Tag Archives: Julie Bornstein

Campaign Update: CA-04, CA-45, CA-46, AD-78

A few odds and ends:

• CA-04: Tom McClintock is bringing out the big guns to help his cash-strapped campaign – Ron Paul is all in!

Paul, the libertarian-Republican congressman from Texas who raised more than $34 million for his presidential race, sent out an e-mail last week urging his massive donor base to contribute to McClintock.

“Tom McClintock is one of the most promising warriors in the fight against big government we have seen in a long time, and the special interests and big bankers know it. … You have stood with me as….

…I campaigned for the Presidency to return our federal government to its proper role. Will you help me bring a reliable ally to Congress?”

This brings up some interesting questions.  Does Tom McClintock think we should withdraw from Iraq and dozens of other military bases around the world?  Does he believe in abolishing the Federal Reserve?  The coinage of free silver?  

They do have one thing in common, however – white supremacist supporters.

• CA-45: New voter registration statistics have not been released by the Secretary of State’s office, but I think they will show good news for Democrats across the state.  One statistic that is measurable is the early voting number, and in CA-45, it’s good news for Julie Bornstein.

Democrats have significantly narrowed the early voting gap in the 45th Congressional District, an encouraging sign for challenger Julie Bornstein in her battle to unseat Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-Palm Springs), according to Bornstein campaign manager Walter Ludwig.

In both 2004 and 2006, registered Republicans accounted for about 54 percent of early voters, compared with just 34 percent for Democrats. Mack, now a four-term incumbent, cruised to re-election both years by more than 20 points.

This year, early voting is much more evenly split. The latest numbers from the Riverside County Registrar of Voters show that registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by just five percent among early voters.

It’s like the entire Republican machine all collapsed at once.  They used to be MASTERS at getting absentee votes out.  This year, there’s either no such effort, or it’s being matched by Democrats.  CA-45 is under the radar, but these numbers suggest that it shouldn’t be.

• CA-46: At the Great Orange Satan, Devilstower has a great piece that could start a new meme about Debbie Cook – the anti-Palin.

Suppose there was a candidate who was as bright and as capable as Sarah Palin is confused and incompetent.

Someone who had a record of working with environmental groups, and who had a real understanding of the threat posed by our dependence on fossil fuels. Someone with a degree in earth science and the long experience to make the claim of being a genuine energy expert.

Someone who not only knew science, but also had a law degree, and was a graduate of the leadership program at the Kennedy School of Government. Someone who has held positions of honor in state and national commissions. Someone who was well respected for both her intellect and her passion.

Suppose there was a candidate who had been mayor of, not a tiny town, but a medium-sized city. And suppose she took that position as a Democrat in the midst of a heavily Republican district.

Suppose there was someone who was everything that Sarah Palin is not.

Fortunately for us, there’s Debbie Cook.

Read the whole thing.  And help Debbie if you can.

• AD-78: Bill Cavala, who worked the last close race in this district, took a peek at some new registration numbers which show a real advantage for Marty Block:

This year the new registration ‘close’ figures show the Democrats with 101, 131 registrants, an increase of about 4100 from the last Presidential year. DTS registrations are 49,855, an increase of about 5800 from 2004. Most remarkably, however, Republican registration has fallen by almost 8000 – from 82,615 four years ago to 74,700 today.

This means the net change is Dems up 4100 and Reps down 8000 or 12,100 in favor of the Democrat over 2004.

Forget the increase in DTS registrations – which vote more Democratic than Republican in San Diego. Starting out down 12,000 in a seat where they won by 2000 with an incumbent – it’s open this year – puts the Republican candidate squarely behind the 8 ball.

Just one of the many Assembly races where this is so.

Campaign Update: Q3 Money Race Tells The Story

(Updated with new information at the bottom… – promoted by David Dayen)

The FEC reports are starting to come in for our candidates.  I’ll update them here, but the preliminary numbers are very strong.

CA-50: Wow.  Nick Leibham raised $413,000 in the third quarter, his best quarter of the cycle by a factor of four.  With $334,000 cash on hand, he’s going to be able to get his message out in the final weeks.  As much as anything, this is why Leibham is Red To Blue.  No word on Brian Bilbray’s take yet.  Leibham’s latest ad uses a local war hero to hammer Bilbray for his vote against the new GI Bill, and it’s very powerful, a great improvement over the attention-getting stunts from earlier in the year.  I’m starting to feel good about this race.

CA-45: Julie Bornstein raised around $102,000 in Q3, while Mary Bono Mack raised $245,000.  The cash on hand situation shows Bono Mack with $462,548 in the bank compared to Bornstein’s $179,308.  That’s not terrible, especially if the DCCC steps in with some outside help – they just added Bornstein to their emerging races list (along with Bill Durston in CA-03).  Her latest ad, showing Bono Mack as a rubber-stamping bobblehead, is spot-on (“Do you think George Bush is right 92% of the time?”)

CA-52: In our toughest winnable race, Mike Lumpkin raised $107,000 and has $125,000 CoH, and Duncan D. Hunter raised $290,000 with $321,000 CoH.  It’ll take a monumental effort to win this one, but I don’t consider it impossible.  Lumpkin just got put on the D-Trip’s Races To Watch page, along with Russ Warner (CA-26).

CA-46: A nice writeup about canvassing for Debbie Cook from friend of the blog Andrew Davey (atdleft).

more money updates when they roll in…

UPDATE: Debbie Cook raised $114,000 and has $181,000 in the bank.  Nothing yet from Dana Rohrabacher.  Will she outraise him three quarters in a row?

UPDATE: More numbers:


Charlie Brown: raised $539K, $456K cash on hand.  GREAT numbers.

Tom McClintock: raised $978K, but spent a ton, and has only $94,000 left, with $110,000 in debts.  He is BROKE.  Brown has an infinite lead in CoH.


Bill Durston: raised $149K, $145K CoH.

Dan Lungren: raised $173K (wow, Durston almost outraised him), $680K CoH.  Dr. Bill is going to need some help.


Russ Warner: raised $289K, which is great, but he’s spent a lot early.  He has $119K CoH.

David Dreier: raised $255K.  Wow, Warner outraised Dreier.  He still has $1.7 million in the bank, and he doesn’t seem to be using the money.  He only spent $345K in Q3.  I don’t know if it’s for leadership purposes or what, but he has a hell of a war chest that he’s not using.


Jerry McNerney: raised $601K, $1.02 million CoH.

Dean Andal: raised $345K, with $850K CoH.  Some prize recruit.


Brian Bilbray: This was the number I was waiting for.  He raised $262K and has $382K CoH.  OK, Nick Leibham didn’t just beat Bilbray in Q2, he destroyed him.  And the cash on hand is virtually even.  Wow.


Dana Rohrabacher: Drum roll… raised $148K.  OK, he beat Debbie Cook for once.  The CoH is $497K, but much like Dreier, he’s spent next to nothing.  $35K in the quarter.

Overall, these are good numbers.  Lots of our candidates have the resources they need.  Keep up the pressure.

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-03, CA-04, CA-11, CA-41, CA-45, SD-19,

And away we, er, go.

• CA-03: Bill Durston, who is showing lots of strength in his race against Dan Lungren, has earned the support of the Alliance of Retired Americans, a 3.5 million-member group of retirees.  Clearly this came on the heels of Durston’s strong support for a not-for-profit health care system:

Dr. Durston has also been a strong proponent of universal health care. “It’s always been my philosophy that access to necessary medical care is a basic human right, not a privilege based on one’s ability to pay. We’re the only western industrialized country in the world that doesn’t have some form of universal health care, yet we pay twice as much per capita as the other countries for medical care.”

Durston is starting to get some major attention after that last poll.  Expect him to attack Lungren on his vote for the bailout over the next 27 days.

• CA-04: Lots going on here.  After vowing to shut down his account for 2010 statewide races, professional politician Tom McClintock just couldn’t close the door.

But four weeks before the Nov. 4 election, McClintock’s account remains open and active, as the Thousand Oaks lawmaker has doled out thousands of dollars to fellow Republicans in the last week.

McClintock made $3,600 donations, the maximum allowed under state law, to a trio of Republican candidates for the Legislature: Senate candidates Tony Strickland and Greg Aghazarian and Assembly hopeful Jack Sieglock.

His Democratic opponent, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charlie Brown, made hay of McClintock’s multiple accounts over the summer, calling him a career politician in search of a job.

“What office are you running for?” Brown said in a July statement.

I just find it interesting that Republicans are that worried about Jack Sieglock.  Go Alyson Huber!  Of course, the other half of this is that McClintock is a huge hypocrite, but you knew that.

In other news, Charlie Brown has a new ad out comparing professional politician McClintock to his record of service.  Truth Fights Back, John Kerry’s group, is getting Charlie’s back over that ridiculous anti-military smear of McClintock’s.  Brown also signed the Children’s Defense Council’s Pledge to ensure affordable health care for every child and every pregnant woman.  I very much liked this strong take in the press release:

“Tom McClintock gets free healthcare, a free car, free gas, and tax free per diems he’s not entitled to, yet has voted to restrict the ability of Californians to see a doctor of their choice and fought against helping our most vulnerable citizens  access meaningful healthcare coverage,” said Retired USAF Lt. Col. Charlie Brown  “His record of inaction has not only helped drive up the cost of healthcare for every Californian, it’s illustrative of a career politician hypocrite who would rather serve himself, than solve problems.”

Earlier this year, McClintock authored SB 1669, which would have made it easier for health insurance companies to deny the health claims of Californians on the basis of pre-existing condition.  In fact, SB 1669 would have extended the period that insurers could look back in your medical history from 12 months to 10 years.  

“Tom McClintock’s idea of healthcare reform is writing a law that says if you have a medical problem, you can’t get healthcare coverage,” Brown said.  “This misguided bill  could have literally cost millions of Californians who have battled and overcome ailments ranging from diabetes, to mild cardiac conditions or cancer their lives.  It was so misguided, it never came up for a floor vote and not a single healthcare organization or institution signed on to support it.

Also, Mcjoan at the Great Orange Satan had a good piece based on some of her time in the district recently.  This is big:

The campaign has seven offices across the nine counties in the huge district, one of the most beautiful in the country, spanning the Sierras. With four regional field directors, seven organizers and 25 paid canvassers, the campaign has knocked on more than 120,000 doors and made over 300,000 phone calls. Hundreds of new Democrats have been registered. This is the kind of retail politics that allows Democrats to win in Republican districts, in fact it’s about the only way to run successfully in a tough district. McClintock, by contrast, has basically no field operation.

That ground game is going to win it for Charlie.

• CA-11: Continuing his quest to be the most overhyped Republican challenger this cycle, Dean Andal continues to dodge the question of whether or not he supported the Paulson bailout plan.  He literally has no idea how to handle it, preferring to hide behind the idea that it would be inappropriate to comment because he’s not in office.  Yeah, uh, that’s kind of the point.  You say how you would be different from the current office-holder as a means to get the job.  What a loser.

• CA-41, CA-45: Haven’t written much about Tim Prince’s race in San Bernardino County against Jerry “Lobbyists Are Funding My Congressional Portrait” Lewis, but somehow his campaign got the local paper to call it a tough race.

Prince criticized Lewis’ use of earmarks, the pet projects that lawmakers attach to spending bills, in some cases without a vote.

“Jerry Lewis is totally void of morality when it comes to earmarks,” he said, pointing to Lewis’ ties to Bill Lowery, a longtime friend and lobbyist. “When I’m congressman, the mayor of Beaumont and the mayor of Apple Valley can pick up the phone and call me for help. They don’t have to call a lobbyist who happens to be my best friend.”

One thing that Prince would be better advised to focus on is that his district has one of the highest rates of foreclosures in the entire country.  The highest?  CA-45, where Mary Bono-Mack is facing affordable housing expert Julie Bornstein.  If there was ever a reason to create a single-issue candidacy, this is it, and for Bornstein, who has an easier time of it with a less partisan electorate, that could be a real opening in the final month.

• SD-19: Calitics Match candidate Hannah-Beth Jackson is attacking Tony Strickland for greenwashing his environmental credentials in a very, shall we say, familiar way:

Of course, I’m happy to have provided the template for calling out Strickland on this nonsense.  There are in addition lots of IE attacks in this race as it nears the home stretch.

Campaign Update

A mini-report:

• CA-04: I love this video from the Charlie Brown campaign.  They traveled 412 miles down to Thousand Oaks to talk to constituents of California’s Alan Keyes, State Senator and professional office-chaser Tom McClintock.  It’s really funny and drives the point home that McClintock is a do-nothing at best and a dangerous radical at worst:

And get this, McClintock is now running on the state budget, the Republican version of which has a 19% approval rating.  That’s like putting Nixon, Bush and Cheney in your campaign ad.

• CA-26, CA-45: Not one but two!  Both Russ Warner AND Julie Bornstein have been added to the DCCC “Races To Watch” list.  This is a prelude to being listed as Red To Blue candidates.  If the D-Trip comes through with some money, maybe threatened incumbents like Dreier will have to stop mouthing off about other GOP races and start paying attention to their own. UPDATE: Mike Lumpkin (CA-52) is on that list now too, which is a pleasant surprise.

• CA-46: When John Fund tries to target a Dem challenger, you know something’s going wrong.  Fund is sounding the alarm on Debbie Cook, as Dana Rohrabacher tries to greenwash himself with a scheme to build solar-power plants on federal land without environmental impact studies.  Fund says that Cook called this “an extreme position,” but he chopped the quote:

Democratic challenger and Mayor of Huntington Beach Debbie Cook agrees that the process of approving solar power plants is sluggish and needs to be sped up, but not at the expense of the environment.

“This is just another extreme position by Dana Rohrabacher. What we need to do is come up with a balanced approach that streamlines these projects, because they’re critically important to our energy future, but at the same time recognizes the impacts to the environment,” Cook said.

Rohrabacher’s doing the equivalent of saying he’ll grow jobs by hiring 10,000 federally funded serial killers, and then wondering why everyone’s worried about the mass death (“You wanted jobs, didn’t you?”).  There’s a sensible way to free up the bottlenecks and a rash one.  Rohrabacher chose door #2.

• CA-42: The internal poll results released by Ed Chau are intriguing (showing him up 44-38 after a mix of positive and negative information released on the candidates), but I don’t think candidates who have minimal bank accounts should do polls stating the numbers after a mix of information if they don’t have the money to get that information out.  But if Gary Miller truly has a 28% re-elect number as the poll states, he could be in trouble.

Dan Lungren Takes A Big Bite Out Of Social Security

(Moved video up top as it is pretty gosh darn funny. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Yesterday, we told you about California Democrats who were holding events to celebrate the 73rd birthday of Social Security.  Their intent was to both pay tribute to the program that has been a lifeline to millions of seniors for over seven decades AND to condemn John McCain and Republican members of Congress who are eager to privatize the system and let the corporate greed-mongers of Wall Street make a bundle.

For instance, Jeff Morris, the Congressional Democratic candidate who is going head-to-head with Wally Herger in CA-02, held his campaign kickoff at the Social Security office in Redding.

Julie Bornstein, the Democrat running to unseat Mary Bono Mack in CA-45 also held an event, to open her new campaign office in Palm Springs, with a special emphasis on celebrating 73 years of Social Security.

But Beverly and Leonard’s celebration in CA-03 took the cake, so to speak…

You may have seen the video of Beverly and Leonard in yesterday’s diary as they talked about the important role Social Security has played in their lives and discussed their plans to express their gratitude to the program by delivering a birthday cake to Dan Lungren.

Well, we think Beverly and Leonard did a really sweet job of making their point.  Yesterday morning, they walked into Dan Lungren’s office with their Social Security cake, cut it up, and served large portions to Lungren’s entire staff, making sure to drive home the message that because the cake was so large, there was plenty to go around — everybody could have a piece.

