Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Khanna Announces Run For Congress

CONGRESS 17 | Ro Khanna, the attorney and former Department of Commerce official, officially announced Tuesday his long-awaited bid for Congress in the 17th District against incumbent Rep. Mike Honda, who has been avidly preparing for the coming race with an onslaught of big-name Democratic endorsements and political bravado.

Khanna released a Youtube video (watch it below) today talking about the smoothing over divisions between both parties and how he will support any idea that works best for America regardless of what party it comes from. It’s a similar argument for moderation that voters in the nearby 15th Congressional District heard from Rep. Eric Swalwell when he challenged former Rep. Pete Stark last year.

“The status quo won’t help us grow our economy or grow jobs for tomorrow. I’m running for Congress because I believe in Silicon Valley’s innovation and ideas can cut through old style Washington politics,” said Khanna on his announcement video.

Khanna has also amassed an impressive campaign team that helped get President Barack Obama win re-election, even though the President has already endorsed Khanna’s opponent, Honda, for Congress. Khanna’s campaign chairman is Steve Spinner, who was an Obama campaign fundraiser and Energy Department adviser, Larry Grisolano, Obama’s Director of Paid Media and Opinion Research, Jeremy Bird, Khanna’s general consultant and Obama’s National Field Director for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, Leah Cowan, campaign manager for Khanna who was Obama’s Regional Field Director for 2012.

There is also David Binder, a pollster who also did statistical and qualitative analysis for both Obama’s presidential campaigns, consultant John Kupper was Obama’s former advertising consultant, organizing director Anthony Nagatani who worked with Cowan on Obama’s re-election campaign and consultant Mark Beatty who served as Deputy Battleground States Director for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. Finally there is also consultant Lynda Tran who served as Director of Communications for National Traffic Safety Administration at the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.

Khanna’s all-star campaign team will have their work cut out for them as they prepare to plow into Honda’s bolstered defense. Honda has been consistently rolling out big name endorsements in the past few months including Obama, Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and State Attorney General Kamala Harris, among others. Honda has also been trying to build up his high-tech credentials as he prepares to face off against Khanna’s already noteworthy high-tech manufacturing knowledge. Khanna recently released a book on the subject as well and has been regularly promoting it through media channels, such as a recent interview with KQED.

Khanna explored a campaign against Stark last year but decided instead to wait it out until the aging representative retired in 2014, but Swalwell stunted those plans with his surprising victory last fall. State Majority Senator Leader Ellen Corbett then struck a deal with Khanna to take on Honda while she aims to defeat Swalwell, new District 15 incumbent, in 2014.

One inside East Bay labor source, who would not speak on the record, recently told The Citizen that some people in labor, who he would not identify, and himself were pushing Khanna to run for Bob Wiekowski’s termed out Assembly seat in 2014 because there was greater confidence of him winning that seat than facing off with Honda. But Khanna’s focus has been on national politics rather than state and just as Khanna had told The Citizen in January, he had made up his mind to take his chances against Honda.


  1. So this is the same guy who ran in San Mateo County ten years ago and came in way in back of the pack. Moved to Alameda County and flirted with running there. Now he wants to try in Santa Clara County. Hmm. Sounds to me like he's the day before yesterday's news. Must be a charter member of Carpet Baggers' Anonymous.

  2. People keep knocking Ro because he doesn't have the background or geographic home base they think is essential.
    However not having a solid record allows a candidate to be all things to 51% of the voters.
    You can be sure he'll have a well honed set of positions, whereas Honda will be stuck on many of his positions.

    In many ways, Honda has the same problem as Stark.
    He has to keep appealing to the same Democratic elements that in the past got the primary votes.
    However to keep those folks on board you leave out many other independents and Republicans.

    Anyone have the registration breakdown of the new district?
    I think Ro is gonna do a highly financed version of the Swalwell campaign.

    Meanwhile Swalwell is looking more solid and has 18 more months to keep building up.
    Will be tough to take him out.

  3. I believe Honda will hold his seat and Corbett will win against Swalwell. An incumbent Congressman is most vulnerable the next election after his 1st win.

  4. Swalwell and Honda do just fine.

    Kick Corbett and Khanna to the curb, where they belong.

  5. Corbett will win against Swallwell because she won't make the same mistakes Stark made. The district is perfect for Corbett and she represents and listens to her constituents well.

  6. Are you kidding?
    Corbett is a fence rider.
    Name ONE thing she has done....Banned trucks from 580? WOW...thats a major piece of legislation. The windo of opportunity closed on her and now she will lose because she cannot raise money. Hell, she cannot even go to the grovery store without her staff. She thinks she is already an elitist with her entourage she has holding her speeches, her purse, and other belongings. Too bad he staff is not holding a comb, her look is tiring, she looks like a disgruntled old maid compared to some of the women in the tri valley who like swalwell because he is with it.....Her personal style is one thing and is clearly how she runs her office....Ellen, this is not 1985. Do you still have a pager you can flip upside down to receive the H E L L O message or 1 - 4 - 3. Get a real job before you get embarassed by Swalwell. Or at least get facebook, twitter and catch up because right now.....she is on the curb looking worse than 1985

  7. I am a Hayward lesbian. My wife and I will be voting for Eric since he is the real feminist in the election.

  8. I am a female senior and will be voting with my family for Ellen because she helped us with a problem we had in the past. She has a wonderful track record of helping her constituents.

  9. Yeah....sure you are. The above anonymous is obviously a Corbett Purse holder, oops, I mean paid staffer.
    Constituent services are NOT a reflection of the elected official but more the work of the District Staff. Outside of purse carrying, thats what our tax dollar pay them to do! We pay them to HELP out when we need them to. Corbett is paid to balance the state budget and to pass laws, like banning trucks on 580. Call her office on a certain contraversial bill and see what type of response you get.....you will get told that she has not MADE UP HER MIND YET...which is a typical response from an over paid elected official that spent 30k on a desk when she was the Mayor of little old San Leandro. She should go and work a 9 - 5, carry her own purse and answer her pager herself and get off the public strings. I doubt she can spell D.C. without help from her staff. Good Luck Cooky Corbett

  10. Anon above are you a paid staffer for Eric and do you even live in the district? I am not a paid staffer for Ellen, but I like the work she has done for the environment. She also personally helped my family. I am also a member of the Sierra Club and she has a 100% voting record with the Sierra Club. You should also check and see how much the developers gave to Eric when he was on the City Council and again when he ran for Congress. Do you think he was bought by the developers? Some of us believe he was. You don't have to answer if you are a paid staffer.

  11. Not a paid staff person. I have lived in San Leandro and just recently moved to Hayward. So did Ellen I hear as well right? So she could run against Eric? 100% voting record from the Sierra Club...WOO HOO. I bet every east bay / bay area elected can tout that! Do I think Eric was bought by Developers? No...kind of hard to approve a variance when you are in Washington DC. Kind of hard to help with building permits when you are in Washington DC. Do you think Ellen, who gets her money from Labor and the Democratic party is also beholden to that group? I say Yeah, of course she is. Again......I am not a fan. I think she..like MOST, do not know when it is time to hang it up and get a real job. I would like to personally thank her for forcing trucks on 880 and furthering congesting that highway and increasing asthma rates due to idling semi's. hey thanks, all the while her rich San Leandro Bay-O-Vista club members can breathe free.
    Eric proved himself and now she has sour grapes. hey look....vote for who you want and I will do the same. but at the end of the day she will lose. She has NO TRACTION in east County, Hayward will not be enough...so, she can enhjoy her new home in Hayward and retire there once she loses in 2014. You better get the number for the next Senator to help you and your family the next time the states tries and screws ya!

  12. Be Nice to Corbett!! I love her!!
    Mary is the best ever!!!
    Oh...you were talking about Mary Corbett right???
    Ellen SHMELLON

  13. I love Ellen Corbett too. It's important to get more women in Congress to break the logjam and fix the mess the male dominated Congress has created.

  14. In reading some of the comments, I recognize Paul Vargas's writing style. Paul when did you move off your parents couch and into Hayward? If you are for Eric than I'm for Ellen. Love you ultra-conservative rants. Keep on posting.

  15. Ellen will win because she cares about people more than Eric. Eric only cares about Eric. My LGBT friends will be voting with me for Ellen.

  16. Written like a true biased individual.

    As someone who has been helped by Rep. Swalwell's office, he is absolutely interested in helping his constituents. Something Corbett never learned.

  17. One wonders if this highly educational banter can be sustained for the next 12 months until the actual campaign starts.

    In the mean time, we're hanging on every word.

  18. Ellen Corbett is a moderate fiscally and so is the new district which includes a large part of her Senate district. She is a progressive socially and so is the district. The Republicans and Tea Party will vote for Swalwell while the rest of us will vote for Ellen. I am a declined to state and don't think it will be close. I predict 56% Corbett-44%.

  19. Honda and Swalwell take it.

    Then you skanks can crawl back under the rocks and 'dream' about 2016.

    Hey, if you want to continue to live in a dream world!

  20. Anon 8:51--way to have an intelligent conversation. Please leave the blog instead of just calling people names. Corbett has won most of this Congressional District by large margins twice before. Stark lost because he was acting arrogant and not taking the race seriously. Ellen will not be making the mistakes Stark did. People love Ellen they were fed up with Stark's mistakes. I do think Honda will win because people love him too.

  21. Eric Swalwell bakes. Get it? The guy knows how to cook. He is a better feminist than Corbett has ever been. She really needs to learn her way around a kitchen.

    The dumbing-down that is necessary to explain the obvious to the 'masses.'

    Stark lost because he was a loser.

  22. A year to go before the primary campaign even begins and these posters are already debating the tailings in the lint trap.

  23. Corbett has a 100% voting record from women's groups, !00% from Environmental groups, 100% from Labor groups, 100% from the LGBT groups, 100% from consumer groups, get it! Easy win--see ya tea party

  24. Khanna needs to learn how to bake!

    One LAST time. Ellen and Fortney will be on the porch together, taking turns rocking each other. That's their future.

  25. I have been following these posts and lmao. People I'm voting for Ellen Corbett because I live in her district and like her. You vote for who ever you want. The election is a year and a half away. Let's give it a rest for a year.

  26. "100% voting record from women's groups, !00% from Environmental groups, 100% from Labor groups, 100% from the LGBT groups,..."

    Exactly why she is gonna have trouble with independents, Republicans, and moderate Democrats.

  27. Getting back to Khanna--this is about HIM--he needs to practice law.

  28. Since when as the EB Citizen been monitoring comments? I've seen so many hateful comments over the past couple of years about many people but when someone calls out Honda for being a drunk and/or a womanizer, the comments get deleted? WTF? Both accusations are true by the way.

    If you want people to be respectful with their comments, then require people to register with an email address and password and quit allowing people to anonymously.

    If you are screen comments, fine but be fair!

  29. I don't live in the congressional district, but Mike Honda just gave Mark Mathews (ABC7) a terrible interview at 6:30 PM.

    Shades of Pete Stark, but without the anger.
    Honda was certainly NOT on his game.
    I think I would characterize his comments as a bit below that you would hear from the average Joe on the street who is totally unprepared for a question or even a interview and has nothing to say.

    It was outside a Atherton $32K lunch event.

    Perhaps they'll put it up on their site later.

  30. anon 2:40-- Moderate Dems. and Independents are in favor of women's rights, labor, the environment, gay marriage and consumer protection. Take a look at the latest polls on these issues in Calif. Only the tea party, ultra-conservative Republicans and you aren't. That's why Ellen Corbett will win.

  31. So far NOBODY BUT NOBODY has pointed out anything that Swalwell has done or not done--as in votes he has taken in congress--that have been wrong.

    You Stark losers and union whores who never gave him the time of day to begin with wrote him off long before the election was ever decided.

    You can huff, puff, and bluff your way all you want about Corbett. Facts are facts. Swalwell is doing a good job for the time being, and the district will be very likely to reward him for his incumbency.

    And don't give me the crap about 'friends that you keep.' Stark had supporters who were even more radical than him. Big deal. At this time he is a good fit for the district, and yes, even a man can be a feminist, which he is.

    If Corbett wants to mount a challenge. Fine, though don't write off this fellow who got where he is with no help at all from you nay sayers. You weren't there then, and you won't be again. You are the same sorry excuses for the status quo who would like the rest of the district to 'shiver' lest an upstart who dared to challenge the party establishment did exstinquish your hierarchy. News flash: the new district says 'Oh yes we can. Oh yes we will!'

  32. 12:33, Yes, "Moderate Dems. and Independents are in favor of women's rights, labor, the environment, gay marriage and consumer protection"

    But you completely miss the point when it comes to moderate Dems, independents, and socially moderate Republicans.

    It the 100% purity of Corbett's votes that are the issue. When you have 100% pure voting in all of those areas, you can be sure some of those pieces of legislation were extreme and yet she votes for them 100% to please the extreme elements in those groups.

    Good gosh, if she was even 90% or 80%, but to get 100% rating means she is just a knee-jerk vote.
    Lots of moderate Democrats, like myself, are tired of our legislators voting as though they had one of those stupid "slate cards" in their hands.

    THAT is what 100% in every category means. It means you don't even fairly evaluate the issues, but just vote the approved party or pressure group line.
    Take the CTA for example. If you vote their way 100% of the time, you end up approving absurd rules about the firing and disapline of teachers.
    Making it possible for example to have dozens of teachers in Los Angeles being paid for years even though they aren't allowed into a classroom during their laborious and lengthly dismissal process.
    A process that can last years and years.

    That is what knee jerk voting gets you.
    That is what a 100% record stands for.

