$40k Push Poll?

June 9, 2006 at 8:44 am | In CA-26, David Dreier, ethics reform, Russ Warner | 2 Comments

So far, this is the most intriguing of answers to my question about how the Warner campaign lost it. I wonder where I can get another source on this (from the comments on my MyDD diary):

Wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard it myself, but Wes Clark – here in Vegas for the YearlyKos – claimed that Dreier put $40K into a last minute push poll to eliminate Warner

Not terribly surprised if it is true. Matthews is about as an inept as they come. I know quite a few Dems who held their nose and voted for Dreier after hearing the hate she spewed on John and Ken in 2004.

by Estlin on Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 03:16:02 AM EST

(Emphasis added.) How detailed are campaign finance records? Would $40,000 show up as an expenditure if they’re following the rules?

CA-26: An Election Day Mystery

June 8, 2006 at 6:48 pm | In CA-26, Cynthia Rodriguez Matthews, David Dreier, Russ Warner | 3 Comments

[cross-posted at Daily Kos, MyDD and Calitics]

A week ago, I wrote a diary here asking for suggestions for starting a new blog to cover the race in CA-26. Two nights ago, I watched and reloaded, slightly disbelieving the preliminary results in the Democratic primary in CA-26, David Dreier (R-Closet)’s district. Russ Warner, endorsed by Gen. Wesley Clark, ran on a moderate platform of “protecting the middle class, promoting small business, and supporting our troops, honoring our veterans.” Clark came to the district, raised money for Warner, and even recorded a robocall for him. Warner was supposed to be the best chance in awhile to defeat Dreier, a tough prospect considering Dreier’s power as Rules Committee chairman and the Republican registration advantage in the district (46% R to 35% D).

Meanwhile, Cynthia Rodriguez Matthews, who came out of the closet during the 2004 election and challenged Dreier to do the same ran again. Matthews gave Dreier the closest margin of any reelected congressman in California in 2004 (54-42), thanks in no small part to the anti-Dreier activism of two radio hosts surrounding immigration. Yet Matthews had raised only $516 as of mid-May and $5,361 as of June 1. Her website is a nightmare. Watching the election from afar, I pretty much wrote her off.

So what were the results on election day?

Cynthia Rodriguez Matthews                 12,836   47.0 
Russ Warner                                10,308   37.8 
Hoyt Hilsman                                4,172   15.2 

That was, to say the least, unexpected. So now I pose the question to you: what happened?

I’m trying to decide if a comparison with CA-50 makes sense (of course that was a special election, not a primary). In assessing Busby’s loss, Matt Stoller argues that Bilbray ran to the left of Busby, who ran as a moderate and highlighted the “Culture of Corruption,” but didn’t really motivate the base. Kos sounds the same message, writing:

As I travelled the country extensively on my book tour I heard the same points over and over again, in city after city. Regular activists out in the states understand these concepts. But the DC bubble politicians and consultants simply don’t get it.

The “culture of corruption” is a nice secondary theme to weave into our broader narrative, but it can’t be the message on which we pin our 2006 hopes.”We’re better managers” won’t inspire our troops to head to battle.

This will be a base election. Inspire and motivate.

See Montana Democrats like Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Jon Tester for a taste of how that’s done. The corruption message helped MT Dems take over the governor’s mansion and legislature in 2004, but that was just a sub-thread of their broader message.

They, and others like Paul Hackett would’ve won CA-50.

Maybe Warner lost because, despite his big name endorsement, he didn’t motivate the base. Or maybe it was just the low turnout due to other factors. Or an inexperienced campaign staff. Whatever the reason, it was quite an upset, and something of a mystery.

Post mortem?

June 7, 2006 at 6:00 pm | In CA-26, Russ Warner | 1 Comment

There’s a few comments below lamenting Warner’s defeat. Does anyone have insight into what happened with the campaign? I’m reluctant to try to do a post mortem right now considering how far off I was (just scroll down and you’ll see). Maybe this will be a much more personal blog after all.
Posting this for posterity:


“First, I would like to thank all of my supporters who worked so hard in this campaign. We kept it positive and focused on the issues. I learned a lot during this election, and I am looking forward to 2008.

I remain committed to taking back the House this year. I have faith that we can do it, and I will be dedicated to supporting those Democrats who can win in November.

Over the next few days, my family and I will take some time to rest, reflect and regroup. Then, it’s time to get busy again. I hope the great group of volunteers who worked with me on my campaign will stay committed and have faith. Together, we can work together for change.”

Polls Closed

June 6, 2006 at 8:48 pm | In CA-26, Russ Warner | 2 Comments

Polls closed half an hour ago. The Warner camp says exit polls have Warner taking an early lead. Here’s a picture of the Warner rally (along 210), which I hear got a lot of support from passing motorists:


Woah, woah

June 5, 2006 at 9:12 pm | In CA-26, David Dreier, do something, ethics reform, Russ Warner | Comments Off on Woah, woah

I got a little carried away (see below), what with some free time on my hands, a working Internet connection, and a couple days of blogging to catch up on. This is from my walk through Claremont, up Harvard Ave:

And here’s a summary of all of the posts below.

Election Day Tomorrow

June 5, 2006 at 8:59 pm | In CA-26, David Dreier, Russ Warner | 1 Comment

Tomorrow is Election Day! Go vote!

And if you’ve got some time:

If you are going to be in CA June 6 come by campaign headquarters for Russ Warner in Rancho Cucamonga, 10064 Foothill Boulevard, between Haven and Archibald. We can use all the help we can get.

Map of 10064 Foothill Boulevard, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Google MapsYahoo! MapsMapQuest

warner sign.jpg

Most of my blogging has focused on David Dreier and Russ Warner, and that’s not just because Gen. Wesley Clark has his back. Both will almost certainly be their party’s nominee for November. Nonethless, there are other Republicans, Democrats, and independents running, including Democrat Cynthia Matthews, who came shockingly close to unseating Dreier in 2004. Here’s the complete run down, from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:

Continue reading Election Day Tomorrow…

The General puts out the call

June 5, 2006 at 7:26 pm | In CA-26, Russ Warner | 2 Comments

A SethInCA exclusive (?): listen to Gen. Wesley Clark’s recorded message on behalf of Russ Warner!

More here:


RANCHO CUCAMONGA – ­JUNE 5, 2006 ­ Retired General Wesley Clark urged voters in the 26th district to get out and vote in Tuesday¹s primary election and to cast their ballots for Russ Warner for U.S. Congress.

In a recorded message that went out Monday afternoon to more than 70,000 voters in the 26th Congressional district, which extends from Rancho Cucamonga to La Crescenta, Clark says:

“Hello this is General Wesley Clark, and I am calling to urge you to vote in your primary election and to vote for Russ Warner for Congress. As Democrats, we need to pull together to prove that Democrats can be a full service party. Russ Warner has the courage and vision to make a difference for us in Washington. He is just the kind of leader Californians deserve to have on Capitol Hill. So, please take the time to vote tomorrow and vote for Russ Warner for Congress. This is General Wesley Clark, thanks for listening and please vote and vote for Russ Warner.”

Warner, a small businessman from Rancho Cucamonga, visited senior centers throughout the district and made telephone calls from his campaign headquarters the day before the election. On election day, Warner and his supporters planned to contact voters in a final push to get out the vote.

“I am going to continue to work hard to earn every vote, and I won’t rest until the polls close at 8 p.m.,” said Warner, who is endorsed by the California Democratic Party, political leaders, teachers, firefighters, labor and community activists, who are all supporting his efforts to topple 13-term incumbent David Dreier.

Warner has lived in Rancho Cucamonga for 26 years along with his wife, Kris, and their three sons. In announcing his candidacy in November, Warner said he will work hard for America’s families by protecting the middle class, promoting small business as the foundation of the new American economy and supporting our troops and honoring our veterans. He welcomed the challenge to run for Congress at the urging of his son, Greg, who served in Iraq for 17 months and will attend West Point later this month.

There are early indications that the Warner-Dreier race will be the one to watch following the June primary. Dreier has spent more than half a million on the race, is posting election signs and mailing to voters, moves he rarely makes this early in an election cycle.

Warner is conducting the most aggressive race launched by a Democrat running against Dreier in recent history. Along with direct mail and campaign signs, Warner is building a cadre of volunteers, who have been making telephone calls and walking door-to-door for several months. In March, Warner opened a campaign headquarters located at 10064 Foothill Boulevard, between Haven and Archibald, in Rancho Cucamonga.

For more information, please visit the website at www.warnerforcongress.com or call 909.837.9474.

More letters to the editor

June 3, 2006 at 1:02 pm | In CA-26, David Dreier, Russ Warner | 1 Comment

From the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:

Warner best Democrat choice for 26th District

I concur with the Daily Bulletin’s endorsement of Russ Warner as the best Democratic choice for the 26th District.

I have had the privilege of meeting Mr. Warner and he offers the voters of the district a refreshing breath of fresh air. He offers the people of this district a person who is genuine and someone who understands the everyday problems that families face in today’s world.

It is time that we end the partisan bickering of career politicians and elect Mr. Warner so that we may have a congressman who can look to real solutions for real problems.

It is time for a change of direction in our country and it is time to work together as Americans.

