Thursday, February 6, 2014

In the 17th: "But has he got drones …. "

Incumbent Rep. Mike Honda (D), CA-17
In one of the really interesting stories emerging in this midterm election year, The New York Times described today the challenge by Ro Khanna to the incumbent Congressman Mike Honda in California's 17th congressional district.

Apparently, Khanna is heavily favored (and supported) by leaders in the high-tech industry, and that matters in the Silicon Valley-centered 17th. But is it possible that something matters even more?

Honda is described as a progressive, civil libertarian, advocate for the "everyman."  "He bleeds little guy," the Times quotes Prof. Larry Gerston saying. Not insignificantly, Honda's "views on politics and civil rights were molded by his family's internment during World War II," says the Times.

Khanna, on the other hand, has the support of Google and Facebook.  And he's outraising Honda in a district that traditionally has expansive campaigns.

But has he got drones?

Democratic challenger Ro Khanna
The tech economy may be an especially "Silicon Valley" issue, but nationwide people are asking if the 2014 midterms be a referendum on the Obama administration's surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations.  At least, they are in every district where there's any kind of race going on.

And, of course, Silicon Valley companies have their own special place in the pantheon of surveillance actors.

So an interesting question emerges:  where do the contenders in California's 17th stand . . . on surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations?

Related posts

There will be elections for 435 House seats in 2014. In at least some of those races, U.S. surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations will be an issue.

Herewith an Insider's Guide to the 7 S's (surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations) in the 2014 Midterms.

(See Will the 2014 Midterms be a Referendum on Obama's Surveillance, Secrecy, and Assassinations? )

Over fifty (50) members of the U.S. Congress have banded together to increase the use of drones ("unmanned aerial vehicles") - including twelve (12) members from California. They are all members of the Unmanned Systems Caucus, also known as the Congressional drones caucus. One of the co-chairs of the caucus is Buck McKeon, who represents California's 25th district. (Read about the members of the drones caucus from other states.)

(See California Congressional Delegation: Drones 'R' Us!)

Major tech companies have put out a clarion call today: Reform Government Surveillance! AOL, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo have discovered that the public is fed up with being spied on and know exactly where to point the finger -- ?

(See Surveillance and the Tech Companies: THE JIG IS UP!)

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