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Editorial: Our election recommendations

A voter fills out a ballot at the Palo Alto Art Center in Palo Alto on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

With California's open primary rules, established when voters approved Prop. 14 in 2010, the top two vote-getters in all partisan races, regardless of party affiliation, will face off in the November general election. For non-partisan county offices such as district attorney, sheriff and assessor, however, there won't be a runoff in November if one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary.

For Mountain View voters, that means there will automatically be a runoff election In November for the congressional seat held by Democrat Anna Eshoo and the state Assembly seat held by Democrat Marc Berman, and it's highly likely in the Santa Clara County sheriff's race, where four major candidates are running with no incumbent.

In the county district attorney and assessor races, it is likely that incumbents Jeff Rosen and Larry Stone will exceed the 50% mark.

We are concerned that two incumbents, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and County Assessor Larry Stone, have been in office for 30 and 27 years respectively. These two have been reelected by overwhelming margins over the years because they are competent, hardworking and have served their constituents well. They are all but assured of being reelected again this year, in part because their continued service discourages others from running because of the advantages of incumbency, especially in fundraising.

But at ages 79 and 81, they should be creating opportunities and encouraging new candidates to follow in their footsteps and allow a new generation of leaders to represent us. If reelected, we hope that each will announce after the election their intention to retire when their new terms end so that there is plenty of time for good and diverse candidates, including women and people of color, to step forward to run for these important positions.

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In the neighboring congressional district to the north, Rep. Jackie Speier is retiring at age 71 after serving for a distinguished 20 years in Washington. Her decision should serve as a model for others who are inclined to hang on to their offices, unconstrained by term limits.

For non-partisan offices such as sheriff, district attorney and assessor, we would strongly support the adoption of term limits that cap those officials' tenures to four, four-year terms.

Congress — Anna Eshoo and Ajwang Rading

Incumbent Rep. Anna Eshoo and Ajwang Rading, an attorney at the Palo Alto-based firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, are among the candidates vying to represent Congressional District 16 in the 2022 election. Photo of Eshoo by Magali Gauthier. Rading photo courtesy of the candidate.

As noted above, Anna Eshoo has been one of the most popular and successful elected officials ever to serve this region. In 14 reelection campaigns since her initial election in 1992, she has never faced a serious challenge. That is a tribute both to her excellent service and attentiveness to her constituents and the close alignment of her views with her Democratic district.

This year, perhaps because of an increasing belief that it may be time for her to step aside, or that she will do so in two years, Eshoo has seven challengers — three Republicans, three Democrats and an independent. With Eshoo almost certainly set to be the top vote-getter, the second-place finisher who will compete against her in November could get as little as 15% to 20% of the vote in the primary depending on how evenly spread out the voting is.

We hope Eshoo's opponent in November is Ajwang Rading, a Democrat and attorney at the Palo Alto-based firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati who has sparked a strong local following in support of his first bid for public office. Rading, 30, embraces a liberal Democratic platform that revolves around issues of social justice, climate change and universal health care.

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A former staff member for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, Rading's background includes a stint at the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative, the national organization founded by Bryan Stevenson. Rading, who is Black, was born in poverty in Los Angeles and says his childhood included spending nights in a 2001 Dodge Neon with his single mom, who immigrated from Kenya. He went on to graduate from college and law school at UCLA. He believes his upbringing and background would make him an effective advocate for boosting affordable housing, tackling income inequality in District 16 and championing other progressive issues.

His message and youthfulness is not unlike those of Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna, 45, a progressive Democrat who was elected in 2016 on his second try to unseat eight-term incumbent Democrat Mike Honda. In four years, Khanna has become a prominent member of the progressive wing of the party.

The other leading candidates in the race are Rishi Kumar, a tech executive who serves on the Saratoga City Council and who lost to Eshoo two years ago with 37% of the vote, and Peter Ohtaki, a Republican who served eight years on the Menlo Park City Council, is a financial executive for a tech firm, and ran unsuccessfully against Marc Berman in the 2020 Assembly race.

A general election campaign between Eshoo and Rading would be an inspiring match-up between an accomplished representative nearing the end of her career who has paved the way for countless other women to seek higher office and an idealistic and passionate young man of color just starting his political journey.

Kevin Jensen. Courtesy Kevin Jensen.

Santa Clara County Sheriff — Kevin Jensen

Facing a unanimous vote of no confidence last year by the Board of Supervisors, mounting investigations and possible removal from office, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith spared herself almost certain defeat this year by choosing not to run for a seventh term. So the good news is that a much-maligned and poorly managed sheriff's department will finally have a new leader.

The sheriff oversees a budget of more than $188 million and 711 staff members (and an additional 1,080 staff and $200.6 million for the Department of Corrections).

Four major candidates, including Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen, a retired county Sheriff's Office captain and two current sergeants, are vying for the seat. Jonsen's primary appeal is that he has the administrative experience of having led both the Menlo Park and Palo Alto police departments.

Jonsen, 59, was police chief in Menlo Park for five years until being hired by Palo Alto in 2018. Jonsen may be a good administrator, but his consistent lack of transparency regarding police misconduct and routine police policy matters has cast a shadow on his ability to innovate and reform. Actions speak louder than words, and Jonsen has not shown the leadership that will be needed within the Sheriff's Office.

Former sheriff's captain and assistant chief of the Department of Corrections, Kevin Jensen, 58, retired in 2013 after 29 years with the Sheriff's Office. He ran unsuccessfully against Smith in 2014 and has since been doing law enforcement consulting, including training new recruits and managers. The two sergeants are Sean Allen, 51, a 32-year veteran, and Christine Nagaye, 50, who has been with the department for 20 years.

