Campaign Limits in San Jose

One of the hallmarks of fair and responsible campaigns in our city has always been the limits on the amount of dollars that could be contributed to a candidate for mayor. Many times, the special interests and mendacious politicians (not always a given) tried to get the limits raised above the five hundred dollars per person cap and were consistently rebuffed. Raising campaign money should be hard. There should be no bundling or bag men in the guise of lobbyists doing the dirty work.  These forces tried it twenty years ago when I was mayor and more recently with little success; the limits held.

Now, these same forces that have placed San Jose in such a precarious position—so suspect in the eyes in our citizens, reviled in the media and bereft of the affection of those that matter—came up with an old and insidious plan: they would just spend whatever they wanted and call it “independent expenditure.”  They did so in all the recent local elections, and the public safety unions and bosses at the central labor council led the way.  The Chamber took a page out of their book and did the same.  The recent outrage over the Chamber’s spending, led by the local Democratic Party leaders and the impregnable labor bosses, was a hypocritical act unparalleled even in the annals of political chicanery.  At the very time they decried the Chamber’s expenditures against the candidacy of Cindy Chavez, they were circumventing the limits and coordinating a massive campaign in favor of Chavez.

Once, the support of the Police Officers Association was the most coveted of endorsements. Now, they have become the epitome of all that we hold disreputable in politics: insider dealing, cronyism, and circumvention of the law—quite a trifecta for our local cops. Their recently-retired leader, Don Demers, led the endorsement for the former frontrunner, Chavez, without even interviewing any of the other candidates. How’s that for fairness and equitability. Such is the state of our city and such is the doctrine of fairness in our police ranks.  This can do nothing but erode the affection that people have for our police.  This is a very sad, but predictable situation when you consider the fact that they have a former Gonzales staffer and current lobbyist, Dustin DeRolla, as their key advisor. Perhaps doing the right thing—adhering to the spirit as well as the letter of our ethics laws—means little to our cops nowadays.  How far the city and police union have fallen!  Is there anyone wearing the blue and carrying a badge that can feel shame anymore?

96 Comments

  1. Tipping is a good thing.  I like to tip folks that work hard and make life pleasant.  I tip wait staff.  I tip the car wash folks.  I tip the gardener.  I tip cab drivers and tour bus drivers.  I feel very fortunate that I can tip; and do it rather generously.  I sometimes tip even when it’s clearly stated that gratuity is included.  But then again that’s me. 

    On the other hand, I would feel a little uncomfortable if the gardener, waitperson, driver or such grabbed my wallet and took extra money or increased the tip on my VISA ticket after I signed it.  And that’s kinda the way I feel about the City of San Jose “tipping” Norcal after they read the menu and signed the contract. 

    It’s almost like the Ron Gonzales, Cindy Chavez and those that voted with them reached into the pockets of tax payers and rate payers and took out the tip without asking.  But then again that’s me.

    Then I open the other morning and find that some City employees think nothing of adding a little tip to their own salary plus vacation, plus medical benefits,  plus retirement package.

    What kind of values are the Mayor and Vice Mayor promoting in this city?  I this right?

    Or is it just me?

  2. JMOC,

    go back a few days online in the merc, about the latest city audit.  I think that is what he is talking about.  A number of city employees, police included, have not be following the rules when using city issued credit cards. 

    Hey it not thier money; so why would they care!

  3. What you failed to mention when detailing the sorted web of lobbyist/elected officials/campaign contributions/endorsements/police/Gonzales—is that Dustin DeRollo is actually a school board member for Franklin McKinley.

  4. Mayor Tom,

    I am shocked, shocked – Not really

    San Jose has ALWAYS had dirty politics, lax city spending controls, poor accountability to taxpayers and frequent back room special interest deals jwhile telling public everything is alright

    Look at long city government history of widespread mismanagement and special interest deals – –  Difference is more lately and we now KNOW it is NOT OK

    Mayor race is NOT about good ethics, open government, public accountability, justifying non city government spending like Rep etc – it is about which group – Chamber or Labor will control back room special interest deals financed by developers – all expect “pay to play” paybacks

    Neither Chamber Chuck or Labor Cindy have adequately answered many tough questions that will make voters have confidence in them while both act like slick professional politicians avoiding any real commitments to voters

    Who will be senior staff and appointments in their administration? – Name the names – we will know if they are really going to change city government or Not   No Names – No commitment to real change

    Who will be retained from Gonzales administration? – What about Guerra, Doyle and other responsible senior staff?  Same people – Same problems

    How and who will select new City Manager? Will it be another ” Tell me what you want to do ” Del with Different name?

    Where is long list of changes necessary to make dysfunctional city government accountable to public?  We do not want More Worthless political press releases that mean nothing and no one believes?

    Next Mayor will probably get RECALLED based on wide spread public anger unless City Council and government changes Soon – not more smoke and mirrors political bu**sh**

  5. The South Bay Labor Council website has a page [1] that asks readers to compare the agenda of labor versus the chamber by reading the candidate questionnaires used in the endorsement process.

    The questions in both are interesting.  What the labor council is missing is the candidates’ responses.

    Before we vote for either candidate, we should ask that each candidate make public their responses to the chamber and labor endorsement questionnaires. 

    [1] http://www.atwork.org/

  6. Does anyone have Chavez or Reed answers to these 2 questionaires?

    A real open government,  accountability to public, voters or public interest test – 

    Will both Chamber and Labor release both Mayor ad Council candidate questionaire answers to public / voters as a public service?

    If Not, tell us Why? 

    Could it be they are only interested in advancing their own special interest deals not public interest.

    Tell us it ain’t so   –  Pat and Phaedra ( adapted from Baseball’s Shoeless Joe – Say it ain’t so, Joe Lyrics – )

    Say it ain’t so, Pat and Phaedra, please, say it ain’t so – release the answers
    that’s not what i wanna hear, and we got the right to know
    say it ain’t so, Pat and Phaedra, please, say it ain’t so
    i’m sure, they’re telling us lies, Pat and Phaedra
    please, tell us it ain’t so

    they told us that our political heroes have played their trump card
    they doesn’t know how to go on
    we’re clinging to their charms and determined smile
    but the good old days have gone
    the image and the city government empire may be falling apart
    the money has gotten scarce
    one man’s / woman’s word held the city together
    but the truth is getting fierce

    say it ain’t so, Pat and Phaedra, please, say it ain’t so
    we’ve pinned our hopes on you, Pat and Phaedra and you’re ruining our show

    ooh babies, don’t you think we’re gonna get burned
    ooh babies, don’t you think we’re gonna get burned
    we’re gonna get turned
    we’re gonna get learned
    we’re gonna get burned
    we’re gonna get learned

    say it ain’t so, Pat and Phaedra, please, say it ain’t so
    that’s not what i wanna hear, joe and we got the right to know
    say it ain’t so, joe, please, say it ain’t so
    i’m sure, they’re telling us lies, Pat and Phaedra,
    please, tell us it ain’t so

    say it ain’t so, Pat and Phaedra

  7. Campaign limitations must be reasonable.  In San Jose they are not.  Rasing $750,000 at a cap of $500 per person is absurd. 

    Moreover, $750,000 is not enough to get your message out in today’s campaign world.  My experience is that people or either honest or they are not.

    You can’t buy Tom McEnery for $500 and you can’t buy him for $1 million.  Terry Gregory you can get for a case of wine,  Al Garza a few scheckles more—Susan Hammer, Mike Honda, Zoe Lofgren, Judy Nadler and John Vasconcellos cannot be bought at any price. 

    In fact neither Cindy Chavez or Chuck Reed can be bought.  Yet those who drive perception will tell you otherwise.

    The fact is the obsession regarding money has turned campaigning into a constant investigation of your opponent.  Instead of talking about issues, we talk about who got money and from whom.

    It is a lousy way to choose a leader.  All contributions should be made public upon receipt.  All limits, if they exist at all, should be uniform across the board for every office—so we don’t get into conflict of laws problems.

    The limits also have to be reasonable to the point that politicians can raise the necessary resources to inform the public of their positions.  Independent Expenditure Committees are a fact of life and protected under the first amendment—but they must report their contributions and expenditures just like candidates.

    We may not like IEs, but banning them or limiting them is futile not to mention unconstitutional. 

    see http://www.rant.sv411.com on the SJ Ethics Law.

    While I agree we need to make campaigns more ethical, I disagree that limiting or banning contributions is an effective solution.

    In fact, based on history it has only exacerbated the problem and IEs have replaced candidate controlled information, thus relieving them of the accountability problem.

    Real reform calls for information dissemination and holding campaigns and candidates accountable and that takes more money—not less.

    Finally, the POA is still among the most cherished endorsements in the Valley for any politician.  What insider dealing, cronyism and circumvention of the law are you alluding?

  8. #11: 

    What is going to happen to the city officials giving hand-outs to developers for auto races on the taxpayers dime.  They should be held accountable.

    Did anyone else notice the large Taylor Woodrow billboard at the corner Bascom and W. San Carlos?  With billboards like that, why does Taylor Woodrow need a hand-out for their auto race?

  9. #2 David
    May I please give you a tip, don’t vote for any of the clowns that gave our money away, without asking, to Norcal.

