The congressional record of U.S. Representative Pete Stark is strong. In votes on peace, liberty, a just economy and a sustaining environment, Stark is one of the top four most consistent leaders in the House of Representatives, as shown in the legislative scorecard at That’s My Congress.
Stark’s standing among voters is so popular that Republicans in his congressional district couldn’t muster a candidate of their own to run against him. Instead, Republicans are supporting Eric Swalwell, a candidate who is running under the Democratic Party name, and under the new open primary system in California, that candidate is able to compete against Representative Stark in the general election.
It’s Democrat versus Democrat in the 15th congressional district, so which is the better Democrat?
Eric Swalwell has some positions that progressive Democrats can support, but on those issues, Congressman Stark has the same positions, or even stronger positions. There’s one very important issue that distinguishes Swalwell and Stark: The Security State.
Peter Stark supports civil liberties and a return to a peaceful America. Eric Swalwell supports giving more power to federal government spy agencies that are already engaging in massive surveillance against huge numbers of law-abiding Americans. Swalwell supports a belligerent posture toward Iran, saying that the United States should do “whatever is necessary”. Swalwell characterizes terrorism as a “top concern”, when the impact of terrorism on our nation is clearly at extremely low levels. Swalwell wants more dollars to be invested in the Pentagon and favors a more aggressive stance for the United States internationally, “increasing pressure” on other nations.
Eric Swalwell’s ideology of aggression and control would lend aid to the expansion of the Homeland Security regime in the United States. That may sit well with Republican voters, but for the Democratic majority of the 15th congressional district, it’s a bad fit.