Endorsement: Sam Liccardo for San Jose Mayor

If San Jose voters are to believe the political mail piling up, the recommended candidate will lead the city to a beautiful future while the other will plunge San Jose into a dark, crime-ridden future or a financial abyss.

We think the stark contrasts painted by campaign strategists are a bit overblown. The truth is that the economy and the city council’s composition will be much more important than who occupies the mayor’s office. And either candidate will have to cut sensible deals with the public employee unions to improve public safety in a fiscally responsible way.

Sam Liccardo is a former prosecutor who has represented the downtown council district for the past eight years. He has painted an urbanist vision of a high-rised downtown, serviced by modern mass transit and populated by artists and technology companies, with young creatives sitting at wifi-enabled sidewalk cafes, pedaling bicycles and zipping around in electric vehicles. The utopian vision would have tight controls on cannabis collectives, unruly nightclubs, card clubs, hookers and bikini bars in the Liccardian future. At times it sounds closer to Singapore than the urban chaos that American cities embrace.

County supervisor Dave Cortese—who has more enthusiasm for the marijuana industry and gambling clubs—comes from a fruit-picking, land-owning, valley political family and his thinking is a bit more old-school. He says he wants to bring everyone together. Translation: The city will stop fighting with its cops and firefighters, whose unions are going all out to elect him. Cortese came to the San Jose City Council in 2000 with a background in the family business. He was generally considered a moderate, and to his credit voted against a controversial last-minute Grand Prix subsidy.

But since losing the 2006 mayor’s race, he has cozied up to the South Bay Labor Council and its political machine, and he’s now its loyal soldier. He endorsed George Shirakawa Jr. and served alongside him during his stealing spree, failing to speak up when Shirakawa’s misdeeds came to light. Cortese also endorsed Xavier Campos—even after evidence of election-stealing and laundered contributions surfaced and Campos took the fifth before a grand jury.

Cortese's record on the Board of Supervisors includes the approval of a risky multimillion-dollar contract with ambulance provider Rural/Metro, which paired its bottom-dollar bid with some pipe-dream goals. He also was part of the effort to raise sales taxes through Measure A, a tainted effort that was questionably funded by a county-linked foundation. When the tax provided an unexpected bonanza to the ostensibly cash-strapped county, Cortese voted to reward the foundation with $1.16 million.

Liccardo aligned himself with Mayor Chuck Reed’s pension reform initiatives, which probably saved the city from financial disaster but has left relations between the city and its public safety workers at an all-time low. Liccardo wants to repair the relationship and rebuild the San Jose Police Department into a leaner, more data analytically-driven organization. The same will also need to be done for the fire department.

Beyond sticking to talking points on labor kumbaya promises, it’s hard to tell what kind of mayor Cortese would be. He’s shifted allegiances during his political career, and he refuses interviews. We think it’s really important for a person seeking the mayorship of the nation’s tenth largest city to sit down, go on record and lay out their vision for the public. But for more than two-and-a-half years, Cortese has dodged our repeated requests for in-person discussions.

We find his behavior inexcusable. Both San Jose and the County of Santa Clara have implemented reforms to ensure public transparency in response to scandals, secret deals, corruption and the theft of public funds. By refusing to be accountable as an elected official, Cortese is swimming against the tide.

When it comes to openness and sunshine in government, Liccardo has the better record. Hands down. He also has a plan which he has detailed in a book. He has been accessible during his terms of office and doesn’t dodge tough issues or constituents.

No candidate can guarantee economic prosperity or a safe city. They do have control over their own actions and can behave with integrity and accountability, however. On this score, Liccardo is the clear and only choice for mayor of San Jose.


  1. “The utopian vision would have tight controls on cannabis collectives, unruly nightclubs, card clubs, hookers and bikini bars in the Liccardian future.”

    Metro: sounds like all your papers ad sales clients.

  2. SJI has lost influence, more of an entertainment rag than a news reporter. I don’t blame blame Cortese for not trusting this rag and i know alot of people feel the same way. Mercky news lite!!

  3. “Liccardo aligned himself with Mayor Chuck Reed’s pension reform initiatives, which probably saved the city from financial disaster but has left relations between the city and its public safety workers at an all-time low.”

