Why Won’t Mike Honda Debate?

Ken Scudder, Congressman Mike Honda's communications director, reassured Fly this week that his boss is committed to keeping constituents informed about what he does in Congress. But for all the partisan sparring going on D.C., Honda seems awfully nervous to take off the gloves and discuss the issues here at home. Honda has skipped numerous candidate forums in the last few months, and now he’s insisting his busy schedule won’t allow him to attend a single debate before the June primary. Earlier this week his camp gave San Francisco Chronicle political columnist Carla Marinucci the runaround about an available debate date, after the newspaper had joined two television stations to offer up a forum with three available times. Honda refused to RSVP to any of them. “Unfortunately, when candidates refuse to engage in debate, it leaves a vacuum too often filled by super PACs and special interests,” said Ro Khanna, a corporate attorney challenging Honda. The reluctance from Honda’s camp to make the seven-term incumbent available to the press has raised some concerns. Late last year, he granted just a single 30-minute interview for a San jose Inside story on the race. By comparison, we should have felt lucky. Honda passed on giving CNN an interview altogether, leaving the writer to spill almost all of his ink on Malaysia Air Flight 370—er, we mean Khanna and Republican challenger Vanila Singh. As a result, Honda's no-show record has left his messaging to constituent outreach, which lately appears to be awfully similar to campaign pieces. More than 40,000 constituent mailers bear a striking resemblance to the verbiage on campaign pieces handed out around the same time. The campaign brochure also uses the slogan, “Delivering for Silicon Valley.” On the brochure sent out by Honda’s district office, he’s “Delivering for Us.” Long distance, of course.

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  1. This old geezer needs to go! Another labor lap dog who is overwhelmingly controlled and played by his Chief of Staff (Van Der Heide) and District Director (Meri Maben) like a puppet. These two know that if he were to go on a debate, they wouldn’t be able to answer for him and be his mouthpiece like they have been in DC and his district.

    How can an elected official; especially an incumbent who is believed to know everything there is to know about his district and the issues it faces since he represents such, not want to take part of a debate from the challenging opposition?

    Oh! That’s right! He’ll fall asleep like he did during one of his ‘obamacare’ town hall meetings he had last year. That explains his rejection of wanting to take part of a debate!

    This guys is a joke! Get rid of him!

    Times need change and he certainly isn’t that change! That’s for sure!

  2. 出る杭は打たれる。

    “The stake that sticks out gets hammered down.”

    Keep it up Mr. Honda! or is it down?

  3. Honestly, I like Mike as a person, but as a representative he leaves a bit to be desired…

    I worked pretty hard, sacrificed, and put a lot of time into building karaoke software that works with the music publishers. If the system doesn’t have a song, a customer can pay to download it on a system, on the spot. It’s awesome software, does things the right way.

    Unfortunately for me, 90% of guys out there hosting karaoke shows do so with pirated karaoke. Trying to break this software into other venues has proven to be impossible. The venue owners, the customers all have an unrealistic expectation of what the true cost of karaoke is. My system, as beautiful as it is simply cannot compete with someone that has 100,000 pirated songs, a laptop, and only charges $50-75 a night.

    I’ve tried talking to Mike about this on several occasions and he always seems to dodge helping me. Copyright violation is a federal crime, should be in his arena. I’ve read stories of the FBI and SJPD cracking down on bootleg movies at the Flea Market, but not once has anyone investigated bootleg karaoke.

    I don’t know why Mike is this way. If the hammer started falling on bootleg karaoke here in California, like it has fallen in Florida, South Caroline, and a few other states then I might actually be able to sell this system. At least there would be some medium of tax revenue from it. Instead the publishers copyrights continue to be violated, and innovation in karaoke is stifled because of it.

    One publisher, Sound Choice, once had 75 employees, 20,000 sqft of studio and office space. It’s been reduced to 3 people now. You’d think because Honda is an avid karaoke fan, he’d care about this stuff. He just doesn’t. Meanwhile several US based karaoke music manufacturers have had to shutter their doors.

    I can’t in good faith vote for someone who’s not protecting my interests. Sorry Mike.

    • We all know of Mike’s love of booze and karaoke. Maybe he wasn’t dodging you. He might just like cheap karaoke!

    • This tired, worn-out useless man is just sitting his happy a$$ in DC building up on that pension!

      Some veteran leaders within his district have told me that they’ve approached him a couple of times during some of his past events, wanting to inquire about what he is actively doing in regards to veteran issues within his district. They’ve told me he’s always quick to dodge their inquiries and always says to them “Talk to my district director” or replies “I’ll be sure to bring it up to the Armed Services Committee and Gen. Shinseki”. Then he turns his back and walks away to go and talk to AFL-CIO leaders or ‘unionistas’.

