Sunday, April 22, 2012

Candidate Has Personal Reason to Run

Elizabeth Emken and her son, Alex.
DANVILLE, Calif. -- Elizabeth Emken lives on a leafy cul-de-sac in Danville with her husband of 26 years, their two daughters, their English springer spaniel, and their son, Alex.
"What's your birthday?" Alex asked. I gave him the date. He thought for an instant and put it into context that has meaning to him: " 'Mickey Mouse Club, Circus Day.' 'Up a Tree.' 'Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier.' "
They're all Walt Disney productions, vintage 1955, the year I was born. Done with me, he asked two other visitors for the dates of their birth. "Old Yeller," he said of one. "Sign of Zorro," he said of the other.
He is why Elizabeth Emken has embarked on a quixotic campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Many of Emken's positions come from the Republican playbook, and that places her at odds with other parents who similarly are enmeshed in the issue. On this point, they agree: "We're not addressing autism as the public health emergency it is."

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