Tag Archives: Debbie Cook

CA-46: Debate Fireworks and Ratf*#!kers for Rohrabacher

So Debbie Cook and Dana Rohrabacher debated yesterday afternoon.  I could write 1000 words about it, but I could also just provide you with this picture, which says it all:

As in, “I can’t believe I actually have to run for my seat.”

But if you want to know about the substance, Todd Beeton, who was there, has a writeup.

But even though crazy Dana is always likely to say some crazy shit, and he did, what I took away from the debate most of all was how unabashedly progressive Debbie Cook is and how lucky we would be to have her in Congress. This is a fairly red (albeit getting bluer every day) district, one where you might expect the Democratic challenger to moderate her views for the electorate. Nope, not Debbie. I’ll write about the debate more later, hopefully with video, but here are just three of the issues where Debbie shined today:

• On global warming, Cook, who is an energy expert, in response to Rohrabacher’s global warming denier nonsense, asserted “The debate is over. I can’t get into a discussion over climate change, to me it’s just a fact, we need to move on to solving our oil depletion problems.”

• On Proposition 8: “I strongly oppose Proposition 8, I am in favor of full marriage equality.”

• And on healthcare reform, Cook advocated for a single-payer Medicare for all model. “Health care is a right every American should enjoy.”

Yes, Crazy Dana denied global warming.  Again.  Not sure if he attributed it to dinosaur flatulence this time.  But here’s the actual discussion:

Rohrabacher went on to accuse those “who claim that humankind is changing the climate,” including Cook and his other opponents, of fear mongering.

“[They are] trying to stampede us into policies that will take us towards technologies that just deal with carbon dioxide and have nothing to do with personal health,” Rohrabacher said.

Cook, who led Huntington Beach in joining the U.S. Mayor’s Agreement on Global Warming, dismissed Rohrabacher’s claims, stating that the scientific debate over climate change had ended.

“Debating climate change is just a distraction from the real work that we all need to do,” Cook said. “Humans are overtaking the ability of the planet to sustain itself. Now, we need to move toward a green future because that’s the only thing that can save us.”

Apparently, Rohrabacher’s plan was to relate everything back to illegal immigration and the Wall Street bailout package, which he would have replaced with capital gains tax cuts and more deregulation, so I’m not seeing Mr. Populism in there.

Cook stayed on message and did not take the bait.  Here was her explanation.

After the debate, Cook explained why she refused to go after the incumbent.

“It’s not my style,” she said. “You don’t want to make the same mistake that the Republicans have made with McCain in going negative, negative, negative. I think it’s quite apparent that he’s done nothing for this district in 20 years. And if people don’t understand that, me telling them isn’t going to change anything.”

“He’s an a**,” Cook continued. “I can’t respond to him. He’s a liar.”

Meanwhile, I noticed something very interesting in Rohrabacher’s latest fundraising report:

Donald Segretti





Yes, that Donald Segretti.  The head of the “dirty tricks” division of the Nixon campaign, the guy who stole stationery from Ed Muskie and wrote all kinds of lies about possible Nixon opponents in 1972, alleging Scoop Jackson had an illegitimate child and Hubert Humphrey was guilty of sexual misconduct and Muskie had insulted Franch-Canadians.  By the way, Segretti was a co-chair of John McCain’s Presidential campaign in 2000.  And he was Karl Rove’s mentor in ratfucking.

Donald Segretti offered J. Timothy Gratz $100.00 per month, plus expenses, to co-ordinate these projects. Gratz agreed to work on the project and he was given an advance payment of $50.00. Gratz later told Anthony Ulasewicz that “although the whole incident seemed strange” he agreed to help “as most of the ideas he suggested seemed like they were worth doing anyway”. However, Gratz claimed he told Karl Rove, Chairman of the College Republican National Committee, about this dirty tricks campaign. We now know that Rove himself was part of Segretti’s campaign. In fact, he probably played a leading role in this dirty tricks operation. Rove had become friends with CIA asset, Robert F. Bennett in 1968. According to one report, Bennett became a “mentor of Rove’s”.

In 1970, Karl Rove used a false identity to enter the campaign office of Democrat Alan J. Dixon, who was running for Illinois State Treasurer, and stole 1000 sheets of paper with campaign letterhead. Rove then printed fake campaign rally fliers promising “free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing,” and distributed them at rock concerts and homeless shelters, with the effect of disrupting Dixon’s rally.

Nice company that Rohrabacher attracts.

Donate to Debbie Cook: Having the money to get her message out is all that stands between her and victory.

Live in a Safe Democratic District? Adopt-a-Candidate today!

Do you live in a safe Democratic Congressional district? If so, please join me and “Adopt-A-Candidate” for the final two week stretch of campaign season.

How do you “adopt-a-candidate”? It’s easy.

* Find a worthy Democratic congressional candidate in your state, or in a region you care about, who has potential to beat their opponent.

* Contribute to the candidate’s campaign, as though they were representing you.

* Promote your adopted candidate to anyone you know in that district, and write diaries and posts about them on blogs encouraging others to contribute to the candidate too.

What are the benefits of adopting a candidate?

* You’ll help get another Democrat elected to Congress, which will provide your own congressmember with an ally in Washington, and make it easier to get important legislation passed in the Obama administration.

* You’ll learn about the demographics and voting habits of another Congressional District. (And knowing the demographics makes watching election returns so much more exciting!)

* You’ll feel like you made a difference. (Even if your adoptee doesn’t win, you’ll have raised their public profile  so they’ll have an easier time raising funds and getting support next time they run for office.)

* When your adopted candidate wins, you’ll feel like you have two members of Congress representing you.

I adopted Debbie Cook in CA-46 through the encouragement of some fine folks I met on political blogs, and she’s been the best candidate I could ever ask for. I encourage any of you living in safe districts to go out there and “Adopt-a-Candidate” now!!! It’s only a 2-week commitment, but the benefits may last a lifetime.

CA-46 Debate: Debbie V. Dana

If you’re in Orange County Tuesday morning, please come to the one and only debate between Debbie Cook and Dana Rohrabacher. (The Green candidate and the Libertarian candidate will also be there.)

With momentum going her way, Debbie Cook needs you to come and cheer her on. Also to bring your questions! The eight questions the candidates will answer will come from audience members.

Here are the details:


October 21, 11:15 am – 1:15 pm

Orange Coast College

2701 Fairview Road

Costa Mesa, CA 92628  

Robert B Moore Theatre  

Call for more information: 714-432-5796.

Dana Rohrabacher refused to debate earlier before the absentee ballots went out. He refused a debate offer from Ner-Tamid synagogue in Rancho Palos Verdes. He also refused to appear on Inside OC on KOCE TV alongside Mayor Cook.

So this one’s it.  

CA-46: Debbie Cook: “Stimulate What? Buying More Crap From China?”

There was a lot of excitement in the IAM (Int’l Assoc. of Machinists) union hall this morning in Huntington Beach, where DFA’s Jim Dean and a host of local officials testified to the worthiness and strength of Debbie Cook, the Democratic candidate in CA-46, seeking to retire certified nutjob Dana Rohrabacher in Congress.  But the best reaction was for the candidate herself, who gave a straight-shooting, no B.S. speech that made clear the stakes in this election.

“Do-Nothing Dana has been in Congress for 20 years and hasn’t done a thing,” Cook, the mayor of Huntington Beach, said to a pancake breakfast of around 120 volunteers who were ready to precinct walk for her.  Referring to a claim from the campaign’s latest ad, that Rohrabacher has sponsored a bill to protect the country from an asteroid, she said, “he needs to worry less about asteroids and more about planet Earth.”

Cook has really matured as a speaker.  She is great on her core issues – energy, the environment, and health care reform – but she’s also endorsed the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, and really foregrounds smart growth and development issues.  State and local governments are so stressed by this financial crisis that it’s incumbent upon us to send lawmakers to Washington who understand local concerns.  I’ve heard again and again from local lawmakers in that district – and again today from Katrina Foley, running for re-election to City Council in Costa Mesa – that Rohrabacher is openly dismissive of any federal help for local governments, and refuses to work with his counterparts.  At this point that’s downright dangerous, creating choke points that will gut basic services and the smart policies we need – in mass transit, for example – to weather this economic downturn and create a 21st-century infrastructure.

You’ll notice that Foley, the Costa Mesa city councilwoman, is a Democrat.  Gus Ayer, the mayor of Fountain Valley, a Democrat.  Debbie Cook, the mayor of Huntington Beach, Democrat.  Orange County is changing, and those who ignore this reality and rest on their laurels, like Dana Rohrabacher, will live to regret it.  “This is the first time he’s had to get off his lazy a$% and campaign,” she said.  And he was slow to do it.  He only spent $38,000 in the third quarter, but once internal Republican polls have shown the race to be a dead heat, he has swamped the district with money.  He’s got 4 positive ads on the air and a bunch of negative mailers attacking Debbie as an “extreme liberal” on various issues.  If it’s liberal to advocate for quality and affordable health care for all, as she has done in earning the endorsement of the California Nurses Association, because to ignore the crisis welcomes a “fiscal nightmare” that risks blowing a hole in the federal budget for good, so be it.  If it’s liberal to recognize that  our current carbon-based economy is unsustainable, and that we must encourage policies and practices that move us off fossil fuels, there you are.  If it’s liberal to understand that smart density with mass transit can improve quality of life, the environment and the economy, well OK then.

The best part of the speech was when Cook talked about all the support she was getting throughout the district, and she mentioned that some people gave her their economic stimulus checks from the government.  “To stimulate what?  Buying more crap from China?”  While a new stimulus is needed, rather than handing out money as a band-aid we need to direct that spending into something useful, something that will create jobs and get the economy moving again.  We need to make things again in America.

After the speeches, the volunteers were sent out to walk precincts.  CA-46 is a very long and narrow district that hugs the coast from Long Beach and the Palos Verdes Peninsula in L.A. County down to Costa Mesa in Orange County.  Putting those blue areas up north into the district to neutralize their power is a big mistake in this wave election.  As the Cook campaign finds new voters everywhere, turning out folks in Long Beach is part of the strategy.  So I walked part of a precinct in Long Beach and got a very good response.  Rohrabacher simply does not have a good reputation among anyone but the wingnuts, and his record on Social Security (pro-privatization), the military (voted against improving veteran’s health care) and the environment (he’s a global warming denier) is quite extreme.  (There’s also the dressing up in drag to solve the RFK murder and about a thousand other lunatic stories)  I talked to people today who said “We’re Republicans, but we don’t like Dana.”  Very few people turned me away.

Cook’s volunteer base is the edge in this election.  But she also needs some financial help.  The campaign estimates that they need $75,000 to meet their budget and get the last few targeted mailers into the field.  Debbie is a Blue America candidate and a Better Democrat.  You can donate to her on ActBlue.  Please do – we have a real chance here.  I’m hoping to get Debbie on Calitics Radio next week.

And if you’re in the district, consider volunteering by visiting their website.

Debbie Cook – Give to Her and I’ll Match (UPDATED)

(that’s what I’m talkin’ about! – promoted by David Dayen)

UPDATE2 Monday midnight: Final numbers – $650 raised from 20 donors, and $300 matched by me, as promised.  

UPDATE Monday 11:15pm: So far $625 raised, and I’ve hit my limit of $250 in donation matches (actually, I’ve gone a little beyond it).  I’m looking for one more donor before midnight of $5 or more.  That will bring me to an even $300.  

This will be a short diary – my message is pretty clear.

* Debbie Cook is a great candidate

* Dana Rohrabacher is a bum

* If you give to Debbie here by tomorrow (Monday) midnight

* I’ll match your donation.

* Get bigger bang for your progressive donation – give to Debbie now.  


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.

CA-46: Another Tie Race

The Capitol Weekly reports, in an article about dimming GOP prospects, that Dana Rohrabacher is in a world of trouble.

The third contest is in the 46th Congressional District in Orange County, where incumbent Republican Dana Rohrabacher faces Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook.

According to GOP sources, internal polling shows the difference between Rohrabacher and Cook, the mayor of Huntington Beach, to be within the margin of error, although Rohrabacher has heavily outspent Cook.   Hoffenblum believes Rohrabacher faces “possibly the strongest Democrat to run against him since the current district lines were drawn in 2001.”

I don’t think it’s accurate to say that Rohrabacher has heavily outspent Cook.  He only spent a paltry $38,000 in the third quarter, though that may be ramping up now.  I don’t think the NRCC is going to have a lot of money to help him either, though they’re making noises about it.

The strapped National Republican Congressional Committee, which at the end of August had $14 million in the bank, compared with $54 million for the Democrats, last week took out an $8 million loan to fund races in the final days of the campaigns. With scant resources, the fight for dollars is intense.  

GOP insiders believe some funds may flow to Rohrabacher in the 46th C.D., but that money for any of the others is problematic. Democrats declined to say whether Cook would get last-minute cash from national Democrats.

Calitics Match candidate Debbie Cook is a better Democrat.  She supports the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, quality health care for every American, and a post-carbon economy with green energy pushing out the dirty fuels of the past.  She would be an amazing legislator.  This can be done.  She needs your support.  Donate here.  I will be down in the district over the weekend to get a report.

And don’t just believe me about all this, check out theCook Political Report.

Here’s yet more evidence that the Dems are poised for huge gains in Congress: The Cook Report has released a new set of updated rankings on 25 House races — and all 25 are shifts in the Dems’ direction.

CA-03 Dan Lungren (R) – Solid Republican to Likely Republican

CA-04 OPEN, Doolittle (R) – Likely Republican to Lean Republican

CA-46 Dana Rohrabacher (R) – Solid Republican to Likely Republican

CA-50 Brian Bilbray (R) – Solid Republican to Lean Republican

That’s right, Charlie Brown, Nick Leibham and Bill Durston are looking very impressive.  And Charlie Cook is being very conservative with these picks.  We have the momentum, now we have to go out there and pull it off.

The State of the Races in California

Howie Klein has a look at the state of congressional races in California as voters are heading to the polls in what should be a tsunami year for Democrats.

Over the flip…

The most likely district to go from Republican to Democrat this year is CA-04 where corrupt Republican incumbent John Doolittle– along with the equally corrupt Mrs. Doolittle– will soon be headed for prison and the GOP is trying to slip in an ideological doppelganger in the form of L.A. right wing extremist Tom McClintock. First McClintock, widely seen as an interloper and carpetbagger, will have to get by the Democrat who came close to beating Doolittle in 2006, local boy Charlie Brown, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel known for standing up for working families.

There are two other Blue America candidates running strong races, Russ Warner in CA-26 and Debbie Cook in CA-46, both awakening red districts represented by entrenched rubber stamp Republicans David Dreier and Dana Rohrabacher. No one ever mentions the two most glaring anomalies about the two Republicans: Dreier is a hypocritical, self-loathing closet queen who takes his lover/overpaid chief of staff on exotic vacations all over the world at taxpayer expense; and Rohrabacher is out of his mind and the biggest– probably onlysupporter of Taliban terrorists in Congress. Instead, battles in both districts are being fought on familiar turf– both incumbents have taken massive amounts of “donations” from special interests like Big Oil and commercial banking and insurance and have always voted for their interests instead of the interests of the working families in their districts.

Three other California Democrats are making credible cases to displace out of touch incumbents. Up near Sacramento, far right extremist Dan Lungren is facing his stiffest challenge ever from Bill Durston. Meanwhile Mary Bono Mack, who doesn’t have any connect to her district any longer, is getting a run for her (big corporate contributors’) money from Julie Bornstein. The sixth challenger with a real shot at winning is Nick Liebham who’s taking on corrupt rubber stamp lobbyist Brian Bilbray in Northern San Diego County. This afternoon Nick talked with me about Bilbray’s shameful record concerning veterans. “Bibray’s voting record as it concerns veterans really speaks to his distorted priorities and values,” said Nick. “Irrespective of how you feel about the war, and I have called for a timeline to withdraw our troops, we as a nation have an obligation to provide for our heroes when they return home.  Brian Bilbray will send them to a war into perpetuity but wont send them to college.  He is a disgrace.” Nick’s campaign got a tremendous boost in the last couple of weeks when a local hero, former Marine Gen. Joe Hoar not only endorsed Nick, but started campaigning for him and cut a devastating TV commercial as well.

As Howie notes, the disgusting decision by Democrats to focus on an incumbent protection redistricting following the 2000 census means that we are in the second cycle in a row where it is unbelievably difficult for Democrats to take advantage of a nation that has realized Republicans are an awful choice. While it is important to talk to your parents about voting Republican, it is quite difficult to beat them in California. So if you live in a competitive district, please do all you can to help out. And since it is likely you don’t live in a competitive district, sending money is helpful. And hopefully, following the 2010 census, Democrats will follow a Burton redistricting model that is far more Phil than John.

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, CA-46, AD-26, AD-30

Here are some things happening around the state:

• CA-04: The most important debate evah is tonight!  No, not that Biden-Palin thing, it’s Calitics Match candidate Charlie Brown and Tom McClintock in Oroville.    Meanwhile, the air war has begun in earnest.  Brown is up with a 60-second ad featuring a local family as a third-party endorser, explaining their struggles to stay ahead in this economy and how Brown is the right choice.  I think it’ll play well (Brown has an American Jobs Plan which includes investments in infrastructure and green jobs, which is key to the needed reindustrialization of society).  On the other hand, Tom McClintock has decided to use Grandpa Fred.

“The financial crisis our nation faces is complicated, and I don’t think anybody’s got all the answers,” Thompson, a well-known actor and former U.S. senator from Tennessee, says in the commercial. “But I’ll tell you one thing. I’ll feel a lot more confident with Tom McClintock working on it, rather than some amateur.”

Shorter Grandpa Fred: “All this book-learnin’ and financializin’ is hard to figger.  Pick the guy who’s never voted Yes on a budget in his entire career.”

• CA-11: If you want to know why Dean Andal isn’t getting any traction in his race against Rep. Jerry McNerney, this quote says it all:

Elected in 2006, McNerney is in a better position for reelection than many expected. But he sits in a district that gave President Bush 54 percent of the vote in 2004, a sure sign that the freshman Democrat ought to be looking over his shoulder.

His Republican opponent, former state Assemblyman Dean Andal, may not be in a position to capitalize, though. The Lodi News-Sentinel reported that an Andal spokesman took the curious position that “it would be inappropriate of Andal to comment on the bailout bill, because he is not in office.”

Yes, it would be terrible to actually give your viewpoints on national issues during a political campaign.

• CA-46: You know that Calitics Match candidate Debbie Cook is gaining traction in her race against nutjob Dana Rohrabacher by this – Rohrabacher has gone negative.  He’s sent an attack mailer that takes a Cook comment about gas prices out of context and really goes to great lengths to greenwash himself.  He mentions his sponsorship of a bill to completely eliminate environmental review for solar projects, which is irresponsible but which he is trying to cynically use as proof of his green energy bona fides.  It also calls Cook an extremist liberal who opposes drilling.

What’s hysterical is that Rohrabacher sent the mailer to everyone in the district but Democrats, meaning that Greens got it.  And I’m told by the Cook campaign that they received numerous calls from Green Party members saying that they were voting for Debbie BECAUSE of the mailer!

In other news, Rohrabacher is certifiably crazy.

According to a September 25, 2008, Pasadena Weekly article by Carl Kozlowski, Rohrabacher believes that the Los Angeles Police Department has for 40 years hidden the fact that Sirhan Sirhan, the lone man convicted of shooting Kennedy, worked as part of a “real conspiracy” of Arabs […]

In early 2007–39 years after the killing and right around the time that he blamed global warming on dinosaur flatulence, Rohrabacher decided to solve his murder mystery for “the Kennedy family.”

Anyone familiar with Rohrabacher knows this story is now headed for unadulterated, wacky bliss.

At some point, Sirhan sent Summer Reese, one of his lawyers, a letter telling her that “a Diana was coming to see him.”

Reese told Kozlowski, “Sirhan didn’t know it was the congressman because his visitor was presented as a woman.”

Rohrabacher. Undercover. In drag. Using the name Diana?

Perhaps this sheds light on why ex-Congressman Bob Dornan (R-Garden Grove) liked to call Rohrabacher “a fruitcake.”

I actually know Carl, maybe I’ll track him down and interview him about this.

• AD-26: I’ve noticed a lot of Republicans afraid to debate this year.  Here’s another example.

Stretching from Turlock to Stocton, the 26th Assembly District is fairly even in voter registration and is a target on both party’s lists. So why would one candidate take a pass on a critical opportunity to face his opponent and make his case to voters? That is the question being asked by Democratic candidate John Eisenhut who was at a League of Women Voters debate in Modesto Friday night. His Republican opponent, Bill Berryhill, had a “scheduling conflict.”

In a conversation with Eisenhut the night after the debate he said that Berryhill didn’t want to debate him. This in spite of Berryhill being quoted by the Modesto Bee saying,

“People deserve some dialogue and to know where we both stand.”

• AD-30: Fran Florez runs against Sacramento  in this solid new ad.  Is she also running against her own son, State Sen. Dean Florez?