Mike Honda Comes Out Swinging at Challenger Ro Khanna

Looks like nap time is over for Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose).

On Saturday, Ro Khanna announced his intention to rematch the longstanding Democratic rep for California's District 17 congressional seat. In 2014, despite a $4.4 million investment, Khanna lost a close race to Honda, who underspent him by $1 million. Khanna now returns for round two—and his third career run for Congress—and Honda has decided to go on the offensive from the start.

Honda, who didn’t exactly deliver the most graceful victory speech in November, released a Khanna-bashing statement Thursday, accompanied by a website titled "Ro’s Usual Suspects." Honda touted his record as “a proven and effective leader, championing public education, fighting to preserve Social Security and Medicare, and protecting American jobs.” Meanwhile, the website echoed 2014 depictions of his adversary as a “perennial candidate” with deep pockets and deeper ties to conservatives. It also featured a photoshop graphic of the film "The Usual Suspects" reminiscent of a local attack blog associated with labor.

“Same bad actors. Same bad intentions,” the site trumpets, linking Khanna to a list of past financiers but failing to mention exactly what exactly are his “bad intentions.” A Photoshop lineup displays “Khanna’s crew of usual suspects,” including tech giant Peter Thiel, Tea Party supporter Ernie Konnyu, and hedge fund manager Marc Leder (who held the dinner at which Mitt Romney made his infamous “47 percent” comment).

“As we know from history, Ro Khanna’s ability to raise money is only surpassed by his ability to squander it,” said the release from Honda’s campaign.

Honda is on his seventh term in Congress and has no intention of stepping aside. In his 2014 victory speech, he noted his plan “to live until 103.”

A rematch against Khanna will likely require more money and energy than the previous go-around, which may be why Honda’s campaign has decided to go for the jugular so early in this race.

“[Honda’s] long history of serving the District honorably and with principle will outweigh the determination of the wealthy interests backing his overly ambitious challenger,” the campaign said.

Just how honorably Honda and his staff have conducted themselves, however, is a subject for debate. In September 2014, San Jose Inside reported emails that appeared to show Honda’s staff broke House rules by mixing campaign activity with official business. The report also found that Honda courted potential donors by granting them access to policymakers and a State Department event, another violation. Honda publicly apologized for these actions but has never discussed what occurred in detail.

Khanna supporters made a complaint to the House Office of Congressional Ethics, but it's not yet known where that process stands.

While the indiscretions tightened the race between Khanna and Honda, it didn’t stop the latter from winning with 52 percent of the vote. If yesterday’s statement is any indication of where this race is headed, the fight from now until 2016 will be personal, and ugly.


  1. Lindsey you say: Khanna lost a close race to Honda, who underspent him by $1 million.

    How many expenditures were done by PAC’s and other organizations phone banking, and door knocking for Honda? How many for Khanna? Personal campaign finances are moot in today’s political world the way PAC expenditures are not counted against a candidates total expenditures.

  2. Looking forward to Rip Van Winkle’s Ripping Ro’s bank accounts to shreds. I’m going to rely on Meyer Weed for a blow by Blow Howard Cosell style ring announcer. We know The Merc and Metro will be acting like they are sleeping, when it comes to calling the RO low blows.
    We have not seen the best of our Gentle Giant. Dances like Mohamed Ali, and fights like Archie Moore.
    It’s all yours Howard !

  3. The numerous pot calling the kettle black statements by Honda are truly amazing. Is he really THAT clueless? Yeah, he is, Gil.

  4. > “… and protecting American jobs.”

    The reason people think Democrat politicians are stupid, dishonest, or both is that they say things like this and apparently expect people to believe them. And also, it appears that enough Democrat voters DID believe this to re-elect Honda.

    According to Ann Coulter, citing U.S. Census data, there are 40 million Mexican immigrants (legal and illegal) living in the U.S. That is ONE FOURTH of the population of Mexico.

    And according to the Labor Department, there are 90 million Americans NOT in the labor force, many of whom gave up looking for jobs in America because of the sucky job market.

    What “American jobs” has Honda been protecting?

    If anything, Honda has been protecting Mexican jobs in America.

    • PolitiFact rated that specific claim of Ann Coulter’s with “pants on fire”. She included tens of millions of Americans born in the US and legally here but of Mexican descent as “Mexican immigrants”. You really should know better.

      • Ann Coulter’s “specific claim” is correct.

        PolitiFact is trying — and failing — to save the progressive narrative.

        If you think forty million Mexican immigrants is a good thing, why not go for a billion Chinese immigrants.

        You got something against Chinese?

        • I think its telling that Ro Khanna’s supporters are misquoting Ann Coulter and the right wing echo chamber (with slightly racist anti-Mexican, immigrant rhetoric). It just shows how right wing Ro is and those he is beholden to the right wing and its minions.

          This is in addition people that bank role Ro Khanna like Marc Leder who hosted Romneys 47% of America are worthless, or Peter Theil Tea Party privatize Social Security whos too extreme for Carl Rove, Texas Oil hedge funds etc.

          Or that Ro has said that “…outsourcing jobs does improve the economy…” or tax breaks for corporations is the solution, or Ro says rich should pay no social security tax, yet middle class pays on entire income.

          • Johnny:

            Let’s check and see if you’ve covered all the bases:

            right wing, 3
            racist, 1
            anti-Mexican, 1
            Tea Party, 1
            extreme, 1
            oil, 1
            tax breaks for corporations, 1

            Good effort, but you left out sexist and homophobic.

            And you could have used racist more.

    • You say some of these 40 million Mexican immigrants are “legal” — meaning, presumably, the American people let them in legally. If they are working in America, aren’t they working at “American jobs” rather than “Mexican jobs?” From your posts, I’m guessing you don’t like being called “racist” or “anti-Mexican,” and from your sarcasm, it seems you think it pretty obvious that you are not those things — so much so that it’s ridiculous and patently absurd to call you that. So I’ll start without any assumptions. Why are jobs in America, when performed by legal immigrants allowed into this country legally by the American people, not “American jobs?” How are those jobs “Mexican jobs?”

        • Keep the sarcasm coming. And keep feeling like you’re above it all. It’s a good copout when you can’t answer simple questions.

          • > It’s a good copout when you can’t answer simple questions.

            It’s customary in progressive culture to NOT answer simple questions.

            Try asking a progressive if they are alarmed by the secrecy of the TPP or whether their favorite politician is enabling the secrecy. Answer: “Oh, look over there! A shiny object”,

            Why do progressives think that anyone has any obligation to answer any of their questions?

          • You, however, are not a progressive — so you should be able to do it, right? Do you have an “obligation” to do it. Of course not. But I think you think you have a winning argument. So why not back it up? Spitting fire and concealing hatred and anger with sarcasm does not a good argument make.

  5. “Ro Khanna’s problem is that representing the tech industry isn’t the same thing as representing the voters in the district. In particular, the tech industry desperately wants unlimited H1-B’s in order to drive down wages. H1-B Visa holders cannot move to other companies when offered better salaries as American citizens can. Unlimited H1-B Visas helps those who live in Atherton and Woodside, not those who live in district 17.”

  6. Good news for both Honda supporters AND Khanna supporters.

    The Justice Department will NOT be monitoring your posts on SJI.


    “We will collect posts made in four active forums used by members of the far-right and three from the Islamic Extremist community, as well as posts made in Facebook, LiveJournal, Twitter, YouTube, and Pastebin accounts used by members of each movement,” the grant said.

  7. Blackie:

    When the Justice Department arrests me and puts me in a FEMA camp, is there anything you can do to get me lenient treatment?

    I really don’t do well with waterboarding.

  8. YES, That I am ! I have known Mike for many years, His work in our community, is unparalleled. He is and always will be a MAN of the people.
    I just learned, that Disney, in Orlando Florida, recently replace all of their Tech Workers, with H-1B workers by an Indian Firm. RO will be leading that parade, no doubt, followed by Goofy, and Mickey Mouse,who has turned into a RAT! Not surprising , since Disney bought Pixar from Apple, making Jobs , the largest Share holder in Disney.
    YOU GO RO !

    • From the Times today about Disney in Orlando firing their tech workers: “According to federal guidelines, the H1-B visas are intended for foreigners with advanced science or computer skills to fill discrete positions when American workers with those skills cannot be found. Their use, the guidelines say, should not “adversely affect the wages and working conditions” of Americans. Because of legal loopholes, however, in practice companies do not have to recruit American workers first or guarantee that Americans will not be displaced.” The American people must demand that their representatives close the legal loopholes which are destroying American jobs.

    • Blackie:

      I and Silicon Valley are waiting for both Sleepy and Ro to ‘splain WHY the TPP is so secret and how badly Silicon Valley gets screwed.

