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IMAG0504Greg Sargent first observed six Republicans, including CA-26 (Ventura County) candidate Tony Strickland, running from the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan. Sure enough, here's Strickland claiming that he would have voted no on the Ryan budget because - and this is a true profile in courage, or something - the Ryan plan would give vouchers in lieu of Medicare for those 55 and younger, while Strickland's cutoff is age 50. In other words, while Ryan's plan is a huge, neon-orange, screaming

if you're under 55, FUCK OFF, YOU DON'T MATTER
Strickland's version is
if you're under 50, FUCK OFF, YOU DON'T MATTER
Oh. That's reassuring.

On Friday, August 17, Strickland held a press event on the grounds of a local seniors' center that followed the Republicans' Ryan budget pushback to the letter: "Inoculate by pledging to save and protect Medicare; use credible third party validators (mom or seniors)..."

IMAG0506Here's Strickland, inoculating and validating at a senior center with wheelchair-bound seniors on the sidelines, dramatically signing a pledge to protect Medicare and Social Security for anyone 50 and older as he repeats the lie, which is to say the pants on fire lie, that Obamacare steals $500 billion $700 billion from Medicare. At Crooks & Liars, here's the entire video of Strickland's lies, including the oft-repeated "death panels" lie. Of course, to Strickland and his advisors “protecting” Medicare and Social Security means turning Medicare into a voucher program and privatizing Social Security, all in order to continue to favor the very wealthy and the corporate special interests over the middle class and the seniors forming the chorus line of his photo opportunity.

How much does Strickland want to run from the Romney-Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it? To get to the truth, a Ventura County voter could check his website... oops, issues "coming soon." IMAG0505Or a reporter could ask how much of the Ryan plan he's read... oops, turns out he's only read enough to articulate one small difference between him and Ryan, never mind the rest of the Path to Poverty. But Strickland can't run from radical Ryan. Ryan co-founded the Young Guns program, and immediately named Strickland as one of his Young Guns. Strickland chairs the Romney-Ryan election California team. No wonder he's wrong for California, and too extreme for Ventura County.

A Ventura County voter who wants to really preserve Medicare and Social Security, without Romney-Ryan-Strickland doubletalk, could vote for progressive champion Julia Brownley. And a voter anywhere who wants to give the gavel back to Nancy Pelosi - CA-26 is a nationally prominent toss-up race - could donate to Brownley.

Originally posted to RLMiller on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by California politics and The Federation.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Too extreme for Ventura is right (10+ / 0-)

    This also reminds you that Strickland and his wife Audra have been playing musical chairs in the California Legislature for the past few years to get around term limits.

    Here's the votesmart.org page for his career in the California State Senate. Among other things, he voted "No" on regulating home loans, on Mark Leno's gay history bill, on allowing family child care providers to organize, and on prohibition children from using tanning beds. There would be more but he didn't vote on an unusually high number of bills in May and June.  Also, an A rating from the NRA and a zero rating from Planned Parenthood.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 12:13:55 PM PDT

  •  Welcome to "Tossup Territory". (7+ / 0-)

    Our races (CA-26 for you, NV-03 for me) will determine who the House Speaker will be next year. And in my case, my district may very well determine the fate of the Senate & White House as well.

    What continues to boggle my mind is why the GOP has put forward such extreme right wing candidates in so many swing seats. They got lucky in 2010 with the Koch propaganda dominating the national media coverage. But this time, we have a Presidential year... And a sitting President who's running a phenomenal reelection campaign that's set to defy the odds and blow the DC pundits away in its strength and pursuit of success. That's why I don't fear Paul Ryan (well, at least his affect on both the White House race and on Congressional campaigns) one bit. If anything, he may ultimately be quite useful in tipping that gavel back into Nancy Pelosi's grasp.

  •  Brownley has done well so far adapting. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, atdnext, MichaelNY, RLMiller

    She needs to pin him down on this and say that medicare, in no less quality than what is served now, should be guaranteed to all Americans, not just those over 50,55, whatever.

    Hail to the king, baby.

    by KingofSpades on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:30:44 PM PDT

  •  I agree with your point of view (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, RLMiller, Zack from the SFV

    But what's your rating of the state of this race? Is it Tossup/Tilt D? Lean D, perhaps? Because it's one thing to say that we don't respect policies that would eliminate Medicare as guaranteed government medical coverage for the elderly, and quite another to say that therefore, the voters in a particular district will understand that the Republican candidate is in fact calling for that and agree that that is unacceptable.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:03:47 PM PDT

    •  Last week, I would have said... (4+ / 0-)

      Tossup, and D if I had to tilt it. But now that Paul Ryan and his "tea party" agenda are getting so much more attention, I'm waiting until after the conventions to see if this can finally be put in the Leans D column. There are some retirees in Ventura County. But perhaps more importantly, there are both a number of Latinos (mainly in Oxnard) and a number of environmentally conscious (mostly in Ventura and Thousand Oaks) voters in the district who won't like seeing what else is in Paul Ryan's agenda.

    •  what atdnext said... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, atdnext, Zack from the SFV

      it's usually rated as a genuine tossup - Dems have about a 4 point registration advantage, but Repubs are better at getting people to the polls, and they've gotten used to winning.

      Brownley has done 1 internal poll showing her up 48-44.

      I think we can win the race - I'm seeing a lot of good signs re relative enthusiasm on the ground - but we will be buried by out of district GOP $.

      Panelist, Netroots Nation 2012, "Coal and the Grassroots Fight for Environmental Justice." @RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:32:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I always say here... (3+ / 0-)

        Field matters.

        Even if/when the Kochs flood your district with tons of scuzzy TV, radio, and mail ads, a strong Dem field operation can still overcome it. So what's going on there? Do the CDP & DCCC have a field office there? Or has Brownley's campaign had to call & canvass all on their own?

        •  as an unpaid volunteer, I'm not entirely sure... (5+ / 0-)

          but I believe that DCCC and CDP are both paying some salaries. She now has 3 offices and, it seems to me, about 6-12 staffers.  During the primary she had 1 office that was overflowing at all times.

          Panelist, Netroots Nation 2012, "Coal and the Grassroots Fight for Environmental Justice." @RL_Miller

          by RLMiller on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:52:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's actually quite good. (4+ / 0-)

            That's about the same amount of NSDP/DCCC staffers and thrice as many field offices as the coordinated campaign in my targeted district.

            I'm asking because I've seen firsthand the importance of field. My very first campaign experience was interning on Francine Busby's campaign during the 2006 CA-50 special. And while there were MANY mistakes made there, one thing that they got right (and what kept her competitive all the way to June) was working the field from Carlsbad to Escondido to La Jolla to Mira Mesa like crazy.

            And you can ask the other DKE regulars here about what I was telling them about Harry Reid's chances in NV-Sen 2010. Simply put: The NSDP's unprecedented effort to "expand the electorate" paid off in an unprecedented Royal Flush for Reid that swamped the "Tea Party, Inc." IEs supporting Angle and shocked all the DC pundits predicting Reid's immediate political demise. (Even some good pundits, like Salon's Steve Kornacki, STILL don't fully comprehend how Nevada Democrats' field machine works.)

            One thing that's always concerned me about California Democrats is that the state party there was far too complacent and far too lazy for far too long. I just hope the post Props 11 & 20 (and Top 2) environment has given the CDP enough of a wake up call to force the party to recognize that it needs to expand its presence beyond LA County & the Bay Area in order to succeed in the future. And since Dems had to learn the hard way last decade that glitzy TV ads aren't enough to win elections, they need to build strong field operations across the state in order to win races in areas like Ventura, Stockton, and San Diego that will determine the balance of power in both Sacramento and DC.

    •  lean D (6+ / 0-)

      This race is harder to figure than most in CA because there was a major indie in the primary who was to the left of the Reep but the right of the Dems. Parks got 18.3% of the vote. Politically she is probably closer to Brownley than to Strickland.

      Strickland got 44.1% of the vote, and the four Dems (all of whom are pretty liberal) got 37.6%. In CA, the primary electorate is disproportionately old and white and hence disproportionately GOP. In most cases, the GOP has to win the primary by at least 10% to have a good shot in the general, and Strickland fell short of that. He will have to pick up most of Parks' support to win. I don't think he's well positioned to do that given his voting record in the legislature and that most of Parks' people will actually go to Brownley.

      Also, Romney's pick of Ryan brings the House GOP agenda and the Ryan budget in particular to the front, and this will make it harder for most GOP candidates who don't actively run away from it.

      SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:53:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's at a disadvantage and he knows it (6+ / 0-)

    I met Julia Brownley and she said that his path to a win is to win a good portion of Democrats. Considering he's never really done that before, it's hard to see it happening. 3 out of 4 of his winning races have been won by single digits, he has very little crossover appeal.

    The late State Senator Cathie Wright, who was a top Republican for a long time backed Hannah Beth Jackson over him in the 2008 state Senate race, so some Republicans aren't big fans of him either.

    The main focus is about getting Hispanics in Oxnard out to vote, that's who I called mostly at phone bank on Friday. Lots of people weren't home, so I only got one definitely voter for Brownley, but I got none that said they were supporting Strickland.

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

    by DrPhillips on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:07:45 PM PDT

    •  Couldn't he win by getting Republican (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller, atdnext, Zack from the SFV

      and Decline to Declare votes?

      Kudos for your work!

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:51:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They lean Dem (5+ / 0-)

        In California, NPP (no party preference; what we now call independents) voters typically lean Dem and moderate-liberal. Strickland has always won races by the skin of his teeth, so he doesn't have crossover appeal.

        Also, another dynamic at work here is the Pavley-Zink state senate race that overlaps with Thousand Oaks and Moorpark. Dems will (hopefully) pour money into the area and push down the GOP margins in this area.

        22, D, CA-12 (old CA-08).

        by kurykh on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:01:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RLMiller

          But it sounds like the answer is Yes, if he can get Republican and enough NPP votes, he can win. You just give reasons why that's unlikely.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:21:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, it's more like... (3+ / 0-)

            Republicans hoping at least some Dems vote Obama, maybe vote Feinstein as well, then give up and turn in their ballots... And that other Dems just don't vote at all because "it's useless". There was quite a bit of down ballot drop off in California in 2008. This time, the CDP has to work extra hard to get Dems to vote all the way down the ballot to help Brownley, Fran Pavley, Yes on Prop 30 (Jerry Brown's tax initiative), and No on Prop 32 (the "Tea Party, Inc." anti-union initiative).

            To be fair, Strickland and Zink probably still need to win over a few "Obama NPPs" to finish on top. But as I said yesterday about Wisconsin, Republicans first need low Democratic turnout and high Democratic ballot drop off to get within striking range.

      •  He can't rely solely on them (3+ / 0-)

        The Western part of Ventura County is so Democratic, that he has to cut Brownley's margin there at least somewhat. He could win with just Republicans and Independents, but it would require him winning 70% of independents and a lot independents here lean left, so he has to crossover to those voters even to pull that off.

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

        by DrPhillips on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 07:52:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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