Mike Potter, husband of Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, appears neither ready to forgive nor forget slights real and imagined in the lead-up to last week’s election. At last week’s Democratic Central Committee meeting, Potter blasted the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee for its efforts to help defeat his wife, and/or support her opponent, Teresa Alvarado—perspective dictates the distinction. Out of turn, Potter stepped to the front of the room, took the microphone from DCC Chair Steve Preminger and excoriated the Chamber PAC’s actions as unethical. Potter’s ire, in part motivated by a speaker who preceded him, apparently stems from allegations that the board of the Chamber’s political action committee illegally coordinated with the Alvarado campaign. There’s just one issue with this indignation—Potter’s job as a state and governmental affairs rep for Cisco, one of the largest members of the local Chamber, requires him to work directly with the Chamber and its policy makers. There is some concern within the business-boosting organization that Cisco CEO John Chambers, a staunch Republican who co-chaired John McCain’s presidential run, doesn’t realize Potter, his hired hand, is also firmly in labor’s pocket. But Potter isn’t the only government relations gopher who moonlights with the South Bay political machine. Other labor allies whose day jobs could be a little antithetical to their political affiliation include Jonathan Noble, a government affairs manager for Microsoft who previously served as Chavez’ chief of staff on the San Jose City Council, and Javier Gonzalez, a former George Shirakawa Jr. crony who works as a pseudo lobbyist for the California Restaurant Association.
Clarification: A previous version of this report attributed Potter’s comments toward the Chamber, rather than the organization’s PAC.