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Rep. Tom McClintock endorses Ted Cruz

Rep. Tom McClintock, one of California’s best-known conservatives, endorsed U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for the Republican presidential nomination Thursday.

Tom McClintock“This election is too important to leave to chance,” McClintock, R-Elk Grove, said in Cruz’s news release. “Ted Cruz is the only top tier candidate we can be absolutely certain will govern conservatively and constitutionally; who will stand his ground no matter what the pressure and articulate our positions boldly and convincingly to the American people. After nearly three decades of disappointments, our next president needs to come from the Republican wing of the Republican Party.”

Cruz called McClintock “an unwavering leader in working to reduce government spending, reign in our debt and work for conservative reforms. He has consistently fought against the Washington Cartel. We need more leaders like Tom in Washington to protect conservative principles. I am thrilled to have Tom’s support in working together to restore the principles America was founded on.”

McClintock, 59, was elected to the House in 2008 after eight years in the state Senate and two stints – from 1982 to 1992 and from 1996 to 2000 – in the Assembly. He finished third behind Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat Cruz Bustamante in California’s 2003 gubernatorial recall election, and lost 2006’s election for lieutenant governor to Democrat John Garamendi.

McClintock quit the Tea Party-dominated House Freedom Caucus in September, saying the group’s political showmanship – particularly its threats to partially or totally shut down the federal government – actually undermines conservative goals in Congress. Cruz was among key architects of the third-longest government shutdown in U.S. history, in October 2013.

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John Kasich is raising funds in Silicon Valley

Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich is in Silicon Valley this Monday evening for a fundraising reception.

KasichThe $1,000-to-$2,700-per-head event is at the Woodside home of Kevin Mandia, president of Milpitas-based cybersecurity firm FireEye, and his wife, Julie. The co-chairs are venture capitalists Floyd Kvamme of Saratoga and Ted Schlein of Menlo Park. The event committee includes GOP strategist and former state Sen. Jim Cunneen of San Jose; former Rep. Ed Zschau of Los Altos; venture capitalist Naren Gupta of Woodside; venture capitalist Mark Kvamme of Atherton; and attorney and independent 2012 Assembly candidate Chad Walsh of Los Gatos.

Kasich currently is in ninth place among the GOP presidential contenders with 1.8 percent support, according to an average of recent national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. In Iowa, he’s in ninth place with 2 percent support, but he has surged to third place in New Hampshire with 11.2 percent support, trailing only Donald Trump (30.2 percent) and Marco Rubio (13.2 percent) in the Granite State.

Billionaire Ron Burkle is scheduled to host a fundraiser for Kasich on Tuesday at Soho House, a private club in West Hollywood, Politico has reported.

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Trump’s first TV ad, from Morocco to Mexico

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has released his first television campaign ad.

Trump has pledged to spend at least $2 million every week as the GOP nominating contest heats up, CNN reports, and the Iowa and New Hampshire television ad buys will cost him slightly in excess of that, according to his campaign.

PolitiFact notes while the narrator describes Trump’s vow to “stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for,” the footage displayed actually depicts migrants in Morocco trying to enter a Spanish enclave (and thus, the European Union).

But Politico’s Eliza Collins tweeted a statement from the Trump campaign saying that this was intentional “and selected to demonstrate the severe impact of an open border and the very real threat Americans face if we do not immediately build a wall and stop illegal immigration. The biased mainstream media doesn’t understand, but Americans who want to protect their jobs and their families do.”

This, of course, doubles down on Trump’s longstanding contentions that some crisis exists in southern border immigration, when in fact more people have been leaving the United States over that border than entering in recent years; and that immigrants pose a special criminal threat to Americans, which statistically speaking, they don’t.

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PANDER WATCH: Carly Fiorina goes for the gusto

Pander WatchIn every campaign, there comes a moment when the candidate is sorely tempted to toss aside his or her heartfelt beliefs in favor of a statement that’s surer to please – and sadly, it’s all too rare an occasion when the candidate resists that temptation.

But Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina might’ve taken it to new heights (or depths?) on Twitter on Friday, at least as far as many in the Bay Area are concerned.

Fiorina, of course, is the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and former Los Altos Hills resident who received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and medieval history at Stanford University in 1976. The Stanford Cardinal is playing the Iowa State Hawkeyes in today’s Rose Bowl game (and, at this moment, Stanford is up 14-0).

Fiorina no doubt hopes her ersatz Hawkeye spirit will improve her odds in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus, coming up on Feb. 1. She certainly needs some sort of boost – she’s currently in a three-way tie for seventh place in Iowa, with 2.3 percent support, according to the latest average of recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics.

But do Iowans want a president who roots for their team simply in order to get their vote, or one who sticks by her fellow alumni? Where’s the loyalty, the fearless honesty?

The Twitterverse was not kind.

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A strong day for Bernie Sanders

It’s a heck of a good day for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, bringing two big endorsements and a fundraising milestone.

