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CA17: Super PAC formed to support Ro Khanna

By Josh Richman
Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 8:52 am in Mike Honda, U.S. House.

A supporter of Democratic congressional candidate Ro Khanna has formed a new Super PAC to support Khanna’s campaign against Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose.

Ash ChopraAsh Chopra of Menlo Park, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, sent a statement of organization for “Californians for Innovation” that was received by the Federal Elections Commission on Aug. 4; the papers specify the entity has been created to support Khanna, a former Obama administration official from Fremont.

Super PACs like this can raise unlimited money from any source and then spent unlimited sums to advocate for or against political candidates; they can’t directly coordinate with a candidate’s campaign, however. Super PACs must report their donors periodically to the Federal Election Commission.

Chopra and his wife, Shaili, each contributed $2,600 to Khanna’s campaign in May 2013 for the primary election. Chopra was also part of a host committee for a Khanna fundraiser, whose members have already contributed over $80,000 to Khanna’s campaign. Chopra’s LinkedIn profile lists his specialties as “wealth advisory business for ultra high net worth families, dealing with impact of corporate transactions like M&A & IPOs, co-ordinated advice on trust & estate tax issues.”

“It’s clear that Khanna and his closest supporters will try anything to save his failing campaign: from courting the Tea Party to do mailers attacking Congressman Honda, to creating a Super PAC to go beyond the legal limits his millionaire and billionaire donors are bound by,” Honda campaign manager Doug Greven said in an emailed statement.

Khanna spokesman Tyler Law said the campaign knows nothing about this Super PAC.

“We do know that Ro repeatedly asked Congressman Honda to sign Elizabeth Warren’s ‘People’s Pledge,’ to keep outside money out of this congressional race. Congressman Honda refused,” Law said. “Ro also asked him to denounce racist campaign mailings sent by a Super PAC on his behalf just before the primary. Congressman Honda refused. If there’s any hypocrisy here, it’s on the part of Congressman Honda.”

But Khanna won’t shun the Super PAC’s aid. “We’re not going to unilaterally shut doors that Congressman Honda opened,” Law said.

Republican former Congressman Ernie Konnyu has been trying to rally donors to help get the Tea Party Express organization involved on Khanna’s behalf to defeat Honda, but donors basically have ignored his call, BuzzFeed reported recently; Tea Party Express didn’t rule out involvement in the race. Khanna’s campaign said he’s happy to have Konnyu’s support, but said Konnyu is acting on his own.

“Given Ro’s positions and public service record, it’s absurd to claim that our campaign has any association with the Tea Party,” Law said last week.

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  • Crazy_Like_A_Fox

    It looks like Mike Honda is going to get a taste of his own medicine. He should have agreed to sign that “peoples’ pledge” when he had a chance. It could end up being the biggest mistake he has made with his campaign. His refusal to sign the pledge and to denounce the xenophobic mailers the Super PAC who has supported him sent out before the primaries may have opened Pandora’s Box. Win or lose, his so called legacy and poor voting record are about to be exploited in a big way. This race is going to get ugly and nasty real quick. It’s time to stock up on some Orville Redenbacher and get that popcorn ready.

  • Guest

    One thing I’d like to see this Super-Pac do -if it happens – is to spend some money pointing out how lazy the incumbent Mike Honda really is. Honda is doing no community forums this summer, isn’t being seen at all at community functions. He isn’t meeting with veterans groups, or huddling with small business owners, or visiting community colleges to get fix on job training programs – Honda is doing absolutely nothing this summer. He’s not even bothering to campaign, even though he’s got a competitive race! Apparently Honda – a former public school teacher – believes the summers are for junket taking and goofing off. Or he’s on some some sort of sabbatical, I mean the scope of Honda’s laziness is just unbelievable. Is Honda the laziest member of Congress? I think so. Pete Stark used to be, but voters ousted him two years ago, so Honda is now top Slug in Congress.Do voters know this, probably not. Most voters in this district work so hard they don’t even have time to follow politics.
    We currently have two Congressman in the NorCal delegation, Eric Swalwell, and Ami Bera up in Sacramento that set the standard for hard work. Both are dynamos’, both are putting in 70 to 80- hours a week in on the job. Bera – I should mention -also finds time to volunteer weekly at a low income medical clinic (he is a physician) in his district. Mike Honda, in contrast is nowhere to found in his district (he does not, of course, even live in district). No community forums, he skips most local events, ignores Chamber of Commerce, educators, everybody. The lazy Honda – apparently – reads the NY times in the morning, makes a couple of phone calls, and then calls it a day. 17th district constituents deserve a Congressman who works as hard as they do, right now they have got this do-nothing Mike Honda – the nations laziest Congressman – so this Super-Pac needs to remind voters of that. You do that I think Ro Khanna will get back in this race in a hurry, you just need to tell voters the truth about Honda. Also, the Super_Pac needs to remind voters how totally ineffective in Washington DC Honda has been. Honda ineffectiveness is, of course linked to his laziness, in Congress it’s the go-getters that succeed, the hard workers, the slugs get relegated to the back benches, which is the case with Honda.

  • Elwood

    Re: Honda’s “Rose Garden” strategy

    When your opponent is busy making a fool of himself, don’t interfere. Just make sure Khanna has plenty of rope.

  • Elwood

    Oh, come on, Ro’s staff! You can do better than that. Lengthy posts from posters never seen before vilifying Honda and singing the praises of Ro?

    Oh, help me!

  • JohnW

    Ro, ro, ro your boat

    gently down the stream
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
    Life is but a dream

  • JohnW

    Ro, ro, ro your boat

    gently down the stream
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
    Life is but a dream

  • Tom Pyke

    What if you are a CA17 constituent and just want a chance to attend a public meeting with your Congressman? Maybe even ask a question? Are
    constituents just collateral damage to Honda’s re-election strategy?

  • Tom Pyke

    Settle down Miss Scarlett, I fear you have a case of the vapors!

  • RRSenileColumnist

    RoKha has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous

  • Elwood

    Apparently you don’t know jack **** about politics.

    When you’re the incumbent winning by a large margin you don’t expose yourself unnecessarily
    to set ups by your desperate opponent.

  • Willis James

    I don’t live in the CA17 district. Yet I don’t understand why voters in that district would want to hang onto a congressman who is clearly nearing the end of his career and has declined in effectiveness to the point where I can’t see anyone rating him at better than C+.

    What is it about voters that hang on and hang on to a representative until they prove they are completely unfit for office (Pete Stark)?

    Sure, Honda can serve two more years and “vote correctly” but we all know he is not going to suddenly become a player or a member who makes things happen. More like a place holder for a term or two.

    Everyone needs to be replaced at some point. Seems when you have a suitable replacement, you make the move.
    Imagine a NFL team hanging onto ineffective players.

    Honda, a nice guy, who has had his day. Not like he is suddenly going to turn into a energetic figure. Remember, the office belongs to the people, not to a office holder. Too much dead wood in congress. Lack of imagination.

  • Tom Pyke

    That’s the point: if you want a Congressman who values “politics as usual” over accountably to his constituents, then Mike Honda is your man!

  • Elwood

    Just a couple more months, and all you RObots can pack it in.

    And start looking for the next loser.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Al Jazeera should moderate any debate between H and K. Arab Muslim reporters preferred