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Rep. Mike Honda and President Barack Obama
Rep. Mike Honda with one of his more prominent endorsers.
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Daily Kos is proud to announce that we are endorsing the re-election of Rep. Mike Honda in California's 17th district, who is facing a primary challenge from the right by Ro Khanna. Daily Kos only endorses in primaries where the contrast couldn't be clearer, with a strong progressive Democrat pitted against one who fails to meet some very basic tests—an NRA darling or a participant in a Republican redistricting scheme, for instance. And this is just such a primary.

Mike Honda has been a strong progressive Democratic member of Congress since being elected in 2000 to represent Silicon Valley; before entering politics he was a longtime teacher and school principal. On the issues, Honda checks basically every box the Daily Kos community could want, and has the voting record to back it up. But that in itself isn't enough for us to ask you to give him money and support. That push comes from the race Ro Khanna is running against him. Honda has a strong record of support for the tech industry, but Khanna is running as the candidate of the tech CEO:

The average size of individual contributions to Mr. Khanna’s campaign is double to triple those of Mr. Honda’s. In the latest filing, of the 220 individual donors to Mr. Khanna’s campaign, 27 listed their occupation as “C.E.O.,” four as “chief financial officers” and about 40 as being involved in investments.
Meanwhile, he's making a big deal of not taking money from lobbyists or PACs—something he can obviously well afford to do. In previous quarters, Khanna's donors included Marc Leder, who you may remember as the host of the fundraiser at which Mitt Romney made his "47 percent" remarks, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who has given millions of dollars to Club for Growth Action. Honda has support from labor and organizations like the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood, but big donors like these have allowed Khanna to not only outraise Honda but have more than three times as much cash on hand. That kind of money will let you run an impressive campaign even if tech CEOs and investors are your only natural constituency.

Khanna has been looking for a district from which to get to Congress. He considered running in 2012 if then-Rep. Pete Stark retired, only to watch another Democrat defeat Stark; he's not deferring this time around and has even refused to refund money to donors who gave to him for a race to replace Stark but don't want to support his run against Honda.

Honda has the support of the vast majority of Democrats representing California in the U.S. House, including Rep. Ami Bera, just the third Indian-American elected to the House. Honda also scored a dominating 92 percent to eight percent win over Khanna at a regional Democratic Party endorsement meeting recently. But Khanna has all that money, and we know how far that can go. Because of California's jungle primary, in which all candidates are on the same ballot and the top two advance to the general regardless of party, this fight could drag on until November. Mike Honda needs—and deserves—our support.

Please help keep a strong progressive in office by giving to Rep. Mike Honda.

Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 6:57 PM PT: You can see Rep. Honda's responses to the Daily Kos candidate questionnaire here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:40 AM PST.

Also republished by Silicon Valley Kos and California politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Better choice than his 1%er cousin, Mark Acura (12+ / 0-)

    Okay, now the inevitable stupid Honda joke is out of the way.

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:45:31 AM PST

  •  don't forget Rep. Honda joined us at (25+ / 0-)

    Netroots Nation last summer and tore up the Karaoke stage!

    You never know who will show up at Netroots Nation. Will you be there?

    by ETinKC on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:47:33 AM PST

  •  I couldn't agree more!! (16+ / 0-)

    We need to vote this November.
    And for those who can, need to support Mr. Honda.

  •  and...citizens' united $$$ from India inside and (7+ / 0-)

    I am tired of laughing at the irony of their stupidity.

    by stagemom on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:55:32 AM PST

  •  a great day on Daily Kos... (18+ / 0-)

    the idea that a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus is facing a primary challenge is just sad...Rep. Honda is one of the best in congress.

    so glad to see Daily Kos taking on this cause...and kos is ready to fight back against the NRA in CO.

    I've been watching Ro's campaign...what a bunch of trolls...I really think he is shooting himself in the foot by attacking Rep. Honda so harshly...the hurt feelings will last longer then just this campaign.

    We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

    by Glen The Plumber on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:03:56 AM PST

    •  As a South Bay voter, hear hear! (8+ / 0-)

      Ro is a very ambitious young man who has never been elected to anything.  He seems to only challenge Democrats, such as when he ran against Tom Lantos in 2004.  Sadly, he used to be much more in the Dem. mainstream, running against Lantos on an anti-Iraq platform.  He decided not to run for Stark's seat in 2012 (even though that is the district he actually lives in) despite backing from Jerry Brown.

      Now it seems to me he has decided to go the big money route as a way to advance himself personally, and it is not very appealing.  I have told his handlers that going after a great incumbent like Honda is something that will not be forgotten after his inevitable loss in November.

      •  He's from the Bay Area (0+ / 0-)

        We've driven out our elected Republicans quite some time ago, thank you very much /grin

        Ro doesn't have much of a choice but to run against Democrats. But yes, like many up and coming Dems, he's been told to wait your turn one too many times, especially after leadership pushed him out in the Stark race, wanting to avoid an intra-party fight. I don't agree with him, but I don't blame him for running.