    And being majority leader in the senate means that Corbett is wed to always being 100% in line.
    I want a legislator who can think and have some independent views, and be willing to say no to some of these pressure groups who are now giving her a 100% rating.

  33. Look the extreme right wing is whining, crying and swearing again because they have no facts to back up their ultra conservative viewpoints. I think you know Eric is in trouble in this next election and if he expects to win he will have to move even more to the left than the right wing wants. LMAO

    News flash--Most of the new district voters are in Ellen Corbett's Senate District from which she has been elected twice. I think you know that Paul Vargas, and that's why you are ranting and raging against Ellen's almost sure victory.

  34. Who the f is Paul Vargas?

  35. 2:44, LOL, I agree, who the F is Paul Vargas?

    I love the "anonymous" aspect of this board where a few posters are suspecting that a post or posts are written by their lurking long time enemy.

  36. I believe Ellen Corbett is intelligent and that's why she will win. She is far superior to most of the posters on this blog. She ran one of the best campaigns ever when she won her 1st term in the Senate. BTW I am an independent and a male and I too believe we need more females in Congress because they try and find a win-win solution instead of being so hard-headed an stubborn. Yes I'm generalizing.

  37. This posting is about Khanna--not Swalwell-Corbett.

    Nobody gives a rat's ass about them--here!

  38. 3:12 "I believe Ellen Corbett is intelligent and that's why she will win. She is far superior to most of the posters on this blog"

    Well, I think we all agree that you can count yourself in that category

  39. OK, back to Honda vs Khanna

    Here is a 15 second clip with Mike Honda being interviewed by KGO7 reporter Mark Mathews.

    You only need to listen to it from 2:28 to 2:46

    Honda seemed to be ill prepared for even such a simple question. NOT a sharp response.


  40. At least Honda is sincere, not out for himself, has been in congress almost 30 years less than Stark, and is NO carpetbagger.

  41. Honda has had as his occupation, a elected office for 23 years.

    Elected Supervisor in 1990
    Elected Assemblyman in 1996
    Elected Congressman in 2001 thru 2014

    So he will have been in office for 24 years by the end of this term.

    True, not nearly as long as Pete Stark, but then again that is hardly the person to be measured against since Pete Stark was #4 in length of service in the entire nation. Stark was the longest serving member from California.

    Oh yes, lets not forget, Honda supported Pete for another 2 years term.

  42. In congress for 12 years. Hardly a lifetime by anyone's definition.

    Again, Mike, while not perfect [Who is?] is not into me, myself, and I complex. Also, and this really is a bigee to many of us--not a carpetbagger. Hasn't flirted with three counties--sticking his finger to the wind to see where he can do best for himself, not community. Mike doesn't think that way.

  43. So I saw Ro at Mineta Airport recently. He was checking three bags and the worker noticed each had a different tag. The first was labeled San Mateo County; the second, Alameda County; the third, Santa Clara County. When asked why the inconsistency, Ro answered that "I move around a lot."

    When looking at the bags more carefully, the worker observed that the material was unusual and resembled carpeting, mentioning that it must be very durable. Ro then replied that he didn't know about that, but that "I'm a carpetbagger from way back!"

    True story.

  44. 7:55, very weak humor. Try again tomorrow.

    Meanwhile take another look at Honda's performance

    You only need to listen to it from 2:28 to 2:46


  45. No humor here, sonny. Just the facts.

    Ro, Ro, Ro your boat...because it's going down just like the Titanic.

    I say, I say, do you get it now, son?

  46. The only rules on commenting is don't threaten harm and be somewhat factual. You alleged Rep. Honda likes to drinky-drinky. It wasn't an opinion. Do you have proof like photos of his garbage can full of empty wine bottles? If so, send them to me and find out if he tends to buy everyone a round on him and which watering hole he frequents. I'll be there.

  47. Corbett is an idiot, I know I have worked with her and her people and I have worked against her, she used some pretty dirty tactics to defeat Dutra in 2006.

    Corbett goes down, hard. Honda probably wins.

  48. I have worked and voted for Ellen Corbett and have worked and voted against. The one thing I know is she is very popular and very intelligent. She was the decided underdog in 06 and yet she defeated 2 strong candidates, Johan Klehs and John Dutra, rather easily. BTW Dutra came in 3rd and ran a very poor campaign even though he spent the most money. I walked a precinct in Fremont and knew he wouldn't win because even in his home base, he wasn't very popular. It sounds like you worked for Dutra ,lost, and have to blame someone for your defeat. BTW Dutra started the hit pieces and dirty tactics, but she responded and hit back. I remember the campaign very well. Besides being intelligent she doesn't let anyone push her around. Get over 06 and move on with your life. Sour grapes make you bitter.