How the Dominoes Could Fall if Dave Cortese Wins

The South Bay political machine knows how to orchestrate high strategy better than just about anybody, but fallout from the San Jose mayor’s race could lead to one awkward encounter next year. A few years ago, organized labor tapped county Supervisor Dave Cortese to run for mayor. And yet, if he succeeds Chuck Reed, he could leave the union deck a little less stacked on the Board of Supervisors. Nora Campos terms out of the Assembly in 2016, and oddsmakers see her giving up her last year in Sac so she can replace Cortese on the county board. Running for office has become a way of life for Campos, who serves two-year terms at the state level, so a special election in 2015 should go like clockwork—assuming she doesn’t throw a tantrum, or phone, or chair, or piano (at staffers) in public. But her departure would then set off another special election for one of San Jose’s seats in the state Assembly. Baby bro Xavier Campos had been groomed to inherit that role, just as he stepped into his sister’s pumps on the San Jose City Council, but good buddy and incarcerated former county supe George Shirakawa Jr.’s conviction continues to hang over his head. Amidst allegations that Shirakawa helped Xavier steal an election, he faces tough competition in this year’s council race, not to mention ongoing investigations by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and the District Attorney’s office. That leaves San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra, perhaps labor’s most equipped candidate, to move up the Assembly ladder. But fast moving county education trustee Darcie Green might also run for that seat. Adding the dash of awkward, Kalra and Green dated for four years, meaning we may have our first Assembly race in which rival candidates have seen each other naked.

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25 Comments

  1. Darcie Green might run for Campos’ Assembly seat? No wonder the COE is messed up. The Board of Trustees seems to be full of people that have political aspirations and no viable means of moving on. Best of luck to Ms. Green, because she only gets one chance. After that her ability to reason will be suspect.

  2. Hmmm…I find it eerie that all of these labor lap-dogs continue to shove their socialist agenda up Silicon Valley’s A$$.

    But what I find even more troublesome is the fact that Darcie Green is the VP of the SCC Board of Education AND SHE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE! =O

    How can someone who preaches to our kids and young adults the value of education, feminism, forward-thinking and progressiveness, AND HAS NO HIGHER EDUCATION, be the second in-charge of the entire County School Board of Education???? And she wants to be our representative in the CA State Assembly????? =0

    WOW! So…her message to our youth will pretty much be: “have aspirations, don’t practice what you preach and do as I say and not as I do”.

    What a disaster…

    • Neither did Bill Gates. Lack of a college degree is no indicator of a persons ability to perform. I could give you a long long list of successful people without a college degree. Shall I continue or are we good?

      • To push the issue further: as political rep, Nora Campos performs as well as other Assembly members, and her college degree is from SF State in merchandising or something like that. That retail kind of degree does not do much for the Assembly job. So in that line, Green should be fine without a college degree–given that she was such a star student at James Lick High, and a stand out in Joe Coto’s office, with Ash, with Kaiser (which happens to have a major facility in Ash’s district), her cohorts at Alum Rock, etc.

        Hopefully Green is of the same caliber of person as Bill Gates when she comes to education boards or state government.

        • Nora Campos is a fraud and a cheat. But I can respect the fact that she holds a post-secondary education even though she isn’t putting that to good use.

      • You’re missing my point here ‘Bob’. People who make our laws, advocate for the ‘supposed’ well-being of our communities, preach the importance of education and hold a position of influence within our educational system ALL have a legitimate post-secondary education. Why? Well…because they lead by example, right?

        You are right, you do not necessarily need to be a college ‘graduate’ to be successful or be rich.

        BUT IF YOU WANT TO MAKE LAWS AND LEGISLATURE, RUN A STATE OR OUR COUNTRY, YOU NEED TO AT LEAST HAVE A POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION TO PROJECT YOUR LEGITIMACY AND BE RESPECTED.

        Last I checked, U.S President Harry S. Truman was the last American President with only a High School degree. HE WAS OUR PRESEIDENT MORE THAN 60 YEARS AGO!

        Times change you know?

        Darcie has built a name for herself, no doubt, and she has name recognition. However, if she has positioned herself to be a role model for our youth (particularly young Latinas) and preach the importance of education…but is not educated…sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it ‘Bob’?

