This has been some week for Doug Applegate, the former Marine colonel who's running for the congressional seat in Orange and San Diego counties, currently held by the very unpopular Trump surrogate Darrell Issa. As we mentioned when Blue America endorsed Applegate in early September, CA-49 is a swing district that swung for Obama in 2008 and for Romney in 2012. It's become clear that this year it will swing back into the Democratic column. A new poll from Tulchin Research shows Hillary winning the district 49-36%. CA-49 is an overwhelmingly the kind of suburban district where mainstream Republicans and independents are turned off to Trump and Trumpism and are either voting for Hillary or staying home. That same poll shows Applegate beating Issa 46-42%. This ad is killing Issa with suburban voters who are just sick of Trump and starting to associate Issa with him.
Even before the polling was released, this looked like a good week for Applegate. Issa sent out a desperate mailer (below) implying he and President Obama, who is popular in the district, worked together as a team. The president didn't go for that and quickly endorsed Applegate– and made it clear what he thinks of Issa and his deceptive mailer.
“Darrell Issa, a member of Congress who once called for my impeachment, who questioned where I was born, is now advertising claiming we worked together. We can’t let this stand. Luckily, we have an exceptional candidate running in California’s forty-ninth district. Colonel Doug Applegate is a true patriot. As a Marine Colonel, he served in combat in Ramadi, Baghdad, and Fallujah. Colonel Applegate knows true patriotism is about serving our country in any way we can. That our duty as citizens is to keep America strong and working for all of us. You know, my name may not be on the ballot this year, but everything we’ve accomplished over the last eight years is. So do me one last favor, please support Colonel Doug Applegate’s campaign for Congress any way you can.”
That's more than a standard endorsement and Applegate, who's been busy fighting not just with Issa but with the Defense Department for announcing last week that they are seeking repayments on enlistment bonuses from nearly 10,000 California National Guard veterans and servicemembers. That's not something a man like Applegate is going to let stand, no matter which party the president is. “As a retired Marine Colonel,” he told the press, “I understand the struggles our veterans face upon return to civilian life. These men and women put their lives on the line to serve our country and they earned and deserved these payments. It's outrageous that veterans are the ones who are suffering because of clerical errors made by others. The California National Guard and Department of Defense should immediately halt these collection efforts and Congress should immediately vote on legislation that will fix this unconscionable burden on our veterans. This is what happens when politicians spend more time fighting with each other than solving problems. Instead of picking partisan fights, Darrell Issa should have been fighting for our veterans.”
Hours later he was celebrating his endorsement from Obama. “Barack Obama,” he said, “has seen firsthand how Darrell Issa is at the center of what’s wrong in Washington. He knows that on the most important issues, Issa puts his political party ahead of his country and plays political games instead of doing what’s right for people here. That’s what we need to send a Marine to Congress to fix, because I’m not a career politician and I won’t be bound by any party or political group, other than the people I represent.”
And tomorrow morning, Applegate is holding a press conference with the head of the San Diego chapter of the Human Rights Campaign at his Solana Beach headquarters to announce a big endorsement from the LGBTQ community. Issa, as you might guess scored a LIFETIME ZERO on LGBTQ issues by Progressive Punch– a ZERO… for his entire career. Not even one lousy vote for equality or even AIDS funding. What a monster! Who gets an effing ZERO?
Want to help defeat Congress richest member– and one of it's most odious? Doug is a bona fide progressive who will make a far better member of Congress than Darrell Issa ever was. Please consider contributing to his campaign here– and keep your fingers crossed that we'll soon have seen the last of Darrell Issa and Donald Trump!
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis