Tag Archives: Brian Bilbray

Brian Bilbray and Carl DeMaio: San Diego’s Republican Shapeshifters

If there’s one thing that’s been particularly consistent to campaigns of the far right in San Diego this fall, it’s the unusually desperate attempts to hide the real agenda from voters. It’s one that should be cause for optimism as long as voters pay attention, and betrays an almost impressive self-awareness from the top of the GOP that the party’s agenda has drifted well outside the mainstream.

From the special exemptions of Prop 32 to Brian Bilbray’s teetering re-election bid to Carl DeMaio’s bizarre mayoral campaign, extreme conservatives are doing everything they can to hide their record and who they are.

For the backers of Proposition 32, the deception was part of the design from the very beginning. They surveyed the political landscape and found that, unsurprisingly, nobody wants millionaires and corporations to be able to buy off our political process. Rather than abandon a wildly unpopular idea, they came up with a different plan: fake it.  

Cross-posted from San Diego Free Press

That’s Prop 32, from the same white knights of campaign finance reform who broke the system to begin with by using the Citizens United case to overthrow existing regulations on special interest money. This year, they simply took it a step further, called the plan reform and packed in enough special exemptions to create a system that only works for corporations and millionaires.

It makes sense because everyone wants campaign finance reform. But the reason they want campaign finance reform is specifically because of what Prop 32’s backers have done and continue to do.

The hundreds of millions of unregulated, unlimited political cash flowing into SuperPACs exists specifically because of Prop 32’s backers, and now its being funded by the Koch Brothers and other super-rich conservatives that saw Citizens United as the starting pistol to buy off democracy. Prop 32’s hoping to trick voters. Will they see through it?

At the same time, there’s Brian Bilbray. He has cobbled together a decades-long career of faking moderation when election time comes around, but the reality just doesn’t match the myth he’s built for himself when push comes to shove. Bilbray wants to cast himself as an environmentalist, but mustered just a 17% score on the League of Conservation Voters 2011 scorecard. And it was Bilbray’s early work trying to gut the Clean Water Act that once inspired Donna Frye to become a clean water activist.

He’s done his best to avoid the ramifications of the national GOP’s war on women, right on through to Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ comments. But the reality of his record remains, including a pitiful 8% score from Planned Parenthood’s scorecard. Brian Bilbray may not want to be lumped in with the war on women, but if that’s what he’s hoping for, maybe he shouldn’t have signed up for it in the first place.

All of that could maybe be overlooked if Bilbray had taken up the mantle of the millions of Americans devastated when the economy fell apart near the end of the Bush administration. But while Bilbray will certainly have populist talking points on the stump, it’s worth remembering that he voted for the Paul Ryan plan to dismantle Medicare and destroy Social Security in response to increased economic security.

And Bilbray’s plan for economic recovery? One part rewarding tax-evading corporate interests, one part Let them eat a Yacht Race! Not exactly your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.

For Carl DeMaio, the attempt to whitewash nearly twenty years as a professional politician has been even more depraved than elsewhere. After coming up with the likes of Newt Gingrich, Virginia Thomas, the Jack Abramoff crew, and the Koch Brothers, it seems to have dawned on Carl that the city of San Diego, well… really doesn’t like that at all.

During his tenure on the council, DeMaio has received the lowest cumulative score on the annual Environmental Quality Report Card. And despite being appointed since joining the council, DeMaio hasn’t appeared in the minutes of a single meeting of the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Joint Powers Authority since January 2011.

Reality didn’t matter to DeMaio though when he took a week out to declare himself an environmentalist. He didn’t get very far with that, so he moved on to a plan to encourage biking by investing in more roads. Doesn’t make sense? It isn’t supposed to. It’s just supposed to distract from his career-long record on the wrong side of these issues.

Word on the street is, DeMaio spent some time recently trying for an endorsement from the Victory Fund, which led to an unexpected declaration from Carl that he was pro-choice. It has to be considered unexpected since it was certainly news to Planned Parenthood. Why? Because despite the clear reasons that choice matters at the local level, DeMaio has always refused to fill out Planned Parenthood’s questionnaire. And today, if you’re looking for pro-choice candidates in November, you sure aren’t going to find Carl DeMaio on the list.

