Bruno Amato is running for Congress in California's 23rd District against Trump's spineless House minority leader Kevin McCarthy. Bruno, the son of two Italian immigrants, told me he learned his work ethic from them both-- although "unfortunately, not my mom's cooking skills." His dad earned a Purple Heart in WWII, hit with a mortar blast and he carried the shrapnel from that blast in both his legs til the day he died. He passed away when Bruno was 17, the year he graduated high school and joined the U.S. Navy, a submariner and torpedoman.
After 4 years in the Navy, he worked blue collar jobs-- mostly construction, but even on the back of a garbage truck. Eventually he saw an ad for the Union Ironworker apprentice program. He applied and was accepted and worked 3 years of apprentice training and schooling before becoming a journeyman ironworker-- "where," he said, "I found out the benefits of being in a union, great wages, healthcare and job security. That was a great career but after reading Live Your Dreams by Les Brown, I decided to become an actor." He was already in his late 30s and had no training as an actor but decided to go into New York City after working his day job as an ironworker in New Jersey to take acting classes. "I would bring a gallon of water with me and literally shower in the street before class depending if it wasn't freezing outside. Before I knew it, I was getting small roles on soap operas like All My Children and decided to move to LA and see if I could make it there. I'm an actor but still a working class guy who still has the same worries as most middle class folks, paying my bills, keeping a roof over my head and having health insurance. And believe me in my business I know what it's like not to know where or when the next job is gonna be."
So now he's running against the biggest shot Republican in the House, the would-be Speaker from the reddest district in California (R+12, down this year from R+14)-- and where Trump beat Biden 57.1% to 40.5%. Although about 40% of the district's residents are Hispanic, voting in the Hispanic community is weak, especially in midterms. On the other hand, McCarthy's share of the vote has steadily declined over the last decade where her started in the 74% range and went down-- even against weak and unfunded opponents-- to 69.2% in 2016, 63.7% in 2018 and 61.8% last year.
Randy "IronStache" Bryce introduced me to Bruno in 2018. Yesterday he told me that he "first met Bruno a few years back at an event in California that we had when I was running for Congress. He showed up to offer his support wearing a black leather jacket and we hit things off right away. I'm always happy to meet another veteran, but, doubly impressed to learn that he was also did some work as an ironworker! We started talking issues and came to learn that Bruno shared a lot of the same values that I did. I asked him why he wasn't running and he said that it did cross his mind. Fast forward to 2021 and I see he's going after one of Trump's biggest enablers-- Kevin McCarthy! I spoke on the phone with him not too long ago and had the opportunity to offer him some help to return the assistance he gave me when I went after Paul Ryan. He really is a terrific guy and I can't picture anyone better to take out McCarthy than Bruno."
In 2016 McCarthy outspent his opponent $7,735,577 to $35,289. Two years later. he spent $8,217,156 to his opponent's $106,342 and last year he spent $24,265,583 to his opponent's $1,665,373. This year, Bruno has already raised $160,000 and today marks the beginning of Blue America's efforts to help him raise enough for a serious challenge to McCarthy. Please watch Bruno's announcement video and his guest post below and then click on the ActBlue 2022 congressional thermometer on the left and contribute what you can. McCarthy is confident he's going to be the speaker of the House; please help Bruno make sure that never happens. Our country has gone through enough at the hands of the Trump-supporting domestic terrorism apologists.
Ready To Replace Kevin McCarthy With A Progressive Democrat?
-by Bruno Amato
I arrived in California in 2001 and have lived here ever since. I love this state and consider it home. I've been a resident of Bakersfield for over 3 years and have probably been visible here more than my opponent Kevin McCarthy has in the past 15 years. This guy McCarthy hasn't held an in-person town hall in over a decade! McCarthy figures he doesn't need to visit with his constituents in person because he usually wins re-election by big numbers. Not this time!
I made the decision to run for office on January 6th, 2021. I realized on that day more than ever, that our country as we know it, almost ended. I took an oath when I joined the Navy, that I would defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I consider Kevin McCarthy and many other Republican lawmakers as domestic enemies of this country. Not only did many of them, including McCarthy, incite the insurrection on January 6th by spreading election lies to Americans that their votes were stolen. They also tried to overturn a fair and free election. They are now trying to cover it up. My father didn't earn his Purple Heart to have folks like McCarthy defend domestic terrorism.
I realize I have an uphill battle going against a guy who gets millions in corporate PAC money, a guy who is in the back pocket of big oil, pharma, the NRA and a long list of others. But this time Kevin is going against someone who isn't afraid to call him out. Someone who will work day and night getting out the vote in this district. Reminding people here every day that McCarthy has abandoned them, has voted against their best interests time and again.
I'm a Progressive Democrat. I believe in Medicare For All and The Green New Deal. I believe in taking care of our Veterans. I am honored that I've been endorsed by VOTE VETS an organization that lifts up the voices of veterans and their families through progressive policies.
Medicare For All. How do we pay for it? We have corporations making billions and not paying taxes, let's start there. We have billionaires like Kevin McCarthy's hero Donald Trump who's been paying $750.00 a year in federal taxes; let's start there. The last administration gave the biggest tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires who didn't need it; let's start there!
The number one reason for bankruptcy in this nation is medical debt. We need to start taking care of our people; we can pay for Medicare For All, we just need the political courage to get it done.
Green New Deal. People in this district have been told by guys like McCarthy that the Democrats are trying to take your oil jobs. Of course McCarthy will say whatever will bring his campaign more dirty money. The truth is, the oil industry is fading away, it's destructive to our planet and to its workers. This district has already started transitioning to greener jobs in solar and wind, better paying, safer, union jobs! I've been a union guy most of my life, both as an actor and an ironworker. I know unions are the only way we make sure workers have good pay, healthcare, and protections for them and their families. Every worker needs to be safe, secure and well paid in their jobs, and I'll fight for that!
Veterans. Being a veteran and the son of one. I know and appreciate the sacrifices that our veterans have made throughout our country's history. Kevin McCarthy has been promising the veterans in this district that a new VA clinic would be built, he still hasn't delivered on that promise. We aren't talking about a VA hospital, he can't help get a new CLINIC built! I recently met a resident of Taft who's father, a veteran, has to travel all the way to LA(2 hours) to see a doctor in the VA there. This is unacceptable. I will take care of our veterans.
Immigration. Kevin McCarthy's name for people who come here for a better life is "illegals." I am the son of immigrantswho came to this country, served their country, and just wanted to work and raise a family and live the American dream. I see these hard working immigrants every day. Just look at the farmers, who saved us during the pandemic, putting food on our tables, Those essential workers who also worked in hospitals risking their own lives and the lives
of their families. The immigrants who serve in our military. These wonderful people also pay taxes, something that Kevin McCarthy's closest friend down at Mar-a-Lago has trouble doing. I will do whatever I can to help fast track them and the Dreamers to attain U.S. Citizenship so they too can live the American Dream.
I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work for the people of the Central Valley and all Americans, when elected to Congress. I'm ready to fight. I hope you'll join me.