Tag Archives: congressman calvert

Deadline Approaching – I Need the Grassroots!

(This is our top Congressional challenge in 2010.  If you have a few bucks to spare, consider making a donation. – promoted by David Dayen)

Last year, thanks to the grassroots, we came closer to beating Ken Calvert in California’s 44th District than anyone thought possible.

With that near upset, people from across the country took note of this seat – especially the Republicans!

National Republicans have already begun raising money hand over fist from their big business, special interest contributors to keep Ken Calvert in office.  

In fact, later today, Ken Calvert is set to receive $100,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee as part of their “Patriot Program.”  They’re doing everything they can to hold on to the seat!  

According to the NRCC, these Patriots will be provided with the resources they need to build strong campaigns to help Republicans fight their way back to the Majority.  We can’t let this happen!

To donate now go to http://www.actblue.com/page/2ndq

So while Mr. Calvert is raising hundreds of thousands of dollars from big business and special interest contributors, I’m being funded solely by people like you – the grassroots.

With the Republicans’ big money machine behind Calvert, I can’t out raise him.  But with your support, I can make sure we have the resources on hand to fight back against the ugly attacks that are coming as the right-wing tries desperately to hold on to this seat.

We face a huge fundraising deadline on June 30.

With all the interest in the race, pundits, talking heads and analysts from around the country are watching to see how we do so I really need a strong showing.  I can’t buy this seat and I won’t be in anybody’s pocket so I depend on you, the grassroots, to help me fund this campaign.

I know times are tough and the election is still 16 months out (which seems like an eternity) but if you really want to help a grassroots candidate win a seat at the table in Washington to speak out on your issues, this is the time to step up and help me.

Can I count on you?

To donate now go to http://www.actblue.com/page/2ndq

Latest on CA 44 – One of 3 Congressional Races to Watch!

Last week, the Rothenberg Political Report http://rothenbergpoliticalrepo… came out and listed our race as having moved from last year’s “Solid Republican” ranking to now “Leaning Republican”.

With that new ranking, we’ve been told we’re one of the three top races in the country to watch.

As encouraging as that is, I am also being told that I now need to immediately raise huge sums of money if I want to remain competitive.

I didn’t get within 2% last cycle by raising millions of dollars and sending out flashy ads.  Instead, I did it the old fashioned way.  I walked the district and I actually talked to voters one-on-one.  I was able to connect with thousands of families who have watched their jobs disappear and their homes lost to foreclosure – even though they always played by the rules.  In 2008, I did what I do best:  connect with voters one-on-one and discuss issues to explain exactly how I would be different than their current representative.  At the heart of each issue (the economy, health care, the environment), we all share the same basic beliefs that we want our children to grow up in a safe, secure, thriving community and to do better than we did.

Unfortunately, I know that this race will be different and that strategy alone won’t work in 2010 because the other side is so desperate to retain the seat.

The NRCC now realizes this seat is vulnerable and have made it clear they don’t want to lose it.  They’ve already set up a donation page for Calvert and Newt Gingrich is hosting a fundraiser tonight to help raise money for him.

It’s going to be difficult for me to raise money within the district given the fact that the Riverside portion of my district (which makes up 80% of the electorate) has the fourth largest foreclosure rate in the country and one of the highest unemployment rates.

Last year many of you missed out on the opportunity to help me capture this winnable seat because we were under just about everyone’s radar.  Now I’m asking you to support my effort to take this seat once and for all in 2010.  Go to our Act Blue page and donate:  http://www.actblue.com/page/he…

I won’t change my core belief that winning in Republican districts (where people have actually been voting  against their own interests) is only possible when candidates are out there talking to voters discussing the issues specific to the district rather than focusing solely on raising money hoping to buy votes with a media blitz.

However, without a combination of the two strategies (walking and raising money), my campaign cannot be successful.  That is why I’ve always been a proponent of public campaign finance which would allow candidates to spend more time talking to voters rather than fundraising.  But until that occurs, I hope I can count on the grassroots within our party to help a true progressive win a seat in Congress!

It’s Official – I’m Running in 2010

(Good luck! – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Ok, so no one is exactly shocked to hear that today I’ve made it official but I wanted to come here to this blog to post it myself since the folks at Calitics have always been good to me.

I also wanted to post a little more about myself so that you understand why I’m running and why you should care about this race.

EDIT by Brian for space. See the flip.

With unemployment in Riverside County now at 13.2 percent – and growing – along with the fourth largest foreclosure rate in the nation, the families in my district clearly need a leader who is on their side and I’m committed to being that leader in 2010.

The current representative (Ken Calvert) voted against the interests of his own district when he chose to vote along strict party lines which meant he voted against the Stimulus Bill, even though it will bring more jobs to this district than any other in California.  He also voted against HR 1106 which will save countless homes right here in this district from going into foreclosure.

I have lived in this district for almost 30 years, raised my five children here, and both my wife and I have been educators in Riverside County for over two decades so I understand what families in our region are up against and every decision I make will be with their best interests in mind.

I originally threw my hat into the ring in 2008 because of a personal issue, the Iraq war.  I have two sons who, combined with their spouses, will have served a total of 10 deployments in Iraq by the end of the year.  Mr. Calvert was a champion of the ill-advised occupation of Iraq and continued to push for its continuation long after everyone else knew what a terrible mistake it had been.  I had children over there that were being directly affected by that partisan way of thinking and I wanted to be a voting voice on the side of reason in ending the occupation and bringing our troops home.

I also understand the burdens placed on military families when loved ones are serving overseas.  With lengthy and multiple deployments, soldiers and military families often face undue financial hardships. I don’t think most Americans realize that many service members and their families are actually living at the poverty level.  This is something I find unconscionable and will work on changing.

I have an uphill battle on my hands so I hope all of you will help me this next cycle.  In 2008, flying under just about everyone’s radar, I was able to win the Riverside portion of the district (totaling 80 percent of CA 44) by 4 percent and came within 2.4 percent overall of unseating a 16 year incumbent.  With expanded resources, help from the Netroots community and a strong voter registration effort, I am sure I can close the gap in 2010 and capture the seat.

For more information, visit my website at www.hedrickforcongress.com or follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/billhedrick

DCCC Targets Six GOPers in Latest Ad Series

(The D-Trip is really taking an interest in CA-44. – promoted by David Dayen)

I’m excited to announce that my district is one of only six nationwide being targeted by the DCCC in a series of radio ads being rolled out next week.

The ads will target Republican members of Congress who opposed the middle class tax cut in President Obama’s economic recovery act.  These ads are the DCCC’s way of taking the message of middle class tax cuts and economic recovery directly to the public in radio ads called “Tax Man” that will run in the lead up to April 15th (tax day).

My opponent Ken Calvert is one of the six Republicans being targeted for his vote against the middle class tax cut.

This is the DCCC’s fourth phase of the “Putting Families First” campaign and we’ve been fortunate enough to be included in the other phases as well.

Here’s a link to the DCCC site where you can hear the ad and read more about the campaign.  http://dccc.org/blog/archives/…

Calvert Playing Politics as Usual

Representative Calvert is back in usual form – putting politics rather than families first.  He released a newsletter this week touting the fact the he’s once again defied the new administration.

Of particular interest was his slam against what he calls the “Mortgage Cram-Down Bill” (H.R. 1106), saying it would allow judges to “cram down” the principle amount on home mortgages.

Has Mr. Calvert somehow forgotten that the largest city in his district (Riverside) now has the fourth largest foreclosure rate in the country?

In today’s LA Times, there’s an article on just how bad the housing market is.  The Los Angeles area market, which includes Orange County (again – Rep. Calvert’s district), is down 39% from 2006.

Does he honestly believe his constituents don’t want any help from the government?

He also proudly voted against he Stimulus Bill doing everything in his power to stop the 10,000 new jobs from coming to his district – even though this district has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

What Mr. Calvert seems to forget is that elections are about choices and America made a clear choice last fall when they elected President Obama to lead this country.  The new administration has introduced an aggressive plan to move the country forward but needs Congress working with – not against – the president.

Calvert has voted against each and every part of the president’s recovery plan and seems to be proud of that fact – even though he barely squeaked out a win himself in November.  During the 8 years of Bush, Calvert was a YES man voting with that administration 94.4% of the time yet in two short months under an Obama presidency, he’s somehow joined the party of NO doing everything in his power to stall the country’s recovery.

With every vote Mr. Calvert casts, he’s helping my 2010 campaign.  Unfortunately, his help is coming at the expense of the working families he supposedly serves in this district.

Mr. Calvert’s Hypocrisy Continues

It turns out that Rep. Ken Calvert is at it again.

First, he voted against the Stimulus Bill.  In his world of bizarre partisan purity, Calvert said that the Stimulus Bill spends too much. This argument would be more compelling if it were not coming from someone who voted to bailout banks and corporate CEOs to the tune of $700+ billion with no oversight just a few months ago, and who repeatedly voted to spend a budget-busting trillion dollars in Iraq.

After that last vote, he came back to the district for a series of town hall meetings where he spoke about the Stimulus Bill and the 9800 new jobs that would be created in the 44th and told the local paper, he’d do what he could to direct as much money as possible to the Inland Empire.

He followed that up by voting against the spending bill, complaining about the earmarks that had been added to it.  But in today’s Press Enterprise, it was reported that Mr. Calvert included 34 of his own earmarks totaling more than $42 million to it.  When the Press Enterprise asked about adding those earmarks to the bill Representative Calvert said, “That doesn’t obligate me to vote for the spending.”

I think a more accurate statement to the press would be “In spite of all my efforts to prevent it from happening, there will be 10,000 new jobs and $42 million coming to this Congressional District.”

Congressman Calvert the Real Estate Guru?

Congressman Calvert is sending out an email in response to the President’s address this past week.  In his response Calvert says, “The market-based loan modifications make sense for homeowners who are on the margins, but in some cases, people simply bought homes they could not afford.  While I agree that foreclosures adversely impact other homeowners, I do not believe homeowners who pay their bills on time and renters, who have saved up to buy a home, should foot the bill. The moral hazard in this case is simply too great and establishes a troubling precedent.”

This argument hardly seems credible coming from a gentleman who authored a bill loosening adjustable rate regulations that encouraged folks to purchase homes they couldn’t afford.  Back in 2003, Calvert wrote HR 1443 (Access to Affordable Mortgages Act) which amended the National Housing Act to assure that 5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) were offered competitively in the marketplace.  At the time Calvert said, “Congress has recognized the importance of more loan options to home-buyers and banks by allowing a range of adjustable mortgage rates.  This provision will increase interest rate flexibility and thereby contribute to a stable economy and a robust real estate market.”

Considering that Mr. Calvert himself is a real estate professional, it’s amazing he couldn’t see the flaw in his own legislation and believed it would lead to a more robust real estate market and a stable economy.  The largest city in his district (Riverside) now has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation and ranks as the fourth largest foreclosure market in the country.  This is also the same “real estate expert” who purchased land illegally in Jarupa (another portion of his district).  With real estate experts like Mr. Calvert telling us what does and doesn’t work with regards to the real estate market, who needs the Obama economists, right?

DCCC Posts Recovery Map – Congressman Calvert Targeted

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) posted a map today detailing the benefits for the Recovery Plan.  The DCCC has made Congressman Calvert one of 12 GOP House members they are targeting in an e-mail, text, and telephone campaign calling these members out for voting against the stimulus package.  As the DCCC states, “Congressman Ken Calvert’s vote against President Obama’s economic recovery package means that he tried to block a badly needed and shovel-ready project to repair streets in Riverside, California, creating 23 jobs alone.”

To view the map, visit www.DCCC.org/Content/Recovery

In Mr. Calvert’s world of bizarre partisan purity, the Stimulus Bill spends too much. This argument hardly seems credible coming from a gentleman who voted to bailout banks and corporate CEOs to the tune of seven hundred billion dollars with no oversight, and who repeatedly voted to spend a budget-busting trillion dollars in Iraq.

As of November 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked Riverside the highest unemployment rate in the country (surpassing Detroit).  Failed trade agreements, deregulated financial markets, and tax policies that have encouraged the concentration of great wealth into pockets of a handful of Americans have put the middle class at risk.  All things that Mr. Calvert supported and voted for.  Today, in Riverside County hundreds of businesses have shut their doors.

By voting against this Bill, Mr. Calvert once again proves how out-of-touch he is with his own constituents and why he lost 80% of his district.

To help oust Calvert once and for all, visit HedrickforCongress.com and donate to the campaign.

DCCC Press Release Against Congressman Calvert

On Wednesday, February 18th the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) posted this press release…

Shady Representative Calvert Land Deal Still in Court

Did Calvert and Co. get special treatment to ‘further curry political favor’?  With questions still swirling about Representative Ken Calvert’s role in the purchase of public land, a $1.5 million lawsuit alleging the land sale may have been improper – or worse – continues to make its way through Riverside County Superior Court.

“Representative Calvert’s shady land deal refuses to go away.  After all, Calvert and his partners got a sweetheart deal on a prime piece of property that avoided a competitive bidding process and was done to ‘further curry political favor, relations and influence,'” said Andy Stone, Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “Congressman Calvert should spend less time focusing on his real estate holdings and more time addressing the needs of his constituents like he could have done by supporting the economic stimulus package which is projected to create 9,000-plus jobs in California’s 44th District.  The fact that Calvert’s ‘rare’ economic chat today is a ‘private’ fundraiser shows how out of touch he is.”

Calvert says he was a silent partner in the $1.2 million deal to acquire a plot of land near new residential construction to build self-storage units.  

But it appears the Jurupa Community Services District sold the property to Calvert and his partners without first offering it to other public agencies, as required by law.  That means Calvert and his partners were able to buy a plot of land, close to the freeway, in a booming real estate market – with no competitive bidding.  In fact, a Riverside County grand jury found that the community services district violated the law when it sold the land to Calvert and his partners.

And the lawsuit goes even a step further calling the land sale “actual fraud, corruption and actual malice” and alleges that the land was sold to Calvert – who had previously supported federal legislation benefiting the Jurupa Community Services District – and his partners as a way to “further curry political favor, relations and influence.”  Of course, Ken Calvert has a long history of engaging in questionable land deals, even reportedly coming under investigation by the FBI because of allegations about Calvert-sought earmarks benefiting his property holdings.  

First Week of Counting Remaining Ballots in the 44th CD

(Bill Hedrick is on the Calitics ActBlue Page. You can give there to all four of our candidates in tight races, Bill, Charlie Brown, Alyson Huber, and Hannah-Beth Jackson. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

The Hedrick campaign still needs help paying legal costs to make sure every vote is counted. Can you help? The ActBlue page is at www.actblue.com/page/hedrickballotfund.

The energy and determination of the Hedrick for Congress campaign remains high as the tally of the final votes in the 44th Congressional District race began last week.  Signature verification and sorting of ballots are continuing this weekend, with the actual count beginning on Monday, November 11th and resuming after the holiday on Wednesday.

The Hedrick Campaign has enlisted over 100 volunteers to observe the process, working in shifts to cover every available hour at the Riverside County Registrar of Voters in Moreno Valley.

Volunteers last week remarked repeatedly that they were impressed with the professionalism and efficiency of the Registrar’s staff.  The campaign has found the Riverside County Registrar of Voters, Barbara Dunmore, to be completely forthcoming in answering all questions and clearly explaining the process ahead.  

Moreover, the Campaign shares Ms. Dunmore’s determination to make sure that every legitimate ballot is counted in this race.

The campaign, with its legion of dedicated volunteers, looks forward to participating in the procedure in the weeks ahead with absolute confidence in the transparency, security and consistency of the process.