78th Assembly District: You need to win a battle or two to win a war

Greg Larkin Greg Larkin 16 Comments


We turn to you, the readers. What are your thoughts on the AD 78 race discussed below?

The question is posed following a very insightful conversation today on our public Facebook page between a Rostra administrator and Elisa Brent, the campaign manager for Barbara Decker, Republican candidate for 78th Assembly District against Assemblywoman Toni Atkins.

Brent posted that Atkins is “THE MOST POWERFUL DEMOCRAT IN CALIFORNIA,” further noting, “Toni has raised over $2 million for a campaign she is not spending money on,” and “We are not going to roll over and let the local conservative media pretend like Barbara does not exist. THEY ARE SUPPORTING A DIRTY DEMOCRAT!”

Being part of the local-conservative-media-with-the-heads-in-the-sand that we are, the Rostra response

Thanks, could you send us this same info, refined the way you want it for a Rostra post … But, we’d suggest not referring to Atkins as the most powerful Democrat in the State, as Jerry Brown is clearly moreso. Maybe “one of the most…” Thanks.


Brent sent the following

California’s 78th State Assembly District candidate Barbara Decker for 78 Assembly wants to shake up the Democrat who she is running against Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins — THE MOST POWERFUL DEMOCRAT IN CALIFORNIA. Let’s Decker!

Barbara Decker is making a call to everyone — every registered voter, every business and especially every Californian: FOLLOW THE MONEY.

Toni has raised over $2 million for a campaign she is not spending money on. Barbara Decker challenged Toni to a debate and NOTHING, not a word. We are not going to roll over and let the local conservative media pretend like Barbara does not exist. THEY ARE SUPPORTING A DIRTY DEMOCRAT!  Let’s Decker!

TONI ATKINS IS THE MOST POWERFUL DEMOCRAT. She has support from both sides of the aisle. If that doesn’t make her the most powerful then it certainly makes TONI ATKINS THE MOST DANGEROUS! Toni Atkins also has been instrumental in getting the LGBT community opportunities to grow politically. There has been a call to service and the LGBT community has stepped up. They have successfully reached every political orifice in San Diego and California. Toni Atkins is their star player. We must take out their star player while we have the chance.

Look at her wife and business partner Jennifer LeSar and all her holdings and investments. She holds some of the biggest and most lucrative redevelopment contracts in the country. How did LeSar get those contracts? Toni has been a strong player in local politics for years — San Diego City Council, Mayor Pro-Tem, Assembly Member and now Speaker of the Assembly! We must stop Toni Atkins and we have a real chance at winning if we can get money and support into Barbara Decker‘s campaign.

Let’s stop bending over and LET’S DECKER!

I am making a call out to ALL FISCAL CONSERVATIVES: GIVE BARBARA DECKER YOUR SUPPORT — YOUR TIME & YOUR MONEY! Barbara Decker has conservatives on her side as well as she is an environmentally green candidate so she has the appeal to the left. Democrats are voting Decker! Barbara Decker is the right choice to stand with and support.

The REPUBLICAN PARTY NEEDS TO STEP UP AND CONTRIBUTE to Barbara Decker’s campaign! I keep hearing how it is a Democrat seat and it’s not a sure win BUT LISTEN TO ME… DEMS ARE ALREADY VOTING FOR BARBARA! Toni Atkins has made key mistakes along the way and influential Democrats are getting out the vote for Decker. Like it or not she has been effectively reaching across the aisle and showing liberals that Sacramento’s hand is indeed in their wallets. If anyone can beat Toni Atkins it is Barbara Decker and the time is NOW!

Let’s do the math:

Total Registered Voters in 78AD – 260,362

DEM – 102,581 – Barbara has many blue dog Ds on her side

REP – 65,594 – R’s will vote Decker

INDEP/Other – 15,083 – Barbara appeals to green fiscal conservatives

Decline to State – 77,104 – Barbara again has gained support here

Let’s say Barbara pulls in less that 5 percent Ds, roughly 5,000 votes.

Barbara also garners a decent amount of support from INDEP/Other at 7,500 votes. After all she is a greenie!

We also look at the Decline to State’s who LOVE BARBARA and she gets 20 percent, 15,000 votes.

