Another January 6, 2021 Committee Ace—Democratic Congressmember Zoe Lofgren June 19, 2022
By now, anyone living in the reality-based world should know that Demagogue Donald has always been a first-class liar. The term, “truth telling” is nothing but an oxymoron to him (emphasis on the letters after “oxy”). Donald is one of the world’s top con men/grifters. Far too many Americans were taken in by these antics that smothered the “Music Man’s” Harold Hill in the dust. Like “Professor” Hill, Donald knew the “territory” and how to fleece his loyal base. On June 13, 2022, the second day of the televised January 1, 2022 hearings, Democratic Congressmember Zoe Lofgren’s opening statement said it all. Cong. Lofgren aptly noted that Trump tied his unfounded voter fraud claims to fundraising efforts. In her words, “The big lie was also a big rip off (cnn.com, 6/13/22).” Trump quickly raised at least $250 million dollars from his rabid base over his fake voter fraud claims and gave much of it to family and friends. Here’s Zoe Lofgren.
Fourteenth-term 74 year-old Democratic Congressmember Zoe (ZO) Lofgren (LOFF-gren) currently represents California’s 19th Congressional District (CD). The CA 19th consists of major portions of southern San Jose. It takes that city’s downtown area and the Alum Rock and East Foothills neighborhood. The Golden State 19th contains the eastern and southern parts of Santa Clara County. Morgan Hill, a traditional farming town that has branched into technology, lies in the CA 19th. The 19th is home to Gilroy, the world’s garlic capital. San Jose, at the southern end of San Francisco, is the 19th’s major urban area. To paraphrase Burt Bacharach, “If you know the way to San Jose,” you may want to know something about its history (See Cohen & Cook, 2022 Political Almanac). San Jose began as a farm-market town with canneries and fruit-packing operations. Farm labor union organizer Cesar Chavez settled with his family in East San Jose. Starting in the 1950’s, San Jose grew in every direction. Today, it is CA’s third largest city with a population of 1,029, 409 people. San Jose has multiple economic pillars, agriculture, manufacturing, and notably, the technological businesses fueled by Silicon Valley, just to its west and north. Santa Clara County, where San Jose is located, has the highest median income in CA (See Cohen & Cook, 2022).
Immigration issues are important in the San Jose area. San Jose has Northern California’s largest Mexican-American community, many Latin Americans, and East and South Asian immigrants. The city of Gilroy, the world’s garlic capital, is 59% Hispanic. In 2019, 53% of Santa Clara County residents spoke a language other than English at home, mainly Spanish, Vietnamese, or Chinese. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of that county’s residents are foreign born (Cohen & Cook, 2022). Unlike her fellow January 6 Democratic committee member, Cong. Elaine Luria, who represents a swingy, often GOP-leaning VA district, Cong. Lofgren has an ultra-safe Democratic one. The latest Cook Partisan Voting Record, PVI, gives Lofgren’s 19th CD a lopsided D+23 score. In 2020, the CA 19th gave Joe Biden 72% of its vote. Biden received 72.6% of the vote against Trump in Santa Clara County, his fourth highest county win in all of CA (Cohen & Cook, 2022).
San Mateo, CA native Zoe Lofgren grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. Her father was a truck driver, while her mother worked for the Machinists Union. Lofgren received her 1970 undergraduate degree from Stanford University. After graduating Stanford, Lofgren went to D.C. where she worked for prominent CA Democratic Cong. Don Edwards. At that time, Edwards was on the House Judiciary Committee that in 1974 voted to impeach President Richard Nixon. Lofgren worked for eight years as an aide to Cong. Edwards. She returned to CA where she received a 1975 law degree from Santa Clara University Law School. In CA, she specialized in practicing immigration law. From 1977-1980, Lofgren was a law professor at Santa Clara Law School. Lofgren served 14 years on the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. When Cong. Edwards retired, Lofgren ran for his seat. With the help of women’s organizations and women in the CA congressional delegation, Lofgren won a close primary race and then easily won her general election. She has since coasted to re-election (Cohen & Cook, 2022).
In the House, Cong. Lofgren has been a reliable ally of Speaker Pelosi. She has been an active and savvy legislator on issues inside the House and handles matters with broad impact. She is well respected among rank-and-file Democrats. Although she is a stalwart liberal, Cong. Lofgren, like moderate Cong. Luria, was reluctant to initially impeach Trump the first time, until strong evidence was presented. After she saw this clear evidence, Lofgren became one of seven House managers in Trump’s first impeachment trial. That trial involved Trump trying to shake down Ukraine’s President Zelensky over getting needed U.S. weapons, already approved by Congress, unless he gave Donald “dirt” on Biden. She became a prime advocate for impeaching Demagogue Donald twice. She is the only current House Democrat who was present for the impeachment hearings of both Nixon and Bill Clinton (Wire, latimes.com, 6/14/22, Cohen & Cook 2022). She presently chairs the House Administration Committee which deals with federal election laws and management of the House. Her position as chair of that committee has given her the nickname “mayor” of Capitol Hill. That committee oversees the Capitol Police. Lofgren’s House Administration Committee has held several hearings on how the Capitol Police Department leaders handled the 1/06/2021 riot and allowed more than 1,000 people to storm the Capitol building without going through normal security procedures. Cong. Lofgren is the second Democrat in seniority on the House Judiciary Committee, where she is head of the key Immigration Subcommittee (Wire, latimes.com, Cohen & Cook 2022). From 2019-2020, the Almanac gave her a Composite 73%-27% Liberal v. Conservative score (Cohen & Cook 2022, latimes.com, Wire, 6/14/22). In the House, Cong. Lofgren was responsible for managing the coronavirus issue, including social distancing and vaccination of House members. She strongly objected when some GOPers sought to make enforcement of these rules “a political issue.” She rightly called this matter a “health issue.”
In her safe district, Cong. Lofgren can easily keep getting re-elected. In 4/2022, she told the NY Times, “We have completed a substantial amount of work (dealing with what happened on 1/06/2021). We’re going to accomplish—we hope-what we set out to do, which is to tell the entire story of what happened, the events of the 6th and the events that led up to the day (latimes.com, Wire, 6/14/22).” Democrats must back Cong. Lofgren and her committee members in getting to the bottom of just what occurred on that awful day. And they must vote in droves plus in the 11/2022 midterms to keep the House and Senate. GOPers must not be allowed to shut down the 1/06 committee or cover up any additional wrongdoing that Trump, Giuliani, Ginni Thomas and Friends may be hiding. Our democracy depends upon the likes of the strong congressional oversight that Cong. Lofgren and her fellow Democrats are doing.