A Liberal Voice of the Inland Empire

February 2008


Los Angeles County Democratic Party 

presents a Cocktail & Hors D’Oeuvres Reception

John F. Kennedy  

“Profiles in Courage” Awards

Thursday, February 28, 2008, 6:30pm-9:00 pm  

Sheraton Universal Hotel, 333 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City 




Author JAMES DUFF – Calif. Democratic Party CHAIRMAN ART TORRES



The Democratic Club of Claremont will organize a carpool.  If you’d like to come, call club president Bob Gerecke at (909) 626-2858.




The February general meeting will be devoted to a general discussion about maximizing our effectiveness in the November general election.  There will be no “outside” speaker.  Please come and present your ideas for how to elect Democrats to public office, and bring your “right hand,” because you will be asked to volunteer to play an active role (no, we won’t request that you give up your first child).


Luncheons take place on the second Friday of every month in the rear banquet room of the China Star Restaurant, 921 W. Foothill Blvd. in Claremont.  The event begins at noon and ends at 2 pm.  Food is served family style.  The menu is 50 percent vegetarian and contains no pork.  Attendance is free, but the lunch costs $10, which includes meal, tax, and tip.  There is plenty of free parking, and no stairs to climb. 


(The general meeting in May will be May 19 instead of May 26 because of the Memorial Day holiday.  Mark your calendars!)




If you don’t have cable or miss seeing our TV programs for another reason, here’s your chance to see them with friends.  On Saturday afternoon, March 8, come to Beverly Sloane’s home, watch recordings of the programs, fold and label our next newsletter, and have a good time together.  Tentatively begin at 1 p.m.  Please call Beverly in advance to let her know you’re interested and to get her address and directions.  Her number is (909) 624-4690.




Our member Douglas Grobecker passed away recently.  Doug’s good works included a lifetime commitment to finding new sources of fuel and energy using recycled waste.  We offer our condolences to Virginia and his family.






Blase Bonpane, Ph.D., is director of the Office of the Americas. He has served on the faculties of UCLA and California State University Northridge. His articles have been published internationally as a contributor to the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.  He is host of the weekly radio program World Focus on Pacifica Radio (KPFK, Los Angeles). Blase also hosts the program World Focus on Time/Warner Educational and Cable TV Stations.


His books include: 


Common Sense for the Twenty-first Century, Red Hen Press, 2004.


Guerrillas of Peace on the Air, radio commentaries, reports and other works which examine and promote the ideology of peace, Red Hen Press, Los Angeles, 2000 (second printing, 2002).


Guerrillas of Peace; Liberation Theology and the Central American Revolution, third edition, toExcel Press <> 2000, second edition, South End Press, Boston, 1987; first edition, South End Press, Boston, 1985.


His upcoming book, Civilization is Possible, will be released in winter of 2008.


The Blase Bonpane Collection has been established by the Department of Special Collections at the U.C.L.A. Research Library (Collection 1590).  This is compilation of his published and unpublished writings together with recordings of his lectures, radio and television programs.  


The Regents of the University of California under the auspices of the Oral History Program of the University of California at Los Angeles published, The Central American Solidarity Movement by Blase Bonpane,, 2005.


He was named "the most underrated humanist of the decade" by the Los Angeles Weekly.


In 2006 Blase Bonpane was awarded the Distinguished Peace Leadership Award by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.  



The Claremont Democrats have been given a chance to identify candidates for State Assembly and State Senate, but our mandate runs out soon.  The LA County Democratic Party will offer some support to qualified candidates.  Maybe you'd like to run?  Maybe you can suggest someone else who would do it?  In any event, for more information, please contact Ivan Light (909 - 621 - 1159 or




Dues for 2008 are now due.  If you don’t pay soon, you will receive a special letter in the mail.  Now, you wouldn’t want that to happen, would you?  Please send $35 or more to: Democratic Club, PO Box 1201, Claremont CA 91711.




