Cortese Campaign Spokesman Sent Weird, Sexist Tweets

UPDATE: Dave Cortese told San Jose Inside in a text message Wednesday afternoon that he has fired Jay Reed, his spokesman of three weeks in the San Jose mayor's race. "Jay Reed is no longer employed by our campaign," Cortese said. "I have no further comment."

Dave Cortese’s campaign in the San Jose mayor’s race has a couple new faces—and one unusual new storyline. In addition to moving Lara McCabe out of his county supervisor office to take over as campaign manager, Cortese also hired Wheelhouse Strategy consultant Jay Reed to be his new spokesman.

Fly made an innocuous call to Reed last week welcoming him to the campaign and hoping to learn a little about his political background. In addition to helping Republican Kevin Faulconer get elected mayor of San Diego earlier this year, Reed said, he also worked in 2008 on a land use ballot measure in Redwood City. But a little follow-up research found Reed omitted one controversial stop on his resume.

For more than a year Reed handled PR for Bullis Charter School in its nasty, multi-million dollar legal battle with Los Altos School District. During that time he sent out several disturbing Tweets from his personal Twitter account. In one message, almost exactly a year ago, he noted that his daughter would be getting a good education this year because, “Her teacher is hot.” Four hours before that Reed made a weird joke about cars providing “oral satisfaction.”

Jay Reed sent these Tweets from a since-deleted account a little less than a year ago while handling PR for Bullis Charter School. He now handles communications for San Jose mayoral candidate Dave Cortese.

Jay Reed sent these Tweets from a since-deleted account a little less than a year ago while handling PR for Bullis Charter School. He now handles communications for San Jose mayoral candidate Dave Cortese.

Perhaps most cringe inducing of all the Tweets was a joke he retweeted about women being prudes if they’re uncomfortable watching men masturbate next to them on the bus.

“If a woman is uncomfortable watchin u masturbate
A – She has intimacy issues
B – She’s a prude
C – She needs to sit somewhere else on the bus”

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 9.49.16 PM



Facing a minor backlash, Reed then tweeted a couple apologies that explained the Tweets were his own views and not that of his "client." Then he deleted his account.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 9.52.51 PM






Screenshots posted online by an appalled parent in the Bullis-LASD fight saved the Tweets for posterity. In a follow-up call, Reed told Fly he doesn’t understand “the whole Twitter thing,” which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for a communications pro, but kept his job after apologizing to his Bullis bosses.

He also admitted he didn’t tell Cortese about the Twitter meltdown before getting his new gig. “I was out there to try to get a few laughs, but I guess it was inappropriate,” Reed said. “It was nothing malicious. It was nothing.”

It's worth noting that top campaign staffers oftentimes receive job offers after a successful race. Safe to say it wouldn't be "nothing" if this was how the communications director for the mayor of the 10th largest city in the country spent his free time.

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  1. Newsflash!

    Metro uses for their personal ads which is a known human trafficking site, so therefore it’s a horrible reflection on SJI. Amiright guys?

    And in case anyone missed the point I’m trying to drive home here, if Metro can say, “We’re not responsible for a subcontractors content” then certainly Dave can’t be responsible for this guys personal twitter. Hell, you want to report on something, how about my attempts to resurrect Al Bundy’s “No Ma’am” club.

    • It looks like the Cortese camp is desperate for anything since they’re gonna lose this election. Endorses Xavier Campos now this? Shame.

      GO SAM!

      • #teamcortese in November 18th floor.

        Politically all share the same group of contacts and friends on facebook and other social media sites. Tracing out who is connected to who in mutual friends isn’t exactly rocket science. SJI, and sams team knows who is on Dave’s team. Josh Koehn, Jen Wadsworth, Dan Pulcrano, Dave, Sam, all have social networking connections to each other, and staffers.

        Because of that, they know the causes that my cousins staffers fight for. I’m not inaccurate for saying some of his staffers are feminists. At least 2 or 3 are involved with DAWN along with other bay area Dem feminists groups. So what’s the best way to break this happy little crew up?

        Try and point out that the new guy (Jay Reed)is some sort misogynist sexist. Cause dissent.

        It might have worked, but by the time they read this comment, they’ll realize what is really going on, laugh at this, and keep on campaigning.

