My letter to the people

My name is Jeff Pearlman. I am

Dear Friend/Neighbor:

Though it may well come as a surprise, I’ve never written a letter like this before. Yes, I’m politically active and politically opinionated, but I’m not one to directly urge people how to vote on Election Day. It’s a private decision process—one I very much respect (whether we share beliefs or not).

That said, today I am making an exception. And I ask you to please give me a minute.

Over the past year I have paid extremely close attention to our congressional race here in the 48th, which pits a 30-year incumbent, Dana Rohrabacher, against Harley Rouda, a political newcomer and lifelong businessman. I’ve attended debates, I’ve read and read and read, I’ve chronicled the race.

And I am urging you … no, begging you—to vote for Harley Rouda.

To be clear, this isn’t your standard Democrat vs. Republican issue, or liberal vs. conservative issue. This isn’t about experience vs. inexperience, or Build a Wall vs. Don’t Build a Wall. I know many (most?) here are far more conservative than I’ll ever be. And I swear, this is not about that.

Nope—this is 100 percent about righteousness.

Over the past year, I have watched Rohrabacher associate with Nazi sympathizers and alt-right adherents with jarring comfort and regularity. I was at a rally in Huntington Beach where he appeared (unapologetically) alongside marchers walking with Nazi flags. I was shocked (truly shocked) when I read about Rohrabacher bringing infamous conspiracy theorist Charles C. Johnson (He argues that the Auschwitz gas chambers were not real, and the number of Jews killed by Nazi Germany was 250,000, not 6 million) as his guest to a meeting with Senator Rand Paul. I can go on and on about Rohrabacher’s lunatic ties to the alt-right—and, as the great grandson of a woman who was gassed in Auschwitz, I feel compelled to.

I knew little-to-nothing about Dana Rohrabacher when we moved here four years ago. But I’ve never seen someone this vile and unworthy hold a political position for so long. I can only explain it away via the power of incumbency and, sadly, general voter indifference.

Well, I am asking you a favor. Please do not vote for Dana Rohrabacher on Tuesday. I don’t care what else you do with your ballot. It’s none of my business. But this man has represented us long enough.

He’s more than an embarrassment.

He’s a disgrace.

Thanks for your time. I appreciate it, and I won’t bother you again on this issue.


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Jeff Pearlman


PS: It’s no exaggeration to say I’ve thought long and hard about my grandparents (My Grandma Marta could never speak of leaving Germany and her mother’s death without crying) during this process, and what they would want me to do. Hence, the letter.



Dana shares his thoughts on climate change

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Sometimes writing one of these posts is quite easy, because Dana Rorhrabacher has a way of stating things his nuttiness very clearly.

Here, in a new interview with Ross Ufberg of Pacific Standard, he offers his takes on climate change. If you were considering voting for Dana, and you have children (or care about children, and/or the future of this planet), this should end that.

A snippet …

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It’s that bad.

I am actually embarrassed for Dana Rohrabacher. Really.

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Operator, can I get the world wide webbing on this phone?

So one thing I’ve learned throughout the Crazy Dana portion of my life is that Dana Rohrabacher and his staffers are absolutely brutal when it comes to anything pertaining to the Internet.

As a collective, they remind me of my Aunt Ruth on Facebook—unnecessary exclamation points, posting the same offerings twice in a row, skipping weeks, then being very active for five-straight hours. It’s all weird and lame and flat.

Today, though, it got downright pathetic.

Out of the blue, a new Twitter feed began this afternoon. It’s called “Radical Rouda”, and the bio reads: A radical leftist masquerading as a moderate in the pockets of #BillionaireBolsheviks who will say whatever he thinks the voters of #CA48 want to hear.

Take a gander …

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OK, so there’s nothing new about snarky Twitter accounts; about biting Twitter accounts; about angry Twitter accounts. Hell, here you go—from personal experience.

But what’s absolutely awesome about @RadicalRouda is its first-ever Tweet was immediately re-Tweeted by the official account of … Dana Rohrabacher. This happened before @RadicalRouda had a single follower; happened barely after the account was created.

Which means, with absolute certainty, @RadicalRouda was made by the Dana Rohrabacher campaign staff.

I love, love, love this. And now I will count the reasons …

• 1. How terrified must your campaign be to create a ghost account one week before an election.

