Rep. Howard Berman
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) has decided to endorse Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) in his bruising intraparty fight with Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) for a newly drawn San Fernando Valley congressional district seat.
In a letter to Berman dated Monday, Boxer said she was abandoning her position of neutrality because of a mailer the Sherman campaign sent out which Boxer said “outrageously tries to connect you to the San Bruno tragedy.”
The Sherman campaign sent the mailer to call attention to an independent expenditure by a PG&E, which has contributed $10,000 to support Berman. PG&E is operating as a “super PAC” — a corporate campaign organization that can spend unlimited amounts for or against candidates so long as they do not coordinate with the candidate they are supporting. At least one other super PAC has contributed to elect Berman.
Sherman has urged Berman to sign a pledge aimed at neutralizing Super PACs, which Sherman expects to play a big role helping reelect Berman over himself. Berman so far has ignored Sherman’s entreaty to “sign the pledge.”
The mailer refers to 2010’s PG&E pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people, injured others and leveled homes. “Instead of spending money to make their pipelines safer, PG&E is donating to a Super Pac set up to elected Congressman Howard Berman,” the mailer says.
California’s senior Senator Democrat Dianne Feinstein has already endorsed Rep. Berman.
One has to wonder at this point whether Rep. Brad Sherman may be reconsidering his decision to not move to Thousand Oaks or Oak Park and run in CA-26?