There are still more examples. He runs as a fiscal conservative while voting against hundreds of millions in taxpayer savings and getting the BS treatment from Mayor Jerry Sanders. He tried out medical marijuana but that fell flat once anyone read past Carl’s own statement.

He took a quick stab at being for the middle class and affordable housing over the summer, trying to pass off support from a landlord group as support for tenants. The claims were called “preposterous,” and the former CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission said in no uncertain terms that “Carl DeMaio is not an advocate for more affordable housing.”

Heck, DeMaio has even tried reaching out to the Latino community while trumpeting an endorsement from Pete Wilson, the father of Proposition 187. And after casting the only vote on the council in support of Arizona’s SB1070, his Latino outreach has featured a plan to have local police enforce federal immigration law.

The most amazing part is the special brand of doublethink that DeMaio has going on in all this. He isn’t just making up an entirely new self for the general election, he’s doing it while criticizing others for the same thing. Like last week at the KPBS mayoral debate:

“The U-T CEO mentioned that he got support from labor, and yet labor has not supported it, that he got support from business groups, but very few groups that are out there have supported the plan,” DeMaio said. “And so I just think that the email probably was making some claims that are not grounded in reality.”

Now, it wouldn’t be shocking to discover the UT making claims that are not grounded in reality. But compare that to DeMaio’s recent record. He’s an affordable housing advocate unless you ask affordable housing advocates. He’s an environmentalist unless you ask environmentalists. He’s a medical marijuana advocate unless you ask medical marijuana advocates. He’s pro-choice unless you ask Planned Parenthood. He’s a friend to the Latino community except for wanting them to be harassed by the police. He’s a fiscal conservative except for imposing a billion dollar tax increase without a vote of the public.

But when Doug Manchester and John Lynch — the very same duo who helped DeMaio defeat essentially the same tax increase in 2005 — don’t poll well, then maybe reality has come loose.

Does it work? Maybe not with anyone who has the time and interest to dig into the substance. But those who never catch more than headlines because they have lives full of working to make ends meet, struggling with health care bills, working into retirement thanks to Wall Street, trying to figure out what to do after a foreclosure… they understandably won’t ever have that time.

And that’s the whole idea. Keep up the game of whack-a-mole long enough that voters never get a chance to examine the truth.

It’s said that great writers steal outright, so here’s a heartfelt tip of the cap to the inimitable Ann Richards before saying: Poor Carl.

He’s never once had a job that asked him to appeal to a majority, or even anyone resembling moderates. So now that he’s stuck in a general election, he’s like Columbus discovering America. He’s found the environment. He’s found the middle class and working people. He’s found women. He’s found the sick and suffering. He’s found Latinos.

Poor Carl. He can’t help it. San Diego just doesn’t want what he’s been selling his whole life.

I’m proud to work for San Diegans for Bob Filner for Mayor 2012

Scott Peters announces Bilbray challenge

Second high-profile Democrat enters race against Bilbray

There’s been speculation for a while, but today Port Commissioner and former San Diego City Council President Scott Peters officially entered the race for the (new) 52nd Congressional District, challenging Brian Bilbray. He becomes the second high-profile Democrat in the race, joining former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana in the race.

From the Peters release:

“Some of our Representatives have worked within the Washington D.C. Beltway for so long, they’ve forgotten they work for the people back home,” said Peters. “I will bring an independent, problem-solving approach to Washington to help end the gridlock that’s hamstrung our current Congress.”

“The American people, especially San Diegans, don’t care as much about party politics as they care about their jobs, quality of life and their children’s futures. They are embarrassed and worried that our national representatives can’t put personal politics aside and put the people they represent first,” he added.

“The unrelenting partisanship in Congress has put our economy at even greater risk at a time when families already face unemployment and uncertainty at levels most have never experienced” he said. “We deserve better.”

