CA15: President Obama endorses Eric Swalwell

Rep. Eric Swalwell announced Monday that he has President Barack Obama’s endorsement for re-election in the 15th Congressional District.

Eric Swalwell“Congressman Eric Swalwell has proved to be a tireless champion for families throughout California’s 15th District, bringing new energy and ideas to Congress,” Obama said in a statement released by Swalwell’s campaign. “Eric is a strong voice for creating good jobs, expanding economic opportunity, and growing the middle class.”

“Since day one, Eric has shown unwavering dedication to the needs of his constituents – helping veterans secure the benefits they’ve earned, protecting seniors, and ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work,” the president added. “I enthusiastically support Eric Swalwell’s reelection to Congress so the East Bay can continue to move forward.”

Swalwell, D-Pleasanton, said he’s honored by the endorsement and has worked with the president to protect the middle class and help workers find jobs. “I look forward to working with President Obama to address the many challenges faced by my constituents, including ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work, taking care of our veterans, and growing our middle class.”

Ellen CorbettSwalwell’s sole challenger is a fellow Democrat, state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro; no other candidates have taken out papers in Alameda or Contra Costa counties so far for this race, and the filing deadline is this Friday, March 7.

“The president tends to endorse incumbents, the president endorsed the incumbent that Congressman Swalwell ran against last time and the incumbent didn’t win,” Corbett said Monday afternoon, referring to former Rep. Pete Stark. “People have an opportunity to take a look at the candidates and choose who they feel is most qualified for the job based on their qualifications and experience.”

Swalwell already has announced endorsements from national Democratic figures such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., as well as from various other members of Congress and all the mayors in his district.

But Corbett has been endorsed by her fellow state Senate Democrats, and drew enough votes at a local caucus last month to deny Swalwell a Democratic Party “pre-endorsement.” Both candidates will make their cases at the California Democratic Party convention this weekend in Los Angeles.

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.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Why Corbett would be an improvement on the incumbent has yet to be shown. Corbett, RoKha and other spoiler candidates will divert cash Dems need to retake the House. The Tea party is making the same mischief in the other camp. Which bunch will waste more cash?

  • Marga

    Swalwell must be worried that he won’t get the Democratic endorsement at the convention, if he pulled the big guns and got Obama’s endorsement.

    And this after he fund raised to get “his” 40 delegates to go to the Convention. Only problem is that he doesn’t have 40 delegates, and the delegates are supposed to go to the convention anyway – so he’s basically bribing them for their vote. Pretty nasty.

  • Elwood

    Such fun! Watching the dimmiecrats eat their young. They should be ashamed of themselves. But that’ll never happen. They have no shame as has been demonstrated over and over again (see Calderon, Ron and Stewart, Rod–both still slurping our tax dollars from the public trough).

    Marga, is there any dimmiecrat incumbent of whom you approve, or are you just wildly indignant about all of them?

  • Elwood

    If I were Swalwell I would have asked our illustrious leader to endorse Corbett.

  • JohnW

    You might have a point — if the district was in Arkansas or West Virginia. It would be news if Obama endorsed the challenger, but endorsing the incumbent is a yawner.

  • Marga

    Elwood, I don’t know what you mean.

    I “approve” very much of both Barbara Lee and Mike Honda – I just think Ro can do better. I love Zoe Lofgren, I generally like Eshoo and Farr. Basically, the more in favor of human rights an incumbent is, the more I like her, the more against, the least.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Lee and Lofgren are arguably among the least intelligent members of Congress.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    This just in to our newsroom: Jimmy Carter has endorsed RoKha for Congress and Al Gore has told a source “Ro looks like a winner.” More later.

  • Elwood

    Marga, won’t you please share with us your definition of “human rights”. Give examples. Name those who favor and oppose “human rights”.

  • Marga

    Elwood, there is a whole body of international law related to human rights. Rather than give you a definition that would by necessity be limited, I invite you to peruse through some of the documents. Start by reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, and move on to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. There are many more, however, but these are the basic ones – the so called “international bill of rights”.

