Saturday, October 21, 2017

L.A. County Board Of Supervisors Decides To Go Down With The Leaky S.S. DiFi


Kuehl, Solis, Hahn, Barger, Ridley-Thomas

Thursday the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously dissed progressive Angeleno Kevin de León by endorsing conservative Democrat Dianne Feinstein for another 6 year Senate term. You would have thought at least former congresswoman, ex-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis would have had more sense. Kathryn Barger is an actual Republican, plain and simple. Feinstein is as good a pick for senator for someone like her as she's going to find. Sheila Kuehl would endorse any woman-- even a woman's corpse-- over a man, so no surprise there either. Janice Hahn has always been the epitome of the ambitious establishment politician; she is the closest thing to DiFi in Los Angeles politics. Mark Ridley-Thomas is in no position to cross a powerful incumbent-- and neither is his dad. You can check their contributors. And that leaves our old friend Hilda, whose personal trajectory is similar to de León's. Like him she came from an immigrant household and struggled against the odds to achieve incredible success. In 1992 she was elected to the California Assembly and 2 years later to the state Senate, representing an East L.A. district not unlike the state Senate district de León represents today. In the legislature, Hilda, like Kevin, stood out as one of that body's most progressive members and-- like him-- a champion for working families and of environmental justice.

In 2000 Hilda ran against a corrupt and conservative 18-year congressional incumbent Matthew Martínez. The party establishment had a collective freakout and slammed her mercilessly for barging in against an incumbent, no matter that Martinez was the same kind of Republican-lite dirt-bag Feinstein has always been. In fact, Feinstein refused to back Hilda in her race against him, even when Barbara Boxer did. Hilda kicked his ass anyway, winning the seat 69-31%, an incredible achievement against an incumbent with all the establishment support. (He switched parties and re-registered as a Republican.)

When Hilda got to Congress she was hailed as the harbinger of a generational changing of the guard in the Hispanic Caucus. She joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus and continued the work she had been doing in Sacramento as a champion of working families and of the environment. She took on conservative Democrat Joe Baca for acting like a congressional version of Harvey Weinstein and she rose fast in the Democratic ranks. Soon after he was elected, Obama asked her to leave Congress and join his cabinet as Secretary of Labor. The AFL-CIO rejoiced while anti-union groups were furious and Senate Republicans tried to derail her nomination-- and failed. She served for all of Obama's first term and retired in January, 2013 to run for the L.A. Board of Supervisors, which many saw as a stepping stone to higher office, something she just botched by joining with the more conservative Board members in backing Feinstein.

Sarah Wire's report for the L.A. Times emphasized that the unanimous endorsement by the Board members came "as factions of California Democrats begin weighing in on the Senate race... It's a snub for De León, a native Angeleno who has represented part of the city for more than a decade in the Assembly and state Senate... [T]he lone Republican on the board, 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, said in a statement that California needs Feinstein in the Senate.
“I’ve worked with Sen. Feinstein for many years. She’s extremely knowledgeable and always prepared on the tough issues we confront. She’s a problem solver we can count on now and in the future,” Barger said.

Feinstein already has the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which traditionally backs incumbents. Soon after he announced a challenge, De León was endorsed by Democracy for America, the progressive political action committee formed by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2004.
This is a battle between a decrepit and corrupt past and a bright reformed future. I'd expect Barger, Ridley-Thomas, Hahn and what Kuehl has turned into in recent years to stick with the former. But Hilda Solis' backing of Feinstein over de León feels like a real betrayal of her progressive base. Big mistake!

left to right: past, future

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At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

democraps proving again and again that they must be euthanized for anything to ever get better.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger U.S. Citizen said...

I don't think Solis did much for labor while she was secretary but that could have been because of Obama. The administration got the Lily Ledbetter law passed but I think that was about it.

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lily Ledbetter is no accomplishment! That "law" was watered down to an incredibly thin consistency at the behest of corporate lobbyists. It is almost impossible to ever implement.

Just another Obummer failure to deliver on Hope and Change.


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