We recommend Kevin Jensen, who has had the benefit of rising through the ranks over 30 years in the sheriff's office but the perspective of his consulting work and being away from the troubled department for the last eight years. As a high-ranking administrator in the department who was willing to run against his boss and challenge her record, Jensen was not one who sat back and toed Smith's line.

During his tenure he was the liaison to the Stanford Department of Public Safety, county jail administration commander, court security division commander and administrative coroner. He was also the risk and information-sharing program manager for the Urban Area Security Initiative and was tasked with terrorism prevention, mitigation, response and recovery for the 12-county Bay Area region. In late 2012, he served as the initiative's statewide risk-program manager.

He has the support of the Santa Clara County Deputy Sheriffs' Association, Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers' Association, and multiple fire and police groups and individuals, including retired Palo Alto police Chief Dennis Burns.

He is best suited to take on the task of rebuilding the department and restoring the public's confidence in its operations. He sees an urgent need to reform the culture of the organization, a view that makes his support from the two unions all the more important.

The next sheriff will face a monumental challenge to improve transparency, accountability and communication after Smith's years of mismanagement. Jensen is clearly the best qualified candidate to succeed.

Santa Clara County District Attorney — Jeff Rosen

Jeff Rosen. Courtesy Jeff Ronsen.

The county district attorney's office has over 600 employees and almost 200 attorneys, making it California's largest DA's office north of Los Angeles.

Jeff Rosen, 54, has served three terms as district attorney and ran unopposed in the last two elections, making this election the first time he has had to defend his record in a campaign. He has cultivated a reputation as a reformer, jumping at opportunities to be visibly associated with popular progressive initiatives to step up prosecutions of sexual assault, increase the use of diversion programs to reduce the number of offenders in jail, reduce prosecutions in cases that create racial inequities and engage in more public outreach and education about the criminal justice system.

He is being challenged by two progressive candidates who don't think Rosen has gone far enough to implement reforms that recognize the vulnerability of the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system and is too focused on traditional models of incarceration.

Sajid Khan, 39, a public defender for the last 14 years, says he is the "true progressive" in the race and has focused on how racism permeates the system, the importance of ending the money bail system, not ever trying juveniles as adults and increasing diversion programs as an alternative to incarceration. His support of probation for Brock Turner, reflecting his belief that justice should be empathetic and not be measured by jail time, drew sharp criticism last year after Khan posted on social media about his concern for the survivors of sexual assault and the secondary trauma they suffer by the legal system.

Rosen's other opponent, is a prosecutor who was demoted and then fired by Rosen after writing an opinion piece in the Mercury News criticizing progressive prosecutors who would seek short sentences for violent crimes. Daniel Chung, 33, is now suing the county and seeking to unseat his former boss at the ballot box. He said criminal justice reforms are creating a revolving door for repeat offenders and the department's "hot potato" method of handling cases, by which cases get handled by multiple DAs, has led to long delays and is a disservice to crime victims.

In spite of these criticisms, Jeff Rosen has modernized the operation of the DA's office and implemented many important reforms. His greatest accomplishment may be the diversification of his prosecutors so they better reflect the community. Half the attorneys are women and more than 40% are people of color or LGBTQ individuals. He has implemented numerous programs to divert non-violent offenders from jail, especially in drug cases, supported reclassifying minor drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and created a conviction integrity unit to investigate innocence claims.

We hope Rosen's next term will bring more attention to police misconduct, which cries out for stronger prosecutorial attention. The police and district attorney's office must work hand in hand to bring criminals to justice, but that relationship cannot result in the type of laissez faire attitude toward prosecuting police misconduct that Rosen has shown.

Santa Clara County Assessor — Larry Stone

Larry Stone. Courtesy Santa Clara County.

Larry Stone has been in office for 27 years, and at age 81 it is time for him to step aside and allow someone of his caliber to take his place. Unfortunately, his name recognition and strong performance in the office has made it impossible for any challenger to mount a serious challenge as long as he chooses to continue in office.

This year is no exception. His opponent, Andrew Crockett, is a CPA working as a financial analyst for the Santa Clara County Health System and doesn't come close to measuring up to Stone's experience or accomplishments.

We recommend Stone's reelection, with the hope that he will then announce it is his last term.

Measure A — Water Board term limit

A 2.25-million-gallon metal holding tank at the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center in San Jose on March 21, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Measure A is a ridiculous and deceptive attempt by the incumbent directors of the Santa Clara Valley Water District to change the current three-term limit of 12 years in office to give themselves an additional four years to serve. Voters imposed a limit of three terms on directors in 2009 and now that some directors are about to be termed out they have placed Measure A on the ballot to change the limit to four terms (16 years).

This is an easy one. Vote no on Measure A.

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Editorial: Our election recommendations

by Mountain View Voice editorial board / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, May 12, 2022, 10:16 am

With California's open primary rules, established when voters approved Prop. 14 in 2010, the top two vote-getters in all partisan races, regardless of party affiliation, will face off in the November general election. For non-partisan county offices such as district attorney, sheriff and assessor, however, there won't be a runoff in November if one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary.

For Mountain View voters, that means there will automatically be a runoff election In November for the congressional seat held by Democrat Anna Eshoo and the state Assembly seat held by Democrat Marc Berman, and it's highly likely in the Santa Clara County sheriff's race, where four major candidates are running with no incumbent.