    Barbara Lee and Mike Honda have consistently stood up for human rights. Other Congressmembers have much spottier records. Obama would be an example of someone who stands /against/ human rights by pursuing policies that violate the right to life, physical integrity, liberty, due process, privacy, etc. etc. etc.

  • Guest

    I think Corbett’s launching pad for her run for Congress – the California State Senate – is a real negative in this race. Anybody who reads the papers is aware of the ethics scandals going on in the Senate, you have one member just convicted for perjury, another just indicted for serious corruption, the Senate is developing a reputation as being a real swamp, a cesspool of special interest money and influence peddling. While Corbett herself may be ethical, she’s part of the leadership, she should be fostering a climate where this type of corruption doesn’t happen. I recall in the Stark- Swalwell campaign two years ago Swalwell made ethics a key part of his campaign, he sharply critisized Stark for collecting a huge Congressional salary and not bothering to work very much, he went after Stark because he had his wife on the payroll of some bogus campaign committee, these things resonated with voters, Swalwell emerged as the ethical candidate in the race, the guy you could trust to do what’s right, which is a key reason he won. But now – two years later, you have Ellen Corbett – a leader in the swamp-like state Senate, trying to take out Swalwell, an ex-prosecutor who is known for his trustworthiness and honesty. I gotta tell you, I’m just not seeing it, voters in the 15 district sent Swalwell to Congress because he promised to work hard, be honest, and do his best for district residents. I just don’t see Corbett taking out Swalwell, she can raise all the money she wants from slimy Sacramento special interest groups, but that’s not going to help, voters in the 15th like this young ex-prosecutor, he is doing a great job, he deserves to be re-elected.

  • JohnW

    I don’t know about that. It would be hard to top two of Texas’s finest, Louie Gohmert and Steve Stockman, in that category.

  • @SLtalk:disqus, that’s completely untrue that Congressman Eric Swalwell is “bribing” delegates for their vote. It’s not uncommon — or illegal, for that matter — for campaigns to pay for and/or subsidize travel and lodging expenses for delegates.

    With convention registration and dues running approximately $200+ now (and lodging an additional $200/night), this effort just shows how much Congressman Swalwell cares about his grassroots, activist supporters in the California Democratic Party — he wants to ensure that ability to pay doesn’t prevent them from experiencing the same fun and rewarding experience countless other California Democratic Party Delegates.

    Quite your lies, Marga.

  • Marga

    You can try to spin it in whichever way you want, but it doesn’t change the fact: Swalwell is paying for people to go to the convention and vote for him. He’s not paying, after all, for delegates to go to the convention and have lots of fun, but not vote for him 🙂

    Sure, going to the convention is expensive. And that’s exactly why getting some money from a candidate to go in exchange for a vote may sound good to people. But let’s not pretend it’s anything but that.

    When someone runs or asks to be appointed a delegate, they do it knowing full well that they will have to spend a good amount of money to go to the Convention every year. But that’s the whole point of being a delegate: to go to the convention. If you can’t afford to go, then you don’t become a delegate. So it’s not that Swalwell is helping people who wouldn’t otherwise go to go – but that under the guise of reimbursing expenses, he puts some money in the pockets of people who commit to vote for him.

    There may be a legal difference between that and outright paying for votes, but there is no moral difference.

    Now, forgive me if your whole comment was sarcastic. It sort of sounds that way, but it’s hard to know online 🙂

  • I wasn’t being sarcastic. Your attitude would deny many good Democrats a seat at the table as delegates.

    Figures you like Ro Khanna — defender of the privileged gentry!

  • Marga

    Not at all. It’s totally possible to fundraise to go to the convention. But there is something unsavory about a candidate paying for its delegates to go.

    Look, it’s a logical idea. I thought about it myself during the pre-endorsement meeting, but after speaking it outloud it became so clear that it would be so unethical. Because it provides a financial incentive for a delegate to vote a certain way: “if you vote for us, we’ll pay for you to go”. That’s not how democracy should work.