California Dreaming - 2010 House Races

With the midterms only 10 months away it is time now to cast our eyes over the biggest state in the country - California.

How will we fare in 2010?

Below the fold for all the details and hey go check out the 2010 Race Tracker Wiki over at Open Congress for all your House, Senate and Gubernatorial needs.

(Cross posted at Daily Kos, MyDD and Open Left)

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CA-26: Will David Dreier Come Out Against Prop 8?

(also at BushRubberStamp.com)

We all know Rep. David Dreier is a Bush rubber stamp who has voted with Bush 93.6% of the time. But what about that other 6.4%? We don't talk about it much because, well, there isn't that much to talk about.

But credit where credit is due, there is one important issue where Dreier has differed from Bush: The Federal Marriage Amendment.

The FMA, if passed (and ratified), would have limited marriage nationwide to between a man and a woman and it would have prevented courts from granting same sex couples certain rights that married couples enjoy. When it came up for a vote in 2004 and 2006, Dreier voted against it both times and the reasoning he gave for opposing it was simple.

According to Wikipedia:

He explained his opposition to the amendment by stating that he felt the Constitution was not the appropriate tool for restricting rights.

Well, now we have a similar initiative on the ballot in California in the form of Proposition 8, except this time, if Prop 8 passes, it wouldn't just amend the California constitution to restrict rights, it would amend the California constitution to eliminate the rights that people are exercising every day.

Yet David Dreier has been silent...and his silence is deafening.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has stated publicly that he opposes Prop 8. John McCain has said he supports it. David Dreier's constituents deserve to know where he stands.

That's why the Courage Campaign has launched a petition demanding that David Dreier come out against Proposition 8.

Dear Rep. David Dreier,

We, the undersigned, urge you to come out against Proposition 8, which would "eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry" the person they love in California.

You have voted the right way in the past, so we think it's time for you come out against Prop 8 today. Please join us in taking the following pledge:

I pledge to vote No on Prop 8, a statewide ballot initiative that, if passed, "eliminates the right of same sex couples to marry."

Gay and lesbian couples deserve the same fundamental freedoms that all Californians enjoy. I pledge to vote No on any constitutional change that stands in the way of equality for all.

Following the lead of Governor Schwarzenegger and other Republicans, we urge you to vote No on Prop 8. Thank you for your consideration of this fundamentally important issue to Californians.

People who publicly oppose gay marriage, whether Republican or Democrat, like to say "it should be left up to the states." Well, this year it is up to the state, our state. This year, all Californians get to decide if we are going to lead the nation on marriage equality or if we're going to eliminate that right for same sex couples, so many of whom have been happily exercising that right since June.

It's time for Congressman Dreier to lead and come out against Proposition 8.

Sign our petition urging him to do so today.

(disclosure: I am proud to work for the Courage Campaign)

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CA-26: David Dreier's Epic Fail: Who's Rubber Stamping Whom?

Rep. David Dreier was first elected to Congress in 1980, was the Chairman of the Rules Committee from 1999 to 2007 and was even in line for a time to be majority leader (oops!), yet on the biggest issue of the day -- the economic turmoil and the proposed taxpayer bailout -- the closest thing to a public statement David Dreier has made is a political one, an expression of support for John McCain's pathetic stunt yesterday.

"Senator McCain is absolutely correct that the crisis facing our economy needs urgent attention.  I applaud his decision to suspend his campaign and return to Washington to work on a bipartisan solution on behalf of the American people.

Of course, he can't be honest with his constituents on the issue because then he'd have to admit that the current crisis in the markets is a direct result of precisely the policies he's been advocating for the last 28 years.

Just a few benchmarks along the way:

  • In 1994, David Dreier earned 100% on The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Deregulation Scorecard (the only year they had such a scorecard.)
  • In 1995, Dreier was instrumental in pushing for deregulation of the banking industry that ultimately came to pass with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (co-sponsored by McCain's Sec. of Treasury in waiting Phil Gramm)
  • In 2001, David Dreier's American Success PAC, was named one of Enron's "favored federal PACs"
  • According to Open Secrets, in 2004 and 2006, Fannie Mae donated thousands of dollars to David Dreier's re-election. In fact, Dreier is one of the favorite sons of the entire finance/real estate sector -- although things did drop off after he lost his chairmanship (hmm.) In 2008 Dreier's American Success PAC's largest PAC donor was The American Bankers Association and the sector as a whole donated more than two and a half times that of any other sector to Dreier this cycle (254k) although that's less than half of what they gave him back when he was in the majority (590k in 2005-05.)
  • In May, 2008, David Dreier voted NO on Housing Foreclosure Assistance Programs that would have "increased oversight and regulation of housing-related government sponsored entities." Sound familiar?

This is, of course, merely a partial list of Dreier's complicity in the epic fail that we find ourselves in right now and I will continue to document the atrocities as I dig more deeply into it. But I do find it ironic that, as much of a Bush rubber stamp that Dreier is, having voted with Bush 93.6% of the time since 2001, in some ways, George Bush's presidency has actually been one big rubber stamp of David Dreier's de-regulatory policies.

(disclosure: I'm proud to work for the Courage Campaign's Bush Rubber Stamp campaign)

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CA-26: Rep. David Dreier Votes 100% With Global Warming Deniers In Return For Political Cover

With Sarah Palin's emergence on the scene, the issue of global warming has re-emerged as well. In Palin we have a real live global warming denier on a major party ticket...in 2008. Wow. Even McCain knows human behavior has contributed to the warming of the earth, but not Sarah Palin. Nope, Miss "knows more about energy than anyone in the US" had this to say in an interview with Newsmax.

"A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made."

Of course, this is just one of the many ways in which Palin is simply George W. Bush in a dress, but the fact is that Palin's rise should serve as a stark reminder that, as much progress as we believe we've made shifting mainstream opinion on several issues, global warming among them, in our direction, the anti-science and the anti-reality forces in this country are still with us and are not going away.

Take the shadowy Americans For Prosperity, for example. Sounds like a great organization, right? Everyone likes prosperity. Digging deeper, however, you find a right-wing organization that claims to be an anti-government and anti-tax group, but really is a front for big oil (its chair is David Koch of oil and gas conglomerate Koch industries) that is pushing a grassroots movement whose goal is to mobilize the deniers and spread dis-information about global warming. Here's what they proudly state on the website for their "Hot Air" balloon tour around the country:

Climate alarmists have bombarded citizens with apocalyptic scenarios and pressured them into environmental political correctness.  It's time to tell the other side of the story....Americans for Prosperity is working hard to bring you the missing half of the global warming debate...Join us at an event near you to learn more about climate alarmism...

You get the idea. But what's perhaps even more insidious about this group is that they are rewarding members of congress that vote with their interests (i.e. FOR opening ANWR to oil exploration, AGAINST repealing tax breaks for oil companies, AGAINST tax subsidies and incentives for alternative energies, AGAINST holding oil companies accountable for price gouging at the pump, etc.) with political cover in the form of, get this, the "Friend of the American Motorist" Award.

As I wrote over at BushRubberStamp.com, Rep. David Dreier -- the very same self-professed political moderate and champion of renewable energies -- touts the award on his congressional website while the terms "global warming" and "climate change" are conspicuously absent. Dreier uses the press release on the front page of his site to peddle his latest election year facade:

Congressman Dreier said the interests of the American motorist, the health of our economy and our national security go hand in hand.  "Producing more American-made energy will be good for our economy, good for our national security, good for our environment, and most important, good for American families.  When we produce it closer to home, we pay less for it..."

The truth is, David Dreier's 100% voting record with AFP couldn't be further from the interests of the American motorist and once again shows just how deep in the pockets of big oil -- and what a Bush Rubber Stamp -- David Dreier actually is.

So Courage Campaign, as part of our BushRubberStamp campaign to inform his constituents in CA-26 of his Bush rubber stamp record, are demanding that he renounce Americans For Prosperity and return the award; in other words, Deny the Deniers! Help us let David Dreier know we're onto him and get some attention to the rightwing extremists that are providing him political cover by signing our petition today.