In the county district attorney and assessor races, it is likely that incumbents Jeff Rosen and Larry Stone will exceed the 50% mark.

We are concerned that two incumbents, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and County Assessor Larry Stone, have been in office for 30 and 27 years respectively. These two have been reelected by overwhelming margins over the years because they are competent, hardworking and have served their constituents well. They are all but assured of being reelected again this year, in part because their continued service discourages others from running because of the advantages of incumbency, especially in fundraising.

But at ages 79 and 81, they should be creating opportunities and encouraging new candidates to follow in their footsteps and allow a new generation of leaders to represent us. If reelected, we hope that each will announce after the election their intention to retire when their new terms end so that there is plenty of time for good and diverse candidates, including women and people of color, to step forward to run for these important positions.

In the neighboring congressional district to the north, Rep. Jackie Speier is retiring at age 71 after serving for a distinguished 20 years in Washington. Her decision should serve as a model for others who are inclined to hang on to their offices, unconstrained by term limits.

For non-partisan offices such as sheriff, district attorney and assessor, we would strongly support the adoption of term limits that cap those officials' tenures to four, four-year terms.

As noted above, Anna Eshoo has been one of the most popular and successful elected officials ever to serve this region. In 14 reelection campaigns since her initial election in 1992, she has never faced a serious challenge. That is a tribute both to her excellent service and attentiveness to her constituents and the close alignment of her views with her Democratic district.

This year, perhaps because of an increasing belief that it may be time for her to step aside, or that she will do so in two years, Eshoo has seven challengers — three Republicans, three Democrats and an independent. With Eshoo almost certainly set to be the top vote-getter, the second-place finisher who will compete against her in November could get as little as 15% to 20% of the vote in the primary depending on how evenly spread out the voting is.

We hope Eshoo's opponent in November is Ajwang Rading, a Democrat and attorney at the Palo Alto-based firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati who has sparked a strong local following in support of his first bid for public office. Rading, 30, embraces a liberal Democratic platform that revolves around issues of social justice, climate change and universal health care.

A former staff member for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, Rading's background includes a stint at the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative, the national organization founded by Bryan Stevenson. Rading, who is Black, was born in poverty in Los Angeles and says his childhood included spending nights in a 2001 Dodge Neon with his single mom, who immigrated from Kenya. He went on to graduate from college and law school at UCLA. He believes his upbringing and background would make him an effective advocate for boosting affordable housing, tackling income inequality in District 16 and championing other progressive issues.

His message and youthfulness is not unlike those of Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna, 45, a progressive Democrat who was elected in 2016 on his second try to unseat eight-term incumbent Democrat Mike Honda. In four years, Khanna has become a prominent member of the progressive wing of the party.

The other leading candidates in the race are Rishi Kumar, a tech executive who serves on the Saratoga City Council and who lost to Eshoo two years ago with 37% of the vote, and Peter Ohtaki, a Republican who served eight years on the Menlo Park City Council, is a financial executive for a tech firm, and ran unsuccessfully against Marc Berman in the 2020 Assembly race.

A general election campaign between Eshoo and Rading would be an inspiring match-up between an accomplished representative nearing the end of her career who has paved the way for countless other women to seek higher office and an idealistic and passionate young man of color just starting his political journey.

Facing a unanimous vote of no confidence last year by the Board of Supervisors, mounting investigations and possible removal from office, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith spared herself almost certain defeat this year by choosing not to run for a seventh term. So the good news is that a much-maligned and poorly managed sheriff's department will finally have a new leader.

The sheriff oversees a budget of more than $188 million and 711 staff members (and an additional 1,080 staff and $200.6 million for the Department of Corrections).

Four major candidates, including Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen, a retired county Sheriff's Office captain and two current sergeants, are vying for the seat. Jonsen's primary appeal is that he has the administrative experience of having led both the Menlo Park and Palo Alto police departments.

Jonsen, 59, was police chief in Menlo Park for five years until being hired by Palo Alto in 2018. Jonsen may be a good administrator, but his consistent lack of transparency regarding police misconduct and routine police policy matters has cast a shadow on his ability to innovate and reform. Actions speak louder than words, and Jonsen has not shown the leadership that will be needed within the Sheriff's Office.

Former sheriff's captain and assistant chief of the Department of Corrections, Kevin Jensen, 58, retired in 2013 after 29 years with the Sheriff's Office. He ran unsuccessfully against Smith in 2014 and has since been doing law enforcement consulting, including training new recruits and managers. The two sergeants are Sean Allen, 51, a 32-year veteran, and Christine Nagaye, 50, who has been with the department for 20 years.

We recommend Kevin Jensen, who has had the benefit of rising through the ranks over 30 years in the sheriff's office but the perspective of his consulting work and being away from the troubled department for the last eight years. As a high-ranking administrator in the department who was willing to run against his boss and challenge her record, Jensen was not one who sat back and toed Smith's line.

During his tenure he was the liaison to the Stanford Department of Public Safety, county jail administration commander, court security division commander and administrative coroner. He was also the risk and information-sharing program manager for the Urban Area Security Initiative and was tasked with terrorism prevention, mitigation, response and recovery for the 12-county Bay Area region. In late 2012, he served as the initiative's statewide risk-program manager.

He has the support of the Santa Clara County Deputy Sheriffs' Association, Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers' Association, and multiple fire and police groups and individuals, including retired Palo Alto police Chief Dennis Burns.

He is best suited to take on the task of rebuilding the department and restoring the public's confidence in its operations. He sees an urgent need to reform the culture of the organization, a view that makes his support from the two unions all the more important.

