An election in New York state was practically a mirror image of the upset in our own congressional election in Venice, where tea party favorite Craig Huey slipped into the runoff to challenge L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn over California Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
In New York, a Democrat, Kathy Hochul, unexpectedly won election to Congress in a Republican dominated district, beating back both a challenge from the tea party and a more mainstream Republican. The issue that gave the Democrat the victory was the Republican’s support of the Rep. Paul Ryan budget plan to gut Medicare while making the Bush tax cuts for the rich permanent.
I watched both Hahn and Huey at the here in Venice. I had already , but had to admit that Huey performed better during the forum. He is a poised, attractive candidate. Running as a neophyte he appeals to the “damn the politicians” attitude that fuels much of tea party support.
Hahn and Debra Bowen displayed the best grasp of the complexities of government, but Huey successfully tapped into widespread public frustration. Unfortunately, his prescription was all wrong.
Hahn should sharpen her message to drive it home, emphasizing her and her family's longtime support for working men and women while protecting the health of her constituents near the Port of Los Angeles through her strong backing of greening its transportation infrastructure, the very kind of regulations Huey wants to end.
Next, progressives in Venice and the rest of the 36th Congressional District need to get out the vote July 12. We run the risk of being represented by a , if more than 80 percent of us continue to stay home.