Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, testified today before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security about a gang-crime bill he introduced last month.
His National Safe Streets Gang Crime Prevention Act of 2007, H.R. 3474, would create a National Gang Activity Database to disseminate information on gangs, gang members, firearms, criminal activities, vehicles, and other useful information, which would be accessible to law enforcement officials nationwide. Now H.R. 3474 is being incorporated into a bigger bill, H.R. 3547, The Gang Prevention, Intervention and Suppression Act, a comprehensive approach to reducing U.S. gang violence.
“Gang activity does not stay neatly within one jurisdiction; it spreads across geographic boundaries. Therefore, law enforcement officials need a mechanism to easily share intelligence and track crime,” he told the panel. “I have witnessed what this level of cooperation can do locally to prevent gang activity. In my district, the City of Stockton Police Department coordinated efforts with the DEA, FBI, ATF, and other local jurisdictions to target suspected drug traffickers and gangs operating in San Joaquin County. Impressively, these efforts have resulted in 51 arrests since January.”
Meanwhile and on another front, McNerney must be tickled pink with the apparent disarray of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
In the 2006 election cycle, the NRCC outraised the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($179.5 million to $139.9 million) and spent at least about $1.4 million trying to help House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, keep his seat; instead, he was defeated by McNerney. The DCCC, meanwhile, came late to McNerney’s side after having backed someone else in the Democratic primary, but in the general campaign’s final weeks ended up spending about
$2 million (make that $216,000; see the comments below) to help put him over the top.
But the NRCC seems to have fallen on hard times. Politico reported a few weeks ago that the NRCC has raised $34.6 million this cycle compared to $43.6 million by the DCCC. The big difference, however, is in cash-on-hand, where Democrats have a huge advantage: $22 million in cash, compared to the NRCC’s $1.6 million.
McNerney clearly is on GOP’s hit list of vulnerable freshman Democrats it would like to pick off next year; so far, former Board of Equalization member and state Assemblyman Dean Andal of Stockton is the only declared Republican challenger. But remember, the 11th Congressional District straddles the San Francisco and Sacramento media markets, so television ad buys can easily run into the millions of dollars. That’s a big ante if the NRCC keeps on struggling, leaving Andal and other GOP candidates across the nation to fend for themselves… and McNerney’s campaign finance reports show he banked a whopping $823,293 in the first half of this year to Andal’s $288,168.
Anyhoo, you can read McNerney’s full testimony as prepared for today’s hearing, after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »