Monday, December 04, 2017

Will California Voters Get Even With The GOP For Raising Their Taxes So Heavily? Maps Tell (Predict) The Story


Goal Thermometer
California's congressional map is going to look a lot less red and a lot more blue in 2019. Right now there are 39 California Democrats in the House and 14 Republicans. DCCC West Coast regional vice chair Ted Lieu is working feverishly to make that at least 46 Democrats after the 2018 midterms (and consequently 7 Republicans). Not long ago he told me that there's a reasonable chance it could be 47 Democrats and 6 Republicans because of Duncan Hunter's very serious legal problems. And then there's Devin Nunes' role in the Putin-Gate scandal and the question how quickly he winds up being deposed by Mueller for his role in helping Trump to obstruct justice...

But that isn't what the L.A. Times was focused on a few days ago in its discussion of maps. They had district maps embedded in a piece by Jon Schleuss about how California taxpayers are "hit disproportionately hard under the Republican tax plan because of changes to two popular tax breaks." He calculated the share of residents who take the SALT deduction and the percentage of new mortgages over $500,000 in 2017.
That's one reason GOP lawmakers in the state's House delegation were under so much scrutiny when most of them voted to pass the House version in November. Several members said they agreed to move the bill forward with the promise of a fix later.

The House proposal would eliminate much of the state and local tax deduction, known as SALT, and set a limit of $500,000 on the mortgage debt that can be used to claim the mortgage interest deduction. The current Senate proposal eliminates the SALT deduction entirely, but keeps the mortgage interest deduction at $1 million.
Ted Lieu, the DCCC West Coast Regional Vice Chair, seems to relish the races in the current political environment. "By eliminating the state and local tax deduction and capping the mortgage interest deduction," he told us moments ago, "the Republican tax scam is targeting successful blue states like California. For the record, I would oppose this stupid Republican tax plan even if I wasn't from California. It will hurt middle-class families, students, veterans, and the disabled all in order to give huge tax cuts to corporations and the extremely wealthy. Oh and it will add one and a half trillion dollars to our national debt. The idea that any elected official from our state would support a tax overhaul that will crush California families is mind blowing. It is one thing to be loyal to your party. It is another thing entirely to sell out your constituents in favor of your donors. In less than a year we'll find out how Californians feel about those who betrayed them."

Today's news... and Sabato is always about a month or 2 behind

Hillary won Mimi Walters' district 49.8% to 44.4%. The district's PVI went from an R+7 PVI in 2015 to a much more Democratic-friendly R+3 this year. Mimi, who doesn't live in the district despite having been elected over 3 years ago refuses to spend much time there, preferring to spend her time in a posh community on the coast in Dana Rohrabacher's district. This cycle there are 2 excellent progressives running for the seat, Kia Hamadanchy and Katie Porter. Both have turned Walters' unnerving support for Ryan, Trump and this Tax Scam into weapons against her. Yesterday, Kia Hamadanchy told us that "It’s clear what a devastating impact this bill will have on the people of California’s 45th district. Mimi’s continued support for the tax plan shows just who she answers to-- Paul Ryan and the billionaire donors of the Republican Party. And in her mission to make them happy, she didn’t think twice about screwing over the people she is supposed to represent. Mimi better start thinking about what lobbying firm she wants to work for, because she won’t be our member of Congress next January."

And Katie Porter was just as outspoken: "It's clear that my Republican opponent, Mimi Walters, will back virtually any policy, no matter how harmful it is to her constituents, so long as it has Trump's seal of approval. When even her Republican colleagues next door voted no on this disastrous tax bill, it proved once and for all that Mimi Walters does not represent her constituents, she represents the powerful special interests and corporate PACs who bankroll her campaign. The devastating tax changes that Mimi voted for could tilt our entire system even more towards the top 1% at a time when multinational corporations are parking record profits offshore, a handful of top-tier billionaires are getting richer and richer, and when the middle class is getting squeezed by cuts to public education, public health, and other vital social services."

