CA-36: Winograd Announces By The Beach
Yesterday at the Venice Pier, Marcy Winograd announced her campaign for Congress in front of about 75-80 supporters and friends, and many leaders of the progressive activist community in Los Angeles. The campaign showed their thrift and commitment to recycling by using the old Winograd '06 campaign posters and skillfully pasting a "'10" sticker in the appropriate place. It's going to be that kind of campaign.
After a few speakers (I particularly enjoyed Julian Barger from the Harbor area of the district calling Jane Harman "Congresswoman Helmsley" for her double standard on civil liberties for her vs. civil liberties for all Americans), Marcy gave a short speech where she emphasized her no-holds-barred progressive values and offered a true contrast to her incumbent opponent. She called for a "new New Deal" to put America back to work, announced support for John Conyers' HR 676, questioned the continued bailout of the banks and the use of Predator drone strikes in Pakistan, argued for rapid transit and renewable energy in the Los Angeles area, and said of her primary challenge, "this will reverberate throughout the country."
Winograd spoke to various concerns of families in the district, noting that areas of Torrance are experiencing skyrocketing foreclosure rates, and that business has declined over 20% in the port at San Pedro. This is an area where, with a longer campaign time frame than her quick run in 2006, Winograd can make headway in all areas of the district and throughout the South Bay, speaking to the economic concerns of the area and drawing contrast with Jane Harman's more conservative approach. Obviously, the greater concern about Harman more recently has been her defense of the Bush Administration's the warrantless wiretapping and her generally hawkish stance abroad. But there is an opening for a core economic argument, still the major preoccupation of voters, to be made.
Winograd's announcement got covered in LA Weekly and the CoCo Times. Mainstream news pieces about this primary challenge never fail to emphasize that the 36th is a "moderate" district and that Winograd will have to "broaden her appeal" to win over those voters. This assumes that Democratic primary voters, or virtually anyone, makes election choices based on firm ideological footing. Poll after poll has shown that on the issues, Americans portray a far more progressive belief system than their typical electoral choices. Maybe consultants and Democratic strategists need to "broaden their appeal" to potential candidates that can articulate a progressive agenda.