Ellen Tauscher endorses Swalwell over Stark

Former Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, has endorsed Dublin councilman and Alameda County prosecutor Eric Swalwell – her former intern – in his bid to unseat her longtime colleague, Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont.

Ellen Tauscher“Eric represents the best and brightest in the next generation of leadership needed in Congress,” Tauscher said in Swalwell’s news release. “Eric understands the importance of Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories to our national defense and energy security and the unique role they play in the research and development of cutting-edge technologies that are important to the local economy.”

Tauscher represented parts of what’s now the 15th Congressional District, including the Tri-Valley and Castro Valley, during her more than twelve years in Congress. She was unanimously confirmed as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security in 2009, where she served until February. She’s now a State Department special envoy on strategic stability and missile defense issues.

“I have known Eric since he interned in my Congressional office in 2001 and watched as he worked his way through college and embarked on a career in law,” she said. “Eric is an incredibly hard worker and I know he will be an effective and conscientious Representative for the constituents in the new 15th Congressional District.”

Swalwell said he’s honored by the endorsement and hopes to emulate Tauscher’s attentiveness to her constituents and hard work on their behalf.

Swalwell earlier this week announced his dual endorsement by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who earlier had endorsed Stark.

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.

  • Rick K.

    Would this woman please go away permanently to her Washington, DC salons and stop sticking her nose in East Bay political affairs? A few months ago, Tauscher endorsed Tomi Van de Brooke for county supervisor in Contra Costa. Tauscher’s candidate was beaten 2-to-1 in June and didn’t break 29% of the vote — very pathetic. This should serve as a reminder that Swalwell has next to no political experience. Swalwell spins his college internship in Tauscher’s congressional office as if it were substantive, but it just underscores that a decade ago Swalwell was just an interchangeable Capitol Hill political hack. Swalwell worked for Tauscher around the time that she gleefully and enthusiastically endorsed George W. Bush’s congressional authorization for the Iraq War. I can’t find any letter to the editor or any other writing from Swalwell in which he disagreed with his boss, back then or in the years since. So is Swalwell, like Tauscher, also a puppet of military contractors and the infamous AIPAC? Congressman Stark may come across as daffy, but he deserves respect for his full-throated opposition to the Iraq War. The Tauscher endorsement shows that we just don’t know enough about Swalwell and where he really stands on the issues.

  • Truthclubber

    @1 —

    Amen to that, brother — what we see here is exactly WHO is the puppetmaster of the Swillwell campaign — or as I put it, “the Tauscherian Candidate” — Queen Ellen, and her minions, Mary Hughes and Lisa Tucker.

    More on this later.

  • JohnW

    Wow! Tough words on Ellen Tauscher. Nobody on this board has been more opposed to Swalwell’s candidacy (not to be confused with support for Stark) than I. But come on now. She’s just showing a little old fashioned loyalty to one of her former interns. And, as a centrist Democrat, Tauscher has probably never been a big fan of Stark, even when she served with him in the Bay Area congressional delegation.

  • GV Haste

    “So is Swalwell, like Tauscher, also a puppet of military contractors and the infamous AIPAC?”

    Wow, you guys are really laughable.
    So caught up in your obsession, you begin to make up stuff out of pure air.
    I like it, with guys like you, average folks will get a real sense of the desperation in the Stark camp.

    They are stuck with a candidate they can’t even send out in public without fearing a disaster.
    Seriosly, at the recyling center a couple weeks ago, they had people on his left arm, and on his right arm, trying awkwardly to guide him to the “waiting, running, escape vehicle” but, they still couldn’t prevent Pete from blundering his 15 second sound bite which over-shadowed the entire event.

    It was, simply put, a PR disaster.

    If they allow Pete to show up at any forum, or debate, it will be jammed. Everyone will be waiting for the NASCAR moment (the crash).

    September and October should be fun.
    Where’s Waldo (Pete).

  • JohnW

    This race is a good example of why, under the new open primary/top two system, we should have allowed for write-ins in the general election. Not that a write-in would have a chance to win, but at least you would be able to register dissatisfaction with the choices.

  • RR senile columnist

    Rick K., aspiring investigative reporter. Darn, how did ya uncover ET’s secret life? She’s worked for the CIA and Mossad for yrs! I thought only a few dudes knew about it. Wow! You and Truthie blew her cover!

  • GV Haste

    JohnW, That vote to register dissatifaction with the choices is what all of us had for the past decades.

    It amounted to a no-name slot filler, who happened to be registered as a Republican.
    So be you independent or Democrat, and you were tired of Pete Stark, you voted for that spot-filler and that was it.

    What did that “protest” vote accomplish over the past 30 to 40 years? Absolutely nothing.

    AS such, I’ll take the new “top-two” system any time.
    This election in this congressional district, will be the first competitive election in many decades.
    You have to be realistic.

    You want some kind of real protest, go stand on the corner with a sign. At least that would be seen by someone.
    A write is is noticed by no one unless it is fully organized.
    The current system, not perfect, but vastly better than before.
    Without this new way, Pete Stark wouldn’t be lifting a finger.

  • Truthclubber

    @6 —

    That’s nothing — I had a chance to go over to Swillwell’s website, look at the source code, and discovered this little gem!

    Apparently he is about to reveal a new, official campaign song, and if you watch carefully, you’ll see him around 3:08 into it, in the middle, dressed in white, smilin’ away at us!

    Talk about wanting, no, lusting to go into “Desert Storm III” in search of more invisible WMD, just like Queen Ellen did back in 2001!

  • JohnW

    GV Haste,

    I totally disagree. A write-in option would be one way to address the complaints of the minor parties as well as those who, for whatever reason, find themselves in a “none of the above” mood but still feel the civic duty to vote. Also, let’s not forget there is now a U.S. Senator from Alaska who got there by means a gutsy write-in campaign in which she beat out a freaky Tea Party guy who had won the GOP nomination. A congressional race in Ohio was won by a write-in candidate in 2006. There are many things terribly wrong with politics in California. I don’t think the write-in option was ever one of them.

    All that said, we don’t have that option this time. I will vote, and it won’t be for the new guy.

  • JohnW

    Re: #8

    I like that song.

  • JohnW

    Does anybody know if Swalwell is carrying a full case load in the DA’s office while campaigning? Hard to imagine that he could. If not, is he being paid?

  • GV Haste

    JohnW, I am very familiar with the Alaska write-vote for Senator.

    Now if you are at all well versed in that particular case, and Alaska politics at all, then you would know that case has nothing at all in common with what goes on here in the East Bay.

    No, your write-in concept is just a feel good measure, much as my vote for the no-name Republicans were in Pete Stark’s last 10 contests.
    You just end up grumpy with nothing at all to show.

    Alaska was entirely different. Additionally, are you familiar with the size of the electorate in Alaska?
    Are you also familiar with the name, family background, and the political ties of that “write-in” candidate? That she was the sitting incumbent.
    That her father was governor and senator.

    Come on JohnW, there is no other case quite like that.

    Other than that odd one, you reach all over the nation for one case in 2006.
    That is really reaching to make a point.

    Heck, I had a friend killed by a shark, but I don’t use that as a example of why one shouldn’t swim in the ocean.
    You and I will be long dead before any local congressional election is won by a write-in candidate.

  • Truthclubber

    @10 —

    If you change the word “America” to “Eric” throughout the song, it’s perfect — and the fact that Stark Raving Pete is an atheist, means that the “hyper-pro-God” theme of the song works in his favor as well — a triple play!

  • JohnW

    Re: #12

    And in college, they told me the electoral college would never trump the popular vote in a modern day presidential election.

    How is it democratic to take away the option of voting for other people? It’s one thing to tell the Green or Libertarian folks that their preferred candidates can’t get on the November ballot unless they finish top 2 in the primary. It’s another thing to tell voters that they can’t vote for one of those candidates, because GV Haste decided it’s just a “feel good measure.” If Eric Swalwell thinks that way, then I have more reasons to vote against him than I thought.

    You might not use your friend being killed by a shark as an example of why one shouldn’t swim in the ocean. But you might at least allow for the fact that shark attacks can and do happen.

  • GV Haste


    Look, I personally wouldn’t mind all that much for a write-in option, however going back to the one candidate for each party leads to nothing but rubber stamped returns of guys like Pete Stark. Who can ignore everyone and only cater to the “guaranteed” elements of the Democratic Party.

    So, in the case of Alameda County we have had a Democratic candidate skewed to the pressure group elements in the primary, who in the November election can say to other Democrats, its ME, or that no-name nothing put up by the Republicans. I’ve watched those Republican candidates over the years. They are a endless list of nothings and no-names, leaving voters, especially Democrats with only Pete as the choice, or possibly casting a protest vote for the no-name nothing Republican “winner” of the primary.

    I mean the Republican candidates have been absurd.
    I always check them out. Students, or chiropractor, and they keep running these hopeless folks year after year. The entire process had just become a joke.
    While Pete just kicked back and acted like he owned the seat for life. (mostly true).

    BTW, you seem think I am a supporter of Swalwell. I am rather a supporter of anyone except Pete who has a chance to win. Swalwell is a reasonable choice and I fully expect he will be challenged in 2014 by a host of candidates. Fine by me. I just want some real elections.

    As to my friend being killed by a shark.
    Yes, attacks do happen and people are killed.
    But as to rarity, see this from Wikipedia

    “Even considering only people who go to beaches, a person’s chance of getting attacked by a shark in the United States is 1 in 11.5 million, and a person’s chance of getting killed by a shark is less than 1 in 264.1 million.[21][22] In the United States, the annual number of people who drown is 3,306, whereas the annual number of shark fatalities is 1.”

    So 1 person per year, out of 300 million.

    yes, about the same as write-in candidates winning congressional elections. But the “write-in” makes you feel all warm and fuzzy or something.

  • Elwood

    @ #8 toothsucker

    What have you been smoking?

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    If Ellen endorses Swalwell, I endorse Swalwell.