Tag Archives: Beth Krom

Playing Offense – When Beltway Wisdom Says “Defense”

With a conventional wisdom that would make David Broder blush, the New York Times issued a dire warning to Democrats yesterday: 2010 will be a bad year, no incumbent in Congress will be safe, and expect to spend much of the time playing defense.  Here in California, progressives should not let such talk intimidate them, and focus on playing offense.  No matter how angry voters are at Democrats and Congress, they hate the Republicans even more.  California has eight red congressional districts that Obama carried in 2008 (with demographics in their favor), so there’s no reason not to have credible challengers everywhere.  I met recently with such a candidate – Beth Krom from Orange County’s 48th District.

Eager to narrate a sequel of 1994, the Times’ Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny focused their front-page story on the “plight” of Democratic Congressman David Obey – the powerful Appropriations Committee Chair who has represented Wisconsin’s 7th District for 41 years.  But despite a challenger who’s popular with Teabaggers, the Times’ own chart pegs the race as “solid Democratic” (meaning that Obey is heavily favored to win.)  For Republicans to take back the House, they must win every “toss-up” seat – plus a handful of races currently leaning Democratic, and defend all 20 seats now leaning their way.

Forget momentum has shifted since Congress passed health care reform, to the point that G.O.P. elders are starting to get worried about their Party’s chances.  Never mind that Latinos continue to be a larger share of the electorate, and that Arizona’s racist new law will galvanize that community to vote in higher numbers.  Ignore that Republicans have been so taken over by the Nativist – Teabagger wing of their Party that they will alienate swing voters in the general election.  And forget millennial voters turned out in record numbers over the past three elections – which is important, because such a pattern makes them voters for life.

In California, Secretary of State Debra Bowen just released new voter registration figures – with good news for Democrats.  Over the past four years, Democrats have gone from 42 to 44 percent of the statewide electorate.  Republicans, on the other hand, have shrunk from 34.5 to 31% – or a three-point decline.  Decline-to-state voters, of course, also increased a couple percentage points (as they have for years now), but independents in California heavily favor Democrats over Republicans.  While the Tea Party movement may measure voter intensity, it certainly doesn’t show a political shift.

Last year, I wrote a piece for Beyond Chron called “Red California Death Watch” – where I outlined the eight Congressional districts in California represented by a Republican that Obama won.  The Democratic Party ignored most of these districts that year (but a couple came close), so there was no excuse not to field eight serious challenges in 2010.  Far from 2008 being a “high-water mark,” demographics is a big reason why these districts are trending blue.

Even when it’s too early to tell whether it will be a good election cycle, Democrats must leave no district behind.  1998 was a good year for Democrats (due to a backlash against Kenneth Starr’s witch-hunt), but they didn’t win control because they didn’t contest enough seats.

In Orange County, Irvine City Councilmember Beth Krom is running for Congress this year – taking on two-term incumbent John Campbell.  The district has never had a serious Democrat run, and demographics still make it a daunting task.  But while Teabaggers are giving Republicans all this grassroots “energy,” G.O.P. registration in the 48th dropped 3 points in two years (47 to 44%), or twice as fast as the statewide trend. Democrats are up one percentage point (28 to 29%), and “decline-to-states” are up two points (20 to 22%.)

I sat down with Krom, when in Los Angeles for the California Democratic Convention.  She’s not fazed by the tough road ahead – citing her record of winning elections at the local level in Irvine, which is a Republican town. “I’ve never had an easy race,” she said.  Municipal elections are non-partisan, but her Republican opponents always tried making her Democratic affiliation an issue.  Having started her career as a neighborhood activist, Krom is running on her record as a “results-oriented” collaborator in local government.

The incumbent Congressman she’s challenging – John Campbell – has made a name of himself for pandering to the “birthers.”  He introduced legislation requiring all candidates for President to submit their birth certificate, which earned him some ridicule on the Daily Show.  But as Krom pointed out to me, the 48th may be Republican-leaning – but it’s also a highly educated district.  And, moreover, it has a thriving immigrant population.