        Now I ask you…shall I continue? Or are YOU good? ;)

        • I guess you’re not good. Let’s look at the founding father of our country.


          Little is known about George’s formal education. Commonly the children of Virginia gentry were taught at home by private tutors or in local private schools. Boys generally began their formal education around the age of seven with lessons in reading, writing, and basic arithmetic. Later they were taught Latin and Greek, as well as such practical subjects as geometry, bookkeeping, and surveying. Wealthy planters often sent their sons to England to finish their schooling, as was done with George’s two elder half brothers, Lawrence and Augustine.

          The death of his father, however, made schooling abroad an impossibility for George Washington. He may have attended a school near his home for the first few years. Later he went to another school, either in Fredericksburg, Stafford County, or Westmoreland County. He excelled in mathematics and learned the rudiments of surveying. But he was not taught Latin or Greek like many gentlemen’s sons, and he never learned a foreign language. Nor did he attend college. His formal education ended around the age of 15.

          Taken from here: http://www.mountvernon.org/georgewashington

          Basically a high school dropout, goes on to form the greatest nation on earth. Your turn.

          • “At age 11, George Washington inherited 10 slaves from his father. In those days in Virginia, the institution of slavery was considered “a given” and slaves, like land and other property, could be bought, sold, given away, rented out, and passed down through inheritance. As a young man, George was no different from other members of the Virginia planter class in his attitude that there was nothing morally wrong with slavery.”

            *Taken from the same source you’ve listed.

            I hope that you don’t actually believe that it was only ‘him’ that was responsible for “forming the greatest nation on earth” because if you do…then I’d actually question your level of education and knowledge of our nation’s history.

            *Hint: Founding Fathers*

            Indeed, President Washington was a high school dropout who was ALSO a slave owner and believed “there was NOTHING MORALLY WRONG with slavery”.

            The fact that he came from an already established family doesn’t support your argument.

            Point in case: You’re talking about more than 230 years ago! And since, 99.9% of our Commanders-in-Chiefs have had a formal post-secondary education.

            You’ve also brought up a good point there ‘Bob’.

            President Washington’s military service helped fortify his sense of accountability, responsibility and “progressive” thinking. Not to mention his devotion and sense of moral obligation to “serve” his country and be willing to die and kill for the establishment of such.

            He knew, from personal experience, what it takes to create, preserve and protect a democracy because he fought for it.

            Aside from Darcie and those mentioned in this article, who (from our local elected officials) knows, first hand. what it takes to preserve and protect our democratic way of life if they’ve only “pretend/ed” to “serve” by way of ‘public service’?

            NOBODY!

            Going back to my original point; having an education helps you gain legitimacy and respect, especially in the realm of public service.

            You don’t necessarily need a college degree to be a Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or a Pamela Anderson or a Hillary Clinton.

            But if you label and position yourself as a role model in wanting to influence and motivate young generations to take advantage of school and preach the importance of such…then don’t just ‘pretend’ to play the part but also, BE THE PART.

            Wouldn’t you agree that LEADERS LEAD BY EXAMPLE?

        • Chesty it would appear that a bug in this sites code only allows for threads to go 4 levels deep. I have to reply on my own thread for some odd reason.

          You keep chanting “Leader by example”. All I see in politics everywhere is the most influential people tend to be emotionally mature and have an innate ability to get people to like them. Here, have a NYT article that states 1 in 10 congresspeople does not have a degree.
          http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/congress/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

          This article says Anna Eshoo, D-Calif has no more than an associates degree she earned while home as a stay at home mom.

          http://www.nationaljournal.com/pictures-video/an-unlikely-path-members-of-congress-without-bachelor-s-degrees-pictures-20110923

          Our leadership should be an accurate slice of those they serve. Not everyone in Darci’s district even has the opportunity to go to college. I know, I went to school in the Alum Rock district. Despite not having a degree, she’s still a good Latina role model. She never got involved with some of the shadier aspects of Alum Rock (gangs, drugs), and has propelled herself to the forefront of local politics by just being a reliable and hard worker.

          And if we want to use degrees as judge of characters in a duel of semantics… Ted Bundy attended college.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy#University_years

          But not all college degree holders are serial killers.

          • Interesting points ‘Bob’. I appreciate you not being offensive or taking things personal. I have no doubt Darcie means well.

