Silicon Valley Election Night 2008

Former California controller and eBay exec Steve Westly, Obama’s state campaign co-chair, smiled broadly at Tuesday’s victory party at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. The fancy bash drew high tech notables and featured commemorative posters and laminates, and an eclectic mix of music.

The United Democratic Campaign Party affair hosted by union bosses Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Bob Brownstein, pictured behind the controls, was a much humbler affair, and included many latecomers to the Obama juggernaut like Hillary Clinton supporter and former vice mayor Cindy Chavez . The labor leaders wouldn’t smile for the cameras, and evicted a newspaper photographer doing a feature on the get-out-the-vote effort from the South Bay Labor Council’s “Labor Temple” earlier in the day.

Spontaneous celebrations greeted news of Obama’s victory in places like the sidewalk in front of a newly-opened Popeye’s chicken franchise on Santa Clara Street in Downtown San Jose.

Retired principal and political newcomer Joseph Di Salvo scored an upset over incumbent and Mercury News endorsee Gary Rummelhoff and 14-year San Jose Unified trustee Carol Myers to be elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Education.  Di Salvo invited friends over to his Willow Glen home to celebrate, watch Obama’s victory speech and munch on thin-crust pizza fired in his backyard.

Photographs copyright 2008 Metro Newspapers and Virtual Valley Inc.

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. I worked with George Shirakawa for many years.  I have seen him passionate about sticking up for his constituents.  I have seen him go the extra mile to help someone in need, even though he didn’t have to.  He cares so much for our youth and neighborhoods, he had the City sue to ensure that gang activity was reduced in San Jose.  George Shirakawa will make an excellent representative on the Board of Supervisors, because he is collaborative, experienced, and knows this community well.  Congratulations Supervisor-Elect George Shirakawa!

  2. If I wasnt there I wouldnt beleave it Shirakawa wouldnt know the meaning of a hard days work. One more pig at the trough Most if not all of the BOS have forgotten why they are in office.

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