[Post nominated by the Watcher's Council]
Upon visiting this site, you may have noticed the banner on the left which advertises the Bear Flag League Conference of 2005. Well, it happened yesterday at Cal Tech in Pasadena, California and it was quite enjoyable and informative. The participants consisted of some members of the huge Bear Flag League (obviously), its invited guests and, as featured speakers, that segment of society whose word we political bloggers hang on, the politicians.
Sacramento Bee columnist and blogger Dan Weintraub of the California Insider started things off. He became widely known during California’s gubernatorial recall. His listing of necessary resources for first-hand reporting was invaluable.
Bob Hertzberg, democrat former Speaker of the California Assembly and former LA mayoral candidate, expounded on the role which blogging played in his losing effort and the lessons learned there from.
Joseph C. Phillips, Conservative Brotherhood member, is probably familiar to many in his “day job” as a busy actor. He had been contemplating a California Assembly run, but had decided to put it off. The BFL is trying to convince him otherwise and I think that Bob Hertzberg knows a juggernaut when he sees one.
Ted Costa of Fair Districts got the audience up to speed on the initiative process and re-districting.
And, lastly, there was
retired UCR faculty member Allan Hoffenblum of California Targetbook had some very useful information to impart regarding political demographics. (Did you know that roughly 86% of the public has little interest in politics and gets most of its information from the traditional media. That’s pretty deflating for us political junkies who comprise the other 14%.)
Included among the invited guests were Marc Danziger aka Armed Liberal, Michael “Cobb” Bowen, the founder of the Conservative Brotherhood (that brown, bald guy in the pic), and none other than Kevin Drum of Washington Monthly; all in all, an interesting group of people with which to break bread, talk politics and just be around.
(The Governator sent his regrets, but we understood; Mickey Mouse does, indeed, have precedence.)
The heavy lifting for the conference was done by Justene Adamec of Calblog, Little Miss Attila (and husband) and Boi from Troy (the moderator) and they did an outstanding job. (That’s Gerard Vanderleun in the foreground.)
The great thing about blogging is the paradox of finding yourself empowered and humbled at the same time. Before I started blogging, I was just a citizen who felt politically insignificant, if not totally powerless. Two years into it, it’s a good surprise to find oneself listened to; that fact, however, makes one conscious of responsibility. I will try to do better.
The other great thing about blogging is the friendships made. I hope to keep them.
And after seeing Flap’s photos of some fat chick I barely recognized dishing ice cream into a bowl, off to the gym I go!
Breaker (who will likely have more incriminating photos)
Irish Lass (visiting from Sacramento)
Dafydd and spouse (guest-blogging at Captain’s Quarters)
And a whole bunch of other folks who--if they send me an email reminder note—will be added to this list.
Other Conference Reports:
Many of the links above will change to conference reports as they come in.
We decided against tarring and feathering liberal blogger Kevin Drum. His site is down, however, so maybe... Seriously, I hope he had a great time.
UPDATE: Breaker has more photos, including a meeting of the
bald heads minds.