total number of votes that Brown receives. In the 1986 General Election, Jesse Unruh was elected Controller with 5,589,633 votes, becoming the California constitutional officer to receive the highest number of votes ever. I have a sneaking suspicion that we may see that record broken this year by either Brown or Chiang.



If elected, Ashley Swearengin would be California’s first Republican state Controller since Houston Flournoy was elected in 1970. Flournoy is interesting because he eventually went on to be the Republican who lost to Jerry Brown, giving him his first term.


Superintendent of Public Instruction

Tom Torlakson came very close to winning reelection in the primary, but Marshall Tuck has been running a strong campaign since then. If Torlakson is defeated, he will be the first Superintendent of Public Instruction to be defeated in a reelection bid since Wilson Riles in 1982.

Congressional District 7
If Doug Ose wins, it will be the first time an incumbent Democratic congressman was defeated in a reelection bid by a Republican since 1994 (when three incumbents were replaced; Daniel Hamburg, Richard H. Lehman, and Lynn Schenk)



Congressional Districts 11 and 33

Pete Stark, who left office in 2013, currently holds record as California’s longest-serving Congressman (for his 40 years between 1973 and 2013). Congressmen Henry Waxman and George Miller, both of whom are not running for reelection, will leave office in January after 14,611 days in office (an exact tie with Stark).

Congressional District 12
Assuming that she is reelected (she has defeated this same opponent twice before), Nancy Pelosi will become the longest-serving current member of California’s congressional delegation.

Congressional District 17
If Ro Khanna wins, it will be the first time an incumbent Democratic congressman was defeated in a reelection bid by a member of their own party since 2012 (when Howard Berman, Joe Baca, Laura Richardson, and Pete Stark left office that way). Being the “first person to do something that hasn’t been done since two years ago” doesn’t seem that impressive, but it actually is.

Congressional District 26
As noted in Congressional District 7; if Jeff Gorell wins, it will be the first time an incumbent Democratic congressman was defeated in a reelection bid by a Republican since 1994 (when three incumbents were replaced; Daniel Hamburg, Richard H. Lehman, and Lynn Schenk)

There will only ever be ONE Ralph Dills


State Senate District 04

If he is reelected, this will be Jim Nielsen’s fifth time winning election to the State Senate. The last time a person won their fifth senate election was 1994, when Diane Watson and Ken Maddy won their 5th elections, Ruben Ayala won his seventh, and Ralph Dills won his eighth.

Senator Z

State Senate District 14

If Luis Chavez unseats incumbent Andy Vidak, he will be the first Democrat since George Zenovich in 1978 to win that particular district number (Senate District 14).

State Senate District 28
With two Republicans (Bonnie Garcia and Jeff Stone) on the ballot in  SD 28, it’s guaranteed that one of them will become the first Republican to win in that district number since Bill Symons Jr. won it in 1962.

State Assembly District 36
The race in AD36 is one of the most contested in the state, and Steve Fox has a very real chance of losing. If he does, it will be the first time in twenty years that an incumbent Democratic state legislator was defeated for a reelection bid by a Republican.


State Assembly District 40

Redistricting makes district numbers jump around every ten years, but it’s still impressive that until Mike Morrell won it in 2012, no Republican had been elected to represent Assembly District 40 since the Great Depression (1938). Can Marc Steinorth be the first Republican to win it and hold it for a full term (Morrell moved to the Senate just 16 months into the term) or will Kathleen Henry bring it back into the Democratic win column?
It’s worth noting that the Senate District which was Republican for the longest time (SD-35) hadn’t elected a Democrat since Harry C. Westover in 1936 when Rod Wright won it in 2012. Like Morrell, Wright departed before finishing his ground-breaking term.


State Assembly District 57

If Ian Calderon loses in AD57, Rita Topalian would be the first Republican since Charles J. Conrad in 1970 to hold that District Number. Conrad was a Republican movie star who decided to pursue elected office in California, but actually did it decades before Reagan or Muscles.

State Assembly District 65
Like AD 36, the race in AD 65 is highly contested, and it could be several days before we know the final outcome. If Quirk-Silva loses her reelection, it will be the first time in twenty years that an incumbent Democratic state legislator was defeated for a reelection bid by a Republican.

The Legislature of 1921

This evening I began reading the Story of the California Legislature of 1921 by Franklin Hichborn (which came in the mail today). I found the following quote in the introduction and wanted to share it.

“Too long have false standards of citizenship confused the public… Men who misrepresent and slander the government of their State are not to be counted as good citizens. Indeed, they are very bad and very dangerous citizens.”

“It is for the citizen who holds his State higher than the dollar mark, to vote to keep statutes and court decisions clean.”