Monday, November 18, 2019

The DCCC Isn't Interested But The California Democratic Party Just Endorsed Berniecrat Liam O'Mara To Take On GOP Crook Ken Calvert


CA-42 is one of the last remaining red districts in California. The district voted against Obama both times he ran and last year gave Trump a 53.4-41.4% win over Hillary. The district, entirely in western Riverside County has an R+9 PVI. The main population centers are Corona, Norco, Eastvale, Menifee and Murrieta. A weird crooked Republican, Ken Calvert, has been in office there since 1992. The demographics of the district have been shifting away from the GOP and whites are no longer a majority:
White- 42.9%
Latino- 38.5%
Asian- 9.0%
Black- 5.2%
The Republican registration edge is beginning to erode and Republicans are no longer a majority:
Republicans- 143,195 (38.30%)
Democrats- 110,516 (29.56%)
No Party Preference- 99,502 (26.62%)
Goal ThermometerOver the weekend, the California Democratic Party convention endorsed Liam O'Mara to take on Calvert. Liam is a history professor at Chapman University and comes from all-union family. His campaign website begins with his extensive issues pages-- Medicare-for-All, Green New Deal, fair taxation, affordable housing, tuition-free state colleges, gun regulation, comprehensive immigration reform, campaign finance reform... all the things you would expect from a Berniecrat. But I want to start with a section called Frequently Asked Questions, because it's funny and I've never seen anything like it on any candidate's website. I republished 3. Please read them and if you like them, please consider contributing to his campaign by tapping on the Bluer California thermometer on the right.
But but but... that beard! And that hair!

Yes, I have a long beard and long hair. I’m glad you noticed. I realize that this is highly unusual in American politics today, and yes I could have trimmed it shorter for the campaign-- here is why I did not.

My campaign is built around a central theme: integrity. To cut it off just for an election would be inauthentic. It would be pursuing body-modification for the sole purpose of chasing votes, and that to me rings false. It seems dishonest. As I will be telling people again and again in this campaign, we may not agree on every issue, but one thing you’ll always get with me is honesty. I will sit down with you, listen to your concerns, and answer your questions as directly and honestly as I can. I want government to serve the people, and that means listening to them, taking their thoughts seriously, and finding solutions that address their concerns. With me you’ll always get that. And the easiest way to see that is, well… that in spite of all the political advice to conform to expectations, I decided to come to you as I am, and make my appeal to you based upon my character, my experience, and what I can do for you-- not what I look like.

How is a historian helpful to me in Congress?

I have always read widely-- indeed, my house is literally a private library, with bookcases covering every possible space. For me, history is the center of a vast spider web that connects every branch of human knowledge, its sole defining feature being the recognition of change over time. As a historian of ideas, that is what I study. And in that capacity, I have learned a lot about who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we might still go. I have studied economic history, so I know what made American rich and how to ensure that promise reaches us all. I have studied cultural history, so I know something about our differences and how to bridge divides, find common ground, and treat others with respect. I have studied diplomatic history, so I know a fair bit about foreign policy and geopolitics-- I still read a dozen newspapers a week from half a dozen countries. I have studied the history of science, so I have a keen sense of what we can do when we put our minds to it.

With me in Congress, you get someone not only dedicated to public service, but who has knowledge directly revelant to many areas of public policy, from foreign relations to macroeconomics to the environment. I can draw on my background in research, my contacts in academia, and my willingness to reach outside my comfort zone and confront difficult truths. Politics requires not only a willingness to compromise and work toward common goals-- it also requires solid data and the tools to identify it. My training makes it harder for bad information to slip past unnoticed, and means I am a lot more critical of what I get from the news. With me on a committee, I can promise attention to detail and a willingness to put in long hours to review how a proposal actually works… or whether it works! Electing me gets you not just another partisan hack-- it gets you someone able to work through complex bills and make an informed decision about whether they serve your interests.

With the demographics of CA-42, how will you appeal to independents and moderate Republicans?

An explicitly “centrist” message, designed to lure Republicans, does not work, and Democrats steadily chasing Republicans to the right has been shown a massive failure all across the country. What can work, however, is a campaign centered on economic populism, since this has proven cross-over appeal-- in fact, such messages are behind the previous success of Democrats in much of the country prior to the rightward realignment of our political landscape. My principles will be clear and my positions progressive, but they will be cast in economic terms so that they can best be understood and appreciated by voters who are not interested in the moral priorities Democrats consider vital. Focussing my messaging to suit the characteristics of the district-- by hammering home kitchen-table economic issues-- allows us to expand our coalition and gain enough votes to win.

One way to see the value of this is to consider that, for all their massive differences in social policy and personal integrity, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both hit populist notes in their campaign rhetoric which had substantial bipartisan appeal. A massive post-election survey of 50,000 voters suggests that up to 12% of Bernie’s primary voters went for Trump in the general election. Finding a way to reach that fraction of the electorate can give us much of the difference between Republican and Democratic votes in the 42nd. That ultimately Trump’s rhetoric is dishonest, and his policies mostly their opposite, is beside the point-- what mattered was his effort to channel the frustrations of the working class. If Democrats stand firmly for the working class above all-- a proposition that works well with our priorities in general-- then I believe a portion of Trump’s coalition can be attracted to our ticket.

Another way in which I can reach out to independents and NPPs is my own non-partisan mentality and outsider mentality. Yes, my views are consistently progressive, but I am not a tribal person by nature, and will review all policies, issues, and bills on their own merits, on their own details, and determine what is in the best interests of the 42nd. My background is in policy analysis, not as a creature of machine politics, and I will let my principles guide my legislative identity, not partisan calculations.

Now, a few words about the whacko congressman who Liam is running to replace, Ken Calvert. Let's start with a report about Calvert on, of all places, Fox News. Here's Chris Wallace reporting about what a totally crooked slime ball Calvert is:

Calvert first came to wide attention when he was arrested-- a pretty typical Republican "Family Values" hypocrite-- with a young woman he didn't know in a parked car, his pants down around his knees. (She turned out to be Lore Lorena Lindberg, a heroin addict with several prostitution convictions.) Although he tried to flee the scene of the crime, the policeman caught him and arrested him. Here's an interesting report on Calvert from the arresting officer:

You can click on the document to make it easier to read

Let's end on a better note than that wretched Calvert and his hypocrisy and lack of ethics. He's just another Trumpist. Instead, let's go back and take a look at Liam's introductory video. It's a good one:

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