We’re still in shock after a horrific mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida left 17 people dead. We grieve for the victims and their loved ones. But we’re also empty, numb, and angry with the knowledge that Republicans in Congress will do nothing to stop the epidemic of mass shootings in this country. We’d love to be proven wrong. Sincerely. If you’re a Republican lawmaker reading this, prove us wrong and DO SOMETHING.
In times like this, it’s hard to know what to say, so we thought we’d open the floor to the challengers running in the 14 congressional districts in California currently represented by a Republican.
To be clear, this does not imply an endorsement of the candidates or their message. We have not endorsed a specific candidate in any race, and our core mission is to help lay the groundwork for victory for whoever advances in the June primary. These posts were collected on Twitter, sorted by district, and then sorted by alphabetical order. For space constraints, we limited tweets to one per candidate. We apologize in advance if we missed any posts or if any posts were written after the completion of this email, and we’ll happily update this list if and when additional candidates weigh in. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to flag a missing candidate.
Here they are:
Congressional District 1 (currently represented by Rep. Doug LaMalfa):
18 #schoolshootings since Jan. 1st. Parents should never have to worry if their kids will return home from school safely. This is a nuanced & complex issue, but our representatives need to come together now & take action to help prevent more tragedies. #EndGunViolence
Congressional District 4 (currently represented by Rep. Tom McClintock):
Regina Bateson: (retweet from Rep. Adam Schiff)
My heart is broken again — this time for the victims of the Parkland school shooting, and the families whose children will not come home today. It is within the power of Congress to save lives, if we find the courage to act.
The heartache that our nation faces at the hand of gun violence must come to an end. My heart goes out to those affected by today's devastating tragedy. Congress or not, I will fight the NRA and those who support a violent gun culture. #ENOUGH #FloridaLOVE
My heart breaks for the students, families & teachers in Parkland, Florida, but thoughts & prayers are not enough. Our children shouldn't have to worry about being shot in their classrooms. We must do more to prevent these senseless acts of gun violence.
Congressional District 8 (currently represented by Rep. Paul Cook):
I am horrified and deeply saddened that so many children and their families in Florida are dealing with this violent tragedy in their own backyard. – MD
Congressional District 10 (currently represented by Rep. Jeff Denham):
Congressman Jeff Denham cares more about you having all the guns you could ever possibly want than he does about the lives of your children, your spouse, your neighbors, or the other 30,000 people killed by gunfire every year in this country. --mike
In this speech (https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/963904085283008512), Chris Murphy captures my feelings about the school shooting in Florida today: profound sadness for the victims, & outrage that our government has done nothing to stop this epidemic of violence.
Jeff Denham’s solution was co-sponsoring the NRA’s #1 priority for 2017, Concealed Carry Reciprocity. This bill forces California to allow people convicted of domestic violence, access to concealed weapons. #CA10 #gunsense
It’s tragic and painful to realize that #NRA #Republicans like @RepJeffDenham push to both cut mental health funding and repeal protections to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining firearms.
We need new leadership and we need #MedicareForAll.
Congressional District 22 (currently represented by Rep. Devin Nunes):
There is a lot of talk about how the NRA is invincible. But it is not a lost cause. We can work together to deliver gun control and protect America’s youth. And we must. #NotOneMore #CA22 #FrancoforCongress
What happened in Florida yesterday was a tragedy. We can't let the NRA stop us from having meaningful gun safety reform
Congressional District 23 (currently represented by Rep. Kevin McCarthy):
As a mother and military spouse, there is nothing that keeps me up at night more than the thought of violence affecting a loved one. Today the lives of 17 families in Florida were changed forever.
I defend reasonable gun ownership. I cannot defend school slaughters. I cannot defend sellout politicians who... https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/nra-donations/?utm_term=.0a2f690e9c49
Congressional District 25 (currently represented by Rep. Steve Knight):
The videos coming out of the school today are horrifying. There's really not much more we can say at this point. People will keep dying until our leaders learn to lead. #Parkland
The longer lawmakers abdicate their responsibility - to pass common sense gun safety measures, to fully fund mental health assessments, intervention, and treatment, and address the other related factors, the more people are going to fall victim to these kinds of atrocities.
