Ro Khanna

Many of our campaign’s supporters in CA-17 have raised concerns about candidate Ro Khanna’s record. On this page, we have included some of the concerns raised, along with the citations to back them up.

Democrats in the district are concerned that Ro Khanna has consistently supported tax breaks for big corporations¹ and opposes President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the richest two percent of the population². Khanna also supports lowering taxes on corporations’ overseas profits, which means more outsourcing of American jobs³.  Khanna supports the same failed Republican policies that hurt our economy in the first place and puts corporations and the wealthy ahead of the middle class.

Independents throughout the district are concerned that Ro Khanna has a history of stretching the truth. Back in college, he had to step down as student government president when it was discovered that he had deliberately doctored receipts to hide that his student campaign had broken the college’s campaign spending rules⁴. More recently, President Clinton himself criticized Khanna for misleading voters by putting images of Clinton on Congressional campaign materials, falsely implying Clinton’s endorsement⁵.

1.     Khanna claimed that the current corporate tax rate is too high, while admitting that many companies already paid less than the 35% federal tax rate on corporations.  (Salon, “The candidate from Facebook: Silicon Valley’s march on Washington,” October 22, 2013)

2.     Khanna opposed increasing taxes on high income earners and taxing capital gains income as ordinary income.  According to the San Jose Mercury News: “Where Honda wants to boost tax rates on high earners and treat capital gains as ordinary income … Khanna does not.”  President Obama’s tax plan included both an increase on the top two tax rates through a reversion to 2000 levels, along with an increase on capital gains rates and dividends.  (San Jose Mercury News, “Herhold: Let’s Hope for a Debate Between Mike Honda and Ro Khanna,” February 6, 2013; Forbes, “What is Obama’s Tax Plan?,” October 29, 2012)

3.     Khanna told the San Jose Mercury News that he supported lowering the tax rates for corporations to bring overseas cash holdings to the United States. (San Jose Mercury News, “Ex-U.S. Commerce Official from Bay Area Believes Government can Help, Not Hinder Economy,” August 21, 2011)

4.     In 1996, while an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, Khanna resigned after an investigation found his student party had overspent their campaign budget.  (San Mateo County Times, “Newcomer Has Spot on Political Past,” February 28, 2004). In November 1996 the University of Chicago’s student newspaper, the Chicago Maroon, reported that Khanna had admitted to deliberately doctoring receipts in order to hide the fact that the Students First! party’s campaign had exceeded spending limits.  (The Chicago Maroon, “SG allegations committee finish hearing testimonies,” Volume 108, Number 13, November 12, 1996)

5.     Khanna was criticized by President Bill Clinton for using a photo of Clinton on campaign material, implying that Clinton had endorsed Khanna.  Clinton issued a statement saying that he did not endorse Khanna.  (San Mateo County Times, “Newcomer Has Spot on Political Past,” February 28, 2004)