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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

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Khanna to start town halls in Milpitas

khanna honda

 

Taking a page out of Pete Stark’s playbook, Ro Khanna is going to host an a series of open forums across the South Bay congressional district he is trying to wrest away from Rep. Mike Honda. Unlike Stark, Khanna probably won’t respond to any hecklers by saying, “I wouldn’t dignify you by peeing on your leg.”

For Khanna the open forums are a chance to raise his profile and draw distinctions with Honda, who he says doesn’t take random audience questions during local public events.

The town hall will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Milpitas Community Center, 457 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas CA. 95035

 

 

 

 

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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

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Obama staying neutral in Honda vs. Khanna rematch

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To read the full story, click here.

When Mike Honda and Ro Khanna squared off two years ago to represent Silicon Valley in Congress, Honda’s seemingly interminable list of big name Democratic Party backers included none other than Khanna’s former boss, President Barack Obama.

But not this time around. The president is not endorsing in this year’s rematch, the Democratic National Committee said Thursday, handing Honda another setback as he tries to defend his seat against a better-funded challenger while also confronting an ethics probe.

“I think it might be a telling sign as to where some national Democrats think the race is going,” said Kyle Kondik, a University of Virginia congressional elections expert. “As a Democratic incumbent you’d love to have the backing of the incumbent Democratic president. This is something that the Honda folks would have to explain to their donors.”

Continue Reading

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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.

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TechNet endorses Trans Pacific Partnership

Silicon Valley’s bipartisan political action committee endorsed the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement Monday – a pact on which Rep. Mike Honda has not yet taken a final position, and which his Democratic challenger, Ro Khanna, opposes.

TechNet, a policy and political network of tech CEOs and senior executives, endorsed the free-trade pact Monday and urged Congress to approve it.

“The U.S. technology sector has grown into a leading force in the U.S. economy, fueled by an unparalleled commitment to innovation and an unprecedented investment in research and development,” President and CEO Linda Moore said in a news release. “The statistics are staggering: the U.S. innovation economy now supports more than 30 percent of U.S. GDP and employs more than 6.5 million Americans. It’s being driven by the incredible new technologies developed in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Austin, Boston, and beyond, and it’s been accelerated by international trade.”

“Yet, our nation’s ability to continue to lead in this sector is dependent on access to the fastest growing markets in the world and the uninhibited flow of data across borders,” she continued. “This agreement supports U.S. technology leadership around the globe, and will drive economic growth and job creation here at home.”

President Obama is likely to call for the TPP’s passage during his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night. But Honda, D-San Jose, has not yet taken a position on the agreement negotiated between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim trading partners, Chief of Staff Jennifer Van der Heide said Monday.

He did vote last year against the Trade Promotion Authority that allowed the Obama administration to fast-track this trade pact, calling for Congress to have a bigger role in its drafting. And he has spoken about making sure agreements like this include strong, clear and enforceable labor, environmental and human rights standards.

Khanna said Monday he would vote against the Trans Pacific Partnership.

“First, the tribunals that have been set up to adjudicate give too much power to corporations and don’t take labor, environmental and human rights stakeholders into consideration,” he said via email. “Second, there is too much of an IP and data exclusivity giveaway to pharmaceuticals that would deprive many people around the world of access to drugs.”