Takeaways from the 2012 Election

Billions spent nationally, two years of nonstop campaigning and essentially nothing changed. But the outcome of Tuesday’s election will help the economy. Gov. Jerry Brown reigns supreme. People voted to tax themselves and Democrats have super majorities in the legislature. Happy days are here again!

The Republican drive to get districts drawn “fairly” backfired badly. To paraphrase President Clinton: Republicans have a problem with math.

Open primary elections provided a less than stark choice for voters—which translated into less Pete Stark.

Local hero Ann Ravel of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) deserves credit for exposing the largest money laundering effort in California history. Spoiler alert—the money came from Republicans, though who gave individually still needs to come out of the wash.

Mayor Chuck Reed, like President Obama, governs an extremely divided electorate. But unlike the President, he has all he needs to govern.

The minimum wage increase is a big win for under-employed. Will the mayor and San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce now support wage increases in neighboring cities to “even” the playing field? Can’t wait to see those television ads.

The worst run campaign this year was by state Senate Candidate Joe Coto, who should demand his money back from the consultants who stole it. He’s a good man who deserved a better outcome.

Paul Fong won big over newly minted independent Chad Walsh. Fong aide and Campbell Councilmember Evan Low announced he was running for his boss’s seat in 2014 before all the votes were even cast. We expect Chris Christie to announce for President as soon as 2015, or possibly when Florida is called.

Women matter. Ask President Obama, David Ginsborg and Patrick Kwok.

Note to all future candidates and Scott Herhold: Signs don’t work and are a waste of money—even lawn signs.

Without looking, name three winners in down-ballot races: local school districts, the water district, open space authorities, etc. Many people can’t, which begs the question: Why do we vote for these positions?

Note to Dustin DeRollo and Tom Saggau: Stealing campaign signs may be unseemly, unethical and illegal, but even if you catch the culprit red-handed, it has little effect on the outcome of the election.

Note to current Milpitas City Councilmember Debbie Giordano: Stealing an ex-husband’s mailbox is stupid and a federal crime. But, apparently, that has no effect on voters either. An honorable person would resign from office anyway.

In 20 years you will be free to marry whomever you want and celebrate with marijuana instead of champagne. Times are a changing’.

Republicans may seek protection in California utilizing the endangered species act. Irony, where is thy sting?

Finally, it’s nice to know that while Donald Trump may have millions of dollars, my daughter cancelled out his vote in New York this year.

Voting is the last vestige of egalitarianism in our country. It allows the possibility of American exceptionalism to exist.

Rich Robinson is a political consultant in Silicon Valley.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.


  1. Despite all odds, our President prevailed.  He still has an uphill battle fighting a Red House which has blocked his every move in an attempt to squash his goals of bringing the Middle Class equal pay, women’s rights, gay rights and affordable healthcare.  The Bush Administration drove our economy into a swift nose dive and Obama is still the patsy.  Watch conservative hands paint him in Blackface with a visual commentary of how Barack has been bamboozled at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/10/bamboozling-obama.html

  2. “Mayor Chuck Reed, like President Obama, governs an extremely divided electorate. But unlike the President, he has all he needs to govern.”

    I’m not so sure that Lame Duck Reed has all he needs to govern.  He won’t be able to enforce support for any of his pet projects from the new council members he supported.  He’ll be out of office when they come up again for election, and their own districts may become more important to them than Reed’s thin-lipped smiles.

    And no one can really trust him to support those who put him into office, so that will rub off on those he supported.

    Those ambitious to succeed him don’t fear him…he carries no constituency loyal to him outside his power as mayor.  There’s no eager bunch of happy Reed supporters around at all.

    His next two years will be one drawn-out downward trajectory morphing into a profoundly negative legacy.

  3. Rich, you exaggerate and show your bias in saying Mayor Chuck Reed governs an extremely divided electorate. He won by a landslide, as did all of the pension reform measures he submitted to voters. The unions spending millions to influence voters for the most part are not part of the electorate. Many of their members live outside of San Jose. Rose Herrera won by ten points, more than 50 percent greater than Ash Kalra’s thin 6 point victory over a nobody, Tim Murphy, who spent no money. Both candidates in District 10 supported Measure B, so no divide there in Almaden. Bottom line is despite national and state victories and the symbolic minimum wage measure, Labor lost big time in San Jose. And union stooge Dave Cortese’s hopes of becoming mayor have fallen, along with the ridiculous candidates he supported, Jimmy Nguyen and Patricia Martinez Roach.

    • Lily,

      This election, despite the Mayor/chamber/media narrative, was not about pension reform.  That was decided in the primary.  No City Council will overturn pension reform, that will be done in the courts—because it violates the Constitution—and every knowledgeable lawyer knows it—even the folks who wrote the opinion that called the meausure “arguable”.  There is no precedent for interference with a contract—none.  In fact, all precedent is on the other side.

      How disappointed will people be then?  How much will that cost the city?  And will you and the electorate blame the Constitution and Courts—or will you more appropriately blame those who knowingly but the flawed measure on the ballot?

      In the past, San Jose has not had contested elections for incumbents of the City Council.  Only this year—why?  Because there is a contentious divide in the body politic.

      San Jose’s Chamber and Labor have a long history of getting along and working on issues both agree—especially in the area of economic development.  Yet now if one says the grass is green, it is disputed by the other side.  Distrust and animous permeate our politics.  Hopefully, this will change in the future. 

      Finally, I know Jimmy Nguyen and he is a tremendous human being.  He withstood a firestorm of criticism, innuendo, and sheer lies against him with dignity.  He lost a political race, but he is no loser.  And I have never been prouder to be associated with a candidate who told me from day one; that integrity was his greatest asset and he would not compromise it.

      He ran an honorable campaign for himself.  Check his material—as opposed to all of the other literature done by many different entities he could not control.  He made it clear he disagreed with Rose, but did not hate her as a person.

      He will be a great leader in the future and he isn’t going away—and I will support him in any future endeavor he decides to pursue.  We need integrity more than any other trait in political office.

      • Jimmy might be a nice guy but he came across a bit clueless in the campaign.  The Mercury News said it best:

        “Her opponent, Jimmy Nguyen, puts the public’s wish list on his campaign literature and promises to deliver everything from reopening homework centers to restoring the police burglary unit, which the police chief opposes. The question is: With what? ”

      • Thank you Rich.  That was one of the most accurate and fair assessments I have read in quite a while. Unfortunately, those people who are now crowing on top of the roost will soon be eating the same crow when the court system finishes with this pension reform nonsense.  Political posturing and creation of a hostile work environment was the goal.  That has been reached, with the hate-mongers elected and re-elected in San Jose. The system has been purposefully broken.  To what end, I still dont know.  I am sure the Unions are telling Rose where to stick her olive branch.

    • I think it’s always so laughable when people continue to say how pension reform won by a landslide, when there was only a 31% voter turnout….138,680 votes tallied. For a population of 971,372, I would hardly call that a landslide. http://www.sccgov.org/elections/results/jun2012/

      I also LOVE how people show no outrage over the people’s tax monies being spent by Mayor Reed to fight to keep his Measure B afloat, even though like measures are being struck down left and right, as recently done by the Third District Court of Appeals in Sacramento. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Court-rules-public-pensions-must-be-paid-4005005.php

      • Marie,
        The 31% who bothered to show up and vote in June were overwhelmingly convinced that pensions need to be gotten under control. The 69% who didn’t vote are representative of those who expect to have everything handed to them without having to work for them. Even casting a ballot is evidently more effort than they are willing to spend.
        You’re right about no outrage over expenditures ensuring that Measure B is implemented. Why should I be upset about the City finally fighting on behalf of it’s citizens? The City of San Jose is famous for caving in and paying out settlements when they’re sued. Finally, for once our City is standing up and doing the right thing. Money well spent in the estimation of the minority of our population that is informed and aware.

        • John,
          Voters are for pension reform, as are unions and non-voters.  San Jose unions made dozens of legal offers, some with guarantees that put in place automatic pay cuts if projected pension savings were not met.  They were all rejected in favor of Measure B.

          Measure B will be in litigation land for years and there will be no savings to restore services.  You have been mislead about pension reform and the viability of the city court action trying to defend an unlawful measure.  See the California Appeals Court Ruling of last week:  http://www.mef101.org/News/news136.html

          Click on this link to read the story and click on the link to read the opinion.  The exact verbiage that this court rejected is what is in the San Jose briefs filed by the same losing law firm in their defense of Measure B.

          Pension reform can be had, but it won’t be Measure B.  So, is it that you want to make a point, be mad as hell over pensions, or actually solve the problem and save taxpayer dollars.  When Measure B is overturned, then what?

        • Gee, I didn’t realize that fighting a losing battle for the symbolism of it all meant so much to the people of San Jose.  I guess less resources, shuttered libraries and community centers, etc don’t really mean a thing when you can say the city at least stood up for something it knew was wrong in the first place.  I fail to see how all of the money spent on putting that measure on the ballot, campaigning for it, and then fighting for it in the courts benefits anyone in San Jose……except maybe the lawyers.

        • Maybe fighting and losing Measure B won’t benefit anyone in San Jose Marie. Fighting and winning however, even one tiny provision of it, would be a major step forward.
          But I’d like to see the fight be widely publicized across the nation so that unsuspecting people in cities who’ve not yet been taken over by unions can learn from our mistakes. They’ll see that making generous offers to unions is a foolish error that’ll come back to bite them and for which the bloodsuckers will make them pay dearly. Perhaps a thorough understanding of our misery will be their salvation.
          This past Tuesday the Democrat voters were convinced that giving away their money and mine too would somehow be beneficial to others. Well, consider the court costs and lawyer fees associated with Measure B to be a charitable gesture also meant to help others. Consider it one big public service announcement advertising the pitfalls of making deals with the devil- er, I mean public employee unions.

        • John, you are delusional.  To think that the Employee Unions in San Jose represent such a large number, and your making the assumption that they do nothing in return for their pay and benefits, equates to ignorance, self-righteousness and elitism.  You have attempted to do what the San Jose Mercury Fish-wrap has been bought and paid for to do.  Why bother printing the truth, when you can create a common enemy out of thin air?  The very people entrusted to protect and render aid to the general public are made to be the enemy.  Why?  Because they receive something when they retire that you do not? There are numbers, facts, data, accounting truths, job function realities, bargaining unit successes (for the benefit of the public), etc available to illustrate why they are paid and compensated to industry standard.  Are these printed or reported on?  No.  Because people like yourself find it easier to ignore it, minimize it, and feed the unnecessary and mis-directed hatred.
            The editorial in the Fish-wrap says it all.  They are NOT QUITE accusing the Fire and Police of not doing their sworn duty, and act as professionals dedicated to the job…they are raising the specter of possibility.  Why?  Have they shown that in the past?  No.  It sells papers.  That is the lowest form of bottom-feeding.  I place you, and your desire to place the professionals in such a negative light, into that same category.

        • As I understand it, the language of Measure B makes it an all-or-nothing proposition. Either the Measure is lawful, or it is not. If it is found to be unlawful, probably the whole thing will be thrown out.

          The far more scary proposition is that, somehow and despite all the case law to the contrary, Measure B is somehow upheld. At that point, I believe San Jose will experience the true meaning of Pyrrhic victory as public safety, especially, abandons San Jose for far more responsible employment.

        • Thank you Officer for your response. You’re consistently even-keeled, polite, and reasonable. That said…

          I’m no lawyer but the language of the Measure seems clear.

          Section 1515A-  Severability

          “[a] this Act shall be interpreted so as to be consistent with all federal and state laws, rules, and regulations. The provisions of this Act are severable. If any section, subsection, sentence, or clause (“portion”) of this Act is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the final judgment of a court, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this amendment”…

          Of course it was the City that wrote these words and it’s up to the court to determine their validity but it seems not unreasonable for the several aspects of “pension reform” to have been bundled in one ballot measure. After all it would be cumbersome and unrealistic to have required that the City present each provision of pension reform as a separate ballot measure. Thus, “severability” seems to have been a reasonable approach and it seems even a public employee judge, predisposed to be sympathetic to public employees, will be hard pressed not to see the sense of that.

          I disagree with you that the far more scary proposition is that Measure B should stand, presumably leaving our community destitute of qualified professionals to protect us. Bad guys with guns we can handle. Far more threatening to our society is the creeping intrusion and influence of government into every aspect of our lives. The overturning of Measure B would be yet another indication that the State has gained yet more power over the citizens, denying them even the right to govern their cities as they see fit.

        • John, in that respect, you’re right. Yes, there’s a separability clause built in. It’s a moot point, however, considering the ‘poison pill’ clause at the end of the measure’s language. As I understand it, the poison pill clause means that if any portion of Measure B is found to be unlawful, San Jose gets to cut pay automatically by 4% each year to achieve the savings intended by the Council. Again, this completely bypasses the normal employment contract process.

          The problem with implementing any kind of new plan is the same problem San Jose faces with attempting to implement a 2nd tier, lower-cost retirement plan. The IRS and Congress have to get involved. For a variety of reasons, this is highly unlikely to happen. Indeed, other municipalities seeking to do what San Jose has attempted have been waiting for years for the Feds to act with no success so far. Even the Merc understood this fact when they wrote, last November, ““But the plan is pending IRS approval. Welcome to the club. Some 25 similar plans have been submitted since 2005, when the IRS placed a moratorium on them, apparently to come up with a consistent standard. Six years have passed with no action, and for all anybody knows, it could be another six before the IRS rules.”

          Bottom line: the current pension plans (Federated Employees and Police/Fire) are the only one which San Jose can legally implement. So, San Jose can either continue with the pension plans as they exist, or not offer any kind of retirement package at all. 

          With respect to your concluding paragraph regarding attrition, I invite you to read the following linked article: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/11/14/attrition-quickly-shrinking-san-jose-police-force/

          You speak as though the the community being left destitute of ‘qualified professionals to protect us’ is some possible future outcome. The reality is that unprecedented attrition is happening now, has been going on since Measures V and W passed, and San Jose has been completely unable to offset the current rate of attrition with hiring.

          While I agree with you that the government often intrudes far too deeply into the personal lives of individuals, I disagree that this is the central issue in the Measure B fight. Really, the central issue is the question of the durability and legality of a contract. The citizens of San Jose, through their elected representatives, entered into contracts with various employees. Yes, contracts can be re-negotiated, but there is a process for it. In point of fact, San Jose’s various negotiating groups offered reform through legal means. Notably, public safety offered a plan which would have saved the city $500 million over 5 years – far in excess of the TRUE pension shortfall (as opposed to the BS figures Chuck Reed spouted repeatedly).

          If Measure B passes, the practical conclusion is that contracts can be voided by means of legislation. The question then becomes this: how far does it go and at what point does it end? If the contracts between public employees and their ultimate employers – private citizens – can be voided, what about contracts between private citizens and corporations or those between corporations and the government? Where does it end? In this case, it would seem that equal protection would become a two-edged sword. Is the law the law, subject to a higher authority and set of morals? Or, is the law transitory, mutable, arbitrary, subject solely to the changing whims of the people. Put simply and ultimately: do we live in a Republic? Or a Democracy? Asked a couple hundred years ago, Ben Franklin answered, “A Republic if you can keep it.”

        • But it’s fine that government sues it’s own police officers?

          And this whole “we” stuff, give me your cell number, I will call you next time we have to do a yard to yard search for an armed parolee at three in the morning. I’am sure it will be off.

        • Well stated. I hear what you’re saying.
          The reliability and enforceability of contracts is indeed a cornerstone of our society .But that’s precisely why it’s so important that we limit the temptation for politicians to write contracts for which they personally bear no risk or responsibility. Only in government are ambitious amateurs allowed to buy their way up the career ladder with the promise of not just taxpayers’ money but that of their yet to be born children and grandchildren. Only government employees would be suing their employer to indefinitely honor these terms because only government would have been imprudent enough to offer them in the first place.

    • Lily,
      Measure D was hardly symbolic, the Chamber, Mercury News, Mayor Reed and his allies all fought very hard to defeat it.  They lost.

      The Chamber of Commerce was opposed to Measure A and D and supported Proposition 32 and they got clocked.  They also lost their choice for President, State Assembly (Joe Coto) and had to spend hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to keep Herrera in her seat.  Labor won big election night as they spearheaded wins in Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Measures A, B, and D.

      Fact of the matter is, in San Jose, Measure V and W have saved the city exactly zero.  The electorate was promised fiscal reform and more services if Measure V and W were passed and instead got nothing.

      Fact of the matter is Measure B was sold as a panacea of fiscal reform, it would save money and restore services.  Guess how much money it has saved…zero.

      To be for pension reform that can never be enacted because it is unconstitutional is silly.  Real pension reform needs to be enacted not tied up in the courts.  And before you say the unions were not in favor of pension reform, save your breath, unions offered substantial and legal reform that would have reduced costs and allowed for the city to restore services…the city rejected every single offer.

      Measure V/W/B all sounded good but none of it has resulted in any savings and B will be overturned by the courts.  Just last week a California Court ruled that a pension promise made in a contract must be honored…guess who the lawyers were in that case, the same clowns the city has hired to defend Measure B.  See court ruling here:  http://www.mef101.org/News/news136.html

      As for Jimmy Nguyen, he gave Herrera a run for her money, he won about 20 precincts and conducted his campaign with honor, she can’t say the same thing.

      • Good observation that pension reform has not actually been implemented as everyone is waiting to see how court challenges shake out the playing field.

        In reality, there is a social justice issue where folks who’ve already worked 10-20 years and made life decisions based on pension promises need to be taken care of.  There’s also a fact that second-tier for new hires won’t save enough money to keep the pension fund solvent.  So the middle ground is to lift and shift the pension program over 5-10 years for both future and current employees so that those close to retirement can still access the benefits they planned on but the taxpayer and future employees can realize the savings and benefits of a new hybrid pension system.

        We’ll see, I’m a little frustrated by the adversarial nature of the negotiations to date with the take it or leave nature of stances offered both by unions and management.

  4. I can name 1 winner in a City Council race in which labor spent $32,000 as of Oct 20th (more afterward):
    Teresa O’Neill.  Labor spent probably more than the city’s campaign spending limits trying to get the husband of a Devcon (stadium) contractor elected – John Mlnarik.  His signs blanketed the city, and we received mail piece after mail piece from both Mlnarik’s campaign and the South Bay Labor Council.  Voters saw through the onslaught of mailers to elect the better candidate, O’Neill.

    I can name 3 winners in down ballot races:
    Chris Stampolis – Santa Clara Unified
    Michele Ryan – Santa Clara Unified
    Anna Song – Santa Clara County Board of Education

    Stampolis and Song overcame incredibly negative PAC ads/mailers/robocalls to win decisive victories over their opponents who were supported by the PACs.  7 negative mail hit pieces on Anna Song. The Santa Clara County Schools PAC – funded by > $200,000 from outside of our area, including Steve Jobs wife and Netflix founder Reed Hastings – was viewed with suspicion by local voters because we have a clean code of campaign ethics for our city council elections – no hit pieces for council candidates.  The negative school board ads/mailers really stuck out in a bad way.  Anna won 57%/43%.

    And in Stampolis’s race, Mission College Trustee Buck Polk was the primary financial backer with donations and a $10,000 loan as of Oct. 20th.  This was a personal vendetta from Polk.  He and the other haters who participated in this negative campaign really laid an egg.  Stampolis came in 1st in a field of 4 candidates (vote for 2.) 

    And teacher Dr. Michele Ryan unseated an incumbent school board president to gain a school board seat.  Results are 55%/45%.

    The people who ran only positive campaigns came in first.  Albert Gonzalez, who came in 1st 4 years ago with 17,000 votes, was repeatedly mentioned by Buck Polk’s negative campaign.  Albert lost votes because of his association with the negative campaign. 

    The really big losers were Jude Barry and Jay Rosenthal, architects of the negative campaign against Anna Song.  As of Oct 20th, they’d been paid $30,000 to run a hate campaign that lost big.  David Neighbors is also a really big loser in this campaign – he now has lots of name recognition here associated with the negative PAC campaigning.  He told the Mercury News that he didn’t really know what the PAC was doing – really?  His face and name were plastered all over the negative ads, and his name was in the negative robocalls made by the PAC.

    • There are many points in this analysis I would have to agree with, especially the comments about how the opposition forces to Stampolis severely underestimated his ability to transform the negative attacks into positive affirmations. 

      It is true John Mlnarik suffered the biggest loss.  Indeed, Mlnarik posted 1500 signs and refuses to remove them.

      There were robocalls supporting Stampolis and Ryan.

      As for Buck Polk.  He truly has egg on his face, and Polk had help.  Joe Kornder, a former council member, gave the campaigns of Van Pernis and others, the help of an incompetent “campaign manager.”  She was ineffective, and quite over her head.  Polk and Kornder rejected the help of experienced campaign consultants as did Van Pernis and De Young, which sealed their fate.

      Van Pernis, Stampolis’ principal opponent, was the chief architect of his own defeat.  He was quire befuddled and very poor as a candidate.

