By Allen David
Joe Baca is back. Of wants to be. After losing his congressional seat last year when Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod whupped him in the 35th District, the Rialto Democrat has had to live a little more like the rest of us—you know, those people who pay for their own cars, buy their food without a government per diem, purchase shitty health insurance or just cross their fingers. When Baca thinks about a rest-of-his-life like that, he really wants to be a member of the House of Representatives again. The rest of us? We totally get it. But it’s at this point that we find the big difference between Joe Baca and the rest of us. He doesn’t get it. Does not. None of it. Not even the play on words that makes it a joke to say that Joe Baca wants to win next year’s 31st District’s primary “in the worst way.”
THURSDAY, MAY 30
The worst way? We don’t have to look farther than the way Baca is campaigning this week, which looks as though he’s making a play for the Tasmanian Devil vote, ranting and spinning and panting and spitting about who is endorsing whom in the race among Democrats. Right—his party. Dude doesn’t get it. The campaign arm for House Democrats is supporting Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar over Baca’s comeback campaign in the 31st District. Oooooh, does that make Baca mad! And eeeeewwww, does that make some other Democrats nervous—or maybe just plain fed up. Point is, they don’t much want their names associated with a guy with steam coming out of his ears. South Carolina Democrat James E. Clyburn—the Assistant House Minority Leader—makes that point diplomatically by communicating through a spokesman that any reports he had endorsed Baca were “incorrect” and “he is staying out of the nomination primary.” And oooooh, that makes Baca crazy mad—crazy mad enough to say something mad crazy. “He (Clyburn) signed the endorsement, and I have his signature on a sign-up sheet along with other members who signed on that same day,” Baca tells Roll Call. “Other members signed the same sheet.” True. But by arguing so loudly about it, Baca demonstrates that he doesn’t get the basic principle behind political endorsements—that they are supposed to indicate that the endorser believes that the endorsee is the best person to elect. It doesn’t serve Baca to publically pressure Clyburn to back off his principles and give an endorsement he obviously doesn’t mean—especially not by calling him a liar.
FRIDAY, MAY 31
Baca’s campaign gets even more doesn’t-get-it. He releases an endorsement list that features Clyburn’s name prominently—as well as dozens of his former House Democratic colleagues. Baca claims that Clyburn signed his endorsement sheet at an event at the National Democratic Club in Washington, D.C. Of course, by revealing this endorsement list, Baca is painting a quite unflattering picture of the Democratic Party—a full-frontal nude that is scarily hairy with corruption.
SATURDAY, JUNE 1
Let the swooning begin!
SUNDAY, JUNE 2
MONDAY, JUNE 3
Rep. Terri A. Sewell, a Democrat from Alabama, says through a spokeswoman that she did not endorse Baca’s candidacy for Congress and that she is supporting Aguilar. Sewell is the only woman on that list of 30 endorsements from House Democrats that Baca released last week as part of his desperate attempt to get back in Congress.
TUESDAY, JUNE 4
Like all games, life is about matchups, and before closing the medicine cabinet on this day—while gently cleansing the palate of any bitter aftertastes, it’s prudent to spend a few moments assessing the challenges waiting in the days just ahead. Besides, what else you gonna do during all that rinsing and spitting? And then, it comes to me . . . ah, yessss . . . from this Thursday . . . that would be June 6 … from 5pm to 8pm . . . in what looks like a downtown park . . . in a place known as . . . Rialto? Damn right! The one and only! Well, unless you’re a stickler for detail, in which case you should note that in this particular situation it is also the ninth annual. It’s the Taste of Rialto! Yes, you heard that right: Taste . . . of . . . Rialto. One more time: we’re talking “Taste” in regards to “Rialto.” Now you just sit there and think about that for awhile—let it . . . um . . . perchlorate. Looks like it’s going to be awhile until I close the medicine cabinet on this day. Let’s see, what would be an effective antidote for perchlorate?