As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Campaign Update: CA-04, CA-32, CA-03, CA-10, CA-Yacht Party

Since it referenced me, let me start by shouting out to fellow Calitician Lucas O'Connor, writing on the front page of MyDD:

Since approximately the morning after election day in November, Dave Dayen has been writing over at Calitics about the dramatic Congressional pick-up opportunities in California that were missed in the Obama wave. Specifically, Obama carried 42 of California's 53 districts (I won't even begin right now to get into the state leg breakdown which is also a debacle), including eight districts held by Republicans in Congress. Well all of a sudden this week, the whole world is waking up to the Dayen gospel.

Attention started building about two weeks ago when the DCCC announced it would target all eight of these Obama-Republican California districts. But an announcement of DCCC targeting hasn't always meant a lot, so to really get going it took a new report from California Target Book finding in part:

Not only is the current statewide Republican registration of 31% a historic low, but for the first time there is not a single congressional, state senate or assembly district that has a majority Republican registration.

Apparently Bob Mulholland sent out a press release waking up to these facts last week. Now, I'm not going to hate on Mulholland for finally getting with the program. But let's make ourselves clear - this was true in 2006 and 2008 as well, and yet the state party failed to capitalize, by their own admission. So it's going to take more than one press release to show a commitment. Republicans have obviously become repellent to the broad majority of Californians, and they're too busy trying to recall each other to notice. It's upsetting that we haven't used this unpopularity in the past two election cycles, and I hope that the CDP can catch up with the curve.

They can start with effective recruitment. John Garamendi, who spoke to Greg Lucas as if he's still a gubernatorial candidate but who by all accounts will be running for Congress, ought to be pushed to run in the 3rd District, where he is the largest landowner and where there is currently no viable candidate to beat Dan Lungren in a district that is trending Democratic, instead of the 10th, where there are multiple viable candidates. Recruitment is an often-unremarked-upon but crucial element to winning elections.

Speaking of which...

• CA-04: This CapAlert piece certainly makes it sound like Charlie Brown might challenge Tom McClintock once again.

At the Jefferson-Jackson dinner at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed in Loomis, Brown and his wife, Jan, were honored as photographs flashed of Brown and supporters during four years of campaigning. The production was accompanied by songs from Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender" to Neil Young's "Long May You Run."

And then Brown stirred huge cheers when he hinted he might have the stamina for one more try for Congress in 2010.

"We'll see what happens over the next few months - and whether you'll have the opportunity to get into any pictures again," Brown said.

In an interview, Brown said he is still mulling his prospects. He said he expects to decide by this fall.

We're big fans of Charlie here at Calitics, and should he run again we'll stand with him. McClintock would have the power of incumbency and a red-leaning district but the rumblings I'm hearing out of there signal that residents and local pols aren't all that enthused by the new Congressman's performance.

• CA-32: The LA Times weighs in with an overview of the 32nd race to replace Labor Secretary Hilda Solis set for May 19. They list Judy Chu and Gil Cedillo as the front-runners (though Emanuel Pleitez is profiled) and suggest that the race is a harbinger of the changing, minority-majority face of Southern California politics. They also mention the Betty Tom Chu controversy, as well as some allegations on the Cedillo side.

Judy Chu supporters suspect that Republican Betty Tom Chu, a Monterey Park councilwoman and a political opponent of Judy Chu, entered the race to confuse voters and harm the chances of her distant relative by marriage. Tom Chu said last week she did not have time to discuss her candidacy, but earlier told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that she is running because she could not support any of the other candidates and wanted to offer voters an alternative.

Apparently motivated by concerns that the large number of Latino candidates in the race would split the vote in that group and give Judy Chu the edge, there also were signs of jockeying.

Democratic candidate Francisco Alonso, a former mayor of Monterey Park, and a campaign official for Democratic actor/filmmaker Stefan "Contreras" Lysenko each said Cedillo called them shortly before filing closed and urged them to drop out. A Cedillo spokesman said the state senator was merely inviting the others to "work together" with him and did not intend to discourage them from running.

Over the weekend, Cedillo won the endorsement of the LA County Young Democrats, while Chu garnered the endorsement of the state Democratic Party.

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