Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Two More Democrats Jump Into A Hot Orange County Congressional Race


What a contrast between Gil Cisneros, a fabulously wealthy "ex"-Republican lottery winner from Newport Coast who is bribing DCCC power players to back him, and Sam Jammal, a lifelong homegrown progressive who worked in the Obama administration and then as a clean energy executive. Although Cisneros' $10 million beach-front mansion is as far from CA-39's middle class neighborhoods as if it were in Scarsdale, NY or Darien, Connecticut or any other self-segregated rich-people-only enclave, he now vowing to buy another home in the district. Why not? He won $266 million in the lottery and he can certainly afford to district shop the same way another super-wealthy DCCC loser, Sean Eldridge, used to do.

CA-39 is primarily a northeast Orange County district with a chunk of L.A. County and a sliver of San Bernardino County. The DCCC has, for years, studiously avoided targeting powerful-- and very bigoted-- incumbent Ed Royce. Then Hillary beat Trump there 51.5% to 42.9%, her biggest win among the GOP-held Orange County districts the DCCC says they hope to win in 2018. Whites are a minority in this district and the DCCC should have been building a multi-cycle campaign to win it back for years; but they’re way too lame, incompetent and unaccountable to have done any such thing. The district stretches from deep blue Hacienda Heights into La Brea Heights, La Habra, Rowland Heights, Brea, up to Walnut, Diamond Bar and Chino Hills and then south to Buena Park, Fullerton, Placenta, and Yorba Linda.

How excited is the DCCC about actually winning CA-39 and ousting Royce? Not very. In fact, they’re already written it off. The powers that be in DC-- "We no longer have a party caucus capable of riding this wave. We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn't a party. It's a giant assisted living center. Complete with field trips, gym, dining room and attendants"-- have decided to sell the nomination to Cisneros, who they know will have no chance to win against Royce, no matter how much of his lottery winnings he plans to keep doling out to avaricious DCCC-connected consultants and operatives. Cisneros big accomplishment since deciding to run is having undergone some surgery to remove a couple of layers and a couple of chins-- plus meeting with corrupt lobbyists at a resort outside of DC last month instead of meeting folks in the district the DCCC is selling him. (The Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Bold PAC, run by Tony Cárdenas, brokered the deal and hosted the weekend event at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge, Maryland. Besides all the corrupt lobbyists, attendees included Tom Perez, Steny Hoyer, Ben Ray Lujan, Cárdenas, and reactionary Blue Dogs Jim Costa (CA), Vicente Gonzalez (TX), Stephanie Murphy (FL), Tom O’Halleran (AZ) and Lou Correa (CA). Among the lobbyists were representatives of AT&T, the Pedestal Group, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, Microsoft, Charter Communications, Amgen, Concast, Pepsi, Pfizer, Sempra Energy, Primerica, Loews, Biogen, T-Mobile, Safeway, Johnson & Johnson, Astra Zenica, Sprint, PayPal, and dozens more.

The L.A. Times covered Cisneros' announcement by announcing he was a registered Republican until at least 2008 and they used the campaign publicity department's terminology for "rich lottery winner," calling him a "philanthropist." Cisneros appears to be exactly what the Democratic Party doesn't need-- a super rich, out-of-touch captive of the party establishment who's idea of a campaign is hiring crooked consultants and waiting for the anti-Trump tsunami to come and sweep Royce away.
A registered Republican until 2008, Cisneros said he switched parties because he thought the GOP was becoming too ideological.

"This is a diverse country that we live in and we need to be inclusive. And right now I don't think the Republican Party is being very inclusive."

Cisneros joins two other Democratic challengers to Royce-- pediatrician Mai Khanh Tran and education consultant and former chemistry professor Phil Janowicz-- as well as independent candidate Julio Castaneda.
Shame the L.A. Times doesn't cover Orange County the way they once did; otherwise they would have known that a few hours before the lottery winner declared he's running a real son of the district did: Sam Jammal. Sam's announcement was covered by the Orange County Register Sunday night.
Fullerton’s Sam Jammal, who plans to officially declare his challenge of Rep. Ed Royce today, July 17, will become the most recent to launch a maiden campaign. But he knows his way around Washington, D.C., and has been far more active politically than most of of the county’s challengers, including his fellow Democrats in the Royce race-- Phil Janowicz and Mai Khanh Tran.

...The USC and George Washington Law School graduate grew up in La Mirada with a father who immigrated from Jordan and a mother from Columbia. He returned to La Mirada-- part of which is in Royce’s district-- in 2015, when he took a job as policy director for SolarCity, a solar equipment provider that was bought by Tesla earlier this year. Jammal left Tesla last week to work full time on his campaign and moved to Fullerton earlier this year.

Jammal, whose father worked as a manager at Jack in the Box, emphasizes the needs of working-class families, especially when it comes to health care, education and jobs-- areas he says the incumbent does not give proper attention.
Goal Thermometer Blue America decided to endorse Sam in the primary. He's on the progressive side of every issue, the bread-and-butter ones and the social ones. He's also of good character, something that has become increasingly important to Blue America as we've continued to meet members of Congress. We certainly need more trustworthy Democrats like Pramila Jayapal, Jamie Raskin, Ted Lieu, Barbara Lee and fewer sleazy characters like Joe Crowley and Wasserman Schultz. We asked Sam to introduce himself with a guest post. If you like what he has to say, please consider volunteering for his campaign and contributing what you can by clicking on the Blue America thermometer on the right. But Royce and the lottery winner are loaded and willing to spend whatever it takes to buy votes.

Response To "How Do Candidates Afford To Run For Congress?"
-by Sam Jammal, 

Candidate for California’s 39th District

Like most Americans, I have felt lost since the November election and have been trying to figure out how I can contribute to my country. I was raised to give back, which is why I started my career in civil rights as an attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). From there, I worked in Congress as a Counsel in the Senate, a presidential appointee in the Obama Administration and Chief of Staff in the House. My work in the private sector has been in solar and electric vehicles to build a clean energy movement.

Over the past few months, I have been deciding whether to stop everything and run for Congress where I grew up. I saw your post on how Congress has become an elite club for millionaires and billionaires and wanted to share my perspective, based on first-hand knowledge working in DC in various roles. It’s this perspective that drove me to decide to announce on www.sam4congress.com that I will be running to take on Congressman Ed Royce.

There is currently a huge disconnect between politics and real people struggling to get by and trying to get ahead. I saw it every day as a civil rights advocate and staffer. Politics today is more about who is lobbying or donating than the needs of the people I grew up with.

I used to come home to visit my family and friends in California and hear about the issues that are important to them that are virtually ignored by their representatives in DC. I recall only 3 politicians-- President Obama and Senators Warren and Sanders-- even uttering the words “student debt.” You never hear anyone talking about child care costs or even what the cost of owning a home is today. And let’s not forget that significant under investments on the basics-- good roads and schools-- have sent a message of disregard to so many Americans.

There aren’t enough people in DC who are connected with regular Americans who work hard and want the best for their families. People just want a shot at the American Dream.

I come from a working class family where I had to take on part-time jobs to pay for my volunteer work in politics. I waited tables in DC at night to make enough money to cover my room and board when I was an intern. I have thousands of dollars in student debt, not including the debt my parents took on to help their three children go to college. I could probably count on one hand people like me in Congress.

One of the main problems I saw is that there are few people like me-- people who come from working class backgrounds and are the first generation in their family to graduate from college.

DC is a playground for the rich and powerful and their children. There aren’t many people from working class families who can make the financial sacrifice to take an internship or low-paying entry-level position when they are burdened by student loans. Unfortunately, it creates an environment of a millionaire Congress, which means no one is looking out for the rest of us.

Even though Wall Street and Washington declared victory on the Great Recession, most families still haven't recovered. Seniors lost value in their 401(k) and pensions. Many have had to stay in the workforce longer or count on Social Security to barely make ends meet. The rest of us are still recovering whether because of credit downgrades, job loss or a slow job market that put many millennials behind preceding generations.

There are a number of reasons that many Americans haven’t recovered from the Great Recession, most of which are not addressed in Congress. As this Bloomberg article from a few months back suggests, student debt is at a real crisis point. This is a drag on the economy in the short and long term as people are putting off home buying and other big investments due to their debt.

We also aren't training people for the jobs of the future. Washington is focused on protecting the old and powerful industries, instead of investing in what's new and next. This hurts workers and our economy while lining the pockets of those who benefit from the status quo.

We hear a lot of empty rhetoric, but the reality is that finding a job is not a problem in DC. The job market around Capitol Hill is unique and isolated. The millionaires club that has become Congress is not hearing about the challenges actually facing workers. Most-- like Ed Royce-- make it a point not to speak to working Americans, so they have no way of knowing what’s going on in our daily lives. Others-- even where well meaning-- just don’t have the same life experience of deciding whether to put off needed dental work so you can make rent.

And of course, healthcare remains a major economic burden on families. Unfortunately, all we hear are the politics of health care and not solutions on how to improve access to care. Regular people are concerned with 3 things: (1) will my current plan cover me if I get sick; (2) if I get a pre-existing condition, will I still have coverage; and (3) how will I manage out of pocket expenses. My solution is to move towards Medicare for All. Medicare is a program that works-- just ask any senior and you never hear of a poor experience. As a business person, you invest in what works and since the 1960's, Medicare has been a gold standard program for America's seniors. Any reforms of our system should start with what works.

Right now, given all the challenges we face, our country needs new voices to step in. It’s a financial sacrifice to run for Congress and it’s a big personal and professional risk. But allowing the status quo to continue is even more of a risk.

This is our country too and we can’t continue to have a government that is out of touch and unresponsive to what people are actually going through. This is why I am running. I want to be a voice for the neighborhoods I grew up in. Please visit my campaign website to learned more.

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At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should be looking at the Michigan 06 and Matt Longjohn he is the candidate who can beat Fred Upton.

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More statements in support of the only logical conclusion: the democraps need to be euthanized and replaced.
Read your own assessment. It's accurate as far as it goes. You did mention the clueless and doddering octogenarians and nonagenarians. You left out the most important thing -- utter corruption and fealty to their donors.


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