CA-46: Momentum Building For Debbie Cook

On Thursday an e-mail from the Debbie Cook for Congress campaign broke the news:

The Capitol Weekly in Sacramento is reporting that GOP internal polling shows my race against Dana Rohrabacher to be in a statistical dead heat.

The article says: "According to GOP sources, internal polling shows the difference between Rohrabacher and Cook, the mayor of Huntington Beach, to be within the margin of error, although Rohrabacher has heavily outspent Cook."

And it couldn't have come at a better time.

On Sunday, Jim Dean came to Huntington Beach to headline a small dollar breakfast fundraiser for Debbie. More than 100 people showed up at 8:30am on a Sunday in the middle of Orange County for pancakes and eggs and to support Debbie Cook. The energy was palpable and it's clear that Cook is feeling the momentum. When I saw her speak at a fundraiser a month ago, she spoke deliberately, thoroughly and eloquently in an unabashedly progressive yet pragmatic way about not just energy, which, as she puts it, is "my obsession, it's my passion," but also the economic crisis and healthcare, which she gets is still very much on people's minds. But this time, while Cook was no less thoughtful and intelligent on the issues, there was a newfound passion in her voice, even anger, and you could plainly see what it was that has driven her to go from PTA president to environmental activist to City Councilmember to Mayor...and soon, to replace lazy crazy do-nothing Dana Rohrabacher in Congress.

David Dayen from Calitics was there as well:

"Do-Nothing Dana has been in Congress for 20 years and hasn't done a thing," Cook, the mayor of Huntington Beach, said to a pancake breakfast of around 120 volunteers who were ready to precinct walk for her.  Referring to a claim from the campaign's latest ad, that Rohrabacher has sponsored a bill to protect the country from an asteroid, she said, "he needs to worry less about asteroids and more about planet Earth." [...]

"This is the first time he's had to get off his lazy a$% and campaign," she said.  And he was slow to do it.  He only spent $38,000 in the third quarter, but once internal Republican polls have shown the race to be a dead heat, he has swamped the district with money.  He's got 4 positive ads on the air and a bunch of negative mailers attacking Debbie as an "extreme liberal" on various issues.

To give you a sense of the strange habits of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, last year he reportedly dressed up in drag to visit Sirhan Sirhan in prison in hopes of solving RFK's assassination. No, really. He did. There's also the matter that Rohrabacher, a proud global warming denier, is completely out of touch with the district.

But this isn't just about getting the residents of the 46th district some real representation in congress. As Jim Dean said in his speech yesterday, this is a nationalized race, it is about sending a smart progressive energy expert to Washington as part of what will ideally be Barack Obama's expanded House majority, which will benefit the whole country, not just Southern California.

And to that end, after breakfast, most of the 100+ activists who attended yesterday hit the pavement and went door to door for Debbie all throughout the district, Dave and I included. The strategy of the GOTV for Debbie is an interesting one. It's not just about turning out the reliable Democrats -- they figure they'll definitely be at the polls for Barack if nothing else -- but rather it's about getting the word out to the Republicans, the Decline to States and the less reliable Democrats about Debbie, and I have to say I was a bit surprised by what I saw.

I encountered one guy who hates Rohrabacher so he assured me that Debbie had two solid votes in his house; another woman, a registered Republican, assured me she'd be voting straight Democratic this year; and then another woman, a Democrat, told me that while she hadn't made up her mind yet, she had heard a lot of good things from people in Huntington Beach about Debbie. But these were the minority. The vast number of people had no idea who was running for congress let alone who their sitting congressman was. Two weeks left and several people told me, a bit defensively, that they hadn't yet begun to research that election. And many of these people are registered Democrats who are going to be voting for Barack Obama. The untapped potential pool of voters that Debbie Cook has for the taking is sizable and I couldn't help but think that my knocking on that door, smiling, talking up Debbie and leaving them with literature, literally may have been the difference between a vote for Debbie and a vote for do nothing Dana. And guess what -- Debbie Cook's campaign, which truly is of the grassroots, is the only one going door to door. That's just how Loretta Sanchez, another Orange County Democrat, beat Bob Dornan in 1996, by sheer force of grassroots door to door will.

So, help Debbie Cook take down do-nothing Dana Rohrabacher and keep her momentum going. The campaign yesterday said they need $75,000 more to get them through election day and it would be great for the blogs to contribute a sizable chunk of that. If you give to Debbie HERE, PeterB will match your first $20 up to $250, so that's a good place to start.

Virtually all the money Debbie is raising is going to airing her new ad on TV in the district. Check it out below:

Tags: ca-46, dana rohrabacher, Debbie Cook (all tags)



Re: CA-46: Momentum Building For Debbie Cook

Thanks for keeping us updated on Debbie Cook, and thanks for volunteering for her campaign.

The people in OC may not know their race is hotly contested, but the LA Times does. I was glad to see it mentioned in the election coverage yesterday: /california/la-me-legcong19-2008oct19,0, 1169482.story

Is it true she hasn't gotten any money from the DCCC? If so, they need to wake up and help Debbie Cook out already. Winning this seat would mean a lot to the people of OC, but it would mean even more to the Democratic party.

by LakersFan 2008-10-20 10:43AM | 0 recs
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you, LakersFan, for your help! And thank you, Todd, for coming here yesterday to cover this race & help the campaign! a-46-in-costa-mesa/

I'll cross-post something here later today that will provide some local perspective on what's happening here. This race really is winnable! I know, since I live here. I talk with the local voters, I see the local press, I even see the commercials on my TV! I know Crazy Dana's run a VERY LAME campaign while Debbie Cook is just now getting the attention & the help she needs to win.

Please donate to Debbie's campaign...

And please help her win! :-D

by atdleft 2008-10-20 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Oh how I wish I could get back to my home town!

I cut my political teeth canvassing for Bill Clinton ('92) in my HB neighborhood.

How sweet it would be to welcome Representative Cook to my current neck of the woods in the beltway.

by Veteran75 2008-10-20 02:47PM | 0 recs
Between Debbie Cook and Bill Hedrick

the thought of two more Democrats from Orange County going to Congress makes me absolutely giddy.  Red Orange County turning blue is definately something that would drive Republicans crazy.

I have given all I can to Debbie but please, if you have some spare change, give it to Mayor Cook, it's not just against Crazy Dana but for an amazing progressive candidate that has a real track record of working with conservatives and getting things done.

by Ellinorianne 2008-10-20 11:11AM | 0 recs
Pardon my Rich Lowry, but...

...Debbie Cook is a babe.

I know, I know. Sexist and all that. But it certainly doesn't hurt that she's not just an accomplished Mayor, but is also easy on the eyes.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-10-20 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: CA-46: Momentum Building For Debbie Cook

Do-Nothing Dana has been in Congress for 20 years and hasn't done a thing

Well, besides palling around with terrorists in Afghanistan.

by Dr Squid 2008-10-20 11:52AM | 0 recs
I lived in that district when I was a kid

Dana Rohrabacher is a blight on an otherwise wonderful place. That they continue to vote for that nut over and over galls me, but I believe your canvassing experience reveals why it happens. People just aren't paying attention.

Kudos for helping them recover from their myopia.

by Spiffarino 2008-10-20 12:13PM | 0 recs
I couldn't agree more

I have a post ready to go later today about how we need to expand the field and moneybomb a bunch of good challengers facing horrible incumbents. We have a big wave building and need to capitalize on it.

I would love to see crazy Dana go.

by desmoinesdem 2008-10-20 12:36PM | 0 recs


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