The next sheriff will face a monumental challenge to improve transparency, accountability and communication after Smith's years of mismanagement. Jensen is clearly the best qualified candidate to succeed.

The county district attorney's office has over 600 employees and almost 200 attorneys, making it California's largest DA's office north of Los Angeles.

Jeff Rosen, 54, has served three terms as district attorney and ran unopposed in the last two elections, making this election the first time he has had to defend his record in a campaign. He has cultivated a reputation as a reformer, jumping at opportunities to be visibly associated with popular progressive initiatives to step up prosecutions of sexual assault, increase the use of diversion programs to reduce the number of offenders in jail, reduce prosecutions in cases that create racial inequities and engage in more public outreach and education about the criminal justice system.

He is being challenged by two progressive candidates who don't think Rosen has gone far enough to implement reforms that recognize the vulnerability of the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system and is too focused on traditional models of incarceration.

Sajid Khan, 39, a public defender for the last 14 years, says he is the "true progressive" in the race and has focused on how racism permeates the system, the importance of ending the money bail system, not ever trying juveniles as adults and increasing diversion programs as an alternative to incarceration. His support of probation for Brock Turner, reflecting his belief that justice should be empathetic and not be measured by jail time, drew sharp criticism last year after Khan posted on social media about his concern for the survivors of sexual assault and the secondary trauma they suffer by the legal system.

Rosen's other opponent, is a prosecutor who was demoted and then fired by Rosen after writing an opinion piece in the Mercury News criticizing progressive prosecutors who would seek short sentences for violent crimes. Daniel Chung, 33, is now suing the county and seeking to unseat his former boss at the ballot box. He said criminal justice reforms are creating a revolving door for repeat offenders and the department's "hot potato" method of handling cases, by which cases get handled by multiple DAs, has led to long delays and is a disservice to crime victims.

In spite of these criticisms, Jeff Rosen has modernized the operation of the DA's office and implemented many important reforms. His greatest accomplishment may be the diversification of his prosecutors so they better reflect the community. Half the attorneys are women and more than 40% are people of color or LGBTQ individuals. He has implemented numerous programs to divert non-violent offenders from jail, especially in drug cases, supported reclassifying minor drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and created a conviction integrity unit to investigate innocence claims.

We hope Rosen's next term will bring more attention to police misconduct, which cries out for stronger prosecutorial attention. The police and district attorney's office must work hand in hand to bring criminals to justice, but that relationship cannot result in the type of laissez faire attitude toward prosecuting police misconduct that Rosen has shown.

Larry Stone has been in office for 27 years, and at age 81 it is time for him to step aside and allow someone of his caliber to take his place. Unfortunately, his name recognition and strong performance in the office has made it impossible for any challenger to mount a serious challenge as long as he chooses to continue in office.

This year is no exception. His opponent, Andrew Crockett, is a CPA working as a financial analyst for the Santa Clara County Health System and doesn't come close to measuring up to Stone's experience or accomplishments.

We recommend Stone's reelection, with the hope that he will then announce it is his last term.

Measure A is a ridiculous and deceptive attempt by the incumbent directors of the Santa Clara Valley Water District to change the current three-term limit of 12 years in office to give themselves an additional four years to serve. Voters imposed a limit of three terms on directors in 2009 and now that some directors are about to be termed out they have placed Measure A on the ballot to change the limit to four terms (16 years).

This is an easy one. Vote no on Measure A.

Comments

Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on May 12, 2022 at 2:04 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on May 12, 2022 at 2:04 pm

I'm puzzled as to why the editorial board would recommend Ajwang Rading over Rishi Kumar, who competed very well against Anna Eshoo in 2020 (with 37% of the vote).

Compare the answers that each candidate provided to a recent Ballotpedia survey: "Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?"

Ajwang Rading - Web Link

"- In a moment of new and compounding crises in climate, housing, and health, we need a new generation of leadership in Washington.
- As a young, Black man who grew up in poverty, Ajwang has the life experience we’re missing in Congress, and he’ll legislate to give everyone the opportunity to succeed and live out their potential.
- In the heart of the country’s tech sector, we need a representative who understands and will foster the development of technology and business for the public good."

Rishi Kumar - Web Link

"- My Congressional run is about ethics in politics. I will NEVER sell out. America needs leaders with integrity. I operate at the behest of the People and no one else. I will always reject PAC, Big Pharma, and Special Interest Group money. On the city council, I rejected campaign money from land-developers.
- I have taken the “Term Limits Pledge.” When I am knocking on doors in the district, I constantly hear, “We need new blood in political service.” People are tired of politicians who stay too long and do very little. Web Link
- I fight for the people and always win! I will tackle your tough challenges that have not been addressed for decades. In Congress, my agenda will focus on tackling the urgent challenges affecting the people. Web Link

We don't need more LIBERAL Democrats, like Booker. Google "cory booker big pharma" to see why.

We need more PROGRESSIVE Dems, like Ro Khanna + RISHI KUMAR !


Bob
Registered user
Blossom Valley
on May 12, 2022 at 3:11 pm
Bob, Blossom Valley
Registered user
on May 12, 2022 at 3:11 pm

I'll give you a couple of reasons not to vote for Rishi Kumar.

In his latest direct mail piece he quotes Matt Grocott twice. Matt Grocott is a Trump Republican! Is that the only person he could find to endorse him or is the campaign he directs so poorly led that they don't vet whom they quote? Either way - not good.

I have had the need several times in the last few years to ask Congresswoman Eshoo's office for help. They have always been super helpful and no I don't contribute or have a recognizable name. Obviously the office is well run.