      Teresa O’Neill did win a heroic victory.  Interesingly, she teamed up with Debi Davis and Lisa Gillmor in a slate mailer that championed the cause of women candidates.  It helped O’Neill and Davis win as it was a positive approach that the voters favored.  Mlnarik attempted to buy the election, and all he bought was bad advice coupled with the scheming of a fast and loose proponent of the campaign hidden ball trick.

      Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen, Ryan and Stampolis performed brilliantly.  As for Neighbors, he had no help from anyone who knew anything about Santa Clara.  Again, the forces opposing Stampolis and Song, coupled with the incompetence of Polk and Kornder made a perfect storm of mismanagement and bad assumptions.

      Did the voters win?

      Well, the voters in Santa Clara did seem to reject the nasty campaigns and the arrogance of Mlnarik.

      Seems like a win.

    • Jack-Key, you seem a little worked up.  Perhaps a smoke will calm your nerves.  The focus for the individuals that received the most votes on Tuesday really needs to be on the students.  There’s no room for politics in local school board races.  As our president says, “we’re not a red or blue America; we’re the United States of America.”  Your comments seem to have a tinge of recism to them.  To call people losers is just so hateful.  You can be better then that, beautiful.

      • How sad you are, I actually have not participated here on SJI, and given that I saw your post thought that at the very least I should reply, which meant I signed up, today, using my real name, unlike you.

        The fact that you thought it was appropriate to use the name that you did exposes you for what you are:  a bitter person who really doesn’t have much of a life and perhaps has never gotten past elementary school.

        Better yet, you are completely wrong, I am not “Taxpayer,” never have been, never will be.  You on the other hand?  Can’t post using your real name, though I have a good inkling of who you really are. 

        Hard for me to be “recist” given I am Hispanic, but then again you knew that didn’t you? 

        You can’t be better than that, but I am better than that.  Shame on you for not being brave enough to post using your own name, or would that yet again be another defeat for you?

        • I didn’t realize that San Jose Inside was your own forum to attack people, Hefty.  There’s honestly no need to let your need for a cigarette to get the best of you.  The point of my earlier post is to promote peace and harmony (especially during this season of thanks).  I encourage you to reflect on the good things in life.  God bless!

    • “Trustee Buck Polk was the primary financial backer with donations and a $10,000 loan as of Oct. 20th.  This was a personal vendetta from Polk. ”

      3rd party loans are contributions.  Where is the Major Donor form from Polk????

    • Individuals or businesses are considered “major donors” if they contribute a total of $10,000 or more in a calendar year to state and local candidates
      and committees.  Major donors must disclose their contributions under the Political Reform Act.  To let these individuals and businesses know about
      their reporting obligations, the law requires candidates and committees
      that receive $5,000 or more in a calendar year from any single individual
      or business to notify the contributor of these reporting requirements.  Fair
      Political Practices Commission regulation 18427.1 recommends language
      for committees to use when notifying contributors of $5,000 or more. 
      While it is not required that the notice contain the exact language found in
      the regulation, the language used must be substantially the same

      • So do major donors have to fill out their own FPPC paperwork?  Or is the fact that a donation is listed on the committee’s 460 form enough? 

        Have the Polks fulfilled their reporting requirements by being listed on the PAC 460 form as donors?  Or not? If not, what should happen to fulfill the reporting requirements?

        • Sounds like a personal vendetta.  That PAC’s campaign strategy was a real turnoff to voters, who obviously didn’t listen, or decided to do their own research and read the ballot statements etc., and then vote in the way they wanted rather than how they were told to vote.  How much have the people who participated in that negative campaign damaged their reputations?

          Did the negative campaign have any effect on voter turnout in the school board races (increase or decrease or no change) from previous years?

  5. I love the way Labor consultants are trying to spin their wholesale local trouncing as a victory. They lost the mayorship in 2006, lost control of the council and have lost each time pension reform has been put on the ballot. The council is now in firm control of the fiscal responsibility crowd and the city has been saved from insolvency due to an unfunded pension obligation. SBLC’s desperate strategy is to support incompetent and scandal-plagued electeds like Xavier Campos and George Shirakawa, waste money on teaching politicians like Rose Herrera “lessons,” and thwart the will of the citizens on Measure B by lawyering up in the courts. Cortese has made a joke of himself by associating his face with the failed candidacies of Patricia Martinez-Roach and Jimmy Nguyen. He doesn’t stand much of a chance of getting elected mayor now. Cortese is clearly out of step with San Jose, even his own former district. Except for the fig leaf of Measure D, Labor’s going to be sitting on the sidelines for a while and some real work can get done now.

    • Lily,
      Can you tell us the amount of money that has been saved as a result of Measures V-W or B?  The answer is zero, so how have we been saved from “insolvency”?

      When Measure B was placed on the ballot, Sam Liccardo added an amendment that directed the City Attorney to seek a court ruling, declaratory relief, from a court to validate his and the council majority’s belief that Measure B was constitutional.  The city filed this court action the day BEFORE the voters cast ballots in June of this year.

      They filed their court action in federal court and guess what, they lost.  The federal court said it ought to be heard in state court where the unions filed their lawsuits to ensure that no entity can break a contract.

      You see Lily, the unions sued AFTER the city filed their lawsuit and remember that the city must get court clearance for Measure B before they can implement it.  This will never happen because it is unconstitutional, see the California Appeals Court ruling of last week:  http://www.mef101.org/News/news136.html

      Pension reform that is never enacted is no pension reform at all.  Rose Herrera ran a campaign based on a vote for an unconstitutional measure, a measure that has resulted in zero savings. 

