The Silence Coming from Dave Cortese’s Campaign is Deafening

Dave Cortese's campaign for mayor of San Jose suffered its first major setbacks this past week, and the Santa Clara County supervisor would prefer if we don’t talk about it. So, let’s talk about it.

On Wednesday of last week, San Jose Inside reported that Cortese’s spokesman, Jay Reed, had a history of sending out sexist Tweets that joked about his daughter’s “hot teacher” and women being “prudes” if they object to men masturbating on buses. Apparently, Cortese’s employee background check doesn’t include The Google. Reed was removed from the campaign the same day of the report, and Cortese declined further comment.

San Jose Inside then learned on that same Wednesday that Cortese had won a lawsuit, filed by the city, to opt out of the voluntary spending cap for the mayor’s race to November, similar to his opponent, San Jose Councilman Sam Liccardo.

This wouldn’t have been much of a deal but for three reasons: 1. Cortese attacked Liccardo for doing the exact same thing, just a few weeks earlier; 2. An ethics complaint was filed against Cortese, and it appears he may have to return some campaign contributions; and 3. Cortese refuses to conduct any interviews on the above-mentioned topics, aside from a couple of stilted text messages.

None of Cortese’s follies fall into the category of campaign killers, but they are worth monitoring. Who a candidate hires is generally a good indicator of who they’ll bring along if elected. What’s more troubling is Cortese’s lack of accountability and unwillingness to discuss such issues. For the above-mentioned issues he was given the option to get out in front of the story. He chose instead to evade or ignore requests for an interview.

This matters because Cortese isn’t running to be a behind-the-scenes commissioner, or even one of five overpaid county supervisors. He’s not even running for another go as a San Jose councilman, where he would have to represent close to 100,000 district residents.

Cortese wants to be the face of the 10th largest city in the country. When tough choices need to be made—and there will be many—the mayor can’t avoid tough choices. He or she must be out in front, leading and shaping the discussion.

What does it say then, if a candidate for mayor hides behind the veil of “no comment,” or simply begins to ignore requests for comment when the questions can’t be answered with canned soundbites? What does it say when a candidate refuses to acknowledge mistakes? And what does it say when a candidate refuses to pick up the phone when the second option—his spokesman—is popping off dick jokes from the unemployment line?

Cortese has branded himself as the best person to restore San Jose to the city it once was and should be. In order to do that, he has to prove he can be present.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. “Cortese refuses to conduct any interviews on the above-mentioned topics, aside from a couple of stilted text messages.”

    You’d have to be a fool to make a statement during a pending ethics investigation.

    • Dave was not asked to comment on the ethics investigation. He was asked about his spokesman’s past behavior/removal and the decision to opt out of the spending cap.


    • Dave’s refusal to grant unscripted interviews on how he makes decisions now does not bode well for how transparent and accountable a Cortese administration would conduct itself in the future. And claims of bias against a media outlet that simply requests interviews and is equipped with facts is a cop-out.


      • I’m actually shocked you replied Josh. You must be really proud of this article to run so quickly to defend it. I’m not on the inside of Dave’s campaign, so please don’t take anything I say as gospel. As far as a bias, my ROFLCOPTER Is about to take flight here. There has been ZERO articles about Sam authored by “The Fly” since the campaign began.


        At least 4 against Dave:

        The only time SJI uses “The Fly” is when you know the article is going to have a nasty, snarky tone mixed in with a bit of mudslinging. Mudslinging shows a bias. Then again, what do I know? I’m not smart like you guys.

        • >Of course, your silence to my comment here will be equally deafening.
          >I’m actually shocked you replied Josh. You must be really proud of this article to run so quickly to defend it.

          Your family bias has blinded you from logic to a degree, Robert. Is JK damned if he replies and damned if he doesn’t, in your eyes?

          • Your family bias has blinded you from logic to a degree, Robert. Is JK damned if he replies and damned if he doesn’t, in your eyes?

            Yah, you’re Rowen too. If not, you sure sound alot like him. Anyways, no, if Josh was truthful, there would be no issue, but 4 fly articles against Dave, and none against Sam is a pretty big bias.

      • Josh, I like you but you are beginning to sound so much like Chuck, Sam, Pete and the rest. Transparency went out the wind when Chuck became mayor. How about an article about Chuck trying to bring the A’s to San Jose and how he is wasting SJ millions for a vision that will never come true. Yet his lawyer friends are filling their pockets with our money.

      • maybe Cortese does not hold you or SJI in high regard……i wouldn’t, this is a fight against local media as well….inbedded with the power brokers of San Jose

  2. Is this how Mr. Cortese want’s to “Bring San Jose Together”?

    Wow! Forget about the “pending” ethics investigation…why does it even have to get to the point of “investigating” in the first place?

    George Shirakawa Jr., Cindy Chavez, Ben Field, Nora Campos, Xavier Campos AND Dave Cortese. Birds of a feather flock together!

    All ,for the most part, have had or have been part of “investigations”.

    • Amen. The Chavez-Cortese-Shirakawa-Campos-Field Labor Cabal has been a corrupting influence on local government for too long. Working families deserve better leaders than union bosses bent on furthering their own political agendas.

      It’s sickening to know that Chavez and Cortese are more than willing to stand on their shoulders of working families instead of actually trying to help them in the long-term. Shirakawa was only the first one to be brought down, other will reap what they’ve sown.

      • Your correct, working families deserve better. They deserve to be able take their kids to parks that don’t look like crap and smell like marijuana, they deserve to be able to take their children to libraries more often then not, they deserve to have police and fire respond in a timely manner, they deserve to have better roads to drive their children to school on.

