Stark’s Hilarious Mailer Skewering Swalwell’s Inexperience Also Shows Fundraising Strength

ELECTION ‘12//CONGRESS 15 NOTES | During the same infamous forum where Rep. Pete Stark charged Dublin Councilman Eric Swalwell with accepting bribes from a Tri Valley developer, he also lobbed biting rejoinders such as calling his opponent a “pipsqueak” and “bush leaguer.”

Those remarks appear to be the basis for one of the most hilarious political mailers of this entire campaign season. The mailer sent last week to district voters, features a young boy swinging harmlessly at a batting tee with two adults in catcher’s gear and an umpire in the background. “You have to prove yourself as rookie,” the front of the large mailer reads, “before you’re ready for the Big Leagues.”

Inside features a photo of Swalwell as depicted on a rookie baseball card with a blue custom-made Swalwell cap Photoshopped atop his head. “When we need him most in Washington, when the stakes are high, Eric Swalwell will strike out,” says the mailer.

The piece highlights the most glaring difference between Stark, a 40-year congressman and Swalwell, who has spent less than two years in elected office. The Stark mailer claims Swalwell has no accomplishments to speak of while serving on the Dublin City Council and that is quite possibly true. Other than formulating a local Tri Valley wine commission, Swalwell’s record is in many ways thinner than many people running for school boards this November in the East Bay.

But, what this mailer shows, in addition to another recently piece charging Swalwell with aiming to end Social Security “as we know it,” is Stark’s fundraising advantage may begin to show real teeth in the last month of this race.

By most estimations, Swalwell’s underdog campaign, highlighted by door-to-door retail politicking, will begin to lose strength with every large-scale mailer Stark’s campaign sends to voter’s mailboxes. Regular voters still know absolutely nothing about Swalwell and every mailer portraying him as rookie works more efficiently than sending a small fleet of volunteers to tell your own story.

Like my Little League coach once told me long ago, don’t try to outrun the base runner, throw the ball to the base to get them out. You can always throw the ball faster than you can by chasing after them.

TRI VALLEY PAPER ENDORSES STARK While the area’s conservative-leaning editorial boards have used this election as a chance to harpoon one of the East Bay’s biggest progressive whales; the Livermore Independent last week endorsed Rep. Pete Stark over Dublin’s Eric Swalwell. In the editorial last Thursday, the paper, circulated in Livermore, Pleasanton and Sunol, summed up the choice for voter’s this fall in this way: “Listening to the rhetoric, one might conclude that the options come down to an experienced curmudgeon or an opportunistic newcomer.”

In addition, the editorial notably delves into background surrounding Swalwell’s ties with local developers and campaign fundraising. “Even though many of his donations come from developers,” they note, “he says he is not influenced by campaign donations. However, his actions speak louder than his words. One example is Swalwell’s vote to conduct a study to rezone the KB Home and Charter Properties Promenade shopping center into higher density homes despite the protests from hundreds of Dublin residents. While not voting for a proposal to build housing in Doolan Canyon, Swalwell supported moving ahead with an environmental study.

“In our experience, we have found that Swalwell makes statements, then when questioned later regarding their truth, denies that he has made them.”

What is interesting about this editorial is it shows a completely different picture of what may have occurred between Swalwell and Charter Properties than the one sidestepped by other papers. The firm was infamously reference by Stark last April as the “Lin Family,” in which he claimed Swalwell accepted “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from in exchange for rezoning the property.

The Bay Area News Group’s Josh Richman, for one, wrote there was no bribery going down, therefore, case closed. Whether there was bribery or not, there was, in fact, evidence of a quid pro quo. Aside from that, Richman’s knee- jerk declaration of nothing improper, apparently came from an until then unknown section of the Federal Election Commission’s disclosure forms labeled “Bribes,” which was understandably left blank.

Categories: CD15, Charter Properties, congress, Doolan Canyon, Eric Swalwell, independent, Livermore, mailer, Pete Stark, The Promenade

24 replies

  1. Swalwell has obviously been inducted to the club of Tavares' least favorite politicians, along with Mary Hayashi, Joel Young, Jesus Armas, Maribel Heredia, and Chris Crow…that should tell us all we need to know.


  2. Well, Stark should have a 3 to 1 funding advantage if not more. He is still odds on favorite to win.
    This first mailer is fun but also runs the risk of bringing up the age issue, with Pete being on the other extreme end of the scale.

    Having called Swalwell a inexperienced “rookie”, it may prompt many voters to wonder why Pete is so afraid to even face him in any public forum, and further, why their congressman won't appear anywhere in public before election day.

    It will be interesting to see Stark's story line unfold with each subsequent mailer.
    But I'll tell you, just one more Stark gaffe and this whole “experience” issue may fly out the window.
    Pete Stark is hitting out, but at the same time he and his handlers know he is skating on very thin ice. He is quite vunerable to any more perceived evidence that he has lost it upstairs.
    Thus far both of Pete's campaign managers have blown every opportunity by allowing him to speak.

    Perhaps Cornu has finally convinced Pete to just shut up. A rather humiliating final campaign for the ranking Bay Area member of congress. Can't even appear in public.


  3. NPR had story about this battle for congress today:


  4. Obvious that Mayor Cassidy wrote the first comment here.


  5. Senile Pete, come out to play…


  6. By MW:

    1. In regard to whether Swalwell could be corrupt and/or sleazy, that is impossible since he is a lawyer licensed by the California State Bar, and the totally corrupt pathological liars who run the CSB never stop telling us about the extremely high standards they supposedly hold lawyers to, and out of their supposed desire to protect the public.

    (NOTE: There are some lawyers who are honest and ethical, but simply out of their personal choice to be so, since the corrupt pathological liars who run the CSB actually are infinitely more interested in protecting lawyers, and including crooked lawyers, than they are in protecting the public.)

    2. However getting to the issue that Stark has raised as whether to choose a rookie versus choosing a veteran, I would much prefer a rookie that looks like he might have potential and also might improve and get better than a veteran who is not only so old that he is obviously way over the hill, but still furthermore also declining fast and rapidly getting even much worse.

    And let's not forget that when Stark himself first ran forty years ago, he himself was a rookie and challenging an elderly veteran, and Stark's attitude back then was that it was time for the old coot, and supposed has been, to retire and allow some young blood in.

    In fact, Stark is not even a veteran anymore. In other words, fifteen or twenty years ago he could have been described as an experienced veteran, but now a much more accurate description would be a washed up hanger on and has been who should have retired years ago.


  7. 8:25 PM… regarding the NPR story mentioned.

    The line that stands out,

    “He's among the most despised members of congress”

    And on the subject of him being passed over by his own party to be the chairman of Ways and Means

    “That was a stunning rebuke”

    This about the man, Pete Stark, who says that Swalwell won't be able to go to congress and get any respect as a “rookie”.


  8. Welcome to the major leagues


  9. First, the Independent is a one issue paper. Growth in the Tri-Valley (or lack thereof). They want the last house in the region to be built in Livermore about ten years ago. The will never support anybody from Dublin.

    I do not get your obsession over campaign contributions. It is unfortunate, but our political system runs on a form of legalized bribery. Do you think all those medical groups donated to Stark because they like him?


  10. A question. If Pete Stark was in another profession, would you hire him in his current state of physical and mental decline?

    As a architect for your new house?
    As a heart surgeon for your bypass operation?
    As a mechanic to rebuild your engine?
    As a accountant to do your taxes and financial planning?

    OK, you tell me which profession it is in which a man in Pete Starks condition would still be able to perform his duties effectively…

    Remember now, even the Walmart greeters have to have a pleasant personality.


  11. wow…

    ever heard of…

    Frank Lloyd Wright…
    William Osler/William Mayo…
    Carroll Shelby…
    Warren Buffett/George Soros…

    you're an idiot.


  12. none of them were senile while they were practicing their craft


  13. 1:54, You knucklehead, I wasn't merely talking about age! You show me Warren Buffett, or George Soros, they can and do both appear in public without making fools of themselves.

    Or to use a local example, I believe Diane Feinstein is only 2 years younger than Pete Stark.
    Have you seen Diane lately? Heard her talk in public? She is as sharp as ever and WELL RESPECTED back in Washington DC. Pete is neither of those things.

    Face it, some people age well. Pete Stark has dropped off the deep end over the past few years.
    Did you even view his performance when the Chronicle interviewed him.
    He looked like fumbling Mr. McGoo.
    Totally embarassing, even for those who don't like him. Felt sorry for him.

    So don't give me your foolish list, unless you are suggesting that Pete's current condition is similar to those you mention.

    In any other profession where performance counted, Pete would be long gone.
    Good God Almighty, comparing Buffett and Stark, Oh my!


  14. Pete stark will win hands down


  15. You are probably right about Pete winning.
    However that says nothing about his obvious decline.
    Or as in the NPR piece where it says “He's among the most despised men in congress”

    Pete goes back to Maryland, keeps his office, and we all push the snooze button for two years of nothing.


  16. What office did Pete have before congress? Wasn't he a bank president or owned a bank in Concord? Pete had his time and it is now time for him to retire. Enjoy life and your family Pete. Time for someone new.


  17. Seems like people here who support Swalwell have serious self-esteem problems. He has absolutely no accomplishments as a public official. Is it really wise to choose someone like this just because the other guy upsets you? Voting for someone just because he's the only warm body is not the best way to pick our leaders.


  18. How long will it take until Swalwell is caught spray tanning with Boehner? I say November 7.


  19. By MW:

    The fact that 1:54PM mentioned the names of certain people who still performed well when they were older does not mean that everyone who attains the age of eighty years or more is still mentally sharp.

    In other words while some people as old as Stark are still mentally sharp, however others in that age bracket have slipped considerably in their mental functioning, and therefore should not be in major decision making roles.

    In fact, I remember the retired and former longtime US Senator who came right out and admitted that he was not nearly as sharp as he had been when he was younger, and declared that therefore people such as himself, and he meant people in his age bracket, should not be involved in major decision making for the United States government as far as setting policy, but instead should allow people who were younger and sharper to be in charge of making those decisions.


  20. 2:12…

    ugh. where to start.

    pete will win.

    the rest of you armchair pundits will go back to your holes. then the real race starts and all of your uneducated, unfounded, and sophomoric opinions will all come flooding back as a mass catharsis because you couldn't have possibly have been wrong this time.


    ps. MW – you have obviously earned the title of blog nutcase. yet you post about someone no longer being “mentally sharp” as you put it… good god, please stop posting.


  21. 2:23, Sure Pete will probably win. Incumbents almost always do better than the enthusiastic supporters of the competition expects.

    On the other hand I give them far more credit than the mindless syncophants who walk in lockstep with the party pro's who always favor the incumbent no matter how much he has declined or how bizarre his behavior has become. Talk about a group of “dolts”.

    The term sclerotic doesn't only apply to a candidates mind, but also to the entire entrenched party in Alameda County.

    I'd rather hold a sophomoric opinion than be glued to the floor in the local party headquarters where one can't even question Pete's current capacity to serve.

    Did you read the recent article? October 4th

    “When Pete Stark walks into a room nowadays, his supporters get a bit nervous”

    Not because some great leader has entered the room, but rather because everyone is expecting something crazy to be uttered….once again crashing the campaign efforts.


  22. By MW:

    If I understand the comments of 2:12, he is asserting that if Pete Stark wins his bid for re-election that will then “prove” that Stark is: one, “competent;” two, also the best man in the contest; and three, also not senile and/or losing his marbles and/or becoming a first class nutcase.

    That is an extremely interesting way of “analyzing” things, since by using such “logic” we could have also “proved” that Nadia Lockyer was “competent,” since after all she did win a race for election to the AC Board of Supervisors; that Boss Tweed and his co conspirators were the best candidates for the positions in all of the election races they were victorious in; that at least most of the various political candidates Al Capone backed were the best people in the races they entered; and that such characters as Strom Thurmond, and who hung around until they were in their nineties and beyond extremely senile, were competent and the best candidates in all of the election races they were victorious in.

    Yes, it is quite possible that Stark will win and that Swalwell will lose. After all, inciumbents do usually win, and no matter how incompetent and/or senile and/or sleazy and/or corrupt they are. Some examples have been Maxine Waters, Alan Robbins, and Charlie Rangel.

    And in fact if Jim Jones, and later of Jonestown infamy, had run for high elected office while he was still in the Bay area, and including due to the backing he had from such characters as Willie Brown, George Moscone, and Harvey Milk, it is quite likely he would have been elected and re-elected.

    And getting back to Nadia Lockyer, if Matier & Ross had not blown the whistle on her drug addiction and general idiocy, it is quite likely she could have stayed on the AC Board of Supervisors for years and possibly even decades – or even ended up as one of the highest ranking and most powerful people in the state legislature.

    Or maybe, and with the help of endorsements from such characters as Bill Lockyer, Willie Brown, and Jerry Brown, Nadia could have even ended up in the United States House of Representatives, and especially after Stark finally died or decided to retire.

    And Spiro “Under The Table Bribes” Agnew was repeatedly elected and re-elected to various offices. So it is obvious the “great wisdom” in 2:12's comments.

    But what is 2:12 going to say if some day one of the candidates he was backing however loses an election battle for office???? Since will that prove, and in fact even beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the candidate he had backed actually was inferior to the person who eventually won.


  23. By MW:

    In regard to my above post of 12:21.

    As I have commented before, I should get a pair of reading glasses since my closeup vision is not what it was when I was younger.

    In other words rather than the first phrase making reference to the timestamp of “2:12,” IT SHOULD HAVE REFERRED TO THE TIMESTAMP OF “2:23.”


  24. MW is a retard.




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