A Rose of a Different Color

Nothing stings as much as a politician you helped gain public office betraying you. It’s not uncommon, but it doesn’t make the pain any less real.

The result, of course, is predictable. The aggrieved party works doubly hard for the next opponent; which brings us to the sad case of Councilmember Rose Herrera.

Herrera would not be a San Jose Councilmember if not for the support of progressives, local democrats and the South Bay Labor Council. Her first campaign for a District 8 seat was literally run out of Labor’s headquarters.

Her election solidified a majority of votes on the San Jose City Council for a progressive agenda—or so it appeared. But Herrera chose to abandon her progressive base and join the opposition and their much more conservative and anti-public employee agenda. Her defection was not simply a switch in policy, but a complete transformation to becoming a staunch nemesis of her former supporters.

It was not simply her support for an unconstitutional pension reform plan, but binding arbitration, budget issues and development projects. To add insult to injury, Herrera often indicated she would support or oppose an issue only to change her mind the day of the vote—causing the further chagrin of her already disaffected former base.

And regardless of how one might feel about the progressive agenda; being disappointed by a politician’s lack of allegiance to their previous stated values is an all too often occurrence in the business we call politics.

So it is no surprise that many progressives are supporting East Side School Trustee Patricia Martinez-Roach. Martinez-Roach is no stranger to politics, but she has rarely had the support of establishment progressives. But she is willing to run against a turncoat Councilmember and disaffected Herrera voters will support an ABR candidate (Anybody But Rose). If Martinez-Roach can unite her neighborhood and education base along with establishment progressives, Herrera could face a tough election.

Add to Herrera’s woes the candidacy of Jimmy Nguyen. Nguyen is bright, articulate, independent and has a responsible fiscal agenda that calls for a reduction of executive salaries and no tax increases. He is the type of person many voters say they want in public office. But such new, independent and out-of-the-box candidates rarely win the first time out. Win or lose, Nguyen has a bright future and has impressed on the campaign circuit.

So, Rose Herrera has some work cut out for her. As the incumbent she is the natural favorite. She will not be able to rely on her former base, but incumbency has its own base of support.

As for progressives and the unreliable elected officials who sometimes let them down, politics is a harsh mistress and, in the words of Hyman Roth in Godfather II, “this is the business we’ve chosen.”

Rich Robinson is a longtime political consultant in Silicon Valley who is currently working on Steve Kline’s District 6 campaign. Robinson’s columns for San Jose Inside are independent of his campaign duties.

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. What matters in politics, said John Kennedy, is what gets done.  Not what is said.  Not what is promised.

    Ms. Herrera hasn’t gotten anything done for District 8.

    She takes credit for projects sponsored, enacted and begun under her predecessor.

    It is quite obvious from council meetings that she rarely, if ever, reads the memoranda on issues.

    She has utterly failed to accomplish anything minimally required in District 8, from road repair to economic development.

    Based on her nonperformance, her time is up, and the District 8 voters will be congratulated for replacing her.

  2. Rose Herrera has been an empty suit for decades.  She was removed from the Deliquency Prevention Commission for non attendance, and went to Zoe Lofgren to be reinstated.

    After that, Herrera continued to be absent from meetings.

        • The conundrum well articualted.  Any solutions?

          The Conservatives;

          Oppose Education—it creates liberals

          Oppose Climate Change Policies—Oil companies will lose money and fire people.  Besides, we’ve been looking forward to the end of the world for a longtime, we now have it in our sight.

          Oppose Science—would rather have belief without evidence, it’s worked for the major religions for hundreds, nay thousands of years.  Ignorance is bliss and we are the happiest people in the world, except when we are not.

          Oppose America—We fly the flag and hate the President.  Of course when liberals fly the flag and hate our President, they are unAmerican.

          Oppose the Constitution—especially those amendments that call for an income tax, equal protection under the law and the abolition of slavery.  We support a slaves right to work.

          Oppose Freedom—would strike the entire message of the Statue of Liberty—especially the beginning, Give us your poor. . .  They oppose people seeking opportunity in a land of the free—so they send armed people to the southern border.  I guess it’s ok for the people of the northern border to cross-over.  I wonder why?

          Etc.  Etc.  Etc.

      • > Conservatives do not believe in science. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=conservatives-lose-faith-in-science-over-last-40-years

        > How crazy is that?  These people stick to believing made-up stories, embellished over thousands of years and they reject what can be proven—and we can’t call them stupid because it is impolite.

        Well, Rich, if you want to assert that Progressives’ dogmatic belief in human caused global warming is evidence of their reverence for “science”, then it looks like you are questioning the scientific credentials of even authentic rocket scientists.

        What happens when brain surgeons start questioning global warming?  Are you going to call them stupid, too?

        50 Top Astronauts, Scientists, Engineers Sign Letter Claiming Extremist GISS Is Turning NASA Into A Laughing Stock!

        “…..unproven remarks…..not substantiated…..hundreds of well-known climate scientists…..tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief…..science is NOT settled…..unbecoming of NASA’s history…..advocacy of an extreme position…..damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA…..even the reputation of science itself…”

        Letters to the top don’t get any more blunt than that.

