Long Shot In 48th Is In It For The Long Haul: Democrat Steve Young is trailing in his bid for Congress, but he’s bent on having his issues heard.
It’s hard to imagine what more Democrat Steve Young could do to attract attention for Tuesday’s special congressional election.
He’s been campaigning full time since July, he has an immigration plan to launch a thousand cocktail conversations, he’s shown up at virtually every coffee klatch and forum he could find, and he’s joined volunteers in knocking on thousands of voters’ doors.
Steve Young has been doing everything he could and so have his volunteers in Orange County and the netroots. Too bad he didn’t get just a little financial help from the Democratic Party.
The hard, cold facts:
And come Election Day, he’ll probably be breathing the exhaust of front-running Republican John Campbell.
Republicans outnumber Democrats nearly 2-1 in the 48th District, Campbell has been building name recognition since being elected to the Assembly in 2000, and Campbell has nearly 10 times as much campaign money.
And some well deserved praise for the new kid on the block:
“(Young) is a much higher-quality candidate than we usually have here,” said Dennis Connolly, a Democratic activist who’s lived in Laguna Niguel for 13 years. “He has the energy, he knows the issues and he’s getting people involved. The question is whether we can break that hold of people who walk into the voting booth ready to vote for a Republican without looking at the issues.
Steve’s motivation for running:
A clear alternative
Young jumped into the race promptly after Christopher Cox, the previous officeholder, was named to head the Securities and Exchange Commission last summer. Spurring the bid was a feeling that his four children’s future was being squandered by trade bills that encouraged the export of middle-class jobs and by an education system that didn’t better prepare students for high-quality jobs.
He has since developed policies in other areas that set him even further apart from Campbell and Gilchrist. Young favors abortion rights, wants to start pulling troops from Iraq, and says the illegal immigration problem has been blown out of proportion.
“It really bothers me the way politics is right now,” he said. “We’re blinded by anger, fear and hatred.”
This is the good stuff:
After declaring his candidacy, Young won endorsements from the state and county Democratic parties – despite three other Democrats on the October primary ballot, including two who had run before with the local party’s encouragement.
But unlike the others with their largely unfunded campaigns, Young promised to spend his own money and vowed a $1 million campaign – a big reason he became the party favorite. He easily won the nomination in October, although his 9 percent of the vote left him in fourth place overall and well behind Campbell’s 45.5 percent.
Of course there were 17 primary candidates all told. Steve did not make the decision to get into this race lightly:
He has indeed spent his own money – $110,000 – but has only attracted $40,000 more in donations.
“We didn’t get the support I expected,” he now says. “(But) we’re going to continue regardless of what happens Tuesday. We believe in what we’re doing. *There’s another election in November.*”
The article closes with an excellent summary of Steve’s position on Illegal immigration:
The biggest issue in the race has become immigration, thanks to anti-illegal-immigration activist Gilchrist and to Campbell’s effort to match Gilchrist on the matter.
Young doesn’t see immigration as a big problem. But that hasn’t stopped him from developing an unlikely immigration plan: Since immigrants typically pay $3,000 to be smuggled over the border, allow them to enter the country by paying that amount instead to immigration officials. Not only would that bolster the national Treasury, but it would create a program to photograph and fingerprint all immigrants, to administer health tests, and to track their whereabouts, Young said.
Because a key part of the problem is employers who hire undocumented immigrants, Young proposes a system where an illegal immigrant would be granted an immediate work visa if he goes to immigration officials with a paycheck from an employer who hired illegally. The employer would then be cited.
“(Gilchrist and Campbell) are demonizing a people who aren’t responsible for the ills they’re being accused of,” he said. “They’re a convenient, unprotected target.”
Young believes immigrants are a net gain to the country’s economy – while many pay taxes and Social Security, they rarely get benefits.
Working up such ideas fills much of the time he isn’t actually campaigning. For now, he has set aside not only his law practice but also fantasy book writing – which he vows to return to, despite never having been published.
“There are things you do for the love of it,” he said. “Things you do because they matter, regardless of the result.”
Three days until the election. Let’s keep the netroots hopping! Go to Steve Young For Congress and call the number. They’ll hook you up to virtual phonebanking, or, if you’re in driving distance, precinct walking. And of course, donations through Act Blue are VERY welcome! Thanks again.