Dave Cortese's isn't too proud toÂ play the game.
On the same day hisÂ campaign suffered a blow, firing spokesman Jay Reed following San Jose Inside's report of sexist tweets, the San Jose mayoral candidate withstood a legal challenge by the City Clerk toÂ join Sam Liccardo in opting out of the voluntary expenditure limit.
Just last month, Liccardo took aÂ boldÂ step in forgoing the spending cap so he could spend an unlimited amount of dollars in the runoff. At the risk of turning off voters who thinkÂ money has too large an influence on politics, he filed a Form 500 stating his intentÂ to sidestep the spending capÂ the day after the June 3 primary, according to City Clerk Toni Taber.
Liccardo's campaign manager, Ragan Henninger, told San Jose InsideÂ the decision was made to overcomeÂ "what we expect to be millions of contributions to our opponent through various special interestsâcard clubs, marijuana dispensaries and unions."
Both Liccardo and Cortese accepted the cap in the primary, and the latter put out a bristling statement July 10 objecting to Liccardo's decision to opt for the runoff.
âWell over a million dollars was spent between Sam and the superPAC of conservative CEOs supporting him in the primary,â Cortese said last month.Â âWeâre surprised that he is trying to turn back decades of local campaign finance reform by refusing the spending cap. In my opinion, we need less money in politics, not more.â
Apparently, that "opinion" didn't last long.
On June 17, CorteseÂ filed aÂ Form 500 stating he would stayÂ under the spending cap. But more than a month later, July 25, he filed an amended Form 500 declaring his intent to opt out. Taber's office filed a lawsuit as a result, noting that campaign law requires the form to be filed within 14 days of the primary.
A lawsuit was filedâ(we will update the post when we have the decision)âand a judge ruled Cortese's camp could proceed in opting out of the spending cap. Cortese told San Jose Inside in a text message Wednesday afternoon that he was not free to talk about his decision to opt out of the cap, just minutes after a previous text noted that his campaign spokesman no longer worked for the campaign.
Liccardo did not immediately respond to a text for comment.
This year's mayor's raceÂ hasÂ long been expected to be the most expensive in San Jose history. JustÂ through June 30, Cortese andÂ Liccardo'sÂ personal campaignsÂ combined to spend more than $1.4 million.
Correction: A previous version of this post stated that Dave Cortese's campaign filed the legal challenge. San Jose Inside regrets the error.