    This is an often told lie that perpetuates in the media. Measure B has cost taxpayers dearly, not only in actual millions of dollars (because it’s still being litigated and is not implemented) but in quality of life. Liccardo is lying right now as a matter of fact, by using cherry picked crime statistics… Unreported and uninvestigated crimes do not count in Rufas’ reality.

  4. SJI’s feelings are hurt because Cortese won’t sit for an interview? Why should he? It’s been obvious for some time that SJI shares the same bias as the Mercury-News. Objective reporting has been discarded in favor of presenting a view slanted toward the political desires of the wealthy few who have backed Reed and are now backing Liccardo. If you want to be treated like a legitimate news source, act like one.

    “Liccardo wants to repair the relationship and rebuild the San Jose Police Department into a leaner, more data analytically-driven organization. The same will also need to be done for the fire department.” Maybe your endorsement should have explained how Liccardo plans to do this, because he plans to maintain the status quo, and it is the status quo which has devastated SJPD. When you can only fill 23 spots in a 60 officer police academy, those you do manage to hire soon leave, and you have many department members about to retire, you have a crisis. Liccardo is no dummy, so he obviously knows his approach has no hope of rebuilding the police department. He’s simply hoping to fool the voters with false promises and the MN and SJI are doing everything they can to help him.

    If you are a San Jose voter and are reading this, and are concerned about public safety and police staffing, please know that Liccardo has no chance of rebuilding SJPD. He is hated by police officers. I’m not exaggerating when I say that four years of Mayor Liccardo could very well mean the end of SJPD. He is trying to fool you. His plans to make SJPD more “analytically driven” are just window dressing. The police know where crimes are happening. There just aren’t enough officers to respond properly. Liccardo has had everything to do with this.

    I’ve patrolled the streets of San Jose for over 20 years, most of it on the East Side, where honest, hardworking people most need the police. I took great pride in the organization that I work for and the city that I have served, but I’m extremely worried about the future of both. If Liccardo is elected, the problems you have seen so far with regard to crime and police staffing will seem like the good old days. I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen. Change is absolutely necessary. Vote Cortese.

  5. First off Sam and Mayor Reed have taken SJPD from one of the best depts in the nation to one of the worst Hundreds of officers have left the dept to work at other agency’s in California and other states. Measure B has caused this by making the pension plan the worst in the state. Come 2014 if Sam is elected approx 200 us will be leaving on top of the 400 that have left. In 2007 there were 1400 officers for a city of one million. Now 888 are left. Officers are working mandatory overtime and most the cities special units have cut. Prostitution is back in downtown along with drug sales. Crime is thru the roof compared to 2007. Less cops = more crime. Please stop this insanity vote Cortese

    • > Come 2014 if Sam is elected approx 200 us will be leaving on top of the 400 that have left.

      The fact that you purport to speak for 200 other people suggests a “conspiracy” in the legal meaning of the word. And the obvious nature of your conspiracy is to disrupt and undermine public safety in San Jose.

      One percenters who live in gated communites with private security services are probably least affected by the conspiracy to undermine and disrupt public safety.

      It is arguably true, as the New York Times often asserts, that in this case “women and minorities are hardest hit” by the malignant conspiracy against public safety in San Jose.

      This is something that the grand jury should be looking into.

      But beyond that, denial of police services and police protection to “underserved communities” is objectively a violation of Federal Civil Rights laws.

      This is something the Federal Department of Justice should be investigating as well.

      • To have a conspiracy you would have to have a crime. As far as I know it’s not a crime to seek a new employer or quit a job. He is merely telling you that there are many officers that would rather leave city employment than work in a city headed by Sam Liccardo

  6. you say the mayor and liccardo saved the city from financial disaster. I call BS on that. The city apparently is still in terrible shape. all other cities.. avoided finance problems and still have their police and fire. Spending 7 million to fight measure B.. wasteful…

    • Yeah, they save the city from financial disaster alright. Look at all the officers, directors and other city personnel who have left. Their departure saved the city a LOT of money in salaries they are no longer paying. The residents suffer from lack of service because there is a shortage of employees to perform them. Financial disaster averted. The only reason the city had a financial problem in the first place was do to their mismanagement of the taxpayer’s dollar. It wasn’t the employees fault, yet that is where they pointed the blame to get it off of them.

      • Once the election is over there will no longer be a political motive for the police union to discourage people from joining the force.

        You can argue until you’re blue in the face, but that’s what people believe. If it were otherwise, Cortese would be leading in the polls. Public safety is a centerpiece of the Cortese campaign, and people are concerned about public safety. So why isn’t Cortese ahead in the polls?

        I think it’s fair to say that Liccardo will have to do his share of fence mending, but all the public belly aching, public encouraging officers to take other jobs, and the issue with Ray McDonald and the officer that was supposed to be assigned to gang-suppression make people wonder who really has their backs.

        • I’m not arguing. I know. That may be what people believe, because the truth is in short supply here and in the Mercury-News, as well in the Liccardo campaign, but it has nothing to do with reality. Because of the actions of Reed and Liccardo, SJPD does not offer competitive wages (due to the mandatory retirement and medical benefits contribution that takes about 21% of each paycheck and more than doubles the contribution percentage at competing agencies), and its retirement system for new officers and disability protections are each the worst in the state.

          In short, SJPD is simply not a competitive employer and that fact won’t be changing under Liccardo. That officers to not want to come or remain here is simply a function of the market place. Of course you’re not going to be able to hire qualified people if you’re not offering competitive wages and benefits. The POA has nothing to do with it. It’s simply common sense. Unless it changes, recruiting, contrary to your claims, isn’t going to get any better. If Liccardo is elected, it will actually get worse, because hundreds of officers are sitting on the fence, waiting to see if there will be any change. A Liccardo win will be a clear message to them that no change is coming and there will be no reason to stay. That’s simply a fact. How many officers have you spoken to? That’s what I thought.

          • > In short, SJPD is simply not a competitive employer and that fact won’t be changing under Liccardo.

            Non-competitive employers normally do not get this much attention. They simply dry up and blow away.

            It’s remarkable how altruistic and public spirited the SJ police union is in trying to force San Jose to become a competitive employer.

            What a great bunch of guys.

            We should start giving them raises and benefit increases until they tell us that San Jose is a competitive employer and they are happy.

            “Is that enough money, Mr. Police Union member, or would you like more?”

            More, please.

        • S Randall,

          Your comments are clearly rooted in opinion alone.

          You DO NOT UNDERSTAND that the SJPOA is NOT discouraging people from joining this department.. They aren’t joining on their own.

          This is purely fact. How, or why you can’t see this is indicative of either your intelligence level, or your inability to conduct your own independent analysis of widely available (and publicized) data.

          • > You DO NOT UNDERSTAND that the SJPOA is NOT discouraging people from joining this department.. They aren’t joining on their own.

            The SJPOA has a credibility problem.

            No one believes this.

          • The SJPOA has held job fairs for competing agencies. Are you unaware of this fact or do you not consider that to qualify as discouraging people from joining SJPD?

        • S Randall…The ONLY way police recruiting gets better is to fix Measure B. SJPD is no longer competitive with other agencies due to Measure B. Potential candidates do not want to take a dangerous job that does not provide adequate disability coverage. Reed & Liccardo were at the forefront of the Measure B movement. Vote Liccardo and things only get worse. VOTE CORTESE and things have a chance to improve!

        • No one has to discourage applicants . its real simple , why work for San Jose and be insanely overworked and underpaid when you can work anywhere else and be paid a competitive wage and benefits? Everyone has to do whats right for themselves and for most that means choosing a better city to work for . As far as Liccardo is concerned , none of his so called ideas can be implemented . They have already been proven to be “Unworkable”. we are losing officers way faster than we can hire and/ retain them. I do agree with you that people should ask questions and vote accordingly

          • is the stress really worth serving an ungrateful city administration whose main contribution to civic duty is failed conservative idealism……the REED regime is finally over thank GOD!!

    • I would bet every financial asset to my name against your claim S Randall. Why? Because I see it first hand on a daily basis.

      When you have coworkers leaving every other week to other departments, and the new recruits, who are still in FTO talking about how backgrounds are going at all of the other places they’ve applied, well.. You too would understand, it will not get any better if Liccardo is elected.

  7. SJI,

    The very fact you state “Sam … Has represented Downtown for the past 8 years … And has painted an urbanist vision…”, is exactly why he should not be elected as Mayor.

