A Feeling Out Period in the Initial CA-15 Candidate’s Forum

CONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | It’s too early to get nasty in the 15th Congressional District. Democrats Rep. Eric Swalwell, State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett and Republican Hugh Bussell mostly spoke in generalities, while taking pains to avoid confrontation during their first candidate’s forum of the election season. The top two vote-getters in the June 3 primary will advance to the November general election.

Initially, there appeared to be very few differences between the two Democrats and the Republican who joined the race just prior to the filing deadline last March. All opposed fracking, supported a pathway for undocumented immigrants to achieve citizenship and backed campaign finance reform. However, it was the pressing concern of government surveillance that created some space between the candidates.

Bussell, the Alameda County Republican Party vice chair, uttered one of the night’s memorable sound bites when he referred to the belief, by some; the recent “Heartbleed” computer virus was related to the National Security Agency. “I’m not that quite paranoid, but if people are out to get you, it’s not really paranoia, is it?” said Bussell. When it comes to government surveillance of Americans Internet and cell phone use, Corbett vowed to protect privacy rights, as did Swalwell.

“We cannot, must not, sacrifice our privacy in favor of security,” said Swawell. “There is one vote on the NSA that was taken in Congress and that was to defund its phone collection program and I voted against funding that program. I stood for the rights of privacy.” However, Swalwell voted for an earlier bill allowing the government to view the Web histories of citizen without their knowledge.

[READ Swalwell Says He Stood for Privacy Rights; Record Says Otherwise.]

In what may become a major point of contention during this election, Corbett mentioned Swalwell’s previous vote, however, in vague terms. Similarly, Corbett attempted later to skewer Swalwell’s freshman status in Congress, saying she would not use it as an excuse for inaction. But, the hour-long forum was notable for its comity.

Raising the minimum wage is an issue that has pervading all levels of government. Swalwell said he supports President Obama’s plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, but admitted the figure needs to be higher. Legislation Swalwell offered last year to allow small businesses to defer payroll taxes during the first year would also help boost wages, he said. Local municipalities, though, have been successful in raising the minimum wage on their own, said Corbett. Bussell, though, was less committal when it came to how much he would raise the minimum, other than taking a hands-off approach. “Employers want to pay what they can to keep [employees],” he said. Forcing higher wages may mean “some people will not be hired or lose their jobs,” he said.

In the end, it was Bussell, the Republican with seemingly nothing to lose, who delivered the most poignant dig of the night while acknowledging his opponents’ legal backgrounds. He asked, “Does Washington really need more lawyers?”

25 thoughts on “A Feeling Out Period in the Initial CA-15 Candidate’s Forum

  1. Anon 8:55—-you have to stop being such a sexist when you are trying to make a point. It definitely backfires on you and your candidate. Supporters like you only hurt Swalwell. You have helped convince me to do more research on this race and this time I will vote for Ellen Corbett. At least she doesn't lie about her positions and voting record like the current Congressman.


  2. One in the same, you're the only creep who does these postings. You most certainly are a bitch, which is not losing one's control at all. It's simply making a declarative statement as to what you are. Too bad you don't get it, but then you don't get anything else either. We have no doubt that you'd like to become a male; perhaps with hormones and phallic surgery. Oh well.

    We're definitely agreed; you are the biggest loser!


  3. Temper, temper Swalwell sexist troll. I wrote one but not the other. With supporters like you Swalwell needs no enemies. You have got to be the most mentally unstable person on this blog. Thanks for getting more votes for Ellen Corbett who will be elected because most voters in the District are way smarter than you. BTW I am a male. Both you and Swalwell are losers.


  4. Yes, yes 1:23—-Swalwell's lies when he ran against Stark were never reported in the mainstream press(except for the Citizen) and most of us overlooked them because we didn't like Stark, including me. This is a different race against Ellen Corbett who is a well liked, experienced, capable and trusted woman. My wife and I voted for Eric last time but this time will vote for Ellen. His lies have caught up with our Congressman. We can't stand someone who says one thing and does another on so many different occasions.


