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

Thursday, May 07, 2009

CA-32: Two Weeks Out

The League of Women Voters sponsored a forum in Baldwin Park last night for candidates in the May 19 special election to replace Hilda Solis in the Congress. The two front-runners in the race, Gil Cedillo and Judy Chu, emphasized their strengths.

Cedillo said he has had about 80 of his bills signed into law and said he has worked with the governor to save 25,000 jobs. Chu told the audience that she was proud to have the endorsement "of everybody in the family" of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who held the congressional seat until her cabinet appointment this year.

At the forum at Baldwin Park's Julia McNeill Senior Center, many of the candidates agreed on some issues, including the need for immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship, eliminating tax loopholes for corporations using offshore accounts to shelter income and the need to reform education, especially regarding the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Calitician and Judy Chu netroots advisor Todd Beeton has more at his Twitter feed.

With two weeks to go, the signals I'm getting suggest that Gil Cedillo is nervous. The massive unforced error of those negative Emanuel Pleitez mailers makes me believe that Cedillo fears Pleitez is capturing a good bit of the Hispanic vote. The earlier negative mailers on Judy Chu showed a similar lack of substance (attacking someone for returning tax refunds OWED?). Negative mailers don't inspire turnout, they suppress it. And the May 19 election will already feature low turnout. Which magnifies the importance of GOTV, and with the Democratic Party and key labor groups having endorsed Chu, I would probably be throwing the kitchen sink at everybody in the race myself if I were Cedillo.

What I'd prefer to hear about, instead of who endorsed whom and such and such negative attack, are concerns of the local area. El Monte is crashing. The city made 60% of its tax revenue off of the auto dealerships that lined the city, and with the demise of the auto industry throwing auto sales off the cliff, revenue has shrunk. Many cities with clusters of dealerships will soon face the same problem. What can be done at the federal level to diversify the local economy, and shouldn't the efforts to revive the economy in auto manufacturing states like Michigan extend to cities with a proliferation of car lots like El Monte? If anyone from the campaigns is reading, maybe we can get an answer to that.

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