CA-42: I’m Ron Shepston and I’m running for Congress

(Also found at Daily Kos)

Today, something truly amazing is happening. A blogger is announcing that he’s running for Congress. And oh yes, his campaign is growing organically from the world of blogs. This is something that we’ve never seen before, but hopefully something that we won’t ever see again.

And on this note, I’d like for you to see this announcement from a good friend of mine named Ron Shepston. He’s a long-time blogger, brave military veteran, and trusted Orange County Democrat who’s challenging ethically challenged Republican incumbent Rep. Gary Miller in the 42nd District. And today, he’s come here to The Liberal OC to share with you why he’s making this announcement today that he’s running.

So without further adieu, here’s Ron Shepston:

Caution is preferable to rash braverySir John Falstaff, King Henry the Fourth, Part I

Falstaff may be beloved, but he was not who you wanted leading you into battle. Political challengers today need to be brave, brash, maybe even a little rash.

In World War II, when the gates came down in LCVPs (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel), exposing the marines and soldiers inside to uncounted barrages of fire, they didn’t sit around discussing whether it was prudent to charge ahead with the goal of defeating a formidable enemy. No one had to order them to go to give their lives; they just did it. They had a world to save and they gave their lives for a cause they believed in.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket(Wikipedia)

Today, those of us who would defend the Constitution have a new fight. Today, as a Democrat, a veteran, and a longtime member of the internet grassroots (or netroots) community, I’m marching off to that fight.

I’m running for Congress.

My campaign manager, Greg Diamond, says that he likes this photo of me that he took at the Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade, where I marched with the Democratic Party of Orange County, and that it has to appear near the top of the post so people know who’s talking to them. Here you go.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Now let’s talk about my campaign.

I’m running because Congress has let the President stomp on the Constitution, balloon the deficit, and get us stuck in a misbegotten war. Gary Miller seems to see his position in Congress mostly as a way to make money for his friends. I swore an oath to defend the Constitution when I was in the Air Force during Viet Nam (1966-1970), and that’s why I’m going to run. I’m going to swear another oath to defend the Constitution as a Congressman. I didn’t see combat then, but that doesn’t stop me from fighting now and when I get to Congress.

No one has elected me to “represent the netroots” in a run for Congress, but I think my opinions on issues reflect those of the broad community. I want us out of Iraq and back to making the alliances with other countries that we /need/ to fight terrorism. I want single-payer health insurance that is available to all. I want a government that respects scientific facts – in global warming and otherwise – rather than fantasies that give them some political advantage – in making policy decisions. But if there is one issue that motivates me above all others, it’s this:

I want to defend the Constitution and the rule of law – while we can.

There are forces in and out of our elected government who think that they have the right to ignore our laws and the fundamental basis for American values. We see it with signing statements, defying subpoenas, ignoring constitutional amendments, evading Congressional oversight, and flouting federal law. While this President and Vice-President have stomped on the Constitution, my opponent, Gary Miller, has held their coats.

I’ve been around for a long time and I have never before seen such a concerted effort on the part of a political party to subvert our precious and beloved form of government. Not even Nixon. At least Nixon had the honor to leave after even Republicans told him that it was that or be impeached and removed from office. As I’ve written here, in effect Bush and his associates have been instituting something like a slow coup against our very system of government. Their monarchical vision of our government is not how our system is supposed to work; we must restore our system to its proper form.

Democrats have control of the House – and control of the Senate when Joe Lieberman is thinking straight – which gives them a lot of power. It’s not total power, but it’s more than they use. Our party has the power to inform and rally and lead Americans. But too many members of our party convince themselves that it’s best to play it safe and wait until 2008, when they hope that things will all get better.

I think that’s wrong. I think that we need to take the fight to the enemies of our Constitution.

Think back again to the Marines and Army storming the beaches of Normandy. Imagine where we’d be if they stayed in their LSIs and waited for the enemy to leave! It’s time that we metaphorically storm the beaches of government and take our country back from the enemy who would destroy it for their own purposes.

If we storm all fronts, from the Water Board to every single Congressional District, we will overwhelm the enemies of the rule of law. We will make America a better place and restore our values, honor and dignity in the world – and thus our public safety as well.

I want to part of the second landing wave. The first wave consisted of Jon Tester and Jim Webb, of John Hall, Paul Hodes, Nancy Boyda, Jeremy Kalin, California’s own Jerry McNerney and others who were encouraged – some say in part put into office – by the blogosphere. It consisted too of people like Daily Kos blogger Brian Keeler, who fired a shot across the bow of those who cling to power without serving the public good. We were part of the solution in 2006. I believe that we’re helping to foster a fundamental change in America.

I’ve been part of the netroots community for 2-1/2 years. I’m not a candidate coming to the netroots for support; I’m a candidate coming from the netroots. I believe that I’m the first “homegrown” netroots candidate to run a viable campaign for the United States Congress. I won’t be the last.