    Sam has accomplished nothing positive in 8 years as the downtown councilman. Sam has made congestion worse (green bike lanes), ravaged public safety (I dare you to go bar hopping in DTSJ and take the light rail back home to South San Jose without pissing your pants), neglected community problems (hello El Tarasco!), failed to do anything with St. James park (he handed out sandwiches to the drug addicts!!), stood by while free events disappeared (Music In The Park), failed to support family oriented events (X-Mas In The Park), and has come up with no REAL solutions to tackle the homelessness epidemic! Not to even mention the crack dealers… Sam has so much confidence in downtown that he was mugged and chose not to file a police report!!!! Are you kidding me???

    I have more productive things to go do.. Thank you for the good laugh SJI. Hopefully you’ll merge with the Murk and go the way of the DoDo soon.

  8. “When it comes to openness and sunshine in government, Liccardo has the better record. Hands down. He also has a plan which he has detailed in a book. He has been accessible during his terms of office and doesn’t dodge tough issues or constituents.”

    That statement is absolutely comical. I can’t believe how blatant you are in trying to fool the voters, just like reed and the clown council. “…openness and sunshine in government….” Where have YOU been. That is such a joke. And, if liccardo has a plan, why hasn’t he utilized that plan in the last 8 years? Why now? It’s a bunch of bunk to pull the wool over the voters eyes, but they are smarter than that. They are asking the same questions…”Where has he been for the last 8 years and why is he now trying to make it look like he can put the city back together when he hasn’t made any past effort?” What an absolute joke. It’s not even April Fool’s Day. If liccardo is elected he is not going to be able to put his plan in place. The employees hate him and desperate people will come to work for this city. They have to scrape the barrel. Look at all the departments that have and are losing so many good people. All of that experience just gone.

  9. San Jose inside…. Do you know what you are talking about when you speak of a leaner Police and Fire Dept?..What credibility or knowledge do you have in this area? Both departments are the leanest and lowest paid in the area with a Tier 2 retirement system that cannot compete with any other Bay Area agency..Where do you get your inside info? look in to the police and fire per capita and the call volume.. your bias is so obvious and ridiculous

  10. This site might as well be called “The Mercury news ” because it has the same amount of slant and Bias , what a joke . It is beyond me , how anyone can throw their support behind someone who has been in a position of power for the last 7 years , and hasn’t done anything. Liccardo has all these ideas , that have already been proven Unworkable. He plays a numbers game with how many Police officers have left because of Measure B. At its peak SJPD had 1480 Police Officers , they are now at less than 900 street ready Officers , for a city of over a Million residents. He has already bee proven to be a liar a , a cheat , and a thief , what more can we expect from him as Mayor. He’s following the corrupt footsteps of the worst Mayor to hit San Jose in years , And that is saying something. Public Safety CAN NOT and WILL NOT recover under Liccardo . He is despised by City workers and trusted even less

    • Only differences between.SJI/Metro and the Merc?

      Metro takes ad money from Human Trafficking front Backpage and it’s employees have to pay for parking downtown…

  11. Such typical scare tactics always used by SJPOA and Labor Unions. Trust me when I say that people are lined up filling out applications to be hired in the law enforcement field. I worked for another City in Santa Clara County and there were over 2000 applicants for 14 positions in the police department. So let those 200 cry babies leave and get their double dipping jobs with their high retirement pensions. Lots of people to step right in. I’ve had a few calls out for police this last year and all they do when they get to the call is bitch about then City! Time for some new blood with those that want to represent the City. Sam Liccardo is ready to step in with some honest and positive leadership. My vote is with Sam!

    • If that’s true Carol, then why could they fill only 23 spots in a potential 60 officer academy? Are you deliberately lying or just completely clueless?

    • “I worked for another City in Santa Clara County and there were over 2000 applicants for 14 positions in the police department.”

      The magic word is ANOTHER CITY. That other city is NOT San Jose. San Jose is having a really big problem getting anyone to apply. Where are the “LOTS OF PEOPLE TO STEP IN” you are speaking of? If the NEW BLOOD wanted to represent the city, they would have been here by now. Me thinks you are “talking” out of your other end.

