My mother always told me to count to ten before blowing up. Okay, ten. If any of us wonders why Democrats are not in the majority, read this exchange about a "request" for money for Senator Feinstein.
Roz Wyman, a lion of Los Angeles Democratic politics and Dianne Feinstein's "best friend," called me. I knew what she wanted; the caller ID said "Feinstein for Senate." She asked courteously what I was up to in politics. As soon as she possibly could, she said, "I know you met with Dianne, she was very gracious to you, and she has a limited amount of time for such meetings. I know you give money to others, so I thought, "Why not ask you for money for Dianne?" I was taken aback, partially because I was not aware that I had been charged in arrears for a fifteen minute meeting eighteen months ago with an elected official. For the record, I had asked the Senator's support for work I wanted to do inside the Democratic Party of California that, for now obvious reasons, I am now doing outside of the Party. In other words, I asked for a meeting with my Senator so that I could volunteer to get more people in California to care about politics.
When I explained to Roz that the senior Senator has no primary race and no significant opponent for the general election, I was treated to a lecture on the dangers of her Green Party opponent in the primary and of an old, right wing, loser named Dick Mountjoy for the general election. (Mountjoy trumpets his support of Proposition 187, the racist precursor to the current Republican plan to criminalize undocumented existence.) When I said that I put my resources and efforts into tough, meaningful elections such as that of Francine Busby, who is running for the Duke Cunningham seat in San Diego in ten days, she said "goodbye, goodbye," and hung up.
No wonder we lose. Dianne Feinstein has no race. She could probably win by spending close to nothing on her Senate race. Her name recognition is as high as just about any politician in the State. The Republicans couldn't find anyone to run against her, so Mountjoy came swooping in. I tremble at the thought of this guy whom no one knows, who's to the right of 80% or so of the people in this state, including Senator Feinstein, taking her on. Yeah, she'll need tens of millions for this one.
But guess what? We hear from our illustrious leaders at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that California is safe this year, that our money is needed elsewhere to take back the Senate. Truth be told, we hear that every two years. And truth be told, so far California is safe and so far we have not taken back the Senate.
Imagine how Senator Feinstein could show leadership by telling the truth. What if she acknowledged publicly that she has no need for money in the primary and she'll "assess" her needs thereafter? And what if, for once, she spent time in California raising money for Francine Busby and other candidates who DO need money, whose seats are the difference between minority and majority control of one house or the other? Imagine that, a politician who cares more about her Party and her people than herself.
I live near Hollywood, so I guess I still believe that sometimes fairy tales come true. In the meantime, I'm sending all the money and people I can to Francine Busby (www.busbyforcongress.com) where a few bucks matter and a few more phone calls might make a difference. After that, I'll reassess, but unless I get at least a twenty minute meeting, I won't be writing checks to Senator Feinstein.
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