      When you examine labor negotiations at the county during this past budget cycle you see that the Board of Supervisors directed their negotiators to come to the table with a target for savings, $75 million from labor groups and an open mind on how the labor groups could get there.  You had agreements instead of acrimony.  The county saved $75 million in concessions and will save nearly the same amount this year as a result of two year deals.

      Dave Cortese voted for the direction to seek $75 million in concessions from labor but did it honestly and without the lies and rancor that Chuck and his allies used in San Jose.  The result is the county got the concessions it needed and in San Jose all we got was turmoil.

      We will always disagree about Rose Herrera who was funded with an illegal $100k from the Mayor and Chamber but do us all a favor and go to the endorsement list of the SBLC and see for yourself that scale and scope of their victories this past election cycle.

      Yes V/W and B passed by wide margins, but what has it gotten San Jose…Nothing.  Measure D passed by a wide margin as well, and it will mean 40,000 families will get a little more for the work they do so they can try and make it in this expensive valley.

      You can bask in Rose Herrera, Measures V/W and B I will bask in Measure D and Jim Beall and Barack Obama and Measure A, Prop 30 and the defeat of Prop 32.  All were hard fought wins for local labor.

  6. > But the outcome of Tuesday’s election will help the economy.

    You left out an important qualifier, Rich.

    The outcome of election will help the GOVERNMENT sector of the economy (including all of the TAKERS who feed off the government) . . . BUT ONLY IN THE SHORT TERM!

    At some moment in the not-too-distant future . . . KABLOOIE! The whole stinking pussball of fantasy accounting will burst, and Californians will be scrambling to get aboard the last helicopter leaving for Greece or Spain or anyplace with a better economy.

    California is being funded by borrowed money.  And borrowed money requires interest payments.  And when the money needed to pay interest on the last fifty years or borrowed money exceeds the state’s revenues, the state government and the state’s economy simply shuts down. No more borrowed money.

    No money for teachers.  No money for prison guards.  No money for cops. No money for welfare.  No money.

    And if the California economy is in catatonic seizure, there is no business activity and raising taxes will just fill up the prisons with tax delinquents.

    Repeat after me, Rich:  The current tax and spend orgy by California politicians is UNSUSTAINABLE!


    Any economic theory that says the spending ways of California’s Democrat politicians can go on forever is simply wrong.

    California is in freefall, and at the end of a freefall there is a SPLAT!

  7. Well we are doomed country by the president, state by prop 30, county by Measure A, and city by Chuck and his band of idiots.  The president will continue to print money because he can and the rest will tax the crap out of us.  Don’t forget how much Obamacare will hit us in the wallet as well.

    All I can say is be care what you wish for (and voted) because hell is coming.  Time to be a prepper.

    God help us all.  Sure the city will push their tax version ASAP.

    • Yet, you would rather have had this country move backward, where the “little woman” should be in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant? You don’t care that Romney stated, he was NOT going to care about the 47%. You ARE part of that 47%. So, he doesn’t care about YOU. You would not care that it would have been more of the same George Bush era? Romney even had Condeelza on his campaign trail and had Bush advisers. Do you really want to go back to that? No. We do NOT need to go backward. We didn’t need to take the chance of falling back into the same cesspool that GWB put us in. When Obama took over as President, he inherited a huge mess. You think it would take 4 years to clear that mess up? It is going to take time. We are coming out of it. All of the money I lost in stocks have more than doubled, since Obama took over. My home value has gained $75K.  The unemployment rate is 7.9% versus the double digits we had when Obama took over. Yes, we are recovering slow…but we are recovering. Some people just want everything NOW, and life just doesn’t work that way. We do not need to go backward. Take your color blinders off and maybe you will see that we ARE making progress. Evidently our country could see that as they voted him, OVERWHELMINGLY back into office at a time when the economy is slow. That says a LOT. We need both sides to come together for the good or our country and stop the “woe is the country” sh!t.

      • The unemployment rate was at 7.8% when President Obama was inaugurated, it is 7.9% today. And that doesn’t take into account an historically low labor participation rate.

        More people are below the poverty line, more people are on food stamps.  The housing free fall has stopped (for now), but area housing prices are down about 35% from the 2007/8 peak.

        The federal government spent $6,000,000,000,000 more than they have collected over the past four years, and this is what we have to show for it. And you call that progress?

        This is the worst “recovery” in memory. And nothing on the horizon makes me comfortable that it will get better. In fact, the democrat supermajority is liable to make it much, much worse.

        • It’s the worse recovery in memory because the country was in the worse condition it had ever been in. Of course the recovery is going to be slower. It would have been helpful if the publicans didn’t try to obstruct everything the President tried to do in order to try and make him fail. But of course you wouldn’t see that.

        • Worse than it’s ever been? Worse than the stagflation of the 70’s? Worse than the Great Depression? I hardly think so.

          Other than somehow permanently increasing government spending to $3.5T annually with a “one time” stimulus, what, exactly has your golden boy done to get us out of this mess. And stimulating the golf industry and lining the pockets of his buddies with federal money doesn’t count.

          When, pray tell, will the (democratic controlled) Senate pass an actual budget defining how we extricate ourselves from this mess?

