Ro Khanna launches TV ad in challenging Rep. Mike Honda.

Ro Khanna, above, has launched his first TV ad in challenging Rep. Mike Honda for his seat in Silicon Valley. (Ro Khanna campaign / March 25, 2014)

Democrat Ro Khanna, who is mounting a same-party challenge this year to longtime Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), has launched his first television ad, the Khanna campaign announced Tuesday.

In the ad, Khanna, who formerly worked in the U.S Commerce Department, promised to refuse campaign donations from corporate interests and lobbyists.  He has, however, received contributions from tech industry executives.

"Isn't it time that Congress started living like the rest of us," Khanna asks in the ad.  He also promises to limit the influence of lobbyists and to fight against "special interest paid travel and the gold-plated pension" for members of Congress.

A similar theme has been struck by an independent candidate in the crowded Los Angeles-area race to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills).  Spiritual teacher and bestselling author Marianne Williamson promised to turn down lobbyist, special interest and corporate political action committee donations and asked the other 20 candidates to do the same.

So far, only TV producer-director Brent Roske has accepted.

"Marianne and I completely agree on this," said Roske, also an independent. "My  campaign hasn't accepted a dime for PACs or special interests and I plan on keeping it that way," Roske said.

Williamson, whose platform includes getting special interest money out of government, earlier acknowledged she was unlikely to attract such donors in the first place.

Among the better known candidates are state Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance, former L.A. Controller Wendy Greuel and journalist and radio co-host Matt Miller, all Democrats.

 

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jean.merl@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeanmerl