Photo: LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group
A reasoned voice, congressman has led efforts to check the abuses of the Trump campaign and administration
By Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards
Rep. Eric Swalwell is the right person in the right place at the right time.
He was first elected to Congress in 2012, taking advantage of California’s new redistricting and primary election rules to defeat fellow Democrat and 40-year incumbent Pete Stark.
Swalwell, a former Alameda County deputy district attorney, offered political moderation and a calm, reasoned approach, in sharp contrast to Stark’s ultra-liberal, bombastic and abrasive personality that had alienated many of his colleagues.
But as the nation has seen since, Swalwell, who was just 31 when he was elected, brought much more.
A quick study with a sharp prosecutorial mind, he has proven himself a leader in House Democrats’ attempts to check the abuses of the Trump campaign and administration. Most notably, he has become a public voice of reason from the House Intelligence Committee as Republicans have undermined efforts at a serious investigation.
He’s a major asset to his constituents in District 15 — which includes San Ramon and much of southern Alameda County — and the nation. He deserves another term.
Swalwell has risen quickly through congressional ranks — serving on the Intelligence Committee and as the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on the CIA. And he serves on the House Judiciary Committee.
He’s also co-chair of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s critical Steering and Policy Committee, which sets the party’s agenda in the lower house and nominates members for committee assignments.
Now 37, Swalwell is well-positioned to be a leader in national politics for decades. Liberal on social issues and moderate on national security, he strikes a tempered balance in these troubling times.
In this election, he faces Republican Rudy Peters, a systems engineer who designs and builds classified satellites, and Brendan St. John, a medical devices marketer and former Republican who dropped his party affiliation in 2016.
On most issues, Peters is a hard-core conservative and defender of Trump. St. John tries to position himself as a centrist, but his answers reveal he hasn’t jettisoned most of his former party’s positions.
On guns, Swalwell would ban possession of AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles like those used in mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and a Las Vegas music festival. Peters and St. John would not.
Swalwell would also ban bump stocks, used by the Las Vegas shooter to effectively convert his rifle to a machine gun-like automatic weapon. Peters surprisingly said he had not thought about whether to ban bump stocks and St. John opposes a federal ban.
On health care, Swalwell wants to see a health care guarantee for all Americans. He opposed the Republican repeal last year of the mandate that everyone obtain health insurance, a requirement critical to the Affordable Care Act. Peters and St. John support the repeal.
When it comes to the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the election, Swallwell wants to give Special Counsel Robert Mueller time and space to do his job. St. John agrees.
But Peters wants Mueller brought before Congress, which he says should decide on whether the special counsel continues his probe. That would strike at the essence of an independent investigation.
No matter how you cut it, only one candidate stands for the values of the majority of the constituents of District 15. That’s Swalwell. Voters should re-elect him.
Article: The Mercury News