Bay Area lawmakers weigh in on Weinergate

Anthony-Weiner-6-11-2011-AP-Photo.jpgGiven that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Steve Israel, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz all now have called upon Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign for sending sexually explicit photos and messages to several women via social networking sites, I thought it was time to see where the Bay Area delegation’s members stand.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough: She thinks he should resign. “I think it’s a reflection on the narcissistic nature of him as an individual, he doesn’t believe he’s subject to the same rules that the rest of us are and I think that’s very disconcerting,” Speier told NBC Bay Area News over the weekend. “I don’t think the American people should be served by someone who engages in ‘sexting’ with underage girls.” (Weiner and a 17-year-old Delaware girl both deny there was any inappropriate content in their online communications.)

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove: “The Congressman believes that this is a matter between Representative Weiner, his family, and his constituents,” spokesman Donald Lathbury said today.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont: “I think he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do,” Stark said today, noting he heard a call-in radio show the other day in which every New York caller said Weiner shouldn’t resign, as it hasn’t been shown that he broke any laws. “I think his area of the city has been well represented and they’d have to go a long way to find a member of Congress who could do a better job… The Democrats are trying to keep pure and that’s no easier for us than it is for the Republicans, nobody wants an ethics investigation.”

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto: “My boss is recovering from surgery and will be unable to comment,” spokesman Patrick Boland said today.

Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose: “The Congressman is not commenting on this but if that changes I’ll be sure to let you know,” spokesman Michael Shank said today.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma: “Rep. Woolsey won’t have any comment on that story,” spokesman Bart Acocella said today.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.: Her office referred me today to a quote she gave to a television reporter recently. “Well, my reaction, quite candidly, is one of great sadness that a bright light of the House of Representatives was obviously deeply flawed with certain issues and that is all I have to say,” she had said; as to resigning, “I think that’s up to the members of the House and to him.”

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.: Spokesman Andy Stone referred me today to Boxer’s comment last Thursday in The Hill, in which she agreed Pelosi had made the right decision in calling for an Ethics Committee investigation and called Weiner’s conduct “horrible.”

Jerry McNerney’s office said he’s on a plane today and might not make the 3 p.m. deadline I’d set. I never heard back from the offices of Barbara Lee, George Miller and Zoe Lofgren.

UPDATE @ 3:04 P.M.: McNerney spokeswoman Sarah Hersh just called. “My boss is running incredibly late today and I don’t think I’m going to be able to get a response for you in time,” she said, promising to try again tomorrow.

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.