Reached by phone, Rosa Campos, mother of San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos, said she had no recollection of fictitious business filings related to her son’s campaigns.
The business filing for “Xavier Campos for School Board,” created in July 2004, lists her, Xavier Campos and incarcerated former county supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. as copartners. When asked why the filing was created—none of the dozen elected officials, campaign consultants and county and state election officials reached by San Jose Inside had heard of such a practice—Rosa Campos said she wasn’t sure.
“I need to talk to my son,” she said. “He caught me off guard. I don’t even remember. Like I said, that was 2004.”
Shirakawa, who created similar fictitious business filings for several of his own campaign accounts, signed the 2004 form. He is currently in Santa Rita Jail on a yearlong sentence for pilfering funds from his 2008 supervisor campaign.
Serving as the treasurer of the official 2004 school board campaign, Rosa Campos, 75, said that her duties were not especially demanding due to the low stature of the race.
“In general, my experience, I’m a retired public school teacher, and in my experience, people who run in school board (races), they don’t do a lot of campaigning,” she said. “And because East Side Union is such a huge area, I’m sure we didn’t go knocking on doors or do those kinds of things. At least I didn’t.
“Basically, just donations, people donate $20, $30, $50 dollars. People do that. We don’t live in an area where people donate a lot of money. I remember that much.”
A review of Xavier Campos’ school board campaign forms shows that he received more than $60,000 in contributions—an abnormally high amount for that type of race.
According to campaign disclosure forms, Xavier Campos received $21,466 in in-kind contributions from the East Side Teachers Association. He also received $5,000 from an unknown group called East Side Campaign Funds and $2,400 from Joe Coto’s State Assembly committee. There is no restriction on contribution limits for local school board races.
Xavier Campos came in fifth in the 2004 race, but he would run again for elected office in 2010, when he won the San Jose City Council seat previously held by his sister, State Assembly Speaker pro Tem Nora Campos. Another fictitious business filing was created for this campaign account, although it appears the councilman did it himself.
A noticeable change in the handwriting between forms filed by Shirakawa and Campos’ 2010 form can be seen in the print of names and addresses, and the 2010 filing includes an accent over the “e” in San Jose, whereas Shirakawa’s filings do not. The signature on the 2010 fictitious business filing also appears to match those found on Xavier Campos’ actual campaign forms and memos since he came to City Hall.
Rosa Campos was polite in answering questions, despite being displeased by reports she has heard about in San Jose Inside/Metro. She added that her son has “touched the lives of a lot of people, young people, and these things nobody prints about them. It’s sad.”
Requests for comment from Councilman Campos’ office regarding his fictitious business filings have not been returned. He still has an active business filing for his 2010 City Council campaign, and a source close to the councilman says he is actively soliciting contributions for his 2014 re-election campaign.