  10. It’s broader than the POA.  SBLC and the Dem central committee pulled the same game in Mountain View two years ago.

    Both organizations decided, “independently”, to publish slate mailers in Mountain View the weekend before the election.  Neither filed its forms with the city as required by our local ordinance.

    I don’t think organized labor cares much about clean elections or campaign finance reform.

  11. Well Tom, I guess with the Judge’s decision the idea of spending limits in San Jose politics is rather a moot question now.  Now if I could give Cindy $100,000.00 it might guarantee her victory.

  12. #14  

    That was my point.  Sorry it seemed vague or obtuce.  Thanks for the tip.

    #10 Richard

    You make some good points.  I agree, some folks can be bought and some cann’t. 

    Then there’s that gray zone where the people who support their candidate just can’t do enough for him or her, and the giving gets out of hand. 

    Finding someone that can truly act on behalf of all the people and do the peoples’ business in the broad light of day without hesitation or regret….  that is rare.

  13. Here is a question for you…

    You say that neither Cindy nor Chuck can be bought…fair enough.

    But why does Cindy allow her supporters (Labor) to support Manny Diaz, who can be bought by less than Terry Gregory?

    Guilt by association—maybe, but real.

  14. HI – Change of subject – Campaign SPAM

    Has anyone else received campaign SPAM for Cindy againest Chuck? The first I got was last week basicly saying that Chuck is a republican. The second I got was today claiming to be from Cindy to Chuck saything that “I will make these documents [tax returns] available to the press for review on Thursday afternoon, September 21st from noon to 4 pm at my San Jose headquarters office.” And asking Chuck to also do so.
    Are these emails for real? And does anyone know how the the email addresses were harvested to be used in sending out this policical SPAM?

    Regards,
    /david

  15. While we are on the topic of fair and responsible campaigns, both candidates should respect voters’ privacy and stop the usage of email bugs in their political spam.  Spying on voters’ email habits is a disgusting practice.

    The demon started….the Chavez camp is daring Reed to show all his tax records including reimbursements from the City’s taxpayers.   

    Respect for taxpayer dollars can be demonstarted in many ways. One way is to let them see exactly how their dollars are spent.

    First off Robert and Michele, run a spell checker before you send an email on behalf of Cindy.  We’d like to be fooled into thinking Cindy actually investigates the issues before she votes.

    Second, Cindy could have respected taxpayer dollars by not voting for a grand prix and an over priced city hall.

  16. #18 – Could the addresses be harvested from neighborhood associations?  A couple of months ago, one of Chavez’s volunteers mentioned something to me about my e-mail, I thought it strange at the time, but perhaps this was why?  Wonder if there could be any type of violation if a candidate uses the lists?

  17. Well…well.  Here we are, treated to another posting by Richard Rufus Robinson, who wrote once that he is never wrong.

    Rufus Robinson sent a mailer out once that attacked a candidate so savagely that his daughter had to be calmed down after she read it coming home from school.  So, Robinson, until you have the guts to respond to that, just shut up.

    The fact is that Reed was bought and paid for many months ago.  He put himself out on the corner to every developer with a sign, “will vote for cash”

    Reed, you read this, no doubt.  You are not only a clown, but you forgot the day you stopped being a council member, and became a clown.

    You only wear the tie to hide the fact that under it, is the outlet where Victor plugs in the electronic device that sends you the instructions for the day.

    Robinson, spend less time kissing up to politicians, and more time finding the truth, it is under the rock, where a lot of your ideas come from.

  18. #29 Downtown Brown – I think that the only people really worried here is Cindy’s camp. She is throwing everything that she can at Chuck right now. What does she have to lose at this point, she lost in the primary to Chuck with 3 other candidates and is going to get her butt kicked in November. Keep spinning but it ain’t gonna happen.

  19. Downtown Little Girl:

    Why the insults? What is it about you Disciples that initiates an immediate and vicious Pavlovian response to ANY question about Chuck Reed? And do you really want to start this argument again…cause as you know I can respond in kind sweetie. So take a deep breath and relax instead of jumping off the ledge.

    So, I will be the bigger person and apologize for the way the question was written. I should have phrased my question this way: Why didn’t Chuck release his records first? Having run as the candidate of openness, honesty and integrity, you would think he would have stayed ahead of the curve. So, why didn’t he release them before her? You would think that was the smarter political move, don’t you?

    (Jesus, you Disciples are either really sensitive or really worried….)

  20. #22 Wonder Woman – I think you are right about how they got email addresses. Prior to the election, I got maybe one email a month from her office. Now I get what seems to be 3 or 4/week from a combination of her “campaign” office and her “council” office on the most random things.

  21. Downtown-

    Let me get this straight, first you call someone else “little girl”, and then you ask “why the insults?”

    You are receiving insults because you send them.

    If you want a reasoned discussion, you can begin by responding to Downtown Girl’s point about labor union contributions.

  22. Hey Uptown:

    Read the post again Disiciple. She began the insults and do you expect me to simply take them? Or, like most blog tough guys, you don’t like it when people fight back. Actually, as I have said before, thats sounds awfully like a Republican tactic.Like you and the rest of the Disciples, you start the fight—the problem is, you haven’t the stomach to finish it.

    So I will answer your little queries—unlike you Disciples, I don’t shy away from tough questions. But before I do, you still haven’t answered my question: why doesn’t Chuck come out and admit he is as dirty as Gonzo? How does he explain his growing list of ethics problems? Why doesn’t he answer why he took money from a client (both as a lawyer and a elected official) and the voted on a very important bill in favor of that client…but thats an old story so lets move on.

    So let me answer the labor contribution questions.  First of all, what labor did for IE’s in the primary DID NOT break the law. If it did, the city would have done something—or you going to accuse them of being in the Chavez campaign.

    Second, what COMPAC did, at Tricky Vic and Dr. No’s direction, was illegal. If you don’t believe me, go ask the city elections board. Its as simple as that.

    So, now I have a question. According to today’s Mercury News,http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/elections/15581302.htm, Chuck is hedging on releasing his tax records. The article says (in case the Disciples choose to ignore it) …

    “Reed said he needed to consider whether releasing tax the returns would set a standard that could discourage future candidates from running, particularly those who are poor, wealthy or own businesses or who may feel it is an unwarranted intrusion of their privacy.

    “I’ve got no problem reporting how much money I make,’’ Reed said. “I’m going to take some time to consider the larger policy considerations.’‘

    What larger problems are there, Dr. No? Perhaps you are worried that people will find out you really aren’t “Mr. Ethics, Honesty, Integrity or Accountability.” In fact, you are truly “Mr. Hypocrisy” and are willing to be bought by the highest bidder?

    Let me put in perspective for you. Chuck Reed had $15,300 IN REIMBURSEMENTS from the taxpayers on the city. What in the name of God has Chuck spent $15,300 on to get it all back from the city. Jesus, does that concern ANY OF YOU, including you blind, deaf and ignorant Disciples of Dr. No. The Disciples love Chuck because of his fiscal “conservatism”…so taking the taxpayers for over FIFTEEN GRAND is fiscally conservative…holy crap!! BTW, you can damn near buy a Saturn for that amount of money or certainly help city libraries stay open a little later.!!!

    But Chuck says in the Merc-News article that he goes to events and “doesn’t want to take a free meal.” What a load of crap. So, he doesn’t want to take a free meal…but isn’t that what he does when HE GETS REIMBURSED BY TEH F#%@#$%#$ING CITY TAXPAYERS. He gets a free meal because he spent his own money and then he ends up getting the money BACK from people who pay his salary!!! That isn’t being fiscal responsible…its called an artful lie.

    Sorry, you Disciples can call me every name in the book—but you can’t deny that there is something VERY VERY VERY VERY wrong here and quite possibly illegal.

    I await your knee-jerk insults and responses…and still I imagine you won’t answer the charges here. Why, because your ethical golden boy is seriously damaged here. As I told you Disciples before, Dr. No is now a very, very damaged candidate—because you can’t call yourself above sin and then expect to be able to commit those same sins and NOT get caught.

  23. #34 – And I never receive any Chavez e-mails, could that be that my neighborhhood
    association does not have my e-mail?  Bet ya! I’ve hear that Cindy is suppose to be smart, I always thought more sly.  At any rate, she’s figured out a cheap way to campaign, over the net.  Wouldn’t it be great if this net caught her?

  24. Can you Disciples do one favor for me as well:

    Call Chuck and ask him why he refused to go on 960 The Quake (Will and Willie) this morning to go one-on-one with Chavez. Indeed, my understanding from at least two sources is that Dr. No and Tricky Vic didn’t want to talk about the reimbursement scandal, his refusal to put out his tax returns, etc.  In fact, they didn’t even want to return their call.

    So, this brings me to another question. As a Democrat, why is Chuck so afraid to go on 960 the Quake if he is such a good Democrat? Is he afraid to answer any questions about his Republican leanings—i.e. that is his being pro-life, pro-George Bush, etc. etc. Or why he employs an ethically challenged Republican as his consultant?

    And folks, Chuck is clearly running in fear…can anyone tell me why?

  25. Downtown-

    As I said, you receive insults because you send them. 

    You never answered the ethics charge of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor money after voting on labor contracts.  All you said is that it is legal, which wasn’t the point.  The point is that it is unethical to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars from a city contractor, and still vote on their contracts.

    I will answer your charge of free meals.

    the issues with meals is whether to allow a lobbyist to pay.  The simplest rule is never to allow a petitioner to pay for anything you use.  That way, you avoid creating the impression that the lobbyist can buy something with his free meals / golf games / etc.

    you can argue whether the officeholder or the city should pay, but the one person who should NOT pay is the lobbyist.  That sets a horrible tone for the meeting.

    And the tax returns question is a bogus issue.  If all you want is to know about city reimbursements, you don’t need a person’s tax returns.  The city reimbursement forms are already public records, and they are sufficient.

  26. I really liked Reed’s answer to why his reimbursement is higher.  When he goes to charity events, he PAYS his way in (as well as his staff).

    It reminds me of when I worked our Catholic school’s big fundraiser, a “Home Tour”.  Tickets were about $40, our principal came up to the ticket table where a new parent was, who asked for tickets. She announced that she’s the principal, walked past and waved four of her friends in.  I’ll never forget that.  She felt entitled. 

    From what I’ve seen, this is how Cindy operates at events.  Never pays her way, for herself or for her posse.  She must feel entitled.

  27. 38 – You’ve got it right. Reed’s position is refreshing from the usual “entitled” elected official (i.e. Chavez.) It is appropriate for an elected official not to expect to be “comped” for events and certainly not for their staff.
    This is another area that shows how lame and uninformed the Reed bashers are. The fact that Chavez expects to be comped shows she believes she is “entitled” (just like Gonzales.)

  28. 38 and 39 – You have a good understanding of the how the campaign world should be but often is not. Many groups invite elected officials to their events and in many cases it is a hardship for them to “comp” the electeds. This is a very misunderstood area of the life of a public official. They have to go to these events and somebody has to pay for them to be there. Do the Reed bashers really believe the many civic organizations, non-profits, etc. should foot the bill for these folks to attend?

  29. Seen It/Worker:

    I think you are wrong here. Let me explain why.

    First, I don’t know if Chavez gets comped and neither do you—your 3rd party account aside “Seen It”. But it is my understanding that all Council members have to report it if they do get comped for anything. So, if Chavez is comped and not reporting then fine—get the proof and bust her for it. But my guess is that she may pay for it but doesn’t bother to submit a reimbursement for whatever the reason—unlike your fiscal conservative hero, Chuck “Dr. No” Reed.

    Second, Chuck is comped—except we are the ones, THE F#$%#ING TAXPAYERS, picking up the bill—some fiscal conservative he is. The fact remains he still is not paying for it—but he doesn’t mind if the taxpayers do does he?

    Whats more, Dr. No may spend it out of his “own pocket” for himself and his staff in such a generous fashion, the fact is we end up paying him back. Because he submits a reimbursement—which at last count totals $15,300. Once again, we, the taxpayers, get to pay the bill—so much for not burdening us right?

    Once again, you Disciples and your poor staff minions completely miss the mark. Your boy Chuck Reed has put himself out there as a political paragon of virtue. And yet, it seems as though his virtue as a “moral leader” and as the fiscal “conscience” of the SJ Council is like a house built of sticks in the middle of a forest fire.  And the fire is continuing to grow.

    Oh, I have been to events where Chavez was present…she, like Dave Cortese, very rarely brings staff. 

    I think the really “uniformed” are people like you, Worker, and your fellow Disciple, Seen It.  As your weak and tepid defense of Chuck demonstrates, I now know how much trouble your boy really is in today.

  30. DAVE CORTESE, FORREST WILLIAMS, KEN YEAGER
    Hello, Council Washroom. Oh! Come on down. We’re here making plans.

    CORTESE, WILLIAMS, YEAGER
    Gotta stop that man.
    I’ve gotta stop that man cold
    Or he’ll stop me.

    Big deal, big rocket,
    Thinks he has the world in his pocket.
    Gotta stop, gotta stop.
    Gotta stop that man.

    RON G
    Now! Look at him standing and staring at himself on the mirror!

    CHUCK REED
    Now there you are.
    Yes, there’s that face.
    That face that somehow I trust.
    It may embrace you, too.
    Here me say it.
    But say it I must,
    Say it I must

    You have the cool clear
    Eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth,

    Yet, there’s that up turned chin
    And the grin of impetuous youth.

    Oh, I believe in you,
    I believe in you.

    I hear the sound of good
    Solid judgment whenever you talk.

    Yet, there’s the bold, brave spring
    Of the tiger that quickens your walk.
    (roar, roar!)

    Oh, I believe in you,
    I believe in you.

    And when my faith in my fellow man
    Oh but falls apart,
    I’ve but to feel your hand grasping mine
    And I take heart,
    I take heart.

    To see the cool clear
    Eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth,

    Yet with the slam, bang, tang
    Reminiscent of gin and vermouth.

    Oh, I believe in you,
    I believe in you.

    PYLE, NGUYEN, CAMPOS
    Gotta stop that man.
    Gotta stop that man.

    Or he’ll stop Cindy

    Big will, big beaver
    For we won’t live in front of this fever

    Gotta stop, gotta stop.
    Gotta stop that man.

    REED
    Oh, I believe in you…

    CITY COUNCIL
    Don’t let it be such a hero

    REED
    (ha, ha, ha)
    You…
    (ha, ha, ha)
    You…
    You!

    CITY COUNCIL
    Gotta stop that man!
    Gotta stop him!
    Stop that man!
    Gotta stop him!
    Gotta stop that man!

  31. How to-back sleazy mailers
    How to—make Armando do the dirty work;
    How to—do what Victor tells me
    How to—hide memorandums;
    How to—develop executive style;
    How to commute
    In a three-button suit,
    With that weary Chuckster smile
    This book is all that I need:
    How to—how to—avoid telling the truth

    How to—lie to people in Berreyssa
    How to—solicit checks from developers
    How to—avoid petty Northside constituents
    How to—begin making contacts;
    How to phony up a scoping meeting
    With an idea—brilliant business idea—
    That will make Victor happy
    This book is all that I need:
    How to—how to—get elected Mayor!!

  32. STEVE PREMINGER
    Now you may go to COMPAQ
    And may join the Shriner’s.
    And other men may carry cards,
    As members of the Diner’s.

    Still TOMMIE MAC LIKES THE ST. CLAIRE
    Or small Greek letter pin.
    But I have learn that’s one great club,
    That all of us are in.

    There is a brotherhood of man,
    A benevolent brotherhood of man,
    A noble tie that binds
    All human hearts and minds
    Into one brotherhood of man.

    Your life long membership is free,
    Keep a-giving each brother all you can.
    Oh, aren’t you proud to be in that fraternity,
    The great big brotherhood of man?

    So, Chuckie before consider firing the Mayor’s remember this:

    Dell may seem incompetent.
    Rich Doyle not make sense.
    Well, others look like quite waste
    Of company expense.
    They need a brother’s leadership.
    So, please, don’t do them in
    Remember Rich Robinson talks too, too much

    CINDY

    There

    CHUCK REED
    Where?

    CINDY
    In

    REED
    In

    Yeager:
    the

    Council
    the

    PHAEDRA
    Brotherhood of man.
    Dedicated to giving all we can

    RON G
    Oh, aren’t you proud to be
    In that fraternity.

    NANCY AND NORE
    The great big brotherhood of man.

    FORREST WILLIAMS
    No kidding!
    Is there really a brotherhood

    YEAGER
    WELL, CHUCKIE THINKS IT IS ONLY FOR COMPAQ.

    FORREST
    of man.

    cortese
    You are a brother.

    On the level of brotherhood of man.

    RON G
    Oh, yes! Oh, yes!
    A noble tie that binds
    All human hearts and minds

    WILLIAMS
    Into one brotherhood of man.

    MANNY DIAZ
    Oh, yes! Your life long membership is free,
    Keep a-giving each brother all you can.

    PREMINGER:
    Oh, aren’t you proud to be,
    In that fraternity,
    The great big brotherhood
    Of man?

    TOMMIE MAC
    You, you got me
    Me, I got Yooooooooo – yooou

    Oh, that noble feeling
    Feels like bells are pealing
    Dong with double jingling
    Oh, brother!
    You, you got me
    Me, I got Yooooooooo – yooou

    CITY COUNCIL
    Oh, that noble feeling
    Feels like bells are pealing
    Dong with double jingling
    Oh, brother!
    You, you got me
    Me, I got Yoooooou

    CORTESE
    Oh, that noble feeling
    Feels like bells are pealing
    Dong with double jingling
    Oh, brother!

    CHUCK REED

    Well, Victor says no.

    EVERYONE

    AWWW

  33. #41 Downtown – Thank you for your perspectives on this issue. You raise some interesting points.

    If Chavez accepted free meals, free admission to events, etc., it would be reasonable that she report those gifts.

    If, on the other hand, she pays the price of admission using her own funds we could expect that this would be accounted for in her just-released tax returns as business expenses or perhaps charitable contributions.

