Chamber of Hypocrisy

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.


  1. San Jose Chamber SOLD OUT San Jose years ago when they became SJ/Silicon Valley Chamber for large HiTech company membership dues and the focus changed from local issues to regional, state and national lobbying for HiTech company tax subsidies, credits and H1 visas

    Many HiTech executives have very low ethics – stealing intellectual property to start new companies and many IPO and stock frauds while Silicon Valley Chamber is lobbying California legislature & US Congress to exempt them from paying local taxes while promoting higher local sales taxes from many laid off workers who’s jobs they continue to send jobs overseas

    SJ/Silicon Valley Chamber is NOT ” an organization of, by and for the local business community. ”

    Remember where Ron Gonzales came from – 10 years at Hewlett Packard – Education Program Manager and HiTech executive campaign contributions paid to get him elected

  2. Clearly, the Chamber mailers are back-firing.

    Pat, obviously received bad political advice.  Now the focus is on the Chamber’s ethics, not any candidate.

    It is important in politics not to over-reach with your attacks.  If you are going to hit someone on ethics, it is best you have the image of Ceasar’s wife.

    When Mike Fox Sr. comes out against you,  it is clear you have lost the moral highground.

    Advice to the Chamber;  when you are in a hole—stop digging .  The attacks should stop and an apology should follow.

    If not to Cindy and the public, at least to the organizers and supporters of the Grand Prix.

  3. With people like Reality Check supporting her, there is no question in my mind that we are going to see a hit piece from Cindy’s camp that will make the C of C mailer look like small potatoes.

    And nobody seems to be paying attention to Dando’s statement that the Chamber has always supported the GP race and even supported the extra $4M.  They just don’t support the way the $4M was presented to the rest of the Council by the Gonzo-Chavez team, and they have every right to be annoyed by that type of underhanded BS and to want someone besides Cindy for Mayor.

    Since I don’t want to see Cindy get elected, I say, keep the hit pieces coming.  The electorate in this town is unfortunately out of touch and apathetic and many will go with Cindy just because she has the title of “Vice Mayor” so the more mailers that provide reasons not to vote for her, the better.

  4. Re #3:

    The chamber now follows the “Bush” leadership example and claims to be “deciders” who need not take advice or direction from any reasonable and ethical folks.  I highly doubt that they can dig out of this hole as they still don’t “get” the mistake they have made.

    Really sad to see the chamber self destruct in public.

  5. Thank the Silicon Valley Chamber for Ron Gonzales ( x HP ) who did the Grand Prix back room and other ” the deal is done ” for fellow hitec executives

    City Council and Chavez voted for tax money after Ron who controls city budget wasted tens millions on lawsuits and tax dollars giveaways to his friends
    Watch where Ron and his wife go now – Hitec or construction companies with city contracts

  6. San Jose needs it own San Jose Chamber to promote San Jose’s local issues, neighborhood business districts and small businesses not advance Silicon Valley’s ” get rich quick” by outsourcing local jobs which hurts San Jose residents and city government taxes

  7. Clearly, the mailers have had an effect. Why else would Cindy have started focusing on ethics (not her strong suit) instead of her mantra of wanting to be the Mayor of Schools?

    Why else would she have brought in Susan Hammer to try and bolster Cindy’s ethics image? The same Susan Hammer who employed DARREN SEATON on both her mayoral and campaign staffs. Hardly a ringing endorsement for her ethics credentials.

    The Chamber has nothing to apolgize for. No one is disputing the accuracy of the information they put out. Sure it stings, because the truth hurts.

    If Cindy had the ethics she pretends to have she would not have accepted the job of Vice Mayor from her mentor, she would have done the right thing the first time regarding the Grand Prix funding, she would not continually be doing too little and too late in trying to establish her ethics credentials.

    She had her chances, over and over again, and she chose not to do the right thing. Too little, too late.

    Not this time Cindy.

  8. We need to stop this continuation of the Gonzales legacy.  Tommie Mac and Susan Hammer gave us a good team, and Gonzo is given us nothing.  One Buster Brown running for Mayor in Santa Clara is even a guy whom Gonzales hugged and said he was his favorite city employee.  Imported Gonzos for every town in the Valley.  Isn’t that something to look forward to?  We will have a Gonzo disciple in Santa Clara, and one in Sunnyvale, and then the world!

    Stop the madness, go for Dave and urge your friends to stop the Gonzo machine from invading the rest of the South Bay

  9. Re #8

    If the chamber has nothing to apologize for, why has Mike Fox Sr. resigned, as well as Susie Wilson?

