Two major political adversaries nearly hooked up last week, threatening to disrupt a rivalry in local politics. In its monthly meeting, the labor-dominated Santa Clara County Democratic Party voted on whether to join the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. While these two organizations broke bread decades ago on infrastructure projects and more recently held hands on homelessness issues, they are usually ideologically opposed—namely on issues such as pension reform and minimum wage and the contentious San Jose mayor’s race between Sam Liccardo and Dave Cortese. A source says there was “lots of tension” in the room last Thursday, and perhaps no one was more agitated than recently vanquished San Jose council candidate Tim Orozco. The runner-up in the District 4 special election took the proposal as a personal affront after the Chamber PAC—a separate political committee financially supported by the chamber—spent almost $60,000 to support his opponent, council member-elect Manh Nguyen, and another $16,000 on “attack” pieces. But because party members Craig Dunkerley and Herb Engstrom brought the proposal forward, it had to be considered. The two men serve as president and treasurer of the Santa Clara County Democratic Club, respectively, which is already a member of the chamber and has a history of more conservative politics than the Party at large. In the end, a “vigorous” discussion led to the idea being overwhelmingly shot down. Party chair Steve Preminger noted that his organization doesn’t even join groups in which it is ideologically aligned on all issues—BAYMEC, the Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters, etc.—but will consider partnerships with the chamber in the future.