What’s in a Label?

marcy peace rallyThe Los Angeles Times made a very important observation of Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Los Angeles City Council member Janice Hahn in their endorsement of Hahn in Monday’s edition.

They’re both mainstream Democrats.

In fact, for the first time in this campaign Marcy Winograd was accurately described for what she is, “a stridently antiwar Democrat.”

For the Los Angeles Times blundered again in endorsing another status quo Democrat in the face of multiple wars that will be supported by both Hahn & Bowen should they prevail come May 17th.

For being anti-war is easy.

But will Bowen or Hahn vote to de fund these multiple conflicts?

The answer is obvious.

The answer is no.

In a recent campaign brochure, candidate Hahn pledged to cut back existing troop strength in Iraq in half by 2015.

In other words, the Hahn solution is to continue the occupation of Iraq for at least another four years?

In the same brochure, Hahn claims she’ll fight for the immediate end of the Afghan occupation. With no specifics, the Hahn plan to withdraw from Afghanistan is almost as hollow as her plan to create 25,000 “green” jobs!

Bowen to date has tapped dance around the question of these multiple wars and only Marcy Winograd has been concise & specific in her intent to bring American troops home once and for all!

So while Janice Hahn now describes herself as standing up for “progressive Democratic values,” Debra Bowen doesn’t even refer to herself as a Democrat in her latest flyer promoting her candidacy!

As in her races for the state assembly and again in the state senate, the theme is never her political affiliation, but rather her self characterization as being independent.

In one of her more difficult races for reelection to the California State Assembly, the Bowen tag line was “Integrity. Independence.”

Now running for the United States Congress in 2010, she refers to herself as a Democrat once in accepting the Kennedy award, her tag line now expanded to “Integrity. Independence. Results.”

How does someone describe themselves as progressive when they won’t even mention their party status in a campaign mailer?

Have you ever met a “progressive” that’s for the death penalty, tax cuts for corporations and sponsored “three strikes” legislation?

Have you ever met a “progressive” who accepted large sums of campaign contributions in the legislature like big oil or Enron, the same folks that ran a very expensive negative campaign against freshman Democratic legislator Betsy Butler in 2010?

Political labels do matter.

That’s why Hahn has moved to the left in this effort to become politically acceptable to grass roots activists and rank & file party members.

But in the case of Bowen, she continues to run away from her party status as she barely acknowledges her Democratic registration in her own mail!

But the hard reality in this race is that Janice Hahn and Debra Bowen are centrist Democrats moving to the left in the hopes of winning an election and forever marginalizes the Winograd brand all at the ame time!

For someone who personally invested in WAL-MART like Bowen to masquerade as a true progressive just isn’t credible.

For Janice Hahn & Debra Bowen are one in the same.

Hahn & Bowen. Just like Jane Harman.

Termed out career politico’s with no place to go. Hahn was handed a 2-1 thrashing at the hands of Gavin Newsom last June while Bowen was trying to convince people she deserved another four years as secretary of state only to decide to run for another office some 30 days after being sworn to a second term of office!

Can someone say hypocrisy?

Isn’t bad enough taxpayers have to flip the bill for this special election at the tune of nearly $2 million dollars because Jane Harman decided a month after being sworn to office she had no intention of serving the remainder of her two-year term leaving 36th CD residents with no representation in Washington, DC?

But most importantly, will Janice Hahn & Debra Bowen accept yet another taxpayer perk in the form of a federal pension after vesting themselves in the California pension system courtesy of taxpayers?

For what will be the pension they’ll receive from elective service on top a federal salary of nearly $180,000 from the House of Representatives?

This interesting financial windfall seems to be the best kept secret of the campaign!

Term limits has created a game of political musical chairs at the taxpayer’s expense.

An expense that is seemingly hidden from public view.

Marcy Winograd is the same candidate she was six months ago.

The anti-war peace activist with no stench of the special interest money flowing freely in her opponent’s campaigns. A grassroots effort of activists not seeking a job or a favor, but seeking a solution to the real problems facing America today.

Isn’t that what voters truly seek and want in a “citizen candidacy” like Mary Winograd’s?

Nick Antonicello
Venice Beach

The author is a member of the West LA Democratic Club.

Published by the LA Progressive on April 29, 2011
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