All posts by Hannibal

CA-52: Like Father, Like Son

First, it was Duncan Hunter Sr. who would always refuse to debate. He was the incumbent Republican, in a very red district, so in a way that makes sense. But now his son is doing it too. Only his son isn’t an incumbent, though he’s trying to run like one. First, it was a debate hosted by the East County League of Women Voters, next, it was a debate on a conservative radio show, hosted by Rick Amato. Little Duncan Jr. apparently is terrified of facing off with his opponent, Commander Mike Lumpkin. This tactic of avoiding debates is undemocratic, and insult to the voters of the 52nd district. We deserve to hear from the candidates themselves.

It’s a pattern, and an unfortunate one, of behaving exactly as his father does.

Next on the list is his campaign contributions, the names of his top contributors bare a startling resemblance to those who’ve received earmarks from his father, daddy Duncan calling in favors for his heir? Junior has previously defended the importance of earmarks, by claiming that it’s the only way the Pentagon gets funding. A remarkably stupid statement, particularly given that he himself is a Marine Reservist, he should know better. Then again, he’s a Hunter, so “How government works,” along with integrity and decency, are concepts lost on him.

Judge someone by the company they keep? Perhaps we can. Little Duncan seems to be best buds with the Minutemen, endorsed by them, received money from their PAC, he even spent 4th of July palling around with those ludicrous vigilantes. His father was obsessed with “Border security” as well.

The earmarks and the Minutemen ties would be one thing, if he was at least willing to face his opponent in a debate, giving the voters the opportunity to get to know the both of them. But he isn’t. He wants the seat handed to him, thinks it’s his inheritance, and is generally behaving like a petty, spoiled brat.

Mike Lumpkin of course, put it far more diplomatically:

“Duncan Hunter Junior expects to inherit his father’s congressional seat and not work hard by showing voters what he’s made of in a broadcast debate,” says Commander Lumpkin. “But being a member of Congress is a job-not an entitlement. In a debate he can’t ask his father what to say; he has to be his own man and stand on his own two feet.”

Mike Lumpkin’s website

Mike’s ActBlue page

CA-52 DCCC To list as an emerging race

Crossposted on DailyKos

That’s right, in this reddest of red California districts, Mike Lumpkin has managed to turn this into a competitive race. Having raised over $300,000 to date, a record for any Democratic candidate in the history of this district, the retired Navy SEAL is turning this into a serious contest.

Mike recently received an endorsement from Hillary Clinton, adding to the already impressive list of endorsements (I think they need to update that page) along with an upcoming joint fundraiser she’ll hold for Mike with Bob Kerrey. The DCCC will soon be listing this as an emerging race, and if the campaign can raise enough money, will be added to their Red To Blue list.

But that’s the hard part, as the campaign needs to raise an additional $300,000 in the next 30 days. No telling if that can happen, it’s certainly an uphill climb. But without a doubt, this is a great opportunity. Do we really want the spawn of Duncan Hunter to inherit his father’s seat? A guy who only won his primary because people thought they were voting for his dad. Is that really what Congress needs more of? Fortunately, there’s a great alternative to that, there’s Mike Lumpkin. If you’d like to learn more about him, he answered some questions for me awhile back, which you can read here.

And if you feel so inclined, here’s Mike’s ActBlue page.

CA-52: Good news for Mike Lumpkin

According to a press release issued by the campaign, Mike has raised more than any Democratic candidate in the history of the 52nd district, raising more than $300,000. I’ll take it as a great sign, though it is a long road to November. But it looks like this time around, we’ve got a serious candidate in this normally very red district. Keep up the great work, Mike!

Mike Lumpkin’s website

Mike’s ActBlue page

Commander Lumpkin’s historic fund raising effort reached record breaking heights last month when it broke the previous record set in the 2000 Congressional race. Democratic candidate Craig Barkacs raised $267,000 over the course of his entire campaign, a number which Lumpkin surpassed last month just after the primary. “East county’s excitement is telling. Just like the rest of the nation, they want change – they want their country back,” said Campaign Manager Chris Young. “It’s not just Democrats who are coming alive in the district, Commander Lumpkin’s supporters and volunteers include Independents and Republicans as well,” said Young.

Hopefully they can put the money to good use, Mike’s a great candidate, and we really, really don’t need Lil’ Duncan inheriting his father’s seat. Just have to make sure he can’t skate by on name recognition, and force him to actually campaign, something his father managed to avoid almost entirely his last few elections, not bothering to debate, let alone even acknowledge his opponents. But Mike definitely looks like the right candidate for the job.

CA-52: Commander Mike Lumpkin answers 10 important questions

Crossposted at DailyKos

I’d started this little project a little while back, wanting to learn more about the candidates for the CA-52 primary. So I sent each of the candidates 10 questions. Today it’s Mike Lumpkin at bat! Mike has been kind enough to answer my questions, delayed through nobody’s fault, but did involve a case of Pneumonia. (Hope you’re feeling better, Chris!) So now, join me below the fold and learn a little more about Mike! And then visit his website to learn a little more, or if you want, his ActBlue page.

UPDATE: If you’d like to help Mike, go over to VoteVets, and vote for him. The winner of this online vote will receive $5000 from VoteVets PAC.

1: Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to represent our district?

The short answer is because I can actually win. I have been recognized by many people, including some at the DCCC, as arguably having the most qualified resume of anyone running for Congress in the country today – those are their words, not mine. A full twenty percent of our jobs and gross regional product are tied to the military, and my 21 years as a Navy SEAL Commander makes me an integral part of this community. I have a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs and I am recognized by the Department of Defense as a specialist. I understand, as you can see below in my Blackwater answer, how to properly trim unnecessary expenses to get our country back on track. However, most importantly, after 21 years as a SEAL, I do not see issues as Democratic or Republican issues. I see all issues as American issues. Because right or wrong, succeed or fail, we will all live with the outcome. After so many years of destructive politics, I firmly believe that the Independents and moderate Republicans in this district want their country back. They care about more than the far right “3 G” issues. They want health care and education to be improved. They are tired of  hemorrhaging blood and treasure in Iraq. They want their family members to come home from war. They are concerned about Social Security. They want a meaningful foreign policy and secure ports and borders. I will win here because I am not asking for them to leap left. I am simply asking them to see things as Americans and meet in the middle. If I know my neighbors the way I think I do, they’ll do that. But to do it I need your help. If everyone that reads this is willing to give up one latte to create the super majority necessary to get the job done, the money obstacle would be a non-issue.  

2: What is your view on the current FISA debate, particularly in regards to telcom immunity?

FISA should never have been expanded. The government’s ability to spy was extensive enough already. The government is failing us in so many ways right now, this can just be added to the list. I want a safe, secure country. I have lived my life trying to secure exactly that. Frankly, the reason I joined the service was to defend my country’s beautiful liberties and secure them for future generations of Americans. Some attribute the following quote to Benjamin Franklin “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” No one can express the ideology of our democracy better than one of the founders.

As far as telecommunications immunity, my understanding is that legal culpability is determined in context. It is quite a thing to have the power of the executive branch of the government pointed in your direction making demands. Lack of courage to say “no” under such circumstances is no surprise. I think courts are well equipped to unravel this type of legal factual minutia and get to a just result. Immunity from the law is something to be dolled out sparingly.  

3: Should waterboarding be considered a valid, and legal, interrogation technique?

Forms of torture should never be considered valid, legal interrogation techniques. They are not only contrary to the Geneva Convention, they have been proven not to work. A captive subject to torture is likely to say anything so long as the torture stops.

4: Your view on the use of private contractors, such as Blackwater, in a war zone?

I believe that Blackwater violates the intent of the 2nd Amendment which declares “a well-regulated militia as being necessary to the security of a free State.” Blackwater, and the almost 200 other organizations like them are almost completely UNregulated. The military code does not apply to them, which is highly problematic. Additionally, I do not believe it is in the best interests of the US tax payers to have to pay these contractors. Organizations like Blackwater are driving up our defense costs. US tax payers pay for the training of military experts, like SEALS. The cost of such training is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. After completing this training, they receive military pay. Unfortunately, Blackwater type organizations can pay up to $1500 per day as compared to $1500 per week and we lose many as soon as they are able. This hurts the US tax payer even more because now the military has to pay exorbitant re-enlistment bonuses to try to keep them. Then who ends up paying them their new large contract salaries? The US tax payers again.

5: How do you feel about the Blackwater training facility planned for Potrero? I know that Potrero’s outside of our district, but it will impact residents of CA-52.

They pulled out last week so it’s no longer an issue. Thank goodness for small favors. As far as what I think…Camp Pendleton employs approximately 100 full time firefighters to put out the fires set by war training exercises. I was a fire victim and many of my friends and neighbors lost their homes due to the recent wildfires. That alone was reason enough for all county residents to be concerned.  

6: Your view on the SCHIP debate?

I believe the bill was underfunded by at least $15 billion. SCHIP needs to be expanded. Too often hard working, middle class Americans have to make choices between catastrophic health care for their children or bankruptcy because of under insurance. It’s bad enough when parents have to watch their children suffer from illnesses like cancer. Adding financial disaster to their circumstances is simply not American. We are better than this. If we can spend $12 billion a month in Iraq, we can do better for SCHIP.

7: Who do you most admire?

Teddy Roosevelt. Visionary, Strong on Defense, Feminist, Environmentalist, Warrior, Leader, Inspirational Speaker, Patriot, Loving Father, Adventurer. He called it like he saw it, even when he knew it would cost him.

8: What do you feel is the best way to stimulate our economy?

Insisting on trade practices that are fair to American workers.

Specifically in the 52nd, we are the perfect place to become the mecca for green energy R & D. We have the wind, the sun, and open spaces. This would not only create greener technology to reduce greenhouse emissions and slow global warming, it would create good paying, permanent jobs right here.  

9: What is your strongest criticism of Duncan Hunter Jr.?

I respect his military service, as well as that of the thousands of others in our local military community. However, nobody would be giving him the time of day if his name wasn’t Hunter. Voters deserve answers to issues. His answers can be summed up this way, “what my dad said.” That’s not good enough.

10: What are your thoughts on changing the national anthem to “Low Rider?”

This is one of the funniest questions I have ever read. Unfortunately, I was drinking a cup of coffee when I read it.