Monday, May 04, 2009

Bruin Democrats USAC Endorsements 2009

After deliberating for eight hours, as the only student organization who hosted our own endorsement hearings and looked at candidates independently of slate affiliation, Bruin Democrats is proud to offer its endorsement for the following candidates. We hope that the UCLA campus community joins us in supporting candidates that most outstandingly reflect progressive and feasible goals.


Endorsement: Cinthia Flores

Bruin Democrats PROUDLY AND STRONGLY endorses Cinthia Flores for President. With an excellent record and an all encompassing vision, she offers an amazing opportunity to move our campus forward, an opportunity that we, as Democrats, are proud to be involved in. Her platform focuses on student needs and we were particularly impressed with the Bruin Stimulus Plan- an idea that provides real help for students. Her leadership on UCLA boards such as the Student Activities Center Board of Governors, and the ASUCLA Board of Directors demonstrate a firm understanding of the UCLA community. Where her and her opponent differ is in her experience beyond the UCLA campus. Flores has served as a UCLA representative to the University of California Student Association and as one of two undergraduates on the University of California Office of the President's Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS). In the latter position, Flores was responsible for representing the student perspective when it came to rescinding the SATII from admission criteria, therefore making 25,000 more students eligible for admission.

We respect the work that has been done by Flores' opponent, Jesse Rogel, and respect many of his proposals such as the Chancellor's Compact, and The USAC Foundation in Kerckhoff. Collectively we felt that Flores' vision for the office and past experience would make her a more effective advocate for pushing her platform ideas such as the Bruin Stimulus Plan, Putting the "U" Back in USAC, and the Responsible Endowment and Sustainability Summit.

Internal Vice President

Endorsement: Shahida Bawa

Bruin Democrats endorses Shahida Bawa for Internal Vice President. After careful evaluation of the platforms presented by the two candidates running for the position, we have decided that Shahida brings forth an array of expertise essential to the work of the Internal Vice President's Office. In particular, her concern and expertise with risk management protocol and liability insurance coverage issues is impressive and makes her the strongest contender for the office.

External Vice President

Endorsement: Susan Li

Bruin Democrats STRONGLY endorses Susan Li for External Vice President. Li has 3 years of experience in the EVP Office and has accomplishments she can claim such as registering 8,519 to vote for the presidential election. We are more than confident in Li to be an effective advocate for students on issues such as access and affordability to higher education. Her work with the Federal and California DREAM Acts are of utmost importance to our club, and she has shown she will be an advocate. She worked with our organization this past year in the office's voter registration efforts, and she served as Assistant EVP. As an the external voice to the UC Regents, the California Legislature, and the United States Congress, we feel that Li will push forth a more progressive agenda that is reflective of the priorities of students and the Democratic Party.

While it is admirable that Megan Ward, Li's opponent, highlights campus safety as one of her top issues, we are concerned that this might be more of a Facilities Commissioner platform.

General Representatives

Endorsement: 1) Jason Tengco 2) Jasmine Hill 3)Thach Nguyen

Bruin Democrats is proud to endorse Jason Tengco, Jasmine Hill, and Thach Nguyen, in that order, for General Representative. We are excited to see the fulfillment of their platforms and are confident that they will work together in making UCLA a better place.

We felt Jason Tengco best reflected the ideals and values of the Democratic Party. We believe he will bring an energizing and refreshing spirit into the General Representative's Office. His plan for preserving Undie Run while making it a charitable event brings together the hopes and wants of the student body in an inspiring way. Further, his experience as an intern in Washington D.C., and as a delegate to the United States Student Association LegCon has prepared him to be an effective advocate on affordability and access issues.

Jasmine Hill may only be a second year, but her past experience and her vision for the future makes us proud to endorse her. During her interview, she came off as extremely eloquent, well spoken, and knowledgeable. She had a presence about her that commanded respect-- moreso than most candiates on either slate. Her LectureLinks program is student budget friendly and sustainable. We look forward to seeing her achieve her platform goals.

Thach Nguyen provided an exciting platform that we look forward to seeing him implement. His plan to implement a Den Ticket exchange program is an innovative way to address a very real student concern. Also, his meal swipes on campus proposal is something that has been done in the past and we are confident that he will be effective in bringing this issue to the forefront again.

Academic Affairs Commissioner

Endorsement: Layhannara Tep

Bruin Democrats STRONGLY endorses Layhannara Tep for Academic Affairs Commission. She was candid and passionate about issues of access to higher education and spoke knowledgeably about academic programs on campus such as the Academic Advancement Program. We were incredibly impressed with her proposal to revamp the priority enrollment system to prioritize non-traditional students such as commuters and parents.

While we feel that Andrew Li Kreitz has a firm grasp of the issues affecting this commission, we have also been extremely disappointed by the way in which he has chosen to handle his campaign. We were specifically bothered by remarks that he has made regarding MEChA. Bruin Democrats is proud to stand as an ally to MEChA, and we feel that such an attack was wildly inappropriate. It is especially worrisome that these remarks came from someone hoping to hold an office wherein he would be representing ALL student groups on campus.

Community Service Commissioner

Endorsement: Farhan Banani

Bruin Democrats strongly endorses Farhan Banani for Community Service Commission due to his firm understanding of the commission. We are confident that he will run a strong office next year and build off of the successes of the current commissioner, Valerie Sien.

Campus Events Commissioner

Endorsement: Joanne Lin

Bruin Democrats strongly endorses Joanne Lin for Campus Events Commissioner. We feel that her experience within the commission demonstrates that she is capable of achieving her platform goals.

Facilities Commissioner

Endorsement: Karli Santos

Bruin Democrats endorses Karli Santos because of her unique vision and ideas for the commission, in particular her desire to work with the LGBTQ community to make facilities more gender neutral. We do however have reservations about her understanding of issues such as sustainability and encourage her to do more research into facts important to the Facilities Commission position.

Cultural Affairs Commissioner

Endorsement: Abigail Faelnar

We strongly endorse Abigail Faelnar for Cultural Affairs Commission. Her unifying vision to bring groups together to work on events such as World Fest is one that we look forward to seeing brought to reality. We are confident that her experience in this commission will help her to achieve her platform goals.

Financial Supports Commissioner


Both candidates presented strong platforms and past experience, but as a club, we were unable to come to a consensus. We encourage all students to do the necessary research and vote for the candidate they believe will provide the greatest opportunities for UCLA students.

Student Welfare Commissioner

Endorsement: Lucy Wu

Bruin Democrats is proud to endorse Lucy Wu for the Student Welfare Commission due to her three year experience within the commission and her extensive knowledge of the organization as well as her concrete plans to expand existing programs. Her success with the Bruin Health Symposium and her use of Democratic ideals through a student feedback system demonstrates her ability to handle her job with expertise. While we appreciate the ideas that Myles Hamby has shared, we are not confident in his ability to retain qualified staff for the commission or to orchestrate the commission successfully.


Bruin Democrats PLEDGE! to support vital programs including the Daily Bruin, the UCLA Marching Band, UCLARadio, and tutoring and retention programs by way of a $12.75 fee increase. Since 1/3 of all fees are allocated towards financial aid, we also believe this increase of the pool of funding for financial aid and grants would be vastly beneficial to the student body at large.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meet your new board!

Bruin Dems held their elections tonight, and here are the results for the 2009-2010 board!

President: Carrie McFadden
External VP: Chris Ah San
Internal VP: Matt Margolis
Treasurer: Erienne Overli
Fundraiser: Sara Tsegaye
Events: Kennan Cronen
Issues: Austin Ford
Marketing: Kyle Hebert
Social: Jessica Blatchley

Remember folks, there are still four board positions that will be decided upon next fall, so first years and transfers and other returning members can still have a chance to be on board.

And... it turns out UCLA Radio actually recorded the infamous last debate between the Bruin Republicans and the Bruin Democrats! If you wondered why the two clubs stopped debating, it stemmed from this night's debate from November 27, 2007. "11/27, Never Forget".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There's No One as Irish as Barack O'Bama

In honor of St. Patrick's Day.

Not cool.

Click on photo for the full-size version. Look closely at who Obama picked in the UCLA-VCU matchup when he filled out his bracket.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stimulus Hypocrisy

(Steve Kelley, copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate)

It seems the GOP has changed their stance on deficit spending rather quickly--where were Republican calls for lower spending during the last eight years of outrageous deficit spending?

Don't forget, Republicans, Obama is inheriting the problem that you all created.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Olbermann speaks out on Prop. 8

Incredibly powerful Special Comment from Keith Olbermann on Monday night. Lots of people, not just Keith, were in tears over it.

More discussion in my diary on DailyKos. There were also some useful ideas in the comments on what we as Bruin Democrats could do to help combat the anti-gay bigots in California.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Good times for the Democrats!

For all the hard work, for the teamwork, the engagement, the energy, the passion, the drive: YES WE DID!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MN-06: Shades of McCarthyism

So last Friday on Hardball, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R), representing Minnesota's 6th congressional district, made some disgusting comments implying that Barack Obama holds "anti-American views", and accused certain members in Congress of being anti-American, even calling for an investigation into where their allegiances really were. Just like Joseph McCarthy.


That video went up on YouTube before the show was even over, and quickly became viral. And just like that, people started taking action, donating to Bachmann's Democratic opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg, former mayor of Blaine and Transportation Secretary of Minnesota under Jesse Ventura. And boy, did they donate! Tinklenberg came to DailyKos to inform everyone that in just 24 hours since Bachmann's appearance, he had raised over $488,000. By Monday that figure had gone up to over $810,000.

You may recall Bachmann was the woman who kissed Bush after his 2007 State of the Union address and held on to him in a very creepy manner, but this is hardly the first embarrassing incident involving Bachmann. Populista has a rundown of all the batshit crazy stuff she's been involved in. The blog Dump Bachmann has much more.

