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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Pete Stark gets boost from unexpected source

Uploaded: Jun 17, 2012
I was so happy about my Blogtalkradio interview line up for June. My guests were interesting but listeners weren't interested. Of the six interviews I've hosted since April, the two candidates opposing Pete Stark in the June primary, Eric Swalwell and Chris Pareja, attracted the most listeners.

I enjoyed interviewing Chris Pareja because I didn't know much about him and found his answers refreshing and original. Pareja came in third in the June primary, so Stark's other opponent, Eric Swalwell will run against Rep. Stark in the fall.

Chris recently emailed me that he is not supporting Eric Swalwell in the November election. He could remain neutral, but even though he's not endorsing Pete Stark he is vocally anti-Swalwell.

Pareja Gives Swalwell Anti-Endorsement

For Immediate Release

Hayward, CA – June 14, 2012

Chris Pareja, the Independent candidate for Congress in the 15th District issued a strong anti-endorsement of Eric Swalwell in his race to defeat Pete Stark in November.

"Following last Tuesday's results I called to congratulate Congressman Stark and Eric on qualifying for the November General Election.

I may not agree with Congressman Stark on most issues - but his service to the community and the country should be respected. I will continue a candid and respectful dialogue with the Congressman on the direction I believe our country should be moving.

I believe Eric lacks the life experience and character to effectively represent this district. I also wonder whether he has a firm grasp of the proper role of the federal government or where the money will come from to implement the promises he is already beginning to make.

I am concerned that Eric wants to accelerate the implementation of Obama's failed agenda. I am worried about his positions on property rights and individual liberties.

My preference would be to have a conservative representative that would be focused on responsible spending of tax payer dollars, protecting individual liberties and growing the economy.

Due to the top two primary system, voters have been given the choice of two candidates who are much more liberal than I would prefer. In assessing both options, I believe that Eric is actually more dangerous to the future of the country. As such, I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone who voted for me support Eric in his campaign for the House of Representatives."

Inquiries may be made by contacting:

Chris Pareja
Candidate, U.S. House of Representatives
California's New 15th District

I emailed Chris that I was surprised he would prefer Stark, who is generally considered one of the most liberal members of Congress over the more moderate Swalwell. Chris replied,

"I understand your surprise.

My preference would be to have some other choice, but that isn't our reality. The interview you did with Eric drove that home for me. Several of the responses he gave to your questions caused me concern. So, your show had an impact on my decision to take this approach.

I need to be clear that I am not endorsing Pete. I am just more concerned about the damage Eric could cause."

Pareja received 22% of the primary vote which combined with Swalwell's 36% left less than 42% for Stark. If Pareja's voters vote for Stark, which isn't likely, or don't vote for either candidate, which is more likely, Stark could get enough of a majority to retain his Congressional seat.

I invited Congressman Stark to listen to my interview with Swalwell at the same time I invited Mr. Pareja, but I did not hear back from Rep. Stark. I was asked in my announcement on the Pleasanton Weekly if I would be interviewing Stark, and I said I would invite him after the Primary. I shall do that, but I'm not in a big hurry yet since the November election is over four months away.

The listenership to my Blogtalkradio shows has been very disappointing. I thought my interview with Candace Andersen on the day after she won the election for Contra Costa County District 2 Supervisor would attract more listeners, but it received only 17 replays. So I've decided it isn't worth the stress I put myself through to host a Blogtalkradio show every week.

I spend about two hours writing a script with my questions and comments to send to the guest before the show. I like being prepared with the questions in advance. That way I am less likely to flub my lines during the recording. The script also gives my guests time to prepare their answers. I don't blindside any guest with unexpected questions. I let them know in advance what I'm planning to ask.

I shall contact Stark's office next month to arrange a time for the interview. Now that I'm not trying to establish a weekly show, I don't need to schedule the interviews at 11:30 am on Wednesdays. Most of my listeners listen to the archived versions of my interviews. So I shall schedule a time convenient for Representative Stark if he is willing to do it.

I have also asked Mike Conklin of Sentinels of Freedom and Anne Cavazos of Sustainable San Ramon to be guests in the future. So I shall record at least two or three more Blogtalkradio shows this year, but I won't stress out if I can't find a guest every week.
What is it worth to you?


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