Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Best Shot For A House Upset In America: CA-25-- Buck McKeon vs Lee Rogers


Buck McKeon has never debated any of his challengers before-- and he never had to. He normally won by massive margins-- 75% in 1998, 62% in 2000, 65% in 2002, 64% in 2004, 60% in 2006, 58% in 2008, and 62% in 2010. But aside from the basically downward trajectory of his support, this time McKeon has angered his base and faces a serious opponent, Lee Rogers, who most savvy observers think has a great shot for an upset. Alternet named the district the top under-the-radar race in the whole country, meaning not on the DCCC's or NRCC's radar.

1. CA-25: Democrat Lee Rogers vs Republican Buck McKeon

Best Shot For 

Buck McKeon is a trifecta of loathsome: a Republican in a district that Obama won in 2008 who got preferential treatment from housing-bubble blowers Countrywide, and who, as the Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, refused to hold hearings on sexual assault at the Air Force's training facility at Lackland. He was also one of the forces behind California's anti-gay Proposition 8, and is the co-chair of the House drone caucus (for real).

So why aren't we hearing more about his opponent, surgeon Lee Rogers? As could be expected, Rogers is running heavy on health care, leaning on his experience with the system-- he says that 75 percent of his patients (he's a podiatrist) are on Medicare-- and calling for improvements to the Affordable Care Act. He's called for keeping drug addicts out of prison, getting out of Afghanistan, and investing in infrastructure. As Blue America's Howie Klein notes, McKeon hasn't had real competition in a while, so this race could get interesting.

So here's why McKeon is especially vulnerable this year-- apart from the fact that Obama is going to win the district and bring out more Democrats than normal:

1.  He caused a local Republican civil war. He ran his wife for Assembly against his former district director-- who is largely popular with the local GOP. She lost miserably and it split the Republican Party in two.

2.  He ignored the local community pleas to stop the largest gravel mine in the country (Cemex) from starting... and now, under intense pressure from Santa Clarita city officials and voters, is calling for another study.

3.  The Corruption factor, Countrywide mortgage scandal, paying his wife, misuse of government staff, FEC violations. He was added to CREW's top 20 most corrupt members of Congress last week. 

4.  Rogers is running a real smart campaign. Knowing they're never going to outspend him, they're simply outsmarting him. 

5.  Blocking the Lackland sexual assault investigations has damaged his credibility at home. Protect Our Defenders did a good job of embarrassing him in the district with local media in order to get action from him.

Buck has agreed to debate Rogers in a public forum, again a first for him in 20 years, on Oct 10. But Buck pulled a fast one, of course. He only agreed to debate in a venue that is charging $45 per person to get in. That way he's hoping only people with disposable income come and not any of the people struggling to make ends meet in a district hard hit by the Bush Recession and policies that McKeon has championed-- and even helped to craft-- straight down the line.

This week Norman Solomon, one of California's most respected advocates of a peace and prosperity agenda-- the antithesis of McKeon's war and Austerity perspective-- was again urging his supporters to get behind Lee Roger's race, likely to produce the biggest upset in the country in November.
I’m very proud of what we’ve already done to help defeat Buck McKeon, the war-happy Republican chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

Just a couple of weeks ago, McKeon’s progressive Democratic opponent Lee Rogers sent me a note saying: “Thanks for all your help with our campaign. Your supporters have stepped up and we’re really making progress.”

Now-- under the headline “Buck McKeon vs. Lee Rogers: Upset Afoot?”-- the L.A. Daily News on “McKeon’s connection to the Countrywide scandal. McKeon received a ‘VIP’ loan from Countrywide but denied knowing he was receiving favored treatment.”

And, the newspaper noted, McKeon recently was given a “Dishonorable Mention” when “a Washington watchdog group issued its list of the most ‘corrupt’ members of Congress.”

But even with the GOP’s McKeon on the ropes, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is still refusing to help Lee’s campaign.

You can contribute to Lee's campaign on the main Blue America page where we're working to defeat some of the most odious Republicans in Congress. And one more thing, the DFA Heroes & Villains poll is now open. McKeon is scoring very high in the villain category-- #11 nationally last time I looked. If you haven't voted yet, please do... heroes.democracyforamerica/heroes.

Norman sent out another blast a couple of hours ago about Congressman War Bucks. He added this:

Dr. Lee Rogers runs an amputation prevention center in Los Angeles County, and he knows what terrible injuries do to people. Now, he's challenging one of the most powerful war enthusiasts in Congress... No one does more to hand out billions in tax dollars to military contractors. And no one in Congress is more deserving of defeat.

Lee says: "We mustn't be motivated by the armament industries, just because they need to increase their profit margins or because a Congressman needs more campaign donations."

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home