ELECTION ’12//CONGRESS 15 NOTES
May 18, 2012 | Rep. Pete Stark’s tougher-than-expected primary challenge got a boost from on high Friday. President Barack Obama announced his endorsement of the 40-year congressman in the 15th congressional district.

“Congressman Pete Stark is a tireless champion for all of the 15th’s working families,” said President Obama. “We’ve worked hard these last three years to bring meaningful, positive change to our nation – fighting for good jobs, good schools and a health care system that works for all of our citizens. We have made great strides, but there is much more to do. That is why we need his dedicated efforts back in Congress to continue the fight with me. I need you to cast your vote for Congressman Stark in the June 5 Democratic Congressional Primary.”

The high profile presidential endorsement comes more than two weeks before possibly the biggest primary challenge Stark has faced since becoming an East Bay congressman in 1973. In the state’s new top two primary system, fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell, a first-term Dublin councilman, will likely face Stark a second time in the November general election.

“I am honored to receive the President’s endorsement,” Stark said. “After a campaign focused on health care, working families and economic development, my first task back in Congress will be to work with the President and other members of Congress to get our economy back on the right track.”

President Obama must be a forgiving man. During a town hall meeting last September in Hayward, when speaking about the perception Obama acquiesced to Republican too often, Stark called him a “lousy politician.”

SOCIAL MEDIA SHENANIGANS Fodder for those who believe, despite the incessant rhetoric of Rep. Pete Stark irascible nature, it has been Eric Swalwell who has run the far more negative campaign is coming from the realm of social media. A Facebook page, titled, “The Stark Truth,” nicely highlights some of Stark’s low lights over the years. The page is paid for by the Swalwell campaign, but a Twitter account named @PeteSnark also popped up earlier this week has no identifiable source. Nonetheless, the feed had one funny tweet a few days ago. “Well guess I’m officially the craziest one left RT @HuffPostPol It’s official: Dennis Kucinich’s time in Congress is ending”

WAR IN IRAN? Speaking of Dennis Kucinich, the long-time congressman and presidential candidate who lost his primary challenge earlier this year in Ohio, made hay this week about a bipartisan House resolution he said draws a convenient line in the sand for the administration to eventually wage war this year against Iran. Stark voted Thursday with just 10 other representative against the resolution, to which Swalwell commented on Facebook the decision again shows Stark is out of touch. Exactly, who Stark is out of touch with, though, is not clear. Stark has also been a pacifist when it comes to foreign wars–it’s how he got elected in 1973–and his consistent stand against the current wars in the Middle East has always been a very popular stance among his constituents. In the past, Swalwell has used a similar argument when it comes to his perception of Stark being anti-Israel. However, Stark has always proclaimed to have never voted for approving arms sales to any foreign country, including its important ally, Israel.