Khanna to talk trash in Milpitas; Honda takes Silicon Valley jobs tour

Ro Khanna is dumpster diving for votes in

Milpitas as part of a focus on local issues.

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Politics in Milpitas sure does stink. Residents agree and South Bay congressional hopeful Ro Khanna thinks he can help thwart the expansion of a nearby landfill from exacerbating the stench. In the meantime, candidate’s appearance at the town hall on the subject Monday night may also be designed to give residents a whiff of what they can expect if Khanna is elected to Congress.

Furor over the odor emanating from the Newby Island Landfill on Dixon Landing Road has long irked residents around Milpitas. A proposed expansion and 16-year delay for closing the landfill has only made matters worse. But Khanna’s focus on the landfill goes back to just before declaring his second run against incumbent Rep. Mike Honda last April. Not to mention representing a shift in Khanna’s campaign strategy from two years ago when he fell just under four points short of the upset.

Khanna’s 2014 run often times exhibited a sense of national proportion, with themes that eluded the specific problems of the congressional district. Aside from the landfill issue, this time around, Khanna also inserted his campaign into a local controversy in Santa Clara with the NFL involving a youth soccer league that lost access to its fields during the Super Bowl.

In addition, Khanna’s attention to Milpitas may also serve another purpose. Recall that Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves is one of the officials in the area who filed the original complaint alleging Honda committed House ethics violations for commingling the activities of his congressional and campaign staffs. The pending results from the investigation now hover over Honda’s re-election prospects and the entire race.

Meanwhile, incumbent Rep. Mike Honda is doing his own outreach to citizens of the 17th Congressional District this Tuesday. Dubbed the “Silicon Valley Jobs Tour,” Honda will tour Bay Area Circuits, a printed circuit board manufacturer in Fremont; visit the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center in Newark, which is a federal program that aids low-income residents with tax preparation; and Honda will host “Innovation 2.0,” a roundtable discussion in Santa Clara focused on advanced tech manufacturing in Silicon Valley.