CA17: Tammy Duckworth coming to Honda’s aid

War hero Rep. Tammy Duckworth will visit Silicon Valley on Friday to do a veteran’s roundtable and some phone-banking for Rep. Mike Honda’s re-election campaign.

Tammy DuckworthHonda, D-San Jose, and Duckworth, D-Ill., have worked together since 2006 when Honda supported her first race for Congress. Then and in 2012, Honda attended events in her district and helped her raise funds nationwide; now she’s returning the favor, as Honda faces challenges from fellow Democrat Ro Khanna, Republican Vanila Singh and Republican Joel Vanlandingham.

The two House members will hold a one-hour roundtable with local veterans at 4 p.m. Friday in Honda’s campaign headquarters, in the SEIU building at 2302 Zanker Road in San Jose; after that, Duckworth will join campaign volunteers to work the phones for an hour.

Duckworth was a National Guard captain serving in Iraq in 2004 when the Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting was hit by an rocket-propelled grenade; she lost both legs and partial use of her right arm. She has since served as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and as an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; she remains a lieutenant colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard, and now serves on the House Armed Services and the Government & Oversight committees.

Honda’s campaign said he has worked to increase funding for veterans’ health care services and for college scholarships for returning veterans, including $2.8 million in grants for homeless and at-risk veterans in his district that he helped secure last year. He also played a role in seeking compensation and recognition for Filipino-American veterans who served in World War II.

Khanna is keeping up his breakneck pace this week by speaking to Santa Clara University law students on Wednesday; serving as a panelist at the Latinos Information Technology and Science Association conference in Redwood City and then canvassing in Sunnyvale on Thursday; giving an inaugural address and taking part in a panel discussion at the Indian Institute of Management conference at Google in Mountain View before doing a Sunnyvale neighborhood meet-and-greet Saturday; and then doing neighborhood meet-and-greets in Sunnyvale and Cupertino on Sunday.

And, as previously reported here, Singh is holding a happy hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at C&J’s Sports Bar, 1550 Lafayette St. in Santa Clara, and then will hold a campaign kickoff at 10 a.m. Saturday at her headquarters, 1313 N. Milpitas Blvd. Suite 215, in Milpitas.

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.

  • Marga

    Honda and Duckworth have something in common: opponents backed by Shalabh Kumar, the Punjabi magnate who is intent on getting a visa for Narendra Modi to visit America.

    Kumar’s Super PAC backed former Republican congressmember Joe Walsh against Duckworth in 2012, and came back this year to back Republican Manju Goel. Among the PAC’s dirty tricks was creating a phoney website for her Republican opponent in the primary, which is pretty similar to “Rev Jerry’s” creation of an account bearing my name yesterday to leave messages in support of Vanila Singh. Goel lost the primary.

    I’ve always seen Singh’s entrance into the race meant to mess with Khanna, but let’s not forget that Honda has also been one of the strongest supporters of human rights and loudest opponents to Modi getting a visa.

    I knew very little about Ms. Duckworth until I started looking into Singh’s entrance into the race. Since then, however, I’ve read quite a lot about her and I’m extremely impressed by her intelligence, her courage and her compassion.

  • Elwood

    Marga, nobody gives a rat’s patootie about whatever bizarre Indian controversy is obsessing you.

    Try to stay on topic, OK?

  • Marga

    Elwood, Kumar’s PAC, then called “Indian Americans for Freedom” spent close to $500K to defeat Duckworth in 2012. My bet is that she cares.

  • Elwood


    Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

  • JohnW

    Anybody who backed crazy Joe Walsh for so much as dog catcher needs to have his or her head examined,

  • JohnW

    Used to live off the sliders at White Castle on Rice St. in St. Paul, MN when I worked for the state a hundred years ago. Cleansed the intestine and left me with enough foul breath to secure my bachelorhood for life.