"How will you compete North of Dockweiler?"
I asked Bill Bloomfield at the Pacific Harbor Republicans Meeting, which took place in June, 2012.
Manhattan Beach millionaire Bill Bloomfield had just won the number two spot in the June primary, which qualified him to challenge Waxman during in the general election.
He won top votes in the Beach Cities, which was to be expected, since he is a South Bay resident.
"How will you compete North of Dockweiler?"
The territory North of Dockweiler Beach in the 33rd Congressional District includes Santa Monica, Venice, and LA's Westside. These regions are decidedly Democratic, but with significant "Decline to State" elements, as well.
"I am going to tell them the exact same thing that I am sharing with all of you."
He then outlined the issues of hyperpartisanship, massive debt, and the power of special interests which are breaking Washington apart.
Within me, I sensed that this argument was a bit fatuous as well as presumptuous.
No constituency in a Congressional District wants to be lumped in with the exact same interests as other sections. Venice is not just Democratic, but outright leftists, where partisans claim that Congressman Waxman is "too right wing", too corporate.
"The People's Republic of Santa Monica" also has a distinct vibe, nothing like the South Bay, and certainly nothing like the elite Malibu/Pacific Palisades area.
The next contender for the 33rd Congressional District must frame not only central themes for the campaign and for the district, but specific outreach targeting the individual needs of every region, each constituency in the district.
When will someone champion the extension of the Subway to the Sea, through Beverly Hills all the way to Santa Monica? The Entertainment and Real Estate industries need lower taxes and more protection for intellectual property. More people should be aware of the private medical profession in the area, including Cedars-Sinai Hospital. As for real estate, homeowners are facing a capital gains tax because of Obama-WaxmanCare, yet no one has pressed the Congressman on the costs of his signature health care law.
Westwood is home to UCLA and UC students struggling to see a viable future for themselves despite rising tuition and lowering job opportunities. The federal government's massive intervention into the student loan industry will only make a big problem bigger, as rising tuition fueled by easy credit is creating another economic bubble. This artificial expansion of credit threatens universitied, already overdrawn with debt, along with students who graduate with less marketable skills into a more hostile job market.
Brentwood has not onlywealthy actors and former governors, but also homeless and ailing veterans. The land remains unused and inhospitable. Veterans still have a better chance of getting a good burial plot instead of a hospital bed at this time. The negligence of homeless veterans should never have occurred during Waxman's tenure, and the issue very likely would have derailed his election changes altogether, but for the low voter turnout of conservatives and Republicans in 2012.
Malibu is having a terrible time with sand erosion. What will the next Congressman do to restore the receding shoreline along the Northern Santa Monica Bay? Pacific Palisades may be struggling with the same problem. What about the threat of wildfires in the region, too?
As for Santa Monica, the city has a significant homeless population, a number of which are veterans returning from Middle Eastern conflicts which have lasted far too long. As for the post offices
Venice has a higher incidence of left-wing radicalism, perhaps, but the youth vote is growing leery and weary of the older, established liberalism which spends money today, which will bankrupt future generations. Republican Ron Paul attracted a wide and youthful following. A future Independent or Republican candidate who announces libertarian views in line with a strong national policy could reinvigorate the youth vote away from Waxman. There's the Venice Post Office, too, which at least has found a private interest to maintain the building in the region.
The Beach Cities have a different set of interests. El Segundo is home to the LA Air Force Base and the Aerospace industry. Waxman's corporate interests may segue his influence toward limiting the impact of sequester cuts on the industry, yet a committed limited government advocate would also move for streamlining contracts and cutting red tape for the Aerospace and other engineering firms in the area. Why has Congressman Waxman not yet reached out to SpaceX in the nearby Hawthorne area?
Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach have a strong environmental vibe. Clean water and clean air should not clean out anyone's wallet, however, no matter how wealthy a community may be.
In Redondo Beach, the AES Power Plant will be decommissioned. Energy policy remains a stranded issue in Washington. Waxman wants to protect our coastlines, but cars and the need for fuel have not gone away, nor should they any time soon. West Torrance has its own water facilities, too, and enviroment, energy, and health issues all coalesce. Torrance also has a thriving business dynamic, one which Congress could learn from. The city stepped out of the way, permitting new businesses to thrive. Hawthorne Blvd. used to be boarded up with empty businesses, but new car dealerships are returning.
In Palos Verdes, panga boats are landing outside the surveillance of the US Coast Guard. Congressmembers Janice Hahn and Henry Waxman has written letters complaining about the lack of security in the region. A proper immigration reform, one which curtails the welfare state and opens the borders and streamlines naturalization, would solve this problem very easily. Defederalizing the drug laws would grant more flexibility to the states to decriminalize or at least depenalize the drug possession and trafficking, thus crippling the drug cartels in Mexico, and putting an end to the fearsome drug wars and massive immigration from South of the Border, most of which seeks political asylum as well as economic opportunity.
Let's not forget Harbor City and San Pedro, smaller constituencies perhaps, yet they lie in wealthy or at least established regions of the country. The two regions lie very close to the 110 Freeway and rely on the cargo traffic coming through the Port of Los Angeles. The ILWU has fractured profit and efficiency in the region once in the past year, as the clerks went on strike. 2014 will bring more challenges to the Port of Los Angeles, as the ILWU Local 13 Longshoremen will be fighting for a new contract. The Clerks went on strike for eight days in 2012. Who knows what the longshoremen will contemplate or initiate in two years. Punta Colonet, anyone?
"All politics is local", former Democratic House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill quipped. The 33rd Congressional District is one of the most widespread districts in the state of California, where the political interests are wide-ranging as well as intimate, remote as well as close, local and international.
The next Congressional contenders for the district must honor that every region requires more diligent attention than ending hyperpartisanship, lowering the national debt, and putting an end to the the special interest politicking in Washington.