    Personally I don’t have a problem with an elected official using her or his office funds in support of local charities. I want my elected officials out in the community and it’s fair that they be reimbursed for expenses. If Reed feels he should pay his way rather than accept a free ticket, that’s OK. It was petty of Chavez to raise the issue.

    But I have to say that it was equally petty of Reed to accuse Chavez of “freeloading off non profit groups” for accepting comps. As long as those comps are properly reported and were not Terry Gregory-style extortion “comps” I have no problem with Chavez, or anyone else on the council, accepting invitations to be a guest at an event.

    The whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.

  34. There is a friends account that Mr. Reed has that is designed to pay for meals, etc.  He chose to write personal checks to the organizations so that he looks like a great guy to the organization and then gets his money back from the city. 

    The real question and what was not reported in the media, yet, is that Mr. Reed purchased over 20 memberships to various organizations including KTEH, again using a personal check to look like a good guy and then getting the city to reimburse him for his memberships, several memberships are lifetime—this is not right.  He even makes political donations using city money.  When did it become OK to spend taxpayer dollars to support a candidate running for office?

    He purchased advertisements promoting himself in publications with city money during the election season.
    He even handed out money at an event in little envelopes, city money, so that he could fit in with the event.
    He wrote personal checks to virtually every major environmental organization, not to attend an event, just wrote them a check, some for $500 a pop, and then ran to get reimbursed from the city.
    He even made a political contribution using city money.

    Mind you, he used personal checks every time, every time—he could have used his city issued credit card, but then he would not have gotten the “credit” from the oranizations that he was seeking.

    Reed does not pay his own way, the city pays his way.  He could use his friends account which is designed for events but chose to make the taxpayer fund his events.  Since when is it my responsibility to make sure Reed is a member of over 20 organizations including KTEH, La Raza Roundtable, and even his own neighborhood organization, oh ya, he wouldn’t even foot the bill, 10 bucks, to join his own Berryessa Roundtable.

    I just hope he did not claim any of these donations or memberships on his income taxes, I think that is a crime.  Is there a reason why he has not released his taxes to explain this away?

  35. DB,

    If you really think the federal authorities think this is an abuse of office and misuse of public funds, then get the proof and bust him for it – now.

  36. On the original topic,

    Any thoughts on the feasability of campaign finance in general?  COMPAQ is putting the SJ ordinance to the test, and it may not survive.

    RR will say that it is hopeless and unconstitutional.  I don’t agree, but he’s not all wrong. 

    It’s certainly difficult to preserve the rights of business and labor groups to say what they want, without giving them the right to buy favorable treatement.

    Any ideas for what can work?

  37. The delusions of DB are getting a bit scary. Not only am I NOT Vic, I don’t even know who Vic is. But thanks for trying to deflect your continued delusions onto a non-existent poster.
    I stand by my comments—which are based in fact, not in delusional “what ifs.”
    As usual, you make allegations without fact, you make assumptions without basis, and what facts you do present you distort. Good job. Keep up the good work. As a political hack you are first rate. As a reporter of fact you are below Fox.

  38. Basically the SJ Municipal Code was unconstitutionally written, and only took one attempt to quickly dismantle it.

    What people don’t realize or refuse to believe is the evaluators report had concluded that “COMPAC’s mailers and telephone calls were not ‘independent expenditures’ under SJMC laws because they did not “expressly advocate” Chavez’s election or defeat or otherwise refer to Chavez’s mayoral campaign or candidacy.  The election commission agreed as well.

    Prior case law has clearly stated that certain words MUST be used, I think there are seven deadly words, that make it an independent expenditure for an ELECTION verses an issues ad. 

    In reading the transcripts of the Elections Commission’s hearing of May 31st, it seemed to me that the volunteers on the Elections Commission wanted to do something against COMPAC before all the facts were presented.  So they started going after what the intent of the ads were.  When COMPAC’s lawyer reminded them about prior federal rulings on what is allowed in issues ads, they asked the City Attorney if they needed to consider federal law in their determination.  He said no.  Real bad advise. 

    This where Federal Judge Ware comes down hard on how the San Jose law violate the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment “it afford troubling discretion to the Election Commission to base its determination of whether a speaker’s communication is lawful on that speakers perceived intent.”

    San Jose had a tough time defending its law.  Judge Ware writes: “Nowhere in the Defendants papers is a satisfactory explanation to the scenarios that COMPAC raises”.  They couldn’t even explain how the law would apply in examples provided by COMPAC.

    And finally, if SJMC Section 12.06.310 was constitutional, it states “No person shall make nor shall any person shall accept any contribution…. over $250” so why did they just go after COMPAC and not the contributors?  Selective prosecution?

  39. Mal:

    You make some very good points and I thank you for them.

    But I have to say once again, the issue isn’t whether Chuck paid for the event. Its how he paid for it. He claims he isn’t a freeloader…but we have since discovered thats a lie.  He actually is a freeloader except for the fact that he is freeloading off the very taxpayers he purports to be the standard bearer for on the San Jose City Council.

    Here is what Chuck did ….

    1.) Lets say, Councilman Reed goes to an event and pays for it with a personal check. The organization he does it for, lets say the Chamber of Commerce, receives the donation from Chuck and is grateful for it. So, Chuck looks like the good guy.

    2.) But the problem is that the donation isn’t really from Councilman Reed to the Chamber. While Chuck writes the initial check from his personal account, he or his Chief of Staff, at virtually the same time, submits a reimbursement request to the City’s petty cash fund. He then receives a reimbursement directly from the petty cash fund in either the form of a check or in cash. BTW, the federal authorities call the abuse of office and misuse of public funds.

    The end result: the taxpayers are paying for Chuck Reed to attend all these events, give out over $15,000 in “donations” BUT he never really pays a dime out his own pocket. He has you, me and EVERYONE ON THIS BLOG pay for his jaunting around San Jose looking like a grand political philanthropist—but, in fact, he is actually using us to pay for his largesse.

    Now, for a guy who claims to be the candidate of honest, integrity and accountability…its clear, his honest, integrity and ACCOUNTING requires some serious scrutiny.

    Indeed, if my suspicions are correct, it is entirely possible this is an issue that George Kennedy should investigate for possible corruption and misuse of City funds.

    Sorry Mal, but I have to disagree with your contention that it is a “tempest in tea pot.” Indeed, and this is not hyperbole, Chuck Reed could very well be staring into the face of an indictment.

  40. Campaign Vet:

    First of all Vic, no matter how many of your people you get to write on this blog, you can’t obscure the fact that your candidate is lying and has cheated the taxpayers.

    Second, you say, “Many groups invite elected officials to their events and in many cases it is a hardship for them to “comp” the electeds.”

    Fine, I accept that. And Chuck, being the “generous” guy that he claims to be pays for him and whatever staffer that goes with him. HOWEVER, while Chuck pays the bill up front, his largesse is a COMPLETE lie because he ends up getting his money back from the TAXPAYERS!!! He looks like a good guy AT OUR EXPENSE!!! So do us all a favor and stop lying about it.

    Third, you then say: “This is a very misunderstood area of the life of a public official. They have to go to these events and somebody has to pay for them to be there. Do the Reed bashers really believe the many civic organizations, non-profits, etc. should foot the bill for these folks to attend? “

    WHO THE HELL IS SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT HAVING THESE GROUPS FOOT THE BILL. Jesus, you will do ANYTHING to obscure the facts won’t you Vic. 

    These groups are still getting paid…except it really isn’t Chuck paying the bill at the end of the day—its us!! Oh sure, while he may write the check out of his account, he submits a reimbursement request back to the city so fast it would make your head spin. And so, when he gets the $15,300 in reimbursements, I am DYING to see how much it went to his attendence at events where he paid it and then got his money back from city funds.

    So, ONCE AGAIN, Chuck doesn’t pay for anything and we get to pay for everything!!

    Wow, I shudder to think how badly Chuck would manage the budget for the 10th largest city in America. My guess is not too well…

  41. Adam…I suspect that may happen sooner than you think if what I believe to be true actually happened

    Campaign Vet, like the rest of the Disciples of Dr. No (aka Chuck “Spend Everyone’s Money But My Own” Reed), you spew anger and venom at me but still continue to miss the mark.  Please, please, please tell me what either myself or Reality Check said was false.

    You know what I think is REALLY scary for you Campaign Vet. I think you are afraid to discover that your boy Chuck is not the ethical, moral or fiscal conscience of the client that he claims to be. Indeed, I think you are very concerned that this race has just taken the worst possible turn it could take for Chuck Reed.

    With that said, I challenge you, your fellow Disciples or Chuck himself to cowboy up and dispute these records. I am asking you, for once, to show the guts to EXPLAIN why Chuck is spending taxpayer dollars for personal and political gain. I dare you to show me where I am wrong. Finally, I call on Chuck Reed to own up to his misuse of public funds for personal gain and, furthermore, explain his action now.

    Ya know, I am guessing that right now Campaign Vet, your boy Chuck is VERY VERY worried not only about losing a race but about the heavy burden of a possible investiagtion by the George Kennedy or the US Dept. of Justice.

  42. Student-

    What do you think was the right way to write it?

    For example, can you have a law that limits contributions for any independent ads mentioning candidates by name? 

    (It seems to be what they were shooting for, but I’d be surprised if something that broad held up.)

