By now, most political junkies know that Jane Harman, the congresswoman representing the 36th Congressional District, has resigned. They also know that Marcy Winograd, Janice Hahn, and Debra Bowen have announced their intentions to fill the vacant seat.
Yesterday, I was approached by someone who wanted to talk to me about Marcy Winograd’s campaign. This person was concerned that by entering the race, Winograd would split the vote and almost assure Janice Hahn of a victory. I told this person that I understand the concerns some have regarding the possible Winograd/Bowen split, particularly of the Westside vote. And that I admire Bowen, especially when she, as Secretary of State, took a stand on the issue of electronic voting machines. That showed courage, especially for a career politician.
But I believe that Marcy Winograd has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to stand for, do and say what’s in the best interest of the people regardless of the personal cost to her. Winograd, who is a teacher at Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles, decided to stand up and run against one of the most powerful and richest congressional incumbents in the country. She ran a grassroots campaign and garnered 41% of the vote because the people she was able to reach (with her limited campaign funds) believed that she wasn’t in the race simply for personal gain.
Jane Harman was one of — if not the — wealthiest representative in Congress. Her position on warrantless wiretapping (see video insert of Rachel Maddow), support of the war in Iraq, and other stances led me to conclude that she was losing her connection with the people. Marcy Winograd, a long-time progressive community organizer and public school teacher, also took issue with some of Harman’s positions and decided to challenge her.