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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Just what is an "extreme" position?

Uploaded: Jun 16, 2015

Congressman Eric Swalwell sent out an email last month that tested the waters for various Democrat themes for the 2016 election.
The one-question survey asked: What is the highest priority issue for voters in Swalwell's Congressional District: protect Social Security; relieve student loan debt; strengthen our economy; ensure equal pay; solve the water shortage crisis; or something else?
When I did not respond to the first email, I got a reminder email so I responded with "the economy." That answer—as would any answer—opened up a plea for funding in tiny single digits—starting with a campaign contribution of $5.
Pleas for financial aid earlier in the month pointed out just how extreme doctrinaire Democrat positions can be when it comes to abortion. Eric's two missives asked for voters to sign a petition because "House Republicans will hold a vote to limit a woman's right to choose by banning late term abortions.
"That's simply unacceptable. Women should be in charge of their own decisions—not ring-wing ideologues in Congress?
"?.If this legislation passes Roe v. Wade will be undermined yet again by extreme members of Congress."
I guess one man's extreme is another person's position to protect an unborn baby. When asked about late term abortions—called partial birth because a viable baby is killed —more than 80 percent of respondents in a Marist poll early this year favored restricting this procedure. That would not include the occupant of the White House.
For abortion rights advocates, they would likely stress the camel's nose under the tent argument—any restriction will lead to others.
The unheard voice is, of course, that of the baby that can be seen as either the accident of unplanned pregnancy or a son or daughter of the Creator of the universe. The perspectives cannot be further apart.
A more recent fundraising missive from the Swalwell campaign declared, "Eric has our backs?"He's fighting to relieve student-loan debt. He's fighting to ensure seniors can retire securely. And he's fighting to find a solution to California's water wars."
Just how a member of Congress is going to allow students to write off debt they incurred knowingly (the emphasis should be on greater competition between institutions and less federal loan guarantees. Since the feds got into the student loan business, the cost of college has increased faster than both the cost of health care and inflation. The magic touch of Uncle Sugar).
How he ensures secure retirement when Social Insecurity will be on life-support and, by no means can cover retirement for most people (if you want to get really sick, look at the stats for retirement savings for Baby Boomers).
On water, there is a reasonable federal role given what happens in the Delta concerns both federal and state water projects. I review many news clips on water issues in my role as a consultant for Zone 7 and I cannot recall seeing Eric's name a single time on a water issue coming out of Washington D.C. With all of the House Republicans down the Central Valley clamoring for action, it is an opportunity for Swalwell to walk across the aisle and see what he can work out.
Incidentally, Eric has recruited his former teacher, Tim Sbranti, to join his office staff. Tim, who came up short last year in the 16th Assembly race against Catharine Baker, last week concluded a 17-year teaching career to join Swalwell's staff. He is a former mayor and councilman in Dublin.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Westerner, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 16, 2015 at 9:45 am

One of choices was "ensure equal pay?" They tried that in the former Soviet Union and it did not work aout very well. In Cuba, doctors make about $30 per month. Sounds to me like Eric Swalwell is the extremist.

Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Jun 16, 2015 at 3:47 pm

I use to say thank god someone finally beat Pete Stark to get his extreme views out of Congress... Unfortunately sounds like Swalwell is simply a younger version of extremist Stark.. Would love see Catherine Baker run for this seat.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jun 16, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I voted for Swalwell because I wanted to get rid of Stark. Swalwell rang my doorbell during the campaign. We spoke, we had several mutual friends that were editors and bloggers on the Patch.

Swalwell insisted that he would be responsive to emails, letters, etc. Well, that is not true. He is not responsive. When I have sent emails to Swalwell, I receive an automated reply that does not address my issues.

So, I am very disappointed with Swalwell, Although he is very ambitious, he has been absorbed into that bubble that is congress. It is likely he will not extricate himself.

