Another month, and another month’s worth of eye-catching news. The Mueller investigation has handed down its first indictments ... to former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, and to foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, who has already entered a guilty plea. To all appearances, it looks like the Mueller investigation will be part of the Washington scene for some time.
As for draining the swamp, it seems like careful vetting for registration as a foreign agent was lacking in instances like Manafort and Flynn. We don’t yet know about the process responsible, but it does not seem to be a drained swamp that enabled a two-person company from North Dakota to snag a three hundred million-dollar contract (which is being cancelled) to help restore Puerto Rico’s power after Hurricane Maria. This week, several tech giants are testifying before Congress about the extent of Russian attempts to influence American public opinion through the use of social media to which 126 million Americans may have been exposed to on Facebook alone before the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, the Republicans are looking to “tax reform” as the next item on their agenda, and last chance to produce significant legislation before the end of the year. However, despite the President and the GOP’s claims, public opinion has not been convinced that this “tax reform” will help the middle class, rather than benefiting corporations and the wealthy. It will be interesting to see how the 14 California House Republicans will vote on a plan that currently threatens the state and local tax (SALT) deductions worth $112.5 billion that six million Californians claimed in 2015.
The California Political Scene
According to the Los Angeles Times, in California there are already 80 (58 are Democrats) challengers for House seats, more than three times the number before the 2016 election. They have collectively raised $14.9 million, outpacing any similar period in campaigns in recent years. More than $10 million of that money has gone to challengers in four districts in Orange County where Hillary Clinton won last year, which are held by Republican representatives Ed Royce, Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher, and Darrell Issa. These districts are a key focus of the DCCC in their planning to take back the House.
If you are a veteran or interested in Veteran’s affairs, Congressman and (DCCC Region 5 Vice Chair) Ted Lieu is hosting a Veterans Town Hall on November 10, at Wadsworth Theater in West LA at 2:00 PM.
Moving on to our Club activities, Thom Tibor’s Ready-to-Run event planning committee has already picked January 20, 2-5 PM, as the time, and the lovely Studio Channel Islands as the venue, for our next club fundraiser. Candidates will speak and be able to distribute campaign envelopes and flyers. Please volunteer to help if you can, let your friends know, and do what you can to ensure that ticket sales will be brisk!
We are required to submit our Region 10 pre-endorsement conference representative list to the Ventura Central Committee and Region 10 Director by midnight, November 2. Our Club is allotted five members, so I hope five of us will show team spirit in signing up for this important job at our upcoming Thursday meeting.
The year has passed quickly. It is already time to elect a new E-Board, and hold our traditional investiture meal in December. We have circulated a list of nominated candidates for E-Board, and we will also be accepting nominations from the floor at our November 2nd meeting. Moreover, we have just learned that we will need someone to serve as corresponding secretary, so hopefully someone will step forward. Ray Freeman will be our featured speaker; his topic is "Facts of Life for Democrats: A Crash Course on Money and Jobs.” I look forward to seeing you all there.