With 100% of precincts reporting, Brad Sherman won yesterday’s primary by 10 points. Brad Sherman earned the support of 42.4% of primary election voters and his opponent who will move with him to the November election, Howard Berman, got just 32.4% of the vote.
With just two days until California’s primary election, USC releases a poll that shows Brad Sherman with a big lead over his opponents.
Daily News (June 2, 2012): “A USC poll set for release Sunday shows Rep. Brad Sherman with a significant lead over competitor Rep. Howard Berman in the closely watched 30th Congressional District race.
Coming two days before the primary, the online poll of 300 registered voters in the 30th District shows 31.7 percent of voters back Sherman and 24 percent support Berman.
The poll is one the first independent surveys in this highly competitive race, featuring two well-liked Capitol Hill veterans and a field of Republican candidates.
The top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, in Tuesday’s primary election face off in the November election.”
The Atlantic Magazine highlighted some important differences between Brad Sherman and his opponent this week.
The Atlantic (May 24, 2012): An obvious contrast between the two men suddenly came into focus, a way of typecasting them: Berman was the patrician, accomplished Washington insider; Sherman the authentic, people-powered man of the neighborhood.
Congressman Brad Sherman wrote the following Op-Ed in The Hill on May 17, 2012. In it, he says “Never again should a financial institution be able to claim: ‘if we go down, the U.S. economy is going down with us.'”
May 17– “Is it any wonder why banks like JP Morgan can take such great risks? We have set a precedent whereby our major banks operate with an implicit guarantee that the government will be standing by to bail them out. JP Morgan’s multibillion dollar debacle is just the latest example of why we must better regulate Wall Street, and break up entities that are deemed too big to fail. Taxpayers may not have needed to bail JP Morgan out this time, but a recent history lesson should remind us why banks that are too big to fail are too big to exist.
In October 2008, some big Wall Street firms that had made bad investments in the imploding mortgage market decided that taxpayers should cover their losses. Wall Street flooded into Congress and demanded that taxpayers bail them out by using tax money to buy $700 billion worth of their bad mortgages. Wall Street called them “toxic assets” and called their bailout plan TARP, the Toxic Asset Recovery Program. The plan was for the taxpayers to buy their near-worthless toxic assets, so Wall Street could recover their investments. Our cash, for their trash.
After TARP was blocked in the House, the program was retooled. Not a dollar of taxpayer money was used to purchase toxic assets. Instead we bought preferred stock, a much better investment, and our losses a small fraction of what they would have been.
Today the biggest banks have an unfair competitive advantage through access to a lower-cost capital. Since they are regarded as “too big to fail,” they can receive loans at a lower rate because they have a safety net that the small and medium sized banks don’t have: the backing of the US taxpayer. This should not be – every financial institution should compete for capital based on the soundness of its balance sheet, and no financial institution should be able to claim that there is a special federal safety net available to its investors because of the institution’s sheer size.
The financial regulatory reform we passed under the Dodd-Frank Act already tasks the Federal Reserve and other regulators to identify the financial institutions that are so big that if they were to fail it would be a systemic problem for the country. The problem is, once these banks are identified, what should we do about it? Regulators, including the Fed and the Treasury have the authority under the Dodd-Frank to break up the largest banks, but it is highly unlikely they will use that authority. I believe that once we identify an institution as too big to fail, we must force it to divide.
Every protozoa has the intelligence to divide once it reaches a certain size, and the division is necessary to maintain health. Certainly the brilliant men and women on Wall Street are capable of intelligently dividing their behemoth firms.
Never again should a financial institution be able to claim: “if we go down, the U.S. economy is going down with us.” By breaking up these institutions long before they face a crisis, we ensure a healthy financial system where all firms can compete in the free market. No longer should giant financial institutions be able to get low-cost capital by telling investors that even if the institution is mismanaged it will be able to obtain a bailout from the federal government. That is why I have introduced the “Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act,” (HR 4963). This bill mandates the break-up of any institution identified by the regulators in the Dodd-Frank process as too big to fail. The legislation is similar to legislation authored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt) and introduced in the 11th Congress and legislation authored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and recently introduced in the 112th Congress.”
Congressman Brad Sherman has just won the highly-prized endorsement of the 140,000-member Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council for his reelection bid. “I’m very honored to have the endorsement of a group that has done so much to improve the lives of working men and women,” said Sherman, who is running for the 30th Congressional District seat.
