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U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren, (R-Calif.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, questions Tareq and Michaele Salahi during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2010. The Salahis are appearing before the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee in response to their attendance at the State Dinner for Indian Prime Minister Singh at White House.     REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
Rep. Dan Lungren, cheater.
It doesn't look like there will be a final count in California's 7th congressional district any time soon. Dr. Ami Bera has a tiny lead over Rep. Dan Lungren. The last count released Wednesday had Bera leading with 184 votes, with 193,000 ballots yet to be counted. The next ballot release will be Friday afternoon.

This, like the Patrick Murphy/Allen West race, is likely to get ugly because, like West, Lungren has a history of playing very dirty, including hiring a consultant, Monica Harris, who has a serious criminal record that included embezzlement, theft and prison time. And voter registration fraud, in this election, which Lungren defended.

Lungren said he supported the voter drive and understood that there were sufficient safeguards in place to prevent fraud. "The overall registration effort made by the party was very successful. I am unaware of any single registration that was paid for by that program that had any problems," he said last week, adding that it's possible that the voters filling out the forms made mistakes.
The Sacramento elections board certainly saw problems with this voter registration drive, finding that "at least one-fourth of the 31,000 registration cards submitted by Harris and her circulators since September have been rejected for inaccuracies." And even worse, it "found numerous examples of people of having their political party affiliation switched to Republican against their wishes."

Goal Thermometer
Lungren is not above cheating. He might not be as bellicose as Allen West, but he's going to be willing to fight just as dirty to keep this seat. He'll certainly take the fight to the courts if he's on the losing side.

What we do know is that this is likely to drag into December, and the Bera campaign has to budget for staff and a probable legal fight. This could get pretty damned expensive for Ami Bera, so we're helping him get ready.

Please contribute $3 to Bera's recount fund.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:44 AM PST.

Also republished by California politics and Daily Kos.

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