Ro Khanna has run an honorable, focused campaign in his rematch against Congressman Mike Honda, and it’s time to make a change. Silicon Valley deserves better than the somnambulant, integrity-challenged representation it’s gotten under Mike Honda.
Now in his eighth term representing the South Bay, Congressman Honda has consistently ducked and dodged questions about his ongoing ethics scandal, and as recent reports have documented, he continues to play fast and loose with rules that were, apparently, never designed to be taken seriously. About a quarter-million dollars of his campaign funds this election cycle have gone to lawyers defending him and his chief of staff from the ethics probe. Honda even manipulated the timing of the legal defense fund reports to keep voters in the dark.
As shown in a 2015 report by the bipartisan Congressional Office of Ethics, there remains a “substantial reason to believe” that Honda’s campaign openly discussed and traded official access to big-dollar contributors. He had low-level staffers run personal errands for him on taxpayer-paid time. He created a list of elite donors to make fundraising easier and then went out of his way to champion their causes on the House floor. As Metro reported just last month, his campaign has repeatedly—and falsely—claimed he still had the endorsement of President Barack Obama.
The single most important thing Honda has done since the scandal began was join a sleepover on the House floor to encourage a vote on gun control. It made for a glamorous photo-op that he has since trotted out on his official Facebook page and the campaign’s, again showing he and his people have no idea how to separate the business of Congress from the business of staying in Congress.
And then there are the public naps.
Khanna played too nice in 2014 and as a result he came up just short. This time around he has gone on the offensive regarding Honda’s shortcomings, while continuing to offer articulate economic proposals and stiff-arming the Honda camp’s tired lines about being backed by right-wing GOP millionaires and billionaires. Both candidates are Democrats, and any suggestion to the contrary is just electioneering spin.
San Jose Inside will be publishing endorsements and information on local races, ballot measures and state propositions throughout the next week.