Cortese, San Jose Mayors Split on Walmart

Last month, Fly broke the Earth-shattering news that county supervisor and San Jose mayoral contender Dave Cortese isn’t too fond of Walmart. He refused to mention the store by name in an invite to his campaign kickoff, instead noting that the party was near a “Big Box” store. Crazy, we know. But just when the Internet was nearing recovery, a couple of mayors decided to reignite the fight. Both Mayor Chuck Reed and his predecessor, Ron Gonzales, praised the store for its generosity in a press release, after Walmart handed out four grants for $160,000, including $25K to Gonzales’ Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. A day after the release went out, Cortese and Reed got together for a half-hour to talk “politics,” according to the latter’s calendar. We don’t know if the two laid out their beef over big boxes like Wally World, but Fly does know the two discussed Cortese’s run for mayor. A staffer for the mayor said the two men, who’ve stood on opposite sides of the ideological fence for the last eight years, have a “collegial” relationship, which is code for not really saying what’s on their mind. But the meeting still intrigues. Cortese is the lone unabashed supporter of labor unions n the race, while Reed has stridently fought for pension reform. Could it be some new polling is making Cortese consider a more moderate approach for the primary? According to a Field Poll released earlier this month, California voters now have a more negative opinion of unions than positive—the BART strike appears to have been a catalyst. Meanwhile, a new Gallup Poll also shows support for labor unions waning nationally.

This story originally appeared in the print edition of Metro on Jan. 1, 2014.—Editor

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

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