Bernie SandersSanders was endorsed Thursday by the Communications Workers of America, which represents 700,000 Americans in telecommunications and information technology, the airline industry, news media, broadcast and cable television, education, health care and public service, law enforcement, manufacturing and other fields. (Full disclosure: I’m a member of the CWA-affiliated Pacific Media Workers Guild, though I don’t engage in union political activities.)

CWA has more than 300,000 active and retired members in the states that will hold primaries between now and April 1. In California, Texas, New York, New Jersey and Ohio, where CWA has its largest numbers of members, activists are engaged in worksite actions, staffing phone banks and signing up new contributors to CWA’s political program ahead of the 2016 election.

Union members voted to endorse Sanders “because he is the candidate who is talking about real solutions to make our economy fair again, CWA President Chris Shelton said in a news release.

“Politics as usual has gotten working people nowhere. It’s time for real change. That’s what CWA members are saying, loud and clear,” Shelton said. “Our members are ready to do what it takes to elect Bernie Sanders as the next president of the United States.”

Sanders also was endorsed Thursday by Democracy for America, the national progressive grassroots group that grew out of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. DFA said this is the first presidential primary endorsement it has ever made, and Sanders took 87.9 percent of the 271,527 votes cast by DFA members nationwide.

“Bernie Sanders is an unyielding populist progressive who decisively won Democracy for America members’ first presidential primary endorsement because of his lifelong commitment to taking on income inequality and the wealthy and powerful interests who are responsible for it,” DFA executive director Charles Chamberlain said in a news release.

“Throughout his campaign, Bernie has repeatedly said that the huge problems of income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism that our country must confront are bigger than a single campaign — they need a political revolution,” Chamberlain added. “With today’s endorsement, DFA members are joining Bernie’s ‘political revolution’ and working to take it both to the White House and up-and-down the ballot, in races coast to coast.”

Finally, Sanders’ campaign announced it has made history by collecting more than 2 million contributions. More than $3 million was raised since an online push was launched Monday to top the 2 million donation mark; of that, about $1.6 million has been raised just since Wednesday.

“What our vision of a political revolution has already accomplished is to show that we can run a strong and we believe winning campaign without a super PAC, without contributions from millionaires and billionaires,” Sanders said in a statement issued Thursday. “We are enormously proud that we have received more individual contributions at this point in the campaign than any candidate who is not an incumbent president. As the campaign continues to succeed, we expect those numbers to grow exponentially.”

Sanders trails Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton by 24 percentage points, according to an average of six recent national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. In Iowa, he trails Clinton by 18 points, but in New Hampshire, he leads Clinton by 5 points.

The next Democratic presidential primary debate is scheduled for 5 p.m. Pacific Time this Sunday, Dec. 19 on ABC News; it will be held at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H., with David Muir and Martha Raddatz of ABC News as moderators.

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Carly Fiorina to raise funds Dec. 14 in Palo Alto

A lawyer who helped then-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina beat back a lawsuit that aimed to prevent 2001’s HP-Compaq merger now is about to host a fundraiser for Fiorina’s presidential campaign.

Carly FiorinaBoris Feldman, a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and his wife, Robin, will host a reception for Fiorina on Monday, Dec. 14 at their Palo Alto home. Tickets for the “New York Deli style luncheon” cost $500 per person – here’s hoping that pastrami is excellent – or $2,700 for a host-committee reception and photo opportunity with the candidate.

Fiorina will head to Las Vegas the next day, Dec. 15, for the next Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNN, Facebook and Salem Media; CNN personality Wolf Blitzer will be the moderator, joined by correspondent Dana Bash and conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Fiorina, a former Los Altos Hills resident who proudly touts her time at HP’s helm despite experts’ questioning of her business record, last visited the Bay Area in early October, for a fundraising reception in Piedmont.

According to the 2008 edition of Northern California Super Lawyers, Feldman usually defends “companies and senior executives facing shareholder suits and SEC investigations involving alleged violations of securities laws.

Boris Feldman“One example is a court victory that prevented a shareholder and former director of Hewlett-Packard from stopping the company’s merger with Compaq Computer,” the publication reported. “At the trial, Feldman put then-HP CEO Carly Fiorina on the stand. By carefully preparing her, he made Fiorina a knowledgeable, persuasive witness. ‘Too often litigators allow [senior executive] clients to look stupid for tactical reasons,’ he says.”

Feldman told the New York Times in mid-September that Fiorina’s first foray onto the prime-time debate stage would be “a defining moment in Carly’s career.” Her poll numbers did improve sharply after that first show-down with frontrunner Donald Trump, but the surge didn’t last: After a brief stint in third place nationwide with 11.8 percent of the vote in late September, she’s now in sixth place with 3.7 percent, according to an average of recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. In Iowa, she’s ranked sixth at 3.7 percent as well; in New Hampshire – where she’d been ranked second for a while – she’s now tied for eighth, at 4.3 percent.

Before Fiorina gets here, Marco Rubio will step up to the Bay Area campaign ATM with a fundraiser next Monday, Dec. 7 in Mountain View (as previously reported here).