Subscribe to the e-mail version of this newsletter!  The Club saves money on printing and postage, and you get “All the Claremont News that’s Fit to Print” more promptly.  E-mail Bob Gerecke (see e-mail address at the end of this newsletter) to make this “turn of the century” transition.




If you could do a two hour shift at the Democratic table at the Claremont Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings from time to time, please contact Gar Byrum at 621-9730 or  We need you – please help!!



In telephone calls to officers of the Democratic Club of Claremont and to other Democrats, Hoyt Hilsman has announced that he will not seek the Democratic nomination to oppose incumbent Republican Congressman David Dreier this year.  He did not indicate whether he will do so at another time. 



For the first time the DCCC has targeted David Drier and the 26th Congressional District.  The DCCC, which is a committee of Democrats in the House of Representatives, has the primary responsibility to work to elect and re-elect Democrats to the House.  They only target 40 House seats per election cycle, and they chose this district as one they believe we can win.  This offers us a great opportunity to retire Mr. Drier.  Russ Warner is having a fund raiser on February 24, 2008.  We owe it to ourselves to attend this event.  This is our chance to help!  Please contact me for additional information.

                                        Gar Byrum








__Staff our Sunday morning table by the farmers’ market 

__Set up equipment and supplies in our campaign headquarters 

__Belong to an outreach team in your own neighborhood 

__Visit or __phone neighborhoods which don’t have their own outreach team 

__Pick up candidate and issue literature from their headquarters 

­­__Deliver candidate and issue literature to our table/booth/headquarters/teams 

__Look up a voter’s polling place 

__Give a voter a ride to the polling place 

__Operate equipment to tape our live TV program 

__Decorate our booth or parade truck on July 4 

__Staff our booth or ride in the parade on July 4 

__Decorate our booth at the Village Venture in October 

__Staff our booth at the Village Venture in October 

__Maintain our member database 

__Print mailing labels from our database 

__Help to fold and label our monthly newsletter 

__Write letters to newspapers about issues and candidates 

__Catalog our TV program DVD’s and other stored items 





Circle your choice:        Patron $100 or more.  Contributing $50.  

Family $35.  Individual $25.  Student/Limited Income $5.



Street Address____________________________________________________________________________________________ 

City, State and Zip_________________________________________________________________________________________ 




In this crucial election year, please add at least $25 (or as much as you can afford) to help your local Democratic Club elect responsible office holders!  □ Yes ($______)   □ Sorry, not today


(Part of your dues and contributions may be contributed to Federal and State candidates.)


Please mail the above information with your check to: 

Democratic Club, PO Box 1201, Claremont CA 91711 

How Did Congress Do In '07?

On her one-year anniversary as Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco, California, gave PARADE magazine her perspective on the year’s accomplishments and setbacks in Congress.  The following reprints the article, published on January 20.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in 2007?

The energy security bill. For the first time in 32 years, Congress increased fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks. This could save drivers as much as $1000 a year and will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Last January, Democrats in Congress came in saying they had a mandate to get us out of Iraq. What happened?

A majority of Americans and of the Congress oppose the war. The House has repeatedly passed legislation to bring the troops home, but it’s been blocked by Republicans in the Senate. They’ve made it clear that this is not just the President’s war, it’s theirs too. This year we’ll continue to push for an end to the war. We don’t have another year of soldiers’ lives—or prestige in the world—to lose.

Health care is the other big topic on everyone’s mind. What will Congress do to fix it?

In 2007, the President vetoed the State Children’s Health Insurance Program [SCHIP], which would have provided insurance to 10 million children. The House will attempt to pass it again. We’ll also try to pass legislation to increase investment in research on cancer and other diseases, fund prevention and wellness programs and ensure access to the latest treatments. Congress will address these issues, but it will also take White House cooperation.

Many feel that infighting between Democrats and Republicans resulted in a Congressional deadlock last year. Can the parties get along?

