Fong and Games

Paul Fong may be chair of the state Elections and Redistricting Committee, but that didn’t do the state assemblymember any good over the summer. A citizen commission for the first time in 10 years redrew district lines, and Fong lost 75 percent of his real estate—as well as the leverage of incumbency. Fong’s district, which goes from being called the 22nd to the 28th starting next year, will no longer include Sunnyvale, Mountain View or Santa Clara, which were supplanted by the golden ghettos of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell and south San Jose. All of this means Fong could face a tougher challenge than expected—and from a registered Republican no less. Chad Walsh, a West Valley Community College trustee and patent attorney in Santa Clara, is gearing up for an assembly run of his own. Walsh is showing some bipartisan appeal. His supporters include longtime donor to Democratic candidates Mike Fox Sr., who backs moderate Republicans from time to time as well. Speculation is rife that Walsh will change his party affiliation from Republican to “Decline to state” before the campaign kicks off (like that will fool anyone). Fong doesn’t seem too bent out of shape about Walsh and Fox’s budding friendship, though, considering he just received a $1,500 check from Fox. The state assemblymember points out that he has already won the support of County Assessor Larry Stone. One person who definitely lost out in the redistricting shuffle is wonder kid Evan Low, a current Campbell councilmember and former mayor. Not yet 30, Low, a senior district representative for Fong’s office, was hoping to make his own State Assembly run before his boss was given his turf. Interestingly, Walsh’s support system in his bid to become a West Valley trustee included Low, who was one of his few Democratic supporters. Fong says with a laugh that Low will have a job regardless of whom he supports next fall.

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.

One Comment

  1. Regardless of Paul Fong’s chances of re-election, he has already made world history when he co-sponsored AB376 – the bill that makes shark fins illegal.  With California’s passage of this law, no shark fin poacher will be able to find any market for their product at any US territory or State bordering the Pacific Ocean.  As the movement initiated by Fong grows towards Toronto, Ottawa, and Washington DC, it sets a global precedent to legislators in Hong Kong and Beijing, who are considering enacting similar legislation of their own.  By changing the customs of over a billion Chinese people around the world, Paul Fong is indeed a global change agent!

    For all his work, and for putting his own reputation on the line, it would be rather magnanimous if the SJ Sharks would consider lending their name in support for the now-growing national crusade to save the shark species.  Not only will it be free publicity for the owners and the team, but it would be an opportunity to compel fans to support the team for a nobler cause!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *