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Clinton Endorses Lowenthal, Attacks DeLong on Global Warming

The former president's UCI visit to endorse state Sen. Alan Lowenthal demonstrates national interest in the race for Long Beach-Orange County's new congressional seat.

Former President Bill Clinton endorsed State Senator Alan Lowenthal on Tuesday night for the new 47th Congressional District that straddles Orange County and Long Beach, stoking an already heated race.

Clinton, who appeared at UC Irvine during a rally to endorse five Democratic congressional candidates from across Southern California, urged the audience of nearly 5,000 to support Lowenthal in a bid to help Democrats take control of the House.

Clinton directly attacked Lowenthal’s Republican opponent, Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong, on the environment while praising Lowenthal’s accomplishments.

"He is not just the chairman of the Senate Education Committee," Clinton said of Lowenthal. "He helped make the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles among the greenest and cleanest in the entire world and proved it's good economics."

Lowenthal played a significant role in a 65-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the ports, Clinton said.

The former president also knocked Lowenthal's Republican challenger for doubting the scientific evidence behind climate change.

"It's really a very big deal," Clinton said. "There is no other country in the world with a major political party that denies the reality of climate change."

"[Lowenthal] will wave the port of Long Beach and Los Angeles like a flag in Congress until they do something serious about climate change," Clinton said.

Lowenthal, who said Clinton is "probably one of the most respected and revered" people in America, called being endorsed by Clinton in person "exhilarating."

Clinton told the congressional candidate he also believes greening the ports and encouraging economic development are not incompatible goals, Lowenthal said.

"I think that's a wonderful message to bring to the rest of the nation," the state senator said.

The race has been heated in recent weeks. The 47th seat, like several others in California, has become a political ground war by both national parties, who want control of the U.S. House of Representatives. And both parties and their respective financial machines have announced some level of role and support in the race.

DeLong has received his share of national party attention and support from the likes of Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan and the U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner.

After Clinton's endorsement of Lowenthal Tuesday night, DeLong e-mailed a response to a request for comment, quipping, "As the last President to balance the budget, if Bill Clinton were fully aware of Alan Lowenthal's record of over-taxing and deficit spending, he would likely endorse me for Congress.”

Lowenthal has decried outside money injected into the race by U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but DeLong has pointed to it as a sign of his strong candidacy.

Lowenthal and DeLong were the top vote-getters in a eight-candidate primary race June 5. Lowenthal garnered 34 percent of the vote to DeLong’s 29 percent.

The 47th Congressional District was created by the redistricting process and includes the cities of Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and other West Orange County cities.

Voter registration in the district skews Democratic by about 10 percent.

While the district has more Democratic than Republican registered voters, it also has a sizable share of Independent Party voters, at least 25 percent prior to a last-minute surge of registrations before Monday's Oct. 22 deadline. And from Orange County, there are a decent number of Tea Party members as well. DeLong has been endorsed by Ryan, a Tea Party favorite.

But the Orange County electorate is more dynamic than people think, said Lownethal.

In addressing the crowd, the state senator praised the changing demographics of Orange County.

"We are changing the face of Orange County," Lowenthal said. "Orange County is no longer just white people."

He urged voters to help the Democrats take over the House and re-elect Obama.

met00 October 25, 2012 at 09:51 PM
John, what would be the cost of food if there was no national highway system? Was that a good investment by the federal government? Where would we be with technology if there had been no investment of tax dollars into the massive R&D effort called NASA? Was that a good investment by the Federal Government? Where would the Internet be if Senator Gore had not fought for the funding for a small research project called arpanet? Was that a good investment by the Federal Government? Sometimes "borrowing" tax dollars for the public good is a great thing to do as it pays dividends that are unknown before the investment starts. The immediate investment described above will pay dividends directly, but also there are other reasons to do it. The key reason is that we are a consumer demand based economy. So, when money is freed up for the working class to spend, they do. This creates employment and more employment means more people with money to spend, and the growth cycle continues. By investing in technology (solar) and not demanding immediate repayment (like a bank) we lower costs for energy creating working class income (money not spent on energy) that can feed the economy through consumerism and demand for products. Th initial investment will get paid back (at about the same interest rate that the banks currently pay), but by not demanding it now we create no drain on cash flow.
met00 October 25, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Part II: This process of priming the pump will create economic growth through consumer spending. Then you add in the new jobs in manufacturing solar and construction, and you have further growth engines. Now think of big screen TV's. When they first came out they cost upwards of $20K for a 45" screen. Today that's under $1K. What drove that was demand, lowering manufacturing costs as well as pushing technology (R&D). Think of that push in solar power generation. More watts from less square inches. Electric cars that charge themselves when parked by solar panels on the roofs, etc. Then there is the advantages of closing electric generation systems that pollute and rebuilding the power transmission and delivery system to be more effective and green. More jobs, more economic growth. My point is that a very small push (direct investment into consumer electric generation) will have enormous ripple effects to create economic growth. And the great part is that each home sells the government gets their initial investment into the economic push back! Yes, there is the loss of interest... but let's get real, we are already giving that away to the banks and getting bubkis for it, so giving it to the consumers directly and getting an economic growth engine is a heck of a lot better than what we are doing with the money now at the same cost.
met00 October 25, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I agree. Let's stop all tax subsidies for all businesses. Can't wait until the oil and gas industry gets wind of your ideas. I wonder if they have a kill list? Hey, tell big-Agra that you want to cut them off the teat of the government. OH wait! Tell Big-Pharma that Medicare is no negotiating prices and that their subsidy ends... PLEASE tell business that the gravy train has left the station!
John B. Greet October 26, 2012 at 12:58 AM
As mentioned, we are currently burdened with a $16 trillion dollar national debt, each taxpayer's share of which is about $141 thousand dollars. We don't *have* a single dollar to "invest" that we don't have to pay about .40 cents on in interest. Sorry, met00, now is not the time for further "investments" or "priming" of that sort. Now is the time for becoming ultra-conservative in our fiscal policies. Now is the time for making the tax code more fair, for cutting spending (not just the rate of increase), and for getting our nation back on solid fiscal footing again. After that, perhaps we can talk.
John B. Greet October 26, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Ruehle, I didn't "call you names." I was very careful to characterize your comments as "ignorant", not you. I called your comments "ignorant" because they "ignore" many facts. If you are not interested in having your comments characterized by others in one way or another, perhaps you should consider avoiding doing the very same thing with the comments of others. Perhaps you should re-consider posting your comments on public websites like this one, if you truly fear the valid judgments of those who might read them. Also, if you are going to heap various aspersions and unfounded allegations upon others, you really shouldn't then complain when the editor chooses to remove your comments. Try cleaning up your act a bit, letting your facts (when you have them) speak for themselves without all of the added rhetorical fraud and falsehood, and perhaps the deletions will cease. Just a friendly suggestion.

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