        I'm really wondering what his GC and senior staff are thinking though. There are going to be some bruised feelings towards Jeremy Bird and 270 over this one, leaving Ro aside.

    •  Ro is an outsider (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      who has pulled a lot of crap in the district.  He sends people to join our local Dem clubs so he can secure an endorsement (and the clubs do not require any check to see if the person is a voter or if they are a registered Democrat).

      Mike Honda is the "real deal,"  he used to live near me and I would run into him at the grocery store or the dry cleaners.  He always runs his own errands and stops to talk with everyone.

      Ro Khanna represents ALL that is wrong with politics, Mike represents our ideal.

  •  The Honda race is a sign of things to come (9+ / 0-)

    The financial clout in the valley has swung toward tech entrepreneurs and the Indian-American community is both very wealthy and also well-represented at most major VC firms.

    Chinese-Americans are the other half of the demographic shift in the area but they seem less interested in leveraging their economic clout into political action.

    Democrats need to keep an eye on this since Indian-Americans are vulnerable to being courted by the right. They're generally socially conservative and pro-business. It's the one area of potential weakness in our otherwise deep blue part of the state.

    •  The article linked above (4+ / 0-)

      in stagemom's comment fills in some of the picture on this, and it's both interesting/ scary.

      The actual Republican candidate describes herself as pro-choice and pro-gender equality, and is being financed by a guy whose main political interest seems to be Hindu nationalism (in India). She sounds Not Ready For Prime Time in her quotes. I hope she siphons off votes from Khanna.

      I'll head off to ActBlue and chip in a bit.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:08:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Although Alex Sink is not real progressive but is (0+ / 0-)

    Dailykos supporting her?

    I sufferred through CW BILL "biggest porker" Young
    hope I do not have to suffer again with Jolly!

    "You can't think and surf at the same time" Yogi Surfdog

    by surfdog on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:16:34 AM PST

  •  I'm with Mike! (11+ / 0-)

    This is my district and I want Mike to continue to represent me. CA-17 was recently redistricted to include Sunnyvale, and I'm happy to swap Honda for Eshoo (though Anna was great, too!) and his record is even more progressive than hers. I'm giving to his campaign up until election day.

    This is an expensive district to run in, with all the SiVl money that Ro can command. Mike's record is awesome with regards to this tech-centric area. He's going to be outspent, that's for sure, but as the better candidate, with his message and a bit of love from dKos (he's one of us, you know, was at Netroots last year when it visited his home turf), we're going to keep this seat safe for progressives.

  •  Thank You! (15+ / 0-)

    I'm proud to have the support of the Daily Kos community, and am excited to continue our work together moving our country forward!

    Proud to represent CA-17 Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

    by Mike Honda on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:19:38 PM PST

  •  Stupid top two primary. (3+ / 0-)

    Both Honda and Khanna will probably advance to the general election, meaning progressives will have to spend a LOT of money to counter Khanna all the way to November.  Money that could have been used in other key races.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid top two primary.  Ugh.

    •  Why did the Cali legislature do that? It sets up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, Spedwybabs

      Dem vs Dem November elections.   Is this a holdover from the Arnold years?

      Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

      by cks175 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:27:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was actually an initiative (4+ / 0-)

        that passed in the 2010 election, IIRC. While I had some concerns about possible hanky-panky, it's likely what helped the Dems get control of the legislature in 2012 with greater than a 2/3 majority in both chambers, meaning we can actually get shit done in Sacramento without Republican roadblocks.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:48:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the explanation. Too bad the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber, Spedwybabs

          initiative was written to apply to federal as well as state offices.

          Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

          by cks175 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:00:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, it wasn't. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber, Spedwybabs

          I can't think of a single race in the state legislature where the top two system helped us win.  The 2/3s majority was because of the redistricting that made the district lines themselves actually representative of our state's changing demographics.

          Top two did NOTHING in that regard.

          •  I stand (rather sit) corrected (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Glen The Plumber, Spedwybabs

            I saw so many races of one Dem against another that I thought it was a contributing factor. Although in that case we could probably credit the bipartisan redistricting commission, another initiative I had my worries about.

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 02:07:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, that actually hurt us. (3+ / 0-)

              It simply meant you had Dem-on-Dem violence all the way to November, with precious money being spent in several cases to beat up on fellow progressives.  Just look at how much money was wasted by progressives in the Berman-Sherman fight.

              In the San Fernando Valley race this year between Congressional Representatives Howard Berman and Brad Sherman, the candidates’ campaigns spent astronomical sums — a combined $11.7 million, breaking the previous record for most spent by two Congressional candidates on a single campaign in California, with an additional $4.5 million spent by outside groups.
              All to get a Congressman who agreed on 99.9% of the issues with the guy he beat.

