There is little doubt that Eric Swalwell knows how to work the local press - and, in particular, how to work BANG political columnist Josh Richman. Not that it takes much: just issuing a press release can go a long way.
It’s Swalwell’s talent for texting, however, that got Richman to run a second column on the fundraiser that Nancy Pelosi ostensibly held for the young Congressman in Washington DC earlier today (Monday, May 6th). I say “ostensibly” because so far there is little evidence that anyone other than Swalwell, Pelosi and Swalwell’s boss, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, attended the $500 to $5,000 event. Swalwell looks awfully lonely on the single photograph Richman published of the event (which, btw, doesn’t look as if it was taken in a condo - but perhaps my home decoration notions are too plebeian). He also refused to say how much money he raised at the event, which is usually code for “not much”. We do know the event didn’t go long - Richman had his story on it posted by 5 PM PST.
Regardless of how much money Pelosi has gotten for Swalwell, Swalwell has been doing pretty well for the former speaker. One of Swalwell’s main political allies is former Ellen Tauscher staffer Shannon Fuller. Fuller served as Finance Director for Swalwell’s 2012 Congressional campaign and was appointed as District Director after the elections. This March she quit that job in order to become Treasurer for Swalwell’s 2014 campaign.
But Fuller brings more to Swalwell’s table than financial and political skills: she brings cash. Together, Fuller, her husband and his business partners at MacKenzie Capital Management, were Swalwell’s biggest contributors in the 2011-12 cycle. They also did pretty well by Pelosi, though, sending almost $15,000 her way and thus taking a place among her top 5 contributors. I found no indication that the Fullers or their partners contributed to Pelosi before last election.
One last, somewhat strange, aside. Shannon Fuller made a personal contribution of $2,600 to Swalwell’s campaign this March. Apparently, she must have written the check in the nanosecond between quitting her job as District Director and taking on her position as Campaign Treasurer, for she lists her job title as “community volunteer”.
Full disclosure: I have endorsed Ellen Corbett for Congress. Swalwell’s self-description as an “Obama Democrat” and his inability to articulate a position on extrajudicial executions, as well as his vote in favor of CISPA, made it clear that he does not share my commitment to civil liberties and civil rights.