Chamber Invites Unions to the Party

While it might not signal a real truce in the endless, tedious factional conflict that is San Jose politics, the business community extended an olive branch to local unions last week. The setting was a soiree introducing Matt Mahood, the new CEO of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The labor-affiliated members of the City Council—Xavier Campos, Kansen Chu, Nancy Pyle and Ash Kalra—were all in attendance, as might be expected. But so were their union-leader allies, many of whom had never seen the inside of a weekly chamber mixer, much less a gala baton-passing.

Neil Struthers, CEO of the building and construction trade union, received an invite, as did longtime political aide Mike Potter—the hubby of South Bay Labor Council chieftain Cindy Chavez. Neither had gotten much love from the Chamber during the five-year reign of former CEO Pat Dando.

Dando herself did not attend the event—either graciously stepping aside for her successor, or shunning the party. There were however plenty of usual suspects also in attendance. Councilmember Pete Constant—once a candidate to replace Dando—was just one of several Silicon Valley Republicans pressing the flesh.

It’s tough to say what to make of Mahood’s debut. Labor leaders mingling amicably with chamber folks could signal a new era. Or it could just mean Mahood, who spent the last nine years in the CEO role of Sacramento’s Chamber, picks his guest list with the political savvy of a man who has been hanging around the Capitol for a decade.

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. Are you kidding, Pete miss an event where there is free food and free handouts for political favors, not a chance. People need to keep an eye him, he always looking to line his pockets.

  2. Nice seeing a new Chamber CEO who pitches the big tent notion for what a regional chamber of commerce can be.

    Seem like the role the chamber fell into the last decade or two was as a foil to the South Bay Labor Council and plum posting for termed out politicians.  Looks like at least initially, we’re doing better now.

    BTW – what’s the SVLG up to these days?

  3. Do Your Home Work:

    You kidding me? Good lord, I “Friended” Ash Kalra and it was one of the worst things I Did.  Filling my box with all his “Events” and bowel movements.

    I haven’t checked his FB against his calendar, I can imagine there are discrepancies.  But this kid wants to move up in them Dem Circles, much like Ms. Campos did.

    Lord help us.  I have seen the light!

  4. Im era of ethics, it is sad to see a member of the birther movement be the spokesperson of a group in Santa Clara.  Also, the tactics of so called Libertarian Party leader Brian Darby to launch personal attacks on many of the female workers of the efforts to build stadiums in San Jose and Santa Clara are really horrible.  Indeed, one of the people who attends San Jose City Council meetings proclaiming himself to be an immortal claims, with the knowledge of the treasurer of the efforts to defeat stadiums that he can will the demise of people.

    Then there is a college librarian who actually attacks the character of people who passed away in his attempt to defeat the ball parks in the South Bay.

    Sad, I will take Gabbert any day.

  5. > Im era of ethics, it is sad to see a member of the birther movement be the spokesperson of a group in Santa Clara.

    And your point is what, Mr. Nasty No Names?

    You deplore name calling, but begin your screed by sneering at “birthers”.

    The fact of the matter is that your President is widely regarded as routinely asserting things that are “incompletely truthful”.

    If Obamba had a completely legitimate birth certificate, why all the theatrics about “claiming privacy”, keeping it a secret, having the campaign release a doctored “certificate of live birth”, asserting dubious newspaper stories as proof of birth, etc, etc.

    Having the White House suddenly produce a “birth certificate” out or thin air three years after the election is absurd and not credible.

    The MAJORITY of Americans have doubts about the circumstances and accounts of Obamba’s birth.

    The MAJORITY of Americans have a more realisitic grasp of Obamba’s veracity impairments than you obviously have.

    • LOL…the “MAJORITY” of Americans couldn’t care less about the circumstances of the President’s birthplace/date/weather conditions/etc.

      A majority of conspiracy-theorists does not equate to a majority of Americans.


      • > Majority rulez

        Well, in America, the Constitution rules.

        You probably didn’t realize that because you vote for the mob leader who promises to steal the most money from the taxpayers and put it in your supperdish.

        Bad news, though,

        Taxpayers are becoming extinct.

        Pretty soon, the majority will have to start stealing from you.

    • Double yawn.

      What you need to do is not worry about something so small as the President’s birth certificate and focus on something more pressing, such as the republicans getting ready to bring this country down to its knees, in a few days. When this country falls…blame on the likes of you; so focused on trying to harm the president’s name that you will go to extremes not to let him run this country. I digress.

      • > so focused on trying to harm the president’s name that you will go to extremes not to let him run this country.

        So, what extreme things have Republican’s done to harm President Obungle’s good name?

        * Pointed out that the debt has gone up by four and a half trillion dollars?

        * Mentioned that unemployment is ten percent and rising, and the percent of the labor force fully employed is only 67%?

        * Questioned why the U.S. military is engaged in three —count ‘em, THREE—foreign quagmires, when President Obungle said he would only fight “wars of necessity?

        President Obungle’s problem is that there is no one left to steal from, and no one left to lie to except for you.

