Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Sherman/Berman election tiff continues post-Berman

The Democrat on Democrat Congressional race that pitted longtime member Howard Berman against incumbent Brad Sherman was expensive. And nasty. And the fallout continues on Capitol Hill.

Blame it all on Citizens United. An independent expenditure by a political action committee bought mailers designed to encourage Republicans to vote for Sherman. The mailer angered fellow Democrats.

And it cost Sherman the top Democratic job on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Now, it's cost him a plumb role on a subcommittee.

Sherman reportedly had hoped to step into the top Democratic spot on the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs. But a member with less seniority, Ted Deutch of Florida, jumped into the race, collecting the votes to make it happen. According to Politico.

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Redistricting shakes up California's Congressional races; Bono Mack trailing

U.S. Capitol Building

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The flag waves in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The story of this year’s California Congressional races is — surprise! — money: money from the parties, money from PACs (including one started by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg), money from siblings, and money from the candidates themselves.

36th Congressional District — Coachella Valley:

In an apparent upset, Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack is losing to Democrat Raul Ruiz. Bono Mack was a prime target for Democrats. Ruiz is an emergency room doctor. Both parties poured in the money, flooding both the Palm Springs and LA TV market with political ads.  Bono Mack's husband Connie Mack gave up his House seat to run for the US Senate in Florida. He lost.

RUIZ: 51.4%; BONO MACK 48.6%

35th Congressional District — Chino

N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg dropped $2.5 million of PAC money into Democratic State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod’s campaign to defeat veteran Democratic Congressman Joe Baca. The Congressional baseball team loses its star pitcher. It was a bad night for the Baca family as well; the Congressman's son Joe, Jr. lost his race for the state assembly. 

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CA Congressional races to watch Tuesday night

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The bitter intra-party contest between Democrats Howard Berman, left, and Brad Sherman is just one of many California Congressional races to watch on election night.

California's citizen-drawn redistricing plan has done its job, shaking up the political establishment in the state's 53 Congressional districts. The state's top-two rule has created half-a-dozen races with candidates from the same party facing off Tuesday.

RACES TO WATCH IN OUR AREA:

36th Congressional District — Coachella Valley:

Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack faces emergency room physician, Democrat Raul Ruiz. The Democrats' Congressional PAC has targeted this race. The GOP is pouring money in as well. As of mid-October, the two sides had raised more than $2.5 million, outside of PAC money. The redrawn district has a slight majority of Republicans, but a lot of independent voters as well, and a large Latino population. The race has turned nasty, with accusations of tax evasion on one side and radical politics on the other. The Cook Political Report says the race is too close to call.

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GOP eating its own in Inland Empire Congressional battle (UPDATE)

DUTTON MILLER

Steven Cuevas / KPCC

Republican Congressional candidate Bob Dutton has felt the sting of the state GOP endorsing his same-party opponent, incumbent Gary Miler.

California's so-called "jungle" primary created several interesting pairings for the November ballot. Democrats are facing off against Democrats in half-a-dozen Congressional races. On the GOP side, it's Republican vs. Republican in two House races. 

Some of these contests are under the radar, but a few have erupted into nasty fights, splitting the parties themselves.

Republicans, who pride themselves on avoiding intra-party explosions, have waded into a big one in the Inland Empire.

The party endorsed incumbent Congressman Gary Miller over his challenger, State Senator Bob Dutton. And adding salt to the wound, it used some of the money raised by Dutton to run ads slamming him.

Dutton has been a party loyalist. He served on the GOP's board of directors and raised more than $100,000 for party causes and candidates. Oh, and he was the top Republican in the State Senate the past two years as well.

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Money, money, money in California Congressional races

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) isn't facing serious competition in November, so she's using her fundraising prowess to help other Democrats.

It’s perhaps no surprise that the biggest campaign fundraiser in California is Dianne Feinstein, who’s spent more than two decades in the U.S. Senate. According to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission, Feinstein has raised more than $8.2 million this season.

Sen. Feinstein's GOP challenger, Elizabeth Emken, has not yet filed her October quarterly fundraising report. But the Center for Responsive Politics says Emken, who’s run a persistent online campaign, has raised less money than some House members: $189,000.

Feinstein has more than $3 million in cash on hand. That's enough to help out fellow Democrats, including a $200,000 check to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Feinstein is still recovering from having her campaign fund cleaned out last year by Kinde Durkee, described as "the Bernie Madoff of campaign treasurers." Feinstein doesn't have exact figures for the missing cash, though her FEC statement lists more than $100,000 this quarter.

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