Swalwell Says Stark Is ‘Too Busy’ To Debate Him Later This Month

May 10, 2012 | Eric Swalwell’s campaign said Wednesday Rep. Pete Stark declined an invitation from the chamber of commerces in Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore and San Ramon for a debate on May 21. Stark said he was “too busy,” according to a press release put out by Swalwell, while finding the groups not “reputable.”

“The Tri-Valley should not be ignored. This area was not previously represented by Congressman Stark in the old CA-13 and voters here deserve to hear from all the candidates where we stand on issues important to them,” said Swalwell.

Offering the incumbent to debate, being turned down and then portraying it as your opponent’s skittishness to face their challenger is a common dance in every race.

Instead what may be more instructive to voters in the western part of the new 15th congressional district would be to see Swalwell debate Stark somewhere in Hayward. There is a growing perception in that area that Swalwell tends to wilt in surroundings that are less rah-rah than the hearty reception he receives in the Tri-Valley.

When speaking before the Hayward Demos last March, his negative attacks on Stark fell flat with local Democrats. Afterwards, he quickly fled the room. Swalwell did the same thing, while also looking disinterested, after speaking last month at Cal State East Bay. Whether there is a hint of youthful petulance or nerves in Swalwell’s DNA is definitely something to keep an eye out for.

5 thoughts on “Swalwell Says Stark Is ‘Too Busy’ To Debate Him Later This Month

  1. We are ALL being given a choice this election. To return Pete Stark back to Congress to continue fighting for working families. You seem hellbent on voting for Eric who is light on details and even lighter on positions. Just because he isn't Pete Stark. Sorry Anon, that isn't enough of a reason for me. Has nothing to do with being disloyal, has everything to do with being pragmatic and an “educated” voter.

    Just to be clear, the staff is where the rubber meets the road and I have never seen a better and more professional staff than Pete's. If Eric's choice in staff is what we can expect to be helping constituents if he gets elected God help us all. All are rejects that couldn't get jobs with any legitimate campaigns and yet, look where they ended up.

    Mary Hayashi is a hack, she always was, she always will be. I'm sure you'll agree with me on that one. It simply wasn't worth the cost and energy to force her out so she is being frozen out – excellent.

    To speak to your last point about “party leaders”. These men and women are highly educated working professionals that volunteer their time to promote progressive values. For that reason, they've earned the right to express an OPINION about who they are supporting and why. I pay attention to local politics maybe a little more than the average Joe and I don't agree with everything the party takes a position on. But in this case, I think we can all agree that Eric is no Mr. Smith. 

    And if it wasn't obvious by now. I am casting my vote for Pete Stark! At least I put my name on my opinions. I believe in true transparency.


  2. Cindy, I think all your comments spell out exactly what I am trying to say.

    From last year when you posted

    “Ro is fiercely loyal to the Congressman and nothing is going to change that. It is the others who are running that are disloyal to the Congressman.”

    So anyone who dare run against any sitting Democratic office holder in the East Bay is a “disloyal” Democrat.
    In other words, once you get in, you are in for life (or when termed out in some cases)

    So if a Democrat thinks Pete is good in 1972 as they finish college, then 'darn it' he is still the only choice when you are ready to retire in 2012.
    So is that about right Cindy. People like myself, who walked precincts for Pete in 1972, are bound to him for life, or else declared to be disloyal.

    This, is a example of the sickness that Dan Walters alluded to in his column.
    Now we are told to wait two more years, show respect for Pete, and wait until the local party leaders tell us its time for a new face they will give us.

    My God, if Mary Hayashi wasn't termed out, you'd probably be supporting her.
    Tell me, do you think, as a person who was arrested for a felony and who is now on three years probation, that she should still be chairperson of the Business and Professions committee?

    Would it be “disloyal” to suggest such?
    Loyalty be damned, I want choices in every election. New blood to keep the party from falling prey to the condition we've seen revealed in the past months.


  3. All politics starts with cultivating the base – had he reached out, spoke with many of us one-on-one he would have gotten a lot farther. It's about respect of the voters and the base. That is something Stark, Wieckowski and Quirk and their teams have always understood.

    I actually feel sorry for Eric. I think he is a very smart guy and is n outstanding prosecutor, he is just a crapass politician.


  4. Well I guess Swalwell isn't part of the regular club. That group mentioned today in the Sacramento Bee, in Dan Walters column


    “The East Bay's voters are overwhelmingly Democrats, so its politicians need only win the party's blessing – or, more accurately, the patronage of a few pooh-bahs – to hold office.
    If one says the right things to and does the right favors for the right people, one is magically ordained and protected from re-election challenges.”

    I would only say that lots of long time Democrats feel they haven't been part of the “insiders” or “pooh-bahs” for decades.
    Perhaps Swalwell doesn't want to funraise for Quirk or Wieckowski, just because they have the “Democrat” label.

    BTW, has Tri-City Club, Quirk, or Wieckowski, come out ever saying Mary Hayashi should resign or be removed from the chairmanship of the Business and Professions Committee? Or as usual, when you join the insiders you buy into the silence regarding anything that might reflect poorly on the group, regardless of how outrageous.

    Lots of Democrats are sick and tired of it all.
    And given that half the district is new, perhaps a office seeker might not attend every dinner and fundraiser when the insiders have been only too ready to re-anoint Pete, because “we owe it to him”.


  5. I'd be a lot impressed if Swalwell was actually showing up at Tri-City events – he was a no show at the Democratic Dinner in Fremont, at the Tri-City Club meetings every month, at special events or fundraisers for Bill Quirk, Bob Wieckowski or others but nope – he had not darkened our doorstep.


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