        • The mess was inherited. George Lush started it. If people weren’t consistently trying to block everything he does, we may have moved a little more forward than this. Somebody seems to try to throw a wrench into everything the president tries to do. They want him to fail and it shows. President tries to bring the Olympics to America and when he doesn’t get the bid, what happens…the republicans clap and cheer. What kind of crap is that? That doesn’t show a love of your country. What it shows is a bunch of knuckleheads who do not care about the country moving forward…they just want the president to fail. Limbaugh said it himself…he hopes the president fails. Why??? If the president says blue, they say green. If he says high, they say low. Everything that the republicans do to try to throw a wrench into anything that the president does is hurting us all. It is starting to show. Sorry everybody for taking this off topic. I’m done.

        • > If people weren’t consistently trying to block everything he does, we may have moved a little more forward than this.

          A little more forward?

          A seven trillion dollar deficit instead of four and a half trillion?

          Twelve percent unemployment instead of ten percent?

          Four foreign quagmires instead of three foreign quagmires?

          No thank you.

          I hope he fails.

  6. I will take it that you did not address Darby or the guy from the college library who makes fun of people who have died because you approve.

    Obama is a citizen, just like you, Bronco, are a foreigner, probably with a Von in your name.

    • > Bronco hates the gals

      > I will take it that you did not address Darby or the guy from the college library who makes fun of people who have died because you approve.

      If I or anyone else had a clue about what the hell you were talking about, I’m sure that someone would either agree or disagree with you.

      • Gee, we see on this site people defending the head of the local Libertarians who said at a council meeting that women hate football, and that their husbands should drag them back tothe kitchen more often, and those were Darby’s exact words. 

        Then we read from a guy who wrote about mixed races, and about Obama not being a citizen and you,Bronky, do not what we are talking about?

        It starts with a r and ends with a t about it is about you and Brian D.

        • > and you,Bronky, do not what we are talking about?

          You are correct.  I do not know what you are talking about.

          Since it’s coming from you, I assume what you’re talking about is not important.

          And, by the way, if you don’t like me as a “whiteguy”, what color guy should I be so that you would like me better?

          What color should I be so that I would be as wonderful as you are?

        • No one likes you as a pompous white guy.

          Any color you would be, Bronky, after you defend birthers, and defend a Libertarian guy who gave money to Ron Paul to support the confederacy (check out the website on Ron Paul) tells us that you cross the street whenever someone of color passes.

    • Brian Darby is proud to represent those of who are Liberatrians.  Lunatics of mixed races support the ball park in San Jose.  I have exposed the MC Loser and his stupid support of subsidies for athletes.  Let him pay his taxes then talk,  San Jose and the South Bay do not the Chsmber or the unions.  Political mud people,  Jay and I took kids to the library and it was closed due to cutbacks to please the money lenders who talk with their hands and steal our economy for investors in other lands,

  7. I want this continued sniping at those of us that have legitimate views on subsidizing ball parks in San Jose and other cities to stop.  As far as Obama is concerned, I do find his lack of credibility on the birth certificate issue to be another example of how politicians lie and cheat.  The Chamber and Unions, part of the same new world order, got together for a party?  Well, that says it all doesn’t it, while honest working people slave under the elites in the South Bay establishing ball parks and stadiums for their foreign bank friends, we must live in a society with a president tied to foreign bankers and education our children to speak languages of their new masters.  I am not happy that the Chamber and the Unions are partying, and I am not going to tolerate some local nutcase hijacking our group name.  We believe in no ballparks in cities that cannot afford them, and no president of a foreign creed keeping the banks alive!

    • Majority rules is right.

      Can we discuss San Jose issues!

      Good for Chamber and unions to come together.

      Good bipartisanship.

      As for these SC clowns, no wonder the residents thing these anti stadium guys are bigots. I see that the leaders are on several birther blogs.

  8. Interesting in this time of pressing fiscal ***EMERGENCY** that our leaders took a nice pause out to attend this party.

    In fact, it is quite interesting that they took the entire month of July off!

    In this pressing fiscal emergency/crisis? Kinda odd.

  9. Old News – Chamber and South Bay labor have always worked together when they both benefited and politely fought each other over Mayor and Council seats who control political tax, contracts and other payoffs

    After Reed / Chavez race when McEnery got his buddy Pandori to charge Gonzales which was later dismissed it has gotten nastier and personal as they attack each other, file election complaints, lawsuits and fight over less and less city contracts, tax subsidies and political paybacks

  10. The mayor knows it. The council knows it. You know it. I know it. The attorneys know it. One thing, though…if the members of the council side with the mayor and vote to put this ILLEGAL reform measure on the ballot, they will be doing something they KNOW is illegal and will publicly jeopardize any sense of morals and ethics the public thought they had. If they will vote to put an illegal reform measure on the ballot…what else will they do? You have to ask yourself that question. If it means nothing to them that something is illegal, what else will they do?

  11. They might be invited but that’s are far cry from adopting any union positions.

    Pretending to listen really doesn’t mean much.

  12. Since I am presumably one of the “Sons of Bitches” to be taken out, I’m curious.

    What is the linkage between the South Bay Labor Council and the AFL-CIO?

    What is the linkage between the San Jose Police Officers Association and the AFL-CIO?

    When I am “taken out”, what can I look forward to?

    A candlelight dinner with soft music at a fine restaurant?

    If the AFL-CIO is so passionate to take me out, what do they think they are accomplishing by first calling me a Son of a Bitch?

    Isn’t it customary to call me “Snookums”, or “Sugar Dumpling” or “Pepper Sprout” or something more traditional?

    I don’t understand this modern era.

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