UPDATE II: Assemblymember Nora Campos' spokesman Steve Harmon got back to San Jose Inside on Friday afternoon and said that Keith Jackson made a $750 contribution to Campos' 2010 campaign via check. It's unclear who would have collected that check on Campos' behalf, but Harmon said she has "never met him, did not know him, does not know him."
UPDATE: San Jose Inside followed up with Assemblymember Nora Campos’ office Friday morning. Spokesman Steve Harmon said Campos does not recall ever meeting Keith Jackson, who is accused by the FBI of taking part in a public corruption scandal. When asked how Jackson's money made into Campos' 2010 campaign account, Harmon said, "I don't know." He promised to check and get back with an answer. Jackson, state Sen. Leland Yee and Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, a purported gang leader, are reportedly among the 18 defendants who were scheduled to appear in federal court Friday morning. In total, 26 people have been charged in the public corruption scandal.
Leland Yee’s arrest on public corruption charges Wednesday shocked San Francisco and Sacramento’s political scenes. But one of the state senator’s alleged co-conspirators, Keith Jackson, a political consultant who was accused by the FBI of taking part in a "murder-for-hire scheme and a gun- and drug-trafficking conspiracy," has a connection to one of the South Bay’s own state legislators.
Campaign records with the Secretary of State’s office show Jackson has contributed money to just two political candidates since the beginning of 2010: Yee and Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose).
Jackson contributed $750 through his consulting firm to Campos’ 2010 run for a seat in the State Assembly, according to a campaign disclosure form. The contribution is noted as occurring on March 24, 2010, but the filing has been amended twice, meaning it's uncertain how the forms may have been altered from the original filing.
San Jose Inside reached out early Thursday afternoon to Campos' office, asking spokesman Steve Harmon for a comment about the nature of her and Jackson’s relationship. Harmon did not get back to San Jose Inside before an acknowledged deadline.
While the contribution to Campos’ campaign was not a lot of money, Jackson and Yee, in addition to being accused of running guns and drugs, have been been charged with orchestrating pay-to-play schemes at the Capitol. Late last year, local prosecutors suggested during a grand jury hearing that Campos gave ex-county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. $5,000 to carry out a mail fraud scheme on behalf of her brother, San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos.
Nora Campos and Yee have worked on similar legislation. The San Francisco Chronicle noted in an editorial published Dec. 28, 2012, that the two legislators authored nearly identical bills related to social media privacy.
“Anyone who's ever been to a wild party may be breathing a sigh of relief at two new social-media privacy laws: one that prohibits employers from demanding social-media user names and passwords from employees or applicants (AB1844, authored by state Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose), and one that restricts higher education institutions from doing the same to students and prospective students (SB1349, from San Francisco Democratic state Sen. Leland Yee). Both of these new laws are long overdue,” the editorial states.
While it's unclear what relationship Nora Campos has with Yee and Jackson, the severity of the charges means all peripheral connections deserve an examination, if not an explanation.