|Rep. Eric Swalwell on CNN earlier this year.|
15TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Russia this. Russia that. East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell has basked in the glow of television studio lights in recent months. He’s a fixture on CNN, MSNBC and sometimes Fox News. His task is to repeat attacks ad nauseam against President Donald Trump and the on-going allegations that his campaign colluded with Russia.
But back home in the 15th Congressional District, Swalwell is taking heat himself from the Alameda County Democratic Party.
Party insiders did not take kindly to Swalwell’s somewhat little-noticed vote last June in favor of Kate’s Law. That bill was strongly opposed by progressives and Latino groups for putting all undocumented immigrants at greater risk of being deported.
It’s primary focus is to lengthen jail sentences for undocumented immigrants who are repeat offenders of immigration law. Kate’s law, named after Kate Steinle, the San Francisco woman who was murdered by an undocumented immigrant who had committed several violent crimes in the states, passed the House last month along with 24 Democrats, including Swalwell.
Swalwell’s vote, likely rooted in his past as a former Alameda County prosecutor, nonetheless, is unpopular with the base in his district and countywide. And Swalwell should expect a letter from the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee shortly, according to sources, that will be critical of his vote and its potentially adverse effects on the area’s immigrant communities.
Hayward, which is the largest intact city in Swalwell’s congressional district, also features the East Bay’s largest Latino demographic. Forty percent of Hayward resident identify as Latino Americans. But, whether or not the letter will be offered in public or privately is not known.
The vote though comes at a time when there has been constant rumblings that Swalwell is eyeing higher office, namely the U.S. Senate, or improbably, a run for president sooner than later. The drumbeat of his appearance on cable news, most agree, has certainly raised his profile and created fans among Democrats nationwide for his critiques of Trump.