San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos is already under investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission, and a new charge against his buddy, former county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr., could make matters worse.
Will Xavier Campos ever break free of George Shirakawa Jr.’s shadow? Last week, District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced a new felony charge against Shirakawa after the former county supervisor’s DNA was found on a stamp affixed to a 2010 political hit piece against Magdalena Carrasco, Campos’ San Jose council opponent that year. Campos released a statement that failed to deny involvement. A look back at some of his 2010 campaign disclosure forms has now created some intriguing new questions.
Cindy Chavez, right, celebrates her special election primary victory Tuesday night. (Photo by Aron Cooperman)
The Fair Political Practices Commission awarded a cookie last week to Cindy Chavez, champ of Tuesday’s county supervisor primary. FPPC Chief Enforcement Officer Gary Winuk ruled that mass mailers shared between Chavez, the county Democratic party and the South Bay Labor Council followed the Political Reform Act to the letter, which must mean it was written in some kind of Cyrillic and Arabic scramble. Part of the ruling stated that anyone who registers with a party is considered a member, even if they don’t pay dues, which means a party’s candidate of choice basically has an unlimited amount of coordinated funds at their disposal.
Joe Simitian has continued to raise tens of thousands of dollars through his officeholder account since winning back a county supervisor seat last year.
Joe Simitian takes exception with the notion that he isn’t transparent. On Tuesday, the recidivist county supervisor waxed pedantic, crashing the Finance and Government Operations Committee meeting to argue that the county could get sunburned by a new policy of publishing county officials’ calendars. But could this all have something to do with Simitian’s perpetual fundraising?
Santa Clara Family Health Foundation CEO Kathleen King, left, has an attorney challenging a pubic records request into her nonprofit’s internal communications.
The Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, a local nonprofit that helped bump up the county’s sales tax last fall, doesn’t want the public to know about its secret political activities. And now it’s lawyering up to quash Metro/San Jose Inside’s public records act requests.
Stacey Hendler Ross attempted to have a local radio station kill an unflattering story about her former boss, Cindy Chavez.
Stacey Hendler Ross used to be KNTV’s late night anchor, and later worked as a globetrotting KGO journalist, covering everything from the Columbine massacre to Princess Diana’s funeral. But now her life is less exciting and she’s on the other side of the First Amendment, plying her trade as the spin manager for the South Bay Labor Council. Apparently since she no longer has a captive TV audience—her March 2012 Democratic TV video got a whopping 131 views on YouTube in the past 13 months—she doesn’t think others should be able to inform the public either. At least if it involves sullying the pristine reputation of former SBLC head Cindy Chavez, who’s running for her good buddy George Shirakawa Jr.’s supervisor seat.
Teresa Alvarado, left, has a a broad coalition of supporters who have come together to defeat Cindy Chavez.
Cindy Chavez is a people-uniter. How else could one explain why so many incongruous political actors of varying stripes are singing Kumbaya as they work to defeat her in the county supervisor race to replace George Shirakawa Jr. Progressives and conservatives in Silicon Valley are teaming up to battle the Chavistas, and it’s causing some friction for top opponent Teresa Alvarado as she stitches together a coalition.
Cindy Chavez tried to keep George Shirakawa Jr. on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and now is running for his seat.
On January 22, five weeks before former Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. was charged with 12 criminal counts, Cindy Chavez met District Attorney Jeff Rosen for lunch at P.F. Chang’s in downtown San Jose. Not only did Chavez throw down the race card and lobby Rosen “not to do anything,” South Bay Labor Council’s new executive Ben Field also lunched with Rosen and echoed the message.
San Jose Councilman Kansen Chu is running his third campaign in seven years, as he hopes to join the State Assembly.
To the delight of hungry volunteers throughout Silicon Valley, San Jose Councilman Kansen Chu is back on the campaign trail. Chu, known for generously feeding his election workers—who at times double as his council staff—hopes to fill the seat of State Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, who is running for a State Senate seat. One of Chu’s likely opponents is Teresa D. Cox, a trustee on the Ohlone Community College Board who previously worked as a White House community coordinator during the Bubba administration back in the ’90s.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen, left, and County Executive Jeff Smith are in a stand-off that is now being forwarded to the office of Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Two years ago, District Attorney Jeff Rosen cleverly cushioned the effects of county-mandated pay cuts for some of his senior prosecutors through an accounting loophole. After his top supervisors were disproportionately affected by the cuts, he started giving them “admin leave” so they could collect vacation time for a payout down the road to replace lost wages. The slick move, legal under county policies, got the attention of County Executive Jeff Smith, who’s now asking Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate. The question is: What’s really happening here?
The emails of County Executive Jeff Smith show he took an active role in keeping labor-aligned nonprofit executives Cindy Chavez and Bob Brownstein up to speed on a variety of county issues.
When Teresa Alvarado announced that she was running for George Shirakawa Jr.’s vacated county supervisor seat, County Executive Jeff Smith helpfully forwarded the email to Working Partnership USA’s executive team: Bob Brownstein and Cindy Chavez. The forwarding of memos by Smith highlights the cozy relationship between the County of Santa Clara and Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA), the organization led by longtime labor union executive and current supervisor candidate Cindy Chavez. WPUSA is joined at the hip to the powerful South Bay Labor Council (SBLC), with whom it has historically shared offices, facilities, equipment, political objectives and allocated employees. Last year, SBLC led the effort to raise county sales taxes by $500 million over the next ten years and to increase San Jose’s minimum wage by 25 percent. It also endorsed 70 candidates for political office. Working Partnerships has been the recipient of at least $518,163 from the cash-challenged county in the past two years, performing a grab bag of services. Newly released documents obtained via a San Jose Inside public records request show the county’s contracts represented about 15 percent of Working Partnerships’ revenues for those years.
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