First off, Happy Memorial Day to all of you, our wonderful readers! And hey, what better day than today to kick off our BRAND NEW series, “Inside the Campaigns”? Starting today, we at TheLiberalOC.com will give you a chance to take a sneak peek inside local Democratic campaigns all throughout Orange County… All summer long! And today, our series begins with a special look inside the Ed Chau for CongressÃ‚Â campaign in the 42nd Congressional District.
The 42nd District encompasses a bizarre area that stretches from Whittier in Los Angeles County to Chino in San Bernardino County to Brea in NorthÃ‚Â Orange County… Then it takes a wild ride down the 241 toll road all the way down to Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita. And today, I got to see much of the OC part of the district. My day began at 10:00 AM at the Ed Chau campaign office in Brea. I had a chance to look inside Chau’s quaint office in one of the many office complexes that line the many busy thoroughfares of the district… Then the volunteers arrived… Then the candidate himself arrived, and we quickly began our training session.
Ed Chau graciously began our session by saying how much he enjoyed everyone there and appreciated their help. He then stated why he’s running. “I want to make a difference. Public
service is my calling. I have the ability to help others, to help those in need… I want to devote the rest of my life to serving the public.”
Chau then mentioned that in addition to everyone in OC, there were three more people walking precincts in LA County. He concluded by saying, “We can’t take anything for granted. This is the home stretch. We want to go out and knock doors.”
After the training was concluded, I went out with Aaruni Thakur and a local volunteer to follow them as they walked a South County precinct. After the campaign told me about the mailers
going out to 28,000 OC Democrats in the district, I wanted to see for myself how well that was working out. And after the campaign told me how well voters were resonding to Ed Chau while they hadn’t heard anything about Ron Shepston, I wanted to see these voters for myself.
(Note: Later this week, I will be going inside Ron Shepston’s campaign for the 42nd District.)
By high noon, my team and I had arrived in Mission Viejo. Just minutes after we exited the 241 toll road, we had reached our destination near Marguerite Pkwy and Santa Margarita Pkwy. Despite the cool and cloudy weather outside, my team was pumped up and ready to walk.
We walked up and down the hills, and through the planned single family home communities and through a giant apartment complex up another hill. I was amazed to see so many Democrats in this area, and to see so many of them totally aware of Gary Miller’s corruption and his inability to disagree with Bush-Cheney on just about everything… From Iraq to climate changevto health care to education. For being such a “red” district, I was pleasantly surprised to discover so much hidden blue.
And to my astonishment, I was finding almost exactly what the campaign had described to ne true. Democrat after Democrat was telling us that he or she would gladly vote for Ed Chau. One said he liked Chau’s endorsements, while another said she liked that all her policy questions were answered at Chau’s web site. Now yes, we also encountered many Democrats who still hadn’t made their decision yet. But still, I only found two Democrats in the entire walk who seemed like Shepston supporters. I was just stunned to find that just up the road from Shepston HQ, I was finding a whole lot of Chau Democrats.
Shortly after 3:30, the team concluded the walk. All in all, we knocked on 100 doors just in our Mission Viejo precinct. Ed & Candice Chau personally knocked on some 60 doors in a nearby Mission Viejo precinct. And finally, another team knocked on another 100 doors in a Yorba Linda precinct. The campaign was sure that they met their goal for voters targeted for the day.
All in all, I must say that I’m quite impressed with Ed Chau’s operation. Out of nowhere, Chau’s arisen to become a serious contender in CA-42. And while the Chau campaign still must deal with issues like residency (Chau lives just outside the district currently.) and recent problems with Montebello schools (Chau’s on the school board there), they’ve overall done an amazing job of overcoming the hurdles initially facing them to make a real race of the Democratic Primary and possibly make Gary Miller’s reelection bid a little tougher than initially planned.
But hey, my job isn’t over on the 42nd… Far from it! Stay tuned here at TheLiberalOC.com this week for a look at the Ron Shepston for Congress campaign. Today you’ve seen what’s happening with the Chau campaign, nut be prepared to hear Shepston’s side of the story very soon as he prepares to launch a serious campaign to unseat Gary Miller.