The Reindeer Games Begin - DCCC, NRCC Clash Early in Bera Jones Race

May 12, 2016 |

It had to happen sooner or later in what has been called one of the tightest and most expensive Congressional races in the country, but the battle between the Democratic and Republican parties for California's Seventh Congressional District is in full bloom

While the war between Democratic incumbent Dr. Ami Bera and Republican challenger Sheriff Scott Jones has not fully started, the war between each candidate's surrogates is in full swing. Those surrogates are the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

Not surprisingly, the first volley was served up by the NRCC's Zach Hunter, who seized on the guilty plea of Bera's father, Babulal Bera. The elder Bera plead guilty to campaign money laundering on behalf of his son's 2010 and 2012 campaigns.

Even though Federal prosecutors have said there is no evidence Congressman Bera was aware of his father's illegal deeds, Hunter has continually raised doubt about his knowledge of the scheme. "It defies belief that Rep. Bera was unaware of these activities, and 7th  District voters deserve to know the truth,”  Hunter said in a Monday email. 

Not to be outdone, the DCCC's Barb Solish seized on an interview on KCRA yesterday where Jones was questioned about budget shortfalls at the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. In an email titled "Sheriff's Department busted budget," Solish included a quote from a right leaning taxpayers group.

"As a citizen, I'm questioning a couple of things," Sacramento Taxpayers Association President Katy Grimes said. "First of all, why is the budget having such a problem at 10 months in?" 

Within minutes of the DCCC's email this morning, NRCC's Hunter sent an email with a title that would be familiar to anyone with an even passing knowledge of the Watergate scandal.

Titled "What did Ami Bera know, and when did he know it," Hunter again raises the possibility that Bera may have known well before he was informed by the FBI last year that his father was under investigation. For the NRCC, the elder Bera's guilty plea is a gift delivered on a silver platter that they will continually to drive home.

With about six months until the general election this might be nothing more than an early skirmish, however it is an indication of things to come. The NRCC will continue to pound the elder Bera's guilty plea, and the DCCC will undoubtedly resurrect Jones previous legal problems and any other budgetary problems at the Sheriff's Department.

Let the reindeer games begin! 



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