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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ro Khanna’s Most Important Campaign Finance Number is Zero

Ro Khanna
ELECTION 2014 | CONGRESS | DISTRICT 17 | So, Ro Khanna pulled down another $402,000 in campaign donations. So what? Who cares? How many yard signs does that buy? Will you be overjoyed by the appearance of another dozen campaign mailers flooding your mailbox? Khanna has now raised over $3.2 million and, believe me, it will be spent on gaining your attention in some way or another and paying consultants five-figure monthly paychecks.

However, forget about the $2 million in the column listing cash-in-hand. It’s merely a giant flexing of Khanna’s financial muscle directed at his opponent, Rep. Mike Honda. The most important number on that report is zero, as in, the amount of money Khanna has received from political action committees. This figure, too, is a form of psychological warfare telling Honda, not only did we vastly out-fundraise you once again, but we did it without the mother’s milk of modern political campaigning, special interests donors.

Pulling down blockbuster fundraising numbers in a congressional race and not even being labeled as the incumbent is a major paradigm shift for Khanna. It allows him to spend like a House incumbent while plausibly presenting himself as a Washington outsider, and with Congress's approval numbers in the teens, nobody wants to be construed as a Beltway insider..

While chatting it up with numerous politicos in the East Bay, from Oakland to Fremont, inside and outside the 17th District, I encounter a similar refrain when it comes to Honda. It's an almost institutional description that in every case evokes grandfatherly love and affection. No doubt this is true, but it’s also a strength that can be flipped into a weakness, if properly attacked.

It only takes one instance of Honda acting counter to his warm reputation to shatter this perception. And if you take that away, what do you have left over? An excellent public servant, but also an entrenched member of the widely-loathed and broken Congress greasing his re-election campaign with special interests money. You don't want to be that guy when your opponent is grinding out a reputation for eschewing the
evil lure of dirty Washington money and, you know, also has a couple mil in the bank ready to be spent.

5 comments :

"grandfatherly"

The district is the center of the tech world.

Can a grandfather lead and represent the economic engine of that district.
Can he even download a app without assistance from a staff member? Seriously can he?

Yes he can. He also is well liked in his Congressional District.

I read the first comment yesterday and resented it. I resent it even more today. Please stop the ageist garbage. Technical competence has nothing to do with age and much more to do with a willingness to accept change, an appreciation for technology, and the experience with the emerging technologies.

I am 78, a grandfather, an owner of an iPhone5, an iPad3, two desktops, three laptops, and enough support equipment to open a small store. I was one of the first to utilize computers in my campaigns (starting in 1980) and my volunteers often had to pry me loose from crunching data during campaigns.

No one has ever accused my brain of slipping yet, although I am not as fast on my feet as I once was (which was never very fast anyway.) At this stage in my life, as in Mike Honda's, it is the brain which is the most important, regardless of age.

So let's talk about issues, experience, voting record, programs, results - and leave age out of it. People know how old we are, just don't make age the compelling issue.

Gus Morrison

And wasn't Gus Morrison trying to put more burdens on property sellers by forcing them to do unneeded "energy" efficiencies when a property is sold? It seems like your mind is slipping there.

As noted above: "It only takes one instance of Honda acting counter to his warm reputation to shatter this perception. And if you take that away, what do you have left over? An excellent public servant, but also an entrenched member of the widely-loathed and broken Congress greasing his re-election campaign with special interests money." And so it has come to pass (after multiple sleazy, inaccurate attack ads and PAC ally contributions to Singh, etc.).

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