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Ami Bera portrait
Democrat Ami Bera is taking on Dan Lungren
Please contribute $3 to Ami Bera on Orange to Blue.

Now, I could tell you a lot of things about why you should really, really want Republican Rep. Dan Lungren out of office, but I don't want to bury the lede. Here's a 2005 press release Lungren still proudly features on his congressional website:

Congressman Dan Lungren (R-Gold River), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced the Defense of Marriage Amendment. The bill is designed to thwart efforts to undermine the sovereign right of the people of a state to defend the traditional definition of marriage.

With this bill, Congressman Lungren is fulfilling a promise he made to the people of California's 3rd Congressional District to introduce a constitutional amendment designed to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage.

"It is increasingly apparent that marriage itself has become vulnerable to the design of judges who have seen fit to take upon themselves the authority to engage in social engineering aimed at the redefinition of this foundational societal institution," said Congressman Lungren.

Seven years later and Lungren's still isn't embarrassed enough to take this down. Fortunately, we have a great chance to take him down.

Thanks to redistricting, California's new congressional map represents a major departure from the old lines—and with those changes comes opportunity. Democrats now have a legitimate shot at pickups in at least half a dozen seats in the Golden State, and perhaps there's no better target than Lungren's redrawn 7th District.

In 2010, Lungren faced the fight of his political life from physician Ami Bera. Bera did a monster job fundraising, actually outraising Lungren 3-to-2—not something many challengers can say they did. Bera ran a hell of a campaign, too, but last cycle's red tide wound up saving Lungren, who won with just 50.1 percent of the vote.

Rapidly shifting demographics were part of the reason Lungren was back on his heels even while most Republicans were romping: The old 3rd District had gone for George W. Bush over John Kerry by a 58-41 margin, but Barack Obama narrowly won the seat in 2008 with 49 percent of the vote. Now yet another change outside of Lungren's control has made things even worse for him. Under the revised district lines, this seat—in the Elk Grove region just east of Sacramento—became significantly bluer, with Barack Obama now winning it 51-46. Combined with those continuing demographic trends, Lungren has every reason to be worried about his political future.

Goal Thermometer

The even better news is that Bera is back for a second run at the incumbent, and once again, he's been running a strong race. While Bera remarkably still leads in fundraising, Lungren has picked up the pace and won't be caught napping this time. Bera's going to need some serious help to oust Lungren, and it's time we stepped up.

I should add, of course, that Bera is a proud supporter of marriage equality. He was recently endorsed by the National Stonewall Democrats, telling them in their survey:

I believe that same sex partners should be granted the same rights and privileges as any other couple, including: the right to marry, the ability to adopt, property rights, employment related benefits, tax treatment, the right to assist loved ones in cases of emergency, and survivor benefits.
And you'll see from his answers to our Orange to Blue questionnaire below the fold that he stands with our community on other issues of key importance to us. Bera is well-positioned to take advantage of his situation: California's demographic changes, the new redistricting lines, and Lungren's failings as a candidate—and as a human being. Let's help him do so.

Please contribute $3 to Ami Bera on Orange to Blue.

1. Do you support:

     a) A public health insurance option, offered by the federal government and tied to Medicare reimbursement rates plus 5% (H.R. 3200, Subtitle B, including § 223(b)(1)(A), as introduced in the House, 111th Congress)?

     b) The Medicare You Can Buy Into Act (H.R. 4789, 111th Congress), which would allow all citizens or permanent residents to buy into Medicare?

I have spent my professional life caring for people and educating the next generation of doctors. Unfortunately, the system consistently puts bureaucracies before the health of our patients. I have witnessed medical costs skyrocket without seeing patient care improve. And I have treated patients who would be healthier if they could have afforded basic preventive care. This is why I support providing Medicare for all versus an industry that puts profits before patients.

We must reduce waste and fraud, empower the doctor-patient relationship, and improve the health of the American people.

Politicians in Washington, D.C. are too focused on scoring points for their political party and are ignoring the pressing needs of their constituents. Moving forward, we must work together so that the all Americans have access to the best health care in the world.

2. Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:

     a) Contain a meaningful path to citizenship — one that does not include overly-punitive fines or a touchback requirement — for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States;

     b) Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and

     c) Ensure that any non-agricultural temporary worker programs maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act?

I support the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform. Children who were brought to our country at a young age who follow the law, join the armed forces, and pursue the American Dream should not be deported. I agree with President Obama's Executive Order.

