newly-drawn 45th Assembly District will vote in an eleven-candidate primary to replace Bob Blumenfield. The LA Daily News endorsed two candidates for the runoff to compete in November. The Democrat, Matt Dababneh, has also been endorsed by the California Democratic Party, and newly-cristened Brad "You Wanna Get Into This?!" Sherman. The Republican, Susan Shelley has received many endorsements as well, including well-respected leaders in the Valley GOP like retired SFVGOP President Gary Aminoff (who will be celebrated at the Reagan Library later this year.)
For now, I am not interested in endorsing one candidate, but rather publishing my displeasure with the Los Angeles Daily News Editorial Board.
First, their naive appraisal of the Democratic candidates deserves some vigorous vetting.
The editorial begins with recognizing his connections with Congressman Sherman. The Democratic Party split, and not so neatly, into two warring caucuses over the Berman-Sherman tussle in the new 30th District. Every Democratic incumbent in the California Congressional Delegation, along with both US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (along with some high-profile Republicans) supported Berman. Sherman was perceived as more left-leaning, more liberal, with well-avowed leftist Tom Hayden backing him.
The Daily News then writes:
"Dababneh is a moderate fiscally conservative — a stark contrast to other Democrats in the race who range from uberliberal to even more so."
Democrats in Sacramento are a mixed bag one on one. Some of them are rational, some of them are partisan, and some are a mixture of both. Dababneh is well-connected with the more left-leaning Democrat. He is endorsed by the California Democratic Party, the same institution which stands with teachers unions and other public sector special interests bleeding this state dry.
When considering all the factors, however, Democrats in Sacramento are voting in lock-step with big spending, heavy-lifting lobbyists. Even my "moderate" Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) has voted to permit children of declared genders to go into any bathroom they choose, and he has also jumped along with taking money from South Bay schools. He votes "abstain" when constituents ask him time and again to vote "No!" on bills.
How can anyone in the West Valley believe that Dababneh's fiscal conservatism will shine out, let alone last among his Democratic colleagues, with union-bought, special-interested Assembly Speaker John Perez breathing down his neck?
Now, regarding Susan Shelley, the endorsed Republican candidate, I have great respect for her. She was a top contender for the 30th Congressional district. I wish that she had taken on Berman or Sherman. She would have won, had she won one of the top-two spots. Whether I would vote for her or not is another matter.
My concern lies with the Daily News' characterization of Republicans and conservatism. About Republicans, the editorial declares:
"She’s a socially liberal Republican, a California flavor of GOP."
With all due respect, the California Republican Party is a big tent which recognizes and respects differing views on life, as well as the role of government, and even the authority which public employees enjoy in collective bargaining units. The idea that "socially liberal" is the defining character of California Republicans is calculating in its confusion, and simply untrue.
The Daily News' next nullity is insulting:
"Shelley differs sharply from the two other Republican candidates in the race who embrace socially intolerant versions of conservatism that won’t get many votes in Los Angeles, let alone this solidly Democratic West Valley district."
Armineh Chelebian, one of the other Republicans running for the Assembly seat, wrote the following on her Facebook page:
My stand on pro life is considered an intolerant version of conservatism...I wear that as a badge of honor standing up for the voice and rights of the unborn and their lack of choice and say on being born or being served with a death sentence for committing no crime but one of being conceived ...
I stand up and applaud Ms. Chelebian, and denounce the Daily News Editorial derogatoriness.
Pro-life is not intolerant, but reasonable. Texas lawmakers instituted a statute which would prevent abortions except for medical reasons after five months -- that is a reasonable position. I have spoken with many Democrats, and none of them espouse the inarticulate views of US Senator Barbara Boxer, who claimed that "A baby is a baby when the mother takes her home from the hospital." Doctors do not stand by such uninformed pronouncements. Nurses cannot abide by such logic, and most voters do not, either.
Yes, there are those individuals, Republicans and Democrats, who only recognize exceptions in the case of the life of the mother. Yet Pro-life with exceptions (rape, incest, the life of the mother) defines the views of many Californians, both Republicans and Democrats. For an argument on intolerance and extremism, look no further than the National Democratic Party platform on abortion, which supports abortion at any time on the taxpayers' dime (and delegations which shout "Boo!" to God and reject Jerusalem as the capital of Israel)
Whatever one's opinion, I believe that the Daily News Editorial endorsing the two candidates for the 45th Assembly District was uninformed, biased, and ultimately intolerant.