Deborah Bress is best known for relentlessly wailing on Santa Clara’s efforts to build a new football stadium for the San Francisco 49ers. As head of one of the region’s rabble-rousingest NIMBY groups, Santa Clara Plays Fair, she fought plans for the $1 billion Levi’s Stadium to the end. But now that it’s open, she’s changed her focus to running for mayor and accusing city officials of killing her dog.
The oft-quoted gadfly has held firmly to the narrative that city leaders in Santa Clara, where she unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 1998 and is giving it another go against Mayor Jamie Matthews, are pulling strings for the 49ers at the expense of regular citizens. But things took a turn for the weird and conspiratorial after an Aug. 20 meeting, when council members discussed a policy that would have given them free tickets to 49ers games.
Someone wrote a status update on Santa Clara Play Fair’s Facebook page thanking people for weighing in on the issue. Under it, self-congratulatory comments ensued about playing watchdog and catching city officials—namely Assistant City Manager Alan Kurotori—with their collective “hand in the cookie jar.”
Days later Bress wrote in the Facebook comments section, “I found my dear, sweet, lovable, trusting and innocent male dog, Dude, DEAD THIS MORNING!!! I’m heartbroken and pissed beyond words! I’m having a very hard time accepting this as just a coincidence!!!!!”
She then added an additional comment to remove any confusion about who she may have been talking about: “To kill an innocent animal is definitely not above these scumballs!”