A Liberal Voice of the Inland Empire

April 2008




LUNCH MEETINGS: Luncheons take place on the second Friday of each 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.  Free parking, and no stairs to climb. 


Our May 9 luncheon speaker will be announced by email in the near future. 


GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS:  Professor Keith Shirey will address the Claremont Democratic Club at the membership meeting on Monday, April 28, on the topic of "THE STATE OF FREEDOM IN THE U.S. MILITARY EMPIRE 2008.."   Keith Shirey was Professor of Political Science at Citrus College between 1965 and 1999.  He now runs a political consulting business, which includes the creation of political buttons (“swag”).  


General Membership Meetings take place in Porter Hall at 7:30 pm.  In the Pilgrim Place campus, Porter Hall is easily accessed from 6th Street and Berkeley Way in Claremont.  There is plenty of free parking, and there are no steps to climb.  Refreshments are served.  Admission is free.


Our May 26th membership meeting is on Memorial Day.  In commemoration, we will show a screening of "Why We Fight," an award-winning documentary on the American military since World War II.  Following the film, a panel of military veterans will present relevant views.


There will be no luncheon or general membership meetings in July or August. 





Last year about 200 people stood in Memorial Park on Mother’s Day in the annual celebration of “Mother’s Standing,” commemorating one woman’s historic decision to “stand for peace and justice.”  The event is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 11, in Claremont’s Memorial Park.  It last for five (that’s right, “5”) minutes.  For more information, call Lois Thompson at 621-2061.



Contributions are still needed to help preserve the Milford Zornes mural in Claremont’s post office.  Please support this good cause – for the preservation of history, art and architecture, for the beauty of Claremont, and for recognition of the widespread contributions which the New Deal made to American art and infrastructure during the Great Depression.


Please send your donations to: 


                                Democratic Club

                                P.O. Box 1201

                                Claremont, CA 91711


Mark your check “Mural”.  Thank you.  Future generations will also be grateful.





(The following resolution will be presented to the general membership for approval at the meeting on April 28.  This idea came from Ivan Light and was approved for consideration by the Executive Committee.  Ed.)


Whereas the late William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review and enthusiastic supporter of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, was also for many years the host on Firing Line, a television interview and talk show;


And Whereas Mr. Buckley brought a high level of civility to political discussion on his television program, Firing Line, a level that is now lamentably missing in American political discourse;


And Whereas the Democratic Club of Claremont very much appreciated this effort by a political opponent to show the American people the real meaning of political debate and discussion; 


Therefore, be it resolved, that the members of the Democratic Club of Claremont expresses our regret at the passing of Mr. Buckley, whose politics we deplored, but whose civility we strongly endorse and admire.  





The Executive Committee is proposing to the general membership a set of procedures by which the Club may endorse candidates for non-partisan office and ballot propositions/issues.  (The Club is already permitted to endorse candidates in partisan races.)  These new procedures might result in the Club taking public positions that could be controversial.  According to the proposed procedures, positions may be taken only if a “super-majority” of 60% of the membership present and voting agree.


The exact text of the by-law as it will read if the amendment passes follows.  If you have strong feelings on this issue, be certain to attend the membership meeting in April.  If you wish to see a version of the amendment showing additions and deletions from the current wording, please contact President Bob Gerecke.


Also in April, members of the Club will be asked to vote on whether or not to take a position on a redistricting initiative being supported by Governor Schwarzenegger, AARP, California Common Cause, and the League of Women Voters of California (among others).  The initiative proposes a 14-person Citizens Redistricting Commission consisting of 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 others.  A list of prioritized mapping criteria would be established, including (but not limited to) equal population between districts and respect for the integrity of counties, cities, and communities.  For additional information, go to www.CaVotersFIRST.og.


Lucky attendees at the April general membership meeting will also be asked to take positions on Propositions 98 and 99, AB 1554 (“Health Care Affordability”), and HJR 53 allegedly limiting the President’s power to wage war without approval of Congress.  


The following is the text of Article X of the club’s by-laws as it would read if the proposed amendment is adopted.  








This organization may endorse candidates for public elected office – federal, state and local, including nonpartisan -- as permitted by the rules of the California State Democratic Party.  The following rules and procedures must be followed:


  1. The candidate must be a registered Democrat. 


  1. Those voting must have been members of the Club for at least two months. 


  1. Notice of the meeting (and the endorsements) at which the voting will take place must be at least fourteen days for the candidates and the normal meeting notice time for the voters.  Proxies will not be accepted.


  1. The candidates must be given an opportunity to appear before the voting members and/or an interview committee, with fair rules set for their appearances. 


  1. A 60% majority vote of the eligible members present and voting at a meeting at which a quorum is present is required for endorsement.  If 60% is not achieved in the first ballot, then all candidates receiving 15% or more of the vote shall appear on a second ballot.  If no candidate then receives 60%, a run-off shall be held between the top two contenders.  On each ballot there shall be included the option of "no endorsement."  No more than three ballots (or votes) shall be held.


