State Senator Ellen Corbett to run for Congress in 2014

'It's in her blood,' says Realtors group chief where she made announcement

State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-10th) has announced to members of the Valley Real Estate Network that she plans to seek the congressional seat now held by U.S. Rep. Pete Stark in 2014.

While that brought a round of applause from Realtors and those in the real estate business, she left some unanswered questions.

First, Stark, an aging and long-serving congressman from the 13th (now the 15th) district that includes Pleasanton, is currently in a feisty race against fellow Democrat and Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell. Both topped the returns in last June's primary, which under California's new rules puts the top two vote-getters on the general ballot no matter what their party affiliation.

Second, Stark hasn't said that if he wins re-election on Nov. 6 that he won't run again in 2014. He told Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman that she could have the job after he stepped down two years from now, but he's made that kind of a statement before. He's still there and based on the cheers he has received in union halls, labor still likes him.

Third, despite Corbett's popularity with Realtors and a majority of her constituents, she would face Hosterman, who has already launched her campaign, and quite likely Swalwell, who no doubt would try again if he loses in this election.

On the plus side for Corbett is the fact that she has another two years to serve of her eight-year State Senate term, so she'll stay in the public's (voters') eye, and so will Swalwell, who has two more years of his term remaining on the Dublin Council. Hosterman, though, leaves the mayor's post in Pleasanton Dec. 4, so she will have to develop a strong public relations effort to stay visible.

Corbett is truly a politician's politician. She was mayor of San Leandro, where she served on that city's council earlier. As an Assemblywoman whose district included a sizeable chunk of Pleasanton, she was a frequent visitor to this city's downtown and often at the Saturday morning Farmers Market, where she shook the hand of anybody who would shake hers. After serving the three allowable two-year terms in the Assembly, she was voted into the Senate and into key positions.

"It's in her blood," said Will Doerlich, president of the Valley Real Estate Network.

He then expounded on a number of bills that Corbett has sponsored in the state Legislature making buying, selling and marketing a home a bit easier. One is called the California Homeowners Bill of Rights, which Corbett helped write. It becomes law on Jan. 1 and will protect homeowners and borrowers during the mortgage modification and foreclosure process, which became a nightmare for mortgage holders when they found themselves underwater on their loans during the economic downturn. Corbett's bill will prohibit a series of inherently unfair bank practices that have forced thousands of Californians into foreclosure.

It also guarantees struggling homeowners a single point of contact at their lender with knowledge of their loan and direct access to decision makers. It gives homeowners a fighting shot to keep their home, Corbett told the Realtors, and will make the mortgage and foreclosure process more fair and transparent which she said will benefit homeowners, their community and the housing market as a whole.

Of course, Corbett didn't leave the VREN speaker's desk without a parting plea to vote in favor of Proposition 30 on Nov. 6, the measure that would raise income taxes on wealthy taxpayers to provide more funds for schools and public safety programs. It would also add a quarter-cent sales tax statewide, "but only for a temporary five-year period," she assured the group as she left for Sacramento.

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Posted by Dawn
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

State Senator Ellen Corbett will be at the Pleasanton Kiwanis meeting, October 19th. The meeting begins at 12noon and is held at Vic's All-Star Kitchen, 201-A Main Street. Everyone is welcome!

Like this comment
Posted by Interesting
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2012 at 9:44 am

Interesting that this announcement is so far in advance.

Might this be a ploy keep Stark in office two more years?

Swalwell's got my vote. He, among other attributes, is the one willing to stand up to the Democrat political machine that enabled Stark to stay in office so long past his prime.

Like this comment
Posted by R Walters
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I'm getting sick and tired of the party insider elite suggesting to us, that sure, Pete is old and tired, but if we'll just wait two more years, then they'll give us some "good choices".
Corbett, Hosterman, and Ro Khanna, all had wanted to run this time.
Any one of them could have beaten Pete Stark. Corbett had hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds. Khanna has over a million in his campaign warchest.

But guess what, they all wimped out. Allowed the best interests of our district to be pushed aside by party "pros" who said wait your turn, repect Pete. Allow Pete to have his "swan song" despite being too mentally depleted to truely represent the people.

So to these three "future" candidates, I say, sorry but you should have been brave. You should have done the right thing this year, not waited 2 more years while the district had a ineffective representative.

NO. I'll vote for Swalwell this time and if you think you are better in 2 years, then make a real run for the office instead of a wimpy announcement for a election 2 years off.
We need new blood now.

For goodness sakes, Pete Stark refuses to even appear in any public forum between now and the election. A shocking inability to even trust his own self in public.
They are hiding Pete out of fear of what he'll say or do.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Valley Trails
on Oct 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Bravo R Walters!! Well said. Swalwell has my vote even though I'm a conservative Republican!! I grew up in this area and lived in San Leandro and am so sick and tired of Pete Stark and his arrogance. He has been in Congress for almost as long as I could vote! Until this election there was never a serious challenger in this Democratic party controlled district. Time for the people to Retire Stark!

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Posted by Pello
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I love it! What a nut fest. A bunch of left-wing loon political hacks maneuvering to replace the biggest hack of them all. Pete Stark is even crazier than Pelosi (which is saying a lot). I am rooting for Swalwell to beat Stark so he can preempt uber loons like Corbett and The Hippy Mayor.

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Posted by interesting
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Stark has never said he would support Hosterman for Congress. Swalwell will likely be running for Mayor of Dublin, not another try at Congress.

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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Good point from "interesting" regarding Pete Stark not saying anything about supporting Hosterman, but then again, when was the last time anybody heard something worthwhile from Stark?

Like this comment
Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm


I like the way you think! It make sense to me, I'm voting for Swalwell.

Like this comment
Posted by Larry
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 15, 2012 at 11:44 am

Sounds to me like another swap the seat around, keep anyone new from getting into the club. It's time to vote them all out, and bring in new blood that isn't contaminated. Pete Stark is a shameful excuse a public servant. Anyone that gives him your vote, get your head examined.

Like this comment
Posted by R Walters
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

There are only three weeks until election day.

Pete Stark has ZERO scheduled events in the next three weeks.

He has not appeared at one public event since June wherein any member of the voting public could ask him a question (other than in private).

I mean folks, he is being 100% hidden, kept under wraps by his campaign manager and team.

Ask yourself why? Because he is no longer capable of appearing in public without saying something that blows up and reveals the extreme decline in his mental faculties.
We are being asked to vote for a invisable candidate. Worse yet, we are being told to vote for the "Pete Stark" of past decades.
A man who no longer exists except on paper.

They are asking us to vote for a man to represent us, when that same man won't even meet with us.

A very sad ending of a career that is being foisted on us by the part insiders who want to retain control of "their seat"...
Not "our" congressional seat, but "their seat".

Go ahead, ask them why Pete won't be seen in public?
Is he sick, is he sitting at home in Maryland? Is he no longer capable of answering a citizen's simple questions.
Is Pete still in their? I mean is the old Pete still inside that head? Or are we just hiring a lever puller, who is told to vote yes or no on a given issue.

Please, won't Pete just appear once in public in these final 3 weeks to prove he isn't seriously ill or incapable of simple conversation.

Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Excellent questions from R Walters, however we all know the answers, Pete Stark is no longer fit to represent anybody.

Like this comment
Posted by JC
a resident of Gatewood
on Oct 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Stark needs to go now. Completely agree with those that think that the political "insiders" are doing us no good by not running against him this time. Don't like Swalwell much but he has my vote, a vote that no "insider" will get including all those who were planning to running in 2 years. Their inability to take a stand and make a commitment to the, oh no here it comes, THE VOTERS, and not the PARTY only shows that they are NOT committed to doing a job for the betterment of the VOTERS just for themselves.

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Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Stark actually lives in Maryland, but keeps a household in Alameda County for residence purposes. He collects Social Security for his under 18 children, ie. he knows how to work the system. Well, if the San Leandro state senator wants to run for Congress in 2 yrs she can. Keeping Stark for 2 more years just to have her run for office is not a viable option. Let's replace Stark NOW.

Like this comment
Posted by tim
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

a younger version of pete stark. do you expect things to change?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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