[guest post by JVW]
Lost in the brouhaha over our spunky but batty niece, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been the intriguing story of a very impressive young Republican Congressional candidate running in California’s 16th District, which encompasses parts of Fresno, Merced, and the San Joaquin Valley. Elizabeth Heng is the daughter of Cambodian immigrants who fled their home county during the terror of the communist dictator Pol Pot. Here is how Alexandra Descantis of National Review described her in a nicely-written profile last month:
About a decade ago, after [Heng] graduated from Stanford University, where she had served as student-body president, she returned to the Central Valley and opened a series of cell-phone stores with her brothers. Eventually, she found herself responsible for managing about 75 employees. “That was when I saw firsthand how government regulations impacted businesses negatively,” she says. “I constantly felt that from Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, they were saying that I was everything wrong with our country, when all I was doing was creating jobs.”
She subsequently decided to leave California to work in Washington, D.C., not expecting to stay long. “But it takes a long time to understand how to get legislation across the finish line,” she explains. Before she knew it, she had been in the nation’s capital for about six years, on and off. At one point, she worked on the House Foreign Affairs Committee with congressman Ed Royce (R., Calif.). At another, she aided Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Nevada.
In 2016, Heng became a director for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony — a role she held even as she traveled to Connecticut in her off hours to obtain an MBA at Yale. (“Never be one of the inauguration directors and get your MBA at the same time,” Heng says of that experience. “It was the worst of all worlds.”) When the inauguration finally took place, she remembers how powerful it was to watch her immigrant parents sitting on the stage with the incoming president.
Nothing against our delightfully daffy Bronx-born, Long Island-bred, Bronx-returning Democrat Socialist superstar, but Ms. Heng’s curriculum vitae is somewhat more impressive than graduated college, interned for Ted Kennedy, then tended bar and worked as a “community organizer.” Though not outright defeating an entrenched and influential incumbent in a one-party district like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez did, Ms. Heng did manage to take 47% of the vote in June’s open primary, holding the incumbent, seven-term Democrat Representative Jim Costa, to 53%. Moreover, she accomplished this feat running as a Republican in a district where Democrats at the top of the Presidential ticket usually get close to 60% of the vote. In the 2014 Republican wave election, Costa narrowly beat Republican challenger Jim Tacherra by a 51% to 49% margin, but in the rematch during the Presidential election year of 2016 when almost twice as many voters cast ballots, Costa cruised to a 58% to 42% victory.
So Ms. Heng, facing what we would assume to be an angry and motivated Democrat base, faces a stiff challenge in pushing aside Mr. Costa this November. To help introduce herself to the electorate, the Heng campaign has produced a wonderful four-minute introductory video. I encourage you to watch it; it is worth the investment of time.
Naturally, this video from an attractive and charismatic young female minority Republican candidate has the left resorting to their usual film-flam. Facebook, citing what we would guess to be the gristly images of Pol Pot’s victims at the beginning of the video, has
suspended the Heng for Congress account prevented the video from being embedded on the Heng for Congress page. NRO published a screenshot which the campaign provided, with Facebook’s usual bland and canned language explaining their decision:
In the accompanying post, the publisher of National Review, Jack Fowler, gets to the heart of the matter:
Is the Cambodian Genocide now a non-event? Or just too icky for the Silicon Valley Boys? Or maybe this ad-rejection is yet another powerful Republican political message that fails some subjective standard contrived in a liberal hotbed?
That a Stanford graduate can be treated so capriciously by what Fowler rightly terms “the Silicon Valley Boys” ought to be shocking, but in the era of whispers of Twitter shadow bans and the firing of tech employees who hold contrarian social beliefs I guess it can’t be entirely surprising.
I confess that I know nothing about Elizabeth Heng other than what I read in the NRO profile and what I have seen on her website. She may be a little more bullish on the ability of the federal government to Accomplish Great Things than I would prefer, but overall I get the sense that she is a sober-minded and serious person who understands that federal programs must somehow be paid for, and finding the money to fund a program for one year doesn’t automatically mean that you have therefore found the money to fund it forever. If you would like to help her campaign with a donation (the California Democrat machine run by public employee unions, crybullies, and wealthy progressives is no doubt working hard to deflect this challenge) you can do so here.
EDIT: In the initial post I said that Facebook had “suspended” the account, but that doesn’t appear to be accurate. I have amended the post to say that they have prevented the video from being shown on the platform. My apologies for misconstruing the response.