The Fall of the Campos Clan

Few scenes illustrate the fall of a once-powerful political family like a former labor boss passive-aggressively stalking people at Starbucks. But that’s apparently how Neil Struthers, former head of the local Building & Constructions Trades Council and husband to Assemblymember Nora Campos, has been spending his days since resigning his post in January. Fly’s told that Struthers has been staking out one East San Jose coffee shop in particular to glower and possibly snap smartphone photos of Councilmember-elect Magdalena Carrasco, who’s been holding public office hours there after defeating Struthers’ baby brother-in law, Xavier Campos, during the June Primary. Earlier in the summer, Struthers got into a chest-bumping tiff at Starbucks with former police union prez Bobby Lopez, who organized a well-funded committee to oust Baby X from office. With both Struthers and Lil’ X at career crossroads, Nora is the only member of the Campos Clan with a good job. But that could soon change. Holding little political sway beyond the title of Speaker pro Tem—a mostly ceremonial title as No. 2 of the State Assembly—Campos is being floated by county Supervisor Cindy Chavez as a replacement on the county Board of Supervisors for Dave Cortese, should he win the San Jose’s mayor’s race. In that scenario, Nora would have to win a special election and forfeit her final two years in the Assembly. Swapping seats could be easier said than done, though, according to experts who know the district’s demographics. More fascinating is whether Chavez, who returned to political life after losing the 2006 San Jose mayor’s race, is willing to expend the political capital necessary to save the Clan Campos from irrelevance. The family has accomplished little politically and its ties to George Shirakawa Jr.’s crimes may present too great a challenge for Chavez’ influence.

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14 Comments

  1. I would rather see a Sally Lieber or Otto Lee run for the seat. I don’t think Nora can beat either of those alternatives.

  2. Kind of considered bad form to kick a dog when its down. Still though, some useful stuff in here. While I can go on all day about what a disapointment Xavier was, Nora was actually a good rep for her district. She managed to convince the council to invest RDA money into the King and Story intersection.

    I also heard she took the gold in last years chair throwing competition in Sacramento.

    Fly, one request.. Can you find that funny picture of Neil staring at his wife’s posterior? It was posted with an article here some time ago. Makes me giggle every time I see it.

  3. Listen People of San Jose City Hall. Do whats right for the people of San Jose and be a strong leader for your district. Be a good example and lead by good example enough with the childish games, you are grown adults. SAN JOSE is in need of true real leaders to run the 10th largest city in the United States. City Officials stop wanting to make yourself look good on paper and really take the challenge to clean up San Jose and make it a strong,happy,healthy and productive city for many years to come. From my 3 years of living in San Jose, there has been more talking, less action with city officials. May The God of Israel bring righteous leaders to the City of San Jose for many years to come. Amen,and Amen. Have a great year San Jose. Peace,LOve and Prosperity upon the City of San Jose for years to come. Bless Up. One People. One World. One Love.

  4. Just wanted to say two people in a family is not a “clan” and Campos is not a Scottish name. On another note, does Josh know who was sitting with Bobby Lopez during the “incident” he keep writing about? Hint someone from the Mayor’s office that he does not want to name.

    • Ms Sanchez does it matter who Mr Lopez was having coffee with? The incident of note is that Mr Struthers continues to make the menacing faces, snap pictures and have confrontations with his family’s political foes. It is pretty pathetic when you think about how far he has fallen to this being his day job. Now he watches and stalks Councilwoman elect Carrasco? For what purpose other than to intimidate her and anyone in the communithy who meets with her. Is he making a hit-list of those who meet with her from neighborhood associations and senior groups so he and his political buddies can “crush” them or deny them services at a later time? It seems the leadership of the union backed Democrats (Shirakawa, Campos, Chavez, et al) play fast and loose with the rules during election season and don’t really believe in democracy because if THEIR candidate loses they completely lose their minds.

