Robert Braunstein, a TV sports broadcaster and candidate for District 10’s City Council seat, returned a $500 contribution from Brian Bumb this week, after San Jose Inside notified his campaign that Bumb and his company, Bumb & Associates, hold a management stake in Bay 101 Casino.
According to ethics provisions listed in Title 12.06 (Municipal Campaign and Officeholder Contributions) under the city’s code of ordinances, candidates for elected office are not allowed to accept money from San Jose’s card rooms, as well as anyone in a management role in those businesses or their spouses.
“A cardroom, cardroom owner, officer of a cardroom, key management employee of a cardroom, spouse of a cardroom owner or spouse of a cardroom officer may not make any contribution to candidates or candidate controlled committees under this chapter,” the city code states, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FFPC) website.
City Clerk Dennis Hawkins confirmed that he sent a letter to Braunstein regarding Bumb’s contribution. “(Bumb) is in one of the categories that makes it a prohibited contribution,” Hawkins said. Braunstein replied with a letter of his own saying the contribution had been returned, Hawkins said.
Bumb and his family have owned Bay 101 since it was opened in the mid 90s. The Bumb family gained much of its wealth from the San Jose Flea Market, which is why Braunstein says he thought the contribution wouldn’t run afoul of FPPC standards.
“I did receive a check from Bumb and Associates because I have known the owners of the Flea Market for a long, long time,” Braunstein wrote in a statement to SJI. “I also have a long time relationship with their advertising agency representative who handles the San Jose Flea Market.
“The Flea Market was a generous and important sponsor of my television program, Cal-Hi Sports. They have supported our scholarship program for student athletes who have overcome adversity—for their support of that program, I am grateful and so are the dozens of athletes they have helped. It was in this capacity I have built a relationship with the Flea Market in the past and why they gave to my campaign.
“I understand the family has other business interests in the city that prohibit them from contributing and therefore I have returned the check.”