New Mailer Hits Frontrunner’s Residence in Upcoming California Special

Posted August 27, 2009 at 3:29pm

Updated: 6:27 p.m.

With the all-party primary in the race to replace former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) just five days away, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D) launched an all-out assault against the likely frontrunner, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D).

With Garamendi appearing to gain momentum — he is far and away the best-known candidate in the special election, and he has been endorsed by most of the leading newspapers in the Bay Area in recent days — DeSaulnier has increasingly harped on the fact that Garamendi does not live in the 10th district.

On Thursday, DeSaulnier dropped a mail piece called “The Carpetbaggers Gazette,— taking Garamendi to task for refusing to challenge Rep. Dan Lungren, the Republican incumbent in the adjacent 3rd district — where Garamendi actually lives (to view the mailer, click here).

The front page of the mailer features a picture of Lungren and Garamendi together in a private plane above the headline, “Why Didn’t John Garamendi Run Against Dan Lungren?— The mailer continues, “John Garamendi would rather fly United’ with Right-Wing Republican Dan Lungren than stand up to Lungren’s anti-Democratic, anti-Obama Policies.—

The piece further takes Garamendi to task for waging a campaign against fellow Democrats — DeSaulnier, state Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D) and Iraq War veteran Anthony Woods (D) are among the leading candidates in Tuesday’s primary — instead of challenging Lungren.

Because turnout in the all-party primary is expected to be so low, DeSaulnier’s piece is clearly aimed at Democratic activists who know and like Garamendi.

Under California law, all dozen of the special election candidates appear together on Tuesday’s ballot. If no one tops 50 percent, which seems all but certain, the top vote-getters from each party advance to a Nov. 3 general election.

Because the district is so liberal, the main contest Tuesday is to see who tops the Democratic field. Based on name recognition alone, Garamendi should win. But with turnout expected to be minuscule, the labor unions, environmentalists and party activists who are largely behind DeSaulnier could make a difference. DeSaulnier’s new mailer should help his cause.

But Garamendi was quick to put a cable TV ad on the air Thursday touting his endorsements from all the local papers.

“The reviews are in and Bay Area newspapers are overwhelmingly endorsing John Garamendi for Congress,— a narrator says.

The ad, which is scheduled to run through Tuesday, can be viewed at https://www.garamendi.org/campaignvideo/endorsed.