On politics in the Golden State

Category: 47th Congressional District

DeLong, Lowenthal face off in high-stakes congressional race forum

Alan Lowenthal, left, and Gary DeLong, squared off in a public forum.

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

In a classic two-party contest for an open, newly drawn congressional district seat, Republican Gary DeLong and Democrat Alan Lowenthal squared off at a well-attended candidates forum Friday evening.

Lowenthal, who is finishing his last term in the state Senate, and DeLong, who is serving his second term on the Long Beach City Council, clashed over such areas as the role of the federal government in education and what should be done about Social Security and Medicare.

But they agreed on a surprising number of issues, including the need for campaign finance reform that limits the influence of special interests and immigration reform that includes securing borders but providing  a way for otherwise law-abiding and productive illegal immigrants to stay in the country.

They both listed improving job growth and reducing the federal deficit as among their top priorities.  Lowenthal, however, was quick to pin the nation's economic woes on the policies of the George W. Bush administration and congressional Republicans, citing costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and tax breaks for the wealthy.

DeLong told the audience of nearly 400 at Cal State Long Beach that he disagreed with his party on some issues -- he is pro-choice and supports gay marriage, for example. "But I am very fiscally conservative," DeLong said, citing his record of balancing budgets and reigning in costs in his six years on the City Council.

In one of the rare contentious moments of  the evening, DeLong blamed Lowenthal and the rest of the Legislature for the state's fiscal problems. Lowenthal blamed Republicans for refusing to keep expiring taxes in place longer, leading to deep cuts for the state's public universities and community colleges.

Lowenthal, who served on the Long Beach City Council before being elected to the Assembly, then the state Senate, said his long record on environmental issues, campaign finance reform and "fighting for the community" should give voters  a good idea of what they could expect from him as a congressman. "What you see is what you're going to be getting," Lowenthal said.

DeLong said, based on Lowenthal's tenure in Sacramento, that would be higher taxes and continuing budget problems.

Sponsors of the forum included the university and the Long Beach Area League of Women Voters.  The 47th Congressional District also includes part of Orange County.

[For the record,1:10 p.m. Oct. 6, 2012: An earlier version of this post mischaracterized Gary DeLong as blaming Alan Lowenthal and other Democrats in the Legislature for the state's fiscal problems. DeLong blamed Lowenthal and the rest of the Legislature.}


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-- Jean Merl

Photos: Alan Lowenthal, left; Gary DeLong. Credits: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press; Gary DeLong for Congress

Democrats add 3 more Calif. congressional hopefuls to help list

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee has included three California candidates as additions to  its Red to Blue program.

The three are among 13 candidates across the nation singled out for the program, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), DCCC chairman, said in announcing the additions Wednesday.

The California candidates are state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, who is running against Republican state Sen. Tony Strickland for a Ventura County seat; state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, vying with Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong in a district that includes Long Beach and part of Orange County, and former San Diego City Councilman Scott Peters, challenging Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Carlsbad).

About a dozen congressional seats in California are expected to be in play as the two major parties battle for control of the House in the Nov. 6 election.

The Red to Blue program helps promising candidates in Republican-held areas with fundraising, strategy and campaign organization.


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--Jean Merl




Democrats tap Lowenthal for strong campaign help

Voting on June 5

State Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a candidate for a hotly contested, open congressional district seat, has been named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" program, his campaign announced Tuesday.

The Long Beach Democrat is vying with Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong, a Republican, for the seat in the newly drawn 47th Congressional District, which includes Long Beach and parts of Orange County.

The DCCC program highlights top Democratic campaigns around the country and offers financial, organizing and other support.

Republicans also have targeted the Democrat-leaning district.  A National Republican Congressional Committee official acknowledged on Tuesday that Lowenthal has an advantage but noted DeLong's larger campaign treasury and superior second-quarter fundraising.


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--Jean Merl

Photo: Casting ballots at a Van Nuys restaurant during the June 5 primary. Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times


John McCain, Pete Wilson back Kuykendall for Congress

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Gov. Pete Wilson are heading an honorary host committee for former Rep. Steven T. Kuykendall.  He is one of several candidates running for the 47th Congressional District in Long Beach and Orange CountySen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former California Gov. Pete Wilson are headlining an "honorary host committee" at a campaign open house for former Rep. Steven T. Kuykendall, who is seeking to return to Congress this year from a newly drawn Long Beach district.

Kuykendall, a GOP moderate who served one term in Congress before losing the seat to Democrat Jane Harman in 2000, also has lined up former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and 10 other current or past elected officials for his open house committee. 

The open house will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 4132 Katella Ave., suite 206, in Los Alamitos, followed by a precinct walk.

Other Republicans running in the 47th Congressional District are Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong and conservative activist Steve Foley of Orange County.  Democrats are state Sen. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, physician Jay Shah, community volunteer Usha Shah and Peter Mathews, a college professor and perennial candidate.

Democrats hold a 42%-32% registration edge over Republicans in the district.


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-- Jean Merl

Photo: Sen. John McCain. Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images

California Republicans endorse candidates

California Republicans over the weekend endorsed some congressional and legislative candidates in the June 5 primary.

The state party chose to back autism activist Elizabeth Emken among several little-known challengers to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).  It also named some favorites in congressional races with more than one GOP candidate, including Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong in the 47th Congressional District.

The party also picked Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), who is being challenged by Catherine Wright, daughter of former state Sen. Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley)  in the 25th District and state Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Moorpark).  Among Strickland's several rivals for the 26th Congressional District is Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, who recently switched her registration from Republican to no party preference.

Some of the local GOP clubs differed from the state party in their choices. The Santa Barbara County Republican Party endorsed tea party leader Chris Mitchum over former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado. The state party did not endorse in the contest for the 24th District, where challengers will  try to unseat Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) in a newly drawn district.

The state party also made no endorsement in the 30th Congressional District, where veteran Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman are waging a high-cost battle for a San Fernando Valley congressional seat. 

Two Republicans are running in that strongly Democratic district -- actor/businessman Mark Reed and author Susan Shelley. The Los Angeles County Republican party chose Reed, a conservative, over Shelley, a pro-choice moderate. That prompted Shelley to issue a news release highlighting Reed's "criminal record"  and attached a copy of the Superior Court index of his record. That included convictions for two weapons violations in 2010.


 A Fish and Game faux pas

Fish and Game official faces ethics complaint over hunting trip

Hunters show support for Fish and Game commissioner who killed cougar

-- Jean Merl

Photo: Pro-choice Susan Shelley lost to conservative Mark Reed for the Los Angeles County Republican Party's endorsement in the 30th Congressional District contest. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times



Candidate filing deadline extended through Wednesday in 53 races

The candidate filing period has been extended until the close of business Wednesday in 53 congressional and legislative offices, the California secretary of state's office said.

Filing closed for most June 5 contests on Friday but was extended in races for which no eligible incumbent was seeking reelection. Statewide, there are 35 such Assembly races and nine each for state Senate and U.S. Congress seats.

Locally, the filing period was extended in several contests expected to be hotly contested, including congressional races in the Long Beach area, Ventura County and Riverside County.


A Fish and Game faux pas

Fish and Game official faces ethics complaint over hunting trip

Hunters show support for Fish and Game commissioner who killed cougar

 -- Jean Merl

John McCain backs Kuykendall for Congress

John McCain
U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has endorsed former U.S. Rep. Steven T. Kuykendall for an open, newly drawn congressional seat in Long Beach.

McCain, his party's nominee for president in 2008, said Kuykendall, while in Congress several years ago, "stood squarely against waste and high taxes when we served together. He knows what's required to protect our national security and restore our economy."

Kuykendall is running against two other Republicans, Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong and Los Alamitos Councilman Troy Edgar. The only Democrat so far in the 47th Congressional District race is state Sen. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach.


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Photo: Sen. John McCain in 2011. Credit: Associated Press



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