        Astronauts condemn NASA’s global warming endorsement


        James Hansen’s Former NASA Supervisor Declares Himself a Skeptic

        Says Hansen ‘Embarrassed NASA’ & ‘Was Never Muzzled’

        Washington DC: NASA warming scientist James Hansen, one of former Vice President Al Gore’s closest allies in the promotion of man-made global warming fears, is being publicly rebuked by his former supervisor at NASA.
        Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of James Hansen, NASA’s vocal man-made global warming fears soothsayer, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen “embarrassed NASA” with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was “was never muzzled.”


        90 year old climate scientist rips into UN IPCC over conflicts of interest


        • Yes, it is true that there are well-educated astronauts who believe that global warming does not exist, and there’s something very sad about that.

          The vast majority of scientists affirm that global warming is real. Some climate change deniers have made comparisons between scientists who reject global warming and Gallileo, both holding minority beliefs but both, in the eyes of climate change deniers, correct. The difference is that we have a very different scientific community than Galileo had, where thoughts, data, and findings are freely circulated. Most scientists believe in global warming for that reason.

        • > The vast majority of scientists affirm that global warming is real.


          Could you provide some—like—you know—SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE for this claim?

          Like, for example . . .

          How many scientists ARE THERE?

          How many scientists affirm that HUMAN CAUSED global warming is real?

          How many scientists “reject” HUMAN CAUSED global warming?

          How was your DATA obtained?

          Were your data and research methods PEER REVIEWED?

          Also, could you explain to me when and by whom was the scientific method based on hypothesis and experiment replaced by a scientific method based on popularity, polls, and majority opinion?

        • You seem to either believe that
          A) The majority of scientists don’t believe in human caused global warming
          B) The majority of scientists believe in human caused global warming, but don’t base their beliefs in scientific fact.

          I’m not going to count how many scientists are on each side of the issue and then have my count “peer reviewed” to prove the first claim to you. If you want to learn about the scientific opinion on global warming, wikipedia is a good starting point:

          The second claim, that the majority of scientists aren’t basing their conclusions on real science, is an extraordinary statement, and so requires extraordinary evidence.

        • > I’m not going to count how many scientists are on each side of the issue and then have my count “peer reviewed” to prove the first claim to you.

          Gee, Dakota, it looks like you’re declining to provide SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE.  Completely typical for global warming claimants.

          > The second claim, that the majority of scientists aren’t basing their conclusions on real science, is an extraordinary statement, and so requires extraordinary evidence.

          In the world of REAL science, the requirement for proof is on the AFFIRMATIVE proposition.  Here, you are requesting proof of a NEGATIVE proposition. (Prove to me that Sasquatch DOESN’T exist.)

          The EXTRAORDINARY claim is that the MAJORITY of scientists believe in HUMAN CAUSED global warming.

          PROVE IT!

          I thought Progressives were supposed to be really smart and base all their knowledge on actual, authentic science.  You haven’t given me any confidence that this is true.

          Al Gore is NOT a scientist.  He got a “C” in the only science course he took as a Harvard undergraduate.  That was before he went to Divinity School and dropped out.

          Majority opinion = politics.

          Hypothesis, experiment, and data = science.

        • >In the world of REAL science, the requirement for proof is on the AFFIRMATIVE proposition.  Here, you are requesting proof of a NEGATIVE proposition. (Prove to me that Sasquatch DOESN’T exist.)

          I agree, and I believe that scientists have argued well for the case that global warming is real. That’s why most scientists agree about it. If you really think that the global warming debate should boil down to how well a non-scientist argues for its existence, then I guess I can link you a bunch of graphs from A Convenient Truth or something, but for some strange reason, science tends to be more correct when it originates from the scientific community, not from the popular media. Considering you’re the one who disagrees with the mainstream scientific community, I think the rationale for your opinion is more important than mine.

        • > That’s why most scientists agree about it.

          . . .

          > Considering you’re the one who disagrees with the mainstream scientific community, . . .

          Still clinging to the ignorant belief that science is just populism for people with clipboards and labcoats?

          Momma always said that “just because everyone else is going to jump in the lake, it doesn’t mean that you have to jump in the lake, too.”

          If science relied on popularity, Einstein’s theory of relativity wouldn’t exist, because only a handful of scientists could even grasp it when he first proposed it.

          Science is and always has been about visionary individuals seeing things differently and challenging orthodoxy.

          “Orthodoxy” = “what most scientists agree about”

          Tragically, we live in a time and place where the majority of people really don’t understand what “science” is about.  Even a lot of people purportedly claiming to be “scientists” have compromised their scientific integrity at the altar of government grant money.

          Political activists with degrees in political science, or social work, or gender studies imagine that “science” is just like “activism”, except that it’s about “geeky” things.  They think they can fake their knowledge of science just like they can fake their way through a social studies exam given by a liberal college instructor.

          “Science” is rigorous, disciplined process for acquiring and validating knowledge, and if the rules of the scientific method are adhered to, the end result is that a true scientist learns and knows things that the majority doesn’t know.

          True science unmasks and embarrasses the fakers and the charlatans.

          And that’s what science is doing today to the Al Gore’s, the James Hansen’s, and the UN IPCC’s.

