Metro Endorses Mike Wasserman

Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1
Mike Wasserman

When Mike Wasserman came to Metro’s offices for an interview back before the June primary, our editorial committee was unanimously impressed. Although we endorsed Teresa Alvarado in that race, we liked what we heard from Wasserman and feel strongly that he will make a good supervisor.

Apparently Wasserman has had the same effect on many local leaders in San Jose and Silicon Valley. He has received endorsements from all over the county and all over the political map.  Notably, the self-described “liberal Republican” has gotten the nod from a number of prominent valley Democrats, including Democratic stalwart Larry Stone.

It’s no mystery why Wasserman is winning such broad support. A business owner and professional financial planner, his campaign is tightly focused on solving the county’s money problems, which are of crisis proportions. Rattling off economic jargon—about increasing efficiencies, nurturing job growth, leveraging under-performing assets and creating private-public partnerships—he gives the impression that he’s well equipped for the job. 

A lifetime Los Gatan, he began his career of public service coaching kids’ sports teams. His resume is packed with decades of service to community organizations. After serving on the Los Gatos City Council, he won his first bid for the mayor’s office in a landslide. He was reelected in 2006 with a stunning 72 percent of the vote.
Wasserman’s opponent, former San Jose City Councilmember Forrest Williams, also has a long record of public service. But he is nowhere near as prepared to handle the County’s daunting problems. Williams’ tenure on the San Jose City Council was distinguished mostly by his long-winded and often pointless speeches from the dais, and his adherence to special interest agendas.

Mike Wasserman is the more likely of the two candidates to spend public money wisely and look for innovative ways to deliver county services more effectively.

Revised Oct. 4, 2010.


  1. I’ve noticed over the years that Metro/SJ Inside tends to endorse candidates who represent change.  You’ve been doing that for candidates for President to Mayor to Council.  That’s appropriate for an alternative weekly.  These days we certainly need change especially when you read the story in today’s paper about San Jose’s pension problems and the unions knee jerk reaction to defend their benefits.

    I’ll be using your endorsements to make my votes.  Thanks, Metro/SJ Inside.

    • I disagree, it looks like the Metro now endorses the monied bankers and brokers, and the top 2%, and tend to copy almost verbatim what the Merc news wrote 2 weeks ago.
      It’s illogical to support Alvardo,who was a great choice too, then switch to Wasserman.
      Wasserman represents cutbacks on the middle class, big salaries for top executives, and saying goodbye to good government.
      If any of you read his real platform and studied his agenda, you would see this.
      I guess it’s just easier to mimic your buddies at the Merc News.
      The only Change the metro represents these days is the pennies the citizens of south county will be getting from their county tax dollar.

      At least there will be plenty of free Metro papers to sleep under on our public park benches, once Wasserman and his cronies are done with their business.

      Smart Vote recommends Williams for Supervisor.

  2. Wow. “slavish” describing an African-American candidate? How far we’ve come in journalism.

    I sure hope the Wasserman camp condemns this over-the-top comment.

      • Eric,
        While I believe that the usage of the word “slavish” was not meant as a racial slur, it is definitely irresponsible journalism, and culturally insensitive to use the word slave, or slavish, in conjunction with an African American person like the Metro did.  The wounds of slavery and its long painful history are far from healed. It is a slap in the face to African Americans to be in any way shape or form referred to as a slave in this day and age. Having said that, I do think the Metro needs to understand the consequences of its bad choice of verbiage, and owes Forrest the respect of an apology.

        Secondly, you have now put the man you endorsed in a very unfair, and uncomfortable position by raising the ire of people of color in the community. I have met and spoken with Mr. Wasserman on several occasions and I don’t believe for one minute that he would condone this action by the Metro. My hope is that he will come out publicly and denounce the Metro’s unintended racial slur against Forrest.

        The Mercury News has a story out today, that says, “Wasserman’s critics say his home in wealthy Los Gatos might make him less inclined to identify with struggling residents in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. And his conservative politics could tempt him to scale back services for mothers on welfare and inmates in county jails.” This coupled with the Metro’s culturally insensitive comment about Forrest, has now moved this election from who is most qualified to an issue of race. I find that a disservice to both candidates given that they are both qualified, decent men who have dedicated their lives to improving the community, and public service.

        • Kathleen,

          Get a clue, you’re really concerned about less service to inmates in jail.  Oh poor things. Wasserman was a no brainer over Williams.  Learn a little before you post.

