Monday, October 01, 2012

DCCC vs U.S. Chamber Of Commerce In California Congressional Races


Way back in Washington, DC Steve Israel and his crew at the DCCC identified which candidates they wanted to support in California congressional races based on their various filters. They're spending money on 3 vulnerable incumbents-- Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi and Lois Capps (New Dem)-- and 10 challengers, 7 in Red to Blue districts-- Ami Bera (New Dem), Jose Hernandez, Julia Brownley, Raul Ruiz, Mark Takano (Progressive), Alan Lowenthal, Scott Peters (New Dem)-- and 3 in what they call "majority maker" seats (districts that are open and dependably blue: Jared Huffman, Tony Cardenas and ultra-conservative and corrupt Juan Vargas (New Dem). Most are more or less run-of-the-mill California Democrats who will do what they're told by leadership. Mark Takano and Jared Huffman will probably join the Congressional Progressive Caucus; maybe Raul Ruiz or even Alan Lowenthal will as well. I'd bet that Juan Vargas, already a New Dem, will join the Blue Dogs after he's elected... if the Blue Dogs still exist. They've been migrating into the purportedly less overtly right-wing New Dems, which is the preferred vehicle for the corporatist wing of the Democratic Party these days. Steve Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (like Rahm before them) were New Dems, a kind of corruption-oriented caucus that isn't committed to the GOP social agenda, only to the economic one.

In a discussion over the weekend, Stuart Zechman, co-host of Virtually Speaking, A-Z, agreed with me that "the enemies of humanity within the Democratic caucus are the New Dems. It can't be said enough," he wrote. "The New Democrat Network and New Democrat Coalitions (both House and Senate) are what's wrong with the Democratic Party.  Not Blue Dogs, not 'Conserva-Dems,' not machine servants like Schumer, not cowards, not the individually corrupt. The New Democrats are literally the enemies of good government. Remove the New Democrats, and we have a shot at useful, productive policy being the result of electing Democrats to national office. Leave the New Democrats in place to influence and even control legislation, messaging, policy proposals, agendas and press coverage, and the Democratic Party remains part of the problem. The political issue with pointing out that the New Democrat Coalition are the profoundly powerful enemies of New Deal-style government competence is that Obama is a self-described New Democrat." [Warning, overwrought Obama-bots will not want to read the information at the link. Don't say I didn't warn you.]

All that said, sometime these things work out for the best. Following closely the DCCC pronouncements of who they're backing, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pouring millions of dollars of dark right-wing cash-- and illegal money from China-- into California races... but just the DCCC races. According to Reid Wilson, here's where the Chamber is spending their money:

CA-03: Rep. John Garamendi (D) is seeking re-election. The Chamber will spent $497,000 between tomorrow and Oct. 7 on about 600 gross ratings points in the Sacramento media market.

CA-07: Rep. Dan Lungren (R) is seeking re-election. The Chamber will spend $484,000 on about 590 GRPs in the Sacramento market on his behalf on broadcast television over the next ten days (note how expensive the Sacramento market is becoming, with so many swing districts in the area).

CA-09: Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) is seeking re-election. The Chamber is spending $485,000 on about 590 points in Sacramento over the same period in an effort to elect Republican Ricky Gill.

CA-10: Rep. Jeff Denham (R) is running for a second term. The Chamber is spending $497,000 on about 600 gross ratings points between Sept. 28 and Oct. 7 in a bid to keep him in office.

CA-24: Rep. Lois Capps (D) is running for re-election. The Chamber is spending $118,000 on broadcast ads in the Santa Barbara market over the next ten days, good for 750 GRPs.

CA-26: Rep. Elton Gallegly's old district, Republican Tony Strickland and Democrat Julia Brownley are running for the open seat. The Chamber is spending $348,000 on Los Angeles cable between Sept. 29 and Oct. 19 on Strickland's behalf.

CA-36: Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R) is seeking another term. The Chamber is spending $330,000 between Sept. 25 and Nov. 6 on about 3,700 points in the Palm Springs market on Bono Mack's behalf.

CA-41: The new Riverside seat, Democrat Mark Takano is running against Republican John Tavaglione. The Chamber will spend $218,000 for Tavaglione on Los Angeles cable TV.

CA-47: The Long Beach-area seat, Democrat Alan Lowenthal is running against Republican Gary DeLong. The Chamber is spending $317,000 between now and Oct. 7 on cable ads in the Los Angeles market on DeLong's behalf.

CA-52: Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) is seeking re-election. The Chamber will spend $334,000 between September 28 and October 11 on about 730 GRPs on Bilbray's behalf.

Sometimes a candidate can be better off not being on the DCCC lists! And not just because they have to make a deal with the devil to get on. In the cases of stalwart progressives Lee Rogers and Jay Chen-- who are battling particularly odious senior GOP heavyweights (respectively, Buck McKeon and Ed Royce), the Inside-the-Beltway political bosses aren't paying attention. No DCCC and no U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Both campaigns are better off without the attention. And if you'd like to help us surprise both the DCCC and the Chamber of Horrors, you can do that here.

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