This has been a long time coming, but today the team at Sierra Nevada Revolution is excited to announce our endorsement for Jessica Morse for Congress.
Between now and election day on June 5th, we will leverage the power of our platform to amplify the efforts of Jessica’s campaign run, and help her cross the finish line as our chosen candidate to take on Tom McClintock in the November General Election.
There are far too many reasons to list here in what is already a very long-winded endorsement, but below are a few of the most significant factors that fed into the decision.
1) Jessica Has The Experience
After reviewing Jessica’s impressive resume it has become exceedingly clear that she has ‘the right stuff’ to serve as Congresswoman for our district. With an extraordinary educational pedigree and over a decade of service in all three pillars of U.S. national security strategy - defense, development, and diplomacy, Jessica stands out with a level of experience unmatched by her rivals.
Her achievements with USAID, the Department of State, and Pacific Command are many and worthy of the praise she has garnered from former peers and managers. Her many endorsements include high-ranking national security leaders and members of Congress.
Jessica's experience and tireless work ethic have also won her endorsements from numerous organizations and clubs throughout the district. She has also recently won the endorsement of the California Democratic Party. This is significant in that the endorsement brings with it a high level of support and resources to bolster her campaign against Tom McClintock.
Lastly, there is one other small detail that shouldn’t have any bearing on anyone’s decision lest they be accused of ageism, but some have voiced concerns about Jessica’s apparent age. Given this, it is worth mentioning that she is the oldest of the Democratic candidates.
2) She’s A Local
The fact that Tom McClintock moved nearly 400 miles north from southern California to fill a vacated seat left by disgraced former Congressman John T. Doolittle has rightfully earned him the title of ‘carbetbagger.’ What’s worse is that Tom has never lived in the district. His current home in Elk Grove is located more than 30 miles south of Roseville within a gated community on a man-made lake.
Needless to say, this is a sore subject for those of us who live here and one of the compulsory requirements nearly everyone agrees with is that our next representative should be from, and live within the district. Jessica lives in Pollock Pines (in-district), but her opponents will often point out that she grew up Carmichael which is just outside our district boundary. This is a false-flag.
Jessica was born and raised in northern California. Her family first came to the state in covered wagons and has lived here for five generations. The family owns a sizable chunk of land near Auburn (in-district) - land they have owned since the time of the California Gold Rush.
Carmichael is only about a 10-minute drive outside our current district boundary, but consider for a moment how drastically our district has changed over the last 30 years. The fact is, many of us did not live in our district until the 2010 redistricting took effect. Furthermore, after the 2020 redistricting many of us will find ourselves in a completely different congressional district.
For those who live in our mountain communities, it might be tempting to label Jessica as a ‘flatlander.’ Here, we should point out that growing up, Jessica’s family took countless trips into the mountains to hunt, fish, and camp. She’s an avid hiker and has been on numerous treks exploring our Sierra Nevada, including a 500-mile solo through-hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. Jessica walked the entire length of our district on foot!
In a district as vast as CA-04 it might be impossible to find a candidate who has first-hand knowledge of our many customs and traditions; someone who can speak from experience on the issues affecting our various local communities, but in this regard no other candidate in recent memory has come so well-equipped as Jessica.
3) On The Issues
The Democratic candidates running in the primary have similar positions to one another in many regards. Some are a little more progressive than others on some issues. Some are more aligned to the Democratic Party planks. One thing we can say with a degree of certainty is that based on what we’ve read from their issues pages online, and based on what we’ve heard from them at the numerous candidate forums, Jessica stands out in both the consistency of her answers, and in the depth of knowledge she presents on the issues, particularly those that are more specific to our district. (See Jessica's issues page here.)
There are a couple points worth calling out. First, she has been an outspoken advocate for Universal Health Care and has an achievable path in mind for how we can get there, including a novel idea that begins with Universal Primary Care.
Also, since the Parkland school shooting nearly two months ago, all the candidates have spoken out vociferously for common sense gun reform. However, as of today Jessica is the only candidate with the issue detailed on her website.
The absence of common sense gun reform on the other candidates' websites might be due to a belief that the issue is a third-rail not to be touched in our predominantly conservative district. In the past, including the issue on one’s campaign website might have provided McClintock (and Doolittle before him) with a soft target to pummel their Democratic opponents with.
Times have changed though, and now polls are showing upward of 97% of Americans backing universal background checks, 81% for raising the age to purchase firearms to 21, and 68% supporting a ban on assault-style weapons.
This is a critically important issue and it is encouraging to see Jessica lean in and own her positions on gun control in the most public and accountable way possible.
Until the day comes when money is no longer a deciding factor in elections, the fact of the matter at this point, is that 90% of the time, the better-financed candidate wins.
Where the other candidates had nine months of fundraising to report last year, Jessica only had six. Despite this fact, she out-raised everyone and ended the year with 77% more cash-on-hand than her closest Democratic rival. Most importantly, she ended the year with more cash-on-hand than Tom McClintock!
Moreover, it was Jessica’s performance with fundraising that caught the attention of the DCCC and resulted with our formerly ‘unflippable’ district being added to the target list of districts for the 2018 midterm elections.
Many supporters of her rivals have worked hard to call-out the fact that Jessica raised much of this money from outside the district. This is true, but we should remember that with Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and all or part of 5 National Forests in California’s fourth, there are millions of people around the state and across the country who desperately want to see McClintock removed from office. If anything, Jessica’s ability to raise from outside the district showcases her ability to thrust our election into the national spotlight.
At the end of the day, Jessica’s incredible success with fundraising demonstrates her ability to connect, and inspire support. Her energetic zeal and “impossible is nothing” approach to the campaign have made her the stand-out candidate not just in our eyes, but to thousands of donors who view her as the best chance we have to finally put an end to the divisive and destructive effects of Republican rule within our Sierra Nevada.
5) The Best Kind of Democrat
Since we first created Sierra Nevada Revolution over a year ago, one of our biggest hopes has been to put an end to the divisive rhetoric of the GOP, and to escape the fierce state of political tribalism we now find ourselves in. Jessica is the best candidate to help make this happen.
Unlike most of us who may have always identified as Democrats, Jessica grew up in a Republican family and was once registered as a Republican. A number of years ago after her mother passed away she went through a period of growth, reflecting on her faith and coming to the logical conclusion that the Democratic Party was best aligned to her belief system.
Changing one’s political affiliation is a rare and remarkable transformation worthy of respect, and the fact that she went through this process demonstrates her deep commitment to the issues we care so much about.
It is worth remembering that just as we on the left are incredibly frustrated by McClintock’s lack of representation for the 40 percent of us who identify as progressive, we should take care to not elect a candidate who will alienate the other 60 percent who identify as conservative. Doing so would result with fierce opposition in future elections and we could find ourselves with a one-term candidate.
Because Jessica grew up in a Republican family she understands better than any of the other candidates, the fears and concerns of our conservative neighbors and has consistently spoken in a way that acknowledges those concerns while standing firm on her positions.
Jessica has routinely made her progressive positions on the issues we care most about crystal clear. There is no question that she will put her constituents over party politics and corporate interests. We can count on her to fight for our communities and our shared progressive beliefs.
In this election cycle we’ve been blessed with three amazing candidates, each of whom possess outstanding qualifications and remarkable experience. One of the huge benefits of having three active campaigns so early in the election cycle is that they and their supporters have been fanning out across our district, attending events, knocking on doors, making phone calls, and mailing postcards. At this point you’d have to be pretty far off the grid to not know that McClintock is in serious trouble.
Like most primaries, we’ve also had a healthy dose of fierce competition between the campaigns. With so much at stake, emotions are high and supporters are pouring everything they’ve got into their preferred candidate. As can be expected, this has led to many clashes online with some folks doing their best to undermine the chances of the other candidates.
Now that we’ve firmly planted our flag in Camp Jessica, we fully expect to receive some backlash as a result. If you have any misgivings about our decision, please let us know by writing to us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to have a conversation with you via email.
That being said, between now and June 5th, we will be using our various online channels to aggressively promote Jessica’s campaign exclusively. From this point forward, we will not allow attacks on Jessica or her campaign, comments that promote or denigrate other candidates, or comments that call out any member of the team here at Sierra Nevada Revolution.
Most importantly, whatever the outcome of the June Primary, we pledge to wholly commit our platform to helping whichever Democrat wins the Primary. Our hope is that once this day comes, we will all come back together and move forward with the same sense of unity we shared after the infamous McClintock Town Hall in Roseville last February.
We’ve all endured more than our fair share of internal strife over the past year… Fractures have formed, feelings have been hurt, and friendships have been lost. However, we remember how incredibly powerful we were when unified, and we choose to hold onto hope that come June 6th, we will find our way back together and work to “Dump Tom McTrump” once and for all.
Our very best,
- The Team at Sierra Nevada Revolution