Trades Council Executive-Secretary Robbie Hunter announced the endorsement and pledged his organization’s support for Sherman in his race.
“Brad Sherman understands the issues affecting working people and their day to day struggles,” said Hunter. “His experience and commitment to working families make him the best candidate in this race, and his election will benefit all San Fernando Valley citizens, not just our members. Public works projects led us out of the Great Depression, and Brad’s focus on creating jobs and ensuring that much-needed projects like bridges and reservoirs are funded will be a great benefit in turning around this economy.”
The Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council represents skilled workers in dozens of crafts who build bridges, mass transit, roads, hospitals, and schools. The unions representing these skilled craft workers include the Boilermakers, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, Electricians (IBEW), Elevator Constructors, Operating Engineers, Gunite Workers, Iron Workers, Laborers, Painters & Allied Trades, Pipe Trades, Plasterers & Cement Masons, Heat & Frost Insulators, Plaster Tenders, Roofers & Waterproofers, Sheet Metal Workers, Tradeshow & Sign Crafts, and the Teamsters.
POLITICO features an article on Brad Sherman’s appeal to Valley Voters. Take a moment to read the story here:
Politico (May 13, 2012):“If Howard Berman is the Oscar, Brad Sherman’s the People’s Choice Award in the race to represent a new district in the shadow of Hollywood.
That’s the prevailing view among Democratic strategists and congressional aides keeping close tabs on an increasingly bitter race between the rhyming congressmen, who were lumped together this year by California’s unforgivingly independent redistricting commission.
Berman’s won the unofficial primary among Hollywood and D.C. elites, they say, but it’s Sherman who has the edge right now among voters who live among the backyard swimming pools and porn sets of the sprawling San Fernando Valley.
“If you live in the Hollywood/D.C. bubble Berman is lapping Sherman,” said Mike Trujillo, a Valley native who ran Hillary Clinton’s California campaign in 2008 and was a political aide to Rob Reiner. “If you live in the Valley, Brad’s the choice for most Valley folks right now.””
LA TIMES (April 17, 2012): Saying voters are entitled to know whether their elected officials are “paying our fair share,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) on Tuesday released copies of his 2011 federal income tax returns—and challenged his main rival to do the same.
“I believe it is extremely important to demonstrate my commitment to transparency during a time of rising cynicism about whether our nation’s political leaders are paying their fair share in taxes,” Sherman said.
LA TIMES: “Before he won elected office, Rep. Brad Sherman was a CPA and a tax lawyer. So the news conference he’s scheduled to reveal the names of taxpayers owed millions in refunds seems right up his alley.”
Read the press release below from the Trade Brigade of Citizens Trade Campaign as they endorse Congressman Brad Sherman for Re-Election.
For Immediate Release
April 10, 2012
Contact: Arthur Stamoulis
Trade Coalition Endorses Congressman Sherman
Labor, Farm and Environmental Groups Credit Sherman as a Champion of Fair Trade and a Sound Economy
Washington, D.C. — America’s largest non-partisan trade coalition, with over 11 million combined members, endorsed Congressman Brad Sherman for re-election today. Sherman is one of only a handful of Members of Congress to win the support of the Trade Brigade of Citizens Trade Campaign this primary season, an acknowledgement of his long history of supporting trade policy reform.
“A lot of candidates talk about trade reform during election time, but Congressman Sherman is someone who has fought for it tirelessly throughout his career,” said PAC coordinator Arthur Stamoulis. “He has long opposed job-killing trade agreements, and is a consistent champion of fair trade initiatives.”
Sherman sided with California’s working families in October, when he voted against Bush-negotiated free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. At the time, he rose on the floor of Congress to point out how the Korea pact’s lax rule of origin provisions created a back door for increased imports from China and possibly even North Korea.
In response to increasing trade deficits, Sherman also co-sponsored the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment Act of 2009 — also known as the TRADE Act — to offer a more balanced and responsible way to expand international trade.
“Congressman Sherman knows that there’s a right way and a wrong way to expand international trade,” said Stamoulis. “He is taking the steps needed to expand trade and increase exports in a manner that actually creates jobs and improves working conditions in California and beyond. America needs his continued leadership in Congress.”
Sherman’s opponent in the primary, Howard Berman, voted for the Colombia, Panama and Korea Free Trade Agreements and refused to cosponsor the TRADE Act.
Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC) was formed in 1992 to unite labor, environmental, family farm, consumer and faith organizations against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition works together to oppose job-killing trade agreements and promote a positive vision for international trade.