Rolando Bonilla

Did Xavier Campos Relinquish His Ability to Take the Fifth?

Getting San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos to agree to an interview is a difficult proposition. Unless you’re the New York Times or NBC Bay Area’s Damian Trujillo. The latter scored an on-air interview Thursday with the councilman, who invoked the Fifth Amendment in front of the grand jury last month. In his interview, Campos claims that he had nothing to do with a fraudulent political mailer that helped his defeat his opponent, Magdalena Carrasco, in the 2010 council race. He also said he took the Fifth because he doesn’t trust the District Attorney’s office. But, according to NBC’s legal expert, Campos might have said too much, and he could be recalled in front of the grand jury.

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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 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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Politicians in Glass Houses

Last week, Nora Campos took City Council candidate Magdalena Carrasco to task for accepting campaign money from a controversial L.A. lawyer named Francisco Leal. Campos’ brother, Xavier Campos, is facing off against Carrasco for Nora’s soon-to-be-vacant District 5 seat, and the outgoing East Side councilwoman publicly questioned Carrasco’s ethics. She also wondered aloud whether the $250 Leal contribution is evidence that Carrasco is selling her district out to Southern California interests.