As a 25-year veteran of California’s 50th Congressional District, we’ve seen a lot of the strangest political stuff possible. This ain’t your standard issue power to the people kind of place. It’s been more like a political cesspool represented by the worst bottom feeders imaginable.
Think about it. Dear old Randy “Duke” Cunningham, top gun and top corruption felon, who parlayed his 50th stewardship into a Rancho Santa Fe estate followed by eight years in prison for accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors kicked off the recent history of banana republic district political abuse.
The Dukester, who also was one of the most malignant narcissistic blowhards this side of Donald Trump, and before it became politically fashionable, sort of represented the 50th from 1991 to 2005. Good times. Especially for swamp criminals.
As a sidebar, Duncan Hunter — the real Duncan Hunter, not his progeny Duane who will come up later — was Duke’s good buddy and also caught up in L’affaire Brent Wilkes, escaping by his chinny chin chin. Although credit where credit is due, the “king of the earmarks” wracked up the honor of being named most corrupt member of Congress by the non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
(In fact, take a deep dive into our district’s legacy of corruption. A January 2017 article in Quartz you can visit here titled “Don’t forget the corruption that inspired the US Office of Congressional Ethics in the first place,” traces the very existence of that group to the Cunningham scandal. So nice to be recognized.)
Following Cunningham, that dear old lobbyist Brian Bilbray, of Imperial Beach, did his time for a term. Bilbray famously lived outside the district, claiming his mother’s Carlsbad house as his home address. He never stayed there, living instead, where he remains, as a swampy lobbyist at Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington D.C.
Following Bilbray, we got the honor of being inflicted with the real deal, Duncan Duane Hunter, elected by virtue — and we use the term loosely — of his dad’s connections and the overwhelmingly Republican-majority district. The district has been shedding Republicans steadily since then but remains the only Republican-majority district left in Southern California with a Cook Political Report R+11 rating as of 2020.
By virtue of Hunter’s crimes, too numerous and well-known to bother repeating at this point, and the past as prologue predecessors’ experiences, the Fighting 50th now has the distinction of being without any representation at all. Considering Hunter’s lack of a record and vaping malfeasance and misfeasance in office, that’s probably an improvement. Still, considering the 1776 cry of no taxation without representation, it’s not a very American place for us to be.
Backward into the future
Now, for your consideration, we present the prospect of the March 3 California primary election. As befits the rhythms and rhymes of past 50th legacy, the candidate field with one exception is a bad joke, a travesty, a canard and a disgusting piece of carpetbagging garbage.
Is this something we deserve, truly, or are the political gods continuing to punk us?
The district has four candidates with any kind of name recognition or possibility of moving on to the general election. Three of them do not live in the district.
Let’s uppercase, boldface, single out and repeat this:
THREE OF THE FOUR MAJOR CANDIDATES IN THE MARCH 3 PRIMARY FOR THE 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT DO NOT — REPEAT — NOT LIVE IN THE 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.
And what a bunch of doozies we’ve attracted in these three faux candidates representing the thanks for nothing please go home and run where you live wing of the political spectrum.
Say hello to your new neighbor and candidate Darrell Issa, former longtime 49th Congressional District representative, formerly the wealthiest member of Congress who wasted our time and taxpayer dollars on bogus Benghazi, Fast and Furious and other delusional fake investigations and conspiracy theories before they even got Russian-influenced.
For good measure, Issa didn’t run in 2018 following massive protests at his local offices — including one classically scandalous Vista appearance where he stood on the roof of the office building to avoid, or look over, protestors; your choice. He retired rather than face the prospect of losing, which he acknowledged as his reason for quitting.
Issa followed that up by having his nomination to lead Trump’s U.S. Trade and Development Agency derailed last September amid concern over his FBI background file that the White House refused to make available to the full Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
“There’s information in his FBI background investigation that concerns me greatly, and that I believe members may find problematic, and potentially disqualifying for Senate confirmation,” said ranking Democrat Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who held up Issa’s nomination for a year.
Issa, of Shadowridge in Vista, is a carpetbagging bottom feeder to be sure. However, being one of the top wealthiest 1 percent at least he may be going through the motions. Rumor has it he recently bought a residence in the district because, you know, that’s going to fool everybody into thinking he actually lives here or gives a rat’s ass about any of us.
Then, consider our next carpetbagging freak, which is also our new hashtag for Carl DeMaio. This piece of super-cynical wonderment seems to have built a career on raising money for whatever personal purposes he pursues. He is one of those rabid right-wing radio rodents who run their mouths and kind of flitter from hypocrisy to hypocrisy.
While #carpetbaggingfreak (DeMaio) runs his mouth a lot, the longtime Rancho Bernardo and city of San Diego resident has yet to win an election, although not for lack of trying. He has lost in every bid for elected office, including a failed mayoral bid in 2012 and a failed congressional bid in 2014 in the 52nd District challenging Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego.
It’s obvious why these two cynical hacks want to infest the 50th with their bed bug campaigns. They figure they can slide in with the only remaining Republican majority district in Southern California. They also figure voters who actually elected the criminal and self-avowed war criminal Hunter to five terms must be stupid, or something. Maybe it’s the water. Maybe it’s the plague.
However, what’s with the third of the carpetbagging trio. That would be Marisa Calderon, a, holy crap Batman, registered Democrat.
Calderon is a real estate something who lives in San Diego’s College area. She supposedly was going to run in her district, the 53rd, to replace Susan Davis but, apparently, when the going gets tough, the carpetbagging gets to the 50th.
For the record, Calderon has zero chance of making it to the general election and nothing but her, again apparently, cynical political ambition to offer. We don’t even know where the College area is in San Diego. We just know she has never participated in 50th politics and doesn’t deserve to represent us. Go back where you came from, and try to win an honest seat, Felicia, bye.
And then there was one
OK, enough with this nonsense. The 50th has one legit choice this year. That’s our friend, and defender, Ammar Campa-Najjar.
Ammar loves our district. He actually lives in our district. He has been speaking with district voters for years. He nearly unseated the Hunter political crime family in 2018 despite the significant party registration disadvantage.
Ammar is our guy, someone who cares and who has become a household name in the district. He has been such a political star that he has received considerable local and national media coverage.
Also, as noted by other sources, Ammar has built an extensive campaign, raised and spent millions of dollars. He has received dozens of endorsements from local, state and federal elected officials, numerous unions and Democratic organizations, including the California Democratic Party.
Enough of the criminals and carpetbaggers who don’t care about us. Enough of the political chicanery dating back to Cunningham and the 1990s.
Few districts in the entire nation have been so beleaguered and chronically misrepresented, home to political criminals, scoundrels and fools, as our beloved homeland, ye poor ole’ 50th Congressional District.
We deserve a break already
We’ve had enough. We have one choice. Our lives and the life and reputation of our district depend on that.
This March 3 primary and November general election is a no-brainer. Tell your ma, tell your pa, and tell everybody who actually lives here, to vote for Ammar Campa-Najjar.