      One of his former aides, who worked for him for about six or seven years at his old district office in Campbell, told me that a former intern of his used to be in the military and that they reached out to the Congressman while they were in Afghanistan at the time and had received a RED CROSS message informing them that their mother was critically ill and hospitalized, and that the family wanted that service member to come home ASPA just in case she passed away.

      According to his former aide, the service member contacted Mike Honda directly all the way from Afghanistan asking for his help in cutting through all the red tape since that service member’s command wasn’t letting them go home and wanted another RED CROSS message to detail the exact condition of their mother. The service member also contacted Mike because Mike offered to help the service member and its family should that service member need any assistance while they were deployed.

      What happened?

      The service member went home 2.5 WEEKS after the original RED CROSS message was received and the mother of that service member died while the service member was returning home from Afghanistan.

      If Mike Honda claims to be a ‘veteran advocate’ yet, doesn’t do a damn thing about helping a military service member in need (who happened to be one of his former interns) then what can his constituents expect of him with other issues at hand? Unless its labor unions or endorsing labor lap dogs running for city council or county supervisor, Mike Honda could care less.

      All Mike Honda is good for is falling asleep during town-hall ‘obamacare’ meetings and rejecting invites to debate his challengers.

      • What? When did he fall asleep at an Obamacare town hall? If that were true it would make the news for sure. You should apologize for that.

          • Thank you ‘Bobby’! =) It’s good to see we agree on certain things….’Murica!

          • YW Chesty. I really like Mike as a person, I’ve known him a long time. It’s just he’s never taken any direct steps to help me on this issue.

            I think what we think about him is a bit different though. I still like Mike, I just wish he would have taken an active interest in my issue so my American Dream could have a chance.

            I didn’t do anything illegal, I went through the proper channels, and in the end those that broke laws and took shortcuts won in the end. Now I’m back at a desk job instead of cutting my own piece of the American Pie.

          • Wow. I am floored. Was this in 2009 or 2010 when the GOP was getting all that attention over Health Care Town Halls?

    • You make a strong case. Unfortunately, I just don’t think Ro Khanna is the man to replace Mike Honda (and no one else has a chance).

  4. Most criticism of Mike Honda seems well-founded, but I would still vote for him over Ro Khanna (there are other candidates too, but let’s face reality; only the two Democrats have any chance of winning this race).

    You see, the thing about ol’ Ro, is that he’s tied in with all those “Silicon Valley” billionaire-types, who for all their ostensibly progressive views on social issues, basically have an economic worldview more akin to that of Mitt Romney or John D. Rockefeller. Mike Honda may be a sleepy ol’ doofus who, in an ideal world, would be swiftly replaced, BUT I DON’T want to replace him with someone who’s basically just going to be representing the interests of a small number of fabulously wealthy people who, for the most part, live several miles to the northwest of the actual freakin’ district (and who’s interests are antithetical to those of Santa Clara County’s working & middle classes).

    • Hmmm…I thought Silicon Valley is renown for being innovative, financially progressive and technologically advanced? A place where engineers and hard working educated professionals are given the opportunity to thrive and progress.

      I didn’t know Silicon Valley is actually turning into a communist manifesto and a beacon for socialist ‘progressive’ reform (i.e Labor).

      This geezer needs to go! He’s dead weight and he is clearly not representing the interests of the ENTIRE County of Santa Clara.

      Local labor leaders love to use that communist war cry (“for working families”) just to rile up folks so they can keep on collecting their union dues and maintain their syndicate posts/positions and pay, nothing more.

      Last I checked…the AFL-CIO didn’t make Silicon Valley the Technological Capital of the World and definitely NOT Mike Honda.

    • Hey Kevin,

      I dunno, as a software guy I can relate more to Ro. His experience in IP law could help me out a lot, as long as he doesn’t rest on his laurels. What he’s capable of would extend not just to the billionaire types, but to the garage tinkerers and inventors like myself.

      BTW had no idea you were back in the bay area! When did you come back?

  5. The “busy schedule” Honda has (which keeps him from appearing at debates or forums) is lining up special interest money and learning what it is the contributors want in return. Puppet on a string.

    • Mike really doesn’t have a mind of his own. Your vote for Mike is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein. He’s pretty much useless otherwise. He caters to Wall Street FAT CATs even though Mr. Honda and the President denounced the Wall Street FAT CATs over and over. Remember, it’s all about the money. Hate Fat Cats one day. They show politicians he money and politicians change their minds.

  6. All this criticism is laughable. I personally know Mike Honda and he is one of the most honest politicians out there. Our family was in trouble and he was the only elected official willing to personally help us. Quit buying into the Metro’s “journalism”.

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