Friday, February 7th, 2014 and is filed under Elections
It’s not too often that we find an opportunity to win a congressional seat in California away from the Democrats with a young, vivacious, rock-solid conservative. It’s even more exciting that with this race we have a chance to strike a blow to the liberal wing of the party while concurrently building a conservative bench in a state that has slipped rapidly from our grasp. Igor Birman is presenting us with such an opportunity in the Sacramento-based 7th Congressional district this year.
When we first initiated the Madison Performance Index we were motivated by the observation that there are so many lukewarm Republicans representing solid conservative districts. As such, we have embarked on a plan to help elect more consistent conservatives from the reddest parts of the country. However, we must not forsake the rest of the country to the forces of big government either.
One of the unintended consequences from conservatives completely abandoning states like California is that we are ceding seats in districts that are still winnable – if we only tried to compete. All that is left of the California GOP is a bunch of Democrat-lite candidates who can’t even win lean-Republican or swing districts in the general election. Although California’s 7th district is rated “even” on the Cook Partisan Voter Index, it is actually a very winnable seat, especially in an off-year election punctuated by a profound sense of disquiet over Obamacare. Freshman Democrat Ami Berra, who is to the left of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, is one of the most vulnerable Democrats this cycle. But why should conservatives settle for a pale-pastel alternative?
Igor Birman is not willing to cede winnable seats to Democrats and liberal Republicans. He wants to help Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) build a conservative bench in at least part of the state, and has stepped up to the plate.
Igor is one of the most unique candidates of the 2014 cycle. He fled the Soviet Union, when the iron curtain collapsed, at the tender age of 12. Coming to America as a Jewish-Russian refugee and experiencing the oppression of centralized government, Igor has a passion and commitment to liberty and constitutional government like few others. After graduating law school from Emory, Igor joined Rep. Tom McClintock’s campaign in 2008. He later became Chief of Staff for McClintock after he was elected.
During his time in Washington, Birman has helped McClintock remain one of the fiercest conservative fighters in Congress. With a front row seat over the past few years, Igor is not only schooled on all of the policy issues, he understands the political dynamics and pressures that confront new conservative members of Congress. He is fully aware of the political chicanery from GOP leadership and is committed to joining the cadre of members trying to give the House leaders a much-needed face-lift.
As a young and energetic conservative with an immigrant background, Igor is a superlative example of the 21st century constitutionalists we seek to help elect. Given his family’s history in the former Soviet Union, Igor is particularly virulent in his desire to fight infringements on our civil liberties. He is also a great messenger for the true immigration reform at a time when we must fight our own party to stop amnesty.
With the help of a broad coalition, Rep. Berra is eminently beatable. However, if we fail to rally behind Igor, we will be stuck with one of the most liberal candidates of the cycle as an alternative. Igor’s main Republican primary challenger, former Rep. Doug Ose, voted with the far left of the Republican Party on an array of issues as a member of Congress last decade. Ose has a voting record full of “bigger government,” abortion funding, gun control, and support of illegal immigrants. He even co-founded the RINO group, Republican Main Street Partnership. It’s likely that he will receive a lot of help from them and their big labor money this year. Ose represents the left foul line of the Republican Party.
The other Republican candidate, Elizabeth Emken, lobbied for Obamacare in 2009.
There is perhaps no other primary which exemplifies a bolder contrast between the two wings of the Republican Party than the race for California 7th District. Given the high stakes of the outcome, this is a race conservatives cannot afford to ignore. We must all rally for Igor Birman on June 3rd.
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