          These scammers are being unmasked and exposed for their fraud and corruption.  And it’s about time.

          And the bootlicks and suckups who bought into their dishonest and self-serving fear mongering are going to be embarrassed and discredite, too.

        • > Do you honestly think that we should disregard the opinions of scientists regarding it?

          Yes.  We should disregard the OPINIONS of scientists just as we should disregard the opinions of junior college social work and gender studies majors.

          We should give consideration and credence to the hypotheses, experiments, data, analyses, and explanations of competent scientists who do their science work with honesty, integrity, scientific discipline, rigor, humility, and an open mind.

          Opinions? No!

          Data and experiments? Yes!

          > According to USA Today, 97% of scientists believe in man-caused global warming.

          Boy, are you gullible.

          And just what does USA Today base this remarkable statistic on?  Al Gore’s book? Astrologers? The leaked UN IPCC Climategate files?

          Question: What WARRANTY does USA Today provide that assures anyone that information appearing in their newspaper is true and correct?

          Answer: None.  Zero. Zilch. Nil. Nada. None.

          Because of the First Amendment, all a newspaper has to do is say some moron said it.  And there is no consequence.

          They can say anything they want.  They can make up things. They can even print stories that other people make up about “global warming”.

          And people like you will believe it.

        • This is a scientific matter. Do you honestly think that we should disregard the opinions of scientists regarding it? You keep arguing that popularity doesn’t make something true, but you’ve failed to provide one logical, scientifically valid point about why you believe the majority of scientists are wrong. According to USA Today, 97% of scientists believe in man-caused global warming. This isn’t a debate that shouldn’t be so highly politicized. This shouldn’t be a fight between progressives and conservatives, this should be a rational discussion between people who have dedicated their lives to studying science. Politicians only became involved because effectively fighting climate change will require regulating greenhouse gases.

        • > Also, scientists have a tendency to base their opinions on scientific matters in data and experiments. That’s kind of the nature of their job.

          Is this what they told you in Community College Gender Studies Environmental Racism Class?

          Ummm. Nope.

          People with science degrees who work for a paycheck (often erroneously mislabled as “scientists”) often like to keep the paycheck comming to pay for their food, rent, and big screen TV’s.

          If the paycheck requires them to figure out how much of California will be flooded if the sea level rises fifty feet, they can do it.  It doesn’t mean they believe it.

        • It took you four months and you’re actually saying that 97% of scientists are bribed to lie about global warming? You obviously arrived at your position before considering the evidence and then decided to work backwards to justify your position. “OKAY, WELL IF SCIENTISTS SAY GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL, I GUESS SCIENTISTS ARE LIARS.”

  3. Please get your facts straight – Rose has done more than Cortese ever did for our district.  For those of you even thinking of putting Patricia Martinez Roach in office ought to have their heads examined.  Just look at her record at ESUHSD – she was ineffective, uninformed and in general a detriment to the district.  The LAST thing we need is someone like her running District 8.

    • sexxi,

      I beg to differ with you. All three of the people you have sited have done a lot for our community. I know all three of them, and I think they have done much to improve things for not only their district, but for San Jose in general.

      These three folks have dedicated a lot of their time, prior to being in office, to community service. All three of them have fought to improve business, the lives of youth, fought for public employees, have tried to improve the lives of abused women, and have done things to improve their district. 

      To state that both Dave and Patricia are ineffective only proves to me that you have never worked with them, or know their history as public servants.

      I wish both Rose and Patricia good luck in this race. You’d be lucky to get either one of them.

  4. “Herrera often indicated she would support or oppose an issue only to change her mind the day of the vote….”

    They have a name for this…. Bi-Polar disorder.

    Rose has been a constant disappointment from the get go….  Her fence sitting and back and forth alliances just indicate that she doesn’t have a clue about what she is doing….

    The best thing for San Jose and District 8 is someone else in her seat…..  Thanks for trying Rose but you need to go….

  5. What this city needs is someone of at least average intelligence and absolute ability to listen to both sides of an issue and then make an informed decision. These are qualities that Rose Hererra has proven time and time again………….that she just does not possess. She is nothing more than an empty suit , who has and will continue to vote the way , The Mayor wants her to. Check her record , not once has she voted against the mayor on any topic, even if she started out with a different opinion. This is someone who turned her back on her constituants ,and the people who helped put her in office. Is this really someone we want to continue to put our trust in ? I for one cannot and will not

  6. Rose has my endorsement because of the Atul Lall case.  She was the
    first to step forward and offer a reward.  She helped bring attention
    not just to the community, but mine as well.

    I didn’t help for the reward, fame, or any of that.  I grew up in
    Evergreen.  In 1982 (9 years old) I’d routinely walk from the family
    ranch across the street from Evergreen College at night to the 7-11 on
    Aborn and White to play video games. It was a safe place.  When it
    came to my attention, my heart was compelled to act.  How dare anyone
    do such a thing in Evergreen.

    A leader isn’t just someone that gives speeches or a good show.  A
    leader is someone with compassion, that can motivate the compassion of
    other good people to help through their own actions.  In my family,
    that was my grandfather Jerome.  He was the oldest, and strongest of
    the brothers.  When he brought in the crop, every man and woman worked
    as hard as they could, because he was doing the same.  While Rose
    might not have the physical strength to pick up a pallete box of
    prunes like he could, she does have his strength of heart.

    Atul and I have become friends since bringing closure to his case.
    He’s told me a lot about how much Rose has been helping him, trying to
    find him a dental surgeon to work on his injuries.  She’s gone above
    and beyond her duties as a councilmember.  There’s nothing in the job
    description that obligates her to take the time to do this, yet she
    uses her position and influence to do so.

    Finally, I have friends at the SBLC that don’t really think much of Chavez, let’s take a trip down memory lane for some of her past scuzzyness. From Wikipedia..

    Issues in the Primary campaign

    During the campaign, the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce was criticized by Chavez supporters for sending a mailer exposing the back room deals Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez made and the lack of public notice for the $4 million San Jose Grand Prix subsidy.

    Hmm, really nice.  I really trust her endorsement.

    • Do you really think that Atul Lall is the most important issue for this election? It seems like a pretty bizarre yardstick for a politician. It doesn’t excuse her chronic flip-flopping. Unless you’re a supporter of Reed-style pension reform (And I assumed you weren’t, because you support Kansen Chu and Ash Kalra), it doesn’t make much sense to support Herrera.

      • I don’t support any pension reform. I’ve heard the term “REED STYLE” but I’ve yet to hear a clear, well laid out answer from either side about what “REED STYLE” vs Legal means. 

        I’d rather see our council focus on things like.. Why is Pierluigi voting to renew a $800,000 @ year oracle support contract, when by his own admission here on SJI he owns oracle stock. I’ve talked to various friends, one that works for ADP that says they’ve approached the city a few times with a willingness to provide a customized payroll solution for less, but they always get blown off. I wonder why..  Oh, that support contract doesn’t include licensing either I believe.  That’s another large lump of money.

        You know what else bothers me?  Why do we give $1m @ year to the stadium?  I thought that place was profitable.

        Oh, let’s not forget the $4m@year that was going to the grand prix, at least that got stopped.

        But that’s the issue with this city.  Looting pensions to pay for improper spending by EO’s over the last decade isn’t an honorable way to fix things.  Even if it were the <i>only<> way to fix them, it still wouldn’t make it right.

        I think the only pension reform that should be worked on is if there is true fraud.  How many true cases of fraud are there? (I’m imaging Cary is gonna jump out any minute and yell PETE CONSTANT PETE CONSTANT)Overall, the majority of people collecting pensions paid into them at a time before we went bonkers with the Alaskan equivalent of a bridge to nowhere.

        So given I don’t really see the pensions as the problem, it’s a non issue to me what the candidates position is on reform, as I don’t identify with either definition, since I don’t even know what “legal” and “Reed style” definitions are.

        Finally, I’m very flattered you follow my political views and endorsements so closely.

        • Since I’m campaigning for her (walked districts yesterday) I’ll point out your comment to her.

          The real issue here is the candidate fear of no-support by taking a neutral, balanced stand on the issue of pension reform. 

          Side A fears rejection from the mayors camp
          Side B fears rejection from labors camp.

          Neither side is right in my book.  I won’t use a single issue to judge a candidate either.  There’s other reasons I don’t have to go into.

          Ash and I have a mutual friend who’s worked diligently for the city for 25 years.  Occasionally you meet angels on earth, and there is no doubt between Ash and I this man qualifies as one.  I won’t name names or departments in order to protect him, but he’s a regular at my bar and we talk politics often.

          Last night we talked about your comment for a while.  He’s not living some lavish lifestyle, and even after he retires he won’t be.  He lives in an apartment near Jackson and 2nd street, not really an affluent, safe area.

          (Ash, I know you read this stuff.  Trying to think of a non-direct hint of who I’m talking about… He’s really gentle and positive)

          He doesn’t think the pensions should be touched at all.  The concessions that will be made with either of the proposed solutions will cut those at the bottom the most, no matter what their seniority is.

          I know a lot of old guys at the city like him though.  They’ve worked there 25+ years, near the end of their careers.  When they started working for the CSJ, it was before the age of, “WE HAVE TO PAY BILLIONS TO GET THE BEST PEOPLE!”

          That’s a crock in my opinion.  IIRC my uncle Dom got paid $330@mo when he started, and he is remembered as one of the best county supervisors of his age.  He certainly wasn’t considered an “ambiguous” politician at the end when he dropped parties. 

          New hire and elected official salaries need to be reduced to sane levels.  That’s another pet peeve of mine, and another contributing factor to the overall decline of the city coffers.

          Like I said earlier, we need to weed the cheats out of the system, but that’s about it.  If you compare the liabilities of the cheats of the system, to the liabilities of willy nilly spending and budgets, my scale tips towards the latter.  The cheats are such a small part of the problem, it just needs to be litigated out criminally. (pension fraud is a crime right?)  No need for reform here.

          Finally, in regards to the crime/condition of district 8.

          It didn’t get this bad overnight.  It takes a long long time for that to happen.  Evergreen used to be an area of mostly middle class.  Seems like those neighborhoods got worse after the development of Silvercreek estates and the loss of the surrounding orchards/farmlands.

