Friday we mentioned that the endorsement-- and a real endorsement, not a perfunctory one-- of progressive Eloise Reyes by Rep. Xavier Becerra could signal the end of the road for Steve Israel's lame, empty suit, handpicked candidate, Pete Aguilar.
We also mentioned that no one in the Inland Empire knows who Steve Israel is. And Israel recruiting some schlemiel freshman, like Eric Swalwell from Dublin (due east of the Oakland Airport on the 580 on the way out to Livermore) isn't going to mean anything to anyone anywhere. Voters-- and donors-- in CA-31 were more interested in why Israel couldn't deliver local Hispanic Members of Congress, and particularly not progressives like highly respected Lucille Roybal-Allard and Linda-- not Loretta-- Sánchez. The very characteristics that have made Joe Baca anathema to so many progressives in the L.A. Basin-- from his innate conservatism and his willingness to ally himself with Big Business interests against the interests of ordinary working families to his crude disrespect for women-- have made sensible political leaders hesitate and block out Israel's siren song of Pete.
What do you see when you look at the picture above? That's Pete Aguilar surrounded by every slimy, crooked Republican power broker in the Inland Empire, from Jerry Lewis (to the right of Pete in the photo) and Gary Miller, right down the food chain to the bagmen and thugs. And what about this photo. Is that drunken, coked up mess what anyone wants for a congressman?
It wouldn't surprise me one bit to hear that Lucille Roybal-Allard and Linda Sánchez sign up for the Eloise Reyes team sometime this week. And one of the most respected and revered political leaders in the region, Hilda Solis-- a progressive, beloved environmental champion and ex-congresswoman who beat a crooked Steve Israel-type incumbent, anti-Choice/pro-NRA/Big Business-oriented Marty Martínez in CA-31 in 2000-- has been talking up Eloise and will probably take time out from her own supervisorial campaign to campaign for Eloise… perhaps as soon as... this afternoon? Until recently, Obama's Secretary of Labor, Hilda knows a Democrat from the Republican wing of the party when she smells one. Her own congressional opponent from 2000, Marty Martínez, frequently betrayed his constituents by voting with the GOP and, when they ended his career by backing Hilda (62-29%), he switched parties, officially became a Republican and never returned to live in southern Califiornia, staying inside the greasy, sleazy Beltway instead.
I might add that, like Becerra, Hilda Solis has been a close ally of Nancy Pelosi's and it would be hard to imagine her going up against Steve Israel's strategy-- no matter how lame and how likely to lose-- if Pelosi said not to. This should be an interesting week. If Hilda Solis, Linda Sánchez and Lucille Roybal-Allard all come out for Eloise… well, maybe Boris can try putting on a rally for Pete Aguilar with Herman (his not dead father), Orange County Blue Dog Loretta Sanchez and… Eric Swalwell? Or perhaps the rumors are true about Pete and Boris decamping for CA-35. It's less of a schlepp than Kharkov was for Viktor Yanukovych-- and I'm sure Gloria McLeod would introduce Pete to all the Chamber of Commerce types in the area he doesn't already know from his days as a crooked Savings and Loan lobbyist.
Maybe Israel should try beating Republicans and stop wasting DCCC resources trying to help sleazy conservatives beat progressives in Democratic primaries in districts he knows nothing about. Just a thought.
UPDATE: That Was Fast-- Hilda Solis Endorsed Eloise
“In this day and age when the powerful special interests are gaining even more power, the working families that make our country strong need a strong voice and their own tenacious fighter in Congress. Eloise Gomez Reyes is the person for the job. She has spent her entire career fighting for working families and people who can’t fight for themselves. She will bring that same tenacity to the fight to bring jobs to the Inland Empire. Eloise is one tough lady and she will not be intimidated by the extremist leaders of the GOP or their big bank accounts,” said Solis.
Gomez Reyes said, “Hilda Solis and I have both worked hard and took on the status quo to push open closed doors and shatter glass ceilings. And then once we achieved success we both took up the fight to help those less fortunate. From one tough lady to another: Thank you Hilda! Thank you for your endorsement and thank you for your friendship and for your inspiration. I won’t let you or the working families of the Inland Empire down!”