Obama and Clinton Unity Begins in California Congressional District 42 Where Democrats Have United for Ron Shepston5 min read

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Challenger to Republican incumbent Gary Miller reaches out to online community

We can talk about “unity” — but the meaning of that word varies depending on the reader. I want to drive home the meaning for you, to tap into the energy and synergy that comes from people striving for a common goal. In the netroots, I’m sure a lot of people will assume that I mean unity of the Presidential candidates.

That is part of it. Click here to sign our pledge for unity.

That picture above is Misha, me & Dave in front of Democratic Party Of Orange County banner. We will be adding LA and San Bernardino Counties.

But we want to go further than that. We want to take this beyond gimmicks. We want to take this beyond cliche’. As my friend Dallasdoc says “Think movement”.

Shepston-unity-2.gifThis campaign has never been about me. It’s been about all of us coming together to change the face of American politics to make the changes we know need to be made.

When we first started to talk about using the power of the netroots the idea was to unite around an existing candidate. We looked and looked but couldn’t agree. We knew the best choice would be a true netroots candidate. We wanted someone who came from the netroots first. But that desire was much more than symbolic. Someone from the netroots had a certain mindset and was driven to learn and know the truth. Despite what Markos said this was beyond partisan politics. We called it reality-based. It still is though now we recognize that reality has a distinct liberal/progressive bias.

I want to show you what is happening in our part of the world. Not many people saw this but it was the beginning of an idea for us.

When Dave came up to me at the caucus and said he wanted to help with a local race I was excited but hadn’t as yet realized the significance of that first meeting of two people who had a common though not shared goal. That was soon to change.

I started as a frustrated citizen now I’m running for Congress. From the beginning the vision was to make this a viable campaign that had as its goal no less than changing the face of American politics. Many of us were and are tired of politics as a game. We thought that collegiality only worked when everyone played by the rules. Winning wasn’t the goal but doing the right thing was. We saw that the value of honest competition between the right and left would result in a better America. We also saw that honesty and integrity was no longer part of politics today – if it ever was. It was replaced by winning at any cost.

We are not naive enough to think that we can’t play the game of politics. We are not so naive to think that we can just dance in and have the political world cave under our vision and shower us with money. We wanted to include the voters as participants rather than spectators.

We started before Obama had announced or anyone else for that matter. We had a great start and as often happens to real people, things happen and real life intrudes on dreams. We lost some momentum due to the passing of my mother and the Santiago Fires but we pushed on and rode through the night. We got stronger through adversity.

Now, we are on fire and we have grassroots support from Obama delegates Dave Walsh 42ndCD, Gustavo Delgado 40thCD and Clinton delegate Misha Hower 47th. We have super volunteers Chuck Schofield, Dot DeLeon, Alisa Riso, Richard Cassiere, Nora Fugato and Courtney Rychel. We have Silverado grassroots activists Linda May and Connie Nelson. We have Joe Wilson and a great shot at Valerie Plame after the primary.

Can you feel the energy? Look closely and remember. Our future leaders will come from this group and others like them. They are amazing.

We have a professional staff with a record of winning elections and we have major online members here and elsewhere on board via email and telephone consultation.

We have Republicans, Democrats, Decline To State, business leaders, labor unions, teachers, grassroots activists, Democratic Party officials and blogs.
That list will continue to grow as people hear about us.
As some of you may know Gilda Reed lost in LA-01 but she made some noise and focussed attention on some real problems. She also showed that WE are not simply 17-year-old kids typing away in our parents’ basement.
I think the online community is still somewhat in the early adopter stage and changing the face of American politics will not happen overnight. The members of this community can’t help every one of us equally. Some of those getting help will be adopted and some will spring from the community.

Many members will continue to sit on the sidelines but many will also jump into the fray and support those who run. I’m happy with what’s happening and happy with the support we’re getting. It is what it is and we have adapted to the circumstances.

This is all a bit scary and extremely exciting. We’ve come a long way from David Dayen’s question “Ron, don’t you live in Gary Miller’s district”. We expect to go a lot further.

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