Since her comments on Friday, her Republican primary challenger, college professor Aubrey Immelman, has announced he's going to mount a write-in challenge, specifically targeting "disillusioned Republicans" who can't bring themselves to vote for a Democrat. Even Colin Powell called her comments "nonsense" after he endorsed Obama. An online petition is calling for her censure, and there's already a song parody of a classic Bachman-Turner Overdrive tune about her. And when even Sarah Palin is repudiating your comments, that's a sign this media hound may have finally gone too far. And smelling the blood in the water, the DCCC is dropping $1 million into this race.

For her comments, Bachmann found herself the target of both Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart on Monday.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Palling around with terrorists

So by now you've probably heard that Sarah Palin has played the Ayers card, accusing Obama of "palling around with terrorists". This, as McCain's own ad also invokes Ayers. As a result, Obama has taken the gloves off on McCain's own involvement in the biggest scandal of the 1980s, the savings & loan scandal, of which McCain was intimately involved. McCain was one of the "Keating Five". Obama's people have set up a new website, Keating Economics, where you can see just how involved McCain was in helping out the super-rich at the expense of us regular Americans. Quite apropos in this time of economic crisis, no? Here's the full video explaining just what McCain did.

But it's much more than that. If McCain and Palin want to play the terrorist card, then let's look at who has the REAL terrorism problem. Who was really "palling around" with secessionists who despise America? Sarah Palin.

And who tried to provide cover for domestic terrorists that would MURDER abortion doctors and volunteers? John McCain.

But by going down this dark path, the Washington Post reports that at Palin rallies, you now have overt cases of racism and even assassination threats.

Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."


The reception had been better in Clearwater, where Palin, speaking to a sea of "Palin Power" and "Sarahcuda" T-shirts, tried to link Obama to the 1960s Weather Underground. "One of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," she said. ("Boooo!" said the crowd.) "And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,' " she continued. ("Boooo!" the crowd repeated.)

"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.

Palin also told those gathered that Obama doesn't like American soldiers. "He said that our troops in Afghanistan are just, quote, 'air-raiding villages and killing civilians,' " she said, drawing boos from a crowd that had not been told Obama was actually appealing for more troops in Afghanistan.

And at a McCain rally, when he asks who is the "real" Obama, you have an audience member yell out "a terrorist!" It almost looks like McCain suddenly realizes the Pandora's Box of hatred that he's opened up, but it's too late.

All this led to Keith Olbermann's latest Special Comment on Palin's remarks.

Get ready for more of this, Bruin Dems. Digby warned us last year of the coming deluge of right-wing violence if Obama wins.

I predict that we are going to see a remarkable resurgence of rightwing violence if the Democrats take full control of the government. These people are always surprisingly cooperative when the government is run by Republicans and then rediscover their "anti-government" beliefs when Democrats share or dominate the government. I can't imagine why that would be.

The Tennessee church murders and the murder of the Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman were just the first two salvos.

Update: And now from London comes a story of a black man getting shot simply for wearing an Obama t-shirt.

Monday, October 06, 2008

SNL does the VP debate

Tina Fey just gets better and better at playing Sarah Palin.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

What was Lowry doing?

From all the reactions to the VP debate, the most... um... interesting... one may have come from the National Review's Rich Lowry.

A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It's one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O'Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.

As James Wolcott wrote, "Good thing Palin didn't blow a kiss at the camera or Lowry might have fucking fainted. I'm not a licensed psychotherapist but when you think the people on TV are addressing you personally and directly it's often a sign of incipient dementia."

Keith Olbermann went a different route, in a Worst Person in the World segment that is not meant for tender ears. Watch at your own risk.

Needless to say, I think it should be obvious now why Palin did better among men than women.

And now for something completely random, a train analogy.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Video roundup

Did you know that on Tuesday, September 30, 6 of the top 8 YouTube videos were mocking Sarah Palin? Ever since "macaca" took down George Allen (who disgraced our campus by attending UCLA for a year before transferring to Virginia), viral videos have become a part of the political process. Here are some pretty good videos being put out there on the Intertubes.

Signs of Hope & Change

"Hey Sarah Palin" (parody of "Hey There Delilah")

CNN's Campbell Brown: Free Sarah Palin!

Sarah Palin's greatest hits

Exposing the lies in McCain's ads

Thank John McCain (user-generated TV ad)

Tina Fey parody was a direct quote of Palin!

5 Friends

Keative Five scandal in 97 seconds

Homer Simpson wants Obama!

Les Misbarack

And this is almost 10 minutes long, but here is the video of Palin's pastor, who directed a literal witchhunt, praying that Palin herself be protected from witches. Cuz you know that Alaska is just crawling with witches.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Barney Frank Reacts to GOP Hurt Feelings

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (maybe the most powerful gay politician in the world), reacts to the failure of today's bailout/rescue bill and the Republicans' accusations against Nancy Pelosi.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Beware of latest e-mail scam

This e-mail has been making the rounds. Beware, don't fall for it!!!!!!!!!!

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson