Political Parties: Election Night 2010

Still, we have to ask the question, “What were voters smoking?” The state voted not to legalize pot, but in 420-friendly San Jose, we voted to tax it anyway, by a 4-to-1 margin. And we re-elected that crazy ole Jerry Brown over the eBay scold who got confused. 

“Election?” Meg Whitman must have been saying. “I thought you said auction.” No Meg, high bids don’t win. Maybe someday democracy will come with a blue “Buy It Now” button.

San Jose voters sent a mixed message to City Hall. While they tough-loved the generously-pensioned public employees—despite threats by public safety workers to show up late for fires—voters appeared to elect three pro-labor council members.

At the “Yes on V and W” campaign’s appropriately sparse command center in Willow Glen, doors opened just a few minutes after the announced 8pm time press event was to begin, and a handful of reporters entered to find the campaign consultant Victor Ajlouny sitting in an empty room surrounded by stacks of huge, unused red-and-white campaign signs. Pat Dando peered over his shoulder at what appeared to be a landslide.

“That’s it,” Dando said. “We can go home.”

Nobody in the room appeared happier than councilman Pierluigi Oliverio, who danced with himself and jumped up and down, blurting out “It’s fantastic!”

Mayor Chuck Reed declared it a “turning corner” event and gloated in interviews about the “mandate.” But one of his endorsees was going down in flames and the others were either up or down by less than two points.

The mayoral entourage headed over to Larry Pegram’s strip mall headquarters in Cambrian, where about 30 well behaved supporters applauded Reed’s entrance while enjoying a healthy snack spread of pizza, cheesecake and salted cashews. Reed told the Pegramites that “long time friend” Larry “took some heat,” and added, “I appreciate you doing that.” Pegram drew laughs with his observation that “We’re not real excited about what we’re seeing so far.”

The mayor’s Batmobile (okay, a black Crown Victoria) then sped off to the East Side, and we followed in pursuit, but his driver/bodyguard finally shook us off by weaving in and out of lanes on Highway 85. We located Madison Nguyen’s party amidst a tangle of foot spas, noodle restaurants and medical marijuana dispensaries. It was the most packed party of the evening. “What’s the capacity here, and does the fire department know about this?” we asked Nguyen, who looked stylish in white blazer and pants, with matching rhinestone-studded white, long-toed shoes. Nguyen admitted that she was nervous. “I didn’t think it was going to be this close.” 

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

6 Comments

  1. Whew, D9 is SAFE! I’m so glad we didn’t have voters like those in D5 and D7! Man, what were these people thinking? If I were Madison I’d re-think my behaviors and get out there and bridge build in my community.

    As for Campos, I am stunned that he won after everything that has gone on. WOW!

    I’m disappointed and sadden by the smug, arrogant, and gloating behaviors of some of our electeds regarding measures V and W. Don’t these politicians get the division, harm, and trust they’ve violated with City employees and public safety workers?

    WOW, I’m blown a way by the lack of professionalism, and decency of these people. I expected better from our Mayor. Even President Obama acknowledges the need for better communication, and collaboration of himself and both parties…

    • The Question: “What were we smoking?”

      Santa Clara County Voters are really nuts!

      Measure A (majority but not enough – 2/3- to pass)would have increased AutoReg fee $10 to pay for Children’s healthcare insurance! Don’t we have ObamaCare? The average voter isn’t smart enough to pass this as a hedge against repeal.

      Measure G – Passed – Bonds for CC’s secured by your property taxes – just about every other similar measure passed.

      Measure U – passed – Tax that weed! 10% no less! When will The City of SJ will start a “Revenuer” agency and get into protracted legal (if not gun) fights with the scofflaws???

      Prop 21 passed (in SC County) – would raise your AutoReg by $18 year to fund parks.

      Prop 24 rejected (in SC County)- would repeal legislation that helps business lower tax liability – Voters wanted to raise their own taxes but keep business taxes low?
      Prop 25 – passed (in SC County)- would lower the threshold to simple majority to pass the state budget from 2/3 while adding the incentive of “pass the budget on-time or lose pay” for legislators???? How much easier could we make their job?

      Prop 26 rejected (in SC County) – Raised threshold for approval for increasing “fees” (read taxes) from simple majority to 2/3 majority. We want to keep it easy for our elected officials to raid our wallets.

      In Santa Clara County, WE didn’t miss an opportunity to vote more pain to our pocketbooks while going out of our way to show our scorn for public safety professionals and how little we value them.  Well folks you asked for it. Now will you be so willing to smile and accept the consequences?

    • So Carrasco does not file her federal taxes for 7 years in a row, has two houses sold at auction—one after her bankruptcy—somehow gets these houses while unemployed and without tax returns to prove any income and you are wondering why she lost….Kathleen, if everyone did what Carrasco did, not file her taxes for 7 years in a row our society would be in ruins.

      I am glad the D-5 voters saw through her lies and the MACSA smear on Xavier…I wonder where she will move now?

      • > So Carrasco does not file her federal taxes for 7 years in a row, has two houses sold at auction—one after her bankruptcy—somehow gets these houses while unemployed and without tax returns to prove any income and you are wondering why she lost….Kathleen, if everyone did what Carrasco did, not file her taxes for 7 years in a row our society would be in ruins.

        The Metro said she was a wonderful candidate.

        They wouldn’t fib about something like that.

        Would they?

  2. “Nobody in the room appeared happier than councilman Pierluigi Oliverio, who danced with himself and jumped up and down, blurting out “It’s fantastic!””
    ….kind of a pathetic mind picture

    That “Batmobile” is actually the Mayor’s crown vic city car and his driver/bodyguard is a police officer assigned to drive the mayor around. Maybe he can start driving himself around to put another officer back on the street.

  3. Where was the Prop 19 victory party?  That was probably a fun event…despite the loss, they came real close.  Only the federal governments carefully timed announcement that they would enforce federal laws banning pot kept this measure from passing.

    I actually think the states should lead, rather than the federal government, and whether you care about pot or not, it would have been nice to force the feds to fight this one all the way to the Supreme Court and defend their position of federalism versus state’s rights.

    On local and statewide races, I’m glad most had comfortable margins as the close races invite the kind of silly tampering that threatens the fragile legitimacy of the democratic process.  Lots of games are still being played with provisional ballots and even rejecting mail in ballots fraudulently because signatures don’t looks right (which is code for you know the registration of this voter and don’t want their vote to count because it’ll be against “our candidate”).  The wider the margins, the less really bad stuff happens in the days and weeks after the election and the more faith and legitimacy the process gets.

    Voting is a civic duty, like serving on jury duty when called and not inventing some lame reason to be excused.  Let’s teach the young to vote religiously and lead by example, casting ballots in elections large and small and respecting the process.

%d bloggers like this: