Danville GOP candidate to challenge Dianne Feinstein for Senate seat

Lost Congressional primary bid in 2010

Efficiency in government may sound like an oxymoron, but a Danville woman is hoping to change that by challenging U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Elizabeth Emken, 48, is a former IBM efficiency expert and has announced her bid for the senate seat currently held by Feinstein. Emken ran for Congress in 2010 but lost the Republican primary to San Ramon resident David Harmer, who, in turn, lost to Jerry McNerney.

Currently, Emken is a professional advocate for children with autism, most recently serving vice president of governmental relations for Autism Speaks, a national nonprofit organization that calls itself the largest autism advocacy group in the U.S.

Emken graduated from UCLA in 1984, with a degree in Economics and Political Science. She left IBM to become a legislative consultant and board member at Cure Autism Now, and in 2007 joined Autism Speaks, where her role was to manage the relationship between the organization and state and federal government.

In a news release, Emken said she hopes to ride the wave of anti-incumbent sentiment she expects will hit California by next year.

"What I've witnessed over the last decade: slow-moving government agencies lacking accountability and absent of return on investment--has brought me to this moment. The entitlement spending, waste and lack of transparency is something every taxpayer should see for his or herself," her Facebook page says. "The out-of-control government spending by Washington comes with a hefty price. Our debt recently crossed the $15 trillion threshold, equaling over $48,000 per citizen, or $133,000 per taxpayer. We are setting the next generation up for failure."

She lives in Danville with her husband of 25 years, Craig Swartz,a Global Enterprise Solution Architect at Dell. The couple have two daughters and a 19-year old- son, Alex, who has autism spectrum disorder.

She was unable to be reached for comment.


Like this comment
Posted by William
a resident of Danville
on Dec 19, 2011 at 6:53 am

What do Christine O'Donnell, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman and Elizabeth Emken have in common? A belief that a large group of people will take them seriously and actually vote them into some higher office.

Like this comment
Posted by Republican
a resident of Danville
on Dec 19, 2011 at 8:44 am

Although I am a Republican, even I realize she has zero chance of beating Senator Feinstein, who actually has a lot of support that crosses party lines. Ms. Emken came in last out of four canidates for the Republican nomination in her last effort to get elected, but she thinks she has a chance against Senator Feinstein? Good luck with that.

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 19, 2011 at 9:39 am

William...they also have Ultra Ego's.
If they had a half a brain they would stay home and tend to their family needs. I am not a Demo...but I know for a fact that Ms. Feinstein is the Statue of Liberty of the West and don't forget it.

Thanks for Listening, Julia Pardini from Alamo

Like this comment
Posted by Doug
a resident of Blackhawk
on Dec 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

I don't think Ms. Emken has a realistic chance to even win the party nomination. Also, Autism Speaks, for a nonprofit, certainly pays its officers well according to its publicly filed tax forms. One officer makes over $300K a year and Ms. Emken took in $150K in 2009.

This article was not biased towards either party, as it contained misspellings of the names of Emken and Feinstein.

Like this comment
Posted by Dale
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Mainstream media protects Feinstein by not investigating her hubby's ties to Asian businesses.

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Posted by Dale
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm

. Good old Richard Blum and Feinstein's family have cashed in like Pelosi.

Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Blackhawk
on Dec 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Ms Emken has NO qualifications....She ran a dirty campaign against Harmer and just alienated voters.. .. The child with Autism and her self appointed expertise does not translate to a skill set in politics..
Stay home and dream about your days at IBM..whatever you did there..

Like this comment
Posted by KM
a resident of Danville
on Dec 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I had a good laugh at this oxymoron "IBM Efficiency Expert". HA! I worked at IBM for years and it is a great company due to the hard work of a very few people while the vast majority is the model of total inefficient bureaucracy. This is a title she is better leaving off her resume.

Now she talks about "out of control government spending.." just after the article says she left IBM to be a "legislative consultant". Huh? Sounds like someone who leeches off the government or its processes. Sounds like another Michelle Bachmann looser who says all kinds of things against the government but has spent a good part of life making money from government.

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Posted by Aubrey
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 20, 2011 at 5:20 am

Ever wonder why California is so screwed up? It's knee-jerk support like this for a business-as-usual politician like Feinstein.

Emken is just as qualified as Obama was to become President, but because he's black and a Democrat (black isn't enough), he gets your support. I know noting about Emken and either do any of you, but don't rock the Feinstein boat, we need Diane to save us. How's that worked out so far?

Until ALL incumbents are voted out, regardless of party affiliations, the country will continue to decline...

Like this comment
Posted by JK
a resident of Danville
on Dec 20, 2011 at 6:40 am

Hey Audrey, I know Emken and I worked at IBM as well. I think "another employee in the HR department" is a more apt title. I think KM and I are better attuned to what she did there. She couldn't hold a candle to Obama much less Feinstein. I am also curious about all those high end salaries at "Autism Speaks". Not bad for a 6 year old organization. Really using Marcus's $25M the right way.

Like this comment
Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Dec 20, 2011 at 8:37 am

The last time California elected a Republican to the U.S. senate, “Magnum P.I.” was still on the air.

Like this comment
Posted by Jake
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:16 am

Dianne is a clever and smooth politician and part of the 1% that has fooled the 99% about issues that concern California. Don't hold your breath hoping to replace her with a Republican. Aubrey asked "How has that worked so far"? It has worked great for the Democratic machine! They have convinced the 99% that the Republicans are the rich and by inference, they don't care about the rest of us! Are the Feinsteins, Pelosis, Shorensteins poor?

Like this comment
Posted by Jake
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:22 am

My apologies to Barbra Boxer, I left her off the list in my other message!

Like this comment
Posted by Tango
a resident of Danville
on Dec 22, 2011 at 8:57 am

If true and Emken took $150K from Autism Speaks, I as a republican, would rather vote for Obama then a person with that type character or lack of !

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