The 2008 election marks an acceleration in the political trajectory of Capps.
The Democratic congresswoman from Santa Barbara endorsed Obama, and she did the right thing for an unpopular bailout bill – twice and her by voting for area candidates and ballot measures loomed large.
Capps has deep roots in the South Coast environmental movement and her backing for candidates such as Supervisor-elect Doreen Farr and Goleta City Council members Margaret Connell and Ed Easton demonstrates that her endorsements matter.
But Capps also has emerged as a strong backer for small business, for research funding and higher education and for infrastructure projects such as Measure A.
There is a fine line between funding research at places like the University of California, Santa Barbara, and then providing the necessary economic development tools to make sure that research has an opportunity to be commercially successful.
Hopefully the slow-growth candidates she has backed will realize that it would be foolish to curb our region’s potential to be a world leader in new fields such as alternative energy, nanotechnology and the health sciences.