Mr. Warner offers his life experience at a time when our middle class is under attack.

Our present congressman, Republican David Dreier, is a career politician who has lost touch with the people of his district and has become a rubber stamp for this administration. He has lost any independence that he may have had. He has been in office for 26 years and that is long enough. Mr. Dreier has become very skilled at saying one thing and doing another.

Mr. Warner understands on a very personal level what it is like to have had a son serve in Iraq. He tells the story of what it was like to call his son one day and hear explosions in the background.

As a parent myself I cannot imagine what Russ must have felt wondering if his son was OK. We need Mr. Warner who understands the reality of what we as Americans face each and every day, to represent we the people.

We need to retire Mr. Dreier, a politician who only understands the ins and outs of Washington.

– GAR BYRUM, Claremont

Dreier Refuses to “Vote Smart”

June 1, 2006 at 7:08 pm | In CA-26, David Dreier, Russ Warner | Comments Off on Dreier Refuses to “Vote Smart”

What does Dreier not want us to know?



John McCain, Republican Senator
Geraldine Ferraro, Former Democratic Congresswoman
Michael Dukakis, Former Democratic Governor
Bill Frenzel, Former Republican Congressman
Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President


Urge Representative David T. Dreier to fill out the NPAT

Campaign EMail Address:
Campaign Web Address:
Washington DC Web Address:
Washington DC Web Mail Address:
What is the NPAT?

To be fair, few incumbents in California (and around the country) bothered to fill out the NPAT, but Russ Warner filled out his as did Republican Melvin C. (Mel) Milton, who hasn’t raised any money but is convinced that the “gargantuan flow of illegal aliens and drugs from Mexico to the United States is tantamount to war”.

Wes Clark’s Call to Action

May 31, 2006 at 9:50 pm | In Russ Warner | 1 Comment

Welcome WesPAC readers. Here’s the main page of the blog.
Super Tuesday 2006:

June 6. One Week. Democratic Primaries in 8 States. Six WesPAC Endorsed Candidates.

Super Tuesday 2006 – You Can Make a Difference

In one week, five of General Clark’s endorsed congressional candidates have their primaries. General Clark has also endorsed a candidate for Lt. Governor. Each race is important and several are very tight.

General Clark has actively campaigned for each of the six candidates. Your help in winning each race is urgently needed and critical to success. The Clark community can be a decisive resource in helping General Clark support the six candidates on June 6.

We believe there is nothing we can do as Clark supporters more important than to make sure these candidates get into the general election.

Super Tuesday 2006 – You Can Make a Difference

WesPAC and each person signing this message are working closely with the six campaigns on General Clark’s behalf. We need your help today, tomorrow, and every day for the next week.

Three immediate steps you can take toward victory on June 6:

1. Contribute now. We know General Clark has asked you to help each candidate before. The closing week is the most vital. Please contribute what you can to one or more of the candidates.
The easiest way to contribute is to join the Clark Grassroots individuals who are making a difference in these campaigns. Go to http://www.actblue.com/page/wespac and make a secure contribution today. Making a contribution on this page demonstrates the impact General Clark is having on these races.
2. Contact the Clark liaison (listed below) for each campaign and volunteer to phone bank.
3. Forward this note to every Clark-supporter you know.

Please do this today. We are in the closing days when voters wake up and elections are won or lost. Your help makes a difference and demonstrates that General Clark can mobilize the grassroots to help candidates.

The Congressional candidates are:

CA-11 – Steve Filson www.filsonforcongress.com
Clark Liaison: Robin Galer robingaler@securingamerica.com 510-558-0888

CA-26 – Russ Warner www.warnerforcongress.com
Clark Liaison: Dion Nizzi dion_nizzi@yahoo.com

CA-50 – Francine BusbySpecial election for Duke Cunningham’s seat. Not a primary, the real deal, running against a Republican. Needs support big time.www.busbyforcongress.com
Clark Liaison: Joan Little dlittle@san.rr.com Joan is precinct walking each day and will return emails in the evening. You can volunteer directly with the campaignby going to www.busbyforcongress.com/campaign-events.php

IA-3 – Leonard Boswell No opponent in primary, but will need help for general election. www.boswellforcongress.com
Clark Liaison: Lu Ann Pedrick zoeyp2001@yahoo.com.

NM-1 – Patricia Madrid www.madridforcongress.com Clark Liaison: John Oeffingerjoeffinger@securingamerica.com

In addition, General Clark has also endorsed Jackie Speier for California Lt. Governor. Jackie is also running in the June 6 primary.

CA-Lt. Governor – Jackie Speier www.jackiespeier2006.com
Clark Liaison: Ellen Nagler ednagler@mac.com

Take action and help today – and every day for the next week.

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