Tech executive Rachel Payne says she’s been considering a campaign challenge of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher since spring.
“I wanted to see how the field played out and who else would run,” said the 42-year-old Democrat.
It’s not for lack of candidates she’s now throwing her hat in the ring. The 11 other challengers to the Republican incumbent from Costa Mesa include business owners, a pioneering stem-cell biologist, a lawyer, an architect and a former Nestle executive. Payne, who expected to formally announce her candidacy today, becomes the eighth Democrat in the contest.
She points to experience working at Google, working with groups providing micro-financing small business startups in Africa and Latin America, and to the artificial intelligence company she co-founded as uniquely preparing her for the job.
“The issues people care about now are what I’ve been working on for the last 20 years,” said Payne, who has an MBA from Stanford and BA in government from Smith College. “Health care, jobs, jobs of the future, successful entrepreneurship. I have familiarity with stakeholders and I have experience.”
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Part of her time at Google was working for the company’s philanthropic arm, managing financing that encourage entrepreneurship in developing countries. Her company, prizma, specializes in viewer analytics and content presentation for news, lifestyle and sports sites.
Payne shares a campaign emphasis on job needs and wage growth with fellow candidate Michael Kotick, the former Nestle executive. While there are difference in their approaches, both says technology is where jobs are growing now and in the future, and call for training — with help from tech businesses — to create a workforce for the future.
Payne was born in San Bernardino, raised in Las Vegas by a single mother and was the first in the family to attend college. She moved to Aliso Viejo — in the southern part of Rohrabacher’s district — in 2010 after changing jobs at Google and beginning to work out of the company’s Irvine office.
She supported Hillary Clinton in last year’s primary and volunteered on the campaign. She said that after the election, she immersed herself in local activism — including co-founding the Aliso Viejo Democratic Club.
Payne supports a $15 national minimum wage and a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, provided they are adequately vetted. She says the nation’s health-care system needs fixing but is uncertain whether single payer, Medicare-for-all is the solution.
Rather than an across-the-board lowering of the corporate tax rate, Payne supports using the carrot of lower rates as incentives for businesses — such as rewarding a company with a lower rate if they repatriate profits to the U.S.
Pleas for Dream Act
Pressure continues to mount on Orange County’s four Republican Congress members, all primary targets of national Democrats’ effort to take control of the House next year.
Of four new efforts announced in the past week, two focus on extending the legal status of undocumented immigrants brought the the U.S. as children. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has written an open letter to the county’s two Catholic GOP House members, Ed Royce of Fullerton and Mimi Walters of Laguna Beach, urging them to support the Dream Act.
Additionally, an online ad campaign by the ACLU featuring actress Rosario Dawson calls on five California Republicans to back a “clean” Dream Act — that is, one without border security provisions and including a path to citizenship. Those targeted include Reps. Royce, Walters and Vista’s Darrell Issa. The three have said they support allowing Dreamers to remain in the country legally although Royce is opposed to a path to citizenship. It’s unclear whether Walters and Issa would support such a provision.
Meanwhile, End Citizens United announced it’s spending $35 million for a campaign targeting 20 GOP Congress members, including Royce, Walters, Issa and Rohrabacher. And former Sen. Barbara Boxer’s PAC for Change has released an online ad, “From Russia with Love,” attacking Rohrabacher. That follows an earlier spot from the PAC targeting Issa.
Source: Oc Register