Our government failed us today. Congress needs to stop hiding behind the Dickey Amendment which prohibits the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention from preventing #gunviolence. In Congress I will fight to overthrow this amendment to help keep Americans safe. #FloridaShooting
If your member of Congress DOESN'T come out in favor of gun law reform, vote them out. No more NRA holding our legislators hostage. We are done. #TheResistance #BlueWave2018 #GunReformNow
Congressional District 39 (currently represented by Rep. Ed Royce):
Another horrific school shooting & Trump & Republicans in Congress are still just offering thoughts and prayers. It's time for real action. We have to stop making excuses & finally pass comprehensive gun reform immediately. #CA39
I’m sorry, but the numbers are the numbers, & they indicate that gun laws will *not* prevent these things from happening.
But there *are* things we *can* do to prevent school shootings, & other mass shootings.
Universal (inc. mental) healthcare is a great start.
My heart breaks for the parents who lost their children & young people traumatized by seeing their classmates and teachers shot. We desperately need a new politics - not just a new Congress. 17 young people died today because our government refuses to take common sense measures.
As a teacher, I'm mortified just imagining what these students had to go through & my heart breaks thinking about their families. We have to finally say that the time for "conversations" about gun violence is over, it's time for action, & it's time for results. Not. One. More.
No. Demanding common sense gun laws does not mean we want to take your guns. The “slippery slope” argument does not apply.
How many more will die? #CommonSenseGunReform
Mai Khanh Tran:
At least 17 lives were lost today in the Florida shooting. @ChrisMurphyCT is right. Only in the US have such shootings become common, & it's because of how careless we are about gun safety. Where is our #gunsense?! When will we value our kids as much as our guns? #guncontrol
Congressional District 42 (currently represented by Rep. Ken Calvert):
There are more retail stores in the United States where you can buy a gun than there are Starbucks on the entire planet. It is no wonder we are mourning 17 deaths from another school shooting. We must do better for our children.
A solid piece by @NickKristof from a few months ago that I didn't see until now.
I support the Second Amendment #2A, but it doesn't mean unfettered access to guns for all people. There are common-sense actions we should be taking to reduce gun violence. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/06/opinion/how-to-reduce-shootings.html
Congressional District 45 (currently represented by Rep. Mimi Walters):
Powerful words about the responsibility of our elected officials to prevent mass shootings like the one that took place today — one of the 10 most deadly in modern US history.
@RepMimiWalters when will you stop taking money from @NRA and start standing up for our children? https://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/963958043904851968
This, this, and this! https://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/963958043904851968
Heartbreaking news from Florida. This is the 19th school shooting this year.
My thoughts & prayers are w/ the victims. More importantly, I promise them I'll never accept $ from the NRA or its allies & I'll fight to make our communities safe from the specter of gun violence.
We must do everything humanly possible to stop gun violence from killing our children, friends, and family. This has to stop.
We must all come together and demand that Congress take action to help prevent more senseless tragedies.
Congressional District 48 (currently represented by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher):
CAUTION - Disturbing footage. Lawmakers need to see what it's like for our children to experience the terror of another school shooting. @DanaRohrabacher are you going to do something to protect our kids? #CA48 @MomsDemand @GiffordsCourage
Modern @NRA functions as marketing arm for #GunLobby, nothing more.
#PhilandoCastile case solidified that for us. A lawful #gunowner...
Their deafening silence today, further proof.
#NRA has 5M members in a country of 340M & blocks federal funds from researching gun violence.
Last night, I heard so-called experts say, “kids should learn self-defense - throwing backpacks & chairs”
Throwing backpacks? Seriously?
How about #GunReformNow.
If Congress won’t act, voters will.
Still waiting for a statement from Dana Rohrabacher...
Laura Oatman: (retweet from Bill Madden)
Our Founding Fathers would be outraged that we've allowed America to be awash in AR-15s:
"Do any of you Republican ignoramuses understand that when we adopted the Second Amendment in 1791, our most destructive gun was a musket?"
— Founding Fathers, from the grave
Rachel Payne: (retweet from Huntington Beach Huddle)
Attending or working at a school in is no longer safe.But neither is a church,a theater,a concert or a mall.We don’t need a border wall.We need mental health resources and universal background checks for gun purchases.#GunActionNOW
I am heartbroken. Our children are in a war zone and the @NRA and @GOP are supplying the weapons with their continual attacks on common sense, national gun laws and restrictions. Where do you stand Dana? #CA48 @RepRohrabacher @shannonrwatts
Our hearts break for the victims & families of today's terrible shooting in Florida. We will never recover from the lives lost today. Our prayers & mourning must be followed by action. We must demand Congress to enact sensible #GunReform. The time is now.
.. yet we still do NOTHING!
Canceling a press briefing does NOTHING to address making it more difficult for the next disturbed person from getting a gun and shooting-up a school!
The on-going inaction of Congress to address common sense GUN SAFETY REFORM is unacceptable!
Congressional District 49 (currently represented by Rep. Darrell Issa):
Another senseless shooting. Nothing will be done by the NRA funded GOP. We need #GunReformNow
I am devastated for the families who lost their loved ones in Parkland and the survivors who endured so much trauma. This is the fifth mass shooting in Florida this year. We need stronger gun laws. We need Congress to protect our schools and communities. Lives depend on it.
Terrible news out of Florida with yet another school shooting. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We need to take action NOW to reduce gun violence.
We simply cannot accept our nation's high rate of school shootings as the new normal.
This Congress is making things worse with bad ideas like concealed carry reciprocity.
We must fight for a different Congress that puts our communities and schools ahead of the gun lobby.
What happened today was devastating. It's tragic that innocent lives are lost, all because our politicians are bought by #NRAbloodmoney. @NRA
--Flip the 14
Almost every day, a new story pops up that shows something incredible is happening in our state.
In the past week, we’ve seen:
- Rep. Tom McClintock in trouble. The Cook Political Report just added the 4th Congressional District to their list of swingable districts!
- Rep. Jeff Denham in bigger trouble. That same Cook Political Report just declared the 10th District a toss-up.
- Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Steve Knight in even bigger trouble. A new poll by Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies found voters in CA-48 and CA-25 ready to get rid of Rohrabacher and Knight by 10 and 18 (!) points respectively.
- Rep. Duncan Hunter in the biggest trouble. Federal investigators just subpoenaed Hunter’s parents in his ongoing ethics investigation. He continues to bleed far more cash in legal fees than he can raise in campaign contributions, and the whispers that he may not seek reelection are getting loud enough to anger a librarian.
- Ok, they’re all in trouble. What do Reps. Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock, Paul Cook, Steve Knight, Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher, and Duncan Hunter all have in common? They were all outraised by at least one Democratic challenger in the last quarter of 2017!
During the presidential election, I remember the constant assurances from polls and pundits that Donald Trump had no chance. When I led the state Senate, I knew a lot of smart people who would make confident predictions about elections.
I learned a valuable lesson: In the world of politics, smart people are often wrong. And some of them aren’t thinking big enough about the 2018 midterm elections.
California is uniquely positioned to be the epicenter of a blue wave this year, but Democrats will miss our opportunity if we don’t have boots on the ground preparing for success.
The writing is on the wall. The Democratic base is hugely excited -- largely due to their distaste for Trump. The Republican base -- at least for most of 2017 -- has been less passionate. And that sort of base enthusiasm disparity has translated -- and likely will continue to translate -- into major gains for Democrats in the midterms.
History suggests that Republicans are in a familiar position: Standing in the shallow water watching a massive wave building out in the ocean. According to Gallup, the average seat loss for the president's party in midterm elections with a president under 50% approval (as Trump is now) is 36 -- a number that, if past predicted present, would cost Republicans their House majority.
Since new congressional district maps took effect in the 2012 elections, much of the population growth in those Republican districts has been among nonwhite voters, who overwhelmingly favor Democratic candidates.
Walters’s district has grown by 33,000 residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. Of those new residents, 30,000 are nonwhite. The white population actually declined in Royce’s district while the overall population grew by 10,000 residents. In Denham’s district, 17,000 of the 21,000 new residents are nonwhite.
Over the weekend, we were featured in a San Francisco Chronicle article, Democrats in droves seek to topple GOP in California’s congressional races, about the huge number of Democrats entering Congressional races across California. As I told reporter John Wildermuth, “Democrats have to stay focused on the prize. They need to prove they can bring about the change they want in the district.”
Competitive primaries can be a great boon in our efforts to flip Congress when they inspire voters and bring unheard voices to the table. The huge number of candidates running reflects the passion and energy necessary for a blue wave to happen. And the GOP’s record number of congressional retirements, including two in California, reveals that they know a wipeout is coming too.