Khanna Leads Fundraising Race Over Stark Despite 89% Of Donors From Outside District

Feb. 1, 2012 | It’s a matter of debate whether the quick $1.2 million haul of Ro Khanna, the former commerce department official from Fremont, is will matter much during the race this year to challenge long-time Rep. Pete Stark in the 15th District.

Khanna, who amassed an astonishingly large war chest, he says, for a future run at the seat in two years, did so with the help of a large number of donors from outside of the current congressional district.

A tally of his campaign fundraising report show 89 percent of the record $1.2 million came from donors outside of the district limits roughly between Hayward, Fremont and Pleasanton. The list is predominately made up of Indo-American donor with ties primarily to Silicon Valley interests. Although many donors originated from more upscale locales in Northern California, a large number also came from the Northeast and Washington, D.C.

Stark, already sitting on a perpetual pile of around a half million in cash, recorded over $88,000 during the past four months giving him nearly $580,000 in cash on hand. Most of the donation came from groups affiliated with health care and pharmaceuticals. Stark sits on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.

One notable entry stands out, though. Khanna, himself, wrote Stark a $1,000 donation last October.

With the end of the nomination period near, the primary race for Stark’s seat still appears unsettled. Currently only Stark, Dublin Councilman Eric Swalwell and Chris Pareja, an independent with ties to the Tea Party have announced intentions to run. The possible entry of state Sen. Ellen Corbett, according to observers, would significantly jumble the make up of the race.

Swalwell raised over $65,000 in last quarter of 2011, according to campaign finance reports due Tuesday. His year-end tally came in at just over $89,000 cash on hand. The total is impressive for the freshman councilman and Alameda County prosecutor who hopes to parlay distinct advantages surrounding the redistricting of the seat that includes more moderate voters in Dublin and Pleasanton.

Although Corbett says she is only exploring the chance of running for congress this year, nonetheless, she still raised over $161,000 last quarter with nearly $148,000 cash on hand not including debts of over $22,000. Corbett’s early fundraising totals are also impressive as compared to her past fundraising exploits. She is not known to be one of Sacramento’s most prodigious fundraisers.

Primary voters will go to the polls June 5 to choose, regardless of party affiliation, the top two candidates to face off in the November general election. It will be the state’s first use of the open primary system since being approved by voters in 2010.

THE HAUL (thru 1/31/12)
Swalwell……$ 89,072

Categories: CD15, Chris Pareja, congress, Ellen Corbett, Eric Swalwell, Pete Stark, Ro Khanna

17 replies

  1. Ellen is best positioned to win this seat in 14. I don't care about Khanna's money. He's new, unknown, and speaking as an Indo American in the district for a long time, I know I'll go for Ellen.

    That said, I would vote for Pete. It's his last term, and I think a lot of folks will vote for Pete. I think Khanna's supporters have been goading Ellen into running against Pete Stark because its really his only shot. Pete would beat Ellen handily because they both share the same labor base and from Hayward/San Lorenzo. Pete also is very effective with senior citizens. If Ellen loses and earns the wrath of Stark, that gives Khanna an opening.

    Ellen really would be foolish to run. She's the heir to Pete's seat. She ought to just wait till 14 and not get rattled by the noise of Khanna/Swalwell and mess up what she's worked a lifetime to achieve.


  2. This Hindu ought to run against Stark. Stark lost a big chunk of his ignorant voter base in San Leandro, this will give the more intelligent people of Pleasanton, Dublin and Fremont a chance to vote for someone that's not a lunatic. The dummies in Hayward won't control this election.


  3. Hahaha wasn't there some Khanna supporter who claimed Khanna had more support inside the district than Stark? Show me the money! It's all outside the district! Like the first poster said, Khanna is unknown. He has no momentum. He just knows Silicon Valley big pockets. Khanna can join the ranks of well funded Silicon Valley candidates who lose bigtime


  4. Agree with post above. Steven Tavares and the Chronicle can hype this Khanna guy all they want. But this district is not going to go for an Indian Hindu. Sorry to be blunt. That's the truth that Tavares doesn't tell you. Ellen's father grew up here. I've known the Corbetts for many years. Where did Khanna's parents come from? India? Shouldn't he run in India, or somewhere in San Jose where there are tons of Indians. The East Bay is not a place for him. They'll give Stark a term, and then this will be Corbett country.


  5. The racism in the above post stuns me – my grandparents came from Italy, does that make me unqualified for office just because they weren't born here – disgusting. There is no religious or background litmus test for government – none!


