Check out the website:  Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website.  

NORTHEAST: Political Note #363 Inc Tom Malinowski NJ 07, Political Note #394 Inc Susan Wild PA 07, Political Note #397 Eugene DePasquale PA 10

SOUTHEAST: Political Note #385 Inc Carolyn Bordeaux GA 07, Political Note #410 Charles Evans NC 08, Political Note #388 Inc Elaine Luria VA 02,

MIDWEST: Political Note #411 Christina Bohannan IA 02, Political Note # 398 David Palmer IL 13, Political Note #376 Inc Lauren Underwood IL 14, Political Note #398 David Palmer IL 13, Political Note #378 Inc Elissa Slotkin MI 08, Political Note #357 Inc Haley Stevens MI 11, Political Note #355 Inc Angie Craig MN 02 

 SOUTHWEST: Political Note #389 Inc Tom O’Halleran AZ 01, Political Note #356 Inc Susie Lee NV 03, Political Note #375 Inc Steven Horsford NV 04, Political Note #377 Inc Lizzie Fletcher TX 07, Political Note #362 Inc Vicente Gonzalez TX 15, Political Note #399 Inc Colin Allred TX 32

 WEST: Political Note #383 Harley Rouda CA 48, Political Note #384 Peter DeFazio OR 04.

 SPECIAL ELECTIONS:  Political Note #393 Allison Russo OH 15 (Election is in November, 2021), Political Note #364 Jana Lynne Sanchez TX 06 (lost), Political Note #382 Melanie Stansbury NM 01 (won),

September 14, 2021     Political Note #411 Christina Bohannan IA 02

2022                                General Election

In 2020, Rita Hart withdrew her challenge.  For this Open Democratic seat, she received 196,856 votes.  The Republican, Marianette Miller-Meeks, received 196,864 votes.  Five votes to spare.

Maybe. Rita Hart made a mistake.  She should have gone to Court.  The Des Moines Register said so.  And they were right.

She had good reasons not to go to Court.  Initially, the Republican appeared to lead by 282 votes. Some counties corrected their count.  And the absentee votes postmarked before election day that arrived on time (the Monday after the election) were counted, too.  The lead dropped to 47. At that point, Hart asked for a recount.  The recount got her to the result described above – the 6 vote difference. Along the way, according to Hart, those doing the counting neglected to count 22 ballots.  Had those ballots been counted, Hart would have won by 9 votes.

The Des Moines Register pointed out a problem.  The 24 counties in the Second Congressional district each used a method devised by itself for the recount.  Not fair, says the newspaper.  The Hart campaign probably said something stronger. Iowa law requires the creation of a “contest court” for a recount composed of five judges.  The “contest court” would have had to resolve disputes about the recount by December 8.  Not enough time to do the job says the Des Moines Register.  Hart said that, too.

Rita Hart went to Congress, which has the authority to decide who to seat in Congress.  The Des Moines Register said, Hart should have gone to Court and demonstrated the problems in the Iowa law regarding recounts.  Then, according to the Des Moines Register, she should have conceded.  And planned a campaign for 2022.  On this issue, the Des Moines Register was wrong.

If she failed in Court, Rita Hart had every reason to go to Congress.  Nancy Pelosi’s House of Representatives was not going to seat a Democrat unless somebody else – the county authorities or the Iowa Court had counted them. Not in 2020.   Not when the President of the United States was complaining that the presidential election was stolen from him.  The troubles of a Congresswoman from Charles City, Iowa “don’t amount to a hill of beans” to quote Humphrey Bogart, when the Presidential election is in dispute.

Rita Hart has not come back.  She is not running for IA 02.  Christina Bohannan is running against the now incumbent Marianette Miller-Meeks.  How has Miller-Meeks done?  Has she taken care to demonstrate moderation to the constituents of this district that had a Democratic Representative before her election?  Did she join the Problem Solvers Caucus intended to have about the same number of Democrats and Republicans working to minimize partisanship?  Did she join the Main Street Partnership Caucus of Republicans that describes itself as centrist?  Did she join that small number of Republican Members of the House who demonstrated their independence by voting for impeachment?  She did none of these.  She joined the Bus Caucus, the Motorcycle Caucus, the Pro-Life Caucus of course, the Sportsman’s Caucus, the Taiwan Caucus and more.

Miller-Meeks made a couple of concessions to moderation.  She supported the failed attempt to create a bipartisan commission to look into the January 6 insurrection.  She voted to accept the results of the election and to install Joe Biden as President.  We have gone pretty far down a rabbit hole to have to identify supporting the results of the Electoral College as a sign of Republican respectability.  I will give Miller Meeks this. She is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist.  Unlike another ophthalmologist in Congress, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, she did not create her very own board so she could board certify herself.

On balance, Miller-Meeks disappoints.  On medical issues, she opposes the Affordable Care Act.  She opposes abortion unless the birth of the child would harm the mother or unless the pregnancy results from a rape or incest.  She wears a mask herself for protection against COVID-19, but opposes any mask mandates.  She favors “traditional marriage” and opposes same sex marriage.  She favors what she calls “certainty for farmers” and opposes the EPA’s regulation of waterways and coal plants.   Miller-Meeks, who already has a million dollars available for her campaign, welcomed her opponent saying the voters will choose between herself, someone who wants to minimize government involvement in people’s lives and a Democrat who wants greater government involvement.

