Sunday, June 10, 2007

CA-37 - "Bipartisan" Meltdown in Compton

It is tragic the candidates presumed to be front-runners for U.S. Congress in the 37th congressional district were arguing on stage Thursday night and almost came to blows over race-baiting personal attacks. Thank God the Green Party candidate Daniel Abraham Brezenoff was on stage to state clear, unambiguous grown-up statements on the war, health care, and the failed "war on drugs."

The presumed front-runners are Democrat Laura Richardson, an African-American member of the state assembly and Democrat Jenny Oropeza, a Latina state senator in a very diverse district.

The confrontation started when Laura Richardson said "No one can take our seat from us without fighting every bit of the way for it." On Friday, Richardson's campaign consultant, John Shallman, told the Long Beach Press Telegram that Richardson had used the term "our community" and not "us.

Well, I attended the event and heard Richardson say "No one can take our seat from us "and Richardson did say "our seat" not once, but twice. But you don't have to take my word for it (memo to John Shallman: this is the 21st century Remember George Allen's "Macacca Moment" last year). An audio recording of the closing arguments has been posted on the web at:

I have also posted a two-minute mp3 audio file of the offending remarks at:

Here is a partial transcrpt of Richardson's closing remarks:

Posted on, June 8, 2007

Congressional Candidates Face-Off in Compton

...This is about someone who says that no one can take our seat from us without us fighting every bit of the way for it. [applause] This is our community. This is our seat. And let me tell you something: why is it that with redistricting, Compton was removed out of the 55th [Carson-LB Assembly district]? We need people who want Compton, who will represent Compton and who will do everything humanly possible to make sure all of the people in our community are represented and taken care of."

Let's cut the bull. I am an African-American and when Black pols, pundits, and cranks slowly and deliberately say "our community" taking an hour to say "our" with emphasis, it's code for "race."

That's not all. After Richardson made her closing remarks it got really weird.

Republican L.J. "Bishop" Guillory, also African-American, seated next to Richardson on the dais, jumped into the fray. Guillory asked Richardson to "Stand up! Stand up!" When she stood Guillory put his hand on her shoulder and said "I am the Republican candidate. I don't care what Democrat Party endorsed who... this is our choice... if we lose this seat you will have no more connection..." whereupon the moderator ruled that Guillory had violated the rules.

Here is the Press Telegram's account of what happened next:

Published in the Long Beach Press Telegram, Saturday, June 8, 2007

Who's Going to Washington?
by Gene Maddeus

Oropeza rushed over to confront Guillory and denied his accusation. Compton Councilman Isadore Hall, a Richardson supporter, then inserted himself between the two and told Oropeza, "Not in my city, Senator, not in my city."

Why would a labor-endorsed Democratic assembly member accept the endorsement of a rich Republican wingnut like "Bishop" Guillory? Is this what Gov. Schwarzenegger means by "post-partisanship?"

This is one African-American who is sick and tired of Democratic and Republican politicians acting like a bunch of rowdy high school kids about "race" issues in America.

Redistricting: Democrat-Republican Gerrymander

What about Ms. Richardson's rhetorical question "why is it that with redistricting, Compton was removed out of the 55th?"

I do not know about Assembly District 55, but we do know that the City of Long Beach was chopped into three congressional districts as part of the general Democrat-Republican "bipartisan" gerrymander to guarantee "safe seats" for incumbents.

An article was posted on this subject:

Posted on The District Weekly, June 7, 2007
In The Not Seat
by Dave Wielenga

Long Beach hasn’t had a congressional district to call its own since 2001, when state legislators chopped up the city and parceled it out to districts based in Huntington Beach, Carson and Lakewood. The electoral surgery was self-serving, a bipartisan deal cut so incumbents would be re-elected. They were.

Orange County right wingnut Republican Dana Rohrabacher is serving his 10th term, his third since the 46th district was contorted through a Long Beach coastal corridor that includes about 20 percent of the city—significantly, the parts that pass through Long Beach State, the Los Cerritos Wetlands, Belmont Shore and the Port of Long Beach. Almost everywhere else was lumped in the 37th district of the late Juanita Millender-McDonald, a liberal Democrat from south-central Los Angeles who never faced serious opposition after taking office in a 1996 special election when predecessor Walter Tucker of Compton went to prison for corruption.

Nowadays, with all the loose talk about "Our Seat" everyone conveniently forgets that just a dozen years ago "Our Seat" was held by "Our Crook" Walter Tucker. And thanks to Democrat-Republican "bipartisanship" part of the extremely diverse city of Long Beach, California, with it's uniquely sensitive environment, is represented by rightwing openly racist Republican Dana Rohrabacher who has said that global warming could have been caused by "dinosaur flatulence" and that prisoners can do the work of immigrant farmworkers.

Daniel Brazenoff's Unforgettable Line:

The most unforgettable line the night of the Compton Meltdown was from Green Party Candidate Daniel Abraham Brazenoff:

I'm going to go rock the boat. OK? I'm going to raise the roof too. I'm tireless, I'm fearless and I know the issues. Look. I have the best preparation you could want for going to the United States Congress: I work in a psychiatric hospital.
Amen, brother.


Lisa said...

Alright, Daneil! And thanks for your coverage of this race, Alex and Wes.

Donna Warren said...

Neither "front runner" Laura Richardson or Jenny Oropeza represent "our community". Ms. Richardson voted to expand prisons and Ms. Oropeza won't stand up against America's illegal wars. They are both more of the same we're witnessing in the Democratic/Republican Congress. It is time to send a Green to Congress who embodies the principles of justice, equity and peace. I hope all who love peace and who love justice join the Brezenoff for Congress Campaign and send Daniel to Congress.

I know the lack of justice in America. I sued the CIA and the Department of Justice for their roles in the crack cocaine devastation of South Central and inner city communities. I'm supporting Daniel. Join me as we go door to door in the 37th Congressional District to let the people know they do have a choice.

Wes said...

That is the way to fight this, Donna. As Bill Moyers told the students at Occidental College this spring. "The only answer to organized money is organized people." In the long run, that is what beat Pombo last year. I had a Republican from Palo Alto come to my house to canvas for Jerry McNerney just because he was fed up with politics as practiced by Pombo.

Just imagine if all of the Greens who helped at the South Central Farm were to go door to door in the 37th and tell everyone, "We stood beside the farmers then and we will continue to stand beside you. That is why use urge you to vote for Daniel."

MadProfessah said...

Very cool blog. Thanks for covering this important race.