        • I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, except that I think that some sort of pension reform is necessary. I think everyone on city council right now believes that reform is necessary to some degree. The difference between Reed-style reform and the sort of reform that someone like Chu or Kalra supports is that Reed reform involves much more cuts which aims to balance our budget on the backs labor.

          I oppose Herrera because of her position on pension reform. If she did address all of the issues that you brought up and still supported Reed’s pension reform, then I might support her instead of focusing on one issue, but because she hasn’t addressed any of those issues I think the council might be better off if we give someone else a shot. Jimmy Nguyen sounds like a good choice to me, but I’d really like to meet him before I make a definite endorsement.

          And I’m glad you’re flattered and not creeped out. =)

        • Also, if you’re looking for someone who stands mostly in between both camps, the closest you’re going to get is Don Rocha. But I understand that you don’t like him.

        • Remember that last bit where I said the decline of Evergreen was due to the loss of open space/orchards/farmland?

          Don doesn’t support that.  He promised our district at the Cambrian candidate forum that he would preserve the open space at Almaden and Cherry as a sports field.  He made little, if no effort at all to preserve it.  He’s been cheerleading the effort to have it paved over.

          He’s even ticked off a few EO’s over this.  Quoting Jim Beall when I spoke with him over facebook, “I used to pick tomatoes in that field, I’m going to have a talk with Mr Rocha”  Don could have talked to Jim, Jim would have happily worked with Don to find a way to stop development.

          Don’s moonwalking like Michael Jackson.  His feet look like he’s walking us forward, but in reality it’s just a slick series of movements to convince us he’s moving forward,  when we’re really going backwards.  He’s shown a few things so he can say, “I OPPOSED THOSE EFFORTS” but he could have been stronger.. A lot stronger about opposition.

          (Billy Jean starts playing in my head.. “She says I am the one.. But the kid is not my son.. Stop that mind.. just stop that)

          Also on a personal note.. Don leaned over to Jim Cogan and said, “That guy is the black sheep of his family”  during the Gunderson forum. I’ve known Jim as a truly honest and sincere man.  He would have no reason to make that up. 

          I asked Don point blank about it when he was groveling for my endorsement. He lied to my face.  I don’t know for sure, but it seems like Jim got ousted from the club for telling me. I pretended I believed him and have stayed fairly quiet about it till now. 

          Every candidate I support, I do so because of their honesty.  Maybe we don’t agree on things 100%.. Like I know Ash/Rose both voted for the Almaden Ranch development.  Chu voted to renew the Oracle contracts, but at least they have never lied to me, or misrepresented me to others.

          I’ll get off Don’s tushy when he starts being a little more honest with me, stops misrepresenting me, and follows through on the promises him and Dave made for my endorsement.  To date, no promises have been kept, and the misrepresentation continues.

          Even with that endorsement.. Don had a spy that would constantly be chatting to me on facebook.  She asked me, “Who are you going to endorse, Don or Pegram?”  I said, “Gee, you’re making me pick the lesser of two evils”  She was on the phone with Don, and repeated what I said.  My phone rang immediately with “DONALD ROCHA” on the caller ID.  I never had any idea she was a spy, I should have known better.

          Metro didn’t even bother asking me.  They just took what Don his spy had heard (no written anything) and published 2 days later, “CORTESE ENDORSES ROCHA”

          I’m still hearing that these same folks are going around saying the same thing about me.  Really, want to know the truth?  Truth is the family has been split since my grandfather died in ‘84 because they squabbled over his estate.  Even after everyone settled and all the branches were removed from the tree, those branches started squabbling over money amongst themselves.  You could pretty much find anyone in my family willing to call any other member of the family a “Black Sheep”.  My great grandfather didn’t want us being this way, I know he didn’t.  We’re all acting like a bunch of a-holes towards one another when we should be pulling together.

          90% of the family is like this. Talking crap about one another in some sick sycophant manner trying to outshine the other for some vague promise of inheritance.  I’ve told all of them, “Keep your stinking money, I would rather be able to speak my mind”

          There is a small part of the family that feels like I do, but they’re too afraid to speak out.  The other 90% has been doing it so long, they believe their own BS.

          One thing that I learned… Politics is war. In war, you have 2 sides that think they’re right and will stop at nothing to win. Even eating their own family to win is acceptable I guess.  I was naive to not realize that the first time I ran, but I won’t make the same mistake next time I run for something.

          If these people are going to be out to wreck me, then what choice do I have but to run and do everything in my power to wreck them?  What.. I’m just supposed to lie down and let them have their way with me?  They must have some pretty big balls if they think they can do that to me.

          If you asked my 2.5 year old son Jerome Joseph, “What do we do to the bad guys?”  He’ll tell you, “KICK THEM IN THE JAM(his word for groin)” I think I’m making him my official campaign manager from now on.  His advice is golden.  I’m fairly certain he doesn’t mean to this literally either, so please don’t anyone go calling in the sheriff/SJPD on me.  Thanks.

        • I’m not trying to argue in support of Don. I’m merely stating that he fits your description of a councilmember who stands between the camps of labor and the Mayor.

