Crashing The Party With John Kerry and Janet Reilly in San Francisco!

NOTE: This entry originally appeared at my old blog,, but has been archived here.
I’m at the Apple Store on Stockton St. in San Francisco, where they’re releasing OS X Tiger for Macintosh. It’s about 7:30pm and I just left an event at the historic Merchant’s Exchange Building in downtown San Francisco where Sen. John Kerry came out in support for Janet Reilly’s bid for State Assembly on San Francisco’s west side.
Kerry’s presence helped with the attendance rate, to be sure, but the clear star of the evening was Janet Reilly, who gave a great (and not too long) speech. A virtual who’s who of past and present elected officials were on hand in support of her candidacy, including Supervsiors Jake Mc Goldrick and Gerardo Sandoval, and City Attorney Dennis Hererra. Former California Assembly Speaker Leo McCarthy was also in attendance (and serves as the campaign’s chair) and various other past elected officials were there to show their support. It was quite an impressive crowd.
While Kerry’ presence was certainly appreciated by those who attended, his remarks were short and the crowd’s enthusiasm for McCarthy and Reilly was a lot stronger. You got the impression pretty quickly that despite the attacks of the partisan SF Weekly and SF Chronicle, Janet’s campaign is a strong, credible campaign, with a great candidate and some solid ideas for California’s future.
Los Angeles residents on the Westside might remember Janet from one of her previous jobs, as a press and community relations aide to former Mayor Richard Riordan. No doubt we’ll see her in L.A. at some point to re-connect with friends in Southern California and enlist support for her campaign, which is focusing on the decrepit state of health care in this country.
I’m about to get kicked off the comptuers at the Apple store so I have to cut this short…and Journalspace will be going offline at 9pm for maintenance so I will post more.
Overall though, this event was one of the best organized events I’ve been to in a while. I could literally check off in my head my own “Steps to a Successful Large Fundraising Event” while observing the preparations and the crowd.
Watching the large number of volunteers, who were well trained and got people in the doors quickly, as well as the flow of the event (no speeches droned on and on, not even Kerry’s as he’s prone to do), made it clear that Janet’s campaign is a force to be reckoned with in 2006, despite partisan sniping from our friends at the San Francisco Chronicle (who insisted the ticket price was $250 instead of the actual $25 price.)

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