      Nora Campos is useless in Sacramento and the renovations at King and Story are a joke. She was completely out of touch with the community on their needs, the side she championed and shoved down residents throats has had a high turnover in businesses and most days looks like a ghost town (except for the people who park there to walk over to the Tropicana side to shop), while the Placita/Tropicana section that rebuffed her design control and RDA money continues to bustle and thrive. The COMMUNITY wanted and would have benefited from a local, walking distance Walmart but she insisted on the higher priced chain Target and that ridiculous overpriced Mexican furniture store that went under almost immediately. So now most Tropicana residents drive, walk or bus over the 101 overpass to district 7’s Walmart. Thanks alot Nora, you’re really tuned into your people.

      One can only imagine the chaos they will seek to unleash and inflict on SJ if their candidate of the day Cortese loses Nov 4.

  5. Liars and Cheats it does matter. And what does the sentence you’re really tuned into your people mean? You have lots of anger and I feel sad for you. Where does all your anger come from?

    • If you’re convinced it matters then name the person and stop dancing around it. The innuendo playing like there is something big and meaningful to reveal and then not saying it is misleading and one of the Shirakawa & Campos playbook standards. Say it and stop implying wrong doing or shadiness on Lopez’s part without completing the thought.

      “Thanks a lot Nora you’re really tuned into your people” was a facetious like indicating that Ms Campos is grossly out of touch with the Tropicana and D5 residents she represented during the RDA remodel of King & Story. She had grandiose visions of turning the Eastside corner into a Santana Row style walking mixed use corridor when that is NOT who the residents are or wanted.

      You’re right I am angry because for far too many years D5 has been the dumping ground for substandard wannabe politicos who get elected or appointed by the narrowest margins but still proclaim themselves icons of the community. I am angry because as a decades long resident of D5 I drive past cottage businesses run out of homes all along King Road, White Road, Story Road with NO regulation or consideration to the traffic and blight impact that has on residents and with total disregard for zoning laws. I have neighbors who have basically turned single family homes into apartment complexes renting out rooms to entire families so that there are sometimes 10 or more cars for one house without any code enforcement for number of residents in a households. I am angry because school test scores have been some of the worst in the Alum Rock Schools and charter schools provide options but have been blocked and also dumped with lightning speed on communities that weren’t planned or zoned to sustain additional non resident students on the streets and neighborhoods. Not since Blanca Alvarado left our district have we had a council person who truly was of the people and for the people. The Campos Clan’s fall from grace is all their own doing they are corrupt, hang out with corrupt and convicted people and they have benefited from the exploitation of the community with giving very little back. I for won and thrilled Xavier was beaten in the last election and I hope that the criminal investigation into the fraudulent mailers against Carrasco lands in his lap too. He got away with over a million dollars in the MACSA scandal (and yes I mean got away with it because he was either a idiot and they stole it from under his nose as CEO or he was part of it)

      D5 is tired of the Campos’ type “leadership” and there are a lot of people angry at them for exploiting us and thinking its ok.

  6. Liars and cheats I do not believe you live in D5. I also believe someone is paying you to write these things and you monitor anything the people who pay you ask you to do. Please use your real name but again I know you won’t. Please do NOT RESPOND TO THIS BECAUSE ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. In addition it does matter who Bobby Lopez was meeting with so why don’t you or the Metro name them. Please note everyone is entitled to write things as long as they are true and respectful so let others express themselves. You won’t change anything with your rantings. The problems you described about many people living in one home you can thank the Mayor. Per new regulations that was passed by our Mayor and council Code allows people to live in every room but the bathroom. Call the City Code department yourself. if you don’t believe me. I know I did.

