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.”


Bad week hasn’t hurt Trump in California

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Milwaukee Theatre Monday, April 4, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

 (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Click here for my story in today’s paper on a new Field Poll that shows Donald Trump leading Ted Cruz 39 percent to 32 percent.

Trump is still doing well among men, old folks, high school grads and Republicans who voted for Schwarzenegger in the 2003 recall. Cruz’s base here are women, evangelicals and girly men. John Kasich, who actually has Arnold’s endorsement, doesn’t have much to flex. He is the top choice for just 18 percent of likely voters.

To see the entire poll, click on this: Field Poll


Bernie Sanders catching up to Hillary Clinton in TV exposure

Living and working here in Oakland, I get some gruff from Bernie Sanders folks about how the media ignores him. I don’t see it, but I don’t have cable TV, so there’s a lot I don’t see.

It turns out they do have a point. Click here for a neat website that tracks television airtime for all of the presidential candidates going back to last year.

Of course, Trump has gotten way more coverage than everybody else. But over the entire campaign, Clinton has gotten lots more media attention Sanders.

tv mentions by candidate

If you don’t want to click on the graphic, it shows Clinton with more than double the number of mentions as Sanders. Of course, some of those mentions pertain to her email scandal, corporate speeches and the Benghazi hearing.

I doubt this will appease the Sanders folks but if you look at the last 30 days, he is catching up to Clinton. She got about 55 percent of the TV mentions.

Last 30 days


California Labor Federation makes June primary endorsements

Always an important endorsement that comes with money and boots on the ground. Here are partial results. To see the full list, click here.

U.S. Senate:  Kamala Harris (over Loretta Sanchez)

House of Representatives: Mike Honda (over Ro Khanna)

State Senate:
District 9 (Oakland to San Pablo) Nancy Skinner AND Sandre Swanson

District 15 (San Jose) Jim Beall (over Nora Campos)

BIG SNUB — No endorsement in District 11, where Democrat Steve Glazer still wants to ban BART strikes

State Assembly:

District 27 (San Jose) Ash Kalra (over Madison Nguyen, Esau Herrera, Andres Quintero, et. al)

District 24 (Peninsula) Marc Berman and Vicki Veenker

District 14 (Contra Costa) Mae Torlakson (over Tim Grayson)