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Monday, March 13, 2006

CA-24: Tenenbaum vs. Martinez

Posted by DavidNYC

As you probably know by now, somehow another GOP candidate managed to file by the deadline in CA-24. It's rather odd - did this fellow, a political nobody named Michael Tenenbaum, really plan on challenging Gallegly in a primary? That would have been worse than hopeless - it would have put him on the outs with the local establishment. So that suggests one of two things to me: Tenebaum either has poor political judgment or he's extremely lucky. And no one's that lucky.

Gallegly's people say they tipped a few local bigwigs about Gallegy's medical retirement, but none of them were interested in running. I doubt they called up Tenenbaum (and they don't claim to have), but perhaps Tenenbaum found out through the grapevine and seized an opportunity. That would, conversely, indicate that he's one sharp S.O.B.

The bottom line is, Tenenbaum's presence on the ballot makes this a far less attractive situation. With no GOPer running at all, we had a chance to win this one on cruise control. But now, Gallegly will likely endorse Tenenbaum, and the local establishment will make sure the latter wins the Republican primary. Our only candidate, Jill Martinez, is also an unknown, and in a showdown between two neophytes, straight-ticket voting is going to determine the outcome. And all you need to know is that this district went 56-43 for Bush.

There's only one bit of hope I can offer: There's a chance that Gallegly could still win the primary, in a "Jeff Johnson"-type situation. Since many local Republicans appear pretty steamed at Gallegly, they may choose not to help Tenenbaum out of pique (and perhaps the belief that they'd have an easier time beating Martinez in two years). But Tenenbaum and Gallegly have three months to clear up the Jeff Johnson problem, so I'm not optimistic.

UPDATE: Ah, a little bit of news from the optimism department:

But it remains an open question whether Gallegly would support Tenenbaum, who held a press conference Friday expressing his dissatisfaction with the congressman’s 20-year House record.

“The incumbent’s current record speaks for itself. He is wasting taxpayer dollars, doesn’t recognize the importance of securing our borders and he has pursued a legislative agenda that is misguided at best,” said Tenenbaum. He also contends that Gallegly’s supporters tried to bully him out of the race.

So it looks like Tenenbaum is the tilt-at-windmills sort - and that he did not get any kind of inside information prompting him to run. Taking on a popular twenty-year incumbent is not usually the way to endear yourself to party insiders. Gallegly may yet get behind Tenenbaum to defuse the anger over his screw-up (that whole "five day extension" thing doesn't apply to federal races), but it looks to me like the local GOP will have to navigate some rocky shoals in the days ahead.

Posted at 03:46 PM in 2006 Elections - House, California | Technorati

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Jill Martinez vs. a man who just announced, doesn't have a website, and will get all of his money from outside the district and from the RNCC. Jill Martinez has a little money, organization, a website and a staff, and I'd also like to point out this: from an earlier post:

Some calculations- as of November 2004 Bush's approval rating was around 50%, and Bush scored 6 points above that in CD-24. Gallegly scored seven points higher than Bush come election day. Not to mention the fact that Governor Schwarzenegger was very popular at the time as well. Now Bush's approval rating is around 35%- if the Republican candidate does 13 points above Bush's approval rating (like he did in 2004), that would mean that the Goper would lose. But that was when there was an incumbent. Now this is an open seat in a Democratic year, with a huge amount of confusion in who will be the Republican nominee. So I would definitely characterize this race as winnable for the Dems.

Posted by: liberalminded [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2006 10:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I seriously wonder how effective charges of "outside money" ever are. They usually seem to be made by people who don't have much cash to begin with.

Also, I can't say Martinez's website is very impressive. Most of it is under construction. WHOIS records say the domain was created last September, so there's been plenty of time to improve it.

And lastly, if Congressional voting patterns were tied so closely to presidential approval ratings, then I daresay half of all GOP incumbents would be seriously threatened this fall. That's certainly not the case, though.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2006 11:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Actually, the party may hate Tenenbaum, and and want to pull all gymnastics to close ranks against him. Last night on KEYT (Santa Barbara) Mike Stoker, who lost to Capps in the old 22nd CD, let it be known there was a party move to rally behind a single write-in candidate, and that it should be him. His disdain toward Tenenbaum was thick, and left the impression that the party found him repulsive.

There is massive confusion, and attempt to come up with a loophole like nominating Gallegly, so they can have him officially resign, to have the central committees appoint a replacement. The well-love Party grandfather Bob Lagomarsino (who lost to Michael Huffington) was stumped.

The local news made it seem that Tenenbaum would be the nominee on the November ballot, and that the party would try to do the heavy-lifting of a write-in campaign.

Posted by: Pacific John [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2006 12:28 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The weird thing about Martinez's website is that, when this story broke out, the site had more content (I specifically remember seeing a bio on there, for example). But a few hours later, everything went blank. WTF?

Posted by: HellofaSandwich [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2006 01:04 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Apparently Tenenbaum already has a well-known "veteran political consultant" on board - Dave Gilliard - has the support of at least one Orange County congressman (Ed Royce) and the Chair of the Ventura County Republican Party. That's nothing to sneeze at.

Check out FlashReport for more (http://www.flashreport.org/commentary0b.html?postID=

Posted by: PeteyP [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2006 01:23 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

"The weird thing about Martinez's website is that, when this story broke out, the site had more content (I specifically remember seeing a bio on there, for example). But a few hours later, everything went blank. WTF?"

That's code for "We gotta contact a site designer to make over the page"

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2006 01:36 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment