Kitty Felde |

Angry Democrats

The news conference featured more than a dozen California Democrats mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.  The target of their ire: not their GOP colleagues. They were furious with the man at the top of their own party: President Obama. 

One in three Californians owes more than their house is worth. Members of Congress say they're hearing from those constituents.

Congressman Dennis Cardoza of Modesto accused the administration of not doing "a darned thing" to help homeowners floundering in the housing crisis, saying the Obama administration has "not gotten it right over and over and over."

Jackie Speier of San Mateo demanded, "Do something real, Mr. President!"

Jim Costa of Fresno said he doesn't want "to hear about tweaks" to federal rescue programs. He's looking for the White House plan to solve the housing crisis. 

Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto said she'd met recently with the President's housing chief Edward DeMarco, and found him "tepid and defensive." 

John Garamendi of Walnut Creek complained about numerous meetings with members of the Obama administration, the "highest of high officials to no good end and no good result." He referred to the protests out on the streets, saying, "Listen up, listen to the sound of the street, listen to the sound of the people." He said their "frustration is well placed."

It's the most passionate I've seen Democrats in months. Whether it will hurts or helps President Obama remains to be seen.

There were 14 California Democrats at that news conference, but only two from Southern California: Laura Richardson of Long Beach and Judy Chu of El Monte. Three, if you count Susan Davis of San Diego. The rest were from central and northern California. 

The letter they sent to the President was signed by all but two of the 34 California House Democrats.

Missing? Nancy Pelosi, who doesn't sign such things because she's Minority Leader - and Maxine Waters. There has been no comment from Waters' office about why her signature is missing.

The letter to President Obama demanding help for homeowners had no Republican signatures. They weren't asked to sign, but as Irvine Congressman John Campbell put it when describing the Democratic letter: "I agree with their sentiments, but not their solutions." 

Democrats want all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages to qualify for refinancing. Campbell and fellow Republican Gary Miller of Diamond Bar prefer scrapping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and creating a new agency to handle home mortgages.

Construction has stalled in California. So have home sales. The state's 53 House members - the biggest delegation on Capitol Hill - agree that something must be done. They just can't agree on what "something" is.

Years ago, members of the Texas delegation bragged to me about how well they work together, statewide, even across party lines. It's something the Californians haven't mastered.