Thursday, May 04, 2006

How Could We Ever Replace Duke?

I have the great fortune to live in the California 50th Congressional district. That's the former home of Congressman for hire Randy "Duke" Cunningham. You remember him. He recently went to jail for taking millions of dollars and a hooker or three in bribes while steering contracts to those who paid. He ran for reelection and won easily in spite of the fact that he was under investigation for political corruption. In fact, the race was SO not close that he didn't even show up for the candidates debate. We loved us some Duke. And when I say "we", I mean the North County population at large...

I have to admit, I was surprised to discover how conservative the area of California I moved to is. I mean, Duke wasn't just a Republican Representative, he was a lockstep Bush Republican. He parroted talking points and sold whatever the President wanted. And people loved him. And this fall we will replace him. But who with?

Well, we had a special election a few weeks ago to see who would replace Duke. The way it works out here is that if nobody gets 50%, the top two have a run-off. And this run-off is just to finish Duke's term, which ends in December. They'd have to basically start running again before doing anything so as to be ready for the November election. Thanks, Duke. Well, nobody got 50%. Francine Busby, the Democrat, got 44%. The next closest competitors were Republicans Brian Bilbray (15.4%) and Eric Roach (14.6 %). This decisive victory makes her only a slight underdog in the general election.

What? You heard right. Registration out here is 50% Republican, 32% Democrat, and 18% everything else. So, Busby is running a close second to Bilbray. This is especially infuriating because Bilbray is a former Congressman turned lobbyist. He has ties to Abramoff and Delay. When in Congress he voted against regulating ephedra based supplements such as Metabolife in spite of the evidence directly linking Metabolife to deaths. Oh, did I mention that he received tens of thousands of dollars from Metabolife? So, we are replacing Duke with a younger version of himself. Way to clean house North County.

The RNC is getting involved as well. I get a mailing a week from the RNC telling me about Francine's vices. Allegedly, she laid off teachers while giving bureaucrats pay raises and praised a teacher fired for possessing child pornography. She's a member of the school board and they are Swift Boating her. The ads come across as though she is anti-education and supports pedophiles. Meanwhile, a lobbyist is seen as a good choice for cleaning house. Great.

I will be campaigning for Francine and hoping she can pull it out. I will put a Democrat sign on my lawn in Republican central and debunk all the nonsense they throw my way. Wish me luck.

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