I just checked to see who is running against Rep. Ami Bera, the Democrat from Elk Grove. I found one name, Scott Jones, the Republican Sacramento County sheriff.
I was a little confused when I read that the Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club would not endorse Bera, and that California Democratic Party would take up Bera’s endorsement in a full floor vote at the Democratic State Convention. (“Democrats refuse to back Bera as GOP targets him,” Page 1A, Jan. 14).
The article quotes Elk Grove Democrats as saying they were not anti-Bera, but then listed criticisms regarding Bera’s recent votes. I was even more confused that one reason for not supporting Bera is because his votes differed from those of his neighbor, Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento.
Matsui’s district voted for President Barack Obama by almost 70 percent. Bera’s constituents supported Obama by just over 50 percent. Bera represents a swing district.
As a campaign consultant who has worked in swing districts to elect Democrats, I can say that winning is hard and takes everyone pulling in the same direction, even if you don’t agree with every vote or position the representative has taken.
If folks want to hear from Bera about certain votes, it’s fair to ask. But to not endorse him or to take a walk because his votes don’t line up with another Democrat in a different district seems naive, especially considering the alternative. I hope Democratic activists run Scott Jones’ positions against Matsui’s votes. There would be a very stark contrast.
I’ve never met Bera, but the last time I saw him, he was shaking hands with the president after the State of the Union speech. Obama didn’t shun him for not voting with him 100 percent of the time.
Andrew Acosta is president of Acosta Consulting, a Democratic campaign firm based in Sacramento.