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Friday, January 4, 2013

New Congressional Representative for LLNL

After Upset Win, House Freshman Looks To Make A Name For Himself
by Aarti Shahani
January 03, 2013

A 32-year-old Bay Area prosecutor will be sworn in to Congress on Thursday after ousting a 40-year incumbent.

California Democrat Eric Swalwell — who will be the second-youngest member of Congress — capitalized on his opponent's gaffes and used old-fashioned door-knocking and high-tech mobile phone outreach to win votes.

His first challenge in Washington might be getting people to pronounce his name correctly. Even senior members of California's congressional delegation have gotten it wrong, saying "Stallwell" instead of "Swalwell."

"It takes everyone time," he says.

Swalwell has lived in Washington, D.C., once before, as a summer intern. The job was unpaid, so he worked mornings at a gym and evenings at a Tex-Mex restaurant.

"Many times members of Congress would come in and, you know, I would give them their meals," Swalwell says. "And I tried to memorize their faces in the congressional facebook, which was a kind of printed directory that they used to hand out."

Swalwell wasn't planning to run for Congress. He was on a weekend vacation in Maryland with two childhood friends and made an appointment with Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., to talk local business. At the last minute, Stark changed what was supposed to be a face-to-face meeting into a quick phone date.

The episode disappointed Swalwell and led him to view the 81-year-old incumbent as someone who had served honorably in the past but who "I just didn't see as being up for it anymore."

Swalwell made a spur-of-the-moment decision to run against Stark for the House seat. Everyone from Democratic Party gatekeepers to his own parents told him he was throwing away his career.

He says they told him: "This is the biggest mistake, you know, of your life because you're going to lose. And ... anything you want to do in the future, you can just write that off. You know, it's not going to happen."

Richard Schlackman, a political consultant in San Francisco, says he didn't think Swalwell "had a chance in the world."

"Incumbent Democrats don't usually lose in the Bay Area," Schlackman says.

He says Stark, the incumbent, helped Swalwell build name recognition by refusing to debate him and falsely accusing him of taking bribes.

"Pete Stark was doing a great campaign against himself," Schlackman says, "and it's a classic example, more importantly, of a candidate who hasn't had a real race in years."

Because California has open primaries, the top two vote-getters face off in the general election. In the showdown between the two Democrats, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other big names endorsed incumbent Stark, as is the custom. Swalwell relied on local politicians and local money for support, yet he won by a comfortable margin of about 4.5 percentage points.

Swalwell, whose hometown is Dublin, Calif., plans to live in his district four days a week, to stay in touch with his constituency. And he wants to secure federal research money for his district's largest employer, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

He says it needs that money "because too often, the capital is so great that no private organization or startup is going to be able to make those types of upfront investments."

Senior lawmakers say it'll be hard for the freshman Swalwell to raise cash — perhaps just a little bit harder than getting Capitol Hill to say his name righ


Anonymous said...

Well this mean he gets eaten alive?

Anonymous said...

Livermore voters, we'll be more than glad to give you Ben Ray Lujan, Jr. (D-NM) in exchange for this new guy, Eric Swalwell (D-CA). Wanna make a trade?

Oh, and we'll even throw in both of our useless New Mexico ultraliberal Democratic Senators with the trade, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich.

Anonymous said...

New Mexico is the *only* state in the union that was officially in recession during 2012. We are still in recession in 2013. Quite a record for our delegation.

Yes, indeed, please take our job-killing Democratic NM Congressional delegation off our hands! They've been a total disaster for this state.

Anonymous said...

We'll take 'em, if you take Boxer, Pelosi and a queer to be named later.

We'll throw in our 51 votes on your choice on immigration if you vote to drop the AMT deductions for state taxes and continue the wine tariffs.
We'll even throw in support for CMMR and whatever vote you need on Native American issues to secure the reservation caucus.

Anonymous said...

