Will Georgette Gomez Cut through the Wall of Sara Jacobs’ Paid Ads or Will Jacobs Buy Her Way into Congress?

by on February 17, 2020 · 3 comments

in Election, San Diego, Under the Perfect Sun

Georgette Gomez (from campaign literature)

By Jim Miller

Will Sara Jacobs Be Able to Buy Her Way into Congress or Will Georgette Gomez Cut through the Wall of Paid Advertisements?

If it seems like you can’t keep up with the depressing news about American politics or even try to escape it by watching something else without seeing a Sara Jacobs for Congress commercial, you aren’t crazy.

By this point in the election cycle, I find myself wanting to throw my shoe at the TV every time it tells me that teachers love Jacobs (even though they have endorsed Georgette Gomez) or that she wants to work across the aisle to solve problems (centrist pablum alert).  It’s just that pervasive — so much so that the other candidates in the race are practically invisible.

And, of course, it’s working with the most recent poll showing her far ahead of the entire field, and her central democratic rival, Georgette Gomez, behind the Republican and out of the general unless she makes a stretch run to pass him.

How could Gomez, a sitting councilwoman with the endorsements of the Democratic Party, the labor movement, and a host of local activist organizations, be losing to an inexperienced newcomer without the long track record that Gomez has of doing the hard work of community activism over many years and serving on the City Council more recently?

Sara Jacobs (from campaign literature)

Newsflash:  it’s the money, stupid.

Jacobs is from an extremely wealthy family with a long history of big spending in local politics.  After she failed to spend herself into Congress up in North County in the race for the 49th Congressional District, she picked up the pieces and parachuted into the 53rd.  If it were not for the family fortune and the connections that come with it, she simply would not be in her current position.

Jacobs seems like a decent, idealistic person, and her positions on the issues are generally on the liberal side of the spectrum. But make no mistake: her ascendancy to congressional front runner has less to do with her political background than with her racial and class privilege and easy access to loads of campaign cash.

The San Diego Reader has covered the money in this race and more details are available at Open Secrets , but beyond the specific trail of Jacobs’ donations is the more important fact that her personal money machine is a local manifestation of what’s wrong with American democracy as a whole.

As I wrote last week in my column about Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to buy the Democratic nomination for president, plutocracy Democratic Party style is not the answer to what ails us; it is part of the problem.

In this race, Gomez offers an antidote to this kind of politics.  Her previous work for the Environmental Health Coalition and her strong advocacy for workers, the environment, and social justice on the City Council serves as evidence that she has a real understanding of what matters in the lives of ordinary people and how we can begin to make meaningful change in their lives.  She has paid her dues and done the real work.  As Bernie Sanders noted in his endorsement of Gomez, she is someone who understands that real change comes from the “bottom on up, not the top on down.”

It would be a shame if that centrally important fact gets buried under an avalanche of campaign ads, and rather than bringing a real progressive champion to Congress, we offer up the seat to the person with the most money to buy it.



{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

MSmith February 17, 2020 at 10:09 pm

Georgette Gomez, doing the “real work”:
“Foreign policy comes very little. I’m not saying that it’s not important, but it’s something that I can, once, once I’m there, I will do my work to ensure that I understand everything that I’m responsible for.”

Come on. This isn’t a local planning group race.


Peter from South O February 18, 2020 at 4:49 am

All that the informed voter needs to do is to analyze Ms Jacob’s TV adds for experience in government (or anything, really). Photo op next to President Obama where she interned (a position that her Daddy bought her) and vague statements by her supporters about how she will get things done.
Seriously, folks. This is an entitled little white girl who has no business running for Congress.


Frank Gormlie February 18, 2020 at 11:09 am

The positive aspect of the poll Jim cites is that the “Undecideds” are 35% – so there’s lots of room for movement. Also who is “Other” at 18%?


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