  6. G0 over Khanna's disclosure again and you will find that he has raised more money from the district than Corbett or Stark – $163,000 more. Corbett's money came from attorney's outside the district – all special interest money. Khanna's money came from individual donors who responded to his message.


  7. Some good comments here! The race or potential race fascinates me. It shows how money unfortunately is the scoreboard we used for elections. It shouldn't be this way.

    It also shows exactly what one person above mentioned. Corbett has put a lot of time and energy into this region. I amazed that someone could swoop in out of nowhere and blow the notion that she is the heir to Stark's seat out of the water.

    Readers may recall the intense focus I put on Nadia Lockyer's campaign for supervisor in 2010. Ninety-eight percent of her nearly $2 million came from Bill Lockyer's treasury campaign. Aside from that, she had hardly any donors from the district.

    Editorially, I don't think voters like politiicians buying elections, but then again, maybe they don't mind. Lockyer went on to win with 66% of the vote.


  8. Corbett Country? Oh give me a frickin' break. There has NEVER been a large drunken Irish population around here. Portagee's, Spanish and Italians who LOVE welfare and Pete Stark are what makes the voting base. Stark lived in Walnut Creek for crying out loud and never lived in this district. All those dumb Portagee's in San Leandro have to vote for Big Mouth Barbara Lee in order to get their government fix. They don't have Stark nor Corbett to carry their water. Anyone who can kick Starks sorry ass out of office the better. 40 years and Stark hasn't done squat. I'll give this Hindu a chance.


  9. Tavares, Corbett is still the heir to this seat. You're the one putting an emphasize on money. Anyone who thinks Corbett is not going to win does not know what they are talking about. She's a woman and elected. She'll win in 14. Not sure why you think Khanna has any shot.


  10. The only thing Corbett is heir to is;

    bad hair.
    a rancid drunken look.

    She doesn't have the morons of San Leandro to put her over the top. Her only base is the ghetto/barrio of Hayward and San Lorenzo. Without the idiots of San Leandro this is a competitive race. Even a dumb Portagee like Tavares can figure that out and he's an idiot.


  11. I am astounded of the Ignorance here. If you have nothing intelligent to say, why not then insult someone or some community. It proves the intelligent of the posters.

    Remember one thing, we have open primary, you can vote for anyone on the ballot. It may come down to Stark Vs Corbett in November……
    Fremont Bill


  12. Stark vs. Khanna and Khanna wins. Bye bye Senile Man


  13. Tavares, why do you constantly bash Stephen Cassidy from your position of privilege in Alameda? You should be treating him like a saint. He is serving out of a sense of duty, not personal enrichment like Fathead Santos. So go screw yourself asshole!


  14. Easy to see why East Bay Democratic politics are run by tired old hacks. (BTW, I'm a Democrat, just tired of the same old crowd, having their private little party, even putting their new wives into local office)

    Comment #1's reply “She's the heir to Pete's seat”

    This is why East Bay Democrats are essentially dead.
    They act like their little game is some kind of kingdom.
    Hey, Knucklehead, I walked days and days for Pete back in 1972, and it ISN'T Pete's seat.
    It is our seat, and Pete is now a tired old man who has run dry of any new ideas that will gain traction, even with his fellow Democrats.
    He has all but lost his seniority, or else he'd be the top Democrat on Ways and Means. They passed him over in case you hadn't noticed. A must unusual event in congress.

    #2 foolish comment in another post, Regarding Khana's source of funds. “Show me the money! It's all outside the district!”

    Sir, have you ever looked at the source of Pete's funds? If you had, you wouldn't make such a idiot statement.
    For 40 out of 40 years, Pete has raised 90% of his money outside the district.

    Just as Pete leaped into the district in 1972 and took out the incumbent, it would be very easy for Khanna step right in, run a excellent campaign and outdistance Corbett.

    In 1972, Pete was a fresh younger voice.
    In 2014 Khanna will fill that same position.
    Corbett is part of the old, calcified Democratic “group” that has been running the East Bay for years. We aren't knee jerk, party loyalists like in some old Chicago neighborhood with the Daley family.

    Corbett would have about the same chance of defeating Pete in 2012 as she would have winning in 2014 against Khanna.
    Its not by chance that he is collecting support from as many people as he has.

    OF course, this all assumes that Mary Hayashi won't run.


  15. Hayashi has a brain tumor that causes her to steal $3000 worth of accutrements from wealthy department stores. Just imagine that, a woman who represents the illegal aliens of A Street and Tennyson Road sneaking into Neiman Marcus and stealing. What a bunch of losers live in the part of Alameda County.


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