I took this picture at the reservoir on 152 between Highway 101 and I-5. It was a good way to take a break from driving.


The first official stop on the trip was KFCF, where Todd, Kent, and I had our first debate, a live half hour hosted by Richard Gomez on his monthly show. There was consensus among the three of us that getting out of Iraq needs to happen soon. Todd was very mass organizerish, demanding that the Green Party get into the streets to take on Feinstein and Bush. Kent was urging everybody listening to register Green and vote Green, "because it really makes a difference." I said we need to stop voting for oil companies at the gas pump.


After that I went down to Tulare to meet up with David Silva and go to an event in Porterville. It turned out to be an interview with a photographer and reporter from a foothill newspaper. The candidates being interviewed were John Miller (shown in blue shirt), who is running for Congress in the 21st Congressional District, David Minton Silva (State Assembly, 34th District) and me. Also there was the owner of the very nice home where we met, who is running for Green Party County Council. The reporter asked questions for an hour or so, and then she left. We had key lime pie and talked about mailings and other Green Party tools and techniques for a while after that.

I'd told them that I just wanted a place to pitch my tent, so it turned out that the Tulare Voice (another newspaper) wanted to take a picture of me by the tent where I was going to sleep. You can see that above.


The light woke me early in the morning. I puttered around a bit and then picked and ate a couple of oranges from the tree. They were delicious. Tulare has a great climate for oranges.

The first campaign stop of the day was at Starbucks, where we talked to about half a dozen Greens and sampled their fair trade coffee, which was good. Now I'm kicking myself because I didn't give a speech.


David Minton Silva talked some about his political history. It turns out that he first became politically active during John Kennedy's winning run for the White House. Many years later he was doing well in Hollywood when his producer, lawyer, and many friends died of AIDS during the early 1980s. As someone living with HIV he has many experiences that can be shared in brief stories that give you practical insight into how to deal with many problems. For example, when he moved from Santa Cruz to Tulare he had to go through a lot to find a pharmacy that would fill the prescriptions for the drugs he needs to keep his T cell counts up. Some of them just didn't want to work with him. He said "I have a Supreme Court injunction protecting my right to smoke Marijuana", so he wasn't worried about my taking this picture.

That cat/butterfly has been his logo ever since the '60s, when they used it during the first Peace & Freedom Party Campaign. It was designed by one of his previous lovers that died of AIDS. I saw a reporter ask him how he feels about gay marriage and he said "When my lover died his birth family came in and took everything. I got nothing. I think spouses deserve legal protection."


The next stop was the Cannabis Club, where David and his partner get their herb. I shared my little speech with everyone there. One guy suggested making voter signup sheets. I came away from the experience with a strong feeling that I should campaign every Marijuana Club in California. Anybody know where there is a list of these places? I live in a dry county...


The next stop was the wastewater treatment plant, where they are doing some exciting work.

That was followed by a brief but nice visit with David's mother. I was introduced to her by David as "somebody I've known since '94 or '95." The essence of David's activism is caregiving, and unfortunately his mother has become one of his projects. She's started to forget to eat sometimes, so he has to go over and put food in front of her every day. During the brief time I talked to her she was great, so it can't be that bad yet.

The last stop was the Visalia Times-Delta, where we got interviewed by a reporter in the lobby.

Special thanks to David's partner for fixing the tail lights on my Tracer!