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One of the joys of 2008: there are too many good races, too many viable opportunities to turn Red districts Blue on the electoral map. Sadly, on Kos' latest map of the Western US, one of the opportunities that we all should be banding together to make a reality remains red.  In CA-46, we have a true progressive, Debbie Cook, is facing a die-hard troglodyte, global-warming denying, immigrant bashing, etc ... Dana Rohrabacher who might be "the biggest blithering idiot" on the Hill.  

In the past few weeks, this race has tightened. We are talking within measure of error.  Debbie doesn't have DCCC behind her but she does have us.  A few $XX.01s could help to flip a district which would, in this case, shift from deep (corrupt) red representation to truly a "better Democrat".

Now, you don't have to solely believe me about Energy Smart Debbie.  Others on the blogosphere support her:

She's gotten lots of great other write-ups/support on the blogs: Open Left, 25 June 08

Usually, this race wouldn't be considered high on a list of races to watch, but this time, things are a bit different. Rep. Rohrabacher isn't so popular anymore, and even the local press has mentioned his weakness stemming from his inability to bring many resources back to the district, instead focusing on issues more important to Dana, like hanging with Jack Abramoff and endorsing torture. As well, Mayor Cook is very popular in her home town, and has been campaigning quite a bit through the district. Chances are, this race could start to gain traction.

Join me below the fold for the interview, which reveals Mayor Cook to be an exceptionally bright woman well versed in many of the issues facing our country.

FireDogLake, 3 May 08

One of Debbie Cook's strengths as a public official-- her serious devotion to the intricacies of the kinds of policies that effect people's lives-- is a real problem for a political campaign. "Serious" doesn't always mean "catchy" or "easy to understand." She's spent a good part of her life working on public policy and trying to make government function for people. Her overviews are filled with blacks, whites, grays and every color of the rainbow. She's a candidate for people for whom expertise and results matters more than snappy soundbytes.

.... Her opponent is 10-term incumbent Dana Rohrabacher, better known as a slacker, a mujahadeen and bin-Laden supporter, an Abramoff pal, an Erik Prince/Blackwater defender, and a fringe nut-case than for accomplishing anything at all in Congress. He does have a dependably rubber stamp voting record and virtually never ventures away from GOP ideological orthodoxy. His m.o. is arrogance tempered by laziness, corruption, craziness and, many say, wanton disregard for societal mores.

Calitics

Debbie Cook (CA-46): Cook, running against certified loon Dana Rohrabacher in a district mostly in Orange County and part of Long Beach, is running on the environment, but not as an advocate against global warming necessarily.  She is on the board of directors of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO-USA), and really is passionate about moving to a post-carbon future and radically reinventing our energy infrastructure.  When I asked about carbon taxes or cap and trade systems, she really looked beyond that debate about greenhouse gas emissions and toward a debate about sustainable living.  This is about land use, about smart growth, about living closer together, adopting mass transit, eating locally grown foods, reorganizing society to deal with the prospects of a world without as much oil.  It's an interesting message for a Congressional campaign, especially when going up against someone who speculates that global warming may have been caused by dinosaur flatulence.  But Cook also supports the Repsonsible Plan to End the War in Iraq and understands the post-carbon fight as a national security and an economic issue as well.

Cook has a total command of these issues, and on a day when the heads of the top oil companies bobbed and weaved on Capitol Hill, it would have been great to see her up there doing the questioning.

Progressive Blue, 22 Oct 08

If any progressive candidate deserved your support, it's Debbie Cook.  Her campaign is building an amazing ground game, Cook has great experience as the Mayor of a large city in Southern California and she's managed to move conservative Republicans on Huntington Beaches' City Council to vote for progressive environmental issues.  

Wouldn't you just love to be one of the people who wipes that smug look off of Rohrabacher's face and send him packing from the House of Representatives?  He's been taking his seat for granted for the last twenty years, it's time he was retired and we sent Debbie Cook to Congress in January instead.

Calitics 2 (16 Oct 08)

The Capitol Weekly reports, in an article about dimming GOP prospects, that Dana Rohrabacher is in a world of trouble.  ...

Calitics Match candidate Debbie Cook is a better Democrat.  She supports the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, quality health care for every American, and a post-carbon economy with green energy pushing out the dirty fuels of the past.  She would be an amazing legislator.  This can be done.  She needs your support.

A few words about Dana ...

To start with, let us quote from one of the village voices, David Brooks, as he remarks on a remarkable competition to be the "the biggest blithering idiot" among a group of Congressmen.

