Mike Honda Raises Campaign Cash during Birthday Weekend

Just three months after conceding the 17th Congressional District race to seven-term incumbent Mike Honda (D- San Jose), Ro Khanna accepted his first campaign check for the 2016 re-match. Honda himself started requesting money less than a couple months after the election. It’s expected given the perpetual campaign cycle for two-year terms. So, this past weekend Honda spent his birthday hopping from one fundraiser to another. Luckily for him, this included a poolside celebration of “the fourth anniversary of his 70th birthday.” Even if he had to give an obligatory stump speech and attendant call for cash, Honda balanced it out with small talk and a glass of Prosecco. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) joined her colleague for the intimate klatch at defense attorney Chris Schumb’s stunning Willow Glen estate. A rogue pool cleaner interrupted both Lofgren and Honda mid-speech with a splash, providing some comic relief and speculation whether Khanna sabotaged via the underwater robot. Goodwill CEO Mike Fox Jr. and his parents, philanthropists Mike Fox Sr. and Mary Ellen Fox, came to show their support for the congressman. Schumb, who lends his legal services to the California Teachers Association, also invited several educators, including San Jose Teachers Association exec director Debby Baker. Cloud-software scion and E2open CEO Mark Woodward and his wife joined a couple other techies, including a VC who asked not to be named because he donated to Khanna’s last campaign. San Jose Councilman/aspiring state Assemblyman Ash Kalra stopped by to mingle with fellow Dems, including county Supervisor Ken Yeager’s policy aide Alex Shoor and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta. After a couple hours snacking on pulled pork sliders and coconut shrimp, Mineta lured most of the crowd, including the birthday boy, over to his eponymous transportation institute at San Jose State for an after-party banquet.

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.


  1. If you want to talk to our congressman at a town hall meeting, forget it. Instead, get out your checkbook and ask to attend a fundraiser. Pay to play is the Honda way!!

  2. Fortunately for Mr. Khanna and us, time is on his side. Life has term limits even if our Federal election code doesn’t.
    I just wish we could get “The Grateful Dead” off the voter list, maybe we wouldn’t need term limits.

    Stick with Mr. Khanna, I’m sure you’ll still beat any breathing Republican, if there are any!

    • > Stick with Mr. Khanna, I’m sure you’ll still beat any breathing Republican, if there are any!

      For the record, Mr. Empty, Metro/San Jose Inside is NOT an official Democratic Party newspaper (if it were, it would be doing things that are illegal). Therefore, your presumption that you are talking to the Democrat Party faithful is, well, presumptuous.

      You seem to be suggesting that ANY Democrat, even a bad Democrat, is better than any Republican. This smacks of “Animal Farm” divisionism: “four legs good, two legs bad”.

      The news contains many instances of Democrats behaving badly (ahem, Leland Yee) and there are many, many more instances that the low information voters never learn about.

      So, I’m curious.

      I would like to offer you an opportunity to demonstrate your sophisticated grasp of policy and politics by inviting you to thoughtfully and substantively explain WHY readers of SJI should “stick with Khanna” and eschew “any breathing Republican”.

      No campaign platitudes, please. Just give us your best effort at deep thinking.

      You will be graded.

      • Empty Guns point is that any Republican doesn’t stand a chance in this valley. Therefore, if you wish to defeat Honda, Khanna stands a good chance of doing so and therefore a vote for him might actually matter, especially if you’re a ‘breathing Republican’. I think Honda is useless – Khanna at least has a grasp of business in this area. He was my choice last time and will be again if nobody better comes along.

      • Sorry I left the (It) out . Stick with it Mr. Khanna. I’m trying to encourage Mr Khanna, not get an endorsement from SJI.

        I’m suggesting that a new Democrat is better than a bad Democrat.
        As long as we now have a one party system her in California it’s time for term limits at the Federal level.
        Fresh blood and a new look, at least a thinner look!

        There are breathing Republicans left in the Valley?

  3. It’s really hard for Japanese to wrap our heads around the fact that Honda is the sponsor of much of the anti-Japanese legislation in the united States. If you’re planning on voting for him because he’s Japanese, don’t. Study his voting record. I’m a Japanese American, and I’m voting for Ro Khanna.

  4. Lofgren and Honda clearly show the effects of feeding at the public trough for far too long. Norm, not so much. The private sector guy is in shape. “After a couple hours snacking on pulled pork sliders and coconut shrimp, Mineta lured most of the crowd, including the birthday boy, over to his eponymous transportation institute at San Jose State for an after-party banquet.” More food and booze? Ah, the difficult lives of government officials who live like kings, paid for by their monied loyal subjects with favors to request.

    • > The private sector guy is in shape.

      Looks undernourished to me. Most likely he’s starving. He probably scraped together every last shekel he could get from his business backers to make a campaign donation and try to get a Solyndra deal for his company.

  5. Open Letter to Mike Honda,

    Nice to see our congressperson is keeping his girlish figure. Just curious what is Goodwill’s administration cost-to donation ratio verse the Salvation Army?

    Congressperson Honda, (I like to be PC when specking to Democrats) has sent me a letter dated May 19 2015 about
    his bipartisan Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment act ….part of ….S.178 and the “Alliance to End Slavery” (ATEST) he goes on to point out that we must eradicate Human Trafficking in the US and across the world.

    Well said Mike!
    I wrote him a nice letter thanking him for his efforts.

    I’d like to point out that 152 years ago this day, the USA “The Union” under the first Republican President Abraham Lincoln began to win the war against human trafficking and slavery in the largely Democrat run south.

    Today human trafficking is not condoned or legal in any state or territory of the United States, as a mater of fact we have fought 4 or 5 wars in the last century with countries that had taken up such practices.

    Congressperson Honda wrote back thanking me for my support, and I do. I asked him if would come out and condemn
    the organizations like ISIS, the Taliban, Boko Haram, Mexican and Central American drug cartels and smugglers.
    I’ve heard nothing back from him since.

    I did get a letter from Honda about firing Donald Trump this week for his racist comments about Mexico, “Human Trafficking and Rape” on the border. As I’ve heard it from other news sources, 50% of all women and girls illegally crossing our southern border are raped along the way.

    I’m sorry Mike, did I misunderstand, who do you think is doing all that slavery and human trafficking.
    White Southern Democrats waving Confederate battle flags?
    Possibly Republican farmers looking for cheap labor to pick fruit?
    Maybe some factory donor looking for workers to do what Americans won’t do for $5.00 an hour?
    Possibly Progressive Politicians looking to stuff ballot boxes with votes in sanctuary cites like San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles?

    You seem to be saying the same thing as Trump; are you afraid the people you are pandering to might find out about your interfering in their business practices and losing some donations and/or votes?

  6. Honda is emblematic of what’s wrong in Washington, and Khanna is a faux political hipster who is nothing more than an opportunist who feels he’s entitled.

    Oh, would that we had some qualified candidates from whom to choose !!

  7. Woodward: “.. and I’ve put my campaign donations inside the holes of Crispy Creme doughnuts. The more you eat . . .”.

    MIneta: “Wow! They look like little wheels. I think the Secretary of Transportation needs to take a close look at this.”

    Lofgren: “Works for me!”

    Honda: “Ooooooh! D-O-N-U-T-S-!”

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