  5. Anon 2:51—-you have to stop being such a sexist when you are trying to make a point. It definitely backfires on you and your candidate. Supporters like you only hurt Swalwell. You have helped convince me to do more research on this race and this time I will vote for Ellen Corbett. At least she doesn't lie about her positions and voting record like the current Congressman.


  6. April 21, 2014 at 8:34 AM, That may have gotten a smile the first time you posted it, but now, by the fourth time, it just seems stupid.
    Try to be more creative.


  7. Ellen Corbett compromises? Who are you fooling? That woman will demonize and whine like the spoiled brat she is to get what she wants. Pathetic.


  8. Tavares is going to get to the bottom of this scandal then the whole world will know.

    From the number of purported “staffers” we hear about, their campaign offices must be stacked to the rafters.
    Can everyone get a seat when they all show up?

    What do staffers get paid these days, pizza and beer?


  9. Many of us feel that we need more experienced and truthful women in Congress because of the stubbornness of both sides. Women seem to be able to compromise more and work toward solutions instead of calling people names.


  10. As Tavares has pointed out in article after article our current Congressman lies and doesn't get called for it by our conservative Bay Area newspapers. He also flip – flops on many issues. I may not agree with everything Ellen Corbett does, but I trust her more and will vote for her. My big mistake was voting for Eric last time.


  11. Well we know one troll/staffer is for Swalwell, but most of the rest of us will vote for Ellen Corbett who is a more accomplished legislator.


  12. We all like Eric, he's done a fantastic job, and will be returned in a landslide.

    That woman will need to line up a gig at a Sac. town lobbying firm, and there are plenty. Mind you, she'll have to start at the bottom, doing an internship and getting coffee first. Needs to gain some sperinece first.

    Mrs. Madge Blekins.


  13. Uh, except the opposite happened — Swalwell never lived in California with the ex-wife; they married and divorced back east.

    The person who returned home was Swalwell — you got your fever dreams backwards, 4:41 p.m.


  14. I know many people in our district who voted for Swalwell last time because they didn't like Stark. They do like Ellen Corbett and tell me they will vote for her this time.


  15. The fact is, that we are still in April, and the likely battle between these two will not be until November. No reasonable person can accurately predict who will win. 7 months in politics is an eternity, and anything is possible.


  16. I ran into a friend of the Corbett's on Wednesday morning; he was at the so called debate-he told me he was impressed with Eric and will vote for him in June and possibly in November if need be-Tony Santos


  17. Interesting if true. A young woman isolated from her family suddenly divorces her young groom to return home. Typically this dynamic suggests some sort of mental abuse or something worse.


  18. Like many a marriage to a college sweetheart, Eric Swalwell's one-year marriage to his college sweetheart ended very amicably … his ex-wife was from the southeastern United States and wanted to remain on the East Coast to be close to family, and Eric wanted to return home to California after law school.

    This 33-year-old bachelor in Washington, D.C., has been dating a wonderful young woman for more than a year.

    Stop insinuating nonsense, 3:27 p.m.


  19. We don't we talk about Eric's secret one year marriage. Was it a sham? We did it end so soon? Tell me why I should trust a 34 year old bachelor in Washington?


  20. Uh, she may not be self destructing, but she is falling so short on fund raising that her chance in November is less than 1 in 10 if that.

    If she cannot get a higher vote than Swalwell in June, then what chance does she have in November when the field is narrowed down and those on the right have to make a choice.
    8 weeks to make up huge ground, but with so little money.

    I don't see any way, short of a Swalwell meltdown, that she wins. He is hitting enough of the right notes to stay safe.
    Saw him twice in the last few days.
    Once on Ronn Owens show, KGO
    Then on the news giving citizenship to a older vet.
    Corbett was in neither story.
    Compare the wide spread coverage of those media events with the 60 to 80 people who might show up at a voters forum run by the LOWV or others.
    Does a tree falling in the woods make a sound if no one is there to listen?


  21. I think Eric is already understanding running for office is a whole lot harder when the opponent isn't self destructing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s