The conventional narrative in the media is that Democrats had a “good thing going” in 2006 and 2008, but now political momentum dictates that 2010 will be a year where they have to play defense.  In California, pundits will say the race to watch is whether the East Bay’s Jerry McNerney can hold onto the seat he took away from Richard Pombo in 2006.  What they ignore is that McNerney didn’t just win that seat because it was a Democratic year – he won because Republicans are increasingly out of touch with Californians.

McNerney’s win in 2006 was an extension of Ellen Tauscher’s victory in 1996 over GOP Congressman Bill Baker.  As the Bay Area expands, suburban sprawl means Democratic progress.  In Orange County, Loretta Sanchez defeated Bob Dornan in 1996 – turning Anaheim blue.  There’s no reason why Beth Krom can’t do the same in Irvine this year.

Which is why there’s no reason Democrats shouldn’t stay on the offense in 2010 – taking on Republicans like John Campbell, who act as if Orange County hasn’t changed since the 1950’s.  Beth Krom’s campaign is what we need to be seeing more of this year.

Paul Hogarth is the Managing Editor of Beyond Chron, San Francisco’s Alternative Online Daily, where this piece was first published.

City Council Person Wears Nancy Pelosi as Stalin to Protest her Visit to Orange County

We’ve got another one here folks in Orange County.  Last Friday Orange County had a huge event, it was the Democratic Party of Orange County’s Annual Truman Awards Dinner and our Keynote Speaker was Nancy Pelosi.  It got our local Republicans in a bit of a tif and a lot of Teabaggers showed up to protest her presence.

We expected protesters, I even wrote about their plans at Daily Kos, but we weren’t expecting this…

City Council member Choi was wearing his City Council badge that night as well, there was no mistaking it was him, thank you to the Liberal OC for that and our local paper, which failed to mention that detail.  They insist there is no bias, sure.

Steven Choi was also seen “posing with another protester who was wearing a rendering depicting Pelosi as an SS Guard” and “including one portraying President Barack Obama and Adolf Hitler together” and yet he defended his actions.

“I’m a Republican Party member and went there to express my disapproval of her policies,” Choi said. “I have big concerns with what is going on with the government pushing down the mandated health issues… As a small businessman it would impact me.”

Choi said a woman who was at the event with the Irvine Republican Council placed the rendering on his back. He described the criticism as a partisan attack.

“They are making a case out of nothing,” Choi said.

Beth Krom is also on the Irvine City Council and she’s running for Congress, thank goodness, and she also had a reaction to her fellow city council person.


   “When I was the Mayor of Irvine and then President Bush came to Irvine, I attended and showed respect for the President despite the many misgivings I had about his policies.”

   “We who hold public office have an obligation to hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to how we comport ourselves in public. At least that has always been my perspective.”

   “I was utterly disgusted when I saw my City Council colleague Steven Choi, who recently announced plans to run for the State Assembly, parading around the lobby of the Hilton Hotel with a picture on his back depicting Speaker Pelosi as Josef Stalin.”

   “Those around him had images of the Speaker and the President as Nazis. I’d like to say this behavior is out of character for Council member Choi, but this is the same Council member who accused a City Council candidate of having ties to Islamic Terrorists without any basis. My guess is that he also had a hand in the mailers that went out during my 2006 race for Mayor that showed me as Chairman Mao.”

   “There seems to be no limit to the derision and division that Councilman Choi will advance in the name of his “republican values.”

Her opponent is John Campbell, ex used car salesman and birther, John Galt loving Republican.  We’ve got lots of those.

I was there Friday night with my Husband Gary Pritchard, who ran for State Senate last year.  We think Orange County can be blue, we’ve got over 500,000 Democrats here, more than 20 States in the US.  “The OC” can be a force to be reckoned with and the extremism has become even more extreme just as many here have noticed over the last year.  

Nancy Pelosi gave a stirring speech about Health Care Reform and I know many here aren’t quite enamored with her.  The disappointment with Democrats in Congress is understandable.  We can’t all have Bernie Sanders (although it would be a good goal to attain).  But it certainly doesn’t mean we have to tolerate the Steven Choi’s of the world.

Beth Krom deserves to oust John Campbell, we’ve had enough of the extreme of the extreme.  So please support Beth Krom and if you live in the OC, let Steven Choi know that it is NOT okay to express himself in this way representing his city and position, especially one that is supposedly “bi-partisan”.

And since I was lucky enough to attend the Truman Dinner, Gary sat on the planning committee (The highlight for me was finally meeting California Assemblyman Jose Solorio) I’m posting some of the photos I took of protesters.

I would post my lousy video of Nancy giving her keynote speech but it’s only a minute and a half and it looks like I took it during a massive earthquake.

It cuts in where she’s speaking of a proposal by Truman for universal health care by the way.

Birther Congressman John Campbell one of the Crazy Five; Republicans Targeted by new PAC

Well, that’s what I would call it, Politico puts it a bit more tactfully,  Targeting controversial House Republicans.

The Stand up America PAC is going after Wilson, in addition to other Republican lightning rod Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Jean Schmidt (Ohio), John Campbell (Calif.) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor.

I think the Crazy Five has a better ring to it.  And it’s not shocking to find John Campbell on this list.  He’s my representative and sure, I’m used to the crazy here in Orange County but not only is his time up, but we have an amazing candidate to run against him.

The thing is, John Campbell is not as well known as the other four, but he’s been working on it, from “going Galt” to all out birther craziness.  Politico knows this well and as a constituent, we’re glad others are paying attention.

“Michele Bachmann questions the patriotism of the President and First Lady and advocates armed sedition against her own government; John Campbell introduces legislation to inflame “birther” crackpots; Eric Cantor intentionally misrepresents facts in House debate; and Jean Schmidt questions the patriotism a Vietnam veteran and fellow colleague in the House,”


Obama actually carried Campbell’s district last year, and is facing a Democratic city councilor who served as the mayor of Irvine, the largest town in the district.

That Democratic city Councilor is non other than Beth Krom and amazingly engaged and vibrant local leader who has decided that the do nothing mentality of the party of “NO” is no longer enough for the 48th district.

We must support the ousting of these extremists from our Congress and the list of five is a good start.  We also have to support those who are willing to run these tough races.  This is not an easy race for Beth Krom but its one that means a great deal to me, I would love nothing more than to have her represent me in Washington (Well, the public option would be another thing I would love).

Speaking of the public option, I’m going to post an op-ed that Beth wrote for the Laguna Beach Independent entitled, Setting the Healthcare Record Straight.

Those in Congress who oppose healthcare reform are focused on the wrong patient. They want to keep the insurance industry healthy at the expense of the long-term healthcare interests of the American people. They want to preserve a marketplace that benefits the bottom line of pharmaceutical companies, even if it means that millions of Americans cannot afford the medicines they need to live.

The debate that is raging over healthcare is as important to the future of our country as any we have had in the history of our nation. Unfortunately, the focus has been on the noise in the periphery and not on the sub- stance of the discussion. When Republicans had leadership in Congress, they did nothing to reform healthcare. Today, their plans for healthcare reform are to do nothing and oppose every other idea on the table. If we allow this to happen, we will continue to pay more and get less and millions of Americans will remain uninsured or underinsured.

Healthcare reform is not about socializing medical care. It is about building accountability back into a system that is broken, and providing basic healthcare access to every American. Without health security, every other aspect of a person’s life is adversely affected. Rich or poor, young or old, regardless of race, creed or color, no one wants healthcare access compromised or denied.

There was a time when people paid for healthcare out of their own pockets. When I was born, the bill to my parents from the hospital was $200. My dad was making about $300 a month at the time, so the economic impact was significant, yet manageable. They weren’t wealthy. They didn’t have insurance, but they controlled their healthcare decisions.

Enter the health insurance industry and decades of shifting accountabilities that have brought us to the unsustainable place we now find ourselves. A healthcare system that is driven by the profit motives of insurance companies rather than the well being of patients. A system in which people have been reduced to profiles, statistics and actuarial projections. A system in which even those with insurance benefits often pay thousands of dollars a year in cost-sharing, co-payments and deductibles just for access to catastrophic care. That is simply wrong.

Ironically, those who have been whipped into a frenzy, disrupting Town Hall meetings to create the false perception of grassroots opposition to healthcare reform, may stand to benefit the most from the enhanced healthcare access it will provide. It would not be the first time political strategy has been employed to get people to vote against their own interests. Without change, those who can afford healthcare access will have it, those whose health access is tied to employment may lose it, and those without health benefits through an employer will continue to be at the mercy of insurance companies who can deny coverage at will.

If you care about this issue, do not rely on talk radio or TV pundits for information. They regard themselves as personalities and entertainers and so should you. Get engaged and educate yourself with non-partisan resources such as www. FactCheck.org. It takes courage to make affirmative change. Courage rarely comes without pressure. Your dollars are already on the table. It is time to reclaim your seat. Reform is needed and our government must take the lead. Nearly nine million Americans have lost their health insurance since 2000. One in six Americans have no healthcare insurance at all. With more than $2.2 trillion spent on health care in America this year, we deserve a better return on our investment. Basic health access for all Americans is in our national interest. That is why I support meaningful reform that makes healthcare accessible for all.

An Irvine councilmember and former mayor, Beth Krom is a candidate for Congress in the 48th district.

Please help support Beth Krom, she needs our support and we need to get rid of the “Crazy Five” to bring a little more sanity to our legislative process.

Donate to Beth Krom

John Campbell: Barack Obama Was Born in the US…to the Best of My Knowledge

A slight pause in your all-budget all the time Calitics.  User mbayrob posted this in the open thread, but IMHO, it is worthy of its own thread.  So, here it is, John Campbell hemming and hawing when asked about the “birther” claims that Barack Obama wasn’t really born in the United States.  This is despite the fact that Obama has released his birth certificate which has been duly certified by the State of Hawaii.

Yet Rep. John Campbell is once again using these weasel words to give foundation to, as Chris Matthews called them, the crazies in the Republican Party.  You might notice that Campbell was not co-sponsoring such a bill when the president at issue was George W Bush, but alas, we need certainty! Like, um, a birth certificate showing that he was born in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, Irvine Mayor Beth Krom, a Democrat, is running for the 48th Congressional District in 2010.

Q1 Congressional Reports

So the first quarter of fundraising for the 2010 cycle ended, and this week the reports were filed.  Swing State Project has a good roundup.  Here’s what I found interesting:

• In CA-48, Beth Krom had an unusually strong quarter, considering she entered the race in the middle of it.  She raised $63,000 for the quarter, actually beating the incumbent, John Campbell, who raised $55,000.  Now, in 2008 candidates like Nick Leibham and Debbie Cook beat their incumbent counterparts in fundraising repeatedly, but had major disadvantages in cash on hand because the incumbents had assembled war chests from prior fundraising.  And that’s the case here too – Campbell has $300,000 CoH, while Krom has $61,000, a 5-to-1 advantage.  But to beat Campbell so early in the cycle shows a lot of potential.

• Debbie Cook, Charlie Brown and Bill Durston basically raised no money in the quarter, dampening any expectation that they will run again in their respective districts.  Durston raised $9,000, but that was probably all before he hinted at dropping out due to medical troubles.

• In CA-44, Bill Hedrick may be getting national attention, but he’s not raising national numbers, and if he continues to put up $14,000 for a quarter, the D-Trip will either walk away or look for another challenger.  I respect the hell out of Hedrick but he’s got to do better than that.

• CA-37 is absolutely ripe for a primary challenge.  Noted deadbeat Laura Richardson raised a paltry $28,500, as an incumbent, and her $39,000 cash on hand is dwarfed by $363,000 in debt.  We deserve better than Laura Richardson in that very blue district.

• Jerry McNerney put up a $275,000 quarter in CA-11.

• His numbers weren’t spectacular, but Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet is drawing some attention for his challenge to Mary Bono Mack in CA-45.  This is another “Obama Republican” district, and Pougnet, a gay father of two, has an interesting profile for the district and a proven record in the community.  This one bears watching.

Campaign News: CA-32, CA-10, CA-48

Through a series of vacancies and some early action, California has suddenly become ground zero for Congressional elections.  Here’s the latest news on some of the races.

• CA-32: The special election for Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ seat will coincide with the statewide special election on May 19th.  The major candidates, Board of Equalization member Judy Chu, State Sen. Gil Cedillo and Obama transition official Emanuel Pleitez, actually met in a forum last week sponsored by the Southwest Voter Registration Project,  and the Latino Professional Network.  I didn’t learn about it until a press release popped up in my inbox from Cedillo’s press flack touting “Cedillo is Victorious in First Debate”.  Seeking a somewhat less biased opinion, I struggled to find a news report until coming across this in the Whittier Daily News.

Immigration issues dominated the agenda when three of the leading Democratic candidates to replace new Labor Secretary Hilda Solis met face to face for the first time at a forum Thursday night.

“Today I met with the president … I could have said anything … what I said was, ‘Mr. President, please stop the raids. Please stop the raids now,’ ” Cedillo said of a meeting with Barack Obama during the president’s town hall meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Cedillo is known for repeatedly introducing legislation to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses, but he said that his legacy goes far beyond: “In 11 years of the legislature … I have written 80 bills signed by three governors. I have fought to defend immigrants, because I believe it is the right thing to do.”

Chu discussed being raised by an immigrant mother in South Central Los Angeles, fighting against an English- only movement in Monterey Park, and pushing legislation in Sacramento to protect outdoor migrant workers and require contracts negotiated in a certain language to be printed in that language.

“I support bills that will bring justice to immigrants. Many times immigrants do not have a voice in the political system, and it is up to us, who are in elected positions, to be able to speak up for them,” she said.

Pleitez, too, was born to an immigrant mother, who crossed the border from Mexico while pregnant with him. He said his childhood growing up at the “mercy of the generosity of the people of my community” in back rooms and back garages of neighbors created a debt that he owes to the district.

“I was able to move on to Stanford University, Goldman Sachs … but I will never forget … this debt that I have,” he said.

“I will leverage my youth to organize around the country … to really pass immigration reform.”

This was the last scheduled debate where every major candidate has committed to attend, and judging from the article, observers found little differentiation between the candidates on the issues.  Cedillo vowed not to vote for any health care system that didn’t include immigrants “regardless of immigration status,” but given the audience I would expect that kind of rigidity.  I hope there will be a wider range of issues discussed in a public way, and as I have in the past I invite all the candidates to share their views here on Calitics.  We should have at least one response in the coming weeks.  Meanwhile, PowerPAC, a new group targeted at youth of color which aided President Obama in California and across the nation last year, endorsed Gil Cedillo.  He also received the endorsement today of former Assemblyman Ed Chavez.

• CA-10: The field is still assembling after last week’s announcement that Ellen Tauscher will leave Congress to work on arms control policy in the State Department.  While Sen. Mark DeSaulnier has not formally announced, such an announcement is expected.  In the meantime, Adriel Hampton, a municipal investigator for the San Francisco City Attorney’s office, is among the first to formally announce.  Hampton clearly seeks to leverage social media and Web 2.0 (he has a Ning site, in addition to Facebook and Twitter) to create buzz for his outside-the-establishment campaign.  Hopefully he’ll pop up around here as well.  I’m not seeing a lot of substance behind the “hey kids, let’s put on a Government 2.0 show” announcement, but I’m sure that will come.  Perhaps others can fill in the missing pieces here. (Actually, Robert did, below.

