CA-32: Judy Chu, The Solis Family's Pick For Congress

On Saturday, about 100 volunteers and supporters streamed in and out of Judy Chu headquarters in Baldwin Park as the race in the 32nd district to replace Hilda Solis in congress neared its final days (the special primary election is on May 19.) The phone banks were packed, the precinct walkers returned for a bite only to head back out again and Judy was there mingling and thanking folks for their help.

Among the supporters who had come to help Judy on Saturday were Hilda Solis's sister Anna and her mom. I turned around at one point to find Mrs. Solis stuffing envelopes for Judy (pic to the right -->). It's a unique situation in that, as a member of the President's cabinet, Hilda Solis is not able to endorse in the race to replace her. In her place though, several members of her family have stepped up and been vocal champions on behalf of Judy. Hilda's sister Irma introduced Judy at her campaign launch event in March and on Saturday, Anna and Mrs. Solis were out in force.

Judy and Hilda Solis go back 20 years. Both coalition builders and community activists, Judy and Hilda came up from the grassroots. Like Hilda, Judy is of and from the district and knows the issues that are most important to the residents of the San Gabriel Valley, a quality that makes her uniquely qualified among those running for the 32nd congressional seat to carry on Hilda Solis's legacy. Over the flip, some video of the Solis sisters talking about Judy in their own words.

In the meantime, if you'd like to volunteer for Judy's campaign in the final week, especially if you can take off election day to do GOTV, please contact the campaign HERE and donations at ActBlue are always welcome.

I'm proud to be doing blog outreach for Judy Chu For Congress

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CA-32: Why Judy Chu's Our Best Choice for Congress

(Proudly cross-posted at C4O Democrats)

I usually don't like to wade into LA politics. I usually have enough on my hands with Orange County matters, so I just don't have time for Los Angeles electoral fights. However, I have to say something about the special election coming up in California's32nd Congressional District.

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CA-32 Cedillo take note: Voto Latino is not a "gang"

I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County, California, in the district formerly represented by now Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.  Like me, 60 percent of the residents of Congressional District 32 are Latino.  That didn't stop my mother and I both from voting for a Chinese-American, Judy Chu, when she ran and re-ran for Monterey Park City Council in the 80s and 90s.  Nor, by the way, did it stop then-Assemblymember and Latina Hilda Solis from endorsing her.

Today there's a pitched battle to fill Solis' very large shoes, with Judy Chu, currently serving on the state Board of Equalization, running against State Senator Gil Cedillo.  Cedillo's main point of persuasion for voters seems to be that since the 32nd district is a Latino district, as a Latino he is better suited to represent it.

Unfortunately for the Cedillo campaign, however, he's not the only candidate in the race with that qualification.  Emanuel Pleitez, a 26 year-old Mexican/Salvadoran-American who served on Obama's Treasury Department Transition Team, though trailing in third place, is apparently close enough on Cedillo's tails to find himself the target of a vicious piece of attack mail.  The message of the mail piece: Pleitez is a "party animal." The evidence: Pictures on Facebook.

It's no longer necessary at this point to further describe how innocent these pictures actually were; Calitics and The Hill have already done a great job of it.  However, given Cedillo's primary qualification for office, it's worth pointing out another detail his attack piece got wrong.

In the mailer, Cedillo accuses Pleitez of "flashing gang signs -- and then posting the pictures on the internet." It then goes on to ask rhetorically, "Doesn't he know about the lives and neighborhoods that have been destroyed by the gangs?"

If Cedillo knew the movement behind Latino political empowerment a bit better, he may have recognized that the woman standing next to Pleitez in one of those photos is Rosario Dawson, star of 'Rent' and '25th Hour' and founder of Voto Latino.  The "gang signs" the two of them are "flashing" are a 'V' and an 'L,' as in, 'Voto Latino.'  Voto Latino's mission is to empower Latino communities like CD-32 by getting out the vote and promoting civic engagement.  Admirably, Pleitez served on the organization's Board of Directors.

Perhaps failing to recognize the hand gestures for what they were was a simple oversight by an ignorant communications staffer.  But eagerly jumping to the conclusion that Pleitez was endorsing gang activity on Facebook at the expense of families in the 32nd district was a reckless and malicious ploy to attract cheap votes.

The tragedy is that Cedillo has been nothing short of heroic in California in his numerous fights in the State Legislature on behalf of undocumented immigrants.  But in an all-too-typical phenomenon among politicians, the integrity that inspired him to take on these principled fights in the State Capitol have evaporated on the campaign trail.

