President’s Day and Bill Chew

Today is President’s Day, a national holiday, which means no one is working at City Hall. Today is also the third Monday in February, which means we should be celebrating George Washington’s birthday. But as the LA Times points out, you might not know that because the day has morphed into one of those every-kid-gets-a-trophy-after-the-game experiences, when we celebrate Abraham Lincoln as well as all of our other POTUS’ contributions.

And, in case you were wondering who were the hottest presidents of all time, Gawker has you covered.

Because the national holiday falls on a Monday, as usual, this means the City Council won’t be meeting until next week. And after taking a quick look at the committee agendas, it doesn’t seem like much of anything important will happen this week, aside from the planning commission discussing the San Jose Earthquakes potential stadium by the airport.

But there was some news, that may or may not qualify as interesting, over the weekend. Bill Chew is jumping into the race for a City Council seat in District 6, which currently includes incumbent Pierluigi Oliverio and challenger Steve Kline.

If you’re not familiar with Chew, recognized best as the physically fit cowboy on roller skates, here’s an excerpt from an excellent story by Will Harper about the “pathological citizens” or “gadflies” who attend every council meeting and voice their thoughts during the public comments portion of meetings:

“Back in early 1997, when newly elected Supervisor Pete McHugh was looking for a chief of staff, applicant Chew—a pole-vaulter in his school days—promised to get the whole staff in tip-top shape. As proof of his own credentials, Chew brandished a photo of himself in the nude (posed in such a way that his genitalia were hidden), showing off his toned physique. McHugh and his two advisers sat in stunned silence.”

Enjoy your President’s Day.

Josh Koehn is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to josh@metronews.com or follow him on Twitter at @Josh_Koehn.

33 Comments

  1. Im leaning toward Kline. There is a major need for regime change downtown. We are stuck with this dishonest mayor for another 2 long years so atleast we can dismantle his group of followers to stop him from forcing more bad ideas down our throats. Oliverio is ok but only ok. Im sorry but ‘roller guy’ does not instill confidence.

    • Well, I already put my endorsement towards Kline, but I see no reason I can’t endorse Chu as well, as either candidate would be a more balanced, thoughtful, and forward thinking leader than the current.

      Despite his eccentric form of transportation, Chu is a pretty impressive man.  My family and I once had breakfast with him at mini gourmet.  Since I’m endorsing him, I’ll take an opportunity to discuss some of Bill’s point’s that won my respect for him.  It can’t be said that the man hasn’t paid close attention to our city’s politics over the last 30 years.

      Bill says that up until the 90’s, San Jose was a pay as you go city.  We had no deficit, owed few debts, and for the most part, never overextended itself like it has in the last 20 years.

      During the 90’s the city took on debts for everything, borrowing what it could from the RDA.  RDA money could have been used to do things like fix some of the urban blight issues around San Jose.  Would have been nice to see Tropicana rebuilt, or maybe something to make Alviso an attractive place to live, but as we all know most everything went to downtown.

      You should really ask both candidates out to lunch before you finalize a decision.  Steve’s got his own good points about him, and he’s held in high regard by a lot of my church connected friends.

  2. Thankfully, there is more than one choice. I will forgo any nudie cutie photos of Chew and go with Kline. We have to take our city back and bring it to the glory it once was. To do that, we have to vote out at least five of the council members and replace them will those who have a brain and can think for themselves.

    • I think he’s going to lose because of all of the mess and deception that is going on in the city, right now. People don’t want more of the same unless the same is good. In this instance…it’s not. One also has to look at what he has or has not done in his district. I think he is going to lose.

    • Mr. Prediction,
      I’d say that’s a pretty good guess. I’ll tweak it a bit and say:
      57% Oliverio
      38% Kline
      5% Chew. Not Chu. (Bill’s a white guy)

      Anybody else want in on this action?

      There’s a pronounced anti-Oliverio bias on this website. SJI bloggers don’t accurately represent the D6 voting block- not even a little bit. Most of these city employee commenters probably don’t even live in San Jose, let alone in District 6.
      They don’t have a vote. All they have is a special interest. San Jose’s their paycheck. It’s not their home.

      • Kline has the support of PACT (people and communities acting together) and there is a high percentage of same sex couples in Willow Glen that support him.

        I don’t think it’s going to be nearly the landslide you guys are predicting.  It’ll be a close race if anything, or Kline is going to completely demolish him.

        Speaking of which, I should remind Kline that Pier owns stock in Oracle, but never excuses himself from the vote.  Maybe he doesn’t own enough stock where he’s in violation of the rules, but it’s still shady.

      • There’s an anti-Oliverio bias on SJI? That’s a silly thing to say, considering he’s a columnist.

        Considering you’re the one who previously said he wouldn’t vote for Kline because Kline is gay, I’d say you’re the one with the bias, “John Galt”.