  12. Let the residents of San Jose get the kind of police department they deserve. Hopefully, they do not take the recommendations of the San Jose Mercury or the San Jose Inside. The reasons for voters to not vote for Liccardo have been repeated ad nauseam by mostly police officers who have dealt with the carnage of Reed and Liccardo’s failed policies. These are some of the best and most decent people you could meet, yet they have been painted as nothing more than greedy trough feeders by the Mercury News reporters and columnists, San Jose Inside, and this Mayor and City Council. The vitriol created towards SJPD officers can be seen everywhere. Look at any of the online comments after any blog, news article, commentary, etc. Walk in these officers shoes each day and witness some of what they are told to them on a daily basis of their “greed”. These officers have put out first hand accounts of what has happened to the department as a whole, and to both officers and crime victims. Officers have responded to vitriolic rhetoric with facts, yet they continued to be tarnished by those, including the Mercury and SJI, who print half the truth and omit important other facts, as societal leeches. Dave Cortese is the only choice to heal some of the damage and start rebuilding the police department. Having said that, it would be a fascinating study, like watching a slow motion of 2 locomotives crashing head-on, to see Liccardo get elected. This department is down close to 500 officers since its peak at 1,450. There are 80 or so officers leaving in January of this next year. There are many more that are in the background process to every other agency in this county, and some out of county and state. There are another 180 officers who can retire in the next 18 months. There is no hyperbole or rhetoric in this statement, just fact, that 350 current officers could be gone due to going to other departments, going to the private sector, where many officers came from, retirements, or permanent illness or injury. We have police academies which run twice a year, and have capacity of 60 recruits per academy. There are about 10 recruits left from the first academy of 50 that graduated post Measure B. The last couple academies started with less than 30 recruits and only a handful are left from each. The academy that started this week was suppose to start with 29. It instead started with 23 after 5 quit to go to other police departments, and 1 did not show up. The one way floodgates of officers leaving this department will commence immediately if Liccardo is elected. There are never experienced officers that come here from other police departments because to do so would be to instantly take a huge compensation cut. The SJPD could easily be down to 500 or less officers in a few years, where this police department should have 2,000 officers. So, a morbid part of me, wants to see Liccardo get elected to see him inevitably fail, and get a taste of his own arrogance and pride. He says he has a plan to instantly hire 200 officers, which those on the inside know is impossible, and a flat out lie. This department has terminal brain cancer, yet Liccardo is saying he can cure it by taking out the appendix, and the media and voters are buying it hook, line and sinker. Good luck to you.

    • One of the best comments posted on this article. I appreciate your honesty in regards to seeing Lizzardcardo actually getting elected and watching his arrogance get the best of him, which I would love to see but being a SJ resident myself I rather see a change and wish Cortese the best. We need to get our city back!

    • Observation,

      Hopefully you’ve got enough years to be retired before this all comes to reality, but you are exactly correct.

      I’m going to recall this premonition when the rest of us, who are currently checking the life boats for leaks, get a solid laugh when Laurie tries to impose the green and khaki on us and have all of the cars painted white.

      I’m sure Sam will find some way to spin it into his grand idea, take credit for it all and piss Laurie off too. …Anything to cover up the mass casualty train wreck!

  13. What has Liccardo accomplished during his time on the City Council? Bike lanes that screwed up the traffic (check out Hedding during the commutes). His support for an illegal pension initiative, when as a former DA he should have known that many aspects were illegal. This calls into question his own education and knowledge of the law. His early rants against the police arresting Hispanics downtown when all he based it upon was a shoddy piece of journalism by Sean Webby. When taken downtown by patrol officers, he smugly told them he didn’t see the issues with the crowds downtown, yet it leads all parts of the city for crime. When questioned about his “plan” to retain the police, he really doesn’t have one. He thought that people would be knocking down the doors to work for the city. Hell they have only 22 in the current academy when it was authorized for 60. Lets see how many stay. If it follows previous academy patterns, less than 10. At this rate the ranks will continue to decline and will only escalate upon his election.

    So the staff at San Jose Inside has decided to support politician with no track record and no plan. Watch as the employees continue to flee San Jose to work for better run municipalities.

