More from today’s ‘Young Guns’ shootout in SF

I’ve filed a story about reporters’ meeting this afternoon in San Francisco with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and GOP House candidates Kim Vann, Abel Maldonado and Tony Strickland, but there were a few tidbits more worth sharing.

Vann, McCarthy, Maldonado and StricklandBefore everyone had even taken their seats around a table in the library of the University Club on Nob Hill, McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, gave a sarcastic disclaimer: “I will accuse no one of giving money to my opponent, we don’t have 16-year-olds doing our research, and the Tesla is a car.”

This, of course, was a reference to Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, who had accused San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders (present at today’s event) of having given money to his Democratic rival, Eric Swalwell (which she had not). Stark also had tried to explain his unsupported accusation that Swalwell had taken bribes from real estate developers by saying his teenage son had fed him erroneous information, and had confused Tesla – which makes electric cars – with Solyndra, the failed solar-cell manufacturer and stimulus loan guarantee recipient.

Responding to a question about Vann’s status as the only female “Young Gun” anointed by the National Republican Congressional Committee in California, McCarthy cited the “five W’s” of campaigning: “When women work, we win.” In addition to a preoccupation with growing the economy and creating jobs, he said, women voters “want to make their own decisions on health care.”

But when asked whether they also want to make their own decisions on abortion choice (which most polls agree they do), McCarthy soon shifted the conversation to the diversity of the GOP’s slate of California House candidates. Perhaps that’s because Vann differs from much of that slate in that she’s pro-choice and the rest are not.

McCarthy noted that Strickland, if successful in November, would be the latest of his former California Legislature colleagues to join him in Congress. “It’s like ‘The Blues Brothers’ – I’m putting the band back together.”

On the escalating speculation over whom Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate will be, McCarthy said the pick will be a reflection of Romney’s decision-making process, and ultimately just as much about him as about that person. “I think he’s doing a great job with that,” McCarthy said, though he declined to speculate because he says he has friends – including Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio – who might be on the short list.

McCarthy did say that for president, “I really won’t support someone who hasn’t been a governor first” – who has had to choose a cabinet, manage agencies and make executive decisions.

Romney, he said, “is a guy who understands risk-taking and the ability to move it forward.” Asked specifically about Romney’s record at the helm of Bain Capital, McCarthy replied, “I believe he created a lot of jobs … In America we know you have to take risks and we know they’re not always going to be successful.”

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.

  • Truthclubber

    …McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, gave a sarcastic disclaimer: “I will accuse no one of giving money to my opponent, we don’t have 16-year-olds doing our research, and the Tesla is a car.”

    This, of course, was a reference to Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont…

    Can we infer from this that McCarthy’s favorite in this race (CA CD15) is Swillwell and not Stark Raving Pete?

    Can we not further infer that McCarthy’s comments, given that there are only two candidates in this race, are tantimount to an endorsement by Kevin McCarthy, the leading Republican member of the California Congressional delegation, for Swillwell?

    How should loyal Democrats and those “Decline to States” that usually side with their Democratic neighbors view such a public endorsement (to the faces of known members of the local media, no less) by a clear, partisan Republican (and a leader of that partisan party, no less) of Swillwell, who “claims” to be a Democrat?

  • GV Haste

    You know, I like apples more than prunes.

    But I guess if my Republican neighbor says he likes apples, I’ll switch to prunes regardless of how much I dislike them.

  • Truthclubber

    @2 —

    A whole lot of moola is gonna be sayin’ to completely unclued, 2008 Obama voters that “Obama needs Stark — and Boehner (through McCarthy) wants Swalwell” — so I would suggest, latest Swillwell campaign manager, that you STFU on this here blog and start focusin’ on gettin’ that moola that you ain’t got.

  • GV Haste

    No doubt about it, I can tell that you are very effective when talking to regular folks, door to door.
    Head out to Pleasanton and “educate” the people.

  • Truthclubber

    @4 —

    Now that you don’t even bother to figleaf the fact that you ARE Swillwell’s campaign manager, let’s see what our fellow bloggers have to say about the sources of Swillwell’s meager funding thus far — and it’s a literal who’s who of the movers and shakers of East Bay housing developers.