There's "a foul odor that's coming out of the U.S. Senate!" bellowed Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, who then went on to win the prize by suggesting that instead of using illegal aliens to harvest crops, we force felons to do it. "I say, Let the prisoners pick the fruits!"

Here was a seemingly mentally competent adult recommending that we force a largely minority population to go out in the fields and pick lettuce and cotton. You wanted to hit him over the head and scream: Is this ringing any bells, Representative Rohrabacher? Are we repealing the Emancipation Proclamation, too?

There's Dana on Iraq:

We're not talking about war on Iraq. That's totally misleading. We're talking about helping the people of Iraq liberate themselves from this monster and, in doing so, alleviate a major threat to the security and well-being of the people of the United States of America. ...  this job in Iraq will be easier than what happened in Afghanistan.

Ah, okay, Dana's an idiot, you might agree, but how does
arguing for moving our prisons to our tomato harvesting or his prescience on the rosy future in Iraq merit Dana as Energy Dumb? They don't. They set the stage, however, for a brief exploration of  Dana's energy idiocies from his consistent votes against against renewable energy packages and increasing CAFE standards to his support of Newt's Contract on the Earth driven Drill Here! Drill Now! Pay (a tiny bit) Less (a decade+ from now)!  
Campaign for America's Future took a look at energy issues and rated candidates in the 2006 cycle. Energy Dumb Dana did well: he scored zero across the board on issues related to energy independence.

About Global Warming.  Dana Rohrabacher is a vehement global warming denier. Energy Dumb Dana recently showed his face on the House floor with a studied effort at willful ignorance several weeks before Senate Republicans stooped to the lowest forms of obstructionism to avoid having to have a substantive and meaningful debate about Global Warming legislation.   Rohrbacher's speech is worth notice since it is such a studied effort, with strong framing language, of misleading deceptiveness and outright deceit on what might be the most critical issue that we face through this century.

To gain a feel for the extent of deceit, let us look at part of Rohrbacher's opening comments:

<span> Mr. Speaker, I preface my remarks with a personal statement that, while I am  opposed to the advocates of man-made global warming theories, I am committed to  a clean and healthy environment, to purifying our air, our water, and our soil;  all of this for the sake of the people of this planet, including my three  children, Anika, Tristan and Christian. I do this not because of some paranoid  theory that humans are changing the climate of the world, but instead, I am very  concerned about the health of the people of the world and, thus, committed to  clean air, clean soil, and clean water. </span>

Yes, Dana Rohrbacher is concerned, concerned mightily about "a clean and healthy environment".  Of course, we should simply take him on his word for this. Should't we? After all, he is a sitting member of Congress.  Well, let us take Ronald Reagan's words to heat: "Trust, but verify." Okay, Mr Rohrbacher, i will trust you but will verify.  The  question, how to verify?

There could always be the League of Conservation Voters ratings of members of Congress.   According to LCV, Dana has not scored about 17% on his votes over the past decade and only 10% in votes on issues of environmental impartance.  10 of 100? That doesn't seem to indicated a commitment to "clean air, clean soil, and clean water."

But, perhaps LCV is simply a bunch of left-wing Democratic Party operatives. Perhaps time to look to another organization. Why not the Republicans for Environmental Protection? That might be a little more friendly to a senior Republican member of Congress. According to REP's rating of Congressional voting (pdf), Dana's score?  He scored a blazingly high 17 of 100 for the 2005-2007 period. An average dragged down by the 13 of 100 score for 2007.

Concerned about the environment, I think not.

Okay, while we could continue, we've adequately established Energy Dumb, haven't we?

Want to learn more about Dana Rohrabacher, here are just a few choice opportunities:

Rohrabacher farts ...

Dino flatulence

Rohrabacher on torture

Dana on heroes

Dana and Jack (Abramoff)

Dana on Refugees

Dana in drag ...

Returning to progressive and Energy Smart Debbie Cook.

Debbie Cook joined us at Netroots Nation and was on the Energize America panel. She is a reader of blogs. Top-notch on energy issues.  A true progressive across the board.  And, she has a real chance to send a troglodyte into retirement.  As D-Day wrote, "She would be an amazing legislator.  This can be done.  She needs your support."  Let's send Energy Smart Debbie to Congress. Send her some Send her some $XX.01s now ...

Originally posted to A Siegel on Tue Oct 28, 2008 at 04:11 AM PDT.

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