Shadow Group Requests All Emails Between City, Mercury News Editorial Board

Fly isn’t the only one captivated by the professional diaries of Mercury News opinion editor Barbara Marshman. Two weeks after Metro revealed that Marshman made a quid pro quo offer of “lavish praise” to Water District candidate Barbara Keegan in exchange for her departure from the race, a shadow group called Political Record Strategies (PRS) made a request for all electronic communications between city of San Jose officials and Marshman, as well as the rest of the paper’s editorial board: Mac Tully, publisher; editorial writers Ed Clandaniel and Rachel Wilner; Dave Butler, the media chain’s VP of News; and Michele Lew, CEO of the Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI). Surprisingly, this has nothing to do with Marshman’s emails regarding Keegan or a library ballot measure, which included Marshman’s pledge to “pile on” former elected “jerks” in San Jose. (Side note: Marshman’s emails have now gone viral, inspiring a “San Jose Needs Leaders Like Susan Hammerpage on Facebook.) PRS, which is based out of Washington D.C., has made similar records requests regarding the city’s ban on plastic bags and proposed abolition of EPS to-go containers. If something smells funny, that’s probably because the American Chemistry Council (ACC) is involved. Just a couple weeks ago, the advocacy group for profit via pollutants sent Alex Ontiveros and “volunteers” from the San Jose Clean Community Coalition to City Hall to speak against an EPS ban. Why? Because there was no EPS to be found in their cleanups. And considering Ontiveros and the cleanup crew’s efforts were funded entirely by the ACC, why would there be? Connecting a few more dots, in addition to bending ears on behalf of ACC, local lobbyist Ed McGovern also represents San Jose casino Bay 101, which has a contentious history with the AACI, and by extension Merc ed-board contributor Lew. As part of the city’s gaming ordinance, Bay 101 must contribute $500,000 annually to the nonprofit to help offset gambling problems that especially affect the Asian community. After all this, we almost forgot about the juicy details in Marshman’s emails to city staff. Almost. To be continued

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

3 Comments

  1. Michelle Lew, the community representative of the SJ Mercury Editorial Board, is the CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement.  …which has a contentious history with the AACI, and by extension Merc ed-board contributor Lew. As part of the city’s gaming ordinance, Bay 101 must contribute $500,000 annually to the nonprofit to help offset gambling problems that especially affect the Asian community.

    It’s one thing to use a newspaper to undermine democracy, it’s another to use a newspaper to “shake down” businesses for money.  The former is merely unAmerican, the latter is illegal.

  2. Keep up the good work on this issue, SJI. The corrupt ties between the Mercury’s editorial board and City Hall need to be exposed. Racketeering might be too nice of a word to describe their relationship. Hopefully, you will also be able to see whatever emails have passed between Constant, Liccardo, Oliverio, Herrera, Reed and the Mercury’s editorial board.

  3. Any chance you can investigate who in the Mercury News is related to the City Council or Mayor?  That might open some eyes…..

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