Cogan Moving On

In the last few weeks, San Jose City Hall fixture and failed District 9 candidate Jim Cogan‘s Facebook posts have jumped from the occasional cryptic message about being “tired of being sick and sick of being tired,” to a recent barrage of updates referencing ‘90s pop culture.

From Homer Simpson quotes to ruminations on “Reality Bites” and updates on changing his default ring tone to Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping,” it seemed that JimCo suddenly had a lot of free time on his hands. Turns out that he does.

The former chief of staff for District 1 Councilman Pete Constant officially resigned his position at the end of October. Cogan spent the last decade of his life working his way up the ranks and preparing (expecting?) to nab a spot on the City Council. As he himself was never shy in letting anyone within earshot know, he was the youngest person ever to rise to a top staff position at City Hall.

Cogan was by all accounts surprised to be shut down by Don Rocha, another former council staffer, coming in a far third after evangelical activist Larry Pegram.

Cogan’s Facebook profile now says he is in the market for “a purpose greater than myself that also pays well.” Fly guesses that mixing Pete’s weight-loss shakes wasn’t a satisfying enough endeavor for Cogan anymore.

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.


  1. Just so readers don’t think that Cogan has no friends and his bizzaro, not Pizzaro, but bizzaro posts on his FB account have gone unnoticed prior to this screed in the Metro, or better named weekly: The Carrasco Apologist Chronicles.

    Next weeks edition should cover ground such as: Recount in D-5, Do-Overs are Good For Democracy, They Had the Wrong Carrasco, Magdalena Did File Her Taxes Every Year, Carraso Starts New Business: How To Play The Victim and Cry On Cue…

  2. JIm Cogan served San Jose very well in his time at City Hall. He deserves a big thank you from every resident for all is years of service.

    Good luck, Jim. You’d be an asset to any organization.

  3. I’m glad to hear that Jim resigned from his post at Constant’s Office. He is a great guy who deserves to work for someone of integrity and substance.

    I think a big part of why Jim lost the election was because of his ties to Constant. Jim is NOTHING like his former boss. I hope he gets a better job doing the great things he wants to do. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this wonderful man. I wish him the best.

  4. I’ve worked on a lot of campaigns for the past 30 years and I can tell you, win or lose, it takes a lot out of these candidates and their families. I think Jim deserves our support and appreciation for his hard work and dedication to our community. His work on Crime Stoppers alone garnered my respect and support.

    Losing a hard fought race is tough and we should respect and appreciate the willingness of these folks to put their lives and reputations out to a very bias media who have the power to make or break their campaign, and to a public that judges them without even knowing them.

    So a big thank you to everyone who ran.

  5. Leave the poor guy alone.  He got slaughtered in June (I think everyone expected him to do better than he did, including himself), after having run such a visible and active campaign.  I was never one of his fans, but he doesn’t deserve this.

    I’ve long suspected that those anti-Pegram mailers from last May, that weren’t sent out by the Cogan campaign, yet which endorsed Cogan, were actually sent at the behest of the Rocha campaign, and were in a sly way, more directed at Cogan than they were at Pegram.  Pegram had a pretty solid constituency locked in, but if Cogan were to be (dishonestly) associated with negative campaigning, maybe the committed non-Pegram voter would perceive Cogan to be sort of a dick, and naturally gravitate to Rocha.  And based on the June election results, it seems that’s exactly what happened.

  6. Fantastic journalism.  It is amazing that the NY Times hasn’t offered you tons of money for your skills.  If you really dislike Jim that much, you should handle it man to man (or, in this case, internet toughguy to man).  I’ll put $10 on Jim.

  7. Kathleen,
    Really? Pete Constant hurt Cogan? Pete? The guy who got over 2/3 of the vote in his reelection? Pete who has the lowest negatives on the council?

    Maybe the fact that Jim distanced himself from Pete cost him the election. From what I’ve heard, Pete is popular in the Cambrian area.

    How can you bad mouth Pete Constant when he’s the strongest advocate for reform, and the most fiscally responsible guy on the council? And he’s definitely the closest to mayor Reed who has a 75%+ approval rating.

    I live in Pete’s area, and I can tell you all of the residents out here admire him for standing up and saying what we are all thinking. I, and all of the neighborhood leaders, love Pete. In fact if all councilmen acted like Pete there would be no need for the neighborhoods commission.

    It sounds like you have no idea who Pete really is. You’re drinking someones koolaide.

    • Wow. Pete is the most fiscally responsible? Strongest advocate for reform?
      I talked to many people in D9 who were very uncomfortable with Jim’s connection to Pete. They are very uncomfortable with Pete and what he stands for—just look at D9’s repudiation of Pete’s chosen candidate who lost badly.
      Pete—advocate for reform? Most recently, I guess you missed it, he was skirting the law by forming a rogue PAC to support his losing candidate. The City Attorney had to tell him what he was doing was wrong. He was unclear on the concept.
      And, he has stabbed City employees in the back in the way he has tried to “reform” salary and pensions (of which he partakes in mightily).
      The way he and the Mayor have demonized City employees for the misdeeds of this and current and former Mayors and Councils is unforgivable.
      I could go on but it is probably wasted on you anyway.
      And, no I am not now nor have I ever been a City employee. I just believe in ethics and fairness and I don’t see Pete following either.

      • R.U Cirius is absolutely correct Kathleen -are you kidding???? You can admire Pete all you want but he is a hypocrite and a liar. I live in D9 and Jim’s association and loyalty to Pete sunk him long ago and everyone but you know it. Go back and read some of the SJI columns where posters blast Jim for working for the anti-gay, pro-porn filters Constant.

        Pete got the endorsement of the POA TWICE and then screwed them, even though 60 Police Officers walked HIS precinct to ensure his recent re-election.

        He collects a disability check from the City after serving a SHORT time on the SJPD and even though he claimed to be too disabled to take a desk job on the PD, he gets a Council wage, AND money from his photography business. He has been photographed and video tapped fishing and wrestling for God’s sake! How can he be collecting disability and BONUS checks?

        He bullies women on the Council, and spends more time getting his face in the media than doing the job he was elected to do. The Merc AND the Metro have dinged him on his lack of attendance at Council Meetings, and for taking a fishing trip during City budget meetings! You call that fiscally responsible?

        He berates speakers and fellow Council Members from the dais, and acts like he’s above the same rules everyone else is.

        If you admire a guy like that, well then may be you ought to re-think what you consider an icon/hero. And BTW, I know Pete very, very well. Until he showed his true colors, bullied Council Member Pyle in the press and through his Council EMAIL, and screwed the POA over like he has TWICE, I was a supporter too. Not any more!

        • I have never understood why being in favor of preventing public library computers from being used for perusing porn sites marks one as some sort of right-winger.  Seems like a pretty common sense proposal.  If people want to view porn, they should do it at home.  If they don’t have internet access at home, then they should simply refrain.  There’s no obvious public interest associated with making porn available at library computer terminals.  The idea its a First Amendment issue is absurd.

        • The main reason is that the definition of porn and what is blocked is very subjective.  Nobody opposes filters in public libraries because they want to “make porn available at library computer terminals.”  But libraries need to make sure that users have access to websites on all kinds of health and sexuality issues that are usually blocked due to over-filtering. 

          Library computer users need to have unfettered access to information with rules in place so that appropriate behavior is the norm.

        • Kevin,

          I can get porn on my google phone.  Same thing with an iphone.  If people REALLY wanted to get at porn, do you think a library is going to be the place they want to do it?

          Filters range in price anywhere from free, to thousands of dollars.  There are 2 methods for porn filtering.

          URL filtering:
          This involves someone inputting the URL’s into the filter. This someone is usually an IT person, who gets paid two to three times as much as a librarian. 

          There are also filters that download lists of blocked URL’s from the vendor.  Do we really want a private entity controlling what we can, or cannot see in a library? 

          Accumulative skin tone matching, body part recognition:
          Like the human face, the human body has variables that remain somewhat constant on a naked person.  On a male, the penis is so far from the chest, on women there are certain mathematically recognizable curves, and the most used method on this, the amount of skin tone in a picture.

          These types of filters produce a lot of false positives.  Namely because there are instances in art, and in litiature where there is *GASP* naked people. 

          I can tell you I spent countless hours in the library as a kid looking at aboriginal women in old copies of National Geographic.  Was I being pervy? Yes, was it porn? No.

          There’s other examples of near nude art that get false positives.  Venus rising for example.

          Most skin tone filters would go “BLEET BLEET PORN ALERT” It’s not porn, it’s something that should be appreciated by everyone.

          I just don’t see any reason to spend money/time on filters.  You shoulder tapping idea is great though, and one that should be presented to the head librarian.

        • The way to implement it is to just have some librarian tap a guy on the shoulder, and inform him that we don’t use the library computers for that purpose.  That’s what we would have done 30 years ago, so why can’t we do it today?  If he persists, block his library card from accessing the internet.

          Surely, the purpose of the filters can be accomplished by merely implementing a “no porn” rule.  Its not about the software filters per se.

    • Constant ought to be ashamed of himself.  He claims he is disabled and unable to work because of an injury when he was a cop.  Yet there is a wrestling video circulating of him being tossed to the ground, he rides a tandem bike with another councilmember, and he throws out first pitches at little league games…etc.

      He gets a lifetime pension for not work and clearly is not disabled, he can work from behind a desk, he does that now….what gives?  Can you say hypocrite, he bashes pensions yet is a double dipper himself…laughable.