A couple of weeks ago, Fly took notice of Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese’s penchant for sponsoring events in his colleagues’ districts, which looked a bit like an effort to boost his profile for the race he’s running for State Senate District 15.
Well, we heard quite a bit of feedback since then about Cortese dipping into his office budget for other self-promotional things, like Cortese-banded swag, which he appears to be using more in a more political manner than seems appropriate.
According to our spies, Cortese has been handing them out at events not just outside the county district he represents.
And he’s specifically setting up booths and doling out county-funded tchotchkes emblazoned with his own name in the bounds of State Senate D15, where he’s competing against San Jose Councilman Johnny Khamis, former Assemblywoman Nora Campos, former Federal Elections Commission chair Ann Ravel and some out-of-the-blue nobody named Tim Gildersleeve for Jim Beall’s seat.
At the Rose, White and Blue Parade—an event in Supervisor Susan Ellenberg’s district that Cortese sponsored with county money—the state Senate hopeful rode in a car flanked by volunteers hoisting “Elect Dave Cortese” banners, making it clear that it was blatantly a campaign appearance.
Yet, observers say, his entourage took the occasion to shower onlookers with some impressively high-quality tote bags adorned with his name under a county seal and accompanied by his District 3 phone number and online landing pages.
Meanwhile, some pilots at the Reid-Hillview Airport—a decades-old facility in Supervisor Cindy Chavez’s district that she and Cortese want to close—have been miffed about several big blue banners bearing his name that his staff hung on the fence to advertise the upcoming “Day on the Bay” in Alviso.
“It’s just tacky,” a resident pilot remarked when Fly swung by earlier this week to see the display firsthand. “Doesn’t he want to shut this place down? Take your banners somewhere else, dude.”