      Since Sleepy won’t listen to me regardless of whether I’m wearing my major general uniform or a Goofy costume, YOU are our last hope. Could you ask our Congressman, between his naps, WHY TPP is so secret?

      And, why you’re at it, ask the same question to Senator Dianne “Insider Trader” and Senator Barbara “The Aborter”, For all anyone knows, the TPP could be putting tariffs on imported abortions, or overturning Roe vs. Wade and banning abortion in America.

      Aren’t you just a bit suspicious that President Barack “Transparency” Obama and Mitch “Weak Knees” McConnell and John “Wimpy” Boehner are all colluding in TPP secrecy?

      It’s come down to you, Blackie. You’re our last hope.

      If you don’t get in there and rattle some cages, we’ll NEVER find out what’s in TPP.

  9. Now that the tip of the iceberg, has been reveiled, about RO and his supporters, Let’s follow the money.
    I knew, when this appeared on San Jose Inside, this would be a fun journey. Hang On! The best is yet to come.
    Who out there can connect the dots? This is no longer about Mike Honda, This is about our American way of life.
    Ro Khanna, represents the NEW Silicon valley ethicts, Screw the American workers. Screw the USA. God, I hope Mighty Mouse, can come and save the Day!
    Mike Honda, has to be our Mighty Mouse, in Silicon Valley !!!

    • Blackie:

      > Mike Honda, has to be our Mighty Mouse, in Silicon Valley !!!

      Could you ask our Silicon Valley Mighty Mouse, Sleepy Honda, what’s in the TPP and why it’s such a big secret?

      Ignorance of the law is no defense in court, so how in hell are Sleepy’s constituents supposed to defend themselves when Sleepy and his colleagues pass SECRET laws?

  10. Bubbles,
    My day starts early. I have some good news and some bad news. OK, I’ll start with the good news. Mighty Mouse is not a Disney character, Thank God ! For those of you that watched him on Saturday mornings, He was our Hero, growing up.
    Now the bad news. Mighty Mouse, was always there to subdue the bad Cats. Disney, Apple enjoy each others boards.
    H1-B Visas and the displacement of American Tech Workers at Disneyland, is but the beginning.
    As Mike Honda streaks through the Silicon Valley sky, I can hear him sing out, “Here I come to Save The Day !’
    Great way to start my day behind my Anvil, as I have for 50 years. Providing thousands of prototypes for what we now know as Silicon Valley.
    Yep, Mike is my Hero. Made in the USA.

  11. > H1-B Visas and the displacement of American Tech Workers at Disneyland, is but the beginning.

    Is this what Sleepy Honda calls “protecting American jobs”?

    I’ll bet that if you checked the facts, Blackie, you would be shocked to learn Sleepy probably pulled a lot of strings and greased a lot of skids to obtain H-1B visas for Silicon Valley companies. ( I believe in politician-speak this is called “constituent service”.)

    And Sleepy sure as hell ISN’T protecting American jobs by going along with the unprecedented secrecy of the TPP act. There is undoubtedly job-killing stuff in TPP that he is more than happy to go along with.

    You and Honda are quite a pair, He’s a back-bencher who SLEEPS on the job, and you DREAM that he’s doing just the opposite of what he’s really doing.

    Sleepy and Dreamy

    • Ya I gotta agree with SJO on this one. During Mike’s service as a congressman we’ve seen the number of H1-B’s increase. Ro having never been an elected official of any type, has not yet had the opportunity to prove that he’ll decimate tech jobs with H1-B’s.

  12. Surprised to learn they could even get Honda awake long enough to show his face let alone make a statement. Probably had one of his many “assistants” photo shop him standing vertical and mumbling jibberish! An amazing feat in itself! Only in America! Mike Honda stands for everything that has brought our current political system to a certain demise. What a pity!

  13. Oh WOW!

    Stop the presses! Local Dems dump Obama.

    Obama makes personal appeal on trade before key House vote


    “Local representatives Mike Honda and Zoe Lofgren have joined the opposition and are urging their colleagues to oppose the TPP and the Fast-Track negotiation process.”


    What is MOST curious is how radioactive the TPP is in local politics.

    It is s-o-o-o toxic that local Dems — and their media stenographers — can’t talk about it because many businesses in Silicon Valley, who the Dems represent, like the idea of “free trade”.

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