• 2. How sad and inept must your team be to do it this poorly.

• 3. There have to be better things to do at this juncture. There have to be.

• 4. I just realized—the account links to a website. Here, take a gander. And, because of election laws, the bottom of the site notes, in the tiniest/faintest writing possible …

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• 5. I’m actually gonna break character for a moment, and speak directly to Dana Rohrabacher. OK, here I do: Congressman, if by chance you win this election, fire everyone who works for you. They’re terrible.

• 6. Jesus. I just realized the main image on the Twitter feed is supposed to be, I suppose, a bunch of immigrants crossing a fence. Or something. God, this guy is such a turd.

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Dana Rohrabacher: “This president, I believe in him and I know he’ll stand strong.”

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In case you missed this, Dana Rohrabacher was interviewed by his friends at Breitbart the other day. The session lasted about 15 minutes, and it was Dana at his best. Which, if I’m being honest, means Dana rambling, stumbling, bumbling about this and that, that and this.

You can all but hear the interviewer, Rebecca Mansour, trying to carry the three-legged horse across the finish line by tossing him one slab of red meat after another. And, indeed, Rohrabacher touched on all the arch-conservative talking points the listeners and readers of Breitbart surely love.

But here’s the thing: Dana Rohrabacher isn’t running to represent far-right media. Nope. He lives here, in increasingly purple/blue South Orange County, and the words that appeal to Rush Linbaugh and Sean Hannity don’t, generally, fly in these parts.

Which leads to my favorite part:

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As I’ve said repeatedly on this site, the 48th isn’t in Mississippi or Kentucky. It’s not in Arkansas or Tennessee. Nope. It’s a progressive, advanced world, where voters (again—generally) don’t fall for idiot scare tactics. Most of us know about the bullshit nonsense that is the migrant caravan, and how this supposed threat to our nation is anything but.

So keep praising Donald Trump, Dana.


Dana Rohrabacher makes 0 mention of Pittsburgh

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It should come as no surprise that, as the election rapidly approaches, Dana Rohrabacher has made nary a mention of the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. Not on Twitter. Not on Facebook. Nowhere.

Why wouldn’t a congressman at least make note of such a tragedy? Why wouldn’t a congressman bemoan the hate spreading throughout America? Why wouldn’t a congressman Tweet out his heartbreak?

Why? Because this is Dana Rohrabacher—dog whistler.

Anyone who knows Dana’s career, and anyone who understands the demographics of Huntington Beach (home to his headquarters and most vibrant supporters) knows our congressman can’t both express empathy toward the Jews and be, well, Dana Rohrabacher. After all, this is a man who has brought a known white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer to meetings. This is a man who has appeared at marches and events alongside skinheads waving flags.

It has never been accidental for Dana Rohrabacher, this walking of thin lines and wooing of the hateful. He’s simply never before been in an election where people might notice. In the past, the Democrats have never threatened this man; have never truly had a puncher’s shot of winning the 48th. So, as a result, we didn’t pay attention to the odds and ends, nooks and crannies.

In 2018, we are.

In case I’m being a bit too opaque, here is what I’m saying: Dana Rohrabacher is fighting for his political life, and he needs (desperately) every attainable vote out there.

That means skinheads. That means neo-Nazis.

That means staying silent.

The lamest endorsement ever

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In case you missed it, the Orange County Register endorsed Dana Rohrabacher a few days ago.

The editorial is truly remarkable. Here’s the link.

Wait. Remarkable? How so? Well, for the first time since, perhaps, 1991, when multiple conservative Louisiana newspapers endorsed Democrat Edwin Edwards over Klansman David Duke for the state’s governorship, a major publication (admittedly, a stretch adjective for the Register in 2018) has thrown its support behind a candidate—without actually offering much of a reason.

Seriously, read the piece. The Register admits Rohrabacher is far too cozy with Russia. The Register admits Rohrabacher says stupid things. The Register admits Rohrabacher has abandoned his roots. The Register admits Rohrabacher often supports shitty policies. The Register admits Rohrabacher doesn’t pay much attention to his constituents.

But, hey, we had a meeting with Harley Rouda, and he wasn’t that impressive.

