Granted, there is still six weeks before voters in the nationally watched 17th Congressional District register all of their votes. Much can still happen in this suddenly raucous and hard-hitting race. But the hit Rep. Mike Honda's campaign registered on challenger Ro Khanna last week was one of the most devastating in recent memory. It has everything a campaign would want. It was stealth, timely, well-researched, a well-honed message, and most importantly, strongly reinforced the notion held by some that Khanna will do anything to get elected to Congress. In addition, the plot is straight out of Hollywood. Silicon Valley's congressional seat roiled by a cyber hacking scandal? A "modern-day Watergate." You can't make this up!
Aside from that, the allegation appears legitimate and will likely stick from here to Nov. 8. The narrative is just too solid. Khanna campaign manager Brian Parvizshahi had access to the Honda donor data starting in 2012. Evidence from the Honda fundraising consultant's Dropbox account shows, as Honda's campaign calls it, Parvizshahi's "digital fingerprints" all over the files up until last year. In addition, Parvizshahi's rise from Khanna's data director to 25-year-old campaign manager for one of the biggest congressional races in the country seems odd. Parvizshahi's quick resignation also fuels fire that wrongdoing may have occurred. These facts should appear believable to voters and that's all that matters, not whether a lawsuit is allowed to run its course and determine culpability. The Honda campaign doesn't want anybody to go to jail (we don't think), they just want their candidate to return to Washington in November.
Rep. Mike Honda, center, with camapign manger
Michael Beckendorf,right, at the state Democratic
Party Convention in San Jose last February.
Khanna is in a difficult position now. One he has never experienced during his previous two runs for Congress. This is the first instance where he is being tested not as the stalking horse in the race but the leader of the pack. The perspective is far different and Honda's bombshell may have put the incumbent back in the race with momentum to overtake Khanna at this most crucial moment in the campaign. At this point, Khanna can only attempt to chip away at the periphery of the lawsuit, like claiming perjury and labeling it a purely political ploy. Maybe a single debate could change the tide for Khanna (no word on that). But it also appears Khanna will be forced to be highly aggressive (almost dirty) since Honda campaign manager Michael Beckendorf is showing that he prefers to come at Khanna with a frenetic, fast-break style that will not be neutralized by sitting tight and hoping his very small June primary lead holds in November. It appears the winner of this race will be who hits the hardest.
East Bay park district candidates Daniel Chesmore
and Ellen Corbett at a forum Sept. 19 in Oakland.
Assemblymember Catharine Baker, a
Republican; Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio.
Berkeley mayoral candidate Zachary RunningWolf was arrested, it was reported this week, for vandalizing a Bank of America building in Oakland during a Sept. 10 protest. A RunningWolf supporter told The Daily Cal that the candidate's arrest will hamper his chances Nov. 8. “When you can’t be out there campaigning, you’re at a disadvantage. This is called interfering with an election.” RunningWolf is best known for protesting the removal of trees around Cal's Memorial Stadium by climbing one and refusing to come down...
San Leandro City Council District 2 candidates Ed Hernandez and Bryan Azevedo meet a the Eden Area League of Women Voters foru,, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m. at the San Leandro Library...
Berkeley mayoral candidates square off Thursday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m. at Berkeley City College's main auditorium, 2050 Center Street.