              And worst of all, in any district that's not deep red or deep blue, think about it.  If you had two Democrats going against each other for the general, there simply won't be enough progressives to vote in the winner.  So the winner would theoretically be the person who could get enough Republicans and independents to vote for them.  Now, this didn't happen in every one of those cases.  But the point of top two was to not have true progressives get elected (or for that matter, true right-wingers either).

              It is horrible.

              Now, there were two House races in 2012 where the Republican won by under 2,000 votes total.  You think some of that $4.5 million in outside spending, had it been diverted there, could've possibly made a difference?


      •  they didn't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber, Spedwybabs

        it's another one of our fucking stupid initiatives.

        "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war" - John Adams

        by esquimaux on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:51:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In this case (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber, Spedwybabs

        It looks like the election will be between a Progressive and a ConservaDem, with the Republican not making it in.

        I understand the issue of money, but something in that idea strikes me as not bad at all.

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:15:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Honda vs Khanna is not a worst case situation, but (4+ / 0-)

          down the road in future elections, especially post Citizens United, it's seems this system invites mischief.

          Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

          by cks175 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:29:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  also takes control of the party from... (5+ / 0-)

            party members (reg. voters)...this was put on the ballot by a Repub just for that was part of a budget battle deal to get a vote needed to pass the budget.

            We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

            by Glen The Plumber on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:44:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OTOH, in theory (3+ / 0-)

              it could encourage primary challenges (like the one we're facing) in a district that's heavily weighted towards one party, because it's not an all or nothing scenario; if you run a strong game you could come in second and have a chance in the general. After the initiative passed, Feinstein got something like 5 or 6 challengers in 2012. However, in a state-wide race like Senate it's a lot harder to gain the traction to come in second without the backing of the party apparatus. Works better for district races like the state legislature or US House where the electorate is smaller and more limited.

              There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

              by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:58:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I sort of remember that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Glen The Plumber, Spedwybabs

              Was that the Abel Maldonado thing?

              For years, Republicans and Democrats have worked to make safe seats and to ensure that they are the only two games in town.  I was hoping this system would give other candidates a chance. But then I've also heard it was designed to get more moderates elected, which is sort of the opposite, so I'm not sure which (if either) is true.

              Would really love to get to the truth of the matter of why it's on there.  And I guess we will see how it plays out and have to adapt stratagies.

              Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
              Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

              by BentLiberal on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 02:47:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yep, Maldonado. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Glen The Plumber, Spedwybabs

                And yes, it was to get "moderates" elected.  Here's the theory behind it.  Say you have a district that's not deeply red or blue.  No matter how you redistrict California, there will be certain districts where you have like 80% vote Democratic or Republican.  Forget about those; there you'll have two from the same party advance to the general, where they'll try to out-do each other to win votes.

                In all the others, however, theoretically you cannot win by simply getting your base out to vote, because there aren't enough hardcore Democrats/Republicans in that district.  So you have to reach out to the "middle".  Hence, "moderates".

                In practice, though....

                Look at the Berman/Sherman race of 2012.  Both lifelong liberals, but then Berman starts touting how well he can work with Republicans.  Keep in mind Romney still got over 30% of the vote in this district.  That's still a lot of Republican voters.  Who are they going to support for Congress?  So his play was to get enough of his own Democratic supporters, and get the GOP vote to push him over the top.  The thing was, we sort of knew going in that because of the old districts they had represented, Sherman had the big advantage there, because it was mostly his old district.  And that's exactly what happened.  Sherman won rather easily in the end.  But it was a play Berman had to make to stand any chance of winning.

                And it was nauseating to see someone like Berman play all nice with the GOP like that.

                And now you're going to see Honda and Khanna fight all the way to November.  Just wait when we have a critical race across the country to fight in, but suddenly Khanna's tech CEO friends dump a cool $5 million into attack ads against Honda, and Markos calls upon us to help Honda fight back, so we give all our money to Honda, instead of, say, Alison Grimes in Kentucky.

                We might save Honda in the end, helped by how he's a known quantity in CA-17, but then we blew it in the Senate.  Oh fucking great.

        •  That's happened in other races (3+ / 0-)

          at least for the state legislature. (I was hoping it would happen for the Senate in 2012 and give folks a chance to vote out DiFi, but she's too entrenched...sigh...)

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:33:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Boots on the ground can outdo money! (3+ / 0-)

      Knocking on doors can make all the difference!  Face-to-face GOTV!
      That's what gave us Democratic wins in 2013 - and it works!

      In more than one of those races, the Democratic candidate was outspent.  Some of the more detail-oriented folks here can cite those races.  I'm on the west coast but was involved at arms length with the Virginia elections and I know it was true for several of those candidates.

      They don't win until we quit fighting!

      by Eyesbright on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:44:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't Khanna the OFA Candidate? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, remembrance

    And why did they decide to take on a Progressive?

    Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
    Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

    by BentLiberal on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:20:53 PM PST

  •  LOOKS LIKE HEVEN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    From where I stand in CD 49...

  •  Time for A Change (0+ / 0-)

    For the first time in Honda's career, he has an actual opponent with new ideas that are appealing to many of us.

    1. He was instrumental in getting the Tesla plant in Fremont that saved many jobs.
    2. He is a supporter of the increasing the minimum wage. BTW, the only increase that I have gotten in the last few years was when San Jose raised the minimum wage.
    3. Honda has taken money from Pharma Pacs that the author has left out. Getting PAC money out of politics is the only way to clean up the system. The United States is the only country that does not allow the government to negotiate for lower drug money. Getting Pharma Pac's out of congress may let that happen. Khanna's pledge is a start.

    Furthermore, Honda has refused so far to schedule any debates with Khanna has proposed. One wonders why.

    •  you sound familiar...are you one of the... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      remembrance, Sharon Wraight, madhaus

      half-truth squad..??.."Paid for by Ro for Congress"...what a joke.

      your #TwitterTantrumTrolling is going to hurt Ro in more than just this campaign...your nasty half-truth smears of a true progressive will not soon be forgotten.

      here is the the whole video...maybe the only time Ro was honest...

      let Mike know when Ro is ready to take this challenge...


      Hi Leah,
      Thanks for sending this along.
      Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 9:04 PM
      In the true spirit of keeping undue influence out of this election, we propose limiting contributions to all candidates in this race to an amount that puts millionaires on a level playing field with ordinary folks: $570. This is the same limit as local elections in the city of Fremont, in our district.

      We propose that all campaigns refund contributions to any donors who have already given more than this limit of $570. Your campaign can start by refunding the $11,000 in contributions from the five donors who have already requested a refund because Ro misled them. He had asked for their max-out contributions to run for an open seat, then used their money to run in a different district -- against Mike.

      Then your campaign can continue by refunding contributions to Marc Leder (gave $5,200 to Ro) who hosted Mitt Romney for the fundraiser where he made his 47% remark, and Peter Thiel (gave $2,500 to Ro) who has given millions to the Club for Growth in order to elect far-right conservatives like Ted Cruz.

      We look forward to your response.

      Doug Greven
      Campaign Manager
      Mike Honda for Congress

      Ro has shown his true's not a pretty picture.


      We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

      by Glen The Plumber on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:31:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Usually in primary races, people are not so quick (3+ / 0-)

      to endorse one candidate over another.

      Who did Obama endorse? Honda.

      Who did Howard Dean endorse? Honda.

      Who did the CA Democratic Party endorse? Honda.
      It wasn't even close.

      "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... it is about learning to dance in the rain." ~ Vivanne Grenne Shop Kos Katalogue!

      by remembrance on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:38:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry but (3+ / 0-)

      Ideas are one thing, action is another.  Mike has done more in two days then Khanna has done his entire life.

      What other office has Khanna held? None.  He has NEVER been elected to anything.

      And who is "funding" Khanna's campaign?  The same people that we have stood against, those who funded Romney and the far right.  Those people will expect something in return from Khanna.

      Khanna was refused to fill out ANY endorsement questionnaires , he did not even show up for the Dem Caucus for the endorsement hearing.  

      Why won't Khanna put in writing what he believes?  To tell people that he does not have to fill out a questionnaire because the information is on his website is skirting the issue.

      SVDoug, I have been around here and SV politics for a long time, Mike is the real deal, Khanna is a flash in the pan out for himself.  

      •  While I support the DKOS endorsement of Honda, (0+ / 0-)

        let's not forget that this is a top two election, meaning that the seat stays in our party's hands whether Honda or Khanna wins.

        Although Khanna is the junior candidate in the campaign, the "Mike has done more in two days" comparison is more than a bit over the top.  The guy served as an Assistant Secretary of Commerce, appointed by Obama.  He's assembled a formidable campaign team.  And he's young.  

        Democrats need a bench of young stars for future leadership positions, and Ro's got the biography and experience to fill the bill.  It's going to be a tough fought campaign, as it should be.  Let's hope that the diehard Honda supporters don't snuff out Khanna's candle, and remember to focus our attentions on races that really make a difference, i.e. holding onto the Senate and regaining a majority in the House.

        Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

        by cks175 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:35:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Welcome to DailyKos (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      remembrance, Glen The Plumber

      User #997637. Since you've been here for so many, many hours and posted so many, many comments I'm sure you have a lot of good advice for us ignorant old-timers. Tell us why we, members of a Progressive Democratic site, should support Ro (short for Rove?) over one of the strongest progressives in the House.

      This is gonna be good.

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