By Doug Porter
It’s hard to imagine why anybody would want the job of Congressman these days, let alone mount an early balls-to-the wall campaign for the job, but Republican Carl DeMaio is taking no chances. After all, the legislative body is less popular than cockroaches, having passed a mere 15 pieces of legislation so far this year.
This week the former City Councilman and failed Mayoral candidate spent a day trumpeting the fact he’d raised nearly half a million dollars for his campaign in one month.
“I’m grateful to receive this strong early support, which I believe reflects both my record of getting fiscal reforms done in San Diego and my more inclusive vision for the future as a ‘new generation Republican,’” DeMaio said in a statement.
At least $16,000 of DeMaio’s large haul came from three members of Republican leadership in the House, according to DC’s Roll Call:
Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and former Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price of Georgia gave $10,000, $5,000 and $1,000 from their leadership PACs, respectively. McCarthy is also expected to host a July 17 fundraiser for DeMaio.
The former City Councilman may be running as a ‘new generation Republican’, but it’s obvious that the money behind his campaign will demand his actual votes in Congress fall in line with the GOP’s stances on social issues.
It’s hard to see him straying too far from the party leadership when it comes to food stamps, for instance—the House version of the failed Farm Bill would have thrown nearly two million Americans off the program. And of course he’ll get to join other freshman Congressman, should be he elected, in the annual kill ObamaCare rituals.
In fact, the only votes that matter to the GOP in Congress these days have little or nothing (except maybe a clever titling job on the bill) with the kind of ‘reform’ DeMaio claims to champion.
Why, just think, if DeMaio was already in Congress next month he could support Eric Cantor’s legislation about the IRS. From Politico:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Tuesday will tell House Republicans that he plans floor votes before the August recess on a slew of bills in response to the IRS controversies.
The most intriguing: a bill to allow Americans to record conversations between themselves and federal enforcement officials.
Cantor also plans a vote on prohibiting IRS implementation or enforcement of Obamacare.
The Scott Peters Conundrum
Although the 52nd Congressional District is rated ‘lean Democratic’, having given President Obama a majority in the past election, GOP strategists are positively bullish on the possibilities of recapturing the seat. They’ve got polls showing their guy with a substantial lead in a theoretical match up.
The GOP is counting on lower voter turnout driven by no major Democratic candidate at the top of the ticket and the absence of activist-motivating ballot issues as a key part of a winning strategy.
It doesn’t help matters that Congressman Peters’ voting record on issues of importance to progressives in the Democratic Party has been disappointing. Influential activist/blogger Howie Klien’s mid-term report for 2013 rated Scott Peters one of the worst of the Democratic freshman class, citing votes on welfare, the budget, wall street regulation and giveaways to off shore drilling interests.
Klien posted a video featuring Florida Congressman Alan Grayson talking about “so-called Democrats” and then proceeds to hold freshmen dems to the standards talked about:
“If you have two Republicans running against each other, one with an ‘R-e-p’ next to his name and one with a ‘D-e-m’ next to his name, it’s a tremendous disservice to the public. The public can’t choose that way. And if you run as a Democrat, then there are certain things you should stand for. You should stand for Justice. You should stand for Equality. You should stand for Peace… We need more Democrats who are Democrats… You can’t beat a Republican by BEING a Republican.”
Thus we have the conundrum for Congressman Peters. He needs the support of party activists in get out the vote campaigning. He’s facing a well financed candidate in DeMaio whose mean streak translates into a willingness to hyperventilate over any perceived slight and a readiness to drive a wedge into the opposition whenever possible.
Already DeMeano’s allies are trying to gin up a routine updating of Peter’s website into a controversy, claiming that the Congressman is trying to distance himself from fellow Democrat Bob Filner, implying that San Diego’s Mayor is facing a Federal bribery charges. Two falsehoods, one spin. And DeMaio gets to distance himself, saying this comes from the RNCC.
Fortunately, Scott Peters has deep personal pockets and the support of the national Party. He’ll be wise to draw attention to the connections between DeMaio and the GOP establishment early and often.
