Friday, January 27, 2006



In late November, RBH at Daily Kos did a highly informative diary about Repugs with no opponents for the 2006 midterms. There were nearly 100! As January comes to an end, it looks a lot better-- but still far from the ideal of being able to challenge the wounded but still rising tide of fascism in every single district. A few days ago I saw some Beltway Democratic consultant had upped his prediction for Democratic wins in November from as few as 4 to around 6. Wow! With that kind of attitude, it's no wonder the Democrats have been faring so badly. I think California alone, incumbent protection gerrymandering and all, could produce 6 Democratic wins! Yesterday I mentioned a DFA meeting I attended with Jim Dean. The DFA is conducting a grassroots electoral training session in Stockton-- the Pombo heartland-- on March 18-19. Everyone was very aware of Jerry McNerney's grassroots campaign (and of Rahm Emanuel's tactics as he wastes DCCC money trying to insert his own corporately-oriented dullard into the race). But when it came to some of the other vulnerable GOP seats, no one knew much about anything.

When KOS first ran the above-mentioned piece, there were no Democrats challenging Wally Herger (CA-2), Dan Lungren (CA-3), George Radanovich (CA-19), Devin Nunes (CA-21), Bill Thomas (CA-22), Howard McKeon (CA-25), Jerry Lewis (CA-41), and Ken Calvert (CA-44). With the filing deadline on March 10, there are still no candidates to take on most of these guys (nor newly elected John Campbell in the 48th), none of whom are any good and several of whom could actually be indicted for bribery, corruption or even treason between now and November.

First, there might be some good news: Louie Contreras has stepped up to challenge one of the most corrupt Republicans ever sent to D.C. from the state of California-- and probably the most likely to follow his pal and co-conspirator "Duke" Cunningham to prison-- the execrable Jerry Lewis. I said "might" because when I called Contreras on the phone today he was a little tentative, not about running, but about divulging anything, which made me think some consultant had told him to just keep quiet and let Jerry Lewis defeat himself. The one issue I did discuss with him, the war in Iraq, scared me. After some prodding, he said "we started it and we need to finish it" and that sounds more like Bush and Lieberman than like Jack Murtha and Russ Feingold. (But I am happy that there are challengers for some of the other most vulnerable and egregiously corrupt Republican House members from my state, like Duncan Hunter, Dick Pombo, John Doolittle, Dana Rohrbacher, Mary Bono, Elton Gallegly, and David Dreier.)

But I would think Rahm Emanuel might better occupy himself with finding and working with worthy opponents to thus far unchallenged crooked Republicans like Ken Calvert or raging extremist maniacs like McKeon, Herger, Lungren, Nunes and Radonovich than with interfering with local activists and progressives by inserting his own Beltway-oriented hacks against real Democrats like Jerry McNerney here in California and Christine Cegelis in Illinois. I mean won't Emanuel be embarrassed if Calvert is indicted for his shenanigans with Saudis and defense contractors and Cunningham just before the election and there's not even a Democrat running against him?

And the problem isn't just in California, of course. In Florida there are no Democrats challenging wingnut loons like Ander Crenshaw, C.W. Young, Howdy Doody, David Weldon, and Lincoln Diaz-Balart. And in Ohio there are no Democrats running against Paul Gillmor, David Hobson, John Boehner, and Ralph Regula. I'm not sure precisely how many GOP-held districts around the country have no challengers, but there are too many and it frees those incumbents up to fund-raise for their colleagues and to otherwise cause mischief. I'm trying to look into some of the challengers to see if any are worthy of supporting (like Francine Busby and Lois Murphy, both of whom I've written about and have contributed money to-- and each of whom you can contribute to, if you'd like to, on the DWT ACT BLUE page.


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