  43. Student #50

    Thanks for bringing some facts to light.  You did your research.

    Basically if the law was to have stood, it was only an accounting or paperwork mistake of CoC.  They used the wrong checkbook to pay for the stamps and printing of the mail.  Nothing more, nothing less.

    If they had used the other checkbook, it would not have been an issue.

  44. Downtown-

    Maybe, just maybe, if you repeat it enough, it will become true…….

    There’s no place like home.
    There’s no place like home.
    There’s no place like home…

  45. Glenda….It not so much that I repeat in order for it be true. I repeat it so often so that you and the Disciples of Dr. No clearly don’t seem to get it.

    So, here it is just one more time: Chuck Reed is dirty, unethical, lacking integrity and believes in accountability like most of you believe in the Easter Bunny. And whats worse, unlike Chavez, he is about to get caught.

  46. Sybil (interesting choice of names…I imagine you are as crazy as the character your name implies…but I digress)

    First, you call my posts illiterate. That’s so in keeping with someone who appears to be very angry that her candidate/boss is about to get caught in a scandal. 

    Second, let us start with the Mercury News article last week as proof. You want further proof, have the guts to walk down to City Hall and the Council, do a FOIA request and get the reimbursements. You are sooooooooooooooo gonna be surprised at how your boy Chuck has been spending taxpayer dollars—and you will find it as disturbing as I have—particularly for a man who holds himself out as such a fiscal conservative who always looks out for the taxpayers. Course, one wonders if its really the taxpayers who should be examining his behavior.

    Third,  you perceive my posts as so full of venom that you can’t even read them (imagine how upset I must be at THAT). And yet, you have both read and responded to them. So, dear Sybil, you can’t be really all that upset, now can you?

    Fourth, what you fail to see poor, misguided Sybil is that I have constantly asked you Disciples of Dr. No to ask your boy the questions I have posed here. You have ALL thus far failed to do so.  The proof I have given, you sad souls just don’t appear to have an answer for your boss’ behavior.

    Fifth, as I have said before, and will say from now to election day, I think you Disciples are beginning to be very concerned about the individual you held up as some paragon of virtue for SJ City Council is actually a very tainted and flawed candidate.

    Again, I think your venom is a guise for nothing more than fear of losing this race—and losing because your boy is tainted with the very same scandals you tried desperately to visit on Chavez.

    As someone always told me, “what goes around comes around.”

  47. For the sake of discussion, lets say Reed is the evil personification of darkness that one or two folks on this blog believe he is. Lets say the $15K being talked about is an unusual expenditure for an elected official. How does that $15K stack up to Chavez’ giving away millions and millions of dollars of public money during her tenure on the council? Hmm, let me see—$15K vs. $$$millions and millions of public dollars? Even in the worst scenario, I believe Reed still comes out as the most frugal with my money.
    I know the Reed haters will ignore this and tell us how he is evil and dark and nasty and hates flowers and pets and anything of beauty. But they will ignore how Chavez has given away $$millions and millions dollars of public money like that is OK. There have to smarter people out there who don’t like Reed than the ones who currently waste space on this board. I wonder where they are?

  48. Andy:

    Thanks for your comments—minus the retarded “ditto head” thing. I am not a ditto-head—my detractors on this blog aside. In fact, you should note that I am one of the few that have stayed consistent—albeit repetitive—on my standing in this race.

    I really don’t care one whit about Chavez’s platform—I really don’t. My posts against Chuck center wholly on how he can be so darn sanctimious and claim to be the candidate of “honesty, integrity and accountability” when, in fact, he is guilty of some of the biggest hypocrisy I have ever seen in my decade and a half in politics. And, frankly, that is what galls me and many of the voters in San Jose the most.

    Andy, all that aside, great question on the labor angle and voting record. Let me say to that I think a voting record is a relative thing. Let me tell you why.

    First, the vote on Norcal was both stupid and uninformed by Chavez. No question about it.  If she had better political sense, AT THE TIME, she would have voted against it like everyone else. That said, it was still a stupid thing to have done and she should pay for that vote. I have serious doubts that she would be equally ignorant of such a deal in the future and would be more conscious of it—I could be wrong though.

    HOWEVER, it has to be said, that vote would never have happened if Chuck Reed had done the right thing originally and reported what he knew to the City Ethics Board/Committee and/or the District Attorney if he believed there was a potential criminal action. He had a duty that he abrogated for personal and political gain. Reed and COMPAC have claimed that Chavez knew about the deal all along—but, in reality, it was Reed and Dando and Vic Aljouny who knew about the deal two years prior to any vote taking place—and Reed, as a duly elected official did nothing.  As for proof, I cite, once again, the Grand Jury testimony and articles from the Merc News following that public release.

    In terms of voting records, Chuck has voted, on several occasions, on bills where he had a clear and PERSONAL conflict of interest. He did it two weeks ago and even the Pro-Reed Mercury News did a story on it.

    Second, I think you are right, that to some degree, Chavez will have to bow to labor.  But, if she is smart, gets a business-friendly leader as a Chief of Staff, she will be able to ensure that she has a pragmatic administration—hopefully free of scandal.  Has she voted with labor most of the time, no question. Does that translate into money for her campaign—as in a quid pro quo? No, I don’t think so. Because if that were the case, other candidates who received labor endorsement and $$$ would have the same burden. By the same token, is Chuck beholden to the Chamber for all their support—sure, to some degree. Is he completely beholden to the Chamber—no, I don’t think so. But, if Reed does win, I think he needs to be just as conscious of the type of Administration he puts together—if he doesn’t, he is a one-termer. And the same can be said for Chavez in her administration.

    But again, where Chavez is more a pragmatic Democrat, Reed is a VERY conservative one. The hypocrisy comes in where Chavez lets her views be known, Reed hides his pro-life, anti-working family stances from the mostly-Democratic city of San Jose.  Indeed, Chuck has said he supported George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarznegger. Chuck has said he would take a “hands-off” approach to running the city day-to-day. To me, thats dangerous because it invites the potential for even greater scandal because everyone assumes you are doing a “Reagan”—that is letting other people run things while you are off taking a nap.

    At the end of the day, Chuck Reed now has a HUGE burden in this race. He is being hit, not for his own growning ethics problems, but for being a raging storm of political hypocrisy. As I have said before, Chuck Reed has become the “Jimmy Swaggart/Jim Baker” of SJ politics—and I think thats why the Disciples are all up in arms against my comments.

  49. Audi Tor:

    I advise you to remember that Chuck has voted over 95% of the time with the Mayor. That includes HUGE spending bills for the city—so a true fiscal conservative Chuck really isn’t—unless he gets some personal or political gain out of it.

    In other words, save for Norcal (which Reed knew about two years before everyone else)and the Grand Prix (which by the way has made tens of millions for the city in tax revenue), Reed has voted, along with Chavez, to spend those millions as well. So, lets lose the sense of moral outrage so akin to the Disciple message.  If you don’t believe it, please go get Chuck’s voting record.

    The current figure of $15,300 in reimbursements is but the tip of the iceberg I believe.  The bigger question is how and what Mr. Reed was reimbursed for in each instance—I think the answer will surprise you. More to the point, Audi Tor, Reed’s claim of frugality never applies to how he spends the taxpayer dollars. After all, he is a pretty well-to-do trial attorney—don’t you think he could afford some of the things he charges back to YOU and I, the taxpayers.  In other words, Chuck Reed has gained PERSONALLY from all this PUBLIC MONEY that he as spent enhancing his personal standing.

    What they vote for isn’t the issue—Reed voted for many of the same spending bills that Chavez, et al voted for in Council. If you don’t think so, go look it up.  The fact is, while Chavez has a total of $250 in reimbursements, Chuck Reed has received over $15,000 from you and I—and thats only over the last three years. I am certian that number will grown substantially in the next couple of weeks.

    Mind you, Audi Tor, thats our money he has used and has gotten back from us for personal use.

    Think about it this way, the taxpayers are subsidizing Chuck Reed’s largesse to organizations that will benefit Reed politicallly or personally. That, Audi Tor is against the law—no matter how Reed and Vic Aljouny cut it, spin it or try to get Phil Yost/Scott “Jayson Blair” Herhold to report it.

    Audi Tor, cool name by the way—I really hope you are an auditor and would look into these charges yourself with a critical eye—as an accountant/auditor you will be stunned by it.

  50. Gotcha, Audi.  Reed is a wonderful guy.  Does not matter if Mr. Integrity and his flunky,Armando, are stalling with a public record request, and it does not matter that Reed voted to violate the Brown Act.  He is a wonderful guy.  Good.  It is a good thing I live in Milpitas, because I will not have to suffer under Reed as mayor.  Having Armando, “Dirty Campaigning is my business,” Gomez on our council is bad enough.

  51. DB #57,

    Rather than ripping on Reed like a ditto head, can you tell us what is so great about Chavez’s platform and how you can look past her voting record on city expenditures?  Don’t you think she is headed for another Norcal train wreck with all the labor money she has taken?

  52. I’m curious and have only one question——- is “downtown brown” on Cindy’s payroll / volunteer in her campaign or is it just possible all these remarks are being made because “downtown” might be a relative of Cindy’s.  Come on oh vociferous one—speak up!!!!!!  Quit trying to fool us about your concerns.

