29

CA15: Corbett mailer takes aim at Swalwell

State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, has a new mailer in the field for her bid to unseat Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, taking aim at the freshman congressman’s experience and bona fides.

The mailer contrast “Eric Swalwell – not ready for Congress” – with less than one Dublin City Council term prior to his 2012 election to the House, his pro-development votes on that council, the Republican votes he took in his 2012 election, and his lowest ranking among Bay Area liberals from the National Journal – to “Ellen Corbett – 2 decades of leadership on progressive Democratic issues,” from her time as a San Leandro councilwoman and mayor to three terms in the Assembly and two in the state Senate.

Click to enlarge:
Corbett mailer - front

Corbett mailer - inside1

Corbett mailer - inside2

Corbett mailer - rear

Corbett appears to be off the mark in concluding that “of the 10 Democrats representing the Bay Area, Swalwell has, by far, the worst record on progressive issues.” According to the National Journal’s 2013 vote rankings, both Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, and Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, came in less liberal/more conservative than Swalwell.

Also, if some of these attacks on Swalwell sound familiar, it’s because Pete Stark attacked his relative inexperience, his GOP support and his Dublin City Council votes in 2012.

And Corbett’s mailer says “Swalwell is supported by the Washington, D.C. Democratic Party leadership” while Corbett “is endorsed by our local Democratic Clubs, representing grassroots, progressive activists here in our community.” True, though Swalwell won the California Democratic Party’s endorsement as well as those of the Tri-Valley Democratic Club and the Contra Costa Young Democrats – not as many local groups as Corbett lists on her mailer, but grassroots nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Swalwell is holding a fundraiser Wednesday night in San Francisco, headlined by Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, D-Mass., with tickets ranging from $50 to $1,000.

UPDATE @ 11:39 A.M.: Corbett is holding a campaign meet-and-greet this Saturday evening, May 17 at the Hayward home of former Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele; it’s billed as an “important conversation about the future of our nation.” And Corbett also is flexing the muscle of her labor-union support, inviting backers to join her for phone banking on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons/evenings at the Alameda County Labor Council office in Oakland and on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from the United Food and Commercial Workers hall in Hayward.

UPDATE @ 10:35 P.M.: Corbett takes issue with my analysis.

“McNerney is not a Bay Area representative. His district is based in Stockton and Lodi,” she wrote to me in an email this evening. That’s true, but his 9th Congressional District still includes almost 86,000 registered voters in Contra Costa County, so I usually include him among Bay Area members; clearly she does not.

Corbett also disputed my noting that Swalwell isn’t the most conservative member of the Bay Area delegation. In her email, she provided ratings not only from the National Journal but also from the American Civil Liberties Union, Progressive Punch and Peace Action West which – when averaged together – indicate that he is. “Swalwell is clearly the least progressive member of the Bay Area Congressional caucus,” she wrote.

This may be true, but her mailer cited only the National Journal as a source; by that standard, Swalwell is rated 86th most liberal in the House, Zoe Lofgren is ranked 99th and McNerney is ranked 171st.

14

House would-bes cast as youthful, inexperienced

Campaigns supporting two East Bay Democratic congressmen have launched new efforts attacking their challengers – one a Republican, the other a fellow Democrat – as too youthful and inexperienced to serve.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a “Ricky’s Real Resume” website to call attention to what it says are shortcomings on the part of Ricky Gill, 25, of Lodi, the Republican challenger to Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, in the 9th Congressional District.

“Ricky Gill is more qualified to be a congressional intern than a Congressman, and everything on his resume is an exaggeration at best,” DCCC spokeswoman Amber Moon said. “Gill has spent this entire campaign trying to sell himself to voters as a small business job creator among other things, but how can Ricky Gill talk about creating jobs when he’s never even had one?”

Gill’s campaign couldn’t immediately be reached for comment today.

UPDATE @ 12:40 A.M. SUNDAY: From Gill campaign spokesman Colin Hunter:

“Voters aren’t buying Jerry McNerney’s tired and misleading campaign attacks. The Stockton Record recently concluded that McNerney was making ‘false’ claims in his advertisements. This amateurish website is just more of the same.

“We’re happy to talk about experience in this campaign. McNerney’s experience includes voting for record-setting, trillion dollar deficits; taking contributions from the predatory lenders he bailed out; lying to voters about where he lives; and totally failing to defend our communities from the threat posed by Governor Brown’s peripheral tunnels.

“By contrast, Ricky actually has the experience of living in the district he seeks to represent; of serving with distinction on the State Board of Education; of volunteering his time at local hospitals and homeless shelters; and of working in agriculture and small business.”

Meanwhile, in the 15th Congressional District, Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, has put out a new, t-ball-themed mailer painting his Democratic challenger, Dublin councilman and Alameda County prosecutor Eric Swalwell, as a “rookie” lacking the experience to take on Republicans in the next Congress:

Swalwell today replied that “sometimes calling up a rookie is the only way to replace a veteran sitting at the edge of the bench who can’t even find the field.”

“And last time I checked, my six years as a prosecutor and two years as a councilman is more public service experience than Pete Stark had in 1972 when he said the incumbent had been in office too long,” he added.