Saturday, January 28, 2017

California Has A Leader Of The Resistance In Congress-- Meet Ted Lieu


In 2012 Henry Waxman had served nearly 4 decades in the House. A Republican billionaire, Bill Bloomfield, rebranded himself as an independent and ran a slash and burn campaign against Waxman, spending $7,567,080 of his own money (and another $400,000 from his wealthy friends) to pulverize the iconic progressive congressman. Waxman still won 171,860 (54%) to 146,660 (46%), but it was uncomfortably close and he was in no mood for that kind of fight again. So he didn't run in 2014. Ted Lieu, who is an even stronger and more hard-hitting champion of progressive causes than Waxman, ran instead. Elan Carr, a right-wing lunatic with no principles who sometimes runs as a Republican and sometimes pretends he's an independent, ran against Lieu with Adelson backing. He spent $1,575,540 to Ted's $2,173,521 but at the last moment, two Adelson-funded SuperPAC orchestrated a vicious smear campaign against Lieu costing $750,000. Lieu went to the DCCC for help. According to a confidant of mine who worked there at the time, Steve Israel told him to go pound sand. The DCCC informant called me just weeks before the election and told me Lieu was in trouble and Israel refused to help. He asked if Blue America could do anything. Fortunately we had enough money in our account to take out full page ads in the L.A. Times and a local newspaper to respond to Adelson's lies. Despite the onslaught of Adelson-directed money, Ted kicked his ass-- 108,331 (59%) to 74,700 (41%). This past November, the GOP didn't even try, putting up a weak unknown, under-financed candidate who Ted eviscerated 66.3- 33.7%.

His colleagues in the House recognized his potential right away; he was elected the 114th Congress' Democratic freshman class president. His constituents have gotten to understand they now have one of the best Members of Congress representing them. What does "best" mean? It kicked in for me one day when a friend of mine, Matt Stoller I think, asked Ted, an Air Force colonel and a hugely successful state legislator, why he wanted to go live in the hellhole that is congressional life in Washington, DC. Ted explained to us that there were many policies he felt needed to be addressed thoughtfully and aggressively and then talked about Climate Change in great depth and said his reasons for wanting to be in Congress were tied up with his two very young sons. More and more people have been referring to him as Southern California's Jedi Knight. He's looking to save the planet for Brennan and Austin-- as well as for his other constituents.

Thursday, Los Angeles Magazine-- which directly covers an area represented by two dozen members of Congress. Writer Julia Herbst correctly pegged him as "a real leader of the resistance," pointing out that his twitter account is a beacon of light in the post-election darkness. She wrote that "if you’re looking for a ray of sunshine in the alternative fact-riddled hellscape that is our life now (we’re looking at you, EPA social media ban, Betsy DeVos and friends, executive order about the Affordable Care Act, advancement of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, and revival of the Reagan-era Mexico City Policy), look no further than Congressman Ted Lieu’s Twitter. Because the dude is killing it." And she thinks his twitter style is a laugh fest. She concluded with: "Many have (rightfully) expressed concern that Trump’s election might bring out the worst in people. But it’s also bringing out the best-- and most hilarious-- in others. Never stop being you, Representative Lieu."

Goal Thermometer Right on. So far this year, Blue America has endorsed only 6 incumbents. There will be more, as it becomes clear that they're going to not just be part of the resistance but approach it as aggressively, courageously and intelligently as Ted Lieu does. Please consider supporting Ted's 2018 reelection bid. With enemies like Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, let's not take any chances-- and we already know better than being able to count on the DCCC. Late Friday afternoon, in response to Trump's latest executive order making it more difficult for refugees to enter the United States based on their religion or religious heritage, Ted told his constituents that "Today’s executive order by President Trump using extreme vetting and banning refugees from many majority Muslim countries is offensive and a monumental waste of federal resources. Having served on active duty, we are taught that to defeat the enemy, we first need to know our enemy. Our enemies are terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, not children, women and senior citizens fleeing those groups. The chances of being struck by lightning TWICE is 1 in 9 million. The chances of being killed by a refugee committing a terrorist act is 1 in 3.6 billion. These facts lead me to conclude that Trump's action is not based on national security, it is based on bigotry. Lady Liberty is crying."

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At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lieu may be a good congressman/man. Then why the hell is he still playing ball for the democrap party, who wanted him NOT to win?

And Lady Liberty has been sobbing for over 3 decades... if she's been paying attention... which *WE* have not been.


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