    The Merc has this to say about the chamber’s actions:

    “Like Christmas decorations going up before Halloween, political hit pieces in the San Jose mayor’s race are arriving early in the campaign season. The most flagrant is courtesy of, to our surprise, the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.”

    The fact of the matter is that the chamber has also offended many downtown businesses by attacking the car race, and they might also have broken local campaign laws by sending out these attack pieces on Cindy.  From the Merc:

    “City law requires that independent expenditures on behalf of or against a specific candidate be funded by a committee that raises funds in amounts of $250 or less.”

    The chamber is: 

    “using funds that were donated in $500 increments or more, according to COMPAC treasurer Kirk Pessner.”

    It is exactly your stance that the chamber is taking, and as RR stated above they are digging a hole that they may not be able to get out of.

    If this is the way the chamber wants to campaign, then let them, and their membership will walk, which will leave the chamber with even less influence then they now have.  The chamber has a losing record in elections, and these actions are sure to guarantee more of the same.

    The chamber has had their chances over and over again, and they chose not to do the right thing.  Too little, too late.

  10. There are plenty of reasons to walk away from the Chamber, I just don’t think this is one them.

    Who knows why Fox and WIlson really resigned. Fox is not a San Jose resident and Wilson has her own political agenda.

    Again, no one disputes the accuracy of the information, so why is it a “hit” piece? If, in fact, they have violated the law, they not only should they apologize but they should also pay the penalty. Just because Cindy’s folks say it violates the law doesn’t make it so. Let them take it to court if they feel the law has been broken.

    Of course, the Chamber has a losing record in elections. Look at the candidates they back. They are out of touch with the citizens of San Jose on most issues.

    The key point of the Grand Prix mailer was the deceptive, backroom process that took place without benefit of full public discussion (and not much council discussion.) The issue is not should we have the race or not. The Chamber favors the race but not the secret process that took place. Sure, they are not the best messengers to carry this message, but someone needs to.

    If the voters focused more on issues than on the candidates spinmeisters, we might actually get a competent mayor for the first time in 7 years.

    Focus on the important stuff.

  11. With all that has happened over the last few months…..the Chavez hit pieces, the sure failure of Mulcahy in the race….and now the resignation by Mike Fox Sr. and Susie Wilson… I think it is safe to say that the Chamber will be looking for a new leader very soon….if they haven’t started already!!  Pat is lucky if she makes it through the end of 2006. Maybe she should think about returning to Sacramento, assuming Arnie is re-elected!!

  12. OK, the Chamber didn’t use the best judgment with their “hit piece”.  However, does anyone dispute the Vice Mayor’s lack of ethics in her dealings regarding the Grand Prix?  Yeah, the messenger could use improvement, but is the message true?

    Mayor Chavez = Mayor Gonzo

  13. Has the Chamber said anything false?  I have not seen any false statements.

    Chavez misled us on the Grand Prix vote and she pushed the Campos memo through Rules.  How is that open government?

    We don’t need 4 more years of last minute memos.

  14. While the COMPAC campaign has stooped to the mean spirited attack approach that has until now been the exclusive domain of the South Bay Labor Council (Darren Seaton, Bob Brownstein, Philip Bump, et al), there is a fundamental difference. COMPAC has delivered FACTS, which have not and cannot be disputed. SBLC and Company routinely mislead voters with outright lies. Notice how the SBLC gang has been cleverly spinning focus away from the damning statements in the mailers,  fashioning a reponse that discredits the author without denying the charges?

    Where was Chavez & Company and the rest of Labor’s stooges when Darren Seaton conjured up the dishonest campaign attacks that helped elect Terry Gregory?  I don’t recall a rally of SBLC family righteousness when Seaton fashioned the desperate lies leveled against the opponent of Nancy (Hey kids, what time is it?) Pyle. Today, Ms. Doody chuckles (read Metro) about the lies that assured her the victory she couldn’t have possibly earned on her merit.

    What’s cooking in Seaton’s kitchen this time around, on behalf of this years’ SBLC Puppet Show? We’re sure to once again see Darren’s delivery of dishonest character assassination leveled against the opponents of Manny Diaz and Jay James, but will it be next week, or will they hope and wait for a runoff scenario??

  15. The fact is that the chamber is as unethical as they claim Cindy has been.  In using COMPAC money for hit pieces against Cindy they have violated the law, and in doing so they demonstrate the same actions they “claim” they are against.

    Did Cindy use the best judgement in her dealings for the car race?  I would say no, however at the time the chamber had NO problem with the cost to the city, and now, all of a sudden they do?  I supported it before I oppsed it?

