Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lee Rogers Overtaking Buck McKeon In Heated California Congressional Race


Judy Garland was born in Minnesota and John Wayne was born in Iowa, but both went to elementary school in the Antelope Valley, an area in the northeastern corner of L.A. that makes up a third of the 25th Congressional District. In fact, it's over 450,000 people have long been the rapidly expanding Democratic heart of the district. Over the weekend, those who get the Antelope Valley Press, the biggest newspaper in the area, were greeted by a front page that probably alarmed a lot of Republicans in Lancaster, Palmdale and some of the smaller towns in the area. The headline:


And "The Buck," of course refers to the area's longtime, 74 year old incumbent, corrupt reactionary Howard "Buck" McKeon. In 2010 McKeon won reelection with 62% of the vote and in 2008-- while Obama was winning the district 49-48%-- McKeon was reelected with 58%. Fact of the matter is, McKeon has never had a serious challenge before. That changed this year with the challenge from local nationally-known surgeon and young father Lee Rogers. And it's not a fortuitous time for a serious challenge for McKeon, who is caught up in a series of corruption scandals, from Countrywide, insider stock trading and Mammoth Mountain to campaign finance scandals involving misuse of his position on the House Armed Services Committee as well as in regard to an embarrassing and potentially illegal parade of election infractions committed by McKeon on behalf of his wife's ill-starred Assembly campaign.

The headline referred to the independent poll the newspaper did last week-- and the graphic (up top) that they ran on their front page says it all.
Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon may be the powerful chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, but he's not making many people happy at home in his 25th District, if the results of the most recent Have Your Say poll are any indication.

When the Antelope Valley Press asked its readers last week who should fill that seat for the next two years, only 25% of respondents picked the Santa Clarita Republican.

Meanwhile, 46.25% picked Dr. Lee Rogers, the Simi Valley podiatrist who is the only Democrat in the four-way race. Simi Valley was added to the 25th District in last year's redistricting.

Another 16.25% chose Santa Clarita businessman Dante Acosta, while 1.25% tapped Cathie Wright of Simi Valley, daughter of the late Cathie Wright, longtime legislator and onetime lieutenant governor candidate.

One of the most corrupt Members of Congress-- and the biggest recipient of bribes from the armaments industry and war contractors (even more than any member of the Senate)-- McKeon has so far raised $1,396,561 this cycle and already spent $862,687. And guess who's funneling all that cash into McKeon's campaign:

But even with all that money-- and with his campaign signs blighting the entire district-- he's falling behind Rogers, who has raised $180,429 so far and spent only $153,851. The other 2 Republicans still in the raise-- Harrison Leonard dropped out and endorsed Rogers-- have raised less than $22,000 between them. This race is completely winnable for Rogers but his progressive positions-- he's pro-Choice, pro-equality and more concerned about the interests of ordinary working families than big money special interests-- have been a turn-off to "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel and the DCCC he runs as an auxiliary to the Blue Dog Caucus. CA-25 may be the best shot for the Democrats to pick off a senior Republican in the entire country-- and is certainly the best shot in California-- but Israel is just too busy trying to resuscitate the moribund Blue Dogs in places they will never win, than to bother with anyone who will be impervious to the corruption and special interests politics that bosses like Israel thrive on. If Rogers is going to beat McKeon-- and win the last bastion of Republican dominance in L.A. County-- it's going to be because of his growing grassroots strength. Newspaper polls are awesome. Turning people out for the polls next Tuesday and next November is what counts. If you can, please chip in what you can afford here at the Blue America ActBlue page. Remember, McKeon, more than any other Member of Congress is keeping the pointless and costly occupation of Afghanistan going. Replacing him with Rogers is the closest thing we have to a referendum to end that war.

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