    Concerned Citizen

  53. You all know DB & RC are the same person. He has just split his personality. Along with the other dumb a#@ things he writes as an illiterate. I can’t even read your posts, they are so full of venom. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Show us proof or shut up. And don’t put one of your illiterate posts up after this either.

  54. Oh and Glenda:

    How about repeat this to Chuck…

    “Hey Chuckie Hey…how many reimbursements did you get today…”

    “Hey Chuckie Hey…how many reimbursements did you get today…”

    “Hey Chuckie Hey…how many reimbursements did you get today…”

    While mine is cheesy and corny…at least its original. More importantly, unlike yours, its unfortunately all too true.

  55. To Mr., or Mrs. Downtown, Uptown and sideways,

    You people act like extracting funds from the public is something new. I would venture to guess most voting adults receive invitations to meet a particular candidate (every election I receive about 5 invitations) However, to get in the door requires a fee anywhere from $25.00 to 500.00. If you can’t afford the price of admission, you can’t get in to see or hear the candidate speak, or share ideas with other voters. Is this ethical?

    Is it me, or are gatherings where you get to meet the the candidates without having to pay a fee rare events?

  56. Concerned:

    Sorry, not a volunteer, paid or a relative, friend, neighbor, etc.. Just a “political hack” as one Disciple called me. tired of sanctimonious Republicans (albeit one trying to “pass” as a Democrat) attempting to smear one candidate as dirty and possibly criminal in their efforts to win office.

    Its like this: Chuck Reed has run as the candidate of honesty, accountability and integrity.  He has attack Chavez for being everything short of a criminal.  And yet, the following things have come out:

    1.) Chuck Reed knew about Norcal two years before everyone else knew and before any vote took place on the Council (Source: Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office, County Grand Jury Transcripts).  He knew and yet he allowed the vote to go forward forcing the city to spend $11.3M on a garbage contract. Sure, he voted against it but, its like playing craps with loaded dice. Reed knew about it, knew how it hurt Gonzalez and how he, Chuck Reed, would benefit politically from the fallout.Indeed, one could argue, as I have , that Mr. Reed’s knowledge beforehand and failure to act borders on illegal activity.

    2.) Chuck Reed votes on a bill before the Council two weeks ago regarding mini-marts/gas stations. Indeed, Reed took the vote knowing he had a law client that had particular financial interest in the passage of this bill. In addition, Reed had taken several campaign contributions from this particular client. 

    What makes this vote unique is that Reed took the vote in a direct conflict of interest, because of he knew his paying legal client would benefit directly from his vote! But that isn’t even the most unique part of this whole affair.

    In December 2005, Mr. Reed chose to abstain from a similar vote for the same client because, “Councilman Chuck Reed abstained from voting because he has a client who is a station owner.” (Source: Almaden Resident, Michele Leung; December 15, 2005).

    So, my question is, why is it that Mr. Reed chose to abstain in 2005? How does he pick and chose when and where to abstain from votes where he has a direct conflict on interest. And what is his criteria: is it based on what he gets in return for his vote.

    3.) Chuck Reed has received over $15,300 in reimbursements from the city in both cash and check forms over the last three years. NO OTHER MEMBER of the San Jose City Council has requested anywhere near that amount for reimbursement. Indeed, Mr. Reed has charged his opponent, Ms. Chavez, with being a “freeloader on the city.” Chavez has, however, submitted and received only $241 in reimbursements for that same period.

    And, in what many are considering the HEIGHT of political hypocrisy, the Mercury News on Thursday September 21st, has discovered that Mr. Reed, the candidate of honesty, integrity and accountability, has submitted and received thousands of reimbursements for activities—some not necessarily related to his function as a member of the City Council. Indeed, issues are now being raised as to whether Mr. Reed has submitted reimbursements for personal and/or political items in DIRECT violation of city ethics laws.

    Concerned, fair question about my vociferousness in this discussion (albeit poorly phrased.) But I will answer it.

    My vociferousness derives from one source and one source only—fairness: Chuck Reed has called Cindy Chavez every name in the book—from a freeloader to a criminal. He has been the candidate who runs on a platform of “honesty, integrity and accountability.” In fact, I believe that if any candidate wants to have that mantle, they better be able to defend it at all costs. But Mr. Reed is trying to have it both ways—call others unethical and criminal knowing full well his own behavior as an elected official was also unethical and, yes, criminal.

    Do you honestly believe, Concerned, et al, that Mr. Reed can truly assume that mantle any longer or had that right to in the first place given all that we now know? And do you honestly believe, in your heart of hearts, that Mr. Reed should be able to have it both ways—that is, living in the proverbial glass house while still throwing stones at others.

  57. DB – Thanks. Just as I expected, you ignored the $$millions and millions of dollars that Chavez voted FOR and Reed voted AGAINST. Your voluminous responses are carefully crafted to never deal with any issue except what you want to deal with. Your pitiful attempts to make a case where none exists have worn thin. It takes more than saying the same thing over and over again to make it true.

  58. Audi Tor:

    Thank you for once again proving my point sport.

    Whats funny is that you respond in anger and vitriol and don’t answer ANY of the questions I have posed or the other ethical issues I have raised here. More to the point, you refuse to acknowledge how Chuck voted 95% of the time WITH the Mayor including bills on tax issues, budgets, etc. etc. Bet you, as an auditor, are having a tough time counting ALL of those millions,huh sparky?

    Why, oh why, do YOU ignore that or the charges/questions I have brought to this blog.

    Me thinks fear of the truth is what drives your anger towards me.

    Lemme guess, you are probably Chuck’s auditor for his Council office too…clearly, you need to rethink your career choices sparky.

  59. DB – You again show your confusion. I have no anger towards you. I feel sorry for you, but not anger.
    You have shown time and time again that you are not really interested in any responses from anyone who disagrees with you. You simply twist those responses so there is no point in responding to you.
    I wish you a long, peaceful rest after this is all over (hopefully before) and hope you find the clue you are missing. Please understand I say this with only the warmest of feelings towards you. Sorry to disappoint you but there is no anger involved.

  60. Audi Tor:

    Just answer the questions. Show me where I am wrong? And the difference here is that when you Disciples disagree with me, you directly attack me. I give you proof (go back and read carefully Audi Tor) and you choose to do the Chuck Reed/Armando/Tricky Vic impression of “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” Get some courage and go do your research on this if you don’t believe me—better yet, ask your boy Chuckie how much money he was able to scam out of San Jose taxpayers through his laundry list of reimbursements. Did you know that list is about 30 pages long?
    _____________________________________

    Just Wondering II:

    Good question and good scenario. Let me answer that for you.

    First, Chuck is not “most voting adults.” He is an elected official and has much higher standards of “integrity, honesty and accountability to uphold.”

    Sure, Chuck should go to those events and he should pay his own way. There is no prohibition against that—however he has to use his own money. And yes, Chuck Reed can afford it.

    But “Chuck is an elected official” you say, he has to do this stuff. True enough JWII. HOWEVER, as an elected official he knows full well that he cannot go to a political/candidate event, pay his own way and then expect to get reimbursed by the city. As a lawyer and long-time elected/appointed official, he knows the law better than any of us. He knows this is wrong and has the potential for a HUGE scandal to blow up in his face. (BTW, don’t expect the Merc to do anything—they are bought and paid for by Reed and Tricky Vic. But I imagine there is more than one local paper looking into this.)

    Now, if you know that Mr. Reed used public funds for this purpose (or even suspect it), you know that he has broken any number of ethics laws and is, therefore, criminally liable for doing so.

  61. BTW, Disciples of Dr. No, has your boy Chuck released his taxes yet?

    Or is he still considering the “larger policy implications”—like how he avoids getting caught for public malfeasence by having Tricky Vic spin a little tale for us.

    And if does he plan to simply lie, obfuscate or ignore the requests until election day—in the hopes that everyone forgets?

    Or is it that Chuck Reed, the master of political hypocrisy, isn’t as big a believer of “open government” when people starting asking him difficult and embarrassing questions about these issues?

    Please Disciples, please tell me that Chuck has the courage to release his taxes and own up to his $15,300 in reimbursements to prove how truly committed he is to his message of “integrity, honesty and accountability.”

    I await your response—or if he has the courage, Mr. Reed’s response. (And Armando and Tricky Vic, don’t answer for him.)

  62. All this talk of who gets reimbursed reminds me of the article from Metro many years ago looking into the habit of San Jose Councilmember’s and the Mayor charging restaurant MEALS to the city as “business”.  They analyzed their travel budgets as well.  Very embarrassing for some.  It’s pretty funny how they explain it away.  Hammer was the Big Spender at $2,401.66 in meals with Alice Woody a close second at $2,353.69, and in near last place, David Pandori with a whopping bill of $35.19.

    It’s a pretty fun read, be sure to click on the names at the bottom for highlights, which includes some tidbits about District 3 candidate Manny Diaz.

    And remember Councilmember Alice Woody?  She one expensed a video watched during a retreat as “training material”.  The video: The American President starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening.  Does anyone know what Alice Woody is doing now?

