Rich Robinson

Accountability Mailer or Hit Piece?

(There's a difference between an accountability mailer and a hit piece. Photo by Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Here comes the clutter of political advertisements. The public's least favorite time of year, when mailboxes are full of negative mailers and television ads assault the senses. First rule to remember: there is nothing that can't be said in politics, no matter how outrageous the claim.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Candlestick Park

Candlestick Park, the 49ers home since 1971, will get blown up to make way for a housing development. (Photo by cho_kettle, via Flickr)

The last game at Candlestick Park had all the elements for an appropriate send-off for the now hallowed ground, soon to become a mixed-use housing and retail project. Rich Robinson reflects on how the last game showcased the good, the bad and the ugly of what Candlestick represented for the last 55 years.

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Congressman Mike Honda’s Wake-up Call

Mike Honda, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, knows how to rally the base, but will that be enough?

Mike Honda—Silicon Valley’s globe-trotting, karaoke-singing, hard-partying congressman—has had a charmed career. Now, a well-funded challenger, Ro Khanna, asks whether being likeable is enough, or whether the public expects a lawmaker to work hard, write laws and fight to keep valley industries competitive.

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How Santa Clara Scored Big in Attracting the 49ers, Super Bowl L

This graphic rendering of the new San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara should be a reality next year.

Here it comes. The biggest, baddest sports spectacular in the United States of America. Super Bowl L—that is L as in roman numeral 50; and “L” as in “L”ove it—will be an unofficial national holiday. This is an extravaganza and event so special that it dwarfs all other sporting events. And to think it all started with one man’s vision, a letter and a personal visit.

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Who Wasted the Most Campaign Money in 2012? Well, a Lot of People

Rose Herrera spent $254,943.23 to keep her seat in the face of heavy spending opposition.

The deadline for semi-annual campaign disclosure forms covering the last half of 2012 came due last week. The documents provide a clearer picture of how winning and losing candidates raised money and how they spent it—or misspent it—in the final weeks of the campaign. We also tracked a number of political action committees (PACs). The most interesting findings: How much money was wasted in trying to defeat Councilmember Rose Herrera, a potential quid pro quo between the ChamberPAC and a person quoted in its ballot statement against minimum wage, and hangover debt for losing candidates Jimmy Nguyen and Robert Braunstein.

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Council Election Night Preview, Review

The day you’ve all been waiting for is almost here. No, not Election Day. We’re talking about the day after tomorrow, when people can put partisan politics to bed and go back to calling each other $%&#! at the dinner table based solely on the content of one’s character. For now, here’s en election night preview of the two City Council races.

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Story of the Week: Police Chief, Others Reimburse County for Shirakawa’s Spending

Metro reported this week that Supervisor George Shirakawa—the top elected official in the county—has been submitting fraudulent expense reports. He has spent thousands of dollars on lavish dinners, alcohol and luxury hotel rooms and rental cars with a county credit card. Amazingly, he avoided detection despite two audits of his county credit card purchases. Many of the people Shirakawa treated to meals were unaware that taxpayers were picking up the tab, and have since sent checks reimbursing the county. This group includes San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore.

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