3. Do you oppose each of the following changes to Social Security and Medicare:

     a) Raising the retirement age;

     b) Eliminating or reducing the cost of living adjustment;

     c) Directly reducing benefits;

     d) Means-testing recipients; and

     e) Privatization, so-called "personal accounts," and vouchers?

I oppose each of these changes. We must do more to protect these programs – which is why I’ve signed a pledge to protect Social Security, and fight all efforts to privatize this program and gamble with our future in the stock market. Protecting Social Security also means keeping government’s hands off of the Social Security Trust Fund – instead of borrowing against our children, we can reduce our deficit by closing tax loopholes for corporations and the rich. Our seniors must be able to enter their golden years with the assurance that they will be able to rely Social Security.

4. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409/S. 560, 111th Congress), including the provision known as "card check"?

Jobs and the economy are the most important issue in this election. In these tough economic times, it is essential that the rights of workers are protected, not trampled on. That is why I support the Employee Free Choice Act. For this country to remain exceptional we are going to need to rely on the hard work and dedication of our elite work force.

5. Do you pledge to vote against any efforts to extend the temporary tax cuts for income over $250,000 (Public Law 111-312)?

We need to end the failed policies from the Bush era. In Congress, I will fight to lower our National debt and have corporations and the super-rich pay their fair share.

6. If elected to the House, do you pledge not to join the Blue Dog Coalition?

Yes.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Has O2B Evaluated the MI-3 Race? (0+ / 0-)

    Justin Amash is as loathesome as Lungren to be sure, and we have a primary between a pro-equality, pro-choice progressive and someone of a more... questionable pedigree.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:08:08 PM PDT

  •  Personally? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think that there's any reason anyone needs to say why a democrat should elected...especially in California.  I mean, they're in a real mess.  They're so under water it's pathetic and there's going to be a whole lot of "austerity" things going on there even with Jerry Brown as Guv, and everyone needs to make sure that doesn't unusually affect those that actually need the help that the California state goernment should provide.

    I just heard on the news that Stockton, California, is going to go into bankruptcy because of not being able to pay its bills.  If this comes out positively for that city, then we're going to see more and more cities in California going that rout, you just HAVE to know that.  Down in the San Juaquin Valley we have Ceres, Modesto, Turlock and further down that have equal problems with Stockton, some worse than being presented and working to solve them in the best way they can.  

    It's a real problem in California.  I hate it for the state.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:08:54 PM PDT

  •  Very good choice. The fact that Dr. Bera came so (0+ / 0-)

    close in 2010 was a true bright spot for us. I think 2012 could very well be his year!

    Progressive Dixiecrat. 19, LSU student, NC resident

    by MilesC on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:11:31 PM PDT

  •  The interesting thing about Lungren (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IllinoyedR

    is that despite Bera outraising him, despite the year 2006 and 2008, despite Obama surging in his district, despite Bera getting a lot of attention, despite Lungren's perceived extremist record, despite all the press this race got, and despite so many other negatives...

    Lungren's still there. And beating his opponent by 12% in the top two primary. What does that say about his electoral chances?

    •  I'll tell you in November (4+ / 0-)

      But while you're trying to assemble a rather pessimistic catalog that looks all the more worrisome for its length, there's less to it than meets the eye.

      "despite Bera outraising him," "despite Bera getting a lot of attention," and "despite all the press this race got,"
      Those three all go together. Obviously if you want to make the argument that Bera "should have won" despite it being 2010, feel free. For me, though, the fact that the year was what it was is enough for me to still feel quite good about Bera's chances. And not just me: Every major prognosticator has this as a Tossup.
      "despite the year 2006 and 2008," and "despite Obama surging in his district,"
      Lungren's opponent Bill Durston was badly underfunded in both of those years. The D-Trip helped out neither time, and it's exceedingly rare to win a race against an incumbent without DCCC spending. Despite that, Lungren scored less than 50% in 2008. And 2006 was, well, six years ago. The district has changed a lot, and fast.
      "despite Lungren's perceived extremist record," and "despite so many other negatives..."
      These are pretty generic, so I don't have much to say about them.
      And beating his opponent by 12% in the top two primary.
      Did you miss this?

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:30:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lungren is no extremist (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sacman701, Christopher Walker

        he's a well-known, mainstream candidate -- who has been in a district gerrymandered to elect a Republican.  There isn't a big mystery why he survived.

        Lungren only winning by 12 in the primary would suggest a tossup, as would the fact Brown won the district by 5 while Boxer lost it by 7.