            However, my personal belief (as a former undocumented immigrant, college grad and U.S military veteran…mind you, I experienced first hand discrimination growing up and I too was given a slight change or hope of going to college; nevertheless, I pushed through) is that if a Latina with some name recognition is going to toot the horn of being a ‘smart intelligent Latina’ and preach the importance of attaining a higher education to young Latinas (especially in this day and age)….then she better “be” the part rather than “act” the Part.

            If Darcie Green want’s to be in the same category (which she does, trust me) as Susana Martinez, Hilda Solis and Sonia Sotomayor (all of high political influence and obviously educated) then she better present herself in a much more formidable manner than just an opportunistic ‘Latina’ and a ‘community organizer’ that by chance landed in the SCC Board of Supervisors. Obviously, she has high political aspirations driven by a personal agenda of the likes such as Cindy Chavez and Nora Campos.

            Coincidentally, none of these three ‘fierce’ Latinas speak a fluent word of Spanish! And when approached in such a manner they stutter and have a hard time communicating in such language. Funny how the majority of the people they represent are of ‘Hispanic/Latino’ ethnicity and ‘Spanish’ is predominantly spoken in their respected districts…yet…they’re only ‘Hispanic/Latino’ by name affiliation.

            Now that’s pathetic!

            At any rate…

            I’ll leave you with a quote that is predominantly used by all you ‘labor’ folks. And it reads: “Be the Change you wish to see in the World” -Mahatma Gandhi

            *Even he was educated!* ;)

          • Thanks Chesty. I don’t see you as having crossed any lines yet either, so I keep it civil.

            I want to say thank you for your service to this country. It’s a rare gift from citizens, that only one person in my family had the courage to do. That, and understanding the “slight change” as you call it, gives me an immense amount of respect for you.

            Did you know Ceasar Chavez dropped out in the 7th grade to help his family bring in the crops? From Wikipedia.

            In 1942, Chavez quit school in the seventh grade.[7] It would be his final year of formal schooling, because he did not want his mother to have to work in the fields. Chavez dropped out to become a full-time migrant farm worker.[5] In 1944 he joined the United States Navy at the age of seventeen and served for two years. Chavez had hoped that he would learn skills in the Navy that would help him later when he returned to civilian life.[8] Later, Chavez described his experience in the military as “the two worst years of my life”.[9] When Chavez returned home from his service in the military, he married his high school sweetheart, Helen Fabela. The couple moved to San Jose, California, where they would have eight children.[5]

            I think with Darcie, it was a situation of “Carpe diem.” She had an opportunity to do some good and she took it. Would it have been there in 4 years? Who knows?

            I’m not going to disagree about education though. I know it opens doors. I’m a self taught tech, and while I make a decent salary, I’ve routinely seen those with formal education are trusted by the companies they work for to go out and get certification (CCNA, CCSP, etc)

            Still though, sometimes all it takes is being civil, friendly, and just naturally smart to make change in this world.

        • “BUT IF YOU WANT TO MAKE LAWS AND LEGISLATURE, RUN A STATE OR OUR COUNTRY, YOU NEED TO AT LEAST HAVE A POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION TO PROJECT YOUR LEGITIMACY AND BE RESPECTED.”

          That’s nice. You can scream and shout all you want, but your feelings are irrelevant.

          • Now now Daniel, Chest and I had a reasonable debate, I think we both made excellent points/counterpoints and it resulted in a happy medium. Yes and education does make things easier as an elected official, but it’s not a requirement nor can it be used as a measure of effectiveness.

            BTW Chesty, I don’t mean to rile you up but, the above sentence Daniel quoted is chock full of grammatical errors. It’s a single run-on sentence that starts with a conjunction, and contains 4 conjunctions total. As a rule of thumb, never start a sentence with a conjunction, and no sentence should contain more than one conjunction.

            I had an english teacher I really loved (Miss Green had the same one) and her lessons have stuck with me to this day. If I were to rewrite it…

            Drop the conjunction at the start. It’s not needed and erroneous. Also drop the all caps. Try using a bold tag like that. Also “Legislature” is a noun, I think the verb you were looking for was Legislate. It means “To make laws” so really, you can drop the make laws part.

            Finally, since holding a degree isn’t a requirement, you should drop the word “Need”. Changing it to “Should” would be sufficient.