The good news is, desperate attacks like these tend to backfire.  Unfortunately, they tend to turn people away from important elections in the process.  Senator Cedillo should bear both of these facts in mind next time he decides to go negative on his opponents.

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CA-32: Judy Chu for Congress! Get Involved!

I just wanted to let people know how exciting the race for the 32nd congressional is getting!  The atmosphere in the Chu campaign office is up and pumping and nothing is slowing us down.  People across the district are getting hit left and right from our campaign and I'm sure from others too.  I can't help but say we need someone from the 32nd Congressional District that knows and cares about the issues we as residents in the SGV care for.

I started off in the campaign walking in my own city for Judy, and then later I started doing little things here and there that office staff wanted me to do.  I even have 50 campaign signs in my trunk ready to be distributed to those who requested one!  However, the best part of the campaign is to see the candidate!  Just the other day I was working and Judy Chu sat right next to me to do some phone calls!  What's really strange is she happens to get more lawn sign confirmations then us?  I wonder why?

This is my call for action to all of you in the San Gabriel Valley and East LA area who was recently represented by Congresswoman Hilda Solis to pick up your walking shoes, and a bottle of water and meeting me at Judy Chu for Congress Campaign Head Quarters!  Meet me at 4153 N. Maine Ave, Baldwin Park, CA 91706. Also, you can call HQ at 626-430-3601 or sign up to volunteer at Judy's website.

Signing Off and Ready to Rock!

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Gil Cedillo

Gil Cedillo is in free fall. After starting out his campaign to replace Hilda Solis in the House as a co-frontrunner, he has been out-raised, out-endorsed and out-maneuvered by Judy Chu and now he's getting desperate.

Cedillo's latest desperate tactic: his campaign sent out a mailer to voters last week that attempts to smear Chu by claiming a link between her position on the Board of Equalization and the financial crisis.

Below the bolded words "Ever wonder how we got into this mess?" is a picture of Judy surrounded by what look like newspaper quotes and headlines including: "This is an outrage,""Ex-Bear Stearns banker pleads guilty in fraud case," and "Political Malfeasance and the Financial Meltdown." The implication is clear.

The LA Times takes it down:

The language used as headlines on the Cedillo mailers, however, came from articles having nothing to do with Chu. One, "This Is an Outrage!" appeared as a quote in a March 16 Los Angeles Times article about anger over bonuses given to executives of AIG, one of the struggling corporations given federal financial aid. Another, "Political Malfeasance and the Financial Meltdown," ran above a syndicated George Will column March 25 in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

That last one is particularly gauling considering Cedillo here is referencing an oped in which conservative commentator Will attacks 1. the Employee Free Choice Act, falsely claiming it "abolishes" the right to a secret ballot, and 2. the Obama administration for, as he puts it, trying "to stabilize the economy by vastly enlarging government's role in it."

Is this how a real Democrat acts, using a George Will rightwing hit piece to attack a fellow Democrat? Hardly.

Not content to merely mislead and to use a rightwing shill to attack his opponent, Cedillo goes even further in the mailer, attacking Chu for her role as Vice Chair of the Board of Equalization. To hear Cedillo tell it, Chu has given millions in tax breaks to her contributors, but The LA Times provides much needed reality check here as well:

The "tax breaks" cited in Cedillo's mailings are actually refunds of tax overpayments by corporations, according to Board of Equalization records and documentation the Cedillo campaign provided to The Times.

Most, if not all, were routine, noncontroversial matters approved by unanimous vote upon recommendation of the agency's staff, according to Anita Gore, a spokeswoman for the Board of Equalization.

Nice try, Gil.

But that's not the worst part. Look at the mailer closely and you see a repeated phrase used to describe Judy Chu: "tax collector." The Board of Equalization is the state's tax collecting body whose mission is to "serve the public through fair, effective, and efficient tax administration," yet Gil Cedillo hopes to use it as an albatross around Judy's neck, appealing to and reinforcing rightwing frames about taxes and the evil tax collector.

Again, this is not how a real Democrat acts.

There's only one real Democrat in this race, one who will proudly join the progressive caucus in Congress, one who will vote to enact real progressive change in Washington and one who will be a reliable partner with our president in the House against the forces of caution and corporate interests. That Democrat is Judy Chu.

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