Tag Archives: Joe Baca

3 California Democrats Vote To Go Anti-Choice from the Public Option

Depressingly ironic, that choice is no longer part of the public option. The Stupak amendment, which bans the public option from covering any elective abortions, passed by a fairly wide margin in the House today.

Of note to us here at Calitics is that, along with the entire California Republican delegation, three California Democrats voted in favor of the Amendment. The names will hardly surprise anybody: Jim Costa, Dennis Cardoza, and Joe Baca. Our three biggest conservaDems strike again.

You can see the full vote total here.

UPDATE by Robert: All CA Dems voted for the final bill, including Baca, Cardoza, and Costa.

2010 – The Year of Primaries

Kos has an important post on 2010 marking a pivot for the grassroots and netroots from trying to take back the federal government from Republicans to reforming our Party and holding Democrats accountable.

If your local congresscritter is one of the bad apples, start organizing locally. Plug into existing networks or start your own. Begin looking for primary challengers. Do the groundwork. Don’t expect help from the local party establishment, they’ll close ranks. So tap into alternate infrastructures. Find allies in the progressive movement. If your local shitty Democrat is anti-union, approach the unions. They’d love to send this kind of message. If the Democrat is anti-choice, work with the women’s groups. If the Democrat is anti-environment … you get the idea. If you have access to professional networks and money, start organizing those.

Of course, this takes more than just bitching about your frustrations on a blog, damning a whole party for the actions of a minority more scared of Mr. 28% than of protecting the Constitution they swore to protect. This takes hard work. But now is the time to start.

Indeed. The activists that meet campaigning this fall will form the core of next cycle’s primary efforts. Kos suggests looking at The Capitulation Caucus with emphasis on those who are also Blue Dogs. In California, that means:

Joe Baca, Dennis Cardoza, Jim Costa, Jane Harman, and Adam Schiff

Kos also praises Loretta Sanchez as one of only four Blue Dogs who didn’t cave on defending the Constitution from retroactive immunity. And remember, Ellen Tauscher was a member of the Blue Dogs until she saw the successful primarying of Joe Lieberman and occupies a district designed for a challenge from the left (and west).

California’s Capitulation Caucus

The following California Democrats caved on retroactive immunity and disregarded their oath to, “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic”:

Joe Baca, Howard Berman, Dennis Cardoza, Jim Costa, Jane Harman, Jerry McNerney, Nancy Pelosi, Brad Sherman, Adam Schiff, Ellen Tauscher

Pete Stark did not vote. This is the list of those who are potential targets of the Blue America PAC vs Retroactive Immunity which as of now has raised $310,673 to, “fund accountability for congressmembers supporting retroactive immunity and warrantless wiretaps.” This money isn’t going to send thank you cards to the members who did defend the constitution, this is primary money and cold cash to dump Steny Hoyer from leadership (Rahm Emanuel also capitulated).

As the battle moves to the Senate, all eyes are on Barack Obama nationally and Dianne Feinstein locally [(202) 224-3841].

As for 2010 primaries, it will be interesting to see what comes out of this. Carole Migden’s 3rd place finish showed that entrenched politics matters less in a modern media environment. Ellen Tauscher is again practically begging to be primaried and in that district she’s walking on thin ice. Joe Baca deserves particular scorn as the only Californian to sign the Blue Dog letter to Pelosi pushing capitulation (and a primary of Baca could probably receive significant institutional support from former members of the Hispanic Caucus). McNerney has outdone himself in contracting a full-blown case of Potomic Fever during his first term, every time he makes a move I think about asking for a refund. And Harman and Berman voting to cover-up warrantless wiretapping isn’t going to do much to quell the rumors that they are pushing this because they are worried about their own culpability on the issue.

If you live in one of this districts, please call your member and ask them why. Comments and diaries with responses are highly encouraged.

Dems Poised To Sell Out 4th Amendment Again

The handshakes have been made, the contribution checks have been written, and the telecom industry and corporate shill Democrats have joined forces to immunize lawbreaking and undermine the rule of law.  This time, for real.

A final deal has been reached on a rewrite of electronic surveillance rules and will be announced Thursday, two congressional aides said.

The aides said the House is likely to take up the legislation Friday….

As of Wednesday, sources said the new bill would allow a federal district court to decide whether to provide retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies being sued for their role in the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program….One source said the federal district court deciding on retroactive immunity would review whether there was “substantial evidence” the companies had received assurances from the government that the administration’s program was legal.

Absolutely absurd.  Not only does this bill still allow for mass surveillance on American citizens, but according to its provisions, if the Attorney General wrote a “get out of the Constitution free” note to its telecom partners, which we alrady know they did, then they are allowed to violate federal statutes.  The telecoms don’t have any lawyers who can provide their own analysis, apparently.  I guess all the money goes into lobbying.  This is total amnesty without any way of discovering who broke the law and when.  The entire point of telecom immunity was to shut down any investigations into spying on Americans.  Democrats are cupable for having not spoken up to stop this when they had the chance and the Hoyer-Rockefeller axis wants to just bury the bodies.

This will come up for a vote as soon as TOMORROW in the House, despite being just released today.  Your representative needs a call.  Joe Baca is a Blue Dog who supported the good FISA bill, the one without amnesty.  He in particular needs some attention.

Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif. — Phone: (202) 225-6161, Fax: (202) 225-8671

When this reaches the Senate, it will be another accountability moment for Dianne Feinstein.  She has tried to duck this debate repeatedly, but she can tell us by her vote where she stands – with corporate execs and lobbyists, or with the rule of law and the right to privacy.

Progressive Punch: Jerry McNerney ranks 195th of 232

Woohoo! Jerry did it! Jerry McNerney has managed to become the most un-progressive Democrat of the entire California congressional delegation. For those keeping score at home, Jerry’s 82.45 was about a half point lower than the next CA Dem, Jim Costa, that progressive stalwart, at 82.97. And for all the talk of Harman changing her ways, she’s still worse than even Joe Baca, almost 7 points worse from a very safe Dem seat.

For all of you CA-45 fans, “moderate” Mary Bono came in with a stellar 4.42 Chips are Down score. So, for all the bluster of the SCHIP vote, she’s still dancing the same jig as the rest of her party.

On thing must be said, the Speaker has done an excellent job at preserving unity amongst the caucus. Whether that means she’s being too incremental and/or ineffective, or just laying down the law is the big question. The reason her approval rating, and the Congress in general, is down has a whole lot to do with the fact that little has changed on the Iraq front. So, would it be better to have a speaker who is more willing to take risks? Perhaps, but the impediment of the president always lingers over her head, veto pen in hand. So, whether the unity is really there, is an open question. Full data over the flip.

Rank Name 07-08 All-time ChipsAreDown Party State
1 Pelosi, Nancy 100.00 93.58 100.00 D CA
3 Sánchez, Linda T. 98.97 96.45 98.43 D CA
6 Lee, Barbara 98.45 96.99 97.18 D CA
9 Capps, Lois 98.28 88.95 97.49 D CA
13 Solis, Hilda L. 97.94 95.77 96.24 D CA
18 Richardson, Laura 97.83 97.83 96.43 D CA
23 Woolsey, Lynn C. 97.57 94.69 95.92 D CA
24 Filner, Bob 97.55 94.02 95.91 D CA
25 Matsui, Doris O. 97.42 94.46 95.30 D CA
26 Becerra, Xavier 97.33 92.41 95.19 D CA
37 Farr, Sam 96.72 90.66 94.98 D CA
39 Honda, Michael M. 96.63 94.39 94.67 D CA
51 Roybal-Allard, Lucille 96.39 92.79 94.03 D CA
55 Lofgren, Zoe 96.34 87.42 94.65 D CA
56 Tauscher, Ellen O. 96.23 83.14 93.10 D CA
58 Napolitano, Grace F. 96.17 90.68 93.42 D CA
63 Schiff, Adam B. 95.88 86.79 92.45 D CA
68 Waters, Maxine 95.77 93.38 93.31 D CA
71 Miller, George 95.72 93.67 93.20 D CA
73 Davis, Susan A. 95.70 87.53 93.10 D CA
77 Eshoo, Anna G. 95.64 88.63 93.38 D CA
82 Sherman, Brad 95.52 84.99 92.79 D CA
88 Berman, Howard L. 95.28 87.56 92.38 D CA
88 Watson, Diane E. 95.28 92.71 91.80 D CA
97 Thompson, Mike 95.01 85.33 93.42 D CA
102 Lantos, Tom 94.74 87.73 90.51 D CA
104 Sanchez, Loretta 94.49 84.58 90.19 D CA
114 Baca, Joe 94.16 82.91 90.28 D CA
127 Waxman, Henry A. 93.63 91.96 89.49 D CA
153 Stark, Fortney Pete 92.02 93.12 87.74 D CA
178 Cardoza, Dennis A. 90.09 77.80 84.86 D CA
179 Harman, Jane 89.82 76.91 83.86 D CA
187 Costa, Jim 89.22 78.46 82.97 D CA
195 McNerney, Jerry 87.63 87.63 82.45 D CA
274 Lewis, Jerry 18.40 10.68 4.73 R CA
283 Bono, Mary 16.01 11.32 4.42 R CA
295 Doolittle, John T. 12.72 4.44 1.57 R CA
313 Calvert, Ken 10.39 5.41 0.95 R CA
322 Hunter, Duncan 8.85 5.38 1.32 R CA
330 Gallegly, Elton 7.60 5.89 1.89 R CA
342 Rohrabacher, Dana 6.67 7.73 4.08 R CA
346 Dreier, David 6.38 5.19 2.51 R CA
352 Bilbray, Brian P. 6.07 13.85 3.77 R CA
356 McKeon, Howard P. “Buck” 5.91 3.87 1.27 R CA
370 Herger, Wally 4.92 3.30 0.95 R CA
373 Lungren, Daniel E. 4.81 4.43 1.25 R CA
376 Radanovich, George 4.60 3.65 1.27 R CA
378 Issa, Darrell E. 4.36 4.52 1.27 R CA
380 Miller, Gary G. 4.18 2.45 1.25 R CA
384 Nunes, Devin 4.01 3.30 0.31 R CA
385 McCarthy, Kevin 3.97 3.97 0.63 R CA
388 Royce, Edward R. 3.49 6.55 1.26 R CA
394 Campbell, John 3.12 3.77 2.85 R CA

Chips are down scorecard

(I was working on a similar post, but I’ll still post my own, with all CA data and some other miscellany. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

The problem with most scorecards is that they are written by lobbyists concerned with always getting the votes of potential supporters. Thus, there is an equal weighting while in the real world not all votes are equal. In fact, regardless of everything else, some votes are dealbreakers and when they show up on scorecards as one of 12 votes or something, it looks silly. However, Progressive Punch has a new “when the chips are down” scorecard. After the flip is the ratings of CA’s congressional delegation, in descending order.


92.86 Boxer, Barbara
90.45 Feinstein, Dianne


100.00 Pelosi, Nancy
98.43 Sánchez, Linda T.
97.49 Capps, Lois
97.18 Lee, Barbara
96.43 Richardson, Laura
96.24 Solis, Hilda L.
95.92 Woolsey, Lynn C.
95.91 Filner, Bob
95.30 Matsui, Doris O.
95.19 Becerra, Xavier
94.98 Farr, Sam
94.67 Honda, Michael M.
94.65 Lofgren, Zoe
94.03 Roybal-Allard, Lucille
93.42 Napolitano, Grace F.
93.42 Thompson, Mike
93.38 Eshoo, Anna G.
93.31 Waters, Maxine
93.20 Miller, George
93.10 Davis, Susan A.
93.10 Tauscher, Ellen O.
92.79 Sherman, Brad
92.45 Schiff, Adam B.
92.38 Berman, Howard L.
91.80 Watson, Diane E.
90.51 Lantos, Tom
90.28 Baca, Joe
90.19 Sanchez, Loretta
89.49 Waxman, Henry A.
87.74 Stark, Fortney Pete
84.86 Cardoza, Dennis A.
83.86 Harman, Jane
82.97 Costa, Jim
82.45 McNerney, Jerry

Vote to Condemn MoveOn Splits California’s DC Democrats in Half

I’m guessing that at tonight’s Calitics’ Actblue Celebrations there will be a lot of discussion about the votes to condemn MoveOn. The CA delegation split 50-50 in the senate and 16 yea and 17 nay in the house — wedged successfully by the GOP in half. After the flip is the scorecard.

Diane Feinstein

Barbara Boxer

Joe Baca (CA-43)
Dennis Cardoza (CA-18)
Jim Costa (CA-20)
Susan Davis (CA-53)
Anna Eshoo (CA-14)
Sam Farr (CA-17)
Jane Harman (CA-36)
Tom Lantos (CA-12)
Jerry McNerney (CA-11)
Grace Napolitano (CA-38)
Laura Richardson (CA-37)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)
Adam Schiff (CA-29)
Ellen Tauscher (CA-10)
Mike Thompson (CA-1)

Xavier Becerra (CA-31)
Howard Berman (CA-28)
Lois Capps (CA-23)
Bob Filner (CA-51)
Mike Honda (CA-15)
Barbara Lee (CA-9)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-16)
Doris Matsui (CA-5)
George Miller (CA-7)
Linda Sanchez (CA-39)
Brad Sherman (CA-27)
Hilda Solis (CA-32)
Pete Stark (CA-13)
Maxine Waters (CA-35)
Diane Watson (CA-33)
Henry Waxman (CA-30)
Lynn Woolsey (CA-6)

Hungry for Security? How About Food Security?

Yesterday, I saw this in The Register. And as soon as I saw this, I was stopped in my tracks.

Roughly 2.5 million low-income adults in California can’t afford to adequately feed their families, resulting in health problems and household stress, according to a UCLA report released this week.

