This month’s meeting we were delighted to hear from Olga Diaz, running for Mayor of Escondido, James Kimber, running for Congress in the 50th district against Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr., and Dave Peiser, running for Congress in the 49th district opposing Rep. Darrell Issa.
With the government shutdown still fresh in voters’ minds, new polls show that even the most entrenched Republicans such as Hunter and Issa are now more vulnerable than ever before. Dave Peiser is excited to use that to his advantage. Peiser talked about his business experience in our local community and combined with all the shenanigans of Issa and the GOP he feels he has good credentials for his candidacy.
Dave grew up in New York, and earned both a BioMedical Engineering degree and an MBA. After various healthcare related positions including some international assignments, Dave founded Peiser Solutions, an IT consulting firm servicing small businesses primarily in San Diego County. In 2008, Peiser cofounded Greenliness.com, an online retail business providing earth-friendly sustainable products and education. Dave has also been very active in the local community. He served 4 years on the Board of Directors for the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce, served as Board President for the non-profit Class-ACT, worked with “Microloans for Mothers” and is a founding member of the Solana Beach ECO Rotary Club. One of Dave’s key issues is climate change and he has engaged in significant lobbying efforts with members of Congress and local electeds, including traveling to Washington, DC. In August he led a group visiting Issa’s local Vista office to present Issa OFA’s “Unicorn” award for denying climate science. Dave is currently very busy building his team, fund raising, getting out to meet future constituents and working with James Kimber “to turn our county Blue!” You can read more about Dave and his campaign on his website.
Olga Diaz is currently the Deputy Mayor of Escondido and is also the first Latina ever elected in the history of the city! She grew up in Salinas, California and earned an Accounting degree. She put that to good use, starting 2 coffee houses before “getting distracted by politics”. She decided to run for city council in 2006, came in third but kept at it and finally was elected in 2008. This was quite a feat considering there are 10,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats in the city.
Olga described herself as “energetic”, who studies the issues and knows her community well from her business experience. She is cautiously optimistic at the moment as polls show her 9 points ahead of the current mayor making her the front runner. She is working to encourage other women to run and feels it’s time for a change as we need more balance from different perspectives and backgrounds. She insisted she wants to “stay local” while recognizing that her sights are set on Dave Roberts county board seat when he terms out. Her key issues are “respect for the community”, especially at city council meetings. She feels she has a strong “Emotional IQ”, a necessary quality for any good leader. She sees fiscal responsibility as equally important and has the accounting background to understand the complex structures cities use for financing. She wants to counter the culture of “investing in pet projects, giving big raises, and buying up land” not needed given the privately held land that could be utilized. She questioned the practice of “paying officials to leave” and feels this is due to a lack of oversight by officials. Ultimately she believes that transparency and fiscal prudence are of utmost importance. You can read more on her website.
James Kimber again addressed the membership, expanding on some of his key issues. He is most disturbed by the fact that our district has one of the highest number of veterans in the country, yet he feels Hunter has done little to support that community. Hunter has been absent on the substantive issues such as suicide, homelessness and violence against women in the military, only showing up mainly at ceremonies or fighting for medals or naming rights. Hunter made much of the shutdown of the World War II Memorial, yet he made no mention of the closed commissaries on military bases where families shop for discounted groceries hitting military pockets hard.
Immigration reform is also key for Kimber. Republicans keep kicking this issue down the road as they have again, but have had all year to get it done. Kimber feels Hunter’s position on immigration, focused primarily only on 100% border security before proceeding with reform, is unobtainable and more practical solutions are necessary. Appropriate reform can be a key contributor to fiscal responsibility and Kimber feels the time is now to move forward.
Finally Kimber discussed his support for the Affordable Care Act. Although he prefers a single payer system, he completely agrees that we cannot go back to our old way of using the ER as the access point for many patients. More preventative care is needed which will push costs down. He accused the Republicans of engaging in use of “WMDs – Worst Mass Deception” – lots of rhetoric thrown around without much homework to back up the claims. One example is Hunter’s claim that patient outcomes will decline under the new system.
Kimber is very active getting around the 6,000 square mile district as well as meeting with the party leaders. He has gone to Washington DC several times, and has met with the DNC, DCCC, Veterans organizations and 18 other groups. He is getting good support and endorsements but fund raising remains a focus and critical need. He is currently still working full time on his paid job but will take a leave of absence after the primary, if not by the convention in March. James Kimber explains more about his stand on issues on his website.