          “Every candidate I support, I do so because of their honesty.”
          I don’t think Herrera is honest. If she was honest, I don’t think she would’ve flip-flopped from labor to the Mayor’s camp time and time again.

          Will you consider running for any other positions than City Council?

        • I will run for other positions.  Not even a consideration at this point. 

          I’ve made a few really good friends with a few EO’s.  Have some great accomplishments, or involvement with some high profile politics in the last year.  I have one EO friend that is willing to mentor me.

          Like I said, that naiveness I had is gone.  I don’t let the truth make me sad though, I take delight in it.  Let me leave you with some Confucius I read this week.

          “The Master said, “They who know the truth are not equal to those who
          love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in

    • Who is this guy (Robert)?  Does he live in Evergreen?  He talks about a family that doesn’t seem to feel the same way about him.  I would be surprised if he ever worked like (as hard) the family members he speaks of. 

      Seems to me that Herrera helping Mister Lall is a political strategy.  This county already has a Victim Advocacy group, although Herrera was very nice in helping, I don’t think it was/is necessary.   

      I’m sorry, but you struck a cord with me.  Don’t talk about what your hardworking elders did to gain support for people who can’t make a decision (Herrera). 

      Evergreen is grateful for the hardworking Italian, Mexican, Portugese, Japanese, etc…people that made this place such a great place to live.  They don’t need you to use their memories as a [fill in the blank]…

      Do you maintain the orchard that they left you?  That’s right, that orchard is now full of homes.  Did you go out and get a meaningful job that would make your “Nonno” proud? 

      Rather than talking about them, let’s hear about you?  Because if you want to talk about them lets get something straight.  They probably were hard-working, non-complaining, family oriented, god fearing, and authority respecting people. 

      If they knew that their concilmember badmouthed their police department and was anti-labor, they would not vote for them!  At least that’s where my elders stand. 


      An Evergreen resident that cares for the police, firefighters, librarians, parks, and councilmembers who can figure out how to make things work in bad times…like our grandparents did, without crying wolf or folding under pressure.

      • >>Who is this guy (Robert)?  Does he live in Evergreen?

        My parents were divorced, and I frequently bounced between homes. I’ve lived all over San Jose.  I lived/worked on the family orchards. I grew up on the orchard across the street from the fruit stand.

        >> He talks about a family that doesn’t seem to feel the same way about him.  I would be surprised if he ever worked like (as hard) the family members he speaks of. 

        By work, I mean Cortese style, out in the 110 degree summer heat with a hoe digging weeds out from around trees, begging for water, while a fat uncle throws insults at you from a tractor, swilling up 2 cases of black label light.  Or I’ve worked for my father in various labor intensive business’s.  We cut wood on Mount Hamilton, and would sell it to people as firewood.  I was 6 years old when we started doing this.

        Have you ever unloaded a cord of wood out of the back of a truck at 6, while your father who’s obviously bigger/stronger than you tells you, “OH YOU LAZY BUM, I CAN DO THAT FASTER”

        Ya.. I’ve worked as hard as any of them.  Difference is, I speak out.

        >>Seems to me that Herrera helping Mister Lall is a political strategy.  This county already has a Victim Advocacy group, although Herrera was very nice in helping, I don’t think it was/is necessary. 

        Oh so you’re county huh?  Oops, you slipped. I can surmise who this is now.

        Ya, Rose hired Emilio to beat up Atul.  We talked about this at great length.  She had this whole “strategy” as you put it, to garner a sympathetic vote from people.  We both sat in our armchairs rubbing our hands maniacally laughing at you fools from our secret lair while petting the Persian kitties that sat on our respective armrests.

        She’s a supervillan, I can totally see that /sarcasm

        >>Do you maintain the orchard that they left you?  That’s right, that orchard is now full of homes.  Did you go out and get a meaningful job that would make your “Nonno” proud? 

        Actually yes..

        I worked in high tech for 10 years before 2001, and I managed to get to the top without using any family influence.  I did systems administration and light programming for so many companies over the years. 

        A lot of people got laid off in 2001, myself and my wife included. 

        Even where I work now, it’s fine. So many elected officials (D. Mike Honda is a great example) come through there.  I know a lot of people.

        I’ve won over a decade of awards from the metro for my hard work. Of course, you having never been there, you’ll never acknowledge it. That’s fine, because for every head in the sand like yours, there’s 1000 who’s heads not in the sand.

        Beyond that I have the respect of a small segment of the music industry.  I served as a board member for the karaoke equivalent of the RIAA.  My friends and I programmed/built a jukebox that grosses my bar $42,000 a year on $3300 worth of hardware.

        Also in the last year, I’ve stood up to countless wannabe gangster thugs.  Not just some slick show, I’ve gotten face to face.  You think Emilio Romayor was the first?  What about Ariel Loveland?  Did I just sit quiet, and take his beating?  No, I stood up. 

        I do this every day, every week.  I stand up against the knuckleheads that would drag Japantown down.  I tell them we don’t want that thug BS here, take a hike.  I did it in Evergreen, I’d do it anywhere in SJ.

        And my Nono spoke out when he saw things wrong.  What was he doing the day before he died?  Can you tell me that?