Dreier, of course, is hardly the only Republican who has earned a 100% voting record with AFP, nor is he the only congressman to have earned this oh so prestigious award. Google "Friend of American Motorist" and you can see a rundown of all the Republican hacks who are touting their motorist-friendly bona fides. All of these members of congress need to be called out for their consistent pandering to big oil even as they pretend to be on the side of the average American. Help us do our part here in Southern California by telling David Dreier to Deny the Deniers today.

(Disclaimer: I am proud to work for the Courage Campaign.)

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CA-26: Local Democrats Cover For David Dreier

Rep. David Dreier (CA-26) is a Bush rubber stamp. He pretends to be a moderate, independent voice in congress yet between 2001-2007 he voted with Bush 93.6% of the time.

That's the simple message of the Courage Campaign's Bush Rubber Stamp campaign designed to inform California's 26th district about the real record David Dreier is hiding.  

As you may remember, we launched our first ad of the campaign a few weeks ago (you can watch it HERE) and we were pretty stunned to see that Dreier had actually dispatched a spokeswoman that very same day to label the ad "an amateurish smearjob." How proud I was.

As I wrote then, it's funny how simply listing Dreier's votes and citing the frequency with which he voted with the president of his own party constitute a smear. Bush has literally become a 4-letter word.

Clearly, Dreier felt he needed to attack the messenger because he knows, we know and he fears soon his entire district will know that he is nothing more than a Bush rubber stamp.

Last week Dreier countered our argument again but in a much different and far trickier way.

On Friday, Dreier sent Democrats throughout the 26th district a letter asking for their vote. Sounds simple, right? Well, Dreier's little trick was that the letter was signed by 9 local Democrats, both elected leaders and business leaders.

As I wrote at our blog, BushRubberStamp.com, the gist of why they're voting for him this year: they'd like us to believe that David Dreier is above the partisan fray. Riiiiight.

Let's take a look at this letter (pdf).

One of the problems facing our country is that so many elected officials back in Washington, D.C. put party loyalty ahead of problem solving.  We see it on the news and read about it every day.  Partisan attacks and party line votes persist while we miss opportunities for real solutions.

Congressman David Dreier is a different kind of leader.

Um, really? According to Congressional Quarterly (behind subscription firewall), David Dreier has voted with George W. Bush 93.6% of the time between 2001-2007. That includes 100% in 2001 and 2003. And even the San Gabriel Valley Tribune conceded that:

[Rep.] David Dreier...almost always vote[s] with fellow Republicans - more than 90 percent of the time in 2007.

Dreier is nothing BUT a partisan party line Republican. But the letter gets worse, going so far as to claim that Dreier's real priority is solving the 26th district's problems. If only.

What matters to David is that there are problems to solve and he is in a position to help.  He knows that partisanship only stands in the way of progress - and he refuses to get caught up in it. [...]

David is exactly the kind of leader we need in Washington right now.  He has the know-how to get things done.  We are proud to support David in his campaign for Congress.  His service and commitment to our communities will continue to benefit all of us in the district.

This is laughable as David Dreier's own record makes clear. And as I document over at the BushRubberStamp.com blog, Dreier's votes with Bush and big oil and against consumers concerned about high gas prices this year alone show he's nothing but a blind partisan Bush Republican.

So what we're doing is asking people to write letters to the editor in the district to let his constituents know what a Bush Rubber Stamp Dreier is, but we're also asking people to call the 'Dreier 9' to let them know whose agenda it is they'll be supporting in November: George W. Bush's. (I've listed the names and affiliations of the Dreier 9 and the office numbers of the 7 electeds among them over at the BRS blog.)

For more on Dreier's record, there's a list of some of Dreier's most egregious Bush rubber stamp votes HERE.

For more on the race, the race tracker wiki is HERE.

And if you know people in the Los Angeles/San Gabriel Valley area whom you think might be interested in this information about David Dreier, please spread the word.

I'm proud to work for the Courage Campaign.

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