  7. Paranoid much Ms Sanchez? If there are people who would be willing to pay for posts that are critical of the nefarious leadership of the Campos Clan, please tell me who they are, I’d love to sign up. You keep saying it matters who Bobby Lopez was having coffee with so one can infer you know who his coffee date was with (maybe you’re as much a stalker as Neil Struthers is) but it’s only important to you unless you name them. Why would it be Metro’s or mine? You are creating a gossipy innuendo with absolutely no substance to your implied accusation. So where’s the beef? YOU think is importand who Lopez had coffee with. Name them and let the public decide if its relevant or not. Xavier Campos, Nora Campos and Neil Struthers used to all have coffee and shared many meals at El Pirin with convicted felon and current criminal defendant George Shirakawa. Sometimes even at taxpayers expense on the P card. What is that old saying about the company you keep? I believe you are trying to imply who ever had coffee with Lopez is somehow shady. So name them or earn the gossip monger badge of dishonor for forum posting.

    Why is it you feel so entitled to dismiss other readers and citizens interested in public discussion? You can control your actions but you certainly can’t control mine. In other words, if ” enough is enough” simply stop responding. This is not a Communist state where you determine who gets to voice opinions. The problems that make me angry about my community lie firmly in the lack of real leadership in D5. 9 years of Nora and 4 of Xavier and in that same decade and a half the zoning violations that cause blight, over crowding and raise crime in my neighborhood have skyrocketed. They are ineffective leaders and have been unable to advocate for the residents of D5. You assume I and my neighbors have not continually called code enforcement and our councilmember’s offices for assistance. Yet no relief ever comes. So the SJI article about the fall of the Campos Vlan is music to my ears. The outster of Xavier after only one term is very welcomed news for D5 and reason to celebrate. They’re terrible ‘leaders’ and let’s hope that once they both get back to private life that they fade to black and cannot hurt communities with their ineptitude any longer.

    Your turn.

  8. They must be paying per word. Again use your name and I do not believe you live in Dist 5. The problems you describe are in every district because of the Mayor and his buddies. Again answer who did Bobby meet with?

    • Neil Struther’s stalking and confrontations to people who disagree with his family’s politics should serve as a pretty clear indicator of why so many people hold their tongues or voice their disagreement anonymously with the Campos clan. They’re vindictive and proven to go for revenge rather than mending fences.

      There are problems in every district in San Jose and the ones I brought up are not specific and exclusive to D5 but they are rampant in our community. Nora had 9 years as a council member and many more as a top aide to the previous council person (Manny), Xavier wasted 4 years of the community time without real leadership. Crime has spiked IN OUR COMMUNITY at a greater rate than other districts under their so-called leadership. During the MACSA fiasco Xavier tried to downplay his COO title because that would have indicated he was the idiot in charge who missed the misappropriation and theft of over a million dollars from teacher’s pensions so he called himself a “gang specialist” for 20 years. Well now as council member he acts as if he doesn’t have a clue about gangs because he has taken NO SPECIFIC AND EFFECTIVE steps to curb the surge in gang violence in D5. The blight and overcrowding is extreme yet neither made any attempts to increase code enforcement to improve the quality of life for the residents of D5. Again I say, good riddance to the Corrupt Campos Clan. Their friend and mentor George Shirakawa is still a criminal defendant for the mailer scam that helped Campos cheat his way to the D5 seat four years ago and we in the neighborhood all hope and pray that Campos will be his cellmate when the trial is done.

      “Again answer who did Bobby meet with?” This is YOUR question that you pose with great fan fare implying wrong doing on Lopez’s part. So inform the public, give the name or continue to keep your crown as the gossip monger of SJI.

  9. I still am asking who did Bobby Lopez meet with and why are you so against using your name. Simple questions you can answer so please spare everyone from reading anymore of our disagreements. I am getting bored.

    • Ms Sanchez apparently your version of the Campos standard “no comment” is “I’m bored”. You are still asking who Bobby Lopez was having coffee with when Neil Struthers stalked him and snapped pictures promoting the chest bumping incident. You have already indicated that you “know” who that person was yet you Refuse to simply name them yourself and end speculation.

      Appears you have a desire to be coy and dramatic without actually being forthcoming yourself.

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