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Canciones para las Hondistas: Mike Honda canta en español.

Public Eye

Behind the Mike

Eye just loves to see local musical talent hit the big time, especially when that talent is crooning Congressman MIKE HONDA. As Eye watchers have known for years, Honda is well known in the South Bay for his ability to belt out tunes, sometimes to the accompaniment of a mariachi band. Now, the political pop sensation is making a name for himself in Washington. In fact, a Washington Post reporter recently tagged along with Honda to a Monday-night karaoke appearance in Dupont Circle, where the freshman lawmaker, attired in Wranglers and a Hawaiian shirt, quaffed Sapporos and warbled away in both English and Spanish. It all makes Congress sound so ... fun! Honda told the Post he started singing to get over his stage fright: "Ever since I started singing, public speaking has become less traumatic." Can a recording contract be far behind? Maybe. "It generated a lot of interest in the congressman out here," says Honda chief of staff JENNIFER VAN DER HEIDE. "The Today Show called, and they'd like to film him. And he received a Hawaiian shirt from a lobbyist." Van der Heide adds that the office has been getting calls from lobbyists and congressional staffers who want to become Hondistas and catch the next performance. ... As all the interview requests roll in, the congressman will have help answering all the calls and fan letters. Honda recently hired RUBEN PULIDO, his press secretary from the old days in the Assembly, as his new communications director.

Terilyn Joe Egg Off Face

For diva hags like Eye, it's a good week when our favorite minor celebrity shows up in the police blotter--and an even better week when she escapes actual prosecution. Yes, that's KNTV anchor TERILYN JOE, who allegedly chucked eggs and tomatoes at maintenance workers on Memorial Day, after they wouldn't stop making noise near her condo on San Francisco's Russian Hill. What saved Ms. Joe from a sticky prosecution, however, makes this prurient Eye a little weepy. Apparently, the workers could not positively identify Joe as the attacker. In fact, BILL LANGILLE, the owner of B&L Discount Tree Care, who filed the complaint, said he had no idea who the angry woman hurling produce from the fifth floor was. It wasn't until Joe's own property manager identified her that Langille recognized his (rather messy) brush with greatness. What has this world come to, Eye must ask, when a diva--even a minor one--can't get the recognition she deserves?

Terry Gregory Terry Gregory

Pause For Effect

Eye can't help but think of filmmaker WOODY ALLEN's theory that 80 percent of success is showing up. District 7 candidate TERRY GREGORY showed up late for his endorsement interview with the patient folks at the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber gave its COMPAC endorsement to BOB DHILLON, who lost in the primary, so this was a second chance to make an impression with the business types for Gregory and his opponent, ED VOSS. But after showing up as the grilling of Voss was already underway, Gregory didn't exactly redeem himself when the panel quizzed the two on their independence. Gregory had time to think about his answer as Voss expounded how he won't be a lapdog for San Jose Councilman GEORGE SHIRAKAWA Jr., whom he hopes to replace, or for Mayor RON GONZALES. But the extra time didn't help Gregory, who couldn't come up with a winning answer on where he had disagreed with his labor council backers. "He was staring at the ceiling for about two minutes," one observer reports. "He didn't say a word. It was very awkward. ... You could hear a pin drop. And then he said he couldn't think of anything." (Note to critics: maybe he agrees with labor, people.) Voss walked away with the nomination.

Steve Blanton Firm Limits

Before winning his seat 12 years ago, Los Gatos Town Council candidate STEVE BLANTON promised to quit after two terms. Four years ago, he reneged and ran for a third. But this week, the term-limit champion told Eye that he doesn't want another term. During that last term, the Republican took a shot at succeeding outgoing Assemblyman JIM CUNNEEN but lost in the primary to fellow elephant SUZANNE JACKSON (who later lost to REBECCA COHN). A few years before that, Blanton also took a shot at an open supervisorial seat, losing to current occupant DON GAGE. These days, Blanton says it's time to spend more time with his wife and young son. "I don't have any plans to" run for public office, Blanton reveals. "After the Assembly race, I really promised my wife that I wasn't going to run again for anything. It's a big commitment, even at this level, but when you go to the next stage it's almost all-consuming." Blanton's seat will be one of three on the Los Gatos ballot this fall, and although the field of contenders is growing, Blanton says he hasn't decided yet if he'll endorse anyone.

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From the June 20-26, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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