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Stark-Swalwell-Pareja Congressional Debate Proves Feisty

Eric Swalwell's campaign wants an apology from Pete Stark for some of the statements the congressman made during the 15th Congressional District debate in Hayward Tuesday night.

In the first debate for the open seat in California's new 15th Congressional District, the 40-year veteran congressman and the 31-year-old Dublin City Councilman traded verbal blows, while the conservative candidate did his best to stay out of the squabble.

That's a short summary of the Contra Costa Times report on the debate hosted by the League of Women Voters in Hayward Tuesday night.

Rep. Pete Stark, Democrat Eric Swalwell and conservative businessman Chris Pareja debated health care, the economy and immigration, among other issues.

From reports, Swalwell was tough on Stark, saying the congressman has become “out of step, out of touch and out of sight.”

Stark told the audience, “What you want is somebody who’s dependable, who’s been here, who’s served you, who’s provided all the projects this community needs.”

But what Swalwell took exception to were the personal attacks from Stark.

The Times reported Stark accused Swalwell of taking bribes connected with a controversial housing situation that came before the Dublin City Council last year and the congressman said Swalwell hasn't voted in recent elections.

The Times reported Wednesday that Swalwell has voted in every election since June 2006 and the campaign says Swalwell was a student at the University of Maryland prior to June 2006.

In a press release Wednesday, the Swalwell campaign called for Stark to publicly apologize and to ask for proof of the accusations.

The press release also notes that, "At the conclusion of the debate, as Swalwell shook congressman Stark's hand, Stark's behavior spiraled completely into the gutter as he lodged additional profanity-laced insults." The East Bay Citizen reported the incident.

The three-man race will be cut to two after the primary election in June, with the top two finishers, no matter the political party, competing in the general election.

Mark Heffel April 18, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Hey Brazen you are correct about the Democrats and that is exactly why California has turned into the cesspool it is. You and your libby buddies dream of turning California into a complete welfare state is almost reality. Complete with section 8 housing, massive eco regulations driving business away (just wait until AB32 kicks in at the end of the year), and massive spending to fullfill the Marxist utopian fantasy. And not to be left out over 10% unemployment! You guys are on fire, keep up the good work! And by the way, get out of my country and go back to Cuba!
captwgn April 19, 2012 at 02:16 AM
If we are to end up with a Democrat...... let it be Fortney, he is so feckless and held in such low esteem his impotency and harmlessness is legend , as opposed to a 30ish punk leftist attorney wishing to make a name for himself.
Ken Martin April 19, 2012 at 04:27 PM
captwgn, I assume you vote but with an attitude like that, it's no wonder we have the lame government that we have. When I had my first personal run in with Stark in 1972, he was a young punk looking to make a name for himself and look what we have now. Caveat emptor! Sounds like you think anyone under 50 is a "leftist" and a "punk".
Joy Montgomery May 29, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Let's hope the top two in the primary are Eric Swalwell and Chris Pareja. Pete Stark was right when he said, in his first campaign, that the incumbent had been in office too long. He's been there longer and seems to be mistaking himself for royalty.
Joy Montgomery May 29, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I'm not sure what your country is, Mark, but it's apparently not the UNITED States.

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