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.
Democratic Representative Howard Berman leaves office next month. He's rumored to be headed back to Sacramento where he once served in the legislature. But Berman won't say what his plans are.
The new year is a time for new beginnings – no more so than for more than a dozen former California members of Congress. Some have new jobs nailed down, but for the rest: let the speculation begin!
Democrat Bob Filner already started his new job. The former Congressman resigned the day he was sworn in as the new mayor of San Diego.
Palm Springs Republican Mary Bono Mack is still on the clock until Congress officially adjourns. Rumors abound that she’ll join her husband Connie Mack, who lost his bid for Senate from Florida, on cable TV. The pair has shown up nearly half a dozen times on CNN in recent weeks.
Some political watchers think longtime Sherman Oaks Democrat Howard Berman is the perfect man to return to state politics, perhaps becoming the Assembly’s new speaker. Berman, who served 30 years in Congress and another decade in Sacramento, was amused.
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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.
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.
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.