Dec 11, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics Comments (3)
George Shirakawa Jr. and Xavier Campos created fictitious businesses names that would have allowed them to escape detection of campaign finances.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office seized documents in a Thanksgiving eve raid that implicate Xavier Campos’ campaign in funding the red-baiting political mailers that helped him win a seat on the San Jose City Council. Now, records obtained this week by Metro/San Jose Inside suggest that the District 5 councilmember engaged in a highly unconventional campaign finance practice—one used by the incarcerated former county supervisor—that would have allowed him to establish phony campaign bank accounts that could have gone undetected by agencies monitoring election spending.
Dec 06, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics Comments (5)
New evidence seized in a search of George Shirakawa Jr.‘s home links Xavier Campos’ 2010 campaign to fraudulent political mailers.
A search of George Shirakawa Jr.‘s home the day before Thanksgiving turned up evidence that suggests Xavier Campos’ 2010 City Council campaign paid for materials to create a fraudulent political mailer that helped the San Jose city councilman get elected. The mailers portrayed Campos’ opponent, Magdalena Carrasco, as a communist to East San Jose’s Vietnamese voters, and Shirakawa’s DNA was found on a stamp affixed to one of the mailers. Campos ended up winning the primary election against Carrasco by 20 votes and later won the runoff.
Nov 27, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics, Business, Culture Comments (1)
The San Jose City Council banned expanded polystyrene (EPS) products from being used by local restaurants in August. The ban’s rollout begins in January.
A lobbyist-funded ballot initiative will attempt to overturn San Jose’s ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) to-go containers at local restaurants. Sponsored by the California Restaurant Association, a petition that gathered 38,952 signatures was turned in to the City Clerk’s office Nov. 18. But before the county Registrar of Voters verifies if the necessary amount of signatures were gathered, critics have already lodged complaints with City Clerk Toni Taber that the petition misled signers.
Nov 25, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics Comments (1)
Transcripts from a grand jury hearing looking into George Shirakawa Jr.‘s role in a poltiical mail fraud scandal remain public after a judge’s ruling Monday. (File photo by Geoffrey Smith III)
Judge Griffin Bonini denied a motion by George Shirakawa Jr.‘s defense attorney to reseal grand jury transcripts pertaining to the incarcerated former county supervisor’s alleged role in a political mail fraud scandal.
Nov 23, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics, Media Comments (1)
Grand jury testimony from late last month led to George Shirakawa Jr.‘s indictment in a political mail fraud scandal.
George Shirakawa Jr. is currently spending his days in the Santa Rita Jail infirmary, while his county-provided attorney is attempting to seal grand jury transcripts that shed new information on his alleged role in a political mail fraud scandal. Since the documents remain public for the time being, San Jose Inside has decided to publish the grand jury transcripts in their entirety.
Nov 20, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics, Media Comments (5)
San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos, left, and NBC reporter Damian Trujillo came together last week for a hard-hitting interview. Or was it free air time for a friend?
As previously noted in this space, it’s nearly impossible to get Xavier Campos to agree to an interview. It helps, however, if you have a close relationship with the media-dodging councilman like NBC’s Damian Trujillo, who scored a rare on-camera chat last week. What did we learn from Trujillo’s interview and a follow-up report? Hardly anything. But we did learn plenty about Trujillo and NBC Bay Area.
Nov 15, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics, Media Comments (7)
Xavier Campos may have relinquished his right to invoke the Fifth Amendment in a mail fraud investigation after giving an interview this week.
Getting San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos to agree to an interview is a difficult proposition. Unless you’re the New York Times or NBC Bay Area’s Damian Trujillo. The latter scored an on-air interview Thursday with the councilman, who invoked the Fifth Amendment in front of the grand jury last month. In his interview, Campos claims that he had nothing to do with a fraudulent political mailer that helped his defeat his opponent, Magdalena Carrasco, in the 2010 council race. He also said he took the Fifth because he doesn’t trust the District Attorney’s office. But, according to NBC’s legal expert, Campos might have said too much, and he could be recalled in front of the grand jury.
Nov 13, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics Comments (9)
A Santa Clara County Grand Jury drilled into financial transactions between George Shirakawa Jr. and California Assembly leader Nora Campos that occurred shortly after voters received a fraudulent mailer posted with stamps bearing Shirakawa’s DNA. Five thousand dollars changed hands as the Speaker pro Tempore’s younger brother battled in a tight race for a San Jose City Council seat, secured thanks to illegal, anonymous dirty tricks. Metro and San Jose Inside broke the Grand Jury report this week. Read part two of our report here.
Nov 13, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics Comments (7)
San Jose City Councilman Xavier Campos won’t cooperate with prosecutors investigating an illegal political mailer.
As deputies led George Shirakawa Jr. away last Friday to begin serving a year-long county jail term—for charges that could have sent him to state prison for up to eight years—a 283-page transcript sitting five floors beneath the courtroom escaped the media’s attention. It details a suspiciously-timed contribution from powerful California Assembly leader Nora Campos, Metro reports in an explosive cover story today. Prosecutors now allege that the incarcerated former county supervisor engaged in a “Godfather-like” conspiracy to strongarm East Side city council candidate Magdalena Carrasco out of the 2010 race against the assemblywoman’s brother, Xavier Campos. Councilman Campos has now invoked his right against self-incrimination in Grand Jury testimony. San Jose Inside is pleased to present this excerpt of the Metro story detailing how Carrasco’s opponents stole an election.
Nov 08, 2013, by Josh Koehn Politics Comments (9)
Once the top elected official in Santa Clara County, George Shirakawa Jr., middle, was immediately remanded after receiving a one-year jail sentence Friday for his pilfering of campaign funds.
Disgraced former county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. will spend the next year in jail for his pilfering of campaign funds. Judge Daniel T. Nishigaya on Friday sentenced Shirakawa, who pleaded guilty this spring to five felonies and seven misdemeanors, to a year behind bars, minus one day served. Following the ruling, he was immediately escorted out of court and taken into custody. A source within the county Sheriff’s Office tells San Jose Inside that Shirakawa will spend his time behind bars in Alameda County. He will receive probation for three years following his release.
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