    See it here:
    http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/04.10.97/cover/govt-spend1e-9715.html

  63. Just Wondering II-

    Try looking on candidate web sites for their events.  You’ll rarely hear George Bush or Hillary Clinton for free, but smaller candidates are more likely to have free events.  They just don’t have the money to send out mail to tell you about them.

  64. Thank you Metro Fan…very enlightening and it really helps to prove my point.

    I wonder if Chuck Reed will have the courage to be so enlightening…unfortunately, I have my doubts.

    BTW, Priceline is usually the best option for saving $$$. Hotwire isn’t bad either.

  65. # 62   Downtown Brown – Grand Prix (which by the way has made tens of millions for the city in tax revenue),  –  No way that is true since to get $10 million in tax revenue you need $1 billion in total sales –  $1 of 8 1/2 % tax goes to SJ for every $100 spend in SJ   If $42 million claimed Grand Prix sales are true then equal to $420,000 sales tax revenue but probably more like $5-10 million Grand Prix actual sales or $50-100,000 in actual tax revenue   DO the Math

    When will we see the REAL Grand Prix numbers for our $4.2 million as well as how many free tickets, gifts, meals, etc were given to San Jose city government elected officials, staff, political friends, city employees and their families – possibly hundreds of thousand twhile the bill to the taxpayers

  66. Larger Ethical, Legal or Tax Question

    IS IT legally or ethically wrong and what about IRS / CA tax issues for non profits , community organizations, arts, theater,  museums sports facilities, visitor / convention center, Chamber , Downtown Business Association and all the others etc   WHO receive city grants, subsidies or contracts and furnish free meals, tickets, events, gifts, do not change for these other items or services to city elected officials, employees or DIRECT these items or services to political friends of city elected officials WITHOUT DISCLOUSURE to the public Gifts and contributions are reportable on individual, corporate or non profit tax returns  

    THIS goes on ALL THE TIME in San Jose but is considered routine pay to play San Jose politics
    – Where are the elected offical’s and city employee reports on these items ?

  67. 840 North First restaurant was right across the street from the former City Hall.  I ate lunch there frequently until it changed ownership.  I’d see Gonzo, his staff, councilmembers and their staff almost every time I visited; but never the rank and file, who had to pay for their lunch with their own after tax moneyinstead of a city credit card.

    No restaurant of that quality exists near the East Santa Clara Street outpost we now call city hall; so I wonder who gets the benefit of city largesse @ lunch.  Or does the mayor jump in his taxpayer-paid SUV and lunch elsewhere? What about councilmembers?  It’s just fast food and diversity food near the Taj Gonzal, but nothing of the quality of the old 840, which lay dormant for almost a year and has now re-opened as The Bold Knight Bistro, where I lunched today with a few friends, none of whom had government issued credit cards to lunch on.

  68. 78 – Good work, not that DB will pay any attention the facts. Interesting though that Chavez (who voted for the $4 million+ gift of city funds) and has defended her vote since that time, makes no mention of it on her website. Gee, wouldn’t you think if it was such a great investment she would shout about it? Once again, DB is full of hot air.

  69. Downtown Brown

    Easy to talk about Reed’s ethical problems but with your 30 pages of his reimbursements where is the illegal or ethical problems? Give us a few illegal or unethical examples since disclosure will stop much of it or stop blowing smoke. 

    San Jose city government has an unethical political culture but many activities are not illegal since insiders and City Council wrote the insider loophole designed ethics rules

    As a Cindy supporter or are you only a Reed attacker – doesn’t Cindy have legal or ethical problems with taking free meals, or other gifts, services etc from community, public benefit or non profits where she ( & rest of City Council ) are voting on the city giving them taxpayer paid contracts, grants, subsidies or other free city services like free meals and tickets to Grand Prix, San Jose Arena or other events

    Wonder what the value of Rep free tickets, meals, services etc to elected officals and friends were for the last 6-8 years – is this another ” pay to receive city pay ” insider deal

  70. But the fundraising of a nonprofit organization—which doesn’t have to be disclosed in the same fashion as that of political campaigns—can raise ethical issues when the money comes from groups and individuals with business before government officials and those officials have ties to the nonprofit, said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause.

    “Even when a nonprofit is created with a true social service mission, there can still be the unspoken relationship between a donor to the nonprofit and the politician and the intent to curry favor with that elected official,” she said. “And that is a real concern.”

    “Close relationships between elected officials and nonprofits do raise eyebrows because it could raise undo influence,” Feng said. “If I give $50,000 to a nonprofit and later on because I’m much closer to the elected, he might give me a slightly more open ear than a regular citizen who donated $25 to the campaign might get. It does create a channel of access that most citizens don’t have.”

  71. Dear Wrong Grand Prix Tax Facts:

    You are correct, of course…I think my hyperbole button got a little out of control there in that instance…my apologies to all.

    But my greater point was to say that the Grand Prix is not the vast fiscal wasteland that Chuck Reed would want it to be. I could care less how Chavez or the rest of the Council voted—thats not relevant to the greater discussion the Disciples of Dr. No wish desperately to avoid. The relevant issue is one of hypocrisy—and Chuck “Dr. No” Reed has cornered the marketplace on that little problem—and his Disciples just can’t handle or deal with his inconsistencies.

    (NOTE: WGPTF, unlike the Disciples you will note I own up when I make mistakes. Funny, I don’t imagine they will extend to you the same courtesy of explaining their boss’ actions and spending habits. )

    BTW, you should know that Reed has said, both publicly and privately, that he refused to vote for the Grand Prix because he and his constituents got nothing for it.  Don’t believe me, go ask him or the people in the Chamber that he spoke to about it.

    So, WGPTF, thank you for the proper accounting correction.

    Since you have done the great numbers work on my comments, would you also go to Mr. Reed and ask him why his own accounting is so bad.  Like why he filed for over $15,000 in reimbursements over three years and how he can legally justify it? My accounting friends say that there is NO WAY Chuck Reed should have that much when no member on the SJ City Council has anywhere near that number. 

    Also, Disciples, I still await your answer as to why Mr. Reed won’t release his taxes or discuss his reimbursements—perhaps because he has alot more to hide than any of us realizes. Maybe he took alot more from the taxpayers, possibly illegally, than he is willing to admit or have discovered by a smart reporter.

    Downtown Brown – Show us the Illegal Money—I advise you to CAREFULLY read San Jose ethics laws. They clearly state that if you receive ANY free/comped/gratis tickets to events, you are required to report them.  I CHALLENGE YOU TO GIVE ME DIRECT PROOF where Chavez has failed to do so. Either that or shut the heck up and deal with the fact that your boy has stolen from the taxpayers to the tune of more than $15,000 (when its all said and done, I bet that number climbs to around $50K). If Chavez failed to report gifts, I will gladly jump all over her for it—and enjoy it as well.

    Also, I have given all of you Disciples and your bloginsta minions plenty of proof. Heck, if you BOTHERED to look back at my previous postings—you would see where I actually source my material. Unlike you Disciples of Dr. No, I can actually do that…why, because I do my research.

    So, do yourself and the voters of San Jose the same courtesy and research your own claims before you make them.

    A Final Thought:

    If you will ALL refer to previous posts in Single Gal and with Mayor McEnery, I told ALL of you that Reed was hiding alot more ethical misdeeds than anyone knew about at the time.

    Mr. Reed is now, undoubtedly, in the crosshairs of a Terry Gregory-sized scandal and he and Tricky Vic know it. I imagine they knew about this problem all along and hid it or tried to spin scandal, in a very dirtball Tricky Vic style, onto Chavez. Of course, I am very eager to see how Dr. No and Tricky Vic try to spin this one. Now, if only the Merc would show some journalistic integrity and print the facts, we might actually, FINALLY, be able to discuss real issues.

    But, in the end, I know that the golden oldie-boy Chuck is tainted, I have cited source after source and been able to make my case effectively. In the end, as I have said countless times, I think the Disciples just can’t come to grips with it.

    AND, if what I and others believe is true AND if I were Chuck, I would be more concerned about an indictiment for fraud and misuse of public funds than losing a mayor’s race.

  72. I was at the Rotary debate last week and found that Chuck did not sound like the “Dr No” that his opponents are making him out to be. For instance, on funding a sports team or arena, he said that he would be in favor of it but wanted to be able to put a package together that the people could vote on and have it be one that would have a good chance of success. That surprised me with the coverage that he has been getting as a naysayer.

    I think that he is just fiscally conservative which is something that the City could use right now. Just because he doesn’t say “Yes” to everything does not make him Dr. No.

  73. SJ:

    I say this with ALL due respect, but think about what you just said.

    First, he tells everyone he meets on the campaign trail that the current arena downtown was a disaster for the city financially. He says that the Grand Prix was a “good race” but he couldn’t justify the $4.2 million it takes to have the race here. He says he votes consistently against things that will cost the city big money. And now he wants to have the taxpayers fund a bloody stadium?? Are you kidding me??

    But, in true Rovian/Tricky Vic fashion, Chuck knows that public opinion has changed on things like the potential for the A’s to come to town (won’t happen I don’t think.). So all of the sudden, Mr. “Fiscal Conservative”  is suddenly in favor of spending tens of millions of dollars to fund a sports team. Jesus, what happened to his cornerstone of fiscal responsibility.

