Dana Watch: Dems vs. Dems

Illustration by Bob Aul

Dana Watch previously exposed some of the intrigue involving 48th congressional district incumbent Dana Rohrabacher (R-Putin’s erector set) and his Republican rivals Scott Baugh, a former protégé, and Paul Martin, who is endorsed by the Russian leader’s great foe, chess champion Garry Kasparov.

But there are also plenty of machinations on the Democratic side of the June primary ballot, from which the two top vote-getters from any party will advance to the November general election.

Fearing those two candidates could be Republicans, the California and Orange County Democratic parties recently endorsed Hans Keirstead for the 48th seat. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Indivisible 48, the local chapter of the Donald Trump resistance group, went on to back Harley Rouda.

Last week, the campaigns for the deep-pocketed Democrats—Keirstead is a nationally known stem-cell researcher, and Rouda is a successful businessman—one-upped each other with competing announcements about positive polls, new endorsements and backing from sitting officeholders. Also arriving last week was criticism from the state and local Democratic Party brass of the DCCC, the national PAC dedicated to flipping the House from red to blue.

In a statement posted on the California Democratic Party (CDP) website, chairman Eric Bauman acknowledges that the DCCC and his organization have coordinated efforts against Republican incumbents, but . . . “Throughout our partnership, I have been consistently clear on one key point: When CDP delegates endorse a candidate, that candidate is the official candidate of the party,” states Bauman, “and the DCCC should tread carefully in openly supporting a different candidate.”

He added he has communicated to the DCCC that undercutting candidates endorsed by the CDP can be “extraordinarily counterproductive.”

“The DCCC certainly has a different set of considerations in making their decisions,” Bauman says, “but it is my strong belief that whatever resources they commit to [congressional district] 48 should be spent attacking the corrupt and compromised-by-Putin incumbent, Dana Rohrabacher, or his bare-knuckled extremist Republican challenger, Scott Baugh.”

Echoing those sentiments in a statement of her own was Democratic Party of Orange County Chairwoman Fran Sdao: “In light of recent news about DCCC’s announced support for Harley Rouda for [the 48th congressional district], I join California Democratic Party chair Eric Bauman’s call for DCCC to focus its resources against [the district]’s corrupt incumbent, Dana Rohrabacher, along with his extremist Republican opponent, Scott Baugh.”

The DCCC’s reaction? Rouda stands a better chance than Keirstead at advancing beyond the June primary to the November general election.

Got Dana Watch fodder? Email mcoker@ocweekly.com.

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