As a result, local Democrats and progressives are supporting another Democratic candidate to displace Lantos -- Ro Khanna. This is nearly unheard of locally, where well-known congressmen usually face little opposition from within their party, winning elections based on name recognition alone. Until recently, Lantos has refused to debate Khanna at all, and has only recently agreed to a single debate, just days prior to the election. This behavior effectively robs the public of any real democratic process, and disenfranchises absentee voters.
Given that vote turnout is traditionally very low for such elections, Ro Khanna has a great shot of winning if people come forward to vote. He recently picked up an endorsement from Matt Gonzalez and met with Howard Dean, showing strong support for Dean's candidacy and platform. Most telling, Khanna was endorsed by the Calfornia Democratic Council -- the first time in 24 years that the council had backed anyone other than Lantos, who has become an entrenched career politician.
If you would like to vote in the March 2nd primary, please make sure you are registered to vote before February 16th. If you decline to state a party affiliation, you will need to request a Democratic party ballot in order to vote for Ro. Also, please spread the news about Ro Khanna's candidacy and send letters to the editor of your local newspapers in support of public debates.
For entirely too long, voter apathy has hurt our political process, but change is coming. It's worth remembering, however, that change begins at home.