Will Gil Cedillo Learn His Lesson?

Gil Cedillo started off his campaign by trying to emphasize his early support for Barrack Obama. Signs for one of his earliest events even had the moniker:


But Cedillo failed to learn the lesson of the Obama campaign. Obama never campaigned as "The Black Candidate," because he knew that would be the kiss of death. He'd be writing off an awful lot of non-Black voters with a campaign based on race. Even many African Americans would have been turned off by a campaign like that--that's why many African American leaders initially flocked to Hilary rather than Barack. They didn't want to marginalize themselves by making what they thought would look like a race-based decision.

So along comes Cedillo, and I guess he thought the demographics of the 32nd District were so favorable that he could win as "The Latino Candidate." He rejected the "post-racial" or "trans-racial" campaign of Obama and opted for a race-centered definition of this contest.

Big mistake. His "The Latino Candidate" campaign alienated both Latinos and non-Latinos. Anyone familiar with voters in the district could have told them this approach wouldn't work. American-born Latinos (like American-born Asians) don't like being treated as foreigners, whether by Latinos, Asians, or Whites. They were born here and they know they're American. Anyone telling them otherwise does so at his own peril.

And anyone who tries to define his candidacy by race will definitely alienate those of other races. So Cedillo's campaign alienated the White and Asian minority in the district, AND lost a lot of support among the Latino majority. Of course, his own personal ethics (revealed both prior to and during the campaign) didn't help things with either group.

So, come election day, it's Judy Chu, by over 4,000 votes. As has been noted elsewhere, even if the Pleitez voters had broken 4:1 for Cedillo (by no means a sure thing, since many Pleitez voters were energized by the Pleitez candidacy and wouldn't have voted at all if not for him), Cedillo STILL would have lost. And that's despite Cedillo bringing in Betty "Uncle Tom" Chu into the race, who probably got half of her votes by accident (enough to win the Republican nomination, but people won't make that same mistake in July).

Coverage in the

Coverage in the L.A. Times.

I need to disagree with that Regalado guy from the Pat Brown Institute. I don't know of anyone who thinks Cedillo ran a "good" campaign. It was dirty and he deserved to lose.

How do you know Cedillo got

How do you know Cedillo got Betty Chu to run? I'm just curious.

I don't know. I suspect,

I don't know. I suspect, just as I suspected that certain people would be appointed to the Rosemead Planning Commission last night based more on their political views than on their qualifications.

After all (getting back to Tom), who runs for Congress without raising any money (as of late April's FEC filing)? Not anyone who's trying to win.

And she was clearly not the favorite of the Republican Party (that was Hernandez). I don't know of anyone who argued Betty Chu was actually qualified for the job. The only mailer associated with her name was an attack on Judy Chu.

I did not see the mailer personally, but I have heard the mailer did not identify an FEC-registered committee. The Cedillo people are trying to argue (preposterously) that Judy coordinated with Betty to send that mailer out. To me, that's just so laughable that they might as well juse come out and admit that, yes, we (the Cedillo people) paid for it.

So there you have it. She wasn't in it to win, she wasn't put up to it by the Republicans, and it's laughable to think she was put up to it by Judy's people. What's left?

Dr. Holmes

I think you got it.

She was clearly in it to be a spoiler, but, I didn't really think of they money issue.

I guess we'll have to look at the donors and see if there was a surge of Democratic donors to the Betty campaign.

Here is a page with links to the flyer.


I feel bad for Teresa Hernandez, because, while she could not win, it would have been interesting to have a lot of mariachis at campaign events.