Wow.  Dan Lungren couldn’t have been more on target with HIS messaging.  Yes, there’s plenty of Social Security cake to go around.  It’s just that greedy Republican politicians want to get their hands on it and take the whole cake… leaving average Americans with the empty plate.

From the other events:


In Redding, two Jeff Morris supporters who, at 73, are both the same age as Social Security, pose with Jeff’s Social Security cake.


And Julie Bornstein?  Well, she’s going work to protect Social Security and make sure there’s a piece of it available for every American — not just a few wealthy investors.


Online Organizing Director

California Democratic Party

Beverly And Leonard Are Planning A Party!

Today is the birthday of Social Security, and Democrats around the country will be celebrating the program that has provided stability and dignity to seniors for the last 73 years. During the last few years, George W. Bush, John McCain and the Republicans in Congress have done their best to try to dismantle the protections that Social Security has built over the years.

“The American people said ‘no’ to George W. Bush and John McCain when they tried to privatize Social Security, and they’ll say the same loud and clear to John McCain this November for promising more of the same,” said DNC Chairman Howard Dean. “The same people who brought you Enron can’t be trusted to gamble away the Social Security trust fund on the ups and downs of the stock market. John McCain is wrong on the privatization of Social Security, and he’s the wrong choice for America’s future.”

PhotobucketThroughout the US, Democrats will be visiting Republican legislators and taking them copies of this birthday card. Here in California we have several special events taking place.

Up in CA-02, Democratic Candidate Jeff Morris, who is challenging the do-nothing Republican incumbent, Wally Herger, will be holding his Campaign Kick-Off at the Social Security Office in Redding. If you’re in the area, stop by and meet him and his wife, Judy, and their many dedicated supporters.

Where: Social Security Office, 2195 Larkspur Office, Redding, CA 96002

When: Thursday August 14th at 9:45 am

Down in CA-45, Julie Bornstein, the Democratic candidate who is challenging Republican Mary Bono Mack, will be celebrating both the Social Security Birthday and the opening of her campaign office in Palm Springs.  There’s a rumor that cake may be involved…

Where: 1027 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA

When: Thursday August 14th from 4:30 to 6:30 pm

Or, if you’re in the Sacramento area you can join Beverly and Leonard and some of their friends. Beverly and Leonard live in CA-03, and they’re going to be honoring the birthday of Social Security by taking some birthday cake to their Republican Congressman, Dan Lungren. You see, Beverly and Leonard aren’t exactly rich, and they depend on their monthly Social Security payments to make ends meet. That’s why they’re not too keen on those risky privatization schemes that Republicans like John McCain and Dan Lungren have peddled. Here…they’ll tell you all about it.

So come out and join Beverly and Leonard (or Jeff Morris or Julie Bornstein) today as they stand up in support of our Democratic values and the programs like Social Security that have served so many millions of Americans so well.

Where: Dan Lungren’s District Office, 2339 Gold Meadow Way #220, Gold River, CA 95670

When: Thursday August 14th at 11:00 am

And tune in tomorrow to find out what happened…


Online Organizing Director

California Democratic Party

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.

Calitics Show: Julie Bornstein

(bumped – this was a really good discussion.  I’m more excited now about the Bornstein candidacy.  Be sure to check out the podcast. – promoted by David Dayen)

Another exciting Calitics Show this week. We’ll be talking live to Julie Bornstein, Democratic nominee for CA-45. CA-45 is a Congressional District that we have a real shot at. Despite being only the 194th Most Republican District at R+3, it is currently listed by Cook as a solid Republican Seat.  I’ll note that Cook also rated Pombo as a solid Republican seat around this time two years ago. Bornstein, a former Assembly member, is a solid candidate with the possibility to shock a few people come November.

Calitics Show homepage

The show’s live at 3:30 today. You can catch it live or archived at the Calitics Show homepage or grab the podcast at iTunes. If you’d like to call in live, shoot me an email with your phone number and I’ll send you the call-in #.