    Here’s a mere sample, not inclusive by any means — and all this for Swillwell, a rather recent member of the Dublin Planning Commission, and a current member of the Dublin City Council, where SOOOOOOOOO much controversial building is going on:

    D.R. Horton
    Heartland Communities
    Standard Pacific
    Summerhill Homes
    Top Grade Construction
    Shea Homes
    Laconia Development
    Pacific Union
    KB Home
    Mission Peak Homes

    …and I’ve just scratched the surface of “the few, the meager, the strings attached” donors who are propping up this DINO (Democrat in Name Only) puppet (Swillwell) that will eagerly do the bidding of Queen Ellen as her “Tauscherian Candidate” now that she is herself no longer directly in Congress.

    Sharon Cornu and TBW — are you listening? I know that you are — and that “GV Haste”, Swillwell’s campaign manager just let us all know just how hurting for funding Swillwell is — since they all would have preferred that Queen Ellen stay in the background (much as the Wizard of Oz did behind the curtain) but their bad fundraising results to date has forced her hand to try to boost their moola results…

  • Elwood

    @ #5 toothsucker

    What have you been smoking?

    Where did you find it?

    Is there any left?

    Can I have some?

  • Truthclubber

    @6 —

    More evidence that Swillwell is the “Tauscherian Candidate” — the “so-called” Democrat that true, right-wing Republicans love, and would love to put in place of a “Real Obama Democrat” like Stark Raving Pete.

    So, thanks, @6, Sharon Cornu and TBW are listening to all of this, and will note that for use when this campaign hits its stride in the fall — so keep those cards and love letters coming; it only helps Petey.

  • Truthclubber

    @4 —

    Talk about “educate” — how about this posting you made elsewhere as @14 on another blog within the ibabuzz.com empire?

    Here are three choice tidbits…

    1) …All the protesting teachers and others got into their cars, drove to the house of the then Supt.
    20 or 30 cars, on his street, honking, yelling, chanting….

    2) …I lived 6 doors up the block.
    The thing the honking protestors never planned for were the neighbors.

    3) …I’ve never seen protestors so confused, when “the people” turn on them. After 15 minutes of being trapped, they sculked out the neighborhood with their tails between their legs. A night to remember….

    Guess we know now just how you (as Swillwell’s campaign manager) feel about union teachers and their struggle against arrogant “superintendents” — and we can guess that DINO Swillwell feels the same way.

  • JohnW

    I’m kind of curious what Swalwell’s colleagues in the DA’s office REALLY think of him. According to the FEC link provided by Truthclubber, there are only a few contributions from people in the DA’s office. Normally, DA attorneys cough up contributions to support or oppose their fellow DA’s running for office. That may not be a great thing , but the absence of those contributions in this case makes you wonder. I’m not suggesting those who haven’t contributed to Swalwell support Pete Stark. But are those who know Swalwell best perhaps less than impressed with WonderBoy?

  • DanvilleDemocrat

    Actually, John, it remains pretty rare for district attorneys and public defenders to donate to political candidates — one, shocking as this may be to most people, as public employees most rank-and-file DAs and PDs are not paid that much, despite the J.D. degree and mountains of debt incurred to attain the distinction. (Look to the attorney general race in 2010, if you can find many donation records, which I recognize are tougher to look up than federal races — doubt you’ll see many donations by DAs or PDs to either candidate.)

    Two, fastest way to conflicts-of-interest headaches — which can matter more for DAs and PDs — is to become needlessly entangled, especially financially, with political candidates. Barriers that exist for judges donating almost as high for public attorneys.

    That said, there are exceptions that probably prove the rule — S.F. City Attorney Dennis Herrerra received a lot of support from current and former employees of that office in his mayoral run. But that office rarely prosecutes criminal matters — mostly civil disputes.

  • DanvilleDemocrat

    More interesting question: why wasn’t Ricky Gill featured at this confab?

  • Josh Richman

    @11: I’m pretty sure Ricky Gill was at the fundraising luncheon, but just didn’t attend the media event afterward. Also: I’m told Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal – who was supposed to do a fundraiser for Gill in Fremont on Thursday and then attend the SF luncheon and Atherton dinner Friday – cancelled his trip to California at the last minute.

  • JohnW

    Re: #10

    Danville Democrat,

    Yes, as proved by recent history in Contra Costa County, attorneys bend over backwards to avoid those political entanglements. Sarcasm intended.

    The fact that Swalwell did receive a few contributions from fellow attorneys in the DA’s office shows (A) that there is nothing to bar them from donating and (B) that Swalwell would have welcomed more such donations but didn’t get them. Also, the DA herself endorsed him (she being an elected official but him being her non-elected employee). So, apparently, avoiding the appearance of political conflict is not all that high a priority.