        • Worse. Publicans are a dying party. Not too many like them anymore. They have shown their a$$ and disrespected our country trying to obstruct everything the President tried to do to make him fail. As you saw by the outcome of the last two elections…not enough people want them enough to vote them back into office, so the points you are trying to make really do not matter. Not at all. And, by the way, I vote for who I think will get the job done. I am an independent who has been sickened by what the publicans have shown me.

        • When the Republican house sends a budget that increases taxes on billionaires and protects social securtiy. medicare and the like, they will pass a budget.

          This country would be in a hell of a mess if not for the stimulus.  Unemployment would be over 10% and not falling, no creditt, not growth—at what point are Republicans going to understand macro economics? 

          It’s the same story as Roosevelt and Reagan—only with far less government growth.  Hence the reason the recovery is slower. 

          To extricate ourselves from this mess—-support the President’s plan to increase revenue, cut spending and protect the middle class.

          Your guy lit the house on fire—thei President put it out and all you can do is complain that he flooded teh building.  Stop whining—and help him solve the problem.

        • Apparently so.  For the first time in San Jose History, even through the Great Depression, the City felt the need to layoff Firefighters and Police Officers.  Then, while poised to declare a “Fiscal Emergency”, with a “stated” sum of $650 million dollar pension deficit, Kamala Harris asked “is that necessary”?  She then wanted to audit the accounting records of the 10th largest City in the Nation.  Miraculously, the drumbeat of “$650 million” stopped, the Firefighters were re-hired, and there is now another Fire Academy presently training.  The Police are leaving in droves, and they are currently WOEFULLY understaffed.  So I agree Jeepster, It ISNT the worst, it never HAS BEEN the worst economy.  Not by a long shot.  It is the worst management, the worst running of a City, and the worst decision making this City has ever seen.  THAT one I can agree with.

        • The next time you get mugged or swindled and you object to it, how ‘bout if some smug dope comes along and tells you to quit your whining? How’s that gonna go over with you?
          But your Messiah there. Now he’s the King of Whiners. Having never done an honest day’s work and knowing absolutely nothing about working for what you want, in a land brimming with opportunity he’s built his entire career and life on whining to be handed that which honorable people go out and bust their ass.
          This President has no plan to cut spending. And his only plan to increase revenue is to continue to print money to give it away to those who’ve not earned it and devaluing the money and lifetimes of work of those who have.

        • “When the Repbulican house sends a budget that increases taxes on…”

          That’s not how the process works. The president submits a budget to congress. The house and senate each pass their own budget bills. Differences are resolved in reconciliation (that’s the ruse the Democrats used to pass Obamacare without breaking the filibuster).

          The house has passed budgets. The senate hasn’t even considered one in three years, other than voting down Obama’s budget proposals 99-0.

        • Rich.

          Tell we under obamacare, which no one has read, that we will be taxed for selling our homes in 2013.  Why is the feds adding a tax for this?  We are taxing the wealthy, gee 250K for a family in this valley, both by the feds and state.  I know you make this as well. If you want I can post the bill.

  8. You can throw facts and speak articulately and provide these clueless people with common sense but in the end it doesnt matter. Its like spitting in the wind. You cannot fix stupid people like Lily, Cliff Generson, Leif, Joe Rios and all the uninformed haters out in blog land. The city is going down the crapper everyday with 30-40 stolen cars a day!!!! 8-10 residential burglaries a day!!!! 3-4 armed robberies a day!!!! Yes most of this lies below radar thanks to the Mercury News but the facts are out there. The ship has already sunk and now a woman who called 911 may be dead due to police shortages. Chuck Reed and your clan are guilty along with all the above anti police commenters who are most likely council members family or aid. DISGUSTING!

    • Lily Pod,
      How’s that pension reform working for you?  Are the libraries open longer….No.  Are there more cops on patrol…No.  Has crime gone down…No.  Are the community centers open longer…No.  Are businesses clamoring to come to San Jose…No.  Are the streets getting paved, sidewalks maintained, trees trimmed…No.

      You were lied to, there could have been pension reform done in a legal and thoughtful way instead of Measure B.  Measure B will be overturned in the courts and then what…your genius council majority will have to answer for why they did not work to implement legal reform. 

      Your council majority will have two years of overseeing the continued decline of what was once a pretty solid city and then another election…enjoy your two years of a council majority and the highest murder rate in 16-years and gang violence exploding and graffiti everywhere and libraries and community centers closing…enjoy it, and thank Measure B for it.  Again, how much has Measure V/W and B saved the city?  Still waiting…

  9. Lily,
      Truth is, we all lost on pension reform.  It was poorly negotiated, woefully mismanaged, and served to tarnish the image of every Firefighter, Police Officer and Politician in this City. The San Jose Mercury News has distorted and falsely reported on every step of this campaign.  Look who they supported Nationally, and compare that to what they supported locally.  That should say it all.  When they support a National vote against Prop 32, but still want to elect someone who is a known Union basher….it shows who pulls their strings. The taxpayers will eventually lose, and the situation will remain status quo.  A hollow victory for anyone.

    • Well stated.  And every Govt. agency wants to tax the “Rich”!  A combined income in this area of a married couple of 250K is not rich.  So we will pay more.  Gee last year was for 50K in fed / state taxes. Now we added sales, water and property taxes.  Blood suckers.

