Zoe Lofgren

Accountability Mailer or Hit Piece?

(There's a difference between an accountability mailer and a hit piece. Photo by Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Here comes the clutter of political advertisements. The public’s least favorite time of year, when mailboxes are full of negative mailers and television ads assault the senses. First rule to remember: there is nothing that can’t be said in politics, no matter how outrageous the claim.

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Why Debates Don’t Matter

Honda_Debate

Debates make no difference in campaigns, especially in races where one candidate is so strong, that to share a stage with their opponent is a waste of time for the electorate and themselves.

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Karyn Sinunu-Towery Ends Career on Top

Karyn Sinunu-Towery, left, ended a 30-year career in the District Attorney’s office last week. In her last case, she successfully prosecuted George Shirakawa Jr.

Very few people go out on their own terms, but there’s no doubt that Karyn Sinunu-Towery finished on top. The prosecutor wrapped up a 30-year career in the District Attorney’s office by successfully sending former county supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. to jail in her final case, and she handed off what seems to be a strong case involving Shirakawa and political mail fraud. Last week, colleagues honored her accomplishments with a cash bar fiesta at the De Anza Hotel, where junior and senior attorneys clinked cocktails as equals for minutes at a time.

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Congressman Mike Honda’s Wake-up Call

Mike Honda, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, knows how to rally the base, but will that be enough?

Mike Honda—Silicon Valley’s globe-trotting, karaoke-singing, hard-partying congressman—has had a charmed career. Now, a well-funded challenger, Ro Khanna, asks whether being likeable is enough, or whether the public expects a lawmaker to work hard, write laws and fight to keep valley industries competitive.

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SVLG CEO Carl Guardino Plays Favorites?

San Jose Councilman Sam Liccardo, left, has been getting plenty of support in his bid for mayor from friend and Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino.

Roughly 1,300 people attended the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s (SVLG) Annual Lunch last week at the Santa Clara Convention Center—but not everyone left satisfied. Carl Guardino’s boosterism of one San Jose mayoral candidate has created concern that the leadership group CEO is blurring the line between personal preference and organizational support.

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Mineta and Other Mentors in Local Poltiics

Norm Mineta, second from left, has helped numerous elected officials along the way.

Norm Mineta will turn 82 on Nov. 12. His accomplishments from mayor of San Jose to U.S. cabinet secretary under two administrations are legendary. San Jose’s airport is named after him. But Mineta’s most important role has been that of a mentor for two generations of leaders.

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