    • Hey Robert. Way to attack the messenger here. Dave probably hired this guy directly. Picking good staff requires doing due diligence. This is something the Supervisor obviously doesn’t do.

      What this Reed guy is doing though is downright disgusting. To think Dave surrounds himself with sexist staffers. You can judge a guy by who he surrounds himself with and this doesn’t bode well for Mr. Cortese.

      • What this Reed guy is doing though is downright disgusting. To think Dave surrounds himself with sexist staffers.

        Really? Could swear at least 2 of his campaign staffers are fairly hardcore feminists. I’m not talking, “Equal rights” types, I’m talking, “Men created “Rape Culture” types.

        I might not agree with their sentiments, but I highly doubt my cousin agrees with them either no more than he would agree with Mr Reeds personal politics or views.

        • Doesn’t matter if Dave agrees or not. The point is he lacked the competence to make a sensible hire. He either didn’t care enough to properly vet or his staff didn’t, it’s still his responsibilty and negligence. Not what I want for San Jose.

          And, regardless of your politics, try to have more respect for his female staffers.

        • Those two staffers might care more about Labor movement…and less about how women are portrayed by high level campaign staffers

          Orrrr… Dave hiring women to join his campaign of mostly men may be to achieve a quota to not come across as sexist…. if Dave’s vetting is this shoddy for high level staffers, I pray that he not be in position to staff up an administration

        • Are you sure you’re actually supporting Cortese because disclosing that his staffers are hardcore feminazi men created rape culture types doesn’t do anything to advance Dave’s decision making ability. He’s erred by endorsing Campos and Martinez Roach, he’s erred in hiring this Reed fella without fully vetting (heck, simple Googling him!), he’s erred in hiring extremists

    • After reading your comment I went back and reread the article to see if SJI was holding Cortese accountable for his staffer’s tweets. SJI didn’t make that correlation either implicitly or explicitly. The tone (more precise with the final paragraph) is that Dave Cortese, a serious mayoral candidate for the 10th largest city in the nation didn’t do a very good job of vetting his PR spokesperson. Obviously Reed didn’t disclose the tweet fiasco (which he should have) but a simple Google search on Cortese’s part would have brought it to light BEFORE he hired him. Its similar to the same poor judgement Cortese showed by endorsing Campos as that other poster keeps pointing out. Poor judgement, lazy fact checking, excusing or overlooking known bad behavior of close business associates is something voters should take into consideration when choosing the Mayor. Dave needs to do better he’s too seasoned a politician to not know this stuff after so many campaigns and offices held.

  2. i sorta feel sorry for that guy. pithy, humorous and oftentimes offensive tweets get the most traction on twitter. no one is going to retweet a boring 140 character meditation on family values by a city-level campaign staffer. the dude should have known better, sure. don’t be spitting out your amateur comedy writing on your legit feed. set up a sock puppet for that nonsense.

    it also sorta sucks that there is no real dirt on these mayoral candidates to make for a decent scandal and attack campaign. kinda hard to get righteously indignant over some dude failing to be funny on twitter. come on, san jose. we can do better than this.

  3. SJI / Mercy News should stop trying to dig up any dirt they can against a candidate they do not support. There is not one candidate out there or who sits on the council or board of directors that they could not do the same. Shame on low blow politics.

  4. Must be a slow news day, huh? Or maybe Dave Cortese is so clean there’s no opening for your empty innuendo?

    How about providing something with actual value to the people – particularly the voters – of San Jose? That a campaign consultant did something stupid a year or more ago, on his own time, in his own name, on his own behalf, is certainly not of value to anyone.

  5. Why would it matter if 2 of his campaign staffers are ‘hardcore feminist’? That is a lazy excuse for an unacceptable hire. I also find it disrespectful to speak about their political beliefs in that tone. Regardless, it is interesting how someone who is in PR/Communications can fail to understand how Social Media can work against them. Do better Dave.

    • I also find it disrespectful to speak about their political beliefs in that tone.

      So it’s OK for some staffers to have femsogynistic views, but not OK for another to have misogynistic views? And it’s disrespectful for me to say it, but OK for the metro to say it?

      Oh man, I needed a good laugh. Thanks. :)

      • Laughing out loud. You need a crash course. Go figure a Cortese would not know how to navigate through this one.

          • Robert, You speaking about the two ‘hardcore feminists’ in the way that you did, kinda seemed you were reducing them down to being a quota rather than the talented public servants they are or strive to become…Using their employment as a way to explain away a poor hiring decision that your cousin made is ridiculous.

          • This isn’t speaking, this is writing. Either way though it would have been an interesting dichotomy within #teamcortese, and further proof of my cousin’s ability to bring dissimilar groups working together.

      • > So it’s OK for some staffers to have femsogynistic views, but not OK for another to have misogynistic views? And it’s disrespectful for me to say it, but OK for the metro to say it?

        > Oh man, I needed a good laugh. Thanks. :)

        Robert Michael:

        Sometimes you actually sound like a sensible human being.

        Don’t you ever get tired of hanging around Democrats?

      • So by that logic shouldn’t Dave either fire the rape culture feminists too OR not have been so quick to fire Jay? Maybe he’s just wishy washy and bows too quickly to any sort of public pressure.

        Another reason to question his judgement. Thanks for highlighting all this stuff Robert. I bet Mr Liccardo is happy to have you on Cortese’s team.

        • Sigh,

          Here I am, down in a Palo Alto parking garage, unpacking boxes and asset tagging Dell Monitors while listening to Elvis Presley.

          God I love Elvis. OK.. Let’s see what you said here.

          Maybe he’s just wishy washy and bows too quickly to any sort of public pressure.

          I’d say that’s a good thing. Everyone in San Jose is screaming, “Please fund SJPD so we stop having to deal with crime” and does Sam bow to public pressure? Nope, Sam is as stiff as an viagra overdosed penis.

          Thing is I spent 12 years, count em 12 years working in Sam’s district. Ever see the graffiti tag “JBF” around town? Turns out, the source of it is a guy who fancies himself an “Urban Artist” Myself, and another Jtown businessperson figured out who it is, and where they display their art after one particularly bad night of tagging.

          I didn’t recognize the tagger per se, but I did recognize one of the girls he was with. A J-Town trust fund baby. Won’t say *which* jtown family she’s from, but let’s just say this young lady will never have to worry about working, and will always be free to spend her days snapping away photos of her boyfriends “Canvas works” (an allegory for private property) with her shiny Nikon D-600 SLR.

          This was a good 3 or 4 years ago. I went to Sam with the info, emailed him some pictorial proof snagged from our security system. Did he shut it down? Oh noes, that would upset some of his best donators.

          See, sure, I might foot in mouth on occasion, and even more perturbing to you is the fact that on outside appearances I’m blindly endorsing/supporting my cousin, but the real truth is I know what’s up.

          I would much rather have a guy in there that would bow to public pressure to do what’s right, than a guy who bows to those that sign his campaign contribution checks. Dave’s supporters are cops that want to get paid to reduce crime, and at least one segment of Sam’s supporters are a bunch of way too wealthy boomer age trust fund babies with no handle on their kids mis deeds.

          Are you sure Sam is still happy having said this?

          • When people went to Cortese about Xavier Campos allegations and evidence……HE ENDORSED HIM! Your entire diatribe means absolutely nothing when you fail to defend the people Cortese chooses to surround himself with.

            I would rather choose to associate myself with people who endorse great public servants who might disagree with them – like Sam endorsing Ash Kalra….rather than Cortese endorsing corrupt politicians.

          • SJC,
            Why do you want to associate yourself with someone, Sam Liccardo, whose failed policies have destroyed the San Jose police department? This same great leader who couldn’t get even get a coalition of fellow council members at the last council meeting to agree on a couple of ballot measures that would have helped fix some of the damage.

          • Heh Observation.

            I like SJC, and his possible double/triple/quad personas. I mean, let’s get off our candidate bashing / posturing for a moment and enjoy the day guys, SJ jazz festival is up and running, i’m off work in about 2 hours, wanna go??

            I don’t care if you vote for Sam, Dave, or the boogieman. There’s gonna be some good music and dancing in DTSJ, let’s enjoy it.

          • I’m going to check that out Robert….a little jazz and an adult beverage sounds good right now…have a good time!

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