Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winograd Takes Hahn's Bait, Tells Supporters to Withhold Endorsements From Bowen

On Friday I reported on a cynical ploy by the Hahn/Trippi camp to bait Marcy Winograd into the CA36 race in an effort to split the Progressive vote and harm Debra Bowen's chances in the race.

This morning, Winograd took the bait, sending out a letter asking supporters and donors to withhold endorsing anyone since she "may run".

At first, I had hoped to support one of the other Democratic Party candidates, either Janice Hahn or Debra Bowen, but both are following in Harman's footsteps, most recently with Bowen signing Hahn's pledge to support Israel unconditionally, condemn "anti-Israel" rhetoric, and praise Harman for her leadership on nationalsecurity.

Regardless of where we stand on middle east issues, most Americans embrace free speech and welcome debate. To try to silence dissent in the 36th district and beyond is troubling at best; foreboding at worst.

We deserve real representation, not politicians beholden to special interest groups, rubber-stamping failed foreign policies.
The pledge Bowen signed on to was a fairly benign document supporting Israel's right to exist, but also contained language specifically engineered to provoke and criticize Winograd.

Only a week earlier, Hahn had sought Winograd's endorsement in the CA36 race.

If Winograd did chose to enter the race, it would benefit Hahn in two ways.

First, with no one candidate likely to get the 50%+1 they would need to win in the first round in the new "open primary" system, it's to the advantage of the stronger candidate - in this case Hahn - to make weaker opponents split the vote.

The best Winograd will be able to do is split votes with Bowen to force a runoff Winograd won't be in. Hahn is hoping Winograd will split the votes enough to take both herself and Bowen out of the first round.

Second, Winograd is all but announcing she'd be running on a single issue, Israel, since there are no other issues where she and Bowen have substantive differences. And that's not enough to sustain a campaign unless Winograd creates artificial controversies in an attempt to demonize Bowen.

Should Bowen and Hahn advance to the second round of voting, Winograd's attacks would give Hahn a treasure trove of negative campaign material she could use against Bowen.

Hahn, as it turns out, would not be the only one happy if Winograd ran. As one conservative friend who voted for the Republican in the last CA36 race told me,

"Run, Marcy, Run!"


  1. Israel? Of all things Israel is the issue here? I do not understand this.

  2. The only people saying that WInograd is running on an Israel plank are maybe Hahn, and definitely the author of this blog. Sorry to disappoint.

  3. If you know of any other policy issue where she differs from Bowen, I'd love to know.

  4. If you know of any of Debra Bowen's stances on the issues, period, I'd love to know. Her campaign website ( doesn't list any yet. The only things I know about Bowen is that she did some great things with voting machines and that everyone is saying she's progressive without ever providing any specifics.

    Marcy Winograd, on the other hand, is a known quantity, and in a good - no, great - way. She pretty much nails it on every issue. Why should she have to get out of the way of Bowen when we already know she's solid on the issues?