Read my Op-ed to The Bee
Viewpoint: Reforms are shaking up political status quo
Read more here: http://sacbee.com/op-ed/billbloomfield
When I sat down to decide whether or not to make this race, I had one question to answer: Would my candidacy help to repair Congress?
Would running encourage other Independents in California to take advantage of Redistricting Reform and Open Primaries to send men and women to Sacramento and DC that represent voters and taxpayers, not special interests?
Would running encourage other states to enact redistricting reform to stop partisan politicians from denying us the value of our vote?
Would running encourage other states to enact Open Primaries, emancipating 40% of the electorate that calls themselves Independents, giving them a voice in primary elections?
Would running encourage my opponent, should I fall short, to shed his hyper-partisanship and join with fellow house members, regardless of party label, in seeking out win-win solutions to our nations problems?
Fortunately, yesterday’s election results indicate that the answers to the first three questions are a resounding yes, and I am hopeful that Congressman Waxman will continue with the bi-partisan tone he claimed to set during much of this campaign, when he returns to DC.
His recent decision to join the No Labels movement is a hopeful sign, and we all know this wouldn’t have happened if not for our campaign!
And, as the chief executive of the nonpartisan Center for Government Studies recently wrote, this race has proven that the new redistricting commission was a success.
We have given Mr. Waxman his toughest race in 44 years. We have held one of the most powerful and longest serving members of Congress accountable and raised significant issues to the attention of California voters. That is why competitive elections – and the reforms
I supported such as Redistricting Reform and Open Primaries – are so important to our democracy.
While the close results were no surprise to any of us involved in this race, they are a shock to much of the rest of the political world, who didn’t think an unknown voice of reason, running against the hyper-partisanship of both political parties, could challenge a 38 year entrenched incumbent.
We proved them wrong.
With our close race, we sent a powerful message to the members of Congress that at least in California, where we’ve enacted critical voter reforms, you may not be automatically sent back to DC unless you accomplish something…even if your party has a seemingly insurmountable registration advantage and even if you have been in office for decades. The time for trying to score political points by bickering and politicking 24/7 is over. We need them to get to work.
We also served notice on the other 49 states that Open Primaries and Redistricting Reform are a powerful one-two punch that will help lead Congress out of the grid-lock of hyper-partisanship and back to a time of statesmanship that existed for much of our country’s history….just as soon as the other states follow California’s lead. Our country urgently needs these reforms.
The electorate has spoken, and so it appears that my life will continue to be centered here in Southern California and won’t involve relocating to Washington DC.
But living here doesn’t mean the work ends. I will continue to support No Labels in its efforts to get Congress working; as well as the efforts of Students First as it works to ensure that all kids have the opportunity to receive a world class education. I hope all of you will join me: www.nolabels.org and www.studentsfirst.org
I will also closely monitor how Congressman Waxman conducts himself in the 113th Congress. Should he shed his hyper-partisanship label, I will be proud of the role we all played in pulling him out of the swamp of partisan politics, because we know how important it is for our country. However, should he jump back into the swamp, and should our country continue to suffer from the gridlock that threatens our future, make no mistake: I will be back.
There is no way that I can ever adequately thank you. Except to say, I will never forget what you have done. And I promise to dedicate the rest of my life ensuring that your efforts have not gone in vain: We will get Congress working. I promise.
Thank you, and God bless our wonderful country.