  14. By late SJPD Chief Joe McNamara chastising Reed, Liccardo, and the SJ City Council (aside from a few):

    “Present police benefits are not the sole or primary cause of the city’s fiscal problems. Many other questionable political decisions have depleted city revenues and increased non-essential costs during a time calling for restraint in spending. A succession of mayors and city councils did what they had to do to hire cops. The city and POA engaged in tough and extended negotiations following state laws. Cops did not “occupy” City Hall or engage in unlawful conduct to insist upon their demands. Both sides signed legal contracts guaranteeing today’s benefits for existing employees. In return, San Jose got a bargain, becoming the safest large city in the nation with the least per-capita police staffing, and the United States Civil Rights Commission declared the SJPD a national model. Benefits for future employees have always been fair game for negotiations, but it is not in the public interest to demoralize the police by breaking existing contracts negotiated in good faith. The police are the ultimate symbol of American government and its defender against mobs. When cops themselves lose faith in government’s willingness to follow its own laws, it doesn’t bode well for democracy as a whole. It is imperative that the police who protect citizens’ rights don’t come to believe that the public has turned against them and lost respect for the important job they do.” By Joseph D. McNamara

    PS….Thanks to Sam Liccardo FOR BEING A NO SHOW at the Presentation High School Mayoral forum. At least Dave Cortese kept his commitment. And Sam, why did you send Khamis, Shane Connolly, and Constant to pass out your flyers at this event you were a now show to?

      • When asked why he endorsed Xavier Campos re-election bid earlier this year, Cortese was a no-show…I would rather have someone as mayor who is ethical rather than just attends as many forums as possible.

        • Sam is ethical? Really?

          Sam was the author of a memorandum pre Measure B which (in legalese) flat out admitted the flaws but cited a terse scheme which could be exploited to show the city had a fiscal emergency in its future. Ethical right? Trick the voters, its cool. Spend millions of tax payer dollars in legal fees, its cool.

          Sam has a plan to hire 200 more cops tomorrow! FLAT OUT, IMPOSSIBLE, LIE.


  16. SJI/Metro endorsed favorite Liccardo no-showed his scheduled debate tonight vs Cortese. Khamis and Constant stood in. The debate was sponsored by Pierluigi Oliverio.

    Sam’s camp claimed a “scheduling conflict.” What took precedence?

  17. Dave Cortese is the better choice because he is in a position to bring the city back together. That said, Sam is good on a number of issues including affordable housing, transit etc; but Dave will be good on these issues too. But only Dave is in a position bridge the divisiveness at city hall. You can’t govern without the troops–and the pension issue did not save the city’s solvency. That is just plain hooey. But we need a government that works, in this election Dave is the guy who can put it all together.

    • > But we need a government that works, in this election Dave is the guy who can put it all together.

      Dear Mr.Trial Lawyer Rich:

      You have lost your mind. Your profession, Trial Lawyering, is founded on adversity. The trial process is an adversarial process.

      Unionism is founded on adversarial opposition.

      One of the police union brothers even said as much on this forum. They don’t see themselves as “working for the citizens”; the see themselves as being screwed by the jerks that the knucklehead voters put in government.

      The SJPOA and their favored son, Dave Cortese are NOT a unifiers and NOT a healers. They are scorched earth political warriors.

      • the teabagger SJOTB has got to be the dumbest dufus on this blog, this irrelevent pin head claims relevency lol on a blog hahaha dumber than rocks i tell ya!!

        • Dear Anthony:

          I see that SJI allowed you to invoke your white skin privilege and post again in violation of the SJI Comments policy.

          Your immediate comment does not do much to “bridge divisiveness”, let alone “bridge the divisiveness at city hall”, as the ever slippery “progressive” wise man Rich Robinson claims your chosen candidate will do:

          > But only Dave is in a position bridge the divisiveness at city hall.

          Your post has made my case:

          ” The SJPOA and their favored son, Dave Cortese are NOT unifiers and NOT healers. They are scorched earth political warriors.”

          And that includes their foaming-at-the-mouth political supporters. as well.

          • Newsflash, you are a racist. No matter what skin color YOU are, I find your comments offensive, and request them to be immediately removed.

          • right back at ya there SJOTB, all of a sudden these teabaggers want to play nice hahaha

  18. He doesn’t dodge tough issues or constituents? Last night, Dave Cortese and Mr. Liccardo were scheduled to debate at Presentation High School. Dave Cortese was interviewed by Pierluigi Oliverio. Sam Liccardo was a NO SHOW and had Pete Constant answer questions for him. I’m not sure what criteria you use, but not showing for a debate is pathetic leadership. Would you characterize a person that does this as one who dodges issues and constituents? I would. It is so sad that our city lacks any form of unbiased reporting.

  19. How can Pete Constant be a fill in for the mayoral candidate? If Liccardo was a no show, nobody should have been allowed to take his place. If Cortese did the same, Liccardo would be whining, and the Mercury and SJI would publish articles ripping Cortese. I guarantee not a peep will be said about Liccardo missing this debate. Ironic this endorsement was published the same day Liccardo flaked on this debate.

    • Word is that Constant, Khamis and their social media monitor Shane Connolly showed up to handle Sam’s business. Sam’s camp claims a scheduling conflict. What came up? Giant’s game or an “official council duty” that Sam used as an opportunity to take Garcia-Kohl on a date on the City’s dime?

  20. The over/under on how many mirrors he flashes that smile into each day is 100. I’m taking the over.

  21. Once upon a time, workers were treated fairly. They had company loyalty, and were rewarded after decades of service with a decent retirement. Fair? Fair pay and pensions were hard-fought for by unions. In this new, “Utopian” society workers are not respected, are forced into early retirement or on unemployment when they reach their prime, and/or cast out to live on the streets. Give me old-school, hard-working, people-centered politicians! Everyone seems to talk like they have money, but let’s face it, there are more working-class people than one- percenters, and our society mores and leadership need to reflect the true face of San Jose. I helped build this city, and now my pension is being threatened. I do not want to end up like one of the many “at will” employees: out of a job, losing my home, saddled with medical bills, worried about tomorrow. We NEED unions, Sam!

    • Dear Downtown Dweller:

      Talk to one of your environmentalist friends and have them explain to you the concept of “overfishing”.

      Your mentality is that there is an unlimited number of “one percenters” out there to be harvested to provide you with all the goodies that you want: high wages, fat retirements, affordable housing (paid for by someone else), wasteful public transit, bread and circuses, etc. etc. etc.

      The whales that you want your union benefactors to harpoon are getting depleted and are moving on to safer territories.

      Sorry, but all the wonderful things that you have become accustomed to that “were hard-fought for by unions” were at the end of the day “unsustainable”.

      You have despoiled your environment. Accept the consequences.

  22. Wish somebody would take out a full page ad in the murk stating that liccardo was a “NO SHOW” at the scheduled debate. That’s the only way the voters will find out about it.

  23. “Liccardo aligned himself with Mayor Chuck Reed’s pension reform initiatives, which probably saved the city from financial disaster” Any facts to support this “probability.” On what basis do you make such a statement? Have you investigated whether the city would have saved from financial disaster if one of the unions’ proposals were accepted? As I understand it, very few benefits of measure have even been realized do to the court battles and losses spent on lawyers. the only benefit i understand that was achieved is the voluntary pay cuts the employees took — that has nothing to do with measure b. Please let the readers know if you have any data at all to back up your statement.

  24. Despite the fact that I’m definitely a bit closer on the issues to Liccardo, I would still vote for Dave Cortese. This is because in politics, the character of the individual matters just as much as their stands on the issues. In national and statewide politics, its often difficult to get a sense of a man’s character, but in local politics, one has a much better chance to assess it. I’ve never met either candidate, but I suspect that Dave Cortese knows a pretty fair number of people a lot like me. Whereas I tend to think that Liccardo really isn’t interested in talking with anyone who’s not connected in the high tech industry, or a lawyer, or some sort of political player, a downtown business owner, a developer, or at the very least, someone with a 6-figure annual income. If Dave Cortese were Mayor, and I really felt I needed to talk to him, I’m pretty sure I could manage to get his attention for five minutes, and maybe more, if what I said struck him as important. I’m pretty sure Sam Liccardo, while I’m sure he’s a nice man and all, would be too busy meeting with various millionaires and slick operators to spare a thought for some lower-middle class White guy who hasn’t done anything for him lately.

    • Kevin, you speak of character and I agree – it is important trait in a public official. However, where was Cortese’s character whene he endorsed Shirikawa and Xavier ‘fifth amendment’ Campos’ relection bid just this year. Is Dave really interested in talking with non-influemntial union members – I question that and don’t think he is as flexible and accessible as you may think.