      • John galt , you are a piece of work. first you make a comment about Mr. Kline being Gay and now Bill is the “white guy”.Obviously your parents never taught you “judge and be judged”. is it really that hard for you to see people as people?? I can see why you like PLO,………………you both have an elitist atitude

        • Robert Cortese’s appraisal of the situation doesn’t bother anybody one bit? Where’s the outrage? It’s okay if there’s an anti-straight bias among the many same sex couples of District 6?

          Despite your reflexive jumping to the wrong conclusion about me, I will vote for the individual who I believe will best represent the PEOPLE, regardless of his or her race or sexual orientation. I just want there to be some honesty out there about who it is that’s REALLY practicing identity politics.

        • It’s okay if there’s an anti-straight bias among the many same sex couples of District 6?

          Then by your logic John, when I said

          Kline has the support of PACT (people and communities acting together)

          All the atheist and Satanists in willow glen should be offended.

          Please, whoever you really are, don’t try doing spin on me.  It’s super not effective.  Merely mentioning that one group might have a bias towards a candidate because his ideals, lifestyle resembles their own is a perfectly valid thing to say.

          Past actually knowing completely what a candidates positions are sometimes isn’t enough.  Those can be made up.  Knowing a persons personal lifestyle is a better gauge on how well they will represent you than meaningless campaign promises or endorsement.

        • I actually thought your analysis of the way the election might play out was pretty accurate, Robert. Not criticizing you at all, not trying to drag you into anything or do any ‘spin’ on you- I’ve got no beef with anything you said. Just using your perfectly reasonable comments to demonstrate to Dakota the built in double standard that seems to be lost on just about everybody.

        • No one is offended that you wanted to guess the election results. Some people see it as poor taste to make homophobic remarks about candidate A, declare yourself as a supporter of candidate B despite an ignorance of candidate A’s positions, and then declare that there is a bias against candidate B on a website that regularly features his writing. If you really think there are any comparisons between that and what Robert said, I would encourage you to seriously question yourself about why you believe that.

        • “I just want there to be some honesty out there about who it is that’s REALLY practicing identity politics.”

          John, politics has always been “identity politics.”  The key identities have not always been racial in the past, although perhaps in some regions, but our society morphed around 1920 into a pluralistic society (without a vote), then around 1975 into a multicultural society (without a vote), and since 1995 into a multi-racial society (without a vote). 

          But you still haven’t seen the ultimate outcome of identity politics which will be around 2025 when our society morphs into a multi-national society.  That will be identity politics on steroids.  So hold your hat, those will be interesting times.

        • We build our knowledge about candidates bit by bit. So far, the only thing I knew about Steve Kline is that he’s gay. I hardly see how it’s homophobic (a ridiculous term that is bandied about far too much) of me to use the one piece of solid information I have to begin to form an impression.
          I’m sure I’ll learn more about Kline as the election grows nearer. If my initial guess, which was based entirely on statistical probability, proves to be inacurate I will see it and adjust my opinion accordingly. Who knows? If he turns out to be a log cabin Republican he just might get my vote! But he’s got a formidable competitor in Pierluigi Oliverio.

          Rest assured, Dakota, that I would never vote against a candidate because he’s gay. It’s his political philosophy and how he views the role of city government that I’m interested in. I’ll use any clues available to me to make sure that the person who gets my vote is most closely aligned with my own ideas about the proper role of government.

  3. What has Oliverio done for District 6 residents ?

    What has Oliverio done for his campaign contributors and friends ?  Oliverio voted millions in city taxes and sold city property cheap to his friends

    He mostly says no, no, no   Is he a leader, follower or just difficult ?

    Has Oliverio passed anything that makes San Jose better after 6-7 Council years ? 

    Does he vote to help out middle class in tough economy or give his rich supporters more city taxes while voting to raise city taxes on poor and middle class residents and small businesses ?

    Has be brought any new good jobs or watch as San Jose or did nothing to stop loss thousands good jobs to business friendly, lower tax local cites and states ?

    Oliverio has to earn Voters vote or Voters will vote for someone else

  4. We can either vote for somebody who’s been in office for years and has done nothing but say “no”, who’s complained and never come up with a solution, who told residents they needed to come up with the money to operate a library and community center and that he would not assist them in developing a strategy to do so…or we can vote for somebody who has been working with neighborhoods for years and wants to get things done.  Steve Kline has my vote.

  5. A diverse district needs real, district-wide leadership, and we have a chance with Steve Kline.  It’s nice that Willow Glen and the Rose Garden get so much attention from the current Councilmember, but Steve Kline is out there earning the respect of school groups, neighborhood associations and voters in ALL of District 6.  He’s showing that he listens to neighborhood concerns, and has active plans to help all of our neighborhoods receive their fair share of city services in fiscally responsible ways. Bill Chew is a perennial gadfly, Oliverio has been a disappointment to all but a few powerful blocs—let’s get some fresh air in City Hall: Steve Kline has my vote.

