By JOHN HARLOW | Editor-in-Chief
For Kenneth Wright, the Republican Party’s freewheeling candidate who plans to stand a second time against Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, addressing guests at the Pacific Palisades Republican Party’s summer bash was a critical pit stop in his next election campaign.
Wright said he had to get started for the midterms in November 2018 because he also has to run a medical practice and a clinic for the poor.
He told the Palisadian Republicans, who gathered for their summer party in an elegant hillside home on Sunday, Aug. 28, that Lieu is an “un-American person” whose record should anger anyone from Republican to Communist.
He said he was prompted to stand by two Lieu policies: “his no-money bail [Congress bill], where you can be shot, your child raped, and [the offender] still does not have to put up bail” and curbing vetting of 200,000 Syrian refugees.
(Democrats challenge his interpretation. They say violent criminals still face high bail, but reforms mean the poor would not be trapped in jail on minor offenses. And the 18,000 Syrian refugees received since 2011 have been rigorously vetted.)
Wright was in El Medio to raise funds because, he said, last year he was deeply outspent by the Democrats of District 33.
Wright raised $50,000, of which half came from his own pocket, while Lieu mustered $1.7 million, all but 5 percent from big donors.
“The local Republican Party gave me no money at all because they did not believe anyone could win against Lieu.
“District 33 [which runs from South Bay to Malibu] is 24-percent Republican, which is what Donald Trump got, but I got 34 percent—130,000 votes, which is not bad for someone who is not a politician, who has never run before.”
Wright said that he was the only South Bay candidate who came out early for Trump, who he regards as a political idol. “The rest were hedging their bets, but I have got a job, I have got nothing to lose.”
“So, I met [U.S. Representative] Darrell Issa, I have met him twice now, they are out to get him [in the midterms] but he will be just fine, and when I said I got 34 percent he said, ‘In a presidential election, when everyone turns out, that’s not bad. And in the midterms, it will be razor thin, you can win.
“Last time I said I could not win, and people said don’t say that—what a dope. But this time, you know, I can win!”
He has been overhauling his political machine: “I fired two campaign managers—they were not very smart, they did not work very hard, the millennial volunteers are very weak. What we need is a very sophisticated young campaign manager. Social media—I am working on that.”
The candidate finished with a Hillary Clinton joke: She is standing outside St. Peter’s Gate, seeing good people being turned away, but “despite Benghazi, the emails, the $100 million she got for selling uranium to the Russians, she gets in.
“She is shown into a room where there is Burt Reynolds on a bed looking real sexy. And she says, ‘I got away with it—I have to ask how did I get to heaven?’ And they say, ‘No, this is not your heaven, this is Burt Reynold’s hell.’”
To which many cheered and others, presumably Burt Reynolds fans, responded with an audible “Wow.”
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