Thursday, May 15, 2008



I can't think of many Republican comgressmen more deserving of repudiation from voters than one of the embodiments of the Culture of Corruption, Inland Empire's slick Jerry Lewis. Last weekend I drove out to Joshua Tree for a few days. I spent a lot of time in CA-41, a district only 2 hours-- and a couple of decades-- from L.A. After I got back I asked David Corbell, the volunteer campaign manager for Rita Ramirez-Dean, the progressive candidate running against Lewis, if they were making any progress with their 100% grassroots, low budget campaign. I asked him if he'd do a guest post for DWT, which he has:

Man, what a time to be a Democrat! After years of rebuilding our party through the netroots, we're poised to make MAJOR gains this November in what will probably be an even more historic election than 2006. We have an amazingly strong (presumptive) nominee in CA-41, nationally, more Senate seats up for grabs than you can count on two hands, three special election victories in deep red territory, and probably dozens of new House seats that will flip our way.

But I'm not here to gloat about our election successes so far or prematurely celebrate our prospects in November. I'm writing to you today to introduce you to a woman who has the best chance of unseating the Tom Delay of 2008: Jerry Lewis (R), CA-41. This amazing woman is Dr. Rita Ramirez-Dean. Dr. Rita is a true, lifelong Democrat, unafraid of talking about the progressive values we admire and seek out in a real Democratic candidate. An extremely strong extemporaneous speaker, able to talk from the heart without notes or prepared speeches, Dr. Rita is exactly what this district needs. Dr. Rita doesn't need to be a Blue Dog Dem in order to win this seat; as a minority woman, she speaks directly to the disenfranchised and encourages them to participate in the democratic process.

There's a strong desire amongst the voters in the district for someone like her to energize them and bring out the vote, especially in this "red" district where the usual Dems running here are afraid to say what they believe in for fear of being branded a *gasp* liberal! But we need your help to make the voters' dreams a reality.

Rep. Lewis' name is synonymous with Republican corruption. As the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, he was responsible for directing BILLIONS of dollars to his fellow cronies; anyone who reads this site regularly is aware of his shady dealings. Yet despite close to a million dollars in his campaign account, and his Teflon coating when faced with investigation after investigation, I have a huge smile on my face today. Why? Because a strong, grassroots supported candidate just won a major seat in a similar district last night. I'm talking about Congressman-elect Childers in Mississippi.

Just like MS-01, CA-41 is heavily red (R+9). But the demographics on the ground show a different picture. There is a large African-American community in the eastern parts of San Bernardino (which will be highly energized in November by Sen. Obama's campaign), a huge contingent of Latinos (who will rally behind a Latina candidate), and a strong base of Democrats who are more excited than ever to win this seat. Add that to the high numbers of Republicans defecting from their party and Democrats moving east from L.A., and the demographics point to a solid pick up opportunity.

Dr. Rita is the strongest candidate in the Democratic race to capitalize on the shifting demographics and desire for change. But we need your help to make it happen!

This primary election is all about turnout. With most Californians unaware of an election this June (especially after the presidential primary in February), the person who wins will be the person who turns out their base. It won't take much, but we need about 50 people to help phone bank, and about $5,000 to run radio ads. You're probably thinking, "$5,000?? That's not going to do anything!" Well that where Rita's demographics help her the most. $5,000 is all we need to run two weeks of ads on Latino stations, reminding a core constituency of the election and urging them to get out and vote. Add in some money for targeted ads in print media the week of the election, and our plans for victory will come to fruition.

This isn't an expensive district. Though Lewis will have millions of dollars to burn, as Mississippi taught us, money doesn't necessarily buy elections anymore. And Dr. Rita has been touring this HUGE district for well over a year already, laying the groundwork. When she wins the primary, she will already have the infrastructure in place to pose a major threat to Lewis.

Please visit Dr. Rita's website,, to learn more about her. Be sure to listen to the radio interview with Dr. Rita to hear her thoughts on the issues if you have a few minutes. If you believe in her message and want to help, please donate via Act Blue (link on website), or email volunteer (at)ritaforcongress (dot) com to help phone banking.

Thank you all for your support!

-David Corbell

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At 12:30 PM, Blogger Aethlos said...

if i were there, she'd have my vote.


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