|Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (right), R-Camarillo, and his wife Laura.|
It's Panic Time in California
- Democrats pour in millions in corrupt special interest and labor union cash to try and hang on to a swing California Congressional seat.
- Let it be noted that this corruption is why Congress no longer represent the voters. Congressmen represent the big money interests who buy their seat for them.
Democrats are sending warning signals on a previously sleepy southern California House race — a tangible sign of an increasingly tough midterm for the party.
Freshman Rep. Julia Brownley is one of three House Democrats receiving extra and early help from the national party. A year ago, her district was barely on the party’s radar of competitive races, after President Barack Obama carried it by 10 points last cycle.
“This is a tight race and a difficult seat, and we are committed to hanging onto it,” said Matt Thornton, a spokesman for House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC aiding Brownley’s re-election reports Roll Call.
|GOP Assemblyman Jeff Gorell|
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has increased its investment in her district from $950,000 to $1.1 million in airtime, according to a source tracking media purchases in the district. The DCCC hit the airwaves on Sept. 2 — three weeks earlier than it announced in its May media plans.
The DCCC also shifted funds to give additional help to Reps. John Barrow in Georgia and Bill Enyart in Illinois.
House Majority PAC is also sending help, spending $46,000 for a direct mail piece in early September attacking Brownley’s opponent, Republican state Assemblyman Jeff Gorell.
Privately, Democrats say their polling puts Brownley in a dead heat with Gorell.
But Democrats are also fretting about the 26th District because a large percentage of Democratic voters there usually stay home in non-presidential election years. The problem will be exacerbated in 2014 without ballot measures driving turnout or competitive statewide contests in California. Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, is expected to cruise to re-election, and local operatives say he’s unlikely to help candidates down ballot.
“This is the year that Republicans have a base that might be as large as the Democrats’,” Matt Rexroad, a California Republican operative, said of the state. “That’s the advantage.”
Republicans set out this cycle to defeat Brownley in her Ventura County district, viewing her first re-election battle in a midterm as an opportune time to take her down. In 2012, she defeated GOP former state Sen. Tony Strickland by 6 points when it was an open seat.
The GOP sees her potential defeat as part of its Republican redemption tour in the Golden State, following the party’s dismal performance there last cycle. After an independent redistricting commission redrew the House district lines, Republicans lost four seats. Today, the GOP controls just 15 of the state’s 53 House districts.
Republicans tout Gorell as the kind of GOP candidate who fits the district. A commander in the Naval Reserves, he has built a reputation as a moderate Republican in Sacramento and his state legislative district overlaps with the Ventura County chunk of the seat, making him more familiar to a portion of the electorate.
But Gorell entered the final months of the race with a significant cash disadvantage. As of June 30, Gorell reported just $306,000 in the bank — not nearly enough for sustained paid communication in the district. Brownley reported more than $1.5 million in cash on hand, and she’s been on cable since the last week of August with an ad touting her record on women’s issues.
|The district is 40% Democrat, 35% Republicans and |
25% independent and smaller political parties.
A Top Swing District
The 26th district was represented by Republicans for decades until the 2012 Obama landslide in California when a carpetbagging Democrat moved into the area and narrowly won the seat.
|California's 26th congressional district election, 2012|
|No party preference||Linda Parks||20,301||18.3%|
|Democratic||David Cruz Thayne||2,809||2.5%|
|Democratic||Alex Maxwell Goldberg||1,880||1.7%|
|Democratic gain from Republican|