Seriously, I understand a conservative newspaper not backing the Democrat.

But at least try and make the guy you’re pulling for sound OK.

At least try.

Deborah Townes and Laguna Niguel

So tonight I took a short drive over to Chela’s on Alicia Parkway, where a Laguna Niguel city council candidate named Deborah Townes was hosting a meet-up.

The scene spoke to everything that’s tough about local elections: A long table, eight or nine people, a football game on in the background, music playing from some speakers. Had I not seen this announcement via Facebook …

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… there’s no way I know a candidate for local office was there. Again, that’s the difficulty of a town election. Little buzz, tiny name recognition.

Anyhow, I arrived with my son, and we had a chance to talk with Deborah, who is engaging and friendly and trying her best to win what is (if we’re being honest (and I always try and be honest here)) an uphill climb. She’s running against a woman named Sandy Rains, who is equally gregarious and chipper but—unlike Deborah—a conservative Republican in a town that still leans heavy GOP.  It’s one of those elections where the underdog could win, but it’d take some extra oomph.

So why will I vote Deborah? Honestly, my biggest reason is this: I respect our city council, and I respect all the members who take the time to serve. It’s a local position, and local positions are more about specific regional stances and positions than right v. left. That said, when I see this photo of Sandy and her husband alongside Dana Rohrabacher …

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… I have to question her judgment. She’s a big booster of Rohrabacher, and a supporter of Donald Trump, too. And it’s nothing personal. Truly, it’s not. But I just can’t imagine aligning myself with a man (Rohrabacher) who has appeared alongside skinheads and neo-Nazis; a man who sides with Russia over our own intelligence agencies; a man who believes climate change to be a hoax.

So watch the above interview and decide for yourself.

And whether you support Deborah Townes or you support Sandy Rains, do the right thing.

And vote.

Just how warped is Dana Rohrabacher? THIS warped.

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In case you missed it, Dana Rohrabacher has fought to protect people with pre-existing conditions from losing their health insurance.

Hell, he says so in this advertisement. So it must be true. I mean, imagine having a daughter who battled leukemia, then bringing her forth to star in an advertisement where you tour your commitment to protecting people in her shoes.

You’d have to be—what’s the word? Sinister? Warped? Diabolical?—to lie about such a thing.

Or, eh, you could just be Dana Rohrabacher.

To be clear, there is no ambiguity or debate on this one. Not only has Rohrabacher failed to “lead the fight” on this issue (his claim), he’s actually done the exact opposite. To cite The Hill, Rohrabacher, “voted for the House GOP’s ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill, which would have allowed states to receive waivers allowing insurers to raise premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. He also joined with House Republicans in previous years to vote for full repeal of ObamaCare without a replacement.”

More from The Hill: “At least two House Republicans have introduced non-binding resolutions backing pre-existing condition protections. Rohrabacher has not signed on as a cosponsor for either resolution.”

So what, exactly, allows Rohrabacher to say he’s fighting for the people of the 48th on this issue? A spokesman told The Hill that, last year, the congressman wrote an opinion piece that argued Medicare should bear all the costs of covering people with pre-existing conditions.



Less than two weeks

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We have less than two weeks.

Less than two weeks until we know whether our fellow Californians are going to continue rolling with an ineffective, incurious, look-I-surf-so-I-must-be-cool congressman who has proposed four (or is it three?) bills over 30 years.

Less than two weeks until we decide—as a community—whether climate change is finally urgent enough that we no longer want a denier calling the shots on our oceans and beaches and air and water.

Less than two weeks until—at long last—we stop embarrassing ourselves with this clown of a man. With this buffoon. With this dolt, who shuffles from here to there spouting bullshit about bullshit. With this bozo who needed to bring talking points to a debate. With this piece of trash who only meets with constituents when it’s comfortable for him to do so. With this nincompoop who—if they’re being honest—even fellow Republicans consider a joke.

We have less than two weeks.

I’ve dedicated this blog to overthrowing Dana Rohrabacher. Not violently, but by making clear who he is and what he stands for and why he’s a legitimately awful congressman.

If you do anything over the next 12 days, make it this: Tell friends, tell family members, tell neighbors and co-workers that this isn’t about R or D or left or right.

This is about a representative who should not longer represent.

Let’s do it.