Mere weeks after Lois Lerners hard drive supposedly crashed taking with it her emails regarding the IRS conspiracy to target for intimidation TEA Party and Conservative groups, the IRS canceled a long standing contract with Sonasoft for back up email services. Now suddenly Ro Khanna, a wannbe politician supported heavily by the board of directors of Sonasoft has working on his election campaign Barack Obama’s former election advisors.
The 2014 campaign connection
After the 2012 election – and this is what really caught Joshua Green’s attention – Khanna began preparing for a new campaign in Silicon Valley, this time with the biggest names from the Obama 2012 campaign team on his roster. Khanna is making another run in 2014 against an entrenched Democrat (seven-termer Mike Honda), but he brings major firepower, especially for a guy you’ve probably never heard of:
What makes Khanna more interesting than your typical underdog is who else he has in his corner. On April 2, when he announced that he would challenge Honda, he also revealed that the people who will be running his campaign are many of the same ones who just got Barack Obama reelected. Even though Khanna has never been elected to anything, he has managed to sign up one of Obama’s top-three fundraisers, Steve Spinner, as his campaign chairman; Obama’s national field director, Jeremy Bird, as his chief strategist; and the president’s media firm, pollster, and data-analytics team, along with assorted other veterans of the reelection. Their aim is to build at the congressional level the same type of campaign they ran for Obama. It’s as if Bill Belichick and the staff of the New England Patriots decided to coach a high school football team.
Somebody really wants to get this guy elected. And the interesting thing is that two of Sonasoft’s three board members appear to be in the middle of it.
Romi Randhawa, CEO of HPM Networks, is perhaps of lesser interest in this regard. His main appearance was as joint host of a fundraising reception for Khanna in October 2013.
But Romesh Japra, a high-profile figure in Silicon Valley’s Indian-American community, seems to be playing a bigger role. Besides being one of Khanna’s major donors ($7,400 since 2011), Japra has been implicated in a byzantine effort to run multiple Republican candidates in the primary, and thus divide the GOP vote so that Khanna and Honda, the Democrats, face off only with each other in November 2014.
California adopted a non-partisan “jungle primary” system via Proposition 14 in 2010, and the Golden State’s primaries now advance the top two vote-getters, even if they’re both from the same party. If you want to make an intra-party challenge to a strong incumbent, the most effective divide-and-conquer strategy may well be an across-the-board “more the merrier” approach.
Republican candidate Vanila Singh, running for the 17th district seat this spring, had the GOP field to herself, until a pair of high-profile Khanna supporters encouraged another Republican, Joel Vanlandingham, to join the campaign late. One of that pair was reportedly Romesh Japra (see last link above).
The primary result on 3 June was satisfactory for Khanna supporters, although things might well have turned out the same without Vanlandingham as a spoiler. Honda and Khanna will have the race to themselves in November.
The peculiar thing, in any case, is Sonasoft’s collateral connectedness to the Khanna drama, on which the Obama machine has left such distinctive fingerprints. It doesn’t seem to signify anything more than the web of vaguely icky crony connections that characterize so much of government and politics today – regrettably, on both sides of the aisle.
J.E. Dyer is being oh so incredibly diplomatic here. Lois Lerner’s emails disappeared, Sonasoft should have had those disappeared emails because that was the contract they had with the IRS. Sonasoft has volunteered no information regarding those emails. But now suddenly an individual with political aspiration directly connected to Sonasoft is receiving an unprecedented level of assistance from the former Obama campaign team in his own election bid.
I will say what J.E. Dyer is far to circumspect to say outright. It looks as if one of two things are in play here. Either the Obama Administration is being successfully blackmailed into supporting Khanna, or the Obama Administration is paying off a debt to Sonasoft. At either rate, not only should Lois Lerner and the entire senior Obama administration staff be going to prison, but so should the administrative staff at Sonasoft.