The report measures food insecurity, which can range from reduced quality or variety of diet to skipping meals because of costs. In 2005, 30 percent of low-income adults statewide reported choosing between food and other basic needs, according to data from the California Health Interview Study. Among them, 9 percent experienced a disruption in eating habits or skipped meals. The study did not include the homeless.

In Orange County, the UCLA report says an estimated 190,000 low-income adults struggle to buy food, and about 36,000 people sometimes go hungry. The numbers don’t include children.

Oh my goodness! 2.5 million people in California can’t afford to feed their families? And 190,000 of them are in “wealthy” Orange County? 145,000 of them in San Bernardino County? 740,000 of them in LA County? What’s happening to these people who can’t afford to eat? Why is this happening? And what can we do to solve this problem?

Follow me after the flip for more…

So why exactly is this happening? The UCLA report offers a harrowing answer:

“Food expenditures are the most flexible item in household budgets and are frequently squeezed when income dips or unemployment strikes.”

So these people are having to give up food as they try to scrape up the cash to pay for the mortgage or the rent, as well as the electric bill, and the heating bill, and the water bill, and all those other expenses. They’re having to forgo one of the most basic human needs in order to provide for other basic human needs. Doesn’t this seem disturbing? This shouldn’t be happening. No one should be going hungry. Not in this nation, not in this state, not in any of our communities.

After all, this creates huge societal problems. Hunger does not only cause a growling tummy. So what can happen when people can’t eat? Oh, the children just can’t get educated while the adults don’t get proper health care.

Back to The Register:

According to the research, children living in households without a sufficient food supply miss more school and experience more emotional problems. Adults are more likely to feel anxious or depressed. Additionally, families are more likely to forgo medical care and filling prescriptions, which affects their overall health.

While it may seem counterintuitive, adults living in households with a shortage of quality food were more likely to be overweight, according to the brief. As a solution, the report recommends helping households receive federally funded help, such as food stamps and child nutrition programs.

We all know the value of education. We know the value of good, preventive health care. We all know the value of good mental and emotional health. This is why we can’t all these poor folks go hungry. Their hunger only contributes to greater problems for them, and for others.

So what can be done about this? What can we do to help these people afford something to eat? Well, maybe can support something like the NOURISH Act. The report suggested that the federal government step up its aid for these poor people who can’t help themselves in providing food for the family table. Well, Rep. Joe Baca (D-San Bernardino) has come up with a solution here.

Now I may not always see eye to eye with Joe Baca, but this time he’s totally right on:

“We have a moral obligation to feed the hungry. The NOURISH Act includes many provisions to expand assistance to families and improve access for eligible underserved populations. I also propose increasing funding for food banks which provide important help when government programs are not sufficient to meet the rising demands of American families facing hunger.”

We really need to do something about this hidden crisis. The US is supposed to be the richest nation on earth, and California is supposed to be one of the richest states in this nation. And yet, some 2.5 million people struggle to afford feeding their families. This just shouldn’t be happening.

The NOURISH Act sounds like a good start toward solving this problem. Perhaps we should thank Joe Baca for this good legislation. And maybe, we should write our representatives, and urge them to support Baca’s legislation. We just can’t let any more people needlessly go hungry.

Joe Baca…still there

Well, my mother always told me when you can’t say anything nice, you know.  Anyway, it appears that Joe Baca has survived an attempted coup at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Rep. Joe Baca came out on top of a recent flap over his chairmanship of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, earning a vote of confidence from the group at a special meeting Tuesday.

A splinter group of the all-Democratic caucus challenged his chairmanship and questioned his leadership and decorum, particularly when it comes to women. (S.B. Sun 3/7/07)

You know, as atdleft pointed out, perhaps the OC Weekly article was unduly hard on Loretta Sanchez.  I mean after all, there are several California Congress members that are closer to the Republicans than her.  How do I know? I went to Progressive Punch (House Scores) In fact, one of those with a less progressive than Loretta is Joe Baca. (Baca also scores lower on the National Journal rankings)

Did you know that Joe Baca supports drilling in ANWR? I didn’t, but then I looked up his progressive punch score, and I saw that Mr. Baca has a very low environmental score (63).  I drilled down and found out that he votes with the gas guzzlers every time ANWR comes up for a vote.  Loretta Sanchez? She has voted consistently against drilling in ANWR.  Good work, Loretta. And Loretta has managed to out-progressive Baca despite the fact that Baca’s district (CA-43) has a Cook Score of D+13 compared to CA-47’s score of D+5.

On the question of why there isn’t a strong push to primary Baca?  Well, he reaches out to the grassroots.

Gil Navarro, a Democratic activist in the Inland Empire, said local Latinos remain strongly behind Baca. What other congressmen, Navarro asked, would regularly attend a meeting of Rialto Democrats, as Baca still does?