Almost three-quarters of the Democrats' agenda in the House passed with broad bipartisan support, including legislation that raised the minimum wage, implemented the 9/11 Commission recommendations and cut student loan interest rates in half. It's critical to outline where our differences are, but I live by the adage that we find common ground where we can and stand our ground where we cannot.


Have you seen the latest DCC television productions? We continue to produce two half-hour programs on TimeWarner Cable channel 29 which are aired in the cities of Claremont, Pomona, and Covina.

Our Thursday evening program, “Claremont Democratic Forum”, which begins at 8:30 p.m., is airing a discussion with Zayn Kassam. Host/member Barbara Aswad and Zayn talk about the role of women in Islamic countries. Zayn tells of the origin of Muslim women wearing the veil. She also talks about religious law and its various interpretations in different Islamic societies. The status of women, along with their educational and career opportunities, is discussed. Furthermore, that Muslim women can be involved in civic affairs is shown by the career of Benazir Bhutto. Zayn is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Pomona College while Barbara is Professor of Mid East Anthropology, now retired.

Our Friday program, “Democrats: People and Ideas”, begins at 8:00 p.m. This month we feature a discussion with DCC member Barney Path. Host Merrill Ring questions Barney about his life and his personal commitments. Barney’s career in the field of energy has evolved from using it to consulting with large users, municipalities and school districts, about saving it. Barney is also the local coordinator of John Edwards’ presidential campaign. He and Merrill discuss media coverage of Edwards in relation to his noninvolvement with corporations. 

The purpose of our programming is twofold. We wish to present topics of current political interest: local, regional, statewide and national. We also want to feature our local Democrats, focusing on their lives, experiences, ideas and commitment to Democratic principles. If you have any suggestions for guests or topics, please contact Ivan Light at 909-621-1159 or or Carolee Monroe at 909-626-8122 or

If you do not have access to cable television in Claremont, Pomona, or Covina, or if the air times are inconvenient, we now have DVD copies of our programs available for check-out or small donation. Get a group of friends and neighbors together and watch quality programming! Contact Carolee. 




The Pomona Valley Peace Network will show two films: “Showdown with Iran” on February 18, and “No End in Sight” on March 10. The time is 7 p.m. and the place is Decker Hall, in the Pilgrim Place campus.  Decker is the west half of the building to the south of Porter (see directions above); the entrance is on the south side, on Avery Rd.


Here are some thoughts I wish to share with my fellow Club members on Super-Tuesday.  Why did I vote for Barack Obama rather than Hillary Clinton?


Here is why: I have come to believe that the militarization of U. S. foreign policy since 1947 is indeed the key issue facing us.  Since 1947 Democratic and Republican administrations have maintained very large military forces in the belief that our relations with the rest of the world must be based on our military superiority.  As General Eisenhower first observed in his farewell address, these policies have led to the creation of a military-industrial complex, which now drives our national policy, from Korea to Vietnam and now to Iraq.  And tomorrow to Iran.  We now spend more on our military establishment than the rest of the world combined.  This in turn makes it impossible to carry out at home the reforms and programs that are needed for social progress.


Unfortunately, this reliance on military power has been the policy of Democratic as well as Republican administrations.  And it is the case that Hillary Clinton is committed to that tradition more than Barack Obama.  He is more likely to cut loose from a half century of militarism, especially in his determination to pursue new directions in domestic social policies.


Would I vote for Hillary Clinton if she were to be the Democratic candidate in November?  I certainly would, especially if she were to be the alternative to John McCain, the embodiment of militarism and perpetual war.


(Note: the “Voice” prides itself on bringing you unique and important commentary on all political events, including the recent primary election in California.  To this end, the editor interviewed Sherlock Healms, Professor of Government at CMPDX, the most recent addition to the Claremont Colleges.  Enjoy!)

Voice:        Welcome, Professor Healms, thank you for agreeing to share your expert opinions with us today.