Hillary won Dana Rohrabacher's district 47.9% to 46.2%. The coastal Orange County district's R+7 PVI in 2015 is now R+4, still tough, but winnable in a wave election cycle-- especially when the incumbent is widely seen as "Putin's favorite congressman and appears to be implicated in Trump's Russia problems in a pretty major way. Laura Oatman is one of several candidates vying to take on Rohrabacher. Most of the others are a bunch of conservative men, a tweedle-dee-tweedle-dum pair of wealthy self-funding New Dems and another rich self-funder from out of the district who proudly describes himself as a "Reagan Democrat." Laura is the progressive in the race. This morning, she told us that "Before his no vote on the tax bill, Rohrabacher had voted in alignment with Trump 94% of the time. Why the sudden about-face? Is it the Cook Report’s analysis that the district has swung from solid red to 'toss-up'? The voters won’t be fooled by a last-minute change of heart motivated by Dana’s self-preservation."

Issa was nearly defeated in 2016 himself by former Marine colonel Doug Applegate who is running against him again-- and with far more name recognition this cycle. Hillary won the district 50.7% to 43.2%. And the R+4 PVI in 2015 is now rated just R+1, almost a sure flip in a wave election year. Doug Applegate, the progressive Democrat in the race to defeat Issa, noted that "Over the past three years our supporters have been holding Darrell’s feet to the fire and made him do something he's never done-- vote against GOP leadership on a major bill."

Hillary won Steve Knight's district 50.3% to 43.6% and the only reason Knight is still a congressman is because the DCCC parachuted some non-resident into the district who ran a terrible campaign and got his ass kicked. This cycle, the likely candidate is Katie Hill, a born and raised resident and a far better candidate. The PVI went from 2015's R+3 to a dead even rating this year.

CA-39 should be the easiest pickup, but the DCCC has, as usual, screwed up by directing a couple of non-resident multimillionaires to run there who would have zero chance to beat Royce. There is a great candidate running though, Sam Jammal. Hillary won against Trump, 51.5% to 42.9, and with a PVI that flipped from R+5 to dead even. Sam Jammal, the Orange County progressive running for the seat top Paul Ryan lieutenant Ed Royce uses as his base, is playing hardball: "Ed Royce doesn't represent our community. He is the Congressman for wealthy donors and out of district millionaires. Why else would he vote to raise taxes on nearly every homeowner in our district or vote to eliminate the state and local tax deduction, which penalizes California? He has never been a champion for the middle class families who use the student loan, medical expense or distaster assistance deduction, but this is taking things to whole new levels by so blatantly catering only to rich people who don't live in the district. It's truly stunning."

Duncan Hunter's district east of San Diego is still pretty red and it will take a Hunter indictment before the election to pry it out of GOP hands. Trump won over Hillary, 54.6% to 39.6% and the PVI is still daunting, having gone from and impossible R+14 to a nearly impossible R+11.

Like Hunter's district, Nunes' Central Valley seat hasn't changed enough yet and may be a better shot in 2020-- unless Nunes' role in Putin-Gate gets him in trouble with independent voters back home, and that does seem to be coming along at this point. Trump won the district 52.1% to 42.6% and the DCCC has never run a candidate against Nunes and has no idea how to. The PVI went from an R+10 in 2015 to an R+8 this year. Ricardo Franco is the progressive in the battle to replace Devin Nunes. "This map," he told us today, "clearly shows the concentration of people who file with SALT deductions come from our district's wealthiest zip codes and area with the highest voter turn out. Not surprisingly, it is also the most conservative portion of the district. It's another sign that Nunes is clearly out of touch with his constituents, including the ones that vote for him. He may be too busy trying to outrun Bob Mueller to understand or care, however. The people here in the valley don't have the patience anymore for party politics that continuously leave them behind.  You can bet I'm taking this message straight to the voters at every opportunity."

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At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't trust the Democrats to remove the trash from my house and carry it to the cans. They'd lose it -like they do everything else- in transit.

At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never misunderestimate the stupidity and evil of republican voters. You can never presume they are as bad as they always are.

But the house, as far as I know, today, haven't reconciled with the senate bill yet. They might try to reinstate some of those popular deductions... maybe not... but it really shouldn't matter. See above.

When a Nazi type voter is faced with voting with a R who just ratfucked them or a democrap who will be ratfucking them, they'll vote for the R to ratfuck them. Google HST and "real republican". He gave a salient and true speech about it over 60 years ago.

Of course, when the democrap is truly a pos, it makes their choice that much easier.

How do you think we plummeted from Nixon/Reagan to trump? By the democraps being like FDR? nope. by the democraps being the paragons of corruption and fecklessness like Pelosi, scummer, both Clintons, obamanation, reid, hoyer........

The money has created this 'lesser evilism' meme that 65 million true imbeciles now follow. You think they made this up to help YOU?!?!?!


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