    When you point a finger at someone, four end up being pointed back at you, and while the chamber claims Cindy is “unethical” the truth is that they are no better.  The chamber has dragged itself through the mud, and because of that are as dirty as what they used to be against.

  16. Does anyone know how I can view the mailers from the Chamber?  I live just outside of San Jose (and thus haven’t received them) but would like to see what all of the controversy is about.

  17. Dando hates Chavez,,and wants to control the Valley, like Guadino.  El Ron wants his staff to run for Mayor positions all over the valley

    Can Bush send the 101st Airborne to Gonzelez’s Baghdad Palace to liberate San Jose from El Rono and the Gonzalez Republican Guard??

    Tommy Franks, Rummy, help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  18. 18 – You sound like you have joined the ranks and become Capt. Spinmeister.

    The Chamber is as unethical as Cindy? C’mon. Only you and other Cindy supporters will buy into that argument.

    They supported it before they opposed it?? Another nice try. They support the race (which shows questionable judgement) but they do not support the continued deception and backroom deals that Cindy has been involved in.

    And, as usual, none of Cindy’s supporters question the truth of the mailer. They just don’t like the fact that it puts their candidate in a bad light by shining the light of truth on her.

    At least we can surmise from all this that due to Cindy’s great distaste for this type of mailer, she will only send out campaign pieces that deal with the truth. Yeah, right.

  19. #18 You’re missing the point.  The chamber isn’t saying they oppose the expenditure now, the chamber is saying they don’t like how Cindy did this deal behind closed doors, sprung it at the last minute on the council and the public while feigning ignorance of the negotiations that took place over the previous months.

  20. 22

    The Merc has already called the chamber on their unethical acts as they “don’t pass the smell test.”

    Further, just to be clear, I am not a Cindy supporter, my vote goes to Pandori. 

    Regardless it is a sad day when breaking the law is ok, the fact of the matter is that these “mailers” are hit pieces against Cindy, when the chamber claims they are “issue” mailers.  According to campaign law the chamber cannot make an IE for or against a candidate if the funds they use are over $250 per donation.  The chamber admits that the money raised is over that amount, but they continue to “claim” that these are issue mailers.  Funny how the “issue” is Cindy over and over, without any mention of any other candidates.

    The truth?  How about the fact that Cindy wasn’t the only vote on the Tropicana issue?  Her “power” was but ONE vote of a majority, yet the mailers fail to name the others who also voted the same way?  I had no idea that Cindy, by herself, was responsible for taking away property rights from people and businesses.

    Or how about the mailer from the chamber that says the car race is “costing taxpayers millions” and they leave out that THEY support spending those millions?  Instead the mailer states “That’s money that could have been spent on parks, public safety and libraries.”  Funny, I don’t remember Pat Dando making that claim when she supported spending the money for the race.

    The truth of the matter is that the chamber is hiding their own past actions while claiming that somehow what Cindy did was counter to their position.

  21. Were the Chamber’s mailings hit pieces?

    Chavez, The Merc Editorial Board and SJI have taken that position. But there seems to be a number of other credible voices that think otherwise.  Here is a couple that I’ve found today:

    The basic question seems to be: How can the Chambers mailers be considered a hit piece if they accurately reflect the candidates actions and voting record?

    Does anyone seriously dispute that Chavez brokered a secret deal for the Grand Prix and voted for the eminent domain takeover of a privately owned shopping center? Those were the claims made in the Chambers mailers. They are accurate claims.

    It’s one thing to get your supporters, and even some non-supporters, to cry “smear” but has Chavez, the Merc or SJI made any attempt to dispute the actual content of the Chambers mailers?

    The truth is not a smear. Challenging an incumbent politician’s record is not negative campaigning. Anything else is just political spin.

  22. How about the fact that Michael Fox and Suzy Wilson are backers of Cindy Chavez, that is why they criticized the piece. Who else has? Cindy is really trying to spin this one in her favor but I think that it is going to backfire.

    And come on, that business journal poll was a joke. You really think that that many more people will vote for Cindy as a result of backlash of that mailer?

  23. “Mayor of Schools”???!??

    Don’t we have local school boards to handle schools? 

    I’m for keeping city, state, and federal governments as far away from our local school districts as possible.

  24. Cortese got to the point of the Grand Prix issue on the Merc forum today:

    Q: When the Grand Prix subsidy originally came before the council you voted against it but said you might have voted for it had you been given more time to review the proposal. Now you are adamantly against it because it took money from neighborhood services. Shouldn’t you have been adamantly against it from the beginning?
    Lan Tran, San Jose, CA 5/25/06

    A: That’s a great question. When I voted against the Grand Prix, I challenged the city staff to prove to me that the investment would return dollars to the City’s general fund. Any investment that will return equal or greater dollars to the general fund should be supported. Two weeks after the initial vote, the staff came forward with the answer to my question, which indicated that it would take as much as nine years for the City’s general fund to recapture the initial $4 million investment. I predicted that that would be the case during my initial vote. It’s all there in the record. So I think it’s fair to say I was adamantly opposed from the beginning. But the real point here is that the Council was presented with a backroom deal and asked to make a decision on approximately 24 hours notice. That should never happen at City Hall.
    Dave Cortese 5/25/06

    The Grand Prix is still a bad idea even if you do not consider that Chavez led a vote with no notice.  Chavez is for open government, that is a joke.  RR, you still want to defend Chavez’s vote?

  25. #24

    I think you are missing the point.  The mailer, which i have in front of me states that the money okd for the race was a bad decision. the headline “Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez voted to spend millions of dollars for car races, then cut funding for libraries and parks.”  Then at the bottom there is this: “That’s money that could have been spent on parks, public safety and libraries.” 

    Yes, the mailer does mention the “backroom deal” but then goes on to knock the actual expenditure, when in fact Dando continues to state she supports the money for the race downtown. From the Mercury “Chamber Chief Executive and former San Jose Vice Mayor Pat Dando, in fact, spoke publicly in favor of the Grand Prix subsidy at the time. When “you look at the amount of marketing and notoriety and civic pride that you create with these funds,’’ she told the council at its Jan. 10 meeting, “I think it’s well worth it.’’”

  26. I’ve got to go after this again; if Pat Dando did a “bad” thing does that mean Ms. Chavez should be Mayor?

    Bad Pat…Good Cindy – Not!!!!

  27. Congrats to Mike Fox Sr.  the San Jose Mercury News, Business Leaders and many on this board.

    Without passing or enforcing a single new law, the chorus of outrage concerning the messages by the Chamber and how it was delivered has made others think twice about utilizing unethical tactics in campaign messaging.

    Make no mistake, this outrage and free speech is far more effective than any law one could write or govenment entity could enforce.

    If every outragious mailer were treated with the same disdain,  hypocritical, false, misleading and personal political attacks would go the way of the dinosaur.

    They are only used because they have worked in the past.

    Having said that, look at Scott Herhold’s column today.  Truth, whether positive or negative, is what the voters deserve when they make a decision.

    The veracity of the campaign ad, the rationale for its distribution and the source that produces it are far more important than whether the tone is positive or negative.

    Voters deserve the truth, the unvarnished truth, so they can make the most informed decision. 

    Having credible individuals take a stand ,on principle, concerning campaign messages is far more powerful than trying to pass a law.

    Again, congrats to all.

  28. Way to go, Rich. You successfully supported both sides of the issue.

    BTW, which category would you put the Chamber mailer? “…hypocritical, false, misleading and personal political attacks?” I assume the only one you might be able to make a weak case for would be hypocritical.

    You don’t have a problem with the Chamber mailers because they contain truthful information, do you?

  29. Dear San Jose:

    I think that #14 raises a good question:  “Has the Chamber said anything false?” 

    When the fight to save the Tropicana was in full swing, I remember someone speaking at the city council meeting who predicted that any member of council who voted in favor of the siezure of the Tropicana would never be elected Mayor of San Jose.  The remarks were met with applause.  (It was one of the few times that Mayor Corruptus didn’t try to shut-up the crowd).

    Perhaps Sr. Mendoza will have the last word after all.

    Pete Campbell

  30. Just wondering. . .

    Wrong. . .I could make a very strong case.  I could also make a case for it being personal and misleading.  But it isn’t completely false. 

    Having said that, there are two sides to the story.  While it is incumbent upon the Chamber to provide both sides, it is the duty of every voter to get the other side.

    Again, Democracy is a participatory sport.

    Below is Cindy’s answer to the Chamber.  Read both, then decide if she made the right decision for San Jose.

    Dear Friends,

    Last week the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce launched a campaign of distortion and half-truths against me in the Mayor’s race.

    These attacks are just plain wrong. Here are the facts:

    Facts about the Grand Prix: 

    150,000 people attended the event last year – that is twice the population of Palo Alto.

    The event brought in $42 million dollars to the city – that’s tips in the pockets of waitresses, more money for local shop owners, and taxes that fuel our struggling city budget.

    People in 54 nations around the world tuned in to see San Jose showcased as the dynamic capital of Silicon Valley.

