Potential House rivals to share podium at dinner

Butter the popcorn and get ready for some interesting viewing: Potential rivals for an East Bay House seat will share the podium at a Democratic Party event next month in Hayward.

Eric SwalwellState Treasurer Bill Lockyer – who’s had a tough year of his own – is scheduled to keynote the Eden Area United Democratic Campaign’s annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner, but Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton, and state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, are among the other speakers.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, was among the speakers at last year’s dinner, and he had the Eden Area UDC’s support in last year’s 15th Congressional District election; his campaign manager even worked out of the UDC’s office in Hayward for a while. Swalwell succeeded in unseating Stark, after Corbett – along with former Obama administration official Ro Khanna – declined to challenge Stark.

Ellen CorbettKhanna is now considering a 2014 run for the 17th Congressional District seat now held by Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose. But Corbett – who is term-limited out of the state Senate in 2014 – has left open the possibility that she’ll challenge Swalwell: “I would be honored to serve in Congress, but it’s too early to discuss 2014,” she said in November.

So Swalwell will be addressing a room full of people who just months ago were working hard to defeat him, and he’ll share the podium with someone who might challenge him next year. Fun for everyone!

The event is scheduled for 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 21 in the Carpenters’ union hall on Mattox Road in Hayward; tickets are available online.

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.

  • Perhaps at the dinner Swalwell will finally answer my question of whether he supports the notion that the President has the power to order the assassination of US citizens. He’s been pretty skittish about answering.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Marga: Didn’t Abe Lincoln set the precedent? I guess our boys among the jihadis are just funloving nonconformists out to see the world.

  • GV Haste

    Yes, the President has the right to kill all enemy combatants, regardless of whether they are US Citizens.

    It would be absurd to suggest otherwise.
    The killing of Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi was a well reasoned strike against a enemy combantant.

    I am sure Congressman Swalwell would attest to that if you phrased it in the proper manner.

    Or perhaps we should have let Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi go on and on planning more strikes against Americans, with his sole protection being his passport or citizenship.

    Imagine Roosevelt or Truman doing that in WW2.

  • Actually, “enemy combatant” is a word without any legal meaning. What it does mean is “anyone I determine to be a danger” – with the “I” in this case, being the President, but being a non-legal concept, it could be anyone.

    And I’m curious about these instances of assassination that you mention in WW2 and the Civil War. Whom did Lincoln order assassinated? Roosevelt did order the assassination of Yamamoto, who was not a US citizen, and that did constitute a war crime. Of course, it paled in comparison with other US war crimes such as the fire bombing of Dresden and the nuclear bombs, but that’s another matter altogether.

    In any case, if Swalwell believes that it’s OK for the President to order the assassination of American citizens he should have the courage to say so.

  • RR senile columnist

    Marga, unless you are a rigorous pacifist, your comments make no sense.

  • Elwood

    “War is hell” –William Tecumseh Sherman

    Anyone who takes up arms or advocates the taking up of arms against the United States is an enemy combatant.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand that is an idiot.

  • I’m not a pacifist, I’m a lawyer. I don’t oppose wars, I just want them to be fought by the rulebook (aka the Geneva Convention). Not that there is a war here, but even if there was one, international law prohibits assassinations during wartime.

  • Let’s ask Swalwell if he agrees with you on that too.

  • moderatevoter

    No way will Corbett challenge Swalwell in the 15th Congressional district, Swalwell is already so highly regarded in DC the leadership – who didn’t even support him in his race agaisn’t Stark – made him an assistant whip. A lot of folks in DC – and back home – think he represents the future of the Democratic party in NorCal, which is why they elected him in the first place.
    The Democratic party in Nor-Cal needs new blood, you can’t have same people year after year – like 80 year old John Burton, 77 year old Dianne Fienstein or 72 old Mike Honda – running the show. We’ve got to make room for young leaders in the Democratic party, young voters are voting in droves, according to exit polls, which wasn’t the case a decade ago. These young voters want to participate in the process, they want candidates that come from their generation, and – as we saw in the Swalwell race, they will work like heck to put these candidates in office.
    Frankly these older Democratic leaders – like Burton, Honda, Boxer, and so forth, they just don’t want to move over and let younger generation serve, they don’t want to give up the perks and benefits of the jobs, even though they themselves have become ridiculously old and can barely do the jobs anymore. I think having younger members emerge – like Eric Swalwell – is a positive thing. I think this “youth movement” will be a trend in coming campaigns for Congress, you watch.

  • GV Haste

    Marga.. I think you “jumped the shark” on this one.

    “Roosevelt did order the assassination of Yamamoto, who was not a US citizen, and that did constitute a war crime”

    I see, let the Japanese supreme commander of Japanese naval forces just fly around the Pacific without fear of attack?

    Yes, I’m sure you’ll find that the WW2 population of the USA at that time in history would have voted, 0.001% in your favor on that issue.

    Perhaps you mis-typed that sentence.

  • James B.

    @1 Marga – Despite what Mr. Swalwell says publicly, whenever he finally says it, it’s extremely likely that he does favor presidential power to assassinate U.S. citizens. When Swalwell was running for Congress last year, he demonstrated his fealty to the controversial American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), cheering on belligerence in the Middle East (especially against Iran) through posts on AIPAC’s Facebook page, sometimes just minutes after a new forum opened. It almost was if Swalwell was coordinating with AIPAC’s campaigns.

    Last fall, after people noticed Swalwell’s comments and began to question them, Swalwell quickly deleted those posts.

    This is an example of a Facebook forum that Swalwell posted on in May 2012 and then scrubbed his post a few months later, before the November 2012 election:

    “Eric Swalwell for Congress” once had a comment posted just after David Spalter, at 11:58 a.m., a mere 23 minutes after this Facebook forum opened up.

    Why did Swalwell delete his comment soon after it came under public scrutiny? Do we want our members of Congress to make controversial public statements and then try to conceal those statements once they come to wider public notice?

    As we approach the 10 year anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, let’s remember that Swalwell’s mentor Ellen Tauscher enthusiastically gave President George W. Bush the “blank check” to begin that war. Mark my words — the same nefarious forces that motivated Ellen Tauscher to support the Iraq War are behind Eric Swalwell’s rise to power. Swalwell will vote for war against Iran, will support illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, will support warrantless wiretapping, will support assassination of U.S. citizens without due process.

    These nefarious forces like AIPAC are so powerful that most of these policies are carried out without a vote of Congress — Swalwell and the rest of Congress will never vote on them because casting such votes would violate their oaths of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution — they’ll just “look the other way” and do nothing about illegal, immoral or unethical conduct. We know too little about Eric Swalwell, but the more people learn that he is a puppet and trace the puppet strings to his puppet masters, the more likely he will be removed from public office.

    Marga and others — consider this frightening thought. What is to prevent foreign governments from assassinating Americans and from spying on Americans, even on American soil? Given 21st century technology, including drones and cyber-espionage, what is to prevent a sort of “extraordinary rendition” to happen to an American citizen by a foreign government (with or without U.S. government cooperation) in his or her own home?

    Marga – Don’t count on Eric Swalwell to defend our civil liberties — his masters won’t let him. But please keep trying to get a public answer out of him about legality of assassinations of U.S. citizens.

  • RR senile columnist

    Marga, I think James B. has found his soulmate.