Monday, June 9, 2014

Can Carr's "Elan Vital" Win CD-33?

élan vital:
 the vital force or impulse of life; especially :  a creative principle held by [French philosopher ]Bergson to be immanent in all organisms
The June 3rd primary to replace forty-year incumbent Henry Waxman ended, somewhat surprisingly, with a Republican taking in the most votes, followed by an incumbent Democratic state senator whose current district represents about 80% of the Congressional seat.

Gang Prosecutor Elan Carr

With strong organization and name recognition by way of targeted advertisements, plus a widespread fan base throughout the United States, Republican Iraqi War Veteran and gang prosecutor Carr got the key in the ignition and raced out to win the top vote for the June 3rd primary in the 33rd Congressional District.

But will his campaign fall of a cliff in the face of the 44-28 Democratic registration advantage? Let us not forget that the independent vote in the Santa Monica Bay drifts left, and helped Governor Jerry Brown and President Barack Obama carry solid wins in prior elections.

State Senator Ted Lieu

Election year 2014, however, is different for a few reasons. The turnout will be predictably lower, with no Presidential candidates at the top of the ticket. Because liberal Republican Neel Kashkari won the GOP gubernatorial nomination, the top Republican statewide contender won't jar with Carr's socially liberal views, nor will necessarily alienate him or force him on the defense against this and other statewide candidates. Despite concerns that a lukewarm moderate would water down Republican turn-out, Republicans in general vote more than Democrats generally, in any case.

Comments on Patch and local activists have also revealed disgust or frustration with Senator Lieu, whom they have indicted for nanny-state interventionism as  well as political opportunism. From legislation on abandoned ships and puppy mills, to his defense of bears (yet voting to "Let them eat shark-fin soup). Lieu has angered liberal and conservative activists alike. Besides, an endorsement from retiring (actually, retreating) Henry Waxman should motivate anyone harmed or frustrated by the Affordable Care Act to vote for "the other guy".

Centrist Democrat Matt Miller, former LA City Controller Wendy Greuel, and even liberal Independent Marianne Williamson have refused to endorse Lieu, too. That's not good for Lieu.

Still, that outstanding registration slant is discouraging. How will Carr capitalize on voter angst (or anger) against Washington, as well as tip key Democratic votes into his column? An observant Jew with connections on the Westside, Carr could swing some of Greuel's votes toward himself, in large part since Lieu's base is primarily the South Bay, which is more conservative, and thus more likely to support the Republican.

Bill Bauer commented in the  Santa Monica Daily Press:
Ted Lieu isnt the politician I want representing me on federal matters
Among his concerns: Lieu's opposition to the bill to end de-finning sharks; Lieu's focus on only Santa Monica airport to end pollution, rather than investigating other airports in his district. There was also Lieu's ideological attacks against Home Depot for pulling commercials from TV Show "All American Muslim."

Bauer forgot to mention Lieu's attempt to triple the state car tax, as well as his over-long silence regarding a convicted felon and two indicted colleagues in the state senate. Lieu did vote against a referral to delay action on felon Roderick Wright, but he issued no statement nor pressed for integrity on the matter.

Yet again, voters are partisan, and not likely to vote for "the other guy" just because. If Carr can maintain an upbeat message focused on jobs and education, while increasing his name ID and offering substantial policies which will not offend liberals while energizing conservatives, Carr's élan vital will translate into an electoral victory on November 4th.

33rd Congressional District


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  2. I seriously hope we are looking at the end of Ted Lieu's political career. These do nothing politicians have sopped the bottom of the bowl long enough. Art, you really hit the nail on the head on this issue. Lieu's pathetic stand on wanting to triple the state car tax should be an eye opener for everyone living in this State. We have been gouged, prodded, and misrepresented for way too long. It's time to take this bull by the horns and find the right person to lead us out of the donkey stall and into the light. I hope everyone will put their support behind Elan ma for the job!!

  3. I'm for Elan Carr all the way! Didn't like Lieu as a Senator and don't want him for Congress!

    1. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Every politician has to be realistic as well as optimistic. Carr has a lot of traffic to drive through if he wants to win the 33rd Congressional district.