    The Chamber has supported and lobbied for this event because they know it’s good for business in San Jose. I am disappointed that they are willing to jeopardize San Jose’s success in order to attack me. 

    It was a good investment and the right thing to do.

    Facts about the Story and King/Tropicana shopping area: 

    The shopping area was a dangerous and crime-ridden place.

    I am proud that we listened to and worked with neighborhood leaders, local business owners, and my colleagues on the City Council, including Nora Campos and David Cortese to make it a safe and prosperous place again.

    Go to the Story and King shopping area on any Saturday afternoon and you will see families walking the streets, eating at restaurants, and spending money in the shops.

    The bottom line is that crime is down 55% and hundreds of new jobs have been created. 

    It was a hard choice to make at the time, but it was the right thing to do.

    It has nothing to do with whether or not the race is a good thing or a bad thing. Obviously she (and you) can’t defend her actions and that is why you keep trying to deflect the argument into how the race is a good thing and ignoring the real issue.
    She also ducks the real issue about Tropicana and that is should the government take a privately owned retail center and let another private owner own and operate it. Again, the issue is deflected and that is exactly why I don’t think Cindy should be Mayor. She refuses to provide direct answers to questions and we’ve had enough of that for the past 7 years. There is no reason to assume anything will change for the better if she is elected. We can’t afford another 4 years like the previous disastrous 7.

  32. Seems that the Chamber is now losing members over their slimy acts, Mike Fox Sr. has resigned from the chamber and has called the acts by the chamber “deplorable.”  Mike Fox Jr. had no comment (given that Jr. is responsible for these acts not saying much might be his best option.)

    The chamber has demonstrated that they have been taken over by a group that clearly has no regard for any type of clean campaigning.

    To think that for years the chamber was on the high road under the leadership of Jim Cunneen, and now?  Pat Dando has been in leadership role for less then a year and has all but ruined the once good name of the chamber.

    For shame Pat, and yes, people can disagree in politics, however there is no disagreement over the slimy acts coming from the chamber, but don’t take my word for it, just take a look at who is leaving your organization.

    Grow up Pat, you aren’t a GOP chair, you are supposed to be leading a group of people who own businesses in San Jose, many of whom are Democrats and support Cindy.  Ever hear of “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you?”

  33. A little Politics 101:

    Only Cindy has the resources for the stretch run according to SJM.  The funds do not account for the Chamber’s excessive spending trying to hit her, but it is clear Cindy has the ability to get her message out.

    David Pandori deserves better than to have Richie Ross revive the Art Agnos “read my book” campaign.  This is not a new idea and it worked only once and that was when Larry Tramutola was doing the field campaign—Larry is working for Cortese.

    David Cortese, brilliant campaign so far, but lack of resources could spell trouble.  Kudos to Tramutola who got him up early on TV.  The question is—will it be enough?

    Based on current contribution reports—it may be. . .

    Michael Mulcahy—with friends like the Chamber, he is better off with his own campaign message.  The Chamber should have had more pro-Michael pieces and less “we hate Cindy” mailers. 

    It’s a primary, usually when you try to kill an opponent with several people in the race, you end up killing yourself as well.  It may not be fair that voters punish the Chamber by voting for someone other than their candidate, but such is how politics work.

    Mulcahy still has money and can write himself a big check.  But as a businessman is it a wise investment?

    Reed—what a surprise.  He took an early lead by spending money.  Now he needs to hold on to win a spot in the general.  It also appears he has enough to compete with the three other guys in the last days.

    But as Cortese and Mulcahy can write checks for themselves, I don’t think Chuck can. . .He has to hold on and, traditionally, the lead horse fades in the backstretch.

    But I didn’t think he would be in the race this long.

    It’s not over and two weeks is an eternity in politics.  The Chamber mailings have forced Cindy to communicate more with her base—a group that should naturally be there for her already.

    But all things being equal, her campaign is up to the challenge and she certainly has the best organization. 

    The Mercury News has not been kind to her, but they have been fair—especially since the Chamber weighed in on the race.

    As for those who want to tag Cindy as Gonzalez, obviously with Susan Hammer, Mike Honda, Zoe Lofgren and, surprisingly, Mike Fox Sr. coming to her aid, that dog won’t hunt.

    Cindy bashers still have the “Grand Prix Process”—but it is becoming increasingly clear that it was a good decision—and most voters care more about substance than process.

    That being said, Cindy won’t make the same mistake twice.  You can expect she will become even more determined to provide open access to government for all.

    In short, it ain’t over. . .but I’d rather be in Cindy’s shoes. 

    The good part for me is, unlike some of my friends in the business, I’m not staying up late worrying about it.

  34. #37 is right on.  Cindy spends her time justifying the decision to provide the subsidy, when it’s the process that she abused.  We don’t need 4 more years of that.

  35. “…Cindy won’t make the same mistake twice. ” Great line, RIch. Since she’s made the same mistake over and over again, you’re right she won’t make it twice. She’ll make it 3, 4, or 5 times more. We all know it wasn’t a “mistake” in the first place. You don’t do something on purpose and then call it a “mistake.” Even our kids know better than that.
    If she wins, we can expect 4 more years of “mistakes.”

  36. It will also be interesting if/when the DA and Grand Jury find out that Cindy made the same ‘mistakes’ as it relates to the Norcal cover-up. I can’t wait for that to come out!

  37. Please Cindy Fans

    You say “Cindy was not the only council person who voted that way” or “she voted with the majority” or “she only followed the lead of the council person whos district the project was in”.  Give me a break!  It sounds like the excuse of a six year old.  “All the other kids did it too”
    Cindy’s vote has wasted millions of our tax dollars and destroyed several of our historic landmarks. All you have to do is look at her voting record. It is time she is held accountable by having her vote taken away this election.
    As for the CoC their tactics stink the same way Gonzo’s and Chavez’s disregard for the process and law stinks.

  38. Richard, #36:

    Chavez’s “facts” about the Grand Prix are suspect, and she made them that way. If the race is such a slam dunk, then why all the coverup beforehand? Why press it through Council with little debate? Why lie about her advance notice? Why not stand on the facts?

    I think the answer is in #30 – at $4M, the race is a bad deal. It’s “money in the pockets of a waitress” while meanwhile her local community center is closed. I think the waitress (and all of us) should have been given a chance to speak about which one we actually prefer. But then that might have ruined someone’s cozy little deal.

  39. #42 Rich
    If the D.A.‘s report finds that Cindy had prior knowledge of the Norcal scandal what will Cindy do?  Will she withdraw from the election, even if she is not found to have broken the law, only lied to the public about her involvment ala the Grand Prix.  If Cindy drops out after 6-6 will the third candidate take her place?  What would be the process?

  40. Mal Content, regarding the close call on the Tropicana takeover, never fear!  Money grubbing local gov’t. agencies will soon lose the right to transfer property from one private entity to another.  The November California ballot will contain a measure that puts a stop to this kind of nonsense.  Hooray for restoration of property rights!

  41. #42 Rich …
    What is your point?  So what if Cortese can “write checks” for himself.”  Fact is, Cortese doesn’t need to write any checks for himself (unlike another David in the race) because he has a good enough strategy and enough supporters to do that for him! 
    What I love about this campaign is while all the “insiders” promote and banty about their chosen candidates, the “real” candidates with the most potential (Chuck and Dave) have been able to run like the true professionals that they are.  As you said yourself, RR, “…Cortese… brilliant campaign so far.”  When you have a strong reputation, experience, integrity and intellect to run on as those two have, you don’t need a lot of checks and endorsements to keep you afloat.  Substance is so much more impressive than form.
    It is too bad that “insiders” chose to hand select their own “outsider” candidates thinking that is what people wanted.  Instead, had they gotten behind the experience of Dave and/or Chuck we might have had the opportunity for profound change early in the campaign.  As it stands now, we run the risk of more of the same if Cindy squeezes in. 
    And saying Cindy “won’t make the same mistake twice”… It is in her nature and a result of her training under the wings of her mentor Ron G.  She can’t help herself. 
    That is why our only hope for real change now is the SJ voters who we hope will act upon their words heard spoken over and over again….“Anyone But Cindy!”

  42. #42 Rich –

    Cindy obviously has “resources” beyond her campaign’s bank account. Some of those “resources” aren’t very nice.

    That was one hell of a back room hatchet job done to Terry Austen. Which delegation of the Chavez campaign twisted Kaiser’s arm? My guess is it was the labor folks although I’m sure there are several degrees of plausible deniability at Chavez Headquarters.

    Whomever, it was a cheap shot at a good man who Cindy damn well knows had NOTHING to do with the chamber mailer orchestrated by Mike Fox JUNIOR, and is now being so loudly protested by Mike Fox SENIOR.

    Pop an M. E. Fox & Co. Budweiser and ponder the implications: either the Fox family needs a house call from Dr. Phil or there’s some skillful subterfuge going on.

    Whatever, you’ve got to give the Chavez campaign credit. They got their point across very well: “#@&* with us and we’ll cut you off at the knees. This campaign isn’t about issues, it’s about “resources.”

    Too bad for San Jose.