      • Eric,
        Why not issue an apology to the Forrest Williams’ camp about using the adjective “slavish?” You would do the publication good since there are thousands of people who support Williams who are upset by the way the endorsement writer described Williams’ perceived support of special interest agendas. The dictionary describes the word slavish as “of or befitting a slave: slavish subjection. Being or resembling a slave; abjectly submissive … “
        Journalists need to be careful with the words they use to describe sources, especially highly regarded public servants such as Forrest Williams, who also happens to be African American.
        Please issue an apology about a poorly chosen adjective and get this controversy over with. If not, you’ll continue to lose readers.

  3. I understand the Metro backing an anti-Labor candidate. But using the word “slavishly” to describe a black candidate is just disgusting!

    • Yeah, I’m sure they meant to it be racist.  They’re probably planning to call for the repeal of the 13th Amendment, and for the Giant Dog Poop to be replaced by a statue of Robert E. Lee.

      Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth….

    • According to Websters Dictionary:

      Slavish also means….“abjectly servile”
      and/or “copying obsequiously or without originality.”

      definition of “servile” 
      “cravenly submissive.”

  4. The way you describe the honorable Mr. Williams is disgusting and you should issue a public apology immediately! “Slavish” describing an African American man who has been a public servant committing his time to being and honest with the community. 

    Mr. Williams has no controversy surrounding his tenure as a Council member or his time served as a school board member but you mean to demean him in this manner.  You should be ashamed of yourself and take class in Journalism ethics. 

    So you think he is long winded, politics is not entertainment but that is what you guys want, controversy so you can splash it all over your pathetic paper.  Well if you want controversy and a entertainment on the County Board of Supervisors you are correct not to endorse Forrest but if you want a man who has an open door policy to anyone and works hard every day at his job, he is the man.

  5. > and creating private-public partnerships . . . .

    Yeccchh!  I hate “public-private partnerships”. 

    To paraphrase Senator Moynahan, it’s just boob-bait for the “good government” bubbas.

    > Williams’ tenure on the San Jose City Council was distinguished mostly by . . . his slavish adherence to special interest agendas.

    Don’t be so coy.  WHICH special interests?

  6. Someone I liked in the primary actually made the run-off!  Yeah….go Wasserman.

    On the grammer and politically correct front, I’d suggest that the editors consider substituting words and phrases like “blind allegiance” or some such.  I actually didn’t no what slavish meant until I read the backlash and it conjured up images of some sort of southern European regions (Slovenian, Slavenia? or whatever.)

    As far as the PC backlash, this is probably not a high tech lynching but rather a low tech, low budget alternative press kind of thing where the impulse to deliver a statement with style and panache got ahead of clarity and common sense.  I think they actually made up the word slavish on the fly and it’ll go down as an endorsement that will live in infamy for about 2 weeks.

    • Gotta disagree with you on this one BW. I think the word “slavish” exactly conveys the meaning that the author meant to get across. That people seem to have gotten hung up on a particular usage of the word “slavish” is more a reflection on them than on the person who wrote it.

      The fact that so many seem to be offended over the use of a word that apparently makes THEM uncomfortable is really quite a profound commentary on the way that we have been programmed to “slavishly” think and “slavishly” react when it comes to issues of race or even the hint of an issue of race.

  7. If the High Priests of Political Correctness insist on imposing rules on what can or cannot be said in America, then I demand to be in charge of the rules.

    Rule 1: “Slavish” is a perfectly good word, even when it is applied to black politicians.

    Rule 2: “Niggardly” is a perfectly good word, even when it is applied to black politicians.

    Rule 3: “Gay” is a perfectly good word, even when it is applied to hetereosexual Chistmas carolers and their apparel.

    Rule 4: “Christmas” is a perfectly good word, even when it is applied to two-week mid-midwinter school vacations.

    Rule 5: “Kwanzaa” is a completely phony word made up by a leftist political agitator to make sappy white liberals feel guilty, and has no use in intelligent adult discourse.

  8. Wasserman does not appear to be very knowledgeable about business, despite his claim to be a “businessman”.  He thinks that extending the South County runway to 5000 feet is going to bring in business to the county, and this business is going to rescue SCC from financial ruin.  Sorry, it is not going to happen.

    His thinking is flawed for a number of reasons.

    First, businesses are moving away from private aircraft.  They realize these aircraft are a huge expense, and provide little benefit to the company.  Other than for CEO ego, few businesses require private aircraft. 

    Second, due to the county accepting FAA money, any revenue generated by a county airport can only be used for airport projects.  In other words, even though these are county airports, they cannot contribute to the county’s general fund. 

    Essentially, the county airports are useless as a revenue generator, and are only good for playtime.  Of course, there are nonsense studies based on voodoo economics that show these airports generate millions of dollars in taxes, but, other than on the paper of these studies, this money does not exist.

    Sorry Mike, it appears you are only pandering to your business buddies who are trying to justify their tax-break toys by pulling the wool over your eyes.

    • I agree. Wasserman is like a male version of Palin.
      Smart on the outside, less citizen-friendly on the inside.
      Listen to what palin(ooops I mean Wasserman) says.
      Cuts to workers, cuts to services,more executives to collect 250,000 paychecks from the tazpayers.

      Vote smart, vote Democrat across the board Nov 2.
      It’s in the 98% of taxpayers interest to get your moneys worth.
      Vote Forrest Williams, for Supervisor
      Don’t let the Metro editors fool you in 2010!

  9. Your comments about former councilman Forrest Williams are absolutely ridiculous.  If you are going to comment on a candidate, you should gather your facts, and not resort to a pointless and untrue characterization. Forrest Williams has served this city well. During his tenure as a City Councilman, he did an excellent job. His experience, education, honesty and character qualifies him to serve as an outstanding County Supervisor. Why don’t you talk to people who know and have worked with Mr. Williams before publishing negative and untrue comments.

    • > Forrest Williams has served this city well. During his tenure as a City Councilman, he did an excellent job. His experience, education, honesty and character qualifies him to serve as an outstanding County Supervisor.

      All well and good.

      > Williams’ tenure on the San Jose City Council was distinguished mostly by . . . his slavish adherence to special interest agendas.

      But is Forrest Williams a slavish adherent to a special interest agenda?

      > I’m thinking the SBLC would be at the top of the list.

  10. Dear Editor,
    It is a well known saying that a pen is more powerful than a sword & the wielder of this power- an editor of an independent weekly would have wiser to be more sensitive in his choice.
    It’s entirely your call to endorse the man you consider a better option. There is, however, no need to berate an extremely nice, gentlemanly politician, who actually works on grass root level & delivers! I was an Arts commissioner & have seen Forrest do a wonderful job as our liasion to the council,
    Forrest went all the way to support the Arts in San Jose. He delivered!
    I say Forrest Williams will make a great supervisor & I wish him all the best!
    And, if you were really familiar with Forrest, you may also agree.

    • > Forrest went all the way to support the Arts in San Jose. He delivered!
      I say Forrest Williams will make a great supervisor & I wish him all the best!

      We’ve had enough happy talk and saccharine about Forrest Williams, and arts, and puppy dogs. 

      Let’s get real.

      Is Forrest Williams a slavish adherent to a special interest agenda?

      > I’m thinking the SBLC would be at the top of the list.

      Is there anyone from the SBLC who is going to say: “Forrest Williams screwed us and we don’t trust the guy?”  Hmmmmmm?

  11. Metro…It will be next to impossible to trust your “reporting”.  Your degree of journalistic bias and laziness in representing the truth is unexcusable.
    In your article you state that Mr. Wasserman is well equipped for the job. You based this strictly on Wasserman’s “rattling off economic jarragon”, to use your exact words.  The budgets Wasserman worked on in Los Gatos were miniscule compared to budgets Mr. Williams worked on while on the San Jose City Council. The depth of Mr. Williams’ community service is legandary.  What about Mr. Wasserman’s? No wonder you were not specific, as his is quite thin.
    Shame on you for such sloppy journalism.  And shame on you for showing your sense of racial entitlement on top of your sloppy jounalism. You truly represent journalism at its lowest.

    • I can’t speak to Mr. Wasserman’s qualifications, but I can tell you that Mr. Williams may have voted for the general fund, capital fund, and redevelopment budgets.  But he showed absolutely no understanding of them in either private meetings or with his public comments.

  12. the editor’s dismissal of forrest’s candidacy seems to boil down to his “long winded speeches” and his “slavish” devotion to special interests.  do special interests include emergency services, affordable housing and working to create jobs??

    • No they include runaway pay and benefits for unions who contribute to your campaign.  That leads to less emergency services, affordable housing, and jobs.

  13. It is telling that you refused to public my comments.

    You have been antagonistic toward the African American community for a long time. But we are used to it… We have had to deal with your type for many years in America.

    We always win, and just like your predecessors you and your children will be ashamed of you we your eyes are open. George Wallace and Bully Connors has their cheering sections too… but where are they now.