Tag Archives: Dean Andal

Friday Open Thread

Some news for your weekend:

• A KPIX poll shows Jerry McNerney cruising in CA-11, up 52-41 over Dean Andal.  What a golden boy.  The D-Trip needs to bug out of this race and put the resources where they’re needed, like CA-03, CA-46, CA-50 and CA-26.

• Alyson Huber received the endorsement of the Sacramento Bee in her AD-10 race.  In other newspaper endorsements, the LA Times went with some guy named Barack Obama for President.  This is their first endorsement in a general election in 30 years.

• The OC toll road agency, which has been pushing the San Onofre State Beach road for years because it would provide such an economic boost, now wants a billion dollar federal bailout because commuters are using their roads less.  Roads are costly and no longer profitable.  Transit, yes; more roads, no.

• Here’s an interesting read from Amanda Marcotte on Prop. 4 and the new rhetoric taken up by the anti-choice forces.

• A reminder: Jim Dean will be in Southern California Sunday appearing with the campaigns of Debbie Cook (CA-46) and Bill Hedrick (CA-44).  

8:30 AM: Breakfast fundraiser for Debbie Cook for Congress, $25. At the International Association of Machinists Union Hall, 5402 Bolsa Avenue, Huntington Beach, California 92649.

10 AM: Precinct walking and rally also at the International Association of Machinists Union Hall.  For more info, call the Cook campaign at 714-842-6358.

6 PM: Fundraiser for Bill Hedrick with Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, $75.  At the Historic El Adobe de Capistrano Restaurant, 31891 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. Please RSVP to Karen Hinks at 714-848-9395 or khinks-at-verizon-dot-net.

UPDATE by Brian: one more for you. Lane Hudson has an open letter to DiFi on HuffPo challenging her to campaign against Prop 8 in the context of the upcoming Harvey Milk movie. Check it out.

The Dean scAndal campaign: rearing the ugly head of hypocrisy!

Sunday’s edition of the Stockton Record ran a story about the Jerry McNerney campaign’s “tracker” of his opponent, Dean Andal.  Now, as most of us know, “tracking” is the practice of bringing a videocamera to all of your opponent’s public events in the hopes of getting ammunition–either in terms of a “macaca moment” or something as simple as contradictions in the message of a campaign.

Well, as the article points out, tracking is an inevitable and uncontroversial aspect of political campaigning:

I don’t see the need for secrecy. But I did not observe any foul play, either. Neither did Brian Klunk, a political science professor at University of the Pacific.

“Campaigns have done ‘oppositional research’ just about forever,” Klunk said. “There’s a long lore of this.”

Not a lot of controversy here…but Dean Andal doesn’t see it that way.  Maybe that’s because Dean Andal is afraid of accountability and exposure.  Regardless, here’s what he had to say about tracking–from the very same article in the Stockton Record:

McNerney was tracked in 2007 as he campaigned, presumably by minions of his rival, Rep. Richard Pombo, possibly by other Republicans.

“I’ve actually told the few people we’ve hired, anybody who does that would be immediately terminated,” Andal said. “Because I don’t believe in it.”

Now it’s time to find out just how much Dean Andal means it.

Here’s a video of Congressman McNerney entering the debate in Tracy on Oct. 11th for the CA-11 Congressional Debate.

At about 10 seconds in, you’ll notice someone standing on the raised planter area with a videocamera.  Seems innocuous enough.  But who is that guy?

Here’s a still-shot that allow us to get a better look:

So who is that?  Honestly, it looks a little bit like John Franklin, longtime Republican campaign consultant and current campaign manager of Citizens for Andal.  Here’s John’s LinkedIn profile, and here’s his website gallery, which contains some more pictures of him.

So, it’s time for John Franklin and Dean Andal to answer some questions.  Is that indeed John Franklin tracking Jerry McNerney, and if so, will Dean Andal replace him as his campaign manager for the final home stretch of the campaign?

Campaign Update: CA-03, CA-04, CA-11, CA-45, CA-46

A lot to cover today:

General: I suspended the monthly ratings because it was ridiculously time-consuming and better to get the information out more timely, but in case you’re wondering, here is my impression of the top targets in California for the Congressional races as we stand with 22 days out.  My considered opinion is that no incumbent Democrat is in trouble, including Jerry McNerney.  As for the Republican-held seats:

1) CA-04: Lean Dem. Charlie Brown has been ahead in multiple polls and actually has a ground game, unlike Tom McClintock.

2) CA-03: Tilt Repub. Bill Durston’s poll showing the race as a dead heat raised a lot of eyebrows.  Unfortunately people discovered this race too late, but by Election Day I’ll bet that the registration numbers are virtually tied and there will not be an immediate call.  The smart money for progressives wanting to impact a race should go to Dr. Durston against Dan Lungren.

3) CA-46: Tilt Repub.  Debbie Cook is replicating the Loretta Sanchez strategy of ground mobilization that she used to defeat B-1 Bob Dornan.  We’ll see if she can pull it off against Crazy Dana Rohrabacher.

4) CA-26: Tilt Repub. Russ Warner has been doing a decent enough job and there’s a bit of outside support, but David Dreier has a wall of money.

5) CA-45: Lean Repub. This race has also been under the radar, but the district is either #1 or #2 in the COUNTRY for foreclosures, and affordable housing expert Julie Bornstein can stand to benefit from movement toward Democratic solutions on the economy in her race against Mary Bono Mack.

6) CA-50: Lean Repub. This is the permanent tease district in California, and despite Nick Leibham’s efforts to shake up the race, I’m not seeing Brian Bilbray taken down right now, especially because he’s likely to whip up populist support in his base with his vote against the bailout.

7) CA-52: Likely Repub. It was always going to be an uphill battle for Mike Lumpkin in his race against Duncan Hunter’s son running for Duncan Hunter’s old seat.  I’d like to see better signs here, but I’m coming up empty.

I rate everything else as Safe Republican at the moment.  I’ll do a legislative targeting in the next campaign update.  Now, to the news (on the flip):

• CA-03: Faced with a tie race, Dan Lungren’s campaign has decided that the smart thing to do is name calling.

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren’s (R-Gold River) congressional campaign said Bill Durston was mischaracterizing Lungren’s absence from a candidate forum last weekend.

On top of that, he referred to Durston, a Democrat from Gold River, as a “knucklehead.”

They actually don’t believe Durston’s viable.  Hilariously, Lungren gave out a bunch of tickets to a Bonnie Raitt concert in the district, and during the show Raitt endorsed Durston and urged people to vote.

This would be such a delicious upset, and the contours of it remind me exactly of Carol Shea-Porter’s improbable victory in New Hampshire in 2006.

• CA-04: The competitors actually showed up at a 4th District debate last week, and Charlie Brown got off a great line:

In the heavily Republican district, where he narrowly lost to Doolittle two years ago, Brown faced an audience question over whether he would “stand up to Nancy Pelosi” and her “liberal positions.” […]

While Brown said he disagreed with the Democratic house speaker from San Francisco on rights of gun owners, McClintock went after him.

“This issue of marching in lockstep with her on every major issue in the campaign speaks to the fact that she has targeted your congressional district as one of those seats they want to cement a permanent Democratic majority,” McClintock said. “And I think they’re counting on your vote, Charlie.”

Brown, a district resident in Roseville, answered back with a poke at McClintock for running in a district 400 miles north of his Senate seat in Thousand Oaks.

“Tom, if you want to run against Nancy Pelosi (in San Francisco),” Brown said, “that district is actually closer than this one to your home.”

• CA-45: Julie Bornstein, on the other hand, debated an empty chair recently in Rancho Mirage.  Mary Bono Mack has refused any effort to get her to debate Bornstein.  Perhaps she’s busy with her husband in Florida.

Bornstein came prepared. When she was given the opportunity to address the absentee incumbent in her closing remarks, Bornstein came out firing.

“This is a job interview,” she said, asking Bono Mack, “How is it that you feel that you do not need to meet with your constituents?”

“There is no sense of entitlement here,” Bornstein told voters, “that somehow your vote is already predetermined, that you owe it to a party or a person. One of the first lessons I learned when I became a working person is that you have to show up. You have to be here. And my question to my opponent is, where are you?”

They tracked Bono Mack down at a party during the forum.  Bornstein, who this weekend welcomed Barbara Boxer in for a fundraiser, parried a Republican attempt to protest that event in much the same way, by saying that she “welcomed debate.”  Often these debate-baiting tactics aren’t that successful, but I don’t think this is a good year to be an absentee incumbent.

• CA-11: Another duo got together for a little chat this weekend, Dean Andal and Jerry McNerney.  There’s some interesting stuff in there – Andal apparently thinks it’s “immoral” to support a safe and responsible withdrawal of troops from Iraq.  But what’s more interesting is that Andal finally, two weeks after the bailout, came up with an opinion on it.  He was opposed, in case you were wondering.  Talk about political cowardice, waiting that long to express an opinion.

• CA-46: Debbie Cook has a new ad.

I have to say that I kind of like it.  The “asteroids” thing is kind of tacked on, but the rest of it is sufficiently hard-hitting and affixes Dana Rohrabacher to the problems created by 8 long years of Republican failure.  The Cook campaign has Jim Dean from DFA coming into the district for a fundraising breakfast and precinct walk this Sunday.  More information here.

Campaign Update: CA-04, CA-11, LA Board of Supes

I’m going to try and do these once a day.  No promises!

• CA-04: In partial response to the kerfuffle from yesterday’s deceitful attack ad, Charlie Brown released two radio spots and a TV ad today.  His wife Jan Brown narrates the TV spot, which foregrounds Charlie and his son’s military service. (Sorry, not embeddable)

The radio spots are both solid attacks on Venturian Candidate Tom McClintock.  Two men, two paths contrasts Brown’s service and leadership with McClintock’s life in politics, and his record on veterans (including donating 5% of his campaign funds) with McClintock’s (voting against veteran’s funding).  Vote is a humorous spot discussing how McClintock can’t vote for himself because he won’t move into the district.  There’s also a lot on McClintock’s per diem expenses from the State Senate.  “L.A. Tom” is the frame they’re going with, and they ask, “if he won’t vote for himself, why should we?”

• CA-11: State Senator Ellen Corbett and Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi sent a letter to women in Jerry McNerney’s district urging them to reject right-wing extremist Dean Andal.  His record on women’s issues is really retrograde.

To the Women of Congressional District 11:

If you are anything like us, you want a representative in Washington that not only reflects your values, but who also respects you.

Dean Andal just doesn’t qualify. In fact, Dean Andal’s record on women’s issues shows just how out of touch and extreme his views are.

In 1994, as a member of the State Assembly, Dean Andal opposed a common sense law that would have allowed women to wear pants in the workplace instead of being forced to wear skirts and dresses.

Andal also voted against requiring health insurance plans to cover cervical cancer screenings. He even voted against making sure that information about sexual harassment be included in mandatory workplace anti-discrimination posters.

Yet the most egregious affront to women he offered in his short term in the Assembly was his vote to restrict the definition of rape to exclude attacks where an incapacitated woman cannot resist.

And what’s worse, Andal’s was the only vote in the Assembly against expanding the definition. The only one.

Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, all women should be proud of the progress we have made. That’s why it’s so important that we don’t send someone like Dean Andal to Congress. Someone with a record like Andal’s can be counted on to turn back the clock on all we have achieved.

• LA Board of Supes: There’s a runoff in this seat between Councilman Bernard Parks and State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas.  While Ridley-Thomas is a solid progressive who understands the fundamental dysfunction of state government and will fight for progressive values on the powerful Board of Supes, Bernard Parks has hired Republican fixer Steve Kinney to help him win the race.  Parks, who has a business-friendly record on the City Council, is receiving help from BizFed, a PAC notorious for pushing the same agenda.  The wingnuts at the Lincoln Club have reportedly offered him support as well.  At least the choice is now clear to voters – one candidate on the side of the corporate vultures, the other on the side of the people.

• Misc.  I should note that Chris Bowers’ House race forecast is up, and among California races, he lists CA-04 as a tossup, CA-11 as Lean D, and CA-26 & CA-50 as Likely R.  I think he’s selling a couple races short, but that’s a pretty good conservative estimate.

CA-11: Did Andal Stretch the Truth on His Fundraising Claims?

Photobucket Image Hosting Photobucket Image HostingBefore I get into this truth stretching, I’ve put 2 pictures here. Can you tell who is who? Because I’m pretty sure Dean Andal (right) and John Doolittle(left) are the same person.  Seriously, it’s quite possible that these two were separated at birth or something.

Anyway, Josh Richman does some more quality work by questioning some claims made by Andal about his fundraising in an article on PolitickerCA.com:

“No challenger in the country has raised as much money as we have,” the article quoted Andal as having said yesterday.

Andal had raised $829,184 as of June 30 compared to McNerney’s $2,084,313.

I checked the Cook Political Report’s latest list of competitive House races, jotted down 27 races considered toss-ups, and eliminated nine of those which are open seats. Of the remaining 18 races in which someone’s taking on an incumbent, I found that 11 of those challengers – three Republicans and eight Democrats – had raised more money by June 30 than Andal’s $829,184 (which could have something to do with why Cook moved the McNerney-Andal race from “toss-up” to “lean Democratic” last month).

Andal’s constultant, Ray McNally, then goes on to say what he meant to say was that he had better cash on hand.  Richman then goes back to the Politicker reporter, who basically says, um, no, Andal said fundraising. Phew!

Anyway, Andal has raised about a million dollars, or so he claims, but CA-11 spans two media markets.  And the Bay Area media market is pretty expensive, so Andal will need to do better than that if he hopes to take down an incumbent, even if that incumbent is freshman Jerry McNerney.

The Collapse of the Great GOP Hope in CA-11

It’s no secret that the Republicans hoped to blunt the Congressional pain by picking up at least a few seats, and their top target was right here in California.  Jerry McNerney has focused on some bizarre priorities, but it’s clear that Dean Andal would be a Tom Delay Republican in every sense of the word.  Chief among those would be his corruption:

Dean Andal’s Congressional campaign continues to be dogged by questions surrounding his role in negotiations for new community college branch campus. Andal’s campaign has denied any wrongdoing, characterizing the issue as internal bickering on the board. (Capitol Weekly 9/4/08)

You know, Mr. Andal, most Congress critters wait until they actually get into office to face all these corruption charges. I mean, Reps. Jerry Lewis and Gary Miller could talk for hours about the subject.  

With the corruption charges combined with his poor fundraising numbers, times are looking tough for Andal.

CA House Races Roundup – July Edition

Greetings and welcome to the latest installment of the California House races roundup.  We’re just around 100 days to go until the election, and things are starting to take focus.  There are about a half-dozen seats where Democratic challengers have an outside shot at dumping the incumbent, and another six on the watch list in case something spectacular occurs.  One thing to note is that the Cook numbers are tied to the 2004 election, and given the demographic changes and cratering of the Republican brand I think they mean significantly less now – it’ll be interesting to see how all these districts change in November.

We have plenty of new information to judge these races, including 2nd quarter fundraising reports, national ratings from Charlie Cook and Swing State Project, additional DCCC targets, and the appearance of many challengers at Netroots Nation.  So this list is really about who I think has the best chance to retain or take over a seat, not necessarily who should (though that may come through in the writing).  Here are some helpful bits of information that I used to help judge.

FEC disclosures (you can search by candidate name)

Voter registration by Congressional district.

Swing State Project fundraising roundup

On to the report…


1. CA-11. Incumbent: Jerry McNerney.  Challenger: Dean Andal.  Cook number: R+3.  % Dem turnout in the Presidential primary: 53.7%.  DCCC defended.  This remains the only opportunity for Republicans in the state, and it is starting to slip away.  Dean Andal is proving to be incredibly weak at fundraising, having raised under $200,000 for FOUR STRAIGHT QUARTERS.  He’s not going to be able to get up on TV, and his opponent has not only outraised him but will get about a million dollars in ad help from the DCCC.  Freedom’s Watch threw in a few anti-McNerney robocalls, but that’s really no match for the political muscle of the D-Trip.  Plus, there’s a brewing Andal scandal over his participation in passing privileged information and securing developer contracts for a San Joaquin Delta College contractor.  As for McNerney, his vote for the FISA bill has caused outcry in the district, and national groups like Blue America won’t be lending a hand.  He has changed his position on medical marijuana in response to constituents, a symbolic piece of support with activists.  But I think he’s largely on his own in this race.

McNerney: raised $416K in the second quarter, $1.37m cash on hand

Andal: raised $174K Q2, $663K CoH


I’m going to do four tiers in setting apart the top seats where we have challenges to Republican incumbents.

First Tier

1. CA-04.  Last month: 1.  Open seat.  Dem. challenger: Charlie Brown.  Repub. challenger: Tom McClintock.  PVI #: R+11.  % Dem turnout in Feb. primary: 44.7.  DCCC targeted.  Tom McClintock actually raised quite a bit of money in the second quarter, but it all got plowed into the divisive primary with Doug Ose.  Plus, he was able to go above individual spending caps because of the “Millionaire’s Amendment,” which was recently ruled unconstitutional, putting constitutional literalist McClintock in a bind over what to do with that money.  We’ve seen real awkwardness from McClintock over how to handle disgraced incumbent John Doolittle, with shows of support and rejections happening on alternate days.  Meanwhile, Charlie Brown is humming along.  He has a 6-1 cash on hand advantage, and he’ll also be the recipient of some ad love from the DCCC.  His courageous stand against the FISA bill, outreach to parts of the district harmed by wildfires, and the release of a good energy plan which stresses tax credits for alternative energy and government fleets going renewable (and opposing opening up new lands for offshore drilling, in line with the “Use It Or Lose It” plan from Speaker Pelosi).  Brown was beloved at Netroots Nation and looks good in polling.  This is obviously our biggest-priority pickup.

Brown: raised $355K, $675K CoH

McClintock: raised $1.27m, $117 CoH

Second Tier

2. CA-46.  Last month: 4.  Incumbent: Dana Rohrabacher.  Challenger: Debbie Cook (Responsible Plan endorser). PVI #: R+6.  % Dem. turnout: 47.2.  I’m still concerned that the numbers aren’t quite there in the district, but I’m upping Cook this high because I have to acknowledge her achievements.  First, she’s outraised Rohrabacher two quarters in a row, and from what I’m being told, this has a lot to do with Dana and his wife (also his fundraiser) calling Republican backers and getting the phone slammed in their ears.  The Cook Political Report moved the race to Likely Republican, the only such move among competitive California races.  And there are indications that the D-Trip is at least taking a look at this race.  Most of this is happening because Cook is a compelling candidate.  Read her interview with Open Left or watch her interview with Talking Points Memo and you can see why.  Her environmental activism, competent fiscal management in Huntington Beach, and the fact that she’s not a ridiculously corrupt nutjob like Dana Rohrabacher makes for a fantastic profile.  This is probably too high, but there are some great signs here.

Cook: raised $110K, $97K CoH

Rohrabacher: raised $86K, $388 CoH

3. CA-50.  Last month: 5.  Incumbent: Brian Bilbray.  Challenger: Nick Leibham.  PVI #: R+5.  % Dem. turnout: 50.8.  DCCC targeted.  Nick Leibham outraised Brian Bilbray in the second quarter, and took in a nice haul of $245K in his own right.  He’s been gaining some attack points for criticizing Bilbray on wanting to debate on the radio and not in the district, and calling on other states to drill offshore but not California, an incoherent position.  The D-Trip put Leibham on their Red to Blue emerging races list, and dropped radio ads in the district tying him to Bush (MP3 here).  Leibham needs to articulate an agenda rather than just slam Bilbray forever, and that agenda needs to be a true contrast, but there is some movement here.

Leibham: raised $245K, $267K CoH

Bilbrary: raised $210K, $528K CoH

4. CA-26.  Last month: 2.  Incumbent: David Dreier.  Challenger: Russ Warner.  PVI #: R+4.  % Dem. turnout: 50.2.  DCCC targeted.  Warner was very focused on fundraising in June and yet came up short of beating David Dreier in the second quarter.  The problem is that Dreier has nearly two million dollars in the bank, so there’s a nearly 40-1 cash disadvantage, including campaign debts.  And despite the positive signs in the district, that’s tough to overcome.  Warner is going to need outside help, and the Bush Rubber Stamp project is a step in the right direction, but I don’t know if they’ll have the kind of money needed to meet the challenge.  There’s not much here to get me excited at this point.

Warner: raised $161K, $125K CoH

Dreier: raised $247K, $1.9m CoH

5. CA-45.  Last month: 3.  Incumbent: Mary Bono Mack.  Challenger: Julie Bornstein.  PVI #: R+3.  % Dem. turnout: 51.3.  The district is ready for a Democrat, and the symbiosis between Manuel Perez’ hotly contested Assembly campaign and Bornstein’s is going to help her in ways that aren’t being respected by the experts.  I still think this race is being undervalued.  However, Bornstein has been fairly invisible, from what I can tell, since the June primary.  And Bornstein got significantly outraised in Q2 as Mary Bono recognized the challenge she is facing can only be overcome with money.  In cash on hand she’s not far out of sight, however, and if Bornstein proves to be a solid and aggressive campaigner and benefits from increased Latino turnout in the Eastern Coachella Valley, there’s still a shot here.

Bornstein: raised $125K, $121K CoH

Bono: raised $336K, $421K CoH

Third Tier

6. CA-03.  Last month: 6.  Incumbent: Dan Lungren.  Challenger: Bill Durston. PVI #: R+7. % Dem turnout: 51.8.  This remains my sleeper pick in California.  The fundraising numbers were close, with Dan Lungren raising $173K to Durston’s $125K.  Lungren is trying to pivot to the center, coming out for nuclear warhead reduction with Russia, and the “X Prize” for battery technology promoted by John McCain.  But he’s firmly in the drill now, do nothing camp (despite voting against the “Use It Or Lose It” plan), and he’s lying about Democratic plans for tax increases.  Then there’s this bit of hilarity:

At a town hall meeting a few months ago Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) was adamant about denying citizenship to babies born in the United States to non-citizens. He lumped the infants into the same category as immigrants who cross the border illegally. He went so far as to sponsor a bill to deny citizenship to babies born to non-citizens.

In a classic flip-flop, Congo Dan “is backing the bill giving the Department of Homeland Security 30 days to process visas for entertainers,” says the Los Angeles Times.

Durston has publicly challenged Lungren to debates, and has a nifty comparison chart on his website that shows he’s truly running a campaign of contrast.  Keep an eye on this one.

Durston raised $125K, $189K CoH

Lungren raised $173K, $615K CoH

7. CA-52.  Last month: 7.  Open seat.  Dem. challenger: Mike Lumpkin.  Repub. challenger: Duncan D. Hunter.  PVI #: R+9.  % Dem. turnout: 47.2.  Calitics got to chat with Mike Lumpkin at Netroots Nation, and we were fairly impressed.  He talked up all the “Conservative Republicans for Lumpkin” signs he’s seeing in the district.  One thing he mentioned worried me, however: well over half of the voters in the primary thought they were voting for Duncan Hunter’s father, the incumbent.  That makes this almost not an open seat, and with Hunter’s fundraising advantage, it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Lumpkin raised $129K, $54K CoH

Hunter raised $338K, $198K CoH

Also Noted

8. CA-44.  Last month: 8.  Incumbent: Ken Calvert.  Challenger: Bill Hedrick (Responsible Plan endorser).  PVI #: R+6.  % Dem. turnout: 49.3.  Bill Hedrick tried to hit Ken Calvert over earmarks, and certainly there’s still a lot of smoke surrounding Calvert’s dirty dealings.  But in a low information district, Hedrick needs a lot of money for name ID, moeny he doesn’t have.

9. CA-42.  Last month: 11.  Incumbent: Gary Miller.  Challenger: Ed Chau.  PVI #: R+10.  % Dem. turnout: 44.0. Ed Chau has only $12,000 in the bank compared to Gary Miller’s $950,000.  That’s game, set and match, but questions have been raised once again about Miller’s potentially criminal actions (like his financial stake in getting an OC tollway built), so indictment is still on the fringes of possibility here.

10. CA-48.  Last month: 12.  Incumbent: John Campbell.  Challenger: Steve Young.  PVI #: R+8.  % Dem. turnout: 45.1.  Young is touting a poll (and I like that he’s touting it on ActBlue) showing that he’s up six points after biographical and issue information is distributed.  The problem is he has no money and lots of campaign debt, so how will that information get out there?  

11. CA-24.  Last month: 9.  Incumbent: Elton Gallegly.  Challenger: Marta Jorgensen.  PVI #: R+5.  % Dem. turnout: 50.6. Marta Jorgensen has a fairly nice website, but the money isn’t there to make this all that competitive, and she’ll need an Elton Gallegly slip-up. (Of course, she spent $1,375 on the primary and won, so ya never know…)

12. CA-41.  Last month: 10.  Incumbent: Jerry Lewis.  Challenger: Tim Prince.  PVI #: R+9.  % Dem. turnout: 46.3.  Tim Prince is also challenging Jerry Lewis on earmark requests, but Lewis has been pretty adept at escaping scrutiny in the district.

Grand Jury Cites Information Allegedly Passed Illegally To Dean Andal (CA-11)

The activities of Dean Andal, the Republican nominee running against Jerry McNerney for Congress in CA-11, have come up in a grand jury investigation.  

This week, the San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury released its report investigating misconduct by the San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees.  It found that the Board had “squandered millions of dollars in taxpayer money and breached open government laws by sharing closed-session information to developers outside regular meetings.”  Tracy Press  The confidential information apparently disclosed illegally was given to Andal and his associate, big Republican contributor and Sacramento developer Gerry Kamilos.

The grand jury investigation concerned the development of a site for Delta College.  Two sites were considered.  Consultants hired by the Board and the Board’s own staff each recommended a site offered by the City of Tracy.  But the Board voted 4-3 for a site offered for development by a Gerry Kamilos enterprise, PCCP Mountain House, LLC.  Things went south fairly quickly.  The Grand Jury found that the Board’s decisions wasted millions of dollars of public funds.  Regarding Andal:

“a closed-session meeting of the Delta College Board of Trustees was held on February 9, 2006, where Delta College’s attorney and administrative team informed the Board of Trustees that PCCP would be missing the deadline for the delivery of the Letters of Credit, which would result in a breach of the contract.  The Board then discussed the possibility of returning to the deal offered by the City of Tracy.”  

The very next day, one or more of the Board members relayed confidential information about the “breach of contract” discussion to Kamilos and a person the grand jury called his “consultant.”  The media has identified that consultant as Dean Andal.  Indeed, as the Tri-Valley Herald wrote:

“The day after the closed-session meeting, the report says, phone calls and a faxed letter indicated that one or more board members had relayed confidential information about the “breach of contract” discussion to the developer and his consultant, Dean Andal, the Republican nominee for the 11th Congressional District seat in November.”  

Although not discussed in the media at present, Andal is more than just a consultant to Kamilos.  According to a 2007 Stockton Record story, Andal:

“is a director of Service 1st Bancorp in Stockton and also works closely with developer Gerry Kamilos, the builder primarily responsible for the Mountain House community outside Tracy. Andal earned at least $210,000 from Kamilos’ various businesses last year, according to financial records filed with the county.”  


Further, according to an SEC filing of  Service 1st Bancorp, Mr. Andal has been a principal in Gerry N. Kamilos, LLC, a real estate investment concern, since 2005. SEC  

By the way, it should come as no surprise, but Kamilos and his wife each contributed $4,600 to Andal’s campaign in June 2007.  They have also contributed the maximum legal amount to John McCain. Open Secrets

So what does it mean?  The grand jury is raking the Board over the coals for wasting millions of dollars with this Andal enterprise. The grand jury says that the Board’s consultants and staff recommended a different company, but the Board voted 4-3 to go with Andal’s firm anyway.  That decision has cost taxpayers millions of dollars.  Then, in 2006, the Board met in closed session and discussed the possibility of getting out of the Kamilos-Andal contract, due to a breach by that firm, and returning to the deal offered by the City of Tracy.  The very next day, Kamilos and Andal allegedly were tipped off with confidential information passed to them.  If true, passing the information was illegal.  I confess that I do not know the details of this, but from how it reads, I assume  Kamilos and Andal promptly cured their contractual breach and kept the Board on the hook for their lucrative contract.

This smells to high heaven.  Not only should the Board members be investigated, but Dean Andal has some explaining to do.  

CA-11: DC Republicans Displeased About The Efforts Of Their “Golden Boy”

It’s hard to overstate how pathetic national Republicans have been so far this cycle.  Some of their top challengers can’t get on the ballot, and the leader of their campaign efforts in the Senate said recently that keeping the Democrats to a gain of eight seats would be a moral victory.

Now there’s news about Dean Andal, one of the few challengers Republicans are counting on nationwide, the guy who’s supposedly working hard to take down Rep. Jerry McNerney.  Only he raised a paltry $11,000 in the pre-primary filing period, and now Congressional Republicans are worried that their golden boy is made of iron pyrite.

Dean Andal, recruited by the GOP with great fanfare to challenge freshman Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) in California’s 11th district, is now coming under attack from Republicans in Washington, D.C., for running what they contend is a flawed campaign.

Andal, a former state Assemblyman, is facing increasing criticism for his fundraising and general campaign strategy, with the grumbling emanating from Republicans in the consulting and lobbying communities. Privately, Republicans on Capitol Hill are also expressing concern.

The handful of sources interviewed for this story on Tuesday declined to discuss their concerns on the record. But all are Washington, D.C.-based Republican strategists who had until recently been singing Andal’s praises and are intimately familiar with the GOP-leaning 11th district.

“I think the fundamentals are there to pull this off,” said one GOP operative. “But Andal still has to run a fundamentally sound race. He hasn’t done that so far.”

At least he’s making all the right hires.  Andal’s top campaign strategist is Richard Temple.  He was last seen as the top strategist to Doug “I Don’t Know How To Use A Ballot” Ose, who got smoked in the 4th District primary by Tom McClintock after spending millions of his own personal fortune.  Andal won’t even have that kind of scratch to work with when he gets pounded in the fall.

This is my favorite quote:

Andal’s critics insist that he is not doing enough to win, particularly in the current political environment.

“He’s dialing it in,” said a native Californian and Republican operative who is now based in D.C. “He’s got the attitude of a Member of Congress. He doesn’t have the attitude of a challenger fighting to get elected in his district.”


CA House Races Roundup – Post-Primary Edition

Well, the votes are in, the matchups are set, and so I thought it was time for a baseline roundup of where I think the California House races stand as of now.  The main pieces of information that are causing me to reset my expectations are the primary results, the April 1-May 15 fundraising numbers and the new registration numbers from the Secretary of State’s office.  You can track all three yourself:


FEC disclosures (you can search by candidate name)

Voter registration by Congressional district.

That said, let’s take a look, starting with the one threatened Democratic seat.

(A note: I’m going to start a state legislative roundup as well)


1. CA-11. Incumbent: Jerry McNerney.  Challenger: Dean Andal.  Cook number: R+3.  % Dem turnout in the Presidential primary: 53.7%.  DCCC defended.  Good news and bad news out of this race.  The good news is that Dean Andal can’t seem to raise any money – just $11,000 in the pre-primary filing period.  The bad news is that Andal got about 900 more votes in his uncontested primary than McNerney did in his.  McNerney seemed to have a lot of trouble attracting votes in San Joaquin County, which brought back more votes than any county in the district.  While the NRCC and RNC will clearly be gunning for McNerney, the Barack Obama factor is certainly going to help him, as well has his incumbency status.  So it’s not time to pull the alarm just yet.  But McNerney does have some work to do.


I’m going to do three tiers in setting apart the top seats where we have challenges to Republican incumbents.

First Tier

1. CA-04.  Last month: 1.  Open seat.  Dem. challenger: Charlie Brown.  Repub. challenger: Tom McClintock.  PVI #: R+11.  % Dem turnout in Feb. primary: 44.7.  DCCC targeted.  Well, the battle is set.  Tom McClintock, the Alan Keyes of California, came out of his divisive primary triumphant, and now Charlie Brown has an opponent.  The Brown campaign released polls showing him leading McClintock in a head-to-head matchup.  Steve Weigand isn’t yet willing to bet the farm on a Brown pickup, but he recognizes the Roseville Democrat’s strength against the carpetbagging Republican from Thousand Oaks.  That Brown was able to get 42,000-plus votes against token competition on Tuesday shows that he has an energized activist base.  Peter Hecht has a good primer on the state of the race.  Expect Brown to hammer the message of Patriotism Above Partisanship against his knee-jerk wingnut conservative opponent.  Also, McClintock is broke after a costly primary and has a lot of catching up to do financially.

2. CA-26.  Last month: 2.  Incumbent: David Dreier.  Challenger: Russ Warner.  PVI #: R+4.  % Dem. turnout: 50.2.  DCCC targeted.  Russ Warner avenged his earlier loss to Cynthia Matthews in 2006 by winning handily on Tuesday, 67%-33%.  His turnout was not great, however (just 14,000 votes).  David Dreier got 74% of the vote, not great for an incumbent, and turnout was low district-wide.  Warner has been stepping up his game with a Web ad about Dreier’s frequent trips abroad and a companion site, Frequent Flyer Dreier.  My gut feel is that this is not an effective line of attack, especially when the easiest one is tying Dreier, a member of the House Republican Leadership, to George Bush and a failed conservative agenda.  I think there’s enough interest in this seat that such a message will get out there, however.  But Warner needs to improve on his June performance.  The new registration numbers are moving in Warner’s favor, however.

Second Tier

3. CA-45.  Last month: 4.  Incumbent: Mary Bono Mack.  Challenger: Julie Bornstein.  PVI #: R+3.  % Dem. turnout: 51.3.  Bornstein easily bested two challengers and won her race on Tuesday with just over 60% of the vote.  Adding up the Dem v. GOP vote you get about 22,000 Dems and 33,000 Republicans, which isn’t great.  But I feel Bornstein has some advantages.  Being an affordable housing advocate at a time when foreclosures are at an all-time high gives her authority on an important issue.  This article explaining her support for the Foreclosure Prevention Act is an example.  Manuel Perez’ win in AD-80, which partially overlaps the district, will be helpful too, especially if they engage in a campaign to register voters in the underperforming eastern regions of Riverside County like the Coachella Valley.  There’s a lot of room to run here, and it’s wide open for Democrats to exploit.  The registration numbers show just a 19,000-vote difference between Democrats and Republicans, and a dearth of registered voters relative to other districts.  This is an opportunity.  Bornstein also had pretty solid fundraising in the pre-primary filing (around $40K in 6 weeks).

4. CA-46.  Last month: 6.  Incumbent: Dana Rohrabacher.  Challenger: Debbie Cook (Responsible Plan endorser). PVI #: R+6.  % Dem. turnout: 47.2.  There’s a great profile of this race in today’s Los Angeles Times.

Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook has survived a few long-shot political battles. But the Debbie-versus-Goliath matchup she’s facing this fall is her biggest gamble yet.

The popular Surf City official is the Democratic hope to unseat GOP incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher — seeking his 11th term — in an underdog campaign some observers believe may succeed.

Read the whole thing.  I need to see Cook’s fundraising numbers go up before I become a true believer, and her primary performance on Tuesday didn’t set the world on fire.  Cook got around 20,000 votes to Rohrabacher’s 35,000.  But Rohrabacher isn’t doing any meaningful fundraising at all, and he continues to stick his foot in his mouth with asinine comments like yesterday’s about torture being just a bunch of “frat boy pranks.”  Cook’s communications team is fabulous and understands the netroots, and they’ll be sure to get attention in this cycle (Blue America has already hosted her).  Rohrabacher acknowledges in the LAT article that he’ll have to pay attention to this race.  He’s right.

5. CA-50.  Last month: 3.  Incumbent: Brian Bilbray.  Challenger: Nick Leibham.  PVI #: R+5.  % Dem. turnout: 50.8.  DCCC targeted.  Nick Leibham had a good fundraising cycle (about $70K raised in 6 weeks) but a disastrous primary.  Cheryl Ede, who was not well-funded, got 43 percent of the vote, and Leibham was only able to manage 19,000 votes to Brian Bilbray’s 46,000.  The implication here is that Leibham has a problem with the activist support he’s going to need going into November.  That spells trouble – especially in a seat that’s winnable enough that Bilbray’s going to try and blur party lines in anticipation of a Democratic wave.  In such an environment, we need someone willing to offer a real politics of contrast.  This biographical ad is a decent start but Leibham has to get the message out there.

6. CA-03.  Last month: 5.  Incumbent: Dan Lungren.  Challenger: Bill Durston. PVI #: R+7. % Dem turnout: 51.8.  The news is all pretty good for Bill Durston.  He had a fantastic fundraising cycle (77,000 in 6 weeks) and a strong showing in the primary, getting 26,000 votes to Dan Lungren’s 34,000.  Lungren, last seen in a Speedo on a lobbyist-paid trip to Hawaii, is absolutely going to have to work this time around.  Durston’s strategy in his second attempt to win this seat is slightly reminiscent of the effort against Richard Pombo in 2006.  He’ll need the same kind of support from outside groups to pull it off but it’s not impossible; like in CA-11, the registration numbers are all pointing in the Democratic direction, with less than 4 percentage points and only 15,000 votes separating Democrats and Republicans, the closest of any GOP-held seat.

Third Tier

7. CA-52.  Last month: 8.  Open seat.  Dem. challenger: Mike Lumpkin.  Repub. challenger: Duncan D. Hunter.  PVI #: R+9.  % Dem. turnout: 47.2.  The election night numbers show this seat to still be firmly Republican, with Duncan D. Hunter getting over twice as many votes in his race as Mike Lumpkin got in his.  Lumpkin managed only 58% of the vote, too, so he needs to lock down base support.  Lumpkin’s fundraising remains OK but Hunter’s got a big advantage there.  I personally liked Lumpkin’s rejection of those who would treat marriage equality as a divisive wedge issue.

8. CA-44.  Last month: 11.  Incumbent: Ken Calvert.  Challenger: Bill Hedrick (Responsible Plan endorser).  PVI #: R+6.  % Dem. turnout: 49.3.  Bill Hedrick got only 15,000 votes in his uncontested effort on Tuesday, but Ken Calvert got only 25,000 votes in his.  This seems like one of those seats where nobody actually knows who the incumbent is.  In a Democratic wave election, this is on the outside edge of being competitive.

9. CA-24.  Last month: 9.  Incumbent: Elton Gallegly.  Challenger: Marta Jorgensen.  PVI #: R+5.  % Dem. turnout: 50.6.  This was the shocker primary of the night.  Marta Jorgensen, who had dropped out of the race up until a couple weeks before the primary, ended up besting her two challengers, leaving party leaders in the district baffled.  There were hopes that this could be a battleground in November, but obviously Jorgensen – who had no expectation of winning and was told about her victory by the media – has a lot of work to do.  She introduced herself to the Calitics community today, and her record as someone who worked on the Draft Gore movement is admirable.  We’ll see how she approaches the next few months.

10. CA-41.  Last month: 10.  Incumbent: Jerry Lewis.  Challenger: Tim Prince.  PVI #: R+9.  % Dem. turnout: 46.3. Tim Prince received just 32% of the vote in winning his primary over 3 challengers on Tuesday.  With Jerry Lewis apparently in the clear from a legal standpoint, even his role as one of America’s most corrupt politicians may not be enough to take him down.

11. CA-42.  Last month: 7.  Incumbent: Gary Miller.  Challengers: Ed Chau.  PVI #: R+10.  % Dem. turnout: 44.0.  Ed Chau got around 7,000 votes in disposing of two challengers on primary night, while Gary Miller, running unopposed, got 32,000.  Chau needs to raise his profile throughout the district, as he lives outside it.  There is a small Asian community in the district and that would be a good place to start.

12. CA-48.  Last month: 13.  Incumbent: John Campbell.  Challenger: Steve Young.  PVI #: R+8.  % Dem. turnout: 45.1.  In a district including Irvine, the housing issue is going to be enormous, so if Steve Young wants to have a shot he’s going to have to make that the big issue.  He got 18,000 votes in his uncontested primary; John Campbell got 40,000 in his.  It’s an uphill climb.