Banafsheh Akhlaghi: Congresswoman?

Iranian-American seeking seat in U.S. House of Representative from California

For decades, we have collectively trusted our leaders to make the right decisions for us and future generations. Those days are in the past. Today our futures are ours. We will transform the old, into the new. Together, in peaceful, non-divisive clear voices. I am running as a Democrat to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the people in the second Congressional district. I am running to represent those who are standing for a different future; one that incorporates the care for people, the environment and our global community. If not us,then who? If not now, then when? Allow me to serve you and advocate on your behalf >>> banafshehakhlaghiforcongress.org



Be a candidate for California, not Iranians.

by bahmani on

I have had a love affair with Banafsheh after the first minute of my interview with her in 2003. (//iranian.com/BruceBahmani/2003/December/...)

She is the most selfless, dedicated, truly beautiful person I have ever met. And smart.

I completely applaud her in this endeavor, and it is entirely in her character to do this.


If the plan is like the other Iranian candidates to be "the first Iranian-American [fill-in-the-blank]" and woo the Iranian community for financing, that's a BIG mistake. A HUGE mistake. The myth that Iranians are prosperous is utterly disproved by the amount of political donations they make. Iranians still largely fear politics. Even in the US! They will throw a good fundraising party that costs $50k and raises $25k. Then send you the bill for the $25k they ended up short.

If the plan is to launch as an "Iranian-American on a mission" that's another BIG mistake. The real image Americans have about us is we appear to be cowards who are too afraid to stand up and take back our hijacked country. And you can't trust someone to stand up for California, who won't stand up to their own. This is why Iranians in California prosper and pretend like nothing is wrong with Iran. This is not a good image to have going into a political campaign in the US.

If the plan is to run on the background of helping Moslems and Arabs and Iranians fight the US anti-terrorism judiciary system (even though justified), again, that is another BIG mistake. Californians aren't interested in anyone who has spent a lifetime defending Arabs and their civil rights. This sounds cruel to me even as I write it. But it's sadly true. California's image of being tolerant and liberal is just that. An image.

If this is true (and BA is not running for California's 6th District which is the actual one Lynn Woolsey served), especially the choice of California's 2nd District (as stated on the website) is going to be more than tough. 81% White, 14% Hispanic, this district is the largest in California with virtually 0.000% Iranian voters. It was won by both George Bush in 2004, and McCain in 2008. The only town in the district coming close to voting Democrat is the town of "Weed", which in California only makes perfect sense.

The way to win though (after you pick the right district), is to turn into "California's Candidate" and to clearly and quickly say what you will do to fix the top 3 big things that are most obviously important, that have something really obviously wrong with them. Then offer a simple solution that sounds like it would work.

Think Herman Cain's 9-9-9 flat tax plan.

And of course, to immediately find out and point out any flaws, failures, corruption, gay or straight but preferably gay affairs, and any secret naked iPhone photos of your opponents, and publish those on the website, Facebook, Twitter, with Fox News style TV ads as soon as possible. Going negative as soon a possible with a clean pristine and well thought out plan of action once you win, are the critical elements of any successful campaign in the US these days.

In this arena, the whiter your teeth and the broader your smile, the better.

Being an honest, caring, thoughtful, qualified, and dedicated Iranian that has helped the helpless and defended the defenseless, is unfortunately utterly and completely useless, and will receive the appropriate reaction and punishment it most certainly deserves.


Best of luck, but stay away from us (and our money) if you are smart.

We're entirely Kryptonite to your Superwoman.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/

iraj khan

A Fine Choice

by iraj khan on

she is for the U.S. House of Representatives.

She did not pop up on the political stage over night. Ms Akhlaghi has been very active in defending the rights of Iranian Americans for over a decade.

When hundreds of Iranians were incarcerated in U.S. jails after 9/11 disaster she was one of those lawyers who stood for their rights and worked tirelessly for their release.

My vote would've have gone to her if I lived in her congresstional district, for sure.  

Hafez for Beginners

Go Banafsheh!

by Hafez for Beginners on

Go Banafsheh!  Impressive profile - not because of how "successful" she is, but because how she priorotized others interests, those who could not defend themselves. Deep down, Iranians have an affinity for justice, and it comes through with this lady.

