Chamber Chess

Matt Mahood has developed somewhat of a rock star reputation in his 11 months since coming over from Sacramento to Silicon Valley. But that didn’t stop the Mercury News from taking the 6-foot-6 Goliath to task for attack ads the ChamberPAC put out against San Jose’s District 10 City Council candidate Edesa Bitbadal. The mailers needled Bitbadal for drumming up support from former San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales while making an out-of-context reference to Gonzales’ indictment charges before leaving office. No mention was made of the fact that Gonzales was exonerated. Mahood accepted the criticism in stride but said he found it a bit out of proportion considering the ChamberPAC—no doubt the heaviest hitter in this week’s local races—spent a paltry $9k on these particular mailers compared to the $290k it spent overall on the local primary elections. “I think we just need to make sure moving forward—when in doubt, the Chamber takes the high road in campaign politics,” Mahood said. The odd thing is that at the same time the Chamber went to the mattresses against Bitbadal, the South Bay Labor Council pulled back support of Measure B supporter Bitbadal, its No. 2 option in the district race, and doubled down on Brian O’Neill. When asked if he would feel vindicated if the Chamber’s mailers had anything to do with Bitbadal being left out of the November runoff, Mahood followed his own advice and didn’t take the bait. But he did laugh.

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.

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