Ed McGovern

Mlnarik Accused of Breaking Campaign Law, Benefiting from Shadow Consultant

Since his unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Santa Clara City Council last year, attorney John Mlnarik has been on the legal warpath. To date, Mlnarik has sued: a couple whose diminutive dog allegedly nipped him on the hand while he was campaigning; blogger and political operative James Rowen for defamation; and a former employee, attorney Elena Rivkin Franz, who supposedly misused company resources to start her own firm and steal clients. The last two targets on that list are fighting back, however, and the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)—the state political watchdog—could have an interest in their allegations.

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Forrest Williams: Old Campaign Debt Not an Issue in Mayor’s Race

More than a baker’s dozen have declared plans to run for mayor of San Jose next year, but no announcement was more startling than former councilman Forrest Williams’. Out of the spotlight since his failed 2010 county supervisor bid against Mike Wasserman, his announcement last month came out of left-left field considering his past supporters at the South Bay Labor Council are all-in for former vice mayor and present county supe Dave Cortese. Fly isn’t the only one scratching its head over Williams’ kind-of, sort-of run. He said SBLC officials have called to “ask what’s my plan,” which is code for “WTF, Forrest?” There are some theories that 2010 figures into his new effort. A look at disclosure forms shows that Williams and his wife, Dorothy, had to forgive $116,950 they loaned his supervisor campaign. Williams insisted that he forgave only about $50-60K, though, and isn’t running to help pay off old debts.

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Did Xavier Campos Relinquish His Ability to Take the Fifth?

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.

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Political Consultants, Lobbyists Deny Running The Daily Fetch

The Daily Fetch takes no prisoners—at least that’s what political consultant and lobbyist Dustin DeRollo told Fly when denying he has any role in producing the anonymous links blog. In the past six months, the Fetch—under new ownership—has taken a decidedly aggressive tone in going after everyone from Mayor Chuck Reed, his City Council allies and defeated county supervisorial candidate Teresa Alvarado to Metro and its staff. But one group that has received far less criticism from the blog is the organized labor machine and its elected allies, such as Cindy Chavez. So, when DeRollo’s name turned up as the quasi-editor of a PDF the site posted for a story last week, speculation in Silicon Valley political circles percolated that he and his business partner, Tom Saggau, have been orchestrating the site. Both men say that couldn’t be further from the truth, claiming DeRollo was improperly ratted out as a source for a story he expected not to lead back to him.

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South Bay Labor Council Committee Spends Big on County Supervisor Race

The South Bay Labor Council spent almost a quarter-million dollars supporting Cindy Chavez’ successful run for a county supervisor seat, according to forms filed last month with the Registrar of Voters. The details of the labor organization’s staggering campaign fundraising and spending have not been made public until now. Taking into respect money spent by the Chavez campaign and other groups supporting her, it appears more than $750,000 was spent getting her into office. While few candidates can pull together a coalition of support like Chavez, the coordination between her campaign and outside groups raises some serious questions for the Fair Political Practices Commission.

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