Dave Cortese’s Unusual Emails, and the Cindy Chavez Hangover

In his run for mayor of San Jose, Dave Cortese has taken more than his share of credit for big picture collaborations, thumping a little chest in emailed press statements. (Hey, it’s election season. He ain’t alone.) But lost in the minutiae, the county supervisor, who is running against Sam Liccardo, has been sending out campaign emails from the same address he uses for constituent outreach in his current job—a frowned-upon practice. Fly confirmed with several sources that Cortese has also sent shout-outs to people who never signed up for the missives. Cortese dodged Fly’s phone calls, preferring to explain the unusual dual-role address approach in piecemeal emails. Noting a Rolodex developed over 30 years, Cortese said he uses the email account "primarily for media inquiries" but didn't deny using it for county business—which would shield the communications from public records requests. He also vaguely acknowledged that some email contacts were “derived from public records among other sources.” He added, however, that his campaign pays for the email account, recipients can easily opt out of the emails and no outside parties have given him their email contacts. Cortese has long been expected to receive an assist from the county Democratic Party’s committee, otherwise known as the United Democratic Campaign (UDC), in the November runoff. But it could be time to temper those expectations. While free to spend as much money as it wants on member-to-member communications, which is basically any locally registered Democrat, Fly was surprised to learn that the UDC has yet to spend a single dime on the San Jose mayor’s race, according to party chair Steve Preminger. In fact, the last campaign statement filed for the group in May shows the county party had more than $100,000 in debt with less than $67,000 cash on hand. Nearly half the debt, $44,781, came from leftover bills in getting Cindy Chavez elected to her county supervisor seat. Not surprising, nearly all of the money was owed to labor mailhouse Pacific Printing.

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23 Comments

  1. I don’t see an issue with it. It’s not a direct EO to constituent communications, nor is it a [email protected] address.

    Let’s look at it another way, it’s a generally public communication, not really any different than mailers. (note: I am not an agent nor am I an authorized mouthpiece for Dave’s campaign, but he is my cousin, and I’ll stick up for him when I see nonsense like this)

    • You have a dog in the hunt, so your opinions should be treated with extreme prejudice.

      Heaven forbid anyone involved let reporters do their job, and you (correctly) recuse yourself from the conversation.

      We aren’t interested in hearing Dave’s cousin, Mailman, or Barber’s opinion.

      • Usually when someone refers to themselves as “We” it’s a surefire sign they’re nuts. SJC is curious a few comments below, so I’m going to head over there. Have a nice day.

      • …but you and your “we’s” give blind cred to a “reporter” who goes by the name “The Fly?”

        We are doomed.

  2. So the county party doesn’t have the funds to support Cortese because they went into debt contracting with a mailhouse under investigation by the FBI in order to elect the lady who had her hands in the Norcal trash scandal?

    What is happening to our party?

    • What is happening to our party?

      Heh been asking myself the same thing. Asked a few high ranking folks “Why did Campos take the fifth” and just got the runaround. One guy kept repeating, “Well I know why” over and over, while another gal made some comparison to watergate. That and the attitudes of exclusiveness, the man bashing, really don’t make me feel that welcome there.

      Damn near ready to call it quits, but I’m gonna stick it out a bit longer and see where things go.

    • It feels like there exists a preference in the labor community to favor Cindy and her ambitions over Dave and his own. As is obvious, I do not support Cortese in this race, however I can sympathize with the fact that at every turn they treat Cindy as the Queen of Labor, but not Cortese as the King.

      Of course Cindy endorsed Cortese in this year’s election, but was there any tension created between these two labor juggernauts when Cortese ran against Cindy (and others) in 2006 Mayoral Race? Just curious if Robert or anyone else can shed light on this apparent favoritism towards Cindy.

      • I don’t think it’s a preference so much as it’s a level of respect they have for her, and her personality. She didn’t come from a well to do political family, and sort of came out of nowhere on the scene.

        By the time the 2006 mayors race came around, Cindy had already made a big name for herself in labor while she was on council. Also, between her time as council and BOS, she lead the SBLC. Having met her personally, I was shocked at what a genuine, nice person she is. Before meeting her, I imagined a shrewd, angry labornista, but the Cindy I met was warm, caring, big smile, sparkling eyes and a hugger (I’m a hugger too!)

        I won’t comment on Dave’s personality because I don’t want it to come off as a rub.

        • Agreed retired but even his wife has said, “He needs to learn how to smile more.” I was just replying to SJC’s question about why labor seems to favor Chavez over him. That’s why I didn’t want to go into detail about Dave vs Cindy, and just focused on what makes Cindy so relatable to people.

          • I have met both Mrs. Cortese and Sam Liccardo’s wife Jessica Garcia-Kohl(?) And they both are impressive women. Whomever gets elected – San Jose will have a fantastic first lady. Can we agree on that Robert?

      • San Jose will have a fantastic first lady. Are you kidding me! How about we get a fantastic mayor and council to fix this mess. Vote Dave

  3. I totally support Cindy and Dave. I also support Labor because too many corporations and mouthpieces like the Metro want to control the workforce. Unfortunately, many politicians of all parties agree that workers deserve no rights, retirement or health benefits. Labor unions lost the battle many years ago so please don’t refer to them as powerful. Corporations, Chambers of Commerce are very powerful and control the real power in this country. Look around you and San Jose is fast becoming another Oakland thanks to Mayor Reed and his buddies and all some people can do is talk about Nora, Cindy and Dave.

    • i always wondered why labor didn’t print a community newspaper? just around election time (months leading up to) seems feasible to me.

  4. > Look around you and San Jose is fast becoming another Oakland …

    I have NO idea what this means.

    Is San Jose getting the A’s? The Raiders?

    Is Occupy Wall Street about to shut down city hall?

    Is the city council about to become majority black socialists? What would black socialists do that would be worse than what white socialists or Hispanic socialists or Asian socialists do?

  5. I was wondering if San Jose Inside could maybe look into the awful traffic conditions in San Jose? the roads and infrastructure is falling apart and from what I have seen the San Jose City Council does is green light on more building.

  6. I’m at “LEAVE A REPLY”, and I feel like I just read the entire mercury News in 5 minutes. OK it takes 3 minutes.

    FLY, give us something entertaining! OK?
    The Village Black Smith