  43. O.k. We all agree on anybody but Cindy would be better than Gonzo.  But who do we pick?  One of the four has to get in the final election.  Though Pandori may have the toughest time getting into the finals, because of his late entry into the race, I see him as the one who could beat Cindy hands down.  United we stand devided we have Mayor Chavez!

  44. #42 Mr. Robinson, thanks for the lesson in political “science”.  I was especially impressed with your statement: “it was a good decision—and most voters care more about substance than process. “
    I seem to remember another political scientist from the mid last century – Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels with his big lie technique – “tell a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe anyone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”.
    I seem to remember other famous people telling us it was for the good of the people.  The means justifies the ends.  President Nixon asked a couple friends to break into the Watergate DNC headquarters because it was a good decision he be re-elected.  President Reagan couldn’t remember selling arms to Iran so Communism could be defeated in Nicaragua.  Mayor Gonzales telling us he was doing the right thing for the people of San Jose when he set up the deal with Norcal.  I’ll bet the Cisco deal was well intentioned too.  But I’m not sure the voters would agree the ends do justify the means.
    Please don’t Goebbel’ize Ms Chavev’s involvement with the Grand Prix.  Or do you agree with Goebbel?

  45. Mike Fox Sr., now there is a man of integrity to speak out against the CoC.  Did anyone hear he is supporting Pandori?  I guess he is a man of vision and understands what is best for San Jose’s future.  Maybe if Pondori gets elected and the Gonzo-Chavez regime is thrown out some of upstanding citizens will move back to S.J.

  46. Don G and Rich
    I just want to check and make sure that you plan on sticking to your promise to withdraw your support of Cindy if the D.A. finds that Cindy had prior knowledge of the Norcal scam.

  47. # 25 I’m glad to hear you’re voting for Pandori. I also want to comment on your point that Cindy wasn’t the only one voting fo the Tropicana take over. You have to keep in mind that the majority of the current council is backed by labor interest. It’s not just Cindy who wants to move on to bigger and better pastures. If the rest of the council members don’t vote on issues along labor lines, their political career will end when their current term expires.

    That’s why you hardly hear a peep from from the labor side of the council on critical issues; unless it’s to pile on the accolades.

    Who do you know that wouldn’t like $65,000 a year, for 8 years, just to sit and cheer for the mayor and vice mayor?

    I think it’s time for a change of direction, don’t you?

  48. That’s entertainment!

    Scott Herhold’s support of Michael Mulcahy explains how George Bush was elected.

    It’s like picking the scarecrow to run Oz. 

    The sad part about todays politics is that everyone wants to be entertained or inspired.  How about competence?

    There is very little entertainment value in deciding major issues like where should we put the first BART station or should we have a light on the corner of Doyle and Brenton?

    If you want to be entertained, go to a movie.  Leave the nuts and bolts politics to people who, while outwardly boring, actually care about whether there should be a light on Doyle and Brenton.

  49. I suppose Scott Herhold will come under scrutiny at this for reporting what many of us already know about Michael. Thank God somebody at the Mercury News finally got it right. Charisma and leadership ability is sorely needed in such a dreadful era of our city government.

  50. KInd of like having our own Ronald Reagan. A likeable guy who was clueless without note cards in front of him and had no idea what he was doing. Just what we need.

  51. Herhold got it half right today.

    Michael Mulcahy needs to read David Pandori’s book. He needs to commit it to memory. He needs to rub it on his skin like flaxseed oil. He needs to grind it up and inject it into his body. If he does that, he would be a superb mayor of San Jose.

    Chavez, Cortese and Reed also need to read Pandori’s book.  San Jose voters should as well.  No matter who turns out to be our next mayor, our city needs changes and Pandori has the answers.  See

    I won’t argue against that Mulcahy has charisma, but Mulcahy doesn’t have a plan, experience or political intelligence for the job and that is dangerous.  Haven’t we seen enough bad examples of rich Republican figureheads that were managed by group of policy makers that were smarter than them?  And haven’t we all suffered because of these administrations?

    Michael Mulcahy is no Gavin Newsom, and would never be able to successfully illuminate a national issue like gay marriage.  To be honest, I don’t think we have ever heard him take a clear stance on the issue.  Newsom’s charisma has put San Francisco on the map by speaking out on national issues, but you will not find many San Franciscans that will say their quality of life is better under Newsom.  Imagine if our public schools deteriorate to San Francisco’s level.  Really, what is Mulcahy’s education plan?

    David Pandori didn’t just write his book because he wanted to jot down a few good ideas.  He wrote his book because he is passionate about parks, stopping gangs, good city planning and truly making San Jose better.  I don’t remember seeing Scott Herhold at the College Park debate, but those of us that attended witnessed a somewhat tired David Pandori passionately speaking at length, even using his rebuttal card, about a vision for a new park system where all the creeks in this city are connected by trails.  What kind of candidate goes on a 100 mile bike ride before a debate to prove that we could connect our creeks with trails?  Check out  There is no doubt David Pandori is the only person that could fervently implement his vision and has the experience to do it without making mistakes.

    Let me leave you with this question, what is Mulcahy passionate about it other than wanting to be mayor?

  52. I have heard that future employmet plans have been made in the event Ms. Chavez is elected Mayor (heaven forbid). Richard Robinson will take over as Chief of Staff replacing Joe Guerro.  Sunnyvales’s influence will be shifting towards Cupertino.

  53. If Mulcahy and Chavez are in the finals why waste our time to vote?  A mouthpiece for developers and a lying mouthpiece for unions.  You lose either way.  Reed or Cortese would be ok but look what they have allowed to go on over the past 6 years. Pandori would be great. He is the only guy with a vision .
      By the way what about Herhold?  Mulcahy charismatic?  He has nice cloths and hair but that is where it ends.  Have you ever heard him speak or should I say read? The guy ran cildrens plays and manages his family’s property.  Now there is a real resume.
      Cindy is Ron Gonzales with charisma.  She will cheat you just like Ron but she will do it with a smile.

    The Real Deal

  54. Give me a break.

    The ‘read my book’ concept is a crock.  Richie Ross did the same thing for Art Agnos.  When Agnos ran for reelection—he lost to Frank Jordan, who used his book to show all the things Art didn’t do.

    As Winston Churchill once said, “It is a politician’s job to foretell the future.  And when it doesn’t occur, explain why.”

  55. A comment for #62, Mr. Robinson.

    Mr. Robinson, as much as I like your unbiassed comments, on most occasions you seem to write quite a bite in support of Ms. Chavez. What I’m trying to uderstand is, why? Don’t you live in Cupertino?

    What has she promissed to do for Cupertino? Has she cut some deal with your city?

  56. #62 Rich
    Pandori writes a book, Cindy will get booked over Norcal
    Pandori makes wise decissions, Cindy is a mouthpiece for union wise guys
    Pandori can bring all the citizens to the table, Cindy deals under the table.
    Pandori is anti-Gonzoles,  Cindy acts so much like Ron his family calls her aunty Gonzoles.

  57. I think Rich makes some good observations and is entitled to his opinion wherever he lives.  Rich:

    Nancy said hi back, Go Prospect!!

  58. Almost ALL current and former Mayors, City Council members, and other elected officials while in office want greater control NOT “open city government” as decades of back room deals have shown San Jose public UNTIL they or their Chamber business friends were out of power then they use “open city government” and ” back room deals ” as moral issues and independent expenditure legal loopholes to attack their opponents after decades of back room business good old boy deal city government – what a bunch of dishonest political hypocritics

  59. Actually I do have the scorecard.  Though, Rich, I got a couple of Santa Clara wins over ya, the big picture has you beating Ross by a country mile.

  60. Yes Richie Robinson, you are entitled to an opinion, but perhaps if you actually lived in San Jose, you would know this is not the first time David Pandori laid out his plan in a book, won the election and delivered.  David Pandori’s book was his idea, his vision and his words.  Give credit where credit is due.

    I can only guess that you are so infatuated with Richie Ross, your fellow alum, because you share a similar name and Mr. Ross has been far more successful than you ever will be.

    If you want to talk about lobbyists, the reality is Cindy Chavez has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists, developers, unions and other special interested yet her “professional” campaign staff didn’t even bother to research her opponent’s previous strategies or develop a meaningful platform.  Rather, the Chavez team has consistently asked for short answer debate formats and chose to insult the voting public with shallow sound bites.  Too bad Cindy Chavez was not for “open government” before she voted to spend $4 million on a car race.

  61. Jack ( and Mike Fox, Sr., too):

    Are there 2 separate COC mailers?

    I got a COC mailer about Cindy.  You call it a “hit piece”.  I could not find a single syllable in it that I believe was untrue.  Can you tell me a single thing in it that was untrue?

  62. 69 – There are 2 mailers. One dealing with the $4 million gift of public funds to the Grand Prix, and the other dealing with the taking of private property—Tropicana.
    Of course they are not “hit” pieces except in the mind of Cindy supporters because they don’t like the truth to be revealed.
    It is typical of the Cindymania mentality—kill the messenger, obfuscate the message. They like to shy away from the truth for some reason—wonder why?