MEETINGS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Napier Center, Pilgrim
Holiday Party &
Scaff, David Levering, & Eve Mefferd, honorees
Elected officials will be present:
Show Up, Sound Off & Bring a friend
Fridays, Dec. 4, 11, & 18 12-2pm
Rabi’s Café, 930
Central Avenue, Upland
No speaker: Bring your issue
Monthly Membership Meeting at Porter Hall
I Really Enjoyed Thanksgiving
by John Forney, DCC
Thanksgiving was filled with
poignant significance this year as I realize that I might not have been here
for it. My open heart surgery has given
me a new appreciation for some of those things in life we so often take for
granted. Family, friends and colleagues,
a truly blue sky, justice work to be done, family and friends gathered around
the table this past Thursday -- all an abundance of blessing.
I want to thank the many
friends in the club who have sent well wishes, cards and visited me during this
period of recovery. You are most valued
colleagues in our efforts to turn our politics back toward sanity and
functionality. I especially want to
thank our Board who in my absence so ably represented our club and took care of
daily business. You are a godsend.
We have a marvelous Holiday
Party planned for Saturday, Dec. 5 (more elsewhere on that), and I look forward
to joining you as we recognize two community stalwarts who over the decades
have given the Claremont
community so much: Marilee Scaff and David Levering. Eve Mefferd (YD’s CHS)
will also receive recognition. We are expecting many elected officials as well.
Show up and give them an earful.
As we move into 2016 much
work awaits us, from getting a headquarters up and running to Get Out the Vote organizing
later in the year. I look forward to be
able to join you out canvassing neighborhoods and registering new voters. Remember, when you contemplate settling back
on the couch in front of the TV, we have candidates who are really saying
something. We are not the party of
half-baked merchants of fear and ignorance.
Yes, Marco, Ted and the rest, global warming is real. And so is our groundswell to address it.
holiday party will honor the service of three Democrats in the Claremont community. Marilee
Scaff, David Levering and Eve Mefferd will be recognized for their many
contributions. The event, on Saturday, December 5, 2015 from 4 until 6 PM at the
Napier Center, Pilgrim Place, will also celebrate the
club’s many accomplishments throughout the year. Joining us will be Supervisor
Hilda Solis, Congresswoman Judy Chu and Assemblyman Chris Holden. Many
other elected officials including those of adjoining districts, along with
members of our city council and school board have been invited.
program for the event includes a buffet dinner with non-alcoholic
beverages. All DCC members and interested Democrats are invited to
attend. Members are asked to renew their memberships for 2016 while
others are encouraged to join. Attendees
are also asked to bring a dessert for 4 to share. Additional parking will
be at the Friend Meetinghouse lot.
Scaff has held positions with the Claremont Unified School District Board of
Education, the League of Women Voters, the United Nations Association-USA and
Sustainable Claremont. She has spent hundred years focusing on
child and adolescent welfare and education, the environment and local control
has been a long-time progressive activist. As a member of the Democratic Club
of Claremont, he has served on many committees including the writing of “The
Claremont Manifesto” and the establishment of The American Institute for
Progressive Democracy. Levering ran for Congress to expose David Dreier’s link
with the Gingrich faction. He is Professor History Emeritus, Cal Poly Pomona
and past-Chairman of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Eve Mefferd has
been a member of the Young Democrats Club at Claremont High School,
serving as an officer for three years. She currently is the club president.
Mefferd was given the Claremont Outstanding Academic Achievement Award by the
Claremont City Council in her in her sophomore and junior years. She is a
member of the National Honor Society. Mefferd has contributed to the DCC
as a volunteer staffing our booths and designing and creating materials for our
booths and parade entries.
Syrians: Immigrants or Refugees?
program of the Pomona Valley Chapter
of the United Nations Association-USA featured Dr.Adnan Aswad, Dr. Barbara Aswad and Dr. Abdul
Kublan. Entitled “Immigrants or Refugees: the Syrian Diaspora,” the
program summarized the history behind the conflict in Syria along with the results of the
strife. Adnan Aswad began the presentation by addressing the first
part of the topic with definitions of “refugee” and “immigrant,” thus showing
that the 5 million Syrians who are and have been leaving their homeland are
refugees as they flee from the destruction that five years of war has caused.
Fifty-five percent of the Syrian population is now displaced. Adnan Aswad then
talked about Syrians abroad, giving information about the movement of the
refugees as they travel to and throughout Europe.
Included in the presentation was information about Europe’s
open-borders Schengen Agreement, refugee status and camps, resettlement,
citizenship and statelessness, peace conferences and resistance by EU countries
toward accepting refugees.
conflict in Syria
has many “players.” Within Syria,
government forces oppose Al Qaeda, ISIS, and
local splinter groups. The EU and the USA back the Syrian government and
support the so-called “moderate opposition,” rebels against the government.. Russia and Iran
oppose the Syrian government, Al Qaeda, and Isis as well as the rebels whom the
and EU support. Regional conflicts are between Hezbollah (representing Iran, Syria
and Lebanon) versus Saudi Arabia, Qatar
and the Gulf States.
Turkey opposes Isis but attacks the Kurds who have been the most
effective anti-Isis military force in the region.
Adnan Aswad then
listed the many needs of the refugees and how we can help: money, material
goods, housing, transportation, education and contacting our elected officials
advocating support for the Graham-Leahy Bill (S.2145).
You might think that Isis
has no friends. That would be wrong as some of our best friends are also their
friends. “In an online poll conducted in July 2014, a formidable 92 percent of
Saudi citizens agreed that ISIS “conforms to
the values of Islam and Islamic law.” NY
Review of Books,
Stealing the Presidential Election
Under our Constitution, the
President of the United
States is elected by an Electoral
College. Each state is assigned one
Electoral College vote for each of its members of Congress, i.e., two votes for
its two Senators and one vote for each of its representatives in the House of
The U.S. Constitution does
not say how the states shall award their Electoral College votes. Instead, Article II Section 1 empowers each
state’s Legislature to determine the manner of appointing that state’s
Presidential Electors. A state can award
all of its votes to the Presidential candidate who has received the largest
popular vote in that state. It can award
its votes to all Presidential candidates in proportion to their percentage of
the state’s popular vote. It can award
its votes district-by-district, i.e., if the Democrat received the largest
popular vote in 5 House districts but the Republican did so in 7 districts, the
Democratic Presidential candidate would receive 5 Electoral College votes, and
the Republican would receive 7, with the 2 votes which the state has because of
its two Senators either awarded to the candidate who received most of the
statewide vote or else split between the two candidates. It can even award all of its votes to the
candidate who received the largest popular vote nationwide.
In some state governments
which they controlled during redistricting after the 2010 census, Republicans
gerrymandered Congressional districts to ensure that a majority of House seats
were won by Republicans even where a majority of votes statewide were cast for
Democratic candidates. The result has
been a substantial Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Chairman of the
Republican National Committee has proposed that those gerrymandered states
award their Electoral College votes district-by-district. Because of gerrymandering, the Republican
Presidential candidate would be awarded most of those states’ votes, even if a
majority of those states’ and the nation’s votes are cast for the Democratic
nominee. Republican-controlled states may change their states’ laws to do this
just in time for the 2016 Presidential election, leaving no time to counteract
it. In this way, Republicans can use their gerrymandered redistricting to
control the Presidency as well as the House of Representatives.
States can be prevented from
doing this by amending the Constitution, but that’s not feasible, because such
an amendment would never receive the necessary 2/3 majority in both houses of
the Congress, especially with Republicans in control of the House of
Representatives. It can also be
prevented by passing ballot measures in states which have an initiative
process. However, only three of the
seven states which Republicans have grossly gerrymandered have an initiative
process, and even in those states a measure cannot be passed in time to protect
theft of the 2016 Presidential election.
Even if gerrymandering of
Electoral College votes can’t be prevented, nevertheless it can be neutralized. Remember I said above that a state can award
all of its Electoral College votes to the candidate who received the largest
popular vote nationwide. If enough
states do this, their votes will constitute a majority of the Electoral College
and will elect the nationwide popular winner. There is a movement to accomplish
this. Its website is http://www.nationalpopularvote.com
So far 10 states and the District of Columbia
have passed legislation to award their votes in this manner; it will take
effect when enough states have done so to constitute a majority of the
Electoral College. These 11
jurisdictions have 165 (61%) of the 270 electoral votes needed. Success
in getting the remaining 105 isn't a slam dunk, but it's possible -- and it’s
necessary to avoid Republican control of the White House.
In California, the bill has already become law,
with some Republican support. On August
8, 2011, Governor Brown signed the National Popular Vote bill. It was AB
459 by Jerry Hill of San Mateo, co-authored in the Assembly by Beall, Eng,
Huffman, Ma, Mendoza, Portantino, and Williams, and in the Senate by Calderon,
Hancock, Leno, Lieu, and Wolk.
If Republicans adopt the
advice of their Chairman to award Electoral College votes according to the winners
in their gerrymandered districts, and if the movement to award a majority of
the Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote fails,
Republicans will capture the Presidency not only in 2016; they may capture it
You see, they have also
gerrymandered their state legislatures, which will draw their new U.S. House
and state legislative districts after the next census, and the next, and the
next, etc. They can repeat their gerrymandering
indefinitely, and with it they can control the Electoral College and the
Presidency as well as the House of Representatives indefinitely.
I have asked (several times)
delegates to the Democratic National Committee to work hard on getting more
states to adopt “National Popular Vote” legislation. As far as I can tell, it’s not yet a DNC
priority. If it is, it’s being kept
quiet, perhaps to avoid alerting and alarming the Republicans, although that
won’t work, because Republican legislators in any state will notice as soon as
Democratic legislators introduce bills to accomplish it. Perhaps the DNC has given up hope of getting
it adopted. If so, the DNC has for all
practical purposes given the Republicans the opportunity to own the Presidency
for the foreseeable future.
The odds are that Republican
legislators in red states and swing states will oppose “National Popular Vote”,
so passing it in enough states to constitute an Electoral College majority will
require a battle. It’s a necessary
battle worth fighting. We can help to
warn our Party’s leaders by bringing this issue to the attention of President
Obama, our U.S.
Senators, and nearby Democratic members of the U.S. House of
Representatives. I will continue to
fight for a L.A. County Democratic Party resolution urging the DNC to support
the “National Popular Vote” movement.
Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore?
Your Membership Now, Here!
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box, club charter, storage space for our booths, publicity, political donations
and events such as Claremont’s July 4th celebration and Village
Venture. Take this opportunity to renew if you haven’t already done so. Just complete and clip this form and mail
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form with your check to: Democratic Club of Claremont, P.O. Box 1201,
The Voorhis Voice is published by the Democratic
Club of Claremont, PO Box 1201, Claremont
CA 91711. The newsletter’s name
commemorates the late Jerry Voorhis, a talented and courageous Congress member
Newsletter Editor: Ivan
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