      With regard to Sam, he is accessible enough to have been a very involved guest lecturer at San Jose State University for multiple semesters, where he is spending time reaching out to the group of the population that might be least likely to vote. hile Dave cozies up to union officials, Sam has been involved in education.

      • I don’t know that Shirakawa’s corruption was really understood before the 2012 election (and in any event, he was running unopposed, so the endorsement was a bit pro forma), but yeah, I do wish Dave Cortese had refrained from endorsing Xavier Campos. There’s no way to spin that as other than a mistake.

  25. SJC,

    You speak of character and I agree – it is a very important trait in a public official. However, where was Sam Liccardo’s character when he authored the Memo titled “Revised Retirement Reform Ballot Measure” dated 3-6-12 ? In that Memo, Sam stated he would not vote to put the measure on the ballot if he did not feel confident of its legality. SJC, your boss, Sam Liccardo is a lawyer right? Please elaborate for Kevin where Sam earned his law degree. Sam knew Measure B was illegal, but due to his arrogance and lack of integrity, he signed off on it. That’s the kind of character we need to bring together a city where its employees no longer trust their employer and citizens are left to fend for themselves due to a lack of core services.

    With regard to Sam, rather than conduct an interview with Damian Trujillo regarding SJPD’s last four police chiefs berating the city over their fumbling of Measure B and pension reform altogether, all he could come up with was “I decided to go to the gym instead..” That’s who I want running the city..

    • You make arguments AGAINST Sam, rather than FOR Cortese…….are you angry that Cortese challenged your old boss Cindy Chavez. I am glad that you want Sam running the city and you too think that Cortese endorsing Xavier Campos re-election bid THIS YEAR was a mistake and one he has displayed an inability to explain.

      The four police chiefs who all happen to be endorsing Cortese spewing attack lines while their pensions are in the high 6 figures is a joke. I’d rather go to the gym to rather than respond to an attack ad from the opposition – and that is what those four chief hypocrites were doing.

      Now explain to me, why did Cortese endorse Campos, Steve. Also, how should that reassure us of the high level of integrity he masquerades as having?

  26. SJPD wants their pensions back. These are the same pensions that allowed a neighbor and a friend to “retire” in their 40’s with 100% of their salaries to be paid to them. Oh, and this was after both took the tests to become sargeants for their last two years allowing their salaries to rise tremendously. Oh, and then both took jobs elsewhere which don’t affect their pensions one dang bit. So now the City of San Jose pays them while they work elsewhere, both in their low 50s. Nice, sign me up. SJPD has had pensions that are out of control, and the city wants to limit them because they don’t have money. Sounds like what 1000s of other workers have had to do in times of economic hardship – cut back raises, pay, hours……And when they called on it, they whine, hold fairs in San Jose for other cities to come take their officers, persuade new recruits this is not the place to be…

    • Well you are not telling the truth. No one retires with 100% retirement. The max you can get is 90% at the completion of 30 years of service. You can not be in your 40’s and get 90%. You have to be 21 to be hired in California to be in law enforcement. So to get 90% you would be in your 50’s to get 90%. That shows you know nothing about the retirement system in San jose. Try again!!!!


      If you make it you will be able to pay 21% of your salary into a retirement plan that will pay you 57% after 30+ years of service at 60+ years old… Good luck too you! P.S. you cant take it with you hopefully you live a long life…

  27. > So to get 90% you would be in your 50′s to get 90%.

    Poor babies.

    This is obscenely generous from the perspective of people who do equivalent work in the private sector.

    And, NO, “public safety” is NOT the most dangerous line of work.

  28. SJOTB you’re such a jealous whiner. Get over it. So what if it’s obscenely generous. For the cops to have to put up with people like you it has to be that way. Can you imagine everyone,,,,,, for 30yrs dealing with people the likes of the whining SJOTB?? I think most people would eat their gun. How much money are you putting away for your retirement SJOTB? How much money would you have if you invested 22%+ of your salary for 30 years? A pretty penny! It’s not like their retirement is free. Again, the cops have to put up with ignorant whiners like you. The city has to pay a premium for that.

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