Monday, April 05, 2010

Meet Beth Krom, Democratic Candidate For Congress From The Heart Of Orange County

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You know, California's Orange County ain't what it used to be. What it used to be was a white-bread, cookie-cutter, well-manicured suburban hellhole that was as right-wing and Republican as the suburbs of Deep South and Texan cities. That's all changed. The Bavaria of Republican politics which spawned the political careers of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan helped elect Barack Obama.

In 2008 Obama made huge strides in every part of O.C., beating Kerry's and Gore's vote totals by as much as 10 points in even the most reactionary backwaters. In the 47th CD, which Bush won twice, Obama took 60%. He also won the 44th CD-- another district where Bush had beaten Gore and Kerry-- and, though it was close, Obama even won in the heart of the county, the 48th. While the iconic place names (Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano) remain, while no one was looking the 48th CD has been changing steadily. GOP registration is down to 44%, and the district, still one of California's most affluent and best-educated, is also culturally diverse, with large Chinese, Korean, Persian and Indian communities. There are mosques and synagogues in an area once known only for mega-churches.

When Bush appointed longtime conservative knucklehead Chris Cox to a disastrous and career-ending term as chair of the SEC, right-wing apparatchik John Campbell won his seat with 60% of the vote. Two years later he beat the same Democrat, Steve Young, with 55%. This year Young has endorsed Beth Krom's race to take on Campbell, who has emerged as one of the worst of the Washington lockstep obstructionists-- a sponsor of both an English-only constitutional amendment and a teabagger favorite with his nonsensical Birther legislation. Much to the dismay of his constituents, Campbell has abandoned them entirely as he sought a national spotlight for extreme ideological purity divorced from responsible governance of any kind. Instead of lending a hand in cleaning up the mess his party made over the past eight years, he's crouching on the sidelines hurling stones at anyone who wants to move forward.

I contacted Beth and asked her to introduce herself to DWT readers, so we'd get an idea of who is running against one of the weakest of the Republican incumbents up for re-election in November. Below is that intro. You can find more information at her website, and if you'd like to contribute to her campaign, you can do it here, through ActBlue.
My name is Beth Krom. I have served since 2000 on the Irvine City Council, including four years as directly elected mayor. I am now a candidate for Congress in California’s 48th district.

I am often asked whether I always wanted to run for office. The truth is, I never really thought about it until our city was threatened with the prospect of a closed military base on our borders being converted into an international airport. After attending some city council meetings, it was clear that while there was plenty of talk, there was no real plan. Frustrated, I filed to run for city council four days before the filing deadline, won and was able to help stop the airport.

I can trace the roots of my political interest to my childhood. My father was a local anchorman in Buffalo, NY, from the early 1960s. I tell people that when I was growing up, if I wanted to see my father, I had to watch the news. Every night at dinner we would watch the news. Civil rights, Vietnam, the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. It seemed that everything had political implications and undertones.

My mother was active in the League of Women Voters, and often took me to Common Council meetings. I remember canvassing with her for George McGovern. From my father I got the bigger view of the world. From my mother I got respect for civic activism and advocacy. From the times I grew up in, I got an appreciation for the impact that political events and decisions can have on a society.

I was fortunate to be raised by parents who encouraged us to think for ourselves and remain open to new ideas. I remember when serving in public office was considered honorable. When to win office you had to engage people directly. It wasn’t about slick marketing and the politics of personal attack. Candidates sparred with ideas.  

It is frustrating to see how much political discourse has degenerated in America. Only in this line of work can people who have no respect for government win election to the institution. Can you imagine what it would it be like if schools were populated with teachers who hated education or courtrooms were filled with lawyers who hated the concept of justice? Yet an increasing number of elected officials at the federal level feel completely comfortable denigrating the institution in which they serve. Worse, their steadfast opposition to everything is designed to ensure the failure of government, thus validating their theory.

Such is the case with my opponent, John Campbell, whose campaign slogan is “Join the Resistance.” He represents an educated district with four coastal cities, most of the preserved open space remaining in Orange County, a major university, seven public school districts, an innovative business sector and one of the most culturally diverse and thoroughly integrated populations in America, yet he consistently votes against environmental initiatives, education funding, research and development and consumer protections.

Worse still, he’s signed an “anti-earmark” pledge, and considers any appropriation an earmark. So when Newport Beach needed federal funds to dredge out the Back Bay-- one of the few wetlands remaining in Orange County-- Campbell said NO. And when UC Irvine competes for federal grants to advance biomedical research or new technologies, Campbell won’t lift a finger to help. It doesn’t matter how meritorious the request, Campbell will not go to bat for his constituents.

Bottom line: we send billions of dollars to Washington in taxes every year, and he works every day to make sure not one penny comes back. If that’s not “taxation without representation, “ I don’t know what is.

During my four years as the directly elected mayor of Irvine, Mr. Campbell didn’t once come to City Hall, contact me about our city priorities, attend a public event or even send a letter of congratulations when Irvine was named “Safest Big City in America” four years in a row.

This is an educated district. As a co-sponsor of the “Birther Bill” challenging the legitimacy of the President’s birth certificate, Campbell is out of step with the people he represents. It’s time we had a real voice in our nation’s capital-- someone who understands how the decisions made in Washington directly affect our local communities. To win this race, we are building a broad coalition of support across all political, cultural and social spectrums.

When we win, we will prove that people and ideas are still more powerful than special interests and influence peddling in our democracy.

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37 Comments:

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Jonny B said...

We love you here in Orange County! Can't wait to vote for you in November!

 
At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth Rocks, I met her at an event in Dana Point. She really understands the dynamics of this district!

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger jackie said...

You have my support Beth!

 
At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally! A candidate who can beat John-do-nothing-Campbell. I want a representative in congress who actually do something for the people who live here in the CA-48th!

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger basha said...

You have my support as well! The 48th district needs a strong leader that will actively support and work for the community. Can't think of anyone more perfect than Beth!

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Steven A said...

Please please please let's elect Krom to congress! I didn't even know anyone was running until now. The fact that I live in a district that is represented by a birther disgusts me.

Best of luck. I will be voting for you come November.

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that there is finally a candidate running in the 48th that cares about her constituents, I know that Beth will be a true representative!

 
At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

beth is seriously such an inspiration... we need her to help turn things around for OC... if the nation can do it, OC can certainly do it...

 
At 4:48 PM, Anonymous subia said...

i have known beth for eight years and she continues to amaze me each day with her strength, charisma and, most importantly, sincere commitment to improving our community. CA-48 needs change, and beth is the one who will bring it...

 
At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended a UCI event, and saw Councilwoman Krom speak on the need for healthcare reform recently. I wasn't familiar with her before this. After listening to her speak passionately and fluidly on the many aspects needed for reform, I was converted.

I am a San Juan Capistrano resident, and I've followed politics pretty closely over the years. Our current representative, John Campbell, has done little to nothing to support local projects. I know because I work for the city.

Campbell uses twisted, perverted logic to support a pattern of obstructionist votes to prevent reform this district badly needs. Come November, I am looking forward to some change; it's time to boot the ideologue out.

 
At 4:52 PM, Blogger John Sakata said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am thrilled to see Beth running for Congress!

We need to show the 48th just how little Campbell is doing for us...and this is a step in the right direction!

 
At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait for Beth Krom's leadership in our district! Thank you Beth Krom for standing up for progress!

 
At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so excited for Beth's campaign! I can't wait to vote for her in November so we can have real representation in Congress!

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger The Beat said...

Meet John "Birther" Campbell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt3dz9KX3UE

Meet John "Failed Newport Beach" Campbell:

http://dailypilot.com/articles/2010/04/01/opinion/dpt-mailbag040110.txt

Meet John "Doesn't know his own district" Campbell

http://www.theliberaloc.com/2010/01/13/rep-john-campbell-forgets-he-represents-tustin-and-irvine-the-feeling-is-mutual/



Meet John "Anti Education" Campbell

http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/a-clockwork-orange/private-security-stops-healthc/

 
At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

She is the change we can believe in!

If we can take a republican out of the 48th, that will get so much positive coverage in the press for OC democrats and with it will come lot of money to turn this county blue!

 
At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Marilyn said...

I am so heartened that we finally have the chance for real representation in this district. We're not a bunch of birthers! Campbell doesn't represent me and never has. Go Beth!

 
At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Eliza said...

As a student at UCI (which is in the 48th district)I would love to see more democrats around here.

In Norcal the democratic party runs the palace and everything see,s to work better. AND we GET federal money, Campbell's refusal to get earmarks for his district is ridiculous. Thats they way the system works, and if he does not like it he should try to change it not boycott the system!

I will be voting for Krom in my first election ever!

 
At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Betty said...

Nice to see a strong, confident and intelligent woman taking on the male dominated political establishment.

It's shameful how few women are sent to congress, we represent half the people and more the half of new college graduates now! We must do all we can to support women like Beth Krom in any way possible so our voice can be heard!

 
At 7:10 PM, Blogger Steven Chen said...

I am a long time resident of Irvine. Beth has served us well as a Mayor or as a councilwoman. The voters of 48th CD deserve somebody like Beth who is willing to fight for the rights of all the people in 48th districts.

 
At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth is awesome!!! She's been a great leader @ the local level and she is going to make a big splash for OC voters in DC!

 
At 7:54 PM, Blogger Anaheim Angels (ANA) said...

Beth is the best thing to happen to Irvine, and is definitely the right person for congress!

 
At 9:00 PM, Blogger Kwame said...

Beth Krom is our only shot for sane and sensible governance in Orange County!

 
At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth is bringing new attention and energy to a long lost district which has been dominated by some unfortunates at the controls. It's time for the 48th district to have a chance at real representation in congress!

 
At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Theresa Davis said...

John Campbell has NEVER represented me. The whole "birther" thing was the last straw. He's embarrassing!

 
At 11:35 PM, Blogger Payal said...

So glad we have you running, Beth! It's the first time as a 30+ year OC native that I feel I may adequately be represented. We need you!

 
At 12:03 AM, Anonymous Rita said...

We need Beth Krom in the 48th! You have my vote!!

 
At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

I'm a student at UCI and have heard her speak she is AMAZING. Let's get out and vote for her this November!!

 
At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Felicity said...

My kind of gal: intelligent, up on the issues, engaged and engaging. Can't wait to visit her in Washington!

 
At 2:02 AM, Blogger Marc said...

sounds like the fine folks of the 48th CD have a REAL opportunity here !!
go beth krom !!!!

 
At 5:56 AM, Anonymous ERIC said...

Beth Krom congrates becoming the candidate for Congress in California’s 48th district.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger Jackie said...

Beth Krom is amazing! She's educated, passionate, and really wants to make a difference. Cannot wait to cast my vote for her in November and I really, truly hope she wins. The fate of the 48th CD depends on her victory!

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to a fundraising event and listen to her speak. One minute of her passionate words and you won't be able to vote for anyone else. Best of luck Beth! See you in Washington!

 
At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth is a much needed asset to the political landscape. I believe her success will be our success. Let's mobilize our neighbors and our friends to get out the vote for this amazing individual. We need her now.

 
At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Sunny said...

Thanks for all that you do for all of us in Orange County, this county needs someone like you who actually cares about people and has no problem making a simple meeting with constituents possible and actually serve the public! You deserve this more than anyone else, definitely more than the current holder of the seat!

 
At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for caring for us out in OC, we've been neglected for far too long by John Campbell!

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Robert122944 said...

It is better to be a "lockstep obstructionist" and follow the Constitution and Rule of Law than to past legislation without even reading it (Obamacare, Cap & Trade, the new finance reform, etc.) or to call the Arizona Immigration law un-Constitutional and racist without even reading it. This law mirrors the Federal laws and emphasizes to follow Federal Law!
Start reading people before your rights to read will be taken away from you.

 

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