  1. All votes shall be on written, secret ballots and shall be counted immediately in the room.  The ballots shall then be put in a sealed envelope, with signatures across the seal, and kept by the Secretary for one year.  A ballot not recording either an endorsement or a vote for "no endorsement" shall be counted as an abstention and will not be counted as part of the number from which the 60% must be won.  In the counting of votes, there shall be a distinction between "no endorsement" (in which 60% voted for "no endorsement") and "failure to endorse" (in which no 60% was achieved).





1.        Those voting must have been members of the Club for at least two months.


2.        Notice of the meeting and topic(s) at which the voting will take place must be the normal meeting notice time for the voters.  Proxies will not be accepted.


3.        Members on both sides of each issue shall be given an equal opportunity to speak to the voting members.  Non-member advocates may be heard at the discretion of the presiding officer.


4.        The presiding officer shall take a voice vote; if anyone requests a recount, the presiding officer shall request a show of hands, which will be counted by two other officers.


5.        A 60% majority vote of the eligible members present and voting at a meeting at which a quorum is present is required for a club position.  If 60% is not achieved, the club shall have “no position”.




With terrific guests and their topics, along with great hosts, we have produced four entertaining and informative programs to be shown in the months of April and May.  The hosts and guests are local Democrats and, mostly, members of our club who share their expertise and interests to our benefit.


Our Thursday evening program, “Claremont Democratic Forum,” which begins at 8:30 PM, will alternate two programs.  Airing on April 3, April 17, May 1, and May 15, is the program in which Keith Shirey discusses with host Ivan Light our American military empire.  Shirey, a retired professor, and currently an entrepreneur and a lifelong Democrat/activist, compares and contrasts our empire with those of the Greeks, Romans and British.  Shirey and Light examine Bush’s interpretation of the doctrine of Unitary Executive Theory, especially his expanded use of signing statements.  Watch this program for a succinct explanation of the current status of our republic.  


Airing on April 10, April 24, May 8, and May 22, is guest host Gene Boutilier’s discussion with Mel Boynton.  Mel, President of the United Nations Association of the Pomona Valley, tells of the forming and purposes of the organization, especially its Millennium Development Goals, along with the need for this organization which reaches across borders and continents to alleviate poverty, hunger and environmental degradation.  Mel credits his mother as being his personal model of volunteering both time and energy to aid those less fortunate on our Earth.


Our Friday program, “Democrats: People and Ideas,” begins at 8:00 PM.  Airing April 4, April 18, May 2 and May 16, is Ivan Light’s interview with Marguerite McIntosh, founder and first president of the Claremont Museum of Art, located in the Packing House in the Village West expansion.  They discuss the history of the museum, from conceptualization to reality, on its first anniversary.  Past exhibits and plans for future ones, along with items in the museum’s permanent collection, are given.  Marguerite, a member of the French Resistance during W.W.II, shares memories of her work in the resistance along with life during the Nazi occupation of France.  


Airing on April 11, April 25, May 9, and May 23, is a program about the problems of private professional conservatorship and how to avoid them.  Guest Marjorie Mikels, Attorney at Law, describes to host Gene Boutilier three situations in which the lives, residences, and finances of local elderly citizens were manipulated within the legal system.  Although there is pending legislation (SB 1258 Margett) in California to address the problem, Marjorie says it does not go far enough and recommends improvements. She also offers suggestions for avoiding conservatorship altogether.  If you do not have access to cable television in Claremont, Pomona, or Covina, 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 these programs of local, national and international interests! Contact Carolee at 909 626 8122 or email at  




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.




We’ve all heard this – and we all know it’s true.  So the Democratic Club of Claremont is setting up a fund-raising committee to ensure that we are successful in impacting the 2008 elections.


Chairing this effort is the dynamic and energetic Debi Evans.  Feel free to volunteer your ideas, your time, and your money.  Contact Debi at or  If you dare, call her at 268-1201.




Publicity Chair Ted Radamaker will have had surgery by the time you read this.  During his recovery, Laura Ditte Lo has agreed to be acting Publicity Chair.  If you have any items of interest for which general publicity is desired, contact Laura at 621-7827 or




Elliott Barkan's new book, FROM ALL POINTS: AMERICA'S IMMIGRANT WEST, 1870'S-1952, has been selected to receive the top book prize in American immigration history, THE THEODORE SALOUTOS BOOK AWARD.  This award is given annually by the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, which is an international organization.  This award will be presented to Dr. Barkan at the annual IEHS dinner in New York on March 29, 2008.  Professor Barkan was our Democratic candidate from the 59th Assembly District in the previous election.  Congratulations Elliott !!