(An aside.  It is just plain puzzling that a Member of Congress who wants less governmental control of our lives both favors controlling women’s choice regarding abortions and criticizes her opponent’s support and anyone else’s support of mandating masks for public safety.)

Christina Bohannan is a Democratic candidate who can defeat Marianette Miller-Meeks.  She is a professor at the Iowa University of College of Law and represents the 85th District in the Iowa House of Representatives.  She is not originally from Iowa, but has her own story of growing up in difficult circumstances. She grew up in a trailer in rural Florida.  She has a personal understanding of the importance of the Affordable Care Act. Her father, a construction worker, developed emphysema, couldn’t work, and lost his health insurance. Her concluding point:  “People like my Dad, who work hard and do their part, should be able to make a living without the fear of everything they worked for being ripped out from under them [by illness].”

Christina Bohannan credits the support of teachers in her public school for starting her on her way to college.  She paid for her undergraduate engineering degree and her law school education picking oranges, clearing other people’s trailers, and eventually working as an engineer at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Her undergraduate degree and her law degree were from the University of Florida in Gainesville.  She developed a specialty in intellectual property and got a job teaching at the University of Iowa Law School.  Her students say good things about her: “The only professor my first semester to treat me like an actual person.” “ Great professor. Very clear, and very helpful. She will scare you at first, but that will wear off because she is extremely nice.”

Interestingly, at the University of Iowa, she was a success in academic politics – a form of politics that some people think is the toughest of all.  She was elected President of the faculty senate and chosen to serve on a presidential search committee. Her one term career in the state legislature was distinctive.  She defeated a 20-year legislator in a primary, earned a reputation for tough and critical analysis of proposed bills and proposed constitutional amendments, and prepared detailed reasons for her opposition to Republican proposals.  She earned respect, if not friendship.

Her clarity on issues comes through when she spoke to her constituents:

“This morning, subcommittees in the Iowa House of Representatives passed two constitutional amendments on to committee. One would strip away the fundamental right to obtain an abortion under our state constitution. The other would add a supercharged version of the [US] Second Amendment to the state constitution.

These are not just any bills — they are constitutional amendments. And they are pretty extreme. The abortion amendment does not just put some limits on the right to abortion — it eliminates the state constitutional right altogether. Given the current composition of the U.S. Supreme Court, it is not far-fetched to think the court could overrule Roe v. Wade, which would make the state constitutional right the last resort.

Likewise, the proposed gun rights amendment is not just a state version of the US Constitution’s Second Amendment (which many states have)> It is a more extreme gun rights amendment, an outlier that only three other state have adopted.  It would apply “strict scrutiny” to “any and all restrictions” on gun rights.  If passed this amendment would threaten to invalidate many sensible laws, from existing laws like the law prohibiting felons from having guns, to modest proposals like background checks and red-flag laws.  States that have adopted “strict scrutiny” language have seen costly legal battles to preserve common-sense gun laws, and some prosecutors have declined to enforce them.

Perhaps Iowa truly has moved this far to the right, but I am not convinced.  The recent attack on our nation’s Capitol is a grim reminder of the Consequences of extreme politics and the need for unity.  I do not believe Iowans are ready to repudiate a proud history of political moderation and common sense.”

If Christina Bohannan is elected to Congress from Iowa’s second district, she will be a force.  She’s got a lot of work to do if she’s going to win.  She has to raise a lot of money.  Help her now.  The district will be changed before November, but it is not so easy to gerrymander Iowa.  At least three, maybe all four, of Iowa’s districts are competitive.  Christina Bohannan will be competitive whatever the district looks like – if she can raise enough money.

Candidates to flip Republican Seats (I will keep adding to the list)

California 48            Harley Rouda

Illinois 13                  David Palmer.

Iowa 02                      Christina Bohannan

North Carolina 08   Charles Evans

Ohio 15                     Allison Russo (Special election November, 2021.)

Pennsylvania 10     Eugene DePasquale

These are vulnerable incumbent Democratic Members of Congress.  If you want to play some defense, choose a few of them to support.  If you want to learn about them, look at my Notes about them in the website. 

Members of Congress who won with less than 52% of the vote

Georgia 07               Carolyn Bordeaux  Received 51.39% of the vote in 2020

Iowa 03                      Cynthia Axne  Received 48.9% of the vote in 2020

Illinois 14                  Lauren Underwood Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020

Michigan 08             Elissa Slotkin Received 50.88% of the vote in 2020

Michigan 11               Haley Stevens  Received 50.2% of the vote in 2020

Minnesota 02           Angie Craig Received 48.21% of the vote in 2020

Nevada 03                 Susie Lee Received 48.75% of the vote in 2020

Nevada 04                 Steve Horsford Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020

New Mexico 01       Tom O’Halloran  Received 51.61% of the vote in 2020

New Jersey 07        Tom Malinowski Received 50.61% of the vote in 2020

Oregon 04                Peter DeFazio  Received 51.26% of the vote in 2020

Texas 07                   Lizzie Fletcher Received 50.79% of the vote in 2020

Texas 15                   Vicente Gonzalez Received 50.5% of the vote in 2020

Texas 32                   Colin Allred  Received 51.95% of the vote in 2020

Virginia 02              Elaine Luria Received 51.6% of the vote in 2020

Washington 08      Kim Schrier Received 51.79% of the vote in 2020

Organizations to support

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)

The Democratic National Committee (DNC).  The official organization of the Democratic Party.

Fair Fight Promotes fair elections around the country

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