Republican Cohen: Khanna should drop out of race; bouncing checks is a felony

Republican Ron Cohen says bouncing checks is
a felony and Ro Khanna should withdraw from 
the race or pay back the non-profit.

Republican 17th Congressional candidate Ron Cohen says Ro Khanna should drop out of the June primary race after “bouncing” a $1,000 check to a religious non-profit four years ago.

“Bouncing and not replacing a check is a felony,” said Cohen, a Fremont certified public accountant running his first campaign for public office. “Whether or not it was done due to a political dispute about abortion is irrelevant, it is still a felony.”

An East Bay Citizen report last week found Khanna canceled a $1,000 donation to a Livermore non-profit set up to organize a large-scale reenactment of Jesus’ birth, including 125 actors, livestock and a replica of the nativity manger.

Ro Khanna says the declaration is “ridiculous.”

One of the organizers, a former Silicon Valley executive named Chuck Bellavia, said Khanna abruptly canceled the check in late 2012, but it was too late for the non-profit to remove Khanna from the event’s program and signage.

Cohen, which one recent poll shows is running a distant third in the six-person June Primary, said, “There are so many things ethically wrong with what has occurred.”

“Mr. Khanna has intentionally committed a crime and refuses to correct the situation by simply making a $1,000 payment for advertising services he clearly received from a charitable organization,” added Cohen.

“This is not the type of behavior we need in a candidate for Congress,” said Cohen. “I ask Mr. Khanna to withdraw from the race.”

Cohen is also urging Khanna to replace the canceled check with a personal check to the non-profit. That would be difficult, however, since the non-profit no longer exists.

In a text message, Khanna called Cohen’S declaration, “ridiculous.”

Categories: Baby Jesus, CA17, canceled check, Chuck Bellavia, congress, felony, June primary, Mike Honda, Ro Khanna, Ron Cohen, withdraw

13 replies

  1. The law, that makes intentionally bouncing a check, either a misdemeanor or a potential felony (based on what the District Attorney decides to charge) is not “ridiculous.”

    The poor organization involved had neither the time, nor desire to press charges. With true charity in their hearts, Mr. Bellavia and his group decided not to go to the police.

    Mr. Khanna intentionally “cancelled” his check. The slightest bit of integrity would have lead him to CALL the charitable organization to let them know he changed his mind. He didn't do that. He let the check bounce at the organization's bank. He let the organization spend the money (as they assumed the check was good) for their charitable cause, as agreed. Khanna just acted like child, staying silent, when others took him at his word, assuming the check was good.

    Then, Mr. Bellavia called him on the telephone. No replacement of the check. Met with Ro…no replacement check.

    Then, I gave Ro information about the matter and asked him to pay the organization. Ro took no action. If the charity is dissolved, then give $1,000 to another charity of Mr. Bellavia's choosing. Ask Mr. Bellavia, how they can resolve the matter? Do something with integrity! Nope. Nothing was done.

    Then, the above reporter calls Ro. Ro says he had to cancel the check because it was to a charity… as if it was not clear from the moment he met Mr. Bellavia that an organization called “Living Bethlehem” that re-enacts the birth of Christ and is tax exempt, is a charitable organization.

    Then he says he had to cancel the check because the charity was if it would NOT be a felony, or is in someway justified, to bounce a check on a pro-life organization. Now THAT's “ridiculous.”

    So, well, this is the way he deals with people? This is the type of guy you want representing you and working with Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress, on things that are really, really important? Well, if you do, you can vote for him.

    This is not about the $1,000. This is about what is in Ro's heart, and how he operates. That is not a Democrat or Republican issue.

    Ron Cohen Republican Candidate for Congress. 17th Congressional District.


  2. Ron, I did call Mr. Bellavia to explain why I was cancelling the check back in 2012. I did not show up at the event. All of this said, I am happy to have our campaign contribute to a charity of a mutual agreed place for a $1000. Helping disadvantaged kids is particularly close to my heart. How about you chip in $100 from your campaign, our campaign will give a $1000, and you can ask Mr. Bellavia if there is an organization he believes in as well. As long as it is fine with all three of us, happy to make the contribution from our campaign to the charity. At least some good will come out of all this! And maybe we can show an ability locally to work to resolve things and cross the aisle. Look forward to hearing. Happy to make the contribution (even in Mr. Bellavia name) regardless of whether you do the $100. I just thought it would be a nice gesture. Look forward to hearing.

    I know you have always been civil in person so I want to try to find some common ground. If we can't do it here, how will we do it in Washington?


  3. Ron, I am blown away at this entire topic. For $1000, really?

    Isn't this completely hypocritical of you? I have a close friend who lives in Seascape in Santa Cruz who told me of your multiple (4) lawsuits over there. For someone who lives in Fremont, you certainly haven't made any friends in Santa Cruz. Given your poor reputation there and these frivolous lawsuits, I better understand your passion for Trump!!! Your personalities certainly match.

    Seriously, man. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent between you and everyone else in the development.



  4. Hi Ro:

    Well, that gives the impression you kept him informed about the fact that the check would bounce. He tells me HE contacted you, upon notification from the bank the check had bounced. HE called YOU, AFTER the bank dishonored the check; and AFTER the organization spent the money they thought they had. So, yes, you explained to him your feeble reason for bouncing a check “in 2012,” AFTER all the damage had been done…is my understanding (just confirmed it with Chuck on the telephone)…and more to the point, you did NOT replace the check or pay him in cash. …nor have you to this very day. Legally, that was a crime. Nothing happened only because they didn't go to the police.