Pet Shop Ban Passes City Council
It’s about time. After years of trying, local animal welfare groups teamed with City Councilwoman Lori Zapf to pass an ordinance requiring pet retailers to get their puppies, kittens and rabbits from city or county animal shelters, humane societies, and nonprofit rescue groups.
A faux ‘debate’ in last weekend’s UT-San Diego featured pet store owner David Salinas:
The solution to ending the issue of “substandard breeders” is not to close down every pet store in America. The Humane Society and animal extremist groups want to do this, but this proposed ordinance is wrong in many different ways.
This is not a moral or ethical issue, but a freedom issue. This is not a San Diego issue, but a right to be an American issue. Is it OK for a local city government to decide for the people what the people should be allowed to purchase? We are not selling marijuana here — we are selling healthy, quality, registered (with pedigree) and guaranteed puppies.
Anytime you see the term ‘extremist’ bandied about, you should think long and hard about who’s saying it. Take a look at Salinas’ reviews onYelp!, including his shabbily concealed defensive ones. Reminds me of the Saturday Night Live episode with Dan Aykroid as a shady toy salesman defending his “Bag of Broken Glass” as safe.
Selling Those Guns Anyway They Can
Speaking of shady sales practices, consider this effort from a company pitching a ‘shoot the gun control lobbyist’ targets…via Think Progress:
A company that sells gun owners who fantasize about shooting their political opponents with bullets the opportunity to live that dream, is now using a picture of a mass shooting victim to promote its latest product. Zombie Industries specializes in target mannequins that bleed when shot. One of their newest targets is a “Gun Control Lobbyist Zombie,” which allows shooters to imagine they are mowing down undead supporters of universal background checks every time they squeeze the trigger.
A graphic promoting this product features the bleeding target superimposed on a picture of apparent actual gun safety lobbyists. One of the people standing in the background is Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre who was shot four times during that mass shooting and still carries three bullets in his hip and shoulder.
Goddard, by the way, Tweeted the company asking them to remove his image from the ad, noting that he’d ‘already been shot’.
Rep. Davis to Meet With Activists
Members of the group CREDO have announced a Friday sitdown with Congresswoman Susan Davis to talk about their concerns regardingAtrazine, one of the most commonly used pesticides in the United States.
Atrazine was banned in the European Union (EU) in 2004 because of its persistent groundwater contamination. In the United States, however, atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides, with 76 million pounds of it applied each year, in spite of the restriction that used to be imposed. Its endocrine disruptor effects, possible carcinogenic effect, and epidemiological connection to low sperm levels in men has led several researchers to call for banning it in the US
The activists are asking Congresswoman Davis to co-sponsor H.R. 2044, a bill that would ban atrazine. For more information, click here.
San Diego Pride
I’d like to remind everybody that this coming weekend is San Diego Pride’s time to shine, and traffic around Hillcrest and Balboa Park will be a bitch.
Spirit of Stonewall Rally and Flag Raising
Featuring Actor, author, and activist George Takei
Friday, July 12, 6 pm – 7 pm
Normal Street and University Avenue (Hillcrest Pride Flag)
George Takei will be joined by his husband, Brad Takei, as San Diego Pride Parade Grand Marshals, along with Singer-songwriter and philanthropist La Toya Jackson.
Saturday, July 13, 11 am – 1 pm
Hillcrest will be a mess
Saturday, July 13, 12 pm – 10 pm & Sunday, July 14, 11 am – 8 pm
Marston Point, Balboa Park (6th & Laurel St.)
For more info: http://www.sdpride.org/
Stop the Rumors, I Want to Get Off
I’ll be taking a couple of days off to work on a side project. The Starting Line column will return Monday. And I haven’t yet decided whether or not to wear my blue fuzzy slippers to the Society of Professional Journalists dinner on Thursday. Cheers.
On This Day: 1965 – Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour” was released. 1985 – Coca-Cola resumed selling the old formula of Coke, it was renamed “Coca-Cola Classic.” It was also announced that they would continue to sell “New” Coke, but that didn’t work out so well. 1991 –President H.W. Bush lifted economic sanctions against South Africa, citing its “profound transformation” toward racial equality.
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