This is not a vanity or protest campaign. California’s 42nd district is Republican-dominated, but increasingly independent – which means that it’s full of people who think like Democrats whom we have to convince to vote the way they think. It’s a district I can win. The local party establishment supports me. My opponent, Gary Miller, has been swimming so long in the ethical cesspool of Congressional privilege that he’s grown gills. He’s vulnerable – but no one was on the ballot against him in 2006. No local elected politician in the district – which has too few elected Democrats – is running against him next year. So I’ve rashly stepped up and strapped up; now I’m going to show up and make people sit up and pay attention.

Part of why my campaign will be noticed – one reason that it has captured the interest of people outside of the blogosphere – is that I am from the netroots and they’ve seen what it can accomplish. There has been a group of longtime netroots activists, dare I say “blog celebrities”, who have been part of an incredible brain trust so far, and there are many others who’ve been part of this by means of offering their support and good wishes and still keeping it a “secret”. Long-time “Kossack” (as Daily Kos members are often referred to as) Major Danby (aka Greg Diamond) will be managing my campaign full-time. You’ll be reading a lot of stories about the campaign from them in the days to come on places like Daily Kos, Calitics, and here at The Liberal OC.

My aim in this campaign is to bring the netroots to the many wonderful people I’ve been meeting in the grassroots, and to bring back to the netroots some of what they have to offer. With the spirit and broad expertise of the netroots and the local knowledge and drive of the grassroots, I think we can create something different and new.

I will come here looking for money like other candidates do; for the netroots to come out strongly for my campaign will get attention throughout the political world. But today, having just announced, is not the day for a hard sell. I’ll just say this: if you’d like to be among the first to contribute to my campaign, please go to my ActBlue page. The amount of money that people donate, and the number of people donating, will for better or worse dictate much of the reaction that the world beyond the netroots will have towards my campaign. To show them that we have a chance, we need to show them that we have a base.

This is not just about one candidate or one campaign, but about building a movement. It’s about the netroots making connections with the grassroots, and with the voting public. The future of our movement is everywhere in the country, in whatever races we choose to focus our efforts. It’s about re-establishing the rule of law. It’s about defending America and American ideals. Are we ready to do that together?

  24 comments for “CA-42: I’m Ron Shepston and I’m running for Congress

  1. Ron Quixote
    July 19, 2007 at 7:04 am

    The Democratic establishment really is scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with this guy. I’m amazed that none of the current or former elected fellow Dems in this district could not be talked into running. They probably know not to waist their time and their fortunes. Tilt at those windmills Don or should I say Ron!

  2. Andrew Davey
    July 19, 2007 at 7:32 am

    Wow, Mr. Quixote! I guess you’re the real expert on who can and who can’t win in the 42nd. Well, I won’t disabuse you of your blindness to our real opportunity to replace a real crook like Gary Miller with a real American Patriot like Ron Shepston. It’s best that you Reeps don’t realize what’s about to hit you. 😉

  3. July 19, 2007 at 7:35 am

    So, you know Ron and therefore can make this “knowledgable” statement about him? Or are you just a Republican making an ad hominem attack?

    And, BTW, it’s “waste”, not “waist”.

  4. Andrew Davey
    July 19, 2007 at 7:46 am

    I think we can safely say it’s a Reep making an ad hominem attack. And you know what? This Reep doesn’t scare me. Let the Reeps continue to drown in their delusion of Dirty Gary Miller surviving all the scandaliciousness surrounding him. They won’t know what will have happened to them in November 2008. 🙂

  5. Aunt Millie
    July 19, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    In a normal year, with a normal candidate, Shepston wouldn’t have a chance running against a run-of-the mill Republican in this District. But Gary Miller is one of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress, tarred by FBI investigations of his tax returns and land deals. And any Bush Republican may have trouble this year when Bush’s approval rating in the state is only 26%, with only 49% of the Republicans supporting him.

    So you have a regular guy, ballplayer, veteran, and businessman running against a symbol of what went wrong with America. I think you might see some backlash as the people with subprime loans in this district find out how badly Miller has screwed them as he made himself rich and rewarded his cronies with favorites.

    In 2004, Shepston would have lost by about 40,000 votes. In 2008, with more Americans bleeding out in Iraq for Bush’s folly, a housing market crashing, and more corruption scandals from the crime family that took over the Republican party, no district in California is safe for Republicrooks.

  6. Andrew Davey
    July 19, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Good points, Aunt Millie… All of them! Dirty Gary is in deep s*** for ripping off taxpayers by evading paying his own taxes while diverting federal funds to projects that aid his developer friends. Republicrooks (I like that term!) are more unpopular than ever as their Dear Leader Bush continues the failed occupation of Iraq. Now add a great netroots-grassroots candidate like Ron Shepston who really cares about doing what’s best for Orange County, and Dirty Gary Miller may be in for a bumpy ride next year. Perhaps, this bumpy ride may end up taking Dirty Gary out of Congress by January 2009. 😉

  7. August 7, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Note: the following comment was posted by someone purporting to be Andrew Davey. It was not written by Andrew. 

