This is a sampling from Bay Area News Group's Political Blotter blog. Read more and post comments at www.ibabuzz.com/politics.
Mountain View-based Google is taking some heat for hosting a fundraiser for a U.S. senator who is an outspoken disbeliever in man-made climate change, despite the company's green rhetoric.
Google's Washington, D.C., office will host a lunch Thursday, at $250 to $2,500 per plate, to benefit Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., just a month after Google chairman Eric Schmidt said those who deny climate change and global warming are liars.
Climate change activists plan to picket outside in order to "remind people of Google's professed culture of ethics, environmental stewardship, and respect for scientific truth which help make Google products so popular," according to a news release. "They'll also remind people of Sen. Jim Inhofe's long record of unethical environmental destruction and promotion of anti-scientific conspiracy theories on behalf of the likes of Koch Industries, his biggest corporate funder."
The protesters say they'll deliver 10,000 signatures of people from across the nation, calling on Google CEO Larry Page to end his company's support for politicians like Inhofe.
"We regularly host fundraisers for candidates, on both sides of the aisle, but that doesn't mean we endorse all of their positions," a Google spokesperson replied to my email Wednesday. "And while we disagree on climate change policy, we share an interest with Senator Inhofe in the employees and data center we have in Oklahoma."
After a spate of news about some of Northern California's most notable House races of 2014, I thought it was time to examine some others that are flying under the radar.
I've reported recently that 2012 Republican U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken is moving to Fair Oaks to challenge freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Rancho Cordova, in the 7th Congressional District, and about the (lopsided) money race between Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, and Democratic challenger Ro Khanna in the 17th Congressional District.
Here's a little more to chew on, based on who has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission and launched websites so far:
9th Congressional District: Now in his fourth term, incumbent Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, is perennially identified by the National Republican Congressional Committee as vulnerable, yet has stomped all comers; last year, he beat GOP challenger Ricky Gill by 12 percentage points in the newly drawn district. In 2014, he'll face a challenge from Steve Anthony Colangelo, 53, of Stockton, a prominent member of the local business community who owns "the leading event supply company in the Central Valley for weddings, graduation parties and other important community and family events." At least we know the campaign parties will be lavishly appointed.
10th Congressional District: Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Modesto, won a second term last year by beating back a challenge from Democrat and former astronaut Jose Hernandez. Next year, he'll face a challenge from Michael Eggman, 48, of Kingsburg, an almond farmer and apiary operator who says he can identify with and act upon Central Valley farmers' concerns. A key question will be whether he is also the walrus, goo goo g'joob. (Sorry, Mr. Eggman -- I'm sure you get that a lot, but I couldn't resist.)
15th Congressional District: Freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton, will face a challenge from state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro -- note her relatively new campaign website, through which she's seeking contributions via the progressive, grass-roots ActBlue organization. Corbett, you'll recall, had hoped to succeed Rep. Pete Stark but chose not to run against him last year; Swalwell ran and won. Swalwell's campaign tells me he raised about $233,000 in the second quarter, bringing his total receipts for the first half of this year to just shy of the half-million mark and leaving him with about $350,000 cash on hand as of June 30. I reached out to Corbett for a preview of her second-quarter numbers, but she didn't respond.