    But back to the basic question, I do wonder how Swalwell and his candidacy are viewed by his peers in the DA office. That’s a legitimate question, not a gotcha. Probably no way to find out, but I’d like to know.

  • JohnW

    Re: #12 Josh Richman

    Interesting about Jindal. One of Romney’s people said he might announce the Veep pick this week. And Jindal is touring with him. Hmmm!

    That would be a surprise. I expected Romney to pick somebody with national executive branch experience. But Jindal is bright and would pass the “qualified to be prez” test.

  • Truthclubber

    @4 —

    I told you to get off this blog, ol’ Swillwell campaign manager, and focus on raisin’ da moola, but did you listen? NO.

    Swillwell’s numbers are:

    Total raised (through 6/30/2012): $412,500 ($115,917 in latest quarter)
    Cash on hand (as of 6/30/2012): $79,474

    As for Stark Raving Pete, his numbers are a bit more involved — since he has past campaign coffers to consider:

    Stark’s 2010 campaign had cash left over to the tune of $535,004. To that, Stark raised some more money in this cycle as follows:

    Total raised (1/1/2011 through 6/30/2012): $374,507 ($89,590 in latest quarter)
    Cash on hand (as of 6/30/2012): $379,335

    And that is BEFORE Cornu & Co. kick in to jump-start this heavily labor-biased campaign, as well as the fund-raising that will come from that.

    Nearly 5 times the cash on hand to burn with only 100 days to go and nearly equal cash flow coming in — not lookin’ pretty for Pretty Boy Eric…

  • DanvilleDemocrat

    Jindal’s sudden cancellation reminds me of when Tim Pawlenty — on the ground in Denver at the Democrats’ convention in ’08 doing rapid response for McCain — got “whisked away” all of a sudden from Mile High Stadium in some Secret Service-looking vehicles, and EVERYONE assumed he MUST be the pick.

    And then the next day the world got introduced to Sarah Palin.

    Curious if Jindal’s cancellation may be a sign he’s not the pick, and doesn’t want to risk answering questions about why not. . . .

  • DanvilleDemocrat

    JohnW, I assume you’re referring to the Contra Costa DA race in that sarcasm remark? Much of the money action in that race tended to be from attorneys in private practice — too many attorneys at other firms openly called and asked me to support either candidate. Those entreaties never came from my friends in the DA’s office.

    Sure, DAs may endorse or appear “in solidarity” at events with their preferred candidate, or permit their name to be used. But I’d be surprised if either Mark Petersen or Dan O’Malley received much money from current, practicing DAs.

    You’re right — it would be interesting to see a perspective on Eric Swalwell’s time in the DA’s office, and perhaps an enterprising reporter such as Josh or Lisa could write that story (not that either don’t have enough on their plates).

    But it wouldn’t shock me if much of the quotes were along the lines of, “Eric’s talented and always been interested in politics. I wish him well.”

    More intriguing story idea from the DanvilleDemocrat assignment desk: Pete Stark’s teenage son as a budding political Svengali for his dear old dad.

  • Truthclubber

    @14 —

    Bobbo the Jindal would be an unmitigated disaster for Mittens for the following reasons:

    1) His “wealthier than thou” economic standing is already seen as questionable by the “mighty whitey” Tea Party crowd who demand that O’Bammy keeps his “Government hands off our Medicare and “Social Security!”

    2) His “RomneyCare” track record as Governor, where everything, including that dreaded “mandate” (oh, God! How homo — a man dating another man!) was pushed through by Mittens himself

    3) His “magic underpants” Mormon (it’s a cult! no it’s not! yes, it is!) religious background for those “God chose us as the chosen people, and our success (and other’s failure) is GOD’S LAW!” born-again Christians (and I cringe at typing the “Christ” part of that word)

    Mittens desperately needs someone who can Windex much of the above away (Etch-a-Sketch having proven ineffective), and…

    Bobbo the Jindal is NOT IT.

  • Elwood

    Telling people to get off the blog?

    First hallucinations and now delusions of grandeur.

    Your condition is deteriorating rapidly.

  • Truthclubber

    @16 —


    Canada is waiting for you…but not with open arms.

  • Truthclubber

    My bad — meant to say @19 just now, not @16.

    Call me Ishmael.