  6. I have endorsed Steve Kline. He has spent decades actively working in the community. He is a good man who will do his best to work with everyone to improve our City, not just D6. Please consider him when voting for D6.

    • Kline is the man. D6 people, make sure that all of your relatives and friends in D6 know who to vote for. Have them pass it on to their friends…on down the line.

  7. >  He has spent decades actively working in the community.

    What does “actively working on the community” mean?

    I need to know in order to determine if I may have been “actively working on the community”.

    • Sociobabble,
      I like your name, it suits you! wink

      Read “Left Out In D6’s” commentary.

      Unlike Oliverio who claimed to be actively involved in our community when he wasn’t, Kline has always shown a sincere interest in working to improve our City, and works with everyone.

      Steve has always attended neighborhood meetings, Council Meetings, has worked with schools, attended community meetings, works with community groups trying to improve things in our City, and has stayed involved with planning and budget issues for decades.  He is well known, well liked, and really cares about our community. He would make an incredible Council member.
       
      Contact him and see for yourself.

  8. Well, I have met both Bill Chew and Pierlouigi.  I am impressed with his candor, and his willingness to engage people from all backgrounds.  He has been an advocate of equal treatment of business and the public sector.  Bill has rubbed shoulders with every demographic in this City, and has seen firsthand the damage done by political posturing and strong-armed negotiations.  He was a pleasure to talk to, and struck me as a down-to-earth, grass roots person sincerely interested in improving San Jose for everyone. Mr. Chew seemed to be beholding to no one except us, the general public.
    Pierlouigi struck me as an elitist know-it-all, with no time to discuss the topics which matter to the majority of San Joseans.  His focus seemed to be on political ambition and being “careful” about who he associates with, and what he says.  He seemed petty and unapproachable.  I have not had the opportunity to meet Steve Kline, so under the current information and exposure…..my vote goes for Bill Chew.  With no reservations. And I am in his district.  I urge all residents in D6 to talk with Bill Chew, and Steve Kline….the alternative of Pierlouigi being elected for another term is unthinkable, irresponsible and reprehensible.

  9. Well, I have met both Bill Chew and Pierlouigi.  I am impressed with Bill Chews’ candor, and his willingness to engage people from all backgrounds.  He has been an advocate of equal treatment toward business and the public sectors.  Bill has rubbed shoulders with every demographic in this City, and has seen firsthand the damage done by political posturing and strong-armed negotiations.  He was a pleasure to talk to, and struck me as a down-to-earth, grass roots person who is sincerely interested in improving San Jose for everyone. Mr. Chew seemed to be beholding to no one except us, the general public.
    Pierlouigi struck me as an elitist know-it-all, with no time to discuss the topics which matter to the majority of San Joseans.  His focus seemed to be on political ambition and being “careful” about who he associates with, and what he says.  He seemed petty and unapproachable.  I have not had the opportunity to meet Steve Kline, so under the current information and exposure…..my vote goes for Bill Chew.  With no reservations. And I am in his district.  I urge all residents in D6 to talk with Bill Chew, and Steve Kline….the alternative of having Pierlouigi elected for another term is unthinkable, irresponsible and reprehensible.

  10. With three candidates for district 6 and knowing little to nothing about each I Googled, read online blogs, reviewed council videos/ memos which in my opinion revealed uncalled-for and unprofessional behavior by the incumbent.

    As a result of my research Steve Kline seems like the obvious choice and has my family’s vote and support.

    I urge voters to do their homework and research candidates before making a decision.

    Moderator please allow this post as it’s essential for voters to research candidates and be well informed prior to casting their votes.

  11. Run Bill Run!

    You have my vote! We need a white hat on the Mayor’s Dais. Gadfly no more! may I propose you recruit David Wall as your running mate? He is the resident gadfly at the WPCP TPAC meetings.

    Chew – Wall!

    • Wall, like Chew is one of those guys really in tune with the political weather.  Like Chew, his eccentric nature tends to cause prejudice.

      I’ve been to plenty of meetings with Wall, and have a few post-game wrap-ups with him.  His demeanor on the council floor is completely different than when you’re actually talking to him in person.

      He does his homework really well when he talks to council, bringing up past passed ordinances that might show that the council is going against city charter on some votes. 

      The only issue with Wall, as I said with Chew is his choice of clothing.  I don’t take issue with it at all, but if Wall wore a suit instead of overalls, and was clean trim and proper, less folks might be prejudice against him.

      (David if you’re reading this, not a criticism, dress how you want, as wearing a suit in my book doesn’t make you a qualified anything)