Plus Rs at 65,594 votes…Add them all together and we have 93,094.

Low voter Democrat turnout also reduces Toni’s total votes. If only 10 percent stay home Toni has roughly 92,000 votes. I think far fewer will get out and vote!


Even if the overall voter turnout is low Barbara Decker is in the race. Decker is in it to win it!

It’s time to get off the Atkins diet and LET’S DECKER!

Follow the money! Toni’s campaign committee has contributed to almost every single Democrat running in California as well as a bucket load of money to the Democrat Party. Toni Atkins is a cash cow and she is banking on a win. We must stop her now! Let’s Decker!

Click on the link to see for yourself how Toni Atkins campaign committee is spending her money. You can also adjust the form to show her contributors. It’s Dems and Republicans alike. Painful reality! Let’s Decker!

Written by Elisa Brent, Campaign Manager for Decker 78 Assembly 2014 Campaign


The Rostra reply…

1) How much has Decker raised?

2) Please consider your use of words like orifice and bending over when it comes to the LGBT community. Is that phrasing the candidate herself wants included? Suggest you check with her. Thanks.


Brent’s answer…

We are at war. I chose to use those very words and there is power in words. The Atkins camp has failed to acknowledge Barbara Decker when we used nice words. This is war. We are going to get a reaction somehow someway! I have close friends in the LGBT community. If they are offended by my poignant language then they obviously do not respect my duty to get my client media attention. WE WILL NOT BE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG!


Rostra, again…

How much has Decker raised?



Grass roots campaign with very low funding. Barbara has loaned her campaign over $10K. This has been a fight for pennies and our opponent is sitting with loads of cash … She has run this entire campaign on $20K or so. I am not in charge of the money.


Comments 16

  1. Oh my. The war? We can’t begin to win one battle with this. First I suggest a PR plan, not a battle plan.

  2. The Decker campaign today received a response from Atkins’ office regarding the debate invitation referenced above…

    Ms. Decker and Ms. Brent,

    Thank you for your invitation to debate Speaker Atkins.

    Unfortunately, due to the nature of her schedule, she is unavailable to meet with you.


    Toni Duran
    Campaign Manager
    Received via email on 10/21/2014 at 12:30pm

  3. First, my thanks to Elisa for her passionate work for Barbara Decker’s campaign. Most importantly, thank you to Barbara Decker for challenging Toni Atkins–she shouldn’t go unchallenged.

    Toni Atkins’ refusal to debate Decker is a sign that Atkins is not interested at all in the democratic process. Naturally, if she was in a competitive district, she’d be campaigning and communicating with her constituents.

  4. Elisa’s passion is sorely needed in politics, but she’s got some work to do in honing her political speech.

    Some may not like the need to be “politically correct” and may begrudge political doublespeak as endemic of the political establishment, but using language in press releases as Elisa has not only turns off voters, but it gives the opposition ammunition to attack the candidate.

    Toni is a difficult candidate to beat, but she is termed out after 2016, so our best chance it two years from now.

  5. Waiting two years is too long! The legislature has passed around 800 new laws in 2013 and over 900 in 2014.

    Get Sacramento out of our wallets!

    In two years which is a presidential election year there will be more Democrats engaged and ready to vote for a Democrat. Now is our chance when there is no passion for the Democrats to get to the polls.

    Stop the super majority! Vote for me on Nov 4th!

  6. I can not believe I wasted my time reading that train wreck.
    Oy vey.
    What is it they say? “I just can not even?” …

  7. Elisa’s tone is strident, but I can understand why she wouldn’t be completely “politically correct” in this situation. As much as San Diegans may celebrate Toni Atkin’s success (and she is certainly one of the most powerful politicians in California) we deserve to hear what her opponent has to say. That’s what the democratic process is all about. When legitimate voices are ignored, they shout out for attention. The voters deserve a dialogue as well as a debate.

  8. The average person is tired of all the political double speak.

    I am not a political insider, I am not a career politician, I am an average person who got fed up enough to stand up for what I felt was right.