Healms:                Not a problem.  I used to be a member of the Democrat Party myself.

Voice:                Excuse me, but don’t you mean the “Democratic” Party?

Healms:        Don’t be so sensitive, why would you want to “stick an ic” at the end of your name?

Voice:        Because it IS our name.

Healms:        Everything’s being abbreviated these days.  It’s only a matter of time before your chief opponent will be known as the “Republic” Party.  Ten years after that, it will be the “Repub” Party and the “Demo” Party.

Voice:        OK, enough of prognostication.  What do you think of the recent election on Super Tuesday?

Healms:        It was a Super Duper Day, no question about that!

Voice:        Could you be a bit more specific?

Healms:        Why?  That answer was sufficient for Fox News!

Voice:        We try to be a bit more analytical here in Claremont.

Healms:        Well, nobody’s perfect.  But if you insist, I think it was a tremendous victory.

Voice:        For whom?

Healms:        For the voters.  I just had chills running down my spine while I voted, didn’t you?  Ah, the great democratic process at work!

Voice:        But only about half the registered voters cast a ballot!  And a lot of eligible voters don’t even bother to register.  You call that a “great democratic process”?

Healms:        It’s all we can expect right now, given that people are busy earning a living, playing bridge, and writing large numbers of e-mails.

Voice:        OK, you’ve a got a point there.  But given the “great race” that’s shaping up between Clinton and Obama, what do you think the candidates are doing now to ensure victory for their campaigns?

Healms:        No question about it, they are both huddling with their closest advisors, just like football teams huddle with their coaches during half time.

Voice:        Right.  And what do you think they’re saying?

Healms:        “Go long.”

Voice:        And do you have a prediction about who will eventually prevail?

Healms:        Yes, I strongly suspect it will be the candidate who ends up with the most delegates.

Voice:        Any thoughts on who the VP nominee will be?

Healms:        Yes.  Both Clinton and Obama are experienced, decisive, intelligent, attractive, thoughtful, and articulate.  As you know, every Presidential ticket needs to be balanced.  So they’ll choose someone who is inexperienced, indecisive, stupid, ugly, rash, and has no ability to communicate.  I’m throwing my hat into the ring!


The Club does not officially endorse any product or service that is advertised in these pages, but it appreciates the financial support of our advertisers.   If you would like to advertise, please e-mail Voice editor Ron Wolff at RPWinSOCAL@AOL.COM.





P.S. – Matt Lyons is president of the Democratic club in LaVerne and San Dimas.  He donates part of his sales commission to our club if you become his client and tell him you saw his ad here.



The editor would like to have some feedback on the newsletter as it has evolved over the last year or so.  Please take a few minutes to send an e-mail to, and put “Newsletter Comment” in the subject line.  If this heading does NOT appear in the subject line, your comment may not be read.  What do you like the best: Political commentary from local Club members? News about current and future speakers? What would you like more (or less) of? Do you receive it in the format that you prefer? Do you receive it in a timely manner?


Thank you. -- Ron Wolff, editor 


Executive Committee of the Club (Comprised of five elected Officers, appointed Chairpersons of Standing Committees, and The Past President)


President: Bob Gerecke 626-2858VP Organization: Gar Byrum 621-9730

VP-Education: Ivan Light 621-1159 

Secretary: Carolee Monroe 626-8122 

Treasurer: Merrill Ring 626-8467 

Past President: Parkes Riley 227-1961

Archive: Donald Stumpf  625-7916


Newsletter: Ronald Wolff 625-2033 

Speakers Bureau: David Levering 621-5811 

Ways & Means: Betty Cramer 621-0100

Peace & Justice Liaison: Lois Thompson 


Political Liaison: Carol Whitson  629-7994

Publicity: Ted Radamaker 593-5364 


Transportation: Sally Alexander 714-654-8085

Webmaster:Ned Freed  625-7933