Why Lois Capps is worried

November 22, 2010

California House Democrats, including veteran representative Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), are likely to face serious challenges to their long-held seats in the upcoming 2012 election. [North County Times]

The reason: Changes in California’s election code and political boundaries make the state’s Democrats more vulnerable than ever before.

“Preservation of incumbents isn’t going to happen,” said Gary Jacobson, a congressional expert and political science professor at UC San Diego. “There won’t be any gerrymandering, and senior incumbents may find themselves knocked off.”

California voters approved two measures in the past six months that will fundamentally alter congressional elections by giving an independent commission the power to redraw districts and placing the top two winners in a primary into the general election, even if they are from the same party.

The new political landscape, expected to be announced next summer, will make it more attractive for aspirants to challenge incumbents. It could also push veteran lawmakers into the same district, leading to awkward negotiations over who should remain in Washington.

California Republican strategist Tony Quinn estimated that the change in redrawing the districts alone could create as many as a dozen competitive districts in a state where successful challenges to incumbents are close to nonexistent.

In a further threat to incumbents, a state constitutional amendment passed in June creates the possibility that two candidates from the same party could run against each other in the general election.

Under the new rules, voters are allowed to cast ballots for any candidate in the primary, regardless of party. The top two winners progress to the general ballot.

Critics charge that Capps, first elected to Congress in 1998, benefits from gerrymandering with a district that has been drawn to exclude large populations of Republicans.

Capps has made no public announcement of 2012 plans.

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She needs to go. I’m sure there’s a school in need of a nurse someplace. It was wrong for her to ever be in office…

Crusader, this is a democratic society. Lois Capps was ELECTED to office by the voters of her district. She has every RIGHT to be in office. And she’s doing a very good job in serving her district.

If more politicians had the common sense, caring and decency of Lois Capps—along with her tremendous work ethic—our nation and our world would be a lot better off.

That’s the entire complaint about gerrymandering. It’s excluding those groups of voters that would have voter her OUT. You will see the how “fair” it is if she loses when the redraw her district. I’d vote against her… and i told her so when she was preparing to vote for the Bank Bailout.

I feel the same way about Kevin McCarthy’s district.

I tend to agree with on this one, Iceman. But I find it ironic considering all the disrespect and unfair criticism you have directed at Lois Capps, I’m still waiting for you to explain to us what it is that you want Lois Capps to do for her district that she hasn’t done or isn’t doing.

The presumption from the headline is that Lois Capps is worried. Well, did anybody @ CCN bother to phone Capps?

Or McCarthy, for that matter, who is under the exact same pressure come next election cycle.

Did anyone make the calls?

Didn’t think so.

There is no foundation for believing that Lois Capps is, or should be worried, with the passage of Proposition 20, or with the top-two primary. One mistake that campaign consultants and pundits frequently make is to rely on assumptions that the number of voters in a district affiliated with one or the other of the major Parties determines who will win on election day. What Capps has proved is that service to and for a Congress Member’s constituents is what voters value. Lois Capps frequently draws substantial support from registered Republicans, some of whom even write in her name in primary elections. Democrats, Republicans and those affiliated with the minor Parties in, and around, the 23rd Congressional District appreciate the quite but relentless way Lois Capps has advanced the quality of life of people on the Central Coast.

You can’t be serious.

Lois Capps was appointed – and shouldn’t have been. She also happens to serve in the most gerrymandered district in the state, guaranteeing her election. She doesn’t even have to put up campaign signs it’s so rigged. And, unless you count voting the straight democratic party line every time in Congress, how exactly has she enhanced the life on the Central Coast? She is one of the most ineffectual members of Congress.

srichison, you make the outrageous allegation that Lois Capps has been “ineffectual”? How so? What is it that you want her to do that she hasn’t done? Let’s be honest here. What have you got to say for yourself?

Are you upset that she didn’t support all the disastrous policies of the Bush Administration?

As far as I can see, Capps has been a great and responsive representative for the Central Coast, continually showing common-sense, decency and a strong work ethic.

But you act like you want more. But WHAT is it, specifically, you want from her?

You are absolutely right, Stew. Capps has been an excellent representative.

Some people don’t seem to appreciate how valuable it is to have an honest, scandal-free public servant like Capps in office. This is a woman who cares and is more easily approachable and responsive than any other U.S. Congress person I’ve ever known of.

There is no doubt in my mind that if more of our elected officials had the common sense and integrity of Lois Capps, our nation and our world would be a lot better off.

Why worry when the Republicans can only trot out millionaire carpetbaggers that are either the worst CEO’s in history or newbys that haven’t bothered to even vote in an election before running in one.

Or are you suggesting that the last election actually taught them something?


You mean Millionaire carpetbaggers like Hillary Clinton when she ran for the New York senate seat? What a joke!

In contrast the demos provided us with a man who lived off mommy and daddy’s trust well into his fifties and has no real success in his entire life.

