Friday, September 14, 2012

Swalwell Attempts To Pry Daylight Regarding Stark's Previous Comments On Citizens United

Pete Stark, Eric Swalwell
ELECTION '12//CONGRESS 15 | Dublin Councilman Eric Swalwell's campaign for the 15th Congressional District is attempting to poke holes into Rep. Pete Stark's strong opposition to Citizens United.

On Wednesday, Swalwell and supporters, like Alberto Torrico, reacted sharply to a Facebook posting by the Stark campaign asserting their opposition to the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively viewing corporations as people and ushering in a new era of exorbitant and unlimited campaign financing from wealthy interests.

However, Swalwell has long maintained in numerous stump speeches that Stark's previous public statements belie his stance against Citizens United. "Desperate flip-flop or confused?" asked Swalwell on various social media outlets this week, while citing Stark's answer during the infamous April 10 candidates forum in Hayward. When asked about his stance on Citizens United, Stark said:

"Corporations are treated as people, and they should be under the Constitution. The answer there is that if a corporation does something that a person could be prosecuted for, like Mr. Swalwell, if a corporation takes a bribe, the head of the corporation should be responsible criminally for that act, just as a person would be, so that every corporation must have an individual who is responsible and has to answer to the law for any crimes committed."

Sharon Cornu, Stark's campaign manager said the congressman's stance against the ruling has been consistent and referred to citations in the Congressional Record starting in June 2010 that show Stark's opposition, in addition, to early support for the DISCLOSE Act, which calls for greater transparency in campaign finance. "Anybody who knows him knows he is not afraid to take on big money interests," said Cornu, who also called Swalwell's accusation a "non-issue."

"Let's call this what it is–swiftboating," said Cornu. "Our opponent is turning the truth on its head. He’s like Paul Ryan and the Republican convention–refusing to let the facts get in the way of his campaign. I ask our opponent to check the facts and retract his spurious allegation."


  1. Thankfully, with the combined brain trust of Cornu and Stark, this election should stay very close and interesting.

    BTW, when is Pete's next public appearance?
    He will appear in public at some point over the next 7 weeks, won't he?
    Any town-hall meetings on the schedule?

  2. Don't know about his public appearances, but I believe incumbents usually suspend their monthly town hall meetings, if they have them, a few months before the election. He did so in 2010.

  3. Incumbents are required to suspend town hall meetings, in addition they can't send out newsletters through their official congressional capacity. It's known as the "blackout period" before the election.

    Separately, I generally admire the reporting on this website. In this case this article reads more like a press release from Stark's campaign as you end with a quote from his manager. There have been several cases when Stark has said that he believes corporations are people, I've been going to his town halls for years, but that he thinks that the citizens united ruling perverts this idea. Also, he really thinks that he is against moneyed interests? Almost all of his donations come from PACs! Not that there is anything wrong with that, all pols these days get there money from PACs, but please, try some honesty!

  4. If you look at the quote, Stark thinks corporations should be treated as people in cases where the corporation does something illegal--then a person needs to be on the hook. But I can't see how that quote would make someone believe he supports the idea that corporations can give unlimited amounts to campaigns. It was my impression that he'd spoken up for public financing of campaigns before, which is reform-oriented as it gets...all of which leads me to believe that Swalwell is either a very dim bulb or intentionally telling falsehoods. Or both.

    It is disappointing that Stark takes money from PACs, but that doesn't lead me to believe he's against campaign finance reform, based on the stands he's taken in the past. It's just the way the game must be played. But isn't Swalwell planning to be on the receiving end of Super PAC money and other independent expenditures? He certainly hasn't denounced that. And with his pockets full of money from the developers he supported on the city council, attacking Stark on campaign finance reform is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

  5. Money=politics=money. This reality is what makes politics corrupt in it's core. Anyone that doesn't believe money influences political desisions is living in another world. It doesn't necessarily mean that Stark or Swalwell are bad people it only means their decisions are influenced by the individuals and groups that give or have the potential to give the money necessary for their political success. These are two Democrats by affiliation yet their battles against each other appear the same as a Democrat and Republican. They say they are fighting to represent you the general public (Republican and Democrats alike)when in fact they are fighting for their own interests. David Stockman, former Presidential Budget Director said it best when he said "In Washington there are no conservatives."

  6. I see in the tweets the following

    "Alameda County Dems gather Saturday in Hayward for party endorsements. Hayashi/Valle slated to be interviewed around noon."

    If those folks don't have the balls to endorse a candidate in the District 2 supervisor race, then they have no right to see themselves as representative of their fellow Democrats.
    Should they bail on their responsibilities, by returning a "no endorsement" they should laughed out of their status as central committee members.

    Any non-endorsement is the same as a endorsement of Hayashi, a convicted shoplifter who is on 30 months probation.

    BTW, is the Alameda County endorsement made by the entire body, or only those who reside in the District 2 area?

  7. Swalwell wouldn't know a nuanced policy statement if it bit him in the groin. Only a mind so limited and dim as Swalwell's could turn Stark's statement into something so simplistic. I am going for Pete - I want a leader in DC who has the intelligence to deliver true policy and leadership.

  8. 7:51, "I want a leader in DC who has the intelligence to deliver true policy and leadership."

    Oh you mean from the guy who's campaign won't even let him appear in any public situation where questions will be asked?

    Oh yeah, that (leader) ship left the dock about 10 years ago.

  9. Put a nail in Rho Khanna's political coffin.

    Vote SWALWELL!

  10. That's the dumbest thing I ever heard: Stark in **favor** of Citizens United . . . oh, jeesh: that's a HUGE sign that Stark's opponent's swift boat campaign is fast taking on water.

    Stark's opponent should hope that this attempt at trying to paint Pete as in favor of Citizens doesn't become general news, because every ordinary persons will, like me, "oh, come on." That person's credibility will be instantly blown.

    So, come on folks: let Stark have his last hurrah and let him take it to those radical right-wingers for a last time. Vote for Pete!

  11. Nah. Been there too long already.

  12. 11:43, your mom said the same thing about you and says it's time to get a job.

  13. Problem is I've had the same one forever and am making $$$$. Like Pete, time for my retirement, too!

    Difference is mine is an honest one!

  14. Pete needs to go. His mind is gone and he is an embarrament to the people in this district. 40 years is long enough. Stark is poster boy for term limits.

  15. Pete Stark a leader in D.C.? Of what? A looney asylum???