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Back in 2006, when the head of the Democratic National Committee Dr. Howard Dean was putting the 50 State Strategy into use, the co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America decided to take out "a Republican" of her own.  Only it was a Bush Democrat that she decided to run against, and so with only three months of campaigning, Marcy Winograd got 38%% percent of the vote and her opponent, Congresswoman Jane Harman was re-elected in the fall as the Democrats regained the House.  Four years later, Winograd is once again running against the Blue Dog Harman in an election cycle that promises to be one that is anti-incumbent.  The two Democrats differ on a number of issues including foreign policy concerning Israel and have differed in the past on civil liberties.

Jane Harman was first elected to Congress in the 36th district in 1992 and served until 1999 when she did not run for re-election in 1998.   She then regained her old seat in 2000 election and has been in Congress ever since.   The 36th District has aCook PVI score of D+12 making it a solid Democrat district.   Obama carried the district which includes areas of West and Southwest Los Angeles by 64% in the 2008 general election.

Harman does vote Democratic on some issues, like voting no to Stupak, voted yes to the Senate Jobs Bill, voted yes to Waxman-Markey, and has a good record on GLBT issues(yes on ENDA, no on DOMA and vocally against DADT for years). Her record also have some glaring negatives in it, which is one reason why Winograd is running against her again.  First and foremost, Harman has been a foreign policy hawk up until this year due to her primary challenge.   Talking Points Memo said it best:

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), usually a reliable supporter of the military  adventure du jour, yesterday broke sharply with President Obama on  Afghanistan

Firedoglakehas weighed in and said that Winograd and her 2010 campaign has been the cause of this citing Winograd's better fundraising this time around and very public positions for withdrawal from Afghanistan.  Back in 2007-2008, an interest group named U.S Campaign to end the Israeli Occupation gave Harman a rating of negative 5, one of the lowest ratings of that time.  Harman did vote for the war in Iraq back in 2002.   Harman apparently doesn't support withdrawal from Afghanistan however, since she voted No to H. Con Res. 248introduced by Kucinich to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Harman also has a very spotty record on civil liberties.  She voted in favor of FISA in 2008, voted multiple times for the Patriot Act, voted at least twice to ban flag burning, and she introduced a very bad bill in 2007 called H.R 1955.  It would have made the Internet less free for people to speak their minds and could have possibly labeled those crazy Truthers as terrorists.   Personally I am embarrassed that we have liberals spouting of that nonsense, but they are far from a national security threat.

Winograd has been compared to Donna Edwards by the folks at Crooks and Liars. Winograd in addition to her organizing with Progressive Democrats of America, co-founded  L.A Jews For Peace.She has done some labor activism and has been a school teacher for many years too.

Winograd has jobs as her top priority under Issues.  She says:

We need a Green New Deal: federal investment in public and private  sector jobs, similar to the Works Progress Administration under the New  Deal: massive federal stimulus in energy retrofits, infrastructure  repair, solar and wind power.

She clearly knows that we need to invest on a massive scale to put people back to work and her invocation of the WPA is the right idea.  We do need a new version of it pronto.  More details of her "Green New Deal can be found here.  She also would repeal free trade agreements that outsource jobs.   Winograd was attackedin a letter by Henry Waxman back in January because she believes Israel has to obey international laws in regards to the Palestinians.  A post by TomP showed her response which was quite good.

"Like you, I am intimately aware of our Jewish history. On my  mother’s side, my great-grandparents escaped the Russian Pogroms to make  a better life for themselves in Europe. On my father’s side, my  great-grandparents were killed in the Jewish Holocaust of Nazi Germany. Because  of our collective experience with persecution, it behooves us to stand  in opposition to persecution anywhere and everywhere, rather than  sanctify reductionist state policies that cast all Jews as victims who  can only thrive in a segregated society. Furthermore, we must stand in  explicit opposition to the Israeli persecution of the Palestinians; the  brutal blockade of Gaza, an act of war by international standards,  denying children clean water, food, and medicine."

Winograd stands for true progress in our foreign policy regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians.   We can not tolerate that Israel acts as an apartheid state with little outrage about that.  If Iran had acted like Israel does with its policies, there would be outcry fro the left and the right about oppression.  Israel also refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, something not even Iran would do.  In contrast to Harman, who dropped her support of a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide of 1915, Winograd would recognize that Turkey committed genocide against Armenians.   This has gotten Winograd support from the Armenian community in Los Angeles and an endorsement.

Winograd has until now and June 8, the date of the primary to try and use the anti-incumbent mood of 2010 against Harman.   It looks like it could be tough for her since they don't seem to differ that much on jobs, which will be a huge issue.   In any other year, Harman's hawkishness would be a huge minus against her.  I don't think your average primary voter is going to care about that this time.  In fact, they might see her as being better on national security.   Winograd's best shot is to frame her Green New Deal in the best possible way and and do the best job she can on selling it as the Jobs solution.   If Harman doesn't seem to have any answers on jobs, then that could be the impetus for Winograd to be the one who can finally represent how the district really is.

Cross-posted to The Progressive Electorate and Peanut Butter PAC

Originally posted to pistolSO on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:32 AM PDT.


Who do you support in CA-36

19%17 votes
74%65 votes
5%5 votes

| 87 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Winograd has some union endorsements too (4+ / 0-)

    Forgot to mention that in the article.

    Founding Member of Peanut Butter PAC- A People-Powered PAC

    by pistolSO on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:41:20 AM PDT

  •  Well Put Together Diary... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xapulin, trashablanca, pistolSO

    Nice that you didn't demonize Harman, who I hope will be relpaced by Winograd.

    If I were to get a job in a factory, the first thing I'd do is join a union.---FDR

    by frandor55 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:56:04 AM PDT

  •  I wish her the best (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, Budlawman, trashablanca

    The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better.

    by Zacapoet on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:10:21 AM PDT

  •  Good diary....and correct at this point that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    domestic economy and jobs will be primary. It's hard to see how green jobs will distinguish her from Harmon. The fact Harmon voted for Waxman and probably supports something similar will muddy the difference.

    To win a primary over a sitting incumbent there has to be an issue that is overriding to constituents in order to vote her out and take a chance on someone with less name recognition and experience.

    Maybe the anti-incumbent mood will work and that can be linked to votes/positions that Harmon has taken that has made voters want to remove her (like the wars and national security). But it's still going to be people's economic security that plays the vital role. Turnout might be key; she ought to focus on firing up volunteers and turnout since it's likely to be low when people are disillusioned.

  •  I really can't see... (0+ / 0-) you can say her response to Waxman was a good one.

    You highlight the fact that she trumpets her jewish heritage one sentence before launching into a hyperbolic tirade against Israel, and having the gall to wrap it up in talk of "justice" and "equality."

    Even if you disagree with the Democratic party consensus on support for Israel, to throw support behind this rather hateful woman is a stretch.

    If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

    by JPhurst on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 08:57:38 AM PDT

    •  Sorry, JP, but Marcy is a human rights activist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peace voter, pistolSO

      and believes in justice for all people, which is not happening right now in I/P.  There is more than one reasonable and humane position on the complex and intense issues surrounding I/P, and my spouse Marcy is far from "hateful", an epithet without factual basis.

      "The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love."

      by Budlawman on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 10:00:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People Power vs. Wall Street Greed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, Conure, pistolSO

    Thank you for your diary drawing attention to my race, one of the few primary challenges to Wall Street greed and perpetual war profiteering.  Firing up the electorate in a primary race is, as you say, a challenge, but at the end of the day it's up to us, the grassroots, the netroots, the people, to meet the challenge and to make the difference by walking our neighborhoods and virtual phone banking, much as Rossl, who frequently posts here, is doing in Penn.  

    Unlike my opponent, I am not taking any corporate money - which is probably the statement that resonates the most with voters we meet door-to-door.
    Voters are tired of bought politicians who vote for bankruptcy bills that hurt working Americans, who vote over and over, despite the confusing rhetoric, for war, and for big Pharma's monopoly on meds for cancer, HIV, Parkinsons and more.

    I am running to represent the people of my district, to transition from a drone economy to a Green economy -- and that is something, real peace conversion, my opponent will not talk about because she has staked her claim on a war machine that produces few jobs but lots of carnage.

    There are local issues, too, environmental justice issues that have long been ignored and need attention.  I am talking about them and working on them because the work does not start when we go to Congress; it's about the present tense.

    What sacrifices are we willing to make for a better future, a job-rich future that employs Americans in productive, not destructive ways?  Are we willing to give an hour, a day, a week, a month of elbow grease?  Are we willing to blog fantastic about the power of the people triumphing over Wall Street?  Are we willing to give part of our paycheck for a peace candidate?

    Make the sacrifice.  Join us.  Give on my Act Blue page, visit my web site: and sign up to volunteer -- or email Bill@Winogradforcongress to get a phone log-in account.  Activism on or off the net is great, but organization is the key.  Organize a group of phone bankers in your neighborhood, your office, your heart.

    I am for you, for us, for a better day.

    •  Glad you're here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      hope to see more of you in coming months.  This site's stated mission is to elect more and better Democrats.  One good way to get better Democrats is to support Progressive candidates against Blue Dogs (especially vulnerable ones) in their primary campaigns.

      "Trolling is a sad reality of internet life...Directly replying to the content of a trollish message is usually a waste of time"

      by Rusty Pipes on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:36:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please support my wonderful spouse Marcy! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, Conure, pistolSO

    I usually help with the blogging chores when a diary about her is posted here, but I'm in Miami on business and the computer meter is running, and more importantly I have a plane to catch, but I wanted to encourage folks to support Marcy's campaign in any and every way you can, and to check out her website.  You will be impressed and inspired.   We can win this.

    "The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love."

    by Budlawman on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:56:28 AM PDT

  •  We need Marcy Winograd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, Budlawman

    At this crossroads in the history of our country we need non-corporate representative who will advocate for the people.  Dennis Kucinich need company.

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