Like other voters, I have received the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce hit piece on Cindy Chavez as well as the “Cindy Chavez stole my home” phone calls from the same Chamber political action committee, COMPAC. Unlike others, perhaps, I am not surprised by their tactics. After all, the Chamber is an organization of, by and for the local business community. They are empowered to look after the special interests of their members, representing a very small but vocal portion of the population of our city who seek a large influence at City Hall. It just so happens that these may not be the same interests of the vast majority of our citizens.
What is surprising to many is the very public participation of Chamber of Commerce CEO Pat Dando—heretofore someone held in high ethical esteem in San Jose—in these dirty tactics. I guess everyone has their price, and we now know what Dando’s is. What made it worth her while to commit ethical suicide? Perhaps it’s a case of “buyer’s remorse” over choosing Mulcahy as the Chamber’s anointed candidate, as Tom McEnery suggested this week. However, I am more inclined toward the view that this is just par for the course for such an organization, and Mulcahy being one of their ilk, it is only natural that the Chamber should anoint him. Now that Dando has gone to Rome for a paycheck, she is just acting like a Roman.
We still have nearly two weeks to go and much negative campaign slime to trudge through. By the end of next week we should have gotten hate mail and calls on every other candidate from the usual suspects. The Chamber has proven itself no more credible than anyone else who acts in this way, and just as unethical. Everyone loves to criticize the South Bay Labor Council and other organizations for the same kind of tactics, but they are all, including the Chamber, up to the same thing: looking after their own and trying to get influence at City Hall.
The vast majority of voters, for their part, will likely ignore all of this trash, which is exactly what they should do. Voting candidates into office who only look after their own special interests is what has gotten this country, state and city into the trouble we are in. The voters are on to this now and are hopping mad. They know that the best office holders are the ones that look after everybody’s interests, not just those of their backers, and will be voting accordingly.