Is Harmer saying goodbye or hello?

David Harmer

David Harmer

This very curious email just came in from former Congressional District 10 GOP candidate David Harmer of Dougherty Valley.

It appears to be a message to the folks up on his campaign email distribution list. It’s a treatise on why he ran against John Garamendi, the Democrat who won the November special election.

It’s unclear why Harmer sent this message out now. But there have been rumors that the strong support he received in the CD10 race might push him to run in the neighboring GOP District 11 primary.

Here’s the message:

Already two months have passed since the election. Since then, I’ve been reflecting on why I ran, what we accomplished, and what lies ahead. May I share some of my thoughts with you?

When the vacancy occurred in California’s 10th Congressional District, I understood the odds. The district boundaries had been drawn to dilute Republican voting strength, dividing my city, my county, and my school district. It worked: fewer than 29% of the district’s registered voters were Republicans, and no Republican congressional candidate had gotten more than 35% of the vote.

But motivated by love for my family, our country, and the Constitution, and desiring to do my part to help preserve the freedoms that I perceived as under siege, I ventured to beat the odds.

I chose to run because I love freedom, and I’m alarmed by Congress’s encroachments upon it. Freedom means that we enjoy the fruits of our own labors, with government entitled to only the minimal share necessary to fulfill its constitutional duties. Freedom means that we make wise choices and enjoy the rewards of success, or make foolish choices and suffer the consequences of failure — but they’re our choices.

Now federal policy is trying to prevent failure. But we can’t suppress the freedom to fail without commensurate suppression of the freedom to succeed.

I am appalled by the bailouts begun under the Bush Administration and accelerated under its successor. In essence, the greatest failures in American industry stood arm in arm with the U.S. Treasury and said to the taxpayer: “We’re going to make you a deal you can’t refuse: heads we win, tails you lose. We’re going to take imprudent risks, employ extravagant leverage, or mismanage our businesses into insolvency. So long as the risks pay off, we pocket the profits. When they blow up, you cover the losses.”

The executives, shareholders, and bondholders who took imprudent risks should suffer the consequences. Instead, federal policy subsidizes them. When we subsidize irresponsibility and waste, we get more of them. When we penalize independence, integrity, industry, self-reliance, thrift, prudence, and discipline, we get less of them — and less freedom.

A similar dynamic is at work in the pending health-care reform bill. Suffused with mandates, taxes, and penalties, it illustrates Mencken’s dictum that the urge to save humanity almost always cloaks the urge to rule it.

Likewise, the so-called stimulus isn’t stimulating anything but federal spending — leading to record-shattering budget deficits and an unprecedented rise in the national debt, impeding economic recovery now and burdening generations to come.

I ran for Congress because I wanted to grow the economy, not the government. I wanted to balance the budget by controlling spending, not raising taxes. And I wanted to liberate small businesses from excessive taxation and regulation so they could once again prosper and create new jobs.

Most of all, I ran to be able to tell my children that when the opportunity arose, I did everything within my power to keep them free.

For your support in that endeavor, I am most grateful.


David Harmer


Garamendi hires chief of staff

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, has hired as his chief of staff Scott Fay, former senior adviser to the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

According to Garamendi’s office, Fay held various positions during his nine years on Kennedy’s staff including constituent outreach advisor, scheduler, operations director and most recently as his senior adviser and national political director. As political director, Faw oversaw outreach to various national organizations to promote Kennedy’s  national agenda across the country and at home in Massachusetts.

“I’m thrilled to announce that Scott Fay will be joining my team,” Garamendi said in a prepared release. ” Because of his many years of service to Senator Kennedy, Scott comes with a wealth of political experience and a deep understanding of how Congress and government works.”

Fay holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Boston University and a master’s degree in public communication from American University in Washington, D.C. He will start his new post in January.


Harmer may take a run at CD11

David Harmer

David Harmer

The Mormon Times, published by the Utah-based Deseret News, reports that Republican congressional candidate David Harmer may run again but  for a neighboring seat.

Harmer ran unsuccessfully in District 10 earlier this year, losing to then-sitting Democratic California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi.

District 11 is a far more GOP-friendly district with almost dead-even registration between the two major parties.

But Harmer doesn’t live in District 11, a detail that no longer seems to matter to many voters.

They elected Garamendi, who doesn’t live in District 10. His Walnut Grove home is just across the river from the district boundary.

Harmer lives in Dougherty Valley, not far from the line between the 10th and 11th districts.

Harmer would have a far more difficult primary in the 11th District, however. A half-dozen Republicans have already announced their candidacies and are raising money.

Here are the first few paragraphs of the Mormon Times story:

Former congressional candidate may run again

By Jeffrey R. Unalp

For Mormon Times

Friday, Dec. 11, 2009

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Former California 10th Congressional District candidate David J. Harmer said he may run again, but this time it would be for the 11th Congressional District seat.

He believes it is his obligation and calling as a free American Mormon.

Harmer spoke to the East Bay BYU Management Society on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Introduced as a candidate who ran the race with integrity that was “unbecoming of a politician,” Harmer then detailed the difficulties he faced in his bid for the 10th District seat.

Harmer said he ran because he was prompted by the Spirit. He said his family is currently studying Captain Moroni, and like Captain Moroni, American Mormons must hoist the Title of Liberty. “Freedom is a pre-condition of everything else God has in his plan,” he said.

He said running again is a bit like being asked to play the organ at stake conference; if he declined he would feel bad as he believes it is his calling.


Garamendi holds town hall meetings tomorrow

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, was among Democrats who characterized today’s jobs report as a good sign:

“Today’s announcement that the unemployment rate dropped in November is welcomed news for the millions of American workers, including tens of thousands of people in my district, struggling to find a job in this difficult economy. The Recovery Act and other jobs-creating measures have laid down the building blocks to repair our economy.

“Our efforts have kept teachers, nurses, and police officers in their jobs and boots are already on the ground to rebuild our roads, bridges, and public transportation systems. There is much more to be done to create jobs, and I will be there every step of the way.”

Agree? Disagree? Go tell him face-to-face tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 5, as he holds his first town-hall meetings in Contra Costa and Solano counties (after holding one in Livermore last month):

    10 a.m. to noon – Solano County Supervisors’ chambers, 675 Texas St. in Fairfield

I’m sure he’ll be fielding plenty of questions about his vote on health-care reform, too.


Former Tauscher aid to join BART

Former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher’s district director, Jennifer Barton, has been selected BART’s new executive manager of external affairs.

BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger told her team this morning of her choice of Barton, who has been the face of District 10 for seven years. (See memo below.)

Barton has been working for newly elected Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, during the transition.

But BART is a good fit for Barton. She knows transportation; Tauscher was the ranking Californian on the House Transportation Committee. And Barton is highly respected and well-liked among East Bay power brokers.

“I am thrilled to have this new job at BART,” Barton said. “I started the application process back in June. It’s hard to leave such a great congressional shop, although I will still have the opportunity in my new job to work with a lot of the same people.”

Barton will succeed Katherine Strehl, who retired from BART.

Garamendi had this to say about Barton:  “I want to thank Jennifer Barton for her service to the 10th Congressional District. She has been an invaluable resource during my Congressional transition. While I am sad to see her go, I am happy for Jennifer and glad that BART has hired such a knowledgable and competent person as their director of external affairs. I look forward to working with Jennifer in her new capacity in the years to come.”

Read on for memo from Dugger:

Continue Reading