At the February 25th Board of Supervisors meeting, one of my colleagues, when considering the opportunity to serve on one more Board, explained how busy he already was. He cited the number of major issues being addressed on the numerous boards he sat on. He wondered aloud where in the day he could eke out the time required to participate on an additional board. He lamented that his plate was incredibly full and how stretched each Supervisor must be right now.
I do not believe he was complaining. He was just explaining that a County Supervisor’s days are completely full and that adding another commitment is not an easy thing to do. It’s about having the necessary time to be effective. After all, even the best delegator has to know when to say “no.”
I have run for elected office nine times. Running for Congress will be my tenth. I know how to campaign and what is involved. I consider myself an excellent time manager. But, I too am maxed out with the many components of this job of Supervisor.
Fortunately, I have been able to drop my involvement in two Commission Chair assignments (two involvements that I really enjoyed). But, my loyalty to the responsibility of my current job has made allocating major chunks of time to the campaign very difficult. I have made a fraction of the calls that I have wanted to, whether for asking for funds or for endorsements. If I called you, consider yourself fortunate. If I have not, rest in the knowledge that you are on the list.
The filing period closes on Wednesday and I find myself with two choices. The first is to file and continue to eke out time to campaign, including raising money, and hope that those efforts are successful. The second is to fold up the tent and drop out of the race.
I believe I am the best candidate for the 45th Congressional District. The polling shows that I’m in the lead. This is my race to lose. But, without satisfactory resources in the bank, I will find myself being hammered by negative mail on a weekly basis by one of the other candidates in the race. As she doesn’t have much of a record to boast upon, then going negative will have to be the only strategy left. And she hasn’t given any reason to think otherwise by the barbs that have been thrown my way to date.
I’m not afraid of negative mail. I endured plenty of it in my first run for County Supervisor from the independent expenditures made by local public employee unions and their brethren up and down the state. It’s not fun. But, you need to respond, as claims made by this one candidate in one recent e-mail were false and should deserve a response.
I’m also not a quitter. But, my family and I have given the County twenty years of our lives. The sacrifices made have been more than enough. Working long days every day of the week do have a way of wearing you down. I love the work and I love problem solving. I’ve had a ball as your County Treasurer and your Second District Supervisor. There have been plenty of problems to solve. The list of accomplishments I’ve been able to compile gives me great personal satisfaction of a job well done. It’s been about fiscal issues, and I’ve addressed most of them, some before they became ubiquitous.
We both know that our nation is headed in the wrong direction. The inability to balance annual budgets, the assumption that the federal government can run health care, the ever growing national debt, and municipalities choking to death on their pension commitments without leadership from Washington, D.C. are heartrending.
We are admonished by the Apostle Paul to run the race in order to win. Although I am spending numerous hours every day on the campaign, I am not allocating the amount of time needed to be a successful candidate. The job of a County Supervisor is just that time consuming. And my DNA will not allow me to neglect the responsibilities that I was elected to perform.
These past few months have been exhilarating. When someone says, “I wish there were more elected officials like you” or “you’ve got my vote,” it is most gratifying. One of the highest compliments I’ve received is that I’m well liked because I don’t “impose” on anyone. I have not imposed on you and others, and the campaign’s cash balance indicates it. Below is an article on the campaign from Womens ENews, showing the December 31st report totals.
Therefore, I’m letting the dream of serving in the United States Congress go. I will enjoy my final year as Supervisor and then return to the private sector; grateful for the opportunity to have served this wonderful County and its three million residents. I’ve been blessed. It’s about time I finish my tour of duty in public life. It’s about time I stop making my amazing wife endure countless hours of waiting for me to come home from the job. It’s about time I give myself some time.
Thank you for making the experiences over the past two decades so worthwhile and fulfilling. I deeply appreciate your support and encouragement! Thank you and God Bless you!
GOP Female Duo Faces California’s ‘Jungle System’
By Sharon Johnson
WeNews senior correspondent
Monday, March 10, 2014
If they win in a state where campaign costs and competition are both high, Elizabeth Emken and Mimi Walters will crack open the GOP’s all-male caucus in California. The second in a series on women tapped by the GOP’s Project GROW.
(WOMENSENEWS)–Two Californian congressional candidates are carrying some of the GOP’s hope for improving its female ranks by the end of the year.
Both Elizabeth Emken and Mimi Walters have been tapped to receive special training and support through the GOP’s Project GROW (Growing Opportunities for Women).
Electing these women is key to Republican hopes of widening a 17-seat majority in the House of Representatives. The party is eager for Emken to take back the seat of Ami Bera, one of four seats it lost to the Democrats in 2012, and also for Walters to retain the seat of John Campbell, who is retiring after serving for 14 years.
The 53-member California delegation–the largest in the House–wields considerable power. Nancy Pelosi is the minority leader and Kevin McCarthy is the Republican whip.
The Democratic caucus, which has become more diverse since the 1990s, now includes 18 women and 20 men. The Republican caucus has remained a male bastion: all 19 members are men.
California is one of the most difficult states for House candidates because it has a "jungle" primary system. The top two vote getters in the primary compete in the general election regardless of political affiliation. This system poses ideological as well as fundraising barriers for GOP women, who tend to be more moderate and have fewer financial resources than do their male opponents.
"Female candidates across the country generally have a more difficult time raising funds than do male candidates because they don’t have the sources that men do, although this is starting to change as women move up in their fields," said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.
Only 27 percent of the 113 GOP female candidates for the House won their primaries in the 2010 midterm election, and 31 percent of 86 GOP female candidates in the 2012 general election, found the center, which conducts research and outreach on women’s under-representation in politics and government.
"Facing multiple challengers in a primary can quickly drain a female candidate’s finances," said Walsh in a phone interview. "Running in a district where the cost of media is high can be prohibitively expensive for women."
7th Congressional District
Elizabeth Emken is looking for her first victory in the race against Rep. Bera, a freshman Democrat who beat a longtime Republican incumbent in 2012.
Democrats have a 2 percentage point advantage in voter registration in the district, which includes the suburbs of Sacramento, the state capitol.
Fundraising may plague Emken. In addition to Bera, who raised $3,632,282 in 2012, Emken faces two Republican challengers in the primary on June 3: Doug Ose, a former congressman, and Igor Birman, chief of staff of Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif. Ose represented a large portion of the redrawn district from 1999 to 2005.
As of Dec. 31, Bera had raised $1,373,106; Emken, $450,999; Ose $378,452; and Birman $247,573, noted the Center for Responsive Politics. Bera, the only Indian American in the House, was recently named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline Program, which provides financial support to vulnerable Democrats.
Emken has denounced Bera as an "Obama foot soldier." Unlike Bera, a physician who supports the Affordable Care Act, Emken has backed repeal because she says health care inequities can be better addressed through tax reforms. As a lobbyist for autism research, Emken backed provisions of the Affordable Care Act that would benefit the two million Americans who have the condition.
She also believes that the disabled and seniors have a right to opt out of Medicaid and Medicare.
Emken opposes same-sex marriage, which resumed in the state after a 2008 state ban was overturned by the Supreme Court in June 2013.
The mother of a son with autism, Emken lobbied the U.S. Congress for 14 years before she made her first foray into politics in 2010. In 1996, she and a group of parents of children with autism met with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to stress the need for more research funds for the condition, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says affects 1-in-88 children in the country.
As a legislative consultant and board member of Cure Autism Now, a Los Angeles research advocacy group, she helped pass the Advances for Pediatric Autism Research Act, which became part of the Children’s Health Act of 2000. In 2006, Emken also led a campaign by 19 autism organizations to pass the Combating Autism Act, which authorized $1 billion a year, beginning in 2007, for five years for research, screening and treatment.
In 2010, Emken came in last of four Republicans competing for the 9th District seat of Rep. Jerry McNerney, founder of a company that manufacturers wind turbines. In 2012, she made a bid for the U.S. Senate by challenging Democrat Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator, and won only 37 percent of the vote.
Fundraising was a major hurdle because the party provided little support. Unlike Feinstein, who had $865,541 in cash on hand, Emken started from scratch, raising a total of $914,350, reports the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign financing.
Emken’s largest contribution totaled $10,000. Only 1 percent of contributions came from political action committees, compared to 23 percent for Feinstein, who had served on key committees, such as Appropriations, Intelligence and Judiciary.
Feinstein, who had been in the Senate since 1992, spent $12,152,230. Her top contributors were PG & E Corp., a natural gas and electric utility for Northern and Central California ($120,700), and J Street PAC, a nonprofit group that wants to promote leadership to end the Israel/Arab conflict ($82,171).
45th Congressional District
A California state legislator, Mimi Walters, will face two GOP challengers in the June 3 primary for the seat of Campbell, who emphasized decreasing earmarks and reducing government spending.
All three are fiscal conservatives. John Moorlach, an Orange County supervisor, sounded the alarm before Orange County went bankrupt in 1994. A retired marine colonel, Greg Raths’ website says he would be "open to curbing expensive weapons systems, like the F-35 fighter jet, a $137 million plane which is not performing."
The district includes Irvine, Mission Viejo and parts of Anaheim and Orange. Republicans have a 15-percentage-point advantage in voter registration. So far, no Democrat has filed to run.
Walters ran for state treasurer in 2010 and gained name recognition. She also has the endorsements of two influential California Republicans–Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Ed Royce, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
A former stock broker, Walters founded the California Women’s Leadership Association, a statewide organization of influential women who support free market principles. She supports lower taxes and less intrusive government, but has not addressed women’s economic issues, such as equal pay.
So far, Walters has the edge in fundraising. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that by the end of 2013, she had raised $623,760, Raths $132,729 and Moorlach $46,316.
In February, Walters was endorsed by the New Majority California PAC, the largest GOP PAC in the state. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the PAC contributed $1,107,798 to candidates from 2006 to 2012.
Sharon Johnson is a New York-based freelance writer.
PAID FOR BY THE MOORLACH FOR CONGRESS CAMPAIGN