EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009

Friday, March 7, 2014

Swalwell: I'm Liberal! But not for the East Bay, says Rankings

Talking out Both Sides of their Mouths Edition | What was Schaaf Thinking? | Zany Zermeno
CHAPTER 5 | Apparently, being called out for numerous lapses of ethical conduct is a problem than can be worked out for Rep. Eric Swalwell. However, don’t you dare call him a moderate! Over the past few years, Swalwell has embraced both the liberal and moderate moniker, often when it suits his purposes, whether reaching out to Hayward liberals or conservatives over the hill. Whatever he is, Swalwell is definitely not an East Bay liberal, a certain breed of Democrat with a far deeper hue of blue than the rest of the country. Last month, the National Journal’s annual rankings of Congress by political ideology found Swalwell to be the 86th most liberal member of the House’s 435 members. Yes, Swalwell is quite liberal for the Birmingham, Tallahassee and Salt Lake City, but not the Bay Area. In fact, among the region’s eight members of Congress, Swalwell ranks as the next to last in terms of his liberal voting record. Only the South Bay’s Rep. Zoe Lofgren measured lower. Incidentally, Lofgren’s district sits next to the most liberal member of not only the Bay Area House caucus, but the entire Congress in Rep. Mike Honda (He finished in a seven-way tie for first). One reason for Swalwell's low score in relation to the Bay Area colleagues rests on his conservative votes on foreign policy. This is no surprise since a growing chunk of his campaign contributions come from defense contractors and pro-Israel lobbying groups. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised when mailers from Swalwell’s campaign touts the 86th most liberal meme sometime this year, however, minus the additional local context. Below is the National Journal’s 2013 rankings for most liberal members of Congress, sorted for the Bay Area’s delegation, including their overall rank in parentheses:

1. Mike Honda (CA17).......96.3 (1)
2. Barbara Lee (CA13)......90.5 (28)
3. Anna Eshoo (CA18).......86.2 (48)
4. Jackie Speier (CA14)....86.0 (49)
5. George Miller (CA11)....84.0 (63)
6. Nancy Pelosi (CA12).....83.7 (66)
7. Eric Swalwell (CA15)....80.2 (86)
8. Zoe Lofgren (CA19)......78.0 (99)
(Source: National Journal)
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San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy
PHOTO/Shane Bond
REVISIONIST HISTORY Last Monday, San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy admonished executives from the Alameda County Transportation Committee for not delineating what his city would receive by passing a potential transportation sales tax next fall. Cassidy told the ACTC representatives the lack of specificity was a reason Measure B1 narrowly fell short of two-thirds two years ago. What Cassidy left out was his role in fostering a strong anti-tax and pension environment in San Leandro beginning during his run for mayor four years ago. It's the same ethos that stymied the measure in the Tri Valley and Fremont in 2012. The same group (some may label them Tea Party adherents) was also conveniently roused by Eric Swalwell during the same election against Pete Stark. Just a single precinct in the entire Tri Valley approved Measure B1 as it failed countywide by just 721 votes. Cassidy says he supports the transportation tax positioned for the November ballot, but his record of raising taxes is also suspect. He notably opposed San Leandro’s sales tax increase in 2010. Ironically, the proceeds for Measure Z propped up the city’s treasury during the worst of the Great Recession and may have put it on higher ground, as oppose to its neighboring cities, as the local economy slowly improves. He now lauds the tax and even supports renewing it before its sunset still a few years away. Despite Cassidy’s missteps, there is not a rush to challenge his re-election later this year, other than interest from Councilmember Diana Souza. It also doesn’t hurt that San Leandro’s farm system for future political candidates may be the worst in the entire East Bay.
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FEEDING FROM THE SAME TROUGH How pervasive is the big money connections among Tri Valley land developers, many of which are Eric Swalwell’s biggest donors, and other Tri Valley public officials? Ask a question about Swalwell and they often talk trash. But follow it with a question about suspicious characters, like garbage company Amador Valley Industries, Bill Watkins or Charter Properties and they clam up. On one occasion last year when I was interviewing former Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman--she was then contemplating a run for Swalwell’s seat this year-- she abruptly cut off the conversation when I broached the conduct of Amador Valley Industries, a Tri Valley garbage company I wrote about in 2012 which services both Dublin and Pleasanton. Weirdly she offered any conversation about AVI was privileged closed session information and immediately and comically shut off communication. Now Hosterman is endorsing Swalwell.
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Libby Schaaf
HERE AND THERE If there was some sort political posturing during Tuesday’s vote in Oakland on the Domain Awareness Center, it was hard to discern. Oakland mayoral candidate Councilmember Libby Schaaf, voicing opposition to the DAC, offered a second to Councilmember Desley Brooks’ amendment to shrink the spy center back to the Port of Oakland and airport. Schaaf then inexplicably voted against the amendment and allowing Mayor Jean Quan to break the 4-4 tie. Headlines and ledes the next day made it seem like Quan saved the day...Additional information from a poll last December shows San Francisco State professor Joe Tuman is a strong Oakland mayoral contender when ranked-choice voting is applied…We talked about another Oakland mayoral candidate, Jason “Shake” Anderson last week. Every candidate in the East Bay can take some pointers from Anderson’s media skills; in addition, to his ability to raise his own profile without much money, but with a whole lot of personality...…One still loyal Pete Stark supporter marveled this week at the number of people in various political circles and unions in the East Bay, who once voiced strong dislike for Swalwell, now jockeying to have their picture taken with the new congressman. In addition, one loyal supporter of Ellen Corbett, who voted for her pre-endorsement last month, then donated money last week to Swalwell's crowdsourcing campaign to help send his delegates to the party convention this weekend in Los Angeles…Swalwell and Corbett will meet in a candidate's forum April 17 at Hayward's City Hall, the same venue that featured Pete Stark alleging Swalwell took bribes. The event begins at 6 p.m...Alameda’s politically brawny firefighters’ union is taking a liking to political newcomer Malia Vella, according to sources on the island. She is Assemblymember Bill Quirk’s former district director. The firefighters were credited (blamed?) for successfully pushing their slate of candidates onto the City Council four years ago. That group constituted the council’s new majority. One of the three, of course, included now-Assemblymember Rob Bonta. Two seats are up for grabs in Alameda this November.

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Francisco Zermeno
ONE MORE THING Hayward Councilmember Francisco Zermeno is running for mayor this June. But to call Zermeno a crowd-pleaser would be an understatement. Some might describe his politics as a bit squirmy and over-the-top. Remember when he voted down free food-serving in Hayward and then offered planting fruit trees on city streets as a solution for feeding the homeless and poor? This week, Zermeno, who once ended his remarks with the slogan, "Viva La Hayward!" (He now prefers "Hayward On!"), talked up the legacy of labor legend Cesar Chavez. The United Farm Workers leader may be Zermeno's hero, but the candidate's recent actions in support of the Hayward City Council imposing a five percent cut in city employee's pay represents one of the harshest blow to the East Bay labor scene in recent memory. Somehow the disconnect between praising Chavez's legacy and laying a hammer on city workers makes perfect sense to Zermeno, who is facing fellow Councilmembers Barbara Halliday and Mark Salinas, both of which also supported the contract imposition last month. Zermeno's logic is akin Bruce Springsteen superfan belting out "How can a poor man stand such times and live" while wearing a Sen. Ted Cruz t-shirt.

19 comments :

Swalwell is way too liberal for me, but got no other choice. Have to support him.

Steven, get your G-d damn pronouns straight! Last paragraph of last article: "...Halliday and Mark Salinas, both of which also supported...."

The correct word is 'whom,' not 'which,' used for objects and not people. That one is too simple to pop a boner. As Truman Capote once said, "Get your G-d damn pronouns right!"

1. Mike Honda (CA17).......96.3 (1)
2. Barbara Lee (CA13)......90.5 (28)

Amazing, Honda to the left of the Queen of Berkeley/Oakland liberalism...

Leading the parade so to speak.
Wondering how that title matches up with voters in the South Bay?

Surprised that there are Dems who hedge their bets on various races? This is pretty much the same group who bowed before Bill Lockyer and let him (and his ex-wifey?) run the County thru the wringer.

I read that a Republican has jumped into the Congressional 15 race. This could hurt Swalwell a lot because the Rep. will siphon off a lot of Swalwell voters. The progressive voters and moderate women will favor Ellen Corbett. The Tea Party and Republican leaning independents will favor the Vice Chair of the Alameda County Republicans. Where does that leave Swalwell? Could he come in third? The Republican entry could be a HUGE game changer!

