Jay Rosenthal

Who Wasted the Most Campaign Money in 2012? Well, a Lot of People

The deadline for semi-annual campaign disclosure forms covering the last half of 2012 came due last week. The documents provide a clearer picture of how winning and losing candidates raised money and how they spent it—or misspent it—in the final weeks of the campaign. We also tracked a number of political action committees (PACs). The most interesting findings: How much money was wasted in trying to defeat Councilmember Rose Herrera, a potential quid pro quo between the ChamberPAC and a person quoted in its ballot statement against minimum wage, and hangover debt for losing candidates Jimmy Nguyen and Robert Braunstein.

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Spam Scam Almost Works

Practically everyone in the San Jose political community recently received an email asking for financial assistance from a faraway land—but it didn’t come from a Nigerian prince. Instead, it came from a scammer posing as local political consultant and aspiring lawyer Rolando Bonilla, whose email account was hacked. “It’s me Rolando—I really don’t mean to inconvenience you right now, I made a trip to Scotland and I misplaced my passport and credit cards,” the imposter wrote.

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Ford and Bonilla Lose

As young staffers for various South Bay Labor Council-backed candidates and office-holders, Rolando Bonilla and Ryan Ford learned a little bit about winning ugly. Recently, they also learned a bit about losing—and they just received another painful lesson.


Ford and Bonilla Sue Rosenthal Over Website Prank

A visit to the website fordandbonilla.com is not as entertaining as it once was. For a few weeks this summer, visitors to the site were redirected to a cell-phone video capturing a heated exchange between San Jose political consultant Ryan Ford and council candidate Aaron Resendez, who was then running against Xavier Campos, the brother of Ford’s then-boss, Nora Campos. (Whew!)

The vid was blurry and the sound was bad, and it would have made no sense to any potential client shopping for services from Ford and his partner, Rolando Bonilla. But local insiders got a kick out of it—that was the point. The redirect was a prank pulled by another political consultant, Jay Rosenthal, who had registered the URL when he found out Ford and Bonilla were launching their enterprise.

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Dirty Machinations

At last April’s State Democratic convention in Los Angeles, the head of the powerful South Bay Labor Council, Cindy Chavez, called a face-to-face meeting with state Assemblymember Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles and labor leader Maria Elena Durazo. Chavez wanted to discuss de Leon’s fundraising activity for a San Jose City Council campaign.

De Leon had contributed $250 and helped bring in campaign funding for Magdalena Carrasco, his ex-wife, who was running against the SBLC-backed candidate for the District 5 council seat, Xavier Campos.