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


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)


Khanna touts another new endorsement

As Ro Khanna takes another shot at unseating Rep. Mike Honda, a key part of his campaign narrative is that lots of local players who either backed Honda last time or stayed above the fray are now on his side.

Today, Khanna won support from a fairly high-profile Honda defector: Assemblyman Rich Gordon of Menlo Park.

There was no comment from Gordon in today’s news release from the Khanna camp. Khanna said he looked forward to  “taking our shared values to the halls of Congress in Washington”

Here is Khanna’s list of folks who were neutral or supportive of Honda in 2014 who now back him. Continue Reading


Honda in town for transgender events

honda transgender

While Ro Khanna readies for the first of several town hall meetings, Rep. Mike Honda, chair of the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force, will be in town this weekend to attend the 6th annual South Bay Transgender Day of Visibility.

The event will be held at the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center, 938 The Alameda, San Jose. Honda is scheduled to speak at 1:10 p.m.

He’ll also speak at the Tadaima Conference, an event for Japanese-American LGBTQQ people.

Honda has a transgender granddaughter.

In case you were wondering, the congressional task force he chairs does have a Republican member:  Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. She has a transgender son.



Bay Area Political Digest (Campos challenges SJ incumbent)

Nora Campos

Here are some of today’s big-time stories:

Will it be Super Tuesday for Hillary Clinton? Stupor Tuesday for the Republicans? Ted Cruz is favored to win his home state of Texas, but if he doesn’t that could be the end of him.

Back home, termed out Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, isn’t going to wait her turn for a return trip to Sacramento. She announced Tuesday that she’s running for State Senate against incumbent Jim Beall. Campos, who’s had lots of staff turnover as an Assemblywoman, called herself a “common sense leader.”

The last thing CD17 needed was another Democrat with good hair, but that appears to be what we’re getting. Challenging Mike Honda and Ro Khanna will be San Jose Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio.

The deal is done in Sacramento to keep taxing managed health plans and receiving federal Medi-Cal money.

Some news from local lawmakers:

Rep. Eric Swalwell is co-sponsoring a bill looking to bridge the Silicon Valley – Washington cybersecurity divide

Continue Reading


CA17: Khanna tops Honda again in fundraising

Democratic congressional candidate Ro Khanna significantly outraised incumbent Rep. Mike Honda in 2015’s final quarter, and now has about three times as much money banked for their electoral rematch this year, according to initial reports from both campaigns.

Both Democrats want to represent the 17th Congressional District, which lies in the heart of Silicon Valley and is the first district outside Hawaii in which Asian-Americans make up a majority of voters. Khanna, a Fremont resident who served for two years in President Barack Obama’s Commerce Department, lost 2014’s bruising, nationally watched election by 3.6 percentage points as Honda held on for an eighth term.

Ro KhannaKhanna’s campaign said Wednesday that he raised more than $500,000 and spent about $117,000 from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, leaving him with more than $1.7 million cash on hand and about $52,800 in outstanding debt.

“I am proud to see support for our campaign to strengthen the middle class create this type of enthusiasm and energy,” Khanna said in a news release. “Because we refuse to take PAC and lobbyist money, we’re going to need our grassroots support to take on the special interests and bring change to Washington. As we grow our campaign in 2016, we will continue to fund a grassroots campaign that engages and empowers the people of the 17th District.”

Khanna spent big on television ads and campaign consultants in 2014’s primary, leaving his campaign almost broke in the final weeks before that November’s general election; a super PAC called Californians for Innovation independently spent about $776,000 on his behalf to help bear him over the finish line.

Honda’s campaign said Wednesday that he raised $290,250 and spent $276,137 – a much higher burn rate than Khanna’s – in 2015’s fourth quarter, leaving him with $571,266 cash on hand and $20,907 in outstanding debt.

honda.jpgThe congressman “has raised more money at this point in the campaign cycle than in 2014, and like last time, the campaign is on track to raise the resources necessary to win this race,” campaign manager Michael Beckendorf said. “Even without the luxury of conservative millionaires and billionaires bankrolling his campaign, Mike Honda will win this race because he is the only candidate who has a track record of reaching across the aisle to deliver for Silicon Valley while standing up for justice and equality.”

But it’s not just re-election for which Honda is raising money. His campaign in the first three quarters of last year paid out a total of about $109,000 to two Washington, D.C., law firms and a San Francisco crisis-communications shop to combat the ongoing ethics investigation of which he’s a target. The House Ethics Committee is still probing whether Honda’s office and campaign broke House rules or federal laws by sharing resources, and it’s not yet known how much he paid his lawyers and spokespeople in the year’s final quarter.

Neither candidate’s full report to the Federal Election Commission is available yet; the filing deadline is Jan. 31. Khanna outraised Honda in 2015’s third, second and first quarters, too.