The new 52nd was an immediate pickup target for Democrats as soon as redistricting maps went public, becoming much more of a swing district than in the past. The profile (via Meridian Pacific) is a tricky one: Obama won the district by 12 points, five points above the nation overall and in the same election, No on Prop 8 received a 52-46 advantage. However, both Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman carried the district handily in 2010, and Kamala Harris clocked in at a 13 point deficit. In other words — a lot will depend on what the Obama/Presidential year boost shapes up to be in 2012.

It also draws two well-known Democrats in a city without all that many well known Democrats, making it likely that the dynamics of California’s new top-two, ‘jungle’ primary will come into play. The announcement comes as House Speaker John Boehner came to town to headline a fundraiser for Brian Bilbray, underlining that Bilbray should have whatever funding he needs in the race and setting up fundraising capacity as a likely viability signal for the Democratic challengers.

Visit Scott Peters for Congress here.

Cross posted from Two Cathedrals

Royce, Bilbray, and the Immigration “Hall of Shame”

This week, it’s the 104th anniversary of Ellis Island’s one-day peak – the day when more immigrants were welcomed than any other in American history. On April 17, 1907, 11,747 immigrants became Americans – and that was just at Ellis Island.

Today, 104 years later, America is stuck in the mud with a broken immigration system. Americans want reform that unites families, promotes fair employment practices, and restores America’s place as a nation that welcomes those seeking freedom from persecution and a better way of life.

This week, Immigrants’ List — a bipartisan political action committee dedicated to electing pro-immigration lawmakers – unveiled the 2011 inductees into the Immigration Hall of Shame. In the Hall of Shame are California’s own, Reps. Ed Royce (#3) and Brian Bilbray (#6), who have earned places alongside the likes of Michele Bachmann and Steve King.

Hall of Shame – April 2011 Inductees

1. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) – A man who cites the Bible in his opposition to immigration reform, King favors an electrified wire border fence, arguing “we do that with livestock all the time.” King believes that undocumented immigrants can be detected from their clothing and “the type of grooming they might have,” and labeled the DREAM Act “amnesty.” Alarmingly, King vice chairs the House Immigration Subcommittee – the first stop for every immigration bill.

2. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) – According to Lamar Smith, the guaranteed 14th Amendment right to birthright citizenship is a “misinterpretation,” which Smith plans to remedy with a ban on that right that can “get five votes” on the Supreme Court. Such a posture would be troubling enough from any member of Congress, but coming from the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, it’s downright dangerous.

3. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) – After calling for a national version of the Arizona SB 1070, Royce has announced new legislation to give local police Arizona-style powers over immigration. An active leader in the House’s leading anti-reform caucus, Royce supports forcing hospitals to gather information on possible undocumented immigrants, and opposes increasing visas for skilled workers.

4. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) – Always a lightning rod of controversy, Peter King has been in the headlines recently for scapegoating Muslim citizens. But we should remember that King has a long history of scapegoating and marginalizing all immigrants; he fought to ban the use of Spanish by government agencies and authored a bill to ban drivers’ licenses for undocumented workers because they are “potential terrorists.” King chairs the Homeland Security Committee, which has a major role in immigration reform legislation.

5. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) – The potential presidential candidate has a history of inflammatory statements which go along with her outlandish voting record. She’s spread the widely-debunked rumor that Phoenix is “the kidnap[ping] capital of the United States,” using that myth to justify her support for an armed presence on the border. She’s advocates Arizona SB 1070, and told Bill O’Reilly that all local law enforcement should be required to ask for proof of immigration status. Bachmann chairs the House Tea Party Caucus.

6. Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) – Having built a career spreading fear about our broken border, Bilbray now helms the House’s anti-immigration reform caucus, where he’s leading the fight for an Arizona SB 1070-style bill. Discontent with mere anti-immigrant legislation, Bilbray has spread rumors that President Obama will issue amnesty by decree, and “the human smuggling, prostitution, murder and virtual enslavement of human beings” is happening because immigrants are “drawn to this nation by… taxpayer-funded jobs.”

7. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) – While campaigning for Senate last year, Boozman wrote that “our schools, our hospitals and our jobs are being compromised by the influx of illegal immigrants.” His solution? Eliminating the Constitutional right to birthright citizenship, reducing overall legal immigration, and spreading rumors that President Obama “may grant amnesty through an Executive Order.”

8. Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) – In word and deed, Shuler is eager to prove that obstructionism is bipartisan. The top Democrat in Congress’s largest anti-reform caucus, he worked with Tom Tancredo to author the SAVE Act, which would deport 12 million undocumented immigrants, was backed by NumbersUSA, and would’ve taken a large step towards militarizing America’s border.

9. Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) – One of the leading proponents of the baseless rumor that the Obama administration is behind a “backdoor amnesty” program, Candice Miller chairs the Homeland Security Border Subcommittee. She co-sponsored the deportation-only SAVE Act, and won the support of Lou Dobbs for her fear-mongering that undocumented workers will gain political power due to the 2010 Census counting “persons,” not “citizens.”

10. Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) – Heralded as a “true reformer” by the notoriously anti-immigration NumbersUSA, Ben Quayle exemplified the worst political impulses when it comes to immigration, exploiting fear and misinformation to ride into office. Quayle made election promises to reduce the overall number of immigrants allowed in America, erect a Pacific-to-the-Gulf electrified fence, and send the National Guard to patrol the border. These efforts may have won him the support of Chuck Norris, but here’s a fact for Chuck Norris and Ben Quayle: your scare tactics draw out the status quo – preventing meaningful reform, breaking up families, and putting America at risk.

Immigration is a fundamental part of America’s heritage and is essential to the growth and prosperity of our nation. That’s a fact. It’s central to our American character.

And it’s something these ten have forgotten.

View the Hall of Shame, share with friends, and sign-up for more information at our website.

Bilbray mocks nuclear concerns

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, throughout the course of his political career, Brian Bilbray has received more money from General Atomics than any other single source. The San Diego company offers a wide array of services to the nuclear industry and related arenas, and spends millions each year lobbying to support that business.

So perhaps it was no surprise over the weekend that Brian Bilbray took the Union-Tribune to criticize what he calls “hysteria” over nuclear safety in the wake of the terrible events in Japan. He compares it to reaction in 1979 to the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island — Bilbray calls it an “incident” — and declares those who want to revisit nuclear safety standards to be “fear mongers.”

As proof, he offers that the seawall protecting San Onofre is 50% higher than that at Japan’s Daiichi plant. That’s true. San Onofre’s wall is either 25 feet or 30 feet depending on the report which means that the 8-meter wall of water that swamped the Japanese nuclear reactor would overcome or at least threaten that wall. And studies in the immediate aftermath have put the peak height of the tsunami wave in Japan at 76 feet, with a wave of more than 32 feet hitting Sendai.

And the Japanese standard that guided the building of that wall was established based on historical precedent. While a difference of a foot or two may not produce nearly so dramatic a result, mocking the idea of reconsidering our standards is reckless and insulting. Plus, as recent reporting has pointed out, preparing for the previous disaster isn’t very effective:

The [Japanese] Trade Ministry dismissed evidence two years ago from geologists that the power station’s stretch of coast was overdue for a giant wave, minutes from a government committee show. Tokyo Electric Power Co. engineers also didn’t heed lessons from the 2004 tsunami off Indonesia that swamped a reactor 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) away in India, even as they advised the nuclear industry on coping with the dangers.

In just over a year, three corners of the Pacific Rim of Fire — Chile, New Zealand, and Japan — have been struck my major, deadly earthquakes. The North American Pacific coast is the last corner remaining. The notion from Bilbray that it is hysterical fear-mongering to re-examine these standards and ensure that we’re as protected as possible from preventable calamity is simply stunning.

The rest of Bilbray’s piece reads like it was written by the lobbyists at General Atomics, so there’s no need to go into it deeply. But as most of us watch day in, day out what can actually go wrong as it happens in Japan, it’s interesting that Bilbray opts to recite the pamphlet about how nuclear energy is our friend.

The related irony of all this is that Bilbray says right in the title that “science, not fear, should drive America’s energy policies.” It’s a noble sentiment, and one that I certainly support. It’s odd coming from Bilbray however, since less than two weeks ago he voted three straight times against acknowledging that climate change is real. A week before that, he voted to block the EPA from regulating industry greenhouse gas emissions, when Bilbray went so far as to accuse Democrats of trying to “hijack the Clean Air Act.”

There’s no doubt that we all share with Rep. Bilbray the goal of protecting American lives and American quality of life. Coming so transparently to the defense of his largest political benefactor to criticize, name-call and insult those who fear for their personal safety during ongoing, unspeakable tragedy is much less than we deserve from Brian Bilbray.

Cross posted at Two Cathedrals

Tracy Emblem earns 8 endorsements in last week of race before Democratic Congressional primary

Tracy Emblem is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego’s 50th District in tomorrow’s, June 8th Democratic Primary race against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee, to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray.

The California Progressive Alliance, Children’s Hope and ECCO PAC endorsed Tracy Emblem in late May and picked up five new labor union endorsements in early June from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers San Diego (IBEW Local 465), International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA San Diego Local 89), Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO (UWUA Regional Local 132) and International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE San Diego Local 12) endorsed her in early June. These endorsements brings the total labor support of Tracy’s campaign to 25 unions. Tracy is also the candidate endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America, as well as several other progressive organizations.

The California Progressive Alliance is a multi-racial, multi-issue "rainbow coalition" dedicated to the struggle for social justice and peace. Their key priorities include economic justice for working families; equal rights for all of God’s children regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation; international peace and solidarity; humanitarian service; eradicating poverty at home and abroad; environmental protection and sustainable development; and electing progressives to public office and then holding them accountable. Founded in 2005, they have rapidly grown to more than 5,000 members and have emerged as one of the largest and most active grassroots coalitions on the West Coast. They serve as a chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and as an an affiliate of United for Peace & Justice (UFPJ), the largest peace and justice coalition in the United States with over 1,400 member groups across the nation. 

Children’s Hope is a humanitarian organization that serves Haiti’s neediest children. They’ve been bringing supplies to schools and free clinics in Haiti’s most desperate slums since 2004. Their volunteers were on the ground in Port au Prince just a few days after the devastating earthquake of January 12 and are currently organizing their third Earthquake Relief trip. 

As one of California’s largest Political Action Committees, ECCOPAC is on the front lines of the political battlefield. Based out of Orange County, they monitor all legislative issues that may have a direct or indirect impact on communities in California. Through their efforts and affiliations, ECCOPAC is a potent political voice for hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout the country — particularly in Southern California.

IBEW Local 465 strives for dignity in the workplace for all of our members by collectively bargaining for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. We also endeavor to organize non-union employees so that they may enjoy the benefits of bargaining collectively. Some of the classifications we represent include: electricians, linemen, mechanics, train operators, office clericals, meter readers, gas operators, maintenance personnel, court supervisors, technicians, tree trimmers, laboratory personnel, and more.

The IAM’s 730,000 active and retired members can be found in all 50 states in the U.S. and 10 provinces and three territories of Canada. The Western Territory, which includes California, is the most culturally diverse territory in the Machinists Union. Their members include large numbers of Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Eskimos, Hispanics, Asians, Middle-Easterners, as well as African-American and Caucasian populations.The industries they represent vary from aerospace to automotive repair, city employees to police, fabrication workers and assemblers of semi-trucks to the people that haul them and the food production workers that help sustain us all.

LIUNA is the most progressive, aggressive and fastest-growing union of construction workers, and one of the most diverse and effective unions representing public service employees. LIUNA members are on the forefront of the construction industry – a sector that is a powerhouse of 12 million workers producing 5 percent of our countries’ economic output. A half-million strong, LIUNA members are united through collective bargaining agreements which help them earn family-supporting pay, good benefits and the opportunity for advancement and better lives.

UWUA is one of the most successful and progressive unions in all of the labor movement. They have over 50,000 members working in the electric, gas, water, and nuclear industries across the United States. UWUA is both innovative and relentless in their interest in and ability to protect utility jobs, and the wages, benefits and working conditions that their members enjoy in their jobs.

IUOE is a progressive, diversified trade union that primarily represents operating engineers, who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics, and surveyors in the construction industry, and stationary engineers, who work in operations and maintenance in building and industrial complexes, and in the service industries. IUOE also represents nurses and other health industry workers, a significant number of public employees engaged in a wide variety of occupations, as well as a number of job classifications in the petrochemical industry. Founded in 1896, IUOE today has over 400,000 members in 138 local unions throughout the United States and Canada and is the 12th largest union in the AFL-CIO.

United Auto Workers endorses Tracy Emblem in North San Diego County Democratic primary race

ESCONDIDO, May 20, 2010 – The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Region 5 has endorsed Tracy Emblem for U.S. Congress in California’s 50th as the Democratic Candidate to vote for in the June 8th primary.

UAW Region Five consists of active and retired members in 17 states in the Western and Southwestern United States and represents individuals such as manufacturing and aerospace employees, agricultural implement workers and academic student employees, readers and tutors at the nine teaching campuses in California.

"Putting Americans back to work should be the number one priority right now in Congress. If America is to have a future, now is the time to revitalize our manufacturing base with high tech green manufacturing jobs that benefit Americans. It starts immediately with policies that return our jobs to America and by retooling for a new economy together with a multi-industry strategy approach through partnership with private, public and labor segments."

The UAW is one of the largest and most diverse unions in North America, with members in virtually every sector of the economy. UAW-represented workplaces range from multinational corporations, small manufacturers and state and local governments to colleges and universities, hospitals and private non-profit organizations. The UAW has more than 390,000 active members and more than 600,000 retired members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

It has been actively involved in every civil rights legislative battle since the 1950s, including the campaigns to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 and legislation to prohibit discrimination against women, the elderly and people with disabilities.

The UAW also has played a vital role in passing such landmark legislation as Medicare and Medicaid, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Employee Retirement Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. In Washington and state capitols, the UAW is fighting for better schools for kids, secure health care and pensions for retirees, clean air and water, tougher workplace health and safety standards, stronger worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance laws and fairer taxes.

This endorsement brings the total labor support of Tracy’s campaign to about 20 unions. Tracy is also the candidate endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America.

Tracy Emblem is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego’s 50th District against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee with only one endorsement by labor (California Teachers Association), to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray who has no endorsements by labor.

American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) endorses Tracy Emblem for US Congress (CA50)

ESCONDIDO, May 12, 2010 – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has endorsed Tracy Emblem for U.S. Congress in California’s 50th Democratic primary race in North San Diego County.

AFGE represents a diverse workforce of government workers who are the vital threads of the fabric of American life. Government employees inspect the food we eat and the places we work, protect citizens from the illicit flow of drugs, maintain the safety of our nation’s borders, care for our nation’s veterans and keep the national defense systems prepared for any danger 

"With the 50th District geographically between two military bases and San Diego County home to the second largest Veteran population in the nation, I am proud to have the support and endorsement of AFGE whose members work to care for, empower and assist our returning Veterans and protect and keep America strong," said Tracy Emblem on Wednesday.

AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.

AFGE believes that all unions should belong to the house of labor and has been nationally affiliated with the The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) since AFGE was founded in 1932. The AFL-CIO is a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions. The AFL-CIO was created in 1955 by the merger of the AFL and the CIO.

This endorsement brings the total labor support of Tracy’s campaign to about 20 unions. Tracy is also the candidate endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America.

Tracy Emblem is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego’s 50th District against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee with only one endorsement by labor (California Teachers Association), to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray who has no endorsements by labor.