OBAMA's start:
I didn't mean to rub one or two posters,  up the wrong way by saying there's too much naysaying... being experts at finding fault, is afterall a national trait. Do you think OBAMA started off in some glitzy venue or with a glitzy website? He has a story in his book, how right before landing on the national stage in 2004, he was stranded at LAX with a credit card that I think wouldn't go through, and no one knew who he was,  and he couldn't even rent a car!! Just pointing to the obvious, that you have to start somewhere - this might be a start for this lady, and it might take her much, much further. That's why finding "grammar mistakes" on her profile page,  was so negative to me... Starting is the most important step you can take in life - and  yes, the beginning will be full of errors, you'll be stranded in LAX where no one would even rent you a car. I allow myself to make the "judgement" that that kind of enormous naysaying, and expectation for perfection from the very outset of any project  - has been detrimental to our people, inside and outside Iran. I do hope after all the "joking around" - about her teeth, a missing comma or semi-colon,   folks still put money where their mouth is and take action. 

This lady does us all very proud. Those not living in the US, I understand it's not your issue - but our success, say Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis" in France, ultimately belongs to us all. As a woman, I'm very proud of her. Ferdowsi had an uprecedented 50 Heroines (compared to the Greek epics that had none.) Our first Noble Peace Prize - a woman! I love our men, too - of course, have brothers and cousins I adore - but something about the Persian Woman that's unbeatable. Go Banafsheh!

DONATE - Even if you don't live in her district. That's what running for office needs most: funding. You can donate from anywhere in America.

Tiger Lily


by Tiger Lily on

I'm not an American, and therefore, like most of the world's population, including many other mammals, find glaring teeth very scary.



The campaign of many starts with one

by MM on

And, we can help her by constructive suggestions on how to build her site, or to include other issues so that her campaign does not belong to a one-issue candidate.  She may be just starting her campaign, but Banafsheh has >3200 die-hard supporters (Iranian/Iraqi.......) who were helped by her.

Mohammad Ala

Best wishes

by Mohammad Ala on

Best wishes to her.  I once or twice met her.  She wanted and I think she wants to help everybody including our community.

hamsade ghadimi

anahid, this is what i

by hamsade ghadimi on

anahid, this is what i googled: candidates for congress 2nd district in california

Anahid Hojjati

Dear HG

by Anahid Hojjati on

i agree about improvements needed for her web site but i googled 2nd congressional district california and her name was amongst other names. there were 9 candidates according to the site that i saw.

hamsade ghadimi

i have to be honest: i wish

by hamsade ghadimi on

i have to be honest: i wish her luck because she's iranian.  i don't know the issues that are most important to her constituents and where she stands on them.  that's because as others have mentioned, her website doesn't include them.  i think that she may have started late and that is why her website is not up to snuff.  i googled for candidates for congress for california's second district doesn't and i didn't see her name anywhere. however i saw these candidates:

norman solomon: //solomonforcongress.com/

susan adams: //www.susanadamsforcongress.com/2nd-congressional-district/

with a bit more digging, one can find an article (aug. 2011) citing 4 candidates vying for election: solomon, adams, tiffany renee, and front-runner jared solomon. //www.watchsonomacounty.com/2011/08/sacramento/new-political-maps-force-north-coast-politicians-to-adjust-plans/

i agree with religionout... that she needs to at least have a professional website comparable to others running for congress.  she also needs an experienced editor to improve the written material on her website.  the letter in her homepage is lacking to say the least.  and as usual i have to disagree with mim mim: she needs lots of luck at this stage.  she may need to get more exposure from another public position (as vanaki pointed out) and work her way up.  on the positive side, she seems to be a competent attorney and a go-getter.


U can wish her all the luck, but our support does not need luck

by MM on

You can wish her all the luck, but our support does not need luck ... only action.  Support her campaign.  She was a key contributor in writing the IABA (Iranian American Bar Association) report on "A Review of the Treatment of Iranian Nationals by the INS in ..." as well as helping thousands stuck in a between a rock and a hard place.



by religionoutofgovernment on

Hafez Jan Please!! You found my comment about the website and its reflection on her organization toxic!!

Your comment is as much related to my comment as Gooz is to Shaghighe!!

I do tent to be a little too factual. I should have started conveying my feelings first by saying that I am also happy for her and hope she wins. It would have been more cushy and feely.

 But from a practical standpoint I offered an observation that she can actually  use. Yes she has a good bio but the website itself needs a lot of work. The banner is too simple, there is no place for volunteers or contributions, and there is no or little information on her political views and her platform etc. And since a website a a very crucial part of a campaign, it is very reasonable for one to assume that she probably needs a better organization.

And your comment : "people wonder why why we lost Iran" simply because of my observation on her website!! please give me a break and stop being sooo judgmental! 

Nader Vanaki

Another Politician with a Platform No One Will Ever Care About.

by Nader Vanaki on

The US Congress will never care about anything she is talking about.  I can suggest a career in LA city council however. 

 "Do you hear me" will never take her beyond the parking lot she is holding the rally. But she definitely has the right teeth for the job.

Anonymous Observer

Is she "khosh akhlagh" or "bad akhlagh?"

by Anonymous Observer on

sorry, couldn't resist.  But with a name like that...   

Good luck to her anyway. 

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

She's got something you rarely see in politics: integrity. She does not represent corporations or dubious interest groups, which is also refreshing. And she has dedicated her life to defending civil rights. Now there's someone with substance everyone should vote for.


Hi Raoul

by Faramarz on

Thank you for your kind message from yesterday. I enjoy your comments too bro!

When it comes to Iranian Banafsheh, there is only one!





by hirre on

Obviously iranian americans are discriminated in the US, contrary to what some people said here in IC about "the greatest democracy in the world":


Sad and strange at the same time that in the US you have to create these lobby groups or communities in order to just advocate what is written in the law...


She is feisty and a very good networker and speaker...

by Disenchanted on


        Here are two videos. Check her out:



      I agree that her bio page needs to be revised. She should be careful with these details. Let's hope she succeed and also hope that when/if gets to congress

  she puts interest of people and Iranians in particular ahead of interests of lobbyists!


Anahid Hojjati

Thanks to Banafsheh running for congress, now I know that

by Anahid Hojjati on



The newly configured 2nd Congressional District of California (CA-2) now includes all of Marin County and the coastal portion of Sonoma County in the south and all of Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties in the north. The district was formerly represented by retiring Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey in the 6th District (south) and Congressman Mike Thompson in the 1st (north). Due to Congresswoman Woolsey’s retirement, the 2nd District is an open seat. Mike Thompson, current District 1 Representative, will now run in the reconfigured 5th District.

" from different websites. I remember Banafsheh from her tireless work after Sept. 2001.


With best wishes to her and I will contribute ...

by Bavafa on

And hope she is successful in her bid.

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



A Republican District

by Faramarz on

That is Dan Lungren's district.

I hope that she wins and help Obama and Hilary implement his policies against the Regime and its misguided supporters in the US!


negative??? bandeh??? na kheir hafez khanoom

by omid@hotmail.com on

I was just relaying how impressed I was with someone who started her law career at the age of panj. I'm sure other readers, and perhaps potential donors will be equally impressed by this prodigy representing them in congress. Unless, and as somone else pointed out, this was all a grammatical error and she didn't start law school till much later, say 22. In which case the opposite of impressive would take place. vali, no big deal, who needs grammer anyway. hala yek run on sentence bikhodi ezafeh shodeh, oon ke chizi nist baba. be khial!!  

anyway, I'm glad somone is stepping up to the big plate, much respect to this lovely lady. 

Oon Yaroo

Lots of luck to this very smart and sexy lady!

by Oon Yaroo on

Her name is very interesting but too difficult to remember let alone pronounce!




by hirre on

How many parties are there in the US and why do always two parties end up at the top?



by Raoul1955 on

Her bio was written by someone whose knowledge of the English language is very limited.  It reads:

'Banafsheh immigrated to the United States from her native Iran with her parents at the age of five and started her career as a professor of Constitutional Law at the John F. Kennedy School of Law.'

As someone else has pointed out the statement is ...

Hafez for Beginners


by Hafez for Beginners on



How toxic - 2 out of first 4 comments have started their scepticism and  "negh-o-nough". And people wonder why Iranians lost Iran?

Candidate: This lady's profile is fascinating; click and read up.  1-2 million Iranian-Americans need a voice after 30 years in the US. Representaion being key for any community. She's a democrat and Iranian-American - Banafsheh jan, donation coming your way.



She would be a heck of a congresswoman!

by Disenchanted on


        Take my word for it!




Her website

by religionoutofgovernment on

If her website is any indication, she does not have a very good organization. 



by omid@hotmail.com on

started her career at JFK school of law at the age of 5, and right after immigrating from Iran?

berry verry nice.



Hafez for Beginners


by Hafez for Beginners on

Iranian and Democrat. On my donation list.

We need representation in this country. So even if you live in another State, if your politics are on the same page as Ms. Akhlaghi's - I'd recommend donating. 

VERY interesting biography showcasing a strong commitment to her community's issues. (if you click and read.)