CD11: Friday jib-jab madness





As the Congressional District 11 candidates launch themselves into the final weekend before Election Day, the spin cycle spit out a few interesting jib-jabs.

HYPOCRISY, ANYONE? The campaign of Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney blasted a press release about how GOP nominee David Harmer received a $5,000 contribution from JP Morgan Chase PAC on Oct. 22.

And then the Dems continued to beat the false drum about how Harmer took federal bailout money from JP Morgan Chase.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s nonsense. Harmer was an attorney in the credit card division in Pleasanton when JP Morgan Chase bought his employer, Washington Mutual.

WaMu went broke because it made bad home loans; it had nothing to do with the credit card division.  Four months later, Harmer was laid off along with everyone else in WaMu’s old credit card division. He received a severance package and a performance bonus worth about $160,000; he worked for JP Morgan Chase about four months.

There is no evidence that JP Morgan Chase needed or used the $25 billion in federal bailout money it received to either buy Washington Mutual or pay Harmer’s package. JP Morgan was not in financial trouble but the federal government demanded the nation’s top dozen or so banks accept the money in order to maintain public confidence in the American banking system. JP Morgan paid back the full loan with interest on the first day it was allowed to do so.

Yes, as a Republican who wants to cut regulations, Harmer is far more likely to take positions and cast votes that will meet with the approval of the financial industry. If this concerns you, vote for McNerney.

But it’s a hit fraught with peril for McNerney, who recently told Harmer, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks.”

After all, the congressman voted for the bail-out and Opensecret.org shows that McNerney has accepted nearly $25,000 in contributions this campaign from investment and securities sources. Harmer’s campaign also says McNerney has accepted during his political career thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the employees, PACs and lobbyists of companies that have applied or or received federal earmarks at his request, according to their analysis of FEC reports.

McNerney has plenty of contributions on his list from which critics could make allegations of special interest influence.

“If my opponent wants to talk about contributions, he needs to apply the same standard to himself,” Harmer said.

SERIOUSLY? The Harmer camp put out an absurd press release today touting an audiotape in which McNerney praises GOP nemesis and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her persistence in pursuit of passage of the health care legislation at a time when President Barack Obama wanted to back off.

Here what “Jerry McNerney has to say about Pelosi when he thinks voters aren’t listening!” reads the release, complete with a link to a YouTube clip.

Oooh, a secret audio tape. How delicious. Unfortunately for the Harmer camp, the clip came from a Democratic Party lunch this summer where McNerney was a speaker. Gee, I guess no real voters show up at Democratic Party luncheons.

Yes, McNerney agrees with Pelosi on a lot of issues.  She is the Democratic House leader. He is a Democrat. If voters don’t like the Democrats’ platform, they can vote for Harmer. And there is no question that McNerney, along with most Democrats, is not squiring Pelosi around his district as a way to raise money or attract votes; she is a polarizing figure that most campaigns would rather avoid.

But the suggestion that McNerney is hiding his admiration for Pelosi or his support for her leadership is nonsense.

Here’s the clip if you want to hear what McNerney said.

DONOR OCCUPATION OF THE DAY: Dominic Scotto, owner of From The Heart Home Care, donated $1,000 to Harmer and for his occupation, he wrote, “Beleaguered Businessman.”

Lisa Vorderbrueggen