        They deserve to have council members fix problems rather than go to Copenhagen to check out bicycles or to go to Hawaii with only 3 months left on their term. They deserve a city council member who doesn’t give away stadium land for pennies on the dollar. One that doesn’t give favors to Real Estate, Former Mayors and Large Construction Companies with the expectation of campaign contributions.

        Ah the politics. We need change really bad.

        • …so you think Mr. Cortese and all the labor dap-dogs running for City Council will “provide” all of this to us CITIZENS of San Jose?

          You say: “They deserve a city council member who doesn’t give away stadium land for pennies on the dollar. One that doesn’t give favors to Real Estate, Former Mayors and Large Construction Companies with the expectation of campaign contributions.”

          What about LABOR UNION BOSSES/LEADERS?

          Obviously you “seemed” to have forgotten about those didn’t ya?

          • what is given to labor union bosses (bosses lol)? developers are the ones that make out like bandits….time and again, ain’t that right – land use attorney REED?

  3. I think I like Cortese even more now. I don’t think I would go out of my way to speak with the “media” in this town either. The media loves Reed and he still looks and sounds like an idiot. Just think of what they will do to Cortese.

    Josh you sound a little bitter because he won’t talk. It’s okay I’m sure he will talk to you once the race is over. You picked a nice picture of him though. That was nice.

  4. Why speak to sanjoseinside? Like the Mercury-News, though in a somewhat less obvious and disgusting manner, SJI is doing everything it can to promote Liccardo. Neither the MN nor SJI has ever published a thorough account of what the flawed from the beginning Measure B has done to public safety in San Jose. Neither has taken on Liccardo’s ridiculous claims that he can rebuild the police department without drastically modifying Measure B. That is the big story in this election year, yet both the MN and SJI refuse to take a close and detailed look at the issue. Sure, much has been written about Measure B, but where is the investigation and reporting? The reason why this hasn’t happened is obvious; it would be very damaging to the already struggling Liccardo’s chances.

    The Freedom of the Press is a vital pillar of our democracy. It was designed to ensure that those in power will be closely scrutinized. It is sad and quite alarming that both the MN and SJI have shirked the responsibility that goes along with this freedom and have instead worked hard to ensure that those in power are shielded from such scrutiny. Koehn can remained outraged that Cortese won’t talk to him, and I agree that it would be helpful if Cortese would speak about these issues, but I’m far more outraged at a local press that seems more intent on obscuring the truth than reporting it.

  5. Wow you just hit a home run! Never mind 99% of voters never see the truth because local media has made up their mind and will never post such. You can’t even get this is the MN comments section because they sensor everything. I think I am on their blocked list. Thank you for your great post.

  6. No comment? Cortese’s buddy and endorsed but perpetually under investigation Xavier Campis must be saying Hey that’s my line!

    Mr Cortese shouldn’t have stood so close to Shirakawa and Campis their stink is rubing off on him. do better Dave! You still have a chance get out ahead of this

  7. Since I have assigned both mayoral candidates to the reject pile, I’m wondering if, in the electoral run-off format, there will be a provision to write in the name of another candidate?

    It would be quite a statement if neither candidate got a majority of the vote in a “two person” runoff.

  8. Everyone accusing SJI of bias are just sore that their preferred candidate is screwing himself up. Facts are facts, attacking the messenger just goes to show how anti-fact some people are willing to be when the facts don’t align with their biases.

    Those saying Cortese is a better public servant for refusing to speak to the press are, quite simply, idiots. If the truth is on his side, he should tell the truth. He’s silent because it’s not!

    • So says the resident Cortese apologist who supports a candidate whose solution to lowering overcrowdedness in Santa Clara County Jail is re-electing them to City Council!

      • SJC that actually made me laugh so loudly the people in the next booth looked over. That is classic. Too bad Mr Cortese doesnt seem to think there is anything wrong with the way his team, cronies and friends label themselves public servants, champions of the people and working class and then continuously and steadfastly refuse to offer any explanation of their actions to the people. No comment, pleading the fifth are all ways of hiding truth from the public. You can do it but you shouldn’t be a public official then. Sadly each day takes my vote further and further away from Mr Cortese.

        • Agreed! Now with lackeys like Anthony calling those opposed to Xavier Campos Teabaggers it is easy to see that there exists a pattern of irrational and irresponsible decision making – so maybe they are just trying to go for CONsistentcy in corruption over competence :-)

  9. JOJO,

  10. “What does it say when a candidate refuses to acknowledge mistakes?”

    Which candidate are you speaking of? The one who hired and fired a bad employee or the one who still supports Measure B and let the PD and FD be gutted? I mean, it is not like anyone might have DIED from not having police or fire protection?

  11. Here’s an idea for SJI – every time someone in San Jose is murdered or dies in a fire between now and the election, how about an article reviewing the tragedy and the twin impacts of Measure B and Cortese’s interview practices. I know there has been a lot of murders lately but I am sure you be able to keep up and still find time to publish your important series of articles on “throwing money at parks too dangerous to visit”.

  12. Cortese!!!

    Hire John Shallman as your consultant!!! Then, like Maggie “No Return Address” Carrasco, you can send out mailers with Bobby “I do not file until Jude tells me too” Lopez, and never have to disclose anything. Then Gary “Sleazy thumbs ” Crummitt can get the money from Kevin “Indian Gaming” deLeon!!

  13. Here’s a little something to help sicko’s like ANTHONY pass the time, and keep them from getting in the way of decent, productive people.

    It sounds perfect for him.

    He can sit in his mom’s basement in his underwear and hate Tea-Partier’s until he is knee-deep in fantasy blood and guts.

    America is a great country. It provides for it’s sociopaths more humanely than any other society in the history of the world.

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