Hello fellow Kossacks and true progressives (I mean this with emphasis),
A number of you have paid attention to my reporting of the recent race in California's 49th Congressional District between Rep. Darrell "Darth Vader" Issa and Democratic candidate Jerry Tetalman. It is also evident that Jerry Tetalman did not win the election and had an uphill battle to unseat Issa.
However, one thing no one is reporting about is how many votes Jerry Tetalman has received since he lost the election. Mind you, neither any of these new votes have changed the outcome of the election nor are they going to make a difference.
What new votes mean for Jerry Tetalman is an indication of a trend that's happening, a movement within California's 49th District that hasn't happened before since Darrell Issa has held his Congressional seat since first being elected. No longer is Riverside County safely conservative or Republican. No longer is the 49th District Safe Republican. In fact, it's becoming more Democratic and Independent and will only continue to increase in the years to come.
What does this mean for voters in the 49th District of California?
Well, the same thing that is happening in Paul Ryan's own Congressional District, which Rob Zerban recently ran in (and did a marvelous campaign without any real donations coming from the DCCC) and lost.
The same thing that is happening in Steve King's own Congressional District, which Christine Vilsack recently ran and lost (even with significant support from former President Bill Clinton and DCCC support).
The same thing that is happening in Eric Cantor's own Congressional District, which Wayne Powell recently ran a campaign in and lost (without DCCC support).
The same thing that is happening in Michelle Bachmann's own Congressional District, which Jim Graves ran an outstanding campaign and had DCCC support (I believe) and almost won but lost.
One thing none of you on Kos know about Jerry Tetalman and his race in California's 49th Congressional District. He ran his uphill battle against Darrell Issa in the 49th District for over a year without any support from ANY credible or active Democratic or progressive grassroots groups outside of San Diego, the 49th District or even California's Democratic Party. In fact, Tetalman's campaign wasn't getting as much traction until recently after I started posting diaries on Daily Kos about Tetalman and his candidacy.
Tetalman's near 42% win isn't any fluke. It was achieved by a campaign with significantly less funds than any of the above Democratic candidates I mentioned. Think of what Tetalman's campaign would have been like if the DCCC had balls and contributed to his race. On top of this, Jerry Tetalman is more progressive than any of the above candidates and has been a straight shooter in just about every single litmus test question I've asked about him that progressive Democrats and even disillusioned Democrats want in a Democratic leader in Congress.
Here's my previous diary on the election results in California's 49th Congressional District, along with my statement and vote tally per Huffington Post's election results section:
Below are the voting results per Huffington Post's election dashboard. Notice how many votes Jerry Tetalman received, considering the 49th Congressional District leans conservative.This was November 8th, just a couple of days after the election, after Jerry Tetalman lost. However, it is now November 24th and now additional information is available per Huffington Post's election results section:
Darrell Issa (R)
Percentage of Votes: 58.9%
Jerry Tetalman (D)
Percentage of Votes: 41.1%
100% reportingNote that while the vote margin has increased in Darrell Issa's favor, the percentage of votes has barely even changed. In fact, the percentage has only gone down 0.01% for Issa and increased 0.01% for Tetalman.
CANDIDATE VOTES PCT.
✓ Darrell Issa I 139,127 58.8%
Jerry Tetalman 97,454 41.2%
Tetalman also now has an increase of 14,892 votes which now means his tally is 97,454.
Not bad for a candidate who ran with no support aside from individual donations from people not even associated with a number of Democratic organizations.
What does this say about the future? Well, not only does it mean California is becoming more blue by the year, it has potential of becoming either Maine or Rhode Island in blue territory by 2020. Keep in mind this is a very bold statement I'm making and I might be proven wrong.
However, as we've seen with the election results, more than three gains for the Democrats in the House of Representatives have been made in the recent elections. Less than five incumbent Republican Congressman have had challengers whose percentage wins in their respective races have been less than 40%.
So while Jerry Tetalman's win is only 41% of the total votes, 97,454 votes is not that much less than the population of Berkeley, which according to the July 2011 Census, is 113,905. We know of course Markos is based in Berkeley but that's besides the point.
The point is, Darrell Issa is vulnerable and neither the DCCC, the DNC, enough people on Daily Kos or even Democracy for America are even aware of what's going on in the 49th District of California. Yes, this district leans conservative but that means "Leans Conservative." Furthermore, there is no way in hell Darrell Issa is going to get back his own district into being a red district. It's going to be purple most likely by 2016 and maybe even more Democratic than that afterwards.
Who do we have to thank for this? Jerry Tetalman.
Tetalman has run probably the most unique race for Congress this year because his ideas are more bold than pretty much any Democrat running for Congress. Not only that, he's a practical, non-ideological Democrat who happens to be one of the strongest progressives out there. People ALL across the country donated to Jerry Tetalman's campaign, both because Darrell Issa is very divisive and also because of Tetalman's vision. In fact, I will go so far as to say this...
If you don't think Barack Obama is progressive enough, Jerry Tetalman's your guy.
Anyway, the race is over but the movement isn't. Two things that are happening as you are reading this diary:
1) Jerry Tetalman is obviously taking a break from the election and going back to his regular private business, which he's been working for some time. Of course he needs a break.
However, it's very likely Tetalman will run again although it's a matter of when. In fact, Tetalman's vision is so bold, it will be basically going further than even what Obama might propose and is even just as practical, if not more practical of a vision than what Obama is offering to the American public. For the Democratic Party not to listen to Tetalman's ideas would be a shame.
2) A fellow Kos member and I are going to slowly but surely continue the movement that Tetalman has started but take it to the next level. We call this movement the movement where Democrats are known as the "Knowledge Democrats." This means that whenever you are a Democrat, you are not divisive, not ideological, not partisan but practical. You are also a true progressive, no Joseph Lieberman, Zell Miller or Artur Davis but one who believes progressive views are also quite possible and real in application to the real world. An example (per Jerry Tetalman):
Peace is no longer a vision in a vacuum or wishful-thinking: It's practical now and more and more groups around the world are working at peace conferences to try to end violence and war once and for all. Jerry Tetalman can point this out because he's been at a lot of such peace conferences, has met Desmond Tutu and others and has more foreign policy and peace credentials than even Dennis Kucinich or most Green Party Presidential Candidates. In fact, Tetalman himself used to be a member of the Green Party but that's an entirely different story.
Anyhow, I invite you all to share your ideas and thoughts.
In the meantime, here are some videos of Jerry Tetalman to give you an idea of the kind of movement and politics I believe in:
8:59 PM PT: Hey guys, I'm back from a Thanksgiving trip in Carmel. It was awesome. Now I'm finally able to read comments. Thank you for the feedback.