BLUE AMERICA: David Roth v. Mary Bono (CA-45)
[David Roth joins us today in the comments to talk about his candidacy. Please give him a warm FDL welcome. As always, please keep this Blue America thread on topic, and please be polite. Thanks! –CHS]
Mary Bono was appointed to her congressional seat (CA-45) in 1998 after her husband Sonny, Cher's former sidekick, died in a skiing accident. She has never had any serious opposition. Until now. She's an airhead and a rubber stamp with not a lick of sense. She is petrified to be seen in the same vicinity of David Roth, the progressive Democrat challenger her re-election bid, and she absolutely refuses to debate him. It would be like a slow 4 year old debating a brilliant professor.
Mary Bono has had the sense to try to cultivate a moderate image. Unfortunately, a quarter inch of scratching under the image is a stepford supporter of the most outrageous and hideous of the entire Bush/Big Business agenda. A member of the Scientology cult, she is quite used to having authority figures make decisions for her.
I don't think you will find a bigger contrast between candidates anywhere in America than the one between Mary Bono and David Roth. When I spoke to David for the first time a couple weeks ago, the very first thing he said to me was,
"I am convinced that politics is noble. I have believed for my entire life that politics is about empowering people, empowering communities."
David is a take charge kind of can-do person. But he's apprehensive that our very democracy is teetering on the brink — not just because of the excesses of the Bush Regime, but because people seem to have lost faith in our government.
Like many people in the Southern California district, David doesn't hold Bono in high regard.
"I haven't met anyone who is pleased with the direction our nation has been taken nor with the results or the actions of my opponent… She wasn't prepared for this job when she was selected for it and she hasn't been able to rise to the challenge any day since. You have to care and you have to lead and you have to stand up."
If you want to read about a leader who has a record of caring and of standing up and who accomplishes things, let me point you to David's inspiring biography.
Talk to David and everything about him reads "winner."
And he isn't taking any chances. He's put together the largest and most robust field campaign in the history of Riverside County. He's the first Democrat who has ever raised enough money to compete effectively in this district.
"My campaign is about winning," he told me, "and about change and about substance and what I can bring to the people who I will be serving… Her campaign is just a big ad buy. She's raised a great deal of money. She'll never walk a precinct or go to a house party or attend a town hall meeting. And she'll never debate me. She's refused every opportunity to debate, not just from my campaign but from community organizations like AARP and the local media."
When I asked David what the most crucial issues he's hearing about from people in the district he reels 'em right off: gas prices and energy, health care, the war in Iraq and the educational infrastructure (his specialty).
"My message resonates with the majority of the people in the district– a very diverse district; they just haven't voted in the past. My campaign has been geared to change those patterns. We've been organizing– from voter registration right up through energizing thousands of people who have never been part of the political process before."
David's campaign defines a grassroots effort, albeit a relatively well-financed one. But he has had a great deal of help from progressive luminaries, campaigning with Barbara Boxer, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Linda Sanchez, Henry Waxman, etc. Of course, he's too progressive and anti-war to expect any assistance from Rahm Emanuel but real Democrats like Frank and Boxer see a winner in David and they're helping him get his message out.
If you'd like to lend a hand, we've added David to the Blue America ActBlue page and the first 25 contributors for his campaign there today will be mailed an exciting CD called What Is Hip?, a compilation of contemporary remixes of classic songs by Rod Stewart, the Doobie Brothers, America, DEVO, Todd Rundgren, George Benson, Gary Wright, and many others. If you just want to help David's campaign and don't want the CD, please add a penny to your donation so we'll know not to send one.