Mike Honda: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you Mary, just… The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

President Obama: Not good.

Mike Honda: [he gulps, his mouth twitching] You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?

President Obama: I’d say more like one out of a million.

Mike Honda: [long pause while he processes what he’s heard] So you’re telling me there’s a chance. YEAH!

This iconic scene from the comedy Dumb and Dumber kind of epitomizes the inability of Rep. Mike Honda to grasp that he will not be receiving the president’s endorsement for re-election against Ro Khanna.

Then to further the scene, which has not yet included Jeff Daniels bursting into the room (but don’t count it out), Politico reported Thursday yet another rejection from the Democratic National Committee that only underscores no really means no. Ain’t happening, Mike.

But the second reminder from the DNC does not really refute what Honda told reporters last Saturday night at the state convention in San Jose. The gist of his comments suggested he was planning to sweet talk Obama sometime in the future, not as an excuse for the non-endorsement. However, it doesn’t seem likely the president is interested in being romanced, especially since Honda is well-known in the district for not paying for drinks.


Talk about comedy. San Jose Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio, the latest candidate to leap headlong into the Honda-Khanna 17th Congressional District race, was once involved in one of the most infamous and cringe-inducing videos you will ever see in local politics. Back in 2010, Oliverio was caught redhanded stealing campaign signs in San Jose. A YouTube video of Oliverio being approached by police and subsequently handing over the signs rates quite high on the embarrassment meter, even for a politician. Before Oliverio pulled a stack of signs from his trunk while a police officer watched, he could be heard threatening to call, first, the city attorney, then, the police chief. Oliverio, a Democrat, joins a growing field of five challengers, including Ro Khanna, hoping to unseat Rep. Mike Honda. South Bay political observer @GlenthePlumber, for one, believes Oliverio’s inclusion in the CA17 race is a positive. He tweeted this week: “With Pierluigi Oliverio now in the #CA17 race, we can only hope he cleans up @RoKhannaUSA’s overindulgent signage.”


As of this week, the Hayward City Council race for four seats this June has eight candidates officially pulling papers. They include one school board member, a former Hayward department head, two unknowns, a former councilmember; and three current incumbents. But one other incumbent councilmember has not yet registered any intention to run for re-election. That person is Greg Jones, one of the more conservative members on the deceptively moderate to right wing Hayward City Council. As of Thursday, Jones has not pulled papers for the June race and time is running out. He did not respond to an email last week about his political future in Hayward

Greg Jones

The deadline for nomination papers is next week, Mar. 11. Jones, however, waited until the last minute to enter the council race in 2012, following a stint as Hayward city manager. He is also married to former Hayward Councilmember Anna May (The two had an extramarital affair while she served on the council and he was city manager, causing concern among city officials that they could have been violating the Brown Act). But speculations over Jones’s intentions are heightened this time around by a belief held by some that Jones is contemplating an exit from City Hall. His decision hastened by the presence of candidates with similar beliefs already in the race, like former Councilmember Mark Salinas, for one. Politicos in Hayward know the score that May pushed Jones into running last time around (Yes, dear) and is pushing him out four years later (Yes, dear). If Jones, indeed, foregoes re-election, the decision could have wide-ranging ramifications for two of the Latino candidates—Salinas and Councilmember Francisco Zermeno—who might then both be in line for grabbing two of the four open seats.


Those in Castro Valley are still stinging from comments made by Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty last month in response to their desire for greater representation at the county-level. Castro Valley is one of the largest unincorporated areas in the entire state. The group is pushing for electing members to its Municipal Advisory Committee instead of allowing its representative Supervisor Nate Miley to appoint them himself. Haggerty, you may recall, called members of the group “the most unappreciative people I’ve ever seen in my entire life” during a recent Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting. His remarks did not go well with many Castro Valleyans. Miley, though, may have fueled their fire at a town hall meeting on the subject of an elected MAC last Monday when he told the large gathering not to mess with Haggerty. When asked how the elected MAC issue could find its way back on the Board of Supervisor’s agenda, Miley said, “Don’t piss him off.” However, Miley did not elaborate on whether a caravan of troops from Haggerty’s nearby District 1 would be invading through the 580 corridor to quell the Castro Valley rebels’ uprising if they do not stand down.


The woman leading a group of Alameda renters in civil rights-era songs last Monday in front of City Hall was not just a bandleader, but Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s mother, Cynthia Bonta. She was part of the group that officially filed a ballot measure with the city clerk’s office asking voters in November to pass rent control in Alameda. Her inclusion in the fight is a huge, if not symbolic shot in the arm for the grassroots Alameda Renters Coalition. Cynthia Bonta told the East Bay Citizen that the push for fair housing is a civil rights issue. Her assemblymember son says the rental crisis will require an all hands effort from all levels of government to solve. It’s also clear his mother’s activism for Filipino and Mexican farm workers in the 1960s is a defining moment in how he views his own politics. In fact, his parent’s involvement with the United Farm Workers is worked into almost every speech he gives.

NOTE: A change was made to the Bonta item to reflect his stance on the rental crisis.