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Waxman, Bloomfield Make Pitches at Venice Neighborhood Council Meeting

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By Paul Chavez, Venice Dispatch

Both candidates running for the newly drawn Congressional district that includes Venice spoke Tuesday night at the Venice Neighborhood Council board meeting.

Rep. Henry Waxman, 73, a Democrat who has served in Congress since 1975, and his independent challenger, Bill Bloomfield, gave 10-minute speeches to an audience of about 200 people at Westminster Avenue Elementary School.

Bloomfield, 62, told the crowd that he was a lifelong Republican, but became an independent after becoming “fed up with hyper-partisanship.” Bloomfield said he was a co-founder of “No Labels,” a political organization dedicated to reducing partisan gridlock in government. Bloomfield also said he has worked on redistricting reform and on creating the open primary system.

Bloomfield said he attended the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s and declared that he was not a social conservative. Housing for homeless veterans would be among one of his top priorities, Bloomfield said. He also noted how the country’s Founding Fathers established two-year terms in the House of Representatives to represent voters in the short term.

“I’m 62 years old,” Bloomfield said. “I will not be serving for 38 years.”

Waxman said that Venice was a great addition to the newly created 33rd Congressional District, which runs along the coast from Malibu to Rancho Palos Verdes and also includes Beverly Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village. The district was redrawn last year to reflect population changes recorded in the 2010 Census.

“The hallmark of my political career has been consistency,” Waxman said. “I fight for what I believe in and I don’t pretend to be anything other than what I am. I work hard to get things done for the American people and I have a pretty good record.”

Waxman said that he has introduced more bills that were passed into law than nearly any other representative, a signal of his ability to gain bipartisan support. Some of his bills include the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment, the 1986 Safe Drinking Water Act, the 1990 Tobacco Control and Health Protection Act, as well as sponsoring the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

Waxman said the Santa Monica Airport is “untenable” for a high density area and also said he would seek solutions for homeless veterans.

Waxman said that Bloomfield’s record has been as “an active member of the Republican party.”

After Bloomfield left the Republican Party, he gave the maximum amount allowed to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romey and donated to Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Speaker of the House, Waxman said.

“I’m not pretending to be anything than what I am. I am a proud Democrat,” Waxman said.

The newly drawn district had nearly 440,000 registered voters as of Sept. 7 with about 44 percent registered as Democrats and 28 percent registered as Republicans. Both candidates will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

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