Meanwhile, the Yacht Party still must believe that this seat holds the same demographics as it did when it was represented by a Republican in 1996, because they continue to trot out names to contest the seat.  Melanie Morgan is touting someone.  Yes, Spocko’s Melanie Morgan.

Conservative activist, author and former radio talk show host Melanie Morgan sent an e-mail yesterday saying she’s “squealing like a schoolgirl” to announce that Catherine Moy – executive director of the Move America Forward group of which Morgan is chairwoman; co-author with Morgan of “American Mourning;” and a Fairfield City Council member – will run in the special election to succeed Rep. Ellen Tauscher, assuming Tauscher is confirmed to a high-ranking State Department post.

“The conservative counter-insurgency has begun, and I’m going to do everything in my power to get Cat elected,” Morgan wrote. “Cat has terrific name recognition in the area, a devoted following and she is entirely capable of running this race and winning it – as a rock-solid conservative who has never voted to raise a single tax, and has a solid record on national defense working relentlessly with the largest pro-troops grassroots organization in the country.”

I don’t think Morgan knows what the word “counter-insurgency” means.  Will she be seeking out groups inside the district to reconcile differences and win hearts and minds with a movement of primary resistance?

Other Republican names are floating out there, but the one that brings a smile to my face is tom Del Beccaro, Vice Chairman of the Yacht Party and recent founder of a PAC dedicated to stopping the Fairness Doctrine, which has already been stopped by a full vote in the US Senate.

• CA-48: It takes two years to run for Congress at the least, if not multiple cycles.  So I appreciate Irvine City Councilwoman Beth Krom’s kickoff in CA-48 to unseat John Campbell, bringing 300 people to Shady Canyon for the affair.  Both Steve Young (the most recent candidate in the district) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez enthusiastically endorsed Krom’s candidacy, so expect the field to clear.  It’s quixotic, but we need more windmill-tilters taking back red districts.

Beth Krom Makes it Official, and Wow, Campbell’s Worse than Rohrabacher

Beth Krom goes up with her interim website and invites folks to her first fund-raiser on March 22nd.

The current Congressman, has been a national laughingstock for his comments about Atlas Shrugged finally coming true, but Beth Krom’s opening email also includes one amazing fact about John Campbell.

In four years as Mayor, I was never once contacted by Congressman Campbell to express interest in, or offer assistance on our community priorities.  He never attended a single city event, nor did he ever contact me to commend the city on any of our achievements. If the largest city in the 48th District is not being served, what hope is there for the other cities in the district?

What can you say about the arrogance of a Congressman who never once shows up or talks to the Mayor of the largest city in the district? At least Rohrabacher occasionally shows up at stuff to rant about immigrants and deny the science of climate change.

(Crossposted from Orange County Progressive)

Here’s Beth!

CA-48: Could Beth Krom Beat John Galt?

Last week, OC Progressive (which has really attracted a good group of writers and provided a vital progressive voice in Orange County) revealed that Beth Krom, an Irvine City Councilwoman, is considering a run against Rep. John Campbell.  In a subsequent post, Joe Shaw explained why Krom would make a worthy challenger.

She can win elections.

Beth Krom has won five campaigns, In 2006, she garnered 60% of the vote in her re-election as Mayor and in 2008, won her current City Council seat with 8000 votes more than the next candidate.

She gets things done.

We need elected officials who have experience getting things done for their constituents. Beth Krom is a strong advocate for environmental stewardship. Her vote was instrumental in cleaning up the water along the Orange County coast: she was the first “inland” representative to advocate for full secondary treatment of the effluent the OC Sanitation District pumped out into the ocean and was the “swing vote” in getting the board to fund implementation.  

She’s a visionary.

Beth Krom understands that Orange County needs leadership that will advance innovative, integrated transit solutions, sustainable development practices and green technology and jobs initiatives.

She can work across party lines.

Beth Krom has the respect of so many people throughout Orange County because she works with people, regardless of political affiliation, to get things done.

Irvine is one of America’s best run cities.

What other Orange County elected, at the local, state or federal level, can lay claim to the legacy of forward-thinking leadership that Beth Krom has provided in the City of Irvine? “Safest City in America” four years straight; a balanced budget and more than tripling city reserves during her term as Mayor, and advancing a project of regional importance – the Orange County Great Park.

I’m a little gun-shy to out and out predict victory in these California Congressional races.  We are know that they are tough slogs, and were disappointed by the performance of many promising candidates last cycle.  Nonetheless, we cannot leave these red areas behind, and there’s no question that the threat of candidates like Bill Durston and Debbie Cook forced the national GOP to spend money where they didn’t want to spend it, leading to other losses around the country.  Everything is connected, and thus solid candidates should continue to be recruited everywhere.

What’s more, President Obama actually beat John McCain in CA-48, despite the district’s Republican tilt.  And, far from distinguishing himself, Campbell has most recently looked to Ayn Rand novels for inspiration in setting public policy:

Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” told me today that the response to President Obama’s economic policies reminded him of what happened in the 51-year-old novel.

“People are starting to feel like we’re living through the scenario that happened in ‘Atlas Shrugged,'” said Campbell. “The achievers, the people who create all the things that benefit rest of us, are going on strike. I’m seeing, at a small level, a kind of protest from the people who create jobs, the people who create wealth, who are pulling back from their ambitions because they see how they’ll be punished for them.”

It would be a terrible thing if the titans of industry that have burned through trillions of dollars in American wealth were to pull back and not be so ambitious, wouldn’t it?  And it’s certainly a rational reaction, to forcibly crumble what’s left of the American economy due to an increase of 4 cents in the top marginal tax rates.  Even more certainly, there’s no question that it would turn out just like the fictional novel – that every high-earner would leave their job and nobody would pick up the slack.  Conservatives are nothing if not selfless.  And daring, rational men who live by their minds.

This guy is obviously a buffoon, but we know that is sadly not enough in these districts.  And repeat candidates, who have built up their name ID and volunteer base, always have a better shot.  If I were to forecast the early prospects for a flipped seat in California right now, I would go:

CA-44: Bill Hedrick is already announced as a candidate, and he lost by just 2.6% to Ken Calvert last time.

CA-03: The trendlines in the district are favorable, but it’s unclear if Bill Durston will make a third try.

And then, pretty much, nothing, until there’s clarity about who’s running.  Charlie Brown writing an op-ed in the Auburn Journal trashing Tom McClintock suggests he might try again in CA-04, but I’m not sure.  Given the current state of affairs, I’d say CA-48 isn’t looking too badly, though it’s early.

Meet Three Women Who Have Changed Orange County

Former Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook stopped bad developments in parks and beaches, and led the efforts to clean up the water off Orange County’s coast. In the meantime, she became a national leader on energy issues.

Costa Mesa City Councilwoman Katrina Foley has led the fight to improve her city’s quality of life, fought for better parks and increased opportunities for her city’s youth as others on the Costa Mesa City Council were more concerned with ugly immigrant bashing.

Irvine Councilwoman Beth Krom helped to create Orange County’s visionary Great Park, and her leadership has made Irvine a model of sustainable planning, green building and environmental stewardship.

You can meet them this Saturday, Feb. 28 as they join the Orange County League of Conservation Voters for a roundtable discussion on building a green political farm team for Orange County.

Environmental Roundtable

“2010 Goal:  Progressive Change in Orange County”

Saturday, February 28, 2009

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Santiago Creek Wildlife and Watershed Center

600 E. Memory Lane, Santa Ana

To RSVP contact Robin Everett at [email protected] or call 949-338-5356

(cross-posted from Orange County Progressive)