Developer Related Santa Clara Drops IE for Mayor Lisa Gillmor

Two Santa Clara business heavyweights–Related Santa Clara and the San Francisco 49ers–are in opposite corners of the campaign for mayor, kicking off the fall campaigns of Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilmember Anthony Becker with big donations.

Related Santa Clara, the developer of the massive residential-commercial project near Levi’s Stadium this week contributed $100,000 to Gillmor’s reelection campaign through a newly established independent committee according to campaign documents filed late Thursday.

The contributions to the “Committee to Support Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Good Government, sponsored by Santa Clara’s Affordable Home and Job Creators” came from Related California Residential LLC and Related Santa Clara LLC,

Related Santa Clara is the sole sponsor of the committees. Related’s chairman and largest shareholder, Stephen M. Ross, came under fire in 2019 for hosting a $12 million fundraiser for Donald Trump at his Hamptons, Long Island home and recently spent $550,000 to attack progressive Democratic candidates in New York. Another Ross company, Ladder Capital, provided $275 million in loans to Trump properties.

The 49ers’ independent expenditures for Becker dwarf Related’s efforts on behalf of Gillmor, whose father was also a Santa Clara mayor and enjoys high name recognition, as well as the benefits of incumbency.

The National Football League franchise created several committees to direct money from the NFL football team to support Becker and two Becker allies on the council seeking re-election, Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal.

“Frustrated Santa Clarans Opposing Gillmor for Mayor 2022” is sponsored by “DeBartolo Corp. and Affiliated Entities, including 49ers Football Company Inc., and “Santa Clara Community Leaders Supporting Anthony Becker for Mayor 2022,” sponsored by and with major funding from DeBartolo Corp. and the 49ers.

The 49ers-sponsored committees for Becker reported spending contributions of $368,557 from the team, with $200 in other contributions as of last week, according to campaign documents filed with the Santa Clara City Clerk. Total new 49ers contributions for Becker and council candidates for the November elections are approximately $750,000.

In an email statement to San Jose Inside, Becker said: “This is all news to me, I have no clue what is going on and frankly I have no control over Independent Expenditures, just like I have no control over IE’s that are anti-Anthony Becker.

“What I do have control over is meeting residents going door to door and earning our community’s vote to be our next mayor.

“The only support I want is from Santa Clarans. My hope is that there's no political spending by any entity including developers or the 49ers.”

Rahul Chandhok, spokesman for the 49ers, said in a statement, "We are proud to support this diverse set of candidates who are dedicated to fixing the $27 million deficit created by Mayor Gillmor and her political machine, which has been funded for decades by billionaire developers, at the expense of public-school teachers, affordable housing and voting rights.”

Related has secured but not broken ground on an $8 billion development in Santa Clara. Gillmor has been a strong advocate of the Related development, which sparked a now-resolved lawsuit between San Jose and Santa Clara.

Related Santa Clara promises the construction of 5.7 million square feet of office space, more than 7,000 residential units, two hotels with 700 rooms, 200,000 square feet of restaurants and a 35-acre park in northeast Santa Clara.

Because the contributions were to an independent committee and not directly to the campaign, the donors were able to avoid the limits on individual contributions, a common practice in local elections.

In the 2020 council elections, Related Santa Clara gave to all council candidates.


Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.


  1. COM-09152022-02848

    Fppc complaint filed on 49er committee supporting Becker alleging Becker discussed it in meetings with 49er lobbyists in June, July and August. 49er lobbyists who meet often with Becker run those committees. Complaint also says Becker IE committee is violating its stated purpose in 410 filing bt switching money around to different commitees. 49er major donor commuttee also subject of fppc complaint alleging committee switched its name from Jed York to “Debartolo Corporation” to obscure its involvement due to past poll numbers not favorable to using 49er or York name. Suds Jain and City Attorney Steve Ngo named in complaint (Ngo was once fined by fppc) for blocking August emails detailing Becker’s discussions with 49ers about settlement and Lisa Gillmor until late November. Ps Dolphins play 49ers on December 4 at Levis

  2. Wasn’t it Donald Trump who signed and Executive Order to Pardon Eddie DeBartolo Jr, in regards to the Felony Bribery Conviction in 1998?
    Also Isn’t Eddie DeBartolo’s name all over the documents that show financial support for Anthony Becker Mayor Campaign?
    Just curios and would love to hear your response to this.
    Burt Field

  3. Burt Field and Howard Myers the biggest Trump supporters that have endorsed Lisa… That’s a fact. Can’t hide the truth she is a right winger that is a DINO, Democrat in Name Only.

  4. Jeez, just continue to post factually inaccurate BS. I know Burt and him being a Trump supporter could not be further from the truth. But I can tell you he cares deeply about Santa Clara and what the Niners are doing to our city.

  5. Becker demonstrates how bad a liar he is. 2.9 million went in to electing him in 2020 by the 49ers. He meets with the leaders of the 49er IE committees (same 2 lobbyists of the 49ers) every 10 days. Jain and Becker begged and pleaded with Steve Ngo not to release their emails to and from the 49ers in August 2022 until late November. Jain began bringing Becker to his bimonthly strategy sessions with the 49ers as back as Decenber 2020. Ross has some issues that I do not like at all. But when the 49er Becker is paying people 1000 a week to walk precincts, shouldn’t there be a IE from someone?

  6. Diane Torres= James Rowen, Lisa Gillmor’s personal henchman who digs up all the “dirt” and makes up all the lies and conspiracy theories. Yet it is not claimed on her campaign finance forms for his services. There is a financial transaction and it’s no secret that she gives Rowen money. So Rowen and Gillmor should be transparent and let the people know that you are working together and costing the city lots of money with their political attacks. How much is she paying you, Rowen? Be honest.

  7. Huh????

    Did Trump not pardon Eddie DeBartolo or whar???

    Ps Santa Clara forms from Pat Mahan in 2016 show the guy’s name as making a ton of money and Mahan has Becker as her candidate.

    Gillmor backed Tino Silva. He also worked for Mario Bouza who Becker backed for Planning Commission.

    Just wrong again.

  8. Other records show your bogeyman, John, filed a majority of public record requests on this mayor from 2019 to date (sort of weird direction if he got any), constant defender of Weekly even attacking Doyle and Watanabe (again not so loyal) in their letters columns, a worker for McGovern, another Becker backer, and we still dont seem to get away from DeBartolo Group Eddie D who backs Becker was pardoned by Trump. DeBartolo alsivwas fundraiser for Trump innauguration committee for 2020 which then became Jan 6th committee. Yep, it did


    Trump Backer DeBartolo still works on family real estate through DeBartolo Corporation, the group backing Becker. Ps 2016 fppc fines on Silva and Watanabe due to documents this henchman John uses to get the discussion away from Trump supporters in the DeBartolo Corporation backing Becker. 2013, Stephen Ross investigated by same guy working with another opponent of mayor. (Not so henchy is he?)

  10. James Rowen is triggered by using all his various names. This is Gillmor damage control by a conspiracy theorist cause it’s pretty damaging how closely tied Gillmor is to Trump. How much is Gillmor paying you Rowen? tell us the truth and be transparent.

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