        It is only a tossup though because Lungren is way above average for a Republican candidate.  Put an average non-incumbent Republican here, or a stiff like McClintock, and a solid Dem would be favored.  If we win this time, the seat should be safe for the decade.  (The Dem Treasurer won by 10 points, and the Dem Controller won by 20 points.)

        On the other hand, if Bera runs a poor campaign, Harris lost here by 14 points, so that is possible too.

        When we talk about "swing voters" this district may have more than any other in the state.

        Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

        by tommypaine on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:45:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The last district was quite gerrymandered (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Nir, tommypaine, sacman701

      It went into gold country, which is very Republican and the district was drawn for a Republican. A Democrat wasn't going to win in that district, as it's too ancestrally Republican. The new one pulls in more Democratic suburbs in Sacramento County. We did pick up an Assembly district within the county in 2010 of all years, so I rate Bera's chances rather high.

      Republican performance in a very low turnout primary doesn't equal anything for November. Democrats did not show up at all in the primary.

      26, Male, CA-24 (new CA-26), DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

      by DrPhillips on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:39:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And I want to quickly dispel the rumor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IllinoyedR

    that Lungren somehow managed to barely hold on in 2010...

    He won by 7%, and probably would have won by more since there was a third party "Libertarian" candidate in the race.

    •  but winning by 7% (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      R30A, Cali Scribe, sacman701, gabjoh

      in 2010 is equivalent to a Pure Tossup in a neutral year.
      And the district got slightly better for us.

      19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. -.5.38, -3.23 Check out my blog at politicohen.com

      by jncca on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:25:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Was much better before rove (0+ / 0-)

      Everything was looking much better before Karl Rove's pac dropped 700,000 on tv ads in the district distorting the race.

      •  Actually, no, that's wrong (0+ / 0-)

        PPP's mid-September poll found Lungren beating Bera by 8. Unless Rove invested before that (and I highly doubt Bera was beating an incumbent before September), it looks like the race was constant.

        •  Apparently Bera's internal polling (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sintino, Christopher Walker

          Told a different story:

          “We ran a race that looked like we were going to win. We ran a great campaign, and Karl Rove bailed out Lungren,” Bera told the Citizen. “That’s unfortunate, because Karl Rove probably doesn’t care about the people who live here.”

          Political Director, Daily Kos

          by David Nir on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:44:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This american life? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            geoneb
          •  To bad Bera said that, pure nonsense (0+ / 0-)

            No way was he winning in 2010.  That's just a delusional excuse, and speaks badly for him and his chances.

            Any challenger should expect to be outspent by the incumbent for pete's sake.

            Just lowered our prospects here a couple notches.

            Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

            by tommypaine on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:49:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, tommy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              redrelic17

              Love how you're calling Bera a liar so readily. It's also possible that his polling showed him up or at least tied before the final wave of spending, and that this PPP survey was wrong.

              But of course you, who haven't seen Bera's internals from 2010, automatically know that he must have been "delusional."

              Political Director, Daily Kos

              by David Nir on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:03:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, so Bera went from being down 8 to being down (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tommypaine

            14 to being down 7 in a span of a few weeks? That seems unlikely.

            •  I don't understand your response at all (eom) (0+ / 0-)

              Political Director, Daily Kos

              by David Nir on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:01:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, I see (0+ / 0-)

                I think you missed my point. I'm saying that based on his remarks, Bera's internal polling at the time probably looked different from that PPP poll. That is to say, if Bera's right, then PPP was wrong. It happens!

                Political Director, Daily Kos

                by David Nir on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:05:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Read the article (0+ / 0-)

                  Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                  by tommypaine on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:15:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Didn't Bera say he polled around the beginning (0+ / 0-)

                  of October and saw himself losing by 8? PPP was two weeks earlier.

                  •  The article implies but doesn't clearly say.. (0+ / 0-)
                    But in the third week of October, just weeks before the election, the conservative Super PAC American Crossroads decided to spend $682,000 on a media buy in the Sacramento market. All of their ads targeted Bera.

                    Before the ads, Bera trailed by eight percent. In a short period of time, the deficit grew to 14 percent, which he said was a lot to make up in less than two weeks.

                    Article says nothing about PPP.  It strongly implies Bera's internal polling was -8 circa October 20, then went to -14, then he ended up -8 on election day.  Obviously that isn't likely, especially in a seat the Dem lost -7 in 2008.

                    No doubt Rove's money didn't help Bera, but the idea that he had more than a very tiny chance to win in this district when he was down by 8 point three weeks before the election is extremely unrealistic.