    Do you know what it costs to relocate a team, build a stadium, alter transportation routes (or build new ones) or, in some cases like this, build entirely knew infrastructure including roads, water, sewer, etc. etc.???? Cities across this country are paying through the friggin nose for stadiums that haven’t brought in the tax cash they would hope. I believe there was a NY Times article/study at the beginning of the baseball season that reviewed the cost of the stadium (from initial costs to upkeep/maintenance) and what the city is getting for it. It wasn’t a positive article (course, it was the NY Times so consider the source).

    Second, Chuck says no to anything that he can’t get something out of financially or politically. For chrissakes,the guy voted against keeping LIBRARIES open a few extra hours every night. Why, because he claimed it cost to much—I swear that was his response. He said that he can’t see how you can justify the cost!!!  I kid you not. I guess we can just screw the idea of keeping kids off the street, provide community places of learning, etc. etc.

    So,  please will someone tell me how keeping a city libraries a few extra hours fiscal insanity and bringing the A’s to town fiscal sanity with all the costs the city will have to bear upfront. So why is Dr. No for it—because Lew Wolff is supporting him and giving him money and helping to fund an IE. If that ain’t political hypocrisy, I don’t know what is!!!

    Third, Chuck is a fiscal conservative when he has to be politically. He doesn’t mind spending taxpayer dollars when he gets something for it—i.e. the recent vote before the Council on the mini-mart issue or his $15K plus in reimbursements from the city.

    SJ, I am not trying to be rude here or angry or direct this toward you…but c’mon, tell me the difference.

    You are right, a stadium/team might well be a great thing and I would love to have it. But don’t we have the greater concerns—that Mr. Reed always talks about—to look after? It seems to me that Mr. Reed is trying to have it both ways.

  74. This is a comment TOTALLY removed from politics but I just wanted to share it with all of you.

    I just finished watching the Saints whoop up on the Falcons in the first game in the Louisiana Superdome after Katrina on MNF. The score was 23-3 and was an amazing game. The Saints were playing with the strength of an entire city and with a ability of a team that is destined for the playoffs. They are now 3-0 by the way.

    More importantly, it was a victory for the entire community looking to make itself whole again. Like alot of you that have visited or lived there, New Orleans is a very special place. It carries with it sense of history, mystery and excitement that few cities can ever rival.

    While it was only a game, it was a good first step for a city trying to come back after such a disaster. Frankly, it got me a little ver-klemped but quite happy as well. It makes me believe that no matter the differences we face (here or elsewhere), ultimately when confronting such events/disasters—we can meet and overcome these challenges no matter what happens.

    Play on dear bloggers…

  75. What happened Downtown Brown ran out of hot air when you have to answer with facts not accusations

    Do you have facts to back up your accusation of Reed going ” to a political/candidate event, pay his own way and then expect to get reimbursed by the city and are you accusing Reed of getting meals improperly in your #75 – ” proves my point ”  – Which iit does not unless you have the facts or just more hot air – Give the dates, places or political events from your 30 page Reed reinbursements list

    Dirty Politics 101 – Make accusations with no facts –  common political tactic used by angry losers using different names   – Expect to hear more hot air, no facts before changing names

  76. So, you accuse me of hot air. Go read #65 etc. where I prove my point for the umpteenth time. You want further proof, get off your butt and go to City Hall and check in on it yourself. You will LOVE it.

    First of all, where I talked about it paying for a political/candidate event—it was a SCENARIO you tool. A supposition, a potential happening…get it now? Read my posts before going off like a drunken sailor on leave in San Francisco about which you know nothing.

    Second of all, it was your boy Chuck Reed, through his puppet monitor, Tricky Vic, have been accusing Chavez of being behind the Norcal deal all along. They set it up this way over a year and a half ago—almost six months AFTER they learned of the Norcal deal.

    And when the Grand Jury testimony not only absolves her but points to prior knowledge of the deal by Dr. No and Pat Dando—none of you Disciple don’t have the guts or personal fortitude to admit it and then proceed to, in typical Tricky Vic Republican attack dog fashion, go crazy and attack me with some of the stupidest insults I have ever heard in my life.

    Indeed, you and the rest of your Disciples have accused her of everything, every unethical behavior under the damn sun WITHOUT ONE SHRED of proof—save for her votes which everyone else, (except for “Dr. No cause he got nothing out of it”) on the Council voted for as well.

    You have not offered one source of proof of unethical, illegal or improper behavior—but no matter you guys believe its okay to attach a guilt by association. If you wanna play that game—by all means, lets have at it. Cause I will tell you that I know a great deal more of Chuck Reed’s/Tricky Vic’s real dirty deeds than you can ever dream up about Chavez.

    But yet, you sanctimonious, self-righteous staffers and campaign workers for the Dr.No race don’t have the guts to stand up and take the hits when they come your way. What are you really afraid of—wait, lemme guess, the truth.

    Do us a favor “No Facts” and ask yourself why you all are getting so upset at my posts—is it because I am hitting a really raw nerve and exposing your boss as the most ethically challenged member of the city council since Terry Gregory.

  77. Funny how DB’s case is falling apart before his/her/its eyes. If any of us had truckloads of time to fool around with this stuff like DB does we could blow holes in nearly everyone of the millions of words S/he has huffed and puffed.
    It was cute for awhile, then mildly entertaining, but now it is just an embarrassment to this site.
    It’s getting pretty tough to tell who is running this asylum. The longer DB spouts off the more support S/he builds for Reed. DB can protest all S/he wants that s/he doesn’t care about Chavez, your words say otherwise. You ignore every misdeed of Chavez and fabricate about Reed.
    Please respond because I won’t be reading anymore of your nonsense. I will continue to get real information from real sources, not some apparent blowhard with way too much time on your hands.
    Thanks for the laughs but I hear the fat lady singing.

  78. I’ve never seen such meandering and verbosity come from just a simple “political hack” without some reward being sought.  Is “downtown brown” trying to gain favor with Cindy for some gains later?  Will we have to wait and see what develops?

    Concerned Citizen

  79. I found this page today when I tried to google Chuck Reed and the whole reimbursements issue.  It definitely looks bad on Chuck Reed, but I’ll do my own research before jumping to conclusions.  Maybe the long time San Jose residents see something that the new residents don’t.

    I was born in Los Angeles in Hawthorne, right outside of Compton.  My family moved to East Oakland when I was really young, and quickly moved to Richmond after a cousin of mine was attacked in front of her apartment by her neighbor, where she got major cuts in her face.  I spent most of my life in Richmond, where if we know our statistics, is one of the most dangerous towns in the entire state of California.

    When I moved to San Jose for college, I thought I could be in no better location.  For me, when the worst thing that could’ve happened is that some punk kid would steal the emblem from my car, I was relieved.  San Jose has a vibrant, energetic nightlife, clean neighborhoods, and safe streets.  San Jose truly seems like a place that I can call home.

    Who do I think did more for that?  Cindy.  The only time I see Chuck is when he shows up at the Vietnamese New Year’s Festival, where he wears our clothes and mutilates our language.  The only thing that he has talked about is ethics, when I actually haven’t seen anything done wrong.  The Mercury sure likes to make it seem as if something was done wrong, but I consider myself lucky that I don’t automatically assume that what a newspaper says is true.

    I don’t understand the whole uproar about the garbage deal.  If I understood the situation correctly, Norcal was still the cheapest bidder, even with the $11 million addition.  The money would have gone to take better care of the workers who work for Norcal.  Our garbage would still be picked up regularly.  So Ron went and did something stupid behind closed doors.  He didn’t get paid.  There was no exchange of cash, stock options, or anything that would qualify under the traditional definition of the word “bribery.”  I hear that he got political benefits, but doesn’t every elected person get political benefit from their actions?  That just doesn’t make sense to me.

  80. 93 – I appreciate your candor but you are very naive. At the very minimum much was done wrong in the NorCal mess. The mayor violated the City Charter, he lied, and he participated in a gift of public funds to NorCal. He deceived the council and the public. The city had NO obligation to pay the $11 million +. It is not the city’s responsibility to subsidize a private company to ensure that company pays a decent wage. The garbage would have been picked-up without the millions of public dollars given away .
    Hopefully, you will spend some time getting better informed before the election. Regardless of whom you vote for, at least cast your vote as an informed citizen.

  81. Tom McE:  This question was “settled decades ago when the US Supreme Court decided that giving money was a form of speech.  I don’t know which court it was—The Warren Court, perhaps—but it could have been earlier, since it sounds very William O. Douglas-like.

    Under the law, Judge Ware made the correct decision.  I don’t hold out much hope to reverse the trend of holdings that all sorts of non-speaking activities count as “speech” and therefore cannot be effectively controlled.

  82. Ron obviously messed up big time.  That was obvious.  I actually am not familiar with the city charter, but I don’t believe lying is a criminal act yet (unless under oath).  It may be slimy and unethical, but not something that justifies a criminal hearing.  I don’t mind paying an extra $8-$10 if someone who is working very hard doing some of the most gruesome work gets a little raise.

    And would the garbage have continued to be picked up?  Norcal could just have easily decided to put up a fight about why the city should have covered the costs.