Chamber of Commerce

Chamber, Democratic Central Committee Make Amends? No, Not Really

TV sportscaster and former San Jose City Council candidate Robert Braunstein penned a heartwarming editorial in his newsletter about the reconciliation of two political rivals: the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and Democratic Central Committee. The business backers and the labor supporters, Braunstein wrote, have let bygones be bygones. Except they haven’t.

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The Dublin Diaries: Highlights from San Jose’s ‘Sister City’ Trip

Great news. San Jose’s elected leaders had a total blast on their “Sister City” trip to Dublin, Ireland. In addition to a bunch of meetings, which appear to have had nothing to do with city business, goodwill was spread and Guinness hats were purchased. And in a true show of solidarity with the Dubliners, some of San Jose’s councilmembers even came back with a case of the common cold! Fly called around to find out what San Jose officials learned during their time in Dublin—at an anticipated cost of $20,000; although one Irish writer called our estimate low—and we’re happy to report nothing substantial.

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San Jose Officials’ Sister City Trip to Dublin Expected to Cost at Least $20,000

The Emerald Isle is calling. Ten San Jose officials will fly this week to Dublin, Ireland, for the bi-annual “Sister City” trip, which is basically a pub crawl disguised as a city-sponsored economic development junket. Among the lucky 10 are four councilmembers (Xavier Campos, Rose Herrera, Ash Kalra and Johnny Khamis); three department heads (budget director Jennifer Maguire; Joe Hedges, of economic development; and environmental services’ Kerrie Romanow); two council chiefs of staff (Shane Patrick Connolly, for Khamis; and Mary Anne Groen, for Herrera); and one soon-to-retire city manager, Debra Figone. If that seems like overkill, well, it is.

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South Bay Labor Council Committee Spends Big on County Supervisor Race

The South Bay Labor Council spent almost a quarter-million dollars supporting Cindy Chavez’ successful run for a county supervisor seat, according to forms filed last month with the Registrar of Voters. The details of the labor organization’s staggering campaign fundraising and spending have not been made public until now. Taking into respect money spent by the Chavez campaign and other groups supporting her, it appears more than $750,000 was spent getting her into office. While few candidates can pull together a coalition of support like Chavez, the coordination between her campaign and outside groups raises some serious questions for the Fair Political Practices Commission.

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Husband of County Supervisor Cindy Chavez Blasts Chamber PAC for Election Role

Mike Potter, husband of Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, appears neither ready to forgive nor forget slights real and imagined in the lead-up to last week’s election. At last week’s Democratic Central Committee meeting, Potter blasted the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce for its efforts to help defeat his wife, and/or support her opponent, Teresa Alvarado—perspective dictates the distinction. There’s just one issue with this indignation—Potter’s job as a state and governmental affairs rep for Cisco, one of the largest members of the local Chamber, requires him to work directly with the Chamber and its policy makers.

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