Lots of Republicans won't just pull a knee jerk vote for a candidate they know can't win in November.

Added to that, lots of Democrats are going to be voting for Swalwell.

To many long time Democrats are living in the past where the farthest left elements of the Democratic party ruled the roost.
They're counting on Prince Pete to make good on his offer to spend a portion of his fortune to defeat Swalwell.

You watch, Pete Stark won't spend over $5,000 of his millions to support Corbett.
If he has a little spare change left in his old campaign fund, he may give some of that. Otherwise I expect to hear nothing from him.

I think the Swalwell staffers and supporters are panicking right now. This Bussell character is the Vice Chair of the Alameda County Republican Party. He will draw votes away from Swalwell in big numbers. This will benefit Ellen Corbett. The race is on for sure.

Just curious. Why would any Democrat in their right mind vote for Ellen Corbett?

Swalwell is a liberal but then again, so is Kamala Harris and so is Gavin Newsom. In San Francisco, Newsom is considered a "conservative" and Harris is considered a "moderate."

Speaking of which, Swalwell is endorsed by Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, and now for good measure, the California Democratic Party. Why Democrats wouldn't vote for him would be a mystery to me.

Those Democrats don't live in our District and here's how Ellen Corbett wins.

Thank you Swalwell staffer above posting on the taxpayers dime on a workday. You know full well 55% at the convention for an incumbent is a horrible result. If he wasn't an incumbent he would need 60%. In fact most incumbents aren't forced to go to the Convention to get the votes necessary because they can get the votes at their local caucuses. A lot of the Convention delegates are appointed by party leaders, but they don't necessarily reflect the voters in the District.

Swalwell is very worried and he should be with the Republican drawing most of his anti-Stark votes. This sets up Ellen Corbett nicely as she is very popular in the District and Democratic voters don't follow their leaders the way Republicans do. She has won races against 2 men before in her run for the Senate when she was picked to finish last.

Since most of the voters in this District were in her old Senate or Assembly Districts and love her according to the votes she received, she should finish first in the primary with slightly over 40%. That means the Republican only needs 30% to come in second. Very doable. Bye Congressman.

Look, I don't care what other people at the convention or the democratic federal or state officials say. My family has voted for Ellen Corbett twice as Senator and we like her and trust her more than Swalwell. She is also very popular in my neighborhood.

You mean the convention rejected 'her?'

True dat!!!!

Just put my "All's well with Swalwell!" bumper sticker on the car.

Feeling really pumped!

Keep thinking that staffer, but you and I both know your internal poll showed Ellen Corbett beating your man. Release the poll. Your man won't be able to buy this election with all the corporate money he's taken. He's not running against Stark this time, but a much more qualified and likable woman.

The above was brought to you from the land of Make Believe!

Ellen Corbett will come in first in the primary with well over 40% of the vote. With a credible Republican in the race your candidate will be lucky to come in second. If the Republican can get in the high twenties your candidate could easily come in third.

Then what good will all that big business and corporate money do him. It will be good for the economy though. Voters in our district don't reward people who try and buy the election. They also don't reward candidates who flip flop on issue after issue.

Keep the stories coming Steven. I'd like to see one about the million dollars he's raised by catering to vested interests. I know he got money from pharmaceutical companies and other corporations that are sticking it to the middle class. Ellen Corbett is more trustworthy.

Anonymous 3:20 PM...........Keep thinking that staffer, but you and I both know your internal poll showed Ellen Corbett beating your man. Release the poll. Your man won't be able to buy this election with all the corporate money he's taken. He's not running against Stark this time, but a much more qualified and likable woman.

Mrs. Miller and I will be supporting our outstanding CONGRESSMAN ERIC SWALWELL. We can't support novices who have no idea what they are doing and would be in above their head. We also would never support anyone who whores for the unions. The public knows that teachers and nurses' unions are nothing but whores for the special interests. They resonate with special interests only.

We'll be supporting a breath of fresh air, CONGRESSMAN ERIC SWALWELL 2014!

Ellen Corbett will come in first in the primary with well over 40% of the vote. With a credible Republican in the race your candidate will be lucky to come in second. If the Republican can get in the high twenties your candidate could easily come in third.

Then what good will all that big business and corporate money do him. It will be good for the economy though. Voters in our district don't reward people who try and buy the election. They also don't reward candidates who flip flop on issue after issue.

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