Election Rejections

Iowa just held its Republican Primary to ring in the New Year, which means two things: It’s officially election season from now through Nov. 6, and the opinions of Iowans no longer matter. Much was made about the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which, according to the court’s interpretation of the First Amendment, means the government can’t limit spending on elections by companies and nonprofits. A battle is now being fought at the local level in Milpitas, where community activist Ed Riffle is challenging the constitutionality of a new ordinance passed by the City Council that limits campaign contributions to $500 per election. In an email Riffle was circulating before a Jan. 3 council meeting, he attached the supporting analysis of John Eastman, a former dean at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, Calif. Eastman says in a letter to the council that he has challenged other cities with similar ordinances, and according to Chapman law school’s Wikipedia page, he also spends his free time fighting the legalization of same-sex marriage. Riffle argues that campaign limits protect incumbents, and Debbie Giordano was the lone member of the Milpitas council to support this take. Of course, Giordano isn’t too keen on some of her colleagues, like Mayor Jose Esteves. For now, the battle between those two is on hold as Patricia Lucas, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge, denied Giordano’s petition for emergency consideration of the release of security camera videos and key card security logs at the Milpitas City Hall for Esteves and Councilmember Armando Gomez.

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. Milpitas politics and Iowa elections are Not San Jose Topics and should not appear on SJI

    SJI needs to bring the many important San Jose issues that need to be publicly discussed or you will lose even the few remaining readers than you have

    Where are important San Jose city government metrics – crime rates, staffing, service levels, tax revenues per resident comparisons to other local and large California cities, business fee comparisons, miles streets below standard, etc   ?

    What you don’t want to embarrass City Hall or have residents have facts that show City Hall is grossly mismanaging our city while Council gives millions taxes to crony millionaires and billionaires ?

    Start New Year off right and show local sorry excuse for newspaper – Murky – what investigative journalism is all about and how to have actual community discussion about fixing San Jose’s city government and economy  

    Murky reprints other newspapers / wire service news and opinions a few days later, weak local news and will not report anything that conflicts with Mayors and City Hall political opinions because Murky is afraid of losing more desperately needed ad revenue

  2. yeah, this WAS pretty weak. Exactly what is the connection between the Citizens United decision and Milpitas? There was a time when the Fly actually would scoop the SJ Mercury with real political insight.

    Not No Mo.

  3. Will there be a special election in Santa Clara?

    Debbie Bress, once a favorite subject of Metro, especially when they covered local crackpots, has made a deal with San Francisco diehards who want to keep the 49ers in San Francisco, to launch a petition drive to challange the financing deal.

    Check Metro articles.  Bress has done this before, attempted to hijack a local movement.  She worked for a Sun vendor, and effectively disrupted the effort to block Sun.  This time, Bress seems to be working with San Francisco city leaders attempting to get the matter of financing the stadium on the ballot.  On December 22, two days after the power outage at Candlestick, Bress announced she needed 10,000 dollars to draft a referendum and to have it printed.  Two days later, 500 petitions were sent to Bress at her mailbox location, and they were drafted by a law firm whom she had hired to file a nusiance suit against the 49ers, which was thrown out of court.  The lawyer involved, Pete Smith, is a friend of Michael Antonini, head of the Keep Niners in SF group.  Now Bress is planning to go citywide with a petition gathering drive on Saturday.  What people do not know is that Bress has already been paid to gather the signatures, and have them printed, and any donation to the organization of which, Bress claims she is the “Social and Community Outreach Officer,” has already contractually promised Bress the funds donated to them for “reimbursements.”

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