Khanna, Honda Spar on Hypocrite Who Calls Others ‘Whores’

One of Rep. Mike Honda’s top money bundlers stepped in it this week, reminding all of us to be careful in who we select as surrogates to request the maximum allowed monetary contributions under Federal Election Commission guidelines.

While calling for universal healthcare at a well-attended Bernie Sanders rally Wednesday in Manhattan, Democratic operative Dr. Paul Song said anyone who supports presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is supporting the status quo and hoping to elect more “corporate Democratic whores.”

Here are Song’s comments:

Now Secretary Clinton has said that Medicare-for-all will never happen. Well, I agree with Secretary Clinton that Medicare-for-all will never happen if we have a president who never aspires for something greater than the status quo. Medicare-for-all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big pharma and the private insurance industry instead of us.

Sanders, Clinton and nearly every Democrat with a Twitter account has condemned the remarks in the strongest 140 characters allowed. Song, who is the husband of TV personality Lisa Ling (a Clinton supporter: awkward and yes!), apologized for his comments.

But not everyone was ready to leave it at that.

Just a week ago, Song held a fundraiser at his Santa Monica home for Honda and fellow congressman Ted Lieu. The campaign of Ro Khanna, Honda’s most significant challenger in this year’s election and the previous race, called on the South Bay rep to return any money Song raised for his campaign.

Honda’s campaign had this response: ...

Here’s the statement campaign spokesman Vedant Patel gave to reporter Carla Marinucci:

“As an early endorser of Secretary Clinton’s Presidential campaign and a member of her National AAPI Council, Congressman Honda was outraged by Dr. Song’s comments. This type of language has no place in our political discourse. Dr. Song is indeed a supporter of Congressman Honda's. The bigger issue here are Ro's right wing corporate millionaire donors who have a lengthy track record of trampling on the middle class, violating living wage ordinances, pushing to cut Social Security and other initiatives that are bad for the middle class and bad for America.” (And yes, we asked: No response on the call to return Song’s donations.)

There’s a lot of conflating going on here—on all sides. Honda has as much responsibility for what Song says in public as picking out which designer couch the good doctor will sleep on from now until November. The comments also have nothing to do with Khanna’s supporters, who are less right-wing millionaires than people who want a representative able to stay awake on the House floor, craft policies that go beyond a post office name and not become the focus of an ethics scandal.

The bigger issue in all of this isn’t who is more of a whore for special interest cash—is turning a few tricks more honorable than turning five?—or even the fact that the healthcare system is an abomination.

This is really about shaming a person into submission and seeing if there’s room for more on the sinking ship. The irony, of course, is that even a top-flight money bundler, a man who spends his days and nights collecting cash for politicians who spend most of their days at play on recess, thinks he’s changing the system from the inside out when, in fact, he is a pillar of the status quo.

This story has been updated.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.

14 Comments

  1. Whores? I think the politically correct term is “Crony Capitalism” otherwise you have committed gender identity suicide.

  2. Speaking of whores for special interest – how much of Ro’s special interest money has the Metro received in order to push rag pieces where you try to smear Honda? Ro is anti union, anti teachers, anti pension, anti start up’s, and anti working class. If you really want to bark every time Khanna’s campaign pulls on your chain, metro, at least be honest with your readers.

    • I agree that Josh seems to have some sort of personal ax to grind with Congressman Honda,as his biased & endless criticism certainly demonstrate. Ro Khanna was patiently waiting for Congressman Pete Stark to retire so that he could run for Congress in a strongly Democratic district,without trying to oust a twenty term incumbent. Unfortunately for him one term Dublin City Councilman & former Asst. DA Eric Swalwell unencumbered by party loyalty decided to challenge Stark in the Democratic Primary in 2012. While Stark one of the most liberal politicians in Washington was always easily re-elected throttling his Republican opposition time after time,he then faced a more conservative Democrat in Swalwell. Redistricting moved the district eastward losing much of Stark’s liberal East Bay base & encompassing the more conservative Tri-Valley & Livermore area. While Pete handily won the primary,Swalwell with the support of GOP voters (who despised Stark for decades & couldn’t get their own candidate on the ballot) won the General Election. Although Swalwell has proven to be a competent albeit more moderate Congressman than Stark,Ro Khanna at this point had no interest in continuing his pursuit of this seat now held by a much younger incumbent. Instead he decided to look farther south & try to do the same thing to Congressman Honda that Swalwell did to Stark. Ro’s only route to success is to attack & malign Congressman Honda who is revered & respected by the vast majority of his constituents. In a district where marginalized Republican voters were never competitive & now can’t put their own candidate on the General Election ballot they’re certain to support the more moderate Khanna. We can’t let allow these conservative tea party cretins who have little political power here to determine who’ll represent this overwhelmingly liberal district. The ambitious & audacious Ro Khanna has never held elective office & needs to garner experience in local & state office before being seriously considered a viable candidate for Congress. As a life long Democrat I prefer that my representatives be as liberal as possible & in a district where Republicans normally have little political clout why should we settle for anything less ? RE-ELECT CONGRESSMAN MIKE HONDA !!! Don’t ever settle for anything or anyone less !!!

      • Ro Khanna is not being honest when he says that he does not take money from PACs. In fact he has taken money from a Super PAC in Texas that was funded by a former Enron hedge-fund billionaire, John Arnold, to the tune of 370K. Khanna is very smart but he pretends that this money will not affect his ability to represent the citizens of District 17 fairly. http://bit.ly/1stDAKe

        Even though candidates are barred from working directly with or raising money for their super PACs, Khanna admitted to discussing pension reform with Arnold and his wife, dancing along the edge of the law. http://bayareane.ws/1tb4uXX He is willing to cut corners when it suits his own ends.

        Mike Honda, as the senior member of the Appropriations Committee and has brought back millions of tax payer dollars for transportation (BART) and R & D for tech companies in Silicon Valley, as well as new funding for NASA in Mt. View. This funding creates jobs. His seniority will not be something that a Freshman Congressman could emulate. Let’s re-elect Congressman Mike Honda.

  3. I think we are confusing Whore’s with Prostitutes, Politicians being more like the later.
    In any case the comparison is definitely disparaging to the former!
    Even prostitutes know when to retire.

  4. While respectful toward Honda for opposing at least one of the many wars in the South-West Asian killing fields, I have to point out that he acquired a reputation for sleeping during meetings with his constituents back when he held high office. However, he never snored in my experience. In addition, he had some hate on his tongue when he referred to the San Jose City Manager as a “white boy” on 2/6/2005 according to the Mercury News. Got kind of mean in his old age so the whore slip was no surprise to me and my friends. He liked to emulate President Johnson in requiring questioners to accompany him to the men’s room as well.

    It is to be hoped that his opponent will not be anywhere near as ethnocentric as Honda turned out to be.

  5. Apologies, the pronouns got mixed. It was Song who slept and insulted the city manager. It was Honda who voted against a war and pulled questioners into the men’s room.

        • Congressman Honda got the idea years ago from from Congressman Stark. When a disgruntled Republican constituent told him to “quit peeing on my leg & telling me that it’s raining” he replied “I wouldn’t do that because peeing on you would be a waste of my urine” ! Most likely Congressman Honda was predicting an imminent deluge & considerately looking for a location with tile floors & drains ! MIKE HONDA 2016 !!!!!

          • Rude and crude Pete Stark, one can hardly find a better reason for congressional term limits than this poster child for alcoholics unanimous.
            I always wanted to see his photo on a milk carton at breakfast time.
            Hopefully sleepy Mike will be enjoying Pete company on the retirement benefits line soon.

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