CA-04: Charlie Brown Concedes

This is a heart-breaker. Via e-mail from Charlie Brown, Democratic candidate in CA-04:

Thanks to the extraordinary work of our local elections officials, I am pleased to report that the high standards of fairness, accuracy, and transparency have been met.  And with the counts and recounts across district four complete, and more than 370,000 votes tallied, the outcome of this election is no longer in question.  Unfortunately, we've come up less than one half of one percent---just under 1,800 votes---short of victory.  

So a short time ago, I called Senator Tom McClintock to congratulate him on a hard fought victory, and to wish him well in Congress.

To you, I can only offer my deepest gratitude-for your generosity of time and resources, and your unwavering energy and encouragement.  Together, we have transformed the 4 th District, and lifted this campaign higher and farther than anyone thought possible.

Charlie's a class act and really has always had an uphill battle in this district, which has a PVI of R+11, especially once Doolittle withdrew from a re-election bid. My uncle who lives there assured me there was no way this seat would go Democratic and Charlie almost proved him wrong.

Dave Dayen at calitics sums the race up:

Charlie fought a very good fight, actually becoming a point person for veteran's issues around the country and leading by example with his Promises Kept Challenge, donating 5% of his campaign contributions to organizations serving veterans and their families.  And he showed through two cycles that the supposedly hopeless 4th District is more than winnable to the right candidate.

What makes this an even more bitter defeat is that this race was our last hope at turning a red seat blue here in CA. Last cycle we defeated Pombo and despite having several solid candidates in bluing districts this cycle and despite having a presidential candidate at the top of the ticket who won 61% of the vote statewide, we were unable to convert a single seat. Ah the ole incumbency protection racket at work. Suffice it to say that for us here in California, Prop 8 isn't the only result inspiring some soul searching and some blame laying. As much as we've accomplished here in the last, really, just 3 years, it's clear how much more work there is still to be done.

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CA-04: Charlie Brown Within 359 329 Votes

Votes are still being counted in CA-04, which is the race between Charlie Brown (D) and Tom McClintock (R) for John Doolittle's seat. As the count has continued, the vote margin, which has consistently favored McClintock, has been sort of fluctuating within 1000 or so votes. Today, we've gotten some good news from the Brown campaign: now that provisional ballots are being counted, Charlie has pulled to within 359 329 votes.

This just in via e-mail from Todd Stenhouse, Charlie's campaign manager:

Including provisional ballots just reported from Nevada County, the race is now closer than it has been at any point since election day---Charlie has now closed the gap to just 359 votes! [...]

Every day, we are hearing that election day provisional ballots, thousands of which have not yet been tallied, are breaking for Charlie by substantial margins in Placer, El Dorado, and Nevada Counties.

This news is particularly sweet considering McClintock's sort of premature declarations of victory e-mails over the past two weeks.

Again from Stenhouse:

Earlier this week, our opponents arrogantly and falsely proclaimed "the fat lady hasn't begun singing yet, but she's on stage and wearing a McClintock button." 

As he watches his lead evaporate, McClintock knows this opera is far from over.  And that singer has gone backstage to re-accessorize.


This race is closing fast. Just 2 days ago, the margin was 592. The key here is that for Charlie to win, every single vote needs to be counted but at this point, between lawyers and staff, that is an extremely expensive proposition. Please send Charlie some love HERE to make sure every single ballot is counted and to prepare for what may be an extended recount.

[editor's note, by Todd Beeton]David Dayen at calitics has the update that it's actually now down to just a 329 vote spread.

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CA-04: Tom McClintock's Ku Klux Klan Problem

David Dayen has some breaking news over at Calitics. Turns out Tom McClintock, carpetbagger opponent of Democratic candidate Lt. Col. Charlie Brown in CA-04 who is currently a State Senator in a district that runs from the LA suburbs to Santa Barbara County, is running for congress in a district hundreds of miles away up in the northeast corner of the state and has run for two previous statewide offices unsuccessfully including for governor in the 2003 recall, was actually endorsed for governor 5 years ago by none other than the Ku Klux Klan. Check out this endorsement:

Dateline: September 27, 2003

Ku Klux Klan Announces support for Tom McClintock

The Imperial Klans of America, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (IKA) have announced their full support for Tom
McClintock's bid for the governorship of California. Their support is announced in what they term "the
lesser of all evil candidates."

When interviewed, Mr. Chris Johnson (Grand Dragon or State Director of the IKA's California chapter) had this to say regarding the announcement, "While Mr. McClintock is not the perfect candidate for California Governor, we have more in common with his ideology than any of the other candidates. We are in congruence with his stand on illegal aliens infecting our land and his courage in standing up to the invasion." Mr. Johnson went on to say that, "Mr. McClintock echoes our anti-abortion stand, and our opposition to oppressive taxation."

Haha. Well, this isn't a terribly enthusiastic endorsement, is it? But you gotta love their reasoning behind settling on McClintock: "we have more in common with his ideology than any of the other candidates." Pretty much says it all.

CA-04 is a really red district with a PVI of R+11. Charlie almost took corrupt congressman John Doolittle out last cycle but lost by a mere 3%. Charlie is one of several great 2nd chance candidates we have this year.

At first, the revelation that Doolittle would be retiring after this term was a disappointing turn of events but Brown I think lucked out by getting McClintock, perrenial candidate for whatever office opens up (and in fact he has accounts for two runs for office in 2010 still open) as his opponent. Sure he has name recognition but what he's best known for is being a loser. Also, over these past two cycles Charlie has made a credible case for himself as a Democrat in a red district, so much so that the latest Research 2000/DKos poll has him leading McClintock by 5.

