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Jerry McNerney's Uphill Battle for Re-election

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Following a razor-thin victory in 2010, Liberal California Democrat Jerry McNerney faces an uphill battle in his quest to stay in office. The new district he must run in, California’s Ninth District, is a predominantly Central Valley district making it rough territory for this long-time Bay Area politician. His priorities are simply not the priorities of the Californians he seeks to represent and his connection to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi only serves to underscore that point.

Unlike his current district, the heart of the Ninth District is agricultural-rich San Joaquin County, with only a sliver of the East Bay Area and Contra Costa county that McNerney is familiar with. For example, McNerney voted for stifling cap-and-trade regulations that are devastating to farmers and small businesses in the area. This vote is one of the reasons McNerney barely escaped defeat in 2010. Another problem he faced in 2010 was the unpopular vote he took for President Obama’s health care takeover. Even after his narrow reelection, McNerney reiterated his support for the legislation by voting against its repeal. Don’t forget, that massive healthcare takeover cut half a trillion dollars from Medicare, and placed new regulatory burdens on the kind of small business employers that are found throughout the new 9th district.

McNerney’s voting record will continue to be a central issue in his campaign. He has voted with Nancy Pelosi an astronomical 95 percent of the time, which likely explains why Pelosi and national Democrats have taken a big interest in protecting McNerney. They’ve added him to their most vulnerable list, pledging to do what they can to keep him as a solid vote for their party and Washington, DC special interests.

More recently, McNerney has found himself entangled in Obama’s Solyndra debacle. McNerney supported Obama’s failed stimulus, which gambled and lost $535 million taxpayer dollars on Solyndra, the now-bankrupt company once touted by Democrats as the poster child for stimulus loan guarantees.

The fact that Jerry McNerney chose to support a program that sent taxpayer money to a financially unstable company like Solyndra and then received contributions from the company’s billionaire investor is an example of the very thing California voters hate about Washington politicians.

(In fact, this is the subject of a National Republican Congressional Committee ad that is currently airing in the Ninth District.)

In addition to being riddled with sweetheart deals, the stimulus bill has been a failure for California workers. When McNerney cast his vote for the stimulus in 2009, he called it a “step in the right direction.” But since he passed the bill unemployment in California has increased by more than 20 percent.

The bottom line is that Jerry McNerney’s days in Congress are numbered. He narrowly escaped defeat in 2010 and he now has to run in a district that has even more voters who will reject his voting record. His priorities, like helping Nancy Pelosi regain the Speaker’s gavel, might play well in the Bay Area, but voters in Lodi and Stockton want jobs, a strong economy, and a representative who is not a rubber stamp for Democratic Party leadership.

To find out more about his failed agenda, check out McNerney’s Web site.

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