Yes to Eshoo. No to Kumar.


Lousie Gu
Registered user
Waverly Park
on May 12, 2022 at 4:36 pm
Lousie Gu, Waverly Park
Registered user
on May 12, 2022 at 4:36 pm

Leslie, I hear you on the comparison but have you actually looked into Rishi's voting record on the Saratoga City Council? Anti-housing, demonizing communities of color with dog whistling language, bashing people because of their age? I'm sorry, but my experience as an Asian woman when Rishi came door knocking was unbelievable -- really spoke down to me and badgered me in the most hostile manner. I have followed him, trying to have a redemptive lens, but he continues to perpetuate some very disturbing rhetoric. If you are looking for a "progressive," then please look at their actual policies and lived experiences.

I think you are fair to critique Ajwang's association with Cory Booker, but it was to write criminal justice reform legislation. He also helped document over 4,500 lynchings of African-Americans throughout the South. What was Rishi's track record

I met Ajwang briefly when he was canvassing our neighborhood and he reflects both the kindness and smarts I think is needed. Please read his policy platform again as he is for everything you want but as a pragmatist. There is a reason why Ro stays 100 miles away from Rishi within the community, as well as many others who want real change.


Randy Guelph
Registered user
Cuernavaca
on May 12, 2022 at 4:58 pm
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
Registered user
on May 12, 2022 at 4:58 pm

Larry Stone's opposition to Prop 15 should be enough for any rational voter to disqualify him.


SRB
Registered user
St. Francis Acres
on May 12, 2022 at 7:06 pm
SRB, St. Francis Acres
Registered user
on May 12, 2022 at 7:06 pm

100% agree with recommendation on the Water District's Measure A: a very easy NO.

And shame on our local rep -Gary Kremen- for putting that deceiving and self serving measure on the ballot .... -wasting over $3M in the process-.


ivg
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2022 at 7:45 pm
ivg, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on May 12, 2022 at 7:45 pm

Rishi, not sell out? Hard to believe, coming from a guy who lives in Saratoga. He represents the interests of multi-millionaire homeowners.


CC
Registered user
Gemello
on May 12, 2022 at 9:52 pm
CC, Gemello
Registered user
on May 12, 2022 at 9:52 pm

Rishi: No thanks. He came knocking door to door. He loves to beat up on biotech and big pharma. I feel like he picks on big pharma because most people also like to bash pharma. Meanwhile he works for big tech. People also like to bash big tech. Also, I don't like that he labels Anna and makes fun of her being 'old'. He doesn't seem like a genuine, authentic representative of the community. I don't think he is great at listening. He seems divisive to me. Generally, he comes across as an amateur.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on May 13, 2022 at 10:12 am
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on May 13, 2022 at 10:12 am

Nice to see discussion on the election! Still puzzled as to why the editorial board would recommend Ajwang Rading over Rishi Kumar. If truly concerned with the length of time in office of incumbents, why not endorse the person who “garnered more votes than any other challenger in the last 30 years of this district (37%)”? That's Rishi.

I am tired of Blue Team politicians who speak pretty words, but don't actually do anything. From their statements, it appears that Rading is primarily using Identity Politics and running as a young, Black man; sounds nice, sure, but it's not enough. He mentions “new and compounding crises in climate, housing, and health” but what has he actually promised TO DO?! The Blue Team has been calling for universal healthcare for only forever, but now that we are closer to Medicare For All than ever before, many of them hem and haw and fight on behalf of a status quo system that regularly price gouges Americans. Never forget that Rading's mentor Cory Booker infamously fought on behalf of Big Pharma to keep the cost of medical drugs high.

“It’s devastating, and potentially lethal, when Americans can’t afford life-saving drugs because their elected representatives are in thrall to Big Pharma. It’s disappointing when Democrats offer implausible excuses for their votes, as Sen. Cory Booker and 12 other senators did last week.” - Web Link

Are DEM voters even aware of ACTIVE, stealth efforts by DEM politicians to PRIVATIZE MEDICARE? Outrageous! Web Link

If we want our politicians to fight for us instead of wealthy campaign donors, we need to vote and support politicians like Rishi who run campaigns funded by everyday people.

@Bob, the Blue vs Red struggle is much less important than 0.001% vs the 99% struggle. MANY are dying because they can no longer afford previously cheap drugs! We need M4A now.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on May 13, 2022 at 10:12 am
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on May 13, 2022 at 10:12 am

@Lousie, Rishi is a brown man, and “anti-housing” is a dog-whistle term itself! Can you elaborate? Rishi was against SB9 and SB10, which are pro-DEVELOPER not pro-housing (they don't provide ANY affordable housing to low income or average workers).

Rishi wrote this editorial:

Guest Opinion: SB9, SB10 are the kiss of death for neighborhoods
Web Link

"This will not end well. There will be more housing, but the price of housing will continue to escalate; the population will spike; and massive traffic gridlock will ensue. The Valley’s quality of life will go kaput. The mess will play out for decades as we try to fix it. In the end, we’ll give up and say “just expand into the outlier cities,” a crude method to deal with an unsustainable situation."


Lousie Gu
Registered user
Waverly Park
on May 17, 2022 at 2:09 pm
Lousie Gu, Waverly Park
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 2:09 pm

I hate to point this out but you do realize Rishi's contributions are tied to Hindu nationalist extremism? Before you make claims in his defense, please look at the FEC. See here for background: Web Link

From at least I can tell when looking at the FEC website and scanning donors, the person who has the cleanest record of donors is our young candidate that this paper endorsed.