I am looking forward to another republican candidate to step up and run against Swalwell. It seems we may have some luck in putting a Republican in congress from this district.

The bubble I refer to is the Tax and Spend Bubble.

Posted by Dave , a resident of Danville,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Tim Talk - Maybe the emphasis should be on federal education grants keeping up with the rate of inflation and the cost of education.

Those of us whose educations were paid for in part by Pell Grants and other federal education scholarship programs have seen the limits on those grants fall woefully behind students' needs and the cost of educations. And then, forced to take on crushing amounts of educational loan debt, new college graduates are so strapped that they spend far less on the consumer items (cars, appliances, etc.) that keep this economy running.

And for those who are ideologically opposed to the government investing in young people's college educations, please understand that investments in education yield huge dividends for our economy and the country: better educated work force, better citizens, and higher tax payers. Personally, I pay far more in taxes each YEAR than the government spent on my entire education.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm

I strongly support a woman's Right to Choose but welcome a public review re: time limits.

If students borrow federal money then pay backback what you borrow to the cent. Or, volunteer for 4 years in active military service excluding the National Guard. If there is a hot war, then college educated go first in battle. If you loose your life, you have sacrificed for our country. Women and Men will be sent to the front lines despite your academic accomplishments or if you're a parent. NOBODY GETs TO SNEAK OUT THE BACK DOOR. In exchange, you get to have your name carved on a marble wall for all to see. In addition, your remains can be deposited in the Arlington National Cemetery with a tiny waterproof US Flag.

If there is a hot war,the names of all elected officials in the USA will be investigated and their names and addresses will be published re: how much money they earn from the deaths of unfortunate military personnel. TRUTH RULES. If you have served in the US military, you will be assigned to a conservation corp to fight fires and protect the innocent should there be an unforseen natural disaster.

If Social Security benefits are taken away from Veterans or any American who has earned the benefits, there will be a state by state assessment of anybody who attempts to deprive others of their previously agreed earned benefits.

If your home is worth more that $100,000, your property will be reassessed and there will be a 50% increase in property taxes. Or, you will be assigned a homeless family to live in your home...absolutely no exceptions.

If you have more than 3 children, you must be sterilized, no more babies.

All American will be forced to work until they retire at age 65.

just tryin' to help out!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm


. P2, line 2&3 - then college educated Americans go to the front lines first.
. P3m line - If there is hot war, the names and addresses of all elected US officials will be published and how much money they may have earned from the war will be published. It must never be acceptable to benefit from the war machine. They will be forced to return every penny or be placed in an internment camp...just like it happened to Japanese American patriots during WWII...Camp What Goes Around Comes Around will their new home.
. P4, line 3 - their previously agreed upon earned benefits.
. P6, line 1 - All Americans will be forced to work until they retire at age 65.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 3:53 pm



thank you for the tip but NO THANKS!

cbaker has been busted...tee hee

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jun 18, 2015 at 8:18 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

"Just what is an 'extreme' position?"

Well that's easy: any position articulated by someone who does not identify as a democrat!!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jun 18, 2015 at 10:03 am

extreme position: anybody who does not identify as a caucasoid

Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Jun 18, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Tu eres muy loco, Cholo!

Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jun 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm

"Extreme position" from the perspective of Tim and the smug right wing droids who frequent this site: Anything to the left of Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 19, 2015 at 2:01 am

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

An "Extreme" position is one that is contrary to one's own positions.

Rep. Swalwell appears to have shifted leftwards during his time in D.C., but that's probably because most Congress Persons move to where their cookies are. Since Swalwell's cookies come from Nancy Pelosi, it's no surprise he's moving closer to San Francisco.

I wasn't impressed with Swalwell's first term because he didn't accomplish much. But maybe it is better to do nothing than to do the opposite of what your constituents want.


Posted by Hugh Mayne, a resident of another community,
on Jun 19, 2015 at 10:58 am

Extreme position, rodeo style: Web Link Three Cheers for the underbull!

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