Don't know if anyone is reading this blog this weekend, or if you are too stuffed with food, too busy watching football games, or actively engaged in "discussions" with the more conservative elements of your family, but here is something for your post-Thanksgiving/pre-Election 2008 ruminations.
Lisa Voderbrueggen of the Contra Costa Times had this to say about possible 2008 challengers to McNerney:
Republicans and even Democrats almost certainly will field opponents against the political novice [McNerney]. Insiders are already talking about possible challengers.And here are some remarks from the right-leaning Tim Hunt, former editor of the Tri-Valley Herald, in reference to Pombo's defeat Nov. 7:
The names being talked about -- although none has publicly indicated they intend to run -- include state Sen. Mike Machado, D-Linden, and Assemblymen Guy Houston, R-San Ramon, and Greg Aghazarian, R-Stockton. All three will be termed out of the state Legislature in 2008.
[Note: Houston and Aghazarian are termed out of their Assembly seats in 2008, but could still run for state Senate. Machado already served his three terms in the Assembly and will be termed out of the Senate also in 2008.]
Notably, there may be one Republican beneficiary to Pombos loss — Assemblyman Guy Houston. Houston won re-election over lawyer Terry Coleman for his third and final term in the Assembly.So there you have it, sports fans -- the ugly blue and yellow "Pombo" signs have not yet come down, and already there is speculation and positioning for 2008. That's what happens with a two-year election cycle. Hard to believe, but this coming summer will be when challengers will begin posturing for the 2008 primaries. So who do we have here?
There is no Republican-safe state Senate seat in the East Bay so Houston will face an uphill battle if he wants to stay in Sacramento after his Assembly term is up. However, if Pombo decides he's done with politics, McNerney will be ripe for the taking in two years because it will still be a Republican district [* see my note below]. Houston is a tireless campaigner and has represented his Assembly district well.
(Rather than make this an overly lengthy post, I will look at each of these possible candidates in subsequent posts. Let's start with Mr. Houston):
Guy Houston, who has been in elected office since 1994 (first as mayor of Dublin, then as state legislator), is termed out of the State Assembly in 2008, and there is no likely State Senate seat he could go after. Houston's 15th Assembly district overlays the 11th District reasonably well. Houston does not represent Tracy, Lodi, and some of the other more eastern sections of San Joaquin. Also, Livermore, the largest city in his district, is not in the 11th. But the match is about as close as the state and federal districts get.
Houston labels himself a "fiscal conservative", that is, against raising taxes and for cutting government spending. I don't find the "fiscal" part so bad, as I am all in favor efficient government. But the "conservative" part turns me off. Houston definitely leans right. And as far as the environment, he is almost as bad as Pombo, though not quite a zealot like that soon-to-be-retired disgrace. For instance, he is endorsed by the CLORV - California League of Off Road Voters (though I guess they have to get back on the road to actually vote). That is the same organization that wrote desperate emails urging their members to help "Richard" in the 2006 election.
Houston beat lawyer Terry Coleman, 55% to 45%, this past election. This was just about the same percentages when he beat lawyer Elaine Shaw in 2004. (In an interesting twist, Elaine Shaw ran and lost against Pombo in 2002.)
To sum things up, here is a recent emailing from the Blackhawk Republican Women group, where they deplore Pombo's loss, but look to take the district back. In the mailing, they make sure to praise Guy Houston, while continuing to foster their delusions about a "McNerney/Media slime campaign". Umm, excuse me Ma'am, but the word "slime" more accurately applies to Pombo and other similar corrupt Republicans, not people like Jerry McNerney. But here is the quote, see for yourself. They sure sound bitter:
Opinions on the 2006 election and how we can take the Congress back!Well, they got everything all mixed up there, with the labelling our new Congressman, the one with a PhD, an empty suit, and some fantasy about robocalls tying Pombo to Foley. But the emphasis on "Guy" and "take Congress back" is hard to miss.
The Pombo Race - The outcome of this race continues to trouble all of us. A review of the voting patterns is rather stark. It appears that the McNerney/Media slime campaign really took hold throughout the district. Calls were made into the district the last week falsely charging Pombo with covering up the Foley affair among many other false charges. Meanwhile, McNerney got a free ride even though he is a complete empty suit.
I want to especially thank Guy Houston for his help in the Pombo race down the stretch. As many of you know, in the same areas, Guy was polling as much as 20 points better than Pombo before the election. Guy stepped up by doing recorded calls and assisted in many other ways. In the end, it appears that Guy polled over 10 points better in the same areas. Guy also did better than registration in our area.
Thank you Guy – we look forward to great things from you and a bright future.
"Take Congress Back" -- that is interesting. Seems they are longing for the good old days of DeLay/Foley/Cunningham/Pombo/Abramoff corruption!
I object to Hunt's classification of the 11th District as a Republican district. I know he is going on the voter registration advantage of something like 44% R to 37% D (as of Sept. 2005). But the district not only voted Dem for McNerney, they also went with Boxer and Feinstein, both Dems, in their respective US Senate races. And after McNerney's win, I hope the Dems will continue their voter drives to even out the spread.