Gurbaksh Chahal gave $5,200 to Ro Khanna’s
congressional campaign last year.
CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Wealthy tech entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal was alleged to have punched and kicked his girlfriend 117 times during an incident in August 2013. He was also a major donor to the Democratic Party and Ro Khanna, the tech-friendly challenger to Rep. Mike Honda in the South Bay’s 17th Congressional District.
The astonishing story of brutality from one of Silicon Valley’s youngest and most powerful titillated the tech industry for months until Thursday when the 45 felony counts against Chahal were greatly reduced to a pair of battery charges, three years probation, 52 hours of domestic violence classes and 25 hours of community service.
Two months before the attack last year in San Francisco, which was recorded by video cameras at Chahal’s apartment complex, but later ruled inadmissible by a judge, he contributed $5,200 to Khanna’s congressional campaign. Chahal has also donated $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee.
Tyler Law, Khanna’s communication director, said Friday the campaign donated the full amount to Next Door, a Santa Clara County-based non-profit that helps women and children victimized by domestic abuse. He added, Chahal was removed from its public list of endorsers after news of the battery last fall.
Judy Pipkin, a member of the Santa Clara County Democratic Party and San Jose’s Democratic Activists for Women Now (DAWN), had earlier demanded Khanna return the contributions in letter shortly after Chahal plead guilty.
“Chahal’s behavior is reprehensible and I request that you immediately refund any contributions that Chahal has made to your campaign, and disavow his behavior,” Pipkien wrote, “…As a woman, and as a human being, this is an issue that is very important to me, and I hope that you will do the right thing here.”
Law said the campaign notified Pipkin they had already made the donation to Next Door before receiving her letter.
NOTE A clarification was added to the timing between the donation to charity and receipt of Pipkin’s letter.