Media

The False Narrative in Assemblymember Nora Campos’ Damage Control

Inter-office dysfunction has been a hallmark of Assemblymember Nora Campos’ time as an elected official.

Assemblymember Nora Campos is apparently that rare politician who just knows what the people want without asking. So, when she relinquishes half a million dollars to the state, rather than having a properly staffed office or conducting outreach services to her constituents, she’s bucking her budget allotments out of a noble sense of duty. That’s the message Campos’ communications director, Steve Harmon, trotted out during an interview with local radio station KLIV 1590 in response to a report Metro/San Jose Inside published last week. A closer inspection of Harmon’s comments, however, show that they don’t pass the smell test.

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Honda, Khanna Campaigns Beef on Twitter

Ro Khanna, left, and Congressman Mike Honda have yet to debate publicly during their congressional race.

In the digital age, election season never really hits its stride until opposing campaign staffers start beefing on Twitter. On Sunday, Andy Wong, a staffer for congressional candidate Ro Khanna, fired a tweet across the bow when he noted that Congressman Mike Honda (D-Fremont) had skipped his second candidate forum in as many days. Political consultant Barry Barnes noted in a reply tweet that Honda still nabbed endorsements from both forum hosts despite being absent, and the politician’s “track record speaks for itself.” And that’s when things started to get a little nasty.

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Xavier Campos Cuts off Interview after Questions about Unusual Business Filings

San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos has still not fully explained his reasons for creating fictitious business names identical to his campaign committees.

For nearly two months, San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos has repeatedly refused to talk with Metro/San Jose Inside about fictitious business filings he and incarcerated former county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. initiated for their past political campaigns. The business filings had identical names to their political committees. An experienced political consultant described the filings as “somewhere between suspicious and corrupt,” as they could have been used to cloak a duplicate, secret bank account. On Thursday, however, Campos finally addressed the unusual fictitious business filings, when Metro/San Jose Inside sent reporter Stephen Layton to the councilman’s public office hours at Mayfair Community Center. Registered for the event under his own name as a San Jose resident concerned about crime, Layton recorded the brief conversation, which took place in a public facility, with Campos and the councilman’s chief of staff, Nicole Willett.

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2013: The Year in Review

There was no bigger story in local politics this year than the sentencing of George Shirakawa Jr., the top elected official in Santa Clara County just a year ago. He was sentenced to a year in jail for stealing campaign funds, and a new trial on mail fraud begins next year.

The year 2013 will be remembered for its political turmoil, local and nationwide. A former county supervisor went to jail and the spotlight subsequently landed on his political buddy, a San Jose councilman. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to get married, and the president lied to the nation about domestic spying. San Jose Inside runs down the list of stories that caught our attention this year.

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Help Homeless Youth during the Holidays

San Jose has one of the largest homeless populations in the nation, and the recent cold weather has resulted in several deaths. (File photo)

Stories on the plight of the homeless during the recent cold weather have focused on adults living in encampments. But in San Jose there is another homeless population that rarely gets any attention:  homeless college students. CNN Money wrote about a homeless college student who was turned out of her Midwest school during winter break. Where do homeless students living in local college dorms go during winter break?

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Getting Covered in California

President Obama’s landmark policy, the Affordable Care Act, has been successful in getting people to sign up in California. The open enrollment deadline for health care through the public exchange ends Monday, December 23. (Photo by Jaime Soja)

It’s been nearly four years since I fought on the front lines of the health care reform battle, eventually resulting in the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). But that feels like a lifetime ago, as the landmark policy now serves as a punchline. Not long from now, though, the joke will be on the critics.

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San Jose State Icons Set Precedent for Equality Protests at Sochi Olympics

U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith, left, and John Carlos split a pair of gloves and raised their fists in the air at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City to protest the treatment of African Americans in what has been called the “black power salute.” (Photo via AP)

Raising their black-gloved fists in the night air of Mexico City in 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos were almost universally condemned. National broadcaster Brent Musberger, then a young sportswriter, referred to the men as “black-skinned stormtroopers.” Bringing home gold and bronze, the Olympic medalists received little more than spite from the country they proudly represented. But the iconic moment transcended sports and politics and time has corrected perspectives. Russia, now the host country of the upcoming Winter Olympics, presents a similar opportunity for athletes across the world to have their voice heard.

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