In the hours after Ro Khanna received news of a federal lawsuit filed Sept. 22 alleging his participation in a “modern-day Watergate” to illegally access Rep. Mike Honda‘s digital fundraising donor data, the Khanna’s initial response was to protect Brian Parvizshahi, the young campaign manager at the center of the cyber scandal.

“He’s a 25 year-old young man who now, unfortunately because of Mike Honda, has to go out and get his own lawyer to defend himself against a baseless lawsuit,” said Khanna. Variations of the same quote was uttered to several other print and television reporters. The gist, Khanna often sprinkled in, was his fear Parvizshahi’s nascent career in politics was being snuffed out by what is a politically-expedient lawsuit filed by Honda.

But as the San Francisco Chronicle reported, the response to Honda’s lawsuit filed by Khanna’s attorney’s last week, appears to throw Parvizshahi under the bus, or, at minimum, tells the former campaign manager, “Sorry, kid, you’re on your own.”

“Khanna’s team didn’t do Parvizshahi any favors when they said in the legal papers that there was no conspiracy between Khanna and his former campaign manager and ‘if Mr. Parvizshahi accessed these files he did so on his own, unilateral volition,'” the Chronicle reported.

Sandre Swanson’s state Senate campaign has
raised $65,700 since the Sept. 24 deadline.

SKINNING ‘EM ALIVE State Senate Ninth District candidate Sandre Swanson has massively trailed his opponent Nancy Skinner in the money column since the very beginning of this long campaign. Some Oakland insiders have said recently that Swanson’s campaign is gaining ground with three weeks until Election Day, but a lot of ground needed to be covered after the nearly 18-point drubbing by Skinner in the June primary. However, a good indication of whether a candidate is peaking is whether late money is coming to their coffers to stoke the rally toward Nov. 8. The most recent campaign finance reports, ending Sept. 24 showed Skinner with $988,000 in the bank, while Swanson still languished with $37,000 in cash on hand. Keep in mind, Swanson’s haul this year includes $67,000 of his own money posted June 28. So, how is the money situation going over the last three weeks? Not good for Swanson. Late expenditure filings through late Friday show Swanson has raised an additional $65,700 since the last reporting period, while Skinner continues to outpace him with contributions of more than $125,500.

ALCO Democratic Party committee member Marlon
McWilson opposed setting precedent by rescinding a
Pleasanton ballot measure endorsement.

‘YOU NEED TO CHILL OUT’ Ballot measures asking to essentially vote yes to oppose and no to support are designed to confuse the public. Sometimes they even confuse veteran Alameda County Democratic Party insiders. As was the case with Pleasanton’s Measure MM, which the county Democratic Party Central Committee voted last month to oppose. But, hold on. It turns out Measure MM actually seeks to amend Pleasanton’s general plan to prohibit retail use of 50,000 sq. ft. or more on Johnson Drive. In real world terms, the county Dems’ action to oppose Measure MM could actually pave the way for a non-union Costco to set up shop there, something the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 union vehemently oppose. After a lengthy discussion, the central committee voted to rescind its opposition to Measure MM and replace it with a neutral endorsement, but not before some members pegged the confusion over the measure on UFCW. “They fucked this one up,” said one elected committee member, who added, the committee heard nothing from UFCW before the vote to oppose Measure MM was taken in early September. There were also fireworks during the meeting after UFCW rep Mike Henneberry, on hand to lobby the committee to change its endorsement, began cutting off central committee member Marlon McWilson. A somewhat tense, back-and-forth ensued. “I’m not that guy,” McWilson repeatedly told Henneberry, who responded with “You need to chill out.” McWilson’s beef was not with the measure’s merits, but whether the central committee should be setting precedent by rescinding endorsements on a whim. The night Measure MM was debated by the central committee in September meeting was widely attended, McWilson and others remarked, while thee October session was not. Fortunately calm was restored and an excellent matchup thwarted. McWilson, a former Alameda County Board of Education member, often describes himself in public an “ex-gangbanger” and Henneberry, who also serves on the Alameda planning board, once infamously chucked a Nob Hill Foods manager’s cell phone across the room before being placed under citizens arrest during a picket line at the grocery store. The charges were later dropped.

Castro Valley school board candidate Tojo Thomas
believes Alameda County Dems ignored him.

TOJO’S TICKED Last June, after Bryan Parker lost to Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley he called to congratulate the incumbent on his re-election. Miley never responded. Four years prior, Miley defeated Alameda County probation officer Tojo Thomas, who also magnanimously reached out to Miley, who again failed to respond. In the years since, Thomas has continued to be a thorn in Miley’s side. In fact, during the 2012 election Thomas successfully goaded the irascible Miley on several occasions. Thomas famously told Miley, “Why don’t you be a man and endorse me?” to which Miley exploded. This year Thomas is running for the Castro Valley school board and just to tweak Miley, he again reached to the county supervisor asking him for an endorsement. As you might guess, Miley didn’t respond. However, Thomas said he believes Miley’s vindictiveness toward him is evident. He believes the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee purposely avoided giving him the chance to compete for the school board endorsement at the direction of Miley. Thomas, a registered Democrat, said he was never notified of the endorsement process. County Dems, Thomas said, told him they sent a certified letter to his home. Thomas never received it. Meanwhile, Thomas has gained big-name endorsements from Rep. Eric Swalwell and the Castro Valley Teachers Association.

Voters in CA-17 almost certainly will not be seeing a
debate this election cycle between Honda and Khanna.

HERE & THERE Alameda County politicos have long sensed District Attorney Nancy O’Malley is on the short list for an appointment to state attorney general in the very likely event Kamala Harris is elected to the U.S. Senate next month. The appointee, whoever it is will need to run for the office in 2018. But, a long list of potential candidates, posted by Scott Lay of the widely-read Sacramento daily newsletter, The Nooner, didn’t even list O’Malley… On second thought, don’t expect a debate, candidate forum, or arm wrestling match between Honda and Khanna before Election Day…Good timing for Honda: After releasing a commercial this week describing Khanna as bought by wealthy special interest, an IE backed by billionaire John Arnold spent $117,000 for a mailer and polling… The Contra Costa County 14th Assembly District race between Democrats Mae Torlakson and Tim Grayson has received, by far, the most IE money in the entire state with the total tab currently at $2.3 million. By contrast, the 16th Assembly District races between Republican Catharine Baker and Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio has seen just $566,000 in total IE spending.