            If you want to legislate, or hold an office in our country, you should have an education from a place of higher learning. It will add to your credibility and command respect from your peers.

  3. No chance Sam Liccardo runs for Assembly if his mayoral run doesn’t pan out?

  4. One Buck Chuck (Reed fresh from his big $1 win) will continue to bring down all four council members running for mayor like a rock tied around their neck. Pension reform, or anything else that resembles it, does not move the needle for most voters. What they want are the services for which they have been paying taxes, but are not receiving, such as police protection is at the top, gang suppression, graffiti prevention, increased library hours, more code enforcement, better and faster response to all of their concerns, and many, many others. Developers can’t get inspections scheduled soon enough because of the general shortage of city staff.

    No one is buying that City employee costs are the reason that they are not getting their City services. People are savvy to the fact that this administration has not bothered to benchmark our employee costs against any other peer city to see if they are out of line, and if so, how are they out of line? San Jose pays its employees at least 10% less than most cities in the Bay Area, yet it’s claimed that City employee pension cost and retirement costs are said to be increasing. How is that even possible? San Jose employee costs should be benchmarked to any other city to see if it is truly out of line. Other than the standard three cities that Reed likes to use (Vallejo, Stockton and San Bernardino…which is not really good company for the 10th largest city to be compared to), no other city is claiming to have an employee cost problem. It is only the word of One Buck Chuck.

  5. Vote Dave, after 30 years working in San Jose we deserve better and time to start turning this once great city around.

    We do not need any Chuckie want to be. It is about better management, REAL transparency, and telling the truth (ok good luck with that one)

    Time to bring this city back to when I enjoyed going to downtown with my family to have a meal and feel safe.

  6. One of the biggest issues in San Jose is law enforcement. Why anyone would vote for some one who endorsed Laurie Smith, claiming they “didn’t know the problems” she was causing at the Sheriff’s Office is beyond me. That was his claim to the DSA, personally, I believe he was lying and simply did not care if there were growing problems at the Sheriff’s Office. As a BoS member, if he can’t spot a problem as big as Laurie Smith has created, how do the citizens of San Jose expect him to have the ability or will to fix the problem they already have there?

    https://caseythomas.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/from-a-womans-point-of-view/

    Just reading this article makes me sick about how incestuous this all really is. It doesn’t matter about ability… just that you’re already in office somewhere, or have family already in office “grooming you, so we can just move you like a chess piece in a game only the people lose at this point. Don’t worry, no one else will get in the game – if they do the “media” a la the Daily Fetch, San Jose Inside and The Left Hook will make sure they have no chance against the wall of insiders.

  7. One person not mentioned in this domino effect is ROSE HERRERA possibly running to fill Cortese’s seat on the board of supervisors should he become San Jose’s next mayor. She has no where to go after being termed out of the city council seat in 2016 and she is not going to place in the top two in the mayoral race. So, it is quite possible it will come down to a face-off between Nora Campos and Rose Herrera.

  8. The information that Kalra and Green were previously in a romantic relationship may be pertinent but the phrasing “…rival candidates have seen each other naked.” is inappropriate and disrespectful.

    • Oddly enough I’ve been both their friends for about 5 or so years, and just recently found out that they had dated. I thought it was disrespectful and distasteful. Hey Fly isn’t there a Campos story you could run?

  9. Yes, but how many successful educators are there without a college degree, Mr. Cortese?

  10. Yes, there is a bug in the site. When I hit “reply” to a particular post, my reply does not go to that post. Instead, it goes to the bootom of the list. Thus, it seems out of context.

    Also, the “Enter your comment here” does not disappear in the comment box, so you have to type over it, which makes it impossible to proofread.

    Overall, this new SJI site has a slicker look; but I preferred it when tnhe threads were listed in chronological order

  11. It’s a good thing for

    It was the labor dominated city-council that Dave served on which brought us the disastrous labor contracts that increased the budget problems of the last eight years or so, and the backlash called measure B. Yeah, I know, Chuck voted for them, too. So, if Dave gets elected mayor, which is likely due to all the Citizens United money that will pour into his campaign, history may well repeat itself. How quickly voters forget.

    When was Dave elected to the Board of Supes? However long ago it was, he certainly remained quiet as a church mouse until he decided to run for mayor, and now he won’t shut up.