Hopefully, voters in the 15th District will not fall prey to voter apathy and blindly vote for Pete Stark.
He has shown himself to be both morally dishonest and questionably legally dishonest.
If one examines his record over the last decade, all one sees is a person that has scammed the system and short changed his constituents.
Dishonest? Examine his record and here’s what you will find. So far this election year he accused Eric Swalwell of taking bribes without evidence; he later apologized. He accused a local opinion columnist of donating to his opponent without evidence; he later apologized. He berated former state Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico for endorsing his opponent—including threatening his family and livelihood, according to Torrico. In recent weeks, prominent local Democrats, led by former Rep. Ellen Tauscher and former state Senate leader Don Perata, have publicly endorsed Swalwell. Newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle, Contra Costa Times and the Hayward Daily Review have also endorsed Eric Swalwell. As a result he has been cloistered from the press and his constituents and has refused to debate Eric Swalwell again (their first debate resulted in the false bribery charge) and has said the reason is because he will be asked "stupid" questions. (SF Chronicle and ABC 7 News, 7.3.12).
Serving his constituents? He was passed over by his own party to become chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. In a House in which seniority means everything, he was next in line to become chairman of Ways and Means. The Democratic members of the committee said no — unanimously
He continues to make Esquire’s “10 Worst Members of Congress” list.
However let’s examine his track record further.
Dishonest? You be the judge. The office of Congressional Ethics United States House of Representatives investigated Pete Stark in November 2009 for alleged violation regarding listing his house that he owns in Harwood, Maryland as his principal residence on Maryland tax forms. By doing so, Representative Stark received state and county homestead tax credits and any annual increases in his home assessments were capped at no more than 10 percent. In order to qualify for the Maryland Homestead Tax Credit, Maryland law requires the home to be used as the owner’s ‘‘principal residence’’—where the homeowner regularly resides and is designated for voting, obtaining a driver’s license, and filing income tax returns. When questioned on this he continually didn’t remember or didn’t recall.
The San Francisco Chronicle editorialized as far back as 2003 on Stark, "Only a politician who assumes he has a job for life could behave so badly on a semi-regular basis by spewing personalized invective that might get him punched in certain East Bay taverns. Surely there must be someone along the shoreline between Alameda and Fremont who could represent the good citizens of the district with class and dignity. It's not the case now”
His financial disclosure form shows he has assets worth as much as about $30 million. At the yearly pay of $174,000, how many of us could generate that kind of net worth? In addition, with a net worth of as high as $30 million, Stark’s three minor children are collecting benefits from Social Security. Here’s a quote from Debra J. Saunders a San Francisco Chronicle columnist.
“If Stark wanted to protect Social Security, his family wouldn't cash in on a benefit, designed to protect income-starved nuclear families, which thanks to Washington's lethargy turned into a financial bonus for old guys with new families”.
I call his action over the last decade morally dishonest and questionably legally dishonest and definitely is not the kind of person that should be representing people in the 15th district.
Each of us please take the time to review Pete Stark’s recent history and get him out of office and back to his permanent residence in his $1.7 million Maryland home.