I told my Republican uncle about the poll last night and he was shocked. He lives up in CA-04 and he's been telling me since 06 how Charlie has no shot because the 4th is so reliably red that anyone with an R next to his name will win. It's looking as though he may just be proven wrong.

Let's give Charlie some love so McClintock can be free to focus on his 2010 run for Board of Equalization.

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CA-04: C4O Spotlights Lt. Col Charlie Brown (USAF-Ret)

(Proudly Cross-Posted at Clintonistas for Obama and ComputerQueen.Net)

I'm just pleased as punch to have been asked to do another blog about Lt. Col. Brown.  

Now, let me preface this by saying that I know this will prove to be a tough race.  The PVI of the district is R+11, and the GOP is running a carpet bagger from the 19th State Senate district (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties).  It appears they have to transplant someone with a pulse to take over for Doolittle, whom chose not to run again after the scandals of the past year.

The newest polling data I could find was from May, where Brown was 2 points up.

The following is a taste of his issue profile:

On Health Care:

45 Million Americans lack access to health insurance, and the number is growing. Charlie believes increasing access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans is a moral and fiscal imperative. Charlie strongly supports the expansion of SCHIP, to ensure all children have access to affordable care. He also supports the concept of Universal Health care and will lead the fight for a new, constructive dialogue to solve America's health care crisis in the next Congress.

2 Words: Right On!

On Homeland Security:

It is appalling that 5 years after 9/11, the U.S. Government still hasn't implemented most of the 9/11 commission's recommendations.

Charlie believes we must immediately secure our borders, implement a national railway, port, and transit security plan, end the practice of using DHS funding for pork barrel spending that doesn't address legitimate security threats, address the communication and interoperability problems that continue to plague intelligence and emergency response operations, adequately fund FEMA and restore it to a Cabinet level post.

I don't even have to bother spinning this one!

On Iraq

Having coordinated surveillance flights over Iraq in the 1990's, Charlie did not support the U.S. invasion because he knew there were no WMD's present, that an invasion could unleash centuries old sectarian conflicts inside Iraq, and leave fewer American military resources available to defeat the enemy who attacked America on 9/11--Al Qaeda.

Despite under-manning, under-equipping, bad intelligence and naive post-war planning by politicians in Washington, America's military has toppled a terrible dictator in Iraq. But as General Patreus himself has said, our troops can only create the space for Iraq's newly elected politicians to reconcile the political differences that have fomented sectarian violence and civil war. Ultimately, Iraq needs a political solution, not a military one. And America can't defeat global terrorism by transforming the world's finest military force into the Baghdad police force.

Charlie believes accountability is the key to getting our troops home quickly and responsibly---tying future U.S. aid to the achievement of key political benchmarks by Iraq's elected leaders. Together with limited counterterrorism operations, training of Iraqi Security forces and accelerated reconstruction efforts, only real results from Iraq's politicians can expedite the process of political reconciliation Iraq needs to create a permanent stable government that can sustain itself and defend its own borders. Ultimately, open ended promises of money and troops by our government provide little incentive for Iraqi politicians to take action and ownership of their nation's future.

Ultimately, re-deploying US Troops out of Iraq will enable the United States to refocus on the real front lines against terrorism-fighting the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, strengthening our strategic alliances, improving intelligence gathering, expanding special operations capabilities, and giving our troops more time here at home- so they can be rested, trained, properly equipped and ready for quick deployment against terrorist concentrations or any other threats to America.

Col. Brown has show his willingness to speak truth to power.  He was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War ... not because it was the politically expedient thing to do, but because it was the RIGHT thing to do.

So this brings me to my support of Col. Brown.  He already had a good showing in 2006, running against Doolittle, only losing by just over 3 points.  The district has grown since then, and a lot more progressives have moved into the mountain regions of the Northern Sierra Nevada range.  With all this motion, we have the best chance we've had in 20 years to take back the CA 4th.

On our commitment to Veterans, Col. Brown is setting aside 5% of his fundraising to assist with Veterans charities.  Having a Father who is a Vietnam Vet, this is something that is very moving for me.  I'd like to see more of our candidates rise to this challenge and help those who have fought for our freedoms.

Charlie Brown also understands the need for retail politics in a rural district, such as the 4th.  From appearances at 4th of July Celebrations, to fundraisers at a Vineyard in Penn Valley (which is where I got to meet him ... my friend's parents own the vineyard), he is no stranger to the Grip-N-Grin.  When people contribute to his campaign, he sends them a Hand Signed letter of thanks.  That is something that is all too rare in today's politics.

So, please join with the Clintonistas for Obama team as we support Our Progressive C4O All Stars.

As always, Just my 2 Cents!


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Who Should We Love?

(Proudly cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama& Swing State Project)

Hello. I'm atdleft, someone you may know from Clintonistas for Obama or here or The Liberal OC. I have a question for all of you.

I just want to let you know that when we're not obsessing over all things Presidential, my friends & I are looking for good Congressional candidates to support. We already have some idea of who looks good to us, but I'd like to hear from all of you on which candidates we should help out. Whild I'd love to be of use to everyone, I at least want to make sure I'm doing something for Democrats that: (a) can win & (b) will stick to good progressive values once elected.

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