I agree with ‘Wiseguy’ re: the article title. I appreciate the hard work by Capps on many fronts and her quick response to inquiries. CCN, if you want to write a story about ‘worry’, dedicate it to the flotsam that’s about to arrive and compound the disfunction in DC. The surreal descent into ‘idiocracy’ continues.

The same can be said about California with top two we unfortunately elected on Nov. 2

The tide is flowing against you, Iceman. If we had more scandal-free politicians in office like Jerry Brown and Lois Capps, our political situation would be a lot better. Brown and Capps are both true public servants who serve to help the community, rather than seeing it as an easy way to line their pockets with ill-gotten money.

It’s time that more voters choose to support candidates with a track record showing high moral character. Electing Brown and Capps is a start.

I agree with you on the “line their pockets” and “ill-gotten money part, but the difference is I understand it happens on both sides of the isle. Prove me wrong. Show that there is not one Democrat that is guilty of this, and then I will concede that point to you.

That’s easy: Congresswoman Lois Capps, for one.

Great, posit an impossibly high threshold, and then sit back and gloat when the obvious is confirmed. Lightweight.

Thank you.

Iceman, in case you didn’t know, it’s possible and very easy for an individual to click on and record “likes” numerous times on a single entry. In other words, the tallies don’t mean much, other than showing which “side” is so obsessed that they feel it necessary to juice the numbers.

In case you didn’t notice, there was an election earlier this month, and Lois Capps creamed her opponent. And frankly, most people who have the common sense to support Capps could not be bothered to roll around in the muck of this forum and argue with people who have closed minds and have little more than inflamed emotion to back up any of their arguments.

I have a problem with the headline of this story, as it is not supported by the story. There is nothing in this story that shows that Lois Capps is “worried.” Maybe she is, and maybe she has reason to be, but there is nothing in this story that confirms that.

I consider that a sloppy, misleading headline.

I appreciate the work that CCN is doing, but too often the content slips into non-professionalism and is misleading.

In any case, I think Capps has done a good job, and certainly better than what we would have suffered if one of her Republican challengers had prevailed over her. We don’t need more scandals, death and destruction on the Central Coast. I’m voting for Capps, assuming I remain in her district after the redistricting.

But for all you Capps bashers, I ask you: What, specifically, do you want her to do for the Central Coast that she hasn’t done?

Not run again. Honor her original promise after first being elected.

Lois Capps has repeatedly run for office because voters in her district asked her to and are very pleased she consented. We are very pleased with her scandal free political career that has helped prevent a death-and-destruction-loving, money-grubbing, “greed is good” Republican from getting her seat.

What do you have against Lois Capps? Accepting that she is our Congress woman and will remain so, what is it that you would like her to do for the people of the district that she hasn ‘t been doing?

I have not heard of Lois Capps defending Charles Rangel in any way whatsoever. Politicians like Lois Capps are an antidote for the Charles Rangels.

Iceman, what do you have against Lois Capps?

Again, I ask you: Accepting that she is our Congress woman and will remain so, what is it that you would like her to do for the people of HER DISTRICT that she hasn ‘t been doing?

Lois Capps has been great, responsive and approachable and scandal free representative and servant of her district.

More power to Lois Capps!

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. She’s the chosen one. She’s perfect.

So it IS possible to change a person’s mind on this forum! Thanks, Iceman!

Actually represent US and not always vote the party line. Too much of that on both sides of the aisle.

Lois has good reason to be worried. She got in on her dead husbands coat tails, re elected over and over because of the districting boondoggle and has nothing positive to show for her time in office except the tattoo removal program. Just being voted “the nicest” legislator does not cut it anymore lois…

Both of the Prop’s talked about in this article went by mostly under the radar. They will have a major impact on the current and future politicians. Some fairness will return to the election process. By taking the redistricting boundries out of the hands politicians, it will force them to be more responsive to their constituents. They will no longer be able to phone in their election like Lois Capps has done. Mrs. Capps

district is by far, the most gerrymandered area in California. It will be tough, but this is the start that will make our elected officails be more beholden to us, instead of the special interest groups. The cracks are now starting to appear in the dam that has had a death grip on California way to long.

I don’t why she cares, she doesn’t do anything anyways. Oh yea, she is a rubber stamp for the dems.

Lois Capps has a strong record of helping lots of people in this district and elsewhere (legally!)

Iceman, please reread your comments above and notice that your criticism of Capps completely lacks any foundation. What has Lois Capps done or not done that displeases you so much?

Again, I ask you: Accepting that she is our Congress woman and will remain so, what is it that you would like her to do for the people of HER DISTRICT that she hasn ‘t been doing?

Iceman, I am not trying to change your mind. I’m simply pointing out the weakness of your “arguments” and your inability or unwillingness to provide any substantial foundation for the majority of your criticisms of Lois Capps.