Pete Stark to John McCain: Come, stay a while

pete-stark.jpgRepublican presidential candidate John McCain‘s roundtable on global competitiveness and innovation with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Silicon Valey business leaders today in Union City put him smack dab in the middle of a district represented by one of America’s most liberal Congressman, Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont.

“I was happy to see the Senator in Union City, I would invite him to stay for the rest of the campaign — I’d even give him a room at my hosue in Fremont — and then I’m sure we would win the election in November,” Stark told me this afternoon. “I’m glad he could see what a beautiful place Union City is, run by Democrats and populated by Democrats by a more than two-to-one margin. I hope he enjoyed his stay.”

Stark had little use for the roundtable’s rhetoric.

“If in fact the Silicon Valley types had paid enough taxes to help education instead of engineering their pay scale through stock options, which allows them to zero out on their income tax, they wouldn’t need so many H1B visas,” he said, noting global competitiveness starts with curbing America’s high-school dropout rate and fully-funding the federal No Child Left Behind education law.

As for the capital-gains and corporate tax cuts touted at today’s roundtable, Stark said, “I just don’t know who they think is going to pay for this war, which was probably instigated to protect our source of foreign oil” — a dependency from which McCain repeatedly said today that we must be weaned. Global competetiveness and innovation is based on entrepreneurship and American drive, Stark said, adding he doubts high-tech pioneers such as Apple cofounders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak concerned themselves with the capital-gains tax while revolutionizing their industry.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.