CONGRESS 17 | The top-flight Democratic endorsements Rep. Mike Honda has collected over the month may ultimately be ethereal, but in politics, as in life, money talks.
Ro Khanna, also a Democrat and a former Obama Commerce Department official challenging Honda next year in the 17th Congressional District, is again setting fundraising records. He reported receipts of over $1 million in the second quarter alone.
As the Washington Post reported earlier this morning, it isn’t even Khanna’s personal best. While rumors were rampant in 2011 he would run for Pete Stark’s seat in the 15th District, Khanna posted a whopping $1.2 million in a single quarter. Both amounts are staggering, since most House candidates usually take an entire campaign cycle to amass such a war chest.
Roll Call added many of Khanna’s donors are prominent Silicon Valley honchos, including Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Both Internet giants are located in the 17th District. Khanna says the financial support is almost totally homegrown without funding from political action committees or lobbyists.
Wednesday’s disclosure is surely a major psychological blow not only to Honda’s own campaign, but to prospective supporters and contributors down the line. Much can also be read into the sheer number of articles today about Khanna’s fundraising prowess, a majority of which are not from Bay Area outlets, but Beltway newspapers and Web sites.
Today’s big announcement was tailored not for voters in Silicon Valley, but for the Democratic leadership in Washington, behind-the-scenes movers and shakers and national talking heads who can amplify the message that a new hotshot is possibly coming to town next year.