Friday, October 17, 2014

GOP Infighting in the 25th: Strickland's Shameful Mailer

At first, I was thrilled to learn that two Republicans made it into the Top Two for the 25th Congressional District, the northern LA County seat which Howard "Buck" McKeon has represented for twenty-two years.

When McKeon had announced his retirement, voter registration recorded the district with a 2% GOP advantage, a slim margin which any Democrat could compensate for with the right amount of money.

Notwithstanding concerns of another GOP seat falling into Democratic hands, the Miller Effect prevailed, and two Republicans made it into the Top Two.

Because the two candidates share the same values on nearly every issue, campaign tactics have gone from personal to downright nasty in the political attacks.

One of the candidates, former state senator Tony Strickland, released a mailer alleging that Senator Steven Knight is a partisan extremist and racist.

One of three to vote against banning the sale of the Confederate State flag in California, Knight cited the disturbing implications of the law, which infringes on First Amendment rights.

Let's be honest: the anti-Confederate law was a poison bill which put Republicans in a tough spot, just like the federal Toomey-Manchin compromise background check bill hurt Democrats this year.

Republicans in Sacramento are not forming a principled, purposeful, and this political opposition. How did they want to vote on this issue? All of them could have abstained, stating that the California legislature should have spent more time drafting legislation to punish felonious lawmakers. They could have submitted a bill which would outlaw the Communist flag, or the Nazi flag, too.

How would the Democratic Party have reacted to such legislation? We will never know, since no Republican lawmaker was creative enough to draft any bill.

So, of the three legislators who voted against banning a flag, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly and State Senator Steve Knight stood up for the First Amendment, and now they are getting shamed for it in a slam mailer . . . from another Republican, Knight's challenger for the 25th Congressional district, former state senator and Congressional candidate Tony Strickland.

Now I see the dark side of two Republicans for the same seat. From what I have researched, Gary Miller did not engage in such hollow attacks when he won reelection in the 31st Congressional District in 2012.

I am deeply troubled by Strickland's dirty politics.

I called the Strickland campaign office, and gave the spokesman more than a piece of my mind. After I told him how I found this mailer offensive and reprehensible, the spokesman tried to counter with the allegations that former senator Strickland found Knight's vote troubling and racist.

Give me a break!

We need as many Republican voices in Washington: pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-limited government. 

This is not the way that is should be, with empty attacks on unsubstantiated claims of racism.

I have lost all respect for Tony Strickland's campaign at this point.  I hope the best for Senator Knight, that he will have an effective and principled response mailer to this outrageous slight. The First Amendment deserves respect and defense as much as all the other rights in the US Constitution. I want Knight to win not just because we need principled conservatives in Washington, regardless of Donnelly's endorsement, but we need to send a message to all politicians that such hollow campaign attacks will not sway voters.

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