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

Friday, May 01, 2009

Campaign Update: CA-10, CA-03, CA-47, CA-50

The Internet moves at, well, Internet speed, so parts of my House race roundup were already out of date or incomplete by the time I published it. So here's an update on a few races.

• CA-10: John Garamendi announced a significant series of national labor endorsements for the upcoming CA-10 race, despite Mark DeSaulnier having locked up the Contra Costa County Central Labor Committee endorsement and the local Building Trades (which cover almost 100 local unions) and chairing the Senate Labor Committee. They include:

AFSCME: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
CNA: California Nurses Association
CFT: California Federation of Teachers
UFCW: United Food & Commercial Workers
CSEA: California School Employees Association
Laborers International Union of North America
International Union of Operating Engineers
CWA: Communication Workers of America

Many of those can provide PAC money, resources and support to Garamendi, leveling the playing field in a race where DeSaulnier captured all the early endorsements.

• CA-03: I passed on the rumor about Phil Angelides and CA-03 in my roundup, but local blogger Randy Bayne dismisses that report and notes that Elk Grove City Councilman Gary Davis will likely run, having met with the DCCC and begun the process of putting a team together. I don't agree with Bayne that a contested primary (Dr. Amerish Bera has also announced) would impact negatively on the race. Especially when the candidates have low name ID, a primary can increase their public profile and show them to be a "winner" in front of the district, at the end. Momentum can build. Primaries don't necessarily have to be nasty and debilitating, and I fail to understand why anyone would reject them out of hand.

Incidentally, I never took much stock in the rumor about Angelides, I simply thought it would be a decent line of inquiry, given his name ID, fundraising ability and progressive profile.

CA-47: One potential challenge to a Democratic incumbent I overlooked yesterday was Van Tran's run against Loretta Sanchez, profiled in Politico.

On the heels of an election marked by a dismal performance among Asian voters, top Republicans are aggressively recruiting California Assemblyman Van Tran, a Vietnamese-American, to challenge Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) next year.

If elected, Tran would be the second Vietnamese-American in Congress, after Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-La.), who won his seat in a 2008 election.

Tran has already been feted at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s March fundraising dinner as a guest of the committee’s recruitment chairman, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and he was encouraged to run by House Minority Leader John Boehner and Minority Whip Eric Cantor. He also made a trip to Washington after last November’s election to meet with officials from the NRCC.

Even Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has assisted in the recruitment process, meeting with Tran and offering support for any potential candidacy. Tran was an outspoken backer of McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and helped him carry Orange County over Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary.

What the story fails to mention is that, not only does Tran not have full support among the Vietnamese community in the district, not only does Loretta Sanchez have experience easily defeating Vietnamese challengers, but Tran didn't even do that well in his own Assembly race last year, winning over 55% of the vote against Ken Arnold. If Tran is one of the Republicans' top recruits, they're in even bigger trouble than I thought. Incidentally, Sanchez' voting record has greatly improved over the past couple years.

• CA-50: I should have cited Francine Busby's Firedoglake chat from a couple weeks ago. I don't think I agree with her on this, though:

I’ve alway said that the Latino voters have to organize register and educate from within their own community. I see more activism and organizing going on than I did before. In fact, I will be attending a meeting on Monday of the reconstituted Latino American Democratic Club in Oceanside. We may have a strong Latina running for a state office who can rally the base. Also, Bilbray is their worst nightmare, so I expect that to motivate them to get out to vote. I reach out to leaders in the community as much as possible to maintain good communications and understanding.

Outreach consists of more than "hopefully they'll self-organize." You need to actually engage the Latino community instead of hoping some other local candidate can do it for you. Not a good sign.

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