        He wasn’t exactly “non-complaining, He was family oriented, god fearing, He was belittled and put down most of his life, I’ve heard this countless times from people outside the family (Oliver Pannentoni once told family off for treating him so bad)

        and authority respecting people. 

        When you blindly follow authority, you have no vision. 

        There are bigger problems with the SJPD.  Let me ask you, have you gone around talking to your local shop owners?  Have you?  Because when Atul and I talked to them, we found out some disturbing things.

        Shop owners don’t rely on 911 anymore, because more often than not, they’re not showing up.  These little wannabe gangster thugs were bold enough to go into the stores we put wanted posters in to tear them down.  The stores told us, “We’d rather work with the gangs and let them exist, rather than try to get them out of our neighborhoods, we fear retaliation”

        Beyond that, there was 1 store that stood up, but then the little thuggybears stood outside his entrance dogging out customers till he tore it down.

        This isn’t just an evergreen problem though.  This is throughout San Jose.  I’ve talked with business owners in my district, in Sam Liccardo’s district. I don’t blame the cops, I don’t blame the dispatch, but there’s a real issue with the policy.

        And you want to talk about entitlement.. What entitled the police to put me through to the answering machine when I call up saying, “There’s some crazed (insert degenerate name here) that won’t leave my business.

        “Has he pulled a knife?”
        “Has he pulled a gun?”
        “Has he hit anyone”

        comment hit 6000 character limit, continued in next post——>

      • Continued from above——^

        When someone refuses to leave my place of business, they’ve crossed the line.  You can’t play games with peoples lives like this. It’s not up to the citizen without a badge or gun to figure out if someone refusing to leave is dangerous.

        It’s also shouldn’t be up to the citizens to solve a crime (like I did)  I have no badge, no gun, no access to mountains of “secret databases” like the police do… Yet I did it. Not them.

        My elders don’t like the idea of me having to do the SJPD’s work.  Not one bit.

        Hopefully my candor here has enlightened you a bit more to who I am.  I won’t go into extreme detail about all the things going on, but you know where I work.

        Why don’t you come down and talk to me.  Or are you just going to keep on blindly “Respecting authority”.

        Respectfully yours
        Robert Cortese

      • Here’s one more thing I’m going to throw out here, since you touched on the subject of Elders.

        I have the utmost respect for them.  Let me paint a scenario for you, in regards to what I’ve discussed about the current situation of SJPD response.

        My grandmother lives by herself.  One night she’s in bed, and she hears a rustling outside.  She looks out here window, and there’s some thuggybears there to rob her.  She tells them, “GET OFF MY LAWN”

        She calls 911.

        “There’s somebody wandering around my yard”
        “Have they pulled a gun on you?”
        “Have they stabbed you?”
        “Have they attacked you?”
        “Since your life isn’t in danger, we’re going to transfer you to our answering machine, goodbye”

        You still want to talk to me about respect for elders?  Why don’t you acknowledge there’s a problem there.  It’s been there for 10+ years, well before the pension robber barons came along (I’ve had many many times where I’ve had to call them at the bar)

        Thankfully my grandmother lives in a non-incorporated area of San Jose, and it’s the SCC sheriff, not the SJPD that services her neighborhood.  I can credit the county/Lauri Smith for doing a good job with it’s para-military organization.

        And I don’t blame the cops, I don’t blame dispatch.  There’s a problem in management, why don’t you acknowledge that too?  Or you still going to blindly repeat whatever you’re told to?

      • Oh jeesh, I missed one more thing.  I’ll copypasta it from my facebook, no sense in retyping the damn thing…  (though something tells me you read my facebook too, but just in case..)

        My overall opinion on pension reform.

        I work at a crossroads of leisure for many people in government. Mike Honda is one notable customer. 7 Bamboo Karaoke Lounge has been a political hangout for long before I got there. George Shirakawa’s father, and Norman Mineta were regulars well before my time as well. To say that the place is not what I say it is, would be erroneously inaccurate.

        I’ve had numerous city workers talk to me about reform, mostly non-public safety people. Everyone else wanted to get rid of “Spiking” sans one department. Guess which one that was?

        Spiking in laymans terms is simply this. When an employee retires, their retirement benefit is based off their highest historical salary.

        So what’s happening is this.

        In certain departments, certain brown nosers kiss up before they retire. They’re promoted to some position that might inflate their salary by over 100% (Which does the same for their pension)

        It isn’t fair to the hard working, non brown nosing employees in the same department.

        I’m all for labor, police, etc but let’s focus on this one issue. People from other departments have come and talked to me at length about this.

        It’s not fair, it’s not balanced, and the practice needs to stop. Every employee should be promoted based on the merit of their past work, and it should be measured fairly towards other employees applying to the same positions.

        When we promote based on brown nosing, are we really promoting those that have truly worked hard? I don’t think so, and I hope everyone else realizes that too.

        It’s also not fair that those that have never spiked are having to pay for those that have. How is that fair, please, someone explain to me why a guy set to retire from parks and recs should have his pension cut because some brown noser in another department jive talked his way into a sweet golden parachute?

        We don’t need pension reform so much as, we need to cut this intentionally deceptive practice. Even other city workers are complaining to me about it.

        If you have a broken limb, you don’t cut down the whole tree.

  7. Robert,

    I am sorry that you didn’t have a stable upbringing and I feel for you having lost your job. 

    With that being said, I don’t remember San Jose having 110 degree summers.  I’ve always kinda enjoyed our moderate temperature.

    And I don’t work for the County.  Although I would love to have a CalPERS pension.  Speaking of PERS, Herrera and other council members enjoy that benefit, but not those greedy cops and firefighters that Measure B attacks. 

    You tell a story about how your grandmother got poor service from the SJPD (implied) when she called 911, then claimed that she lived in the Sheriff’s jurisdiction?  That means the S.O. did her wrong.  And you didn’t stop there.  You went on to blame police management right after you complimented Sheriff Smith—that’s as high as it goes in the S.O.

    In the end, I am glad you represent Rose Herrera.  I hope people are actually listening to you, then doing the exact opposite. 

    Don’t get me wrong, I honestly think you have the right intentions.  It’s just the other things that need some work.

    ***Please don’t take my comments as a personal attack.  They’re not.  I just used you to illustrate some things that concern me about Rose Herrera and the people she associates with. 

    A concerned Evergreen resident.

    • I am sorry that you didn’t have a stable upbringing and I feel for you having lost your job.

      I’m not sorry.  I got to live in just about every district in San Jose.  I see the differences between communities.  Living in one place your whole life doesn’t give you that perspective.

      I’m not the only one that feels that spiking is the issue.  Here’s what my friend from one of the big labor unions wrote me last night.

      Spiking has been an issue for some time. I wouldn’t say It is just a police issue, it’s more of a high paid worker issue. Most people who work for the city and make 100k or more enjoy some form of spiking int heir final years that pushes their final salary up to inflated levels greater than it should be. Spiking is something that larger unions like SEIU and AFSCME have been against for sometime.

      You tell a story about how your grandmother got poor service from the SJPD (implied) when she called 911, then claimed that she lived in the Sheriff’s jurisdiction?

      That was a hypothetical to point out the dangers of the game police are playing (it’s been going on for 10+ years, well before the pension robber barons came)

      It has been happening.  Again, last night someone wrote me about it.

      I grew up in Japantown…7 Bamboo is right around the corner from my old stomping grounds. I try to keep up-to-date about SJPD. I used to have several friends on the force, but they have either left or retired. I live in North SJ…the crime rate has increased and the visibility of officers has decreased. Our house was burglarized one Sunday afternoon and the dispatcher told me that they couldn’t send an officer out for 6-8 hours. I told her that was not acceptable…she had me talk to the beat sergeant, who said that our neighborhood was short several officers. My only response was, “That is not a comforting thought.” He said that they “couldn’t afford” to send an officer out to take fingerprints and a report; he suggested that I file a report online. I tried several times, but the system was down. We lost several thousands of dollars in personal property, but It ended up never being reported. My husband and I have since installed security cameras and an alarm system. Several of our neighbors and I have been talking about how much safer our area had felt in the past…now there is always a sense of uneasiness.

      See?  It’s happening all over.. There was a similar break-in a few weeks back in Evergreen that I can’t go into detail with.

      ***Please don’t take my comments as a personal attack. 

      I never did.  I just merely countered you with facts.  Want more facts?

      The ESUHSD scores all across the board have fallen signifigantly between the time of Garcia/Cortese and Roach.

      Teen pregnancies are up
      Dropouts are up
      scores are down.

      You’re more than welcome to look at the facts yourself.  Here are the accountability reports.  This week I plan on consolidating it all into something prettier.


      Also let’s take a look at what others are saying about Roach.

      DCC’s Endorsement Director Jon Kessler, DCC Chair Steve Preminger and South Bay Labor head Cindy Chavez all made a hard sell for East Side school boarder Patricia Martinez-Roach, but that effort failed. Why? Because “people literally stood up and said they think she is crazy,” one political consultant chuckled.

      There’s also a few folks I know involved in some pretty high profile local community organizations that had this to say.

      Don’t understand Chavez wasting her political capitol on Martinez-Roach…

      It’s up on my facebook wall if you want to see where it came from.

      I like how you play your words.  “OH IM NOT ATTACKING YOU, BUT I THINK YOU’RE NUTS!”  I don’t care if you want to personally attack me, I’ll try and stay above that and just point out you haven’t talked to any local shop owners, nor have you had to deal with the issue of response time (which is surprising, because so many have)

      If you really wanted to know, every person I talk to on Rose’s behalf has been a yes vote, 50% of them take a lawn sign.  Doesn’t matter if I knock on their door or call them.

      Have you ever actually talk to Rose?  You should do that before making a final decision.  Go talk to Rose, go talk to Roach.  It wouldn’t even take any convincing from me if you did that.  You’d see Roach is nuts just like everyone else does too.

    • One more thing..

      If you want to argue that there’s never been a 110 degree day in San Jose, I have facts for that too.  No time to dig at the moment, but when I get back I’ll be happy to find that for you.


      I know my way around the NOAA site well.  I fly RC slope gliders and sail, knowing the wind/weather is important for either activity.

      Still want to come at me with unsubstantiated, unfounded opinions?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *