Tea Party activists in California's 1st Congressional District are targetting Mike Thompson for electoral retirement from his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Thompson represents a gerrymandered district of northern California that stretches from the Oregon coast down Del Norte, Humbolt, and Mendocino County, across Lake and parts of Sonoma County, to Thompson's native Napa County and then eastward to the western suburbs of Sacramento. A Tea Party rally specificially against Thompson took place on April 15, 2010 in downtown Napa.
Reading Tea Party literature, you might think Mike Thompson is an extreme left-wing Democrat. It is similar to the Tea Party dynamic within the Republican Party, where conservative incumbents are being challenged by candates who can only be described as radically conservative. By selecting out a relatively few votes in Congress, Mike can indeed seem to be a liberal.
According to Tea Party literature, Mike voted for limiting C02 to stop global warming. For no new offshore drilling. For raising mileage standards on cars. He voted against a variety of Homeland security measures, loves illegal immigration (possibly true, due to his tightness with the grape & wine industry), and has a "mixed voting record" on your right to keep guns.
Of course in Congress often two slightly different bills of the same type are put forward by the Democrats and Republicans so that each can show a Yes vote for their Party and a No vote for the other party. As documented in this column, Thompson often votes both for and against the same basic idea, depending on the details of the bill and which party is sponsoring it. All members of Congress do that.
The Tea Party, or at least that portion that remains inside the Republican party, is supporting the campaign of Loren Hanks, a career air force officer. I'll cover Loren's campaign as best I can, but it won't be the focus of this occasional columen. To keep up with it, see Loren Hanks for Congress. Randy Franck is also running in the Republican primary, but he appears to be running on a pro-recreational drugs, anti-Prohibition platform, and I can't even find a web site for him.
Since Mike Thompson did vote taxpayer money for bank and auto industry bailouts, he might be vulnerable in 2010, but voters seem rather apathetic to me. Apathy favors incumbents. Mike is a Hawk of the first order; attacking his pro-defense spending record is just folly. He has also consistently been a low-tax guy, in particular when it comes to finding tax breaks for grape growers and wine-makers, who tend to be the main political players in the first congressional district.
In addition, Carol Wolman qualified to run as the Green Party candidate. See www.carolwolmanforcongress.com. Mike Rodriques qualified as the Libertarian Party canidate, but also does not appear to have a Web site yet. Each will run unapposed in their party's primary.
Mike Thompson is unapposed in the Democratic Party primary. Almost every Democrat I have ever talked to disagrees with Mike's support of the War and failure to support single-payer, universal health care, but no one wants to run against an entrenched machine with $2 million in campaign funds. Democrats are, in our district, supine, just-follow-orders creatures.
Thompson Watch Main Page
Mike Thompson is the current elected member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 1st Congressional District.