ByTimm Herdton August 10, 2012 4:09 PMShare:
Much has been said, written and speculated about on what the political effects on thepresidential race will be of
selection of Wisconsin Rep.
tobe the Republican vice presidential nominee. Because of Ryan's leadership role in theGOP-controlled House of Representatives, however, it is likely that his high-profile roleon the national ticket will have a substantial effect on congressional races this fall aswell. As astory in Politicothis morning put it, "The reality is that Ryan is now everyRepublicans' running mate whether they like it or not."Ryan, of course, is the author of the much-debated "Ryan budget" that HouseRepublicans have twice approved -- a budget plan that most controversially proposesto offer healthcare vouchers to seniors who choose them to pay private insurancepremiums rather than use Medicare insurance (the original version made the voucher provision mandatory).Democrats have made no secret of their intent to use the Ryan budget as a campaignissue, especially against incumbent House Republicans who are on the record votingfor it. Polling shows the Medicare provision is highly unpopular among voters.The importance Democrats attach to the issue was well demonstrated in VenturaCounty's 26th Congressional District primary campaign, when the DemocraticCongressional Campaign Committee sought to tie the Ryan budget around Supervisor
, a former Republican who was running as an independent. Although Parks had been publicly critical of the Medicare provisions, the DCCC mailersalleged that Parks would join other Republicans in Congress "to end Medicare as weknow it." In fact, Parks had written on Facebook in response to a query about the Ryanbudget that she was concerned it "would leave vulnerable senior citizens without healthcare."But she stopped short of assailing it with the kind of partisan zeal that Democrats haveattached to it, and called discussion of the Ryan budget "a moot point" because it was"a one-sided proposal" that was "dead in the water."With Parks having been eliminated in the primary, Democrats will now turn their attackson the Ryan budget and seek to use them against GOP candidate
.Unlike incumbent Republican House members, Strickland does not have a record of voting for the Ryan budget, but in an interview with me this spring he expressed strongsupport for what the Ryan plan seeks to accomplish."I give a lot of credit to Paul Ryan for coming up with ways to reform Medicare,"Strickland told me. "There's no question that actuarially it's not sound. If we do nothingright now. Medicare and Social Security will be 100 percent of the budget."Democrat
lost little time in seeking to tie Ryan and his budget plans toStrickland. Within hours of the announcement of the Ryan pick Saturday morning, thecampaign issued this statement from Brownley: "The Ryan budget puts millionaires andbillionaires ahead of seniors, women and the middle class by turning Medicare into avoucher system, raising the age of eligibility to 67, and making devastating cuts for women's health and education. This would be a disastrous plan for Ventura Countyand the nation, and it's clear that Tony Strickland would be another rubber-stamp votein Congress for the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan agenda."The end result may be that voters in Ventura County this fall will get a chance to hear afull debate about the future of Medicare -- both the question of whether cutting costsand/or raising revenues is a national imperative and whether the cuts proposed byRyan and House Republicans go too far. That will mean that the 26th CD campaign willbe nationalized to a level that it probably wouldn't have been had Romney chosensome other VP nominee.
Gorell takes on Pavley ... indirectly
Perhaps had Assemblyman
of Camarillo not been on military deploymentin Afghanistan this winter, he might have been persuaded to run for state Senateagainst Sen.
of Agoura Hills in a district in which Republican Partyleaders had to scramble to find a candidate. But instead, of course, Gorell is runningfor re-election to the Assembly.But that doesn't mean he isn't playing a role in the 27th Senate District race. In additionto giving a modest $1.150 directly to the campaign of L.A. County prosecutor
, who is running against Pavley, Gorell this spring contributed $20,000 to the SanLuis Obispo County Republican Party. And what is the San Luis Obispo County GOP doing with its money? On Wednesday, itdropped a cool $70,000 into Zink's campaign.Last we checked, San Luis Obispo is avery long way from eastern Ventura County, where Zink and Pavley will be squaring off.
Tit for tat on candidate tax problems in 24th CD