Nanette Barragán-- Standing Up Against Corruption And Against Trumpism
It's relatively rare-- though it shouldn't be-- that a Democratic primary so clearly highlights the differences between the two wings of the party. But the race for the seat Janice Hahn is giving up in Los Angeles is just that kind of race. CA-44 starts down in San Pedro and heads north through Wilmington, Keystone, Carson, Rancho Dominguez, North Long Beach, Compton, Willowbrook and Lynwood to end up in Watts and South Gate. Demographically, the district was once an African-American bastion but has changed drastically and is now over 70% Latino and just 14% African-American. The only district in California that gave Obama a greater share of it's votes in 2012 was Barbara Lee's Oakland/Berkley district, 85% of CA-44 voters going for Obama and 88% of CA-13 voters doing so. Needless to say, in a normal situation, the Democrat winning the primary in a district like this would be the next congressmember. However, with California's bizarre and dysfunctional jungle primary system the top two Democrats will compete in November. There are 10 candidates on the ballot a week from next Tuesday (June 7), the two most viable contenders being Nanette Barragán, the progressive in the race, and Isadore Hall, the corrupt conservative in the race. As of the Match 31 FEC filing deadline Hall had $513,446 on hand and Barragán had $415,646 on hand.
Hahn, who needs Hall's help for her own career aspirations has persuaded California's corrupted Democratic Party establishment to back Hall, while Barragán is being supported by Blue America, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, DFA, PDA and Congressional Progressive Caucus chairman Raul Grijalva. You can contribute to her campaign by tapping on the thermometer to the right. As we saw 2 weeks ago, the L.A. Times endorsed Nanette with a stunning rebuke to Hall and his corrupt Democratic backers, pointing out that "only Barragán has demonstrated the integrity, courage and commitment to the environment that this industrial district needs. Voters should choose her on June 7." So why are so many self-described California "liberals" backing Hall? The Times wrote that "The answer is in Hall's record as a state legislator, particularly his years as one of the self-styled “moderate Democrats” in the Assembly who consistently opposed crucial climate change policy and tougher gun laws. For example, Hall did not join his colleagues in calling on the federal government to halt offshore drilling leases, or vote for a statewide ban on plastic bags, or a moratorium on fracking. His consistency was rewarded by the oil lobby, and he is one of the top recipients of donations from oil interests. Other big donors to his campaigns are casinos and gambling interests, tobacco companies and the alcohol lobby."
And yesterday one of the big local papers in the area, the Daily Breeze also pointed to Barragán as the better candidate for the district. "Both are Democrats-- Hall moderate, Barragan more progressive-- who grew up in the 44th Congressional District that covers a large swath of Central Los Angeles, from the port north to South Gate, including North Long Beach," they reminded their readers. "Poverty and pollution are among the pressing problems in a region dotted with poor-performing schools, heavy manufacturing and oil refineries. Hall and Barragan each came from modest means and worked their way to success, but their political paths couldn’t be more different."
Barragan is a relative political newbie with an impressive resume, a lawyer for a high-powered law firm who once interned for a California Supreme Court justice.The Barragán/Hall race is one of the clearest in the country, pitting a good government reformer against a corrupt, self-serving careerist grasping for a leg up in the political power game. You can contribute to the good government reformer here:
In 2013 she was elected the first Latina councilwoman in Hermosa Beach, a wealthy, 1.4-square-mile city.
There, she focused most of her energy on defeating an oil company-backed measure that would have allowed for drilling. It lost in a landslide.
Hall rose through local politics, first at the Compton school board, then to the Compton City Council, California Assembly and state Senate. Never has he faced serious opposition.
Hall is backed by gaming interests and oil companies, to which he has been a friend, opposing legislation that would have created tougher environmental rules near oil sites.
Hall is also supported by a Democratic establishment loyal to its longtime colleague.
Barragan is the outsider. Encouraged to run in the heavily Latino district by Rep. Linda Sanchez, chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, she resigned her post in Hermosa Beach and moved to the district.
Hall is the insider, and he uses that to his advantage in pushing legislation like Senate Bill 63, a bill that allows ports to create financing districts for infrastructure bonds.
There are questions about whether Hall is a sincere public servant or acts out of political expediency.