Here’s what’s happening on the campaign trail.
• CA-11: Apparently trying to win some kind of award for the worst attack website in history, Jon Fleischman of the Flash Report (a terribly designed website in its own right) has put together One Term Is Enough, in all of its way-too-large masthead, ridiculously-spare with no action items or columns, design out of Quark X-Press glory. Man, that’s ugly. And I think the focus on Jerry McNerney’s earmarks, given the summer of scandal that Dean Andal has lived through which is entirely about a construction contract with a community college (if he was in Congress, that would be, basically, an earmark), is kind of silly. Meanwhile, McNerney is up with his first ad of the cycle, focusing on his work on behalf of troops and veterans.
• AD-80: As soyinkafan noted, Manuel Perez and Gary Jeandron had a debate where Jeandron stated his support for a tax increase in Imperial County. That’s not likely to help him with the conservative base, but clearly Jeandron understands that he has to move to left if he has any chance to win this seat. The Palm Springs Desert Sun has a debate report here.
• SD-19: Tony Strickland’s latest endorsement is Erin Brockovich, of all people. However, this could be less of a reach across the aisle as it appears.
Ventura County Star columnist Timm Herdt got Strickland’s Democratic opponent Hannah-Beth Jackson on the phone, who said she was “a little surprised” by Brockovich backing her opponent.
While Brockovich says she is a Democrat in the ad, she writes on her blog that she’s ready to leave the party and become an independent.
“I am ready to turn because both parties are acting foolish and judgmental and attacking,” she writes.
She also has kind words for GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
“I am proud to be a member of the same Strong Woman’s Club that Sarah Palin is in.” Brockovich writes.
• AD-15: As has been noted, Joan Buchanan released her first campaign ad of the cycle. Her opponent Abram Wilson responded with his own ad, also biographical in nature, and his campaign has questioned the Buchanan spot and her commitment to fiscal responsibility. I suppose signing a “no-tax” pledge is the height of responsibility, then.
• AD-30: We were all expecting it, and now Nicole Parra has officially endorsed Republican Danny Gilmore in the election to replace her. This is a family fight moved into the political sphere – the Parra-Florez feud is well-known.
Parra’s support of Danny Gilmore angered Democratic Party leaders, but comes as no surprise because she has been praising Gilmore for months.
“I will endorse Danny Gilmore in the near future and I will campaign for him and do commercials,” Parra said in an interview. Gilmore, a retired California Highway Patrol officer from Hanford, is running against Democrat Fran Florez, mother of state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, a longtime Parra rival.
• LA Board of Supes: Turns out that not only is Bernard Parks turning to Republicans to help him get elected over progressive State Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, but for ten years he was a member of the American Independent Party (!).
According to voter registration forms certified by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder:
Bernard Parks left the Democratic Party and registered as an American Independent on February 12, 1992 – just in time to miss the opportunity to vote for President Bill Clinton.
He registered again as an American Independent on August 9, 1996.
President George Bush was elected in November 2000 – but Parks still wouldn’t become a Democrat for nearly a year and a half.
Parks was fired as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department on April 9, 2002. Shortly thereafter, he began to prepare to run for Los Angeles City Council, and re-registered as a Democrat on May 30, 2002. Less than a year later, he was elected to the City Council.
That is very strange, especially for an African-American to sign up with a party which is the legacy of George Wallace.