Friday, June 4, 2010

Winograd Responds

On Wednesday, Marcy Winograd responded to my post regarding the June 8th primary election in CA-36. You can read her response here and at the bottom of this post.

A few points.

1) I never argued that Jane Harman was a progressive. I argued a case could be made for a progressive to vote for her in this election.

2) I do not dismiss Harman's record at the expense of examining Winograd's. Both are worthy of serious debate. For instance, even as Winograd points out Harman's vote on biologic drugs, she omits Harman's vote for the original House health care reform bill - one with a strong public option.

3) As for the stocks in question, if Winograd has indeed sold them off, she should be applauded for that. However, when her husband, Buddy Gottlieb, confronted me on Facebook about my post (sorry, the link won't work if you're not signed on to Facebook), he refused to answer when the stocks had been sold, or if the campaign would produce proof of the sale when asked directly to do so.

According to the the financial disclosure form she filed in June, 2009, those stocks were listed in her portfolio as of Dec. 2008. And these weren't small investments - the Winograd Trust had in the neighborhood of $75K investing in pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, Wells Fargo and polluting timber industries.

Even if Winograd sold off the stocks, I think it's a legitimate question to ask why she even had them in the first place. If it's not OK for a Blue Dog to have these kinds of investments, it doesn't make them OK just because you sprinkle magic Progressive pixie dust over them.

4) Winograd's residency issue has turned out to quite the thorny issue for her. As far as I've been able to determine, she apparently started renting a condo in Marina del Rey in 2009 - the same year they bought two properties in Santa Monica worth over $2 million. She registered to vote in Marina del Rey in April of 2009 - shortly before she announced she'd run against Harman. But, as recently as October, 2009 she made campaign contributions to Progressive Vote using her old Pacific Palisades address. So who the hell knows.

Frankly, this is less an issue about where she sleeps at night than her apparent need to obfuscate about it. I'm unclear why she feels it's so important to create this illusion. Constitutionally she's not required to live in the district, only in the state of California. In fact, John Garamendi won a congressional seat in CA-10 when he lived in CA-03. Charges of "carpetbagging" were leveled at him as well, but the accusations had no traction. Why? Because he never tried to rent an apartment in the district to create the illusion of residency. So the issue died on its own.

5) The talent pool in CA-36 is a deep one, with many, many potential progressive candidates who've worked for years in our district. But for Tuesday's election, we're offered only two choices. A candidate who is conservative on fiscal issues, national security, and defense, but very liberal on social issues, health care reform and the environment, and a candidate who is very liberal on all of the above issues but who has shown a pattern of questionable choices, hypocrisy, and an unwillingness to reach beyond her core constituents.

Dealer's choice.

Marcy Winograd's statement in full:

Dear Friends and Volunteers,

Thank you for your enduring support and activism on behalf of a myriad of issues, many of which are at the core of my congressional campaign. I'm talking about our work to transition from a permanent war economy to a new green economy, to protect the accuracy of our vote, to stop new offshore oil leases, and to advance prison reform.

Marta Evry is a blogger who, despite her good work on the California budget crisis, wants to re-elect my opponent, arguing that Jane Harman is a progressive. With a flick of her wrist, Marta dismisses Harman's repeated votes for war and occupation, for an onerous bankruptcy bill, for a free trade agreement that lowers labor and environmental standards, for her reported collusion with AIPAC to advance her own career in exchange for a promise to subvert due process, for her vote against affordable breast cancer medication, and for her cover-up of the Bush administration's massive illegal wiretapping program.

The last time I checked the above credentials were not ones a progressive would trumpet. For the record, Harman is a member of the corporate Democrats' Blue Dog coalition.

In terms of the attacks Marta has leveled against me, please know that 98% of the stocks in question were sold years ago, and today I do not own any of the stocks to which Marta raised objections. My opponent, however, invests up to eight million dollars in weapons manufacturers, and has never once recused herself from war supplemental votes. Nor did Harman recuse herself from the overnight bank bailout vote, despite the fact that her most recent disclosure statement indicates she had up to 5-million invested in Goldman Sachs at the time of the bail-out.

My husband and I do have family investments in property in Santa Monica, approximately six blocks outside the district. For the record, however, I do not live in Santa Monica. My husband and I have lived in the 36th congressional district in Marina del Rey for nearly two years. Prior to that, we lived in Pacific Palisades, in Congressman Waxman's district.

Unfortunately, a year ago Marta published on her blog misinformation, accusing me of not living in the district -- and refusing to correct her mistake when asked to clarify for the sake of her readers.

I'm sure Harman, with her net worth of 300-million plus, has plenty invested in real estate outside of the 36th congressional district.

Additionally, I am sorry Marta fails to value my work on behalf of our community, our state, our nation, and our world. For the last 15 years I have worked either as a classroom teacher, school facilitator, or literacy coach, with four of those years working at a variety of schools, from West LA to Wilmington, in our district to improve education. I feel fortunate to have worked with many dedicated educators collaborating to embed research-based literacy strategies in every subject. Most recently, I taught and coached at Crenshaw HS in South Los Angeles, where I worked to establish a Social Justice and the Law Academy. South LA is a few miles from our district, but what happens there impacts us all. In short, education matters. Youth matters.

Many of you know of my leadership in the anti-war movement, from the days when I marched in Los Angeles and San Francisco to end the Vietnam War to the present tense when, in the last few years, I co-wrote resolutions putting the California Democratic Party on record calling for an end to US military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am honored to have organized with Congresswoman Maxine Waters a 1,000 strong Out of Iraq town hall, and to have led a peace delegation from Los Angeles to Capitol Hill.

On the state level, you may also know that I worked hard to protect our vote, testifying in Sacramento against empowering the electronic voting industry, promoting Debra Bowen as Secretary of State - and beyond that working to make sure Bowen stayed in office. My campaign manager Michael Jay and I, hearing that our own local Registrar was organizing to drive Bowen from office, circulated petitions and visited every county supervisors' office to support Bowen and her courageous stance to rid our polls of hackable touchscreen machines.

On another occasion, I testified in Sacramento against prison expansion -- this on the heels of the state assembly's passage of a bill to expand our prisons, despite the cost to our youth in California - where one out of every four African American men in their 20s is behind bars.

For those committed to single-payer health care, know that I have spent the last several years mobilizing support for single-payer, via letter-writing campaigns, party resolutions, and town hall forums. At the start of my current congressional campaign, I ran a commercial challenging Jane Harman to sign on to Congressman Conyers' bill HR676 for single-payer health care. Harman never did.

Finally, on the timely subject of the middle east, I distinguish myself from my opponent who chooses to appear at AIPAC conferences calling for the Balkanization of Iran and on Fox News announcing a military attack on Iran is still on the table. In contrast, I am committed to a just and lasting peace that recognizes the equality and dignity of all in the middle east. In that regard, I co-founded LA Jews for Peace and have worked to raise money to rebuild homes Israel has demolished in the West Bank. There is no safety, nor security, nor dignity in perpetrating human rights violations. I have repeatedly invited my opponent to join me in supporting universal human rights -- but she has not been forthcoming.

Clearly, the voters in the 36th congressional district have a choice on Tues., June 8th. They can cast their vote for an incumbent who stands for war and Wall Street or a grassroots leader committed to peace and social justice. While Harman is awash in corporate contributions, I am not taking a dime of corporate money because this is a people-powered campaign. If you have not already gotten involved, there's still time, albeit only a few days left. Email to phone bank or precinct walk and donate at Again, I want to thank you for your support and grassroots leadership. I am proud to work with you for progressive change in America.


Marcy Winograd

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