Bay Area’s lone Republican state legislator can’t see voting Trump

catharine baker

There are few Bay Area jobs more precarious than Republican politician. And Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, the region’s only GOP lawmaker in Sacramento, knows knows she’s in for an even tougher re-election fight now that Donald Trump is the snarling face of her party.

“I know there is a possibility there will be drag,” said Baker a first-term incumbent from Dublin, who is facing off with former Pleasanton councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio.

Baker said she had supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich for President, and doesn’t know who she’ll back in November.

“I have not been able to imagine a scenario in which I would be voting for Donald Trump,” Baker said. “I disagree with him on so many things.” But she  has no intention of voting for Hillary Clinton either.

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Rep. Mark DeSaulnier discloses cancer diagnosis


Click here for an exclusive on Rep. Mark DeSaulnier’s cancer scare. DeSaulnier, D-Concord, was diagnosed with leukemia last summer, but he has responded well to treatment and is planning to run for re-election this year.

Our story is by Dan Borenstein, who survived his own bout with cancer and is well acquainted with  DeSaulnier.

When he was the Contra Costa Times political editor, Borenstein wrote a 3,000 word profile on DeSaulnier, who was then a county supervisor. It’s hard to imagine any paper these days devoting so many words to a politician deciding on his next move, but it is a heck of a read. Check it out here, if you have a little spare time.


Mike Honda’s legal expense fund anything but flush

Rep. Mike Honda’s fundraising drive to pay legal bills stemming from an ongoing ethics probe is off to a surprisingly slow start. And his top adversary is questioning whether the incumbent from San Jose purposely stalled the effort so contributions wouldn’t be reported until after the June 7 primary.

The House Committee on Ethics granted Honda permission in January to set up a legal expense trust fund to defend himself amid a continuing investigation into whether his taxpayer-funded congressional office worked in tandem with his re-election campaign two years ago — in violation of House rules.

Honda spent more than $200,000 in campaign funds last year on the matter, but through the first three months of this year, his new legal expense trust fund had received three contributions totaling just $1,750.

Here is a copy of the filing: Honda legal defense fund.

The filing immediately raised red flags with Ro Khanna, Honda’s top rival for his Silicon Valley congressional seat. Khanna’s spokesman, Hari Sevugan, called on Honda to release the names of donors making contributions since the March 31 filing deadline. Those contributions won’t have to be released until the end of July.


“Given that the next reporting period isn’t until two months after primary day, and Mike Honda’s pattern of providing special favors to his top donors, the voters have the right to know who is funding his legal defense before they vote. Congressman Honda should immediately disclose all contributions to his legal defense fund between April 1 to today, and on a rolling basis going forward till primary day, as well as all expenses incurred for legal work done this year related to his defense before the House Ethics Committee.”

Honda’s  spokesman, Vedant Patel, demurred on disclosing names of donors and went on the attack against Khanna:


“Ro Khanna consistently tries to score cheap political points and smear the reputation of a well respected progressive champion while filling his campaign coffers with money from right wing millionaires and billionaires who want to dismantle social security, outsource good paying middle class jobs, and don’t have the best interest of Silicon Valley’s middle class families at heart.”









Honda duels with Curt Schilling over transgender law

honda transgender

For most of this year, Rep. Mike Honda will be trading barbs with Ro Khanna, but this week the San Jose Democrat got to jab at former pitcher — and probably future right-wing radio talk show host — Curt Schilling.

Schilling lost his job at ESPN on Wednesday for his latest social commentary, this one plastered on his Facebook page in response to a North Carolina law forbidding transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

Schilling shared a post supportive of the law and added this:

“A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”

That didn’t go over well with lots of people including Honda, who has a transgender grandchild. He responded on Twitter.

As a Yankees fan, nothing will outweigh that damn bloody sock in Game Six of the 2004 ALCS. And how dare Schilling use “Gehrig” as a Twitter handle. Anyway, Honda returned to Twitter on Wednesday to cheer ESPN for firing Schilling.

To which Schilling, who now has even more time on his hands, replied:

A whole bunch of folks joined in the conversation after that. You know how Twitter is. Honda didn’t troll deeper, but he did release a statement about the exchange.

“As the proud grandfather of a transgender grandchild, Curt Schilling’s post on social media was personal. The Sportscaster’s booth is no place for such hate filled speech fueled by intolerance and divisiveness. Continue Reading


Cruz gets Bay Area endorsement

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has racked up endorsements from Orange County and San Diego Republicans, has received the backing of former Energy Secretary John S. Herrington.

Herrington, who also served a stint as state GOP chairman, lives in Walnut Creek.

Here is what he said in a statement released by the Cruz campaign:

“As a member of President Reagan’s cabinet, I’ve seen first-hand how a great leader can change the course of our nation. Ted Cruz is the proven conservative leader our country needs to lead us to prosperity once again.”