Could negative campaigning in california primaries dampen democratic energy gas in spanish


Democrats are targeting three other Republican-held districts that touch Orange County — the 39th, 48th and 49th. But those primary races have also taken a negative turn. Ask voters here about the contests, and they’ll often remark on the negativity, and how their mailboxes are stuffed with campaign materials.

Tensions between the Democratic candidates in the 45th District, held by GOP Rep. Mimi Walters, flared at the state party convention in February. Min secured the endorsement, but volunteers with the various campaigns reported heated exchanges with their opponents.

Last week, Min launched negative television ads and mailers. He criticizes two opponents in one ad: Porter for not being a licensed attorney in California (she is licensed in Oregon), and Forde for only switching his party registration from Republican to Democrat in 2016. (Forde has said he voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.)

Min said his opponents have accused him of starting a whisper campaign aimed at Porter, targeting her divorce records. The rumors prompted Porter to tell her story to HuffPost. She said she took out a restraining order against her abusive husband, who then retaliated by saying Porter came at him. a claim the judge dismissed, HuffPost reported.

Rouda said he had invested in an entity that bet on the price of oil, and he was no longer invested in that entity. He also said the information was being pushed by one of his opponents onstage with him, referencing stem cell researcher Hans Keirstead. Hans Keirstead, left, and Harley Rouda, both Democrats running for California’s 48th District, participate in DEMOC PAC’s candidate forum in Irvine on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Keirstead, in turn, was asked by a Rouda supporter whether he would release his personnel file from his time at UC Irvine, a question related to a Mother Jones report published Tuesday that detailed a series of allegations against him, including of affairs with students and that he punched a female student outside a nightclub. The university investigated the incident and determined the claims were unfounded.

Keirstead said in an interview at his biomedical company in Irvine that he has armed his campaign staffers with “fight-the-smear toolkits” to respond to questions about the lawsuit. He said he expected the issue to come up in the general election should he face GOP incumbent Dana Rohrabacher, but was surprised it was an issue in the primary.

The party organizations brokered an agreement between the two last week to refrain from attacking each other ahead of the June 5 primary, where Democrats run the risk of not advancing to November. Under California law, all candidates run on the same ballot, and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election.

And moving south to the 49th District, environmental lawyer Mike Levin, also endorsed by the Sierra Club, has been forced to respond to claims from fellow Democrat Paul Kerr. A section at the top of Levin’s campaign website is titled “Paul’s False Claims,” in which Levin counters charges that he is a lobbyist who supports drilling to access natural gas. Levin, Kerr and Marine veteran and 2016 Democratic nominee Doug Applegate did not respond to requests for comment.

Orange County is traditionally Republican territory. Hillary Clinton was the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the county since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936. But while voters backed Clinton, they also supported area GOP lawmakers in 2016. While Democrats say this part of Southern California is shifting away from its Republican past, they acknowledge that hard work is ahead for the candidates trying to flip some of these seats.

Johanne Kaminski, a passionate Min supporter, said after the Tuesday night forum that she was concerned the negative environment (which she attributed to Porter’s campaign) would hurt Democratic unity after the primary. Kaminiski said that should Porter win the primary, she would volunteer with the local county party or state legislative candidates, rather than Porter’s campaign.

“We may not all exchange Christmas cards at the end of this, but I hope that everyone in this race has the same goal and remembers the same goal, that this is about beating Mimi Walters at the end of the day,” Min said in an interview at a canvass launch in Lake Forest on Sunday. He said he would publicly endorse and support the winner of the primary “to the best of my abilities.”

“I know that people think that’s a concern,” he said of lingering Democratic divisions after the primary. “But everybody’s been very committed to whoever the Democratic candidate is that advances … And ultimately, whoever emerges is a better choice than Dana Rohrabacher.”