Why We File Everywhere

Blogosphere Day celebrates a blogswarm and spontaneous, netroots fundraising effort for Ginny Schrader on July 19, 2004. That was the day when we learned that the longtime Republican, "moderate" incumbent in her district was retiring, and suddenly the race became winnable. We rewarded Ginny, a true grassroots progressive, for her guts to file in the first place with around $40-$50K. "Run everywhere" has been our motto in the netroots since the days of the Dean campaign, and we didn't want to see a true, grassroots progressive with the guts to do just that be replaced after the primary now that the race had become "winnable." We celebrated in 2005 for Paul Hackett, who made a nail-biter out of a race everyone thought was hopeless. In 2006, we celebrated for Ned Lamont, who ended up winning a race everyone thought was hopeless.

If only we had a Democrat to reward like that in the CA-42 now. Even as we celebrate great advances in our pledge to run everywhere in 2006, tonight we discover just one more reason why Democrats need to file everywhere, every year:When U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) sold 165 acres to the city of Monrovia in 2002, he made a profit of more than $10 million, according to a financial disclosure form he filed in Congress. Ordinarily, he would have had to pay state and federal taxes of up to 31% on that profit.

Instead, Miller told the Internal Revenue Service and the state that Monrovia had forced him to sell the property under threat of eminent domain. That allowed him to shelter the profits from capital gains taxes for more than two years before he had to reinvest the money.

But there is a problem with Miller's claim: Monrovia officials say that Miller sold the land willingly and that they didn't threaten to force him to sell.

Miller, whose 42nd Congressional District includes chunks of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, claimed the same exemption in two subsequent Fontana property transactions, allowing him to continue sheltering his profits from the Monrovia sale. And in each of those cases, the purchasers say eminent domain, which allows a government agency to force a sale if it's in the public interest, was neither used nor threatened. We have in CA-42 a congressman who ripped off taxpayers by more than $3M, and then pocketed the money himself. Suddenly, the CA-42 looks like it might be winnable. If this story blows up, than Gary Miller is finished. Defrauding a local town for more than $3M of taxpayer money? Look at me with a straightface and tell me that won't make this district close.

Actually, it will not make this district close, because no Democrat qualified for the ballot here. Even in 2006, when we broke all district filing records, the CA-42 was one of the ten districts where we failed to get a candidate on the ballot. As Howie Klein has noted, Gary Miller is the most right-wing congressman in California, and he could soon go down as the biggest congressional crook in history. Yet we failed to run a candidate against him.

For all of our great successes in the fifty-state strategy this year folks, we still have more work to do. We pulled it off in 2005 and 2006, but there will be many more elections to come. Celebrate our filing records tonight, but keep in mind where we need to make improvements. Never rest on your past accomplishments.

Tags: CA-42, culture of corruption, fifty-state strategy, Gary Miller (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

Hm is there a Green Candidate to support?

Since there is no Dem.

by Liberal 2006-08-13 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Why We File Everywhere

Is it too late to do a write-in for the general election?

by jiacinto 2006-08-13 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Why We File Everywhere

I'm in the CA-42....please don't rub it in!

:-(

by jkfp2004 2006-08-13 09:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Why We File Everywhere

Why didn't YOU file to run for Congress?

by davej 2006-08-13 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Why We File Everywhere

Not old enough.  Can't vote yet either....:-(

by jkfp2004 2006-08-14 10:31AM | 0 recs
Toot your horn....

you deserve too. Who wrote the article about you when you said that we need to contest every race? I'd like to get his reaction to this.

by Erik 2006-08-13 05:41PM | 0 recs
Here's a link including the district breakdown

http://www.calitics.com/showDiary.do?dia ryId=467

The base problem in that district is it's more than half in Orange County, notoriously Republican. In college I dated plenty of girls from Orange County and not one agreed with my politics. I think their daddys disown them if they stray to the left.

Notice the registration and voting percentage in the Orange County regions of that district, basically 2/1 Republican. I looked up a more recent registration figure from that district and it's 50.2 Republican to 29.0 Democratic. Only 3.4% blacks. The Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County areas of that district are very manageable, going basically 51-45 for Bush over Gore in 2000. Always a good indicator since it was a 50/50 popular vote nationwide. But in Orange County that margin soared to 62-34.

Strange we didn't field a candidate this time since I noticed we did have a nominee in '02 and '04, receiving roughly 30% each time. It certainly would have been much closer this time and I agree it demonstrates the need to file everywhere.

That link notes Miller may have provided other reasons for the high numbers of Latino voters (23.8%) in the district to oppose him, namely his harsh immigration stance.

by jagakid 2006-08-13 06:48PM | 0 recs
Hey, don't trash Orange County!

I'm an OC Native, and I object to that (yet another) over-generalization of OC. Though you may be right regarding the part of the OC in the 42nd, the REST OF THE COUNTY is changing.

Actually, I live in the heart of Loretta Sanchez's district (the 47th)- Santa Ana!!!!
Santa Ana was one of three OC cities that KERRY WON in 2004 (the other two being Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods, both in the 48th CD). Also, we have strong Dems running in the four major OC districts:

Again, incumbent Loretta Sanchez (47th)

Jim Brandt (challenging Abramoff's best friend Rohrabacher in the 46th)

Steve Young (challenging John Campbell in the 48th)

Unfortunately Mark Hull-Richter didn't qualify for the 42nd... but hey, we can still hope for a strong enough write-in (It worked to take down a notorious judge accused of child molestation 4 years ago, and it almost worked for Donna Frye in SD 2 years ago.)

by atdleft 2006-08-13 10:07PM | 0 recs
Yeah, I almost mentioned that

I know it's changed recently in many areas.

Hey, I went to college at 'SC in the '80s so it's been a while:)

by jagakid 2006-08-13 11:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Hey, don't trash Orange County!

Orange County changing. Yeah, I've heard that since the early 90s. Nothing going on there. In fact, the only Democratic part of Orange County (Loretta Sanchez / Lou Correa / Tom Umberg territory) is actually LOSING Democratic registration and getting more Republican due to hidiously low registration among Latinos in Santa Ana/Anaheim.

Orange County voted 60-39 for Bush in 2004, a significant GOP increase from the Clinton and Gore losses there. Dems are fighting like hell to keep their only State Senate seat in OC. I'll agree that it's changing when Lou Correa wins SD-34 in a blowout and Dem registration starts increasing again.

by Ament Stone of California 2006-08-14 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why We File Everywhere

Hull-Richter didn't submit enough valid signatures on his petitions to make it; he needed 2,461 to qualify.

The district is used to crooks and retrobates, having replaced indicted and convicted and electronic ankle bracelet-wearing Jay Kim with the current crook. I updated the article Chris linked to above.

by DownWithTyranny 2006-08-13 07:59PM | 0 recs
I am from the CA-42

if anyone knows anything about a write in candidacy let me know.  I hate Miller with a passion.  If I was old enough to run, I would.

by jkfp2004 2006-08-13 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Why We File Everywhere

let's find a write-in and see what we can do.  Might as well, what's to lose?  It will help weaken him for 2008.

by BooMan 2006-08-13 10:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Why We File Everywhere
     I thought Hull-Richter was running as a write-in candidate. Did he not get enough votes in the primary as a write-in to qualify for the November ballot?  I didn't hear about it after the election. He could still be a write-in on the general election ballot , I suppose. (Although there was only one candidate I know of in CA who ever won a congressional race as a write-in: Ron Packard, in the early 80s, after a free-for-all GOP primary with over a dozen candidates was won by a crook that nobody else liked so the Repubs united behind Packard who was the runner up in the primary)...
     It is interesting to note that Miller was elected by defeating his predecessor in a primary. Rep. Jay Kim was convicted of some campaign finance abuses and wasn't able to campaign in public because he was under house arrest. That district has had some real winners...
by Zack from the SFV 2006-08-13 11:55PM | 0 recs

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