SRB
Registered user
St. Francis Acres
on May 17, 2022 at 2:39 pm
SRB, St. Francis Acres
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 2:39 pm

I wish Eshoo would pass the baton sooner than later. Until she does though, only uncertainty is who else will quaify to the next round and lose. Personally, I'd like Ajwang Rading to make it to the November round so that he can get more experience for 2024. Rishi keeps taking a lot of positions on state/local issues that won't be affected by US Congress. Shouldn't he be running for State Assembly instead?

Seeing the way he mishandled harrasment claims in his office, Marc Berman could have used some challengers.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on May 18, 2022 at 2:57 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 2:57 pm

Lousie, you have a bad habit of using inflammatory language to make your points. Earlier you said, "Anti-housing, demonizing communities of color with dog whistling language, bashing people because of their age?" YOU yourself used the dog-whistle term "anti-housing"; I asked you to elaborate on that, you have not done so. You imply I am not aware of his record, when my support for him is BASED on his record. He is a rare politician who is willing to speak truth to power, and fight on behalf of "we the people". Rishi was a nobody who got 37% against Eshoo; he is much more of a threat to Eshoo than Rading. Of course those in power want to squash him.

One of the hottest issues today is the housing crisis. Sadly, a generational divide around this topic is being fomented because young people especially are in deep pain. A theory has been passed around that older people have been "blocking supply" in order to keep costs high. Where is the EVIDENCE? I haven't seen it. The TRUE cause of high housing costs is the fabulous abundance of high paying jobs here, which has existed here for DECADES. Older people are being scapegoated and "bashed" by those who want to exploit the pain with bills like SB9/10 which do essentially NOTHING to alleviate it. Youngsters are being duped. The truth will out.

Now you reference "the cleanest record of donors" and instead of linking to a site that contains donor information, you link to a site that appears to be a political hit piece from the 2020 election!

Here is donor information from OpenSecrets: Web Link

Top 2 Donors for each candidate (unless noted, totals are from individuals at each entity).

Anna Eshoo (D)
Total = $194,750 (Ascend Clinical; Intuit Inc) $10,00 was Intuit PAC

Ajwang Rading (D)
Total = $42,175 (Carleton Management [apartment management! bien sur!]; Wilson, Sonsini et al [law firm])

Rishi Kumar (D)
Total = $23,200 (Crow Holdings; Digital Cues)








Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on May 31, 2022 at 10:50 am
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on May 31, 2022 at 10:50 am

Errata: the Koch brothers funded study came out in 2018, not 2016, my apologies.

The link to Kumar's stance on healthcare issues, including Medicare For All is not appearing properly above. Hopefully this will help:

https :// rishikumar .com /priorities --healthcare


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jun 2, 2022 at 9:24 am
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jun 2, 2022 at 9:24 am

My heart is sad; posts I made to educate others were deleted by this fine paper while dealing with another user who is violating T's and C's. Medicare For All is an issue that is dear to me, it is not often such discussion is relevant to stories commonly reported on in the Voice.

A Koch brothers funded study accidentally revealed the price gouging that is rampant in our health system today: Web Link .

One widely reported factoid: M4A would cost $32 Trillion over 10 years. Many op-eds asked, how would we pay for it? What was NOT REPORTED, however, was that the current system would cost $34 TRILLION INSTEAD. In other words, M4A WILL SAVE $2 TRILLION, so questions about “how will we pay for it?” are actually absurd. This can be difficult for many Americans to absorb, as we pay more for our health insurance with worse outcomes than every other country.

“the present system has left 15.5 percent of adults between 19 and 64 without health insurance, while more than a quarter of lower-income families are uninsured.” That was in 2018 before COVID:.

68K people die every year because they are priced out. After a lifetime of working hard and saving pennies, the thought of being in those ranks once terrified me. The thought of others not caring whether or not I lived or died … I have no words.

Are you on Medicare and think you are safe? Think again. Web Link

“Last week, the Biden administration quietly reaffirmed its decision to enact the highest Medicare premium hikes in history right before this year’s midterm elections ... President Joe Biden is endorsing a plan to funnel significantly more Medicare money to insurance companies and further privatize the government insurance program for older Americans and those with disabilities.”

"In effect, the higher premium increases will subsidize the larger payments to — and profits for — private insurance corporations. This comes after Biden raked in roughly $47 million from health care industry executives during his 2020 campaign."

Voters: Rishi Kumar is the ONLY DEM IN THE RACE who promises to fight for M4A.


Joel Lachter
Registered user
North Whisman
on Jun 5, 2022 at 9:01 pm
Joel Lachter, North Whisman
Registered user
on Jun 5, 2022 at 9:01 pm

While Rading hasn't endorsed M4A, his website says he supports "expanding Medicaid eligibility until we can get to a system that seamlessly and comprehensively covers everyone, including for access to critical mental, reproductive, and sexual health care," which is pretty similar. Kumar he says things like that he is for M4A and investments in technology to reduce climate change and its impacts; however, he is also pretty adamant about refusing to raise taxes (and in some cases to lower them). He implies that you can raise the money by reducing waste fraud and abuse, citing a couple items in the $20M range. It is as if he doesn't realize that he is off by four or five orders of magnitude.
Rading's plans seem to be as ambitious as Kumar's but more realistic IMO.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jun 5, 2022 at 11:27 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jun 5, 2022 at 11:27 pm

"I would love a “Medicare for All” system — however, at the same time, you have to think pragmatically and about where it fits financially." - Ajwang Rading - Web Link

Translation: Rading is pushing the same "how can we possibly afford it?" disinformation as conservatives did in 2016. Many Dems who accept campaign donations from the health care industry, including Biden, ask this same question. But THE TRUTH is that Americans ARE BEING PRICE GOUGED for drugs and medical services. Big Pharma and Big Insurance donate large sums to politicians on both sides of the aisle in order to keep the current system in place because IT IS VERY PROFITABLE TO THEM! Politicians who accept such donations clearly have a conflict of interest: their PRIORITY is to their WEALTHY DONORS, not to PROMOTING THE GENERAL WELFARE of the American people.

It is not enough to have politicians say that they "like this" or "like that". Such talk is cheap. The question is, what are they willing TO FIGHT FOR? And WHO are they willing to fight for? Are they willing to stand up to the rich + powerful pharmaceutical industry and insurance industry, to END the PRICE-GOUGING that is LITERALLY KILLING innocent Americans today?

Rading: "I don’t see our country having the bandwidth to push that and at the same time climate action over the next few years. I think climate is more of a priority in terms of spending." This comment horrifies me.

I want politicians who are willing to fight FOR BOTH clean energy AND ALSO to end the rampant price-gouging in our medical system. I consider our current system to be a corporate genocide campaign conducted against the poor. IMHO, those who have what they think is good health insurance but are indifferent to the deaths and suffering of other human beings in this country remind me of the Good Germans who suspected what was going on in the camps yet did nothing.

P.S. Once again: M4A will SAVE MONEY! When the price-gouging is ended, we shall all be paying less for healthcare. We should be paying a fair price with a reasonable profit for drugs and to medical professionals, instead of "whatever the market will bear" in order to save Granny when she is on the table.


Joel Lachter
Registered user
North Whisman
on Jun 6, 2022 at 12:06 pm
Joel Lachter, North Whisman
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 12:06 pm

Hi Leslie,
I don't disagree that M4A will save money overall, but it would be a shift in who pays. By going at it the way Rading suggests, you cover the people who need it most first. The fact is that M4A shifts the payment of health bills from premiums to taxes and Kumar says he will not vote to raise taxes. That makes me wonder how serious he is about M4A.
I am not sure what horrifies you about Rading's comment about not being able to do two major things at once. Are you horrified that Rading prioritizes climate change over healthcare or that he thinks Washington can't do two things at once? Really, it isn't clear to me that Washington can do one thing at once, and I don't think that, as a freshman, either of these people will be setting the legislative agenda. Anna might have more luck on that, but she doesn't appear to prioritize either of these issues.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jun 6, 2022 at 1:10 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 1:10 pm

Joel, you say M4A would be "a shift in who pays" as if it were a bad thing. Ending price-gouging, yes that will be a shift, but it is a GOOD change, not a bad one.

It is a sad right-wing talking point to scare people by saying "but your taxes will go up!". If a family currently pays $15,000 a year for health insurance to an insurance company under our current system, but will INSTEAD pay $7,500 in increased taxes to pay for M4A, that family will be SAVING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS each year. People who are properly educated about the situation understand that SAVING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS each year on health insurance is a GOOD change, not a bad one.

If you have evidence that Kumar is opposed to paying for M4A via taxes, I would like to see it. Do you have a quote?

FYI, here is more information about Kumar's stance on M4A: Web Link

"Healthcare: the industry that consumes nearly one out of five dollars of our GDP. The [US] spends nearly twice as much on healthcare compared to the second highest healthcare spender in the world. Despite this, our healthcare isn’t even ranked within the top 10."

"many American families are just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy."

"Our healthcare system is run by greed. Now is the time to fight for the healthcare rights of the American people. It's time to pass legislation that American families need and deserve. Medicare for All has tremendous support in Congress: Representative Jayapal's House bill H.R 1384 currently has 118 co-sponsors."

"However, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo does not support Medicare for All (H.R. 1384). The pharmaceutical industry has given over $43M to politicians to oppose Medicare for All. Congresswoman Eshoo is, in fact, the #1 recipient of Pharma money in congress."

"I am here for the people and will push for Medicare for All."


Joel Lachter
Registered user
North Whisman
on Jun 6, 2022 at 2:51 pm
Joel Lachter, North Whisman
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 2:51 pm

Hi Leslie,
I don't have a problem with shifting who pays for healthcare. I think it is a good thing. I think we agree on M4A as an end goal. We seem to disagree about several other things though. First, universal health care isn't the only thing I care about; climate change and economic justice are also way up there. Second, I am all for being pragmatic. As I said, it is not like some freshman congressman gets to waive a magic wand and suddenly their policies are implemented. I like that Rading proposes a path to actually getting something like M4A. Third, when you put Kumar's anti tax stance together with his all or nothing claims on M4A, I am not sure where he actually stands. And it is pretty easy to find anti tax quotes. Here is one from his website (Web Link
"We must focus on bringing wealth and job security back to the American people and stop the ballooning national debt. My platform, outlined below, will do just that:
1 No tax increases:
Our country has been through many costly policy failures, and in the midst of the economic panic generated by the Coronavirus, it is vital that we let working people keep their hard earned money. Thus, I oppose any proposals to increase taxes on the American people, especially the middle class. Furthermore, I support measures like the “Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act” which eliminates the marriage penalty and restores the SALT (State and Local Taxes) deduction. The capping of the SALT deduction has disproportionately hurt people of all income levels in high tax states like California. Restoring the deduction will bring revenue into Californian communities and make the tax code more equitable."


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jun 6, 2022 at 6:52 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 6:52 pm

Climate change, economic justice, ending systemic racism and mass incarceration, abortion rights, the list goes on, I care about so many issues. My top issue, however, is wealth inequality / the state of democracy. In 2014 a famous Princeton study was published that concluded that America is now an oligarchy, rather than a democracy.

“Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. ” - Web Link Translation: Politicians know who butters their bread. They primarily serve their wealthy donors rather than the American people

Some people call it legalized corruption. Rishi puts it this way:

“Corporations and Super PACs exert far too much influence on our political system ... The power of big money can be seen in all aspects of politics including gun control, pharmaceuticals and health care, and education costs ... Our elected leaders should not be bought by big money and cannot continue to work for a small sect of the United States with a disproportionate amount of political influence.” - Web Link

Re “pragmatic”– I get it. If one is privileged enough to see a doctor whenever they themselves need to see one, M4A doesn't seem so urgent. The people priced out of care feel differently, though. Bankruptcy and death of loved ones can do that. It is pragmatic for those who benefit from the status quo to fight change in a large variety of ways, including encouraging endless debate (a very clever tactic indeed).

Re your confusion about Kumar's anti-tax stance- Kumar wrote: “it is vital that we let working people keep their hard earned money.” I see nothing in your quote that indicates Kumar is against using the tax code as a mechanism to pay smaller Medicare-For-All amounts when much larger insurance premiums are no longer being withheld from paychecks.

"In political philosophy, the phrase consent of the governed refers to the idea that a government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power is justified and lawful only when consented to by the people or society over which that political power is exercised." - Web Link


Longview
Registered user
Slater
on Jun 6, 2022 at 7:55 pm
Longview, Slater
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 7:55 pm

Ajwang Rading supports universal healthcare, and thinks we can get there by expanding Medicare. Easy to find this on Rading's website. You know what that makes Rishi Kumar? A liar. Not a good way to start a relationship with this voter.


JAFO
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:58 pm
JAFO, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:58 pm

By the way what ever happened regarding the California apartment Associations use of the Mountain View Fire Fighters PAC contributing to the campaigns of the City Council? The Voice reported it:


"FPPC launches investigation into Mountain View's firefighter PAC
Landlord lobby funnels money into Mountain View City Council race directly and through firefighters
by Kevin Forestieri / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 1:51 pm

"The latest campaign filings also reveal that the firefighters PAC has taken money from the California Apartment Association (CAA), a landlord lobbying group, though the exact nature of the contribution is unclear. The assistance from CAA is unusual for the local PAC, which has historically been funded through Mountain View firefighters and supported candidates for state office. It's also the latest in a string of aggressive independent expenditures in Mountain View this election season, with the bulk of outside money being spent on misleading attack ads against candidate and former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jun 7, 2022 at 11:10 am
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2022 at 11:10 am

@Longview, do you know what Medicare For All even means? I suggest you read Representative Jayapal's House bill H.R 1384, which currently has 118 co-sponsors. There are 435 members in the House, having 118 CO-SPONSORS is highly unusual and represents tremendous support. There is more support and momentum for heath insurance reform today than there has been in DECADES. Obama gave us the ACA, saying that it was only the first step.

But to call it the "Affordable Care Act" was a misnomer. Obama promised: "Any plan I sign must include ... a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest..." Web Link . He broke that promise. As a result, in the words of the great Wendell Potter (whose testimony on Capital Hill back in 2009 helped the ACA get passed), the ACA has "protected and enhanced the profits of health insurance companies." Some of those profits are used to make campaign donations to politicians!

On his policy page Web Link , Rading does not even mention the words "Medicare For All". Instead we find this: "He supports expanding Medicaid eligibility until we can get to a system that seamlessly and comprehensively covers everyone, including for access to critical mental, reproductive, and sexual health care." I'm sorry, but THAT is not what M4A is about, it's actually a recipe to keep the Blue vs Red battles going while nothing gets done.

In addition, in his interview with the Stanford Daily, Rading said: "I would love a “Medicare for All” system — however, at the same time, you have to think pragmatically and about where it fits financially." - Web Link

I don't see any evidence for your claim that Rishi Kumar is a liar. Shame on you for saying so. No, the evidence shows that Rishi Kumar is in fact the only Dem in the race who is willing to fight for Medicare For All.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jun 7, 2022 at 11:42 am
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2022 at 11:42 am

In a different race, I just learned this news today:

In California, A Secret Insurance Effort To Boost A Corporate Dem? - Web Link

"When Californians head to the polls today to pick their nominees for governor and U.S. senator, they’ll also be voting on nominees for one down-ballot office that’s critically important not just for California, but for the entire country: the state insurance commissioner.

"And according to a new complaint, the incumbent in the race, Democrat Ricardo Lara, could once again be benefiting from donations by insurance companies he’s supposed to be regulating."

"Last month, the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) asking it to look into whether it was illegal for a pro-Lara independent expenditure committee to accept $125,000 in support from two closely-tied LGBTQ+ political committees, after one of them received a similar amount of funding from the insurance industry."

“It looks like the insurance industry is secretly funneling campaign donations to support Lara’s election, but is not disclosing those contributions,” Consumer Watchdog executive director Carmen Balber, who wrote the complaint, told The Lever. “This apparent money laundering, after the commissioner promised the public to do better, is incredibly disturbing.”

Lara, who took office in 2019, has been repeatedly criticized by consumer advocates for being too deferential to the insurance industry that he regulates; not doing enough to protect ordinary Californians who purchase home, car, and health insurance; and not taking advantage of his unique regulatory powers to fight climate change."


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