    It is with a heavy heart that I have to tell everyone that I am going to be leaving Ron’s campaign. We had a great time planning against Dirty Gary.

    Mark Hull-Richter is the candidate that I will be helping. He really knows the issues and will be in the mold of Kucinich. That is what we need in the OC! 🙂

  8. Andrew Davey
    August 7, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Hull-Richters (pretending to be me):

    Cut the crap, will you please? NO ONE IS BUYING THIS DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO GET ATTENTION. No one is taking this stunt seriously, as I’m still supporting RON SHEPSTON (the REAL Democrat) in the 42nd.

    And everyone reading this:

    Ignore the Hull-Richters, as every other REAL Democrat does. They’re desperate for attention, so they’ll even stoop to the level of lying about me by pretending to be me. Just don’t pay attention to them and their psychotic antics, as all the rest of us have had to learn (often the hard way). You’ll breathe easier that way, believe me.

  9. August 7, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Mark, if that was you, please stop doing that.

  10. August 7, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    LOL @ the fraud above! First, you used the wrong smile. Second, anyone who knows Andrew knows that Andrew supports Obama.

    That’s a really shameless smear effort by whoever it is trying to support the Hull-Richters above.

  11. Andrew Davey
    August 7, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Gary and Dante-

    Thanks for helping me restore sanity to this thread. I guess I should known this would eventually come. Sooner or later, the Hull-Richters would have to come in, hijack our thread, and use whatever low-blow tactics they can to undermine Ron Shepston. How pathetic.

    Well, thanks for helping me get this thread back on track! 😉

  12. David Atkins
    August 7, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Hull-Richter folks,

    I’m saddened that you feel the need to stoop to such an infantile stunt. Those of us on the Shepston campaign welcome an open debate on the issues, if only you will be truthful and honorable in your tactics and intent.

  13. Anonymous
    August 8, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Maybe we should make this about issues. Ron and Mark should tell us where they stand on issues so we can see what makes them different. Let’s be professional and talk issues. Immigration, Iraq, etc…

  14. Anonymous
    August 8, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    I think we will see several more candidates join this race.

  15. Oh please not Mark
    August 8, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    It is great to see at least someone else saying that they will step into the race. I don’t know Ron that well. I am sure he is a great guy, but we need someone who can challenge that clown on the issues that we can beat him on.

  16. Anonymous
    August 8, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Oh please Not Mark,
    Who do you have in mind?

  17. Anonymous
    August 8, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    “Who do you have in mind?”

    Is Shepston really the perfect candidate? He seems like the only guy left standing when the music stopped.

  18. August 9, 2007 at 6:31 am

    Why don’t we schedule a debate between Ron and Mark? This way we could give voters an alternative choice to this anointed candidate.

  19. Say it ain't so Andrew
    August 13, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Andrew, is it true Ron may be out? Haven’t heard anything in several days.

  20. Andrew Davey
    August 13, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Say it ain’t so-

    No, it ain’t so. I’ve been VERY busy lately, so I haven’t had much time to work on a CA-42 roundup. But I guess when the time comes, I’ll do an extra special CA-42 roundup for this week!

    Oh yes, and if you’re one of those folks that wants Ron to drop out to “make way for the Hull-Richters”, forget it. Tata! 😉

  21. Say it ain't so Andrew
    August 13, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Heard a rumor there was another person getting in, (not the Hull-richters). Thought with no news that maybe the DCCC was trying to push Ron out. Good to hear he is still in.

  22. August 13, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Say it ain’t so Andrew,

    Nice try with starting rumors based on…nothing. Perhaps you should read this:

  23. Say it ain't so Andrew
    August 14, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    based on nothing? I was trying to be vague but since you want to basically trash someone who was simply asking a serious question I guess I will have to spell it out. There was a rumor that the DCCC was trying to stop LA County Judge Ed Chau ( running against Rep. Napolitano by recruiting him into 42. He has since filed with the FEC and put up a website, but I guess I am just starting rumors right Gary. When nothing was posted about Ron after Ed officially entered I wondered if the rumor was true and posted the question. But I guess just insulting someone is easier than trying to ease the genuine concerns of someone following this race.

  24. Voice of Truth
    September 17, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve seen a lot of defamation on this site, mostly coming from Andrew Davies (both as himself and pretending to be someone else). The Hull-Richters are irrelevant to this thread as Mark is not running for Congress in 2008. He only did so in 2006 because nobody else ran for the Democrats in the 42nd. He was a great candidate, but he isn’t interested.

    If you want to run an above-board campaign, stop using your platform to defame hard-working Democrats who do a great deal for the community. I’m tired of the dirty way Andrew and others are conducting their political smear campaigns in Orange County. It is time to get off your heads out of the sewer.

    If anyone here supports Sheptson for Congress, don’t use his campaign to attack the activist community. Instead, seek the endorsement of the Hull-Richters and others who are actually out there doing good work, rather than hanging out on this thread of defamation.

    I suspect that the first thing Sheptson will have to do to get the support of activists is to disown this thread.

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