Democratic Central Committee Endorses Campos, Fong, Rocha

The Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee (DCC) finalized its endorsements for the June primary, giving three sole and two dual endorsements in San Jose’s five City Council races, according to DCC chair Steve Preminger.

Voting took place Thursday evening in the county building, and Paul Fong (District 1), Xavier Campos (District 5) and Don Rocha (District 9) all received the DCC’s exclusive backing, while Raul Peralez and Kathy Sutherland (District 3) as well as Maya Esparza and Buu Thai (District 7) had to settle for shared support.

The DCC already endorsed Dave Cortese's bid for mayor of San Jose by advancing that vote to February. The decision to expedite the mayoral endorsement ahead of the filing deadline led to criticism from other candidates.

Not all endorsements were unanimous—a couple, apparently, were a little contentious. Both District 1 and District 3 were pulled for discussion, according to an attendee, while the other races passed on consent. Some tension arose when the meeting was cut short due to time restrictions, Preminger said. Custodians for the county have to clean up after the meeting, which is held in the cafeteria, and not everyone got a chance to voice their full opinion.

“We had a lively discussion and unfortunately—although sometimes it’s fortunate—we have to be out of there by 8:30pm,” Preminger said. “It’s our agreement with the county.

“We just ran out of time, so it means a fuller meeting didn’t happen. That led to some frustration on some people’s part.”

The DCC's sole endorsement means candidates can publicly tout that support on their campaign materials and potentially receive financial support. The dual endorsement, however, means both candidates can claim backing. It also leaves the DCC some wiggle room after the primary.

“We make decisions on each race individually, but if we do a dual it pretty much means we give our name (in support),” Preminger said. “It also means we reserve the right to review our decision in the general (election in November).”

Campos' sole endorsement means the DCC will back his re-election campaign while the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) continues to investigate his 2010 campaign.

Preminger told San Jose Inside that the DCC endorsed all local school bond measures except for Los Gatos’ Measure A—only because no one brought the measure forward for a vote. The DCC also backed the library parcel tax Measure B.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. Wow! Really!?!?!? FULL SUPPORT FOR XAVIER CAMPOS’ RE-ELECTION???? Democrats are a joke! It’s no surprise parasites like George Shirakawa Jr., Nora Campos, Cindy Chavez, Leland Yee, Ronald S. Calderon and Roderick D. Wright (ALL DEMOCRATS) make it to high positions within ‘The Peoples Republic of California’.


    • They get there because they get it done, initially.

      Then they become tempted and self righteous. They begin to measure the weight of the deed to what they have to give up. If I vote “no” on this, how will my colleagues vote on my stuff? If I vote yes, then what? They start to see themselves as pillars of leadership, so good that they *must* keep that power at any cost. So good, that misdeeds are OK, because keeping themselves elected is better for the constituents.

      It is in that moment that this viperous self justification for these misdeeds happen. Print some flyers with the communist flag? Trade some weapons to raise campaign funds?

      The voters nature is to go with that which we are most familiar. It is the “safe” bet.

      Something our founding forefathers understood. The less time government officials have to work on something (term limits) the less chance of the government making mistakes. It has the adverse affect of the progress being slow, but it is stable.

      Everyone wants change, change change, but does our need for change add up to our need to truly have altruistic leaders? With the resolve to push change by example, and not by strong-arming our political system with electorate buyouts?

      I for one cannot fathom some of these folks being so self righteous that they cannot see themselves for what they really are. If they truly have any dignity, they would admit their mistakes and own up to them. So far, I only know of one politician who does this.

      It would be far better world if they followed his lead.

      • I’m guessing you’re referring to Don Rocha. He “owned up” to his “mistake”. (Now that it’s politically advantageous to do so)
        If anything he’ll be an even worse representative now after this “learning experience”.
        His takeaway will be, “Never stand up for the People. Always cave in to the big, powerful special interest groups.”
        In San Jose, this is the winning formula for ambitious politicians.

        • No, actually Don and I have become pretty chummy over the years. I call his phone, he answers, and I do my best to give him solid ideas to help our district. Most recently, I told him that maybe if the CSJ has a junk pickup day like Santa Clara, residents might be able to digest any rate increases a bit better.

          No, that comment was reserved towards one particular councilman who’s famous words are, “What’s your name? I plead the fifth!”

      • ‘Bobby’! Good to read your replies!

        Listen, Ash Kalra (like many local politicians) has an agenda. Obviously, he wants Nora Campos’ Assembly Seat. So he ‘owning’ up to his mistakes (a couple now with that DUI being the most severe) is nothing but PR stunts.

        Ash is a nice guy and he means well. Unfortunately, with him being associated with the likes of Xavier Campos, his big sis and labors darling (Cindy Chavez, who also had really close ties to Shirakawa Jr.) it is hard to see him for what he is trying so hard to be (an honest and down to earth politician).

        Remember, “Birds of a feather flock together”!

        • Ash is the real McCoy, and as you said the folks he hangs out with is dragging his reputation down. It’s hard to fault someone when you love them like a brother, but sometimes even brothers don’t want to listen to good advice.

          He’s been really honest with me about certain things I can’t go into detail here. I think I’m one of the few guys he knows that would rather have the real truth than some sugar coated version.

  2. After Shirakawa the DCC better hope that Campos and Paul Fong don’t get in trouble due to ethical issues. Endorsing Campos was by far the bigger risk, given his unwillingness to incriminate himself in a recent legal hearing, but Paul Fong’s $100k campaign debt along with the stories about Leland Yee’s “campaign funding” could turn into something.

    If people starting associating the local Democratic Party leadership in the same way as they think of Daley politics their influence will be seriously impaired.

  3. DCC Roster of Shame:

    Ron Gonzales
    Cindy Chavez
    Terry Gregory
    George Shirakawa Jr
    Nora Campos
    Xavier Campos

    DCC now run by Ben Field, who lost his law license because of corruption as a deputy DA.

  4. A lot of these candidates have an endorsement list that looks just like George Shirakawa’s list of friends? Oh, that’s right, all these people ARE old friends with George! Maybe he’s pulling strings and running everything from Santa Rita jail, like Pauly in Goodfellas?? George gets out in a few weeks, after serving about 2 weeks per crime. Maybe Leland Yee has George’s lawyer, too!! Maybe Paul Fong and Xavier Campos and Nora Campos should hire George’s lawyer!!

  5. The SCCDCC is very nearly fully occupied by friends of the labor council. They have made themselves irrelevant as a result of their refusal to consider good Dem’s other than the council’s favorite children. It is very sad when a potentially useful organization falls apart so completely.

    A growing number of Democratic candidates know not to even bother seeking an endorsement because the outcomes are a forgone conclusion.

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