    I see no reason I need to “chip in” anything to smooth this over. That suggestion is all campaign “pivot” nonsense. I did nothing wrong and committed no potential felony.

    And explanations like you write above, which is another attempt at “spin” and is exactly contrary to the “straight-shooting” we want to see in politics.

    Let me coach you: Pick up the telephone and call Chuck. Ask him: “How can we work this out?” Let him decide. That is how grown-ups (and Members of Congress) are supposed to handle bad debts.




  5. Ron, I called you. I don't have chuck's number. If you can send me chuck's number to happy to give him a call and resolve. Thank you. Ro


  6. Dear Anonymous 5:34PM

    Thank you for bring-up Seascape, hidden behind “Anonymous.”

    I would love to discuss this at great, great length…but Mr. Holcomb's attorney threatens to sue (and has sued) people who speak up.

    I own a vacation condo at Seascape.

    There were many “problems” with the design of the majority of the stairs and walkways that “failed” due to water damage throughout the 280 unit resort. “Failed” means, many were unsafe and near collapse.

    Seems the original design did not take into account that it is very often foggy, windy and rainy in Aptos, California. Who knew? Much was completely rotted out…even those built as recently as 1996…a complete rebuild was necessary…at +$7 million cost to the unwitting homeowners, like myself. An independent contractor/inspection company report laid clear blame.

    Oh, and then there was near $1 million cost for do-overs due to bad work by a contractor who went bankrupt in the middle of the project. There was no performance bond. But why point fingers.

    I encourage anyone to look at those court cases.

    Ultimately, we were provided 7 hours of court time (in Small Claims court, which is exceptional) in Santa Cruz County by the judge because the charges were so serious against the HOA and others. Both sides presented many witnesses. The cost and pain inflicted on the innocent homeowners is beyond calculation.

    In the end, me and my co-plaintiffs lost the case because, while we established many unfortunate things took place, we could not meet the high standard of proving “fraud” by the HOA board or others.

    Note, there were NO counter-claims against me and the other plaintiffs and we had to make ZERO payments to the defendants as a result of the case. In other words, the judge did not find any fault in us bringing the case.

    Me and 3 other homeowners fought, legally, every way we could. Many homeowners backed our efforts but could not take the time or money to file in court. Indeed, the number of homeowners who have thanked my for my efforts, I've lost count.

    Anyway, a “comment” section is no place to discuss court cases…but you brought it up, …bravely, as “Anonymous.”

    I am very proud of my actions in those matters. The HOA board is on notice, and if they try to do the same in the future, we will respond in-kind. Bravery, like the 4 homeowners showed in court, is exactly what we need in Congress.




  7. Ra…loving this thread. Ro has his staff digging through Ron's past and trying to deflect. Ro wants Ron to help the “disadvantaged kids” that are so close to Ro's “heart.” Why the heck should Ron need to make good on Ro's deadbeat debts?

    Besides being the messenger, what does Ron have to do with Ro's cheating the non-profit out of their money?

    And note to Ron: don't send anything to Ro's private email. You'll understand why soon.


  8. “The cost and pain inflicted on the innocent homeowners is beyond calculation.”

    To clarify…as a result of the water damage and their repair costs…not as a result of court cases. The HOA told me they spent about $45K fighting me….which is odd, because there are no attorney's allowed in Small Claims court…and I had none. I only had the protection of facts.


  9. Honestly, I think the entire lawsuit is utterly irrelevant. I think Mr. Cohen acted appropriately and within his rights. It is a total non issue.

    Honda's ethics issues which were mentioned by Chuck Todd on MSNBC and for which there is a bipartisan report is a totally different matter. That is serious, and there is a 6-0 finding showing systematic abuse. It's the only factually documented wrongdoing in this campaign by an independent and non biased investigatory body of both Republicans and Democrats.

    I got Mr. Bellavia's number from Mr. Tavares and have called him. Will discuss what charity he would like to support. I am happy to take action that will help benefit the community.

    Thank you, Ro


  10. Ro: At 6:12pm

    I asked Chuck to contact you. I appreciate your effort, now, to close this out. As for me. I will now go silent on this issue, as that's the fair thing to do…and I really want to talk about why Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare are Ponzi Schemes. That's why I ran for Congress…to try to protect my grandchildren.


  11. Okay so I listened to ABC News clip. It's a shortened clip maybe the point was lost:

    But on the Honda ethics stuff: you keep saying expedited service to those who gave money.

    Where in the OCE report (which is nonpartisan not bipartisan) do you see that?

    If your staff is going to email my testimony to press and you are going to quote it at least get it right….


  12. Notice what’s happening here: Ro has decided it’s a little embarrassing that he’s getting called out on doing something unethical and possibly illegal. So he is now saying that he will do the right thing. But it’s 4 years too late, and now he’s doing this ONLY after getting pressure and being embarrassed.

    What I want in elected officials is people who can figure this out on their own. Responsible, ethical people already know how to do the right thing. Honest people are not only honest AFTER others tell them what they should do.

    The other problem is that Ro doesn’t do what he says he will do. He’s saying he will contribute $1,000. But the election is 4 days away. He wants the public to think he’s doing the right thing, then we turn away, and he will not actually contribute.

    Ro sometimes talks a good game, he’s a good public speaker, but his values and his actions don’t match his high-sounding words.


    Notice Ro’s spin, or non-truthfullness. He says, “Oh, yeah, I called Mr Bellavia to explain why I was canceling the check.”
    But actually, Mr Bellavia had to call Ro, AFTER the check bounced.
    So, no, you can’t believe anything Ro says.


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