Pete Stark Attacks Castro Valley Realtor

The Congressman named Castro Valley realtor Otto Catrina in a campaign mailer aimed at his challenger Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell.


There he goes again?

Democratic Congressman Pete Stark sent out a campaign mailer this week attacking "shady" developers who back his opponent in the 15th Congressional District, fellow Democrat and Dublin city councilman Eric Swalwell.

Sparks began to fly when Castro Valley realtor Otto Catrina found himself named in the mailer -- and called his lawyer to demand that Stark "correct the false statements" according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Catrina, a leading member of the California Board of Realtors, told the Chronicle: "I've never developed anything in my life." 

Stark had to back down in the spring after Swalwell threatened legal action against some campaign attacks hurled by the incumbent.

The race has drawn national attention in part because the California primary process has been changed: in this election the two highest vote getters in the primary, Stark and Swalwell, are competing in the general election even though both identify as Democrats.

If Stark thinks ill of Catrina, the feeling is mutual.

When President Obama endorsed Stark before the June primary, Catrina left a comment on Patch: "What a joke. The President needs to do his homework ... Stark is useless and yes, 'Tired'. Swalwell has my vote!"

Have you followed the race? Which candidate has your support?

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Tyler October 19, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Time to go, now, Pete. Wish I could say 'it's been fun'...
Marga Lacabe October 19, 2012 at 05:47 PM
So, where is the scan of the mailer so we can all judge if he actually attacked Catrina, or if this Catrina is making it up to further smear Stark?
Tom Abate (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 05:53 PM
If I had I it I would have posted it; if and when I get it, I will.
David October 19, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Stark doesn't need any "smearing" the racist, sexist, homophobic old fool does it all to himself.
Tom Abate (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 06:03 PM
If anyone does have a scan of the mailer please share it via email or upload.
Marga Lacabe October 19, 2012 at 06:12 PM
OK, so I found the mailer (or at least what I think is the mailer). Here it is: http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/files/2012/10/Scan0004-2.gif So apparently Catrina's argument is that given that shady developers gave money to Swalwell, he's being defamed by Stark by being called a developer, when he is actually a realtor.
Mike October 19, 2012 at 06:13 PM
From what I hear Stark was correct in his earlier comment about Swalwell, just didn't use correct corporate name. Evidently Swalwell took money didn't disclose and voted in favor of a no bid contract for his benefactor.
Brash Brazen October 19, 2012 at 08:23 PM
I'll take twenty term Congressman Pete Stark endorsed by every elected Democrat & the Democratic Party over one term Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell whose lack of experience,close ties to developers,condescending demeanor & Republican support make my decision patently obvious ! Congressman Pete Stark has represented us with vigor,integrity & aplomb for forty years & he has certainly earned the opportunity to return to Congress for another term ! Vote for Pete Stark,the only logical choice & the only candidate not beholden to the Republicans if elected !
David October 19, 2012 at 08:25 PM
This is the same Fortney Stark who's accepted thousands of dollars from developers, right? "He was caught on voice mail soliciting a maximum $5,000 campaign donation - from developers. In the phone call to Bob Glover, executive director of the California Building Industry Association's Bay Area chapter, Stark said, "I was in the home-building business years ago - a member of your association."' Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Stark-drops-another-election-bombshell-3962642.php#ixzz29mKwke5h Typical lying, slanderous, sexist, racist, homophobic, Fortney "Pete" Stark.
David October 19, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Marga, we know you're part of the Democrat establishment and likely feel you *have* to support old Fortney here, but seriously, he's retiring anyway, let him go.
Marga Lacabe October 19, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Oh, please. I don't /feel/ I have to support Stark. Had Corbett ran against Stark, I'd have backed her even though she's less progressive than I am. But instead of Corbett, a seasoned and competent politician with an understanding of how legislation is made, the alternative is Swalwell: a young guy without any political ideals of his own whose whole message is "Stark is too old". Well, yeah, maybe, but Stark stands for what I stand for: social justice and civil liberties. Swalwell does not. I don't think he has a clue what he stands for. When I asked him about his support for the Patriot Act, his answer was "well, Obama is for it, don't you support Obama"? I'm sorry, that's not a political opinion, that's a "I don't have an opinion so I'll try to borrow one that may be "safe". For me the question is, what do I rather have: 2 more years with Stark, who probably should have retired but will continue being one of the lone voices for human rights, or some young guy with no principles or values, who I then have to fight to get rid of in 2014? It's not a hard choice.
Cherry October 19, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Time for some fresh meat.
Mike October 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Nothing wrong with taking money, if you disclose it and make sure there are no conflicts on a vote. Like I posted Swalwell has taken their money and not disclosed it and then enriched these folks with his vote. Very sleazy As Jesse Unruh said, if you can't take their money, drink their booze, eat their steaks and vote against them you shouldn't be in politics.
Frank Mockery October 19, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Republicans have no integrity & no candidate,so of course they'll vote for a Democrat that they perceive to be the lesser of two evils ? They're bitter losers who couldn't find a viable candidate of their & now of course support the candidate who the Democratic Party refused to endorse because he lacks the experience to be a effective Congressman ! When Pete retires there will be many more qualified Democrats (Supervisors,State Senators,Assemblymembers,etc.) who'll step up to continue his fine work ! No one gets re-elected twenty times unless they do a good job & are beloved by the majority of their constituents ! The best way to Thank Pete for forty years of public service to our community is to send him back to Washington for two more years ! Don't waste your vote on a wet behind the ears,former Asst. Prosecutor whose only route to victory is the overwhelming support of marginalized Republican voters ! If Swalwell wants the GOP vote then he should have run as a Republican in the first place,but now he's the GOP candidate by default (his fault) ! No genuine Democrat would defy the wishes of his party & challenge a sitting Congressman & his lack of party loyalty speaks volumes about his ego, ambition,judgement & character !
David October 19, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Swalwell is indistinguishable from Stark, except he's less of an *******. Seriously, where is he different? From his website: "raise taxes on the wealthy" "subsidize green energy" "abolish no child left behind" "spend more money on schools" "maintain Medicare" but "cut spending to doctors" (i.e. Obamacare) "raise social security taxes" "spend more money on mass transit" That's different from Fortney?
Craig Williams October 20, 2012 at 12:16 AM
I belive he supports the death penalty while Stark dosen't.
David Ross October 20, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Blindly voting for a person is the exact reason why this nation is in such a mess! The job of senator, representative, or any other elected office is not suppose to be a life-long career! We need new blood in Congress and state and county offices. People stay in office for a long time and they forget why they are there. Their only real goal is to be reelected and not to represent citizens. I'll all for term limits on the national level. Representatives and Senators should not serve more than 8 to 10 years consecutively. They should be made to sit it out before running again.
David Ross October 20, 2012 at 01:43 AM
It's also time to repeal this crappy top 2 winner system! I really resent the fact that I have to vote for a Democrat instead of a party I really wish to vote for. And, before your self-righteous liberals say I shouldn't be voting Republican, I got news for you - I'd be voting for a third party that more closely parallels my beliefs.
Frank Mockery October 20, 2012 at 03:43 AM
You can thank Republican Abel Maldonado for the Top 2 system,sometimes when you get what you ask for - you get what you ask for !
Fred Eiger October 20, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Stark is a disgusting, vile old man. He needs to go and this Swalwell is infinitely better qualified than some senile old goat.
David October 20, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Ok, a single difference that, as a Congressman (not a state rep) he has pretty much zero influence on or control over.
chris October 20, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Understand he is 85 years old where is he these days. I have never seen him walk neighborhoods in the last 30 years in fact I have never seen Pete Stark period!
David Mills (Editor) October 20, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Thank you to everyone for your comments. Some of them have been deleted because they were simply personal attacks. We also feel like everyone has had their say, so we are closing off comments on this particular article.


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