Friday, May 08, 2009

CA-36 News: Winograd Challenging Harman; John Amato Might Too

[cross-posted at Calitics]

Via the website Activist Los Angeles comes the announcement that Marcy Winograd will be challenging Jane Harman for the Democratic nomination in the 36th District.

Winograd Challenges Harman – Campaign Kick-Off in Venice
May 7, 2009 by Admin1
Mon., May 11, 4 pm

Join Marcy Winograd and supporters at the Venice Pier as they kick off the Winograd for Congress 2010 campaign to unseat incumbent Jane Harman in the 36th congressional district.

Assembled at the Venice Pier, near the northern end of the district, Winograd for Congress will launch a year-long campaign involving listening tours and grassroots precinct organizing.

“I am challenging Jane Harman because the 36th district deserves a representative who stands for integrity, commitment, and leadership,” says Winograd. “Jane Harman got caught with her hand in the cookie jar – trading favors with a foreign lobby group in order to advance her own political agenda. That’s not leadership; that’s corruption,” says Winograd, adding, “Harman’s apparent willingness to campaign for warrantless wiretapping in order to avoid an FBI investigation reflects a disregard for the Constitution and Americans’ right to privacy.”

Winograd is founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Progressive Democrats of America. In 2006, in less than three months of campaigning, Winograd garnered almost 38% of the vote in the June primary challenge to Harman. Daniel Ellsberg, Gore Vidal, Dolores Huerta, and Susan Sarandon all supported Winograd’s challenge.

Winograd’s 2010 campaign has received early endorsements from 36th district notables, such as Mitch Ward, Mayor Pro Tem of Manhattan Beach; Carl Clark, Vice-President of the Redondo Beach School Board; David Greene, President of the San Pedro Democratic Club; Julian Burger, President of Progressive Democrats – Wilmington/Harbor Area; Mickey Oskey, Pres of Westside Progressives and Nativo Lopez, President of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), which has thousands of members in the harbor area.

Winograd’s platform calls for redirecting expenditures on war and occupation to address human needs for jobs, Medicare for All, education and housing. “We need a massive green jobs program, a new New Deal,” says Winograd, “and incentives for cities to mediate foreclosure disputes in order to allow homeowners to modify their loans. It is a time of crisis but also of opportunity as we look at ways to strengthen local economies and reinvest in our communities.”

Winograd teaches English at Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles.

The 36th congressional district includes: parts of West LA, Venice, Westchester, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Wilmington, Harbor
City and San Pedro.

If she can afford to get a professional campaign in place, then she can probably go far. Even without a really polished campaign, she got 38% with a campaign that was only 3 months long. With a well-coordinated and planned campaign, she could probably do a lot better. The initial signs, though, are that we're not there yet.

Winograd's website is currently not much more than an appeal for donations, and her recent diary on Daily Kos about Harman was to impulsive. Just check out the comments - it's really bad optics to have the candidate's spouse be the one doing most of the push back against the critics. If you aren't saying things that are going to have others defend you when you get criticized, maybe it's best not to be posting diaries like that...

Not to mention, if you're having a kick off for your campaign, it would be a good idea to get the word out - and not leave it to other folks to spread the word who might not be 100% supportive (Such as myself. I supported Winograd in 2006, but at this point I'm not picking a candidate and will call things as I see them.) The campaign kick off event is on Monday afternoon, and as far as I can tell from Google, there have been no postings elsewhere on the web (news articles or blog posts) aside from the one I posted above. That sounds strange.

There was an article yesterday in Politico about the possible challenge in which Winograd got a good quote though:

“I think what’s important is that Jane Harman’s charade of being a protector of the Constitution should be challenged and exposed,” said Winograd, who received 38 percent of the vote to Harman’s 62 percent in 2006.

There's also some sounds coming from local musician and blogger John Amato of Crooks and Liars that he might run as well. He says:

But back home in her Southern California-based district, liberal activists who have never truly embraced Harman are just getting started. Several of them, most notably Marcy Winograd, who heads up Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, and John Amato, who writes for the popular Crooks and Liars blog, are now making moves to challenge Harman in the Democratic primary, and the recent controversy will be at the heart of their message.

The wiretapping story “has been very, very damaging to her because it highlights what people most distrust about politicians in general: personal gain taking precedence over the voters they are supposed to be representing,” Amato told POLITICO in an e-mail.

Politico also checked in with another local to get the lay of the land:

David Dayen, a California activist who writes for the liberal blog Calitics, said he expects progressive organizations to ramp up their efforts against Harman in the weeks ahead.

“I don’t get the sense that in May, the year before this primary is happening, there is going to be a lot of clamoring over Harman, but I do think you’re starting to see progressive groups get involved,” said Dayen.

I agree with Dave's assessment. We have a lot more time this cycle, and thanks to Winograd in 2006, it's been proven that there's a real constituency among 36th CD Democrats for a real Democrat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Her associations with Cynthia McKinney and opinions like this would make it impossible for many liberals to support her.

3:11 PM  
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