The election of November 2008 presents us, our country, and indeed the world with a unique and irretrievable opportunity: to turn away from the disgrace of eight years of George Bush’s Republicatn administration and to restore progress toward social justice and economic health at home, and peace and respect for America abroad.  This is no ordinary election; it must become a watershed, and the opportunity must not be lost.


For a while this year, prospects looked excellent.  Democratic voters flocked to the primary campaign in unprecedented numbers, particularly younger voters, and the Republicans were in obvious disarray.  But more recently prospects for victory in November have darkened, as bitterness and division seemed to rise between the two remaining contenders, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  Now we face the prospect of a bitter contest for delegates at the National Convention that will leave the Party unable to unite enthusiastically behind the ultimate candidate.  That way we might end up handing victory in November to the Republicans.  This must not be allowed to happen.  We owe it to the country and the world to take charge in November.


As we look toward possible solutions, we first must assert some obvious truths that may have been lost in the noise of the primary campaign.  First of all, the substantive differences in the philosophy and political programs of Clinton and Obama are small, especially if contrasted with the wasteland of Republican programs and policies.  For all practical purposes, both contenders support Social Security and universal healthcare, greater income equality and better social support services, and they agree on the broad values of social policy.  Both advocate peace negotiations and withdrawal from Iraq and restoration of American prestige in the world through peaceful cooperation with other nations.  The media and the dynamics of the primary campaign have blown up their minute policy differences into gigantic proportions, but all that is deceptive.  We are fortunate indeed in having an essentially united Democratic Party with its leadership in harmony on most essentials!


What remains are differences in style, in generational affiliation, and in provenance.  But these differences should be viewed as elements of strength for the Party and the country because Hillary and Barack enlist the loyalties of different elements of the Party and of the population: the older and the younger generations, of women and men, of North and South, so many facets of this country in all its complexity.  We must be able to come to this national election time in November with all this diversity intact and united so that united we can all turn this country (and the world) around.


But how can this be accomplished, given the current inflamed antagonisms fanned by media and the hung for the next morning’s headlines?  Cheap and despicable stuff when it comes to decide the fate of the planet!


Fortunately, we have a precedent on hand to guide us, even though located in a different time and in a different political culture.  Some twenty years ago, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, two young leaders of the British Labor Party, made THE DEAL, to the effect that Blair would be leader of the party first (and hence Prime Minister) and Gordon Brown would be next, holding in the meantime the most prestigious and powerful position in the government, that of Chancellor of the Exchequer.  This happened, even though Tony Blair extended his contemplated term as Prime Minister, and today Gordon Brown is Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the United Kingdom and the Labor Party have enjoyed two decades of growth and prosperity.  Two strong EGOS compromised for the good of Party and Country, and though it was not always smooth sailing, it worked.


And so, in the spring and summer of 2008, we should summon our leaders to contemplate some similar arrangement, even though our political dynamics and institutions operate differently.  But what should be similar, over here as over there, is the ability of our leaders to subordinate their ambitions to the good of Party and Country.  First of all, contemplate the power of a joint Clinton-Obama team in November!  Such a constellation would make overriding Democratic victory almost certain.


The division of roles and the question of timing would be difficult.  In my view, in 2008 Hillary Clinton should be the presidential candidate.  She is older, she represents the continuity of the Democratic Party, she has her own business to finish (such as a universal health care system), and she will be 65 by the end of her first term.  Obama is young and vigorous, full of new and perhaps somewhat as yet untested ideas; and few people will deny that well qualified as he is now, he may make an even better President in 2012 or 2016.  And he would be in his fifties then, in the prime of his life.


Details would have to be worked out.  Will Hillary now make a commitment, at least tentatively, to run for one term only or will that issue remain in balance?  What will be Obama’s special assignment during Hillary’s first term?  He could be the administration’s point man for peace and international development, and for building a bridge to the world of Islam; and it obviously would be his special role to re-strengthen the ties between the Democratic Party and the black community.


It will not be a simple journey because there is no real precedent for such an arrangement in American history. 


So there we are, Democrats on our way to victory in November, in an unbeatable team.  And in ten, twelve years from now, America might be healed some, and our image in the world restored, as we work within the international community to preserve the peace and assist other peoples to lead their lives in reasonable comfort and dignity.


                                                                Werner Warmbrunn




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.

Executive Committee of the Club 

Comprised of five elected Officers, appointed Chairpersons of Standing Committeesand 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

Newsletter: Ronald Wolff 625-2033 

Speakers Bureau: David Levering 621-5811 

Ways & Means: Betty Cramer 621-0100

        No email

Peace & Justice Liaison: Lois Thompson , 621-2061

Publicity: Ted Radamaker 593-5364 


Transportation: Sally Alexander 714-654-8085

Webmaster:Ned Freed  625-7933

Archive: Donald Stumpf 625-7916

Political Liaison: Carol Whitson 629-7994