    Since the summer of 2013 when I co-founded the recall of former Mayor Bob Filner I have been on the streets, in the neighborhoods and online learning how people feel. I genuinely care about both sides of the aisle.

    Voters are all Americans and voters are tired of the machines giving us no choice in our own government. The entire political process has disenfranchised voters. Look at the turnout for the 2014 Primary Election. Were voters aware of their voice only truly counting in the primary thanks to the passing of Prop 14 in 2010? I do not think so. Prop 14 eliminated a write-in capability in the General Election. The majority’s vote only counted in the Primary.

    Many voters are choosing to not vote at all.

    Uninformed voters feel like the primary is a waste of time so why vote. In turn voter apathy is at an all time high. I have been working to end voter apathy and encourage people to register to vote and THEN REALLY SHOW UP AND VOTE.

    Well thanks to the primary when a handful of voters actually voted and sadly chose lousy candidates we are stuck with another problem. VOTERS DO NOT WANT TO VOTE FOR THE TOP-TWO IN 52CD let alone the other races. With the media spending so much time on the boys in the 52nd and almost zero time on other candidates how are we going to inspire people to get out and vote?

    Oh wait, each party only wants their party to vote so why bother pushing anything mainstream on getting out the vote. This money and partisanship has got to get out of politics and let candidates run on their own merit and their own money but there has to be real limits on campaign spending.

    Barbara Decker’s campaign has been extremely low budget and we are making excellent strides in reaching our target audience. We are breaking the mold for political campaigns and despite what Barry Jantz told me about how the numbers will fall for our opponent I have faith that voters in the 78th Assembly District will choose their wallet over the incumbent.

    Let’s get Sacramento out of our wallets! #LetsDecker

    Please join our $99 club today!

    I am thrifty and I know how to spend money so we get the biggest bang for our buck but we need media airtime and that costs money. PLEASE SUPPORT A REAL WINNER…BARBARA DECKER #78AD!

    Thank you!

  9. The attempted comment about the death of “Lyle ‘Rocky’ Neptun” is black helicopter crap, pure and simple, and we don’t play that game here.

    Seriously, the number of candidates throughout history that have been sent supposed “blow the lid off info” about their opponents is in the thousands. It takes research and documentation to prove such allegations, most of it impossible to prove, and likely because most of it isn’t true.

    If someone with DIRECT knowledge wants to provide their allegations and provide documentation about Mr. Neptun, have at it. Real proof, please. No pie in the sky BS because someone “told you” or because some nutjob conspiracy theorist has convinced themselves and is now trying to convince you.

    Here’s what we know, based on public info. Lyle “Rocky” Neptun was killed in Mexico, apparently during a robbery. All else related to his tragic death is conjecture, nothing more.

    What good campaign operatives need to do is stay on track to win, not be Don Quixote de La Mancha.

    Carry on.

  10. “Let’s Decker!”

    “It’s time to get off the Atkins diet.”

    Lameness quantified. The Atkins people are laughing.

  11. I am not a politician and I do not claim to be politically correct. There is lot of dirty partisan politics going on here and I have been getting a load of negative information on our opponent. This good old boys & girls club will not like what is coming. Voters are disenfranchised and it’s time for a change.

    The political machines had better watch out — change is definitely coming! California may be controlled momentarily by the Democrats but I believe Independents are on the rise. If we organize there will be a new wave of politics.

    Nearly 1/3 of our 78th district is “No Party Preference” When the parties are losing voters to NO PARTY there is a huge problem. There will be more people like me standing up and fighting for EVERYDAY PEOPLE and GRASSROOTS.

    Complain all you like. I am winning voters more and more everyday in favor of Barbara Decker. That is what counts. Like I mentioned previously in a different blog post. This forum is filled with a bunch of chatter. I am about action. People are concerned about their wallets. They want a change. Barbara Decker is the only alternative to the incumbent.

  12. @Spin Zone
    I invited Shawn to join the conversation since you generously posted his twitter comment about me. You obviously wanted to stir the pot so go ahead make waves!

  13. Just read this article about “Who Runs San Diego?” The answer is…. “We Are Everywhere” and they are proud of it. Like I mentioned above there has been a movement to fill every opening in our government/community. It’s time to balance the power and end the super majority.


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