Karen Devine Interviews Former Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack About Election Loss

In the first of a two part interview she discusses the loss, regrets and her accomplishments after serving the Coachella Valley for nearly 15 years.

POSTED: 12:44 PM PST Jan 30, 2013    UPDATED: 11:11 AM PST Jan 11, 2013 
Mary Bono Mack

Former Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack sat down for her first local television interview with Anchor Karen Devine to talk about losing her Congressional seat to newcomer, Dr. Raul Ruiz in November. In the first of a two part interview she discusses the loss, regrets and her accomplishments after serving the Coachella Valley for nearly 15 years. 
With a little more than three months to digest the fact that she will not be representing the 37th Congressional District any longer, Devine asked Bono Mack why she thinks she lost the race. In response Bono Mack said, "I haven't actually tried to Monday morning quarterback it too much. Things happen so quickly and to transition out of the office has been so quick that I haven't really taken the time to sit back and take the time to disect the election."
Bono Mack has served our District since 1998. She won a special election to succeed her husband Sonny Bono after he died in a skiing accident. Every two years a Democrat challenged, but up until this past election she won by more than fifty percent of the vote. This past summer, Bono Mack debated her challenger Dr. Raul Ruiz and came out with accusations against him about video that shows him supporting a convicted cop killer. The political advertising got nasty and local viewers were forced to see the negitive ads over and over again. And, on top of that, a local indian tribe, who has backed her campaign repeatly, demanded an apology for what they perceived as her taking a stance against native americans. Bono Mack says that at some point she and her Chief of Staff, Frank Cullen will likely, "sit down over a beer and try and decide what we should've done differently, what we could've done differently, but you know, that doesn't change anything so I don't waste time doing it."
When asked what it was like to cast her last vote as a member of Congress Bono Mack said, ""FRUSTRATING!" "My last vote was so frustrating. The fiscal cliff is an example of everthing that's become wrong with Washington. The reason we are where we are, the reason we are voting on the fiscal cliff is because of the stalemate and the partisianship in Washington D.C. There's a new sport it seems, brinkmanship. Lets take the American people all the way to the edge and put them in so much fear that they will except whatever we're going to give them." 
In Washington D.C. Bono Mack has a long legislative history, was a member of half a dozen caucuses and served on some of the top committees including Chairwoman on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. She was also involved with Communications and Technology and Environment and Economy. 
But, solving problems here at home for her District was most near and dear. The radar and tower issues at the Palm Springs International Airport and Salton Sea issues were among many other projects she focused on. But, what she considers her leagacy piece is her work on the Santa Rosa/San Jacinto Monument. She says, " I am proud of that for a lot of reasons. It's not only how we did the legislation, but it's also how we've been able to preserve these lands for years to come."
Bono Mack also expressed how much she enjoyed working with her constituents, hearing their stories and helping to solve their individual problems. She enjoyed meeting people on that level. In Washington D.C. she's most proud of her ability to work with both sides of the isle. "I think that my bigger lasting legacy would be that I was never a partisan person in Washington DC and that I tried to bring peole together and solve problems and I think in Washington I've left with that legacy and I'm proud of that." 
To her supporters, she simply says, thank you. Near tears she says she could not have survived this long in Congress without them. All the work behind the scenes they did kept her going. 
In closing, Bono Mack told Devine, "I have no regrets, I have no resentments the sadness that I have is two fold, the people that I've served and the staff that served with me. I worked with wonderful people over the years."