      • Also gasoline taxes, and the bond and parcel tax measures on top of our property tax bill.  And what about taxes/fees on our utility bills that are above and beyond paying for the actual utilities?  I’ve often wondered if we kept track of all of the taxes we pay, including taxes such as sales tax on small purchases, what percentage of our income each year would go toward our total tax bill?

    • It’s not really that bad.  Worst case scenario the city can file bankruptcy to re-organize their debt service and have a court appointed conservator help them re-organize their debts versus liabilities, but they’re actually doing well enough that this is unlikely.  More likely, there’s going to be some horse trading and negotiating and new hires will get 2nd tier benefits (which really sucks if you get to work alongside someone with a great pension and do the exact same work, but get paid less and receive less retirement vesting.)

      There’s also got to be a draw down from the 3% at 50 to something like 2.7 at 55 and an increased contribution, and we’ve already seen good ideas and concessions on all sides.  The days of being able to earn 10% a day on invested pension money by playing the stock and real estate market are over, and even CalPERS is due for a radical reality check in the next couple of years.  We’ll survive….

      • Blair , earlier this month The 9th District Court of Appeals Ruled in Favor of City Employees Vs City of Redding   And in it , it states ” The City is STILL responsible for Promised Pensions .Finanacial Issues in no way shape or form are grounds to re-neg on Pensions . The Obligation must be and Has to met.

        This Mayor And Council NEVER even tried to Negotiate . The Mayor had his Agenda and the Council followed his lead. He lied to the people of San Jose and they bought it . The Employee Union offered Real and Legal reform that would have saved the City upwards of $500 MILLION DOLLARS , that would have started saving money the day it was signed. BUT the Mayor refused to even discuss any Plan but his own. Zero money has been save by the Measure V,W or B . These will be tied up in the courts for years. (FYI -city workers has not lost a judgement yet , in these proceedings)

        Oh yeah , The Losing law firm that represented the City of Redding , Guess who else they represent……………………..Yup Rufus “the Dufus” and the city of San Jose.

        The residents of San Jose are the true losers here. Mayor Reeds sheer Arrogance will cost the city Millions upon millions only to be defeated in the courts.

        There are no where near enough officers in this city , those newly hired will leave as soon as they can . The fire dept is in the same boat , people are leaving and hiring cannot keep up with the loss of experience and or quality of loss of Public safety. we are lucky to have the public safety that we still have . most of these individuals have already experienced Hate /Disgust/ & everything else short of physical confrontations , from the public. All because of the Mayors Lies

        • This issue is playing out nationally, there’s been court cases in Colorado and other places and while the traditions of common law say contract must be upheld no matter what, there’s also some precedent for debt relief in examples of personal, corporate or municipal bankruptcies.  If the feds bail you out, odds are the contracts will be honored, but that’s not a certainty.

          Side note for non-pensioned folks – read your annual statement from the Social Security Administration all the way through.  They’ve put verbage in about reducing social security payments for future retirees in the 2015-2016 range as the ability of the trust fund to fully support retirees benefits appears to be exhausted (congress looted it years ago in an accounting trick to look like they were balancing the budget.)

        • Yeah they can adjust the terms of social security pensions and there’s not a damned thing the private sector serfs can do about it. But speaking of verbage here’s some from the City Charter:

          Article XV
          Section 1500

          “Except as hereinafter otherwise provided, the Council shall provide, by ordinance or ordinances, for the creation, establishment and maintenance of a retirement plan or plans for all officers and employees of the City. Such plan or plans need not be the same for all officers and employees. Subject to the other provisions of this Article, the Council may at any time, or from time to time, amend or otherwise change any retirement plan or adopt or establish a new or different plan or plans for all or any officers or employees.”

        • Negative 1) Pensions can ONLY be adjusted by a vote by the Membership. 

          2) if pensions are adjusted , employees MUST be given something of equal or More Value ( usually that means an increase in pay)

          3) This Mayor & Council has taken it upon themselves to take 10% of total Compensation ( anywhere from $ 8,000 to $20,000 )  from employees and now wants to change the pensions??

          The residents of San Jose will find out the hard way that this Mayor was not thier savior but their destroyer when all is said and done in the courts. millions upon millions will have been wasted ( it has already been ruled that the city is liable for all costs incurred from lawsuits for both sides)

          In the end people will realize that City workers offered a viable proposal that would have created an immediate saving to the city & residents

        • HOWEVER, what the law says that if there are take aways, the agency must provide something equal to what they took away. Not in those words. They cannot simply take and not provide something of equal value. And that article is more than likely referring to new employees, not current ones.

  10. “Note to current Milpitas City Councilmember Debbie Giordano: Stealing an ex-husband’s mailbox is stupid and a federal crime. But, apparently, that has no effect on voters either. An honorable person would resign from office anyway.

    You may not know alot about San Jose campaigns but you are way off base when it comes to our city. No one believes it was a theft except her enemies. No law was broken. That is why the council did not reprimand her. Stick to San Jose – you are probably more in tune there.”

    If you view the link below, there is a legal opinion showing no laws were broken and that is why her political enemies on the Council did not proceed with trying to reprimand her.


  11. “Note to current Milpitas City Councilmember Debbie Giordano: Stealing an ex-husband’s mailbox is stupid and a federal crime. But, apparently, that has no effect on voters either. An honorable person would resign from office anyway.”

    The link below shows that there is a legal opinion showing no laws were broken and that is why her political enemies on the Council did not proceed with trying to reprimand her.


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