Thursday, September 15, 2005



Although Orange County has changed fairly significantly-- less white, less Stepford-- since the bad old days when it was to the GOP what Bavaria had been in the 40s to a certain German political party with a similar world view, the 48th Congressional Dirstrict would still have to be considered friendly-- VERY friendly-- turf for a Republican. Conventional wisdom would dictate that a GOP primary winner just has some early November formalities before moving his family to DC. If you know South California at all, consider these 48th CD towns and tell me what chances you think a Democrat, let alone a progressive Democrat, has: Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, San Joaquin Hills, Lake Forest, Newport Beach...

And yet... There's a story brewing down in O.C. Even in the Republican heartland people are starting to feel suckered by the Bush Regime and their brand of far right extremism they've been passing off as Republicanism. No weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, no actual success in Iraq, no Osama bin-Laden, spiralling deficits, incredibly high gasoline prices (in a district with virtually no public transportation), the disgrace of the response to Hurricane Katrina... and a creeping feeling that George Bush is both incompetent and a liar. The district's long time congressman, Christopher Cox, in line with Bush's unswerving policy of appointing foxes to guard chicken coops, is giving up his seat to ruin the Security and Exchange Commission. The last time Cox faced his constituents, in 2004, he took 65% of the votes cast (having spent $1,038,914 against his hapless opponet, John Graham, who spent $1,528). Well this time it won't be quite as easy for the Republicans to hold onto that seat.

A primary will be held on October 4th with the top vote-getters from each party going on to the December 6 runoff. Steve Young, endorsed by the local and state Democratic Party and by lots of local civic groups, is virtually assured the Democratic spot. (Although there are a couple of minor Democratic candidates running, Young is widely considered THE Democrat, making for a relatively united party.) The 10 Republicans running, on the other hand, are savagely-- and publically-- tearing each other apart. AND, as though the Republicans aren't right-wing enough, the founder of the Minutemen, a KKK-lite organization of xenophobic vigilantes, Jim Gilchrist, is also in the race-- and he'll be in the December 6 runoff and will no doubt draw votes away from the Republican (something which should even the playing field a bit in this district where only 27% of voters are registered as Democrats).

Young is a 51 year old charismatic trial lawyer from Newport Beach. He is tech savvy, progressive, ready to spend $1,000,000 of his own money, and has attracted much of the team that nearly beat the Republicans in Ohio's even redder 2nd district in August (nearly getting Paul Hackett into Congress). If you check out his website ( you'll find a very 21st Century operation. It starts with a simple, to the point greeting from Young:


My name is Steve Young and I am running for Congress from California’s 48th District because I believe the time has come for a new American prosperity founded on the values of the hard-working residents of our District.

I want to build a coalition of small businesses and working families to reclaim the middle class from the tragedy of outsourcing. Job outsourcing is anti-family. It erodes our job base and replaces good jobs with poverty-wage jobs that don’t pay enough to support a family. Outsourcing exports opportunity. It drains us of jobs and prevents the average American from being able to put resources back into the U.S. economy. When we export jobs, we export prosperity.

I have an aggressive plan to reinvigorate our economy and I invite you to come have a look around my website to learn more. Come see where I stand on all the issues that are important to California’s 48th District.

I would also like to hear which issues are most important to you – please email me anytime at Together, we will create a brighter future for Orange County.

Please take a few minutes to visit our website and learn more about these and other important issues."

And then he identifies his main issues in one simple sentence and provides a link to each one so that anyone interested in following up in depth or examining his solutions, can get as much information as needed. His issues, in order of his priorities, are: "1- Reinvigorating the Economy- When we outsource our jobs, we outsource opportunity; 2- Education- An investment in education is one of the keys to a renewed American prosperity; 3- Immigration- We must look to the root of the problem if we want to affect real and lasting change; 4- Environment- Responsible consumption and alternative energy exploration will mean a cleaner planet for our children and grandchildren; 5- Social Security- The Social Security trust fund is not a political ATM that should be raided by Congress to cover reckless Washington spending; and 6- The War in Iraq- The question America now faces is how to get our troops home as quickly as possible, alive and not in body bags."

He invites interested parties to e-mail him with questions. So I did. This is what I wrote:

"I saw your website-- good job-- and decided to take you up on your offer to hear what issues are most important to me. First of all, almost ANY Democrat would be a blessing after the pompous right-wing jerk who has represented the 48th until now. However, before I get out the old check book I want to know how progressive you actually are. Would you be prepared to become a co-sponsor of Barbara Lee's Resolution of Inquiry (House Res. 375), the one that asks the tough questions about the Downing Street Memo? There are 52 Democratic co-sponsors (+ one Republican and, of course, Bernie Sanders). Every Democrat I know personally is sick of hearing reactionary, hawkish Bush-lite bromides from Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton. Many of us are looking for Democrats who will offer a CLEAR AND COMPELLING alternative to Bush's disastrous policies..."

His answer was pretty direct: "I think Barabra Lee is an American hero. She was the only one to oppose going to war. I would be honored to sign her resolution of inquiry so we can finally get the answers America deserves."

Hence, this little blog entry-- and a check to Steve Young For Congress.

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