Emblem challenge to Busby Spices Up Tight 50th Congressional District Democratic Primary

Logan Jenkins, a San Diego Union-Tribune columnist based in North San Diego County, covered the tight Democratic Congressional primary in California’s 50th District today. He profiled the two Democratic candidates in the race competing for a chance to unseat the Republican incumbent, Brian Bilbray: 1) Francine Busby, “the Harold Stassen of the 50th district, a three-time loser in head-to-head races against Republicans,” and 2) Tracy Emblem, the fresh new upstart with extensive blue collar support from about 20 labor unions. He posited that the 50th District might change color from red to blue this year. Read more:


Citizens for Global Solutions Endorse Tracy Emblem for U.S. Congress (CA50)

WASHINGTON D.C., May 07, 2010 – National peacekeeping group, Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) gave progressive democrat, Tracy Emblem the thumbs up in her race for United States Congress in North San Diego County’s 50th district with their official endorsement for her candidacy in the June 8th Democratic Primary.

CGS is a membership based ‘big idea’ group working to promote the International Criminal Court (ICC), reform the United Nations and encourage the United States to adopt a multinational foreign policy, which includes working together with other nations to abolish war, protect our rights and freedoms, and solve the problems facing humanity that no one nation can solve alone.

“I am proud to have the support and endorsement of the Citizens for Global Solutions and to work together to promote the end of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. We all have a responsibility to be part of the solution,” said Tracy Emblem upon receiving the news.

CGS remains one of the leading U.S. based organizations focused on the ICC. Through the work of members, they have been able to roll back the anti-ICC policies adopted by Congress and the Bush administration. They are currently meeting with members of the Obama administration to build a truly positive U.S. relationship with the Court.

As a founding member of the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping, CGS successfully lobbied Congress to appropriate an additional $524 million to help address critical shortfalls to funding U.N. peacekeeping missions. Overall, they were able to help reduce, by more than 20%, U.S. debt to the U.N. They will continue work to bring this to zero and to put blue helmets back onto U.S. troops.

Close to 90% of the 183 candidates endorsed by Global Solutions PAC in the 2008 election cycle won, including 5 new senators and 5 new representatives.

Tracy is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego’s 50th District against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee, to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray.

National Phone Bank Days for PDA-Endorsed Candidate Tracy Emblem

With the June primaries fast approaching, we have three candidates facing challengers for the party’s nominations. As we pursue our goal of a governing progressive majority, you’ll be hearing from each of them. Our hope is that you will find an hour or two to help elect true progressive candidates like Tracy Emblem in California’s 50th congressional district. -Tim Carpenter

Republican Brian Bilbray has stood as a living roadblock to every meaningful piece of legislation. He voted NO to Regulate Predatory Lending Practices while people are losing their homes due to foreclosure. He voted NO to Health Care Reform, even after his friends in Congress stripped the Public Option back to nothing less than another private insurance bailout. He voted NO to Ending the War and to bring our troops home. In fact, the only consistent YES vote he has cast is to participate in the Obstruction of Progress.

The RNC considers the 50th a vulnerable district. In 2008, President Obama won with over 14,000 votes. The district is 97.8 percent urban and is ready for change and progressive leadership in Congress.

I am running in a contested Democratic Primary against the party “blue dog” candidate who has already run and lost three times. I have the support of California’s working families, the California Labor Federation, the California Nurses Association, National Air Traffic Controllers and almost 20 individual unions in the AFL-CIO. Labor supports me because they know it will take a progressive leader to deliver a victory. Your support will help to level the playing field against the party machine.

With only days until the primary, I need your help now more than ever to win this fight. Please volunteer to make calls to help us reach voters in this critical Southern California district. Together, we can work for true progress to make America stronger.

Yours truly,

Tracy Emblem

P.S. Your campaign contribution of $10, $25, $50 or whatever you can afford will help us reach voters in this critical time. Please visit www.TracyEmblemforCongress.com.

P.P.S. Join Tracy this Thursday on the “Inside the Party” call. Register here.