In fact, to make up for past greivances, we'll join with you to give back DC and Manhattan Island to the Algonquin tribe as long as they agree to keep the residents as somewhat noisy, somewhat lazy slaves.

Anonymous said...

Here is what happens when you have a Congressional delegation that drops the ball when it comes to keeping good paying jobs in your state....

High Country News
What's the Matter with New Mexico - Dec 19, 2012

"The Brookings Institution’s Metro Monitor keeps regular track of how various metro areas across the nation have fared since the Recession. The most recent monitor expands its scope to look at 300 cities worldwide. When it comes to economic performance, Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, Seattle and San Jose are doing pretty well. Even Phoenix appears to be on the rebound, going from 296th place (300th is the worst) during 2007-2011, to 92nd place in 2011-2012. Then there’s Albuquerque, the only New Mexico metro to make the monitor. It is not only near the bottom in the U.S., but at 282nd place it’s competing with Athens, Naples and Madrid as one of the worst performing economies in the world. It has lost employment, lost GDP and shows absolutely no signs of recovery, remaining in full recession."

Anonymous said...

Well, comparing California and New Mexico is like comparing apples and oranges (chile peppers).

Anonymous said...

January 5, 2013 10:19 PM

The Los Alamos Study group has shown that New Mexico is so poor because of the labs. It creates inequality and inequality is high in poor places therefore it must be the labs that cause the problems. If you get rid of the labs New Mexico would thrive because there would be less inequality like in Sweden so we could turn Albuquerque into Stockholm.

Anonymous said...

January 6, 2013 5:15 PM

Ya LASG has pretty much imploded. It is sad to see what selfish ambition at all cost does to people. It was all about power and greed.

Anonymous said...

Jobs and the economy were much better in New Mexico when "Saint Pete", a moderate, pro-business, pro-lab Republican was in the Senate.

Ever since the ultra-liberal Democrats took both Senate seats it has been downhill for the state. You would think that the voters for NM would realize this and boot their two light-weight Senators out. Heck, we apparently now rate close to Athens, Greece on the downward slope of our state's economy!

I'll tell you this, though, if the GOP can put up a credible Hispanic for the next Senate race to go against a wimpy, white-faced Tom Udall then he's gone. it would be a repeat of the same event that allowed Susanna Martinez to become the Governor yet still being a member of the Republican party in this overwhelmingly Hispanic Democratic state.

Wimpish Tom Udall should be looking carefully over his weak, thin shoulders. His days in the Senate are numbered because of his awful track record on the NM economy and his pathetic support for the state's national labs, one of the prime forces behind the state's previous economic success story.

Anonymous said...

Having Ron Dellums lead the defense appropriations committee was a disaster for the Bay Area. During the original base clossures, he pushed hard for closures and all Bay Area bases were closed, costing 10s of thoussands of jobs. Nowhere else was hit nearly as comprehensively.

Having local anti_nuc congressmen is not good for the local weapons establishment. Fortunately, your page buggerers, compete with the Bay Area bitchfest for anti-nuc sentiment

Anonymous said...

Having local anti_nuc congressmen is not good for the local weapons establishment. Fortunately, your page buggerers, compete with the Bay Area bitchfest for anti-nuc sentiment

January 6, 2013 11:23 PM

Here we go again LLNL. Let's blame all your problems on this Blog and Ron Dellums for your inability to complete projects (i.e. NIF, MFTF) and run your Operations. You beginning to sound like LANL.

Anonymous said...

what problems?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
what problems?

January 7, 2013 1:13 PM

Now you really DO sound like LANL!

Anonymous said...

On Monday, Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) named Swalwell as an assistant whip.

Whips are part of the Democratic caucus. They inform other Democratic House members of impending legislation and help line up votes.

Anonymous said...

Hey NIF works. NIF was completed. So there! Btw I really enjoyed reading the scathing JASONS review of DAHRT. You people have a lot to learn from the NIF team.

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