                    Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                    by tommypaine on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:31:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm not following you (0+ / 0-)

                      If Bera was at -8, then went to -14 (thanks to Rove—we'll just stipulate for a moment), then wound up at -7, that means he climbed 7 points in the final two weeks, right?

                      So if that first move from -8 to -14 hadn't happened, and had Bera still experienced that +7 in the final two weeks that, according to his internal polling, did in fact happen... then he would have wound up at -1. That's awfully close.

                      Obviously if you think Bera's internal polling was just wrong, that's a different story.

                      Political Director, Daily Kos

                      by David Nir on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:40:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm saying both the polling wasn't dead on (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        GradyDem

                        and that -8 to -14 could be noise, and that swings like that seldom happen, and that thinking without Rove at all that he could climb from -8 three weeks from the election to win in a district where Durston lost by -7.

                        Put another way, he was down by 8 points three weeks before the election, in his own more-likely-than-not-favorable-to-him internal polling.  He was 95% likely to lose.  Blaming it on Rove is silly.

                        And then I'm also saying, did he not know this could happen?  Did he think he was entitled to spend more money than Lungren?

                        The comments were unattractive sour grapes, blame the boogieman, and unrealistic.  At every point in this race in 2010 he was 95%+ likely to lose.  Not a good idea to pretend otherwise.

                        Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                        by tommypaine on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:54:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Maybe better way to put it (0+ / 0-)

                          Not so much on DKE, but on Kos there is a lot of boogieman talk, as if Karl Rove can turn any race by spending money.

                          The boogieman did not cause Bera to lose in 2010.  he lost because he ran in a Republican district in a republican year against a stronger than average Republican candidate.  He lost because he had almost no chance of winning.

                          The type of comment I want to see is: "We ran the best race we could in a very tough district, but came up short.  We were encouraged by how well we did, and look forward to running in a district created by the citizen's redistricting commission.  Blah blah..."

                          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                          by tommypaine on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:04:56 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You do understand (0+ / 0-)

                            Why someone would make comments like that for public consumption, right? That running against Rove is very helpful with donors?

                            Political Director, Daily Kos

                            by David Nir on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:22:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No I don't (0+ / 0-)

                            If a Republican said the equivalent about the DCCC everybody would laugh at the tool-ish comment.  Making yourself look silly is not a good tactic.

                            The same mentioning of Rove's money dump could have been done without the whiney boogiemanism.  

                            Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                            by tommypaine on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:21:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  I've met (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cooper888, Sintino

    him.  Nice guy.  Good shot to win.  Good choice for an endorsement.

    19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. -.5.38, -3.23 Check out my blog at politicohen.com

    by jncca on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:24:18 PM PDT

  •  Excellent Choice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    Bera is an excellent progressive and would have one in 2010 but for Mr. Rove hitting him with a blitz of negative ads in the last ten days before the election.  

    Let's help Bera and win this seat.

  •  Hey, this is MY district! (0+ / 0-)

    And I'll tell you one thing:  Ami Bera looks a WHOLE LOT more like Average Californian than does Dan Lundgren.  On that superficial factor alone, Bera should be a shoe-in!

    "Equal rights for gays." Yeah, it's just that simple.

    by planmeister on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:23:17 PM PDT

    •  yup (0+ / 0-)

      because California is plurality South Asian??? What are you even talking about?

      19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. -.5.38, -3.23 Check out my blog at politicohen.com

      by jncca on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:29:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jncca, slacks, gabjoh

        If you averaged out the state's whole population (roughly 40% anglo, 40% Hispanic, 10% Asian, 6% black, 4% other) the result might look sort of like Bera. But it might also look sort of like Lungren, who is pretty dark for a white guy.

        SSP poster. 42, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:41:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Can't wait to get Lungren out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    I hate having him as my Representative. Ami Bera is pretty awesome, IMHO.

  •  Thank you DK (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prison4Bushco

    I diaried about an aspect of this race just a few days ago. Bera's got a chance and deserves DK's support. I'm sending him $$$ now and will send more after I win the lottery.

    Lungren was State attorney general a while back and retains some support for not stepping in the merde very deep, but he's not viewed as a fighter for his district.

  •  There's also a voter registration fraud (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, redrelic17

    accusation brewing, against a campaign consultant cozy with Lungren, also diaried on DK a few weeks ago.

  •  A solid pick (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, MichaelNY

    and congratz on exceeding 3000 donors

    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

    by KingofSpades on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 04:20:02 PM PDT

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