WEEK IN REVIEW: Press Exposes Vulnerabilities in Congressman Honda’s Campaign; Frames Choice Between Future and Past

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FREMONT – This past week featured widespread coverage of the election in California’s 17th district, culminating in a column framing the race as “a choice between future and past”:

Khanna and Honda: A choice between future and past
Scott Herhold // San Jose Mercury News

The real question is what a full-throated debate would show. Increasingly, I'm coming to think it would reveal Khanna as the candidate of the future and Honda as the standard-bearer of the past.

Ro Khanna, an ambitious ex-Obama official, is that disruptive idea, a man willing to challenge an incumbent with a gold-plated name. We ignore disruptions at our peril.

Transparency is the word of 2014 election season

Editorial Editor John Diaz // San Francisco Chronicle

Honda flat-out refused our debate invitation; Khanna expressed a willingness to accept any of the three dates we offered.

Honda's reticence to debate left us with no choice but to interview the candidates individually - and Khanna met with the editorial board on Wednesday. Citing schedule conflicts, Honda's handlers said the only time he would be available would be the afternoon of Sunday, April 27 - which makes him the first non-presidential candidate to require a weekend interview in my 18 years as editorial page editor.

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Khanna and Honda: A choice between future and past

From the San Jose Mercury News

By Scott Herhold

The shorthand of contrast between Ro Khanna and Mike Honda in their congressional primary is that Khanna wants to debate and Honda does not.

To insiders, that makes sense. Khanna is quick on his feet. Honda is not. (And I know there is a League of Women Voters Forum in Fremont on May 3. It's not a debate).

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Ro for Congress Launches ‘Parents for Ro’

FREMONT- Ro for Congress today launched ‘Parents for Ro’, a group who support and share Khanna’s positive vision on education and other issues important to parents in the 17th district. Khanna has held numerous policy roundtables and meet-and-greets with concerned parents across the district that share his belief that education is the key to transforming the economy. 'Parents for Ro' serves as the latest example of Khanna’s focus on bringing a new level of engagement and responsiveness to Congress.

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“Education is a huge issue facing our country, and Ro understands that we need to make some changes to ensure that our kids thrive in the 21st century,” said Maria Ching, Fremont Unified School District Parent.

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Republicans and Democrats Can Agree on Some Things

From the San Jose Jose Mercury News

By Ro Khanna

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Congress is going through its annual budget charade, which is more about scoring political points than securing a better future for our nation.

Last week, the Republicans passed a budget that combines huge cuts in domestic programs such as Head Start, Medicare and food stamps along with tax cuts for millionaires and oil companies. This partisan budget plan passed the House without a single Democratic vote.

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Khanna Calls on Congressman Honda to Return PG&E PAC Money Following Indictment

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FREMONT – Ro Khanna sent a letter to Congressman Mike Honda today urging him to return all of his PG&E corporate PAC contributions – including the $1,000 he accepted less than a month ago – following their recent indictment related to the 2010 explosions in San Bruno, CA.

Following is the full text of the letter:

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Dear Congressman Honda:

As you know, a federal grand jury last week indicted PG&E on 12 criminal counts based on its actions relative to the 2010 explosions in San Bruno.  According to the San Jose Mercury News, the federal indictment charges that PG&E “failed to properly identify potential threats to the San Bruno pipeline, failed to gather relevant data that could have forestalled the explosion, maintained flawed records and didn’t accurately assess the dangers related to the line.”

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Rep. Mike Honda's latest challenge: He can't vote for himself

From the San Francisco Chronicle

By Carla Marinucci

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Seven-term Rep. Mike Honda faces some real challenges as he seeks re-election to his Silicon Valley congressional seat - one of the most unusual being that he can't vote for himself.

That's because Honda, a longtime resident of San Jose, doesn't live in the 17th Congressional District he represents. It's perfectly legal - but as fellow Democrat and former Obama trade representative Ro Khanna tries to wrest the seat away, there's the potential for it to become political ammunition.

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Khanna Launches TV Spot Highlighting Education as Path to Good Paying Jobs

FREMONT – Ro for Congress released its second television spot today, which will begin airing widely throughout the 17th district. In his second spot, Khanna highlights three pillars of the seven-point jobs plan that he introduced in February. Among those featured are teaching computer coding in public schools, increasing opportunities for women in science and technology, and training young people for middle class manufacturing jobs. Ro’s Jobs Plan for the Bay Area’s future also includes a commitment to raising the minimum wage, investing in and certifying more STEM educators, connecting small businesses with capital and access to the export market, and providing job training and tax credits to support dislocated workers.

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Milestones

From The Santa Clara Weekly

By Miles H. Barber

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One of the highest profile election races in the entire country is taking place right here in Silicon Valley.

The political eyes of the nation are focused on the democratic race between Congressional incumbent, Mike Honda and challenger, Ro Khanna.

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Ronn Owens Says Refusing Debates is “Black Mark” on Rep. Honda

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FREMONT – On Wednesday morning Ro Khanna joined Ronn Owens for a wide-ranging interview covering his campaign for Congress and the critical issues facing the Bay Area and the nation. Ronn Owens had also been trying for a long time to get Congressman Honda to come on the show to debate, or even appear solo for an interview, but their requests were ignored.

“We have tried very diligently…either in a debate format with Ro Khanna or individually and we’ve been unsuccessful…to be blunt, it’s a black mark in terms of whether or not this is the person you want to have as your Congressperson if they’re not even going to tell you what they’re going to do.” – Ronn Owens, 4/9/2014

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Khanna-Honda debate could be a spirited one

From the San Jose Mercury News April 7 Readers' Letters

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I recently had the opportunity to meet Ro Khanna, a Democratic candidate for Congress, at a neighbor's house. I was very much impressed with this Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago with a Yale Law School background. I was also fascinated with his unique credentials (former deputy assistant secretary of commerce) and his concrete ideas for the challenges of a new century. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the June primary will face off in the November general election. If Khanna and incumbent Mike Honda end up opposing each other to represent the 17th District, I would hope these two candidates would have a series of spirited debates in order to understand the differences between their platforms. As a registered voter, I would expect the two candidates to debate just as presidential candidates do to determine which is the better choice.

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